Motivational Mondays!

Hey there folks,

Well, this week has started off in the most frustrating way…

Lost packages (damn you, UPS!), heel wounds (which can make walking extremely painful) + ridiculous library fees (I would much rather spend $6 on a green juice, thank you very much) have made today not so great.

So what did I do?

1. Put on some old Real Estate (the band) and flip through home magazines

2. Listen to a lecture (Enemies in Blue: Crime Cops and Capitalism) from a recent conference

3. Make these chocolate fudgy brownies (still waiting for them to cool…)

 

Ah, the little pleasures in life. Onward to the virtual fun!

Robin Robertson (of Planet Vegan fame) posted this delicious-looking (and easily gluten-free adaptable) recipe on One Green Planet for walnut-crusted artichoke hearts.

 

And you can always expect some great reflection from Cris Karr, this time about alcohol.

 

I love finding new blogs on healthy living (or at least new to me) and The Sensitive Pantry is my recent favorite! Vegan, gluten-free and nutritious, she has some great recipes – including this one for a red velvet smoothie (just sub agave/maple syrup for the brown sugar and you are good to go!)

 

Living the Nourished Life wrote a great article on the root causes of acne.

 

And last but not least, a story about a new kind of chef gaining popularity in Egypt post-uprising: one that actually cooks food most folks can afford!

 

Have a great week!

motivational mondays!

happy monday friends!

today was a busy and productive day and i am about to fall asleep on my laptop. but before i do, here are some things floating around the interweb that caught my fancy this week…

 

poppy and leo have posted a great april mixtape. i listened to it this weekend while writing some articles and it was so relaxing.

 

this chickpea, spinach and tomato soup recipe from my beloved herbivoracious looks amazing! i can’t wait to try it this week.

 

one green planet featured one of my favorite bloggers bonzai aphrodite talking about the basics on feeding your vegan baby. this is awesome and there needs to be more of this in our online health community!

 

and i will leave you with a beautiful poem by the brilliant jen lemen:

 

Love Will Find You Out

It’s okay to fall apart.
You don’t have to know the answers.
All those pieces you’ve been holding for so long while you raced around your life looking for the last roll of scotch tape, go ahead, let them fall.
Let them fall.
Every last piece.

It’s okay to scramble.
You don’t have to be calm now.
All those plans you’ve been stringing together like a macaroni necklace in kindergarten–
every last one is beautiful, so beautiful, so go ahead.
Keep grabbing at everything you ever wanted and always feared you’d never have.
Every last beautiful dream.

It’s okay to hope against hope.
This is not a time to be reasonable or rational.
Run, run as fast as you can against the tide that is crashing down now.
When the last wave sweeps over you
and every hope has been dashed
You will still be here, right here
and you will not be sorry you tried to make all your sorrows disappear.

It’s okay to cry.
Even if you are a man. Even if you are a mother. Even if you feel each tear
as an accusation against your strength, your resolve, your natural equilibrium.
Cry in the car. Cry in the shower.
Cry in bed when no one is listening or looking.
Cry when you kiss the kids goodbye for school.
Cry when you do the dishes.
Berate yourself for not being able to get it together
and then cry anyway.
How else will you know you lived, if not for these tears
reminding you were not made of metal, wood or steel
after all?

It’s okay to be lost.
Throw away the map. Leave the keys in the car.
Get out and walk.
Forget about everything you ever knew.
Crumple up those directions and move now from memory
The memory of your heart
The memory of your breath
The memory of that one time you laughed so hard you cried
The memory of that one kiss, the one that left you longing
to be loved for ever and ever.

At the end of your unraveling,
you will look down and see your own feet
that have carried you so, so far
and you will decide for once that it is okay
to sit down
to rest
to hold out your hands
to lift up your head
to open your heart
to the possibility that you were never alone after all
not for one minute

That Love was right there
in her terrible silence
not quite sure how to say it so you would believe her
that you were a thing of rare beauty on the earth
That She still has your macaroni necklace
That She’s been following you around,
making maps of all the places you’ve been lost,
so you’d know how to get back when the time came
to put it all to rest.

Go ahead, be disappointed.
Nothing turned out how you hoped.
Sit under a tree and tell me the whole of it
and I won’t say a word.
I won’t say a single word.

This is the secret nobody knows.
All these days Love carried my heart in her heart.
I was her favorite, even as I cried,
and now I am sitting under her tree
listening to you
the way she listened to me
while I swore she was never ever there.

It’s okay to feel lonely.
At the end of your wanderings
when there is no more scotch tape
and you can’t find your macaroni necklace of dreams anywhere
your heart will trace an unpredictable path
to this place and you will have just enough courage
to let Love tell you the terrible beautiful truth
of how loved you were
and how even now, at the end of everything
it’s not too late.

 

 

radiant recipes: balela

hello readers!

well today was rainy and gloomy here in northern california so we spent the day inside, working and cooking hearty food. i wanted to highlight a recipe that i often turn to when a) i don’t have much in terms of groceries b) i don’t want to waste tons of money on creating an expensive dish and/or c) i am too tired to make anything difficult. here comes…balela to save the day!

balela is a middle-eastern bean salad (palestine respresent!) which is easy, quick and super yummy. it takes only minutes to put together and you then wait half an hour for the flavor to deepen. it has tons of protein due to the garbanzos and black beans, lycopene from the tomatoes and healing qualities from the herbs. i sometimes add garam masala or curry to the dish to infuse a little indian flavor but you could add other spice combinations and i am sure it would taste great. also, if you don’t have access to the fresh herbs, omitting them from the recipe is totally fine.

BALELA:  (vegan and gluten-free)


* 1 can of chickpeas/garbanzos

* 1 can of black beans

* 1 can of diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted

* extra-virgin olive oil

*  1 lemon

* a few sprigs of parsely

* a few sprigs of mint

* salt and pepper to taste

* other spices such as garam masala, curry, turmeric and/or ginger (optional)

1. drain and rinse the chickpeas and beans thouroughly and pour into large mixing bowl

2. drain tomatoes and add to bowl

3. pour a few tablespoons of olive oil and a few tablespoons of lemon juice into the bowl, adjusting amounts to taste

4. tear the leaves from the herb sprigs, break apart with fingers and add to dish

5 if using, add amounts of other spices to taste

6. toss and mix well and let stand for 30 minutes

and that is it! so simple and so tasty. you can also serve it on a bed of brown rice or quinoa, wrap it up in tortillas or stuff it into a pita. so many options, although it tastes great enough to just enjoy with a spoon!

radiant recipes: raw vegan mixie

hello there!

i wanted to start my new series called “radiant recipes” where we will talk about meals, snacks and drinks that taste good and make you feel great!

yesterday was our 8 month wedding anniversary (we are dorks so we celebrate our anniversary every month because…why not?) so we celebrated with some amazing pizza. as great as it was, when we got home i was feeling really lethargic from all that cheese and fat so i wanted to make something fast and healthy for dinner.

one of my favorite new go-to meals when i am wanting something that is yummy and totally customizable is what i call the RAW VEGAN MIXIE.

this creation first saw the light of day when one day i was terribly hungry and had only a few ingredients to use for dinner. i started looking through the refrigerator and pantry and decided that i would put my food processor to the test. i used some greens (since they are healthy), some nuts (they are always great for making vegan dishes more “meaty”), carrots (to add some moisture and beta carotene), olive oil (to bind everything together), spices and some salt and pepper. it was so yummy and i had enough for two meals! the best part about this recipe is that you can make it with so many things and eat it in so many different ways!

THE VEGAN RAW MIXIE:  (vegan and gluten-free)

* 1 cup of greens (you can use spinach, kale, lettuce, arugula or whatever green you fancy)

* 1 cup of nuts (i usually use walnuts but you can use almonds, cashews, peanuts or sunflower/pumpkin seeds if nuts are too pricey)

* 1 cup of carrots (i put these in since they have a lot of moisture and crunch but if you don’t like carrots you could add celery instead or bell peppers)

* a few sundried tomatoes (these add oil and general tastiness)

* a pinch of whatever spices you choose (i like to add garam masala, curry and turmeric but you can mix and match your favorite spices and herbs!)

* a splash of olive oil (or sunflower/safflower oil) to get things moving in the machine

* salt and pepper to taste


1. toss all of the ingredients into a food processor (or strong blender) and pulse until mixed. depending on the strength of your machine, your mixie will be between the consistency of a cole slaw and a pate. don’t worry, either way it will be tasty!

2. at this point, you can either eat it as is (with some chips or baked pita triangles) or you can wrap it up. i usually wrap it in these amazing local chipotle tortillas but you can also wrap this in lettuce, collard greens, nori or stuff it in a pita) so many options!


as you can see, this recipe is very versatile and can be made just about anyway you want. it is easy and quick to make, tastes good and is good for you!

(just a note: ayurveda traditionally discourages a raw food lifestyle since it is believed that the healing properties of foods are enhanced through cooking but i have no problem promoting some vibrant, live food from time to time!)

motivational mondays!

adorable kitty found here.

happy monday friends!

today was a nice day getting back into the weekly groove of productivity. i attended a virtual conference call about self-care, mindfulness and social media. we spend so much time on the internet so it is crucial to take stock of how social media makes us feel and what we can take from our online experiences.

 

ok, things to share for the week ahead:

 

this episode of this american life is entitled “superpowers” and is an interesting listen. it features stories about superheroes, past and present, real and imagined.

 

this recipe for cucumber and mango salad from herbivoracious looks amazing! i can’t wait to try it this week. (click the picture for the recipe)

this march mixtape from elephantine is really sweet and nice to listen to during our rainy week.

 

kev from renegade health wrote an extensive article about how to travel and eat healthy, whole foods. what a help!

 

and i will leave you with this stunning trailer for the film “into the heart of shiva” which will give you goosebumps.

have a wonderful week!