nOURISH! — One Pan Mexican Quinoa

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So I like to make things that are healthy and easy but also can last me a couple of meals. I have attempted to make dishes like this before but none have come out as well as this one has. This is great for a dinner party if you need to bring something to fill up a few guests! It makes ALOT of food and I actually used trader joes grain blend instead for some variety which worked perfectly! If you have a craving for Mexican this is the perfect recipe 🙂

Courtesy of: Damned Delicious

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapenos, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and jalapeno, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in quinoa, vegetable broth, beans, tomatoes, corn, chili powder and cumin; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Stir in avocado, lime juice and cilantro.
  • Serve immediately.

xo

L

“We Are Not Cool”

Photo on 3-13-15 at 2.57 PMGrowing up in the 90’s-2000’s, cyber bullying wasn’t quite an issue for me. But as we become more connected to one another through social platforms it is easier for us to not only communicate with anyone at anytime but also torment and defame. As much as we hate to admit it, our social media persona is becoming something that effects our 3 dimensional lives. Things people say hidden behind the security of a computer screen or cell phone make them less sensitive since they dont have to be there to witness the repercussions of what they say or do.

On the other hand, social media has been the platform for many movements to spread the word on making an active global change. One that I recently came across was started by a radio DJ named Nicole Alvarez from 106.7 KROQ. The movement is simply titled “We Are Uncool”. The movement has gathered photographs of many celebrities and personalities who simply hold the sign “I Am Uncool” and list honest details about themselves that social media might have otherwise avoided to mention. The message?

“We have an opportunity to get to these kids and to let them know that they’re OK, in fact, they’re better than OK,” said actor Ian Bohen from MTV’s “Teen Wolf.”

Participating is simple and celebrities like Tony Hawk, Michelle Branch and “Bad Religion”‘s Jay Bentley are among the few who are helping to pass it around.

“The campaign asks people to write “I Am Not Cool” on a piece of paper; take a selfie that’s changed to black-and-white and post it on Instagram. Finally, include three things one normally would not post to social media.”

Join the campaign! We are all uncool.

xo

L

100 Ways To Be Happy – #7: Make a “Look Forward” list.

(Photo Credit: Hannah Elder)

(Photo Credit: Hannah Elder)

Sometimes we have those days where it just seems like NOTHING exciting is bound to happen. We feel down and out and wonder – “what the hell are we putting ourselves through all of this crap for”. For days like these, where it just seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, I use a little trick called:

7. Making a “Look Forward” List

It sounds incredibly simple and maybe a little dumb but I promise you it works. Jot down ten things (or more!) that you truly are excited to experience. Whether thats seeing a friend whose coming into town to taking a small day trip. This can even be little more immediate things! Like cooking your favorite meal or finally getting that book you’ve been excited to read.

Sometimes we lose ourselves in the things we dread. We focus on the negative parts of our life and let them consume us. This well help to draw attention away from those things we reel on in our heads and bring us back to the reason we are fighting this good fight, TO ENJOY. Life is about the reward and about taking the time to appreciate the things that make us happy. If you are unsure what your list looks like, i’ll give you mine to inspire you. But whether big or small, EVERYONE has something to look forward to in life, and you are no exception.

My list as of 3/13/15 (Friday the 13th!)

1. Going to Disney World with my parents and brother next week! (Okay this is a good one I know)

2. Having a drink with my boyfriend tonight.

3. Writing my next blog post. (seriously, i mean it!)

4. Ordering Indian Takeout and watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (anyone who knows me well enough knows this is my happy place. Not sure when it will come but I know it will so things like this count!)

5. Starting Young Storytellers Foundation! (There will be posts about this to come as well. But for anyone in the New York, Los Angeles or Chicago area interested in volunteering should check out this program)

6. My oldest friend Nicole to come visit as I show her Vegas for the first time!

7. Shopping again! (I gave it up for lent this year. I am not religious but every year I like to sacrifice something that I enjoy to better appreciate all that I have!)

8. My friend Erin’s birthday brunch and beach party this weekend. (It’s supposed to be 90 degrees in LA this weekend!)

9. Starting my manifestation coaching in April! (Again many blog posts about this to come!)

10. Laying on my couch and taking a nap this afternoon. Gosh I love my 30 minute power naps.

xo

L

CHOOSING HAPPY!

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About three weeks ago I found myself in a place I didn’t want to be. I was in a job that made me unhappy. I felt unmotivated to write, enjoy and simply participate in the better things in life. It came to a point where I had to make a decision to actively change my life. So I did something terrifying and I quit my regular 9-5 job to pursue something simple yet completely necessary, happiness. 

Standing up to ourselves and admitting a change has to be made is always the first step. Too many times we live in denial hoping a situation will get better on its own or that over time we will just learn to adjust. We force ourselves to “count our blessings” and feel grateful for something that simply makes us unhappy. Once we admit to ourselves how important it is to close that chapter of fear and dread, we can then begin with something new and beautiful.

Once I made the conscious decision that something had to be done, I came to terms with it. I stuck to it in my mind, never letting myself relapse on the idea of remaining in the situation. Any time I thought “maybe I could do this, just for a little longer” I made sure to ask myself “why?…” What on earth was more important to me than being happy and getting my life back? The answer was absolutely nothing.

The next and final step was putting the plan into action. I worked up the courage to speak to those I needed to, face to face, and told them the reason for my change. And that came with mounds of support. Our biggest fear is looking like a coward, being told we are incompetent, or facing the malicious backlash of our decision. Once you can get past the fear of others judgement and remember that your decision is not an easy one to make but it is NECESSARY, the rest will seem insignificant.

Three weeks later I feel rejuvenated. I am excited about my life again. I wake up every day looking at it like a new adventure. Of course I worry about things like money and what people will think of me not having a steady income. But you know what I do have now? Happiness, a joie de vive, a hunger for creativity and a stimulating yearning to live every day to the fullest. Because money is not the thing I desire most in life, its being happy, doing what I love or at least not doing what I hate. And I know I will never regret it for a second.

xo

L

100 Ways to Be Happy: #6- Stop “Missing” Out

d6ac481dbb1446520e282d07129c889eOne of the biggest problems with social media today is the commonly heard phrase ‘FOMO’ or Fear of Missing Out. Cruising through facebook or instagram can leave us feeling like we are in a world where everything we want to participate in is happening without us, but that’s simply not the case. That’s why lesson #6 is one I am working on as well…

#6. STOP feeling like you’re missing out.

It wasn’t until a recent conversation I had that I noticed, more times that not someone will come back from the bathroom or late to a party and go, “What did I miss?” We worry so much about what’s happening without us that we forget to realize that our own personal experiences are the things that matter most. And the answer to your question is always going to be “You missed nothing!” Over time I have realized how consumed I am in seeing how other people’s days are beating mine in comparison over instagram. How friends back home are settling down and getting married, and I wonder, am I missing out on this? The answer is no and slowly I am learning that I am having my own experiences that I am sure people are envious of! Every experience we have leaves a lasting effect on our day, or our life. The experience you were supposed to have waiting in like for twenty minutes for the women’s restroom shouldn’t be perceived as “I’m missing out on this party by waiting in this line”, but instead “Well this is my own path and a different moment I am meant to have instead, maybe something magical will happen here”. As silly as it all sounds, the second we start to ditch our FOMO and really embrace our own small unique experiences, the more we will love ourselves and find the happiness we are searching for. It’s not on your friends twitter page, or on your newsfeed on said miscellaneous social media platform, but instead that happiness is right inside of you.

nOURISH: Chicken Satay.

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I recently was blessed enough to take a trip to the sacred and beautiful Thailand. Thai food was something I always loved, but experiencing it at its most authentic form was such a gift. Spicy food is something I always crave and after a stressful or long day my favorite thing to do is crawl up on the couch with a good Indian or Thai dish. Somehow it always heals my soul and is something I know will always be there to comfort me. For those who aren’t necessarily into the spiciest foods but love ethnic cuisines, here is an easy and great app for you to bring to your next “feel good” event.

This Recipe (and images) was borrowed with love from www.blueapron.com

Ingredients
12 Ounces Boneless, Skinless Chicken
Breast, Sliced
2 Green Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 Bunch Cilantro
1 Red Onion
¾ Cup Jasmine Rice
2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
2 Tablespoons Mirin
¼ Cup Peanut Butter
12 Wooden Skewers

 

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Prepare the ingredients:
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut the green tomatoes into wedges. Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems; discard the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Peel and thinly slice the red onion. Place the chicken in a bowl with half of the soy sauce and toss to thoroughly coat; set aside to marinate.
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Cook the rice:
In a small pot, combine the rice, a pinch of salt and 1½ cups of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer 18 to 22 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked through. Fluff the finished rice with a fork.
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Marinate the tomatoes:
While the rice cooks, in a medium bowl, combine thetomatoes, rice vinegar as much of the red onion as you’d like (you may have extra onion), and half of both the cilantro and sesame oil. Toss to coat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to marinate
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Cook the chicken:
While the rice cooks, thread the marinated chicken onto theskewers. (You may have extra skewers.) In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of oil on medium-high until hot. Add the skewered chicken and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate.
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Make the peanut sauce:
While the chicken cooks, in a medium bowl, combine thepeanut butter, mirin and the remaining soy sauce and sesame oil. Whisk in 2 to 3 tablespoons of water to achieve your desired consistency for dipping.
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Plate your dish:
Divide the cooked rice and marinated tomatoes between 2 plates. Place the finished chicken skewers on top of the rice. Garnish with the remaining cilantro. Serve with the peanut sauce on the side for dipping. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Juggling Full Time Work with Full Time Happiness

 I just went from four months of riding the “F-unEmployment” train to working six days a week with two jobs and busting my ass. The opportunity arose so quickly and waiting to pull the trigger was not an option. In order to seize the day, I had to move quickly and reprioritize my life. The stress and learning curve of a new job on top of everything else life dishes out can make it difficult to find time to enjoy life. Here are some tips I am giving myself as well as others for when work or stress get in the way of your happiness.

 

  1. Work to Live. One thing we often forget (especially as a modern career driven individual) is that we work to SURVIVE. Making money should never take priority over your happiness. Keep in mind that we often bust our asses so we can accomplish and spend time doing the things in life that really matter like spend time with our family, take vacations, spread love, and be happy.

 

  1. Take time to check out. Technology has made it really hard for us in this day and age to “check out” of work. Constantly being bombarded by emails or texts about the next day can make work feel constant. When you get home from work or when the clock hits six, do something to check yourself out for the day. Meditate, put your phone on airplane mode, savor a dinner, call an old friend, but do SOMETHING to switch your brain from work mode to “me” mode and relish in it. You deserve to have your own time.

 

  1. Stay organized. Keep a list of things you need to do so you don’t get overwhelmed. Prioritize your list and try to manage your time during the day. Mapping out your duties will help you feel less stressed when you can see it all in front of you in a calendar or to-do list. Nothing feels more satisfying then crossing out your accomplishments and it will be easier to enjoy that free time when it comes.

 

  1. Don’t Procrastinate. Try and get your tasks out of the way as soon as possible. Letting things build up only piles on stress towards the weekend. Try and accomplish things when they are assigned to you so you can get them out of the way and start the weekend early! I promise it will make you feel better about your time management.

 

  1. Spend free time doing things you love with people you love. When your free time is limited, spend it with the people you treasure most. Often times we try to cram in work drinks or other commitments we don’t need to make for ourselves. You should be looking forward to the time you have set aside for yourself so do something you love with the people you love and honor yourself and how hard you work. The rest of the world can wait.

Xo

L