Red Rice Noodles

Red rice noodles

This recipe combines two of my favorite things: rice noodles and trying new things. Rice noodles are a staple at our house. We have them at least once a week because they are quick to cook, gluten free, tasty and soak up flavors nicely. I’ve only seen white rice noodles, so when I saw red rice noodles on the shelf I had to try them! Yes, they were more expensive, but a few dollars is worth a little excitement. I didn’t notice a difference in flavor, but they were fun to eat. :)

Just like my Asian Stir-Fry recipe, I sauteed the vegetables (most of them are from my parent’s garden!) and then put them on top of the noodles. I drizzled some sesame oil, Braggs, hot sauce and peanut sauce on top of the red rice noodles. You can tell I like flavorful food! It is a wonderful, quick, summer dish.

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Forgiveness

beautiful

 

In a book I read for class, Consciousness and Healing, a chapter on forgiveness by Frederic Luskin made an impact on me, so I thought I would share.

Luskin has been researching the effects of forgiveness on the health of an individual at Standford University, and he has found some amazing discoveries. The first thing he learned is that forgiveness can be taught, so he brought groups of people together that had been in similar situations (unresolved interpersonal hurt, family members killed by murder, etc) and had them take workshops on forgiveness. What he found is that these subjects not only had a decrease in stress, hurt, anger and physical symptoms, but they also had a greater outlook on life and were more forgiving overall, not just towards the particular person or situation.

An interesting thing to note is when Luskin talks about forgiveness he’s not saying you have to condone the offense, forget what happened, or reconcile with the person. In fact, you can sometimes forgive someone and decide to never talk to them again. But the main thing is once you forgive you are letting go of the power the person holds over you and are able to love and trust again.

He lays out some steps for forgiveness which I found useful:

1. Know exactly how you feel about the situation. Put it in words and tell a trusted person.

2. Commit to do what you have to do to feel better. Do what you need to do, this is all about you and what you need.

3. Understand your goal.Remember you are after peace, not necessarily reconciliation or condoning. Forgiveness might be taking this experience less personally and changing your grievance story.

4. Put it into perspective, understand that your distress is coming from your hurt feelings.

5. When you feel upset, have some stress management techniques to try.

6. Don’t expect things from other people, such as happiness, love, health. You are in charge of your life.

7. Shift your thinking to positivity. Stop replaying the hurt, and shift that energy towards getting with you want.

8. Living your life well is the best revenge. Look for the beauty, love and kindness around you. By focusing on your wounded feelings the person who caused you pain still has power over you.

9. “Amend your grievance story to remind yourself of the heroic choice to forgive, and focus your converstaion on what you have learned about yourself and life.”

All of this information is from Conscious and Healing by Marilyn Schlitz et al.

I love this photo, but could not find the source

 

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Start the Day Right Smoothie!

smoothie berry

I love smoothies, I think they might be my favorite way to start the day. I like how they don’t weigh me down, give me energy and are naturally sweet. I made this smoothie and it was so delicious I had to share!

Blend together:

1 banana

1 cup blueberries

1 nectarine

1/2 cup of mango (I used frozen)

1 cup coconut water

1 T hemp seeds

1T ground flax seeds

1 medjool date

Bonus: Add a handful of spinach (the color won’t be as pretty, just to warn you, but the greens will add amazing benefits!)

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Raw Kelp Noodle Salad

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Have you heard of kelp noodles* before? I hadn’t until last year when they started popping up everywhere on the internet and then someone brought it to a potluck I was attending. I was instantly impressed by the noodles and how they soaked up the sauce flavors and added a nice crunch to the salad. Kelp noodles come from the ocean, have literally no calories and are raw.

To prepare I like to soak them in lemon water for about 30+ minutes to soften them a little and then rinse them before putting them in a bowl. For the above salad I created a dressing of peanut sauce, toasted sesame oil with a dash of sriracha. I tossed this with avocado, zucchini spirals, carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, cilantro and some walnuts. Delicious!

 

* I don’t think I paid that much at my local grocery store!

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Skin Brushing

skin brushing

There are so many ways to take care of your health, it can be overwhelming. I get that. When reading different magazines, blogs and books I realize how many things I could be doing! Unfortunately, there are not enough hours in the day and not all the “healthy” things that are suggested seem appealing. So I say, pick and choose. Find things that you can relate to or you are drawn to.

One habit I was interested in forming was skin brushing. Skin brushing is a quick routine that is done before showering. All it involves is getting a dry brush and quickly brushing your skin. Start at your feet and brush your way to your heart, then start at your hands and brush your way back to your heart again, don’t forget your armpits which is a big lymph area. Do a circular motion around your belly and if you are female you can very gently brush around your breasts.Throughout this entire brushing don’t press too hard, it shouldn’t hurt!

Skin brushing gets your lymph nodes flowing which boosts your immune system and purifies your body. Brushing scuffs away dead skin, aids in releasing toxins, firms the skin and gives you overall healthy skin!

I’ve been skin brushing for a few months now and have been enjoying it. It wakes me up and invigorates my skin! In terms of other benefits, most of them are internal so I haven’t noticed much, but I will be on the lookout!

I bought the Yerba Prima Tampico Skin Brush, which I really like, it’s easy to reach all areas of my back. The only downfall is the brush top falls off when I store it in a hanging position.

Photo Source (with more information on skin brushing).
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Asian Stir-Fry

asian stry fry

 

I have a few meals that I never get sick of, ones that I can eat a few times a week and be very content. My Asian Stir Fry is one of them. Depending on your preferences you can mix and match with different ingredients.

Asian Stir Fry

Ingredients
Brown Rice
Tempeh (can use edamame, tofu, chicken, eggs or nothing)
Vegetables (This time I used carrots, zucchini, greens, onions and garlic)
Grapeseed Oil
Sesame Oil
Tamari
Toasted Sunflower Seeds (optional)

How to make it.

Cook up a batch of rice, I usually cook 1/2 cup dry for two people (double the water), or make a big batch and have it in the fridge for dishes like this! As the rice is cooking, heat the pan and add the grapeseed oil, onions and garlic. Then add whatever vegetables you like, I recommend some sort of greens and some colorful vegetables. Meanwhile, as the vegetables are cooking, in a separate pan fry up the tempeh. When the rice, vegetables and tempeh are done, throw them all together adding tamari and sesame oil to taste and fry them up quickly (don’t let the sesame oil get too hot, it has a lower smoking point). To garnish, toss some cilantro, sunflower seeds or whatever you want on top. I suggest some hot sauce!

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Kimberly Snyder’s Raw Gorilla Wraps

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This recipe is a fun take on a traditional wrap, using collard greens instead of tortillas. It’s an easy way to get more greens in your diet and it’s pretty! This recipe is inspired by Kimberly Snyder’s Gorilla Wraps (click on link to see a video of her making the wraps). They take 10 minutes to make and are basically a delicious salad in a wrap form. Kimberly’s recipe includes a walnut mixture and salsa but I added vegetables to the mix.

If you don’t want to watch her video I can tell you what I did to make these.

To make the walnut base I blended up a handful of walnuts, spices and braggs amino liquid, I didn’t measure, just threw it into my food processor. Add cayenne if you want a kick, cumin to cool down on a hot day, turmeric or whatever else you want!

Then get a collard leaf and cut the steam off to the base and try to cut down the spine as it goes up the leaf. You can use a raw collard leaf, which is what I did or could blanch the leaf by dunking it in salted boiling water for 45 seconds (then dunk it in ice cold water). Or use a tortilla  Whatever floats your boat!

I then filled it with the walnut mixture, red cabbage, sprouts, shredded carrots and salsa. If you have a ripe avocado that would be a great addition. Once you have all of your toppings just roll it up like a burrito and enjoy!

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Summer Refresher

photo (6)

Sometimes simple is best. On a hot summer day I suggest grabbing some watermelon and lime and putting them through your juicer or blender.

For two glasses I used about half a medium sized watermelon and about two limes. Juice them or throw them in the blender. If you want less pulp you can put it through a strainer. It’s that simple! And so delicious. Bonus tip, use a glass straw, they are fun to use, easy to clean and good for the planet!

Other things you could add: mint, oranges, grapes, cucumber, the list is endless.

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Sweetness For This Cloudy Day

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I highly admire Sarah Britton from My New Roots, her recipes are visually stunning and I love the fresh ingredients she uses. I made her Sunshine Bites on a cold, cloudy spring day and I was instantly transported to a tropical island. The coconut, mango and lime create such a delicious combination, and the texture is really appealing. I brought these over to a friends house and their baby ended up eating three! It’s child friendly because there is no added sugar, and it’s just a few natural ingredients.

I didn’t have fresh vanilla, so I just used vanilla extract, and I was out of turmeric  so with the added turmeric they would be a little brighter, but even with these minor changes, they were fabulous and I will be making them again!

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Spring Cleanse- Day One

juice Image found here.

I have never done a cleanse before, not one on my own with freshly squeezed juices, so I thought I would document it. I had been feeling sluggish, dull and headachy for the past few days, so I figured this would be a perfect time to do a cleanse. The spring is great time because the body might still have some lethargy from the winter months and could use a nice cleaning as nature is waking up and getting cleansed by the rain. Leafy greens are ideal to eat – either in juice or cooked- because they are growing naturally right now and help suppor the liver and gallbladder in detoxifying. Bitter greens in particular, like dandelion arugula and kale, help with digestion, normalize blood sugar and so much more.

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Not from today, but only juice picture I have!

Day One- 7PM
I have almost survived the day, but the evening is always the hardest for me! This is when I really count on food. Even when I have a full meal, I tend to reach towards snacks or dessert to satisfy a craving that can’t be satisfied. I think a lot of it has to do with television. If we decide to watch a movie or tv show in the evening after dinner, or during dinner, I have this strong need to eat. For me watching tv=eating food, whether it be popcorn, chips, or something else. This is one habit that I would really like to break, so fasting could really knock it out.

The day as gone most well so far. I have had moments of panic where I want to eat or am sad I can’t have dinner. My will has been strong, so when I started to get hungry I just went to the juicer and just whipped up a glass or juice. It’s convenient that I work at home, so I am able to get freshly squeezed juice when I want.

Today I consumed:
9:30am- Orange, carrot, apple, fresh turmeric
-Rooibos Tea
11:30- Basically the whole fridge: Dandelion, kale, cucumber, celery, lemon,
12:30- Same as above but 2 apples
4:00- the rest of the juice above
6:30- Cucumber, lime, celery, parsley
Not enough water, I need to remember juice doesn’t replace water!

How I feel:
Up and down. I had a few spurts of energy, taught one hour of gentle yoga and went for a 20 min walk. Right now (at 7pm) I have a headache (maybe from not enough water) and I just want to curl up and watch some TV (which I think I will do). But most of the day I felt clearer than I had in the past week and not hungry (because I drank juice when I wanted it).

One reason I haven’t cleansed before is because it’s important to transition in and out of a cleanse. I never seem to do the transition in part (it’s best to cut out gluten, sugar, dairy, caffeine, etc) so never end up doing the cleanse. The past few months I’ve slowly been cutting out gluten, sugar, etc, so I decided to just start the cleanse and stop procrastinating! I think I will do three days of juice and three days of juice, smoothies and soups, and then two days of very light food, to equal a 7 day cleanse!

 

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