Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reflective Journaling

I love taking my journal out on New Years Eve each year to reflect on my year and write my expectations and goals for the year ahead. This year I had some trouble brainstorming on what I'd like to unfold for 2014...so I backed off and told myself that in time it will come. I realized, that's a goal in and of itself right there...to not be so all or nothing (like I usually am). It's ok if things aren't perfect. Even though this is an exercise that I've done for myself since I was a kid, who says that I have to do it?  Giving myself the permission to back off felt fantastic. Take that, perfectionism!  

What are your goals or expectations for 2014?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Expired Food in Your Pantry

While at my Aunt's house for Christmas I noticed her cinnamon tin on the table while desert was being served. I grabbed it to see if there was a date of some sort on it...this thing had to easily be from the early 80s! Believe it or not, there was no date at all, I think it was made before dates on food were even required. I laughed so hard because I blow through jars of cinnamon on the regular, but was also grossed out at the same time. 

It's so important that we throw out expired food...whether it be in our fridge or in our pantry. I check at least 3 times a year to see if I'm harboring expired stuff that I could chuck in the trash. 

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2013

How 'bout them apples?

 Every time I go into a grocery store I always grab a few apples; organic of course. This week Lammer grabbed a few since the shopping list said we needed apples. However, he did not buy the organic ones. 

Can you tell which are organic and which aren't?

Apples are on the Dirty Dozen list and should only be purchased/consumed organic. When I have a conventional apple my mouth starts to itch, it's so strange. The ones on the right are conventional, hence their gigantic size! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pumpkin Chili

This is a go-to recipe of mine that's always a hit!

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
2 large carrots, diced
2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped (optional, I just use a little hot red pepper flakes)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
1 can organic pumpkin purée (Trader Joes has this!)
1 cup water (optional veggie or chicken broth)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 BPA-free can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 BPA-free can garbanzo (chick peas), rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon cacao powder (or teaspoon of high quality dark chocolate, grated)

Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, carrots, jalapeños and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, water (or broth), chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, cacao powder or grated chocolate, sea salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and add beans.
Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes more. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.

I like to serve this with a little quinoa, so I cook some quinoa while the chili is simmering and just add a few tablespoons into the bowl I'm about to eat/serve.  The chocolate and cinnamon adds a bit more depth to the dish.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Meditating on a bed of nails.

Woke up tense with a racing mind, so I practiced my morning meditation on a bed of nails.  My Shakti Mamakes me slow down, breathe deep & be here in the moment. The tiny nails stimulate my body so intensely that it releases muscle tension, just as long as I let go & relax onto them. Just finished about 2 minutes in tadasana standing on it, & about a minute on both sides of my face!  I highly recommend it.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The flu is NOT a season.

I saw this quote earlier this season & it makes SO much sense! Please share. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Stanley Love Lentils

Is this dog kidding me with his eyes? And what dog loves lentils? He patiently waited for me to finish my bowl of delicious lentils, hoping that I would share them with him.  I let him lick the bowl when I was through, and he was in heaven! 

It's Clementine Season!

It's the most wonderful time of the year...clementine season!  I LOVE having bowls of bright clementines around my house.  I have a good 4-5 clementines a day during this time of year.  At least once a week I find a bruised clementine at the bottom of my purse - HA!  Aren't they just the best?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Yucca Chips

My new obsession!! Chocolate coconut yucca chips from One Sweet Life, an allergy friendly baking company. These chips from heaven are FREE of gluten/dairy/wheat/flour/eggs/soy/preservatives & handmade!!  They're also from East Brunswick.  Jersey represent!