Leaning into simplicity

I’ve had this pair of Converse sneakers for probably 10 years. I love 'em because they’re a little different (you don’t see tan Chuck Taylors as often as white or black) - they’re my version of a classic. I’ve worn these shoes through many different phases of my life - high school, college, during my days as an auditor in DC, here in NYC, and through many travels.

Recently I noticed they were getting a little worn out. I tried to take this photo so you could see the holes:

Not really rainy day appropriate shoes - especially with the holes!

Not really rainy day appropriate shoes - especially with the holes!

I finally admitted that I needed to replace these shoes and started thinking about what new sneaks I’d get: What would be as effortlessly casual and go with both yoga gear and a cute dress? What would match with all the colors in my wardrobe? And of course, what would be comfortable so I could walk or bike for miles?

I actually began to stress a little bit: Would I ever find the perfect replacement sneaker??? These had served me so well.

 

 

And then it dawned on me: I can literally buy the same shoes again.

Especially in today's society, instead of being satisfied with what we have, we’re constantly looking for the next best / cool thing. “Settling” has a negative connotation. We don’t always appreciate what we have or miss what’s right in front of us because our eyes are searching elsewhere.

If you love your routine, the same old jeans or breakfast: IT’S OKAY. Sure, variety adds some spice to life but there’s no need to switch things up just for novelty’s sake.

As soon as I realized I could just buy another pair of my beloved Chucks, a weight lifted. Suddenly I didn’t have a decision to make; it was simple.

 

 

Today I want to invite you to lean into simplicity. Is there an area of your life (or wardrobe) that you’ve been unnecessarily complicating?
Ask yourself: how can I make this easy?

I think you’ll be surprised how good it feels.

I'm challenging myself to do this too, and not just with my shoes.

More quiet time = more peace

More quiet time = more peace

Here's how I'm leaning into simplicity:

  • More quiet time. Instead of scrolling on social media, watching Netflix or any other form of distraction, I'm focusing on quiet time. I'm allowing myself to just sit and breathe, to people watch or be with my thoughts, instead of always feeling like I need to be accomplishing something.
  • Cleaning on the closet. This time last year I did a HUGE closet clean out, but I still have quite a few things that don't fit my body or my lifestyle anymore (that bike-commute life requires a very specific wardrobe!). When I get home from my current travels I'm going to clean out my closet again and only keep the things that truly make me feel good RIGHT NOW. And if I love a t-shirt or pair of jeans, I'm going to let myself buy a few different colors of the same style.
  • Simple, good food. It can be easy to get overwhelmed with all the food noise out there, the latest and greatest supplements and superfoods. I'm giving myself permission to not be on top of ALL the current trends and new products, and get back to basics with food. For me this means lots of veggies, easy to digest proteins and healthy fats.
  • Go with what I love. I know what activities, places and people make me feel good, and likely you do too. I'm focusing on filling myself up with these, and not worrying about what else there is out there.

Do you see a trend here? I do ;)

 

 

Focus on what you have, what you love, and what makes you feel good.
Tune out the "noise" of everything else.


With that in mind, I'd love to hear from you: where can you lean into simplicity? What food or life choices can you make easier on yourself? Share with us all in the comments below.

 

xxo

Greens with Garlic Infused Olive Oil

Here's the deal: while I LOVE me some salad, as the weather starts to cool, the idea of crunching on raw lettuce just does not sound appealing. At all. Do you feel me?

Even though I'm not eating as much salad, I make sure to still get my green on (since eating greens is one of the best ways to gain energy) - sneaking spinach in smoothies, stirring kale into soups, and (most often) making simple sautéed greens. 

I'm hesitant to call this a "recipe" because it is so easy, but I want to show you guys just how quick and simple it can be to whip up something that is both healthy AND delicious. The garlic infused olive oil is really what makes this dish. It sounds fancy, but don't worry, it's not, and it truly transforms plain ol' greens into something much more flavorful and satisfying. 

You can (and probably should) make the olive oil in advance - the flavors intensify the longer it sits, although it never lasts more than a few days for me. 

Greens with Garlic Infused Olive Oil

Ingredients:

- 1 head garlic

- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil

- 1 package pre-washed greens of choice, or 1 bunch of greens washed and chopped (baby spinach, kale, bok choy, collard greens, mustard greens, etc!)

- generous pinch of sea salt

- optional toppings: red pepper flakes, fresh black pepper, gomasio (sesame seed sprinkle), squeeze of lemon

Instructions

1. Make your infused olive oil: Smash and peel cloves of garlic. Place garlic in a medium pot, add olive oil, and heat over medium-low until bubbles form around garlic, about 3 minutes. Let cook 10 minutes, reducing heat to low if garlic begins to brown. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. [see original recipe + video here!]

2. Get your green on! Add 1-2 tbsp of the infused olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Once garlic begins to brown, sprinkle generously with sea salt and add the greens. Cover and cook until greens are wilted, but still vibrant in color (timing will depend on which greens you choose). 

3. Serve and enjoy immediately! I've included some optional toppings above, but feel free to experiment with your favorite spices and flavors. 

Honestly, I'll eat this whole recipe myself (what can I say, I need LOTS of energy to teach and coach all day long!!). My current go-to is to serve these greens with tempeh, roasted sweet potato or squash, and sauerkraut. YUM!


What is your favorite way to get your greens in during the cooler months? Let me know in the comments below!.

Raw Sweet Corn Salad with Basil

For me, fresh sweet corn = summer.  Sadly, corn has got itself a bad rep these days, as uncertainty and fear grows behind High Fructose Corn Syrup and Genetically Modified crops.  

I love corn, but I'm careful about where I get it and how often I eat it.  I steer clear of processed foods as most contain corn-derived ingredients.  I won't get into the politics and details behind WHY we have an over-abundance of corn in our diets (if you are interested, read Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma), but my advice on corn is similar to my advice with all foods: eat the food as close to it's natural, raw, unprocessed state as possible, and eat everything in moderation (i.e. eat a variety of veggies!). 

This all being said, I LOVE fresh corn.  I try to buy mine from the farmer's market or another local, reputable source.  When it's fresh, corn is naturally sweet, creamy, and bursting with juicy goodness.  My favorite way to enjoy corn is this simple raw salad because it highlights all the natural deliciousness of this veggie.  

Many people with digestion issues like IBS think they should avoid corn.  Here's the deal: the outer kernel of the corn is mostly indigestible - thats why you see it come out the other side looking mostly intact.  While this can cause digestive upset like bloating and gas, the insoluble fiber and prebiotics in the corn feed good bacteria in your gut and actually strengthen your digestion.  My advice? Try it for yourself - make sure you CHEW your food thoroughly and slowly, and notice how you feel.

Raw Corn Salad with Basil // raw, vegan, gluten free

Ingredients:

- 4 ears raw sweet corn

- 1/2 cup fresh basil, sliced into thin ribbons

- 1/4 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil

- juice of 1 lime

- sea salt and pepper 

Note: I cannot stress enough how important it is to get SUPER fresh corn for this salad because fresh corn has the best flavor. 

Instructions:

1. Prep the corn - Shuck cobs and remove kernels from the corn (here's an easy tutorial).  Place corn kernels into a large bowl.

2. Add in other ingredients - Add in all your other ingredients and mix well.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

I love to serve this salad on top of a bed of greens with avocado and some sort of protein.  I also like to wrap it up in lettuce cups for a light summer dinner!

Have you ever tried raw sweet corn?

Coconut Avocado Ice Cream

GUYS!  It's National Ice Cream day so I'm (unexpectedly) popping in with a sweet treat for you - a throwback!  This is a recipe I developed a few years ago and it is MMMMMM GOOD.  

No ice cream maker? FEAR NOT!  I used this technique for years (and still do, when I'm not feeling like pulling out the machine):  pour your mixture into ice cube trays and freeze.  Once frozen, throw into your blender or food processor and blend until soft serve consistence is achieved (you may have to add a little liquid to help the process).

Coconut Avocado Ice Cream // vegan, gluten free, soy free, refined sugar free

Ingredients: 

- 2 large Haas avocados

- 1- 14 ounce can + 1/2 cup light coconut milk*

- 1/2 cup maple syrup or agave**

- 1 tablespoon lime juice

- 1 teaspoon lime zest

- 1/2 cup flaked coconut, toasted (optional)

Instructions:

1. Make the base: Scoop the flesh from the avocados and add to your high speed blended or food processor, along with the coconut milk and sweetener of choice.  Blend until completely smooth and then stir in lime juice and zest.

2. Freeze: Transfer mixture to your ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturers instructions.  It will be more like soft-serve when its done - transfer to a container and freeze for 1-2 hours for a firmer ice cream. Top ice cream with toasted coconut when serving. 

*I've used light coconut milk and was happy with the results.  Use full fat coconut milk for a richer taste.

** Feel free to reduce the amount of sweetener if you know you like things on the less-sweet side.  This amount was slightly too sweet for me, but I find it's pleasing to most normal taste buds =)

 

Stay cool friends!  

PS.  Maybe the next recipe I post won't include avocados... maybe...
 

Sweet and Simple Asian Slaw (no mayo!)

Hi everyone - I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July weekend!  Today I'm bringing you a sweet and amazingly simple Asian slaw for #meatlessmonday.  This one is vegan, gluten free, and contains NO MAYO (no vegan mayo either!). 

My secret ingredient for slaw without dairy or eggs? ALMOND BUTTER.  Last week you saw it get whipped into a frothy milk, and today we'll be using it to create a creamy dressing for our slaw.

While this slaw is not a meal in itself, you can easily make it a meal by adding in some protein - perhaps some cooked quinoa, cubed tofu or tempeh, or other protein of your choice.   I love this recipe because the slaw actually gets BETTER if it sits in the fridge for a day or two, making it the perfect dish to whip up at the beginning of the week.

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Sweet and Simple Asian Slaw // vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free, raw

For the slaw:

- 4 cups shredded Napa cabbage (about 1/2 head)

- 2 cups shredded carrots

- 2 tbsp sesame seeds

For the dressing:

- 3 tbsp almond butter

- 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup

- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

- juice of 1 lime (~3 tbsp)

- 1/2 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)

- 2 tbsp water

- 2 tsp siracha (optional)

1. Make the dressing: Add all dressing ingredients (almond butter through water) to your blender or food processor and process until smooth and creamy.  Add siracha to taste. 

2. Mix it up: Add shredded cabbage and carrots to a large bowl.  Toss with the dressing until veggies are completely coated.  Mix in sesame seeds.  Serve or store in the fridge. 

Note: If you are looking to make this recipe nut-free or sans-almonds, I suggest substituting tahini  (sesame seed butter) or sunflower seed butter for the almond butter.  If you go the sunflower seed butter route, check your ingredients first - many sunflower seed butters have added sugar and if this is the case, omit the sweetener noted above.  

 

What's your favorite dish to make at the beginning of the week?  I hope you enjoy this one!