Broccoli with Sesame Dressing

I love broccoli, but I know not everyone does (my husband included.) So, broccoli gets a makeover every time I make it.

Sometimes it’s oven-roasted with lemon and spices, and other times, topped with cheese and pepper.

This time, it got a little Chinese spin with take out flavor and toasted sesame seeds to finish. Try this broccoli for a new take on a healthy, yummy side.

Sesame with Dressing Broccoli

  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets

For the sauce:

  • 1/4 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • shake or two of toasted sesame seeds

Steam the broccoli. (If you don’t have a steamer, I “steam” by adding about 1 inch of water to the bottom of a sauce pan with the broccoli, and turning the heat on high. Once the water is boiling, I stir the broccoli a couple times and cook until you can pretty easily insert a fork.)

For the sauce, mix the remaining ingredients together. Pour over the steamed broccoli, and add toasted sesame seeds to top.

Like this recipe? Check out my other books, and watch for more to come!

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Don’t Forget To Follow Your Dreams

Remember when you were little and all around you, you were told you could be whatever you wanted to be? Well, let me tell you something. You still can.

I’m not saying it’s easy and I’m not saying to go spend every last dollar you have, but please, don’t forget to get out there and live!

About a year ago I found myself in the middle of jobs and feeling a little frustrated. I needed to feed my soul, not just my bank account. So (with the help and support of my hubby,) I did.

I had already been blogging a bit and it came easy to me. I like to talk so I have a lot to downloadsay and rather then blab to Nick all day, I started writing and sharing. It wasn’t easy and it didn’t come right away, but soon I had secured my very first, remote, freelance writing position! I still write for this 80s website in which I started and will write about the 90s too, come this fall.

I find myself working four (part-time) positions, and I couldn’t feel better about it. You see, I never wanted (nor excelled) in a 40 hour work week, at the same job. I always preferred multiple endeavors (and income streams) and it turns out, nothing has changed.

But all the sudden. I work from home, with a schedule that’s mine to make, and (almost) more work then I know what to do with. And well this may not be your dream, I just want to encourage you to remember YOUR dream. And make it happen.

imagesHow do you do this? Well, you have to figure out what it is you want. What do you love to do? What do you do everyday, “work day” or not? What makes you smile? Laugh? What do you loathe? Dig deep and make sure to be honest with yourself.

Find ways to indulge your soul. Do more of what you love. Want a new job but don’t know where to start? Do something on your own, at home or whenever you have time, unpaid, and dive in. If you start a blog, make sure to post more than once a week. Want to become a personal trainer? Talk to someone at your gym and see what they have to say. You can further your education with free online courses (some even taught by Harvard!) Whatever you do, remember this is your life. Don’t waste it.

The thing is, for me, I laugh at myself. Why? Well, everyday, I like to write, cook, and workout. The weekdays are filled with this (and tapings.) But then, so are the weekends. I find myself always wanting to do these things whether it is a workday or weekend day. A holiday or vacation. For instance, I’m on a train in Norway, right now, on vacation. And what do I do? Write.

As for my other jobs, because I know you’re wondering, here you go.

  1. I write for LT80s (liketotally80s.) Like I said, it’s remote (from anywhere I want) and freelance, making it fit into my life, my way. Also, starting in the fall, I will be writing for the same boss for another website he’s procured, noduh90s. As an 80s baby and a 90s kid, both of these writing gigs are nostalgic and fun.
  2. I work as a mystery shopper for A Closer Look. This job is too fun, fully reimbursed, sometimes includes a bonus, and includes write offs. The company has “shops” all over the US and even into Canada. Taking in a great meal, visiting the dentist, or even having a drink at the bar are all things that you can do with this company. Love it.
  3. I work for Trust Review Network. This job sends me products (again, fully reimbursed) to try out and write a review on. If you share it, you make more money. If you tape yourself doing a video, you make more money. In a couple of months, if they are happy with my work, I will make more money. Pretty awesome, huh?
  4. I test recipes for HelloFresh. As a part of their taste makers program, I am sent recipes to test and try (most of which I already have the ingredients for as I am an avid foodie and cook) and then I complete a short, concise survey, and I’m done.

Oh, and did I forget my blog? I guess that’s five jobs. Not to mention I have written four self-published (mostly cookbooks) in the past year as well.

So, that’s that I guess. And the thing is, since starting vacation (a little over a week ago,) I have received next to no work emails, stressed phone calls, or anything. It has been over IMG_20170821_125717two years since both Nick and I have taken a non-work vacation, and it’s a true and honest vacation this time. What a blessing.

But here we are, on the train, working. Haha. Happy Monday!

Want to see my books? Check them out!

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Sauteed, and Sliced Zucchini, Onion, and Mushroom

Are there any foods you like the smell of, but not the taste? This was me, and mushrooms. My Mom loved them, and sauteed them often, but as much as I liked the smell, I never wanted to eat them. Then came this dish.

This side dish was made for me by a friend, and I’ve loved mushrooms (and onions) ever since. These vegetables are a great combo, and all you have to do is sprinkle on some salt and pepper. So good.

Sauteed, and Sliced Zucchini, Onion, and Mushroom

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 cups sliced, fresh zucchini
  • 2 cups sliced, fresh onion
  • 2 cups sliced, fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a large, shallow skillet pan (or wok) add the coconut oil to the pan on medium heat. Add your zucchini slices to the pan, and cook for four minutes or until they have begun to brown. Add the onion slices, and cook for one minute. Last, add the mushrooms, and cook an additional minute. Season with salt and pepper and it’s ready!

Like this recipe? Check out my other books, and watch for more to come!

Want a paperback copy? Reply in the comments and I’ll send you one!

Oatmeal Berry Breakfast Cookies

I wish I had more time. There are so many things I want to make, and so many combinations I want to try. Breakfast cookies are no exception.

Oats, honey, chia seeds, and either applesauce or mashed banana are the set ingredients for these yummy, healthy bites. This time I added fresh strawberries and blueberries, and they got rave reviews.

Try these yourself or let me know your favorite mix-ins!

Oatmeal Berry Breakfast Cookies

  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey (or vegan preference)
  • 3/4 cups strawberries, washed and diced
  • 3/4 cups blueberries, washed
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Mix the ingredients together and place on an ungreased sheet pan. Bake in the oven at 350° for 30 minutes.

Like this recipe? Check out my sweets book, out now! Everything’s Better with Summer Sweets

 

Self-Care for Positivity

As an immensely emotional girl, there are times when I’m on the verge of tears, all day. Not everyday, but some days. Whether it’s timing related, situational, or something else, we all have those days sometimes.

So what do you do? How do you get out of it? How do you overcome? I’ll tell you.

Self-care, and often. Take care of your head, and your heart, first. Whether you feel bad, good, or indifferent in the morning, do what you can to feel your best, it can only help.

Here’s how:

Consider Taking St. Johns Wort

St. Johns Wort is known for helping regulate and elevate mood. The bottle I have lists the dosage as three times daily with food. When I take it, I take two, once a day, and not usually with food. (Doesn’t irritate an empty stomach.) PLEASE make sure to check this against anything else you’re taking.

Call it placebo effect, or say it works, either way, I feel better.

Use Essential Oilsroller-balls

Oils have truly changed my life. I have replaced several OTC products, and use them around the house for other things every day. And self-care is no different.

For everyone, lavender is great. Whether you diffuse it, dab it on your wrist for the scent, or it’s part of a blend, this oil is calming, and will truly relax you.

As a woman, (with debilitating monthly cramps, PMS, and more,) Progressence Plus has literally changed these issues for the better. I take it everyday for two weeks in between cycles, and the week before, I take it only about every other day. I stop the week of, and will start taking it again as my time wears towards the end. This oil calms cramps, shortens my cycle, and helps two fold with the emotional aspect. I can’t speak better about it, but again, please do what works best for you and make sure to check any drug interactions

For guys who need a (natural) testosterone boost, Idaho Blue Spruce is the oil to use. I also formulated another testosterone mixture that is good for influencing fertility, raising testosterone levels, and overall men’s wellness. The Idaho Blue Spruce and the mixture were both enough to raise testosterone levels from too low to in range, according to a blood test. So they truly work and are a natural way to influence and help the body raise these levels on its own.

Workout

Walk, stretch, do yoga, or visit the gym, whatever it is, do something! Staying active and moving everyday allows your body to create feel good hormones that can positively influence your mood, and therefore, your whole day.

Eat WellIMG_20170610_153508

Sometimes when you “feel bad” it makes you want to “eat bad.” Don’t give in! Your body needs the minerals and vitamins from whole, nutritious foods to fuel your life. Eating fruits, vegetables, and homemade meals will make you feel the best you can. It will help you prepare mentally, with a clear head, and a belly full of nutrition.

Go Outside

Whether it’s cold, hot, or pouring down rain, do what you can to get outside. If you only have 5 minutes for a quick walk around the block, do it. Breathe deep, clear your mind, look at the foliage. This will calm you and reinvigorate your system, more than you may know. Want to go a step further? Smell a flower and touch it’s leaves. Use your senses to get back to what really matters, experiencing life, if only for a moment.

Life can be exhausting, and hard but you can push through it! And if not, fake it til you make it because the best is yet to come. Happy weekend all!

Like this article? Give my wellness book a look! It’s filled with tips for people on the go, from eating right, to moving enough, and wellness ideas to help you stay grounded. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I use Young Living Essential Oils and based on my research, I believe these are the best, safest, and most pure oils on the market. PLEASE do your own research and determine which oils are best for you and your family. 

The Power of Thoughts: Fact Versus Truth

Our thoughts have got to be the strongest force in the world, no? You can decide to have a good day, and have one. And if you don’t decide to have a good day, then you probably won’t.

Do you know what I mean, though? It isn’t what happens to us but rather how we perceive it. So many things happen daily to negatively affect us, but it’s all in how you see it.

Then, at book club this morning, we talked about fact versus truth..and it was like a light bulb went off. Because, at the end of the day, life goes where life is going to go!

So what do we do? Talk the positive, see the positive, and live the positive. Why? Well,positive why not?

Today, alone, these three things happened to me, and I tried to see them through fact and truth.

Fact, my phone only worked for about 5 minutes this morning, before continually shutting off, and cycling through the beginning prompt.

Truth, it’s been dropped more times than I can say, and still, it’s fixable. I am lucky the damn thing is still in one piece, much less functional.

Fact, without my phone I was disconnected from the world.

Truth, I was disconnected from the world, allowing me to slow down this morning, plan getting to my book club, getting my phone to the shop, and working in the midst of it all, with a clear (un media-filled) head.

Fact, it was pouring down rain when I left book club so with my friend’s umbrella overhead we ran to her car, she could get me to mine. We had some extra time to catch up for a minute, and I realized I was double booking my Monday next week.

Things-to-doTruth, I may never have realized my fault had it not been raining because we wouldn’t have ran together to her car, and got to talking, and trying to plan something! Not only did the rain save my schedule, but it also filled it with more time with someone I adore!

Now don’t think I don’t get mad, irritated, and upset, and often. Because I do! I could go on and on about things in this life that I don’t like. I could tell you everyday that five things happen, in the morning alone, that could “ruffle my feathers.”

But, now maybe, I will do fact versus truth instead. And see just how that works for me. Until next time, Happy Wednesday!

UPDATE: Apparently my phone is unfixable, and due to no fault of my own. Software issues or something.

Fact, my phone is broken, and cannot be fixed.

Truth, my phone is not the end all be all of life. (Gasp! I know..we cannot even read this without considering life without a phone.) But with all things, this too shall pass.

Like this article? Give my wellness book a look! It’s filled with tips for people on the go, from eating right, to moving enough, and wellness ideas to help you stay grounded. Enjoy!