Getting Inspired

Hey friends!

My apologies for the long break we took from blogging, we needed to take some time to heal ourselves so that we could be the realest, most honest version of ourselves with you all! 

We took some time off to find our own inspiration, to seek out what fulfills our souls and to reignite the fire in our hearts. Over the past few months, we practiced hours and hours of yoga, spent days outside under the sun, by the water, feeling the wind blow away our worries, we ate foods that nourish and energize our bodies, we spent time with people who support, uplift and love us unconditionally, we discovered new passions, we read books that make us want to do better, be better. We made a promise to ourselves to take care of our mind, body and spirit and to forgive ourselves when we slip. We learn through time that life is truly a magical thing and simply the act of being alive, is miraculous on its own.

We found what excited us and makes us want to start the day early - crazy right? ;) 

However, the most important thing that's happened in our time away is that we reconnected to ourselves. We found what makes us happy. 

In the spirit of positive change, I encourage you to find something that motivates you and makes you happy.

Do something good for someone, even if they won't know about it!

Find peace within yourself.

Watch how your life changes, because I promise, it will. 

 

~ <3 ~

10 Simple Daily Changes to Happiness

  1. Take a nap! Aside from the fact that sleep helps our bodies recovery from the day, sleep does SO much more for us (replace skin cells, grow muscle, repair damaged tissue, synthesize hormones)! Having a restful night’s sleep can also lessen our sensitivity towards negative emotions. 
  2. Spend time with loved ones! Even for introverts, the feeling of being surrounded by people who genuinely care about one another is so… blissful. As Harvard researcher, Daniel Gilbert said; “We are happy when we have family, we are happy when we have friends and almost all the other things we think make us happy are actually just ways of getting more family and friends.” 
  3. Get outside! Fresh air makes everything better. It’s a fact. Don’t believe me? Go for a walk, feel the wind passing over your fingertips, welcome the sun’s warm embrace, smell the scent of nature - the flowers, the trees, the animals, listen to the sound of moving water… waves in a lake, the ripples of a river, or the power of rapids… Nature is healing!
  4. Help others. If you do good, you’ll feel good! Maybe helping constitutes itself as purchasing a gift for someone, spending time with people, volunteering your time, donating to a good cause… there are dozens of ways to give back!
  5. Meditate! Turning inwards is immensely helpful in day-to-day life. Not only does it help us clarify our priorities, but it physically makes us healthier. Meditation over a long period can actually alter our brain structure! 
  6. Practice gratitude. Being grateful for what you have is such an exhilarating feeling. It’s so freeing to realize you don’t need more. Grab a journal and start jotting down 3 things that happened at the end of each day. Try to make them different each day and then watch as your happiness and overall gratefulness skyrockets!
  7. Exercise! Moving your body is not only healthy for you, but also helps you to clear your mind. Even something as simple as a short walk can help immensely!
  8. Stop complaining. When you complain, you’re highlighting the negative. Once you stop doing that, you’re making room for some pretty amazing moments! 
  9. Fake it till you make it. Feelings follow actions. If you’re upset, scared, angry, try faking a smile for a few seconds.. feels silly but the moment you change your mind and physical body, you’ll notice a shift in your emotions. If you’re angry with someone, try doing something thoughtful for them, you’ll notice this feeling of anger will slightly release. It’s really soothing.
  10. Take control. Your life. Your happiness. Though it’s true that we are all born differently, some of us are Eeyore, some are Tigger, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from taking control over your own life! When you begin making conscious steps towards happiness, you’ll notice your mind, body and soul begin to crave it!

Homestyle Sauerkraut and Kidney Bean Casserole

Ingredients:

(makes 4 servings)

1 large onion
3-4 cloves of garlic                                                                                                                                      2 tablespoons olive oil
800 ml (1 jar) sauerkraut (well rinsed under cold water)
1 can (490ml) beans (red kidney or navy, pinto, white kidney)                                                            2 bay leaves
1 1⁄2 tea spoon sweet paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of cayenne pepper                                                                                                                             1 kg white potato

In a pot, dice onion and fry in a couple of spoons of olive oil until golden (3 min) stirring occasionally. I add bay leaf at the very beginning of frying onions, so it releases the flavor and its essential oils. It can be added later as well. Add rinsed and drained sauerkraut to onions and stir well. Add beans, which you can drain and rinse, if you are trying to control the salt intake. There are products that have no-salt added (Blue Menu), so you can use the liquid they come in as well. Add water to cover the vegetables.

Finely dice (almost purée) garlic and fry it briefly on the side in a bit of olive oil, adding paprika. Pour into sauerkraut mixture and stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer, covered for an hour, on medium temperature. Check occasionally on level of liquid and if needed add warm water. Be careful, you don’t want too much liquid in this dish.

If you like your food with a “kick”, add a dash of cayenne pepper to taste.

In a separate pot, peel and quarter potatoes, boil in salted water. Drain when cooked through (fork tender).

Serve vegetables together with boiled potato. 

Beating Anger 101

What is anger and where does it come from? Let’s take a quick overlook and see what it is that gets our blood boiling and how we can tame it.

Example #1: You’re working at your desk on an extremely important project. A colleague or family member walks by and simply HAS to talk to you, completely disrupting your chain of thought. You get mad - can’t they see you’re trying to get something done?

Example #2: You have plans to meet a friend and they cancel last minute. You get mad - don’t they know how excited you were to go out or see them and now you can't. 

Example #3: You have a spectacular job interview and are sure you’re getting hired… but you don’t. You get mad - don’t they know how hard you worked to get the interview for your dream job!?

What does each scenario have in common? You. You’re getting angry because things aren’t going the way you want them to. Each person inflicting anger in the above scenarios simply had other plans for themselves than you did… and that’s ok. Your universe is not theirs and theirs is not your own. 

How to let go of anger? Change your point of view and expand your compassion. Try to see why others are doing what they do - why is it something important to someone? What are people going through? What sort of difficulties are they facing? 

I won’t lie to you, I was guilty of having had a short temper with certain scenarios and certain people. I’d get frustrated because they wouldn’t behave a certain way I thought they ought to. The root of my anger and frustration was my inability to see why people acted the way they did. As I grew - mentally and physically, I learned to study my emotions as they unfolded. I learned to guide my thoughts from “they should not be acting like that” to “what makes someone act in that way… what is going on in their world to make them behave like that”?

I’m feeling frustrated? Ok. Deep breath… what is causing this feeling? Why am I so angry? How can I change the situation I find myself in? If I cannot change the setting, how can I change my reaction to the events? Reevaluate the situation and challenge yourself to understand rather than react. In doing so, you’re putting space between yourself and the object of your irritation. Take a few deep breaths. Calm your mind. Rethink your reactions. Beat your anger.

Sweet Pistachio Cranberry Acorn Squash Recipe

I think squash is the universal food of Autumn. And cinnamon. And nuts and dried berries. And apple cider. And stews, baked veggies, hot cocoa, apple pie and cranberry sauce. You get the point.

We tried out this baked acorn squash recipe for a retreat in February and it was a hit! So full of micro and macro nutrients, filling, healthy and most importantly... delicious! The mix of flavours from the maple syrup in the squash dressing to the pistachios, cranberries and cinnamon in the stuffing make for a very happy stomach. Have I caught your attention yet? Good. Here's the recipe.

Serving: 2-4 (depending how hungry you are and whether you're making sides with this meal)

Ingredients: 

- 1 medium acorn squash  - 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar  -3 tablespoons avocado oil (or olive oil)  - 2 tablespoons maple syrup  -Salt  - Small onion, diced  - 1 cup of quinoa  - Desired amount of cranberries (I used over a cup... I recommend a half cup and seeing how much you like) - Cinnamon, cayenne pepper  - Shelled pistachios (again to your taste. I used ~ 1 cup)

Directions:

- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

- Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds and place on baking sheet, flesh side up

- Mix vinegar, oil and maple syrup in a small bowl or cup. Spread over flesh side and add a pinch of salt to the squash. Pop in oven and roast until the squash is soft, testing with a fork. Mine took approximately 40 minutes

- Heat whatever you've got left of the oil mixture in a pot, adding onions and cinnamon. Sauté the onions for a few minutes then add the quinoa and 2 cups of water - cook the quinoa according to the package. Right after adding water, add cinnamon, salt, cayenne pepper (to taste). 

- When the quinoa is ready, add in cranberries and pistachios. I like to add the cranberries into the quinoa as it finished cooking because I like them a bit softer and chewier! 

- Remove squash when it is ready and stuff with quinoa mixture. Serve warm! :)