Monday Morsels 2/24/14

Happy Monday!

I was MIA last week, and it was because of this:

Tahoe

And this:

Tahoe

And this:

Tahoe

I went to the snow (Lake Tahoe) with a group of 12 people, left the laptop at home, and holed up in a cozy cabin. I felt compelled to disconnect for a bit to live life in the moment. Can you relate?

Wellness

This Monday Morsels features a very important topic: SLEEP.

I don’t get enough of it. Getting to bed by 10:30pm is a goal that I am constantly chasing.

Are you one of those people who believe that you can sleep when you’re dead? I used to be one of these people.

I began looking at sleep much differently about a year ago, when I became ill with Histamine Intolerance (debilitating food and environmental sensitivities), a pathogenic intestinal infection, hormone imbalance, (..and I could go on).

Back then, I was sleeping an average of four hours each night, fighting sleepiness at work and then intensely crossfitting 5 times/week. At the time, I treated my body as an unbreakable machine. Was it a coincidence that I was overworking myself and under resting while I became so very ill? I think not.

It sounds so silly to think that I was doing this to myself, but when I was caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, I truly believed that getting to the gym regularly was benefitting me, regardless of my lack of sufficient sleep. I am learning every day how important it is to be kind to my body, to monitor the different aspects of my wellness, and to listen to what my body needs.

If my story doesn’t compel you to get more Zzs, this article might: 25 Horrible Things That Can Happen If You Don’t Get Enough Sleep.

Nutrition

I’m an “a little bit of this and a little bit of that” type of cook. I get in the kitchen, assess what I have, and concoct it on the spot. I love cookbooks, but I often find myself lacking the patience to work from one on a busy weeknight.

Tonight was no exception. My boyfriend and I made pork chops with caramelized onions and apples sautéed with garlic, ginger, and a splash of apple cider vinegar.

Paleo Pork chop with caramelized onion apple

Pasture-raised Pork Chop with Caramelized Onion, Apple, Garlic, Ginger, and Raw Apple Cider Vinegar with a side of Smashed Cauliflower & Carrot

When he got home, he placed the chops in a brine of salt, pepper, and fresh chopped garlic. An hour later, he seared both sides of the chops, and finished cooking them in the oven.

Meanwhile, I concocted the onion apple topping. I knew pork pairs well with apples, and apple cider vinegar seemed like it would balance out the sweetness. Let’s just say it was an experiment gone DELICIOUS. We MMmm-ed our way through dinner and will definitely be making this again.

The pork chops were from our first box ordered from Marin Sun Farms, which is a Community Supported Agriculture Program (CSA) that offers local, sustainable, humanely cared for, ethical, pasture-raised, grassfed meat. Check them out if you live in or near the SF Bay Area!

Have a great week!

Love and light,

vm

Monday Morsels 2/3/14

Happy February and welcome to another edition of Monday Morsels!

Does anyone else like to watch Groundhog Day when February rolls around? Is it really just me?

How do you not love Punxsutawney Phil?

This edition of Monday Morsels is about self-authenticity and the pursuit of happiness and fulfillment.

Quitting my corporate job and deciding to go back to school to study holistic nutrition was one of the most life-altering, challenging, and rewarding decisions I’ve ever made in my life. Up until this point, I lived my life trying to fulfill the standards and expectations that others set for me. Deep down inside, I always knew that I wasn’t being honest with myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that I became relatively successful taking that road, and the challenges that accompanied it have molded me into the person I am today. However, living with authenticity feels incredibly powerful. I draw such energy and joy in pursuing my own dreams.

What’s driving you in your life? Does your career fulfill and excite you? If not, why? Is there something else you’ve always wanted to pursue but are hesitant to?

Are you living to fulfill someone else’s dream, or are you living to fulfill your own dreams?

These two articles really inspired and motivated me. They hit home and I hope you draw some inspiration from them too.

click here:

I Took A Pay Cut To Pursue My Dream

and here:

The Asian American Quarter-Life Crisis

Monday Morsels 1/27/14

Hello ladies and gents,

How was your weekend? Mine was so much fun.

I thought I’d mix things up with this edition of Monday Morsels and tell you what I was up to this past weekend.

Friday:

My boyfriend and I went on an impromptu date night after work. This is rare, folks. We had burgers at Eureka! in Berkeley. (Of course, I ordered mine bunless.) This was such a rare treat for the two of us. Since I came down with Histamine Intolerance a year ago, I’ve had to be painstakingly careful about what I eat. I can say with certainty that we ate out less than 20 times in 2013. It was nice to eat out together this weekend, blow off some steam, and feel like I was in my 20s again.

“Safe” Restaurant Foods:

Since I’ve been recovering, I’ve realized that a “safe” restaurant food for me is a bunless burger, as long as the meat is of good quality and I omit any sauces.  I generally look for grassfed and organic meats.  Eureka! offers hormone and antibiotic-free meat.  Fries are a guilty treat and usually safe (ish) if they are gluten free.

Roam Artisan Burgers is a Paleo community favorite, so it’s definitely on my radar.

Another safe restaurant food for me is sushi. Just plain old raw fish and a little rice. Hold the soy sauce, tempura anything, imitation crab, and all other sauces.

Which brings me to…

Saturday:

Gorgeously presented Chirashi from Joshu-ya Brasserie

Chirashi from Joshu-ya Brasserie

>> We met up with some good company at Joshu-ya Brasserie. The chirashi I ordered was the most beautiful I’d ever eaten.

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<< We ended the night by watching the movie “Her”. It was beautiful and deserving of the hype it has generated. If you’re thinking of going to see it, go with an open mind.

 

 

 

Sunday:

Gluten free loot

Gluten-free, paleo-friendly Loot!

On Sunday, I attended the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo. I connected with some like-minded individuals, met one of the editors of Paleo Magazine, found some clean beauty brands to get excited about like Lovely Lady Products and Red Apple Lipstick (review coming soon), and got a boatload of discounted gluten free and grain free snacks! It was such a great event. I feel lucky to live in a community where an event like this exists. It raises awareness, brings people together, and supports those who live a gluten free lifestyle.

 

Now without further adieu..Monday Morsels!

Nutrition:

thelowhistaminechef.com

thelowhistaminechef.com

>> Yasmina, the Low Histamine Chef whipped up a stupidly delicious looking Creamy Vegan Dulce De Leche Ice Cream.  This ice cream is Paleo-friendly and uses butternut squash and coconut cream as its base. Need I say more?

alisonvickery.com.au/

alisonvickery.com.au/

<< My friend and fellow histamine avenger, Alison Vickery, posted a recipe for Sweet Potato and Ginger Muffins using banana flour. Alison is a holistic health coach who specializes in auto-immune conditions.

Wellness:

Simona Supekar wrote about how the internet helped her cope with a rare disease. This is close to my heart as her story mirrored a bit of my own. Forward this to anyone going through a difficult to understand illness. Or read this if you have a loved one in your life who is very ill and you’d like to help, but aren’t sure how.  Sometimes just a loved one’s understanding is enough to make a difference. There is support out there if you just look for it.

I hope you have a great week!

Love and light,

vm

Introducing Monday Morsels!

Hi there,

Every Monday, I’ll be serving up an array of tasty wellness morsels (clever, I know) from the previous week’s happenings on the interwebz. This series will include but will not be limited to information about nutrition from the paleo/ancestral, clean beauty, and wellness worlds. These are all passions of mine and I want to share the wealth of information that’s out there. Hopefully one or some of these things will strike your fancies.

Nutrition:

  • Chris Kresser’s list of 5 things everyone gets wrong about Paleo.
    I blogged a bit about Chris’ book in my last post. This is a great post for curious folks who have heard of the Paleo lifestyle but some doubts are holding you back from giving it a try. Chris has got such a practical and flexible approach to Paleo and it always comes from such a well-researched place.

Clean Beauty:

  • Bay Area nail salons are making healthier choices for their workers and clientele.
    What a sigh of relief. One thing that I really miss since completely detoxing my personal care routine are painted nails. Conventional nail polish is one of the most toxic things you can expose your body to. Don’t turn a blind eye, ladies! (and men, if you’re into it.) We all want to look good.. I know. But there are healthier, water-based, options out there from brands like Acquarella.  Here’s my attempt to scare you into healthier habits:

    “Toluene, which is used to create a smooth look in polishes, can cause damage to the liver and kidneys and harm unborn children during pregnancy. And formaldehyde, which hardens polish, is a carcinogen.”

  • An inspiring interview on Kristen Arnett.
    Kristen is an international makeup artist and the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of the Green Beauty Team. As you might have already noticed, I have a minor obsession with reading about how successful people who followed their passions got started. I find these people to be so incredibly inspiring. We all want happiness in life. We all have 24 hours each day. I always want to know: what are these people doing that I am not? How can I be more like them?

Wellness:

  • Meditation can help manage anxiety, depression, and pain.
    I’ve heard a lot about the benefits of meditation over this past year. My integrative practitioner has urged me to get into it for stress reduction and healing. In the beginning of my wellness journey, I found that yoga helped a lot. Not only is it good for the nervous system, but I found that the connection of mind and body helped me to feel in control of my body again when it was being reactive and unpredictable. I can imagine that taking the practice of mindfulness further via meditation would be really beneficial both physically and mentally.

I hope you found these articles interesting. Have a great week!

Love and light,

vm