Ted Talk Friday: Challenges and rewards of a culturally-informed approach to mental health

This Ted Talk was actually a video that was assigned to me for one of my courses. I have not shared too many details about where I am, but in case you’re curious…I am currently a first-year graduate student pursuing my PhD in Counseling Psychology at the University of Louisville. I absolutely love my program and have learned so much since I started nine months ago. After watching this talk for my class, I was so excited to share it here. I think Dere’s philosophy extends beyond the field of mental health; we can all learn something valuable from her message around culture and humility. I particularly  love her idea of taking a “stance of informed curiosity.” I hope you enjoy!

***
What were your initial assumptions about Pat? Was did you take away from this talk?

Ted Talk Friday: In uncertain times, think like a mother

This title immediately caught my eye when looking at recent Ted Talks! I am very close with my mom, so I often go to her for questions and guidance. I really enjoyed this talk and I think it is particularly relevant for unprecedented and challenging times like these. My favorite quote from the talk: “When you think like a mother, you prioritize the needs of the many, not the whims of the few.” I hope you take the time to watch and enjoy it!

 

***

Do you agree with the speaker? Did the Cornel West quote (“Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public”) resonate with you?

Chocolate Coconut Donuts (+ a secret ingredient)

I found my old donut maker while organizing my pantry a few days ago (typical quarantine activity, I know). This donut maker is fantastic; it’s probably from the 1970’s and has the classically old-fashioned look to it. After finding the donut maker, I decided to try out a new recipe I’ve been toying with.

I have doubted the donut maker’s ability to function, but it surprises me every time! I have no idea what temperature it cooks at (I’m guessing it’s around 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit), but it works beautifully.  I think this recipe would work great in a donut/bagel pan at 375 degree for 12-15 minutes or until firm to the touch.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 tbsp coconut flour

1 cup oat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 scoop (30g) protein powder (I used a pea protein blend)

1/2 tsp xanthan gum (optional)

2 egg whites

1/2 c + 2 tbsp almond milk (or preferred type of milk)

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1/2 tsp coconut extract (optional)

1/2 bag Miracle Noodle rice, rinsed and patted dry

Directions:

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add in all wet ingredients except for miracle rice and combine well. If mix is too thick, slowly add in one additional tablespoon of milk at time until the mix is a thick dough consistency.
  3. Fold in miracle rice and mix until well combined.
  4. Pour mix into well greased donut pan (or donut maker) and cook at 375 for 12-15 minutes.
  5. Let donuts sit for five minutes to cool, remove from pan, and let cool on a wire rack until cool.
  6. Top with melted chocolate, frosting, or powdered sugar and enjoy! I had so much fun decorating mine 🙂

img_0083-scaled.jpg

Use code HANNAH for a discount when you order from Miracle Noodle!

Note: If you’re feeling lazy or don’t have a donut/bagel pan, these also bake well as small drop cookies! Just bake at 350 for 8 minutes.

Catching Up on Life, Quarantine, & Grad School

Hi! It’s been a few months since I last posted–and with good reason. I’ve been slogging through a tough semester of grad school. My first semester was fueled by what felt like a four month long adrenaline rush combined with classes that I loved: ethics, social psychology, and psychological theory. Spring semester 2020 was quite different. The adrenaline was gone,  the classes were not as fun, and my research really started to pick up. By spring break, I was just ready for the semester to end. I was in New Jersey visiting my boyfriend over the break and I was there when classes moved online through the end of March. As you already know, things quickly worsened and Spring semester moved entirely online (now Summer classes are online too).

I am so grateful to be in graduate school with a guaranteed stipend and have little to complain about, but my morale took a bit of a nosedive. In thinking about that, I’ve found myself grappling with feelings of guilt. I have so much privilege during this time. I am healthy. I can afford to stock up on groceries. I have access to healthcare. I have space to self-isolate. I can wear a mask in public and not feel afraid. I don’t have to worry about hate crimes being committed against me. The list goes on and on. I have so much to be grateful for, but that does not mean that I can’t be sad, disappointed, or angry about what we are experiencing. I’ve been struggling between those two all-or-nothing mentalities. I find myself feeling guilty when I complain that I can’t go to the gym because I remember that others can’t even feel safe right now. This is when I try to practice self-compassion; while my problems are small, they are still real and valid to me right now. I try to remain gentle with myself while also expressing gratitude for what I have. I also make a a point to do what I can do to make a difference, whether that’s writing a loved one a letter, donating blood, or sending an old friend a text to check in.

writing-828911_1920

Moving my rambling to a broader level, I’ve been thinking about how COVID-19 is changing our country’s narrative. This pandemic is exposing so many disparities in our country. While other regional or local events have exposed disparities in different ways (e.g. the Flint water crisis), the broad nation-wide effects of the pandemic are almost impossible to ignore. As someone who is dedicated to research focused on health disparities, this national wake-up call is both inspiring and horrifying. Inspiring in that health disparities are making national headlines and are a topic of conversation. Horrifying in that it took a national pandemic to get us to a place where we can recognize the injustice that has been occurring throughout U.S. history.

corona-5018333_1920

In making sense of the past six weeks, I’ve reached two conclusions: 1) Everyone has their own set of problems; take on new perspectives and stay compassionate. 2) Caring about health disparities cannot be a passing trend due to the coronavirus; it was a problem before and it will be a problem after. We have serious work to do.

Thank you for letting me stand on my soap box and ramble about my own thoughts and what I care about most.

 

Ted Talk Friday: The Power of Mindfulness

Happy New Year! One of my New Year’s resolutions is to live more mindfully, which is something I struggle with. Dr. Shauna Shapiro is a speaker, author and Professor of Psychology at Santa Clara University who makes mindfulness incredibly accessible. As I’m trying to incorporate mindfulness into my life more regularly, I have found videos like this to be particularly helpful. I hope you enjoy!

***
Did you learn something new about mindfulness from Dr. Shapiro?

Miracle Noodles + Goat Cheese Combos

I’ve been loving goat cheese even more than usual recently; it’s so flavorful and creamy plus it adds something special to virtually every dish. I came up with a few plant-based recipes using goat cheese during the past few weeks that I wanted to share. Goat cheese is not only delicious, but it’s also a great alternative for those who are lactose intolerant. Plus, it contains a decent amount of protein, healthy fats, and probiotics.

goat-3613728_1920

It might take a few tries to warm up to the tangy flavor, but it grew on me pretty quickly. If you want to start slow and ease into your relationship with goat cheese, try a little bit crumbled on top of a salad–it’s particularly delicious when paired with berries or other fruits in a salad.

Here are a few of my more recent exotic goat cheese recipes:

Grown Up Goat Cheese Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Ingredients:

1 bag Miracle Noodle ziti (or noodle shape of choice)
1 oz. goat cheese
Red pepper flakes, to taste

Instructions:
1) Prepare Miracle Noodles according to the instructions on the bag.
2) Add 1 oz. goat cheese (or more) and heat on the stove until cheese is melted throughout. You can also heat it up in the microwave using 30 second increments.
3) Top noodle mix with red pepper flakes for a little kick and voila 🤩

F37BEBF5-30B0-478B-8EA5-B475FF87D8EA

Plant-Based Marinara Pasta with a Twist

Ingredients:⁣⁣

1 veggie burger (I like Boca Burgers)
1 bag Miracle Noodles prepared according to instructions ⁣
1/2c marinara sauce⁣⁣
1/2 oz goat cheese

Directions
1) Place prepared miracle noodles in a bowl.
2) Heat up marinara sauces and pour on top of noodles.⁣⁣
3) Cook veggie burger, slice it into cubes, and pour on top of noodle mix.⁣⁣
4) Finally, crumble your goat cheese on top (feel free to add more for a stronger flavor). ⁣
5) Enjoy!⁣⁣

Almost ready, but missing the key ingredient…

IMG_8461

Now, it’s complete!

1BFC5094-32D4-45D7-9B05-2103F58F4135

Use code HANNAH for a discount when you order from Miracle Noodle!