Ted Talk Friday: Violence Against Women — it’s a men’s issue

October is domestic violence awareness month and my mom sent me an article about this author, activist and speaker and it really captivated me in the current moment. Katz provides a well-balanced and thoughtful take on violence in society today. He does a fantastic job of broaching the subject in an accessible, thoughtful way.  He is passionate and also realistic about where we are today and the steps we can take to make a real difference.

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Have you heard this talk before? What moment stood out to you most?

Ted Talk Friday: “The Last Serenade”

If you’re like me, you need a moment to pause and think on a Friday morning. I get so caught up in the week’s events and anticipation of the weekend, that I forget to take a moment to be present. I played violin for five years growing up and it left me with a deep appreciation for beautiful violin pieces, and this is certainly a stunning performance. I hope you enjoy this short video and take a moment to re-center yourself this Friday.

 

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What’s your favorite instrument? Do Fridays feel rushed to you too?

A Weekend in Portland: Sweat, Sunshine, and Good Eats

I had to go to Portland for work so I decided to turn it into a weekend getaway! I caught an early 7AM flight Thursday morning and made it to Portland by 9AM just in time to start a beautiful and strangely warm October day. My work visit started off with a minor injury. *warning: bloody foot photo below*

Luckily it looks worse than it was and after my onsite event ended, I walked over to a nearby Whole Foods and tucked into hot bar takeaway while working through the afternoon. I had a frustrating evening sorting through finding a rental car, but luckily I have patient people in my life to help me out! I spent Friday working from my Airbnb and picked up my rental car that evening before exploring the neighborhoods around Beaverton.

I spent my night relaxing in bed with a cup of hot tea writing and went to sleep early…and I slept for 11 hours! The next day I woke up and hit the road to see Columbia River Gorge. I was bummed when the parking lots for Multnomah Falls were full, but I just kept on driving. I ended up pulling over to talk to a park ranger and picked a trail he recommended. The trail wasn’t the most peaceful since it ran parallel to the highway, but it offered some amazing views of the Columbia river and the surrounding mountains.

I started to head back toward Portland and luckily the parking lot for Multnomah Falls had empty spots! I pulled in and ventured over to the falls. It was stunning, but definitely overrun with tourists.

I hit the road again and headed to Flex and Flow, the yoga studio where Sweatpink (an amazing community of female bloggers) began! Visiting the studio was a must-do item on my Portland bucket list. I made it in time for a 3pm Power Vinyasa class with Nic–a lovely lady I’ve known via email for years now! Meeting her in person was surreal and her class absolutely kicked my butt (especially after hitting the trails that morning).

After yoga I met up with an old friend I’ve known since I was five years old. I hadn’t spoken with her in maybe four years, but catching up brought me so much joy. Plus, she has incredible taste in food and brought me to the best place for ramen in Portland: Afuri.

We started with the seasonal Butternut Squash plate with chili hazelnut miso, mustard greens, and hazelnut:

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I ordered the Truffle Miso: miso tare, mushroom tomato broth, wild mushroom, beansprout, Chinese chive, and truffle oil.

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That evening I wandered around the Pearl District and went to Powell’s bookstore–the store takes up an entire city block!! While I loved it, I have to say it was a bit too overwhelming for me. I slept like a baby Saturday night and woke up ready for a day of adventures on Sunday. I started my day in Washington Park and ended up wandering around for over two hours around the trails–I ended at the Rose Garden, which was magnificent.

So many roses in full bloom with unusually warm weather and plenty of sunshine.

Somehow I managed to find my car again and drove to the Oregon Historical Society Museum. I am a history nerd through and through–some of my favorite topics include history related to the Titanic and the Oregon Trail. I still vividly remember a unit on the Oregon trail from third grade; I wrote a diary from the perspective of a young girl (named Lucy Kitty Smith) on the trail and filled 60 pages with her thoughts and experiences on the trail. I hoped the museum would include more about the trail, but there wasn’t too much there. I ended the day in the Alberta Arts District walking down streets full of cute shops, thrift stores, and art galleries. I wandered around until it was time to head to the airport.

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Have you been to Portland? What would your favorite part of the trip be?

Ted Talk Friday: A new way to fund health care for the most vulnerable

This talk was deeply moving; Dr. Bastawrous tells his story beautifully. His scalable solution is a simple answer to the typical funding structure we see in most healthcare non-profit services. He describes a plan for changing the healthcare funding landscape, and how those changes lead not only to better health, but also to increased ROI. I think my favorite line was, “I felt like a chocolate chip in rice pudding.”


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Have you ever looked at healthcare in this light? Would you invest in healthcare like this?

It’s Squash Season: Savory Stuffed Delicata Squash

One of my favorite fall foods is Delicata Squash–definitely the fotgotten cousin of butternut squash, but it will not disappoint! Delicata Squash isn’t sold at all supermarkets, but you can expect to find it at Trader Joe’s (for $.99–such a great deal).

It has a great sweet, light flavor and is tastiest when roasted to caramelized perfection! Just roasting with a dash of coconut oil and salt makes for a great simple fall side dish.

I decided to get a bit more creative and opted for something different as I meal prepped for my week: savory stuffed squash, featuring lots of ginger and a smidge of miso paste.

Here’s what you’ll need:

– 1 medium sized Delicata Squash

-2 cups green beans (I used frozen)

-3 cups cauliflower, chopped into bite sized florets

-1 bag Miracle Rice, prepared according to instructions on bag

-1 tsp ginger

-1 tsp miso paste

-3 tbsp water, boiling

-2 tbsp liquid aminos

– 2 tsp coconut oil

-red pepper flakes, to taste

Directions:

1) Place Delicata Squash in a microwave safe bowl and stab through skin in 3-4 spots with a fork. Microwave on medium-high for 6 minutes.

2) While the Squash is cooking, combine coconut oil, cauliflower florets, and green beans in a baking sheet and cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 min, stirring frequently.

3) Remove Squash from the microwave and cut length wise–be careful since steam will come out quickly! Let sit for 10 minutes to cool. After Squash has cooled, take a spoon and remove the seeds from both halves.

4) In a large bowl, combine miso paste and boiling water and stir well until mixture is smooth. Add in liquid aminos, ginger, and dash of red pepper flakes.

5) Add cauliflower, Miracle rice, and green beans to miso mixture and mix until sauce is evenly distributed.

6) Now fill each half of your squash with the veggie-rice mixture.

7) Enjoy as a side or pair with a protein for a full meal!

Use code HANNAHOCT18 for a discount when you order from Miracle Noodle!

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Have you tried Delicata Squash? What’s your favorite fall squash?

Coping with Loss: One Year Out

It’s been a little over a year since a dear friend of mine passed away. While certain songs still bring him to my mind, like any song by Jurassic 5 or Biggie Smalls–some of his favorites, they make me smile more often than they make me cry. I’ve been thinking a lot about this difficult period in my life and what it means to me a year later. Studies show that how we cope with difficult events helps us make meaning and come out a little wiser on the other side. We need social support to make that happen.

I’m so grateful for the many shoulders I’ve had to cry on, the friends who have listened to my stories, and the loved ones who’ve checked in on me. I’ve also found amazing community through sharing my grief on social media; over 30% of young adults know someone who has died of an overdose. That is a large portion of the population, and sharing our stories is one way to cope with our losses.

I was lucky that his parents and the Nashville community spoke so openly about his death. My friend had suffered with different addictions for years. I remember a call from him a few years ago and hearing fear in his voice. He asked me to hold him accountable, and I did. He went to rehab a few months later, spent more time with his family, graduated from college and had a job that let him be outdoors. I remember meeting up with him and his dad about six months before his passing; I went to one of his father’s graduate school lectures with my friend for fun. We reminisced and he told me some of his stories that inevitably cracked me up. He had a wonderful sense of humor, kindness, and genuine friendliness about him from the first day we met that always struck me.

We texted in the few weeks before his death; he seemed to be doing well and I told him I wanted to visit him in Colorado and finally learn to ski. Skiing was one of his many beloved outdoor hobbies. There was no hint that he was not ok, no signs that I detected. That is one of the scariest parts of addiction–it is an ongoing battle. As friends and supporters, we can only do so much. Addiction is not a choice we can prevent, but rather a disease well beyond the control of friends and family.

His death has prompted me to look deeply at the way I live my life. He was always carefree, calm, and in awe of nature. I’ve taken some amazing trips, hiked new trails, and taken chances with new challenges.  I’ve also started prioritizing my social ties–staying connected to those who matter most with phone calls, letters, and visits. Research shows that our social network actually heals after the loss of a friend. Friends are pulled closer together following a loss–helping to heal both the group and the individual.

While it will never be easy, I am starting to feel that it is getting easier.