Ted Talk Friday: The business benefits of doing good

I know a lot of skeptics say that you cannot run a successful business and also prioritize doing good. Woods delivers a convincing talk supported by numerous examples and hard data that is hard to argue with. She does a great job of bridging the awkward gap of social good and good business.




Do you agree? Why do you think there’s a misconception that social good takes away from profit?

NYC Eats: foodie love on the East coast

I was on the road for about two weeks between business and spending time at home. I had the chance to spend a weekend in NYC visiting a dear friend from college, Zoe, and hanging out with an new friend I met through health blogging! My first meal on Friday was a HIT! We started our evening at Souen, and it was delicious. We split the sautéed mushrooms to start and I enjoyed a macrobiotic plate for my main. I loved that it included kabocha—my friend, Zoe, and I initially met because we both loved this squash (I’m 100% serious) and here we are 4 years later!


For dessert, we enjoyed some of Hungry Root’s delicious black bean brownie batter–sooo delicious! My friend has been working for this amazing company for years so I was thrilled to try one of her creations 🙂


We ate breakfast on the go before an amazing kickboxing class at Shadowboxing–one of my favorite workout classes to date! It had a great vibe—dark, music that was just loud enough (not too loud), challenging but without any judgement! It was intervals of boxing moves, strength conditioning, cardio, & bag work. Workout rating: 10/10

After getting all cleaned up, we enjoyed a later lunch at Hu Kitchen (it’s all over instagram and I kept hearing amazing things)…


Next up was an extravagant dinner at The Little Beet Table. Almost everything on the menu sounded superb so we tried not to order everything…we started out with an arugula fennel salad. It wasn’t anything too exciting, but definitely tasted light and fresh.


Now this dish stole the show; the beetroot tartare–black pepper-lemon yogurt, hazelnut, watercress, horseradish…an incredible combination of sweet, bitter, and tangy.


My entree pick was the grilled cauliflower steak on a bed of green curry served up with maitake mushrooms, a salad of market herbs, apple & almond. I could have easily eaten an entire plate of the mushrooms! The other entree we ordered was the Atlantic salmon with daikon & carrot slaw, baby bok choy, coconut & turmeric; the curry sauce was quite spicy, but the combination was fantastic.   

Apparently the brussel sprouts are a must at the Little Beet Table so we ordered a side of those as well–they were delicious! A little on the oily side for my taste, but incredibly flavorful. Even a veggie hater would love these.

One of my last meals in the city was a great big kale & shaved brussel sprout salad with a bunch of roasted almonds, beets & orange.


Do you prioritize good eats when you travel? Do you crave veggies when you’re on the go?

One thing you should always do

Now I’m the first to say I don’t know the answers and am certainly no font of wisdom, but there is one thing I do know. Always go to the funeral. Always. If it’s your friend’s grandmother, go. If it’s your great aunt who you hardly knew, go. If it’s a childhood friend, go.

Funerals are quite possibly one of the most devastating and beautiful events we can participate in. It’s the sadness of a spirit and life lost, but also a celebration of all the lives that person touched. The past eight months have been some of the most difficult I’ve had. Coping with the loss of a peer, a loved one, really took me down with full force. I’ve written about it at length here; writing so much has helped ease the pain. What really helped me most was showing up & being present for his memorial. Hugging his parents close, seeing old photos of us, sharing memories with friends.

I had the sad opportunity to attend a memorial service for a dear friend’s mother this past weekend. She died too young with so much fight in her–she embodied spunk. While I was not close to her, I love her son. He’s been a true friend for years. He’s shown up for me for all those years, and these times are when you need everyone you know to simply show up. Whether you send a card, give a hug, or lend an ear–it matters so much.

It’s not always easy to put on the black dress, grab the Kleenex, and go to the church or service, but it’s what’s right. My mom taught me this when I was in seventh grade and my friend’s grandmother passed away. She told me that I needed to go; that it mattered beyond what my 12 year old mind would imagine.

While I’ve been lucky enough to never have to suffer the loss of an immediate family member, that means I can’t know the difficulty that would accompany those moments. What I do know is that I want to be surrounded by love, support, and compassion.

Ted Talk Friday: The secret to living longer may be your social life

I have posted talks on this topic in the past, but I don’t think the importance of social interaction can be emphasized enough. Pinker doesn’t just talk about social connectedness, but she also compares social connectedness to the impact of other health factors. I hope you enjoy.



Do you make the time to maintain relationships? Do you think you will be the happy or the grumpy old man? 😉

Miraculously Stuffed Eggplant

I’ve been living life on the fly a lot recently. For the past decade (or longer) I’ve planned every moment down to the second. Planning certainly has a lot of perks, but it makes our brain think in binary, rigid ways sometimes. In an effort to break out of this more, I’ve been actively trying to seek out spontaneity and go with the flow. I found eggplants on sale the other day, so I bought a few and just decided I would let an idea come–and if not, just chop and freeze them! I think living life without a guide, without a plan, without a recipe can be a great asset when you find yourself getting bogged down in and stressed by the arbitrary details.


-1 eggplant

-1 bag prepared @miraclenoodle rice

-1 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped

-2 tsp olive oil

-1 cup cherry tomatoes

-1 tsp minced garlic


1. Combine tomatoes, parsley, olive oil, & garlic in a skillet and let simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.


2. Cut eggplant in half length wise and roast at 350 for 10 minutes.


3. Scrape out inside of eggplant and mix the pieces of eggplant “insides” into your skillet of veggies. .

4. Add prepared @miraclenoodle rice to veggie mix and continue stirring.


5. Stuff both halves of the eggplant with veggie/rice mixture.


6. Return stuffed eggplants to oven and roast for 7-10 minutes at 375.


7. Enjoy! Feel free to freeze or use the leftover veggie rice in another dish or as a side dish.

This month use code HANNAHFEB18 for a discount when you order from miracle noodle 🍜

Ted Talk Friday: The secret to great opportunities? The person you haven’t met yet

I found this talk and was immediately curious about the title. Tanya Menon does a great job melding a number of ideas–the value of personal relationships, diversity, and generosity. I hope you enjoy and start thinking of those around you just a little bit differently.




Do you agree with Menon? Do you surround yourself with those who are different than you?

All the Colors Miracle Rice

I’ve been trying to have fun in the kitchen to cope with the more recent uptick in stress at work…mission accomplished! I’ve been loving the CSA boxes I get from Imperfect Produce as inspiration, which is conveniently delivered to my doorstep! A recent delivery included purple daikon radish, and oh my, these are delicious. Definitely a mild bitterness, but when cooked with coconut oil it blends perfectly with other flavors.


  • 1 bag miracle rice, prepared according to directions
  • 2 tbsp liquid aminos
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 purple daikon radish
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 heads bok choy

1. Chop bell pepper, purple daikon radish, onion, and bok choy into 1 inch cubes (I usually eyeball and guesstimate what a comfortable bite looks like). Toss veggies in 1 tsp warmed coconut oil.

2) Cook all veggies in you air fryer at 375 for 20 minutes, pausing once to stir. If you don’t have an air fryer, feel free to use the oven!

3) Meanwhile, prepare @miraclenoodle rice and add in garlic, 1 tsp coconut oil, and liquid aminos.

4) Combine veggie mix with  rice mixture and enjoy! This would be great with chicken, shrimp, or tofu!

I added some steamed broccoli on top and enjoyed this over a bed of dressed greens on the patio at work (I’m blessed with California’s sunny winter days 😉

This month use code HANNAHFEB18 for a discount when you order from miracle noodle!


What’s your favorite colorful veggie? How do you cope with stress?

Ted Talk Friday: The gift and power of emotional courage

Dr. Susan David does a beautiful, brave job in telling her personal journey that led her to her research focus. Her story dovetails with my interest in the role of narrative in wellbeing. We so often shut others out of our story, but putting it down on paper has such a power–even if no one else reads it. I am passionate about positive psychology, but the description of a “tyranny of positivity” is a distressing by-product of how the field has been commercialized. The fact that one-third of us judge ourselves for our own emotions…there is something so sad and makes me believe that everyone needs to hear David’s message.



Do you judge yourself for your emotions? Do you categorize emotions as good or bad?

The Dangerous Power of “Productivity”

I believe we have started a dangerous cult this country–I don’t know how far it extends, but I’ve noted almost all of my peers have a constant desire to be productive. Anything that is not productive is not worthwhile. How sad is that?

I understand this mindset since I had it for at least four years. During college, I would not do anything if I did not see its purpose:

  • Going out for dinner? No, a waste of valuable study time.
  • Taking a weekend trip? Nope, I won’t have time to work ahead.
  • Hanging out and watching a movie? No, I need do x, y, z unfulfilling “productive” activity.


After graduating, this led to me completely going off the rails without action items that needed to be done. My parents took me on a trip to the beach after graduation and I could not even take one day off. I would sneak back from the beach to our hotel room and look through potential jobs on LinkedIn–yeah, that’s nuts. But it’s not just me…it’s a lot of people.

Over the past six months since graduating, I’ve been actively working to disengage from certain routines that make spontaneity difficult (I don’t always have to go to bed early, I can ask to reschedule). In addition, I have been forcing myself to be just a little bit lazy…I might just lie in bed for an extra ten minutes in the morning. Today I woke up without a plan and drove to the beach–no plans, nothing productive in store. I laid down on the sand and just read my book. Afterwards I spent the day wandering around the area, going into local shops and people-watching.

I don’t want to diss productivity too much–it gave me a solid GPA, amazing experiences, and it’s an inherent part of who I am. At the same time, it can’t be all I am; there is a high price for living a life that constantly prioritizes productivity. For me, it sacrificed the things that matter most: relationships, mental health, and physical wellbeing.

In sum, I think it’s knowing when to prioritize productivity, and when to let it go and enjoy life for all it is–the fast, the slow, the mundane, the powerful.


Do you prioritize productivity? If so, at what cost?