Ted Talk Friday: Remember to say thank you

Since Thanksgiving was yesterday, I wanted to focus today’s talk on gratitude and the value of giving thanks and asking for a thank you when you need it. This talk relates back to two of my favorite relationship rules:

1) ask for what you need

2) express gratitude

I hope this short talk is helpful for you and I hope you had a great holiday!

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Do you always ask for what you need? Do you wish you asked for someone to express gratitude for your actions more often?

Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up

Where did 2018 go? I think everyone I know is saying the same thing, but it is hard to believe Thanksgiving is here again. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday–it’s all about gratitude, food, and loved ones–what could be better?

Here is a list of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes:

  1. Maple Roasted Winter Veggies– This is hands down my favorite veggie dish on the table every year; it’s light and fresh, but includes all the wonderful flavors of Fall! The pomegranate seeds are an absolute must–they add so much fresh flavor, plus beautiful color.

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2. Gut-Friendly Jello Jigglers– I love Great Lakes Gelatin for all of its gut benefits and these  healthy jello jigglers are a great alternative to the sugar-laden version we typically include in our Thanksgiving line-up.

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3. Spaghetti Squash Casserole – One of my favorite parts of fall is all of the amazing seasonal squash! This casserole is a great alternative to unhealthy creamy casseroles and packs the same flavor punch with plenty of protein and fiber.

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4. Caulirice Stuffed Delicata Squash– Packed with Vitamin A and filling fiber, this is a great side dish for those avoiding the regular stuffing. This has a great savory sweet from the flavor combination of the sweet squash and liquid aminos.

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5. Coconut Vanilla Raspberry Pudding– This is a great healthy dessert option that won’t leave you heading into a sugar crash! Low in carbs and high in fiber, it’s a great way to cap off a satisfying meal with something sweet.

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6. Spiced Buckwheat  Pear Bread- This is a great gluten-free bread option made with hearty buckwheat flour and it packs a protein punch! This would be a great dessert option and would also be a satisfying addition to breakfast.

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I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Let me know if you try any of these recipes.

Ted Talk Friday: Why wildfires have gotten worse — and what we can do about it

The wildfires in California are raging on either side of the Bay Area–part of Los Angeles are up in smoke and a small town called Paradise north of San Francisco has been burned to the ground. The air where I live This talk is timely and I learned so much about why wildfires are becoming more and more common. Diversity, even in nature, is critical and serves a protective function, which is such an interesting parallel to the importance of human diversity.

 

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What was the most surprising thing you learned in this talk? Have you been following the California wildfires?

Beetnik Foods: A fresh take on frozen meals

Beetnik Foods recently reached out to me to try some of their newest products. I love their frozen meal options–some of my favorites include the Lemon Chicken with Cauliflower Rice and the Peruvian Inspired Chicken Stew.While I still prefer to meal prep with homemade fresh options, these frozen meals come in handy in a pinch. They are healthy, USDA certified organic, gluten free, and hit all the nutritional boxes I look for when choosing a pre-made meal option. I am try to consume as little meat as possible, but I feel good eating the grass-fed beef and organic, humanely raised chicken included in Beetnik meals.

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I got a chance to try out their new grass-fed meatballs over the weekend and was blown away! I never grew up eating meatballs, we generally did not eat that much red meat in my household, so I was not sure what to expect. The package is resealable so I took out enough meatballs for two and threw together a quick dish with spaghetti squash, marinara, and dairy-free parmesan cheese.

Prep was super easy with a short 12 minutes in the oven at 375:

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I steamed my spaghetti squash in the microwave a few hours earlier. I cut my squash in half length-wise, scooped out the seeds, and filled each half with marinara sauce (my favorite brand is Whole Foods Everyday Value marinara). After the meatballs were cooked, I placed them in the squash and put them back in the hot oven for 15-20 minutes to warm up. I enjoyed my half over a bed of spinach:

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The squash also tastes delicious with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese (I use GoVeggie! dairy-free parmesan cheese).

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The meatballs did not have a bread texture, but instead tasted like real, hearty meatballs with a great Italian-inspired flavor. This meal kept me full for hours and didn’t even feel me weighed down like the typical spaghetti and meatballs might. I will definitely be using these again!

Curious about the nutrition stats?

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Disclaimer: I received this product from Beetnik Foods, but all opinions and thoughts are my own and represent my own experience.

Ted Talk Friday: How to Let Go of Being a Good Person and Become a Better Person

This talk is especially important right now. I think there is immense pressure to stay on the moral high ground, that we often sacrifice how we could be better or think more deeply about our action out of fear of being perceived as bad, politically incorrect, etc. Chugh’s commentary on how we perceive goodness and how we can evolve to be better people.

 

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How do you think about being a “good” person? What was your favorite part of this talk?

Ted Talk Friday: How to Stop Swiping and Find Your Person on Dating Apps

Living in the Bay Area in my young twenties means that almost everyone I know is on dating apps. I hear so many stories of bad dates or wasted nights, but Wallace’s approach to online dating is a strategy that even the busiest of people can try. I love her practical tips and business-savvy techniques. I hope you get some entertainment (or practical use) out of this talk!

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Have you tried online dating? Do you like her approach?

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?