Month: March 2017

Singapore Noodles

Hey Guys,

Here’s my weekly recipe. I am in love with Singapore Noodles. It is a thin noodle with curry and soy sauce. This is a vegan recipe yet you can add anything you would like. I love to use peas if I cannot find snow peas as well as carrots and other veggies. I also do not like tofu so I use quorn “chicken”. You could use real chicken or beef or shrimp. If you order this from a restaurant you can get beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, or veggie. I love the great flavor and use of veggies. It is great as leftovers as well.

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. I use brown rice noodles because they are healthier than white rice noodles.
singapore noodle

Ingredients

SAUCE

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbsp or 6 g)
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) tamari or soy sauce
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut sugar (to taste) (I use sugar cane)
  • 1 large lime, juiced (~ 3 Tbsp or 45 ml)

NOODLES

  • 6 ounces (170 g) thin rice noodles (I used these brown rice noodles)
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 1/4 white or yellow onion, thinly sliced (27 g)
  • 3/4 red bell pepper, thinly sliced (90 g)
  • 12 snow peas (~40 g) (or regular peas)
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) tamari or soy sauce
  • 4 tsp (12 g) curry powder, divided

FOR SERVING* optional

  • 8 ounces (227 g) extra firm tofu, pressed dry and cubed* (can use vegan chicken, or any meat desired)

(I do not use the next two ingredients due to not having them in my cabinet)

  • Sriracha or chili garlic sauce
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

 

Instructions

  1. See notes if adding tofu!
  2. Add rice noodles to a large bowl and cover completely with boiling water. Let cook for 5-10 minutes (or according to package instructions), stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Drain and set aside.
  3. In the meantime, make the sauce by adding minced garlic, tamari or soy sauce, coconut sugar and lime juice to a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine, then taste and adjust seasonings as needed. You’re going for a savory-tart sauce with a bit of sweetness (adjust to taste). Set aside.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil, onion and red bell pepper. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, or until onion is soft and translucent.
  5. Add snow peas, or any other veggies, 1 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce, and 2 tsp curry powder, and stir. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, then remove from pan and set aside.
  6. To the still-hot skillet, add remaining 1 Tbsp sesame oil, cooked rice noodles, sauce and remaining 2 tsp curry powder. Sauté for 1 minute, tossing frequently with tongs to disperse sauce and curry powder.
  7. Add back in the vegetables and toss to coat. Cook for 1-2 minutes more, then remove from heat.
  8. Serve with desired toppings. This dish benefits greatly from a little hot sauce, such as Sriracha!
  9. Best when fresh, though leftovers keep for 2-3 days covered in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave, or in a saucepan over medium heat.

 

I have altered the original recipe to suit my needs and wants so please feel free to make changes for you and enjoy!! Tell me what you think!

good food

Vegan Singapore Noodles

It’s time… 22 days

I am going to take a month long TEFL course in Costa Rica. I am hoping to get a job teaching English for up to 6 months after the course. This is something that I have been wanting to do since I was a child. First, I wanted to join doctors without borders. Except, I realized being a doctor isn’t something I could handle mentally so I decided I wanted to teach abroad. I didn’t think this would become a reality for another few years. To my surprise, it is happening now!

I am excited to start this journey of discovering a new country, a new language, and a new way of living. At the same time, I am nervous. I have a fiance, friends, family, and a life here in Maryland. What would life be like without them? How would living abroad change my relationships? Will things be normal when I come back? I have so many questions and doubts about going to Costa Rica for possibly 7 months.

I know in my heart, this is part of my journey of self discovery. This is the perfect time for me to find out what I am capable of. This is the right time for my fiance and I to see what we can accomplish. We are planning to get married in a year. This is the year for us to put the last bricks on our foundation before we start building our marriage. I think a strong marriage is one that starts with strong individual foundations that come together during the marriage. We both need to finish building our individual foundations so that we are stronger together. While I am in Costa Rica, we will be able to have the space and time to work on ourselves while being “together”.

It’s time to test my relationships with family and friends. I have been working on my relationships with family and friends over the last few years. Some have progressed faster than others and some slower. I have already noticed a difference with those relationships, I am thrilled to see what happens over the next few months.

Finally, we have my relationship with myself. My journey of self discovery has changed so much in the last five years. It scares me more than anything in the world to see what happens within myself. I have never had space to grow in the way I would have in Costa Rica. I have never lived on my “own”. Even while at college, I had family, friends, and my fiance. It has been comfortable. Living in a country where I don’t speak the language, is something that will test me. I will have to make new friends and learn a new way of life. I know that I am capable of making this move. I know that I am strong enough to overcome the challenges. My journey of self discovery will blossom into amazing things I am only aware of energetically. I will have to mentally, physically, and socially see the amazing transformations.
Please join me on this journey. We are all in one and one in all. My personal growth affects the world around me. I have seen the affects of someone’s personal growth. When someone grows, it inspires others to do the same. I am doing this journey because I was inspired by my mother, my boyfriend, and many others I have seen grow. I am doing this work not only for me, but for you as well. I want to be an inspiration to the world. I want to be a person of change and encouragement. I want the world to be a better place.

teach

Little Steps Toward a Better Life

Hey Loves,

I am not the best at working out. This is something that I struggle with. I love the way my body feels when and after I work out. Yet, trying to keep a consistent regimen is hard for me. Things that are more appealing to me in the moment override the time I work out. There are activities that I love to do to get the exercise in that I need. Riding my bike, hiking, kayaking, and swimming are some of my favorite ways to get exercise. These activities tend to require me to be outside so when it’s cold or rainy outside I tend to not do them.

IMG_5225
Taking a break while walking in Baltimore

Exercise is a key aspect for good mental and physical health. I find that when I am active I tend to have improvements with my spiritual journey. My mind is clearer, my body is healthier, and my energy is higher. I am going to post about the exercises that I do each week to motivate myself and hopefully motivate you as well. I want to talk about my successes and failures with exercise for the week so that you and I could have some understanding about what was the case. I am looking forward to having an ah-ha moment so that we can continue to exercise consistently. Having this consistent activity will improve our bodies, minds, and souls.

This week I pushed myself to play tag with the children that I babysit for during the week and walked around Baltimore for 5 hours on Saturday. It was really hard for me to make the effort to run around the park chasing after the kids. It knew it would be excellent exercise to help me get a little energy boost. So, I made the choice to run with them.

It worked wonders on my energy and my mind was clearer! The walk in Baltimore was exciting. I was so exhausted at the end of the walk, I fell right asleep when we got home. I walked almost 8 miles. My energy had been high Sunday because of the exercise Saturday.

I will be sending weekly exercise updates with an exercise practice for you to do at home. Please feel free to comment with how you struggled and succeeded. I will be going the same practice as well as other exercises. This weeks exercise practice is to walk around the block two to three times before or after dinner at least three times.
I can’t wait to hear how we do this week!!

small step

Weekly Recipes

Hey Everyone,

Since eating healthy is a major component to having an active and awakened life, I am going to start sending some of my favorite recipes. Most of the recipes will be vegetarian or vegan recipes. I will try to keep the recipe cooking times under 30 minutes. Although, some will be longer. Before I give you the first recipe, I want to tell you a little about my eating habits. This will give you an understanding of why a good amount of my recipes will be vegan.

Two years ago, I found out that I am allergic to some of the proteins in milk. It’s very mild. Even though it is mild, I can have issues with bowel movements and become tired and sluggish. This may not seem major, yet it can cause me to be distracted from my spiritual and physical work. If I am tired with stomach pains who wants to work out? I know I don’t.

For the first year, I was a strict vegan. No dairy, no eggs, no meat, or animal byproducts. I wanted to give my body a break from all the antibiotics and hormones. I also, wanted to support the environment is a more effective way. I don’t want to bore you on statistics and other facts about how being a vegan helps the environment so if you want to find out you can check out cowspiracy on Netflix. This documentary was the second reason I was a strict vegan for a year.

For the second year, I added in some seafood, and some dairy and eggs. When I am cooking at home, I do not cook with dairy or any meat. I use eggs occasionally. I try to limit the amount I eat out because it is expensive and it’s hard to find completely vegan dishes. When I do, it’s generally a fish or vegetable dish with some butter used.

I have noticed a huge difference with my body since I have cut out most dairy and meats. I have more energy, clearer skin, and little to no stomach issues. This leads me to my first vegan recipe for you!

This recipes is one of my favorites for picnics or a school lunch. It’s a smashed White Bean and Avocado Sandwich from RealSimple.com. What I love about this sandwich is; it’s quick and easy. It is healthy and filling. The beans and avocados are a good source of protein. Feel free to add tomatoes if you like. My fiance loves tomatoes on his.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 15-ounce cans white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 12 slices multigrain bread
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cucumber, preferably hothouse (seedless), thinly sliced (peeled, if desired)
  • 1 4- to 5-ounce container sprouts (such as alfalfa, radish, broccoli, or a combination)
  • 2 avocados, pitted and thinly sliced

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine the beans, oil, salt, and pepper. Roughly mash the mixture with the back of a fork.

Place 8 of the bread slices on a work surface. Divide the mashed beans among them. Top with the onion, cucumber, sprouts, and avocado.

Stack the open-faced sandwiches on top of one another, avocado-side up, to make 4 double-decker sandwiches. Top with the remaining 4 slices of bread.

Slice each sandwich in half, if desired, and serve and enjoy!

eating selfrespect

https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/smashed-white-bean-avocado-club

My Next Adventure: Making a Move to Costa Rica

Hello Again Everyone,

I am happy to share what my next adventure will be. It’s has been a difficult decision to make yet it is the perfect one.

I have decided to teach English in Costa Rica for a few months.

Here is how I got to this decision…

I was excited to start my teaching career as an assistant teacher for a kindergarten class at a public charter school in DC. My first few months were wonderful. I had an amazing lead teacher. We worked perfectly together. It was like fate had made this happen. It didn’t last long.

In October, things started to change. The other kindergarten assistant was let go, making me the assistant for two kindergarten classes. I had to spend half the day in one class and half the day in the other. This was stressful because the teachers were completely different. One teacher was proactive and the other burnt out. I would do what I had to do regardless of what happened in the different classrooms.

Then, I was told I had to be a one on one teacher for a child that I felt was autistic. He had some of the same delays and signs as a few autistic children I worked with in the past. This was not only mentally draining, it was physically draining. I had to physically restrain the child from hurting himself or others. I had to chase him around the school because he would hit, scream, and yell if he did not like what was going on. One of the only things that kept him calm was the iPad. He received another one on one teacher that had more training and qualifications with children like him. I went back to floating between the two kindergartens.

In January, I was told that the kindergartens were combining because we lost too many children to have two classrooms. My thoughts were “oh, I can be in one classroom. It will be simpler.” My job title changed to permanent substitute since they no longer needed me in kindergarten. I was put in the second grade classroom as my main room. I was there unless a teacher was out. I would cover the classrooms with absent teachers. What I came to find was how the second grade children were.

While being in second grade for most of my time, I saw what a mess the children were. They were the most disrespectful children I have met in my life. I cannot put into words how hard it was working with these children. Don’t get me wrong they are some of the smartest second graders I have seen. The problem was we were not getting any help from the principal and behavioral management teacher. I was disrespected as a teacher in front of the children by other staff and nothing was done. The other staff were showing the children that it is okay to disrespect others by disrespecting co-workers. The children had no real consequences for their actions. What would get you suspended from a public school was considered “okay” here.

I came home every night exhausted. All I wanted to do was watch movies and lay in bed. I mentally, physically, and emotionally put to much into work I couldn’t do much once I got home. I  should have told my principal I wouldn’t work with second grade or quit. I thought about quitting multiple times during the month of January and February.

 Finally…

I finally realized I had to leave when I was unable to use the bathroom for two weeks. I tried different laxatives and natural options to help me go. Nothing worked. I went to the hospital because the pain was too painful to handle. The medicine they gave me did nothing. My fiance found a colon hydro therapy place that helped people with bowel issues. I made an appointment that afternoon. The treatment was the only way I could use the bathroom. I saw him for a total of 95 minutes over two days. I realized I couldn’t go to the bathroom because I was holding on to the stress at work. As soon as I started looking for another job, my bowels started moving.

I wasn’t going to quit my job without having another one. I made it exactly two weeks before I quit without a job. One of the things that I have learned on this journey of finding myself is that I have to do what’s best for me.

I had an extremely hard day. As soon as I could, I called my fiance. I told him what happened and that I was quitting. I had some money saved up, although I wanted to make sure we would be okay if I didn’t get a job before the savings ran out. He assured me we would be fine and I should do what’s best for me. That was my last day there.

For the next few weeks, I went through what I call detox. I had to emotionally, physically, and mentally let go of the trauma that occurred while working there. While working through the thoughts and ideas I had about myself, I went on nanny interviews. I thought being a nanny again was the perfect job for me. I thought I would never teach because I was horrible. Being a nanny would give me the freedom I could never get in a school.

I went on multiple interviews having some success. The offers were not perfect in one way or another. I wasn’t going to sell my self short and take the first job I could. I wanted this job to be the right choice. I wanted to connect with my heart and follow my path. I went over all my options. I thought I could move to NYC to be a nanny for a high profile family. I thought I could get a job as a para-educator in the county schools. I thought I could go back to school and get my masters. I had so many options. None of them seemed right until I found a teaching English as a foreign language course in Costa Rica.

I found the International TEFL Academy while searching for jobs abroad. The website was user friendly. It had articles for teaching living abroad, alumni experiences, and job search guidance. I did some research on my own about the cost of living, and life in Costa Rica last year when I visited for spring break. It was possible for me make the move happen. All I had to do was figure out some small details that were answered quickly by the advisor at the academy.

My fiance, Jon and I spoke about what our relationship would be like if I move away for up to six months. We talked about whether or not I was running away from my problems and if this really was my heart telling me to go for it.

I can now saw that moving to Costa Rica for an unknown amount of time is the best option. I made the choice and everything has been falling into place. Things are transforming in ways I never knew they could. Relationships are more than what they were. My relationship with myself is back to what I know. Life is more vibrant.

I hope to share this move abroad with you, all the ups and downs. There will be some trials of learning a new language, being somewhere without family and friend, and finding my passion for teaching again. There will be some excited times of friends visiting, being able to explore the amazing Costa Rica, and living out my spiritual path.

 

 

My First One

My First One

Hey Lovely People,

I wanted to use my first post to tell you why I started blogging. So here it goes…

I have been on a spiritual journey for the past five years. It’s been full of ups and downs. I have had some amazing transformations within myself and the life I live. I love sharing my experiences with people because it gives others inspiration and courage to do things they never thought they could. Seeing people be inspired by the work I have done is one of the best gifts the world has to offer.

One of the relationships I have seen the biggest transformation with is my mom. When I started this journey in 2012 I wasn’t speaking to her. I stopped talking to her because I thought she took my then husbands side during the divorce and she was having another child. I couldn’t handle the divorce and my relationship with her. It seemed easier to quit talking with her altogether. 

We didn’t speak for about nine months. I realized how important my relationship was with my mom because of a relationship my boyfriend had with his mom. Towards the end of the nine months, I reached out to her to let her know why I was upset by writing a letter. We slowly started our relationship again, this time on different terms.

Some of the terms were, we could not talk about my little sister and it had to be when I wanted to speak with her. This didn’t last long because the more I delve into my self the more I wanted and needed to have a more meaningful relationship with her.

The last five years, I found out who my mom really was. She wasn’t the story I had made up about her when I was younger. She is this beautiful,  courageous, and strong women who I am working to become. I see the sacrifices, commitment, and love she has for her family, herself, and life.

In order to see this I had to break down the stories and walls I had put up to survive when I was a kid. When I started to delve into the stories and anger I had within myself I started to see my mom do the same thing. She started to look at the relationships around her to see what she could improve upon. It wasn’t easy. It was beautifully terrifying. We had many difficult conversations about our past, present, and future. We continue to have them whenever they need to happen.

Watching my mom transform happened because I was able to transform myself. I was able to look within myself and see what I can do to better this relationship. In doing this, I realized I am a mirror of my mom. I can learn more about myself by looking at my mom than I can from anyone else. She is emotional, courageous, beautiful, loving, and strong just like I am. I am truly my mom’s daughter. This is why I have seen the biggest transformation with my mom than I have with anyone else.

I want to share these transformations, difficulties, and blessings so that others can have the courage, strength, and support to get through things that may seem impossible. Nothing is impossible.

Please join me in this journey and see what you could find for yourself. I will post books, recipes, and stories that influenced my journey so you can see if they influence you in one way or another. Every journey is different and every journey is connected. All in one. One in all.