An Early Resolution

An Early Resolution

This is the age of multi-tasking, the era of social media. Between smartphones, tablets, and laptops, everyone is constantly connected. There are so many channels open. Both at home and at work we are busy juggling our responsibilities and our to-do lists inside our heads.

The brain is a funny thing. Like a muscle, it gets used to whatever work it is given. If we have to juggle constantly, and are constantly looking for feedback from our phones, our emails, etc., our brain will come to expect that. This is an adaptation that has been paramount to our survival. Our brains get better at the work they must accomplish. Most of the time this is a good thing.

Read More

Power Up! Chocolate & Coconut No-Bake Cookies

Power Up! Chocolate & Coconut No-Bake Cookies

Everyone loves cookies, but more often than not, they're not all that good for you. So what if you made a cross between a granola bar and a cookie? You need something hearty and satisfying so you really only feel the need to have one, but sweet and decadent enough to satiate even the most demanding sweet tooth. I have just the thing! These little cookies trick your mouth into believing it's dessert while filling your stomach. They only need 10 to 15 minutes to make, and if you woke up late and had one of these bad boys for breakfast as you run out the door, trust me, it's better than two thirds of the breakfast cereals out there. 

Read More

Mama Joëlle's Ratatouille

Mama Joëlle's Ratatouille

Every time we visit David's family in France, I am spoiled rotten. Usually the day starts with warm pastries and a decadent cup of coffee, served outside if the weather is nice. Both David's parents were bakers, so their pastries are beyond belief. And I don't know where Joëlle gets her coffee beans, but I swear the resulting cup of coffee is pure magic. There is usually orange juice and fresh melon. We sit and chat, watching the world come to life as the sun rises. Their home is at the top of a ridge overlooking rolling hills filled with grains and white cows called "Charolais". Just outside a small town, it is the best of the French countryside...

Read More

Glowing Lettuce Wraps

Glowing Lettuce Wraps

This past weekend I had an amazing time doing a photoshoot with Newlife Photography. Alex is one of the most professional photographers I have ever worked with, and is both encouraging and respectful. We spent several hours on Saturday shooting indoors and outdoors, and ended up with some amazing shots (hopefully I'll be able to share some of them soon!)...

Read More

Celebratory Sorbet Champagne Floats

Celebratory Sorbet Champagne Floats

I know kids are going back to school soon, if they haven't already. According to the advertisements, it is fall already. But let's be real for a minute: last week it was above 100 degrees (F) three days in a row. It's HOT. Maybe elsewhere in the country, they are seeing the first signs of summer fading, but here, we are still deep in the dog days of summer. These are the days of staying indoors from noon until 3PM, because it's just too hot to go outside. The days of burning your hands on the steering wheel or your bare feet on the sidewalk. Of airy tank-tops sticking to every inch of skin and coming home drenched from the evening jog. But these are also the days of fresh watermelon, dripping popsicles, backyard grilling sessions, and frozen margaritas on the beach. Days of weddings, evening mixers in the garden and afternoon pool parties...

Read More

Internalizing Control

Internalizing Control

What if, by changing your mentality, you could change your success? What if changing the way you think about yourself and your environment could improve your external outcomes?

You don’t have to take any physical action. You don’t have to work longer hours or get a second degree. Just change the way you think. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. This is a simple technique that comes naturally to some and must be practiced by others, but it is absolutely achievable by everyone...

Read More

Nutrition, Feminism, Global Warming and the End of the World

Nutrition, Feminism, Global Warming and the End of the World

Back in the mists of time "food" was all there was to eat.  WWII brought women out of the kitchen and into the work force.  At the same time, the American food industry was trying to find ways to preserve food on a huge scale.  Innovations were made in food preservation shortly followed by innovations in "convenience".  American housewives were told not to worry about the increasing dilemma of balancing home and work; that James Kraft, Charles Pillsbury, Clarence Birdseye and all their friends would bridge the gap with boxed cake mixes, frozen TV dinners and anything they could cram into a can.  "Food" quietly morphed from carrots, chicken, milk and apples into "edible, food-like substances".  What had been novelty treats in the 50's became common in the 60's, staples in the 70's, and standard bearers in the 80's...

Read More

Vegan "BLT"

Vegan "BLT"

I've learned a lot from being vegan, but one of the biggest changes in the way I cook has been the expansion of my spice cabinet. There are so many spices out there that I had been ignoring or using just once in a blue moon: cumin, turmeric, coriander, paprika, and so many more. But one of the biggest game-changers was smoked paprika. I'm not sure which recipe I originally drove me to pick some up, but since that day, I've never looked back. It goes in cauliflower tacos, vegetable paella, stuffed mushrooms, heck, I think I could go in anything and be amazing. And now it is the cornerstone of a vegan "BLT"...

Read More

Decision-making: Packing Your Parachute

Decision-making: Packing Your Parachute

Make Life-Changing Decisions Confidently

I’ve always taken the path least traveled, and have made some drastic decisions along the way. I graduated early from high school, skipped the college track, and plunged straight into career. For my first job as a ballet dancer, I moved to a new city, found an apartment, and started from scratch at 17. A couple if years later, I was offered a job in Romania and took it. I moved there without knowing a soul in the country or more than ten words of the language. When it was no longer the right place for me, I moved back to the US. Fast forward further, and I left the only career & skill set in which I had working experience, went back to school, and changed lanes to a completely different career...

Read More

Chia Seed Pudding

Chia Seed Pudding

I'm going through a phase. Chia seeds are going in everything; they are disappearing rapidly by the bag. Chia seeds in this household are an endangered ingredient, and this Chia Seed Pudding started it all. I spent a couple of batches experimenting with the liquid/chia seed ratio, and by the time I nailed it down I was addicted. I like it best with about 1 tablespoon chia seeds for each 1/4 cup of non-dairy milk. If you want to experiment with other amounts, keep in mind that you can always ADD more liquid, but it can't really be removed once you've mixed it in. Maybe try starting with this recipe and if you prefer a more liquid composition, add more after letting it set in the fridge...

Read More

Breakfast Banana Nut Muffins

Breakfast Banana Nut Muffins

Last night was unusually productive. I went grocery shopping on the way home from work, went for a 5k run, experimented with a new recipe for dinner, sent some important emails, and made these banana nut muffins. I know there are some super-moms out there that could do all this in their sleep with one eye open before breakfast, but for me it was an accomplishment. And it was all worth it in the end. David and I had fun critiquing dinner and debating the best way to improve it, and this morning's breakfast of banana-filled goodness was equally enjoyable. I like knowing that we can have a "treat" for breakfast that I still feel good about...

Read More

Doubts and Uncertainty

Doubts and Uncertainty

As you know, I left my job and my life as a professional dancer somewhat recently. More than a year has passed actually, but still I am struggling with a lot of emotions. Even though my body is in great shape (arguably better than sometimes when I was dancing), I am working through a lot of insecurity about what people think of me. I notice that my legs are less muscular than they once were, and I worry that it somehow makes me less valuable as a person. I defined myself as a dancer for so long that I am really struggling to accept myself without that title. It has little to do with the actual way I look, but I am dealing with some very real doubts and insecurities...

Read More

Quinoa & Roasted Vegetable Salad

Quinoa & Roasted Vegetable Salad

More often than not when I shop for groceries, I buy the produce that looks the best, or is in season, or that sounds good right now. When I come home from work, there are many times when I go to make dinner without a clear idea of what I will make or even what I have available. Staples like this hearty yet light quinoa salad make it easier on the days I'm feeling less creative.  

I've been making this recipe for so long that I'm not entirely sure of its original origin. It is quick, easy, and doesn't take a lot of forethought to put together. It tastes great warm, with veggies straight out of the oven, but is just as good room temperature, or even chilled for the following day's lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups red quinoa (tricolor or plain quinoa work too)
  • 2 medium zucchinis, thickly sliced...
Read More

10 Reasons to Hire A Former Ballet Dancer

10 Reasons to Hire A Former Ballet Dancer

Joining corporate America with an unconventional resume can be incredibly daunting. When I took that leap I had no idea how I would be received. Could I even get an interview when the most prestigious line item on my resume was "Soloist in Sleeping Beauty"? I'm sure that many potential employers just laughed and threw my information in the bin. 

...But for all the other former professional ballet dancers out there looking to explore their strengths beyond the stage, the process shouldn't be so difficult. Ballet dancers (former and current) will always make brilliant employees, no matter the profession they chose.

Here's why:

Read More

Practicing Gratitude

Practicing Gratitude

We live in a capitalist society: our system was built upon the assumption that we are all making decisions rooted (at least in part) in greed. We are expected to desire more than we have and be willing to work for it. Within this framework, it is so easy to get stuck in the habit of ingratitude. Culturally, it is acceptable to take what we have for granted and to focus our attention on what we don’t have. Our economic and social dynamics have their merits, but in order to spend our days full of joy and peacefulness it is important to cultivate an outlook that emphasizes gratitude for the immense goodness in our lives.

Read More

A Beginner's Guide to Cleaning Up the Kitchen

A Beginner's Guide to Cleaning Up the Kitchen

One of the easiest ways to change how you feel is to change the way you eat. We all know that, right? Eat healthier=feel better. Sounds simple.

Anyone who has tried to change the way they eat knows that this is way easier said than done...

So, if you've only ever learned to cook one way and struggle with throwing out every go-to recipe in the back of your head, how do you start making the shift to a cleaner diet?

Read More