Meatless Monday: How to Stock you Pantry for Plant Based Eating

How many times have you done to the grocery store and bought a bunch of vegetables and veggie things and gotten home and not had anything to make?  Back in the day … actually until my early 30ies … When I was shopping for myself I would do this all the time. I would just go and buy the things that I liked and then would figure it out when I got home. Only to find that I was missing ingredients and have all this food with no real plan. It wasn’t until my first crack at weight loss that I really got into teaching myself how to cook really good plant based meals. Having a well stocked pantry and planning out what I was going to make and then shopping for those things changed my approach to cooking and eating.

If you have a well stocked supply you can make a delicious meals with things you have on-hand. If you don’t like to plan to far in advance being fully stocked is the way to go. As you many know – grocery shopping hungry is a bad idea and often leads to shopping with reckless abandon and getting $200 worth of food with nothing to make. So set yourself up for success with a list in hand, a coffee on the go and a full belly. This will stop you from getting food you don’t need because your eyes are bigger than your stomach.

If you want to see a lot of success at plant based cooking and being prepared for anything the trick is a well stocked pantry and freezer.  My trick is to keep a well stocked freezer of frozen fruit and veg as well as a well stocked pantry and spice cupboard.

Things I always have at home:

The best freezer food to have in stock:

Peas, corn, broccoli, edamame, chopped and cubed butternut squash, bananas, raspberries, berries, pomegranate seeds, mango, pineapple. Basically I keep the fruit in stock so I can have daily smoothies. I also use the frozen fruit in my overnight oats. I love the juice from the melted frozen berries it adds some sweetness and flavor. The veggies are great for cooking when you want to have variety without it going bad. Stews, chili, curries – it is nice to keep those veggies in stock without needing to have them fresh and ready.

The best foods to keep in the pantry:

Red lentils, canned lentils, canned chickpeas, canned black beans, really any bean canned, nutritional yeast, canned diced tomatoes, tomato paste, veggie broth, pastas, rice, oatmeal, nut butters, also carrots, potato and onion. If you think you might like to bake:  all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, chia seeds, flax seeds.

Spices:

I have said this before I will mention it again. If you want to learn the ways around a plant based kitchen you need to up your SPICE game. You will need a well stocked spice cupboard. When I was first starting out my cupboard was always stocked with: onion powder, garlic power, cumin, chili power, smoked paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, garlic salt, cinnamon and yellow curry powder. Those are all stocked to this day but I have way more spices now because the collection has grown over time.

With my house stocked in this manner – it is pretty easy to create recipes out of what I have on hand. I can really get a lot done with my house well stocked. It leaves my weekly shopping list for essential veggies that have a shorter shelf life and plant based milks and butters and such.

A well stocked foundation of stuff really helps to keep you prepared to lean into meat free options. Once you have the supplies you just need to learn how to use them. Hit the follow button to Stay tuned in for more recipe ideas coming every Monday! You can also check out my plant based Instagram!

If you are interested in learning how to make your favorite dish plant based or if there is a recipe you are looking for in particular please comment below and I’ll do my best to plan that out for you.

Until next time ❤ !

 

6 Ways to Focus on Your Own Adventure and Creative Voice

I inadvertently ask for permission a lot.

Like I am seeking approval from my friends because I want to fit in. But then I get mad when people shit on my plans. I take personal offense to it. It is a double edged sword.  I want opinions, but I also don’t give a shit what people think.

I am curious how you feel about the typical dream zappers in your life?  Because lets be real, we all have people in our lives that like to crush our dreams and make us feel stupid for even trying. It is crazy how this can really shift decisions in our lives without us even really noticing.

To those people I want to give you a heartfelt FUCK YOU – go ruin someone elses’ dreams.

Some of you might know a few years back I went to school and studied Architecture Technology. At the time I was really interested in alternative housing. If I am being honest, I am still pretty interested in tiny homes but these days it is more about van life. I am very interested in building a van into a RV; the classic millennial sprinter van turned tiny home.  Maybe a short-term living solution but also maybe just long term fun. Mostly, I want to be able to have a little house on wheels that I can drive around the mountains in. Anyway a few nights ago, I found a pretty old camper van on kijiji (the Canadian version of craigslist) and got really excited. Now don’t get me wrong – buying a 40 year old vehicle comes with all sorts of potential problems. I texted a few people wanting to know what people thought of the particular van. I also wanted to know if anyone had purchased a used van online and what kinds of questions I should be asking. This is not my forte. I definitely don’t want to get taken advantage of so I tried enlisting a little bit of help.

Big Mistake.

Huge.

The amount of negative comments and judgement = astounding. For a few moments it had me really wondering if I should even consider this type of investment. After I thought about it for awhile, I honestly wondered why someone elses’ opinion of what I want to buy or do really matters? Why did I even ask? Just because someone that isn’t creative or adventurous and can’t see the benefits of such an adventure – does that mean it shouldn’t get done? Silly.

Not only does their opinion not matter but nor does their judgement on your life.

My sense of adventure has always been that of someone that is willing to try with no money than to hold off and never do anything until I have a lot of money. I am not sure if it is quarantine or what but lately I have really just been thinking a lot about how I have lived my life and whose opinions have mattered.  What other people think has really dictated a lot of things in my life. I have been questioning how I am at my happiest.

Not caring what people think to pursue things you want is hard.  I want to know – is someone really your friend if they aren’t supporting you in at least some of your crazy ideas? I don’t know.

If you are having trouble pushing past those voices here are a few things you can try out:

  • Stop listening to what other people think of your ideas – unless someone is at the very same level as you in the very same space it really is hard to take their opinion of you seriously. Sometimes it is honestly better to just shut up about your plans. Stop asking the world for permission and just go after what you want.
  • If you want to take up blogging, vlogging, photography, an instrument or what ever it is – take the time and learn the craft. Let your passion fuel you – not judgement from other people. Half the battle is believing that you can!
  • Find like minded individuals – if you think selling everything you own and moving to <insert random locale here > is what you need to do then do it. Just because someone is scared to go to Asia doesn’t mean you should rethink your life plan. Go by yourself and find all the others that did the same. You will make amazing new friends.
  • You will never know what your vision could be if you never try. Get out there and create.
  • Be bold. Be authentic and be you and stop asking permission from someone who don’t have one iota of a sense of adventure.
  • The reason your are awesome and amazing and crazy is that you take the risks – I can’t imagine where I would be today had I not set off on a mission to pay off my debt seriously 3 years ago. Everything great takes time – so take the time, make the plan and start today.

 

If you are wondering I didn’t buy the van because it required $1500+ of work to fix the suspension and I would need to fix the stove and the fridge as well. I will continue the search for my perfect camper. I can’t decide if I should spend 15k and have a van that is ready to roll or 3k and have to put in 10K of fixes. I have put it out into the universe so we will see what happens.

The point of this post is simple to not take stalk into what other people think about your decision to do fun and adventurous things. Their opinion and their fear are about them. The end.  

Meatless Monday: Tofu Scramble

It is a long weekend so clearly that requires a really delicious brunch option. I love a savory breakfast so much that I often eat lunch or dinner for breakfast. On this weeks edition of Meatless Monday I think we need to explore the really yummy breakfast world of tofu scrambles.

Like an egg scramble you can kind of go in whatever direction you want aka use what you have in the fridge. But I do like to make a bit of a TexMex version – because it is delicious.

The trick you need to know is that tofu doesn’t taste like much so you need to infuse the flavor flavs into it – This is what you will need:

  • 1 block of medium/firm tofu (crumbled)
  • 1/4 of a red pepper, cut into strips
  • 1/4 of a green pepper, cut into strips
  • 1/2 a yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • splash of water
  • cilantro & green onion for topping

 

Let’s do this:

First things first – you need to drain the tofu, pat it dry then wrap it in a paper towel, set it on a plate with something heavy on top. The goal is to get as much water out as you can. If you have a tofu press this is your time to shine! This should take about 10-15 mins. While the tofu is pressing, chop, dice and prep the veggies.

Next up in a fry pan add in whatever you use to saute (oil, veggie broth or whatever). Add in the onion and cook those for about 3 minutes. Toss into the pan the garlic, peppers, and mushrooms. Let that cook for another couple of minutes. You will then need to unleash the tofu from whatever you are pressing it in and crumble the brick of tofu into the pan with the veggies. Break it up so it looks like scrambled eggs (if you cut it up with a knife it will look strange so absolutely break it up with your hands). While the tofu is browning – in a small bowl add in all the spices with a splash of water to make a slightly runny paste. Add the paste into the pan and mix everything together.  Add in the spinach. Once the spice slurry is absorbed into the tofu and the spinach is wilted –  it is ready to rumble.

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TexMex Tofu Scramble @thatvegannamedcarol

I like this topped with green onion and cilantro, a side of salsa and maybe some avocado. A little grainy toast or some taters also pair well.

Impress the crap outta the person that you share your bed with. #yumcity

 

Meatless Monday: Biscuit Pot Pie Stew Fusion

This recipe inspiration came from a very recent Sweet Simple Vegan Recipe (link here) and then fused with an all time favourite Vegan Pot Pie recipe that I have been using for years from Sarah Kramers’ La Dolce Vegan cookbook. Today I figured out why so many Americans eat biscuits and gravy – because it is saucy and bready and starchy and delicious.

I think you could really use any super saucy stew recipe – I like recipes that are forgiving – swapping out veggies should be easy. However, this combo makes the colors look vibrant and that, Friends, is what I like my food to look like.

What you will need:

  • Pillsbury Oven Ready Biscuits
  • 1 medium Onion, diced
  • 2 Carrots, diced
  • ½  a Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 2 cups Veggie broth
  • 2 Medium Potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup frozen Peas
  • 1/3 cup frozen Corn and Jalapeño mix
  • ¼ cup dried Red Lentils
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne
  • ½ tsp Sage
  • ½ tsp Thyme
  • 2 tablespoons Corn Starch
  • 3/4 cup Plant Milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Fire up the oven to 400F. Start by sautéing the onions, after a couple minutes add in the carrots and red pepper. Once the onions start to look translucent add in the veggie broth, potatoes, peas, corn and jalapeño, dried lentils and the spices. Bring to a boil and then let it cook for about 6 minutes or until those lentils are soft. Add in the plant milk and corn starch.  Transfer the stew mixture to a baking dish. Cover with tin foil.

Timing is now SUPER key. You want to get out those oven ready biscuits. You want the stew to be in the oven for about 20 mins total – so now you need to do the math for the biscuits to cook and the stew to cook together. You want to half cook the biscuits before placing them on top of the stew. Since my oven ready biscuits only needed 10 mins in the oven. I cooked the covered stew for 10 mins. Then I put the biscuits on a tray in the oven and let them both cook for 5 mins then I removed the cover on the stew and put the biscuits right on top in the dish to finish cooking for 5 mins.  This lets the gravy get into the biscuits without it being mushy.

Once done, serve up. I added a bit of vegan butter to the biscuits and sprinkled some chives on top.

This was bomb-diggy! So hearty for this cold weather we have been having. This would feed about 4 people – with a couple extra biscuits.

Please tag me if you make them so I can see your creations.

Listing Out my Creative Projects to Give You Inspiration to Work on The Things You Always Dreamed Possible … #inthistogether

It has been almost 6 weeks since my last flight….

6 WEEKS!!!

It actually feels kind of strange to be on the ground this long. When all this chaos first start I volunteered for a leave of absence. That 2 month period is quickly coming to an end. On May 8th, 2020 I got officially furloughed starting June 1st – not that I was not expecting this, I was. I knew it was going to happen but seeing it there in the email – “my services are not longer needed” due to this crazy Pandemic was a feeling I wasn’t prepared for.  I have come to the realization that very likely I wont be flying for the remainder of this year.

For me – the only way to deal with all of this stuff is to just stay kind of busy.  There are many lessons I have learned in this life and one of them is that sitting around doing nothing on unemployment is literally THE WORST THING I can do for my mental health. The problem I have been having is discipline and focus. Literally if you saw my journal, planning book, day book, bullet journal and online course note taking book – you would know that I think up more ideas than I can even handle. But executing those ideas is a whole different thing.

I know – Everything is insane right now. But I also can’t help but feel like this is a gift from the universe. A gift of time to work on anything I ever thought would be a fun creative job – while I am getting paid and have endless time. I therefore can only see this as almost wasted time if I don’t pursue these passions.

Here is a little catch up of how I am keeping myself busy while being grounded from flying but also a list of ideas of things that you could do to keep yourself busy:

  • I started making a vegan cookbook. This is a project I have been wanting to do for YEARS. I was really excited from the get go but writing out recipes is kind of boring and I definitely waiver in what kind of things I want to include. I also sometimes feel I need to test the recipe – which means a lot of the same foods for me to eat and a WHOLE lot of cooking.  I really need to invest in the equipment for the next stages of the creative process and that equals daunting. I often get lost in the idea of how I would present the book. Then I decided to needed to start posting Meatless Monday recipes to garner interest and then the entire project just got really overwhelming. When things feel overwhelming I have a tendency to quit.
  • I started an outline draft for a book I want to write and for the first time this idea seems like the winner or more so it seems like I finally figured out a way to organize my thoughts. I will continue to map that out as social isolation drags on – and soon will start my chapter breakdowns. This is going to be a long process but something that will be so validating.
  • I have committed to a few knitting projects for some friends – they are in the works but not completed. I do that while I am watching Netflix as part of my evening routine. Knitting socks is complex.
  • I have started brainstorming ideas for YouTube because for the last 5 years I have been telling people I want to do this (imagine where I would be had I just started) – I have actually tried to create videos but I rarely get the gumption to post the video for anyone to see – which I need to do if I want to get some viewers. I think it is a really cool creative platform that I want to explore more. Plus filming is fun.
  • I started the MLM experiment where I thought I would join Arbonne and actually try and make money that way – but that is just sitting there and I have a series of blog posts half started that I never finished. The thing is now I just mostly order products for myself because I quite like them and then I don’t even mention it to anyone.
  • I started a blog series called #grounded (this series that you are reading) that I have essentially not written a post in a month because I thought my days weren’t interesting enough – because lets face it – what are we all really doing at home. Pressuring myself to write posts about doing nothing all day got slightly daunting.
  • I have bought many, many random things online that I don’t actually need. And now I am wondering if I will need to return most of them.
  • I spent a lot of time in my car with a backpack, my laptop, a handful of journals and a couple of books thinking I am going to pull off some sort of creative miracle in terms of creating content but I never actually do anything but drink coffee and stare into the park  – kind of planning but not doing.
  • I have reorganized my space to try and un-stifle my creative energy. It has kind of worked.
  • I start working on a vlogging – travel videography course – still plugging away at it – one lesson every few days. It is actually why I want to start filming YouTube Videos because I can – inspiration for travel video isn’t really my top priority during social isolation times.
  • I have been to a couple webinars on artists at the Glenbow Museum which quiet frankly is really cool and I can’t wait till the gallery can open up so I can by a membership.

 

Well that is it – that is what has been keeping me busy. I feel like while I am sad that I am not flying I am really trying to use this time to work on things I always wanted to work on but never, ever, ever made time. I think it is pretty cool to have this time to really explore my creative energy. It is really exciting.

What kind of creative projects are you working on while cooped up at home?

I am absolutely looking to build my creative community so if you are doing any of the above ideas please message me so we can create together.

 

 

Meatless Monday: Chili Taco Salad

If there is one go-to meal I have had for the last few years it is chili taco salad. It pretty much works spring, fall, and summer and to be honest it is a great way to use up things in your pantry and veggies that look less than stellar in the fridge.  Chili never gets old with the endless number of combos to try out. I extra love that I can have leftovers for days – chili tastes better with time, it freezes well and honestly you can have chili and corn bread, chili in a bun bowl, chili on salad and my personal favorite chili as a taco salad  … the options are there. I know, I know – you think of hot chili as a fall food. Well damn it – I am using up things in my pantry and this is literally one of my favorite things to eat. Also, you probably have nothing but sweet, sweet time to let this simmer.

In this veggie version we are using 2 different kinds of beans (lentils would also work well) – nothing aggressive; kidney and black beans + the odds and ends that are lurking in my pantry and in my kitchen. I even thru in a can of pumpkin puree (actually recipe inspiration photo below) – this adds thickness to the chili without making it taste like pumpkin.

Chili is VERY forgiving if you have more of one thing and less of another –  buttttt to make my recipe – you will need:

  • I medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ bag of tri color frozen mixed peppers
  • 28oz can of Tomatoes (mine had Italian spices because that was all I had in my cupboard)
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 14oz can of pumpkin puree (BE VERY CERTAIN TO NOT PUT IN PUMPKIN PIE FILLING)
  • 2.5 Tablespoons of what ever chili powder you like
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp Braggs liquid amino

 

I sautéed the first 5 ingredients until lightly browned and then added in the spices and let the flavors get all warm and smelling delicious – then I dumped the other stuff in the pot. Brought it to a boil and then let simmer for 20 mins.

(NOTES: use the veggies you have on hand that is what chili is for – out of celery skip it. Also if you don’t have pumpkin don’t add that – but you might want to lighten up on the broth OR add in 1/4 of dried red lentils OR add cornstarch 1 tablespoon at a time and let it thicken up. Yes you can put in soy sauce instead of liquid amino OR leave it out)

How to make the Chili Taco Salad:

Roughly chop up 2 cups of lettuce of your choice – I use romaine. Spread out over a plate. Then add about 1 cup of chili on top of the lettuce. On top of all that add – Green onion, Cilantro, Pineapple, Corn chips.

BOOM! Springtime / Summer Time Chile Taco Salad.

Please if you make this tag me on Instagram in your posts at thatgirlnamedcarol or thatvegannamedcarol

~Enjoy!

 

The Problem with Free Information on the Internet – a Rachel Hollis critique

Let me just start out by saying – I have zero problem with the fact that Rachel Hollis is a success. I think anyone can do anything they put their mind to – hustle, heart and a whole lot of ambition can get you anywhere you want to go. To a certain extent it really is motivation and consistency that can get you anywhere. It is abundantly clear that Mrs. Hollis has all of that in spades. Looking at the way we are in 2020 with an abundance of people making careers as influencers we are in a different time. Digital careers are saving the world during the COVID crisis. Digital nomad life is going to hit the globe strong when we can all start travelling again. This is more about the claim that all you need is high school and Google for success. Because Rachel Hollis is now very wealthy it appears that she figures that her opinion and her way is the smart way to see this type of success – making lots of money does not mean you are smart. Her privilege as a white woman blogging in and from the USA is rarely discussed.

Free information on the Internet does not teach you how to do business properly, think independently or how to interpret information and make it your own.

 

Perhaps I am butt hurt because I have been formally educated in a University and a College but when influencers talk about how their success with only a high school education it makes me irrationally furious. It is not so much that they are successful because anyone can hustle – but it is that they make glaring mistake on citing sources and crediting other authors. They are stealing people’s thoughts and using them as their own. Anyone in any area of post secondary education knows the importance of citing sources and influence. You simple can not steal other people thoughts and call them your own. We all know that we learned from the thoughts of other people, it is how we evolved, it is how we got here – there aren’t really original thoughts anymore – things have been done before but not interpreting the information and making it your own  – this is the problem.

person in gray long sleeve shirt using macbook pro
Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

Since quarantine has started, I have been trying to fill my time by catching up on my podcasts and half-finished books. I have been subscribed to the RISE podcast for months because there is some great information in the podcast and Rachel Hollis is an amazing speaker – she interviews with elegance and has amazing guests and at times has some great advice. In general her podcasts are great HOWEVER in the intro she has made it clear that her brand is being successful came solely from the “ free information she got on the internet” – and while yes she did learn a lot from the internet she really hasn’t quite figure out that she can’t steal people words and call them her own. She needs to site her sources. She has been accused publicly of plagiarism and it seems to me that the posts are taken off her social platforms but there is zero discussion about it.  Just a couple of days ago – her media team actually posted on Instagram a post that read “still … I rise” which is a quote from Maya Angelou – at least in 2020 she has learned to take it down and to credit the source which she did in a follow up post where she blamed her team. However, has she learned how to properly source and credit other authors from the “free information she got on the internet”? It does not look like she has.

I own a copy of ‘Girl, stop apologizing’ and ‘Girl, was your face’ …  Both okay reads. Both glaringly have stolen information from other self-help leaders and turned into her own work. It wreaks of privilege and this is my problem with Rachel Hollis. I want to like her because I LOVE motivational, personal development books. But I cannot get passed her arrogance.

SHE. IS. PRIVILEGED.

woman working at home using her laptop
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

Yes, she worked hard but also yes she had an abundance of white privilege. Why can we never discuss how privileged she really is? How her connections got her where she is? How she did not build this business alone?

Love her or hate her Rachel Hollis has really become someone to pay attention to over the years. But do not fool yourself into only seeing her overnight success because that does not exist. It took years to grow her brand and her business. The idea of on overnight success is an illusion – spending 10 years working at her business with no success to finally have that one post, that one viral sensation to reach you to success. That is basically how it is all done. The one viral post that took you 10 years to figure out. Along the way Rachel has been accused of plagiarism. Stealing quotes and stealing concepts and basically not knowing how to site a source for her information. It boils down to being ACCUSED of COPYING AND NOT CREDITING PEOPLES WORK. This is NOT the way to do it, Friends. The issue here is not being about to critically assess where the information is coming from and whether it is a credible source. She is sharing stolen information and is misguided about crediting sources and using quotation marks – she is trying to pull it off as her own. Basically, she is taking the spotlight from people that earned those credentials.

Rachel Hollis pretending like privilege did not help in getting her where she is and that it was all from the free information on the internet is absolutely a false claim.

Meatless Monday: Vegan Lasagna Soup

Nobody wants to read the long ramble I-made-this-because blog post before getting to the recipe so I won’t bore you today – but if you need some hot and delicious pasta/soup inspiration for meatless Monday I am going to just leave you with this treat that I seriously can’t stop making!

Enjoy!

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How To Starting Using Meditation, Mindfulness And Gratitude To Steer Yourself In A Better Direction During Socially Distant Times

#grounded: a blog series days 11, 12 & 13

 

I wake up everyday roll over and take my thyroid pill. Spend 20-30 more mins in bed while my body shifts into being awake. I get up. I pee. I stumble to the kitchen and I make myself a coffee in my white YETI mug with 2 tablespoons of soy creamer and 1 tablespoons of hazelnut almond creamer. I go back to my bed and do my 5 minute gratitude journal.

Once I am done writing that I aim for a meditation. I either read a raise your vibration meditation and meditate on that, or I listen to a guided meditation, or I just sit there and think and let my mind wander where it wants. I accept that my mind is busy with uncertainty and right now that is okay. 

As this pandemic unfolds – it is hard for me to really process that it is even happening. 1000s of people around the globe are dying – even more are sick. Most of the world is in some sort of isolation or quarantine. People are so used to not really dealing with their thoughts that when thrust into solitude or suddenly not being able to get super distracted they feel the discomfort. I am no different.

 I am here to tell you that the best thing you can do right now is WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU NEED TO DO. But also to say – if you are struggling with getting your mind right here are some useful tips for trying out meditation and why gratitude might be a good place to start. We all have time to carve out new routines so why not start now?! 

 

MEDITATION

There are plenty of reasons to get into mediation right now. We have a lot of thoughts swirling around these days and sometimes I can admit it gets a bit overwhelming. This is why I have been leaning into some meditation time. Meditation helps with changing our thought processes. It helps us slow down, relax and manage our stress. It really is a time to check in with yourself. Dive into your inner Buddha and just make sure you are okay. There are plenty of studies that show that meditation helps to improve anxiety and depression and certainly in this time – we are feeling a lot of anxiety and uncertainty.

 

If you are just diving into this kind of practice – a few helpful tips. It takes time to build up mediation practice so start with 3 mins or 5 mins or something manageable. There are TONS of apps out there and youtube videos that can walk you through a guided meditation. Commit to trying a few out. It is okay if you get distracted and your mind wanders. It happens to the best of us. Notice it and move on.  Realize that meditation is a way to check in with yourself – do that how you want. You don’t need hippie music and zen candles. You can do this however it works for you.

 

GRATITUDE

Are you thankful for the things in your life? You probably are. Why not spend some time acknowledging it?  

There are lots of scientific studies that prove the benefits of expressing gratitude. Taking a small portion of your day to hone in on things that you are grateful for can really shift the way you think. Sometimes I think we get so busy that we forget to focus on the things we are grateful for. Why not make a list of things that you appreciate in your life or a list at the end of the day of 3 things that you were grateful for that day. Heck some days I am just grateful that the barista made my order correctly at Starbucks – – my point, it does not need to be massive things each day but just a way to shift yourself to think about the good things that happened.

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Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

Appreciating things in your life is not forgetting or dismissing things that are not good right now. I am not saying we need to forget that what we are all going through sucks. It is just a way to shift your thinking for a small portion of your day into something different. 

Here are 7 scientifically proven benefits:

 

MINDFULNESS

What kind of information are you consuming right now? Are you glued to the TV watching updates on the spread of the pandemic? Are you at home paralyzed in fear that going outside most certainly means death or sickness. If you are  – maybe it is time to really start some mindful thinking. 

Someone great once said that ‘thoughts become things’. If you spend all your time worried and stressed about the worst case scenario – that is likely what is going to happen. Have you ever noticed when you start to truly believe something horrible is going to happen that eventually that is what happens? Crazy, right?! Well maybe not so much – maybe there is some serious connection between what we believe to be true and what is truth. Next time you catch yourself thinking really negative fear based thoughts try and switch up your thinking. When you are scrolling on Facebook or Instagram and you see those posts that are just plain shitty – unfollow, disconnect. You control you. You control your social media and you control the content that you chose to fill your head with. So choose wisely.

Choosing how to spend your time while socially distanced from your friends and family is all about what feels good to you. After I spend my time reading, watching YouTube, watching Netflix and maybe going for a walk or getting some sort of exercise. It is time for me to go to bed. I have easily been losing track of my days and time in general but I always finish my day with a small reflection on things that made the day great. And one thing I could have done to make the day better. Starting and ending my day with a small moment of hopefulness sure has done wonders on shifting my mindset to things I really want out of this life. And, in a time like this – it is pretty much what I am relying on to get me through it.

How are you making your time at home manageable during one of the most catastrophic times in our lives?

#grounded: a blog series [days 6-10] What is time?

Hey all you Cool Cats and Kittens – another Carol B here just checking in to see how you are all holding up?!

It Is Friday the 10th – my last blog series check in was 5 days ago. I literally have no idea where the time went. 

So much has happened this week and then also nothing at all.

This week has been a gauntlet of emotions and sometimes when that happens it really is hard to put things into words. There are moments when it feels like there isn’t really much to say – and then days where I can’t stop the chatter.  IMG_9267

Here is the thing – I work for a fairly large well known company and I am technically on a leave. Now instead of learning my fate from my company I am learning my fate while watching the news or learning from other people sending my articles. So while we are all going through similar things – my work thing is very public and lots of people not related to my company are talking about it. Today it just seems like it is a lot to take in. 

I feel like I am mentally preparing for a plan B – I can’t decide what that plan b should be. Do I go to journalism school? Do I get certified to teach in Canada? Do I plan to go and teach abroad? Do I even want to do that? Hard to plan when you don’t know what the fate of the world is going to be. 

Anyway here is 20 things week I have done this week:

  1. Successfully avoided publishing anything I wrote because I couldn’t get my thoughts sorted and organized.
  2. Cracked off the remaining 7 gel nails – my hands are looking fucking stellar.
  3. Purchased 4 containers of super colorful hair dye – still looking for gloves so I can dye my hair without dying my hands. 
  4. I just turned the heel on the sock I am knitting – pretty soon I will have a pair.
  5. Looked on the Government website at my tax forms. Did nothing with said forms.
  6. Drank coffee in a parking lot with my friend at a socially distant appropriate distance.
  7. Logged into my Arbonne site and then did nothing with it. Thought about doing things but then did nothing.
  8. Got really into Ozark – because what a crazy fucking ride that shit is.
  9. Cleaned my room, put on candles, made a mess, burned out candles
  10. Read books, meditated and did that again. 
  11. Wondered when I was going to start feeling the way other people are feeling all overwhelmed and shit.
  12. Tried on every one of my toques.
  13. Drove up to Nose Hill more than once to have coffee in my car.
  14. Drank a lot of fizz  (Honestly if no one has given you any of these to try – please let me know they are so damn good  – they are going to replace my Diet Coke addiction)
  15. Drank a lot of tea – all the tea, daily tea
  16. Been in denial about the amount of coffee I am drinking.
  17. Drank a lot of smoothies.
  18. Did some at home workouts – kickboxing, Beachbody and super long river walks.
  19. Made an appointment to get the drivers side door handle fix on my car, and the running light that burnt out months ago
  20.  …. really assessing my life – I have had time to look in and dig deep and consider so many things. Who really knows where this journey is taking me but I have all the time in the world to figure it out. 

 

That is what I have been up to the last few days #grounded. My emotions are raw. My mood is good and bad and good and bad and mostly I feel very hollowingly lonely and single. And that is just where I am at.

 

How is your week going?