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.  

The One Where I Talk About Debt Fatigue and What I Am Doing About It.

 

 

Debt fatigue occurs when a debtor becomes overwhelmed by the amount of debt incurred and the seeming futility of the debt repayment process, and it may result in a debtor giving up on making loan payments and beginning to overspend again.

This is for real and my life. DEBT FATIGUE. As of April 2019, I am feeling some serious debt fatigue. I have a few weeks of holidays right now. When I bid for these holidays, I actually had thought I was going to be in Asia for a few weeks. I am not in Asia – I am sitting on my friends couch hanging out with her cat listening to podcasts and writing this blog. I am not in Asia because I don’t have money to be in Asia. Since shit went down in my life in Montreal I have been very careful with my spending and hyper focused on paying off my debt. But the reality of focusing on paying off debt is that I have been feeling the debt fatigue for awhile.

The thing is I am not even sure if it is debt fatigue or if I am just not making enough money.

In the past I have made some really bad financial decisions. I bought into the student loan thing for a university degree then I bought into it again for a college diploma – and now I am working a full time job that I am not sure I even need post secondary for … I am now looking for a second job that is so far removed from either of those things just so that I can pay off students loans for a degree and a diploma that I am not using in the conventional sense.

About every 6 months debt fatigue happens to me. Everything goes to shit. I stop paying my bills, break free and do something financially stupid. Go on a trip or spend my entire payday on shit that I don’t need. Or just stop paying my bills. It gets so damn exhausting paying bills and putting everything towards my debt. I then feel guilty and spend like 6 months recovering from the financial mistakes that I made. The thing is sometimes it feels like I am not even making a dent in my overwhelming amount of student loans.

I have written about side hustles in the past. I have had 2 jobs many times in my life – I have no aversion to hard work, but I promised myself I wouldn’t work two jobs when I started flying. But after almost 2 years I think I am looking to restore a little bit of balance into my life. See I invest 20% of my payday, every payday into stocks. I am building a nest egg to pay off my loans – but that is leaving me with not so much money when its all said and done. – not so much for right now money. So, I end up flying more, then I am gone more and the cycle just keeps repeating itself. I need to be home a bit more and the only way I can do that is if I make money from another source. And here we are May 2019.

It is Wednesday night, May 1st and I am listening to Dave Ramsey and trying to refocus my priorities. I do realize that this might mean doing things that I don’t want to do. Manifesting debt reduction is happening. My plan is in place. I just need to keep pushing myself. It has come to my realization that I need to use my free time to make some more money – it doesn’t matter what it is just need to put cash in my bank account.

So what do I do about the debt fatigue??

• Stop, Breathe, Relax, Put my wallet and credit card away.
• Start applying for second jobs and ways that I can bring in extra income.
• Only drink free coffee on the airplane, drink free coffee in the hotel room, stop buying coffee out – goodbye Starbucks for a little while (yes, the latte affect)!
• Think about it, write about it, put my stress onto paper instead of on my waist line or my bank account.
• Look at the money growing in my stocks and see the nest egg I am building that is making it all worth it!!
• Remind myself how cool thrifting is and how wicked it is for the planet and how lucky I am that I have a uniform job, so I don’t need to invest in work suits and clothing that I would never wear in real life.
• Make a new budget that is more attainable.
• Talk money with my friends see what they are doing – how are they making ends meet?
• Realize I am not alone but also realize that everyone’s journey is different.
• Remind myself that future me will thank present me for getting a second job and getting my shit together!
• Breathe in some lavender and relax!
• Budget into my spending that this will probable happen again in 6 months time and plan for it, because making a financial plan to work through expected debt fatigue is probable the smartest thing I can do.

Have any tips for me on dealing with debt fatigue? I would love to hear them!

How to Keep Motivated in 7.5 Easy Steps …


Motive [moh-tiv]
 noun

1. something that causes a person to act in a certain way, do a certain thing, etc.; incentive.

2. the goal or object of a person’s actions: Her motive was revenge.

 

Do you  want to get yourself to a better place?  Me too.

I certainly struggle with motivation on the best of days but there are things I can do that really help me with my struggles. I confess Friends, I struggle with motivation for a lot of things. Mostly the longevity of plans – because I get bored, very easily. For example;  My financial plan. I know I have small goals and a plan but do I see myself working 60 hrs a work for the next 3.5 years? Not so much. Anyway –  watch below if you want to see my 7.5 best tips for trying to get yourself motivated.

 

As always, leave some love. I love chatting with you all.

XOXO,

C