Saturday Sun 10.29.2022

An overhead shot shows a copper tray filled with different types of winter squash, a large mango, avocados, shallots, onions, and garlic.

Hope that you’re having a great start to your weekend so far! My partner and I are going to a sound bath tonight at the studio where I do pilates. It’s my first time sound bathing! Very excited to just chill out and be immersed in the experience. Other than that, there’s a lot of wood chopping and leaf raking to be done, and I’m definitely cooking up some cozy things.

Lately, I’ve been making this finely chopped salad with arugula, lacinato kale, radicchio, and basil that I dress with a garlicky maple tahini sauce, lemon juice, finely chopped salted pistachios, lots of coarse black pepper, and some crunchy sourdough breadcrumbs. We’ve had it three times in the last week, so you may be seeing it on here soon :)

As far as work and life stuff, I’m so happy that the new website is basically 100% ready to go finally! I want to add a handful of key ingredients to our recipe search page, and there’s a few other little things that I need to adjust. But overall I’m so happy with it and I hope that you are too! I’m speaking in a session for AccelerateHer next week so I’ll be doing a bit of prep for that over the coming days. And I have a few other fun things on the go that I can’t quite discuss yet!

If I can be truthful with you, it’s exciting to feel like things are moving again as there was a period of about a year there where I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to continue in the field of recipe development and blogging. The spark just wasn’t there for me and I was constantly doubting myself. I took some space when I could and just worked through things even if the creative inspiration wasn’t there. I don’t know if there’s an “other side” to this kind of thing, but I do feel like I’m closer to it lately. As always, I appreciate you being here :)

An overhead shot shows a dog nested into a blanket on a lounge chair. The dog has brindle and white-coloured fur.

5 Things I’m Reading:

  1. No Industry Is “Too Boring” to Have a Good Social Presence (Link In Bio is one of my favourite newsletters)
  2. How to Make Life More Transcendent
  3. “When native weeds emerge on uncovered earth, they are healing the soil and rebooting the ecosystem.”
  4. Meditation literally changes how your brain’s neurons move
  5. Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Cacao

5 Things I’m Enjoying:

  1. How Dijon Mustard is Made
  2. This episode of The Splendid Table with Hannah Che and Danny Bowien discussing the world of Asian vegan cooking.
  3. Loved watching Eric Kim make and discuss Kimchi
  4. I stopped getting manicures a couple years ago because my nails were breaking a lot and just not looking great. I’ve been taking this vegan collagen booster since that time and my nails are stronger than ever. I like that it has a smooth, mellow flavour that works in so many types of drinks!
  5. I got these electric salt and pepper grinders about 6 months ago and I still love them so much.

5 Questions:

  1. Juicing books, ingredients and tools that you recommend?
    I have an old Omega juicer and the model number is 8006 (this one is similar). If I was investing in a juicer again, I would probably be looking at the Nama J2 because it looks so much easier to use and clean. For books, I love The Greenhouse Cookbook and The Moon Juice Cookbook. For tools, all you need is a cutting board and a sharp knife!
  2. Tips and tricks for focusing and concentrating (especially when you work from home)?
    On Sunday night, I map out everything I’d like to get done for the week with the Flourish Planner Weekly Dashboard. For each day, I plan my tasks out hour by hour (to the best of my ability) that morning. I know that I’m generally more focused in the morning, so I try to really take advantage of the first half of the day. I like to set a timer for one hour and do deep, uninterrupted work for that hour. After that, if I need to get a snack, let the dogs out, or take a break of any kind for 10-15 minutes, I’ll do it. Then I’m right back to an uninterrupted hour of work. I just cycle this all day! I try to hide my phone away unless I specifically need it for the task that I’m focused on. I love this playlist in the background if I’m doing desk work.
  3. How’s quitting alcohol been for you?
    I really love how I feel and I don’t miss it at all. There are so many cool nonalcoholic beverage options these days, ranging from functional blends to outright copycats of traditional beverages. I’m lucky that the people in my life don’t ask questions or make me feel excluded for not drinking in a social situation. A little over a year ago, I had a few gnarly hangovers within a relatively short timespan. On the morning of one of them, it just hit me that I didn’t even really enjoy the physiological/mental experience of alcohol anymore. Why was I still partaking in this if I didn’t even like it? I need to say that I have never experienced alcohol or drug addiction, so immediately quitting was a safe and easy practice for me.
  4. Favourite vegan protein powder?
    It will always be Sprout Living’s Epic Protein for me! I mostly use the vanilla lucuma flavour (that has a hint of cinnamon) in my favourite green smoothie. I find the texture is nice and silky (not chalky), it blends so well, and I appreciate that it’s not overly sweet. I feel like 95% of vegan protein powders just taste like pure stevia at this point. This one does have a bit of stevia in the formula, but it’s used sparingly and the natural flavours really shine through. If you decide to try Sprout Living, you can use my discount code at checkout for 20% off! The code is: thefirstmess.
  5. Favourite hot chocolate recipe for cozy season?
    Of course I’m a bit biased, but I love this coconut butter hot chocolate. It’s the perfect level of richness and sweetness. The dates give it a slight caramel kinda vibe. And the coconut butter is just dreamy! I’ve been blending it into my hot coffee every morning and I can’t get enough.
An up close, head-on image shows burgundy chrysanthemum flowers in soft focus.
29/10/2022 (Last Updated: 29/10/2022)
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