Staying Positive

I have to admit, one of the most difficult things for me can be staying positive.  I am typically a very upbeat person, but every now and then negativity can settle in.  One way I have found to counteract this is my reaffirming my beliefs, my mantras if you will.  Deep down I know these are true, I feel it in my core, but sometimes life has a way of making me feel overwhelmed.

Positive Thought

Society as a whole reflects so much negativity.  Turn on the news or spend a few minutes on Facebook and you’ll realize as a people, WE ARE NOT HAPPY!  I firmly believe that whatever thoughts you surround yourself with, whether positive or negative, your attitude will eventually reflect it.  We might not be able to always choose positive situations or people to be around, but we can change how we talk to ourselves.  Stop the negative thought process!

I am

One of my favorite books, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle says it beautifully, to surmize:  What may be happening in your life is not your life, but your life situation.  It does not have to define you.  I remember in my college marketing classes we learned about an “elevator speech”.  Wikipedia defines it as “A short summary used to quickly and simply define a person, profession, product, service, organization or event and its value proposition”.  The idea is if you happen upon an important person in an elevator, what is your rehearsed pitch to get your point across?  “If the conversation inside the elevator in those few seconds is interesting and value adding, the conversation will continue after the elevator ride or end in exchange of business card or a scheduled meeting”.

So I ask, what is your elevator speech to yourself?  What thoughts are running through your mind?  Are they positive?  Is it a “value proposition”?  Are you adding value to your well being or is it a stream of negative self-talk?

When you find that you’re having a difficult time being positive STOP. BREATHEREALIZE THERE IS POWER IN POSITIVITY.  You attract what you reflect.  Not everyone meditates, but it helps to have a saying or image that will help bring you back to center.  Personally, it has helped me to create an Affirmation board on Pinterest.  Whatever gets you through, gets you thinking positive, do it.  Create a screen saver with the phrase that speaks to you most on your computer at work.  Change your cell phone background or tape a picture to your refrigerator.  Whatever works for you, do it.  Encourage yourself, be nice to yourself, add value to your self-talk.  Be happy and you will attract happy.

Good in Every Situation

Squash + Harvest Grains

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Weekdays are crazy busy at our house and sometimes I just do not want to cook. Yes, I said it! Tonight was one of those nights, but lucky for me I had a package of summer squash that I had cut into chunks and froze a few months ago.  This is my go to super simple recipe for a healthy meal after a hectic day.

Ingredients – Serves 2-3  (FYI – I make this amount for 2 Adults + 2 Children)

1 Medium Summer Squash – cut into chunks (fresh or frozen is fine, just adjust cooking time accordingly)

1 3/4 Cups Vegetable Broth (I used Trader Joe’s Brand)

1/2 Package Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains

1 Tbsp Cooking Oil of your choice

Salt and Pepper to taste

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Can I say, I LOVE Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains?!  No, this is not a sponsored post, I just really, really like it.  The Harvest Grains package is a blend of Couscous, Orzo, Baby Garbanzo Beans, and Red Quinoa.  Yum.  I prefer to cook it in vegetable broth to add a little more flavor, and it is amazing with diced carrots, zucchini and any other type of squash.  It cooks in 10 minutes, making it perfect for a quick and easy dinner.

Directions

  • Place squash chunks in pot and cook on medium low heat to steam.  (If using fresh squash cook with a little water first to slightly steam.  Frozen squash with provide its own water, just add frozen squash directly to pan.)
  • Meanwhile, pour vegetable broth into pan and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, add 1/2 package of Harvest Grains and cook 10 minutes according to package directions. Set aside.
  • After water in squash pan has mostly evaporated and squash is steamed, add 1 Tbsp. of oil and saute until slightly browned.   Once cooked, add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Plate dish by scooping Harvest Grains onto plate and topping with squash and enjoy!

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Avocado Tomato Sprout Sandwich – YUM!!

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Okay, so I’m not sure that this qualifies for a recipe, but it is one of my favorite sandwiches.  I love bringing this to work for lunch and I know I’m eating so much healthier than I would be if I ate fast food or something from the freezer section of my local grocery store. 

 

Avocado Tomato Sprout Sandwich

2 Pieces multi-grain bread (my favorite hands down is Dave’s Killer Good Seed Bread – ridiculously good!)

1/2 Avocado, sliced

2 Slices tomato

Clover Sprouts – a generous helping!

Vegenaise (Original)

Yellow Mustard

There is no right or wrong way to assemble this sandwich.  One thing I have learned however, if you are making it to bring for lunch or eat a few hours later (make sure to refrigerate), place tomatoes at the top the sandwich.  I’ve noticed when this sandwich sits in the refrigerator, and the tomatoes are at the bottom, the bread tends to get soggy. 

 

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Looks delicious doesn't it?  This is such a simple sandwich to make and is a great option to pack in some veggies without a salad.

 

 

Looks delicious doesn’t it?  This sandwich is so simple to make and is a great way to get a ton of veggies and healthy fats in your diet.  I am not a very good vegan in that I get tired of salads…quickly.  In the winter it is difficult for me to eat a salad.  I want substance! This sandwich satisfies my need for a more filling lunch while still providing me with a nutritious meal. 

 

Simple Brocccoli Slaw Salad

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This is one of my favorite recipes (if you could even call it that).  It is ridiculously simple, but the colors and flavors really make this an elegant salad.  I’ve brought this to family holidays, picnics, and potlucks and always get asked for the recipe.  There are only 4 pieces to this salad puzzle, and the best part is, you can easily tailor it to your own tastebuds, adding a little here and subtracting there.

I love bringing this salad for an easy healthy lunch, especially on busy mornings where I don’t have time to make a lunch.  It is ready in minutes and holds up well to keeping in the refrigerator for a few hours.  (I don’t recommend storing overnight as the dressing tends to wilt the broccoli slaw and it loses it’s freshness.)

In these photos, I made a single serving for lunch this morning, but below is a recipe that will easily feed 6-8 as a side dish.

Simple Broccoli Slaw Salad

Servings 6-8 | Vegan

1 package Broccoli Slaw (I used Trader Joe’s brand, but any will do)

3/4 bottle Annie’s Goddess Dressing (note – the regular Goddess Dressing is best, not to be confused with the Green Goddess Dressing)

1 Cup Whole Shelled Walnuts (pieces are okay as well depending on how much crunch and substance you like)

1 Cup Dried Cranberries

Now for the hard part – mix all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy!  Easy right?!  Trust me, for as simple as this salad is, it packs quite a tasty punch!

 

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This salad would be beautiful to serve along side your main dish for a holiday meal.  The colors of the broccoli slaw and cranberries look very festive, and the best part, you’re getting veggies, fruit and nuts all in one dish!