Happy 2018, friends!
What a whirlwind it’s been… already back to work. With the temperature in the single digits, neither my dog or myself wanted to get out of bed this morning. It will be good to get back into the swing of things and to get back into more of a routine.
One thing I like about the New Year is the initiative everyone starts with to invoke some change into their lives. While I hate the tired mantra of “new year, new me”, I’m going to carry through with my new year’s intentions of improving myself, and sticking with them. A reminder – they aren’t resolutions. there’s nothing broken about me that needs fixing. Think of yourself as a fine precious metal, or a prized trophy, a timeless heirloom piece of silver … you’re still the same you were, inside and out, but by polishing yourself up, you suddenly see yourself in a different way, which is the start of something great.
#1 – Self Care
My first intention for 2018 is to make sure I’m taking care of body the best way I can. Some people take this and run with it to the farthest extreme… which might just be the quickest way to set yourself up for failure.
“I’m cutting out all carbs for 2018!”
“I’m going to the gym TWICE A DAY… until forever.”
“I’m never drinking again. Ever.”
I had probably said all of these things at least once, myself. Here’s the problem: are you actually going to stick to any of that? Unless medically necessary, is this all realistic? No. My goal for the year is to prioritize my health first by maintaining the best habits from last year, and swapping out alternatives for things I wanted to change. Instead of indulging in a big salty bag croutons to snack on (yes, I do actually do that… without salad…), I’m going to make sure I have veggies and homemade hummus on hand at work at home. I treated myself to a fun new water bottle so I’ll be more inclined drink more water. Which brings me to my next intention…
#2 – Buy only what I need
If you have ever met me, you know that I love to shop. I will shop for anything, anyone, anywhere. I have tons of crap I don’t need, and have the audacity to say “I have nothing to wear!” as I stare at a rather large walk-in closet filled with clothes I can’t even remember I have. I’ve worked at White House | Black Market for several years now, and even still, I’ll walk in and see another associate wearing something and comment that I like it, only to be reminded that I bought it 3 weeks ago. I’ve bought duplicates by accident of salad dressings, dish soap, bread (why am I buying bread???) ziplock bags, only to see that I didn’t need them. My intention for this year is to actively keep inventory of what I have, so that I don’t overbuy, overspend and overindulge. I should hopefully have a fatter bank account and less clutter.
#3 – Do stuff that actually makes me happy
To the tune of saving money, I’ve always been a stickler about expensive trips, or big ticket items. While I consider myself a money-saver in the grand scheme of things, I’ve been so obsessed over not buying large things that I’ve overlooked all the small stuff that quite possibly could’ve totaled up to a small fortune. I want to travel with my friends, I want to build a house, and just do things that I’ve wanted to do and never tried to. I want to make my cookbook eventually, and I want a great website for you all… of which I know costs money. No more wasting time, effort and money on things that don’t make me happy.
These are all things I’ve always liked to adhere to, but my intention is stick to them for 2018. If I slip up, it’s not the end of the world… I will just regroup and pick up where I left off.
What are some of your intentions for 2018? Let’s discuss over some delicious Pad Thai 🙂
Vegan Pad Thai
prep time: 25 min
cook time: 20 min
For the pad Thai:
- 8 oz brown rice pasta
- 1 red bell pepper sliced into strips, ribs and seeds removed
- 1 large carrot, julienned
- 1/2 cup red cabbage
- 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 stalk green onions, thinly sliced on an angle
- 1 cup sugar snap peas
- 1/2 cup peanuts, loosely crushed
- 1 small bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
- (optional for non-vegans!) 1 egg, scrambled well done and finely chopped
- sesame oil, for frying
For the dressing:
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- ~1/4 cup of almond milk
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 1 small clove garlic, pressed or grated
- 1/3 cup organic peanut butter
- 1 tsp honey
- juice from half of a lime
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- (also optional) ~1 small squirt of sriracha for heat
- In a large frying pan over medium heat, add 1 tbsp sesame oil. Sauté red bell pepper, carrot and onion until starting to brown, stirring constantly; about 8-10 minutes.
- While sautéing the veggies, cook pasta per box directions. Drain, and set aside.
- Back to the veggies! Next, add snap peas and cabbage and stir so they can heat — we want these to remain crisp for texture, so they’re added last.
- Separately, in a mixing bowl, combine dressing ingredients and whisk until smooth. the consistency should be somewhat thin to spread across the noodles — similar to a salad dressing, not too thick. Depending on your preference, you can add more coconut aminos, lime juice or almond milk to keep the flavors strong while thinning out the sauce.
- Once finished with the sauce, add noodles (and egg, if using) and sauce to pan and turn off the heat. Continue to stir gently… we don’t want the sauce to muddy the veggies with the sauce, so don’t be too rough. Serve immediately and garnish with cilantro and green onion.