Pivot

I was talking about meditation with a friend and I admitted one of my deep, dark secrets which is that I downloaded a meditation app over a year ago and set it up to remind me nightly and I’ve yet to actually use it. 

When I set it up, it asked me what time to send the notification and I chose 9:30 at night. My reasoning was that by 9:30 the kids are asleep and I’m in wind down mode, but the first night I got my reminder, Poppy was refusing sleep and I was in full toddler rage management. When the reminder popped up on my phone I rolled my eyes and that was that. Every night since, at 9:30, my phone encourages me to meditate and I tell it to shut up. 

The really dumb thing is, I told my friend, is I actually do want to meditate. 

“So why don’t you change the time the app sends you the notification?” she asked.  

And I was speechless because the thought had literally never crossed my mind. What I’m doing clearly isn’t working so why not just pivot? It seems so simple and obvious but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t immediately come up with a handful of reasons why I should stick with 9:30 even though I have over a year’s worth of proof that 9:30 is not my prime meditation time. What can I say, change is hard. 

So now I have to come up with a good time to meditate. Mornings are bonkers, and I’m not super into the idea of waking up earlier specifically to meditate (but I’ll consider it if you have a compelling argument for me), but meditating in the afternoon feels weird to me for some reason. Do you meditate? Do you have a set time, or do you go with the flow and meditate whenever it fits into your day? 

Vegetarian Barley Shepherd's Pie

This vegetarian dish requires a lot of chopping but makes a large quantity and freezes well. I'm the only one who eats it in my house so the initial prep time is well worth the eight dinner-sized portions I end up with. For more protein, throw in a can of beans or a pound of cooked ground beef if you're not concerned with keeping it vegetarian. I topped mine with shredded cheddar and sliced avocado and it was absolutely lovely.

Ingredients
2 Tablespoons olive oil
6 cups (approximately) diced veg (I used: 1 onion, 3 carrots, 3 ribs celery, 1 golden beet, 1 parsnip, 1 turnip, and 8 white mushrooms) 
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce (omit or use vegan if you're cooking for strict vegetarians. Traditional Worcestershire Sauce contains anchovies.)
1 cup dry barley, prepared per package
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
1 cup veggie broth

Topping Ingredients
4 cups (approximately) peeled sweet potato chunks (I have no idea how to accurately quantify sweet potatoes. Telling you I used three sweet potatoes doesn't really do it. In my experience, sweet potatoes range in size from the size of a miniature banana to the size of a small baby. All I can tell you is this: I cut my sweet potatoes into walnut-sized chunks and I had about 4 cups)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
water and salt to boil
1/4 cup butter
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease 9x13 baking dish.

Cook barley per package instructions. Fluff and set aside.

Put sweet potatoes and 2 cloves chopped garlic in pot and cover with cold water. Add about a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover, and cook until fork tender. Drain. Mash with butter while still hot so the butter melts. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in large skillet. Sauté veg over med-high heat until onion is translucent and veg is tender, 7 - 10 minutes.

Add garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and Worcestershire Sauce and cook for another minute until garlic is fragrant. Stir in prepared barley, edamame, and broth. Spoon into baking dish and pat down gently.

Spread mashed sweet potatoes evenly over barley mixture.

Bake 20-30 minutes until heated through and topping is lightly browned.

Serves 8 as a main dish.

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Dragon's Breath Juice Shot

December has been hard on our family. We've battled stomach flu, head colds, chest colds, Poppy ended up with pneumonia, and now Shawn has the flu flu. Influenza flu. The "can't get out of bed, everything hurts, I have a fever and it's the end of the world" flu. 

He also has New Year's Eve and New Year's Day gigs so we need to get him back on his feet quickly. 

A friend suggested a dragon's breath shot. Squeeze some lemon, grate some fresh ginger, sprinkle some cayenne into a shot glass and drink.  

I decided to whip out my good ol' Omega to make it a fresh juice shot. 

Ingredients 

1 lemon, peel removed but leave as much of the pith as possible

1-2 inches fresh ginger (don't both peeling) 

1/2 jalapeño (leave the seeds and membrane for heat) 

Directions 

Feed ingredients through juicer. Consume within a couple hours.  

The quantity you end up with will vary depending on the size of your ingredients but I got approximately 3oz of fresh juice.

This juice is not a sipper. I literally poured it into 1oz shot glasses and we knocked it back like it was tequila. It isn't a miracle cure but it does provide a boost of vitamin C, the ginger helps with headache and body pains, and the jalapeño can help clear the sinuses. 

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Summer Green Juice

This juice is summer sweet (there's nothing in the world quite like an Okanagan peach) but still nice and earthy from the kale. Earn extra smug hippie points if you make it whilst wearing a baby.

Ingredients

1 bunch dinosaur kale
1 peach
1 nectarine
1 lemon
1 lime
1/2 cucumber

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Directions

Feed ingredients through juicer. Your juicer may have suggested guidelines for the order in which you juice. For my masticating juicer, I like to do my leafy greens first followed by citrus, soft fruits and veg, ending with my hardest fruit or vegetable (usually apples or carrots). 

Serve over ice.

Makes two juices (quantity varies because of natural products).