Why you should schedule rest

IMG_1841.JPG

One of my favorite French phrases borrowed from the English language is le week-end. In French, “week” is semaine and “end” is dernier. I guess the French allowed week-end to slip through the typically impenetrable fortress of the French language to make it just a little easier to reference those glorious two days at the end of every work week.

In theory,  we rest and recuperate on Saturday and Sunday. Le probleme is that the French- and many other cultures- do le week-end so much better than most Americans do. When we do have “time off”- which is often rare- we have the tendency to fill those extra hours with more scheduled time. Grocery store runs, hours at the gym, and quick coffee dates with friends end up dominating days off, or hours after work. Continue reading

Not so faraway places: Palos Verdes, CA

 

IMG_0999.JPG

Terranea Resort.

Just over a year ago, I moved back to my hometown of Palos Verdes, CA, after almost ten years of a journey that I never expected to end where it started.

Returning to California, I’ve found that I haven’t rediscovered my home so much as discovered it for the first time. As a child, I could not see the gorgeous purple bloom of bougainvillea, the drama of high yellow cliffs over the surf, or the wide, blazing sunsets. I did not marvel at the rolling hills and rocky outcrops of my hometown, or explore coves and winding trails. I wanted to go to the pool, the mall, the movies. But now, I look at where I was born and raised as a frontier in and of itself: a destination just as much as any of the cities or countries I have lived in before. Continue reading

Mediterranean bowl with olive-oil fried chicken + quinoa tabbouleh

IMG_0072.JPG

Here’s my approach to weekly lunch prep, which always includes a type of salad or “bowl”:

1) Choose a flavor profile (Mexican? Mediterranean? Thai?).

2) Stock up or assess where I’m at with ingredients (if it’s Mexican, I’m gonna need black beans and jalapenos, for example).

3) Cook or prep necessary components to throw together a salad/bowl every morning before work.

More often than not, I choose Mediterranean. Continue reading

When fulfilling your dream takes longer than you think it should

FullSizeRender (26)

When it’s possible to run a business out of your purse, learn a foreign language on your phone, or become famous overnight on YouTube, the future seems like a menu of possibilities for those of a certain generation. As children, many of us were told to follow our dreams, which, as it turns out is both terrifying and wonderful. It can leave us paralyzed with indecision, or- in the best case scenario- it can motivate us to move forward and actually do it: venture into an intersection where faith meets action; where uncertainty about our abilities is eclipsed by a jolt of confidence that we can and will achieve what we want to.

Whether it’s starting a business, making a big move, or just giving up a conventional career to make your side gig your full-time gig, making the big leap into pursuing your passion at the expense of security can be scary. But there’s a greater challenge ahead on the Oregon trail of your following your dream: and that is remaining on the path, even when it begins to be an uphill climb, there’s a river bypass, your horses die, or your wagon wheels break. Your business may fail, you may run out of money, your submissions and auditions rejected. Challenges are almost always inevitable, especially if we want to do something great. Continue reading

Tahini + almond stuffed dates

IMG_3125

God has blessed me abundantly by bringing me to live on not one but two places where dates are grown and harvested, first in California, where I was born and currently live, and then in Morocco, where I spent three years teaching English. Dates have been experiencing a sort of renaissance lately, what with paleo-ites desperately looking for dessert that meets the requirement of “would a caveman eat this.” For this recipe, I’m pretty it’s a solid “yes,” and he might be especially tempted if he perhaps stuffed a tablespoon of tahini and a single roasted almond inside. Continue reading

Roasted winter citrus fruit

IMG_3017.JPG

I am not a creature of habit. I have one eating ritual every day, and that is drinking a hot coffee when I wake up. And the rest, I leave up to the routine of the day, what’s in season, how my body feels, and the tasting station at Trader Joe’s. One day I might eat an omelette and a brownie for breakfast, the next day a handful of almonds. I thrive on the unexpected. And this week, what I craved, what felt good to me, was a big bowl of roasted winter citrus fruit, simple and clean with that slight salty + sweet bite you get from pulverizing citrus rind with heat and a little olive oil in the oven. Continue reading

Starry skies, lava flow, & solitude: the big island of Hawaii

IMG_0693.JPG

The big island of Hawaii is the state’s youngest island, and also its largest (duh). And like any (very) young thing, it continues to grow, edges creeping out in a live, molten lava flow that causes the island to gain ground a little bit each year. It is certainly not the state’s most well-known island- not like Maui, Oahu, or Kaui- and it does not conjure up the images we know from vintage film posters, postcards, and pop culture. The big island is vast, mountainous, and authentic, and it’s worth visiting for anyone who likes to explore. Continue reading

Resolutions for 2017

FullSizeRender (12).jpg

1. Dream More.

In 2017, I want to dwell in all the possibilities of what could be. Backpacking around New Zealand, micro-financing small businesses for women in third-world countries, learning to surf, heck, buying a really nice car. My dreams may go poof and disappear, or they may materialize in front of me. Regardless, I’m going there—and I’m not allowing “what if’s” or “but’s” to stand in my way. Continue reading

With plenty or little: Christmas across the continents

IMG_2319.JPG

lap-top coconut: lunch in Mozambique

It’s December, and here in LA, we are in full swing of the season- holiday music jingles across the airwaves, I’m offered tiny mugs of cider and cookies at every turn (church, the shopping mall, Whole Foods), red, green and tinsel everything, and I’m feeling cozy, oddly romantic (I’m single), emotional (abnormal for me), and like I need to shop. Every. single. day. I’m wearing sparkly earrings, looking forward to the next Christmas party (one about every 48 hours), and planning a batch of spicy-sweet popcorn brittle, and browsing recipes for paleo eggnog. I’m watching Christmas movies, buying gifts for family (and let’s be real, me), and dreading the post-holiday abyss that is January while sipping my Starbucks peppermint mocha. It feels wonderfully chaotic, and also terribly and yet appealingly commercial. I’m overwhelmed, joy-filled, and stuffed. Explanation? It’s my first Christmas season in America in half a decade.
Continue reading