Saturday, April 12, 2014

Beet Hummus


I have been spending quite a bit of time in the kitchen in this season of life as I further embrace gluten free dairy free living.  But this also means that I have been spending quite a bit of time on Pinterest and Yummly looking for recipes that remind me of living real and whole.  I have spent quite a bit of time perusing various Beet Hummus Recipes over the last few weeks.  Today, I cultivated my own. 

The ingredients:
3-4 Beets
2 Tablespoon. Tahini Sauce
2 cups Garbanzo Beans
3-4  fresh rosemary leaves
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp. of Sea Salt
1 Lemon

The Process
1. Peel beets and chop them into medium size cubes. Place beets in a medium sized sauce pan and fill with water until it just covers the surface of the beats. Let beets cook in the sauce pan at a medium heat until you can pierce the surface of the beets with a fork.

2. Place cubed beets, tahini sauce, garbanzo beans, fresh rosemary leaves, garlic cloves, sea salt and fresh squeezed lemon inside the food processor

3. Serve with carrots, celery, bread (I recommend Udi's Gluten Free ), corn tortilla chips

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Photographing People Being Inspired: Ted Talks 2014

It has been a true pleasure to be connected with TedEx Gateway Arch, the local independent St. Louis Chapter of TedTalks.  For those of you who have never heard about TedTalks, please do yourself a favor and go be inspired by some of the most talented and inspirational minds in the world. TedTalks continue to be one of the best parts of my day.  I love listening to some of my favorite actresses, musicians, artists, writers, etc taking 20 minutes to talk about the issues or ideas that they believe are worth telling.

Last week, I had a great opportunity to go photograph the local simulcast of the national TedTalk 2014 from Vancouver, BC.   As I was shooting this event, it occurred to me that the majority of this photo shoot was about photographing people who were being inspired and that was inspiring to me, especially in this season where I find myself needing to be surrounded by people who consistently push me to keep challenging the my own perceptions .  I look forward to being a part of the TedEx Gateway Arch community and also using my photography skills to document their events.

Below are a few of my favorite TedTalks from the Ted2014 Simulcast:

Malala;s Father, Ziauddin Yousafzai:

 Chris Hadfield: What Its Like to Go Blind Space

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Blueberry Banana Smoothie (dairy free, gluten free)

The Ingredients

1 Banana
1 cup of Blue Berries
1-2 Tb Chia Seeds (Hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds)
1 cup of Cocanut or Almond Milk

The Process

1. Pour Banana, blueberries and Chia Seeds into blender or food processor (or your favorite protein based seed)
2.  Pour in almond milk or cocoanut milk into a blender or food processor
3. Blend until mixed to your preferred texture


Sunday, March 9, 2014

3 Tips on Challenging Disruptive Thoughts

1. I have had many people who read this blog reach out to me privately to share that they too have intrusive thoughts that lead to anxiety and depression.  My first reaction when I read such things, is "Wow, it was really brave of you to reach out to me via e-mail."  The second thing that I pray and encourage these brave people to do is to get a reference from someone you respect and trust to see a counselor ASAP! I emphasize respect because getting a counselor referral from someone who does not share your same worldview or ethics could lead you to someone that does not benefit your own mental health needs.  Be wise and discerning in this process.  Counselors are fantastic! Just seek out people you trust and respect for referrals (i.e. your pastor, rabbi, guidance counselors, doctor, etc)

2. Don't use money as an excuse to hold you back from getting the help you need.  Someone I very much respect once told me people can afford therapy if they make their mental and spiritual health a priority with their finances.  Maybe a $4.00 latte everyday from Starbucks could be substituted for a few counseling sessions a month. 

3. Aside from those, the best thing I have learned from my own meditation and therapy sessions is a little thing called "Mindfulness Meditation."  Learn to become aware of your thoughts but not a participant to them.  Here is an exercise my own therapist gave me awhile back when I experience an intrusive thought.  I work through the following questions to learn to reframe my initial thoughts:

          *How do I know this thought is true?
          *Is there another way to look at the situation/person/event that could also be true?
          *Who would I be if I didn't have this thought? (Imagine it, take a photograph)
          *How would I treat myself/others differently if I didn't have this thought?
          *How does thinking this thought help? Hurt?

Friday, March 7, 2014

Vegan Banana Sunflower Butter Smoothie

The Recipe
Serves 2
1 Banana (chopped)
1-2 table spoons of sunflower seed butter
1/2 tablespoon of sugar
1-2 cups of coconut or almond milk

The Process
1. Place chopped banana, sunflower seed butter and sugar in a blender or food processor
2. Poor cocanut or almond milk over the dry ingredients
3. Put lid on blender or food processor
4. Blend together until the consistency and taste is to your liking

The Story
Since both my daughter and I have sensory processing issues related to ADHD for me, our family healthcare specialists strongly encouraged our family to slowly eliminate dairy and gluten from our family's diet. So in an attempt to teach Shyla ( who is sensorally selective about the foods she eats) about  all these new dairy free and gluten free foods in our diet, we started creating a "smoothie of the week." Every morning this week Shyla wakes up with me and we blend together our chosen DFGF breakfast smoothie that we choose off Pinterest together. However, in this recipe, we sort of created our own smoothie based off several that we found on Pinterest.

There will be a new smoothie next week on the blog.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Abi's Pregnancy Photos

Abi comes over to my house and cuts Shyla and I's hair once every few weeks. She is also a talented singer and health coach! It was so much fun to document her first pregnancy with these photos. 

I love to photograph pregnancy sessions that highlight the curvature of a woman's body during pregnancy. The evolving "bow and arrow" form is beautiful to capture through shadows and dramatic natural lighting. Photographing her in her parent's old South City home with the big windows that let just the right amount of natural light in was a beautiful space for Abi's photos.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Rack and Clutch Mobile Fashion Boutique

 So I have had a few opportunities to pick up my camera (yay! instant joy right there) and get together with friends for some creative clothing themed gatherings in the last month.  The most recent fashion themed get together involved getting a few of my friends together with Emily, the owner of Rack and Clutch Mobile Fashion Boutique.  Yep, that's right, it is literally a moving fashion boutique, think food truck, minus the food but with awesome and funky affordable clothes. She pulled up in front of my friend Kiley's drive way and opened up shop for three hours for our friends!  It was a great way for me to get out of my wintery layer and enjoy time with my friends, drink cheap wine and shop.  This was actually the first time I had purchased any clothing item in 2014!  No new clothes for 2 months is a pretty big thing for me.  

Emily will stop by your business or house for up to three hours as long as you have 15 or more people for free! Just e-mail her.  She is awesome to work with, personable and professional.

Enjoy the photos from this super fun day!