Sunday, August 13, 2017

Update since last blog. Back to recipe writing.

Wow. I started this blog a couple years back thinking it would be a food blog, then somehow it turned into an "existential crisis" blog. Well, I would like to update the blog since my last post in 2015.
I remember in my last blog I was questioning with what to do, whether I should do the PTA program and stay at home, or otherwise. Turns out, I didn't do the program after all. It seemed like they were they were there to make a buck, versus actually provide a decent education. No regrets.

Since then, I found a job at Clubsport as a personal trainer and stayed there for three years. It was a fantastic job, because it connected me to a group of wonderful people I still keep in touch with (my co-workers). I also got to know how a gym works, and what I like/dislike about being an employee.

I also moved out of my moms, and into a clients home in Danville, where I and my dog Austin, lived with a couple for a year. During that transition time, I also met my current boyfriend.

Fast forward one year, and my dog, Mari, and my grandmother pass away. I need to do something big. So I go to India to get my yoga teacher training certification. I have amazing dreams and it changes my life. I get an awesome job offer the week of my return. Its to teach fitness classes to people 55+. Now that I'm settled, I would love to go back to posting recipes.

My travels to India and some other travels will be posted on my other blog.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

New awareness, more questions

A new awareness has been surfaced. Outside of the Facebook, Instagram, and other forms of media world, outside of television, movies, and every technological distraction known to man, I see that it is rare to have a one to one, face to face, human interaction without social media interferring.
Once you disconnect yourself from the viral world, a new world emerges. The real world. As it is, not pretended to be made any different than what it actually is. Real life can't lie. The internet can. That is why real life experiences are SO VALUABLE. When's the last time you had a legitimately deep conversation with someone? One sentence responses to a facebook post don't matter. TURN OFF YOUR TECHONOLOGY and OPEN YOUR EYES to the world!
There's enough drama, comedy, and romance in real life, why watch movies to pretend you are there, when you can actually experience it first hand???

Since writing my last post, I have come to a few realizations about myself. I have thought of this great philosophy on life, one I have learned from my parents, but am I actually following my own advice? Am I practicing what I am preaching? Am I thinking for myself, and making a smart decision, or just following the trend and the flow of how others think I should life my life?

Swimming downstream is SO MUCH EASIER than swimming upstream. After all, thats where all the fish are going, and thats where the energy is flowing. Swimming downstream is where the fish are going, following the flow is where the energy is going.

I'm starting to question the plan I have made for myself. As a Gemini, I know I am likely to doubt , and second guess, and ta da, thats exactly what I am doing. I'm questioning my decisions to live at home and go to school. Granted, the school would be for a great reason and something I am good at AND have experience in (physical therapy assistance) but I'm wondering if I am living my life to the fullest potential. After the PTA program, I want to become yoga certified, and then do culinary school. The yoga and cooking are passions, the PTA more of something that would pay the bills as well as provide a satisfaction that I am helping people.

My mother tells me that I need to continue school because I wouldn't be able to live on my own, and truth is, I would, but it would be a very humble and minimalist life. If I were to live on my own, I would barely be scraping by, probably living paycheck to paycheck. It would be really hard at first, but I know through perseverance I would make it. If I live at home, I get the chance to save up some money, and go to school...where I would come out with debt. Also, it would come at the cost of living in  a highly stressful environment. Living with my mom is one of the hardest things I have had to do, we are similar in many ways, but also SO different in others. Over the years I have come to learn how to deal with her, but is "dealing with it" a necessity? Will living with her better our relationship? Probably not. More likely we will have more fights, or maybe even not talk to each other for days at a time.

Is this a short term sacrifice I will be making for a long term goal? I'm all for short term sacrifices, but I am questioning whether it will align with my own life view.

Is the decision I am making  a healthy one? honest one? helpful one? happy one?

Short term...probably not. Its emotionally unhealthy, I'd be lying to myself if I said it would be easy, if I stay at home I would be unhappy that I'm missing out on life. but...getting this education will help me become a more helpful individual.

One of my thought patterns is that after getting this degree, I would get a job at a PT clinic, and while paying off debt, would get experience in the PT field. Maybe I would travel and move elsewhere, live life on my own finally. Eventually I would want to be my own boss and provide a service to clients that offers personal training, continual rehabilitation, nutrition help, cooking classes, yoga...etc.

Does my vision need me to get this PTA degree? If not, what would be my next step? Yoga certification, culinary school? I can't let go of this degree idea because its the most "career" focused job, that will be widely sought after in many years to come. I know if I get this degree I won't ever be at a loss for a job. Its a battle between long term security and short term freedom. I always told myself I didn't want to be the status quo and go into debt, but if its for a job that most likely promises financial it worth compromising myself for it?

Then there's the fact that I have a dual citizenship, so practically I could travel Europe and teach English and say F U to America...haha. I could get a free education there since I am a EU citizen, or I could teach English. My dad is in Europe too, and the rest of my family. No matter what I feel like I don't have time to accomplish everything I want to do. I need help prioritizing my goals and living my life according to my own philosophy. Where can I find the answer?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Recreating myself, finding my purpose, the 4 H principle

It was a couple weeks ago that I was sitting in traffic on the 680 freeway, lost in deep thought, thinking about my parents. They have quite the story. They immigrated together out of the Czech Republic during the years of Communism, where it was illegal to leave the country. (Such rebels!)
They basically came to this country with no English language skills, and a couple dollars in their pockets. They started with so little, and because of their hard work and determination to succeed did they manage to build a life for themselves.

Then I fast forwarded to the day they told me they were getting a divorce. It was a very messy one. Since they didn't want to communicate with each other, I was the middle man, relaying message from one to the other, a very unpleasant experience for anyone, especially a 13 year old, to be doing. It made me feel like I was torn in half. How am I, a product of these two people, supposed to feel whole, when they themselves can't stand each other? Do I have two opposing sides within me, that will continuously be battling, like my parents? I've recently been asking myself these questions, and needed some answers.

Take a look at my mom. She's a nurse, and makes a LOT of money. She likes to treat herself and go shopping, more often than the usual person. She is a hard worker, and lives her life around her job. I'm afraid that when she retires she might have a slight identity crisis, because her identity lives within her occupation. She's always been in the "helping" field, offering her services as a nurse for the last 30-40 years of her life. "Help! I need somebody" She's a no bullshit kind of Eastern European lady, and tells the truth as it is. She can be harsh if you're not used to her kind of humor. She also came from a family where her father was an abusive alcoholic, which is why I think she has no faith in men, and has learned to rely on nobody but herself. She can also be very charming and pleasant, and she definitely knows how to get what she wants. She's a great example to show what a completely independent woman looks like. She's also very beautiful and has always been in great shape. She is a role model for life-long exercise and living proof that living "healthy" can help keep you looking young. "Healthy is the new sexy"

And then there's my dad. He works for a publishing company, and doesn't make very much money, like almost at all. But he is "happy" with his life. "Don't worry, be happy" After he split with my mom, he moved back to the Czech Republic and remarried to a lady I am pretty sure is his perfect match. He doesn't work a lot, he just works to get by, and the rest of the time likes to travel, go skiing, have a beer with his friends, watch hockey games. He always put his family first. His parents were married until my grandpa died, and he and his mother (my Babicka) remain very close. A big core value for him has always been "honesty", and learning that from him has been a great life lesson. He always kept me accountable when nobody else did, because he wanted to make sure I become a good person. Because while many people won't like your honesty, you are only being your truest self. And if people don't like who you are, then you have no business with with them. or trying to change yourself to accommodate them. "Those that matter don't mind, and those that mind don't matter"

So, in light of what my parents taught me, I am taking the two best lessons that each parent has taught me, and am putting it into my own structure for living my life. I have needed to come up with some guidelines to live my life by, since splitting with my boyfriend of 3 years recently threw me off my ship. Now, instead of trying to make a complete person with someone else, I am focusing on making my own self "whole".

I like to think of it as the 4H Club.


In my notebook, I have a circle with four quadrants drawn within that circle. Then, each quadrant has one of the four words, and things associated with them that I like to do. For example, in happy, I have things like "yoga" and "ceramics". In healthy I have "going to the gym" and "cooking for myself". In "honest" I have past lessons I've learned by being honest with myself , and in "helpful" I have things down that I do to help others.

Religions stem from the place of needing purpose, or an answer. Well, in short, I feel that I can live a successful life by completing each other the four quadrants.

Being Helpful keeps one humble and takes focus away from ego and onto others

Being Honest keeps you true and keeps you on your path

Being Healthy keeps one youthful and full of energy

Being Happy keeps one positive and makes life worth living

Everyone has their own life experiences that shape them, but everyone also has something to write down in each of the four quadrants. Your circle may not look exactly like mine, but by putting emphasis on these core values, I believe will make for one really well rounded human being.
Now, instead of seeing myself as two opposing halves battling against each other, I like to think that I took the best parts of my dad and the best parts of my mom, to make the best of what I know as me :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Curried Chicken Apple Salad

This one is a winner. On so many levels. First of all, its delicious. Secondly, its healthy!!!! Third, its easy to make, and requires minimal ingredients even the most broke of college students can afford. Also, its got curry for a little kick, celery for some crunch, and green apples for some sour. I added cranberries as well for some sweet. Its definitely worth a shot, I recommend you to try making it, like, ASAP!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

8 super healthy and delicious protein powder recipes

Hey everyone! Here are some recipes I found online while doing work for a current client. I thought these would be useful for everyone to have on hand. They are healthier and simplified versions of your favorite sweet treats. Use them to help get your kids more protein in their diet, or when you're experiencing sweet cravings. Enjoy!

Protein Mocha Coffee
·         1 scoop chocolate protein powder
·         1 cup coffee (8-12 oz)
·         ½ cup milk (almond or regular)
Blend together. Add ice into blender to make an icy mocha smoothie.
One serving gives you about 20 grams of protein.

Chocolate Cheesecake Protein Pudding
·         1 cup milk
·         1 cup water
·         3 scoops chocolate whey protein powder
·         1 package Jello Sugar free instant pudding, cheesecake flavor
Mix ingredients together. Chill in refrigerator. Makes 4 servings.

Easy Pancake Recipe
·         1 banana
·         1 egg
·         1 tbsp. melted coconut oil
·         1 oz. almond flour
Mix ingredients. Heat up on skillet with coconut oil. Makes 8 pancakes.

Peanut Butter Protein Cookies
·         1 cup peanut butter (I use sunbutter)
·         1 scoop protein powder
·         1 egg
·         1 tsp. vanilla
·         1 tsp. cinnamon
·         1 tsp melted coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Cinnamon and Banana Protein Muffins
·         ¾ cup quick oats
·         3 tbsp. vanilla almond milk
·         ½ tbsp baking powder
·         1 scoop vanilla protein powder
·         2 eggs
·         1 banana, mashed
·         Cinnamon to taste
Mix ingredients together. Pour into a greased muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes at 350.
Chocolate Ice Cream
·         1 tbsp. chocolate protein powder
·         1 tbsp. peanut butter
·         1 tbsp. cocoa powder
·         Stevia to taste
Blend and freeze. Eat like ice cream!
Strawberry Smoothie
·         ½ cup almond milk
·         1/3 cup oats
·         1 spoonful protein powder
·         1 cup strawberries, handful ice cubes
·         Stevia or honey to taste
Blend together and drink up. Perfect for breakfast or post-workout.
Chocolate Cake
·         2 bananas
·         3 eggs
·         ¼ cup melted coconut oil
·         ¼ cup raw honey
·         1/3 cup chocolate protein powder
·         1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
·         1 tsp baking powder
·         2 tsp vanilla
·         ½ tsp sea salt
·         1 cup chocolate chips

Mix ingredients together. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

BBQ Chicken Pizza, GF

So last night I decided to make pizza with cauliflower crust, it seems to be all the rage in the gluten free community so I decided to give it a shot. Time-wise it took me a while to prep, but it was so worth it in the end. I made a couple mistakes in the process so I know what to do to make it better for next time. Here's what I did and how I would change it to make it even better:

Step 1: Chop cauliflower into tiny pieces. This was the most tedious part of the whole process. I had to mince the cauliflower into the tiniest pieces that I could. If I were to do this again, I would probably just put the parts of the cauliflower into the blender or a food processor to speed it up.
Then, microwave the cauliflower for 10 minutes in a microwave safe bowl.

Step 2: Mince garlic (as much as you want, I used 6 cloves) and add to cauliflower. Then add 2 eggs and 1 cup cheese. Mix well. Spread out on a well greased baking sheet into a pizza dough shape and bake for 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees. I baked it for about 12 and it seemed to be just right, the edges turned brown and it was boiling. ** My mistake** was putting it on aluminum foil. I thought that it would be easier to get remove, but it ended up being that it became a huge challenge!

Step 3: Add toppings. Mine were: Cooked chicken, cooked bacon, spinach, cheese, bbq sauce, onions, and bell peppers ( I added the bell peppers after the pizza was done because I like them fresh and crunchy) Then bake for another 15 or so minutes at 400 degrees.

Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Pour yourself a glass of red wine and enjoy the fruits of your labor. If you followed directions, you will come out with a delicious and nutritious pizza that your whole family can enjoy. This pizza fed my boyfriend and I VERY well, and with a nice side salad would be probably be able to feed 3 or 4.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Butternut Squash Coconut Soup

Hi everyone,
So I am keeping up with my blogging. So far I have cooked a couple delicious yummies, like Butternut Squash soup with coconut milk, Chipotle style homemade burrito bowl, and Reeses peanut butter easter eggs.

Here's a quick recipe for the butternut squash soup:

1 tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 sliced onion
2 slices of ginger
1 tbsp. minced garlic (or more)
2 cups water or broth
1 cup canned coconut milk
2 packages cubed butternut squash

Easy as 1, 2, 3!

1. Saute the onion, garlic and ginger on coconut oil until transluscent.

2. Add broth, milk, and squash. Simmer on medium heat until it boils.

3. One ladle at a time, put the soup into a blender and blend it up. All done!

I topped mine with home-made croutons, green onion, and cheese! SO GOOD!