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3 Most Requested

 

I love making salads for groups. If we ever gather as a group, I always put my hand up to be in charge of salads. I really love it.

I have a few go to salads that are easy, delicious and nine times out of ten, I get asked for the recipes. So, I thought I’d share it with you guys too. Some are great to prepare the day before, if you want to take them to work for lunch too.

Soba Noodle and Edamame Bean Salad. 

I got this recipe when I signed up to do a 21 day vegan eating experience called , Crazy Sexy You, last year with Kris Carr (completely recommend BTW…..I’m about to do another round of it in fact!)

This salad is so fast, easy and seriously, it is one of my faves, if not my actual fave.

Ingredients are for one person, so adjust depending on how many serves you want. Mind you, this is a very large serving in itself.

1/2 cup, shelled edamame

60 grams 100% buckwheat/soba noodles

2 tsp of toasted sesame oil (or substitute with olive oil)

2 tablespoons green onions, white parts only, thinly sliced

1 clove of garlic

1/2 teaspoon of ginger, minced

2 cups of kale (about 2 leaves) washed, dried and finely chopped.

2 teaspoons of unseasoned rice vinegar

2 teaspoon of tamari

2 teaspoon of sesame seeds

  1. Bring a medium sized saucepan of water to the boil. Add the edamame and boil for 2 minutes, or until they are bright and green and tender. Use a slotted spoon to scoop them out and set them aside. Add the soba noodles and cook according to package instructions. Drain noodles and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium sized pan over medium heat. Add the green onions, garlic and ginger. Cook. Stiring constantly, for about a minute. Add the kale and the carrots. Cook, stirring frequently, until the kale is wilted (about 3 minutes). Add the cooked soap noodles and edamame.
  3. Mix tamari and rice vinegar. Check seasoning and adjust to taste.
  4. Mix all ingredients together.
  5. Serve in a bowl topped with sesame seeds.

Enjoy!! 


Jen’s Cous Cous Salad

This serves about 4-6 people as a side salad. It is delicious on it’s own as well.

It really is a play around with ingredients kind of salad. So add or subtract whatever doesn’t vibe with you. The dressing really makes it though!

1 cup of cous cous

1 cup boiling chicken or vegetable stock

1 medium sweet potato

1tbs vegetable oil

moroccan seasoning (or cayenne pepper or just Himalayan rock salt)

1/4 small cauliflower (processed or chopped really finely)

1/4 red capsicum (chopped into small pieces)

1/4 yellow capsicum (chopped into small pieces) or 1/2 cup corn

3-4 shallots, sliced including the green section

1/2 a jalapeño chilli or 1/2 medium red chilli (I leave seeds in, but I like a kick)

1/4 medium brocoli, chopped into small tree bits

1/2 salted peanuts

Dressing

1 tablespoon of coriander

2 tablespoons of honey

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

2 heaped teaspoons of curry powder

1/4 cup olive oil (Or a bit less if you don’t like to too mush mush)

pinch of Himalayan rock salt and black pepper

  1. Heat over to 180 c
  2. Put cous cous in a container and pour boiling stock over. Stir until cos cos coated. Cover and leave for 5 minutes.
  3. Cut sweet potato into 2 cm pieces and place in a bowl. Cover with oil and seasoning. When fully coated add to baking tray and place in oven for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Comb the cous cous with a fork after 5 minutes until separated.
  5. Add to a medium mixing bowl
  6. Add all the vegetables and mix through until evenly distributed.
  7. Combine honey, vinegar, curry powder in a jar and shake up. Or just mix vigourously.
  8. Mix the curry dressing into cous cous and you are ready to eat!!

***I also replace the cous cous with brown rice too to change it up and be gluten free.

 Enjoy! 


Basic Green Leaf Salad

100 grams mixed green salad

1 medium sweet potato

Himalayan Rock salt

Vegetable oil

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes cut in quarters lengthways

1/2 a medium Spanish onion sliced

30 grams of feta, crumbled or sliced

1/4 cup of walnuts

Dressing

2 tablespoons of your favourite Green Dip. I use a vegan dip with beans and pesto or straight pesto.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar

  1. Heat oven to 180 degrees C
  2. Peel and cut sweet potato (white or orange…I used white here) into 2cm pieces.
  3. Coat in Vegetable oil and salt. Bake for 15-20 mins
  4. Add green mix to a bowl and place tomato, onion feta over the leaves so they are evenly distributed
  5. When sweet potato cooked, allow to cool before adding to salad.
  6. Add walnuts
  7. Combine dressing ingredients. Add seasoning to taste or play around with oil and vinegar as well. It is real art to create the flavour that suits you.
  8. Add dressing to salad when you are ready to serve and eat!

Enjoy! 

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There are no real rules with salads. It is just creative play.

In terms of dressings, I try to use bitter (lemon, vinegar, lime, garlic) and oil, spice (chilli, curry), sweet (honey, maple syrup) and salt and pepper.

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Is it REALLY the Greatest Place in the World?

If I asked you, “You, where is the greatest place in the world?”

What would you say?

Ponder it for a moment.

I’ve been pondering it for a while now.

Initially, beautiful places I have travelled came to mind. Grand Canyon? Bali? Great Barrier Reef?

When I recall them, a big sense of nostalgia washes over me..well at least I imagine the that is what nostalgia feels like.

It is a sense of warm fuzz. Of places I have travelled. Folks I met there and on the way there. Yes, they feel like great places, but the ‘greatest’ place?

When people ask you about your ‘favourite this or most loved that’, are you like me and struggle to find an absolute?

There is a thing going around on Facebook recently, that is pretty cool. It is a list of questions to ask your children and write what their first response is to the questions. I must find that and do it with the kids. That would be a good keep sake.

Anyway, as I was doing some painting with our 9 year old,  using some of the most gorgeous colours I asked her, “9 year old, what is my favourite colour?” To which she says, “It depends on what you like at the moment mum. You never have a colour that is consistent”.

Ha! I chuckled. Yes. 1. She knows her mum well. 2. No, I don’t. My favourite colour does change. But that is me and I know that this is not everyone’s way. My hubby has had the same fave colour like all his life and in some ways I like that he has that certainty. That this is his fave colour. Locked and loaded. Done.

So when it comes to considering what I believe to be the greatest place in the world, where do I go? What comes to mind?

Google of course. Right?

Google tells me that there is over 12,000,000 results to that question. Good. I’ll see you in 25 years after I have read them all.

But since I don’t have the  time or inclination, here are a few pics that came up when I did the search. Yeah. I’d agree. They all look like pretty great places. But the greatest?

It’s completely subjective right? Each of us probably has a different ‘greatest place’. Oh how I would love to hear what others peoples greatest place int he world is.

But here is a thought. What if the greatest place isn’t somewhere we go?

I can’t know for sure but I reckon that Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher, author of “The Power of Now” and as Oprah calls him “a modern day prophet”, would say the the greatest place in the word is where ever you are.

Hmmm. I wonder though.

Let me just consider for a moment if I was in some other place in the world. If I was a mother, in Syria right now. I wonder if I would think that in that place, a place that since 2011 has been affected by civil war (um, and just quietly…I am no expert, but ins’t “civil war” and oxymoron?), that was the greatest place in the world . Millions upon millions of Syrian people have fled their homes since the outbreak of war. Government fighting against it’s people and people against the government and neither seems to care who gets killed in the process.

If I asked a mother who was in the midst of that war, would she say Paris is the greatest place in the world, or the Great Barrier Reef, or Machu Picchu? Or would a safe, warm and quiet place with your family be the greatest place in the world?

Sometimes I can get agitated thinking that I am not doing enough, haven’t done any thing GREAT ENOUGH with my life. That I want to find the greatest place in the world and then take my family there. I take myself away from what is already great and get agitated wanting more. More great.

And yet, as I am just about to finish this blog, I feel incredibly humbled. And softer. And more settled.

Right now, I am sitting comfortably. In a quiet building surrounded by some of my favourite things…which incidentally I predict will always be a favourite thing (books). There are people, they are calm. Quite. Whispering. Oh and some not whispering AT ALL. Which makes me smile. All sorts of folks are here. All colours. Heights. Ages. Doing all manner of things. Some typing busily. Some reading. Some writing. I am writing and I love writing. I feel happy. Content.

And after here, I am going to pick up my children, to take them back to a quiet, calm, spacious house surrounded by nature where we will debrief our days and chow down on food that we have been able to collect easily from our local market. If it too hot we can have cool showers with running water and even turn on the air-conditioning if we desire. Not long after, my husband, their daddy will arrive home after working to provide all the niceties in our lives. We will have a yummy dinner. Hugs each other. Tell some stories. Sing. Hopefully laugh in there somewhere. Then we will sleep in comfortable beds, under a safe roof…and dream.

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Sigh.

So, not to sound poxy, or like a fluff pot just trying to make stuff up, but i gotta say, right now, I AM in the Greatest Place in the World.

So, I want to ask you….where do you think is the greatest place in the world.

Oh and PS..ask me again where the greatest place in the world is when the kids are arguing and the washing isn’t folding itself and homework needs done…by someone other than myself!

****Thanks to Daily Post Discover for the inspo for this blog****

If you want to be supported and inspired to create stuff that the world would love to see, join a small group of passionate and motivated folks over at Soul Creative.

Kicks off on February 1st. Check it out and if it vibes with you, let me know.

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It is official and I just don’t know how much time I have left!!

So my friends. It is official. I AM DYING.

It has been confirmed. And I am not sure how much time I have left, all I know is I am dying.

It is a sad and yet very real truth.

So before I say good bye, I have to say this.

My friend, YOU ARE DYING TOO!

Now before you get all, ‘dar, of course we are deush bag, you scared me there I thought you were ACTUALLY dying!!!” I just want to consider this TRUTH that we all KNOW but kinda don’t actually want to consider.

Deeply consider.

Immediately the brain will go into survival mode and us in a state of alert.

“Holy shit, I am dying. Shit. What do I do? What have I done with my life? Shit. How do I stop this from happening?”

So, lets just take a breath…no, I am serious, you and me, take a breath now! Inhale deeply into your belly and exhale all the old air out. And, if you are feeling really scared that you are dying, maybe you take another one!

I’m not minimising the absolute pain it causes when we lose someone we love deeply. I am not minimising the distress real painful death causes.

But beauty, here is the truth.

If you are not living a vibrant and expansive and growth-kind-of-life, you may as well have a terminal illness.

In my 20’s I learnt the biggest learning about life…and death. I had taken a job doing 12 hour night shifts in an oncology unit. These people were proper dying. Chemotherapy kind of dying. Bone cancer kind of dying. Brain tumour kind of dying.

I was blessed to work nights in that unit, because it was at night I could hear the sobbing. It was at night I had the time to sit with these folks. It was at night the regrets surfaced. It was at night I got schooled on life.

3 patients have stayed with me since that time on the oncology unit. I want share one of those life teachers lessons and pay homage to a woman who would never have known how much she would influence my life.

Mary. A woman in her late 60’s who had spent her entire life committed to running a corporate business. She was a passionate woman and made the decision in her 30’s to commit to her job and forgo the family life. The mainstream life. She told me of all her  glorious travels. She told me of the money she had made. The safety of her role in the company she ran for over 25 years. The friends she had met.

I was captivated and loved listening to her.

We both looked forward to our chats and the reminiscing.

Mary spoke so positively about her decision to not have a family and to commit her energy to her job. I admired that. At that time I wan’t sure how I felt about having a family. I thought I’d just have dogs really. Not kids (side not, I have no dog and 3 kids).

Then one night, when I was doing my rounds, I found Mary sobbing. Proper ugly cry, snot flinging sobbing. My heart. Oh my heart. I can still remember.

When she finally caught her breath, we talked. And she shared honestly. Deeply honestly with me. And I can still remember like it was last night I was with her. I still have th journal entry about it!

She said, “I married my job. I chose that. And it is not that makes me sad. What makes me sad is that I didn’t LOVE my life. I never questioned if that is what my heart really wanted. Truth be known I was too afraid. And now, as I lay in this bed dying, I see that I have no family, no friends and the folks that I used to work with, well they are still working. Jenny, I am dying and I don’t think I mattered to anyone. Don’t ever follow anything other than your heart and create a life you love”.

Ugh……still gets me!!

You and I came here, this one time, in this unique form in this unique experience. Not ten years ago, not 120 years ago (welllll, maybe you are the oldest person alive reading this..if you are “hi”, how honoured am I?”

You came here, in this unique form, with all your unique gifts, this time around.

Consider that.

Don’t you think that is fucking miraculous? FUCKING miraculous.

And my beauty, how is it that you are spending your life right now?

Watching cat video’s and being pissed off in your job and bitching and moaning about grumpy people you heard talking about how many grumpy they are in the world?

I mean, really? Is this how we want to treat our one precious life.

Are you spending it all up in other peoples business, telling them what they ‘should’ be doing and you aren’t actually doing what you know you ‘should’ be doing in your own life?

Are you gossiping and poo poo-ing folks behind their backs?

Steven Pressfield in his book, “The War of Art” talks about this really, real thing called ‘resistance’ which in simplest terms is about us feeling this internal push back when we want to follow this ‘inner calling’ thing.

It’ll be the parent who suddenly says they desperately need your help (when they have been refusing it for years), just when you are about to step into a new creative direction.

It’ll be the school fees at the private school you are busting to pay for for your child so they might have a ‘better life than yours’..poor kid is going to carry that burden (don’t worry…they need something to go to therapy for”.

Then the story we make up is, “oh, see I am not meant to do that, the universe obviously doesn’t want that to happen”. Is it the universe or is it YOU?

Sweet beauty.

You want to quit just like that?

Well of course you do. You are terrified of what will happen if you actually follow that calling thing.

You are afraid that you will look like a dick if it doesn’t ‘quite work out’.

You are afraid that there will be folks saying, “I told you so, you should have just stayed in that suck-arse-life-taking-piece-of-shit-job where you feel like your life is being completely vampired”!

You are afraid that all that thinking, dreaming and plotting may not turn out just like you wanted it too.

You are afraid that you will lose a shit load of money and then feel like a funk-arse failure.

You are afraid that people will be like, “oh but all of that is already done. I mean, do we really need another book/candle/pen/dance/talk/piece of food in the world (insert your thing)?

You are afraid that no one will vibe with your stuff and be like, “Oh well that was a waste of time and money wasn’t it?”

You are afraid that you will be criticised.

You are afraid folks will think you are ‘too good for yourself’ and turn their nose up at you and keep their distance like you are losing your skin and bleeding everywhere.

You are…AFRAID.

And I get it. I SO get it. I get is beyond getting it. I do.

I am afraid too.

No, really I am.

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I am afraid that I am not going to have time in my life to create everything I want to create.

I am afraid that I will be on my own on this creative adventure.

I am afraid that people will think I know all the fucking answers to all the pain and problems in the world.

I am afraid that I am not enough. That I haven’t done enough. That I am not good enough.

I am afraid that all the money I have invested in training, and development and learning and everything is not going to produce what I want and will be a waste of money.

Yes, I am afraid.

I am.

I am afraid AND I am doing it anyway. It isn’t completely clear, it isn’t really defined. But I follow the calls. The next call. And the next.

Not because it is perfect (um, not even close to it). Not because I know exactly what I am doing but because the risk of NOT doing it FAR too great for me NOT to!

I don’t want to spend this one precious life waiting. Waiting until I feel enough. Waiting for the ‘right’ time. Waiting until someone gives me permission to follow the calling that just wont stop.

The calling is not a ‘thing’ or a job title or a particular event.

It is a calling to show up in my life.

It is a calling to do more of that stuff that just makes time pass effortlessly.

It is a calling to notice the things that feel constrictive in my body and notice the things that feel expansive.

It is a calling to create a life instead of complain about a life.

It is a calling to be curious and open and to never really ‘know’ all the answers.

It is a calling to serve.

It is calling to be fucking kind to myself, to honour myself and try stuff. And fail. And learn. And grow. And try.

It is a calling that will not quit.

AND IT IS A CALLING TO SHARE WHAT I LEARN ALONG THE WAY!

This, where I sit right now, typing to the one person (that is you) that is reading this is my calling!

To share my life adventure so that you might be reminded that you are not alone. That I too am afraid. AND that we can still do it anyway!!

To remind you of your strength in your uniqueness. And your strength in your sameness. You are strong. You ‘know’ you can do this thing, you are just afraid.

To remind you that each house in the world has a table in it, but it ins’t the SAME table, made by the SAME person. NO, there are tables made all over the place for all kinds of settings, tastes, colours, shapes. I mean…come on!

SO if you are afraid that it has already been done, it hasn’t been done your way.

If you afraid that it is going to cost you too much, start by sussing it with your friends. Talk to a trusted friend. Not a blow smoke up your arse friend, and not a friend that is a scared as you, but a friend that will give it to you straight. AND love you deeply.

Beauty, I am dying. And, when I get to the end and look back, I want to know that I have loved. I want to know that I gave it a red hot crack at creating a life that I am proud of. That I showed my kids what it is to not just talk about my dreams, but let my gifts unfold into reality. That I was SUPER kind to myself through the process.

So, can we hold each other accountable, right now? Can we commit to quit the bitching about our spouses, our friends, our bosses, and other bitch-worthy shit?

AND instead, turn our attention in and ask, “what kind of person do I want to be in this world and what do I want to create?”.

Life is precious. Life is oh so short. You just don’t know how much time you have left!

Oh and Mary, if you can hear me on the other side, know that you mattered to me more than we will ever really know!

Sending you big, big love

Jen

xxx

 

 

 

2

We Need to Talk

Women. Lets talk.

This hating on yourself because your life maybe didn’t pan out exactly as you planned. Stop!

Hating on yourself because you didn’t have a plan and things went a bit south! Enough!

Wishing you hadn’t over exerted yourself and wound up sick and or injured. QUIT IT.

Women. We have to stop the hating.

It just is not helping. Is it? I mean, all this hating on yourself, is it helping. Anyone?

I’ve been dong this Whole Hearted Parenting course, facilitated by Brene Brown, one of my mentors. One of the exercises asked us to examine some of the self talk we used to use at various ages along our journey.

Turns out, sadly, a lot of the talk I inherited early on. AND my mum and dad and I never talked about self talk. Like NEVER.

I kind of had an inhale moment when I thought about the possibility that my girls might take on my self talk. Like punch in the gut inhale.

Nope. Not that! Anything but that.

I had an eating disorder, an exercise addiction, a push myself till I drop addiction.

BUT I also had an outspoken, creative, funny as fuck part of me, that I failed to nurture along the way!

Yes, we are messy creatures us women. And thank fuck. I love neat, don’t get me wrong, but damn I love some mess.

Lets stop hating on ourselves for the stuff we think is NOT ok.

And instead, learn to love ALL of the aspects of ourselves and remember, that sure, we might not have got things comepltety sorted, but you know what, some of the stuff that we encounter that we feel like is IN THE WAY of a great life is actually ON THE WAY to the greatest life.

It’s an adventure women. A sometimes revoltingly scary one, but it is an adventure.

You need to know you are not alone in the woods. We are right here with you sweet women! We are all learning to love ourselves. Even like ourselves. So, no, those crazy thoughts you have, they don’t mean you are cray cray.

They just mean that you are human!

We love you human.

Be kind to yourself for fuck sake! It is COMPLETELY important!

Big love

Jen

xxx

 

2

 

I like to load up my life plate with all the good stuff. Adventures. Courses. Teachings. Parties. Events. All the good stuff.

A bit like my literal plate on Christmas Day when everyone pulls out their best delights to share with all of us.

Load up. I do. I did.

And, the process is filled with excitement and anticipation. All that yumminess. Right!?

e6251fab1d93529248308b3231638eacBUT the execution! Well it usually leaves me heavy and tired and regretful. Not to mention bloated.

I TOOK ON TOO MUCH!

Again!

I am notorious for this.

And I’ve come to see that there is this little limiting belief that sits in the very depths of my psyche.

It is the “I’ll miss out” program that runs.

Sigh.

FOMO the cool kids are calling it. Fear of Missing Out.

It’s a doozy one that one.

Mostly, it renders us stuck, purely because we end up completely overwhelmed and scattered.

SO.

Solution.

Know that there is this little sinister voice that exists. Whispering away telling me that if I say no, it could mean that I am going to miss the most amazing opportunity like EVER! It whispers that I am going to fall behind. Miss my chance. My time.

Blah.

Poop.

Ugh.

I am so glad that I have woken up to the voice. As quiet as it was.

And aren’t our internal voices a bit like that.

5990f4aa4ac4a825919fe91f48705896.jpgThey kind of creep up behind you and whisper sweet nothings in your ear. Often when you are consumed with doing something else, so you can’t really hear it, clearly!

It isn’t like someone yelling right in your face. Making a whole big scene. It is the gentle, sinister whispers. Seeping deep.

So we load ourselves up. Believing we need to to more. Be more. Get more.

Load up. Load up.

Well, this year, 2017 I am de-loading. PROPER.

Saying no to some things has felt like such a pain in my body. Like Proper.

Not because it isn’t the right thing for me right now, but because I am so used to saying YES.

I am the yes master. The ‘sure that will be fine’ chick.

But, I am now, not that.

So, if I say yes to you, know that it is a proper yes. Not a people pleasing, superwoman, I can do everything kind of yes. It is a true yes.

And it might be a yes that has required me to marinate on it for a while.

Just trust that we can talk about that shizzle.

And if I say no, it is NOT a personal thing. Not your personal thing anyway. It is my personal thing.

And it might not be a complete no either. It might be a “no, not yet” kinda deal. So, lets not feel rejected.

So, I am clear. I am focussed on what my heart desires and most importantly, WHY.

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2017…lets dance!

Yes, I’ll trip. Yes, I’ll fall. I’ll stumble. But I am dancing! I am dancing! And that is what dancing is full of. We’ll just make it part of the dance!

You dancing with me?

Big, big love!

xx

0

Day One. A New-ish Way….

The first day of 2016 I was sick. Some say hungover, and while there may have been some of that in there, ok, there would have been, I was also in the midst of what I soon came to see was a pretty yuk virus that consumed me for the first part of the year.

But I wasn’t to know that is how the year would go.

It wasn’t a jinx. It wasn’t because I didn’t have the perfect start to the year. It was as it was. And I had to learn how to navigate it. And really, isn’t that what life is. A navigation of terrain?

Aren’t we all just finding our own way through life the best way we can?