Pasta-Free Pasta

Pasta-Free Pasta
Disclaimer: this is an alternative approach to cooking spaghetti:))

Have you ever craved a pasta-meal that doesn’t leave you overly stuffed or bloated?

If you are familiar with the  “zoodles”  terminology, you already know what to expect in this post.

If you haven’t, then please continue reading to learn how to prepare them. It is actually very easy and doesn’t require a lot of time investment.

Ideally, you need a spiralizer or a basic spiral slicer.

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For the “pasta” you would need 2-3 big zucchini or cucumbers.

The dressing I recommend must consists of a proportioned ration of healthy fats, herbs, fruit and lemon/lime juice (or apple cider vinegar). The simplest would be to stir two tablespoons of tahini with lemon juice, vinegar and water until it gets creamy. It is very versatile in you can mold into any variation you would like. You can also prepare it without the fruit if you lean towards more savory foods.

These are my favorite combinations:

  • Half to a medium avocado, basil, one medium orange, mango or two/three small tangerines, cup of cherry tomatoes, oregano, lime juice, paprika (or chili flakes), a pinch of Himalayan salt.
  • A tablespoon of tahini  (or two tablespoons of hemp seeds), few celery sticks, piece of ginger, two teaspoons of  Bregg’s aminos, lemon juice, dash of turmeric or curry powder, oregano, onion flakes. Optional: nutritional yeast (rich in vitamin B complex and protein) and dulse (algae rich in Iodine that gives a salty flavour).
  • Two tablespoons of pumpkin seeds (or hemp seeds; or a half-half of the both), one small orange, two medjool dates, lemon juice, cumin, dill, basil.

Note:

By no means am I saying that pasta is unhealthy; just the opposite – complex carbohydrates can be a great fuel for your body if your body tolerates carbs well. I personally feel my best eating a predominantly raw diet that consists of a lot of vegetables and healthy fats, and some fruit.

If you are looking for a low-carb, yet delicious and satisfying dinner/lunch, zucchini noodles are for you!

Hope you enjoy those recipes and please remember that you can always adapt the listed ingredients to your taste and cupboard availability. 

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Unleash Your Creativity In Three Steps

Unleash Your Creativity In Three Steps

I genuinely applaud you if you’re the kind of person that never faces self-doubt. 

However, statistics show that most creative souls experience an immense amount of self-doubt and creativity blockages.

In reality, creativity is an ever-flowing source of inspiration.

it is when we COMPLETELY let go of the inhibition to be creative when we can unleash our already inbred creative power.  

Below are my three pillars of tuning in to creativity – the creativity we all humans have inside us, regardless of our “left”/“right”-side of the brain predispositions.

I. EXPRESS

We express our creative talents differently. Some of us like to play an instrument, to sing, to paint, to cook, to write poetry, to take photos…

Once we find it, we must connect to it and recognize it as our source of intrinsic and omnipresent passion.

When we are passionate about our creative mark, inspiration follows us everywhere we go. 

We begin to “breathe” our art, to exhale creativity and tune in with its medium of expression.

II. HONOR

The opposite of passion is stagnation.

And stagnation stems from fear: fear of not being good enough, creative enough, skillful enough, experienced enough, worthy-of-calling-yourself-an-artist enough. 

And that’s why so many people live their lives in regrets for not following up on their childhood passion to play the piano, be a painter, learn how to sing, take more dance classes, etc.

There is this stereotype that if one hasn’t been working on their gift from an early age they are doomed to abandon their needs for creativity and wait for another lifetime to pursue them.

And that’s, in short, the shame of following up on an idea what creativity is, without honoring your unique life situation.

Whether you have been an artist all of your life, or you suddenly wake up one day in your 40s, with the desire to sing/paint/play an instrument/etc, honor that need.

III. CULTIVATE

When you find what makes you feel joyous and creative, you have to begin showing up for it and set time in your life to just do it.

Read more here.

With Love and Care,

~Ana-Maria

 

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Get Back Your Power!

Get Back Your Power!

We, human beings, have the precious gift to GROW from any challenge.

To either let the obstacles burn our passion, or ignite our strength.

To make us stronger and eager to move on.

And as phoenixes, to transpose our ashes to gold. 

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*To make peace with the past
*To forgive and detach

*To owe our mistakes

*To admit we have failed

*To send love to our wound

*To allow healing to bloom

*To be bold to take action

*To monitor our reactions

*To peacefully let go of what we don’t want in our day

*To trust something better is coming our way

*To take responsibility to come back on track

*And, determinedly, take our POWER back!
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If you know somebody who needs to be reminded of their power, please forward them this post.

 

 

~ With Love and Care,

Ana-Maria

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Curate Your Own Happiness Ritual

Curate Your Own Happiness Ritual

The quality happy time we spend with our friends, partners, and family members is indispensable and incompatible to anything else. But, nevertheless, for our personal growth, we also require an individual “solo” time with ourselves to reflect, replenish and refill our own happiness-trunk.

If we constantly measure our moments of happiness through experiences involving an external condition, we are trapped in a co-dependence on sources outside of ourselves to bring us comfort and fulfillment.

Therefore, please ask yourself:  “Do I have a ritual for self-sourced happiness?” ;”One that doesn’t include other people?”

It can be any of the following:

Perhaps writing in your journal? Or going for a walk? 

Or reading a book? Maybe drawing?

Treating yourself with a massage? Listening to uplifting music? Meditating?

Playing an instrument? Or cooking a meal? Or reorganizing your closet?

 

———- Whatever that practice means for you, it is uniquely yours, and you are the only one in command to execute it and show up for it on a regular basis.

•>Accordingly, my second question for You to ask Yourself is:

“How often Do I Make Time (in a day) To Be Happy?”

***
I know you are busy. And so I am. However, I know how much more motivated, organized and self-determined I am when I invest thoughts and energy into my own well-being.

My invitation to all of us is to focus on spending at least a few minutes in a twenty-four-hour frame to replenish our senses and do something we love…in our own company…for as much or as little time we can find in a hectic day:  even if that comes down to just listening to a song we love, looking at a beautiful picture, or simply closing our eyes and sending thoughts of self-care and affirmation that we are doing the best we can in any given situation.

~ With Love and Care,

Ana-Maria

💙👋🏻🙏🏼

 


If you liked this post, please share it with your friends on Social Media.

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Check out my previous posts:

coping with challenges/ morning hackspreserving positive feelings.Hh

 

 

 

 

 

Have further questions? Let me know! 

 

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Pecan Delight

Pecan Delight

It is this time of the year when we start to anticipate the taste of grounding foods and spices.

And since we are approaching November (and Thanks Giving), in this post I am sharing with you my favorite recipe with pecans..which is actually not a pumpkin pie!

If you are curious about my sugar-free pumpkin pie recipe, please comment below, and I will happily share it (*make sure to subscribe to get a notification).

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What you need:

  • A cup of cauliflower rice (I buy it frozen and leave it in the fridge overnight to melt down a bit)
  • A cup of blueberries
  • A cup of raw pecans
  • A cup of coconut/almond milk
  • A touch of stevia or, if not a fan, a tea spoon of Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup of raw coconut flour

Mix all of the ingredients very well and enjoy this raw pecan pudding: 

Ideal for a light snack, after-dinner snack or a pick-me-up breakfast in the morning.

If you want to make it heartier, you can also add two tablespoons of chia seeds to add fiber, volume and protein and satisfy your hunger for longer.

I hope you liked this recipe and, if you did, check out those two related posts.

~With Love and Care,

Ana-Maria

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Coping With Challenges: In 3 Strategic Steps

Coping With Challenges: In 3 Strategic Steps

Challenges are, no tautology intended, challenging and always require a direct investment of mental courage and cheering self-talk.

When we perceive difficulties as welcomed transitions to something inherently better, we adopt a more peaceful and determined mindset that we can deal with everything that Life sends our way: both positive and negative. 

In fact, very often that which we have perceived as negative gifts us with a precious opportunity to learn a new skill, experience a new sensation and grow as human beings.

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The steps I follow when I am dealing with any transition/challenge are the following:

1) Search for signs; 2) Show up for the assignment; 3) Understand the lesson.

I. Searching For Signs 

Signs are sneaky to catch and quite often blurry. To dismantle their euphemistic nature, we have to spend time in silence decipher their rooted meaning in meditation. Our gut and intuition are impeccable in their advice but, in order to understand it, we need to detach our ego-mind from interfering with the message that we are receiving.

And that only happens if we don’t maneuver the interpretation of the sign towards the direction we (think*) want. Because our intuition would often tell us to do the opposite of what our comfort level is.

II. Showing Up For The Assignment 

That one is very individual depending on our current situation and life circumstance: can be anything from ending/reshifting relationships; moving to a new job/location; going back to school/or leaving it altogether; transitioning to a new career path, etc.

But it has to be done in order for us to experience whatever it is that our heart truly wants.

III. Understand The Lesson 

Understanding the lesson can only happen after we have learned it, and there is no shortcut to learning without showing up for the practice.

As Charles Bukowski said: What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.

In that context, we can’t learn how to walk through any challenges unless we take action and experience the lesson.

***** ⤵️

To Recap: 

I. Our meditation practice shows us how to interpret the sign(s).

II. Showing up for the knowledge we gather is our initiation to the lesson we must learn.

III. Experiencing going through the passage discloses the purpose of the lesson and its significance for our growth.

 

***

Please let me know if you have your own strategies for dealing with challenges and subscribe to my blog to receive notifications for my next posts.

~ With love and care,

Ana-Maria

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The Importance of “Preserving” Positive Feelings

The Importance of “Preserving” Positive Feelings

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I personally love traveling to places that rejuvenate my body and revitalize my spirit with inspiration, wanderlust, and zest for pursuing my goals and dreams. And what better time for such an expedition to exploration than the end of summer?

In a way, I perceive the fall season as the beginning of the year. And it is such, for all of us that are students (in an academic institution, or in life). I look at the falling leaves and reminisce about everything that has fallen from me in the past four seasons: fears, judgment, limitations…all of those tiny tricksters that snatch our motivation and recycle it into hopelessness and lack of motivation.

In his book Hardwiring Happiness (which I recommend!*), the author Rick Hanson speaks about the neurological pathways that either impede or enhance our sense of contentment, calm and confidence. A practice he mentions, that stood out for me, is consciously remembering in details the memories, events or feelings that made us feel our best. And to rehearse the chosen moment in our mind until it paves a cognitive canal that can, later on, lead us to emotional salvation when we are feeling sad, unmotivated or discouraged.

For example, imagine the event (or place) in the last six months that made you feel your happiest.

For me, that was being at the Black Sea and swimming in the azure waters while soaking up the sun, eating gooey figs, writing in my journal and listening to the sound of the waves.

Whatever your chosen memory is: close your eyes and track back every moment as vividly as you can. Remember to not only relive it in your mind to also to feel it: paying close attention to the emotions that were produced by that experience… The joy. The laughter. The experience itself. The company you were with.  Whatever it is for you. Then, take a few minutes to reflect how those depicters made you feel. And, most importantly, why? 

I suggest you either do this exercise mentally or, even better, take a journal and free-write. Choose a time in space that made you feel extraordinary and observe closely your thoughts and feelings. Your mind, heart, and body know best why you felt so liberated and happy experiencing those emotions in that particular moment.

The purpose of this practice, as Hanson suggests, is to provide us with mental tools to recreate the palette of positive emotions that already exist in our memory so that we can adhere to their vibrational content to color our current canvass with the same positivity and excitement for life.

I am curious to hear about your happiest memories from last year. If you are willing to share, let`s create a discussion!

Leave your comments below and share this practice with your friends.

~ With love and care,

Ana-Maria

*If you follow my posts, you might remember I recently mentioned his work in this post here.

 

 

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