Today has been one of those “me” days. They really are wonderful days when you choose to put all of your effort, energy and time into just taking care of yourself and being with yourself. This is a much more conscious activity than it may seem. It’s really very easy to hang up your so-called ‘loner’ shoes and give a friend a call to see if they could join you in your days events (or lack thereof). In comes the conscious decision to spend the day with yourself.
I was chatting with a good friend recently, when the idea of being alone came up. There it was, the question that I think I tend to avoid and dread when it comes up in conversation.
Are you truly happy being alone?
This is a tough one. I mean, no one really wants to admit that they are not okay with being alone and they get a slight panicky feeling when they realize that they have no one to call and are just left to themselves. It’s against our human nature. Biologically, we can only exist with another, procreation cannot happen with one person. This reminds me of my horses in Calgary. They are so funny and so predictable (but I suppose we humans are as well). If you try to separate a horse from the herd when it has spent all of it’s time with its buddies- it will be sure to make a scene and won’t be very happy with you (until you trick them with food- hah! they ARE just like us).
Why do we do this? Because biologically, we cannot survive alone. At some point we would die off. So there you go. I am using my innate biological instinct as an excuse for why I tend to get uncomfortable when I feel that I am truly alone. I think another reason is because I have spent a lot of my life taking care of others or generally just putting people ahead of me. By doing this, I have undervalued myself and in turn told myself that I am not worth the love or time. This is something I have been actively trying to change. It is difficult because I have been in the pattern of caring for others for such a long time. Time to break the pattern. Time to make the change! (Friends: don’t worry, I will not start ignoring you:P)
Back to the conversation I had with a friend about being alone. Her prompt was quite wonderful and really hit home with me. Go traveling, by yourself. I know, I know. It’s obvious. Everyone talks about it. Haven’t you watched/read Eat, Pray, Love?! (that’s what you are asking me by the way). Believe me, I have. and it definitely got me thinking- but I think I wasn’t ready to truly present myself with the concept and be honest with myself at that point in time. Things have changed a bit, I have grown, a bit (haha).
The thing about going on a trip, by myself, which has really begun to intrigue me is that I can’t use the excuse of putting people ahead of me anymore. You are forced to care about yourself and find out what it is that you really want to do and what you are interested in. Think about it- you wake up and what do you eat for breakfast? What do you want to see? Where do you want to go? When do you want to go to bed? Do you want to drink? Do you want to talk to that stranger? Do you want to talk to anyone? These are all things that I think we don’t ask ourselves much anymore because we are either so stuck in the routine of our daily lives OR we are too busy to ever stop and ask ourselves why? These are all things that I think are important to get back into the habit of doing. Slow down, take a breath and ask yourself why. You may be surprised with your answer (or lack there of), I know I continue to be! You don’t need to spend a bunch of money & time in order to start putting yourself first. Have a “me” day. One day a week, spend it with yourself. Do something that only you want to do, and catch yourself when you are grabbing that good old cell phone to see who is ‘down’ to join in. It may not be as easy as it sounds! This reminds me of a quote I found this week on Instagram that stole my heart and my mind immediately:
Dont forget to fall in love with yourself first.
Guess where this quote is taken from. None other than yours truly, Carrie Bradshaw (Sex & the City baby)
I’ve been eying the beautiful variety of squash that are gracing the shelves of Whole Foods in the past few weeks. There are so many great things about fall & winter when it comes to food, and one of the highlights are the winter squash. Squash is such an amazing vegetable, comes in so many sizes, shapes and colours- and best of all it is so satisfying and delicious. Enter Curry! Curry is also one of those dishes that always works. It tends to be a mid-week dish for me. It’s one of those dishes that you turn to when you don’t feel like going out and doing a full grocery shop but you don’t want to eat out and also want to make the most of what you have in your kitchen and on your countertop;)
For me, my curry ingredients vary but I tend to stick to a small set of fundamental players: vegetable broth, turmeric, cumin, ginger, garlic, chili, chickpeas and depending on if I want it creamy (coconut milk) or more runny (cooked down tomatoes). Aside from these keys- you really can run wild, depending on what is seasonal and what you have. Some great options are: cauliflower, brocolli, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, spinach, kidney beans, lentils, cilantro, parsley.
This post wont be as elaborate and creative as the previous post Satisfyingly Simple Smoked Salmon Chowder. Unfortunately, I am not able to have my graphic designer (Sam Elgar) and photographer (Alyson Strike) locked up in my home patiently waiting, ready, for me to cook and blog away. With that said, I won’t stop cooking or sharing. The only downfall is that sometimes the caliber of the post won’t be as high, until I get programs like Illustrator down. My cooking on the other hand is only improving and I have to say, I am starting to surprise myself. It’s the love and passionate energy that is going into each step of the process. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did!
- 1 acorn squash, cubed (skin on if organic)
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup organic chickpeas (soaked, rinsed)
- 3 cups mixed greens (chard, kale, spinach)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup coconut mylk
- 3 cups organic vegetable brother
- 2-3 tablespoons cumin powder
- 2 tablespoons grated ginger (or ginger powder)
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons garam masala spice blend
- 1 tablespoon madras curry spice blend
- 2 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon chilli powder
- In a pot, add the onion and garlic to the coconut oil on medium heat and allow it to saute for 5-8 minutes or until the onions are translucent
- Add the cubed squash, ginger, and chili and allow to saute for 5-8 minutes
- Add the chickpeas and allow to cook for 3 minutes
- Add the vegetable broth and the rest of the spices and cook down for 10 minutes
- Add the red bell pepper & coconut milk and allow to cook down on low-medium heat for 5-8 minutes
- minutes before the curry is done cooking- add the greens so that they are just lightly cooked
- Serve with brown rice, black rice or quinoa (I served it with 1 cup of short grain brown rice that was soaked over night)