You may have heard the saying, hindsight is 20/20. And of course, it wouldn't be so clear if you didn't have time to reflect on it afterwards. That's exactly what I've been doing these past few months - reflecting - and ready to tackle whatever comes my way.
Let me start at the end of the story: the trip of a lifetime, the trip to cap off the first half of my year that had quite a few bumps in the road. SurfYogaBeer, you gave me exactly what I needed at exactly the right time - the universe is funny that way, you know? Amazing food, amazing views, and even more amazing people contributed to a blissed-out week where I was more present in every moment than I had been in months.
Now, back to the real world, where I'm dealing with the ever-present reality of Saturn's return. Yep, Saturn's return, the period of time leading up to when Saturn returns to the same position it was on the day you were born. This period of time marks major transition as you move in to the next phase of your life. Think I'm crazy? Look it up!
What else has changed? A new job, a new apartment... just to name a couple. You may be thinking, Nina this is so much change at once! I don't disagree. It's a TON actually. If I've learned anything over the last few years, it's to be patient with myself, especially during these times of change. I tend to be very impatient and I often have to remind myself that it's going to take time. But I also remind myself that this is such an exciting time, with lots of beautiful and positive things to come.
So what remains true and consistent? My desire to keep up with this blog, and my love for cooking (of course). I've had to start meal prepping to bring lunch to my new job, which has been challenging but has allowed me to get more creative in the kitchen. I've been inspired by Food52's one-pot meals, like these curried coconut lentils. OH MY GOD, YUM. (Note: I added frozen peas and walnuts to mine). Meal prep has also allowed me to have a quick dinner without having to start cooking as soon as I get home. Win-win.
Oh, another thing that's going on? My dream of writing a COOKBOOK with my kickass friend Ilana is FINALLY COMING TRUE.
HELL YEAH, A COOKBOOK. A cookbook for us - the millenials - the ones realizing how incredibly valuable home cooking is and how important it is to have some basic skills, and absolutely delicious recipes, under our belts. We've been thinking about this for years and it's finally starting to happen. We only ask that you remain patient, as we're only at the beginning of planning, which happens to be the most fun... recipe development!
You wanna help test out recipes? Get in line.
Just kidding, there is no line. (Or is there?)
To give you a little taste of what's to come (see what I did there?), I'm going to share an exclusive cookbook recipe with y'all!
Here's what you'll need to make GRAB-n-GO Protein Balls (makes 10-12, two-bite balls):
- 1 large banana, mashed
- ⅓ cup almond butter or peanut butter
- ¾ cup rolled oats (not quick cook!)
- 1 TBS maple syrup
- 1 TBS hemp seeds
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 TBS dried goji berries (or cranberries, or blueberries)
- 1 TBS semi sweet or dark chocolate chips, slightly chopped (leave some full pieces)
- 1 ½ TBS unsweetened coconut flakes (mix in) + 1 cup flakes (reserved for rolling)
- Pinch of sea salt
Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl. Set aside baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
On a large plate, pour 1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes. Using a spoon, scoop mixture and roll into 1-inch balls (about 1 TBS worth of mixture). Coat each protein ball with coconut flakes and place on baking sheet. Repeat until mixture is gone.
Refrigerate protein balls for at least 30 minutes; overnight is best. You can also freeze; the texture/consistency won't change that much! Store in an airtight container - will last 3-5 days in the fridge, 1-2 weeks in the freezer.
This is THE perfect snack to grab if you're running late to work, or to pop right before a spin class. Or, just-because you're hungry and want something packed with protein, fiber, and healthier sugars.
It's good to be back, in more ways than one. Ciao (for now)!