Yummy Orange & Orzo Salad :)

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It’s spring here in the southern hemisphere, and I’m getting in the mood for summer salads! Here’s one of my favorite new recipes. I hope you enjoy it as much I do!

Salad ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked orzo*
  • 1 navel orange
  • 2 cups (handfuls) salad greens – use anything you like! I prefer a mix of arugula/roquette, red lettuce, romaine/cos, etc.
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1 witloof (Belgian endive)
  • 1 handful sugar snap peas
  • 2 tsp chia seeds

Directions:

Boil orzo in water until al dente. Rinse with cool water, drain, transfer to a large dish, and place in freezer for 5-7 minutes. Stir every 2 minutes or so until orzo is cool to taste. Cover and place in the fridge, while you make the salad.

Peel and slice the orange into small cubes. Place in separate large serving dish/bowl.

Add chopped salad greens, mung beans sprouts, and sugar snap peas.

Add sliced witloof. Top with chia seeds.

Dressing

  • 1 navel orange
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 splash avocado oil infused with lime – or any other citrus-y/fruity oil you like.
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cracked pepper.
  • Optional – 1 dollop of dijon mustard to make it spicier.

Directions:

In a small bowl add, salt, pepper, EVOO, and avocado oil.

Add 1 1/2 tsp orange zest.

Slice orange in half, then add juice from both pieces.

Whisk until well blended.

To finish it off:

Pour cooled orzo onto prepared salad.

Top with salad dressing.

Stir until well blended.

*Orzo can be replaced by millet, brown rice, cous cous, or any other grain you like or prefer to use depending on your dietary needs.

**I use as many organic ingredients as I can to make this a super healthy meal.

 

This recipe was featured on MindBodyGreen.

 

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Soothing Blue Smoothie :)

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I’ve been having some GI issues of late, and this smoothie really seems to calm my tummy. It’s a beautiful deep blue, packed with antioxidants, and a has a gentle taste. Hope you like it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 cup enriched rice milk — I like the Vitamin D and C in this!
  • 1/4 cup organic oat bran
  • 1/2 cup frozen organic blueberries
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, or to taste

Directions:

Pile everything into the blender, and press “Go.”

Enjoy! Your tummy will thank you.

This recipe was featured on MindBodyGreen.

More… or less…

The internal dialog and paradox of my mind and heart
 
You want more?
                                I want more.
You want less?
                                I want less.
What is it that you want, my dear, because you can’t have everything.
                                I want more, and I want less.
                                I want it all.
Well, you must do something. 
                                I don’t want to do, I want to be.
                                I want to shine.
That is scary. How do we do this?
                                By being more and having less.
                                By being more.
                                By doing less.
Ok then. Let’s do less.
                                Yes, let’s!

Why Self Care Isn’t Just an Activity: It’s a State of Mind

Sometimes self-care isn’t about an activity, it’s about our frame of mind. This was a shocking revelation for me!
Self-care for me usually involves eating healthy food, exercising, spending time laughing with friends, practicing yoga, enjoying nature, having fun with my family, acting, writing, and getting adequate sleep. Basically, it means doing the things that make me feel happy and alive.
For the past two months I’ve been doing these things with real commitment because my world has been rocked, both literally and metaphorically. Last month, my family celebrated my grandfather’s life at his memorial service. I was very close with him, and my heart broke when he died. I’m still grieving. A few weeks ago, my country was hit by a major earthquake, which left me and my family in disarray and angst because we were not together when it happened.
No matter how much self-care I practiced, though, I couldn’t seem to shake this sinking feeling in my chest. I didn’t feel peaceful and content. Each moment I found myself in silence or stillness, heartbreak and exhaustion would well up in my chest. Worst of all, I could feel myself slipping gently into a deep place where there was no light, where I felt defeated and had a desire to give up.
All that changed this morning, though, from a seemingly trivial decision!
Are you ready? Here it is…
I decided not to walk the dog to school with my kids.
That’s it.
Self-care redefined itself for me this morning. It slapped a whole new meaning in my face, and I got the message.
Sometimes self-care isn’t about anything other than making the choice to put yourself first. It’s about your frame of mind; it’s about empowerment as much as it’s about routine and important activities you like to do; it’s about you choosing you.
Self-care at this level can be difficult, especially for parents and anyone responsible for someone else’s well-being. We feel obligated to take the best possible care we can of the people around us. Although we do a kick-ass job of it — AND still find time to make it to yoga class, spend time with friends, and grab catnaps when we can — we can easily fall into a pattern of thinking the self-care we’re practicing is for ourselves.
In reality, it often comes from a place within us that believes we must take care of ourselves so that we’re healthy enough to care for others. This belief simply isn’t healthy. For a do-er like me, it can be not only a slippery slope, but also difficult to detect or bring to consciousness; it can be in shadows until we recognize it.
My decision to leave my pooch in her crate this morning helped me realize that it was OK for me to practice self-care solely for the purpose of cultivating my own happiness. It was OK for me want to ditch my responsibilities for 10 minutes. It was OK for me to want to have some silence, some time to just be with myself and acknowledge all I have been through these past couple months — the anxiety, the fear, the grief. It was OK for me to give myself time and space.
That walk was fantastic, and I felt fabulous during the entire thing! I reclaimed myself, my healthy sense of entitlement, and most importantly my genuine, heartfelt feelings of gratitude and contentment. I found myself again, and I was so happy!
What do you for self-care of your frame of mind? Does your usual routine involve making choices that help bring you the happiness you deserve?

This article was featured on MindBodyGreen.

Rhyming Time!

This little gem came to me a week or so ago. It’s what I consider to be a healthy sense of entitlement – not too much and not too little. Just enough 🙂

Enjoy!

“Though my heart may want to beat out of my chest with the love I have for you, I think I’ll keep it where it is; I need love, too.”

Xx, Stef

© Stefanie DelPrete 2013