MOTIVATION MONDAY is here to help you get a jump start on your week, and whatever curiosity or creative project it might usher in for you. Or perhaps you are head first into the homestretch of the semester or season and need the gumption to keep going? I hear ya. Here's the things that will help keep me going this week:
An Artist To Discover: Have you heard of Bandaloop, the vertical dance company based out of Oakland, California? In their own words, Bandaloop "celebrates the human spirit, nature, and communities through dance that uses climbing technology to expand and challenge what is possible." Their incredible vertical dance routines are performed on skyscrapers, bridges, and on cliffs. Check out this preview video of their work, and prepare to have our preconceived notions about what the human body can do blown away.
Something to Listen to on Your Commute: This incredible TED Talk features Ann Morgan sharing how she managed to read a book from every country in the world in one year, as a means of expanding her literary horizons. To be more specific, Ann read 196 books in one year, while working five days a week and maintaining a blog about her experience doing so. Motivation Hall of Fame stuff right here!
As Ann says, "Now, I don't want to suggest that it's at all possible to get a rounded picture of a country simply by reading one book. But cumulatively, the stories I read that year made me more alive than ever before to the richness, diversity and complexity of our remarkable planet. It was as though the world's stories and the people who'd gone to such lengths to help me read them had made it real to me."
Words to Consider:
“There is such a place as fairyland - but only children can find the way to it. Only a few, who remain children at heart, can ever find that fair, lost path again; and blessed are they above mortals. They, and only they, can bring us tidings from that dear country where we once sojourned and from which we must evermore be exiles. The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and story-tellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland.”
~Lucy Maud Montgomery
Never forget the way to fairyland, my Friends. May we never stop imagining new possibilities and worlds.
A Book to Read: Speaking of Lucy Maud Montgomery, who wrote the beloved Anne of Green Gables series, I've just finished listening to the first book in the series as an audio book, and can I just say how wonderful it is to have a childhood favorite read TO you? While I'm not saying you should go and listen to Anne of Green Gables, I would challenge you to recall one of your favorite books as a child or teen and see if you can find it as an audio book. Local libraries often have thousands of audio book titles that you can borrow like you would a hard copy of the book. The best things in life really are free.
A one pot meal to make: it's official, this bullet is officially here to stay on Motivation Monday. This week, I have two delicious things that are starting the week off on a good note:
Improvised Chicken Tortilla Soup
Note: This recipe is gluten free, and can be made vegetarian or vegan easily by making a few simple substitutes below.
For the chicken:
Cook 1 pound of chicken (I prefer chicken thighs) sprinkled with cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper in the slow cooker for 4 hours on high, or eight on low.
*To make this soup vegetarian or vegan, you can easily use a can of black beans instead.
1. Saute one chopped yellow onion in 1 TBSP olive oil for 6-8 minutes, until softened.
2. Add four cloves of minced garlic and stir for another 1-2 minutes.
3. Add 1 14 ounce can of diced fire roasted tomatoes, as well as four cup of chicken broth (sub veggie broth for vegetarian or vegan). Also stir in 1.5-2 tsp cumin (depending on your preference and 3/4-1 tsp of chili powder, again, depending on your taste. You can also add in a diced red pepper and some sweet corn, if desired. Simmer for 25 minutes.
4. Add shredded chicken (or black beans for the veg option) and simmer for 5 additional minutes.
Serve with white rice if desired, and garnish with fresh lime juice, shredded cheese (if you tolerate dairy), crushed plantain chips, and cilantro.
Autoimmune Friendly London Fog
I got a London Fog at a local cafe last week and it made my whole morning. I decided rather than cash in my savings on London Fogs this winter, hee hee, I decided that I would buy some Early Grey tea and make my own. The following is not really a recipe, but a blueprint for what I have been sipping on this weekend.
1. Brew one cup of Early Grey tea according to directions on the box.
2. Once steeped, pour tea into a small saucepan and add a hearty glug of the milk of your choice (I used coconut milk).
3. Bring to a gentle simmer, adding a splash of vanilla extract or vanilla powder, if you are following a strict autoimmune protocol and cannot tolerate the alcohol.
When hot, pour back into your cup and add a tsp of maple syrup or honey if you would like a bit of added sweetness. Optional: drink while watching old Katherine Hepburn movies or while typing away on a blog post. So warming for our first week with snow here in Boston!