stepping away and buttery treats…

It’s 10:54 on back-to-work Monday… back to work for everyone at my office except me. I’m still in my PJs eating a delicious apple. Mat leave is strange.

It was hard for me to walk away from the job I’ve moulded over the last ten years. And while I’m excited about the year ahead, it’s still weird to think that someone else is in my office right now, sitting in my chair, typing away at my computer… it’s amazing how territorial I can be especially considering this job was just supposed to pay the bills while I was in school. I graduated five years ago.

Serendipitously, last night I finished Finding Me in France by Bobbi French. My favourite lessons always come from books and last night was no exception. French writes,

“If I had to narrow it all down into one piece of wisdom it would be this: sometimes you have to step away from the many things you have to do to find the one thing you want to do.”

Noted.

mxo

P.S. I made goureges! Butter + cheese + flour… what’s not to love?! Here’s the recipe from my good friends DGL and Mi:

Gougeres
Gougeres… yum!

unstuck list…

Good morning!

I woke up this morning with a bit of a hangover from last night’s teary-ness. Rather than wallow, I decided to shift my energy! I decided to practice this joy business. 🙂

So, I got busy:

  • I made the most delicious lemon and ginger elixir, and followed it up with a “Peep in My Step” juice (recipe below).
  • I did my exercises and stretches.
  • And enjoyed a few minutes of silence.
  • I had a super healthy breakfast, and took every possible staircase I could to work.
  • And now this, liquid joy:
Americano from Mercatto, made by Alice. Joy.

It’s almost three hours later and I feel new. Brand new. It’s that simple. 🙂

OH, and yes, this:

Last night I stumbled upon Robin Sharma’s 62 Tips to Get Unstuck in 2013 and absolutely loved it.

Here are the top 25 that really resonated with me:

  1. Start your day with 20 minutes of exercise.
  2. Stop watching TV. (Bonus points: sell your tv and invest the cash in learning and self-education).
  3. Remember that your diet affects your moods so eat like an athlete.
  4. Spend an hour a day without stimulation (no phone+no FaceBook+no noise).
  5. Write in a journal every morning. And record gratitude every night.
  6. Do work that scares you (if you’re not uncomfortable often, you’re not growing very much).
  7. Smile more (and tell your face).
  8. Do a collage filled with images of your ideal life. Look at it once a day for focus and inspiration.
  9. Plan your week on a schedule (clarity is the DNA of mastery).
  10. Stop gossiping (average people love gossip; exceptional people adore ideas).
  11. Do a nature walk at least once a week. It’s renew you (you can’t inspire others if you’re depleted yourself).
  12. Do something that makes you feel uncomfortable at least once every 7 days.
  13. Remember that to double your income, triple your investment in learning, coaching and self-education.
  14. Achieve 5 little goals each day (“The Daily 5 Concept” I shared in “The Leader Who Had No Title” that has transformed the lives of so many). In 12 months this habit will produce 1850 little goals–which will amount to a massive transformation.
  15. Write handwritten thank you notes to your customers, teammates and family members.
  16. Use the first 90 minutes of your work day only on value-creating activities (versus checking email or surfing the Net).
  17. Breathe.
  18. Keep your promises.
  19. Brain tattoo the fact that all work is a chance to change the world.
  20. Spend more time in art galleries. Art inspires, stimulates creativity and pushes boundaries.
  21. Read a book a week, invest in a course every month and attend a workshop every quarter.
  22. Remember that you empower what you complain about.
  23. Become the fittest person you know.
  24. Become the kindest person you know.
  25. Know your “Big 5″–the 5 goals you absolutely must achieve by December 31 to make this year your best yet.

Hope you can find something that inspires you this morning.

So much love,
mxo

P.S. My “Peep in My Step” juice involved apples, kale, celery, swiss chard, and lots of ginger. Yum!

sunday, soup and heart…

Today has been the most lovely of lovely Sundays.

I woke up early, refreshed.
I called my grandma in Poland. I love grandmas.
I drank coffee and read magazines, and lazily got ready for my day.
Hubby and I went errand-running, which I really, really enjoy.
We got everything done super duper quickly.
And then stunk in a round of golf practice at the Golf Dome. 
I kept to my 2013 commitment to drive one way wherever we go (more on this one day soon).
Then I made soup, and the most glorious lunch for tomorrow, and read some more.
After I finish this, I’m heading upstairs to do some yoga (am hooked on www.yogaglo.com)
Then a light dinner, maybe a movie, a bath and an early night.
Joy, joy, and more joy.

Today I made a version of my mom’s Sweet Potato Carrot Soup. Yum, yum.

Ingredients:

  • Two big sweet potatoes, peeled and diced.
  • Four large carrots, diced (peeled if not organic).
  • About 1 litre of stock or water (enough to cover the veggies).
  • Big pinch of salt.
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, crushed.
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed.
  • 1-2 tbsp curry powder.
  • 2-4 tbsp tahini.
  • 1/2 can of coconut milk (optional, I just happened to have an open can in the fridge).
  • Garnish: oranges and/ or cilantro. 

Method:
Now, this soup really couldn’t be easier. All you need to do is:

  • Dice up the veggies and throw them in a big pot.
  • Cover them in water/ stock and add a pinch of salt.  
  • Bring everything to a boil then cover and simmer until the veggies are tender. 
  • When tender, toss in the garlic, curry, tahini and coconut milk, and any additional salt. 
  • Blend, blend, blend. 
  • DONE!  

And really, you can completely ignore my measurements – just add things in until it tastes perfect to you.
Happy, healthy, soupy love.

Finally, I leave you with my favourite quote from the weekend:

“Here is my secret. It’s quite simple: One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.”  
Says the tamed fox to the little prince in The Little Prince
The Little Prince and a delicious almond mylk latte. Joy!

Hope you’re having a joyous Sunday!

Much love,
mxo

adding juice…

Today is day four of my juice fest.

My amazing husband got me an amazing new juicer, replacing Old Faithful, without me even having to ask for it! I love him so.

Ta da!

But back to the juice…

For the past few days, I have been adding one big, huge green juice into my daily diet, usually right after my morning lemon water.

Now don’t get me wrong, I still follow it up with a coffee, sometimes even with eggnog (albeit it’s organic eggnog) and I’ve been proudly polishing off every last Christmas truffle I can find in the house (there are a lot!)…

The juice is simply my healthy treat for my cells. No drama. No cleanses. Just pure juice love.

It tasted (and looked!) much better than this sad pic…

Here’s this morning’s juice:

  • Handful of romaine.
  • Handful of kale.
  • Big handful of parsley.
  • Half of a cucumber (peeled as it wasn’t organic).
  • One apple.
  • 1 inch piece of ginger.
  • Lemon juice to squeeze on top when it’s all done.

To quote one of my favourite ladies, Ms. Kris Carr,Make juice, not war.”

Much love,
mxo

roasted strawberries and happy choices…

This past month has been wonderful. Really, truly wonderful.
I feel like I’ve really hit my stride. 
It all really boils down to a few ideas I’ve allowed to percolate in my mind. 

Here goes:

  • Happiness is a choice.
  • But it’s one you need to make constantly. 
  • Believe in miracles.
  • And that the universe has your back. It does.
  •  When all of the above fails, remember that there are always extraordinary things happening. 

Oh, and this weekend I made these: roasted tomatoes and roasted strawberries! So yum!  

Roasted Strawberries:

  • One big carton of strawberries.
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup.
  • 1 tbsp port wine.
  • 1 tsp vanilla.
  • 1 tiny pinch salt.
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil.

Preheat oven to 350f. Trim strawberries and cut them in half. Place them in a baking dish (not a baking sheet as the juices will drip all over your stove… messy!) Mix all other ingredients in a bowl and pour over strawberries. Give the berries a swirl so that they are equally covered in liquid. Bake for 30-40 mins. Let cool and enjoy alone, over yogurt, with granola, in a salad… YUM!

At the same time, you can also make Roasted Tomatoes!

  • One big carton of cherry tomatoes.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil.
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup.
  • 1 tbsp white wine or white balsamic vinegar.
  • 1 pinch salt.

Preheat oven to 350f. Cut tomatoes in half. Place them in a baking dish (not a baking sheet as the juices will drip all over your stove… messy!) Mix all other ingredients in a bowl and pour over tomatoes. Give the tomatoes a swirl so that they are equally covered in liquid. Bake for 30-40 mins. Enjoy!

Finally, please send some love to my friends, Mark and Lynne, and help Mark heal

Much love.
mxo



cucumber mondays…

Happy Victoria Day! 

This long weekend could not have been more perfect in Toronto. 25-30c and pure sunshine each and every day. Wow. 


Today I hopped on my bike and met my mom some 20km away in a beautiful, beautiful park by the lake. It was my second bike ride of the year so needless to say, I was a little zonked when I got home… zonked and hungry!

I popped open the fridge looking for something light and fresh and very, very delicious. Somehow I ended up with my grandma’s cucumber salad (“mizeria” in Polish) but with a happy healthy yogi twist. The name of the salad translates to “misery”… but it’s anything but miserable. It’s delightful.


mizeria (a.k.a. cucumber salad)
  • 1 cucumber, washed and trimmed (peel please if not organic)
  • Dash of salt
  • Pinch of pepper (I used Polish herbal pepper because it’s ridiculously yummy)
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt.
  • Juice from half of a juicy lemon.
  • Fresh dill and lots of it (I threw in some chives and mint because I was shy of dill)
Slice the cucumber into super, super thin coins. Combine everything but the cucumber in a bowl. When it’s all mixed together, throw in the cucumber and make sure every last coin is coated. Throw over some fresh spinach or arugula, serve on crostini, or eat straight out of the bowl with a fork… just like I did. 🙂

Typically this salad is made with sour cream but the greek yogurt provides a super healthy alternative packed with protein and healthy bacteria your gut will love. Also, forgo the traditional white vinegar for some healthy lemon juice or apple cigar vinegar. A perfect summer salad!


Happy tumbles and stumbles!
mxo

P.S. Legend has it that the name came from a homesick Italian princess who married a Polish king back in the 16th century. She loved this salad but it reminded her of her native Italy and so she cried and cried and cried… she gave the salad a bad rep, if you ask me! 🙂

baked coconut chickpeas

The response to my last post has been absolutely overwhelming. Thank you, thank you, thank you… and I plan to cover more soon. 🙂

But for now, it’s Meatless Monday and it sure is a rainy one! 


Yesterday, I stumbled upon a recipe for jerk chickpeas on one of my favourite blogs, Oh She Glows. I wanted those badboy peas then and there, except that I didn’t have most of the ingredients and I was already in comfy pants (it’s a violation on a Sunday afternoon to trade comfy pants for real clothes).

Dressed in comfy pants and without ingredients, I was forced to get creative with what was in my pantry and boy oh boy, did it work out!
I made up a super easy peasy recipe for baked coconut chickpeas!
Ingredients:
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed.
  • 2-3 tbsps freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice.
  • 2 tbsp tamari (organic and gluten-free if possible).
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil.
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (the thicker, full-fat version works well).
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup.
  • 1 tsp cinnamon.
  • 1 tsp tumeric (you could also use curry if you’re feeling sassy).
  • 2 large garlic gloves, smashed and chopped.
  • 1/2 of a red pepper, finely chopped.
  • 1/2 cup red onions, finely diced.
  • Few pinches of red chili flakes. 
  • Pinch of salt and pepper.
  • 2 tbsp parsley or cilantro and/or a big handful of arugula and/or chopped avocado and chives for garnish. 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375. 
  2. Combine all ingredients in a baking dish, except the garnish. Give it a loving stir.
  3. Cover and bake for 30 mins. Uncover and bake for another 15 mins if you’d like it drier.
  4. Throw peas over some quinoa or brown rice, or serve as a side.
  5. Garnish with your greens of choice… and enjoy!
Really, it’s one of those recipes where you can throw out the recipe and just mix ingredients until it tastes yummy.
Happy rainy Monday of tumbling & stumbling!
mxo