Savory Vegan Bean Breakfast

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I love breakfast.

Especially when it’s savory.

This recipe is super easy and takes less than 20 minutes to whip up. The flavors are reminiscent of tacos. Cumin, coriander, garlic, tomatoes, and beans. So delicious. I ate the entire thing myself after I took this photo on my phone.

I know it’s not the prettiest picture, but trust me when I say it tastes better than it looks. The avocado and tomatoes really make it pretty.

My only suggestion is to process the onion. I’m not a big fan of the texture of cooked onions but I love the taste. When you processes them, they are able to create a sort of thick sauce with the garlic and tomatoes. It’s wonderful. 

But if you don’t care about having chopped onions in your dish then go for it. One less step right?

Enjoy!

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion chopped
  • 1tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 15oz can black beans
  • 1 avocado
  • 3 tbsp water

Instructions:

  1. In a skillet over medium heat, saute olive oil and onion until tender or translucent.
  2. Add garlic and saute 1-2 minutes more.
  3. Add half the tomatoes, all the beans, all the spices, salt, and 3 tablespoons of water and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the tomatoes dissolve.
  4. Let cool for a couple minutes, then garnish with the rest of the tomatoes, avocado and pepper.

Meditation Techniques for Beginners That Actually Work

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Do you have a hard time getting out of your head? Feeling anxious? Always worried?

If you answered yes then meditation will help.

If you’re like me and have a hard time getting your mind centered then this post is for you. I have one of those overactive minds that just won’t shut up. I have so many ideas circling through my head that it’s hard for me to sleep at night.

Simple meditations that tell you to concentrate on your in and out breath don’t work for me. I need something with a kick. Below you’ll find meditations and breathing exercises that have helped me over the years.

1. Alternate Nostril Breathing

I’ve had a problem with anxiety for years. That gripping sensation in the pit of your stomach, causing you to clam up and breathe shallowly. One of the best ways to help with this is Alternate Nostril Breathing. I learned how to do this in a yoga class somewhere and have been doing it off and on ever since. It’s simple to do and can be done anywhere.

When I worked at a stressful call center, scheduling appointments for a doctor’s office, I would hide in the bathroom and do this breathing. I would also do downward dog and other yoga poses because my body was so cramped from sitting all day.

Here’s a link on how to do this. 

2. One Minute Meditation Technique

I love this meditation. Dr. John Douillard is an Ayurvedic doctor. I’ve participated in one of his annual cleanse programs. It was truly transformational.

After you do this exercise you can feel the difference right away. Dr. Douillard suggests doing this ten times a day throughout. Personally, I could never keep track so just doing this a couple times a day was good enough for me.

Here’s the video.

3. Fifteen Minute Meditation by Brett Larkin

Brett Larkin is my favorite yogi. She has amazing videos on Youtube and it’s all for free. I really enjoy this guided meditation. Also, check out her yoga videos because there awesome.

Here’s the meditation.

4. Bhramari Pranayama (Bee Humming Breath)

Yes, you hum like a bee during this meditation. I know it’s a little weird but trust me you feel great afterward. The vibrations from the humming seem to recharge your body in a magical way.

Amanda Christian shows us in her video how to do this here.

Benefits of Meditation

Stress triggers your ‘fight or flight’ response in your body. It shuts down your immune system and your digestion system, even your sex drive suffers. It releases hormones called adrenaline and cortisol, which increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration.

Whether stress is coming from your job, your kids, your spouse, or from a lion chasing your ass, it does not matter. It will wreck havoc and then laugh at you. I imagine stress as a narcissistic ex-boyfriend.

When you meditate, turning off the fight or flight response becomes easier. Meditation soothes your immune system and helps your body rest. The digestion system and your reproductive system start working again. The power kicks back on and it’s amazing.

I’m saying this because I experienced the benefits first hand. The major stress in my life was my job. I know most of you can’t just quit your job even though you would love to. I get it. Meditation helped me when I was working, and I know it will help you too.

Meditation APPS for your smartphone

  1. Headspace is a really great app for beginners. I’ve used it and I really like Andy’s voice. He’s got a British accent that’s oddly soothing. Your first 10 sessions are free, then you have to pay a membership fee. Even if you don’t get the membership, 10 days of free meditation is a great way to start.
  2. Stop, Breath, & Think – This app is totally free. I’ve used it a couple times so far its simple and easy. I like it a lot.

I hope this information helps. Let me know what you think, and how you liked the meditations, apps, etc in the comments below.

Coloring is The New Meditation

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One of my goals for 2016 is to meditate more often. I am participating in a 40-day meditation challenge and I’ve had to start over a couple times already.

But I will get there.

One way to meditate that I really enjoy is coloring Mandala’s.

Seriously?

Coloring?

Yes.

You don’t have to be an artist to color. All you need is a few colored pencils, markers, etc and you can color and have as much fun as a 4-year-old.

Who says coloring is just for kids.

Mandala’s are everywhere.

The word Mandala originates from Sanskrit which means circle, or wheel. The circle is a symbol for wholeness, connection, unity, and the cycle of life. It flows continuously and helps draw your focus inward.

Just look up from your computer and I guarantee you will see circles everywhere. The top of your red bull can, the cells in your body, the sun, the moon, your wedding ring.

I think you get the picture.

Benefits of coloring meditation:

  • Increases your self-awareness
  • Encourages your self-expression
  • Slow your breathing and heart rate
  • Increases blood flow
  • Reduces anxiety levels
  • Increases serotonin production
  • Helps in dealing with chronic illness

There’s even a coloring book for stoners. (I want this because the drawings are so neat)

You can draw your own Mandalas

Drawing your own Mandala is easy and you don’t have to learn how to draw first either. You don’t have to buy a coloring book to get the meditative benefits, you can make your own.

All you do is start with a circle, then add some triangles, and keep expanding outwards with different shapes.

You can draw a Mandala on Windows Paint like I did:

Mandala

My design is a little crude, however here is a link for more detailed instructions.

The point is to keep repeating the pattern you come up with. This is what creates the meditative, relaxing feeling similar to a runner’s high. Just keep drawing and coloring and you’ll have that peaceful feeling washing over you in no time.

 

 

Why I Had to Quit my Job

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January of last year, I was offered a job at a truck dealership with a significant pay increase. I took the job without realizing how bad tempered truck drivers can be when their truck is down.

I understand their trucks are their lively hood, and they need to get back on the road to make money, and yet they really could use a course in how to treat other people. This goes across the board with any customer service job.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take into account what it would mean for me to work in customer service. A few reasons I should have reconsidered:

  • I’m an introvert
  • Sensitive to other people’s feelings
  • I have very little patience

It wasn’t long before the truck driver’s started yelling, cursing and complaining, on a daily basis. I left after only one year.

Drivers are either patient or there not. There’s no gray area. It’s black and white as far as my experience goes. I completely understand calling for updates on the repairs is normal, but some of these guys went past the point of harassment.

I’ve heard drivers threaten to harm one of my co-workers, and I have been cursed at personally many times. It didn’t help matters at all that the place was run horribly.

Working in this field, I encountered my first taste of sexual discrimination.

I was at the counter with a coworker (who’s a man) and he was on the phone. I was not on the phone. A male customer walked up to my counter wearing a white turban and his skin was dark.

I asked, “Can I help you?”

He looked at me and shook his head. Then he pointed to my coworker, who’s still on the phone and says, “I wait for him.”

“Was he helping you already?” I ask.

“No.”

“You don’t want me to help you?”

He shrugged, shook his head and looked away. Five tense minutes went by while the man waited for my coworker.

Once my co-worker was off the phone I said to him, “He refuses to speak with me.” I got up and left the front counter.

It would not be the last time I was treated unfairly and it was usually from foreigners. My American brethren rarely discriminated against me however they were the ones most likely to be verbally abusive.

My morale started to drop dramatically when management began making changes within their ranks. It went from worse, to better, to even worse than before. The foreman became a problem when he started manipulating people, and shoving all his work onto others.

I know a lot of jobs can be like this but it was my first time experiencing anything like it. I’ve always had good bosses and a safe environment to work in. No job has ever given me chest pain until I started at the truck dealership.

Every day after work I felt knocked out from chest pain and anxiety.

I was tired of being cursed at, yelled at, and treated appallingly by the customers and management.

My husband and I talked about it, crunched some numbers and decided I could quit for a while.

The benefits I experienced after quitting were apparent after only 1 week:

  • No more anxiety
  • No more chest pain
  • Energy levels increased
  • Better mood
  • My sex drive is back

I thought it would be a good idea to start this blog since writing has always been a therapy for me after getting burned out.

I know it’s not easy to quit your job, especially if you only have yourself to take care of you, but if you’re like me, and have someone who can foot the bill for a while, and is okay with you quitting, I say go for it. If your job is causing you more harm than good, then do yourself a favor and leave. Even if you don’t have anyone to help, create a plan to quit. Save up enough money for six months of bills and rent, then quit and do something you really want.

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” – Milton Berle.

 

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