Archives for the month of: February, 2013

As you can probably gather from the title of this post, I’m writing about some struggles that I’m going through. Not sure how to deal with all of them, but for now writing about them seems like a good idea (and hopefully I’ll able to look back on this post, laugh and realize how pity these things were).

Generally speaking, I’d like to consider myself a content person. I grew up in a great family but we weren’t kids who had everything and the things we did have, we usually had to work for. That, and my parents always taught us that we should be “content in all things,” which I’m sure has played a large role into who I am today.

But when does contentment become complacency? Where’s the shift from being OK where I am (because I don’t “need” more) become a downfall where I should’ve gone for more? Can I be both content and ambitious simultaneously? Do the two even mix … at all?

“My mistakes are running through my mind
And I’ll relive my days, in the middle of the night
When I wrestle with my pain, struggle with my pride
Sometimes I feel alone, and I cry” ~ Sanctus Real

Those are some of the thoughts that I’ve been thinking over the past few months. You know when people say “get your head on straight” or something of that nature? Yeah, honestly I feel sometimes that my head is on too straight. Is that possible?! When people say they’re “living the dream,” what does that really mean?!

I’m sure you’re wondering what I’m struggling to be content vs. complacent with. Well, glad you asked. Almost everything. Right now, I’m comfortable saying “I’m good” with where I am in life. But I also thought that five years ago, and today I look back and have some regrets about things I did and didn’t do, people I met or didn’t meet, places I went or didn’t go. A few specific examples … Work is great but am I on the path to reach my best potential? Life is great but if I stay the way I am, in 10 years will I just be the exact same “me” but only a 35-year-old version of myself? Friends are great, but am I just everyone else’s mutual friend?

I understand (maybe too well) that things don’t fall from the sky into my lap, money definitely does not grow on trees, opportunities don’t knock at the door, and relationships don’t suddenly begin; but if I don’t try harder on my own, will anything ever be different? Or better?

This year, I really am trying to reach for the bigger things, the better opportunities, my greater potential, etc. I guess I’m just trying to figure out how to balance it all.

This post probably sounds Eeyore-like post, which I don’t intend it to be, but these are real (honest) thoughts that have been plaguing my mind. I don’t even know where I’m really going with this, except to say here is one of many posts to come that are a bit more on the honest reality side of things.

Do you struggle with being content? How about becoming complacent? What do you do to balance the two?

I like cooking with ground turkey meat as an alternative to beef (nothing against the cow, but it’s not my favorite type of meat). One of my original recipes I’ve tried perfecting over the past few months is a Turkey Burger with either spinach or kale.

I made these last night and love how they turned out! They’re moist, a bit spicy, quick, and best of all: made with nothing gross! Haha.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 package ground turkey breast (I used a 1.25 lb. Jenny-O brand)
  • 4-5 cups (yes, cups … packed) baby kale, minced (see note below)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (or cayenne pepper)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic (fresh is best but jarred or powder work too)
  • 1 teaspoon spices (usually I toss in my own concoction, but Old Bay, Mediterranean or any general purpose MSG- and salt-free blend works)
  • 2 teaspoons oil (I like using coconut oil, but I’m out so I used canola)

Method: Mix everything together in a large bowl, except for the oil. Form into patties (you can make about 5 with this amount). Heat a skillet on medium-high heat, or until the oil is glossy. Cook the patties for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until browned and cooked through.

I prefer these just plain (no bun, cheese, etc.) with a little ketchup. They’re so easy and really, there’s nothing unhealthy about them. No grains, no sugar, no added fat (except the oil to cook them, but since ground turkey is virtually fat-free, you need something!). Try them out and let me know what you think!

**Note: For the kale, I prefer using baby kale (available in a tub at the store) instead of normal kale because there aren’t as many hard stems and you can use entire leaves. I tossed mine into the VitaMix with about 1/4 cup water and pulsed until it was minced really well (the size of chopped parsley).

I just enjoyed a glorious two weeks with my little munchkin niece! She came to visit with my sister for Dad’s 60th and our sister’s 21st birthdays. We had a great time together and my niece is growing up so fast. Some of the highlights of the trip include teaching her new words (or at least in consistent contexts) and funny things. She has the best sense of humor for a little kid (she’s not even 18 months yet).

Anyway, next on my “Auntie Approved” list is the Crane Adorable Elephant Humidifier. When my family came to visit, I was sick (of course). Sadly, I must have passed the germs on to my niece because she was all stuffed up and full of snot within a few days. We bought a humidifier and this is the one we got.

elephant

Isn’t this so cute? The cool steam comes out of the elephant’s trunk! It was quiet, worked well and helped all of us to sleep better at night.

We bought from Target, but this is available at multiple retailers.

Here’s my next little post about some of my favorite things…this time from the grocery store. I’m probably not normal (OK, I know I’m not normal, in lots of ways), but I absolutely LOVE grocery shopping. Seriously, I would go every day if I could just to see what’s new (usually nothing) and exciting (lots of things). My favorite grocery stores are Whole Foods, Central Market and Metropolitan Market, but since I’m nowhere near wealthy especially when it comes to my food budget, I often end up shopping at Fred Meyer or QFC. Nothing wrong with those stores, but they’re not as cool as the others.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite things to pick-up at the store:

  • The Greek Gods Yogurt. I love this brand of yogurt and it’s local so it’s even better! I use the nonfat plain for green smoothies but also enjoy the other flavors including honey strawberry and honey blueberry. My favorite ways to use it: by itself, with fresh peaches or topped with granola.
  • Bull-Dog Tonkatsu Sauce. Even if I wasn’t half-Japanese, I think I’d love this sauce. Of course it’s great for tonkatsu,(Aren’t you surprised?! That’s be like saying BBQ sauce is good for BBQ.) but it’s also amazing on simple things like veggies or rice. If you haven’t tried tonkatsu sauce before, try it … it’s not intimidating, I promise.
  • Organic Baby Spinach. For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved spinach; as long as it’s fresh and not frozen and/or canned. It’s so easy to prepare and because it’s nearly tasteless, it can be added to a lot of things without ruining flavors. My favorite ways to use it are in green smoothies, swimming rama (Thai dish with blanched spinach, chicken or tofu and peanut sauce) or blanched and shocked with a homemade soy and sesame sauce.
  • Ground Turkey. Unlike spinach, ground turkey hasn’t always been one of my favorites, but over the past two years it’s been a necessary item on my grocery list. It’s healthy and versatile. I use it in a variety of recipes (I hope to post most recipes on this blog soon) and so far only dislike it as taco meat. Something about the extremely low fat that makes it a weird texture for me when used in tacos. My favorite ways to use it: spinach and jalapeno burgers, Mediterranean meatloaf, bean and kale soup, or yakisoba.
  • Odwalla Superfood. Sure, it’s green, thick and expensive, but this stuff is amazing. I prefer making my own smoothies with my Vitamix, but when I’m in a pinch (or if it’s on sale), I love some Odwalla.

What are some of your favorite grocery items? I’d love to hear about what things you keep on your grocery list!

tHe fiCkLe piCkLe

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