The “Not To Do” List

In our culture, being in a constant state of forward motion is encouraged and admired, whereas slowing down is oftentimes seen as laziness. We are focused on accomplishments, production, and results. Sometimes we don’t feel like there are enough hours in the day to get everything done. Many of us make “To Do” lists on a daily or weekly (or monthly) basis. We write down the work that needs to get done, things we need from the store, errands that have to be run, and tasks around the house that need completing. Checking things off of that list is satisfying and the longer they have been on the list or the bigger the item, the more productive we feel.

I am not suggesting we stop the list making, because honestly I would not remember anything! However, I believe something we all could try to do more of is, well, nothing. So I made a “Not To-Do” list with some things to remember when those responsibilities add up and life can seem a little overwhelming.

1. Don’t feel bad for not completing (or even making a dent in) your to-do list. Some stuff really can wait. Prioritize what is most important to you and chip away at that list one day at a time, letting the experience be the goal.

2. FEEL GOOD when you DO complete something! Reward yourself by relaxing afterward instead of rushing to complete the next task. Go for a walk, read about something that interests you, or simply just lie down and close your eyes for a few. It feels good. Promise.

3. Don’t forget to take care of yourself first. Taking care of yourself allows you to take better care with others. So take an afternoon off to get a massage, eat foods that nourish you, and practice some form of self-care on a daily basis – or whenever you think about it. Don’t wait until the mind is in stress mode.

4. Meditate. Meditation is the ultimate state of doing nothing. Science is only scratching the surface of proving the benefits, and already they know that meditation changes the neuroscience of your brain. Meditate even when you’re busy – especially when you’re busy, because that is when you need to do nothing the most.

5. Don’t forget to unplug! Technology definitely has its place in our society, but by being continually connected to it, we miss out on opportunities to be connected to ourselves, each other, and nature. How much are you really enjoying the present moment if you’re just “trying to get that shot” or always checking social media? Chances are, you’re not.

6. Don’t let your life and loved ones go unappreciated. Steve Maraboli said, “The more I understand the mind and the human experience, the more I begin to suspect there is no such thing as unhappiness; there is only ungratefulness.” Don’t take this experience for granted. Being thankful for what we have brings more abundance and peace into our lives.

What not to-do items would you put on your list?

Taco Tuesday: Salmon Love Tacos

salmontacos

By now, you have probably heard of Meatless Monday. I’m not a person who eats a lot of meat, so taking part is easy to do and coming up with new recipe ideas is a fun challenge! I eat a mostly plant-based diet, although I love salmon and I eat it maybe twice a month. Organic, wild salmon is one meat source that I feel good about eating because it is totally good for you.

Lucky for me I live in Seattle, where fresh salmon is readily available and dependably delicious. Salmon is packed with Omega-3 fatty acids which improve the cardiovascular system, neurotransmitter function, and just about every bodily process. Our internal organs (i.e., heart, kidneys, liver) as well as our external organs (skin, scalp, hair) work much better with adequate levels of Omega-3s. Researchers are still discovering the extensive health benefits of these guys, but I can tell you from my own “research” (eating it!) that it gives me mental clarity and sustainable energy.

So I decided after Meatless Monday, why not incorporate this fatty fish into Taco Tuesday?!

I don’t have exact measurements for the recipe as I threw this together on a whim, but you get the idea. Include some cervezas and make enough for you and some friends. Substitute as desired.

Ingredients:

Salmon rubbed with Tom Douglas ‘Rub with Love’ Salmon Rub and cooked by desired method

Blue corn taco shells warmed up in the oven

Sliced avocado

Chopped kale

Chopped cilantro

Lime

Roasted Tomato Salsa

Black beans

Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric and Chocolate Chip Pancake!

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Here’s a recipe for you guys! If you’re craving pancakes but worried about the inflammatory effects of regular pancake mixes, this is a creation that happened when I wondered, “Hmm.. what would happen if I put some turmeric in this pancake.” The result? Deliciousness! When cooked, turmeric is basically flavorless, but it does turn your pancake(s) a lovely golden yellow color. Turmeric also lends immense anti-inflammatory benefits that when coupled with gluten free pancake mix makes for a pancake that is not only delicious but good on your digestive system. It may not look like much, but man, I’m telling you, it is SO GOOD!! You can also substitute bananas, blueberries, or whatever you like in place of – or in addition to – the chocolate, if you like.

Ingredients:

-Gluten Free Pancake Mix. I used The Cravings Place All Purpose Pancake & Waffle Mix.

- 1 egg (optional)

- 1 tbsp. melted coconut oil

- 1 tbsp. turmeric

- 1 tbsp. almond butter

- 1/4 cup water

- 1/4 cup dark chocolate (or carob) chips

- 1 tsp. cardamom

- 1 pinch of sea salt

- unrefined maple syrup

Directions:

1. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix. Add in egg (if using), coconut oil, almond butter, and to desired consistency.

2. Heat up pancake griddle or pan to medium heat. I use just a regular pan greased with soy free butter substitute or coconut oil. Pour pancake batter onto heated surface and watch for bubbling. Flip pancake over with spatula after seeing a good amount of bubbles surface and heat for another minute or two, to desired brownness.

3. Take off heat and let cool down. Top with maple syrup, fruit, and any other things your heart desires!

Enjoy! I personally love pancakes and could eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They go well with tea or coconut milk, and make for an easy to make and filling meal. Yum! :)