I have come to really enjoy sweet potatoes. I can’t however do that whole maple syrup brown sugar thing outside of Thanksgiving weekend, so to incorporate this amazing vegetable into my regular diet, I got creative and made this one pot dish! This was for Sunday morning breakfast, my family had it with eggs, I’m vegetarian (for now) so had a heaping portion of just this with sliced avocado.
- 1-2 medium sized sweet potatoes peeled, diced and par-cooked. (I have an instant hot water spigot at my sink so I fill a microwave safe bowl with the diced sweet potatoes, cover with boiling hot water, add the lid, pop into microwave and voila in less than 5 minutes depending on size of dice you can have fork tender potatoes. This works with room temperature water too, just requires a few more minutes – start with fewer minutes and work your way up. You don’t want them to get too mushy!)
- Chopped broccoli (fork tender cooked the same way as above, but only 1-3min depending on portion)
- Diced green or colored bell pepper
- Diced red onion
- Diced mushrooms
- Basically diced any veg you want in here!
- 1-2 T olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika or 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- Heat oil in a cast iron skillet with medium heat.
- Add sweet potatoes and sauté for 8-10min stirring occasionally.
- Add rest of vegetables and stir till well mixed with sweet potatoes. Sprinkle your seasonings over the veg mix and stir well.
- Sauté for a 3-5 more minutes to blend flavors.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro (not pictured here)
- Optional: Add cooked brown rice or quinoa and sauté to blend to make a one pot meal!
- 1 cup cooked Quinoa cooked according to package directions
- 1T cooking olive oil
- 5-7 curry leaves
- 1/8 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 diced onion
- 1 tsp each of cumin powder and coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp each turmeric and salt
- 1 small diced sweet potato par-boiled (I add it to a bowl of water and microwave for 3-5min till fork tender)
- 1/2 cup diced bell pepper
- Juice of 1 lime
- Coriander leaves for garnish
Warm oil on medium high heat, add mustard seeds and after 30 seconds add curry leaves (warning: they will sputter). Add sweet potato and sautée till they start to turn brown 4-5min. Add peppers and continue to sauté 2-3min more. Add cooled cooked quinoa and stir to combine. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt and stir to combine well. Continue to sauté until quinoa is warm again and everything is well combined. Sprinkle with the juice of one lime, adjust salt and serve with a garnish of chopped coriander leaves.
I served it in a hollowed out avocado shell with fresh diced avocado on top! Yum!
- 1 medium diced onion
- 1T evoo
- 5-7 curry leaves
- 2-5 cloves diced garlic
- 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp corriander powder
- Jar of organic marinara sauce
- diced fresh cilantro for garnish
Sautee the onion till golden brown, be patient. You don’t want glassy onion.
Add the curry leaves and watch out they will sputter
Add garlic and sautee mix for a minute or two
Add seasoning and stir it till well mixed and starting to smell fragrant; 1-2 min
Add in marinara sauce and mix well, let it simmer for 3-5 minutes
Toss in pasta cooked per package directions, I usually add 1-2T of light olive oil to the water to boil before adding pasta (I like to drain, then rinse and drain the pasta to get rid of the gooey-ness)
Sprinkle with fresh cilantro
IF you make it, please let me know what you think!
I often get asked what my absolute favorite Arbonne products are. After all I have been a huge fan of the pure safe and beneficial philosophy and have incorporated as many products into my house as I possibly can. You might say my home is ‘Arbonnized!’ When I do a wellness presentation I am often asked – what are the few products that I can absolutely NOT do without…so I thought about it a bit, and came up with my favorites! I am not going to give you the company speak about the products – after all, you can get that by reading up on the website – rather, I want to share with you MY personal experience, and why I choose to use these products. These are by the way in no order of importance – rather they are in the order that they popped into my brain as I thought about this post.
- Chocolate Protein Powder – with 20 g of Vegan protein powder with THE BEST TASTE on the market – this one is a no brainer for breakfast! I am a busy mom of two very active kids under the age of 7 and my daughter’s school is 20 minutes away from our home; prior to dropping her, I drop my son off at his school – so I have to build in that detour time to my morning. There is no other way for me to get done all that I need to get done in the morning – run or ride, meditate, clean kitty litter, get dressed (with full makeup and hair done because I often meet clients and go to networking events first thing after drop off), get two kids up and make sure they’re getting through their morning regimen, pack lunches and feed THEM nutrient dense breakfasts. After all this, there is no room for me to sit and eat breakfast – so I semi-prep this protein shake the night before with whatever raw vegs I have in the house, flax seed, couple berries, teaspoon of almond butter and then in the morning, I add the powder and almond milk, couple ice cubes and my breakfast to drink in the car is ready! I really don’t know how to survive breakfast any other way. This is afterall the single most important meal of your day – your body has starved for more or less 12 hours from last night’s dinner onward – you owe it to yourself to eat/drink a healthy energy-filled breakfast!
- Energy Fizz Drinks in Citrus or Pomegranate – This is actually a new addition in my household – I try not to consume caffeine even if its from Guarana which is a natural caffeine – except for the little that I get from my decaf almond milk lattes that I indulge in once or twice a week. One day it occurred to me that I should try this as my exercise hydration drink instead of FRS which is the brand my husband prefers. And holy cow, not only did I feel great during the workout, but the whole day went well – I wake up at 5.15 (inching my way up to 5:00) so that I have an hour to myself before I have to start the household. I often don’t get to bed till 10.30 – and lately it has been 11pm. I did not drag.
- Chocolate Protein Bars – with only 7g of sugar, these are the least sugary bars on the market today! Arbonne re-purposed the texture so they no longer taste like the texture of cardboard! (Thanks Arbonne!) I always carry this in my purse, because I never know where I will be during lunch time since I no longer work out of an office outside the home. (Thanks Arbonne!!)
- RE9 Advanced facial cleanser – Ok, so this cleanser is incredible at removing makeup. I have done full on stage makeup (not for stage, just because I wanted to REALLY doll up for an event I was attending) and this cleanser did such an awesome job of taking it all off without me feeling like I had stripped my skin of its natural oils. My husband with eczema even on his eyelids can use this without issue.
- Revelage SPF 30 day cream – This one is specially awesome because its a two-fer – day time moisturizer and UVA/UVB protection SPF 30 sunblock all rolled into an incredibly natural, not-to-thick-to-apply moisturizer with a really lovely barely there naturally occurring fragrance. (remember no synthetic fragrances!)
- Arbonne Baby Care (ABC) hair and body wash – this is the rock star in our house because not only do both my kids use it and I don’t have to be careful around their eyes with this – it is truly NO MORE TEARS unlike another brand that shall remain unnamed. I also use this as a hand wash at every sink in my house including in the kitchen. It is gentle yet effective for my husband’s eczema-stricken hands. (as a scientist he washes his hands a million times a day)
- FC5 Skin Conditioning Oil – My daughter had a spot of eczema on her face when she was 5 years old. I washed the affected skin with the baby wash mentioned in #6 3-4 times a day and followed with this oil. It cleared it up in no time. This also worked wonders for my poor calico cat Zeta who had serious dry skin issues and whose scratching would wake us up at night. She had scabs the size of peas by her ears and around her neck – this miracle oil cleared those up as well as soothed her skin. PS: If I had a dog, i would probably wash him/her with the baby wash too!! Cats of course can sense that I am even THINKING of bathing them and will go so deep into the recesses of my Eastern King bed, that there’s no way to fish them out.
- Ginger Citrus Body Butter – this is a seasonal favorite that I stock up on when it hits the Arbonne shelves on September 1. It’s usually out of stock by mid November! This body butter has become the hot favorite of any client or friend who I gift it to! It has the lightest scent that is so subtly elegant and the silky feeling on my arms and legs lasts anything else I have ever tried – except maybe the Shea Butter lotion which is pretty darn awesome.
- Primer – The Arbonne primer goes on like a lotion and dries to a powder finish! The texture of this product is so incredible – the feeling on my face ever so luxurious. I love the way it prevents my eye shadows from creasing, how my foundation stays on true all day long and as I pointed out already, my days are long. On a Sunday morning, I often use this alone – without following it with foundation…perhaps just a dusting of mineral powder.
- Pencil Eyeliner – Ebony – As an Indian, I like to ‘kohl’ my eyes. I have for as long as I can remember lined my eyes in black all around. The thing is – pencils usually don’t last 12 hours and I have such long eye lashes (yes I know, cry me a river!) that liquid liner smudges…I used to use the MAC gel pot, but I had the hardest time removing that at the end of the day – even after using two cotton pads per eye with eye make up remover – I would still have a residue look of eyeliner from the day. I hated how much I had to rub the gentle/sensitive/1/4- thinner-than-anywhere-else skin under my eyes to get it all off. Enter Arbonne’s Ebony 5 years ago and my eyes, the skin under my eyes and I have all been a happy customer! Ebony is pitch black, smooth and long lasting…and yet comes of easily with Arbonne’s ever so gentle eye makeup remover, making me feel truly free of makeup at the end of the day!
- It’s a Long Story Mascara – yes that’s actually the name of the mascara and yes, I realize I ran out of the 10 spots…but I HAVE TO leave you with this – there’s not a single woman that I know that doesn’t wear mascara. Remember I mentioned that I have long lashes…well these make it so that I not just sweep but even mop the inside of my sunglasses! It’s the one thing we all buy every three months (if you don’t do that – start NOW!) because the pump action introduces airborne bacteria into the tube and do you really want to mess with your eyes for a $36 product? (if you’re using an $8-$12 mascara off the shelf…here’s my question to you…do you know what you are putting that close your eyes? Read the labels!)
So there you have it! I use over 45 Arbonne products in my house daily – from skincare for men, women and children, hair care, baby care, makeup, vitamins, supplements, etc. These are products that I would buy anyway. So the fact that I could buy good quality, superior-ingredient products delivered to my door for an amazing price appeals to me a lot. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
Today marks the end of my 30 day fit program but also the beginning of the new Deepak Chopra and Oprah 21 day meditation challenge called Miraculous Relationships. I encourage you to consider it- it’s free, an email link daily in your inbox will provide you the reminder for this 10min meditation with excellent insight and guidance. Hundreds of thousands of people are joining this online meditation movement to raise their consciousness – it’s worth checking out!
It takes 21 days to begin the makings of a habit – hence the Chopra Center 21 day challenge- however it takes more than 21 or 30 days to set the habit in stone! Whether its meditation or healthy living (for me meditating is a big part of healthy living) it will take time to set the habit! Which means that just because 30 days are up for me, that doesn’t mean I get to go back to eating badly or without consciousness. As you know I did this program in March for the first time and lost 8lb of the final baby weight! Thereafter the freedom from restriction, graduation parties, and july 4th BBQs got the better of me– I started this again because I didn’t like how I ‘went back to the way I’ve always thought/eaten’ I wanted to break that habit of ‘constantly allowing myself excess.’ See what I discovered is this– what we think is normal is most often excess and what we think is moderation is most often normal! Our meter to identify ‘normal’ is broken and this is what needs a reset! While the first 30 days had set me on that path– I needed it reinforced so that I would look at this program as a quick fix to excessive and indulgent eating. My goal for myself had always been to reset. So this second 30 day round was about reinforcing good attitudes forward food that had started to peek through that first 30 round! And that is indeed what I started to se happen! And interestingly as most of you who followed my 15 days might have found- that i didn’t stick too diligently to the program — see day 1 to see what the restrictions were! But the mindset was definitely developing. Because what I would have ordinarily considered minor slip ups – this time I identified as major ones (like eating 3 pieces of BBQ chx pizza)– and knowing and identifying is half the battle– so next week when my family wanted to go back to the same pizza place- I had a bigger salad, and just 1 thin slice of pizza! YEAH!
I went to a really great hotel to do a site visit last week- The Luxe at Bel Air where my friend is the General Manager and she invited me to lunch – and usually I LOVE ordering burgers at a fancy restaurant – because they normally really good quality beef and are excellently cooked! I allow myself fries as a mechanism to eat Tabasco-spiked ketchup by the mouthful! — so imagine my delight when my eyes wandered intentionally and purposefully to the Superfood Quinoa Ahi Tuna Salad! And yes it was actually quite divine! What a tremendous sense of accomplishment I had! I chose to eat that– I didn’t guilt myself to eat that.
And this has continued to be my experience these past two weeks. I haven’t blogged mainly because of sleep deprivation! Yes my toddler is still waking at odd hours of the night/morning…and self preservation– something had to give – to allow myself some balance- and besides I wanted to blog because I want to- not because I felt obliged to! But back to the nutrition- what I mean when I say moderation is usually normal and normal is usually excess is that our idea of moderation tends to be a huge salad doused with dressing- but because it’s salad we think it’s ok! There are salads you can get at a restaurant that have more calories than a burger cooked at home! And this is what you have to watch for!
I’ve found a way to strengthen a habit that I want for a lifetime! I want to make sure that my eye always goes to the healthiest option on a restaurant menu- and that I don’t look at the unhealthiest one and feel deprived! I want to make sure that I love and enjoy drinking water or Pellegrino with a meal instead of soda or iced tea (caffeine) or lemonade (sugar) which seems to be the drink of choice for lunch!
It had been an amazing journey of discovery, strength and will power. Most of all it has allowed me to shift my mindset and set myself on the course to a lifetime of healthy choices and for this I am eternally grateful to Arbonne for being my partner in Heath! From well made vegan skincare and cosmetics that have minimal preservatives, no animal by-products and no animal testing. To delicious tasting soy, dairy, gluten, lactose free protein powders and other nutritionals I’m grateful to have found a company that supports my desire to put only the healthiest and best quality ingredients in my body at a price that doesn’t break the bank!