Recently, my sister summed up how I feel about life: “People are complicated, life is messy, and shit is hard.” It sounds like bummer town USA, but I think it’s a good reminder. There are a billion+ different layers to every story and every person, and I have to accept the fact that I’ll never be able to figure anything or anyone out. And as someone who wants to be in control of every situation, it’s been a hard life lesson to swallow.
So, instead of trying to stick to one narrative of my life and write in length about how that singular thing effects me, I’m going to sum up my first three months of being 30. I’m not quite sure what my life will shake out to look like in a year from now, but I’m trying to find some semblance of balance, and I suppose that’s all we can do.
- My body is still rebelling on me. Health is a tricky, tricky thing which appears to only get harder as we get older. I still haven’t figured out what’s going on with these silly imbalances, but I’m working on it. After a week of binge eating tacos and swimming in whiskey (thanks Texas), I’m back to clean eating and daily yoga. Check out Yoga with Adriene if yoga studios scare you but you want to get your daily dose of stretching. She’s the best.
- I recently faced some pretty important ghosts from my past. Ghosts I have been avoiding for 6+ years. This important conversation was enlightening, devastating, and it broke me in the exact way I needed to be broken. I’m now googling “best therapists in Seattle/Tacoma” on the daily. If you know a good therapist that can deal with stoic and stubborn people, send them my way.
- I am considering moving back to Texas. It could be due to the fact that Tacoma is dealing with the coldest winter since 1985 and everything I own is constantly damp, or it could be the fact that Austin makes me feel alive. Being in Texas feels right. I don’t feel anxious or lonely or uncertain. It’s mainly because being near my sister centers me, but it’s also because that place has an energy that cannot be denied. Who knows where I’ll end up, but that sweaty and flat city is always tempting me back.
- I honestly think that every stranger who walks near me, looks at me, and/or is in my general vicinity is going to murder me. I’ve gone down the rabbit hole of true crime and am listening to My Favorite Murder every chance I get. If you have yet to listen to that podcast, I highly recommend it. Just prepare yourself to panic check behind the shower curtain regularly and maybe end up falling asleep to the soothing sounds of the Great British Baking Show every night.
- I am considering pulling an Alicia Keys and stopping wearing makeup. I don’t really wear much anyway, but I have spent the last 15 years convincing myself that my face, in particular my eyes, aren’t good enough unless I dress them up. And while it might lower my self confidence a tad and potentially further my “forever alone” narrative, it would be nice to not feel dependent on anything to feel beautiful.
- Lastly, and so we end this bad boy on a high note, I need to own goats in the near future. On my most recent trip to Texas we were at a friend’s ranch and got to bottle feed and snuggle with baby goats. They are stubborn, curious, and make the cutest sounds I’ve ever heard. Being out in the country and near these tiny creatures reaffirmed my life goal of owning property on one of Washington’s islands or in west Texas (maybe both? Go big or go home.) My land would be a paradise of dogs, goats, chickens, vegetables, and a tiny a-frame cabin with a sleeping loft and a large kitchen. It’s what I have my sights set on, and lord knows that when I want something I will do anything and everything in my power to get it. Baby goats, I’m coming for you.
I’m so grateful I’m entering a new decade. I feel like my haphazard foundation has crumbled in a lot of beautiful ways, and I’m excited to start building myself back up.
Here’s to being messy, vulnerable, and complicated.
Thai Inspired Abundance Bowl
As I mentioned, my health has been all over the map for the past year. It’s annoying, frustrating, and I hate not being the best version of myself. I’m working on it, and definitely believe that the place to start is diet. I have done so many damn cleanses and food challenges that I know eating a whole foods diet is what makes me feel my best. So, after 9 days in Texas eating at least 4 tacos a day and ALWAYS saying yes to dessert and whiskey, I came back 7 pounds heavier (literally) and am excited to surround myself with nothing but leafy greens. This heavenly dish fills you up, makes great leftovers, and will leave you licking the bowl because… peanut sauce.
- 1 cup sweet potato, chopped
- 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
- 1 cup broccoli, chopped
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp red curry paste
- 2 gloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup carrots, shredded
- ½ red bell pepper
- 1 egg (optional)
- 1 tsp Sriracha (optional)
- Recipe for peanut sauce
Start with your sweet potato. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F, and mix your chopped sweet potato with the melted coconut oil, curry powder, salt and pepper. Pop in the oven for 30 minutes. While those are cooking, head on over whip up your peanut sauce – this recipe will make extra, but I just keep it in a jar and spoon over any and all food. Because it’s fucking peanut sauce… aka: Delish on everything.
Once your peanut sauce is made, cook your quinoa. Like the peanut sauce, I always make extra because having cooked quinoa in the fridge is always handy. I use Cookie + Kate’s method and it hasn’t failed me yet. Just rinse 1 cup quinoa in a fine mesh colander and then combine with 2 parts water or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a low simmer for 20 minutes or until almost all the liquid is gone. Remove from the heat and cover, letting the quinoa steam for 5 minutes. Set that puppy aside and move on to your vegetables.
I wanted to have a combo of warm and cold veggies, so I sautéed my mushrooms and broccoli in a Thai inspired dish. If you want to go raw, just chop everything up and layer with the rest of the ingredients. For the Thai-inspired sauté, warm 1 tsp of sesame oil over medium heat and once warm add in the chopped broccoli and chopped mushrooms. Sauté for 5ish minutes and then add in the minced garlic, soy sauce, and red thai chili paste. Sauté for a few more minutes before adding in the spinach. Turn the heat to low, and sauté until the spinach wilts. Remove from heat and set aside.
Lastly, shred your carrots and chop up your bell pepper.
Phew. Now you have all the components of your dish, start putting all the deliciousness together. I started with a base layer of quinoa and sweet potato, layered on the broccoli, mushroom, and spinach mixture, popped up on the raw veggies for the crunch and then threw on the peanut sauce. And, because I love to put eggs on everything, I quickly fried up an egg and threw it on top. It adds a nice little burst of protein.
This is the kind of meal that sticks to your ribs while also being super healthy. It’s a win/win. And yes, my picture’s background is the wall that I’ve dedicated to Texas. What can I say? Texas forever.