Month in Review - April 2018

The Month In Review – and just like that it feels like summer!  I am not complaining but I am here to tell you that Miami had all of a few days of Spring like weather and then BAM the next day it felt like  summer.  I may be exaggerating and I am also well aware that other places feel like it is still Winter, hello snow in Minnesota! but I can only give you the latest update on the weather here in the MIA.  I think we’re all bracing for the summer weather that’s coming and know that it’s going to be a scorcher.  Which only means that smoothies and juices are getting ready to bombard our social media feeds, #worsttrendever, when all you really need is water, water, and more water. 

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This month alone three of my favorite food bloggers have released cookbooks.  We all know I have a cookbook addiction, so it was easy for me to buy three of my favorite bloggers’ books.  But three in one month?  There are too many recipes to try and I can’t focus on one of their books because I have all three at once!  Real world problems, I know.

 

How Sweet EatsThe Pretty Dish – I tried to think back to when I first started following Jessica of How Sweet Eats and I can’t really remember.  What I do remember is that Jessica inspired me to get in the kitchen and really experiment with flavors and just go for it.  And I’ve never looked back.  It’s where it all started for me, the love of making everything homemade, of spending time in the kitchen and really creating healthy and nourishing dishes.  I also learned to never  doubt Jessica’s flavor combinations.  As weird as something might sound, do NOT doubt her.  The flavors are always on point!  Always.  Blood orange, avocado and beet salad; beet hummus; kale salad with blood orange vinaigrette are just a few of the recipes I’ve made so far.  And then today I made her scrambled eggs with ricotta cheese.  I’m not sure why I’ve never thought to put ricotta in my eggs.  So glad Jessica did, because they are perfection! 

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I still haven’t made it to the section of her book where she makes homemade scrubs – food that you can put on your face.  I made a peppermint coconut oil scrub this past Christmas and it was divine, so I’m sure I’ll love experimenting with some of these DIYs.  I could go on and on about Jessica, but the truth is go check out her blog and see for yourself.  The other great thing about Jessica is she has a section that she writes on Saturday called, “CurrentlyCrushing On” and this is where I started finding other bloggers to follow.  Thanks Jessica!

 

What’s Gaby Cooking – her first cookbook was all about avocadoes so her next book was named after herself, What's Gaby Cooking:  Everyday California Cooking.  Makes sense.  I like Gaby’s recipes because they are simple, easy and delicious.  That’s a winning combo in my book.  I think part of the reason why I also love Gaby so much is because she’s on social media a lot (Snapchat and Instagram) that you feel connected in some way – she’s down to earth and super funny.  She just needs to make it down to Miami on her book tour!  I’ve tried a few of her recipes so far – Sesame-Miso Market Salad, Green Rice Burrito Bowls, Pico de Gallo, and her Basil Vinaigrette is everything.  Truly, you’ll want to drizzle that basil vinaigrette on just about everything.  Last week I made the cilantro vinaigrette and it’s great, but basil is happening this weekend!  If you’re looking for simple yet flavorful, Gaby’s your girl.

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And last but not least, The FauxMarthaThe Minimalist Kitchen – I stumbled upon The Faux Martha’s blog as I said through one of Jessica’s posts.  I don’t remember which post that is was, but Melissa’s blog is so well written you’ll want to read it each and every time.  (There was a recent blog from another food blogger recently about how blogging is a thing of the past and do people even really read blogs anymore.  Some people even just scroll to the recipe and skip the reading altogether…which makes me wonder should I even be blogging anymore?)  But back to Melissa, her blog is easy to read and is so well written that even at times she’s made me cry – I mean this one about fellow blogger Pinch Of Yum was exactly just the right thing to say even when she thought it wasn’t.  Her cookbook is about minimalizing what it is that you have in your kitchen and cooking something almost out of nothing.  Well, not nothing, but with the basics and not having to go so over the top.  I made her dutch baby recipe the other day and to say it was delicious was an understatement.  Her bean tacos are also simplistic yet made flavorful by the slaw on top – perfect combo of sweet yet tangy.  If you know someone just starting out and learning how to cook (and even stock what they need in their pantry), The Minimalist Kitchen is a good one to have.  May we all learn a little something about minimalism. 

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And FYI I am not promoting that you go out and buy these bloggers cookbooks.  I am summarizing what I did during the month of April.  I cook and I buy cookbooks, that’s my thing.  What I want is for people to take away the idea that cooking can be easy, flavorful, and healthy all at the same time.  These bloggers release recipes weekly (for free) on their websites.  You can even check your local library and check out their cookbook (no need to purchase).  Maybe you will be inspired and find a new recipe, or maybe you’ll even find someone else’s blog that you end up liking just by reading one of these – believe me that’s how I’ve found almost all of the bloggers that I follow.  Stay inspired with cooking, it’s too easy to get into the trap where we think that cooking has to be a chore.  These ladies will help inspire you to get in the kitchen, even if it’s just something quick that you can throw together and call a meal.

 

And in work news – last weekend we had a big event with the Dolphins – Family Fit Fest – Baptist is one of those unique organizations that as being not for profit we give back to the community.  Literally every program we do is FREE.  You heard right, FREE.  We might just be the best kept secret in Miami.  Free nutrition classes and freeexercise classes, all over Dade and Broward county.  We partnered with the Dolphins for the Family Fit Fest – it was a day of skills and drills for the kids, screenings, Zumba, yoga, free fruits and veggies and more! 

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Talk about a fun-filled day!  The best part of my day was by far this little kid playing the “My Plate” game.  He looked at me and asked me, “Were you at the tennis event?”  I replied in shock, “as a matter of fact I was!”  He continued to tell me that he knew it was me because I was the lady that was teaching him how to eat healthy from the plate.  I mean I know kids have a pretty good memory, but I’m thinking I made an impact on this kid for him to have remembered me…or he’s going to be a future dietitian when he gets older :)   

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That’s community health nutrition in action.  Day in and day out we’re able to have different programs for the community and all for free.  It makes my job fun and interesting and is it really work when you love what you do?    

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In the month of May Miami’s public learning station, PBS, is starting a health channel.  As it’s the first month some of the programs will be repeated as it is just getting started, but we will have doctors and specialists on for different topics all throughout the coming months.  They are going to feature myself and the dietitians I work with on the following topics:  Vitamins and Supplements – May 7th, Plant-Based Eating- May 16th, and Heart Health – featuring moi on May 21st.  Here is the website – allthealthallthetime – Stay tuned for future topics and the official schedule to be released.    And if there’s a topic you want to hear more about, email us with an idea.  Excited and nervous all at the same time!!  My TV debut coming right atcha!

 

While I worked at UM it was always my thought to go back and get my masters.  After I finished my undergraduate years ago (and having gotten two majors in 4 years) the last thing on my mind was going to school for another two years.  I also was thinking of how would I even pay for that?  So off I went into the workforce and never looked back.  But it always was something that I looked back and thought that I should’ve done.  So back to UM – it would’ve been ideal to have gotten a masters of public health while I was employed there.  The only problem?  When you work 8 am -8 pm it doesn’t really leave you any free time.  Not to mention most of the classes were in person.  Flash forward to present day and my current employer does offer tuition reimbursement as well.  I think this is something that I need/want to do.  So I’ve been researching a few programs, mainly online.  I got the GRE study guide and will be working on that in the coming weeks.  The only pitfall is that I have to be here (at my current job) for a full year before being able to get the tuition reimbursement.  While I will miss the cutoffs to get my application in for this year, I came to the conclusion that it will all work out in due time.  Sometimes I just need to slow down – literally adjust to my new job before throwing myself into a master’s program.  The other benefit of waiting till the next year,  one I can actually study for the GRE and not cram it all in in one weekend  (which could work, but let’s be real I’ve been out of school for forever and trying to sit down and study is a little bit like torture (when it’s for the GRE and not something I want to study).  Two, I am going to go on a few trips in this next year – at least in my head that’s the plan.  I already booked a trip to Baltimore for some continuing education.  Instead of staying local I opted to make a trip out of it.  Why not, am I right?  Next trip will be an actual vacation where I can fly away and literally relax – last time that happened was in Italy and I said then I’d travel more.  I haven’t so now’s the time.  Now just to decide where to?  Peru is definitely on the bucket list.  Spain – the northern region, although I enjoyed the south thoroughly so I’d go back in a heartbeat!  I’m going to just keep dreaming of where I’ll travel for now.

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The last thing I’ve been working on is staying consistent with my meditation.  I’m actually less consistent now because I tap in to my meditation in times of stress.  I know it’s the opposite of what you might think, but that’s my tendency and I’m working on it.   I haven’t really been stressed at all since starting my new job.  So I stopped doing daily meditation and only occasionally meditate.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m always trying to reconnect with my breath – short little reminders during the day to make sure I’m actually breathing.   But sitting down to actually meditate, it’s been awhile.  So yes, even I need to stay consistent.  It’s in those times of stress the consistency will help me reconnect back to my meditation and the skills I develop – it’s literally a bicep curl for your brain.  Seems I’m starting over at ground zero for now, with the intent to get stronger every day.

 

Hard to believe tomorrow is the last day of April.  It's been jam-packed and full of fun.  Can't wait to see what May brings.  Have a great month of May ya’ll!