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Recipes

Nikki’s Beef and Veggie Stew 

It was always a good day when I would come home from school and smell the scent of stew that my mom had been simmering in the kitchen for hours. The scent, even now, is like a warm hug. It’s perfect for fall and winter and another great meal to prep for the week. Stew is a hearty meal, but it’s also a healthy, protein packed soup. I add some more veggies than your traditional stew and swap out white potatoes for sweet potatoes. Those little changes can make even your most sinful recipes better for your waistline.

Soul

How to Build an Altar of Good Vibes 

You don’t have to be religious to build an altar. Honestly, I combine so many different things into my altar, even though I’m catholic. What items, images, or ideas do you attribute to good vibes? Now think about where you want to place them all for you to see every day. That’s all an altar really is… a space for you to focus positive energy.

Mind

Read More, Troll Less 

How many of you read actual books anymore? If you’re like me, you spend most of your time trolling the Internet, reading articles of depressing current events or watching viral videos. We need a shift in how we’re using and exercising our minds. After your day to day, it’s easy to get lost in the interwebs, but it’s much better to get lost in a book. I remember loving to read, but somehow life took that away from me, and many of you. It’s time to get that sacred place of relaxation and imagination back

Recipes

Nikki’s Autumn Banana Bread 

Banana bread is one of my favorite things to bake. It’s simple and you can do so many different flavor profile variations. Sometimes I add peanut butter; sometimes I add other fruit, like blueberries. It’s very versatile. Banana bread is also one of those treats that doesn’t feel like a cheat because it can be homemade and remain healthy. So I figured with fall just around the corner, I’d give you the recipe for my Autumn Banana Bread. And of course my recipe has a few ingredients swapped out… get used to it now.

Mind

Why I Chose Not to Medicate My Depression 

I remember the feeling of standing in my dorm room at 19 years old and wanting to end my life. I didn’t have strong relationships with anyone and I felt worthless. I could be in a room of people and still feel alone. It was an awful feeling coupled with unbelievably high levels anxiety. I was either shaking or completely numb and still. I called the schools emergency hotline that day. Something inside me wasn’t ready to commit to the permanency of death. The school psychologist rushed over and sat with me until my parents flew down. It was an extremely embarrassing feeling, but clearly the angel on my right shoulder was winning the battle with darkness that day.

Body

Fruits and Veggies by the Cup Full 

No one ever got fat from eating a piece of fruit. I often tell people that even if you’re at your caloric intake for the day and you get hungry, go for an apple or crunchy veggies. Your body LOVES fruits and veggies. It wants them! They are packed with natural sugars and fiber, are easy to break down, and are way healthier than grabbing a processed snack like a power bar. Most are low in calories which means it won’t make you pop buttons if you have some extra servings. At the end of the day, they are whole foods and whole foods are what you should be putting in your body. So here are my rules about eating your fruits and veggies.

Soul

Don’t Forget to Laugh 

Having suffered from depression I’ve learned that the faster you can acknowledge your stressors and them let them go, the happier you’ll be. Sleep may help cure all sorts of things that ail you, but laughter is really the best medicine.

Mind

Badass Affirmations 

You are a badass. No, really! You are. You should tell yourself things like this every day. Don’t wait for someone else to validate how awesome you are. It’s about knowing your own self-worth and realizing your own potential. Sure, it’s nice when other people see that, but at the end of the day, you need to be your own cheerleader. Most of your self-confidence and drive should come from how you view yourself. What makes you badass? Are you a wiz at work? An adventure seeker? Really good at a hobby? You don’t need to be an army ranger or thrill seeker to be a badass.

Body

Meal Prep 123’s 

Meal Prep 123’s Meal Prep is the act of taking the guesswork out of your week. I am always my leanest when I prepare all my meals and snack for the workweek. I swear it’s not as daunting as it sounds. Here are my Meal Prep 123’s!

Soul

Love With Your Whole Heart 

Love. Love is the craziest of all feelings. What I find strange about it is that it can be as all consuming as grief and hurt just as much. For those of us who have incredibly open hearts, life can sometimes suck. Loving people and things with your whole heart, with every fiber of our beings, can leave us extremely vulnerable and susceptible to unbelievable pain when this kind of love is not returned… but I wouldn’t live my life any other way. This kind of love has allowed me to help myself, and most of all, help others. I always say, “give of yourself, if and when you can.” Giving to charity is something that is very important to me, but I’m not a Rockefeller, so monetary donations can’t happen as often as I’d like, but what I can give all the time is LOVE.