Friday, February 27, 2015

Letting go of control to ride the adventure of life: My California to Massachusetts road trip

Joshua Tree National Park, CA

September 2014 I moved from colorful Colorado to the sunny San Francisco Bay Area.  My intention behind this transition was to figure out how to make my passions into a career, take time to heal my body, and save money by moving in with my parents.  In the past six months, I worked at a yoga studio and created nourishing meals at a Dharma retreat center.  I started this blog as a way to share my love. I practiced yoga, and completed a strict sugar detox and autoimmune cleanse.  Through my work, I learned the importance of mediation in my overall well-being. I fell in love.  I witnessed death in my family. I made new friends.  I reconnected with old friends.  I learned to be patient and understanding with my parents.

About a week ago, I started my first cross-country road trip. And doin' it solo too! West coast to east coast.  I decided to make this winter adventure so I could start something new for myself, follow my passions and remove myself from bustling city life.  Originally I had a plan to meet up with friends along the way and eventually get to Massachusetts by mid March.  Unfortunately, I can't control the weather and things don't always work out as we may hope, so I decided that I'll get to my destination when I get there...Ultimately, I am figuring out how to go with the flow, not make a plan, live moment to moment.  I packed up my car with all of my belongings (probably way too many to begin with) and started the drive east.

Today marks day 10 into my epic road trip.  So far, I've stopped at national parks, hiked beautiful mountains and explored colorful caves.  I've camped under the stars.  I've driven through several snow storms. I've made new friends and have learned to put myself in temporarily uncomfortable situations to be more independent and accepting of new things. I went snowboarding in fresh backcountry powder.  I spent time catching up with my incredibly supportive and loving friends and family.  I'm inspired by each one of my friends; seeing everything they have accomplished and how they are transforming into their true, authentic selves.  I've experienced the generosity of friends and strangers, making this adventure truly amazing so far.

Boulder, CO
Even though I am on a solo road trip, I don't feel like I have been alone at any part of this journey. Sometimes I feel lonely, but I gotta remember to "love the one that never leaves you."  I'm learning to listen to my inner road trip guide, rather than absorbing energies of whoever I'd be traveling with.  I am figuring out how to trust myself.  To live with uncertainty and to be OK with that.  I am opening my heart and it feels perfect.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Creamed Butternut Squash Pasta with Sage Butter

What a cozy winter meal! I originally made a version of this super satisfying dish for 20 retreat-goers a couple weeks ago in the peaceful Santa Cruz mountains.  With just a few ingredients, this easy dish is nutrient-dense, slightly sweet and makes an awesome creamy substitute for you mac & cheese lovers.

Make this recipe dairy free by using ghee or refined coconut oil instead of butter.  To make this AIP friendly, swap brown rice pasta out for zucchini noodles and use 1/2 tsp turmeric and 1/4 tsp mace instead of coriander.  

Creamed Butternut Squash Pasta with Sage Butter

Yield: 4 servings
Allergens: dairy. 


3-4 medium garlic cloves
3 Tbs olive oil, divided
2 medium butternut squashes, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into medium chunks
2 cups fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 bag brown-rice pasta; I like the spiral pasta, rotini
1 bunch of fresh sage, finely diced
6 Tbs organic butter (ghee or coconut oil work too)
1-2 cups of bone broth (you can also use chicken or vegetable broth)
1 tsp coriander
1/2 a bag of arugula (you can subsitute spinach)
salt and pepper to taste
optional: meatballs or other protein

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.  In a sheet of parchment, wrap peeled garlic cloves with a touch of oil and roast for 30 minutes.  Toss squash with 1 Tbs oil, salt, pepper and place in large baking dish in oven for 30 minutes, checking halfway. Once cubes are soft all the way through and slightly browned, remove from oven to cool slightly. Remove garlic and set aside.
  2. In medium saucepan, heat 1 Tbs olive oil.  Sauté mushrooms for 5 or so minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  3. Using an immersion blender or stand blender, combine squash, roasted garlic, coriander, salt and pepper to taste.  Start by adding 1 cup of broth. If the mixture is not blending, add a quarter cup extra at a time until a thick consistency is reached, but not watery.
  4. In a large pasta pot, boil water with a few pinches of salt and a couple dashes of olive oil. Cook pasta according to directions on packaging.
  5. While pasta is cooking, over low heat, brown the butter and infuse with sage, stirring occasionally.
  6. Once pasta is cooked through, drain it and pour back into pasta pot.  Add sage butter and combine with pasta thoroughly.  Mix in the arugula and mushrooms.  Finally, stir in the creamed squash.  Feel free to add a protein, like meatballs or shredded chicken. Garnish with sage.