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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Lemon Lavender Whole Wheat Muffin Recipe | #Channyskitchen

Lemon Lavender Whole Wheat Muffins

This week, I had some unexpected “at home” time when my little one got sick (boo!). In Michigan, we are experiencing some very cool, fall-like weather (much to the chagrin of summer worshippers like me who aren’t QUITE ready for that). Still, it put me in a major cooking and baking mood, and I thought I would create a new muffin recipe that was hearty, low in fat and low in sugar as well.

Hope you enjoy!

Recipe yields 12 muffins. Nutritional information below.


¾ tsp liquid stevia (or you could use ½ cup granulated sugar or sweetener of your choice, but remember, the calorie/macros in this recipe are adjusted for stevia. I use the handy conversion chart here.)

¾ cup nonfat Greek yogurt

1/3 cup plain applesauce (this is the same as one of the small, single servings which is what I always use. You’ll have about a spoonful left over. It can go directly in your mouth. J)

1 large egg (Vegan friends, check out this great article for replacement choices).

3 tsp. fresh grated lemon zest

2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp lemon oil or lemon extract

2/3 cup water

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour

¼ cup unbleached self-rising flour

¼ cup cornmeal (I used white)

3 tbsp. dried culinary lavender

2 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt


Purple Granulated Sugar Topping

(Yeah, I couldn’t resist a little drop of artificial color for this because it looks pretty! But skip that if it makes you uncomfortable.)

1/8 cup granulated or coarse sugar (I used granulated because I never have coarse on hand. Oh well.)

3 drops red, 1 drop blue food coloring

2 drops lemon oil or extract

Mix food coloring on spoon before adding to sugar. After you've added the food coloring, smash the sugar around until the color is incorporated. Then add the lemon oil or extract and do the same.


Preheat oven to 400º. Grease 12 count muffin tin.

Mix wet ingredients (stevia, yogurt, applesauce, egg, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon oil or extract and water) together well and set aside.

Mix dry ingredients (flours, cornmeal, dried lavender, balking powder, baking soda and salt) together.

Carefully stir or fold in wet mixture to dry mixture. Batter should be fairly thick—spoonable. Fill each hole in muffin tin to almost full.

Bake around 15-20 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes clean, or your spider senses tell you the muffins are perfect. =)

When my muffins came out of the oven, I sprayed them lightly with butter flavored cooking spray, and sprinkled the sugar topping on them.

Then I ate one—while it was still steaming—with a big pat of butter. YUM!


Per serving size (1 muffin):

Calories:   103 calories
Fat:    .8g
Carbs:    19.8 g

Protein:    4.5 g

Sunday, August 23, 2015

To V-Log or Not to V-Log...that is the question. =) Requesting reader feedback!

Can't see the video above? Please click HERE.

To V-Log or Not to V-Log...that is the question. 
Requesting reader feedback!

I've been slowly and steadily thinking about my (ever-so-late) rebranding to Mindful Grrl...and the type of content I'd like to offer from now on. Though the mission of my blog will be staying the same, I'm planning on adding some new features, but I'm having a hard time deciding what to tackle first.

That's where you come in...please watch the video above, and feel free to leave your thoughts in a comment below, or on my Facebook page!

What do you think?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sharing is Caring: The Need for Online Connection

A recent work-out selfie I shared with my current fitness progress on Instagram
Sharing is Caring: The Need for Online Connection
Paulo Coehlo, author of the novel The Alchemist, once said “It's part of the human condition to want to share things." As emotional beings, we are fundamentally wired with the desire to connect with others, and be validated by them. The support of our peers is truly integral to our success. Yet, sometimes, when we share our lives with others, we’re chastised for it. Particularly by those who claim that the acceptance and support of other human beings doesn’t mean much to them (an assertion I’m not buying for a moment).

Anyone who has participated in social media over the last two or three years has likely been assaulted by supposed compulsory social rules, and soul-sucking “list articles” with titles like “Ten Things Never to Do On Facebook”. I’ve always been a little anti-establishment so I will admit, that kind of headline turns me off from the get go. Still, so do the sentiments behind the writing. Who am I to try and control what people like to share? Even if someone's habits are offensive, racist or marginalizing, I have options. Defriend. Buh-bye.
From people griping about too many pictures of children (I LOVE seeing cute babies and sticky ice cream cones in my Facebook feed and I’m being totally serious) to complaints about friends who are going through emotional struggles and need a little more validation than usual (think about the close friend experiencing a divorce or loss of a loved one), people seem to expect that other’s sharing habits should please them, and by no means make their own private worlds feel threatened. They are the first in line to sit back and make snap judgments, and they are also often guilty of projecting their own insecurities onto those they may feel are happier, more successful, etc.
Image from
Give it a rest, Judge Judy.

Jade Mazarin, a board certified counselor and writer for PsychCentral, claims that humans are “looking for the approval of those closest to us on some level”. That desire for acceptance often extends to our friends online. We care about having their support; their understanding of our journey.
And it’s ok.
Yep, I’m talking about statuses, and selfies—and all of it. Contrary to popular belief and the viral outbreak of shared parody articles like the one claiming that excessive selfies are a psychological disorder (which is totally false), there’s nothing wrong with you if you enjoy sharing the beautiful pie you made for Thanksgiving dinner, your son’s A+ report card, or your recent weight loss transformation. In fact, as suggested by a 2013 article by Time, “Selfies Matter” for our sense of self in this modern world. Guess what? I’m high fiving you on the other side of the screen. I’m happy for you. I can be happy for you…
Because I’m happy with me.
Image from
I’ve loved sharing my updates about body image, my honest and transparent progress with weight loss and increased fitness, and in general, my zest for life right now. Why wouldn’t I post a gym selfie? I’m loving #fitlife! I receive such wonderful support from friends and families. But once in a while, I’ll hear a passive aggressive comment or backhanded compliment about how I’m “seeking attention” for my accomplishments.
Yes, sharing can become problematic when a person’s only validation comes from external sources. In these cases, folks aren’t just looking for acceptance through Snapchat or Instagram. The trouble goes deeper than that. We see individuals in abusive and co-dependent relationships, getting manipulated by their employers, or disrespecting themselves in some fundamental way. People with mental illnesses like Narcissism might have concerning behaviors online. Perhaps, on a deep internal level, they just don't value themselves. And there’s always room for more exceptions.
But what about the rest of us, plugging away in our every day lives, trying to grow, and achieve new things? Whether it’s a Couch to 5k challenge or the cultivation of your new band, I’m rooting for you. On Bandcamp. And Facebook. And Instagram. And MyFitnessPal.  Furthermore, I refuse to feel guilty for sharing my accomplishments simply because it might make someone else feel insecure about their world. I can’t thrive in a space that requires me to place those kinds of limits on myself, for fear that I’ll snag someone else’s tripwire. It’s unrealistic. It stifles my own growth and positive vibes, which I enjoy extending to other human beings as part of a cycle of love that I’m manifesting.
So please, share away. And know that as I partake in that same activity, I wish you well and validate you as another human who feels an intrinsic desire to connect, meaningfully, through social networks.
Unless you’re trying to sell me something.
Please don't try to sell me something.
That changes everything. ;)


Seeking to Be Understood: The Need for Approval
Taking Too Many Selfies? Don’t Worry, It’s Not a Disorder
Why Selfies Matter

#MeatlessMonday Healthy Recipe: Black Bean Fritters with Yogurt Horseradish Dill Sauce

These black bean cakes didn't make it to a proper photo shoot, lol! This shot is courtesy of my iPhone from my Instagram account. Follow my #MeatlessMonday posts there, or explore the hashtag #ChannysKitchen!

#MeatlessMonday Healthy Recipe: 
Black Bean Fritters with Yogurt Horseradish Dill Sauce

I’m back with another quick #MeatlessMonday recipe! This one is light, filling and full of protein. It also happens to be super tasty! I had some recipe requests when I shared the Instagram photo yesterday, so I thought I would share the recipe with everyone here.


Black Bean Fritters

1 ½ cups (or one can) of cooked black beans. (I processed mine slightly but left them on the chunky side. You could totally do this with a potato masher).
½ cup whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur brand).
½ cup diced peppers of your choice (I used red and yellow)
½ cup diced white onion or whatever you prefer
½ cup chopped baby spinach
2 tbsp egg whites OR leave this out to keep the fritters vegan (it doesn’t make too much difference).
2-3 tbsp water (may need a little more if you omit egg whites)
Salt, garlic powder, onion powder and lots of cumin to taste!

Mix all ingredients into a thick dough-like batter (not too runny, so watch the addition of water carefully) and form into patties with your hands. Using a greased pan (I used coconut oil spray) on medium to high heat, brown patties until crisp on both sides (usually takes around 8-10 minutes). This recipe yielded 9 fritters that were medium sized for me—and they were 70 calories a piece, with .3 grams of fat, 12.8 grams of carbs and 4 grams of protein each.

Serve with Greek yogurt horseradish dill sauce! (Recipe below)

Greek Yogurt Horseradish Dill Sauce

½ cup plain Greek yogurt (I used store brand non-fat)
3 tbsp creamy horseradish sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp powdered dill weed
A few drops of stevia to taste (or a pinch of sugar)
Salt to taste

Cream all ingredients together. Serves 4-5. One serving is around 55 calories with 2.7 grams of fat, 2.4 grams of carbs, and 4.5 grams of protein.

Bon Appétit!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Take A Mental Picture {My Mindful July}

Slow down, take your shoes off, feel the dirt under your feet.
I didn’t blog once through the month of July. Not once.

That’s a first in almost four years. Even writing that sentence took a moment to sink in. Why, you might ask? It’s just a blog. No big deal.

Well, for this Type-A gal, not being able to “do it all” induces anxiety. I really thought I could—rebrand my blog, manage perfect grades in college, work full time, mommy full time, plan a wedding, write creatively, play my guitar and perform out and about, revamp my photography website, appear on the radio, etc.

And then, summer came. I wanted to sit at the beach. I wanted to grow tomatoes. I wanted to ride my bike with my fiancé to the coffee shop and pick out vegetables in the street. Without my Canon strapped to me.

Still, every time I marveled at the beauty in something, found an interesting trinket at the thrift store, or put together a fun secondhand outfit without tweeting, blogging or posting it, I felt a pang of guilt. Maybe even panic. As if I didn’t record this event digitally, it would disappear like a puff of smoke in to the sky.

I know that’s not true. In fact, living consciously and being mindful of my existence as it happens is something I’ve been working on for years, and as author Valerie Alexander says, “Why put a screen between you and your life?” However, in this digitally obsessed world, we need constant reminders to just live—even for a moment.

When it comes to memories, my mother’s stories are getting soft around the edges. Sometimes, she will tell me the same thing twice, or thrice, or…I’ll stop, because I know you’re reading, mom. =) Still, she’s always been a master at slowing down. Bringing a moment to a lull, she would take a “mental snapshot” so she could remember an instant forever on our family vacations, even if I was standing next to her with my trigger finger on the shutter button. The way the cotton sheets smelled off the line; the grooves in the knotty pine lining our family cabin. The shrieks of joy from my son's smiling face as he ran around the yard with popsicle juice streaking down his t-shirt; the pacifying sound of wind on Lake Huron.

Even though I often had a camera around my neck, sometimes I followed her advice, and powered it down, turning my face to the sun. I would close my eyes and relish a moment or two, and promise to keep the memory forever.

I tried to do this as much as possible in July. I still posted pics on Instagram, and I played around on Facebook. But I stopped recording and sharing my life on the blog, and I quit worrying about what I would put together next. I know that things will pick up for me where they left off; I’ll get my new website up, I’ll keep writing and taking pictures, and things will be better than ever. But this summer—before my life takes on massive change in the fall (marriage, graduating from college with my degree in PR)—I’m blogging casually, and enjoying the sunshine. I’ll be taking as many mental snapshots as I can, trying hard to be mindful, and I deeply encourage you to do the same.


Be Present.


I’m including a few pictures below of my life on Instagram as of late! 
Please feel free to follow me!


My lovely girlfriends threw me a darling tea party and bachelorette party! We even had a painting lesson. How fun, right? I'm SO blessed.

I saw Erykah Badu in concert. FINALLY. Mind. Blown. (Recap on that soon.)

I tried layering salads in mason jars. Success!   

          I enjoyed Moscow Mules with  my 
                        toes in the grass.

I achieved a total loss of 18 lbs since February,
but I'm more proud of my non-scale victories.  

 I ran a 5k with my future  mother-in-law for the first time! =)


Tell me about your recent mental snapshots (or pictures from your camera, too!) 
Comment below!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Easy Peasy DIY Halter | Thrifted Summer Floral

Easy Peasy DIY Halter
Thrifted Summer Floral

I thrifted this dress a few weeks ago at Hope's Outlet in Muskegon on Glade Avenue for $2. I have a thing for floral and I knew it would be great paired with browns and red lips! The only problem was that the shoulder straps were driving me crazy...they were slightly loose.
Adjusting the straps would have been fairly easy with my sewing machine, but I was feeling too lazy for, "Wouldn't it just be nice to fix this problem in twenty seconds and be laying in a hammock?" kind of lazy.
The simple solution? Snip. Cut the straps from the back, and tie around my neck--BOOM. Instant halter. Can you find something similar at the thrift store for a few bucks and give it some new life?

Wavy post-French braid hair and fringy brown peep toe booties added some nice boho flair to this outfit. The cute little Lulu cross body was a $5 clearance item. Merona belt thrifted as part of another dress, from Goodwill. Bracelets and earrings were inexpensive secondhand finds, as well.

Special thanks to my photographer...AKA, fiancé. =)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Day My Students Called Me Fat | Talking to Kids About Body Image

^^^Clearly NOT my real body. Because as the kids pointed out, I'm chubby. Duh.

The Day My Students Called Me Fat
Talking to Kids About Body Image

It was a day like any other.
My morning started at 6:30 a.m. Breakfast, lunch packing, kid dressing, and finally, getting myself ready. Despite popular belief I’m not much of a morning diva; I usually only have about 20 minutes to get myself ready after I’ve taken care of other details, but sometimes I hit the jackpot and nail my “look” in record time. Other days, I just deal with it.
On this day in question, however, I felt good about my fast-paced primping. I was donning a cute, thrifted black and white knit dress, paired with some black tights and heels and red lipstick. I gathered my things, dropped my son off to his class and made it to work on time with a hot coffee in my hand and a smile on my face. Success!

Feeling “put together” in the a.m. helps me to juggle the wildly varying responsibilities I have at the wonderful non-profit I work for. I wear many hats—PR practitioner, graphic designer, specials teacher—so it’s nice to feel on point and ready for the day. Though I enjoy public relations, writing and web mastering, one of the most wonderful highlights of my job is working with children. I look forward to my weekly music classes (this year marked my 14th teaching season), and my first class of the day was an energetic group of four-year-olds who couldn’t wait to see what music class had in store for them.

“You look great today!” one of the teachers exclaimed as they came through the door. “You’re always looking so snappy.” And just as I was relishing that compliment, I heard from the back of the line, “And you’re fat, Miss Chantal.” Another student ran up directly behind the first student, confirming what his friend had observed. 

“You are, Miss Chantal, you’re fat.”

I know—when you hear it,  you wince. This is normally where an entire day can be shot down, into a rabbit hole of “I’m-no-good-ness”; where a person who is otherwise feeling fantastic is suddenly catapulted in to a vortex of self-loathing and physical criticism that lasts for hours, maybe even days. And certainly, the other teachers who were corralling the wily bunch of preschoolers stopped dead in their tracks. It was almost as if you could audibly hear the needle scratching across the record.

Despite the looks of horror around the room (even from the kids), it didn't send me in to a sad spiral.
“Hmm,” I said to the students. “Let’s come in to the classroom and talk about that.” I gathered the wide-eyed kids around the gathering rug and took a breath, thinking about how I would address this issue.

If you’ve been following my blog, you might have heard about my recent appearance on Muskegon’s 100.9 FM with The Bond Broadcast. In that episode, I was asked how parents or caregivers can handle body image issues. My answers lined up with all of my values on paper, but sometimes it can be hard to follow through with those kind of ideals in the moment, so I wanted to collect myself and think carefully: how could I communicate the dangers of noticing another person’s body in a way that is hurtful, while also expressing love for myself in a non-damaging way?
The kids sat around the circle. They had heard. They knew. And they were nervous. I’m sure they thought that there was probably a big, intense diatribe headed there way, about how the child’s comment had “hurt my feelings”.
I looked around at all of the precious doe eyes staring back at me and took a breath.

“You called me fat,” I said to the student, “I guess my body looks fat to you. And that’s ok.” Silence from the circle. “Bodies are different,” I continued. “Some are big, some are small.” The kids nodded in agreement.

“If you call someone fat it’s mean!” A little girl on my right chimed in. “I would tell someone they looked skinny to be nice!” Touché, little one, I though. You’re picking up what society is laying down.
“If you really wanted to be nice to someone,” I said to the group, “You could notice something else about them. Maybe they are a fast runner. Maybe they can sing well, or tell funny jokes.” The kids nodded. One boy raised his hand. “I can jump high!” he said.
“Right!” I continued. “My body is very fit, too! And I love my body, very much. I’m so proud of my body that I don’t want to hear you say anything negative about it.” The children looked surprised to hear me make this statement, but the idea slowly started to sink in.

“It’s okay for you to notice someone else’s body,” I said to the little ones who were shuffling their feet and biting their fingernails in front of me, “But it’s not up to you to comment on someone’s body. Keep what you notice to yourself. And be proud of your body.”
The children seemed to understand, but a few weren’t ready to move on from the topic. “But we can say nice things!” they offered. “Sure,” I responded, “If you know for sure it is kind. But most of the time, it’s not up to you to comment on someone else’s body.”
There was a moment or two of silence and I smiled. “Who’s ready to make music?”

There's so much I left out of the conversation, but children have short attention spans. I wanted to let the kids know that I valued my body, but I also wanted them to know that it's really not okay to comment on how people look most of the time. I know that includes compliments--but we know that can be a slippery slope. "Wow! You're so skinny!" might not be interpreted the way you think. This is a complex matter that adults don't always get right--let alone children. Of course, most of the time, their motivations are pure. They haven't learned to be facetious or passive aggressive yet.

I won't say that I had the perfect response that day, but it wasn't one that left me with any regrets.

What are you teaching your children or students about body image? Let's continue this conversation below in the comments! 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Strawberry Rhubarb Lavender Chia Seed Jam

Strawberry Rhubarb Lavender Chia Seed Jam

This weekend, I was lucky enough to have a nice beautiful batch of rhubarb given to me! For a moment I thought maybe I would try a savory recipe with the rhubarb, or something a little off the beaten path. And then I remembered I had ripe berries ready to be used for something--and I couldn't resist. ;) I love cooking with chia seeds (I've posted a chia seed recipe for Spicy Pepper Jam here before), so I thought I'd cook up some jam! As a child, I remember loving the challenge of eating a sour, tangy stalk raw--and the joy of strawberry rhubarb pie. Rhubarb and strawberry are a class act together, no doubt.
Still, I wanted to add something exotic in to the mix, and then it hit me--culinary lavender. Oh yes.
Check out my finished product--a lovely little fresh spread that has only around 18 calories, 1.3 grams of healthy omega-3 fats, and over half a gram of protein per tablespoon! The lavender taste is very present but not overwhelming--it adds a fancy, perfumed quality to the jam that is just what I was going for. Great on toast, or a muffin...and I can't even imagine how yummy it would be over a scoop of vanilla ice cream or yogurt.
Recipe below. Enjoy!


-2 cups of diced strawberries (or any other berry of choice)
-1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb (you don't HAVE to peel your rhubarb, but I did peel mine before chopping to avoid any stringiness)
-Roughly 1 1/3 cup of dried chia seeds
-3 tbsp. dried culinary lavender
-1 tbsp. stevia (or 1 cup of granulated sugar, or another sweetener to taste)
-Additional 2 tbsp. of sugar
-Estimated 2 1/2 cups of water
-Medium Sauce Pan
-Containers to hold somewhere around 32 ounces of jam (I used a 12 ounce jar and two 8 ounce jars, and filled to the brim).

YEILD: A little over 32 ounces, or around 64 tbsp. of jam.


Add chopped berries, rhubarb, lavender and sweetener to a sauce pan with enough water to cover them plus a little extra. For me, this ended up being around 2 1/2 cups. Basically, you want to submerge the ingredients and leave a little room for liquid, without your mixture becoming too watery.
Bring to a boil and then quickly reduce to a simmer until fruit is tender--it doesn't take long, perhaps 4 minutes or so. Don't boil too long or you will lose the beautiful color in the berries!

At this point, I removed the pan from heat and used a masher to gently mash the ingredients in the pan.
I then added the chia seeds to each jar--I used about 1/3 of a cup of dried seeds for the two smaller 8 oz. jelly jars, and the remainder of seeds (around 1/2 a cup or a little more) for the 12 oz. jar.
Spoon/pour berry mixture in to each jar and stir well, incorporating the chia seeds. You may need to adjust the amount of seeds you use for each jar if the mixture seems too watery, but you'll need to wait a little while to gauge how thick the jam actually is while the chia seeds "set", or become jelly-like. They will expand and thicken the mixture.
After around 10-15 minutes, the chia should have expanded to their maximum thickness, so if you need to add more seeds by the tbsp., you can.
Allow the jars to cool before putting in to the refrigerator. Kept in the fridge, this spread should last about two weeks. You can also freeze this jam--but I will admit, I haven't tried that. We usually eat it up rather quickly. =)


Serving Size: 1 tbsp.
Calories: 18
Total fat: 1.3 g
Sodium: .2 mg
Carbs: 1 g
Protein: .6 g

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Listen to me on The Bond Broadcast: Muskegon 100.9 FM (Podcast Episode Here!)


Listen to me on The Bond Broadcast:
Muskegon 100.9 FM (Podcast Episode Here!)
I had a great time talking with Jim and Michael Bond of The Bond Broadcast about everything from my new blog rebranding to parenting with positive body image! Check out the podcast below to listen to the entire show, and make sure to check out Muskegon 100.9's Soundcloud channel! I would love to hear your thoughts on our topics.

How do you talk to your children about body image? And for those who aren't parents, how did your own parents ideas about body image shape you?
Leave a comment below!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Catch me on the radio Sunday! Muskegon's 100.9 FM at 5 p.m.!

Catch me on the radio Sunday, May 17th!
Muskegon's 100.9 FM at 5 p.m. EST!

Tune in to Muskegon's 100.9 FM on Sunday, at 5 p.m. EST (via radio or streaming at to catch me on The Bond Broadcast, a multi-generational, interactional entertainment radio program with a common-sense approach to parent/child viewpoints on culture and relationships. Father and son duo Jim Bond and Michael Bond will be chatting with me about thrifting, body image, and other interesting topics!

I'm excited to talk with them and I hope you'll tune in to hear the show live! If you can't make it on Sunday, I'll be sure to post the stream later on.
Happy Friday!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Southwestern Tofu Scramble for #MeatlessMondays--a quick vegan meal!


Southwestern Tofu Scramble for #MeatlessMondays--a quick vegan meal!

Life has been INSANELY busy lately. My life as a blogger has been trumped by my demanding roles in every other aspect of my life. Finding time for self care (through healthy meals and exercise) trumps just about any other side project or hobby I may have, and that includes my re-branding work (which is slowly moving along) and so many other pots on the backburner. I hope you are taking time to take care of yourself!
But, speaking of pans on the stove, one of my ongoing nutritional goals is to ensure that I get my grams of protein in. This can be require much planning and dedication when you are trying to go as plant-based as possible. I am omnivorous--not vegan--but I prefer to eat vegetarian and vegan as much as I can. This is not only for health reasons but also for moral ones. Though I am not yet completely invested in a lifestyle that doesn't include consumption of any animal product, I am able to flow with a "reducetarian" mindset that focuses on the reduction of not only animal products and meat, but also all natural resources--including gas. I'm proud to say I've almost exclusively biked or walked to work for the last month, and though it started with vehicle issues, I'm glad to have begun what I hope is a permanent change for the season!

Life doesn't always have to be "all or nothing" can do your best. ;)
For our family, this means a happy dedication to "#MeatlessMondays" (click the link to find all of my meal ideas and recipes on Instagram, some of which are picture below).

It takes a little planning, but when it comes to easy, one pot meals, this Southwestern Tofu Scramble isn't anything complicated, yet it is hearty and a great serving of protein, low in fat, and moderate in carbs. It also packs almost 8 grams of fiber per serving and tastes awesome!
Check out the recipe below!


Southwestern Tofu Scramble

Makes 5 hearty (approximately 2 cup) servings. Prep/Cook time: 20 minutes.

Nutritional Information: Calories per serving: 184, Carbohydrates: 29.5g,
Fiber: 7.7 g, Protein: 13.9 g (this information does not include avocado).


-(1) 14 oz container of firm tofu (I prefer to use Nasoyu Organic Lite Firm Tofu)
-(1) Can petite diced tomatoes
-(1) Bag of frozen mixed veggies (diced carrots, corn, green beans and peas)
-(1) Can black beans
-Half of red onion, diced
-Cumin, red pepper flakes, sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and any other seasoning your prefer to use.


Dice tofu into cubes. Place large skillet on medium high heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray or lightly grease with your favorite oil. Once the pan is hot, add tofu cubes. Season with cumin, sea salt and other spices. As tofu is browning, dice and add red onion. Allow the two to sauté until onion is slightly softened and tofu becomes browned and marinated well in seasoning.
Add tomatoes, frozen veggies, and black beans. Season to taste and reduce heat in skillet to medium. Cover with pan lid and stir periodically until frozen veggies are heated properly and flavors have blended. Cook time will vary but should only take about 10-15 minutes.
Remove from heat and serve with a fresh halved avocado! I preferred to cream the avocado with a little sea salt and garnished my bowl with that, as well as a dash of hot sauce. Other ideas for toppings might include vegan or regular cheese, greek yogurt, or fresh cilantro.



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mindful Grrl


I've been working...a lot. Behind the scenes!

Some of my readers may not know that I am also a full time student at the moment; having funneled my language arts degree in to a new endeavor (a B.A. in public relations), I have very little free time! In fact, I've been hitting the books hard (4.0 student, thankyouverymuch) and I've also been working full time as a PR practitioner for a non-profit school (where I have been the last 14 years), as well as being a mommy, and planning a wedding! Phew!

Therefore, re-branding seemed like something that was beyond my reach for quite some time. I thought for so many hours about what I wanted to say, who I really am, and how I was going to make the difficult transition.

Without further ado (yet with much to do in the future), I present to you my new blog name:

Mindful Grrl.


Thrift Trick has been an amazing outlet for me. And it communicates so much of what I still hold steadfast regarding a life that embraces conservation, living within means, and enjoying the things around us that still have so much life. Yet, as many readers have likely noticed, one of my main focuses isn't just being conscious in your spending habits, it is being conscious and confident in your daily life. From what you think, to how you shop, to what you put in to your mouth.

Why is being conscious and confident so important to me? Because it didn't always come easily for me, and it still doesn't.

Part of the idea of consciousness is mindfulness; you must seek to be aware at all times, or things can easily slip away. Every day of my life I feel temptations--from blowing my money on things I don't need, to mindlessly snacking, to shaming or devaluing my own body.  Staying intentional, daily, is something that takes effort and can prove to be challenging, and I want my blog to not only share with you my personal journey in maintaining those efforts, but also, inspire you to take charge yourself (because even if you have already, you still need a cheerleader!).

If you have known me personally for any length of time, than you probably are aware of my support and interest in women's issues, and feminism. A teen of the 90's, I spent many hours in my room listening to riot girl bands and standing up for feminine equality (and racial equality). My egalitarian viewpoints these days are shaped by intersectional feminism, cultural awareness and a readiness to react to the world around me, both politically and culturally. The "grrl" in my new blog name reflects that attitude and is a nod to thinking outside the box as a woman...and a grrl. This is SO important when we begin to have truthful and illuminating conversations about positive body image!

Regarding the blog's actual transformation, please be patient with me as the changes come! I thought for sure I would be done with my renovation by early April, but speaking engagements, radio appearances (more on that soon!) and design work has taken much longer than expected.

For now, know that you will soon notice social network changes, and the new website and blog will be coming soon as well. I hope you will come along with me in this new journey that will bring you more of what you have enjoyed at Thrift Trick, as well as new and more meaningful conversations.



P.S. I'm not giving up my outfit posts! Or my thrifting adventures! =)

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