Sometimes when I wake up in the morning and have the luxury of spending a few extra minutes preparing breakfast I almost as much get struck by a lightening bolt (fun visual!) idea instilling this picture of a beautiful green smoothie bowl in my head. Once it happens I am set on preparing it and the rest is history.
Most of the time I stick to a more or less simple base of - a nut or oat milk, frozen bananas, and a handful or handfuls of spinach. Of course you can add any sort of frozen berry or fruit or a different green. Once I have given it a go in the blender for some seconds it becomes a creamy, dreamy consistency and has a lovely green color. The creative and perhaps most exciting part of preparing this breakfast bowl comes now... when it is time to "decorate" the top! Decorations can include goji berries, granola, bee pollen, and cacao nibs to name a few.
There you have it, one of the lightest and easiest ways to get your greens first thing, before you have even left your house! It's also quite fun to go loco with the toppings.
Green Smoothie Bowl
enough for one
1/4 cup nut or oat milk
1/2-1 banana, frozen
handful of spinach
Like I mentioned above you can put whatever you would like on top of your breakfast bowl. For example, slivered almonds, granola, dried cranberries, buckwheat groats, goji berries, etc., etc.!
Put all of the ingredients - the milk, frozen banana, and spinach - into a food processor and blend until you can no longer see spinach leaves. The green of the leaves will integrate well with milk and bananas and if you let it process long enough it will begin to turn a bit creamy. Congratulations, this is your base!
Pour this into a bowl and now it is time to decorate with whatever toppings you have on hand. Make it your special creation! After, sit down at the table, take a deep breath in gratitude of the time you spent preparing it, and enjoy :)
Hummus is a great spread to say in the least! Typically it consists of a puree of chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, tahini, olive oil, and a dash of citrus (think lemon juice). The spread is versatile on rye bread sandwiches or when used as a dip for raw veggies and crackers. You can even get creative and add things like sun-dried tomatoes, red peppers, chili flakes, and garlic to mix it up a bit.
Garbanzo beans are naturally low in fat and high in dietary fiber. Olive oil is beneficial for your heart as it contains monounsaturated fat which help lower the levels of the "bad" cholesterol that can buildup as plaque in your arteries causing blockages.
Living in Denmark, I often buy the Løgismose brand of hummus but when we finished off the our last little jar I was inspired to create my own at home. Not only is it cheaper, I am preferring more and more to make things in our kitchen. A total win-win!
Hummus à la Bun Shop
Makes about two cups and is enough to fill a large glass jar
1 garlic clove, peeled (you can use more it depends on your taste)
1 1/2 cup or 1 can of chickpeas
2 tbsp tahini
1/2 lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1/4 cup water
Add the garlic to the food processor and process until nice and chopped. Next add chick peas, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, cayenne, salt, cumin, and a tad of water. Blend until nice and smooth. Feel free to add more water if the mixture seems too chick. Taste and add salt to preference. Spoon into a bowl to be served right away or put into a glass jar to be enjoyed later.
This recipe is one of the easiest, freshest, and can be made at the drop of a hat. I named this recipe D slaw because the ingredients and combination seemed as prevalent in Denmark as coleslaw does in the south of the US. It is also a bit on the lighter side as it does not contain mayonnaise or buttermilk.
The first year of law school I would make a batch of it on Sunday so that I knew I had something fresh and fun to look forward to at lunch time. If you would like feel free to substitute the apples for beets - mmmm! A good friend of mine and law-brary study buddy though it was cute and always asked me if I was gonna go eat my "turtle food" as he made his way to Dunkin Donuts (Dunks) for a coffee at lunch time. If only he knew how good it is and how good you feel afterwards... So really the joke is on him!
For some reason after travel days I tend to gravitate towards making it and enjoying it with a side - rye or seed bread topped with avocado or a smiling egg or as I had it most recently with a healthy homemade not too sweet muffin.
Serving size: completely depends on how many you want to feed so feel free to adjust the amount of ingredients by keeping an eye on the proportion. And of course, if you want less apple add more carrot and vice versa.
handful of sunflower seeds
dash of sesame seeds, optional
handful of raisins
Clean and rinse each of the carrots and apples. Slice the orange into two, set aside. Either with a grader or a food processor grate or shred the carrots and apples. (In Asia, I used a hand peeler and made it look more like a fusionesque D slaw.) Once you have the apples and carrots shredded place into a large bowl or container and mix together. Squeeze the orange over the ingredients and gingerly sprinkle the sunflower seeds, raisins, and optional sesame seeds and cinnamon over the combination. There you have it - your first batch of homemade D slaw. I am so proud! Share your D slaw with me at #mynaturalbeet
Be well and within the next twenty four hours, do something for yourself that you enjoy and also encourage someone close to you to do the same.
In the New Year, resolutions are made, aspirations are high, and we each have the intent to have the best possible coming year. What about making gratitude an integral part of your life this year?
So. What is gratitude? And how can I incorporate it into the practice of law?
Gratitude is giving thanks, feeling and being thankful and appreciative for what you have, where you are, and what is now - the present. Gratitude makes everything you have enough.
Incorporating gratitude in the practice of law can easily be folded into your everyday routine. Consider the following tips and remember, be patient with yourself and take one step at a time.
1. Start the day - either mentally or physically - recounting what you are grateful for. You can be grateful for the warm, quiet rest you just had, to the roof over your head and anything in between. If you like to write, get a special journal, and make a list of what things you are grateful for each morning. Make it a morning ritual. If you have a busy morning before you get out the door with kids or walking the dog, consider taking a few seconds once your alarm rings to put in your mind and heart what you are grateful for.
2. Spread your gratitude. Say thank you, open doors for others, and do one kind thing for a colleague or even for a stranger. You never know the difference you might make in someone else's day by just slowing down and being a little kinder than usual. As a litigator, go out of your way to be extra thoughtful to even your most dreaded and despised opponent. Compliment your adversary on a job well done, forget your ego, and, for a change, be courteous to the other side. As a non-litigator, emphasize the importance of your employees’ work to your practice and let them know you appreciate their contribution to the overall administration of justice.
3. Practice present-moment appreciation. Put down your electronics, push back from your desk, lean back in your chair, look up at the ceiling, and bring the moment into your consciousness and awareness. Take a deep breathe and be thankful for your life, its meaning, and your contribution and service to others. By staying in the present, you slow down, and can truly appreciate what you are experiencing - from preparing for a trial, writing a brief to meeting with clients.
4. Observe your surroundings, especially the natural environment. What do you hear, smell, sense, feel? As lawyers we spend nearly all of our time inside at a desk immersed in the demands in the tasks before us so it can be difficult to pull away, observe, and even take in fresh air. If you have just five minutes to pop outside for fresh air and sunlight it will contribute to your feelings of calm and wellbeing. If you do not have any time during the workday to get outside, try to incorporate a pre-work or even post-work routine that includes spending time outside, observing and, if possible, exercising.
May this be a gentle reminder of the positive contributions that you can each make in the legal profession and, on a larger scale, the world by practicing gratitude. It is never too late to show kindness, be gracious, and start to practice gratitude. May you seamlessly and successfully practice gratitude and law in 2018.