I was on the hunt for some nut or seed butters in the store recently.
I wanted something to have on hand for:
- snacking with celery and raisins
- frozen berry smoothies (the fat in the nuts or seeds helps our bodies assimilate more nutrition from the produce)
- just a spoonful when I want a little something in my belly that’s easy and quick
Something was holding me back from buying anything like that from the store. Something something something…
Oh yeah… price and quality. To be fair there are some good organic nut and seed butters out there, but I decided I wanted a seed butter. At the time the prospects weren’t attractive because they were either stored in plastic or they weren’t organic or they were just too damn pricey.
And, duh, I remembered that I had raw organic sunflower seeds sitting in my cupboard at home. :)
I made my own. Cuz. It’s just too easy.
Here’s what I did…
(I took the extra step to toast them a bit in a pan on the stove for fun and extra flavor.)
Put the seeds in a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade. Add a pinch (or two) of sea salt, if desired.
Let it whirl, and whirl, and whirl and whirl and whirl whhhiiiirrrlllllll
…until it’s nut or seed butter.
A few times in the process I scraped down the sides.
Voila! Sunflower seed butter.
(I’m very excited!)
My husband, Greg, his business partner, Pam, and I are working on a new project and we’d love your support.
We’ll soon be launching a Kickstarter to publish a children’s book to empower girls for careers in STEM/STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math). As the mother of a daughter, this is something that’s very important to me.
STEAMTEAM 5: THE BEGINNING
STEAMTEAM 5: The Beginning is a children’s book that tells the story of five amazing girls who use science, technology, engineering, art, and math to do amazing things. This book is the first volume of a fictional universe built around these characters, designed to grow so that they can serve as ongoing role models for young girls.
But this is much more than just a book.
It’s the beginning of a movement.
This movement is to attract girls to careers in STEM/STEAM.
To do this, we need your help!
Kickstarter campaigns are most successful when lots of people hit all at once. If you are interested in being a backer, please sign up to receive announcements so that we can build up our list and direct a ton of people on the day of the launch.
Please help us KICK ASS with Kickstarter! Sign up here.
Together, we can get more girls going into STEAM!
Another step in preparing to be expats, digital nomads, slow travelers, worldschoolers… whatever we want to call it… minimalism plays a part.
I’m going through each room, closet, area of the condo and deciding what I use, love, and want to keep.
Are there things that I like but aren’t used often? Are there things that spark joy but that I would’t buy again if I were deciding today? What am I attached to? Do particular items bring me happiness or do they just satisfy my ego? I think ego plays a big role for some things.
For the next year we will slowly rid ourselves of a lot of… stuff.
I’m partial to my Le Creuset collection (quality pots and pans), but I have to ask myself, “Is it worth paying storage fees to keep these?” What if we’re gone for years? That monthly storage rent adds up, and I could probably buy these things again for the same price that paying to store them for so long would cost. If we’re lucky, fingers crossed, my mom and mother-in-law will give us a bit of space to store things there.
My passion for minimalism actually started last year. I was tired of decision making fatigue so I started making fewer daily decisions. Ergo: minimalism.
- Have fewer clothes (I wear most of the same stuff day in and day out anyway) and less to look at in my closet, fewer decisions, more energy.
- Having fewer lipsticks, believe it or not, is less decision making fatigue.
- Having a regular rotation of meals and foods so that I’m not constantly thinking about what to make for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
- Having less to dust gives me more time and energy to do other things.
Recently, I downsized my purse, but it wasn’t without stress. After multiple attempts, I finally said, “Fuck it, I’m going lean.” I went from a larger purse packed with a large essential oil spray (cuz I might need it), snacks (cuz if I don’t have snacks I’ll be hungry), pens (cuz my kid needs to draw at the restaurants we don’t go to), various membership cards (rarely used), makeup, bandaids (cuz you never know), earbuds, cell phone, car keys, kleenex, handkerchief (cuz it’s pretty), and more ——> to ——> a tiny 6-inch purse that fits very little.
For the tiny purse, I opted for lip balm, lip/cheek stain (two in one – yeah!) plus my phone, keys, a small bottle of essential oil (I had to), earbuds (I use these a lot), wallet minus membership cards (those I’ll keep in the car). I decided to carry a few snacks in the car for desperate times.
I’m feeling badass as a result.
Risky behavior to be so spartan – or so I thought.
Turns out I love the freedom of the small purse. I might not have a bison bar in it, but forcing myself to be hungry once in a while isn’t going to kill me. It’ll make me stronger?
Minimalism is giving me a lightness, a leanness, and an overall badass experience. To know I require so little in the way of material possessions is empowering.
Let’s see. That’s more energy from less decision making fatigue. More time from less dusting. More freedom from having less.
Minimalism for the win.
As I sit here in my kitchen eating my fourth piece of sourdough toast, dripping with melted butter plus lemon zest, sea salt, and raw honey, I’m looking around the kitchen and realizing there are four kitchen machines that I use every day and don’t ever want to be without. I would even say that I use each of them multiple times a day. That’s a good return on investment.
They’ve all made my life much easier and tastier.
It will come as no surprise that my Instant Pot is one of my favorite kitchen machines. I use it, at a minimum, once a day. It EFFORTLESSLY does everything from making rice to oatmeal to hard-boiled eggs to soup or stew to chicken to cheesecake to pretty much anything you want.
When we move abroad I will do everything I can to take that sucker with me.
Coffee Pot ☕️
A good cuppa coffee really makes my day special. It’s the little things. When I go to bed at night, I think with excitement about waking up and having my coffee.
My love with coffee started back when I was seven years old, and my Nana gave me my first taste. We are Italian after all. Start ’em young. She also taught me to shave my legs at that age. We are Italian after all.
I’ve been using my coffee machine, a Technivorm, for about five years. It’s a beautiful machine, and its hefty price tag is worth it. As my Papa used to say, “It doesn’t cost more to go first class.” When you spend more for something, it’s usually for quality and it will last you.
Electric Tea Kettle
I’ve had this electric tea kettle for many years. I love how fast it heats water. I can also program it for a specific temperature to ensure the best tasting tea. I probably use it 4-5 times a day between using it for heating water to make oats, tea, or heating a thermos with the hot water.
A kitchen would not be complete without a good blender. I’ve had my high-powered blender, a Vita-mix, for about 10 years (and it looks like it – but, hey, it still works like a charm). My blender gets used every day, multiple times a day. I make everything from smoothies to dressings to ice cream to soups to chia pudding to Bulletproof Coffee.
Back when I started my blog (over 10 years ago?), I felt confident I knew the best way to eat.
I’d read a lot of books, after all (cue sarcasm). I’d tried lots of diets… never mind that I was only n=1. Clearly if it worked for me, it’d work for you.
I took what I learned, lived, experienced, and I wrote about it. I was sure I had the answers for everyone. Cardiovascular troubles? Eat vegan. Poor energy? Eat vegan. Too many headaches? Eat vegan. Bad eyesight? Try vegan. Fertility issues? Go vegan. If only everyone went vegan, everyone would feel better.
Whoops. I was wrong at least for my family. Being vegan wasn’t right for my tribe.
Today, I realize I didn’t have all the answers. I now know it’s different strokes for different folks. I feel what works for someone at a certain age may not work for that person at another age.
I was humbled.
And now? After 15 more years of passionate (borderline obsessive) reading, I still don’t know what to tell people. In spite of my knowledge, I’m not a health guru. In spite of my experience, I don’t even know what to tell myself. As a result, I don’t make recommendations anymore, or at least I try not to.
To tell you the truth, I’m not very comfortable when asked my opinion. When I am asked, I mumble something in return about what I’m doing now for my own life, and I include a hundred disclaimers along the way.
I mean, here’s the thing, just when I think I know something … six months later I have to unlearn it or consider it differently. There is conflicting information out there, and don’t get me started on the fact that health studies can be biased based on who’s funding or doing the studies.
Frankly, I’m too busy (read: lazy) to study every study (in the right way) anyway.
My history of dieting has been varied, to say the least. I’ve gone from an omnivore, who didn’t know much about nutrition but loved fancy restaurants, to being an herbivore in search of energy and migraine-less days to being a borderline-carnivore (no doubt from having abstained from animals for a decade) to an omnivore who abstains from gluten / dairy / grains to an omnivore who abstains from only dairy / gluten to an omnivore who abstains from only gluten to an omnivore who includes gluten if it’s in the form of sourdough.
Evolving is a term I like.
It’s enough to drive my mother-in-law crazy as she wonders “Of what does Kristen approve today?”
When in Rome. ‘Tis the season. I’m a Gemini so I like change.
It’s kind of silly. Kind of fun, too.
For the most part, I throw my hands up.
I’m just a mom feeding her family the best she can. I like organic food (I’ve even seen research contradicting that – ugh). I cook almost every meal (regularly using my favorite kitchen robot: Instant Pot). We eat real food, simple food.
I’m hungry now. Off to make a real food snack.