the sexy flexitarian

Eat flexy, feel sexy!

It’s not you, it’s me

We all know what that line means–it means the end of an era. Yes, it’s true, I’m breaking up with the Sexy Flexitarian.

See, I’ve found someone new. I’ve found, well, me. And I’ve realized that who I am is more than a semi-vegetarian foodie. Don’t box me in, I say!

But don’t cry (come on, I know you all are utterly devastated), because I’ve made a new home for myself, which I hope y’all will check out.

And thank you, everyone who’s ever stopped by to gawk at my dinners. I am truly grateful for your support and encouragement.

xoxo

Amy

Dinner Tonight: Springtime Quinoa Fried Rice

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Tonight’s dinner came to be thanks to my friends Carol and Shane. See, they just bought their first home, but before moving out of their old house they harvested what they could from their garden.

The garden box, which Shane built, was brimming with kale, Brussels sprouts, carrots, potatoes, zucchini, corn, onions, broccoli, and much more. Carol kept telling me as she harvested that the veggies were organic. “Oh, did you buy organic seed?” I asked. “No! But they’re organic–no spray!”

Fair enough.

She sent me home with a bag full of kale, spring onions, and zucchini, which I used in tonight’s dinner, as well as some really little carrots that looked like little, err, never mind.

Maybe you’re not as lucky as I am to have a friend share her springtime bounty with you, but your local farmers’ market is a great place to get everything you need.

Springtime Quinoa Fried Rice
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked according to directions
1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small or one medium zucchini, diced
1 bunch kale, washed and chopped
Pinch red chili flakes
1 1/2 Tbsp shoyu
4 green onions, diced
Eggs

On medium-high heat, heat oil in frying pan or wok. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.

Add zucchini and cook until softened and a bit brown, then add kale and cook until slightly wilted.

Add chili flakes and cook a few minutes longer to wake them up.

Mix cooked quinoa in with veggie mixture and toss to combine. Add shoyu and warm through.

Remove pan from heat and stir in green onions.

Top with your favourite style eggs.

Serves 2.

My Life Rules #4: Be Vulnerable, Again and Again

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About six months ago I watched a TED Talk on shame and vulnerability by Brené Brown. It really hit home. So much so that a few days later I went in search of her book on the same topic. I devoured it.

Up until this point I hadn’t put a name to the yucky feeling I so often felt. But after watching that video, I knew it was called shame.

I’ve harboured a lot of shame over the years: over my family situation, my relationships with men, my level of life success. It was like having a wet blanket over me all the time. And it made me afraid. Afraid to put myself out there and open myself up to disappointment and embarrassment and failure. Afraid to be vulnerable.

So I stopped. I stopped being vulnerable, because I thought that if I protected myself from disappointment and embarrassment and failure that I would be happy. Unfortunately, the exact opposite is true. And this finally clicked while watching Brown’s video.

In fact, the only true way to be happy, as she discovered in her research, is to live wholeheartedly. What does that mean to me? It means telling someone that I miss them if I miss them, even if I might not get the desired result. It means leaving that comfortable and glamorous job that I just couldn’t find meaning in anymore. It means going on awkward first dates. And it means taking pride in doing all of these things with an open mind and an open heart, because being vulnerable is a hard thing to do, and it should be celebrated rather than looked down upon.

See, it’s important to not confuse vulnerability with weakness. Vulnerability is actually a great strength, because it allows us to live a life without regrets. And exercising our vulnerability builds other positive qualities within us, such as resilience.

Every time I put myself out there, no matter what the outcome, I build a little more resilience. See, when the result is positive it’s like “Ya, I did that!” And when it’s, err let’s say not so positive, I’m like “Ya, I’m not dead!” What I mean to say, is that I know I will survive. And I know that the payoff of putting myself out there is far greater than the life debt I incur from playing it safe.

Checkin’ Out: Vancouver Food Cart Fest 2013

Food Truck FestDid I die? Is this heaven?

Nope, it’s just Vancouver Food Cart Fest. Same same.

So, if you live under a rock and don’t know what I’m talking about, Vancouver Food Cart Fest is, like, the greatest organized event since Woodstock. Not that I’ve been to Woodstock … but I imagine the two are comparable. I mean, beet fries with seven-spice mayo? Dude must have been on an acid trip …

Running every Sunday from 12pm to 6pm until September 22, the second annual Food Cart Fest features more than 20 food carts from the Lower Mainland. Its new location is at 215 West 1st Ave. between Cambie Bridge and Olympic Village, and admission is only $2 to get in (not bad for something to do in Vancouver!).

Several vendors have been featured on Eat Street (such as Le Tigre), which is sweet, because I hate it when I see something on the Food Network that I so badly want to eat but can’t because the restaurant is in Louisiana or some shit like that. (First world problems?)

And on top of all the amazing food carts, there’s also live music and some pretty great clothing and accessory vendors for hipster types (high-waisted cut-offs, remixed vintage garb, and kitschy home decor).

I could tell you how super amazing fantastic it was, I think I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking …

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Le Tigre, as featured on Eat Street.
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Beet Fries with 7 Spice Mayo from Le Tigre–gluten-free!
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Warm Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower Salad, also from Le Tigre.
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Cheese and potato perogies from Holy Perogy. Beyond words.
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Yah, I’m only slightly excited.
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Sarah’s fish taco from Feastro–also gluten-free (breaded with chickpea flour!).

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My Life Rules #3: When You Don’t Know What to Do, Do Nothing

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Now, I’m sure you’ve all figured it out, but if not, I’m going to make this whole My Life Rules thing a bit clearer: this series is not about me preaching to you about how to live your life. Sure, I’ve come up with some simple rules that, in my experience, have made my life more tolerable and actually quite enjoyable, but also I’m sharing these rules with you as I work through my own challenges.

Of which I have a lot.

But like Watsky says (sorry, for the obscure white paper reference), “Nothin’ gory means no glory.” I take it to heart.

And because I’m human and I don’t have all the answers (or even, like, half of them), I’ve even created a rule that allows me to be okay with not knowing.

Rule #3: When You Don’t Know What to Do, Do Nothing!

Hey, so remember when I told you guys to listen to your gut? Well, I don’t know about y’all, but sometimes my brain is so goddamn bombarded with thoughts that for the life of me, no matter how hard I try and listen, my gut is not getting a word in edgewise.

Like right now, for example, I feel like I have the entire cast of Glee in my head. Wait, more angsty than Glee … Hells Kitchen? Yeah, that’s about right. Gordon Ramsay is in my head, telling me the bloody scallops are cold. Yes, chef!

I really wish it was the cast of Community though–they’re so kooky!

I’m getting sidetracked (oh come on, you like it).

Okay, so when I feel like this, you can probably guess that my sole desire is to stop the anxiety. And often I think that if I do something, meaning take some sort of action, that will help.

No, no, Amy, that will likely just make things worse. And why is that? Well, it probably has something to do with the fact that when a person is “on edge” they tend to not be as, err, sane.

So, what am I trying to do now when I can’t hear my gut is absolutely nothing. No rash decisions, no jumping to conclusions–just living through the discomfort and reminding myself that “this too shall pass.”

Eventually, my mind does settle down, allowing me some much needed quiet time with my intuition. And often, when my mind has been on overdrive like that, what my gut eventually tells me is something I really don’t want to hear. That is, I’ve got to do something I really don’t want to do but know is the right thing.

It sucks.

But all I can do is trust in the process, and that one day the shitty things will all make sense.

Are you guilty of acting when your emotions are out of control? Is the outcome ever positive? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, because sometimes I think acting in a high emotional state is a good thing … It’s just hard to know when that might be.

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