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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos

Mmmmm, Yummmmmy.... Katie has put together quite the delicious recipe for you all!  Enjoy :)

I love tacos. Fish tacos, tempeh tacos, chicken tacos veggie tacos…all delicious and a healthier option at restaurants depending on how you order them. If you want to make good tacos at home, it takes time and a lot of prep, but it’s definitely worth it. My roommate has made tacos with sweet potato and black beans before that sound amazing, but I like to keep carbs low in my evening meals so swapped the sweet potato with butternut squash, and flour tortillas with corn (gluten free). I also made crispy black beans and a cabbage and onion salad/slaw for more veggies. Feel free to make them your own, but here’s how I made mine:

What you need:

* 1 cup butternut squash, cubed (you can get a package of pre-cubed squash at Trader Joe’s, but cut it smaller so it cooks faster)
* 1 package shredded purple or green cabbage
* Green onions (also called scallion or spring onions)
* 1 can black beans (get NO sodium. I use the Cuban style black beans from Trader Joe’s)
* Corn tortillas
* Red wine vinegar
* Fresh lime juice
* Cumin
* Salt, pepper, hot sauce, salsa (use all to taste)


Butternut Squash: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put cubed butternut squash on a cookie sheet sprayed with olive oil spray. Salt and pepper the cubed squash. Roast in oven for 25-30 min, until soft

Slaw: Place shredded cabbage in a bowl. Thinly slice as much scallion as you’d like and add it to the cabbage. Add about 3-4 tablespoons of red wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice. Use pepper to taste. Toss to coat all the cabbage. Taste the slaw and then you can decide if you need any more of anything.

Black Beans: Drain and rinse black beans. Mix with 1 teaspoon cumin and a tiny bit of salt. Spray a small sauté pan with olive oil spray and add black beans over medium heat. Flatten beans into one layer with a fork and mash a little. Once the beans are hot they’ll start to get a little crispy (you’ll hear sizzling). Move around in the pan to prevent burning.

Tortillas: Place one tortilla at a time over the open flame on your stove top until char marks appear (maybe 1 minute). Or you can heat in the microwave, whatever you prefer.


Layer each tortilla (two were plenty filling) with black beans, then squash, then slaw. Feel free to add as much hot sauce or salsa as you like. A little extra lime juice never hurts either. Enjoy!

Happy chomping,


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Share Your Story to Inspire Others

Hi Everyone!

Over the last month, I have been really honored to have the opportunity to speak at quite a few of the local Santa Barbara High Schools and Jr. High Schools.  It has been a really fulfilling experience for me to share my story with students and inspire them to make choices that will help them to live their dreams.

Each of the talks I give are about 45 minutes to one hour long.  I am not telling them any sort of hidden secret or anything like that.  I am simply sharing my story and I weave it into a theme about choice and the power of it. 

One of the points I hit home again and again and again to students is that we all always have a choice.  We may  not be able to choose some of the events that happen to us, but we can always choose how we handle, how we deal with, and what we ultimately choose to make of those events that happen.

Stories, I believe, are one of the most powerful tools we have.  And it is a tool we all have at our disposal, as WE ALL have a story to tell!  How we choose to tell our story is where the real power lies.  Do we choose to tell the story from the point of view of victim?  Or Victor?!

What do I mean by that?  Well it is the perspective you choose to tell your story from that matters the most.  You can choose to focus on all the wrongs and the injustices that the world has shoved upon you, or you can choose to focus on all the amazing life lessons you learned from those experiences.  The story is the same, what changes is the perspective you tell it from.

The video below really illustrates this concept.  The video is about a kid named Zach, who recently died from a form of bone cancer.  He was 18 years old.  Rather than feeling sorry for himself and be angry at the world, he chose to really make the most of his time and live and love to the absolute best of his ability.  His story has now gone viral (not viral enough in my opinion) and has appeared on news casts, facebook pages, etc...

The video is about 20 minutes long and worth every second of it.  I cried while watching it.  I did not cry because it was so sad he died, I cried because it was so moving to watch someone exist who really got what life is all about.

While you are watching this video, think about what your story is.  What have you learned from it.  How can you use your story to inspire others?  Please share your thoughts, your stories, your insights below.

Carpe Diem,


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Play Ball

It is so crucial to have goals, but what happens when your goals get so big that they intimidate you and keep you from moving forward.  What are you going to do, how will you handle it.

I encourage people to dream big, but then I encourage them to break those big dreams down into steps.  Make smaller dreams out of your big ones, this will make reaching those dreams much more obtainable.

Check out this video I recorded for you to learn more about how to effectively do this and why it is so important.

Carpe Diem,


And if you need a little extra motivation and have not seen it yet, or you want to watch it again! Check out this video I made :)