Random Meals – 4/10 – 4/22/22

Wow. It feels like it’s been ages since I posted any meals, but we’re about right on time! Some key takeaways for me the past couple of weeks is I’ve grown more accustomed to not eating meat, especially red meat, and more salads are filling my plate. Check them out:

  • Skirt Steak & Stuffed Pepper Bowl
    • So, originally, this was supposed to be the Stuffed Pepper Bowl from Cassey Ho’s 2022 Glowup Sessions recipes, but I had bad luck with the tofu! Apparently the seal had been opened (I’m not sure how I didn’t catch that shopping), and the tofu smelled a little funky. Needless to say, I had to improvise and decided to make a skirt steak bowl, and my goodness it was super filling! And to be honest, it’s been so long since I’ve cooked red meat that I feel like I’ve lost touch on how to get the perfect pink middle!
  • Balsamic Salad
    • The social media algorithms are getting to me! I’m seeing more and more delicious vegetarian and/or vegan recipes pop up on my feeds, and they’ve all looked and tasted delicious. The Balsamic Salad is no exception. It’s super simple to make – the only long wait “cooking” time is toasting the seasoned chickpeas.
  • Kimchi Pasta
    • The Kimchi Pasta redemption arc! If you remember previously, I tried to make this before but had moldy kimchi, so I tried it again. The recipe calls for any regular pasta, but of course, I cooked it with veggie spaghetti. This was my first time making carbonara, and I think I did an okay job! Instead of bacon, which I never eat/cook myself, I substituted with cut pepperoni circles. Overall, this kimchi version is definitely an interesting take on the classic carbonara, so if you’re looking for a new twist, try this one!
  • One-pot Creamy Mushroom Rice
    • For whatever reason, finding this recipe came at a coincidental time because I was craving cooked mushrooms, which rarely happens honestly. The full recipe makes a lot of servings, so it’s definitely one you want to portion out throughout the week. One major takeaway, er confirmation, I got from making this is I most definitely prefer my mushrooms to be a supplement to a dish rather than the focus (i.e. on pizza, in risotto, etc.)
  • Tabbouleh Jen Aniston Salad
    • Okay, this dish was one I was most excited to try, and my mom specifically requested to eat as well. I told her about the original Jen Aniston salad (coming soon!) and how this recipe adapts it to a more tabbouleh approach. I’m proud to say my mom had 1.5 servings for lunch with me and even ate another helping when she got home! It feels really accomplishing when my chef of parents try my cooking and love it. This salad is going on the repeat list for sure – it’s fresh, it’s tasty and you get a great amount of veggies with it. The only down-ish side is the amount of prep there is; cutting so many vegetables takes time, but at least you can do that while the quinoa is cooking.

Sticking with the cleaner eating has been so good for me, and I’m honestly relieved switching to more vegan options hasn’t upset my body’s equilibrium or rejected the change. At the end of the day, I’m glad I never have to doubt I’m nourishing my body and providing what it needs to be healthy. Crossing my fingers I don’t have any future doctor appointments with consistent bad news!

xo
Siri

My #GlowupSessions Challenge Journey

It has been done! I completed the Blogilates two-week #GlowupSessions challenge, and I feel so great! How did I get here? Well, it was no picnic in the park. It was definitely a struggle and I thought about giving up early on, but I pushed myself to get through it. I’m glad I did ‘cause I haven’t felt this great bodily wise, mood wise, and mentally, and the challenge reinforced good habits of perseverance, consistency, determination and endurance.

Day 1 vs. Day 14

Introducing Blogilates’ Cassey Ho
I’ve been doing Cassey’s exercise videos since I was living in LA, back in 2016, and she’s been an integral part of my workout regimen. The goal of her brand is to manifest positivity and finding joy in everything, and she’s truly inspirational, motivational, and consistent with her message and workouts. She’s hosted other challenges in the past, which I’ve completed too, but this one really kicked my booty. So, strap in, friends – here’s the story about my journey! Learn about the food, the workouts and the mental health check!

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It’s 2022!

Happy New Year, y’all! I hope everyone’s holiday celebrations were great and 2022 is treating y’all well so far! I fell off the face of the earth last quarter and let a lot of posts sit in my brain rather than put to web paper… sorry about that!

Siri Svay posing in front of decoration, holding balloons to celebrate the new year of 2022

For the last two weeks leading up to the new year, I was ill (thankfully not COVID-19 though!) and feeling miserable to the point where I was bed ridden for a few days. It’s a shame I couldn’t enjoy time off being well and healthy, but being alone for an extended period of time gets my mind racing about the things I wish I had done and accomplished, things I wish I hadn’t let fall to the wayside. Don’t get me wrong – I’m truly grateful for everything I have but something is just missing within me and I can never figure it out despite my efforts. And it’s a pattern where I start something strong and motivated but then it dissipates just as quickly and it’s hard to get back on the horse again. It’s an everyday effort to get myself to stay in a habit to be consistent – with anything honestly.

And that’s what I want 2022 to be about – re-establishing and maintaining consistent good, positive habits that serve me and only me. It’s not necessarily a resolution because those have a negative connotation of being short-lived, so it’s going to be a long-term commitment. In that commitment, I’m taking a step back, amidst the conveniently timed Omicron spike rates, to be alone. I did a lot of reflecting about the last year or two and how I haven’t been happy with myself. I was too busy running away from me and trying to be someone else, fit the mold and perform for others – friends, relationships and even family. I am myself to a certain extent but have always felt I had to be what everyone wanted of me and expected of me, so now I want to re-discover myself and become the person I want to be.

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Draken Glass Painting!

The next glass painting is done! This time around, my subject of inspiration was Draken from Tokyo Revengers, which is an anime that premiered a little bit ago and I kind of fell in love with it…! Draken is my favorite character, so naturally I had to dedicate some art to him.

A glass painting of Draken from "Tokyo Revengers" in a black picture frame.

I painted this on World Mental Health Day (10/10/21), and in honor of Depression Education and Awareness Month, I want to share what painting does for me. As I mentioned in my last painting post, I’m going through a rough time, and that rough time got worse in the last week. The short story is on top of everything else going on, I was enduring physical pain with a concerning health issue all last week, and I went to the ER on Friday afternoon and spent nearly eight hours there. Admittedly, I’m quite distraught with life right now, so painting has allowed me to escape the world for a few hours in creating something from nothing. It tames my intense emotions and lets them rest for a good chunk of time. I don’t claim to be a talented artist, but what I appreciate about art is how much it gets you to focus and pay attention to details. Before you know it, as you put Demon Slayer on in the background to rewatch it before the next season comes out, four hours go by! All of this to say that painting, and art, has helped me find a place of solace amidst life’s turbulence, and I am grateful it’s helped me in my struggles.

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“Saudade” Turns Three

Whoops! My brain goes a million miles an hour that it completely slipped my mind that my first published book, Saudade, turns three years old today.

Edit: It occurred to me I cannot math. I thought it was four years, but it’s been three since the book’s official publish date.

Feb. 11, 2018 | Saudade Launch Party #2

WOW. Three. Years. Old. It’s been that long already.

Saudade holds a special place in my heart. In essence, the book is about mental health – riding the scary and unpredictable rollercoaster of anxiety and depression. The truth behind the words was born from years and years of my experiences navigating through a dark place but eventually finding light in the end.

How did Saudade come to fruition?

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