A New Year’s Breakfast + 10 Things 2015 Taught Me

It’s been an interesting year. I’ve graduated high school, entered college, and undergone a ton of other changes that have completely turned my life around. If you told me last year about my life today, I would’ve believed half of it. Now I know I am ever-changing, and every experience allows me to make a choice: to open myself and find out what happens, or to stick to what I know, and resist growth. Here are ten things change has taught me along the way.

  1. I am capable of anything. I’ve written fifteen page papers in one night (both in high school and in college), pulled my first two all nighters, and started my own club. When I need the mental strength, I tend to look back on the nights where the pressure was real and I pulled through.
  2. My body is capable of anything. In September, I told myself I was going to get in really, really good shape. I decided to start with one workout a day. Once I got into a routine, I would take it from there. By the beginning of November, my legs were solid muscle, and I somewhat enjoy cardio. Rock climbing is my go to for a way to get away and release stress, while building some pretty cool biceps. Even when I don’t workout for weeks at a time, it’s easier for me to get back into a groove when I know I love the way muscle feels.
  3. Yoga Sundays are a life-saver. Stretching it all out after a week of weights and climbs are the key to zero cramps and tears.
  4. I come first. I did a lot this year that I didn’t want to do. I don’t just mean calc homework. My happiness comes first, and I need to remember that throughout relationships, friendships, jobs, and school. If something isn’t making me happy, it’s up to me to change that. Nothing is worth my misery.
  5. Other people still matter. In my quest to give myself lots of love, I sort of forgot about everyone else. I’m working on getting back to caring deeply about other people and investing time and love into my relationships. I miss the closeness I had with my friends in high school, and I think a part of that is because I’ve been passive with forming bonds and being considerate. Watching my words and being a good listener are two things i’m working on in 2016.
  6. I am going to become friends with the most unlikely of people. This year, I have found friends in the oddest places. They range in age from seventeen to twenty-two, and are all so complex in so many ways.  I’ve done some things I never thought I would do because my friends are people I never thought I would be friends with. They’ve given me the best time, and made my first semester so much better, and, can I say, bearable?
  7. Some people are temporary. Some people are meant to come into our life for a little while, and leave when they’ve fulfilled their purpose. Sometimes it’s our job to fight for them to stay, and sometimes it just wasn’t meant to be. And that’s okay.
  8. Time management is key. I was supposed to post a soup recipe this week. And three more last month. My lab reports probably should’ve been handed in on time. And I have no idea how I got away with handing in an English paper three weeks late. Despite the loads of time, college requires hella time management. It’s been a working goal of mine since, like, second grade.
  9. Tide-to-go is a lifesaver. 
  10. The true-blue’s are going to come through. This year taught me a lot about who my real friends are. I leaned on them when I felt lost, and they pulled me through some pretty rough patches. They’re the people that want you to be happy over anything else. A good time with them usually requires each other, and the first to laugh breaks the dam. It’s all uphill from there.

To start out the new year and prepare for tons of new things to accomplish, I made an amazing breakfast this morning. I’ve been warming up to sweet potatoes, and here’s a recipe that’s got me all over them. It belongs to Shared Appetite, and his is a lot prettier than mine.

Sweet Potato & Kale Hash + Eggs

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Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 25 min
Total time: 35 min

Ingredients:
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into a fine ¼” dice
1 onion, finely diced
2 – 3 cups frozen kale (recommended) or fresh kale
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
Pinch red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 eggs
Extra virgin olive oil

  1. Heat 4 tablespoons of EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add in the sweet potatoes, onion, and spices. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook mixture, stirring occasionally, until sweet potatoes are cooked through and tender, about 15-18 minutes.
  3. Add kale into the skillet approximately during the last 5 minutes of cooking (I added an extra drizzle of EVOO, too). Taste the hash and season with additional salt or pepper if needed.
  4. Once the hash is done, transfer to a bowl. Add some EVOO to the skillet and fry up some eggs to top. I set aside some of the hash and made a scramble.
  5. Top with hot sauce, sriracha, or just salt and pepper.

Paleo Skillet Apple Crumble

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It’s friday, i’m done with class for the day, and we have half a bushel of apples in our fridge. I need to get a workout in, start studying for my biology exam, and plan the main meals I want to eat next week. Even though I have all day, I need a low maintenance dish that won’t weigh me down.

Diane Sanfillipo, a favorite paleo connoisseur of mine, has a very tempting recipe for skillet peach cobbler on her blog. I studied the recipe, combined it with her blueberry crumble recipe, and added apples. This Paleo Apple Skillet Crumble is light but filling, and completely guilt-free. Sweet enough to be a dessert, but with less than three tablespoons of added sweeteners, it’s a perfect breakfast too.

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There are a few swaps you can make with the ingredients here. I used pumpkin pie spice, ghee, and unsweetened coconut milk, but cinnamon, coconut oil, and any kind of milk are fine. I used ghee to give it that buttery, baked-good flavor, but keep it mostly dairy-free. I used coconut milk for the same reason. Don’t try to use coconut flour instead of almond flour because coconut flour absorbs a lot of moisture and the crumble will probably dry out.

Paleo Skillet Apple Crumble

IMG_8011Prep time: 15 min
Bake time: 30 min
Total time: 45 min

For the filling:
6 apples, peeled and diced
1/2 c coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

For the topping:
1/2 c almond flour
1 c finely shredded coconut
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c ghee (melted)
2 tbsp honey

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut milk, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, honey, and (measurements for the filling). Stir lightly to combine.
  3. Add the apples into the bowl and mix them around to thoroughly coat with the mixture. When done, pour the coated apples into the skillet and empty the remaining mixture onto the apples.
  4. In the same bowl, combine the almond flour, shredded coconut, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Combine the ingredients, then add the ghee and honey (all the topping ingredients) and combine.
  5. Pour the topping over the coated apples, and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes. The crumble is done when the topping starts to brown.
  6. Cool for 5 minutes.

The crumble is okay to eat once it’s cooled, but the topping won’t harden until it does get a lot colder.