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The next time you see me, I’ll officially be a student at the Academy of Culinary Nutrition.  Words can barely describe how elated I am to begin this journey; pictures of food do a little more justice.  I have been waiting for this experience since I discovered the program shortly after it had begun last year.  Meghan Telpner has been a sort of personal hero – if not for her advocacy for an ethical lifestyle, than for unabashedly spreading her vibrant personality wherever she goes.  I am giddy for the day I can add a professional stamp to my love of food and find a way to turn my passion and, more integrally, my way of life, into my livelihood.

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CURRY NOODLE SOUP: I feel very strongly about leftovers.  There are obvious implications of food waste, and most pertinent to my current life is $$$$.  So I’m willing to eat leftovers all week.  And if the original flavor isn’t as tasty on the third day, I find a way to revamp the dish rather than feed it to the garbage monster.  This soup started as your standard vegetable – kind of bland, but good for a meal.  Then it was curried (always a good idea when you don’t know how to alter the spices appropriately).  THEN I threw in some ramen noodles and topped it with sesame seeds.  Next level.

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OAT CACAO SHAKE: I must confess, despite my appearance as a “health food” blogger/person, my life is made up of very few smoothies, shakes, and salads.  GASP!  You can’t join the mathletes, it’s social suicide!  This Bad Kid brand is ringing true more and more every day…

Allorah, they do surface every now and then, and I definitely don’t regret them.  This shake contains the following.  Why no measurements, you ask?  Everyone likes their blends a different consistency and flavor, and I don’t even own measuring spoons…

almond milk | oats | hemp seeds | maca powder | cacao powder | honey | coconut oil | ice cubes

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I can officially say I now enjoy the texture of watermelon after being exposed to the organic variety we carry at work. It’s always been too mushy and watery. Maybe it’s the overstated anthem of the age – to “go organic” – but when you can see/taste/love the difference, it makes all the difference.  Jared even said the other day, “I do think we should only buy market strawberries. They just taste so much better!” I was like, A+, brother! So we’ve been on the hunt. BUT you still have to be careful at the market because conventionally-grown produce sneaks its way in, confusing shoppers and disappointing die-hards who seek farm-to-table options. More on that in a later post.

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So it’s probably apparent, and should be by the end of this post, that I’ve been cooking almost exclusively out of Heidi Swanson’s Near & Far cookbook. It has so many wonderful interpretations of global dishes and I am hooked! It doesn’t help that I only own three cookbooks anyway… This is the Root Donburi from the Japanese chapter. It has introduced me to umaboshi (pickled plums) and I am in love!

*I’ve linked to Heidi’s book via BKK so many times that it reads as an unofficial ad.  #SNS

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Also from Heidi, the best turmeric tonic I’ve had to date. It starts with a honey-turmeric paste (shown above) which I think makes all the difference. I’ve been drinking this in the AM after our rigorous hikes as turmeric is anti-inflammatory and our muscles be achin’!

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Making sauerkraut at work!  How do you get your ferment on?

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The image above and the rest that follow are pieces of our “weekend.”  With our overlapping schedules, the only times Jared and I have to adventure together are between my shifts on Wednesdays, and Thursday evening.  The days are exhausting and leave me with that sweet Zen Zone where everything is righteous and golden.  Here we are exploring from Montecito (just outside Santa Barbara), up to San Luis Obispo.

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