10 Before 20

As I am approaching my 20th birthday, here are 10 things that I’ve learnt in the past 20 years.

1. We are allowed to dream. But there are times when sacrifices have to be made in order for dreams to come true. It sucks, but you have to follow the rules if you want to win the game.

2. You can read as many philosophical books as you want, but you’ll still be broken if you don’t risk hurting yourself to pick up the shattered pieces. Working through emotions is painful – soul wrenchingly painful. But you gotta do what you gotta do.

3. Yes, other people’s photos may look pretty on the internet. But you’ll never get anywhere if you’re so busy obsessing over their lives that you forget about your own.

4. There is no rulebook for life. So do whatever you want no matter what people say. Own it while you’re at it.

5. You don’t have to be perfect. In fact, trying to be perfect was my downfall, like it has been for so many years. Make mistakes. Heck, make as many mistakes as it takes for you to get to where you want to be. Just make sure you stand back up every time.

6. The words that we have to hear the most can be the most difficult to accept. It’s easy to block out the world, to run away from everything when you’re hurting. But you’ll have to stop and face the truth somehow. It’s only a matter of time.

7. The magic happens in the in between – the grey area. The part where you get a bit of everything. The part where you get to experience all the ups and downs in life.

8. Maybe some of us are destined to be wanderers. We may not have everything figured out. We may not know what we want. But we know to follow our hearts.

9. What we don’t like about other people is usually related to what we don’t like about ourselves. The negative words that we say about others reveal more about ourselves than them.

10. The things that we worry about on a daily basis are extremely insignificant in the grand scheme of things. That plane you thought you might miss? When you worried about how you look in that dress? How many of those things do you still remember today?

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5 of My Favourite Vegan Recipes

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1. Easy Baked Tofu – Domestic Superhero

Of course I had to start out with a tofu recipe. I always used to just pan-fry tofu which is obviously very bland and plain. But most recipes that I see are super elaborate and includes many odd ingredients that I don’t have, which I’m not a fan of. Whereas this only includes a handful of ingredients, all of which I happened to have at home (apologies if you don’t). It’s also quick and easy to throw together, which is perfect for me. In fact, I’m pretty sure I made this at least once a week the first month I stumbled upon it.

Note: This recipe calls for some honey, which can be easily substituted with maple syrup or agave nectar for a vegan version.

2. Sweet and Sour Tofu – Pickled Plum

Another tofu recipe, I know, but I promise this is the last. I thought I had to include this because I made it for a dinner party once and even my friends who don’t usually like tofu enjoyed it! This takes more time and effort, but I think it’s worth it. If you’re a fan of Chinese Sweet and Sour Pork, you’ll probably like this too.

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3. Quinoa Vegetable Soup – Cookie and Kate

Winter means soup weather for me. I love hearty, chunky vegetable soups on chilly evenings. This soup in particular is extra filling since it includes quinoa and legumes to keep you from getting hungry after 10 minutes (which is what usually happens to me). It’s also a great way to try cooking quinoa if you’re not a fan of using it to replace rice. I made this in my slow cooker, but you can also cook it on the hob if you prefer.

Note: Feel free to mix up the ingredients! Switch out the quinoa for rice or pasta; use vegetables that are available or in season; add lentils instead of chickpeas. Get creative with it!

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4. Coconut Red Lentil Dahl – Running on Real Food

Another warming food for the colder months. I never really knew how to cook lentils and make them taste good, until I tried this recipe. It’s surprisingly easy to make and doesn’t include too many difficult to find ingredients. This is the perfect dish to batch cook and save the leftovers for the rest of the week. It tastes great with rice or on its own.

5. Raw Brownie Bites – Detoxinista

I had to include something sweet here. I’ve a massive chocoholic, and this definitely curbs my sweet tooth. Again, it only uses simple ingredients, most of which you probably already have. These brownie bites are easy to make, and they’re another treat you can make a bunch of to store in the fridge for whenever you need a chocolate fix.

I hope you try out some of these recipes, and let me know in the comments if you do! Have fun cooking!

Reasons Why You Should Walk More

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I personally think walking is highly underrated. For many people, the first thing that they think of when someone mentions the word ‘exercise’ is the gym. But guess what? Exercise doesn’t always mean you have to sweat your butt of in a stuffy room full of grunting men trying to lift more weight than they actually can. It doesn’t mean hours upon hours on the treadmill. It certainly doesn’t mean you have to suffer. In fact, many alternative healing methods such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) encourage slow, moderate movement such as walking, yoga, and tai chi.

An easy way to do this is to walk to places instead of travelling by car. If you live in cities like London or New York, you can probably take the Tube or the subway which already involves more walking than driving. Otherwise, most places are within walkable distances. Most of the time in cities with a lot of traffic, it’s even quicker to walk than to take public transport! Continue reading “Reasons Why You Should Walk More”

Exercise Addiction.

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Guess who just got their wisdom tooth taken out? I am writing this while tucked up in bed, trying to distract myself from the aching pain coming from my jaw. Funny how an hour ago I was thinking to myself how this isn’t that bad at all. Until the anaesthetic wore off…

What does this have to do with the topic of this post, you may ask. Well, as you may or may not know, you’re not supposed to exercise within the first week or so of getting your wisdom teeth removed. A year ago, I would’ve freaked out and would probably get extremely anxious over not being able to do my usual workouts. What a first world problem right? Today, I am fully embracing the fact that I have an excuse to stay in bed all day watching movies.

Back then, I would force myself to go to the gym no matter what. Even if I was on holiday with my family, I would make sure there is a fitness suite at the hotel and wake up extra early to get my workout in. Did I enjoy it? Not all the time. Why did I do it then? I’m not sure, I guess the thought of missing a workout terrified me so much that I never let it happen. My old habits may seem healthy to others, but deep down even I knew that it wasn’t healthy at all. I was just too scared to change.

Now I’ve learnt to listen to my body. If I’m feeling tired and sore, I can now let myself take it easy without feeling guilty about it. Instead of thinking I have to exercise extra hard to burn off the food that I’ve overindulged on over the holidays, I just keep doing what I would normally do. I guess once you get to a point where you are at peace with yourself, everything that you do comes from a place of  love and care. I eat well and exercise moderately because it makes me feel good, because I love myself. Not because I’m trying to look a certain way or fit into a certain mould. I’ve over that.

I am extremely grateful that I’ve come this far. It may not have been in the way that I had hoped, but here I am alive today and what a miracle that is within of itself. For those out there who struggle with exercise addiction like I used to, taking a day off from your usual routine won’t kill you. You won’t lose all your progress. You most definitely won’t blow up into the size of a beluga whale. In fact, sometimes less really is more. Your body will thank you for allowing it to rest. I shall leave you with a quote.

“I treat myself like I would my daughter. I brush her hair, wash her laundry, tuck her in goodnight. Most importantly, I feed her. I do not punish her. I do not berate her, leave tears staining her face. I do not leave her alone. I know she deserves more. I know I deserve more.”
― Michelle K.

Things Yoga Has Taught Me.

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I realise how the title can be easily misread as ‘Things Yoda Taught Me’, although I’m not opposed to writing about that. (Bad joke sorry)

1. I learned to slow the heck down. I’m a stressful person by nature. I know yoga is kind of known to help destress you, but I never really felt it until I really got into it and started practising consistently. As a result, it’s done wonders for my mental health.

2. I focused on my breath. There’s something magical about connecting each breath to movement. Once I got familiar enough to build my own flows, it felt extremely freeing to move. It was like my own form of dance.

3. It grounded me. Both physically and mentally. I felt more connected to the Earth and it opened up a new world of spirituality to me. I also realised that it’s ok if I can’t do crazy handstands like people on Instagram. They’ve probably been practising for years while I still consider myself a novice (despite being rather flexible if I may say so myself).

4. There isn’t a ‘type’ of yogis. By that I mean you don’t have to look a certain way, wear certain clothes, or be able to do certain poses in order to be considered a yogi.

5. I started listening to my intuition again. Remember how when you were a kid, you knew when you were hungry, when you were tired, or when you wanted to play? Well that, my friends, is called our intuition. It’s something which many of us have lost thanks to society telling us what to and what not to do. But yoga is all about listening to you body and doing what makes you feel good at that moment. It may be different for everyone, and it may even vary for you everyday.

There are many more benefits of yoga, but here are just a few from me. Hopefully this has helped inspire or motivate some of you to start practising!

Why You Shouldn’t Go on Another Diet this New Year

There’s only three weeks left of 2017, and I’m sure many of you are beginning to think of your New Years Resolutions. I’m just going to take a wild guess and say that the majority of people are planning on going on a diet or losing weight. Before you go ahead and do that, I’d like to share with you a story I call ‘The 3 Years of My Life I Lost Trying to be Thin’. Continue reading “Why You Shouldn’t Go on Another Diet this New Year”

You Do You.

Information is so readily available nowadays, we are constantly bombarded by messages telling us what to and what not to do. If you’re like me, whenever you stumble upon something new, you’ll spend hours looking up anything and everything about it. The immense amount of opinions from all sorts of different people can be overwhelming and quite frankly it just makes me even more confused.

Let’s take diets for example (by diet I mean people’s way of eating, not what they do to try to lose weight). Some people thrive off of eating a paleo diet, others swear by their raw vegan lifestyle. It’s probably one of the most controversial topics on the internet and I personally think that people can get a bit too heated when it comes to arguing with other people about their diet. I’m all about eating in a way that fuels your body and helps you live life to the fullest. Continue reading “You Do You.”