Author: Priyanka

The Traveling Jain: An Icelandic Adventure

Iceland is truly out of this world. I am pretty confident there is no other place on this planet like it. Known as ‘the land of fire and ice’, Iceland’s landscape and environment is incredibly enchanting. From volcanoes to glaciers, bubbling sulfur pits to geysers, pillow moss to reflective fjords, cute puffins to fuzzy Icelandic horses, black sand beaches to green fields…Iceland is a destination for the adventure seeker and lover of the unexpected. After graduating from Pepperdine University in 2014, my best friend Haley and I embarked on a post-grad trip to Iceland and Norway. Little did we know what was in store for us. We booked our flights and a car…and that is about all the planning we did! As the adventurous souls we are, we decided that we wanted to see the entire country in 7 days. So we embarked on the Ring Road, driving the entire perimeter of the country! We completely unplugged ourselves from our worlds, traveling without any GPS, internet, cell phones, or itineraries. And that was probably one of the best decisions we …

What is Jainism?

Jainism is one of the world’s oldest religions, and simply stated- a way of life; the Jain faith is set apart by belief in and adherence to principles of non-violence (ahimsa), non-absolutism (anekantvaad), and detachment/non-possessiveneness (aparigrah). Ahimsa extends to every form of life and refers to the abolition of violent thoughts, speech, and actions; this principle encourages universal friendship (maitri), benevolence (pramod), compassion (karuna), and forgiveness (kshama). Vegetarianism is a fundamental tenet of Jainism, based on the ideology that every living being in existence possesses an eternal soul; the preparation and consumption of a Jain diet involves minimizing violence, accepting only what is indispensable for human survival. Anekantvaad refers to the multiplicity of viewpoints; to understand the complete truth, every individual’s perspective and aspect of a given situation must be considered; this principle encourages tolerance, harmony and peaceful coexistence. Aparigrah refers to detachment from worldly possessions, along with the overcoming of inner vices that contribute to uncontrolled desires; this principle promotes selflessness, generosity, and philanthropy. Jains believe that attachment and delusion (moh) is the leading …

Mediterranean Bowl with Roasted Red Pepper Chutney

Oh, this bowl is HEAVENLY. Just close your eyes and imagine taking a bite into the cool cucumbers, tangy olives, smooth avocado, sweet cherry tomatoes, chewy couscous, herbed zucchini, crisp pita triangles, and roasted spicy opo squash. This bowl makes for an eclectic array of textures, flavors, and colors. But the most magical ingredient of them all is the incredibly flavorful and nutty, roasted red pepper chutney. It impeccably ties all the ingredients together to create the ultimate tastebud experience. You could even use the chutney as a spread on toast, or as a dip for savory crackers and veggies. Loaded with protein, healthy fats, complex carbs, and vitamins–could there be a more perfect way to eat a wholesome and delicious meal? This recipe makes enough for about 3 hearty bowls. I’ve broken up the ingredients and directions for each component of the bowl below. Feel free to add or substitute different types of salads or dips. Maybe try some pickled cabbage, labneh, dried fruit compote, or falafel? Mmmm. Mediterranean Bowl with Roasted Red Pepper Chutney: Roasted Red Pepper Chutney: Makes about 1.5 …

Mistletoe Chia Pudding Parfait

It’s Christmas morning! What better way to start your day than with a Mistletoe Chia Pudding Parfait. A perfect detox from all the holiday party sugar and also a great snack for kids–especially the naughty ones (see throwback below). Chia pudding makes for a fun, low calorie, filling breakfast or snack. It is packed with protein, fiber, anti-inflammatory omega 3s, and probiotics to keep you energized and boost digestion. Feeling bloated? It may even help decrease bloating and abdominal cramping. This recipe is so easy and quick. You can even make it ahead of time and assemble the parfait when ready to eat. With the chia pudding, just mix together the ingredients and store it in the fridge! You can enjoy the chia pudding layer on its own, but I love assembling it parfait style. A must for any parfait is some toasty granola. Since many store bought granola contain honey or high fructose corn syrup, I opt to make my own homemade granola. It’s cheaper, healthier, and only takes 5-10 minutes! Parfait layers make this recipe so versatile. You can customize …

Winter Wellness

Wintertime sure is the season of sickness, whether you are in the snowy midwest or sunny California. The change in season sure accompanied by bugs and viruses, but the cold temperatures aren’t entirely to blame. The common cold rhinovirus is not caused by the cold. Rather, what we do when it gets cold is the cause. Chilly weather draws people indoors, building air is recycled, and viruses or bugs are circulated between people in close proximity–whether it is in the workplace, classroom, or gym. Essentially, we are all sneezing, sniffling, and coughing on each other through shared air or items. Not to fear! While it may seem impossible to avoid, there are so many ways to naturally boost your immunity– or if you’ve already come down with something, to ease the symptoms while you recover. Although no one cure kills off all strains of cold viruses, your best bet is to incorporate immunity boosting preventative methods to decrease your susceptibility to the cold. Let your body’s immune system serves as a front line defense against the nagging cold virus, …

Asian Lettuce Wraps with Chili Peanut Sauce

Cool and crisp–lettuce wraps are a fantastic way to get your daily serving of veggies and more! These healthy wraps are high in protein and totally vegan. They are so simple to make and are perfect as a lunch or appetizer item. Ingredients you’ll need: Dice the following ingredients for the filling: 3/4 cup purple cabbage 1 medium red bell pepper 1 medium orange bell pepper 1/2 cup water chestnuts 1/2 cup bamboo shoots (optional) 1 bulb of fennel (sliced like in the picture above) 3/4 cup of baby corn 2-3 stems of celery handful of cilantro handful of pea sprouts or bean sprouts 1 block organic extra-firm tofu organic coconut oil Sambal Oelek Chili Paste low sodium soy sauce sesame oil rice vinegar juice of 1/2 lemon salt and pepper to taste chopped roasted peanuts (optional) For the Chili Peanut Sauce: 2 tablespoons Sambal Oelek Chili Paste (NOT the Garlic Chili Paste–make sure you read this correctly!) 2-3 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter 4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce lemon juice to taste To …

Avocado Corn Salsa

Did you know avocados are a berry, not a vegetable? Here are some quick stats on the lovely fruit: Avocados are high in healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, unlike most fruits which are high in carbohydrates. They are low in saturated fats (unhealthy fat). They contain more potassium than a banana! Potassium is essential for blood pressure regulation. The are abundant in Vitamin K, Folate, Vitamin C, Potassium, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin E A quick trick to know if your avocados are ripe: Gently peel off the stem and look for a bright green color like below. Then your avocado is ready to go! Ingredients: 2-3 ripe avocados, diced 2 diced medium roma tomatoes or 1 cup cherry tomatoes 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper 1/2 cup corn kernels fresh green chilli, diced (for spicier version) 1/2 cup black beans (optional, but adds a good source of protein!) handful of cilantro 1 tsp cumin juice of 1/2 lemon (or to taste) salt to taste 1-2 tsp paprika How to make: Simply toss all prepped ingredients into a bowl …