Yummy Zucchini Noodle Salad – The Perfect Zen Meal!

A New Zucchini Growing in the Garden!

The zucchini is one of the most versitile squash around. It’s used in all sorts of meals. In gardens it grows like crazy! I often have more than I knew what to do! Which is a great problem to have if you know a few good recipes.

My latest go-to Zucchini meal is a Zucchini Noodle Shrimp Salad with Miso Vinaigrette. This salad fits in perfectly with my Zen Meal requirements: easy, healthy and delicious. I took a couple of my favorite recipes (from Skinnytaste and Pinch of Yum) and combined them into one.

Shrimp Salad with Zucchini Noodles

You feel healthier just looking at it, don’t you?!

Ingredients:
a large zucchini, spiralized (or julienned – like matchsticks)
4-6 shrimp per person
2 small avocado
1/2 cup edamame

For the Vinaigrette:
3 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar (I like 3 lemon and 1 vinegar)
1 ½ tbsp. white miso (found at all health stores and often the grocery store, too)
2 cloves garlic, squeezed with a garlic press
optional: tablespoon minced shallot
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Spiralize the zucchini (or cut julienne style if you don’t have a spiralizer), add edamame and avocado and shrimp. I like to cook shrimp in butter with sea salt and Herbs de Provence. Mix vinaigrette ingredients together until smooth. Add miso vinaigrette and you’re ready to eat.

You could easily take out the shrimp if you’re vegetarian. And the salad would make a great side dish as well.

For more Zen Mama Zucchini recipes, click here.

For an awesome spiralizer, click below and go to Amazon.

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Live Life In Reverse

What if we could live life backwards

When I am an old woman by Mamjakty http://mamjakty.deviantart.com/art/When-I-am-an-Old-Woman-81727418

When I am an old woman by Mamjakty
http://mamjakty.deviantart.com/art/When-I-am-an-Old-Woman-81727418

I’m imagining that I’m at a party, a birthday for a very old woman. She is surrounded by all those she loves in her life. They are the gifts. The memories of a life well lived are a gift. The momentoes and books on her shelves tell the story of adventure, imagine and creativity. Photos capture loved ones and beautiful places.

I’d like to imagine that woman is me many, many years in the future.

If you imagine life as an old woman or man, you could understand so much. You could understand why the bad things happened to you. Or what you really wanted out of life. It’s kind of like asking yourself the questions, if you were at the end of your life what you would like people to say about you? If you are 50 now and you’re going to live to 80, you only have more 30 years? What will you do with that time?

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Want To Be Happy? Try Gratitude – 7 Ways to Practice Gratitude and Be Happier

Zen Tips Gratitude Beattie

Looking for Happiness?
Of course you are! We all are.
What is the key to finding it?
Could it be gratitude?

Yet how do you define gratitude?

Many of us are thankful for the things in our life. Yet, gratitude is much more than being thankful. Thankfulness is an expression of happiness. Being thankful is telling someone you appreciate what they have done. Being thankful is being glad it didn’t rain on picnic day. Being thankful is happiness from a gift.

Gratitude is thankfulness taken to the next level. It is a heart-felt and intellectual acknowledgement of all that is good in your life. It’s embracing uncertainty. To feel gratitude towards the bad things that have happened to us knowing that will lead you a new opportunity.”

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Give Inspiration To Your Graduate!

Congratulations Graduates!

Congratulations Graduates!

My college senior graduated this weekend and will soon be heading out into the work place. The event was joyful! I didn’t expect to cry but I did. There’s something about the song “Pomp and Circumstance” that brings out emotions in me!

This generation is full of hope. Today’s grads want to do some good in the world. They want to explore the world. They want to do what they love. Money isn’t necessarily the end-all, the way it was when my generation was graduating in the ’80’s. Yet, if you watch the news, you know how bad the world is portrayed. It can be disheartening to be entering the workforce. This bad news puts fear in the lives of these young grads.

Don’t want to concentrate on the negative with a new grads. Give them some inspiration! Write some wonderful quotes for them in their graduation card and inspire them. Maybe you’ll inspire yourself, too!

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Just Say Yes!

“The era of “yes” has begun.”
~Carl Allen, main character in “Yes Man”

“I was saying yes because … the world is full of possibilities, and… you want to take every single one of them.”
~Danny Wallace, author of the book, Yes, Man

All around me lately, I’ve been seeing the word yes. In books, in newspaper articles, in quotes on facebook and even movies. Last week, we rewatched the movie “Yes, Man” with Jim Carey. He plays a bank employee, Carl Allen, who has become withdrawn after a divorce. He says no to everything offered him and has an increasingly negative outlook on his life. Then he goes to a “Yes!” seminar. Reluctantly, Carl agrees stop being a “No Man” and say, “Yes!” to every opportunity that comes his way. Mostly this is a good thing, and he meets his new love and gets the job he’s always wanted.

Chapter 5 of How To Be A Zen Mama‘s is called, “Be A Yes Mom”. Several years ago, I decided to become a “Yes Mom”. Are you more of a “Yes Mom” (you can also insert Dad/Person) or a “No Mom”?

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Take Two Smiles and Call Me In the Morning

Smile!! Photo credit: The Mona Lisa Foundation

Smile!!
Photo credit: The Mona Lisa Foundation

“Your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health.”
~ Paul E. McGhee, Ph.D.

There’s nothing like humor to make you feel better. A big laugh is one of the best feelings in the world. I’ve even written a post aboutlaughter is the best medicine, but what about smiling? Is smiling good for your body and mental health?

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I Just Realized How Greedy I Am!

The amazing northern lights

The amazing northern lights

Just recently we were lucky enough to visit Iceland. The sun rose at 11am and set at 4pm. We saw shaggy Icelandic horses, geysers and a colorful downtown Reykjavik. We ate delicious herring, smoked trout, sour milk (like yogurt) and drank Viking beers.

And we got to see the treat of a lifetime, something from my bucket list, the Northern lights. I’d studied up on camera settings and “How To Take Pictures of Northern Lights” on pinterest. We checked the weather, and thankfully, our first night was clear. We got a knock on the door from our hotel at about 12:30 am. We dressed quickly, grabbed our coats and shoes for the chilly in January weather. And they were, just as beautiful as I dreamed they’d be, dancing green in the sky.

DSC_0735

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How To NOT Change Someone

How to get a great understanding of yourself
It’s tempting. Yup, very tempting, to believe that maybe you could change someone. It’s totally natural to have days when you wish you could change something your child does or someone else in your life…perhaps a co-worker, spouse, neighbor? You can drive them and yourself crazy wishing for that change. That’s the point when I remind myself, “Of course I can’t change anyone. No one wants me to try.”

There were a few times throughout motherhood that I tried to change my kids. These times were met with diasterious results. The message I was sending to my child was, “There’s someone wrong with you that I don’t like.”

I recently read a famous blogger’s post, 7 Tips for Helping Someone Else to Change A Habit. There were some very valid points but I thought to myself, “Can you really make someone else change?”

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21 Positive Quotes To Brighten Your Cold Winter Day

Winter can be depressing. It’s dark, cold and you might be missing the sun! I felt like this years ago with a baby and 3 years old. I was depressed during winter years ago and couldn’t wait for spring. Then one year I hit rock bottom and I decided to love winter.

I knew I had to change my negative thinking. We had a bad case of cabin fever and it turned out that getting outside was the perfect medicine. We dressed correctly for a start. Warm sweaters, thick socks, scarves and comfortable boots seemed to take hours to put on! Then we headed outside to see the beautiful world of snow and icicles. Delicious soup and hot chocolate were waiting when we came back in. We were cold and refreshed. That’s how it all began. Over the years we added many more winter activites into our life.

I also began to love the indoors. Dark, cold winter is a great time to Hygge (hooga) with friends or by yourself (see my last post here), read a book, watch movies, do something creative or just get organized.

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Do You Hygge? The Happiest Country Does!

“Hygge was never meant to be translated. It was meant to be felt.”
~ToveMaren Stakkestad

For many years, Denmark has been named one of the happiest countries in the world. In fact I recently read this quote, “We should look to countries like Denmark” if we wanted the US to become a happier place.

Many people in Denmark attribute this to “Hygge” pronounced “Hooga”.

What is Hygge? Simply put, it’s about living in the moment. It’s one of those perfect days, usually indoors during the short winter days of Northern Europe, where you’re relaxed, cozy, maybe with a fire, definitely with candles and a hot drink. You might be alone or maybe with friends and family. Time will stand still. There is no agenda, everyone is happy, lights are dimmed an atmosphere that you create. There is no drama by the way. No upsetting discussions. Just interesting conversation. The planning is not very organized. More spontaneous. Hygge is a mental state that you’re in and is very good for the soul. It can be your coziest sweatshirt. A hot cocoa on a cold day with a good book. It’s tea served in a china teapot. You can be by yourself or with others.

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