Recipes

Vegan "Tuna" Sandwich


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One of my goals for 2020, and living in my new place, is to cook more things at home. I eat out way too much for my body and my wallet to be happy with me, so over the past week and a half I have tried out a few new recipes. One of my favorites being the Vegan “Tuna” Sandwich.

Over the past few years I have been on a journey to welcome more plant based items into my life. Born and partially raised in Minnesota I am used to the “meat and potatoes” lifestyle. I crave and love red meat and could honestly eat it for every meal. However, I know that it’s bad for the environment and also bad for my body. I haven’t decided yet if I want to go completely vegan, but I am working on making majority of my meals plant based with meat added in on occasion.

I found this recipe while googling quick and easy vegan meals and it can be found here: https://www.forksoverknives.com/recipes/vegan-no-tuna-salad-sandwich/#gs.w5kdnj. A few things I will note about this recipe are that it tastes much better after it’s had some time to sit and marinate in the fridge over night, I prefer the taste of the pickles and capers to the Tahini sauce, and the mixture can be a little dry. Knowing all of this, this will be a staple in my home for a long time coming, and with my housewarming party this weekend I will be serving this.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained; or 15 ounces of raw chickpeas (make sure to soak them before use when using raw).
  • 3 tablespoons Tahini
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon or spicy brown mustard. I added a second teaspoon because I like the taste of Dijon.
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced celery, about one stalk
  • 1/4 cup diced pickle, about 2 slices, but I used 3 😉
  • 1 teaspoon capers, drained and loosely chopped
  • Health pinch each sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon roasted unsalted sunflower seeds (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place the chickpeas in a mixing bowl and mash with a fork, leaving a few beans whole. The outer shell of the chickpeas doesn’t mash very well and can get stuck in the fork, so note that you may have to stop a couple of times to clean out the fork and get the mashing momentum going.
  2. Add the Tahini, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, red onion, celery, pickle, salt and pepper, and the sunflower seeds if you are using them. Mix together and then adjust to taste. This is where I added more pickles and Dijon mustard. The next time I make it I will add in a little pickle juice to add a bit more juiciness to the mixture and more of the pickle flavor.
  3. Serve right away on your choice of bread, romaine lettuce, or butter lettuce, or let it marinate in the fridge over night. You can eat it plain, or top the sandwich with tomatoes, onions, sprouts, or anything else that sounds like it would taste good.

Enjoy!

Love always,

Jess

Sex Coaching

Sex Coaching vs. Sex Therapy


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One of the most commonly asked questions I get when I tell people that I am studying to become a sex coach is “what is the difference between a sex coach and a sex therapist?” Although they may appear to be the same thing the way each one handles working with a client is very different.

When you think of therapy you think of sitting in an office, talking at a therapist for an hour, and unveiling your deep and emotional history. When you think of coaching you often think of a sports coach, or music coach, who helps their client improve in an area of choice. Two wildly different scenarios. The same can be said for sex therapy versus sex coaching. Sex therapy tends to look back and place the focus on what happened, whereas sex coaching deals with the present, towards the future.

The past informs who we are in the present, but does not dictate who we are and who we become.

As mentioned above, sex coaching deals with the present, towards the future. As coaches, we meet the client where they are and discuss what it is they want to achieve. This could be anywhere from exploring BDSM, telling their partner they like to wear women’s clothing, or learning self-pleasure. We then have a back and forth conversation with our client to decide on the next steps to take.

Sex coaching differs from therapy in that it is a very active and participatory session. We like to engage verbally with our clients and bounce ideas off of each other to give a little nudge in the right direction, but to not make our client feel overwhelmed. As sex coaches, we may also accompany a client to a sex shop to help them pick out a toy, or help them choose which outfit to show their partner. We want them to feel seen and welcomed to be who they truly are, and having a collaborative session, one built on team work, honors that.

As sex coaches we learn to determine whether or not we think a client would better benefit from a therapist over a sex coach. Sometimes therapy may be needed before a sex coach can step in. Other times sex coaching and sex therapy can be used in congruence with each other. The opposite can be said as well. Therapists don’t always have immersive training on sex to feel comfortable guiding their clients in that area, so they will refer out to a sex coach to help their clients pursue what it is they desire.

Knowing what it is you are looking for is a great starting point to decide whether or not to reach out to a sex coach, a sex therapist, or a therapist in general. If it something you are unsure about find a sex coach or therapist and ask them for their advice. It is always better to reach out so that you can begin walking towards the future that you want than it is to stay stuck in your present life, or even in your past.

Love always,

Jess

My Journey, Sex Coaching

Evolve or Repeat


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Here we are, near the end of January 2020. What a high I’ve been on this month with everything going on. Heading into 2020 I had this feeling that this was going to be my year, and if the rest of the year is like how January has been, then I would say that this is definitely my year. My year of evolving!

This month I moved into a new apartment and got an office at work. Two big moves. Two life changing events. Two steps forward in my life. Moving out on my own has felt great. I miss my family, but this is something that has been a long time coming. The nice thing about this new apartment is that I am closer to work, I finally have room for all of my stuff, and it gives me more freedom than I had at home. One of the biggest things I am most excited about is being able to cook. I used to cook all of the time, but then I got super into the quick and easy drive-thru routine. In order to save money and to get myself back into a healthy lifestyle I am spending more time trying new things and making my meals.

Along with moving into my new apartment I moved out of a cubicle at work and into an office. This office move is coming with a promotion at work. I will become a Senior Manager of Finance beginning March 1st (that’s when promotions go through at work). New things are being added to my plate and I am excited to take on more responsibility. Primarily I look forward to learning more about the company and potentially traveling.

Another exciting endeavor I am taking on this year (started in November of last year) is that I am studying to become a sex coach. This is something I have been wanting to do since High School and it is finally becoming reality. I am doing independent study through Sex Coach University and plan to finish my studies by the end of this year. Throughout my studies I will be sharing many things on here, so stay tuned.

With many trials over the last few years I am excited to walk into 2020 with joy in my heart, a pep in my step, and a clear mind to manifest my many dreams. I was feeling stuck, like I was in a constant, repeating pattern. Not anymore. This year I evolve. This year I grow even more. This year I become who I am meant to be. I pray that this year is filled with health and happiness for all of you!

Love always,

Jess

My Journey

Losing 7 pounds in March…Final


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Here we are at the end of March and what a month of lessons, bumps in the road, and success it has been. I am sitting on my bedroom floor 2 pounds lighter than I was at the beginning of this month. Not quite my goal, but a mini success nonetheless. I went into the month with a strong head game and then I allowed myself to become a little lax and ultimately that ended up hurting me.

03/01/1903/31/19Diff
Calf15″14 4/8″-4/8″
Thigh26 6/8″26 2/8″-4/8″
Hips47 3/8″46 2/8″-1 1/8″
Waist39 4/8″38-1 4/8″
Chest40″39 6/8″-2/8″
Neck14 3/8″14 1/8″-2/8″
Forearm10″9 6/8″-2/8″
Bicep13 4/8″13 2/8″-2/8″
Total inches +/--4 5/8″
Weight193.2 lbs191.2 lbs-2 lbs

After my initial week of not having pop I was feeling really run down and it was a lot on my body to go cold turkey, so I decided to allow myself 1 a day to slowly ease out of it. What I should have done instead was fight through the uneasiness until my body readjusted. Allowing myself to have 1 pop a day was something I was able to stick to for the most part. There were some days where I got up to 3 a day, but those were far and few between. Obviously this is something that I need to work on, and mentally push myself harder to finally eradicate pop from my diet.

Aside from drinking pop I did a pretty good job at sticking to my 16+ hour fast. My body was feeling energized and lighter and I knew that fasting was the right decision for me. However, this past week I got hit with a pretty nasty uti, which left my body bloated with water weight and forced me to take medication every few hours, with food. This meant that my fasting was thrown out the window. Since I wasn’t able to fast I made sure to focus on smaller portion sizes during my meals to maintain my calorie intake. I can tell, though, that I am ready to get back to fasting. My body isn’t liking eating so early in the morning.

Going into April I have decided to put the goal of losing 7 pounds back out there. I know now where my head needs to be and I know what steps I need to take to get there. I will be traveling for 12 days out of this month, and with traveling comes the enjoyment of trying new foods. It makes me a little nervous on my goal of losing 7 pounds, but I know that I will be doing a lot of walking around and I will do my best at choosing healthier food options and smaller portions.

I may not have reached my goal this month, but I learned some lessons and I succeeded a little. It’s all about baby steps, not rushing the process, and making lifestyle changes that will last a lifetime.

Love always,

Jess

My Journey

Losing 7 pounds in March…Week 2


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As week two of my goal of losing 7 pounds in March comes to a close I am feeling tiny bits of “I didn’t do enough.” I think that mainly stems from the fact that I started my period today. I’m sitting here with cramps and dealing with bloating and weight gain. Harumph!

Aside from my feeling a little gross I have had a pretty good week. On Wednesday I spent the day at the spa with my friend and felt really confident in my body and walking around naked. I haven’t really weighed myself the past couple of days because of how my period causes fluctuations on the scale, but I am definitely seeing changes in my body. Two of the biggest areas I see a change in are in my back and around my rib cage.

When it comes to my habits I didn’t succeed very well at going to the gym. I think being tired and also dealing with cramps lead to me being extra lazy this week. On top of that I spent a good deal of time in a car on Saturday and Sunday driving to and from San Francisco to see a dance show. As far as my 16+ hour fast goes I only accomplished that for 3 of the 7 days this week, but I kept my average fast at 15 hours for the week, so not too bad. I do find myself eating smaller portions in in general and making healthier food choices for my meals, which I find to be great progress.

During the first week of March I completely cut pop out of my diet cold turkey. This was extremely difficult on me mentally and physically. I was getting headaches nearly every day and I was constantly craving something to take its place. As a result I decided to allow myself 1 pop per day this past week. I know that sounds like a lot still, but to substantially cut down from 3 pops per day to 1 per day is a huge step in the right direction. I also didn’t have any pop for 1 day this week, and that was Sunday. Over the next couple of weeks I will continue to dwindle down my pop consumption until I am not drinking any.

As a result of my habits not being 100% and starting my period I didn’t expect to see any huge, dramatic results this week, but I am still well on my way to losing 7 pounds this month. Below are my week 2 results compared against my starting measurements.

03/01/1903/15/19Diff
Calf
15″14 5/8″-3/8″
Thigh26 6/8″26 4/8″-2/8″
Hips47 3/8″
46 3/8″-1″
Waist39 4/8″38 3/8″-1 1/8″
Chest40″39 6/8″-2/8″
Neck14 3/8″14 2/8″-1/8″
Forearm10″9 6/8″-2/8″
Bicep13 4/8″13 2/8″-2/8″
Total inches +/--3 5/8″
Weight193.2 lbs191.4 lbs-1.8 lbs

Last night I was reading Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins and he talks a lot about how we need to own who we are and take the responsibility to change ourselves. He says, “Whatever your goal, you’ll need to hold yourself accountable for the small steps it will take to get there. Self-improvement takes dedication and self-discipline. The dirty mirror you see every day is going to reveal the truth. Stop ignoring it. Use it to your advantage.” If I am going to reach my goal of losing 7 pounds this month, and then continue to strive for goals each month after I am going to need to face some harsh truths about myself and face reality. I am going to need to dig deep inside myself and fight hard for what it is that I want. That means that I need to show up every day, regardless of how I feel. This week I let my feelings get the best of me, but next week I need to be better and do better. Until then, have a blessed week ahead!

Love always,

Jess

My Journey

Losing 7 Pounds in March…Week 1


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The month of February hit my family hard. We received two back to back cancer announcements within our household and the news did not sit well. We are a strong family and we know that we will fight this, but it still doesn’t make the news any easier. The stress from this news didn’t manifest in emotions for me, but rather it took a physical form within my body. I did not want to do anything that required physical activity and I wanted to eat anything that showed up in front of me. After two weeks of waking up to my 4:30 am alarm clock, brushing my teeth, and putting on my gym clothes just to crawl back into bed I decided enough was enough.

The week leading up to March 1st I was feeling extremely bloated, out of breathe, tired, and I could see acne breakouts across my face. It was then that I decided in the month of March I would lose 7 pounds. I’ve set out on goals like this before, but this time around I am determined and have my mindset in the right place. To do this I have reached out to a support group, but more importantly I have chosen 2 changes to focus on for the month of March. These changes include cutting pop (soda for you non-mid-westerners) out of my diet and fasting for 16-18 hours per day (intermittent fasting). The fasting part won’t be that difficult because it’s what I did my entire childhood without realizing it. My dad used to get on me all of the time for not eating breakfast, but it’s how my body naturally functions at its best. The difficult part is going to be cutting pop out of my diet. I have an unhealthy addiction to pop that needs to end. I often times find myself drinking up to 3 pops a day…I know, not good!

Now that I have completed the first week of March, here are some changes I’ve seen in my body and my first week results.

  • My digestive system has gotten substantially better
  • I can breathe easier
  • I have more energy
  • I feel lighter
  • I don’t feel as bloated
03/01/1903/08/19Diff
Calf
15″14 7/8″-1/8″
Thigh26 6/8″26 5/8″-1/8″
Hips47 3/8″46 5/8″-6/8″
Waist39 4/8″38 6/8″-6/8″
Chest40″39 5/8″-3/8″
Neck14 3/8″14 1/8″-2/8″
Forearm10″10″-0″
Bicep13 4/8″13 4/8″-0″
Total Inches +/--2 3/8″
Weight193.2 lbs190.4 lbs-2.8 lbs

To help keep myself accountable on this journey I am using 2 different apps, as well as relying on friends for support. The two apps I am using are Zero to track my intermittent fasting hours and HabitShare to keep track of whether I have successfully completed my goal for the day.

As you can see, I haven’t been perfect in my goals, but I have made a ton of improvement over the past week. I went from about 3 pops a day to just 1 pop on Thursday. My goal this month is to lose 7 pounds, not to be perfect every single day. There will be days I struggle and days I don’t succeed, but each day is an opportunity for growth. As I continue to grow I will make healthier decisions and eventually get myself back into shape.

Love always,

Jess

My Journey

Facing the Struggle


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Oh man! This post is going to hurt, but one that is long over due. Can I be honest with you for a minute? 

I struggle just like everyone else.

Phew, there I said it. Sometimes we are so quick to only share the positive things in our lives. The parts where we are succeeding. Rarely does anyone show their struggles. Well I don’t want to be that person. I want to keep you guys in tune with where exactly I am in my journey. So what am I currently struggling with?

Food.

I love food. I really do. My problem is that I eat way more than I need to, and I eat things that aren’t getting me to my goals. It sucks to admit it to myself, but it is embarrassing to admit it to all of you. Probably because I’m afraid to let others down, but ultimately because I had a quick fix in weight loss before and I know that this isn’t going to be a quick fix. It was easy to keep going when I was losing 2-3 pounds in a week. It was easy to keep going when I saw my body changing before my eyes. 

I know, just like with everything else, that I need to be patient, keep up the work, and not give up. Some days it’s easier said than done. Other days I kick ass. For me the gym is not my weakness. I can get up every day for that and have been working out on average 5-6 times per week. I’ve got that down! Throw weights in front of me and I go, go, go. My weakness is food. The biggest of all of that is pop. I automatically grab a coke for my meals. At this point it’s habit and breaking that habit is difficult. 

soooooo difficult!!

It’s not that I don’t like water, I drink 100+ ounces of water a day.

i. just. need. to. break. the. habit.

At this point I don’t care about the scale. I don’t care about the inches. I need to break my unhealthy habits with food before I can focus on everything else. Because once I break those unhealthy habits I know that things will start working in my favor. I will start seeing results from all of the sweat I am dripping from my workouts. I will feel all of the energy come back to me that is being wasted on digesting crappy food. 

So what am I doing to quit this unhealthy relationship with food? Well for starters, tonight is my work holiday party, so I’m going to enjoy it. Then once I take my last bite I will start my intermittent fasting timer. Tomorrow morning when I wake up I will remind myself of my goals. I will speak kindly to myself, but focus on maintaining discipline throughout the day. I am reading books galore on habits, growth, self-love, health, nutrition, success, etc. 

Knowledge is power!

Reflection…

When the day is over I will reflect. I will love myself for the moments of strength and the moments of weakness. I will take note of what led to the struggle. I will find ways to establish better choices next time. Most importantly though, I will thank my body for carrying me through another day and let her know that she is beautiful and that I will work another day at making her the healthiest she can be. 

Breaking these habits isn’t going to be easy, but in the end I will be better for it. One day, one meal, one step at a time. That’s all I can ask of myself. As my friend says, be 1% better than you were the day before and eventually that 1% adds up. 

Love always,

Jess