In all things, attempt to set your mind above what’s temporary. It’s a difficult task at hand, especially for those moments that know exactly how to suck us into negativity, but it’s important to remember that most of the issues that we stress about tend to already have a solution to them. It’s just up to us to take a step back and find it. Does this mean that we will never stress out again if only we master this? No way Jose. But what does happen is the length of time you spend worrying shrinks with experience.

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It’s ironic for someone like myself to be saying words such as these because if there is anyone who is prone to worry, it would be moi. However, I have been growing deeply in this department and if someone like myself can attest to the fact that yes, this does work, then I guess you can call me a walking testimony. What has been helping me is transforming my thinking that stressing out is BAD and instead I am giving myself permission to be human and stress out at times. When you start labeling things or traits that you possess/struggle with as bad or good, you do yourself a terrible disservice. You not only create animosity towards yourself anytime you “fail” but you create a divide between the person you are and who you think you “should” be.

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Want to stress less? Stop judging yourself for not being where you think you “should” be and simply take a step back to breathe. Find a solution in the midst of the haze and move on. It will get easier each time you practice this.

Vegan Chili Fries Recipe

Serves 2

  • 1 recipe chili (see below)
  • 1 recipe baked fries (see below) OR use pre-bought frozen fries and bake according to directions
  • 1 recipe non-dairy sour cream
  • chopped tomatoes
  • sliced scallions (or red onion)
  • freshly sliced jalapenos (optional)

For the Chili:

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes, juice included
  • 1/2 can gluten-free beer
  • 1/4 c. vegetable broth
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh jalapeno, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 Tb oil.
  2. Sautee the onion, garlic, and jalapeno for 2-3 minutes. Add all the spices and stir for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  3. Add beans, tomatoes, broth and beer to the saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low uncovered. Stir constantly and cook until most of the liquid evaporates (take 15-20 minutes).

For the Baked Fries:

  • 1 large russet potato, rinsed and scrubbed
  • 1-2 Tb olive oil
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut potato into long, uniform slices. I like my fries on the thinner side but it’s up to you how thick you cut them.  Just make sure they are evenly cut because this will allow them to bake at the same rate and will decrease your chances of having some very burnt fries and some undercooked ones.
  3. Place cut potato into a big enough bowl. Sprinkle the oil and salt over the potatoes and toss until each piece is coated.
  4. Place on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or foil and bake for 20-25 minutes (depending on your oven). Take a spatula and flip over after the first 12 minutes. Depending how well you like your fries (I like my crispy!) you will need to keep checking on your taters and add or subtract minutes on your cooking time.

For the Non-Dairy Sour Cream:

Perfect for that drizzle of sour cream on your fries!

  • 1/4 c. cashews
  • 2 Tb water
  • juice from 1 lemon wedge
  1. In a high-speed blender, mix all ingredients until smooth. This will not create a thick cream like typical sour cream, rather a fun, thicker drizzle to top onto your chili.

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