Tag Archives: interview

mid-week round-up

What’s new on this Wednesday, friends? It’s a beautiful day where I am and I’d love to be spending the day outdoors but ALAS…too much work to be done. The weekend can’t come soon enough. Honestly not much to report at the moment. My cat is meowing incessantly so I better go see what he’s up to and I’m starting to get hungry for lunch, so let’s do this link thing…

Talking with the songsmiths of Sesame Street.

Newest addition to my reading list.

[Related: Sign up HERE for my book club reading list!]

A berry crumble recipe (made with frozen fruit!).

Julia Louis-Dreyfus explains 9 looks from Seinfeld to Veep.

How did James Holzhauer turn Jeopardy into his own A.T.M.?

A glimpse inside the lives of asylum-seekers, new couples, prisoners, and pen pals through their letters, texts, WhatsApp messages, and Facebook posts.

Do memes change how we remember history?

What one woman learned about hunger in America after volunteering at 200 food banks.

[Related: Good and Cheap — How to Eat on a Shoestring Budget]

Take a moment to tell your mom what she means to you with a FREE customized Mother’s Day photo card from Artifact Uprising.

This story about a roomba made me laugh.

A sweet tribute to Notre Dame.

The death of the hippies.

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Kicking off SEASON TWO of Uncovered the Podcast and 5 Ways to Cultivate a More Meaningful Life.

If you enjoy my blog content, please consider supporting what I do (and keeping me caffeinated). Thank you! xoxo ☕


mid-week round-up

What are you up to this week? We had three of our dear friends down to visit this past weekend and I’m headed to Indianapolis next weekend to spend time with my bestie and podcasting co-host, Katie. We’ll be recording a live episode of our show and also seeing My Favorite Murder on tour. I’m so freaking excited!!! Suffice it to say, a work week book-ended by all this fun is not the easiest. ; ) Hope you have a great Wednesday, and here are a few things I’ve enjoyed reading this week…

Why people wait 10 days to do something that takes 10 minutes.

A bright kitchen makeover honoring vintage wares.

On a new luxury retreat and Silicon Valley ageism.

Yum! Hummus breakfast tacos.

Laughed out loud.

An interview with Aminatou Sow on all things financial.

See you later, post-vacation blues!

Every black woman deserves a doula.

How to turn a few ingredients into infinite possibilities.

Who is Billie Eilish?

The shift in Michelle Obama’s style.

We’ve always hated girls online.

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Is Online Therapy for You? and 5 Ways to Cultivate a More Meaningful Life.

If you enjoy my blog content, please consider supporting what I do (and keeping me caffeinated). Thank you! xoxo ☕

Can Using Crystals Really Boost Your Happiness and Well-being?

*This post may contain affiliate links.

Chances are you’ve spotted a crystal or two when scrolling through Instagram. After all, you can’t shake a stick at a carefully curated coffee table without running into a chunk of rose quartz.

And if you listen to my podcast, than you know how on-board celebrities seem to be for these shiny pieces of decor.

But, and not to get all woo-woo on you guys, I’ve often wondered if there was more than meets the eye when it comes to crystals. So many folks espouse their ability to heal, affect well-being, and even emit a since of inner tranquility. I’ve gotta admit…I’m down for all three of those things. But is this all the placebo effect, a passing fad, WITCHCRAFT? Let’s find out.

Crystals tend to be semi-precious stones with striking colors, patterns, or textures. But even in all their beauty, they are intrinsically natural. As such, many argue they embrace the life-giving elements of the universe and inherently connect us to the Earth we live on. 

Here are 3 applications of crystals I looked into…

Holistic Therapy

The world can work in mysterious and wonderful ways and you don’t always have to have solid evidence in order to benefit from something positive. (As in, “I don’t care how it happened, I’m just glad I feel awesome!”) Holistic therapy broadly, and using healing crystals specifically, is an example of this. 

Here’s an example one crystal believer told me about:
“Crystals can serve as the physical manifestation of your intentions. You hold onto them and use them to “hold” or represent the things you want in the world — like to feel more at peace or find love. Many people will then hold the crystal close to them near their skin, perhaps in crystal necklaces or in a pocket. This helps your intention vibrate in reality.”

The type of stone that you choose depends entirely on what you want to accomplish. Different stones have different properties, but some of the most popular stones include:

  • Clear Quartz – Clears negative energy. 
  • Rose Quartz – Is the “love” stone, a great choice if you’re looking for romance.
  • Tiger Eye – Offers protection and can help to give you confidence and courage.
  • Sunstone – Combats feelings of sadness.

But do they work?
“I think it’s less about any sort of magical powers the crystals may have and more about truly identifying what you want and need. If I’m feeling blue and I carry around a Sunstone in my pocket, throughout my day I’m going to be constantly reminded that happiness is a possibility that exists in my reality–and that’s a powerful thing.”

Meditating With Crystals

Meditating can improve your sense of well-being on it’s own. It encourages you to dedicate a portion of your day to letting go of stress and worries, focusing on your breath, and just BEING.

So, if you find that meditation is benefiting you, can you throw crystals in the mix and achieve a deeper meditative state? One of my favorite yogis and meditation rockstars says, absolutely! Here’s how she does it —
“I gather up stones that represent the properties I want to focus on that day. Then, I lie down on a flat surface and place the chosen stones over my chakras. Once I’ve got everything all set up, I close my eyes and remain as still as possible.” 

Essentially, instead of just focusing on your breathing as you would with any other meditation, you also focus on the properties of each of the stones you are using. Again, as with the example above, you have physical reminders to guide your focus. As someone whose mind wanders a lot in meditation, I can see how physically feeling the weight of a rock on your chest or forehead would gently nudge you back on track.

I definitely wanna give this one a try, but balancing a bunch of stones on my body seems like a lot…
“Totally. Some people prefer to meditate sitting up or just find it easier to focus on one thing at a time. Just hold your chosen crystal in your hands as you meditate in your usual manner.”

Crystals in Writing

If you’re the type of person who likes to put pen to paper when making your plans, another application I learned about was to incorporate these written items into your crystal process. Create your lists, notes, and writing as usual.  But when doing so, write as if these plans are already so. That they’ve already happened. Write that you are doing well, that you do have what you want. Root for this energy and place crystals on top of your finished work.

“Your crystals should work like batteries, charging your positive energy. I believe this method can work for folks who are a bit more analytical…they want to sketch things out for themselves, not just attribute a certain feeling or emotion to a stone. Instead, they can create their end goal and the crystal just gives it a little turbocharge, haha!”

Don’t you just love that imagery! But, I’m wondering…would this also work for say, other types of writing?

“How do you think I got through my MFA?”



Do you have crystals? Have you ever used them in the ways described above? I’d love to hear! xoxo

mid-week round-up

What are you up to this week? Now that it’s full-blown, hot-as-heck Summer down here in South Florida, I’m planning to take all my work-related phone calls poolside for the rest of the season. Just the prospect makes the rest of the work-week sound so much more bearable. How are YOU making it through to the weekend? Hope the rest of your week is divine, and here are some links…

10 historical superstitions we carry on today.

Misunderstanding a female serial killer.

22 ambassadors recommend the one book to read before visiting their country.

This family is VERY committed to their karaoke rendition of “One Day More” from Les Mis.

Spend a day working with a paparazzi photographer.

8 books you need to read if you’re interested in cults. (and/or just finished binge watching Wild Wild Country like yours truly!)

I have a free class credit with Master Class and I’m thinking of enrolling in this one taught by Malcom Gladwell.

Absolutely in love with everything about this a-frame house. (When can I move in?)

From friendly mermaids to a fiery volcano, the mini-golf courses in Myrtle Beach have it all.

This ice cream shop is so good that Israelis sneak into Palestine to eat there.

The guy who can’t stop winning HQ trivia.

I’ve been itching to read this book. Anyone have a copy?

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Five Great Poetry Books! and Mini Vacay: Delray Beach!!!

Guest Post: Is Online Therapy for You?

I always seem to find out about the newest life-changing products and services through sponsored ads on podcasts. And my interest is inevitably piqued. (I guess they really know their demographics!) From clothing rental services to period panties to audio books, they’re always telling me about something I’ve gotta try. In my experience, they’re usually right! But lately, a new set of ads has been cropping up — for online therapy. Intrigued, I thought I’d ask Marie Miguel, a resource creator for Better Help, a few of my most pressing questions…

Is Online Therapy for You?

No matter who you are or what you do, chances are pretty good that you have experienced anxiety or depression at one time or another. Some of us more so than others. In fact, depression is the most common reason for disability in America and anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition in the United States. The worst part of this is that many people with a mental health disorder will not get treatment. In fact, almost 40% of people with mental health conditions do not reach out for help. That is most unfortunate because both depression and anxiety disorders are treatable with therapy and/or medication. One of the most common excuses is that they do not have time. Well, with online therapy you will have time because you can do it anytime. And that is only one of the benefits of online therapy. Here are some others:

Who Can Benefit from Online Therapy?

Anyone can benefit from online therapy. Whether you have some type of anxiety disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, a mood disorder, if you are having trouble with your relationship, or even if you just need some advice about a problem. There are thousands of online therapy sources on the internet such as BetterHelp.com, which has over 2,000 licensed professionals that can help you. However, if you are in need of immediate emergency care, need medication, or are having suicidal thoughts, you should call a hotline such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Is Online Therapy Effective?

Studies have shown that online therapy is just as effective as face to face therapy. In fact, in some cases it is better than regular therapy because people who need it are more likely to use it because it is easier for them to get. Those with mental health disorders usually tend to put things off or set appointments and not show up. This may be due to the anxiety of going somewhere, embarrassment of being seen at a psychiatrist’s office, or just because some people with depression or anxiety do not want to get out of bed some days. Therefore, online therapy can be much more effective.

What Makes Online Therapy Better than Traditional Therapy?

Online therapy is more convenient because you do not have to set an appointment, get transportation, find a babysitter, or take time off work or school. It is also less expensive because the therapists have less overhead such as rent, transportation, and paying employees to work in the office. It is also more private and easy to just log into the website or chat room to talk to your therapist from wherever you are. Even if you are stuck in traffic and want to get something off your mind, you can use your smartphone to email, chat, or even text your therapist. (Not while driving of course! You’re the passenger in this scenario.) Online therapy can also be a big benefit to those who are embarrassed or have trouble talking about their feelings face to face. You are in control of the conversation at all times. You also do not need an appointment so you can contact your therapist any time, 24 hours per day, seven days a week. So, what are you waiting for?

What do you think? Would you try online therapy? Or recommend it to someone who, for whatever reason, finds traditional therapy difficult? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of online mental health resources with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

mid-week round-up

Hi friends! What are you up to this week? I’m off to California this evening. Have any L.A. suggestions or recommendations for me? Drop ’em below. Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday, and here are a few links you should check out (less than usual because, ya know…gotta do some last minute travel prep!)…

Before they went on strike, West Virginia teachers packed bags to make sure kids didn’t go hungry.

How a fitness app revealed military secrets.

Melissa shares what it’s like to be 10 years older than her husband.

Victorian governesses were in danger from their employers.

The forgotten feminist history of the French fairy tale.

The body positive instagrammer you should totally follow.

Trying to go waste-free? You should definitely nab a set of these cotton napkins for your packed lunches!

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Don’t Hide Your Hustle: Deanna, Associate Designer and Revealed: 9 People Share Their Favorite Mantras

Revealed: 9 People Share Their Favorite Mantras

Do you have a go-to mantra you find yourself using day in and day out? I used to focus on (and murmur to myself) the same 2 or 3 phrases to instill mindfulness, confidence, and gratitude. But lately I’ve been looking to switch it up! So, in search of some inspiration, I asked 9 folks to share their favorite mantras. Here’s what they said…

“The mantra I utilize most often is, ‘Be kinder than necessary.’  There is certainly a place in this world for strong words, but I believe you can be kind in your intent, even if the message you need to deliver or the actions you need to take are difficult.  I find that if I am mindful and make my intentions, actions, and words kinder than is strictly necessary I have fewer regrets and am less prone to the useless over thinking of past interactions – which I am very prone to as an anxious person.  The hardest part of applying this mantra is trying to be kinder with myself!”

-Rachel, Ecologist

“My favorite mantra is, ‘Keep your mind where your feet are.’ I think it’s important to not let what is ahead or behind you distract from what you’re currently doing. Every experience or challenge requires and deserves your entire presence. I say it a ton and I encourage my students to use it as well. Two of my students even got the word “Mind” tattooed on their feet!”

-Chad, University Instructor & Debate Coach 

“I actually have two favorite mantras. First, ‘I am exactly where I need to be today.’ It’s easy to get caught up in comparison mindset when you’re working towards goals. It seems someone is always prettier, smarter, more successful, more creative, further along, etc. This mantra really helps me put on blinders and breathe into just knowing I am exactly where I need to be. It allows me to have more peace and quiet, which is far more productive than those icky feelings of inadequacy which often result in burnout and pessimism.

Second,  If you’re not failing often, you’re not trying hard enough.’ In order to really scale and take it to the next level, I believe failure is a requirement. I’ve never met anyone who says they have only succeeded 100% of the time. Failing is a great thing because we’re able to learn and grow. I often try to set goals around failing and currently my goal is 3 times a month. This means I’m going to plan and tackle something I’ve never tried at least three times. I don’t look at failure as a setback, but rather a required action to move me forward.”

-Emily, expert career coach at CultiVitae

“I’ve actually started praying a Hail Mary anytime I need a mantra for a difficult endeavor. It worked wonders during a race I ran two weekends ago, as well as during my first backpacking trip this weekend! For self-affirmation, I tend to just say to myself, ‘You are enough.’ Too often I get stuck thinking friends, family, or even God, will only love me if I do certain things or become a certain way. But this statement reminds me that I am loved right now, just as I am.”

-Johnna, Community Organizer

“There are many mantras I use depending on the circumstance. ‘I am Human. What do humans do? Humans adapt and overcome.’ That helps me a lot when I am feeling tired or getting depressed. ‘Life is suffering.’ This isn’t said in a pessimistic tone. More of a tone that evokes the idea that suffering is an indication of an opportunity to grow. Working out? My legs hurt but pushing through it will make me stronger. The ping of loneliness? Connect with the divine and find an inner peace that doesn’t waver in the face of circumstance. ‘The only way to fail is to quit, setbacks are part of the process.’ Breaking new ground means sometimes I will get in over my head and maybe I will miss the mark. That’s life. That’s how it works. I say or do something stupid, then I know, ‘ok, that was stupid. Let’s reconsider and learn.’”

-Dylan, digital nomad & filmmaker

‘Everything is always working out for me,’ has been a mantra of mine for quite some time, perhaps close to 8 years, since I really started to believe that I create my own reality.

I love reminding myself of this regularly as a part of my daily gratitude. I also love, and find myself repeating this mantra, during times when things feel hard, or like something feels amiss. It feels so normal at this point to know that things are happening FOR me and not TO me. This simple shift alone has radically changed my life.

The mantra also helps remind me that whatever is happening right now must be an important part of the bigger picture, and that even if things feel challenging, they will not feel this way for long, because even in this difficult moment, things are working out for me. It helps me feel the universe supporting me, even in the moments that feel clouded. It helps me feel inspired to keep believing, and to know that everything I do matters and contributes to the journey that I’m on. When I remind myself that things are always working out for me, I stay in a positive, more love-filled space. I share that loving energy with myself and those around me, and feel like I am actively choosing to become the person I truly want to and can be.”

-Brittany, Simple Living and Travel expert and entrepreneur

“Hmm, choosing a favorite mantra is tough because I’ve been using mantras differently lately… I’m about to sound super hippie, okay? Are you sure you’re ready?! Lately I’ve been trying to embody my mantras instead of “think” them. So when I sit for meditation, I think of a word or feeling, and then I manifest that feeling inside my physical body. So if I want to be sensitive to inspiration and see it everywhere, I focus on “feeling” what it feels like to be inspired. I summon that buzzing productive energy and allow myself to truly feel it in the moment. I dive all the way in and simmer in whatever feeling I need to cultivate for the day. Not your traditional mantra, but it makes meditation more tactile and less theoretical. It’s really helpful!”

-Erin, Bad Yogi

“My two favorite mantras are There is always tomorrow’ and ‘You WILL get through this.’”  The first one is pretty self-explanatory – it keeps me from beating myself up about something that happened today – I’ll always get a second chance tomorrow to do better.  The second one sounds really simple, but it allows me to step outside myself and realize that I have been through tough and frustrating times before, and have thought I would never got through them, but that in the end I survived.  Nothing lasts forever, and sometimes I need to remind myself of that!”

-Megan, Book Coach

“I love this mantra: This, just this, I am comfortable not knowing.’ — Debbie Millman
I write it down at least once a week, and it’s such a good reminder in staying present and being okay with not knowing everything. I am someone who has always wanted to know how things are going to go in my life. I remember as a small child being shocked to learn we have no way of knowing when we are going to die. That we don’t receive that information on a piece of paper slipped under our door. As an adult, I still struggle with the unknown, which is to say, my entire future — any moment that is not right now. I’d like to know it all, because then I think I could relax a little. If only I knew who I’m going to marry, and how many kids I’ll have, and if my dreams will become a reality, and if I’ll finally eat pasta in Italy. Of course, life doesn’t work this way. I know this on an intellectual level. But being in your 20’s, I’ve realized, is an entire world of unknowns. On a bad day, I remind myself of the mantra, and I pick one thing to be okay with not knowing. It’s easier when it’s just one thing, and even if it’s small (what I’m going to have for dinner, for example), it’s good practice in staying present, in letting go.”

Do any of these mantras resonate with you? What’s YOUR favorite mantra? 

In this multi-week series, #MantraMania, I’m going to lay the ground work for you to make mantras a part of your life. Here’s what you can expect from the series:

  1. Do you use mantras?
  2. How to Incorporate Mantras in Your Daily Life
  3. Revealed: People Share Favorite Mantras
  4. A 30 Day Mantra Challenge to Welcome Positivity, Productivity, and Self-Care (+ FREE activity guide)

Spotlight: Altruist Apparel

Hey friends! Today I’d like to introduce you to Amy – founder and operator of Altruist Apparel. When I first found out about Altruist Apparel, a small company that believes in wellness and empowerment for women all over the world, I fell totally in love. Their  designs feature words, phrases, and symbols that invoke fire within the female spirit.  Across the globe they seek to help women and girls by donating a portion of all their proceeds to organizations that help women and girls in developing countries have safe access to education, health care, and living conditions. How cool is that!

Intrigued by this unique business model (and the totally kick ass slogans emblazoned on their products), I reached out to Amy to ask her a few questions…

amy headshot 1

Hi Amy! Can you tell Finding Delight readers a little bit about yourself and Altruist Apparel?

Hey Beth! I am an editorial photographer and designer based  in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Before leaving my 9-5 to pursue my creative businesses full-time, I worked as a children’s mental health worker which had it’s good times, but in the end just didn’t fulfill me the same way being creative for a living does. Altruist Apparel was birthed from a spark of an idea — to create an online business that somehow inspired and affected change in the world. I’ve always felt vehemently about women’s issues, both at home and abroad, and I’d recently gotten the idea to design t-shirts for another startup that I’m planning with my partner. The two combined in a brain explosion that was pretty epic. It kept me up half the night thinking and planning it all out and by morning I’d already established 90% of the Altruist Apparel brand in my mind. Altruist Apparel features designs that promote women’s empowerment, resiliency, and community over competition, in an effort to help women here at home live their best lives. The other extremely important part of my business model is to donate 15% of all profits to an organization that helps women and girls gain safe access to education and health care, and addresses social issues like child marriage and gender-based violence. I teamed up with Plan International’s Because I Am A Girl project because they do such a fantastic job doing just that!me vs me tank

Does your background as a children’s mental health worker help you craft the sort of messages you want your company to stand for?

Absolutely. Throughout my work in children’s mental health and child welfare, I’ve had a lot of adolescent girls on my caseload who are brilliant young women with so much potential. Unfortunately many of those girls will never end up realizing their potential, due to issues with self-esteem, familial and social issues, school difficulties, drugs, alcohol, and even prostitution. Altruist Apparel’s messages of empowerment, strength, and resiliency are often inspired with them in mind; messages I wish they could internalize and believe, and that would help them combat their demons and live their best life. Some of the girls I’ve worked with have been able to do that, and they are the embodiment of these messages.

fate loves the fearless tshirt

How would you describe your personal style? Did it play a role in your vision for Altruist Apparel?

It sure did! I am a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. As I write this, I am wearing a black t-shirt with a picture of a cat with wings on it and the caption “dreams come true.” I didn’t design it, but I wish I had! I love how t-shirts can be worn while working out, hiking, or camping, but also under a cute blazer with a pretty necklace and hot shoes. T-shirts are my uniform, so designing t-shirts seemed a natural fit for me.

amy headshot 2

Altruist Apparel is currently focusing fundraising efforts on Plan International’s Because I am a Girl project. Can you tell us a little bit about this organization and why you chose it?

Plan was founded in 1937 and is one of the world’s oldest and largest international development organizations. The focus of the organization as a whole is to improve the lives of children, and the Because I Am A Girl project focuses specifically on issues faced by girls. 62 million girls world-wide are not in school. 15 million girls are forced to become brides before the age of 18. Girls are twice as likely as boys to become malnourished. And millions of girls are victims of gender-based violence. I chose the organization because it covers the issues that are most important to me. There are numerous organizations out there that do phenomenal work, and I hope to work with more of them in the future.

When designing your apparel, who do you envision wearing the results?  

Women with undaunted, unbridled spirits. Women with fire in their hearts and a will of iron. These are the women I design for, and the kind of women I aspire to be. I also design girls’ shirts and onesies so we can start them young. A lot of the messaging young girls are receiving is downright concerning. Girls are taught to place value in being pretty, in being fawned over, and in having the attention of boys. I find the whole idea of raising girls as little princesses downright sad. I think we need to raise warriors, not princesses.

empower tank

I absolutely love the message behind ALL the phrases and words you’ve chosen for your shirts, tanks, and onesies. Can you tell us about some of your favorites and how you chose them?

The quote “Fate whispers to the warrior, you cannot withstand the storm. The warrior whispers back, I am the storm” gives me chills every time. I absolutely love it. I want to get it tattooed on my body. It’s not an original of mine, it’s an older quote that is of unknown origin, but damn it packs a punch. I also really dig the warrior shirt, because I’m really into the idea of the modern day warrior. A couple of years ago I shot a fashion editorial with a warrior girl theme. We had bows and arrows and really awesome war paint for the models’ faces. It was an incredible, creative experience and helped me form this idea of the modern day warrior woman that I love. I also love the thought of women enduring adversity in their lives with the strength, determination, courage, and pride worthy of the warrior title. My warrior shirts really resonate with me for that reason.

warrior tshirt

What do you hope Altruist Apparel will look like in one year’s time?

In a year’s time I hope that Altruist Apparel is solidly established with a huge following. I have three additional t-shirt lines in the works to be released over the next year, and will be adding totes, pillows, prints, and iPhone cases in the near future. The more money the company makes, the more I can give to help girls and women in developing countries. I would also love to take some of the profits to fund a volunteer trip for myself abroad so I can provide hands-on help and photography for NGOs. I have huge dreams for this little company. 🙂

Thank you so much, Amy! Your story, company, and products are truly inspiring. Wishing you and Altruist Apparel the best of luck. ❤ 

P.S. To keep up to date with news and products, you can follow Altruist Apparel on Facebook HERE and Instagram HERE.

Meatless Cooking with Quorn


Happy Earth Week! As we celebrate our great planet, this is a great time of year to make a commitment (or a re-commitment) towards more sustainable eating practices.

One way everyone can do this? Meatless Monday! Start planning plant-based meals one day a week.

If you need a bit of inspiration for this endeavor, Quorn products are a great place to look. Quorn is perfect if you’re trying to eat healthier as part of an active lifestyle, watching what you put in your body, or if you just want some meat-free meals.

So, what exactly IS Quorn???

The main constituent of Quorn, Mycoprotein, is a naturally occurring, high quality, healthy form of protein from the fungi family (similar to truffles or morels). Quorn is produced using a fermentation process very similar to brewing; only they harvest the solid as opposed to the liquid.

This remarkable ingredient is then used as the base for more than 100 different food products. Think: replacements for ground beef, chicken tenders, burgers, and sausage links.

Unlike other non-meat protein sources, such as soy and its derivatives, Quorn has an ability to replicate the taste and texture of meat exceptionally well.


And why is this a more sustainable option? Quorn’s carbon footprint is at least 5X less than beef and 1.5X less than chicken. Not to mention, with over 70% of agricultural land currently being used for livestock production, the ever-growing demand for meat means more efficient solutions are needed as land becomes scarcer. Quorn offers one such solution.

For some additional #MeatlessMonday inspiration; I decided to ask my mom a few questions about her reasons for maintaining a plant-based diet, what tips she has to offer for vegetarian/vegan cooking, as well as the products and resources she recommends to successfully give meatless cooking a go…

You’ve been vegan for some time now and vegetarian before that. What do you love about eating a plant-based diet?

I love how I feel! I love knowing that I am taking very good care of me. I love knowing that I am getting all the nutrition I need without causing any unnecessary suffering to other living creatures (human and animal). I love that I am caring for the planet in a manner that far exceeds the little bit that recycling does.

Not that we shouldn’t be recycling! But that plays a small part in comparison to eliminating animal agriculture from our lives. And I love knowing that by eating a plant-based diet, I’m making more food available to those in the world who go hungry.

Do you have a favorite vegan recipe you think everyone should try? 

Well, I have lots of favorite recipes but the one that will probably always rank at the top is my Mac ‘n’ Cheeze recipe. I have made it for potlucks and no one seems to even realize that they’re not eating cheese. Shh…butternut squash is the secret ingredient that makes it so yummy.

Give us a peek into your vegan kitchen. What pantry and fridge staples would we find?  

My must “have on hand” staples include berries, salad fixin’s (I love to chop up a salad – because I love salad and because it’s very therapeutic to chop), avocados, a couple of non-dairy milks (soy, almond, unsweetened soy, etc.), Veganaise, Earth Balance butter and shortening, Daiya cheese, firm tofu (for my tofu scramble), nutritional yeast, Parma parmesan cheese, a variety of nuts in the freezer, peanut butter, canned beans, canned tomato products, and various grains and pastas.

What top tips would you offer folks who may want to try their hand at cooking vegetarian/vegan fare or want to hack a carnivore dish to make it a little more veg friendly? 

A very easy first step is to sub a plant based “ground beef” into spaghetti sauce or chili.

Second is to replace meat-based stocks with vegetable-based stocks in any soups you are making. There are a variety of veggie stocks – even one that very closely resembles chicken stock.

Make sure to use an unsweetened non-dairy milk when making savory dishes otherwise there will be a strange sweet taste present in your gravy or mac and cheese.

Do you have any resources (Think: cookbooks, websites, Food Network celeb cooks) that deserve a shout-out?

 My number one resource and the person I credit with having motivated me to go from vegetarian to vegan is Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Her Post Punk Kitchen blog is so much fun to explore. I have in my possession ALL of her cookbooks and I don’t believe I have ever made one of her recipes and been disappointed.

I also love the website, One Green Planet; VegNews Magazine; the book, World Peace Diet; Food Network’s Cupcake Wars winner, Chloe Coscarelli; and for some inexplicable reason, Rachael Ray (mind you, I think most everything she dreams up is ridiculously unhealthy, but I love to veganize her recipes).

I know you’ve used Quorn products as a convenient meat substitute in dishes for years. Are there any other vegetarian/vegan products on the market that you are particularly fond of or would recommend?

As I have mentioned before on this blog, Trader Joe’s hooks me up. I can’t imagine life without TJ’s Vegan Tikka Masala, Goddess Dressing and Joe-Joes. In addition, I do love Daiya cheese and more seem to be coming on the market all of the time. And I love Parma parmesan cheese.

You’re sort of a legend when it comes to “veganizing” foods. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever converted? 

One time I created my own pastrami so I could enjoy a Reuben Sandwich. I had Reubens for days!

I make a pretty good “meatloaf” as well. You would absolutely never miss the meat. But my specialties seem to be pizzas and cupcakes. I love creating pizzas to match every regional and international flavor profile – think Morrocan and Thai and Greek and Midwest and east coast and west coast.

And then there have been lots of cupcakes to celebrate all sorts of events. And more to come!

Thanks so much, Mom! Always an inspiration. 

quorn chicken cutlets

To stay up to date on info and recipes from the Quorn brand, FOLLOW THEM ON FACEBOOK HERE

(This post is in collaboration with Quorn, a brand my family has used and loved for years. All opinions are my own.) 

Serial parodies.


Did you guys listen to the ending of Serial? Chet and I played it on Thursday night (along with breakfast for dinner…get it? Serial…Cereal?) and then proceeded to read all things Serial related on the internet for the rest of the night. If you haven’t seen them yet, here are two HILARIOUS parodies of the show…

Spot on! Do you listen to any podcasts? I’d love recommendations! I’m a long-time listener of This American Life and I used to listen to The Story and Q with Jian Ghomeshi when I worked from home (although The Story isn’t producing shows anymore and Jian has his own issues to deal with now). Anywho, if you loved Serial be sure to tune in to Fresh Air tomorrow! Terry Gross will be interviewing Sarah Koenig and apparently it’s the definitive Serial interview. As with all things Sarah, I’m sure I’ll be on the edge of my seat through out. Yay podcasts!

(top photo of Sarah Koenig and Dana Chervis via here.)