Intentional Living

Plant Based Burrito Bowl topped with Lime, Avocado & Cilantro sauce && Mango Salsa // Gluten, Dairy & Meat Free

I used to make a meat & dairy version of this with ground turkey, cheese & sour cream. The new plant-based version is pretty delicious too and very filling. Ingredients (serves 2) 1 Large sweet potato 1 Onion 1 Can of corn 2 Cloves of garlic 1 Can of black beans 2 Medium sized tomatoes 2 Servings of rice 1 Cup of spinach 2 Tablespoons of Mango Salsa

Sauce: 1 Avacado Some cilantro 2 Juices limes

First thing first, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees, peel the sweet potato and chop into little chunks. Throw into oven. Yes...THROW IT IN! (jk). Oh, and don't forget to add a little bit of olive oil to the potatoes. Now, let's get that rice started so that can also be cooking as you prepare the rest of the veggies. Next chop the onions, tomatoes, and garlic. Throw into a frying pan along with the rinsed beans and corn. While this is cooking chop up the spinach and make the sauce. I use my food processor to blend together the sauce. Once everything is cooked place into a bowl, add some salsa and cover with sauce.

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First Step Towards Minimalism: Purging the Closet!

Ahhh, what a glorious feeling it is to purge the closet and begin my journey to a minimalist lifestyle! Since I can remember I have been guilty of making impulse purchases for clothes I don't need and subscribing to the latest trends. And since I have the "worry" gene I tend to never travel light and have accepted the nickname "crazy bag lady" because I always overpack in case I have that "what if" moment of needing something. I'm hoping to change this mentality in 2017. I've already started and it feels AMAZING. I went out on boxing day with my Mom and only bought one pair of leggings because my old ones had a hole in them. Historically, as a bargain hunter, boxing day was my thing. I remember getting up at 5am some years to go to the Eaton Center with my mom and my friend Danielle and blowing whatever money I had saved or gotten over Christmas on what? I don't even remember

After watching "Minimalism The Documentary" by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus it really opened my eyes to my bad spending habits and how unnecessary they are. Do these items actually bring me/others happiness? Could I invest my money better? After donating half of the clothes in my closet I really hope to eliminate/limit the number of items coming in. Although I can't pack my entire closet into one suitcase, it does feel liberating to have a closet full of clothes I actually wear. Waking up in the mornings is a lot more enjoyable. I'm going to do research on clothing brands that make their clothes sustainably and will share with you once I find them! The impact that the fashion industry has on the environment is NOT GOOD and I'm just beginning to learn this.

Experiences Instead of Gifts for Christmas

I started my 2017 resolution at the beginning of December in an effort to be more present with family and friends and to lead a more minimalist life instead of a material one. Instead of giving gifts this year I CREATED EXPERIENCES. Bobo and I have everything we need (not to sound snooty or rude), but we are constantly trying to declutter our place and we’re in the position that if we need something, we can buy it ourselves. I want to SPEND TIME with family and friends. THAT is what matters. The older I get the more I realize how ridiculous it is to buy material gifts for people because you NEED to buy them a gift. How many gifts that you get do you actually use? Mine usually collect dust. (The more I write this out the more I sound like a grinch, but moving on….haha.) Before the 2016 holidays, I emailed my family and said “Instead of spending $50 on secret Santa gifts for each other, why not spend that money on a meal and a fun activity?" We went ax throwing and it was amazing. Instead of Bobo and I buying gifts for each other we put money towards flights home to see family & going to festive events in Vancouver before we left like Enchant & Capilano suspension bridge. I made this film to show what spending money on experiences instead of material items would look like over the holidays. Would you consider doing this next year with your family? I KNOW THIS SOUNDS CHEESY - but I felt so emotional while editing this! I'm so grateful to have such amazing family and friends, Love you guys! (even if you I didn't get a chance to get a film clip of you to include in this video) 

Spicy Peanut Veggie Noodle Bowl

This recipe is quick, healthy and most importantly delicious! I found the recipe on Pinterest and made a few modifications along the way. RECIPE serves 2

  • 2 carrots, grated
  • half a zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 cups of spinach (I chop mine up finely)
  • 1 cup of peas
  • 2 bunches of rice noodles

SAUCE

  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons of crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon of soy chilli sauce

Boil a pot of water and cook rice noodles. In a frying pan, saute the onions, zucchini, and peas. While this is cooking blend the sauce ingredients in your blender of choice. Drain the noodles and distribute between two bowls. Add the raw spinach, carrots, and fried onions zucchini & peas. Top with sauce.

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Bolandia Blogger Vancouver - Spicy Peanut Veggie Noodle Bowl-7712
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Bolandia Blogger Vancouver - Spicy Peanut Veggie Noodle Bowl-7743

The 6 Benefits of Adopting a Dog

I've been meaning to make this post for a few months but for whatever reason I never got around to it. 6.5 years ago I moved to Vancouver and unfortunately and had to leave my two little yorkies behind (RIP Molly & Nellie). Bringing the yorkies out weren't an option because I was renting in buildings that were never pet friendly and to be frank I wasn't at a time in my life where I could have handled the responsibility. Fast forward to fall of 2015 and Jacky-Poo came into my life! I know this sounds so cliche but the little scruff ball brings so much joy to my life. There is nothing better than coming home to a dog with a wagging tale jumping to get your attention because he's so happy to see you!

6 Reasons to #AdoptDontShop

  1. You're saving a dogs life and for this reason alone, the dog will love you more and you're basically a hero. Yes, I'm calling myself a hero. I'm pretty sure Jack has imprinted on me because I was the one who picked him up from the shelter and he spent 6 hours on my lap while I drove back to Vancouver.
  2.  You can adopt a dog that is already house trained.
  3. Adopting is wayyyy cheaper than buying from a breeder. While breeders range from $700 - $1500+ you can adopt a dog for as little as $200 (depending which rescue you go to)
  4. You have an idea of what the dogs personality is like because the rescue/ shelter will assess their behaviour.
  5. Petfinder.com is a centralized system where all rescues & shelters list available dogs making it easy for you to search location, breed, sex, etc!
  6. Okay, I left this one to #6 because it's a pretty shallow reason....but you know how ALL PUPPIES ARE CUTE? Obviously, a baby of anything is cute for gods sake. When you're adopting an adult dog you already know what it looks like fully grown so you can guaranteed it meets your standards.

I'd highly recommend adopting from Adams County Pet Rescue in Washington, even if you're a Vancourite. (See why in this post on adopting Jack.)

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Why I've Gone Plant Based & 3 Major Impacts It's Had

"Everything in moderation” my mom said after I told her I was now eating a plant-based diet. Sarah doesn’t do moderation, I’m either on one end of the spectrum or the other, resulting in zero balance. (Not trying to convert anyone to go plant-based here, just sharing my story on why I chose to go plant based :D )

On May 1st Bobo and I had come home from a trip from the Sunshine Coast. We took Jack to several beaches before getting on the ferry and he was a muddy mess, so when we got back to New Westminster we took him to Royal City Paws Centre self-wash dog station. In the reception area, there was a scale there and out of curiosity Bobo and I weighed ourselves since we’re never around scales. I was the heaviest I had ever been. I usually don’t focus much on the number on the scale but combine that with how tight all my clothes were, my low energy and the lack of self-confidence I felt the need for a change. I’m usually a pretty healthy eater but had been on a bit of a binger since my trip to Vegas in April, so it wasn’t too surprising. I’m telling you, it’s a slippery slope for Sarah.

That Sunday night after getting unpacked I decided to watch the documentaries “Forks Over Knives” and “Cowspiracy” on Netflix back to back. While “Forks Over Knives” focuses on the health impacts of humans eating meat & dairy, “Cowspiracy” focuses on the environmental impact of animal agriculture. The two were very eye opening. The clip below was (was delete the extra way)the “final straw” for me if you will:

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOP_cMcaIYU[/embedyt]


 

I can’t say that these documentaries would have had the same impact had I watched them on different days and I hadn’t felt like I was at absolute low with my health/weight that day. Since that day I have been mostly plant-based. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve had a few Doritos chips here and there but 95% of the time I’m eating grains, veggies, fruit & nuts!  I’m pretty proud and to be honest surprised this has lasted 2 months. I have no idea if this will last another week let alone a lifetime, I’m just taking it day by day trying to be creative with recipes and hopefully not shoving my views down other people’s throats too much, haha. Though….may I recommend watching those documentaries? (trailers at the bottom of this article) lol.

So far I've noticed THREE MAJOR CHANGES:

  • My sleeps have been IMPECCABLE. I wake up feeling ready to start the day. I've never been one to jump out of bed in the mornings....maybe I'm exaggerating a little here... but it has definitely been easier to get up in the mornings and I don't feel groggy.
  • My skin is the clearest it's ever been. I've always noticed vegans have GLOWING skin and although mine isn't at a "glowing" point just yet, I get blemishes significantly less now.
  • MORE ENERGY!!! No explanation needed.

Biggest Challenge so far:

Eating out is a bitch, unless you're going to some East Van vegetarian hipster joint. So far my most memorable eating out experience was at the Keg for a friends birthday. I actually love the Keg and usually go any time I'm home with the family and on my birthday. MMMM....Steak. I know it was my choice to go plant based and going to a steak house in retrospect wouldn't provide a plethora of dish options for plant-based eaters. My dinner consisted of a pathetic side dish of unseasoned steamed veggies (mostly green beans) with a side of fries. BLAHHH. My food was SO boring compared to the delicious steaks everybody else was eating (boo-hoo, right Sarah?). The struggle is real folks.

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Meet my dog, JACK.

 

I am officially responsible for another living thing that is now considered the silver lining in my life.

I've been looking at adopting a dog for about a month now and when I got laid off I thought there couldn't be better time to adopt. I can spend time with him, train him and he is a happy distraction. Last week I was on the road from 6:30am to 8:00pm going to pick up Jack from Adam's County Pet Rescue in Othello, Washington. He is an 8 month old terrier and I found him using the website Petfinder.com.

I got pretty frustrated with the Dog rescue scene in Vancouver. One in particular told me I could go see two of their dogs on two separate occasions. They said "Let me ask the foster parent when a good time to come by would be."  I cleared my schedule for the day waiting with excitement for hear what time I would be meeting the dog. When I went on Facebook I saw the rescue had post a picture of the dog I was supposed to see with their new family. I understand there's a lot of applicants that are probably better suited, but when somebody is waiting around refreshing their email every 2 minutes waiting to hear back from you the least you can do is inform once you've found said family.

Thankfully the poor communication with that particular dog rescue led me to Adam's County Pet Rescue. They had a plethora of dogs to choose from and had excellent email correspondence with my 101 questions about Jack.

 

#ADOPTDONTSHOP

 

5 Things You Should Do If You get Into a Car Accident (Heaven Forbid).

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Halfmoon Bay_ Sunshine Coast_ Airbnb_ Bolandia-0084

After getting into a collision last month I learned a few things about what I should have done to make my claim with ICBC go smoother than it did. To give you some context I was driving on highway one when a woman drove into my lane and hit my passenger door. I called the police, made a statement, exchanged contact information with the other driver and made my claim with ICBC.

When my adjuster from ICBC called a few days later I explained what had happened and apparently the other driver was claiming that I came into her lane and hit her. Yep. LIARS ARE OUT THERE PEOPLE. It sucks. The claim was settled and it was split 50/50 since there was so no proof who was actually at fault. This means that I had to pay half my deductible to get my car fixed and and my insurance is going to go up for the next 3 years. Pretty shitty considering I didn't do anything wrong, but I've definitely learned from this experience. Here's what I would have done in this order:

1: GET A WITNESS

I was so in shock from what had happened that my only concern was to get off the highway to get out of people's way. Provided that nobody is hurt and you can get out of your car I would go get witness contact info right away before people drive off. If a witness came forward I would have been off the hook. It was rush hour and not a single person stopped to give their info, let alone see if we were okay (Wahhhhh).

If you get too distracted to get a witness because you're in shock like I was there are still several ways to attempt to find those people who may have seen the accident.

  • Make a post for Facebook with details of your crash and ask friends to share. Here's mine
  • Post on Twitter & Instagram (make sure you hashtag the city it happened in and surrounding cities)
  • Make a Facebook Ad an target it to the areas where the traffic could have been coming from. In my case I targeted to Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey and Pitt Meadows
  • Post to popular community Facebook pages like blogs or radio stations
  • Post in the community section of craigslist
  • Call the traffic AM station and ask if there's a way to get footage form the highway cams
  • Make signs for a the first few highway exits after where the crash happened
  • Call the police officer who came to the scene to hear the other person's statement, if you're lucky they told the truth at the scene and then changed their story for the ICBC claim
  • Some vehicles (I know prius's have this) will record the movement and direction of the wheels and speed into a device in the car, but only if the airbags are deployed. I'm not sure how to obtain this information but I assume if you took the car in the mechanics they could figure it out.

2: TAKE PICTURES BEFORE YOU MOVE THE CARS OFF THE ROAD

After you get witness info take pictures of how the cars are positioned after the crash. Since I was in panic mode and drove my car to the shoulder of the highway I didn't get pictures of both our cars. I did however manage to get a photo of the other woman's car on the highway because she didn't move it until the police and firetrucks came. In the photo you can see her car is fully in the lane that I was in. She came into that lane and pushed me into the fast lane. Not sure where else my car would be if I hit her but this photo wasn't enough proof for ICBC.

Also note that taking pictures of the damage of your car after isn't enough proof either.

3: CALL THE POLICE

Now that you have all the time sensative issues dealt with, call the police. After you get off the phone with the police this is a good opportunity to let your family know about your situation while waiting for the police to come. I also told a friend at work so they knew where I was. Great opportunity to have a good cry at this point too, lol. LET IT OUT!!

4. GO HOME, REST & MAKE YOUR ICBC CLAIM

You're going to be shaken up and it won't lead to a very productive day at the office. Go home, rest and make your claim online. Resting is so important especially if you suspect head/back/neck injuries to follow from the crash. If you tell ICBC you have a neck injury they're going to ask what you did following the accident and pretty much anything you tell that that isn't "resting" they will probably use against you. ICBC may seem nice on the phone but their goal is to pay out as little as possible so just keep this in mind. Lucky for me, I didn't have an injury but do know this from a friend who is going through ICBC hell.

5. BUY A DASHCAM

This could illuminate steps 1, 2, 3 and 4. I'm definitely going to be purchasing a dashcam after this experience and highly recommend forking out the $100-$200 dollars to do so. $150 Dashcam > $1500 worth of deductibles, increased insurance and the head ache of dealing with everything from step 1.

Obviously I'm not a police officer or ICBC worker so you can take this advice as you please. :)