Bean Salad

I’ll try and add a photo of Bean Salad soon.

Bean Salad

Ingredients-
1 can black beans, drained slightly
1 tomato, diced
1/4 purple onion, chopped finely
1-2 radishes chopped
salt (sea salt or veggie salt or both)

Instructions-
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Salt to taste. Serve. This is especially enjoyable served with Carne Deshilachada. Enjoy!

Rice

I especially like basmati rice, but you can prep rice of your choosing. (For future reference – Andres’ Mum is Mum. My Mom is Mom.) Mum taught me to make rice this way. Garlic adds a really nice flavor to the rice. If you are in Australia and you have Vegetta and Veggie Salt, add 1/2 tsp. of each once the rice starts boiling before reducing heat. In any other countries you could add some sea salt.

Rice

Ingredients-
one cup of rice
2 cloves of garlic, minced
splash of oil
water

Instructions-
Rinse rice in a fine mesh sieve until water runs clear. Heat a medium sized pot over medium heat with a splash of oil. Add minced garlic and stir fry briefly. Combine rinsed rice with garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add water according to instructions on rice packet and cook accordingly.

Carne Deshilachada

Though he was born and raised in Australia, Lord Lucha’s family is from El Salvador originally on both sides. His family isn’t one to write recipes down so they have taught me and a lot of the recipes I will post are what I have composed from their instructions. I hope to post several recipes from El Salvador and any other nations that his and my family have taught me. This recipe comes from his Mum. It is carne deschilachada which roughly translated means shredded meat.

Because this recipe can be an extensive process depending on how much you are prepping I recommend to have music playing, a tv show to catch up on, or a spouse to share the load with. Last Sunday we doubled this recipe and it provided lunch for both of us for three work days.

Carne Deschilachada
Ingredients-
1 lb flank steak
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green capsicum (aka green bell pepper), julienned
2 roma tomatoes, diced
salt and pepper
dash of oil (I like grapeseed oil)

Instructions-
Preheat broiler to high. Cover a baking sheet with foil and put a rack on the covered sheet. Pat flank steak with paper towel. Salt and pepper both sides of flank steak generously. Place flank steak on the rack in the baking sheet. Broil approximately 7 minutes each side depending on thickness.

While the meat is broiling you can finish prepping the veggies. During last 5 minutes of broiling heat a pan/skillet over medium heat. Use a wide pan/skillet so that the liquid from veg sweating doesn’t stand in pan. Begin stir frying veggies over medium heat with a dash of oil. Start with onion and garlic. Then add capsicum/pepper. Finally add the tomato. Stir fry until softened. Salt and pepper to taste. The flavor in the veggies flavors the meat so make sure there is good flavor. Remove veggies in pan from heat.

When finished meat should be well browned, but not burnt. You will have a rare to medium rare center, but you will finish cooking meat in a pan with veg later. Once you remove flank stead from broil, let cool enough to touch, but not too much. The meat is easier to shred while still warm.

Commence shredding. Shred meat with the natural grain of the meat. Shred with fingertips. A little elbow grease may be required depending on the toughness of the meat you choose. If you shred long strings cut into smaller strips with clean scissors. Once you have shredded the lot, add to pan with veg and stir fry to incorporate until meat is cooked through but not overdone. The meat will be dry if overdone. Salt and pepper again if needed. Serve with rice, cream and bean salad. Enjoy!

Since this is my first recipe that I have ever composed and shared with the public eye I would love to hear your feedback!

Some Thoughts on Grief

Just over seven months ago my dad passed away unexpectedly. In the last several months I have been on a journey and I thought I would share a few of my thoughts and recent experiences of grief and show you a bit of my process as of late.

When were nearing the end of the last school year and my Mother in Love bought both Lord Lucha and I a new pair of running shoes as a graduation present. We went for a run soon after receiving them. Lord Lucha usually gives me about a five minute head start so it is more of a competition for him at the end of the run. The plan was for him to grab the car keys on the way past so he could get in the car to stop his timer on his phone. Not even half way into the run one of my heels was in so much pain I could barely walk so I took at least one of the shortcuts to make the run shorter. When he ran past he forgot to grab the keys. Lord Lucha made it to the car long before me and was motioning hurriedly for me to unlock the car. I was struggling trying to get to the car as fast as I could. So I cut across a field to get to the car and then he found out I only had the key to unlock the car manually with me and could not use the unlock buttons from a distance.

Later that week I was having coffee with a friend and she was asking me how I was doing and I explained the story of us running to her and how it felt true to life in the moment. Lord Lucha seemed to process the grief of my Dad’s death quickly and therefore had the ability to run ahead and make it to the car while I was still in extreme pain barely making it to the car. She told me that the pain in my heel could have been my body showing me that my heart was still in a lot of pain. She proceeded to give me permission to be in pain and to really feel the loss that I had experienced. She gave me permission to slow down and take my time. We discussed how in our western culture we expect people to just move on quickly yet in other cultures and even in biblical times there was space given and time allotted to process well. From that coffee time I felt like the healing process could really begin because I finally recognized how much pain I was experiencing.

There have been a few people who have helped me to process well in this season and other people who have loved me well and given me space. One friend in particular had one of her parents pass away not even a year before my dad. We discussed serval things about grief. One topic that helped me to realize that I was not crazy throughout this whole process was the topic of the typical effects of grief. The three effects of grief that are most common include forgetfulness, clumsiness and exhaustion. The effect that has weighed on me the most is forgetfulness. Names are the things that I have forgotten the most. I would be having conversations with someone and completely forget the name of the person who I wanted to give an example of. I could recall all the details of their lives bar their names.

In the past two weeks I prayed with people I know and love without being able to recall their names to save the life of me. I could remember the name of the sister and housemate of one of the people, but that person’s name was just gone. The night before it happened two weeks ago I dreamt about my dad and he was especially on my mind both of the days in particular that I prayed for the people whose names I could not remember. I realize that I must have been experiencing grief and then recognized that as the reason for the lack of name recollection. Thankfully I am learning to have grace for myself. If I do not remember someone’s name I laugh about it and ask for help. If I cannot remember your name it is nothing personal. I still know you and love you. My mind is just spending a lot of its capacity on processing through grief and I am okay with that. I hope you are, too.

Soon after the story I began this blog with I returned the shoes to the store and traded them in for a different pair. The method of processing I used at first did not work so well because I had yet to acknowledge how much pain I was experiencing and had yet to recognize the loss that had occurred. So I traded that method in to the Lord for a new one. I have grace for myself and there is grace to process well. So I am.

Walking more often than running,
Lady Lucha Xx

PS. I might be due for a new pair of shoes again soon. This pair have put on many a mile.

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Bonfire Yoga

Today was the hardest session of hot yoga that I have attended so far. The moves were the same and the class was a comfortable size, but my mind was all over the place. I have been doing pretty good at stewarding my health since being in Australia. This holiday has been the perfect reset for me. Yet this weekend I did terrible. I had at least three energy drinks, way too much sugar, and lesser amount of sleep. Yet my connection with others and consistency with a God has been spot on. I was having a really tough time with some of the poses, getting more frustrated by the minute, and feeling pain in places I where I do not usually experience it. While I was laying on my stomach with my left ear on the floor looking myself in the mirror I realized what I had been thinking. I was punishing myself for the junk I had eaten instead of being present and focusing on posing badge breathing. Then I reminded myself that the reason why I am making better decisions for my health is because I love myself. I cannot and will not hate myself into being the best me. When I could find my peace I finally was doing a little better at the poses. Yet the true success was that I stayed in the room and I did not give up. Then at the very end of class as our instructor was leaving the room she said. “This is the best sixty minute class I have ever taught. Well done. Namaste.” There in the darkened hot room in our final savasana pose I cried. I cried because I have actually been doing great, I have been making excellent decisions and one day of eating junk food will not throw me off. I cried because despite my frustration and lack of perfect posing, I was a part of the best sixty minute class that instructor had taught.

Yours Truly,
Finding well being and learning to love myself better

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When

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When did it happen? I can’t pinpoint. I remember a time in my life when I had no doubt that I was smart and athletic and beautiful and that I could conquer all.

When did I lose that? I know it was somewhere after fifth grade.

Until fifth grade I could outrun everyone in every race (even all of the boys). The presidential physical fitness award was a breeze. I could learn any concept in any subject and retain it. Even though I was the freckle-faced red head that everyone called Carrot Top, I still felt beautiful.

Why, by the time I was a senior in high school, did I find myself at the fifty yard mark after a great start in the 100 yard dash at State in front of the girl whom I knew was the fastest in the state and have the thought,” I’m not supposed to…

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Crying Often

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This is one of my favorite quotes on grief. I am learning how to process major loss. Laughing when I can and crying often. I don’t know if time heals all wounds, but I do know that God does. Joy comes in the morning and though it still feels night to me I will rejoice and celebrate the small things.

Xx