Thursday, January 30, 2014

Book Review: The Working Poor

The Working Poor, by David Shipler shares the powerful and courageous stories of the hard working men and women who remain invisible in America. “The man who washes cars does not own one. The clerk who files cancelled checks at the bank has $2.02 in her own account. The woman who copy-edits medical textbooks has not been to a dentist in a decade.” These are the citizens who will never reach the American Dream, despite their ability and dedication to work hard. This transparent view of America, and the world at large are magnified through an emotional, heart-wrenching journey.   

For this population, life or death decisions must be made. They are forced to choose between food or hot water, electric or rent, and family or a job. In America, this almost seems too hard to believe. This is the land of opportunity. How could there be so much strife? Truth be told, uncertainty and desperation are emulated in the faces we interact with on a daily basis. 
Shipler’s message is to spread awareness. By doing so, we can then create change. He shares a quote by a woman who tragically fell into poverty, “We don’t feel very poor. We feel poor when we can’t go to the doctor or fix the car. ” This sends a compelling message to us all. What does being “poor” actually mean? Is it defined by a dollar value, or by life’s values that we hold close to our heart? Essentially, does money define our worth?
The Working Poor has opened my eyes not only to other people and the lives they have succumbed to, but to the meaning of life, my life, and what makes me rich as well. So many of the stories I have spent reading have created turmoil in my mind. I now walk the streets with wide eyes and an open heart.  


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My Week's Favorite Meals: Los Angeles

Potato Leek Soup from The Coffee Table in Eagle Rock
{potato leek soup with garlic bread}

"The Vegan" from Monte 52 in Highland Park
{whole wheat vegan bread with grilled veggies & hummus}

Super Seed & Strawberry Salad from my kitchen!
{leafy greens, strawberries, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, & raisins with balsamic vinaigrette}

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A "Healthier" Chocolate Chip Cookie

The holiday season has finally come to an end, and I realized that I had not eaten the one dessert I most look forward to: a chocolate chip cookie that has chocolate dripping from the cookie to your mouth when you take a bite, that is warm and fresh out of the oven, that can only be eaten with a glass of milk. What the heck? There were cakes, brownies, pies, and all other assortments of dessert, but not the one-and-only chocolate chip cookie. Therefore, I decided, I needed to eat one to end the holidays right. And so, to feel less guilty, I began searching the worldwide web for the perfect "healthy" recipe. There are plenty out there, but none seemed to do it justice. So, I mixed a few recipes to create my own. And let me tell you, you would never know that this is a healthier version of a chocolate chip cookie. It's the real deal.

Scrumptious Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 c. almond meal
1/8-1/4 c. chocolate chips - amount depends on your liking
4 T maple syrup
2 T water
1/4 c. coconut oil
1 t cinnamon
1 t baking powder

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine almond meal, chocolate chips, cinnamon, and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Stir well.
3. Add water and coconut oil to the bowl and mix until evenly combined.
4. Spread oil onto a baking sheet and spoon the cookie dough onto the pan.
5. Place cookie dough into the oven and let bake for approximately 30 minutes.


Recipe courtesy of my darling twin, Brittany Ruisi

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