I am going to write this month’s blog update and the 7-day vegan meal plan post as a letter. At this moment, I just feel like writing an open letter to friends out there. This ‘blog post’ has been an empty draft for almost 2 weeks. Every time I sat down, I was easily distracted and realized it was because my heart wasn’t in it. And when I thought of it as a letter to friends to share, words flowed easily.
Hope this letter finds you smiling in your part of the world. I can’t believe it is already December and before we know we will soon be in 2020. This past month on multiple occasions I’ve had an opportunity to just step out from everyday “busy-ness” and reflect on what is it that I value and how am I showing up for it? Below are some practices and reflection circles that I was part of this month. If you would like to jump to the meal plan directly, click here.
One weekend I went to visit an elderly lady who sometimes comes to our home for Wednesday Awakin circles. She casually mentioned having done Labyrinth walks in California. She knew of a labyrinth in the Texas Medical Center but hadn’t been able to find it yet. Without a second thought, I said, “Aunty, let’s go and find it.” We went and after some walking around found it.
In an initial glance, it might have appeared as a stepping stone structure on the floor but as you enter the labyrinth, you see that each stone has a meaning. As I walked and turned and walked in circles towards the center, it became a beautiful meditative walk. The next day, I went out searching for more labyrinths in Houston and to my surprise, there are so many! So I went again and this time did a gratitude walk in another labyrinth. And I am going on another one tomorrow again. 🙂
Letters to a Stranger
For the last 5 months or so, I’ve started writing letters to an inmate in a maximum-security prison. This guy writes letters to juvenile children in India, shares stories of inspiration and forgiveness and repentance with them hoping that he can make a difference in the children’s lives through his words. I was initially just a courier between them and would just print the letters which were emailed to me and then post them to him and he would send me his letters and I would post them to India. But then he wrote to me and slowly we started talking.
He is the same age as me. He loves origami. He loves poetry. He meditates every day. We are so alike in so many ways and yet our lives are so different. He hasn’t hugged anyone in 15 years and I sometimes hesitate in giving a hug. He is grateful for every day when ‘nothing new happens’ because ‘new’ in prison is usually a bad thing and I don’t even notice that when ‘nothing happens’ life is great. He has taught me so much about being grateful and for letting go of prejudices and biases.
See beyond what makes us different
Someone drew some lines over a piece of paper and borders were erected. In some places, there are walls and fences that divide us from each other and in some places these walls are right in our mind — when we see someone so different from us that we fail to reach our hand and heart out. Can we see beyond what makes us different?
One pastor at the US -Mexico border is building a beloved community of refugees from all over the world. A place where children have found back their innocence, a place where adults have reconnected to life, a place where differences are disregarded and divisions are removed. A dear friend, Pancho (whom you can see in the video) has been volunteering there full-time. As I contemplate the idea of belonging and othering, this video is a beautiful reminder of hope and love.
Non-violence and Vegan Meal Plan
Almost 3 years ago we embarked on a vegan food journey because of health reasons but slowly as we identify ourselves more and more with the values of non-violence, being vegan just felt the right. I don’t engage in heated discussions with anyone about going vegan but I do encourage everyone to try vegan food. This blog has been a beautiful way to share recipes and ideas with friends and family.
The one-week vegan meal plan that I share every month is an attempt to give ideas of how a balanced vegan meal is possible for every day of the week. In addition, meal planning helps in more efficient and economical grocery shopping and reduces food and time wastage. Here’s this month’s 7-day vegan meal plan with recipe links and a printable pdf to download with a grocery list and meal prep notes.
(for in-between meals)
|MONDAY||Tofu Scramble with bread||Sprouted moong stir fry||Methi Dal-fry |
|Fruits & nuts|
|TUESDAY||Açaí Smoothie Bowl |
(make with any fruit of your choice)
|Tofu Stir fry with leftover brown rice||Sweet Potato & Chickpea Curry|
|Vegan Chocolate Brownie|
|WEDNESDAY||Ragi and Banana Smoothie + fruits||Leftover curry and couscous||Soya chunks Spinach curry|
|THURSDAY||Savory Millet Pancakes||Leftover curry and rice||Maharashtrian Pithla (Gram Flour Curry) |
|Banana Bread (Use flax-eggs instead of eggs)|
|FRIDAY||Easy overnight Oats||Wild rice and arugula salad||Vegetarian Paella||Roasted Makhana|
Vermicelli Upma and Vegan Lassi
|Eat Out||Anything you wish|
(Chips/ cookies/ brownie/ fruits/ nuts...)
Avocado Toast with Roasted Sweet Potato
|Chickpea Pilaf (Use Soy yogurt instead of regular yogurt in recipe)||Anything you wish|
(Chips/ cookies/ brownie/ fruits/ nuts...)
Access more meal plans here.
Connect with me
If you try this meal plan or any of the recipes here a try, I would really love to know. Tag your picture with #weekendkitchen on Instagram or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and/or Pinterest.
Or join our newest (and a little slow) journey into Recipe Videos.