PREPARE Curriculum: 7 Intensive Units to Be Ready for A Bright Future

I don’t know about you, but I’m not really one to just sit around and wait for things.

If I’m contained in our house, I learn to bake bread and switch to a plant-based diet, I study Buddhist meditation and become a yogi, I manage our investments to ensure ongoing passive income.

But these things have been mostly for myself and my family.

So one day I asked myself, how can I expand this to help the people and lives around the planet who are suffering and need some love?

Tim, Megan and I just finished a 4-day Tony Robbins virtual event for unleashing our beautiful inner selves, and this is what I came up with.

I was inspired by the story of Nelson Mandela describing his time in prison: “I didn’t survive, I PREPARED.” And so…

My PREPARE Curriculum. I created a self-study program that might take me a few years to fully immerse myself in and emerge from wiser and stronger.

Why? To learn as much as I can to be ready for our bright future, and to find like minds as we discover the incredible gifts of this unusual time.

I decided to share it here with you, both for my own accountability and in case you want to borrow any of it for yourself… Go ahead!

(Also, I don’t get any money or rewards at all for sharing these resources with you – I just want to contribute to our collective comeback after months of quarantine.)

Without further ado, the 7 intensive units of my PREPARE curriculum are…

1. Mindfulness and psychology

The main thing I seem to need right now is a way to balance emotions, stay grateful, and understand what’s happening in my mind. These are my top wishlist resources that I’m diving into first:

2. Compassionate relationships

The next thing I need is a sustainable way to maintain peaceful, loving relationships. Connections that are stress-proof where people love each other no matter what. I will be learning from these masters:

3. Homesteading in Hawai’i

Our plan is to create a sustainable farm in Hawai’i that provides for our food needs and strengthens our community. This is still a little ways off, but I can learn and prepare from these fine folks:

4. Sustainable income

With the uncertain future ahead, it’s making more and more sense to be self-sufficient when it comes to money as well as food. I believe it’s a wise investment to learn from these pioneers:

5. Cooking and movement

One thing we all need for a bright future is a healthy body. The ways we can help it are putting nutritious food in, moving ourselves, and getting enough rest. Here are my inspirations for optimizing health:

  • Isa Chandra Moskowitz. That’s all I have to say here. She dominates the plant-based cookbook space, and every single recipe I’ve made of hers is AMAZING. I will be studying her brilliant methods in depth. Some of her books include…
  • Sasha Martin’s Global Table Adventure for inspiration to cook recipes from the remaining 158 countries we have yet to taste
  • Paul Hollywood’s Bread – the Great British Baking Show judge shares his tips for artisan bread (I’ve already made variations on his cottage loaf and chelsea buns, which were delicious)
  • How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger (I’ve skimmed it so far, looks like useful, evidence-based tips on which foods to eat and avoid for different disease tendencies)
  • The End of Alzheimer’s by Dr. Dale Bredesen (I read it once but will need to read it again now that I’m almost in my mid-forties, since there’s Alzheimer’s in my family)
  • 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back by Esther Gokhale (I have chronic shoulder pain and need to learn better ergonomics and posture)
  • Yoga with Adriene free yoga videos (we follow her YouTube channel and monthly calendar of yoga classes, which we do every evening at 7 pm as a family)
  • Kinrgy virtual movement classes – a lively and loving combination of dance, yoga, tai chi, meditation, and positivity (we have a pass until the end of September)
  • Egoscue is a method of posture-based exercises to remove pain (I’ve tried some of them and they do help, just need to try the rest and implement a regular schedule)
  • Qi Gong exercises with Plum Village (can’t wait to try these out in my daily routine!)

6. Building community

Life isn’t much fun if you don’t have people to share it with. I don’t personally need a LOT of people around me, just a few like-minded folks in person and a wider global community that I can wake up each day to serve. I’ll be re-learning how to do this post-quarantine from these lovely people:

7. Helping the planet

Living happily and healthfully is all well and good, but we still need a planet to live on. These are some things I’ll be reading and working on to do my part:

OK, that seems like a good start! Megan is starting high school this year, so I guess I’m starting my own 4-year learning program too. 🙂

Now it’s time to put it all in a spreadsheet and track my progress.

I’ll occasionally share what I’m learning here on the blog as I go along, in between the recipes, so stay tuned for that.

Thanks for being here, lots of love, and I hope you keep learning and growing too, in whatever direction strikes your fancy!

Alexandra 😀 <3

9 Quick Meals When You Don’t Have Time to Cook

“But I’m hungry NOW!”

Whether this is a child in your house or a voice in your own head, sometimes we just look up and realize time has flown by and we don’t have food ready for anyone.

Fear not, the meals below can all be prepared in 5-30 minutes, so you can be prepared for any hunger emergency without resorting to popcorn and ice cream for dinner (which I admit I have done myself!)

We’ve got your back. You can do this. And you’re already doing a great job.

I hope these help you, and I’d love to hear what your favorite go-to quick recipes are too. 🙂

#1: The Nutritious Omelet

A straight up French omelette can make a delicious breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack. Super simple once you get the technique down. All you need is a few eggs, a little butter or oil, and whatever herbs and spices you have on hand. Enjoy!

#2. The Reliable Porridge

Growing up, porridge was one recipe I got from my wonderful Dad. Thanks, Dad! And the dad in our house now makes porridge for us too (as well as a lot of other yummy things!) It’s a super simple, comforting breakfast to start the day off on a nourishing foot.

#3. The Refreshing Garbanzo Cucumber Salad

A bright, lively and very simple salad that will make your whole body smile. This was inspired by the Forks Over Knives plant-based eating movement. I’m not normally a fan of cucumbers but I polished off a second helping of this! We ate it for dinner with sauteed sesame spinach and steamed rice.

#4. The Comforting Cauliflower Leek Soup

On a brisk day there’s nothing like a warm bowl of creamy cauliflower soup to comfort and nourish. This one is vegan and inspired by French chef Rebecca Leffler, using tahini (made from sesame seeds) and coconut oil for the creaminess. 2/3 of the kids came back for seconds, so that’s as good an endorsement as any. 🙂

#5. The Hearty Tuna Black Bean Salad

If you’re looking for a quick and refreshing lunch, check out this green salad packed with tuna, black beans, cashews, and cranberries. It’s a great way to skip that mid-afternoon energy crash and keep your mind and body as healthy as possible. It also happens to taste delicious. 🙂

#6. The Tropical Pina Colada Smoothie

Here are some kid-friendly pineapple-coconut-strawberry smoothies guaranteed to put a smile in your day. Adults can always add some rum to make it more like the real thing if you like. It’s just like a day at the beach. Well, almost… Aloha!

#7. The Light Italian Tomato Salad

Growing up, we often had fresh tomatoes in the summer from our own backyard garden or someone else’s nearby. My mom would make this refreshing tomato salad to go with a loaf of fresh Italian bread for a quick lunch. Buon appetito!

#8. The No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites

These delicious treats take a few minutes to whip up and don’t need to be baked. No refined sugar, no white flour, no dairy, just amazing flavor and decadent enjoyment. It’s a sweet plant-based treat that’s also good brain fuel for home learning days. 

#9. The “Old Faithful” Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Whenever my British Grandma went to a potluck, party, or family gathering, she would have these cookies in hand. She nicknamed them “old faithfuls” because they’re so easy to make and everyone likes them. Our girls made these this past weekend. Hope you enjoy them too!

Many blessings from our home to yours for a wonderful weekend and week ahead. Please let me know if you try any of these recipes and how they turned out for you.

Happy (speedy) cooking!
Maitri Alexandra 🙂