There are plenty of things I like to gift myself: Chocolate. Foot massages at that Thai place. Pumpkin spice lattes (soy, of course). Kitchen gadgets. Fuzzy socks. Anything with avocado.

There are few things that I actually need though. In fact, I would call these things treats rather than gifts. A gift is something far grander. A gift doesn’t need to be tangible, but it most definitely should be substantial. 

The important thing to ask yourself here is,
“What do I long for most? – that I have the power to gift myself?”

So what can you gift yourself with?

  1. Grace. Be kind to yourself. When you put your foot in your mouth at a meeting, when you screw up a family member’s big day, when you’re late – again, when you look in the mirror, when you can’t squeeze into those old jeans, when you can’t finish a workout, when you know you should’ve, but didn’t; be kind. Turn off that barrage of hateful commentary in your head, and extend yourself some mercy. You’ll be surprised how light you feel. 
  2. Confidence. Take pride in whatever you’ve accomplished in your short time here on earth and don’t let the small things go unnoticed. It is so difficult for many to simply get up every morning and persevere through each moment of their day. Your struggles are your badges of honor, don’t short change them! There is always much more on the horizon to reach, accomplish, or conquer, but that’s tomorrow’s battle. Get ready for that battle by building your confidence from your past ones and how you’ve learned and grown from experiencing them.
  3. Honesty. Oftentimes, we let our emotions cloud our reality. Whether it’s regarding our health, our wealth, or our emotional well-being, we often lie to ourselves saying we’re OK, or we’re fine, or we’re trying our best, when we aren’t. Not really. Honesty is the foundation for integrity, proactivity, and success. Our truthfulness about who we are, what we do, and how we function is important because it allows us to see our reality and not build false pretenses that will ultimately hurt us in the long run. 
  4. Gratitude. Thank yourself. No, really! Sometimes it’s hard to be a present parent when work is at its busiest time of year, or to listen to a friend’s problems when you yourself have had a long, exhausting day. Much like you would thank others for their time, their energy, their knowledge, thank yourself too! The other side of the coin is to show gratitude to God, the Universe, Fate, or the Powers that Be. Whatever it is that you believe in, showing gratitude to someThing or someOne “above” for your lot in life is one of the most powerful things you can do because it is the most humbling. So give thanks, and give it often! 
  5. Letting go. Often times we hold on to slights against us or slights we’ve made against others. Whether it’s guilt or anger, pride or despair, letting go can be a difficult thing to do. But these emotions bind us, and we can only be free once we let them go. So let go of that hurt, that pain, and gift yourself with a sigh of relief. 
  6. Forgiveness. Maybe you’ve started noticing a trend here 🙂 Forgiveness is a part of letting go, and it’s so coveted because it is something so rarely given. We’re not built to be quick about forgiving or forgetting anything. The smallest of slights stick in our mind forever, but we’ve got to train ourselves to face those tough situations, people, or emotions, and come to terms with them. Forgive yourself for your shortcomings, your weaknesses, your mistakes. Forgive, and in time, forget. 
  7. Love. There’s a difference between learning to stop being your own enemy and loving yourself. Loving yourself requires active participation, it is not a passive act. Loving yourself is very similar to loving others. You take notice, and you begin to find things you like: physical things like the way you smile or crinkle your nose when you laugh, emotional things like how you show restraint when someone verbally attacks you, or mental things like how you persevere through a tricky problem at work to find a solution everyone can agree on. Pretty soon you realize how unique these things make you, and how you light up every time you notice them happen again. This is how our love for others grows, it is also how our love for ourselves grows. Gift yourself with taking the time to fall in love with yourself.  

This holiday season, in all your selflessness, don’t forget about gifting yourself with what you really need: a heart filled with ease and joy. Happy holidays!!

Hello lovelies! 

Last week I began my coursework for Rouxbe Online Cooking School’s Plant-Based Professional Certification Course. It’s absolutely thrilling to learn from the best in the industry, including Chef Chad Sarno of Crazy, Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr fame who also served as the Culinary Educator for Whole Foods and Chef Dr. Ken Rubin who is renowned chef educator and food anthropologist. I already feel like I’ve gained so much, and it’s only been a little over a week and a half! 

Spicy Summer Rolls | SPIRITPLATE

Truth be told, I was a little hesitant about an online cooking course until I did my research into the instructors and the platform Rouxbe uses for eLearning. The set up is incredibly efficient and well-organized with a refined, sleek design that allows you to learn quickly and in-depth about everything from how to properly boil, parboil, blanch, and sweat veggies, to how to create your own pasta or gluten-free menu. I love that they provide not only hard-to-find articles and incredibly detailed instructional videos, but also ample time and space to interact with instructors, fellow students, and professional industry heavyweights who do live events with presentations and a thorough Q&A.

Spicy Summer Rolls | SPIRITPLATE

Of course, there’s also a lot of cooking! Our very first assignment was to create our personal “Go-to Dish” in which we provide images of its set-up, process, and final result. Following that we created a Avocado, Kale, and Radish salad in which we learned how fats and acids can affect cruciferous vegetables. Most recently, we did an entire “Kitchen Re-Set” that had us clean out and organize our fridge and pantry; something that was super cool to do. I can’t wait to post about it later this week!

For my go-to dish, I made my Spicy Summer Rolls which I make at least once a week with variations; in fact, this is probably my most-requested recipe from friends and family that follow me on Instagram. Minus the chopping of the veggies, this recipe probably takes me about 3 minutes to put together. How’s that for quick and easy! 

Spicy Summer Rolls | SPIRITPLATE

All in all, I am super excited about the path ahead and can’t rave enough about Rouxbe’s Plant-Based Cooking Course.  I highly recommend checking out their Free Trial (which includes all manner of cooking, not just plant-based), if you’re interested. 

Also I’d love to see pictures of what you’re cooking up that’s plant-based, whether it’s from my site or not. Use the hashtag #spiritplate on Instagram to show me what you’ve made! 

Spicy Summer Rolls | SPIRITPLATE

Happy Memorial Day to all my U.S. folks – have a wonderful weekend and happy cooking! 

Spicy Summer Rolls
Serves 2
Super fresh and nutrient-rich lunch or snack roll in under ten minutes!
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
3 min
Total Time
8 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
3 min
Total Time
8 min
493 calories
93 g
0 g
10 g
10 g
2 g
350 g
97 g
7 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 493
Calories from Fat 80
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
Saturated Fat 2g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 97mg
Total Carbohydrates 93g
Dietary Fiber 7g
Sugars 7g
Protein 10g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 4 sheets rice paper
  2. 1-2 cups baby super greens OR 4 large swiss chard/spinach leaves
  3. 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  4. 1/4 cup shredded red cabbage
  5. 1/2 cup finely sliced cucumber
  6. 1/2 cup finely sliced capsicum or bell pepper
  7. 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  8. 1/2 avocado
  9. 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
  10. 1/2 tsp black sesame seeds
  11. 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  12. 1/4 lime
  13. 1 Tbsp coconut aminos, liquid aminos OR soy sauce
  14. hot sauce of choice, to taste
  1. Place one rice paper sheet on a wide flat plate. Fill plate with hot water, allowing it to flow over and under the paper, which will immediately begin to soften.
  2. Gently massage and move the rice paper around in the water, careful not to cause any wrinkles or folds.
  3. Once paper is fully softened and pliable, drain all the water by carefully tilting the plate whilst anchoring the paper with your thumbs. The paper wrap is now ready to fill.
  4. Working quickly, layer the next six ingredients onto the paper, about halfway between the center and the edge closest to you. Place the leafy greens down first and everything else on top. (You can pack in as much or as little filling as you'd like for a thicker or thinner roll.)
  5. Sprinkle some ginger, red pepper, and sesame seeds on top with a squeeze of lime. Place a few leafy greens on top to cover your fillings. This will ensure a smooth surface for your roll and will prevent the harder incredients like the carrots from poking out of the paper and creating holes.
  6. Roll the wrap up burrito-style, folding the edge closest to you up over the filling, then folding in the left and right ends, and finally rolling the whole thing tightly away from you. It is essential that you roll the paper as tight as possible to ensure a sturdy roll that won't fall apart when you take a bite.
  7. Repeat all previous steps with the next three sheets of rice paper.
  8. Mix together aminos/soy sauce with hot sauce in a small dipping bowl.
  9. Enjoy your rolls chilled, dipping them in the spicy sauce!
  1. You can replace any or all of the filling ingredients with your choice of veggies. I recommend that the first layer be soft greens to create a roll with a smooth surface, and ensure no ingredients poke out of it and create holes. I also love the avocado for added creaminess.
  2. I've tried this roll Tex-Mex style with beans and salsa as well as Mediterranean style with hummus and olives - they are all awesome, though this is by far my favorite version.
  3. Have all your ingredients ready to go. If you don't work fast enough, the rice paper will begin to dry out and go very tacky and sticky, ripping when you attempt to roll it.
  4. Add a teaspoon of nut or seed butter to your dipping sauce for a twist!
SPIRITPLATE http://spiritplate.com/


Whilst it is paramount to nourish the body, it is just as important to nourish our minds, the self, and others. One way I like to do this is by grounding myself at regular intervals throughout the year. A grounding meditation allows you to clear your mind of daily stresses, center yourself in the turning wheel of the year, and harness the inherent energy around you, turning it into your own personal power.

EarthDay Grounding Meditation

Spring is a time of remembrance, a time of renewal and rebirth, and a time to sew the seeds of new ideas, new intentions, and new relationships in this deeply fertile time of year. You only have to look around you to see the green bursting forth, the birds buzzing with renewed energy, the winds bringing warmer air. Observing these seasonal changes allows you not only a deeper understanding of the passing of time, but grants you the opportunity to analyze the past, come to terms with it, and dig the roots you’ll need to face the future.

I find that I am truly satisfied and at peace with myself, when I’m not just letting time push me along, but actively participating in its passing. Ever missed out on a Thanksgiving or Christmas celebration? Your birthday? New Years? That feeling of disorientation that follows is what a grounding meditation overcomes. It allows you to have your communion with the present moment, witness it, cherish it, and lay it to rest as it moves on. It is also a great time to give thanks for all that you have experienced and visualize what you hope to actualize in the future.

Today is Earth Day, the perfect day to perform this guided meditation. It is taken from Dianne Sylvan’s The Circle Within. Read through it first, then set up your space where you will perform the meditation. If you’re a newbie to this, I recommend using some form of music to guide you as you visualize the following. For a soothing meditation, try Calm.com and select any one of their visual or auditory experiences. I personally like a more energizing option; an upbeat instrumental like Lindsey Sterling’s Crystallize really sets the mood for me.

Set up your space, get comfortable, and begin:

Find a place where you can sit quietly for a moment with as few distractions as possible. Sit with your back straight and close your eyes. Bring your attention to your breath; try to breathe from deep within your belly, rather than high in your chest. Let your breath lead you into a state of calm, soothing your heartbeat, soothing your mind. 

Now imagine yourself sitting in a field of warm, sunlit grass. The sky is a clear, jewel-like blue, the clouds feathery and soft. The breeze kisses your face like an old lover, and you can hear the distant song of birds far off in the forest. 

As you exhale, visualize roots extending from your body into the ground. With each breath, send them deeper, passing through the topsoil, through the groundwater and bedrock, down through the layers of the Earth. With each breath, your roots draw closer to the center of the Earth, the heart of the Mother. 

Soon, warm Earth energy begins to gather around your roots. Now, as you inhale, draw that energy up through the roots and into your body. Inhale, drawing energy up; exhale, pushing your roots a little deeper. The Earth energy may be colored, or invisible; it may move quickly like electricity or slowly like water. As it fills you, it gives you strength and clarity. 

When you feel full of the energy, visualize it pushing out through the top of your head as great spreading branches. With each exhalation, push the branches farther up into the sky, into the clouds, toward the life-giving sun. The sun’s gentle heat shines down on your branches, which unfurl their leaves in celebration. Feel your leaves absorbing the sun’s energy, the energy of the Father. Each time you inhale, draw it down into your body. The energy [of the sun] mingles with the Earth’s energy, turning slowly around the center of your body, where the two mix into a soft white radiance that fills you with peace. 

Then, once you are calm and strong and ready, begin to pull your branches and roots back into your body. Inhale, drawing them farther and farther in. When they are fully retracted, imagine that the energy inside you is sealed within your skin. Finally, bring your awareness back to the room or space you are in, and open your eyes. 

Wishing you all a very joyous sunshine-filled Earth Day! 

With love and light,