how i learned to conquer fear {and tomatoey kale salad with tahini dressing aka the most bomb kale salad}

We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we cannot choose both.
— Brene Brown.

The other day John found a little worry doll in one of my keepsake boxes that we were going through. (We’ve been cleaning and tidying around here.)  

"What's this?" He asked holding up a little figure about an inch big made from wire and cloth.  

"Oh that's a worry doll." I said nonchalantly. "My mom gave those to me when I was really little.”  I paused.  “I used to worry a lot... so much that sometimes I couldn't sleep. So mom got me these little things and she told me to whisper one worry to each one of these little dolls and put them under my pillow, say a prayer and then in the morning my worries would be gone. Have you ever heard of that before?” He shook his head.  

“You don’t strike me as the type of child that would have worried a lot,” I laughed, “But me on the other hand… I could be worry city." He paused and raised his eyebrows as if to say, uh, are you saying you don’t worry right now? 

I read his mind saying, "Well, I still worry but I think I'm better now. I used to worry so much about disappointing people or failing and well, I feel like I’ve failed so many times I’m just not that afraid of it anymore. I mean, of course I’m afraid, but I know I can handle it, I’m braver now.” I paused again and felt the need to go on.  

John’s a good listener. 

“My bravery never goes without holding hands with fear. It’s almost like they need each other you know? It doesn’t really feel like bravery at all if I’m not afraid at the same time... and I feel afraid all the time."  

Vulnerability is not weakness - it is our most accurate measurement of courage.
— Brene Brown.

We chatted a little more about this. About risk taking. About our pursuits. About pursuing despite being afraid. 

This blog has been one of my pursuits. I was really afraid to jump into it. I mean, SURELY THE WORLD DOES NOT NEED ANOTHER FOOD BLOG, but starting one is something that's pulled at my heart for over 5 years (which kills me to say out loud) and dammit I shut that fear down last year and embraced that “tug" I’ve been trying to burry for years thinking, “Maybe that tug's there for a reason... I feel like I’m supposed to do this... and what’s the worse that could happen? No one likes it? That doesn’t seem so bad...”  

How does one get over fear? You shut it off temporarily the same way you'd shut it off right before jumping off a cliff into the water. (Work with me people we’re not talking a plunge to the death here.)  It's that leap. It's the moment your feet leave the ground when fear leaves you for one second and is replaced with courage. True courage means you completely jump in; you determine the worst case scenario and embrace that possibility whole heartedly. You decide that the worst possible outcome, is not as bad as the reality of never jumping at all. 

Now, I don’t know what your goals are. I don’t know what your heart aches for or what wakes you up at night, but I do know, that whatever it is, you must not quiet it. I believe we’re all given a calling, listen to it.  If you still need to find it, work towards something you love and I promise it will find you. Don't be afraid that it might take a long time. That's the silliest fear of all because time's gonna pass anyway. 

Don’t be afraid to fail or else nothing will get done. And for goodness sake, don’t worry too much okay? Even if you don't have any worry dolls to say your fears to, remember that saying our worries out loud to God is a prayer, and it's okay to live on a prayer. Remember this, if nothing else: our worries and fears can propel us forward if we embrace them. This blog is proof of that.  

 Love to you my friends. xo  

tomatoey kale salad with tahini dressing  

serves 4 as a nice lunch salad. 

One of the biggest reasons I launched was because I felt this burning desire to teach women how to really treat and feed themselves. We (as in YOU and me my dear friends) all love food, but indulging doesn’t come without guilt and wanting to be healthy comes with huge amounts of overwhelm. Like who the poo has the time? So, I am working on some really exciting things to be launched (later this year) that are going to help with all of that, that I think (and hope) you’ll love. I'm like, so excited about it I could burst into a mound of glitter confetti at any moment. This kale salad is a sneak peek of the goodness that's to come. I mean, I was gonna save it, but hell, after my mom said “That was seriously the best kale salad I have EVER had," like 10 times (and even weeks later) I decided to share the goodness with you now. Kale is after all in season. Once you try it, I hope you agree with my mom's sentiments. (I love you mom.) xo

my note: This salad is so versatile, so please don't be a perfectionist on this, the measurements for the salad are loose. I love this combination best (especially the mix of the tart sun dried tomatoes with the sweet fresh tomatoes), but by all means, feel free to mix and match add-ins like veggies, nuts, seeds and even cheese as you please. Hehe, I rhymed. ;) 

for the salad:

2 bunches dinosaur (lacinato) kale, ribs removed and chopped finely  

4 tablespoons of lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

2 tablespoons olive oil 

pinch of salt 

½ cup / 64g black olives, chopped

⅓ cup / 43g sun dried tomatoes

1 cup / 149g fresh cherry tomatoes, sliced 

1 avocado, chopped or messily scooped into bite-size chunks 

½ cup / 71g sunflower seeds, lightly toasted (optional)

¼ cup / 36g raw sesame seeds 

Douse chopped kale in lemon juice, olive oil and pinch of salt. Message it a bit so each leaf is covered. Let it rest a bit while you chop an prepare the other salad ingredients. 

Add all ingredients except for the seeds and avocado to finely chopped kale leaves and mix until it looks like all ingredients are distributed evenly. 

Make the dressing. :)

for the dressing:

½ cup / 128g tahini

½ cup / 112ml olive oil

¼ cup / 60ml tamari (gluten free soy sauce) 

4 tablespoons lemon juice 

2 tablespoons maple syrup 

1 clove garlic, freshly minced  (about ½ teaspoon) 

½ teaspoon fresh ginger 

¼ cup / 60ml water 

Freshly ground pepper to taste.  

Whisk all ingredients together in a medium-ish bowl or jar until combined. 

At room temperature this dressing may seem like it doesn't need the water added to it, but once it chills in the fridge it thickens up quite a bit. 

Plate your salad as you wish and top with drizzles of the fresh tahini dressing, toasted seeds and scoops of creamy avocado.  

why is this good for me? 

  • kale - I mean, it's kale, just looking at it tells you it's good for you, right? But did you know kale is super high in calcium? It contains more calcium than cow's milk. It also contains iron, so when we add a little bit of lemon juice to our kale leaves, we're not just enhancing the flavor, but we're allowing the vitamin c from the lemon juice, to assist our bodies in absorbing the iron from the kale too. Cool huh?
  • sesame seeds - Are high in vitamin e. We need vitamin e to improve our heart health, skin health and over all nervous system health. Sesame seeds are also a good source of calcium. 
  • sunflower seeds - Are a good source of vitame e, vitamin b and folate. Folate is super important for pregnant women, or women wanting to conceive as it ensures a healthy baby.