A Lunch Date.

I spent the bulk of my morning reading through each and every one of the 250+ amazing comments on the calorie counting discussion (and trying to respond to as many as possible).  You guys never cease to amaze me!  (If you haven’t read the post – that’s okay.  But make sure you don’t miss the comments!)

While I read and typed furiously at the tiny table in my kitchen, behind me there was gurgling and steam oozing from the rice cooker

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Delicious quinoa – cooked with coconut oil, cinnamon, chili powder, and paprika – prepared for a very important lunch date!

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Look who came to play at my house today – Gena from Choosing Raw!

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She is in town visiting, and we decided that a homemade lunch enjoyed in the comfort of home sounded much more enticing than eating out.  We combined our veggie forces and bustled around my kitchen…

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She chopped, while I whisked together dressing…

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We had a big bowl of mixed veggie salad with pears and portabellas.

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Aaaaamazing massaged kale salad that Gena brought – tossed in a fabulous homemade dressing.

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Another one of Gena’s creations – raw cashew “cheese” – mmmmm.

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Nothing quite like good conversation paired with good food.

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As expected, we talked for (literally) hours about all things food, blogs, jobs, and the future.  Part of the reason I love Gena so much is that, like me, she is not afraid to speak her mind.  She is a passionate vegan and raw-food enthusiast, and she has the knowledge and talent to articulate her thoughts beautifully.

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I’m not big on new year’s resolutions, but rather than set goals or specific projects for myself, this year I’m working towards more of a theme.  For me, this year is all about taking risks.

I have always been an incredibly passionate person, and I am not one to back down easily or hesitate to speak my mind.  My closest friends would likely describe me as…feisty.  This year, I’m challenging myself to take more chances, and write with my heart.  I can’t worry about judgment or reactions if I want to be able to use my most honest voice.  Sugar-coating has never been my style.

I have no plans to cause any controversy, but I want to make sure that I’m not overly censoring myself either.  Some of my favorite posts (like this one, or this one, and as recently as yesterday – this one) have naturally come to me when I shut out the critics and the worries, and just simply…typed.

Talking to Gena today made me even more passionate about all that lies ahead.  So I’m leaving my hesitations in 2010, and embracing all that 2011 has to offer.  Because if I have learned anything in the past two years, it’s that you have to take chances to achieve anything great.

"Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go."  — T.S. Eliot