Spreading kindness

Nicole Voris

It has been a really rough week.  The United States election did not go the way we expected it to, and it's been difficult grappling with the reality of what it means.

I have decided to take this opportunity to try to spread kindness.  As individuals we can work to make the world a better place, but when we do it collectively, it can be momentous.

Here are some of the ways I choose to be kind and spread positivity:

Charitable Donations:  We have already made a donation to Planned Parenthood.  Our plan is to donate to a different charity we believe in each month.  So far we plan to donate to Planned Parenthood, ACLU, Greenpeace,  Kind,  and NILC.  If you have more suggestions, please let me know.

Vegetarian Diet:  We don't eat that much meat, but  are going to start cutting even the little meat we do.  There are many reasons to do it including animal welfare, the environment, and concerns about the ethics.  I am choosing to vote with my dollar and eat mostly plant based meals.  Yayyy for green chile bean enchiladas!

Supporting Public Programs: I regularly take public transit, but I will make an effort to take it more.  I also plan on utilizing the services of the Public Library more often.  I want to continue to educate myself and help educate others.  In the past I have taken steps to volunteer at my local teen homeless shelter, but for various reasons, did not end up volunteering.  I plan to finish what I need to do and volunteer for this important organization.

Kind to Strangers:  Because I walk and take public transit often, I encounter many strangers from different walks of life.  I have never been unkind, but I will try to be more open and kind. For example, offering my seat, allowing someone to pass in front of me, or just a simple smile.  I will also work to protect people if I see them being harassed or if they feel unsafe.

Make Art:  I encourage you to put your feelings into art and to share it with the world.  Channel your feelings into your creativity and add some thought and beauty into the world.

If you have any ideas for how else we can spread kindness, let me know in the comments!


Weekly Greens

Nicole Voris

I assume we all know that vegetables are super good for us.  They are total super foods.  So many vitamins!  It can be hard for me to get enough of this amazing genre of food in my diet.

I am not vegan, or vegetarian, or gluten free.  I try not to limit myself to certain foods and I allow myself to indulge in cravings.  Living in the ballet world I know that it is way too easy to take a diet too far to the point that it is just a full blown eating disorder.  Don't beat yourself up or feel guilty because you ate meat or sugar or bread.  Please love yourself and your body and just try to have a nice balanced diet.  And drink a lot of water!  Water is miracle liquid.

That being said... I love salads!  A nice green salad with just olive oil and sea salt, a caesar salad with chicken, a chef salad, a cobb salad,  greek salad, shrimp salad, potato salad, egg salad, marshmallow salad!  They are all amazing.  When it comes to making them I tend to get lazy.  It feels like a lot of work to put all the ingredients together and to make the dressing for just one meal.  I would try to order them when I went out to dinner, but that just felt like a waste of money.  I knew I could make a better salad at home and when I go out to eat I tend to want to eat an entree.

Cut to the new weekly approach I have started taking.  I now make one huge salad after I get back from the grocery store.  I generally go to the store Tuesday morning, so I make the salad in the afternoon.  In the last four weeks I have made four very different salads; a cobb salad, a spinach caprese inspired salad, a blueberry almond salad, and this week a greek salad.  By changing it up each week I both am getting a lot of variety in my diet and am not getting bored.

Here's the greek salad I made this week.

So far during this experiment I have only used spinach as my base green.  It lasts well, is high in protein and vitamins, and I like the way it tastes. The bag I get is two pounds.  This week I included grape tomatoes, Kalamata olives, garbanzo beans, red onion, and cucumber.  I normally include a chicken breast, but since one can of garbanzo beans has 21 grams of protein I decided to use them as the big protein source.  Also included, but not pictured because I forgot, is gorgonzola cheese.  I LOVE cheese.  A ton of gorgonzola cheese sprinkled on a salad is amazing.

For the dressing 

This week I made my own dressing. I combined:

1/2 cup of Olive Oil, 5 Tbsp of pomegranate vinegar, juice from half the lemon, 1 tsp sugar, squirt of mustard, dashes of oregano, basil, and sea salt.  Also included, but not pictured, is two crushed garlic cloves.  Because garlic is the greatest flavor in the world.


Combine all your salad ingredients.  I only used half the onion, half the cucumber, and about three fourths of the tomatoes.  Do it to your taste/how much your container can hold. 

Combine dressing ingredients and shake!  I got this awesome dressing container as a gift a while back and I love it.  You can just use a mason jar though!  Also, this huge tupperware container is what makes my salad experiment work so well.  It keeps the premade salad so fresh, and being able to see it makes it really easy to take out for lunch or snack.

Keep the dressing and salad separate until ready to serve.  When hungry combine, and chow down.  For this salad I will toast and butter a piece of sourdough bread as a side.  It's amazing!

This has really gotten me to eat more greens and is super nice and convenient. It might work a little too well because the salad is usually gone by Thursday night!

Do you have favorite salad recipes?  Let me know and I will try them!

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Amazing Food That I Had In China

Jeanette Kakareka

This spring, my company (English National Ballet) went on a 4 week tour to China and Singapore. Sometimes, I forgot how far away from home I was. But usually there were all sorts of communication errors making even take away lunch a real challenge. That being said, most of the food was definitely worth any trouble it was to get.

In our first city, Tianjin, we dove right in and I experienced a few bites of some street food. (Be careful, and it’s advisable to never drink the tap water!)

We also went to a hot pot place called Hai di Lao, which is a chain in China. This is a really nice option for anyone less adventurous--if you didn't know, hot pot is where you get the raw ingredients (veggies, seafood, meat,) and add them into boiling broth at your own table.

TIP: If you order the shoo si la mian noodles, you'll get a fun little dance by one of the waiters to stretch the noodles out for you!

Our next city was Guangzhou, which is a lot further south, and very hot and humid. This was my favourite location. There, we stayed in the most amazing hotel and had daily, buffet-style breakfasts with a gorgeous view.

Photo by Jem Choi

Photo by Jem Choi

Our last week in China was spent in Beijing. With an urban population of around 19 million, it is second in size only to Shanghai. 

TIP: It's a big city, but taxis aren't expensive in China. So, if you're not clear on how to get somewhere on the tube, don't be afraid to be driven there instead.

One day, we taxied to a restaurant that is a top rated restaurant in Beijing, Yin Xiang Xian Guan. Here, we had a very interesting assortment of food that you might not expect. That included (but was not limited to,) glutinous lotus root, cold mashed potatoes with a blueberry sauce, veggie coated tofu, and yellow curry inside of a loaf of bread.

This trip only increased my love of Chinese food, and I cannot wait for my next opportunity to visit in China again.


Cibo's Pizza

Alanna Christina


One of my favorite places in dine out in Phoenix is Cibo’s.

Quaint and eclectic, Cibo’s is in a 1913 bungalow filled with charm and twinkling lights. The whole house and yard makes me feel like I’ve been transported out of the hot Arizona desert and fills me with happiness. 

Cibo’s food is truly outstanding, from salads to pastas to pizzas you’ll find something you enjoy. Personally I’d suggest going here if you’re Gluten Free as they have one of the best Gluten Free pizzas. Seriously though, like we expected anything else other than amazing pizza options from Cibo’s. 

Just. Look. At. That. Beauty.

Told you they had twinkly lights.

If you’re looking for a place to take your gf/bf, or your group of friends next time you want pizza, check out Cibo and eat your heart out in the cutest house ever.

You're welcome.