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Positive Vibes Only

10 Apr

So if you follow me on instagram, twitter,  or on snapchat (username: LaurenABrenner) you’ll know I had surgery this week. A year ago I found out I had inner ear fluid leaking out of ear, causing a “dropping” or falling sensation consistently each day. I would trip out of no where and it could get so bad where I couldn’t even drive. I felt a bit better a few months last year, but this year it came back again in full force. So, we went in for round two last Wednesday.


Last year I went in scared, with no positive thinking, no preparation and as could be expected, I came out feeling awful, bedridden, unable to eat for days. I decided to never let this happen again. Yes, of course there are risks and I was a bit scared, but I’ve learned an important message: you manifest your life. If you only think negative, negativity will surround you. On the other hand, if you approach life and situations with a positive mind, you may still hit some bumps, but you at least have a positive outlook when dealing with them.


I still fully believe in Western Medicine, but I’m also exploring other avenues: meditation, reiki, continuing healthy eating, hypnotists, and believing in something greater than I am. I cannot tell you how much the simple concept of positive thinking has changed my health. I wanted to share some tips that I’ve learned. Regardless if you’re battling an illness or ailment, this is great advice for anyone:

1. Acknowledge the issue at hand. “Yes, I don’t feel well right now, but let’s see what else I can do.” Don’t push issues away, see them, acknowledge them, and then set them free. 

2. Just like with stormy weather, grey clouds are only temporary. No matter where you are in the world, the blue skies will come out again. Don’t focus on the grey, look forward to the blue. 

3. Take care of yourself. Eat well. Sleep. Take a nap. Don’t overcommit yourself. Drink tea. Stay hydrated. Read a book. Find a hobby. Find any pleasure that is away from technology. 

4. Thank yourself each day. Find one good thing you did for yourself, a loved one, or a stranger. When you’re having a bad day, read over this list and find inspiration to be better, to do better. 

5. Don’t be all-consuming. I like to focus on the macro, but my boyfriend is much more of a landscape person. When I can hyper focus, he brings me out of it. Find a support system to help stay positive, but never forget, you’re the only person that can take care of you. Be able to support yourself physically and emotionally. 

I have a few more reiki sessions left with my coach and I hope to share more in the next few weeks. But remember to stay positive, don’t let negative people or thoughts cloud those blue skies in your head.

St. Patrick’s Day Snack: Zucchini Fritters with Garlic Tzatziki

9 Mar

As I’ve previously mentioned, growing up my family went all out on Holidays. I especially remember the green banana milkshakes and pot of gold shaped pancakes each St. Patrick’s Day. Well, now that I’ve grown up and my mom won’t be making me a weekday breakfast shake, we decided this past weekend to try a festive, healthy, but more sophisticated treat to share next week. Given that you may not have all the ingredients at hand I thought I’d share this recipe a bit early but let’s be real, this delicious snack would be amazing year round, not just on the day of the Irish. Zucchini Fritters with Garlic Tzatziki

Zucchini Spinach Feta Fritters with Garlic Tzatziki Sauce (adapted from here)

For the sauce, I put it all directly into my food processor, but any blender should work:

  • 3/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic (it was too strong for us, next time I would do half a clove- 1 clove)
  • 1/2 small cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoons olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon dill

Garlic TzatzikiGarlic Tzatziki Sauce

For the fritters:

  • 2 medium zucchini, grated
  • 3 handfuls baby spinach, chopped
  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup minced fresh herbs (recipe suggested dill, mint, and oregano- we used dried oregano)
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅓ cup all purpose Bob’s gluten free flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil, for frying

I mixed all ingredients in a big bowl. The most important thing is to dry your zucchini, ours was a little too wet still, or I’d use less egg.


1. Place the grated zucchini in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt to draw out the liquid and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Then, wring all of the liquid out using your hands and set aside. (We used a salad spinner to get out some liquid too).

2. In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, spinach, feta, herbs, eggs, scallions, and garlic. Stir to mix well. Then, sprinkle in the flour and baking powder, a bit at a time, until it all is incorporated and holding together.

3. Heat a small layer of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Drop a small spoons-worth of mixture into the oil. After about 30 seconds, flatten it by pressing down gently with a spatula. Pan fry for about 3 minutes, and then flip to fry the other side for an additional 3 minutes, or until golden brown.

4. Serve warm with the Garlic Tzatziki.

Zucchini Fritter Mix  Zucchini Fritters Zucchini Spinach Fritters with Garlic Tzatziki

It’s almost like a healthy latka. I love zucchini and can’t get enough of it, so I really enjoyed this recipe. If you’re not gluten free or celiac, feel free to use regular flour. But I love that the sauce is a greek yogurt base and you’re getting in your vegetables too. I would serve this as a small appetizer bite or as a side with a dinner too. If you make these please share on instagram with the hashtag #lilikoiloeats. I’d love to see how they come out! Enjoy.