April is a month full of hope; spring is officially here! Spring can represent so many things: hope, new life, reflection, transformation. There is a beautiful quote from Harriet Ann Jacobs that says: “The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.” Easter also represents that same thing: hope, transformation, and new life!
There are some amazing foods that are available in spring! As the winter ends, the season gives new life to some really delicious possibilities. Just look at how many fruits and vegetables that are in season during this time of year:
I am loving what you can do with spring peas! Just look at this incredible recipe I found for Green Pea and Parsley Hummus on CookingLight.com:
Green Pea and Parsley Hummus
- 1 1/3 cups thawed frozen green peas
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- Raw vegetables
There is another great recipe on Food & Wine for a flavorful falafel using spring peas, and instead of deep-frying the falafel patties, this recipe calls for sautéing them in a lightly oiled pan. They are also served with a low-fat yogurt sauce instead of the usual rich sesame-based tahini.
Spring Pea Falafel with Marinated Radishes and Minted Yogurt
- 1/2 cup dried green split peas
- 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
This Easter, do a little something different with your eggs! I found this recipe for Turmeric Deviled Eggs on Cooking Light’s Website that are not only beautiful enough to put on a centerpiece but tasty, too!
Turmeric-Pickled Deviled Eggs
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh turmeric or 1 Tbsp. dried ground turmeric
- 2 3/8 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 12 hard-cooked large eggs, peeled
- 3/4 teaspoon Madras curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- Additional chopped chives (optional)
You can find more recipes for spring on Cooking Light’s full article online here.
This month I wanted to also write about giving hope to those that may not yet found that. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This month, I want to encourage my readers to “Embrace Your Voice” and inform others how they can use their words to promote safety, respect, and equality to stop sexual violence before it happens. There is hope! The goal of Sexual Assault Awareness Month is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and educate communities on how to prevent it.
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center has many resources, including the following about Sexual Violence and Awareness:
WHAT IS SEXUAL VIOLENCE:
- Sexual Violence is any type of unwanted sexual contact – including sexual assault and rape.
- This can include words and actions like sexual harassment, catcalling and nonconsensual sharing of private images like “revenge porn”.
SEXUAL VIOLENCE IMPACTS EVERYONE:
- Nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 67 men in the U.S have experience rape or attempted rape some time in their lives (smith et al., 2017)
- Anyone can experience sexual violence, including children, teens, adults, and senior citizens.
VICTIMS OFTEN KNOW THE PERSON WHO SEXUALLY ASSAULTED THEM:
- People who sexually abuse can be family members, friends, romantic partners, or other trusted individuals.
- They may use coercion, manipulation, threats, or force to commit sexual violence.
VICTIMS ARE NEVER TO BLAME:
- It doesn’t matter what someone was wearing, how they were acting, if they were drinking, or what type of relationship they had with the person who abused them.
SEXUAL ASSAULT IS OFTEN NOT REPORTED:
- A person may not report what happened for many reasons:
- concern they won’t be believed
- fear of retaliation
- distrust of law enforcement
- shame or fear of being blamed
- pressure from others
HEALING AND JUSTICE LOOK DIFFERENT FOR EVERY SURVIVOR:
- A survivor may or may not choose to move forward with the criminal justice system.
- Healing is an ongoing process. Everyone heals in their own time and their own way.
YOU CAN SUPPORT SURVIVORS:
- Chances are you know someone who has experienced sexual violence even if they haven’t told you.
- They are listening to how you talk about the issue, and hearing that you understand and believe survivors may help them feel safe.
EMBRACE YOUR VOICE:
- Sexual violence thrives when it is not taken seriously and victim blaming goes unchecked.
- Your voice is essential in setting the record straight on sexual violence
You may be wondering how you can get involved to help end sexual violence? The movement to end the crisis relies on people who’ve made a choice to do something and get involved, and there are many ways you can begin work to support survivors and preventing sexual violence before it ever happens.
Volunteer: There are many community rape crisis centers locally in your area that you can get involved in. Whether that be answering phone calls, talking to students, or helping implement programs in your area, there is always a need to be filled. You can check out the nearest crisis center to you at NSVRC’s website online here.
Organize: Throughout the country, passionate groups of community members organize events, plays, and rallies to raise awareness about sexual violence. If there isn’t an organization in your town, you can rally together like-minded individuals and start your own organization; your nearest community rape crisis center can often give advice and point you in the right direction.
Learn: There are a lot of local and online resources to help try and understand the root causes of sexual violence. Learning about sexual violence and becoming part of the national conversation and becoming an advocate for survivors is an important part of prevention.
Donate: Working to address sexual violence, like most social change efforts, takes funding to function. Finding a local cause that is working toward the same goal and donating to that cause is crucial to moving this effort forward.
Some amazing foundations that JDFF and I have worked closely with that play an important role in ending sexual violence globally and locally are:
Currently, JDFF is hosting the 4th annual “Fostering Hope” Women’s luncheon for The Dream Center LA. Right now, the Dream Center has 30 families that are in their homeless family floor, their goal is to get 12 of those families sponsored in the program for one year as they transition from the program into independent living. For example, they currently have a mom with her two children living at the Dream Center who was rescued from human trafficking. She was trafficked from the age of 13 years old. To date they have helped her get on her feet, get her GED, medical care, and schooling for her lovely children. It’s women like this that we support and help on a daily basis at the Dream Center.
Thorn joins forces with the sharpest minds from tech, non-profit, government and law enforcement. They work to stop the spread of child sexual abuse material and stand up to child traffickers. They are also uncovering new kinds of abuse, and fighting those too.
There are many resources you can find online that can help you learn about sexual violence and talk about that with your children, family and loved ones; here are a few of many resources available that you can use this month for Sexual Assault Awareness Month and beyond:
Together we can “Embrace Our Voice” to inform individuals on how they can use their words to promote safety, respect, and equality to stop sexual violence before it happens!
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”