Posted in Uplifting


Yes! Spring is here, at least on the calendar. I can smell and see the early signs of spring; the trees are starting to bud; the early flowers have made their way through the soil and are blooming. Even with all this early activity I can’t help but wonder is spring really here to stay or will winter make a comeback?

Will the snow once again blanket the ground instead of the flowers and grass? Will the weather stay a wonderful temperature of not too hot but just that nice mellow warm of in-between summer and winter? As I wonder about the season, we are just starting to enter I find myself mirroring that same feeling for myself. I feel the urge of new life within me, as though I’m starting to come back to life from the winter of ups and downs of cancer. I feel the excitement of new possibilities and zest for life like never before. As though fear has nothing on cancer so why not truly seize the day and truly live while I can. Then the thoughts of will the cancer come back or a secondary one be found?

These back-and-forth thoughts of mine are just as fickle as the weather in early spring, but I know I’m not alone. You don’t have to have cancer to hear the whispers of self-doubt. We all have them, from relationships, career and living out our dreams. Those whispers can keep us from living the life we are meant to live. The whispers of winter can keep you thinking it last forever, that the promise of new life will never come. So, maybe what we need to do is treat those whispers of fear the same way as being followed because those whispers can take your life just like the stranger if left unchecked.

The first is…

Keep calm, acknowledge what’s happening. I know this can be hard, but you can’t ever see the bottom of the pan when the water is boiling, you need it to cool down first.

Pay attention, take those thoughts captive, be alert, don’t let the fear consume you. Don’t just go through life and let thoughts consume you. Be in charge of them, like 2 Corinthians 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Ask for help, Prayer is a big one for me. You can also find someone you trust to confide in because sometimes those whispers are nothing more than a kitty with a very big shadow following you and when spoken out loud you are able to see the truth.

Spring may seem to be on hold BUT it’s still coming, and I can look forward to new life no matter what the calendar or scans say.

Isaiah 43:19

19 See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland

Posted in Recipes

Lentil Goulash

Goulash is a dish that I have always enjoyed but few in my household growing up and even now with my adult children understand why I like this dish so much. I find it a great combination of simplicity meets hardy and there you have goulash. Hungarian goulash is found as far back as the end of the 18th century, as a peasant dish made in the open air by shepherds using kettles. Maybe knowing this you may open you heart just a little to try it again but without the meat.

I may have those early shepherds rolling over in their graves with this recipe or have a few say this is not a true goulash because I took out the meat but whatever the case, I couldn’t help but enjoy this dish and thought it would be great to share, with the health benefits of lentils like the fact that lentils are packed with B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, and potassium. Plus, they are made up of 25% of protein! This dish packs a punch with some really great nutritional value as well as a fast meal if you are in a time crunch and on a budget, which let’s face it most of us are looking for ways to cut that grocery bill.

Lentil Goulash:

1 Cup dried lentils (I used red, they cook a little faster so times will be different using brown/green)

2 – 3 cups of veggie broth or 2-3 cups water and 8 tsp of powdered veggie bouillon (the amount of liquid will depend on the type of lentils so look at the package for the correct amount)

2 – 2 1/2 cups of macaroni noodles cooked to almost done per packaged directions, you will want to leave them a little al dente.

1 14.5 ounce can of crushed tomatoes, not chopped you need the crushed for this dish, so you have a little sauce.

1 small white onion

3-4 cloves of diced garlic

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1 bay leaf, Italian dried herb seasonings, sea salt, black and white pepper per your taste

If so desired top with shredded parmesan

Cook the macaroni noodles according to the package directions, drain then rinse noodles. This can be done while the lentils are simmering.

In a large skillet over medium high heat add olive oil, garlic and onion. Sauté until the onions are translucent add crushed tomatoes and seasonings sauteing a few more minutes then add lentils, veggie broth (or water and bouillon) let simmer for about 20 minutes, but the cooking times will vary depending on the type of lentils you use so look at the package and adjust accordingly. When the lentils are almost done add the noodles simmer for about 5-10 minutes, remove the bay leaf then serve and top with parmesan if so desired.

Posted in Uplifting


Do you remember the fun activity of writing in the dirt or sand? You’d write with a stick or finger, maybe play tick tack toe perhaps another game of looking at footprints and trying to figure out who they belonged to. Any of these are fun but they always make me think of the story in the Bible where Jesus wrote in the sand when the women was caught in adultery.

The woman was brought to Jesus by the Pharisees, we might think of them as hypocrites or maybe the hall monitors of the time, they wanted to tattle on the sinful women testing Jesus, he knew this and rose above it by writing in the dirt and asking who is without sin to cast the first stone. He wrote twice in the dirt who knows what was written but when the Pharisees read it and then asked who is without sin to cast the first stone, they could do nothing but walk away leaving only the women on the ground and Jesus. (John 8:1-11)

I have for years read and loved this story, I feel the love and compassion coming alive from the pages but today something more came to me. I read and reread this because in the passages it says a few things I never got before.

First it says Jesus straightened up and asked the women where are you accusers? At first glance you are probably thinking no big deal but the fact that Jesus was mentioned as straightening up (or he stood up) means he was on the women’s level. Yes, he was at her level the son of God on the level of an adulterous women and then he stood up not a judgmental stance but to show this woman she too could stand tall.

Second, He asked her a question then waited for her answer. He gave her respect by asking then waiting for a reply. After showing her respect he wanted her to see for herself that those that brought her to him were gone and he did not condemn her so why stay on the ground but stand tall don’t do it again. Walk away holding her head high know she was loved and should live that way.

I thought how many times I forget to open my eyes; I stay on the ground beating myself up for the things I have done, I forget to stand up then walk away living loved. I forget I can live no longer condemned a life to its’s fullest loved and forgiven. Whether I live feeling condemned or turn into a Pharisee the hall monitors with the judgments for others neither on is the way God wants us to live.

Maybe a good thing to write down and remember daily is, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? She said no, sir and Jesus said neither do I condemn you.”

Posted in Recipes

Quinoa-Lentil Veggie Burgers


(Daniel Plan Cookbook)

Maybe it’s the thought of spring not too far away but I thought I would share this great recipe that came from a cookbook called “Dainiel Plan.” I have made variations of this recipe so you can take it and have fun with it, plus its a great start to try out a meatless option for when Summer and all those BBQ dinners are here.

Quinoa-Lentil Veggie Burgers:

6 ounces brown or white mushrooms

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 Cup of chopped onion

3 large garlic cloves, minced.

1 Tablespoon wheat-free tamari or soy sauce

1/4 Cup chopped fresh parsley.

2 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano.

1/4 Teaspoon black pepper

1 (15 ounce) can cooked lentils, rinsed and drained

1 large egg beaten.

1/2 Cup (or more) breadcrumbs

4 Tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

4 Teaspoon coarse or whole grain Dijon mustard

For the Toppings/garnish

5 slices mozzarella or jack cheese

5 whole grain or gluten-free buns

Lettuce leaves

5 large slices tomato

These are such a great alternative to hamburgers. You can cook them in the house or in no time BBQ season will be here, making this recipe a great option for all those fun times.

  1. In a food processor pulse mushrooms or chop by hand.
  2.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a sauté’ in frying pan over medium heat. Cook onion until soft. Add garlic and tamari. Cook 1 more minute.
  3. Add mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms release their moisture and are almost dry. Add parsley, oregano, and black pepper. Add lentils and stir well.
  4. Put lentil mixture into food processor, and pulse mixture to grind. and 7 times.
  5. In large bowl, combine mushroom-lentil mixture with beaten egg, quinoa breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and mustard. Moisture level of mixture may vary with the type of breadcrumbs used. It should be very moist, but not be wet. If it feels wet, add bread
  6. crumbs 1 tablespoon at a time.
  7. Divide into 5 portions, about a generous 1/2 cup each. Roll each portion into a ball, then flatten to form a patty. Place on patties on flat plate cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.
  8. Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan. Add patties cook 5-6 minutes per side.

Now that your patties are done, add patty to your whole grain bun. Add your toppings and enjoy!

Posted in Uplifting

Winter Blues

This winter has been one for the record books, it has been one of the wettest and coldest I can remember. It is wonderful for the drought that has plague California and Nevada for so long but has left me in a “funk.”

I don’t know if I should toss it up to the weather or the fact, I have had more life changing health conditions that will be on going for me. I’m thinking that both have a lot to do with my funk. On a lot of days this winter I’ve given myself pep talks and pray like I had never before. This is not like me, this funk, this no energy or wanting to embrace the seasons in my life. Then as I was reflecting on these feelings, I realized that perhaps yes, a lot has happened the last few months and yes this “funk” is with me, but it won’t define me. I may have cancer, but it has given me a new perspective on life. Cancer is not a death sentence; it is a life sentence; it pushes me to truly live in a way I have never before. So, I acknowledge my “funk” that I’m in and validate it, doing so is when I feel free and at peace.  Extending grace and validating feelings sitting in the season of winter is the fastest way to healing.

Pep talks and prayer do work but for me the time I chose to be still and reflect giving grace to myself is when the winter of my soul began to thaw and heal. I think it is amazing that in the stillness of this season is where I am fining more growth so that I can embrace this season in my life, it has been hard but that’s when the most growth happens. I needed this winter of quiet and reflection so I am ready for my spring, when ever that may be.

Just like this winter has been one for the record books so has this time in my life. I have always enjoyed this passage in the Bible, perhaps you will too.

A Time for Everything Ecclesiastes 3:1-22

1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

Posted in Recipes

Veggie Chicken Green Chile Enchiladas

I enjoy all sorts of food but for me there is nothing like Mexican food to bring me back to growing up in Phoenix and enjoying some of the best I have tasted in America. It is with that thought which brought me to making green chili enchiladas. I have tried all sorts of substituents for the meat and really enjoy most of them but in this recipe I used Quorn meatless fillets and found they are in the top three to use for enchiladas.

If you haven’t heard of this brand I have blogged about them before. They come from the UK, 85% of this protein is made of mycoprotein, Myco is a Greek word for fungus,( so I guess I am still stuck on sharing recipes with fungi) This fungus protein has been available for food consumption since 1985 and made from Fusarium venenatum which is a naturally accruing fungus. The process is pretty interesting if you like to Geek out read/watch how they make things.

This protein is high in fiber but low in sodium, sugar and bad fats. I prefer this texture over other prepackage meat substitutes, maybe its my love for fungus, who knows. It has a lower carbon foot print compared to chicken or other meat so that is a big bonus.

Yes, eating fresh non-processed food is the best but I found when combining fresh with this kind of packed food sometimes can be ok and much safer than other alternatives.

The rest of the recipe only has a few more ingredients they are prepackaged but it makes for an easy to prepare meal.

Veggie Chicken Green Chili Enchiladas:

Serving size 3-4 Total time 1 hour and 15 minutes

8 White Corn Tortillas

2 1/2 cups of Cheese of your choice

1 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt

1-2 cups of Salsa Verde

1/4 cup of Veggie broth

1 Package of Quorn Meatless Fillets cooked and cut up in bite sized pieces

To cook the Quorn fillets I found placing them in a small pan with just enough water to cover then adding salt and pepper to the water, place a lid on the pan, cook on med/low for 20 minutes or less but if you are short on time I am sure a microwave will be fine. You know the fillets are done when you can put a fork in them. Take off heat remove the fillets letting them cool on counter. Save the water adding veggie bouillon to the water, if you have less than 1/4 cup of water left just add more to the pan. Shred or cut up the fillets in bite sized pieces.

With pan on the stove on a med/low heat add the pieces of fillets to the veggie broth then add half of the cheese. While stirring the mixture add half the Greek yogurt and half the salsa verde. You want a creamy mixture but not runny. When the cheese is melted and all ingredients are mixed well take of stove.

Warm up tortillas (I find wrapping them in a damp cloth and microwaving them works great but warm them how ever suits you)

While tortillas are warming up in a separate bowl pour remaining salsa verde and yogurt together mixing well.

Place one warm tortilla on counter spoon just enough of the fillet mixture on the tortilla to fill but not over flow. Roll filled tortilla, then place with seam side down in a 7×11 pan that has a small amount of salsa mixture on the bottom continue filling tortillas and placing them in the pan letting them touch. When all the enchiladas are in the pan pour the remaining salsa/yogurt mixture on top add cheese then baking uncovered at 375 for about 45 minutes or until the cheese is melted and it is bubbling.

Posted in Recipes

Tempeh Sloppy Joes and Sweet Potato Fries

Do you ever get hungry for sloppy joes? I do for some reason; I don’t know if it’s because of my childhood or what but they are almost a comfort food for me and being vegetarian, I have gotten very creative and sometimes those recipes are best not repeating but this time I think I came up with a winner and wanted to share it. I am trying to not use as much soy or processed foods since my cancer diagnoses and yes tempeh is cooked fermented soybeans, but I found out that in small amounts it is safe for me to still have some soybeans. Infact the benefits outweigh the risk, or so I was told.

Some of those benefits are stabilizing blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, helps with bone health, improves digestion and one I am really happy about is it has been shown to help with menopause and all those fun symptoms! So, for me it’s a great food to substitute meat with. Tempeh comes in a thin block so you can slice it for strips to be used in place of steak, bacon, lunch meat. Sometimes cutting it into bite size pieces for a nice stir-fry or it’s great to crumble like I did for today’s recipe. I even decided for the sloppy joes I would do a copycat from Manwich for the sauce.

Tempeh Sloppy Joes:

Serving size 4 Total cooking time 30 minutes

1 8-ounce package of plain Tempeh

1 small green bell pepper diced.

1 small white Onion diced.

3-4 cloves of garlic diced.

1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce

1/2 Cup of no sugar Ketchup

1 1-2 Teaspoon of Mustard

1 Teaspoon of Redwine vinegar

1 Tablespoon of brown sugar

1 Teaspoon of vegetarian Boullioun

Chili powder, Onion & Garlic powder, Black pepper, Paprika per taste or about 1 teaspoon each

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

Remove tempeh from package then cut into cubes, this will make it easier to crumble it into the skillet.

In a skillet over medium/high heat add olive oil, tempeh, onion, garlic, bell pepper. Sauté until bell pepper is tender and onions are translucent. Turn heat to low then add remaining ingredients, stir and let simmer on low for about 20 minutes.

Serve with homemade sweet potato fries and enjoy.

Sweet Potato fries:

1-2 sweet potatoes

olive oil

Sea salt or Pink Himalayan Salt

Wash, peel (if desired) sweet potatoes then slice them to the desired size. Place sliced sweet potatoes on a large baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Lightly brush sweet potato slices with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and back at 450 for about 20 minutes but cooking time varies per size of slices.

Posted in Uplifting

I’m going to win!

On my morning walk the other day I heard a big commotion at the front door of a house I was getting ready to walk past. As I looked up to see what was going on I notice a very rambunctious 3–4-year-old girl trying to get ahead of her dad and older sister. She moved past with speed and shouting with all her might of “I’m going to win!” and of course, she did, she made it to their car way ahead of her family who could have cared less, in fact were telling her to slow down, but that didn’t dampen her spirits she jumped up and down with happiness in knowing what she already knew. She had indeed won!

How many of us still have that childlike excitement of things. Or have that ownership of good things to come. The knowing that we can do whatever we put our minds to. That little girl didn’t look at the obvious which was her dad or sister could have beat her with little effort. Instead, she buzzed pass in the firm reassurance of winning even before she made it to the car.

The fact that most of us look at overwhelming odds then choose to see defeat instead of shouting and seizing the victory. Is maybe something that happens as we age. We seem to get jaded by life and the monotony if living can bring.

But….what would it be like if we took some of our life experiences, lessons learned and kept the excitement of the little child in all of us. There would be no stopping us! What would it be like to dream again and go for it. I don’t believe you are ever too old to dream, if you have a pulse and breath coming and going from our lungs then why not?

As I was reflecting on this I am reminded of the parable of the talents that Jesus told.

Matthew 25:14-30English Standard Version

The Parable of the Talents

14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,[b] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[c] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

You may say Jesus is a little over the top with casting the one servant into outer darkness but isn’t that what happens when we let what is given to us be left unused? We are then left in the darkness of despair, feeling less than, depression and hopelessness sets in, to me that is uttermost darkness. I think the one who made us knew we are meant for great things and when we settle for less the overwhelming darkness sets in, but He didn’t want that to happen.

I know with the new year hear maybe with a fresh start we could decide this will be our year to fully embrace our God given potential and not let the nay sayers win. To use our talents and just make a run for it.

I love how Martin Luther King said it ” If you can’t fly the run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”.

Posted in essential oils, Recipes

Honey Lime Chicken Tacos


The cold that seems to be hanging on has me dreaming of warmer days and easy meals with fresh ingredients. So, with my daydream of warm weather I was trying to think up a good recipe to share that is easy and uses essential oils in it.

I couldn’t come up with anything, maybe the cold has got me stuck and unable to think of something good to make, so I decided to look in a great recipe book and found exactly what I was wanting but didn’t realize it. Todays recipe comes from a great little recipe book The Essential DIY Recipe Series.


I got it from Young Living but I’ sure you could find it any place online.

I am going to give the exact recipe for Honey Lime Chicken Tacos but when I make it for me or others that don’t eat meat, I substitute the chicken with tofu and adjust the cooking time accordingly, so instead of hours I can do this in about 30 minutes because I use tofu.

Honey Lime Chicken Tacos


1/4 Cup Honey

1/4 Cup Lime Juice

2 Cups salsa Verde

2 Teaspoon of Taco Seasoning (I use my own assortment of seasoning such as Chile, Cumin, white and black Pepper, Onion, Garlic powder, and salt)

4-5 Chicken Breast (or meatless option 2 14oz extra firm tofu)

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

4 Drops Lime Essential Oil

1 Drop Cumin

Garnish Ingredients:

Shredded Cheese

Sliced Avocado

Diced Tomato

Cilantro Leaves

Red Onion Slices


Stir together honey, lime juice, salsa verde and taco seasoning. If using chicken add a little of the sauce to the slow cooker (enough to coat the bottom) place chicken breast in the slow cooker and top with remaining sauce. Cover, and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. When chicken is done shred with forks. Stir together the chicken, sauce, sour cream, and essential oils. Keep warm until ready to eat.

(For tofu, drain tofu and remove all moisture out of tofu by covering tofu with towel and placing a heavy object on top for at least 10 minutes then cut into cubes. Pour small amount of sauce in a warm pan add cubed tofu and remaining sauce, sour cream and essential oils, simmer for about 20 minutes. I have done it this way and browned the tofu first then added sauce, either way this is a good substitute for chicken tacos.)

When serving fill corn taco shells or corn tortillas with chicken/tofu mixture and add the garnishes, enjoy.

Quick little tip when cooking with essential oils always remember not all oils are safe to ingest. You must always use high-quality pure therapeutic grade essential oils and ALWAYS read the label on the bottle to make sure it is safe to use internally.

Posted in Uplifting

The Grand Finale

I have always enjoyed fireworks but loved the grand finale the best. Just knowing that the best is coming at the end, the anticipation of all the different fireworks put together for one last impressive show is the best part for me.

It doesn’t stop there for me the grand finale at the end of The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade can almost bring a tear to my eye.

Maybe for me the ending of things is the beginning of something new is also another reason for me to enjoy the grand finale, who knows.

I have been thinking a lot of endings and beginnings lately, maybe because of a new year or because of my career and business adventure who knows but as I pondered this a thought came to mind that I had never really thought of.

I have always loved being a girl, even at a young age I would state with such pride “girl power”. I never understood how some males thought females are second class. I can get on my soap box on that one and stay on it instead I will spare you.  I believe that we were created by God, that we are so special that each of us are unique but as I read Genesis 2 about creation I realized that us women were not created as an after thought or second but as the grand finale. He wrapped up his creation with women. How awesome is that!

Genesis 2:20-24 New International Version (NIV)
20) So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam[a] no suitable helper was found. 21) So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[b] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22) Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[c] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23) The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”

In this world as women we can beat ourselves up and accept the thought we are second class but if we stop with the self-loathing, comparing…..on and on goes our list that bring doubt and not living our best lives.  Instead maybe when we start to go down the list of we aren’t enough we can stop and tell ourselves we are the grand finale so in that itself we are special and so loved by God that He chose to save the best for last.