Posted in Uplifting

To Weep

The picture was taken by my daughter a while ago, I didn’t even realize she took it until later, it is about the last picture that was taken of the two of us before my dog passed.

It will be a year soon and I still miss her so, because when the sorrow you feel is too deep to be touched by words. All that you can do is sit in the time of great pain and let tears fall and sometimes even with it being so many months those tears still fall.

You may have lost a pet who was more than an animal to you, they were a loved one. Maybe you have another heart break but as you say goodbye to someone whom you have had by your side, when your marriage fell apart and your kids grew and then stretched their wings, it was always my sweet baby girl, laying her head on me to comfort and listen as I talked about life. It was her comfort that was given without hesitation. It was her just being with me that gave more support than any words. In her quiet way she spoke volumes.

I think of this and wonder why we as humans fill the need to speak to fill the space of the hurt with words instead of just being present in the pain. Is it that pain scares us so much we don’t know how to react? So, we think that some profound thought that may be well meaning needs to be said to fill the space instead of our presence, so we are kept at arm’s length in hopes that the pain doesn’t somehow infect us

I think that sometimes all that is needed is just to have someone sit and weep with you as you are in that pain.

I love the fact the shortest sentence in the Bible is John 11:35 “Jesus wept.” He didn’t come in with great words (although he could have) to his friends’ sisters that were crying over the loss of their brother/his friend. He didn’t make light of it either, he just came to them in the moment and noticed their sadness and wept.

Today if someone is hurting just sit with them when they grieve don’t try and push your agenda to make yourself feel better but instead do what Jesus did and just weep with them.
Sometimes filling a void with words only fall flat but sitting and honoring their feels goes a long way.

Side note:

You will be with me always my sweet girl, thank you for the joy you have brought to me. I feel so blessed to hurt so exceedingly because that only means I was able to love so much!

Posted in Recipes

Vegetarian Tofu Salad

vegetarian tofu salad

I have been blogging a lot of recipes that are either a frozen treat or no cooking is involved because if you are like me in these dog days of summer the last thing you want is something that heats you up more than you already are.

I went out to breakfast with my daughter recently and noticed chicken salad was a new item on the menu, we both are vegetarians but talked about how much we missed having this old classic sandwich or a scoop on a chef salad. I have made a chickpea salad and it is good, but their great picture of the chicken salad got me wanting a new way to eat an old classic but without the meat.

This is a great alternative to the classic dish, and it has some great health benefits, plus you can swap out ingredients or add ones you like in your chicken salad.

To drain the tofu, place tofu in bowl on top of a towel then crumble it
pull towel around crumbled tofu twist and squeeze until all liquid is removed

when tofu is drained remove from towel, add remaining ingredients

Vegetarian Tofu Salad:


Serves: 3 (approx. 1 cup each)
Total Time: 15 min. Prep Time: 15 min. Cooking Time: None


1 lb. firm tofu, drained, patted dry
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup sliced green onion
3 tablespoon mayonnaise
3 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill (or 1½ tsp. dry dill)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Pink Himalayan salt and ground black pepper per taste

Transfer tofu from towel to a large mixing bowl. Add celery, bell pepper, red onion, green onion, mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, dill, lemon juice, salt, and
pepper to tofu; toss to combine. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
(Any plain, unsweetened vegan yogurt will work here too like coconut, almond, or soy.)

Posted in Recipes

Cool Summer Treats

Lemon Italian Ice

I think it is safe to say that during summer we are all looking for some taste treats to cool us down. I made these ones with my grandson, so you know not only are they easy to do but less sugar than some that you can buy. Plus, the freezer does most the work.

This first recipe is lemon Italian ice, it’s refreshing without a lot of sugar, and this is a great option if you don’t eat ice-cream. Not a fan of lemon but want to still try this recipe try lime, grapefruit or watermelon. just replace the lemon juice with desired juice of any fresh fruit that you prefer.

Lemon Italian Ice:

2 cups of water

1/4 cup of raw sugar

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1/4 cup of lemon juice

In a medium saucepan on medium to high heat add water and sugar. Stirring until sugar is melted, add lemon zest then let infuse for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes pour mixture over cheese cloth or very small strainer to remove the lemon zest from water and sugar mixture, if you don’t mind the zest skip this and just add lemon juice after the 20-minute cool down mix together then pour in 11×9 pan. (If you don’t have this size then just one that you have is fine but remember this is going in the freezer and the bigger the pan the faster it freezes) Place pan in freezer for about an hour then remove, place pan on counter and using a fork rake the mixture, then place back into the freezer. You will want to do this raking step every half hour after until mixture looks like an “ICE”/ Italian ice. Then serve in small bowls and enjoy.

Now this next teat may even temp those that don’t like bananas, I am not a big fan of frozen bananas, but this tasty treat not only is sweet but a nice healthy treat I found on Pinterest, and this is defiantly not a fail thanks to Avocodo_skillet. (If you want to check them out, they have some really great video recipes to watch and even try.

Banana Twix:

First:

Vegan caramel:

1/4 cup almond butter

2 tablespoons warm melted coconut oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla

In a bowl mix all the above ingredients until smooth.

Rest of ingredients:

Dark Chocolate (melted)

Pink Himalayan salt

Ripe Bananas cut length ways in half then then you’ll need to cut those in half, so you end up with four pieces from one banana. (You may use as many bananas as you want)

Melt dark or milk chocolate in a small pan on medium heat or may use microwave. When I melted my dark chocolate, I also put a few drops of cinnamon essential oils in for a twist, plus for those in my family that haven’t jumped on the whole dark chocolate bandwagon I did some with milk chocolate.

With the cut-up bananas spread the vegan caramel on the 1/4 pieces of banana, drizzle (or if you like it heavier pour a light coat of melted chocolate, sprinkle with salt. Place in freezer for 1-2 hours.

Eat and enjoy!

Posted in essential oils, Recipes

Peach Mango Smoothie

The summer is in full swing and maybe you are looking for ways to nourish your body but still have a nice cool treat. This recipe is great for that plus it’s quick to make, only about 5 minutes, not bad for a cool healthy filling treat.

Some might like to have it on a warm summer morning for a quick breakfast, but I have found this is great for the midafternoon when you are hot, sleepy, hungry and in desperate need of a pick me up.

You may use any protein powder, but I used a vegan base that has plant protein with other vitamins and supper foods in it but if you don’t have a good protein powder or like it try using unsweetened Greek Yogurt. This calls for frozen peaches and mangos but if you have fresh on hand that is even better, just make sure you add some ice.

Also, this recipe has Tangerine essential oils, so make sure you use only pure essential oils. Tangerine helps with calming, clearing and connecting when diffused or inhaled and when ingested can be great for immune boost and cell protection. Not only do you get great protein when using good protein powder and then the benefits of the peach and mango, but the oils help in ways maybe you never realized.

I had problems uploading pictures, so I used this refreshing picture of a peach.

air bubbles bubbly clean close up
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Ingredients:
½ Cup frozen peaches
½ Cup frozen mangos
2 scoops protein powder
12 oz cold water
3 drops Tangerine pure essential oils
Instructions
Put all ingredients into blender.
Blend on highest setting for thirty seconds.
Serve immediately.

Posted in Recipes

Vegan Dip Pasta

I have always enjoyed making something then changing it up to turn it into something else. When I made this dip, (see previous weeks post) I couldn’t wait to see all the ways I could use it and of course since I love pasta my mind went there and came up with today’s recipe to share.

I did use lentil pasta, making this an even higher in clean protein plus stabilizing your blood sugar, heart healthy, lowers cholesterol, digestion, and works great for all who need to eat gluten free food, but any of your favorite will work too.

I also found doing the vegan dip a day ahead of time then saving it in a jar made this a meal that can be made in less than 30 minutes and if the salad is made in the morning before you head out something cool and tasty to come home to or taken to a BBQ later.

I added the recipe for the raw vegan dip to this post for those who don’t feel like scrolling. (Please see the recipe below)

Raw Vegan Veggie Dip:

Ingredients

1-5 cloves garlic

1 15 ounce can of chickpea rinsed and drained

2 lemons juiced

2 cups spinach

1/2 – 1 full cup Kalamata olives

2 stems fresh basil

1 small bundle Italian parsley

1 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1 yellow squash

1 zucchini

3 roma tomatoes

Salt and black pepper per taste

1 drop Oregano oil

2 drops Rosemary

4 drops Fennel oil

3 drops Basil oil

Red pepper oil per taste for on top

Optional

2 red and orange bell peppers

1/2 cup of almond or pine nuts (these nuts make a very nice addition)

Put all chopped ingredients except essential oils into a blender and pulse until smooth. When dip is smooth add essential oils one drop at a time to taste. You do not have to use all the recommended drops, top with the red pepper oil.

Lentil Pasta, Raw Vegan Dip, Tomatoes, Kalamata olives and Artichoke hearts

Vegan Dip Pasta

Time 20 minutes or less if using already made dip Serves 5-6

1 box of pasta cooked per package directions

Raw vegan dip per taste

Kalamata olives cut in half and per taste

1 small jar of marinated artichoke hearts drained

Cherry or any small tomatoes per taste and if desired cut in half

Feta cheese crumbled per taste for on top (can use vegan)

After cooking pasta per package directions assemble the salad and top with feta then enjoy.

This is a great summer side salad or filling and healthy enough for a nice light cool main course and if you want to get creative the skies the limits for what you put in it.

Posted in Uplifting

My new Normal

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I have been on a long hiatus with my blog, and it feels like my life and here’s why.

I am a woman in the middle of life (and no I don’t mind growing older, it’s a privilege denied to some) …I have been married (as some know) divorced and yes still a sucker for punishment remarried. A mother and now grandmother who loves chocolate, with a huge, sweet tooth enjoys baking and to balance out my sweet tooth I have found one of my favorite pastimes, healthy cooking. I do some crafts every chance I get and go through periods when knitting is enjoyable. The great outdoors is where I find my comfort and if I could have a huge garden I would.

My list goes on, but I think you get the jest that just like you I have so many sides of me. I am such a private person, but I am trying to grow and step out of my comfort zone.
I have found that going out of my comfort zone has been thrust upon me, I have been diagnosed with a chronic condition that affects every part of my life. I understand fatigue!! I understand that you may look healthy but on the inside the list of hurt, aches and pains are too many to mention. I now am learning to ask for help and to be honest with those closest to me how I feel, not to just press on but to accept help, that is a tuff one but so needed for me now. I am also finding my voice and how to share my health journey so that others don’t feel so alone or may pick up on some tips that may help.

Because I was a vegetarian/yogi that ran miles I had the thought that I was doing everything I could to stay healthy, but that is the thing with a health condition that arises, it will take what you thought was your healthy life and turn it upside down but just because my health is what it is it doesn’t mean I will give up. I have learned to embrace my struggle and if you want to share in this wonderful journey with me, I will post the good, the bad and all in between. I can show you what has helped me to embrace my “new normal”
I will also have healthy recipes, fitness programs, a community of Wellness Marvels on Facebook, if you want to join me there, we will uplift each other up in a no judgement kind of place! Need meal prep help? Yep, I have that too and the best part is its nutritional help from experts.

I want to empower women that even with a health condition or change in direction it is not the end but just a turn in the page and a new story to be written.

Side note, I had published this in 2019 but felt I should give an update and bring it back for those who may have missed it or to let those of you who read it know that I still have my health and wellness/fitness group that is for all who wish to get healthier but need help getting there. I am also a yoga instructor now, never thought I would be but find it helps me even more in my practice. If you are curious about my groups, please message me or visit the link below.

https://mysite.coach.teambeachbody.com/?coachId=2832050

Posted in Recipes

Raw Vegan Veggie Dip

I thought that with summer in full swing I would share this dip that is the perfect light snack or a wonderful spread in a wrap for a light cool dinner. I found this great recipe off the doterra (essential oils) blog when I was in search of a great dip, I tweaked and changed a few things and made it into a meal, but I am so glad I found it, this is a great healthy recipe just in time for summer.

With the essential oils in this you will need to make sure you have pure essential oils only, if you do not have them then I would substitute the essential oils with herbs. You will reap a lot of health benefits with the oregano, fennel and basil oil they help maintain a healthy digestion. Then add the chickpea for protein and the veggies with vitamins. This dip gives you a wide range of fresh healthy goodness you can’t beat.

Raw Vegan Veggie Dip:

Ingredients

1-5 cloves garlic

1 15 ounce can of chickpea rinsed and drained

2 lemons juiced

2 cups spinach

1/2 – 1 full cup Kalamata olives

2 stems fresh basil

1 small bundle Italian parsley

1 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1 yellow squash

1 zucchini

3 roma tomatoes

Salt and black pepper per taste

1 drop Oregano oil

2 drops Rosemary

4 drops Fennel oil

3 drops Basil oil

Red pepper oil per taste for on top

Optional

2 red and orange bell peppers

1/2 cup of almond or pine nuts (these nuts make a very nice addition)

Put all chopped ingredients except essential oils into a blender and pulse until smooth. When dip is smooth add essential oils one drop at a time to taste. You do not have to use all the recommended drops, top with the red pepper oil.

Serve with vegetables, pita bread, chips or spread on a wrap layer with your favorite veggies roll and enjoy! (I even found this makes a great sauce for a summer pasta that I will share next week)

Posted in Recipes

Zucchini Lentil Skillet

I thought that I would make a zucchini lasagna. In fact, I had all the ingredients. In place of the noodles, I would put very thinly slice zucchini, but as you can see, I changed my mind at the last minute.

I decided I didn’t want to have the oven on so I would make a one pot dinner in my skillet. This dinner is fast and great for you. with the lentils and soy chorizo you have some clean protein as well as many other health benefits then add zucchini which is high in antioxidants, helps with digestion, blood sugar levels, bone and heart health, even has been found to help with weight loss. Plus, the fact that zucchini is so plentiful you may need a new idea when you have so much of this vegetable you are giving it away.

Zucchini Lentil Skillet:

Total time 30-40 minutes, Serves 5

3 small zucchinis, 2 shredded 1 diced

1 can of diced tomatoes with onions and garlic

1 jar of marinara (I made my own ahead of time, but store bought is great too)

1 small onion diced

4 cloves of garlic diced

1 cup of cooked lentils

1/2 cup of mozzarella/parmesan

1/2 package of soy chorizo

1 tablespoon of olive oil


In a large skillet over medium high heat add olive oil, onion, garlic and diced zucchini. Sauté until onions are translucent and zucchini is half cooked then add soy chorizo and lentils stir and turn down to a low heat then add canned tomatoes, shredded zucchini and marinara continue to cook on low for about 15 minutes then add cheese and cook on low until it is melted.

Serve on a plate with parmesan if desired and enjoy.

Posted in Uplifting

God’s Timing

I have been praying on a certain issue for years. At times I feel as if God works like a crock pot, but I would rather He was a microwave.

I know God is hearing me and yes, the thought has crossed my mind that my answer could be a no but then I come across a part in the Bible that reminds me that my timing is defiantly not Gods.

 

The Healing at the Pool on the Sabbath

John 5:1-15

Sometime later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. [4] [b] One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”

11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”

12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”

13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.

14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.”

 

As I was reading this the other morning right after my long prayer, I got stuck on one part of the passage for the longest time. No, it wasn’t on the fact of a healing on the Sabbath, yes that’s a big one but all I could see was a man had been an invalid for not one or two years but a LONG 38!! As I reread and thought about this, I had such a deep overwhelming connection to him. This man went to the pool year after year. He didn’t give up he just went like clockwork. His miracle came with no bells or whistles after all this time of waiting, in fact he couldn’t even say who, when asked. This man with no name has made such an imprint by his unwavering faith, his name wasn’t needed his action spoke volumes.

I won’t forget this man’s persistence. My prayer will be answered, it might come on a day that I wouldn’t think it should happen on or perhaps in such a quite way I won’t realize what is happening, but it will happen. It might take a bit more time, that’s all.

Posted in Recipes

Spaghetti Squash Parmesan

I think I am ready for Autumn. I know summer hasn’t even officially started yet, but I seem to look forward to Autumn coming more and more each year.  I look forward to cooler weather, comfort food, the changing of the leaves, walking in the cooler temperatures with leaves crunching under my feet and of course everything pumpkin.

So, it is no surprise that when I was in the store and found a good-looking spaghetti squash, I just had to get it. I’m sure we all at one time or another have made this quick easy recipe or some version of it but if you haven’t it is a great one to try.

Spaghetti squash comes into season early Autumn so if you try to eat with the season this recipe is one you will have to wait to try but please try it. This squash is low-calorie, full of fiber, vitamin A and C, and carotene in small amounts on comparison to pumpkins.

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Spaghetti Squash Parmesan:

1 spaghetti squash cooked and removed from shell

1-2 Tablespoon Olive Oil

4-5 cloves of garlic diced

1/2 to 1 cup of parmesan cheese

The following per your taste, salt/pepper, fresh oregano and parsley,

(I have blogged about the easiest way to cook spaghetti squash but in case you missed it.)

Cut squash in half, take out the seeds leaving the middle clean of all “guts”. In a crock pot or roster place the cleaned squash face down in a few inches of water. Cook on low covered for a few hours if using the oven cook covered for 1 hour at 425.When the squash is cool scrape out of shell with a fork into a large bowl, set aside.

In a saucepan add olive oil and garlic, sauté until garlic is fragrant then add the fresh herbs sautéing a few more moments. Add cooked squash then cheese, stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.