Meatless Monday - Raw Chocolate Ice Cream

Monday, September 30, 2013

Find all Meatless Monday posts here.

Welcome to Meatless Monday! It's the one day of the week we ask you to go without meat. See how you feel for just one day without meat. It's not that hard - I promise! Especially with the recipes my husband comes up with. Wait until you try this one!

Today's recipe is actually what you'd call dessert by it's name, but you'd be able to find me eating this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner too. You'd eat bananas at any time of the day, right? Nuts aren't a dessert food. Coconut water goes in all of my smoothies. And cacao? Well, okay. Maybe that's the dessert part. Either way, this stuff is delicious! Enjoy anytime. You have my permission. 

Raw Chocolate Ice Cream



Ingredients:

  • 3-5 frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup  pecans/walnuts/combination of both
  • 1/3 cup coconut water
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder
Add all ingredients to your food processor and mix well!

It made two decent sized bowls. Maybe I just like a big serving though. Haha.

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

Meatless Monday - Spaghetti Sauce

Monday, September 16, 2013

Find all Meatless Monday posts here

Welcome to Meatless Monday! It's the one day of the week I hope you all try to eat all meatless meals. I'd even challenge you to go without animal products at all and see how you feel. Either way, the animals will appreciate you going a day without eating them. ;o)

Today's recipe is my husband's fresh spaghetti sauce. He can whip this up in less than an hour, but you can make it an all-day sauce to infuse the flavors of the spices even more. He usually uses Roma tomatoes, but you're welcome to try any kind you have. Romas are small, so adjust for size when finding the amount you need if you opt for a different kind of tomato. I'm sure this sauce would taste even better when homegrown tomatoes are used. Mmmm!

Fresh Spaghetti Sauce



Ingredients
  • ~20 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • Mushrooms, chopped and sauteed (optional)
  • Herbs and spices to taste: 
    • Oregano
    • Basil
    • Garlic powder
    • Onion powder
    • Minced onion
    • Crushed red pepper
    • Salt and pepper
Take the seeds out of the tomatoes. Cut them small enough to go into the blender to liquefy. Also cut the onion to go into the blender as well.

Add garlic cloves to the tomatoes in the blender and blend to a liquid.

Add tomato and garlic to a large pan or pot over a medium to high heat until it comes to a rapid boil. Then back the heat down to a medium/low heat.

If you want to use the mushrooms, have them chopped and sauteed before adding them to the tomato and onion sauce here.

Season with oregano, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, minced onion, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper, etc, to taste.

Let it simmer and it'll get thicker as it cooks. Simmer for however long you desire to let flavors blend.

Makes about 40 oz.

Try this sauce on your favorite pasta noodles. Try brown rice or corn pastas to avoid gluten. Or even top spaghetti squash with this sauce. Let me know if you try it!

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

Meatless Monday - Lentil Burgers

Monday, September 9, 2013

You made it to Monday again! Hopefully today is a meatless day for you all. I'm going to do better at posting these earlier, but there are a few to choose from already up on the blog. It's easy to be meatless at least once a week, with or without my blog. However, I smell today's Meatless Monday recipe cooking, so I'll see you all later. Enjoy!

Vegan Lentil Burgers




Ingredients:
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup lentils, uncooked
  • 1 cup brown rice, uncooked
  • 1.5 cups carrots, finely grated 
  • 1.5 cups oatmeal, uncooked
  • 1 small onion, finely grated 
  • 1-2 tsp garlic powder (to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil in pan to cook patties
Directions:

  1. Cook lentils and rice in 4 cups water for 45 minutes, simmering over low heat in a covered pan. Allow to cool.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. 
  3. Shape into patties and cook on griddle or pan over medium heat until brown.
  4. Enjoy with toppings such as avocado, ketchup, vegan mayo, tomato, onion, or your favorite gluten-free bun. Yum!




Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.


Prayers Answered

Saturday, September 7, 2013

If you would have asked me a couple months ago if I prayed, I'd have told you no. I still may tell you no because I guess I don't consider what I do to be praying. Sure, I wish for things, and sometimes I even tell the universe out loud what I want or need or hope for. Questions are asked as well. And one of my questions was answered in a way I was not expecting at all. That's how it works though, right?

I've always struggled with weight and body image. So when I finally came to this lifestyle, I felt like it would help me create a much more positive body image. Doing the right thing for my body never felt better, and I figured I'd look like all those raw vegans out there sooner or later. But patience is a funny thing, and I rarely have enough to keep me from going crazy some days.

Looking in a mirror at my naked body, I'd ask, "When am I going to think that THIS BODY is good-looking enough? What is it going to take for me to accept how this body looks?"

I've always seen my flaws. My husband loves to point out how ridiculous I sound (in the best way possible), but it was still hard to think I was sexy or "perfect" with my clothes off. People at work were constantly telling me I was too skinny, but they were seeing me in clothes I'd been wearing 40 pounds ago. I was losing weight, getting fit, and feeling healthy, but my body image wasn't improving the way I would have liked it to.

That is, until I got off my birth control pill.

Now, I'm not at all saying that it was clouding my judgment of my body or anything like that. What I am saying is that it created a hormone imbalance in my body. Those fed my anxiety and panic attacks. And when I felt like I was dying, about to drop dead, or completely off my rocker depressed and/or insane, I realized that this body is good-looking enough.

It always was.

Do you see what happened there? I asked the universe to let me look at myself and say, "Hey, you know what? This body I have? It's awesome. It doesn't need a flat stomach or a gap between the thighs. It doesn't need a certain amount of booty or arms that don't jiggle a little. I don't need to have a certain amount of body fat to be sexy. This body is all I'll have, and I better appreciate it for everything it gives me." And guess what? The universe delivered. Albeit in a sneaky and somewhat shitty way, but I will count my blessings where I can.

Another thing I'm not saying is that you have to develop anxiety and panic attacks or have a near-death experience in order to just be grateful for your body and love it for however it looks. I'm just saying that I asked for something and it was certainly given to me. I'm also saying that I could have just loved myself enough to not felt so negatively about my body.

Sure, my stomach isn't flat. No, I don't have washboard abs. And yes, my arms have some jiggle. But damn, this body can do some pushups! And it has a brain that can edit books, and that's what I like to do. It is able to walk long distances. It loves and hugs and breathes and lives. It cares and feels and gives and moves. It can run a mile without stopping. Well, it could. And I'll work my way back up to that if I can. Because this body can do that, for goodness' sake. And I should be proud of that. I eat right, I get enough sleep, I'm exercising again, I soak up the sunshine, and I drink a lot of water. So why not just embrace everything about myself?

True, I have a man who's loved me through it all. I'm sure that helps me accept it a little more, knowing he loves the way I look. But it doesn't have much to do with him. It really hit home when I thought I was truly about to die. And while I didn't realize it at first, it hit me pretty hard, smack dab in the middle of my face. And a weight was lifted off my shoulders.

Sometimes our bodies need rest, and I apparently wasn't listening to mine. Now I am.

Part of what I'm saying here is that we shouldn't focus our energy so hard on looking a certain way. If we truly only have this one life, the last thing I want to do anymore is waste it on the trivial things. You're a person who has a lot to give, so give it freely without concern of your outward appearance. Love who you are, but that means treating your own body right. Nourish it, and it will in turn nourish your life.

Be kind - that includes being kind to yourself.

Eat your fruits and veggies, kids.

First Run in a While

Friday, September 6, 2013

I thought I'd go for a walk this morning. This is kind of a big deal for me. I'll give you a little background.

In a previous post, I've gone over the list of symptoms I've been experiencing recently. They've all created different things that have kept me from exercising. Thus, I've lost a lot of my cardio ability and drive to do anything that would likely make my heart beat faster than normal. I went for a gentle walk last weekend, and it felt good. I figured I'd try again today.

But I put my running shoes on instead.

Yes, I have different shoes for different things. My walking shoes don't support my shins right if I run in them, and my running shoes don't really make my feet appreciate just walking. So I had to make a choice when putting my shoes on. I didn't even hesitate. And it felt so right.

I use my walking times as mini self-therapy sessions. I talk about issues or problems, and usually I find some good answers by getting all my thoughts out into the universe. I'll have an epiphany or two while out there that help me come to terms with the things I'm dealing with at the moment. When I run, though, I try to only concentrate on my breathing. It helps me settle in a way that's probably similar to meditation.

And I was getting good at it too. To run a mile without stopping was really a massive challenge, but I overcame it two times (!!) before I had to stop due to my hormone imbalance. I read that long cardio sessions were not good for hormone imbalances, so I took a break on the running. The imbalance was also causing some depression, so I added some cashews to my diet. Then I started to gain weight - no surprise there - but they really super helped. My mood improved, and my hormones seemed to have found out how to regulate themselves.

I'm feeling a whole lot better, so I've scaled back on the nuts and felt like dialing back into the running. I said I'd do one small run and walk for a while to see how I feel. I did four runs. Nothing too long. Maybe a minute max each. But that was my first run in over a month I think. We'll see how I feel later, but for right now, I'm totally happy with the progress.

I sit here, still sweating from the heat and exertion, feeling brave and accomplished. I smell like sweat and human, and it's glorious. I'll explain why in another post, but take my word for it for now. I'm a happy girl this morning. It was a huge step for me.

Time to edit a screenplay and inhale a whole watermelon now. Have a lovely day! <3

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