This is ME

Helping myself and others become stronger each day!

My journey started because I wanted to be healthy and live longer.

Now, it is more about LIVING!!!.

CHERISH YOURSELF

Find and LIKE Cherish Yourself on Facebook for uplifting posts.

YOU are stronger than you realize!

Through time, I have found that the only limitations we have are the ones we put on ourselves.

Live life by DESIGN... not by default.

I have found my purpose and passion! That is continuously learning and then teaching others how to become the best versions of themselves.!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Basic Vegan Bean Burgers

 There are so many varieties of Bean Burgers, and it is simple to use this basic recipe and add your favorite ingredients! I have seen some with sweet potato, quinoa, corn, mushrooms, or other veggies added. Once you get the hang of this basic recipe, you can start to experiment with different veggies or seasonings to find what you like! I love how it is simple, affordable, and so tasty!

INGREDIENTS:
3 cups cooked black beans
2 cups old fashioned oats (blended in the blender until they make a flour)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
2 Tbsp ground flax seed
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp McCormick hamburger seasoning
1/2 tsp McCormick Worcestershire pub burger seasoning
1/4 tsp seasoned salt (optional)

First, mash the beans. I just use a potato masher. Then add the oat flour and seasonings and mix well.

Form into golfball-sized balls and place on a greased, heated George Foreman grill. If you use a pan or griddle, just flatten the balls out to about 1 inch thick. 
 
I find the George Foreman grill the easiest because it cooks evenly, rounds the edges, and does not need flipping.

Place on bun and top with favorite bruger toppings. Great with mustard, ketchup, tomato, lettuce, avocado, pickles, onion slices, sautéed mushrooms, and more!


Enjoy!





Sunday, March 26, 2017

Olive Garden made at home! Vegan style


AMAZING DINNER TONIGHT!!! We made zuppa toscana soup, homemade garlic breadsticks, grilled pineapple, grilled asparagus and cherry tomatoes, and fettuccine alfredo! 100% vegan 100% delicious ♡♡♡

Recipes below ⤵


SOUP RECIPE

ZUPPA TOSCANA
Homemade vegan style!
serves approx 6
Ingredients:
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 6-7 yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 8 oz Italian Seitan crumbles (pic below)
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
  • 5 large leaves of fresh kale torn into bite-sized pieces, stalk and stems removed

Instructions:
Depending on the Italian veggie sausage you use, you made need to cook the crumbles in a skillet. The ones I used (in this pic) did NOT need precooked and have great Italian seasonings already in them, so not much extra seasoning is needed.

In a soup pot, combine garlic, diced onion, diced potatoes, 'sausage' crumbles, veggie broth and water and cook on medium heat until potatoes are soft (20-25 minutes).


Add almond milk and seasonings and let simmer for 5-10 more minutes. (I actually prepared this the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight to let the flavors soak together, but this is not necessary).

After the soup has simmered, add the kale and let the soup cook for 5 minutes so the kale is heated and turns a darker green color.

Serve and enjoy!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The year I stopped eating animals

I have always been sensitive to the feelings of others. I cry easily in movies. I am saddened by the hatred and negativity in the world. I am an empath and feel I easily connect emotionally to others around me. I want to do my best to reduce suffering and I also do my best to stay positive in times of hardship and trials. This weakness is also my strength and it has been the doorway to a life-changing experience!

MY STORY
I feel my journey as a vegan began in 2014 when our family finally was given a pet! She is the sweetest little dachshund and her name is Bella! She is my little shadow and captured my heart right away. I didn't necessarily want a pet. Mainly because I KNOW how much time and effort and dedication you have to be willing to put forth. They take long-term commitment and care. Initially, I agreed to get her because I wanted to teach my children responsibility, love, nurturing, and also compassion for animals. It is very important to me that my children grow up being KIND and CONSIDERATE of all beings (not just human beings).



It took months of convincing, but we were finally able to convince my husband that we NEEDED her in our family!

She has become such a joy in our home and I can't imagine NOT having her!!! She is pleasant, loving, snuggly, super soft, and just loves to be loved. Although she can't talk, I KNOW she has feelings and feels emotion.
I can tell when she feels love.
I know when she is afraid.
I see when she is happy.

She is able to express a variety of senses although she cannot speak to tell us about them.

So, in short, the things I wanted her to teach my children, she ended up teaching ME. Animals are very much aware of themselves and feel emotions just as we do. I am not sure how people can look at animals and believe they don't have emotions or feelings.


WHY I DECIDED TO STOP SUPPORTING ANIMAL CRUELTY
During a 30-day juice fast in March of 2016, I had been meditating more and had become more conscious about what I was putting into my body. I was watching youtube videos of people juicing or eating raw and reversing diseases. I was intrigued at the health benefits and was planning to do continue after my juice fast with 30 days raw. I had heard of a movie called 'Earthlings' but I hadn't yet had the courage to watch it. I knew it had something to do with veganism and the thought KEPT coming to me that I needed to watch it. Finally I looked it up on YouTube and sure enough---there it was. So I pushed PLAY! And let me tell you, it helped me realize so many things that I didn't know. As I watched, I cried. I cried hard! It was difficult to watch and I had to keep pausing it so I could gain my composure.
The thing that made it the most difficult to watch was that I had Bella on my lap. She watched me intently with a look of deep concern within her eyes. She came closer to comfort me and she looked so worried that I was so upset and crying. At that moment, I realized how hypocritical it was of me to love her so much, yet pay for the mistreatment of so many others JUST like her. It was not a matter of NEED and I had the choice to stop. So I did. That very day I made up my mind that I was never again going to support animal cruelty with my dollars. It also became very clear to me that God is not pleased with the way his precious creatures are being treated. If it is pleasing to him that we NOT use animals, then why do we continue to do so? Were animals honestly put on this earth for the sole purpose of benefiting humans, or do you think it is possible that they feel their own joy, have their own life to live and have a purpose that we cannot understand? I realized that I truly believe that animals aren't just made to be eaten and that every form of life was created with the intent that they may fill the measure if its creation and have joy therein. Animals exist for their own purposes and exist to have joy! They have souls and will be saved just as we will be!


MY FIRST YEAR AS A VEGAN
At first I was mainly surprised and saddened that no one I knew was against mass slaughtering of animals considered 'food' and no one cared that it was considered normal to see piles of dead animals neatly wrapped and placed in piles on the grocery store shelves. I thought that the reason no one else was vegan was because they JUST DIDN'T KNOW what is happening! So my first instinct was to tell everyone! If they knew, they would stop supporting it, right? So I went ALL in, learned what it meant to be vegan, and I stopped consuming all meat, dairy and eggs because I wanted to set the bar high for myself. If you realize something is not good, you don't continue to support it, do you? Even if it is a little bit, or once in a while? No! You boycott it completely because the law of supply and demand is real! If the demand goes down, then the supply is also reduced. That simple. I just wanted to share the truth with people and expected people to change. If only THAT were as simple. I was faced with resistance at every angle, and still am today, but that won't stop me! I think I have heard every reason in the book for why people can't stop eating dead body parts, and I have heard this question many times--- "What DO you eat?" My answer is simple. Everything but dead animal parts or secretions that come from animals. Does it come from an animal? No? Then I will try it!

As far as cooking goes, there is definitely a learning curve. You have to first change your mindset and belief that what may have been normal before, is no longer the case. From infancy we are conditioned to believe that some animals are 'pets', some animals are 'food', some animals are 'clothing', and some animals are 'entertainment'. When you change those beliefs and see 'meat' for what it really is (the body parts of a dead animal), it makes it much easier to NOT be tempted to eat it. Once you stop eating dead animal parts, the smell alone is enough to turn you away from it. There are countless of online support pages, videos and recipes that have made the transition super smooth! I stayed away from blogging because I was new and learning and didn't want to sound 'preachy' or judgmental. Until now, I have avoided writing on this blog and I don't think I regret it. I likely would have caused more contention than good because I was focusing on the wrong things. I have learned enough now that I am finally comfortable enough sharing my journey! Also, I now have my daughter by my side, since she also decided to join me and become vegan!

WHY I HAVE CHANGED MY APPROACH
After a year of focusing on showing people what NOT to eat, I have learned that people don't want to hear what they are doing wrong. It is human nature to get defensive and shut down, and that is exactly what many people have done. I don't blame them, I just have to learn from it. I also have to remember that it took me years to finally make the change, so I can't expect everyone else to change immediately.

So now, instead of showing people what NOT to buy and eat, I will be focusing more on the COUNTLESS options we CAN enjoy!!! I think people are more open to not eating animals when you give them tasty alternatives that are actually cheaper!
Save money AND save lives? 
Better your health AND better the environment? 
Reduce cholesterol AND reduce killing?
It seems like a win-win!


I hope many can benefit from what I will be posting from now on. Find out what I eat, new recipes I find and create, what I enjoy making on a regular basis, easy inexpensive vegan foods and maybe some inspiration on how you can make small meaningful changes.
I hope you can see that reducing the demand for animal products CAN and WILL reduce the supply which in turn will save lives! That is all I can hope for! 

Much love,



Thursday, September 15, 2016

RAW Kale superfood side salad


RAW KALE SUPERFOOD SIDE SALAD
 Ingredients:
4 cups chopped fresh kale
1/4 cup raw seeds (pumpkin/sunflower)
1/4 cup raw nuts (cashews/pecans/peanuts)
1 cup chopped fruit (grapes/strawberries/mandarin oranges)
1 cup cherry tomatoes (red and/or yellow)
Dressing:
1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp orange juice concentrate
1/2 tsp prepared mustard
1 Tbsp coconut sugar
1/4 tsp poppy seeds
Dash of pink Himalayan salt

 
Chop kale and put in a medium bowl.
Mix together dressing and put on kale.
Toss well to coat all the leaves.

 
Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Try a variety and don't be afraid to add or take out some of the seeds, nuts or fruits!
Let marinade in the Refigerator.
Serve immediately or within a few hours.
Best if used within a couple days.

ENJOY!!!


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I don't struggle with my weight

In my life I have been average weight, then heavier, then lost weight and been average size again, become overweight, and obese, lost weight, gained some back, been obese again, and once again am losing more weight. Some people might assume that I 'struggle with my weight', and most of us have heard this phrase countless times in our lives. I have thought about it, and this is what I have come to conclude: Although my weight has fluctuated significantly throughout my life, I do NOT struggle with it.

Here is what I envision when I hear the word STRUGGLE:

Looks to me, like they are having a difficult time trying to pin one another down. I can't imagine trying to pin part of me down to get control of myself! haha! Although I have experienced obesity more than once, I don't feel like I was struggling with my weight. I still loved myself and always knew that I am a daughter of God. My value did not decrease based on my weight. I may have struggled with overcoming bad food cravings, I may have struggled with whether or not I wanted to exercise, I may have struggled with letting go of negative experiences and feelings, but I don't feel like I struggled with my weight.

When I eat poorly, don't exercise, and harbor negative thoughts, I gain weight. It is that simple. When I eat healthy, take care of my body, and replace the negative with positive, I lose weight. My weight seems to be a direct reflection of OTHER struggles I may be facing, but the actual weight is not the struggle. I stopped 'trying' to lose weight. I stopped focusing on valuing my health. I went back to convenience foods and comfort foods that tasted good to me. It was easy to do, and it was easy to gain weight back. It definitely wasn't a struggle for me. I was still happy. I still had plenty of people that loved me for ME! (and I appreciate you all!) I tried to go back to a healthy lifestyle about a year or so ago, but I wasn't ready or mentally prepared. So I stopped. That wasn't a struggle either. 

When I finally decided I was ready to take charge of my health once again, it was just that: A DECISION. There were no doubts or struggles going on. Only HOPE and EXCITEMENT that I was finally ready to begin again. I learn what I need to do and I do it. No struggle. Only FAITH. With each small step and each small healthy choice I make, I get closer to where I know I am meant to be. Do you tell yourself you struggle with your weight? That MAY just be a limiting belief that is actually keeping your body from letting go of the weight. Think about it. Our minds are MUCH more powerful than we realize!

We each have our own hardships and lessons we must learn in life. It is important to recognize them so we can use them to improve our own future. The past will repeat itself if we don't LEARN from it and make the necessary changes. Take some time every day to sit in silence and DECIDE where it is you want to be in the future! Are the choices you are making today leading you closer or further away from that dream? If they aren't leading you closer, then don't let it get you down. Just take it one step at a time to help yourself realize your true potential! You were made to do great things! Once you determine where you WANT to be, you can then discover what you need to do to get you there. 

The interesting part is that we all have different dreams, and there is no right or wrong way to achieving them! There is not ONE SPECIFIC way that we all must follow. One person's way may not work for someone else. What works for someone, is not a one-size-fits-all method for the next. If someone tries something that doesn't stick, and they give it up, does that mean they are a quitter? I don't think so. It just means they have to get creative to find what works best for THEM! And in the end, it's not even about the destination, it is about the JOURNEY! The lessons we learn, the relationships we build, and the life we create!


You are ALWAYS worth it! You are worth the effort! You may have your own personal struggles, but you should never have to struggle with the thought of knowing whether or not you have value. Making the right choice should not be a struggle. You will know because you will have PEACE in your heart and soul! Next time you think of yourself or someone else as "struggling" with their weight, think instead of what they actually may be struggling with, and perhaps you can help them through it. Chances are, their struggle is NOT the weight at all.

May PEACE be with you always!!!!


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Juicing Journey


I found a juicer for an awesome price, and therefore, started my adventure with juicing!

I had mixed feelings about it because of some of the things I have heard. ("Don't drink your calories", "You need fiber along with the fruit or all you are getting is sugar"...etc). I looked into benefits and experiences that others have had, and it was clear to me that the benefits greatly outweighed the cons. Yes, it takes A LOT of veggies and fruits to make one glass of juice, but that is the greatest benefit of all! Think of ALL THOSE NUTRIENTS and raw enzymes!

A couple weeks ago I decided I had had enough of the back-and-forth of watching what I eat, and then not caring and eating whatever I wanted. There was no balance or goals. I have been in survival mode for quite some time now, and I just wasn't focused on any specific health goal or mindset.

I changed my mind because I was sick of feeling tired and run down all the time. I was sick of how my clothes fit me and how I never felt my best. The juicer came just in time! As I was trying to figure out the best way to utilize my juicer for health benefits, I read up on what works, reasons for doing it, and also then discovered others doing juice fasts. During a juice fast, you drink only FRESH juiced vegetable and fruit juice and water for an extended period of time. Some people do days, some do weeks, some do months. This has many purposes, such as giving your digestive system a rest so your body can focus on healing itself from the inside. Our bodies are AMAZING! They can perform miracles if you allow them!

For quite some time, I have felt that my body is full of many toxins (from years of bad habits and living) and unwanted visitors (parasites after a trip to Mexico, for example). I have done a couple 'cleanses' in the past, but I am not one to go for fad diets that promise fast results and rapid weight loss. Those don't really interest me if they aren't sustainable. I know I can lose weight making necessary lifestyle changes, because I have done it before and prefer exercise and diet as means to lose weight.


So what made me decide to do a juice fast? It is mainly for the healing and detoxing purposes. I know that even when I lost 70 pounds, my legs were still full of cellulite, a place where many toxins and fat cells can hide out. I was not able to get rid of that with just exercise and proper diet. I needed a cleanse that works down to a cellular level. When doing a juice fast, your digestive system gets a much needed break and your body is still getting the nutrients and enzymes it needs. While your digestive system is resting, your body is able to concentrate its energy on healing and eliminating built up toxins.

Some of the stories I have read about the experiences of others and how they were able to heal, get off medications, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, reduce goiters, and so many other miracles that our bodies are capable of! I also know that I want to eliminate my bad cravings and get to a point where I eat at least 80% RAW. I just need a bridge to gap where I am now and where I want to be. I am not saying a juice fast is something everyone should do, but I did discover that this is what I need to regain control of my eating habits, and after the extended fast, I know it will be easier to continue enjoying more healthy foods and significantly less amounts of sugar and junk foods.
Today, I am on day 4 of my juicing journey and I can say I have felt some effects of the detoxing, (which is why I took a rejuvenating bath soak using these bath salts), and I have strong willpower to get through this and I have goals to become the healthiest I have been in decades! Gotta start somewhere, and for me, this is my jump start to health and healing!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Homemade rejuvenating bath soak

 This simple yet effective bath soak recipe is easy to make at home and very cost friendly. 

I use a pint size canning jar to store mine. Once you have the jar, lid, Epsom Salt and essential oils of your choice, you can begin!

I start with filling the jar half full of Epsom salt. I choose 3-5 relaxing oils to add (pictured is lavender, peppermint, clary sage, and melaleuca). If you have an aromatherapy blend, that would work great! Just add a few drops of each oil into the Epsom salt. 

Fill the remainder of the jar and add a few more drops of each oil on top. Secure lid and shake well to mix. 

For my weekly soak, I fill the bathtub and add about 1/2 cup of this relaxing Epsom salt mixture and I enjoy soaking in the tub for 20-30 minutes. Epsom salt is great for detoxing, rejuvinating and helping sore muscles! 
Here are some reasons to use it year round!
I love that Epsom salt is very reasonably priced (less than $4 for this large container) and is easy to find at many stores! Or you can get it online and have it delivered right to your door! 

Enjoy this recipe and make your weekly rejuvinating bath soak a priority.

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