Welcome, Welcome, Ever Welcome!

If you are here, you may be looking for tips on health. I’d like to share with you a little bit about myself and what being healthy means to me.

First things first, who am I??? My name is Darci, I’m a; mom, animal lover, Christian, lover of the great outdoors, home school teacher, personal trainer student, vegan, DIYer, gardener, pretty much a jack of all trades. I got into fitness about 3 years ago when I decided to sign up for a Spartan Race. Yes, I’m one of those crazies too. I signed up for that race to prove to myself how strong I am, and it worked, hello confidence boost! I couldn’t believe how great I felt accomplishing that goal of crossing the finish line. It inspired me to dig deeper and I realized how unhealthy so many aspects of my lifestyle were. One day at a time I continue to focus on learning more about living a healthier lifestyle and sharing the nuggets I learn.

My love for health and fitness has grown to include every aspect; exercise, nutrition, mental health, and spiritual health also. I hope that with each post I share, you may benefit from a little something to improve you health too!

❤ Darci

PS. I’d love to get a note {{ DarcisFitKick@gmail.com }} from you if you have any questions or are looking for one on one support.  Spartan




Exercise is life up in here. If I miss my workout, I tend to be grumpy, less patient, and if I miss it repetitively I tend to get a little depressed. There’s no secret that I’m a sweaty beast when I work out, my kids avoid post workout hugs like the plague. I had been using traditional deodorant and/or antiperspirant since I can remember, oh the high school days of sweating during gym class, not such a fond memory… I digress, the further I venture into becoming my healthiest self, the more I realize how many toxins are in things we use daily. Have I eliminated everything, no, but I’m trying to avoid the things where I can.


After learning that antiperspirants block your sweat glands, and hearing that the aluminum used to do so has been linked to women who get breast cancer, getting it 15 years earlier than the women who didn’t use antiperspirants, I went on the hunt for a more natural deodorant. I had a little breast cancer scare a few years back, it ended up being nothing but it still scared me enough to make me want to be proactive instead of reactive with my health. Unfortunately the first glass slipper didn’t fit. So I thought I’d share with you my experience trying to find the best option for me.

Option 1: Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya 24 Hour Deodorant

I’ll be honest, I’m cheap, found this deodorant at Walmart. After spending an average of $4 on my old antiperspirant deodorant, paying double that was a bit of a shocker. I took a quick glance over of the ingredients and saw they used vegetable glycerine (be-still my vegan heart, though it doesn’t claim being vegan on the wrapper) but also that the shea butter is a fair trade ingredient. If you’ve never looked up fair trade, I’d encourage you to learn about it, not just for your sake but for your fellow man, woman and child.

I liked this deodorant for the first couple of days, especially the smell. It did the job a deodorant should do BUT my armpits didn’t like it. I started to get rashy and irritated skin. I’m guessing it’s because of the sodium stearate, fancy talk for baking soda. I used coconut oil and baking soda as a face wash for a while and had the same reaction. On to option 2.


Oh how I miss that long hair!!!!

Option 2: Nourish Organic Stick Deodorant, Almond Vanilla

I made sure to check the ingredients for sodium stearate and was in luck, this deodorant was even a little bit cheaper, about $6 a stick. Which was surprising because it seems like organic means spendy. I loved that they promote being vegan, cruelty free and chemical free. I used this deodorant for a few weeks before realizing the negatives. I worked hard to earn my Insanity shirt and I started seeing what looked to be stains in the armpits. {insert frowny face here} Thankfully I have a handy Fels-Naptha bar that works great for getting out oil stains. Also realized that I wasn’t feeling as fresh and deodorized as I should. Another stick bites the dust, onto option 3…

Option 3: Schmidt’s Rose + Vanilla Deodorant

I’m starting to see a pattern here, each of these deodorants has vanilla in them. Makes me think of the 90’s when Vanilla Fields perfume was popular, remember Sunflowers? That was my favorite. Any who, I was a little nervous trying this deodorant because it also has sodium stearate in it, you’d think I’d learn. I put a post out on FB in the Chicked Nation Group to see if anyone had a recommendation, this brand was the top, top, top choice. On a whim, we were at a natural foods store in Hood River, on our way to camp when I found some. Ten dollars, was a risk I was willing to take since Troy was paying for it, even though we pool our funds. Mind games at their finest. {Yes I’m rolling my eyes at myself.} But guess what…. Winner, winner, vegan dinner! I’m on pit stick number 2 of this same brand and I’m still loving it. Even though it uses coconut oil also, it’s not so much that it slicks on easy. A couple swipes and I’m good for the day and there’s no new pit stains. There must be a small enough amount of baking soda that it doesn’t bother me, I guess I’ll never really know. I’m just happy to have found something that works! Maybe next stick I’ll try a different flavor, who am I kidding, I’m a creature of habit. Although, they do have a holiday line. ♥O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree ♥


Want to know what’s in your deodorant or other cosmetics???

As I was hunting to learn more about ingredients in deodorant, I found this website called EGW’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. It lists all sorts of make-ups, lotions, soaps, etc. and rates them. High risk or low risk. Check it out!

1.14.18 to 1.20.18

Week 3 of Me

This week didn’t go 100% as planned but allowing flexibility in my routine has become important. It’s easy for me to become “obsessed” about not missing a workout. But I know that becoming obsessed over my workout results in a lack of satisfaction throughout the rest of my day. It can trigger me to beat myself up for “slacking.” I couldn’t be happier with my growth towards being a little more spontaneous.

Day 15: Total Body

There is nothing like getting outside for a workout. Especially on a day that’s a perfect temperature for a workout. Doing burpees in the damp grass is the perfect prep for a Spartan Race. I made it just past the 10 box jumps and I plan to repeat this “test” in two weeks to see how my speed and endurance has improved.

Day 16: Snow Day

Today was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, meaning, no school. I was able to go to the mountain with all 3 baby bears.

If there was one thing I could get people who don’t enjoy exercise to do, it would be to find something fun to do. Even if you aren’t doing a workout routine, you are still getting in movement which is good for the body. I’m not actually sore after our day at the mountain but I know my kids are! I’m giving credit to regular squats and squat jumps lately. I workout for that reason, I want to be able to enjoy active living without feeling like I need to take a break to catch my breath.

Day 17: Legs (with a bit of chest)

I ❤️ my new workout toy!

Day 18: Mashup of Stuff

I think dead lifts are probably my most favorite move. I think it’s because I’m sore every time I do them. There’s nothing quite like getting a workout done and waking up the next morning knowing why you’re sore. I’d rather know why I’m aching than ache because I wasn’t active and received an injury because of that.

Day 19: Arms

Preparing for this routine I decided to load up my barbell with 50 lbs. I picked it up and attempted to get a barbel curl done and I couldn’t do it. When I was going to the gym I remember doing curls on the machine with 50 lbs and struggling but getting it done. Then my 15 year old son came in, and picked up the barbell like it was a stick and busted out multiple curls with no problem. Let me tell you, I know that men are built physically stronger, but I am pushing harder than before because I’m not ready for him to be stronger than me yet!

The hardest part of today’s workout was the rest between sets. It’s crucial to get that time in so that your energy restores and you are able to complete the next set.

Day 20: Legs

Running, then adding in some harder workouts is great for endurance training. Running may be tough but putting a harder move between makes it seem almost like a rest time returning to your run. This intern makes your running ability stronger. I’m excited to see how my running times improve adding this technique into my routine.


Day 21: Rest Day
Forcing myself to rest is tough. But I have learned that rest days are necessary for recovery. I think I did more sitting today than I’ve done in a month. I may actually be starting to enjoy it.


White Bean & Cabbage Soup

I don’t think I could ever get too much soup, it’s one of those things I could eat every day during the cold winter months. I’ve learned so much about the different benefits of eating beans and cabbage, garlic and onions, peas and lentils, and so many other souper soup ingredients. Even leeks, which I had never heard of until last year… I was seriously the girl who only ate salad, or broccoli and a few other veggies in between. Branching out and trying new things has really made cooking interesting, fun and tasty! Plus I just feel good.

I am pretty sure I was suffering from leaky gut before I opted to do “Microbiome Bootcamp” in September. If you’ve never heard of leaky gut, or gut health, please take a listen to this {{podcast}} by Chalene Johnson, it’s actually a 2 part series but so much good information. Of course I self diagnosed myself, after not only listening to this podcast but reading a few books on gut health, and realizing I had an upset stomach almost every night! After deciding I was sick and tired of feeling, sick and tired, I committed to following the meal plan in the book “The Microbiome Diet,” by Raphael Kellman, M.D., and it did the trick. It’s basically a process of elimination, and then focusing on eating really good foods for the bacteria in your guts. I realized that my system is sensitive to gluten and soy. If I keep the amount of those two foods to a minimum, my stomach is happy. If I eat too many, my system reacts sort of like a food allergy does, a little bit will makes you uncomfortable but a lot will result in a full on reaction. But really the whole plan is about balancing the good bacteria in your gut.

When I found the White Bean and Cabbage Soup recipe on Facebook, all I could think was gut health! Leeks and carrots are a couple of the gut health superfoods that Dr. Kellman talks about in his book. I decided to tweak the original recipe a bit because black pepper can be a system irritant, and I didn’t have a few of the original ingredients. I think it worked out rather nicely.

White Bean & Cabbage Soup


  • 1 Leek, roughly chopped
  • 2 Carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, add more if you like a little extra heat
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Celery Seeds
  • 1 small Green(or Purple) Cabbage – shredded
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1/4 cup Dry Dill
  • 10 Sprigs Thyme or 1 tbsp Dry Thyme
  • 15 oz canned Fire Roasted Tomatoes, diced
  • 10 cups Vegan ‘Chicken’ Vegetable Broth
  • Splash of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Himalayan Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste (optional, I say optional because black pepper is an irritant)
  • 2-15 oz canned White Navy Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup Italian Parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Chives, snipped


  1. Heat up a large soup pot over medium low heat. Add the leeks with a splash of water and a shake or two of salt.

  2. Stir in the carrot, red pepper flakes, cumin, and celery seeds, cook everything together for about 5 minutes until the leeks have softened.

  3. Add the shredded cabbage, bay leaves, dill and thyme, (add optional black pepper here) give it a stir and cook together another 5 minutes or so until the cabbage has softened. Cooking with a lid on the pan will help steam the cabbage and soften it up faster.

  4. Pour in the tomatoes and vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Let the soup simmer covered for another 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings with more Himalayan salt and the apple cider vinegar.

  5. Add the navy beans to the cabbage soup. Cook a few more minutes until just warmed through.

  6. Serve hot, garnished with the fresh parsley and chives. The garnishes gave the soup extra flavor. Try adding more beans, or even cooked quinoa for a heartier dish.

    Enjoy hot now, and reheated tomorrow for extra flavor absorption into the cabbage and beans!

Question for ya…

I changed the order of ingredients from the original recipe to the order of use. Do you think it’s more helpful to leave canned ingredients, spices, and produce grouped together or to have them in order of use? I’d love your feedback. ❤



1.7.18 to 1.13.18

Week 2 of Me:

I’m learning to love pushing myself past my own expectations again. Boot camp at the gym was such a driving force before because I wanted to compete with whoever it was next to meet busting out push ups too. Having signed up for a Spartan Race again, maybe helping me want to push harder also. Only downside is my hand is bothering me again, makes push ups and burpees a little tough(er). I just do them on my fists instead of my palms though. Enough whining right, get onto the workout stuff!

Day 8: Total Body

One minute of Bosu burpees was good stuff! Basically you hold your Bosu ball through out the whole burpee process. Being in the plank with the Bosu ball worked the stabilizer muscles in my shoulders as I did the push up, soo good, and sooo needed! After this workout I also included some foam rolling to help loosed up my hip flexors and lower back. I’ll have to share a how to video on that soon.

Day 9: Chest & Back

I’m loving my TRX and Bosu time lately, only problem I’m starting to realize is that it’s hard to do the fly’s in my hallway. I ended up doing a Y shape instead of the traditional fly, still worked my targeted area, just a bit differently and other muscles also. I ended up having to play taxi so I ended up skipping the run, I’ll be including more running on next weeks schedule.

Day 10: Leg Day

Maybe all the burpees I’ve included is what has my hand acting up angry. After one round my legs were feeling this, I used weights when I did the sumo squat with the calf raise and my calves were finally sore.

Day 11: Core & Shoulders

My cardio of choice for today was to hop on the treadmill at 6.0 and run. I was out of breath! It’s funny the simplest movements, were actually the hardest ones today. My kids have been grossed out for days because of the sweat drops on my bench after doing the bunny hops. I have yet to wipe it down because if it keeps them off of it, I’d rather keep my equipment in good condition, wish I could say the same about my pull up bar. 😦

Day 12: Arm Day

After last weeks lack of soreness, I pushed hard this time. You may want to skip this routine if you’re no looking for bulk in your arms, or at least use lighter weights. When doing different movements that target the same initial area you are creating cross tears in your muscle and making them larger. That’s why when you see guys bulking up at the gym they are doing all different kinds of bicep curls to make big guns son! #SOsore

Day 13: Leg Day

Can you tell how this workout went down by the shade of my face?!? It may not have been a total leg workout but my legs were done, when I was done. I wish I’d have gotten some lunges in there. Overall though, it was good to get the extra cardio in with the run time. I ended up getting a little over two miles in on the treadmill.

Day 14: REST DAY!

It was such a nice day out. I highly recommend taking your workout outside whenever you can. The fresh air does a body good. Even better when you have good company. ❤


Be sure to subscribe to get updates and get next weeks workout schedule too.


7 Days of Me

Procrastinator is my middle name, disorganized is my second middle name…

Ever since I finished my first Spartan Race I wanted more from fitness, like to be able to help people with their fitness goals. Two years later I decided I wanted to be come a personal trainer. I did my research, there were so many online certifications that I wanted to make sure the one I had chosen was a good choice. I went to my old gym and asked what they like. Decided to go with NASM as my school of choice. Bought my fancy learning program and book and stayed dedicated for about two or three weeks before the summer arrived. I then slacked off and it was time for me to take my test. Well, I didn’t pass it and personal training sat on the back burner because I lacked the confidence, motivation, self direction to stick to a study schedule. Finally decided to start studying again and felt confident I would pass and paid for my test. Talk about a blow to my confidence, I failed by 1 point. Again I put it on the back burner. Until now…

I have come to realize that I am a hands on learner, trying to read from a textbook is BORING! Learning the muscle names, which ones are weak vs which ones are strong requires a visual for me. Names are not my strong point, why else do you think I’m super focused on brain health also. I am super thankful for YouTube! Part of my New Years resolution of 2017 was to get my certification done and hitting December 31st was a punch in the gut. It made me realize that no one is going to study for me, if I want to learn it, I need to do it!

Learn it, apply it!

This is my theme for the year. I’m being my own guinea pig and designing my own workout routines. The best part of doing this is I can give myself real feedback. I’ll know what is working or isn’t working for my goals. Only downside is that everyone’s goals aren’t the same. That just means I’ll need to study a bit more on those possible clients in the book (or YouTube.)

My proposed schedule.

  • Sunday- Total Body
  • Monday- Chest & Back
  • Tuesday- Leg Day
  • Wednesday- Core & Shoulders
  • Thursday- Arms
  • Friday- Leg Day
  • Saturday- Rest Day

Unofficial Day 1:

Um hello! I loved this workout! I got to use equipment that I haven’t busted out in a long time. Although I was aiming for a 20 minute sweat session and ended up with around 30 minutes. Doing the Bosu Skip Lunge showed me the importance of balance, my right leg was oddly less balanced than my left.

Day 2:

My back is definitely weak. I decided to stack Chest & Back day as more strength targeted for that reason. In hindsight I would probably change out the handstand holds to something a little more active. Also, when I decide to use the handstand hold again, I’d reduce hold times because that was pretty impossible for me to hold for 30 seconds the first time, let alone the 3rd as a beginner.

Day 3:

Somehow I did the math wrong on this and thought 1 round would be good. Realized at the 10 minute mark it needed to be doubled. I love circuit style workouts because you get a break after each move. One thing that could be improved was there was no time to transition to the next move.

Day 4:

Today’s workout was 22 Minute Hard Corps inspired. Mountain squats were on my mind and I couldn’t remember what they were called so I flipped through the videos to find them, and a few other moves too. That move looks so simple but it is tough!

Day 5:

Arms… my least favorite workout. I of course made sure to include burpees, Spartan Prep. Arms felt like jello!

I was fully expecting this workout to leave my arms sore but they weren’t, which tells me I should have used heavier weights with this style of workout.

Day 6:

Dead lifts, they are my jam! Cleans, not so much. Definitely something that needs work, form wise. The 30 seconds on and 10 seconds off was perfect for using the jump rope and resistance bands, made the transition much smoother. To make the burn more with the lunges, I might try not alternating legs, do left leg first round, right leg second, then alternate on the 3rd round next time.

Day 7:

Rest day, yay!!!

What I learned?

This is fun! It’s amazing what can be done when I put my mind to it. I’m excited to see how next week goes, and yes, I’ll be sharing that progress here too. I hope you enjoy the process as much as I am.


Be The Example

via Daily Prompt: Winsome

Every day we fight or struggle to fit in, we want to maintain an image of “cool” or “hip”. It’s hard to be the outsider, hard to be alone and even harder to be the one that people laugh at. As I venture down the road of self discovery and realizing the plans that God has in store for me, I grow more comfortable and worry less about those things.

We started this program at our church a few months ago called Winsome Witnessing, that’s what prompted me to join in on the daily prompt. Basically it’s about building a successful witnessing program in your church, whether it be by being welcoming to visitors, being a friendly neighbor or knocking on doors to meet new people. Just offering the support and love that people need, the kind of love that doesn’t require wearing the cool new gear to be apart of.

The Introvert Me

Two months ago, I was taken completely out of my element. It’s actually kind of funny, I believe being a waitress has prepared me for more in life than I give credit. At 15 years old (maybe younger than that even) I was the girl who was mean, because I was on the defense, being called dog eyes for years takes its toll on a girl. I wasn’t the one to reach out and make friends easily because being hurt is tough. It took a lot of courage at a couple years older, to walk up to a group of people at the front door of Shari’s, as a little hostess, to ask how many people were in their group and then seat them at their table that first time. Then evolving into a waitress who was able to sell enough pies to earn Christmas day off with my family.  Crazy to believe that was 17 years ago. I’m still that girl who struggles saying hello to people in a social setting, but you know what I’ve realized, when it comes to work, I can do anything. When I am working for God and “winsome witnessing,” it’s like I’ve got this courage I don’t have when I’m alone.

Back to 2 months ago, I was put in the position to go knocking on doors, not solely for religious purposes, but to survey our neighborhood. I was surprised by the ease I had in my heart, I wasn’t anxious, not even one bit. I was actually excited! We were out trying to find ways to help the neighbors, whether it be through cooking classes, quit smoking help, depression and anxiety recovery, etc.

Preparation is Key

In 2015, before my door to door adventure, I became a Beachbody Coach. Basically you share your health journey by being open and vulnerable, and you reach out to people to see if they need help changing their lives for the better also. That was hard for me, hard to open up and hard to reach out to people and try to sell them something, even if it was something I truly believe in. It prepared me to get out of my comfort zone and try new things. One thing I learned, is to Be The Example. If you aren’t practicing what you preach, why would anyone want to jump on your boat? And if you aren’t really enjoying yourself, or feeling your best, the same applies. I believe wholeheartedly that’s part of why I’m not one of the top selling waitresses at work anymore. I don’t desire to sell people baked potatoes loaded with butter, cheese, bacon, and sour cream. I don’t desire to sell people that perfect margarita and fuel the possible alcohol addiction of someone else. I don’t want to sell that 200+ calorie beverage that is going to help contribute to the weight gain of someone or likely another negative impact on their health. I don’t believe in the product, but that doesn’t mean I won’t make the dining experience the best that I can. I’m not going to say that I’ve become a top Coach, or that I am a perfect example, but striving to do better every day has given me a joy that is deeper and more meaningful than any of that. I hope that it beams out for others to see.

That’s where being winsome comes in, smiling, loving, sharing, caring, being honest, supportive, the listening ear, just being present can be all that someone needs. Striving to be our best can sometimes lead to neglecting others needs. That’s something I’ve learned to be better at as a Coach. The small things, sharing the struggles, the strengths, the journey, are all part of being winsome.

The definition of winsome is; attractive or appealing in appearance or character. And I think that living genuinely brings out that light. Trying to please others, instead of the innate Spirit within us, drags us down. I can personally testify to that 100 percent. ❤

Finding Balance

There was a lot of talk about finding personal joy and also not being selfish. Those things require balance, it is said that giving is the best gift. Which is true, helping someone and seeing the joy on their face is so rewarding. BUT as a mother, I know that sometimes we give so much and neglect ourselves. We have to find the balance of making sure that we are happy and healthy so that we can be able to do our best giving to our children, families, friends and even strangers. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to communicate it, don’t be afraid to take some time for yourself to reflect and find out what it is that you need for happiness. Deciding what character you want to put out to the world can help you decide that.




Rock Your Resolutions!

Yup, it’s that time again. Goal setting, new commitments, lifestyle changes. Hooray!!!Go big or go home right?!? Nope. Let me tell you why… (Unless you are that one in a million.)

Change is hard!

Change is even harder when you try to pile on 20 changes in one week. Think back to when you were a baby, okay so you probably don’t remember that far back, how about the last baby you spent time with? When they were learning to walk they didn’t just stand up and start running right? They held on to the table, steadied themselves and then let go. Then they decided it was time to take a step, maybe two, and then it progressed to three or four or more. While I would love to see you all successfully master your health goals right away, I know that small steps are more successful. Start at the bottom and continue to build up that foundation. The New Year, is just that, a YEAR, that means you’ve got 12 months to master those good habits. Let’s focus on mastering one thing at a time.

myspace babes

Speaking of babes #throwback (I had to hit up MySpace to find these goodies!)

Let’s talk goal setting, the what?

What is your goal? Lose weight? Give it a number. Be stronger? Give it something attainable, full push up, pull up, squat 100 pounds. Be healthier? Eat a veggie with every meal, cut out soda, exercise 3 times a week. See what I’m getting at here? If you’re wanting to be successful you need something to work towards, you need something that will give you a sense of completion or accomplishment. Saying you want to be healthier or lose weight leaves a lot of wiggle room. One more thing, let’s be realistic. Don’t be afraid to set a small goal to start, it will help you build up the confidence needed to push further and grow confidence in yourself.

The Why?

Why did you choose this goal? I want you to dig deep and decide what it is about this goal that makes you want to complete it. Why do you want to lose 15 lbs, did your doctor say it was necessary for your health? Are you unhappy in your skin? Do you want to be a healthy example for your kids? Only you can figure out your why and whether it is going to drive you to succeed. Write that why on a sticky note and put it on your refrigerator, put it on your bathroom mirror, remember it when you don’t want to do the things you know will make you meet the goal you set.

The When?

Now, give it a deadline. “I will lose 15 lbs by the end of March, I will master the pull up by June,” you get my drift? Having a deadline can help give you a sense of urgency, knowing I have to meet a goal by that date gives me a little extra drive. My focus is more intentional if I know there is an end date.

Now that you’ve got that deadline, break it down. To lose 15 pounds, I’ll need to lose 5 lbs a month. How am I going to do that? What has or hasn’t worked for you before? If it didn’t work, don’t do it again, if you’re needing some ideas on how to meet those specific goals, don’t be afraid to reach out. Want to quit your 5 soda a day habit, try breaking it down weekly. Week 1, I will cut back to 4 sodas a day, week 2 it will be only 3. Or spread it out a little longer. Quitting a bad habit can sometimes cause withdrawals and it may be painful to quit cold turkey. Don’t be afraid to try new things, remember if it seems too good to be true, chances are it is. There’s no magical pill for weight loss or getting rich quick for that matter. (No matter what the infomercials tell you.)

Baby Steps

I mentioned baby steps before, and I mean it. If you have lived on the couch and haven’t been to the gym since your high school gym class, haven’t had a vegetable since your mom made you eat one and drink coffee as your method of hydration, don’t try to make all those changes at once. Yes, some people can make those changes, with the power of God, I believe, but big changes are stressful. If you’re going to quote Philippians 4:13, I pray you are really relying on him to help you through it. Otherwise, one step at a time. I wouldn’t expect to go run a marathon with zero training, don’t expect to change over night either. The clock isn’t going to strike midnight tonight and you’ll be miraculously changed, I don’t know if I can emphasize enough, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Failure Happens

There will be bumps, just like that baby, you might fall after a few steps. That baby isn’t going to give up, and you shouldn’t either. I recommend reevaluating every month. What is working? What isn’t? Are you on schedule to meet your goal? If yes, awesome! If not, awesome! Keep your eye on the prize and remember that tomorrow is a new day. You can do anything you put your mind to, you just have to want it bad enough.

My Resolutions…

Last year, I made myself a pretty little vision board that had all sorts of goals on it for the year. I’ve realized that having so many goals made me lose focus of the bigger goals I had, I spread myself too thin. ↓↓↓ My theme for the year is “Learn it, Apply it.” I will be setting monthly goals and breaking them down by category. Health, Spiritual, Work, and Relationships.


January Goals:

Health- Microbiome Bootcamp do over. DIY workout program, 6 days a week.

Spiritual- Read 2 chapters of the New Testament daily and daily devotions with the family.

Work- Get on a schedule! This will be a learning process as I will be working from home. Take certification test.

Relationships- Quality time with each of my family members, individually, once a week. Quality time with a friend once a month.

Let The Countdown Begin!

Congratulations on committing to your best year yet. ❤




Black Bean & Quinoa Burgers

My family loves burger night. Have you ever had the Morning Star Farms Roasted Garlic and Quinoa burger patties? Those are my favorite pre-made burgers. I try to avoid soy where I can because my body doesn’t seem to like it much. I’m so glad to have found a simple recipe to make my own soy free burger. I really enjoy trying new recipes and this was one, that I tweaked to make my own. So yummy!

You can do all sorts of toppings on your burgers, as you can see I went with guacamole. It’s funny, I’m not big on avocado, I know it’s good for me so I try to eat it regularly. The more I eat it, the less I dislike it. I think the guacamole pairs nicely because it’s got such a creamy flavor to go with the little bit of kick of the jalapeño and lime. As a vegan, it’s super important to get those healthy fats in there because they help keep you satiated, if you’ve ever had a salad for a meal you know what I’m talking about. Seems like a salad doesn’t stick around for long if it’s just straight up veggies. The healthy fats of nuts or avocado helps it hang out a while longer because it takes your stomache acid longer to break down your food, protein works the same way. Hence me trying harder to like the green wonder food!

Black Bean & Quinoa Burgers with a Zesty Jalapeño Sauce

Zesty Jalapeño Sauce:

  • ½ cup vegannaise, or try using a vegan sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juiced
  • 1/2 tsp lime zest
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh jalapeno (or more if you don’t mind spicy)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Burger Patties:

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 green onions (white and green parts), finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 Flaxegg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tbsp water)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons mild or medium salsa
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ cup finely ground cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • Toasted whole wheat buns or tortilla

Zesty Jalapeño Sauce: In a small bowl combine vegannaise, lime juice, zest, jalapeno, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste; mix well. Refrigerate if not serving soon. Makes ½ cup.

Burgers: Measure ½ cup black beans and set aside. Place remaining black beans in processor and process until pureed. Add the green onions, red bell pepper, cilantro, quinoa, flaxegg, garlic, salsa, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste; process until well-combined. Remove to a medium bowl and stir in the reserved black beans. Taste and adjust seasonings. Form into 4 patties.

In a shallow bowl, mix together the cumin and cornmeal. Dredge the patties in the mixture. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet and saute the burgers, two at a time, until golden and slightly crispy. Repeat with remaining burgers using the last tablespoon of oil.

Tip: If you don’t like the bitter taste of quinoa, try rinsing it before cooking to help get rid of the earthy flavor.


Aztec Squash Soup

Troy decided to watch “What the Health?” again this weekend and it got me thinking about our diet. I was actually cooking while he was watching it but my ears were perked the whole time. I’ve been preparing vegan food in our house for almost 2 years now. The first year we ate a lot of the fake processed Tofurky meats, in an effort to replace what we’d removed. It was a good stepping stone for us. This last year has been a lot of trial and error, and some wins of course! The point is that we all have to start somewhere.

✨ The meals should be varied. The same dishes, prepared in the same way, should not appear on the table meal after meal and day after day. The meals are eaten with greater relish, and the system is better nourished, when the food is varied.✨ Ministry of Healing

I’ll be the first to admit that I could eat the same thing almost everyday and never tire. The hubs on the other hand, gets tired of something if he’s had it twice in two weeks. Because I have allowed myself to get into the “same stuff all the time” rut, and also slid into an “eat something sugary every day” habit at the same time, I decided it was time for a change.

Hello, Binder Full of Goodness!

I made up this binder way before I became vegan. I clipped recipes from the newspaper, restaurant magazines, recipes friends have shared, and even printed some off from the internet. After digging through and eliminating all the pot roasts, I mean how many recipes did I really need for that? I narrowed it down to the recipes I could make vegan, a big ol’ thank you to the experience I’ve gained in the last two years!

I wanted to share with you one of the recipes I tried this weekend. Too good not to share, I tweaked it a bit but wish I could give credit to whoever created the original!

Aztec Squash Soup

  • 1 ½ pounds Butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
  • 1 large sweet potato peeled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ¾ cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 6 cups (or more) vegetable broth, divided ( I shared a picture of my favorite vegan broth below.)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon minced seeded serrano chile (or more if you like spicy)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Plain yogurt, avocado, guacamole (optional toppings)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 2 baking sheets with nonstick spray. Sprinkle cut halves of squash with salt and pepper. On one baking sheet arrange, cut side down, on prepared sheet. Roast squash until tender, about 1 ½ hours. At the same time, roast sweet potatoes on the other baking sheet until tender. Turn squash cut side up and cool. Scoop squash out into medium bowl. Place sweet potatoes into a separate bowl.
  2. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute until pale golden, about 10 minutes. Mix in celery and garlic. Add 1 cup of broth. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add squash, 5 cups of broth, and cumin. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes to blend flavors.
  3. Working in batches, puree squash soup in blender until smooth. When finished pureeing all batches, return all soup to pot. Thin squash soup to desired consistency with more vegetable broth. Add sweet potatoes, black beans, corn, and red bell pepper, ¼ cup fresh cilantro, thyme, and Serrano chile. Cover soup and simmer 10 minutes. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish each with one of the optional toppings and sprig of cilantro.
  5. Enjoy!

Yum, Yum, Yum

I enjoyed this soup the first time, and as left overs the second time I ate it. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it when I take out the portion I froze for a later day too. Above I mentioned I’d share with you my favorite vegan broth, but I actually have two.  The one on the left is probably my most favorite but I wanted to share a tip that I got for the other one. I used McKay’s for today’s recipe but it also works out really well as a topping for popcorn with a little bit of nutritional yeast. So good! Please be sure to subscribe to get notified when I share new recipes!


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I remember eating the pumpkin seeds after carving pumpkins every year as a kid.  When my kids were little, I had tried making them a few times with no success. I think the problem was that I kept using oil. After hunting through recipes, I finally found one that I enjoy. Since Thanksgiving is just around the corner I wanted to make pumpkin purée for pumpkin pie of course, as a bonus I get to have pumpkin seeds too. This recipe is so simple but you could make it more complex. Try using a seasoned salt or making the pumpkin seeds a sweet treat using a bit of sugar and cinnamon. 👌🏻

Hooray for pumpkin seeds and depression fighting tryptophan! 


  • Raw pumpkin seeds
  • Himalayan salt


1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. 

2. Rinse pumpkin seeds in a colander. Lay them out on a paper towel to absorb some moisture. 

3. Spread seeds, in a single layer, onto a baking sheet. (You could place line the sheet with parchment paper to make for easier clean up.) Sprinkle evenly with Himalayan salt or seasonings of your choice.

4. Bake on middle rack uncovered for 35 minutes or until seeds are dry. Stir after 20 minutes.

5. Allow seeds to cool completely before storing in a container or they will become soft. I usually let them air dry for 24 hours before storing them. (If they make it that long!)