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!