It feels good to hear about other people's struggles...wow, that sounds really sadistic!! I just like to know that other people have the same problems that I do! I'm not all alone in my struggles and neither are you. That makes us human. In this social media obsessed world it's hard to imagine that everyone but me doesn't have a perfect life. We are all human...we all want to share the good in our lives, but we also hide the bad...maybe because we think others don't have the bad?...that we are weirdos, failing at life? We ALL have the SAME struggles! Remind yourself of that when you are doubting your imperfect life while looking at those perfect pictures. We are all IMPERFECT.
Speaking of being imperfect...we all love junk food! Revolutionary, right? I'm trying to make a point here, stick with me. I'm trying to say that we are all human. Although, I was called a robot once. Again with the revelations...we are all human?...we all love junk food?...I promise I am going to get to the point. I love junk food...you love junk food...we all love junk food. Music notes are swirling around my head right now...this is probably why I am horribly inept at anything musical! Wanting junk food over healthy food makes you human and every other human feels the same way. If I found out that McDonald's food was the key to a life free of disease and illness, I'd be there...every-damn-day!! The important part of that sentence was the key to a life free of disease and illness...it's no secret that McDonald's food is bad and that fruits and vegetables are the most important things you can eat for a healthy life. The problem lies in decision making. How do you get yourself to make the right choices when junk food tastes so good? I.love.potato.chips...brownies...kettle corn drizzled with dark chocolate...bagels...cookies...you get it, right? I love the same things you do and so does everyone else. We are all in the same junk food boat floating through the oceans of processed crap. How do we make good decisions when bad stuff is everywhere tempting us with their whorish-goodness?
I deal with those junk food cravings by finding healthy alternatives that make me think I'm eating junk food. Before you can even get to that point though you have to make the decision that you are going to choose health over your taste buds. You WILL go through a transition. Your taste buds WILL change, I promise you, this is true. Me-ten-years-ago would laugh, really hard, at me-today. Sometimes I want to smack myself for saying things like “your taste buds will change” or “you'll crave a big salad”. But it really is true...ask anyone who changes their eating lifestyle. I say those things to give you hope not to make you want to punch me in the face. To give you even more hope, at the end of this post I have included my favorite brownie recipe! It is easy, CHOCOLATEY, ooey, gooey, sweet, amazing, fulfilling...promise me you're going to try it?! Do NOT judge the ingredients! Just make it. Try it! You can't say you don't like it if you've never even tried!! (The picture is sucking you in, right?!
Back to making the best decisions...moderation is damn hard, but we are in CONTROL of our choices. Each and every moment of our lives is due to a choice that we have made. They are not always easy choices, mostly hard, right? That's LIFE. Life is hard, but we are in control of things that can make it easier. One of the best decisions you can make in your life is making choices that keep you healthy.
The best first step is deciding that YOU are IMPORTANT and that focusing on your health is the best thing that you can do for you. Make your health priority number one and now, decision making just got a little easier. Because now you know each choice you make needs to answer yes to the question, “Will this make me HEALTHIER?” This question can be used in every aspect of your life! Will eating this bag of chips make me healthier? Will saying yes to everybody make me healthier? Will yelling at the car in front of me make me healthier?
What's stopping you from making better decisions? What's keeping you from reaching your goals? Share some of your answers in the comments and let's start a discussion! Let's share our struggles with others and maybe showing our imperfect life will inspire others and us along the way!!
Peace, Love, Plants,
1 can of black beans
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
2/3 cup oats
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2-3 Tbsp chopped walnuts (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Grease an 8x8 baking dish or line with parchment paper.
3. In a high powdered blender OR in a food processor, combine the ingredients in the order listed except walnuts.
4. Process the ingredients until the batter is ultra smooth(this is very important, approximately 2-3 minutes.
5. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking dish.
6. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes.
7. Allow to cool thoroughly.
8. Spread icing (recipe below) evenly over the top and sprinkle with chopped walnuts, if desired.
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil
2 Tablespoons of Maple Syrup
A little water as needed.
Mix cocoa powder, coconut oil, and maple syrup together until creamy. If needed add very small amounts of water until you reached the desired consistency.
Brownie Recipe adapted from www.dontwastethecrumbs.com Click here to print the recipe
"You have to get this CT scan for him. We are talking about the possibility of something scary. A word I'm not going to use when talking about your little boy.”
You know that feeling when you realize you are having a bad dream, but you can't wake up?When you scream, but nothing comes out?! It felt like a nightmare when the doctor told us that our 5 year old boy needed a CT scan. He had lumps in his neck. They didn't know what they were. I didn't know how to breathe. "What other options do we have?" I was scared! A CT scan releases a lot of radition. Google told me it can cause brain cancer. Damn you, Google. We kept pushing for other options: MRI, needle biospy, go home and pretend this never happened? The doctor got stern "You have to do this NOW". We did the CT scan. Two weeks between the first appoinment and the results of the CT scan: I slept a total of 4 cumulative hours and lost 10 pounds! Have you ever felt so scared you couldn't eat, sleep, think, breathe?
There we sat, ready to throw up when the doctor walked in and said "breathe, everything is ok". I cried. It was NOT that scary word that she didn't want to say! He had a swollen salivary gland and reactive lymph nodes from excessive acid reflux. Something needed changed and this is where our food revolution began.
"Do you want to try an antibiotic or limiting food before bed?" DUH! The food one! While not allowing him to eat 2 hours before bed did alleviate some of the symptoms and shrunk his salivary gland, he was still waking up shortly after falling asleep vomiting or sweating and feeling nauseous. How could I make him better?!?! I spent hours that led into days pouring over information. After A LOT of research, I decided to eliminate all genetically modified foods from our diets. There is scientific evidence that has shown that GMOs can cause gastrointestinal damage. That day, I purged the pantry...literally, getting rid of almost everything. I tend to be extreme (i.e. obsessive/neurotic). Within days of eliminating all genetically modified foods, my little boy no longer woke up vomiting or nauseous (which occurred nightly!) and NEVER AGAIN has he had an episode of gastrointestinal reflux. That was over 5 years ago! It certainly was not easy finding our way through the maze of GMOs. 90% of our food supply is made with them! I've developed some pretty awesome culinary skills; I'm considering becoming a superhero...Cristy the Cook...hmmm it could be a thing, maybe.
Holistic health has now become my passion. The body is so amazing and given the right conditions has the power to heal itself of ANYTHING! I guess we are all superheroes when you consider that!! These facts fascinate me in our modern world of genetic engineering and pill pushing/popping. I was so amazed by my son's healing story that I wanted to tell EVERYONE! Unfortuantely, not everyone cared. They thought it was a great story, but I could read their minds (yup, I am also telepathic) "I could never do that". As the years progressed, I got more and more obsessed with the idea of healing through nutrition. My interests turned into passion which lead me into wanting to share that passion. I began studying holistic nutrition and the power of plant based foods. Recently, I have received certification in holistic nutrition. That's when my eyes were really opened to the concepts of the "whole foods plant based" lifestyle. After just one week of studying, I declared "WE ARE DONE WITH MEAT AND EGGS!" My family thought I was crazy...hmmm, crazier? Another criterion to add to our already limited food choices?! "We can still eat cheese," I told them. That was only to ease the transition. One month after that, we went completely plant based and haven't turned back! No GMOs and no animal products..yeah it was hard at first! Ok, still is at times. Are we 100%? I'd give us a 99%. Our 1% is sometimes purposeful and sometimes not. The other day I bought this amazing kettle corn drizzled with dark chocolate...mmmm...anyway halfway through I decided to read the ingredients (usually the first thing I do, but I was distracted by dark chocolate!) and it contained whey protein, GASP! I forgave myself.
You are in control of your health destiny! Take control and have that life that you dream of, free of fear and anxiety. I'm definitely not saying it's easy; in fact, it's hard-freaking-work. But we, every single one of us, is worth it!
Peace, Love, Plants,