Monday, February 27, 2017

Another Day - Another VEGAN Mac & Cheese


I NEED to get to the store.  I ran out of cashews.  I don't have any pine nuts or Brazil nuts at my house at the moment either.  Believe it or not...I don't even have carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, or much else in the way of produce either.  How the heck did I make this vegan Mac & Cheese, then?

1 C Sunflower Seeds
1/2 C Potato Flakes *
4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 T Wildtree Absolutely Onion
Handful of Hemp Seeds
Splash of Pumpkin Oil
1/3 C Nutritional Yeast
1 Hefty Squirt of Yellow Mustard
1 C Water
2 T Apple Cider Vinegar
Sprinkle EACH of Black Sea Salt, Nutmeg, Smoked Paprika, Turmeric
Top with Smoked Paprika, if you wish!

By Potato Flakes you can even use PLAIN Instant Mashed Potato Flakes that also happen to be vegan.

It was pretty tasty.  The texture was different from a smooth cashew base but it was hearty and did the job!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Green Lentil Sloppy Joe's


Last weekend I threw together a Green Lentil Sloppy Joe.  I have to say the texture was more firm than the Red Lentil Sloppy Joe I did last year but this recipe's taste was YUMMY regardless!  Here's what I used...

1 C Green Lentils
1-2 T Grapeseed Oil
1-2 T Wildtree Absolutely Onion 
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 can of Tomato Sauce
3 T Coconut Sugar
2 T Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
1 t Chili Powder
1 t Cumin
Black Sea Salt to taste
Smoked Paprika to taste

I do have a lot of back logging to do and I hope to be caught up soon!  (yeah right!)
I will say that I do have another Vegan Mac & Cheese to post as well as a Mayan Pumpkin Seed Dip to share!  

This past week I also attended a local Post Card Writing Campaign to write to elected officials and I will share photos of that soon, too!

What have you been up to this past week?  TGIF!



Thursday, February 16, 2017

Thrown Together Veggie Curry


Nothing overly exciting happening this week in the kitchen - sorry folks!  I've had a bunch of volunteer stuff going on and busy at work, too!  But one of the things I have been eating a lot of lately is home made veggie curry that is vegan and literally thrown together!  I can't even tell you what the ratios of ingredients were - again, sorry!

What I can tell you is what I threw in!  This veggie curry contains coconut milk, Earth Balance, Cashews, Spinach, Peas, Chickpeas, Tomatoes, Tomato Paste, various spices, etc.  This made a HUGE HUGE HUGE batch!  I ate leftovers for 3 meals AND froze a large container and just finished that up a few days ago.  It was tasty!

I have been doing a lot of loaded vegan nachos as a meal lately, too!  This time of year I tend to get bored with food whether it be because it's hard to find good quality fresh produce and/or because I suffer from Winter Blues...that is yet to be determined.  It's probably a little bit of both!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Keeping Busy


I haven't had a whole lot of exciting foods lately.  I haven't really even had any impressive grocery store hauls as of late either.  So in the way of food it's been pretty boring.  That is part of the reason I haven't posted much.  Another reason is that I am keeping busy.  Normally I would post about what has been keeping me busy but I decided long ago that I would try to keep My Blissful Journey free of politics.  Having said that...I will explain...

About a year ago I started asking questions and attending events that our local League of Women Voters put on.  The more I participated in things the more I wanted to be a part of just about everything they did.  A few months in...I decided to officially join.  I absolutely LOVE it!  It's probably one of the BEST choices I have ever made.  I have become VERY active and I just know that 2017 will continue to be just as interesting to me.

I'm going to continue to try and NOT make THIS blog about that but a while back a few of us started a private blog and I'm thinking about blogging about some stuff there - in a SAFE place.  I know a few friends have had issues with online bullying and political bullying and I don't want to open anyone up to that.  My Blissful Journey is a positive space.  And with the old private blog where I feel like I can open up about that more - it's just that - PRIVATE - and a bully free zone.  All like minds welcome, tho!  If you are interested let me know!

A few other things that have been keeping me busy is work, Sororitea Sisters, submitting recipes to Global Love Project, my involvement with a local Impacting Poverty Group, and County Fair stuff, PLUS, family stuff!  My sister is doing well and about half way thru her 9 months!  It looks like she will be having a girl!

I like keeping busy.  It actually makes me feel better.  That goes back to my high school days, too!  The more involved I was the better my grades were.  Now that I'm in my upper 30s - the busier I am the more focused I feel.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Hear Our Voices!

I try to shy away from politics on this blog eventho I have many thoughts and feelings about any and every topic.  That's NOT what this post is about.

This post is about me attending the Women's March on Saturday in Erie, PA, where they predicted 300 participants and ended up with somewhere between 2,500 and 4,000.

I'm NOT going to go into the reasons WHY I attended but rather how interesting the event was, how wonderful the weather was, and how lovely it was to see UNITY.  Yes...UNITY.  Many media outlets have their way of swaying their stories one way or another and that's NOT what this was.  There were people from all walks of life that attend with all different views and focuses and all I felt while there was LOVE.



If you agree or disagree with what you THINK the Women's March was for or about - one thing everyone can agree on it that it was HISTORIC.

I'm not going to say much more about the March that hasn't already been said.  And I know there are people who are excited about it and others still and always will question it...and that's ok.





I'm simply going to show you some photos of the one I went to.  If you would like to see LOTS of photos from around the world - THIS - is an EXCELLENT showing of many of them.

I will say that I didn't have plans to attend at first.  Once my plans changed for the day I started thinking about it but still didn't make up my mind FULLY until about 20 mins before we actually left.

I caught a ride with a friend of mine who you will see later.

I'm a people-watcher and I will say there was a LOT to see that day.  Much of which will remain in my mind for my entire life.

Beautiful families, veterans, unions, bikers, college students, young children, senior citizens, etc.  People of every background, religion, orientation!


The event started at 2pm at the Court House.  Once we started moving it took us a few blocks down and the long way around Perry Square.  By going the long way around Perry Square that was about 3 to 4 more blocks worth.

Once we congregated in the middle of Perry Square there were many speakers...a veteran, an educational professional, a small business owner, an immigrant, and a woman who was a minister/preacher (altho I'm not sure of which church - but it really doesn't matter).  What matters is that we were all respectful of each other.

I really don't think it could have been a BETTER day!





There were a lot of smiles, a lot of hugs, and the vibes were very positive.

Those with disabilities participated, cancer survivors and others who have survived diseases and illnesses were represented, those who were walking in support of someone else were there, and voters of all types showed up!  There were NO conflicts.  There was very little police presence.  I actually only saw one uniform.




Again...I cannot say enough about this day!

However there are and always will be people who will try and rain on it.  It's ok.  It's what democracy looks like!

Here are some more photos of the event.







With this photo we were about half way to the finish point.  It was a very short march/walk but it seemed to take forever.  We were somewhere in between the front and the middle of the first half of the line.  When we got to the finish point there appeared to be people who still had yet to leave the court house.

The temperature was in the upper 50s and one building in the direct sun even said that it was 63 degrees which is unheard of for January in the snow belt.






Sure there were signs that were more comical or snarky than others but what was really wonderful were the ones that were smart, positive, and powerful.

I have many more photos but wanted to post just a few.  A few of them that went in line with My Blissful Journey...ones that were more positive and powerful.

Regardless of anyone's political stances I think we can ALL agree that we want politicians to LISTEN to their voters.  And that is something that I walked away with after this weekend.  It's being said that over 5 million PEOPLE participated.  So that means that over 5 million PEOPLE want to be heard for one or more reasons - and to ME - that is POWERFUL.


Here are 6 of us at the beginning of the march.  We ended up seeing a few other people from our area.  I know of others that attended DC, Pittsburgh, Portland, and one in California all from our region.

I'm glad I participated and I will always have my own memories of that day and how it differed from what the media has told.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Obstacles & Progress


Just a quick update today...

So it looks like this is my set intake on superfoods and supplements over the last going on 2 weeks...
1 B-Complex Tab, 1 or 2 squirts of B-12, 1 or 2 squirts of D3, 2 tabs of Chlorella (M-F) and on weekends 2 tabs of Spirulina.  I've cut way back on caffeine intake.  Instead of 8 or more cups worth a day I'm down to 1 cup.  Others are low or no caff or herbal or rooibos or honeybush based.  I have been trying to add Turmeric to my foods at least once a day.

I'm going to try and incorporate the dreaded bananas once again.  REALLY trying to force myself this time.I'm trying to walk more and force myself to do more stairs in daily life.

Undergarments are still a challenge.  1 out of 3 seem to be ok.  The other two are better than what I had - I suppose.

I need to bump up my mini goals and be smarter and stick to meditation and yoga more.  I need to work on my anxiety and fears still.  I guess that's an on going process for any or many of us.

Sleeping situation is still questionable.  I've been able to adjust the way I sleep, however, which I think has been helping so far.  Actually I think most of what I am doing is helping.  I just have to kick it up a notch and continue, I think!

Progress in other areas...

I tackled my kitchen yesterday...that took a while but it's coming along.  I battled the recycling that was ready-to-go but out of hand.  I wish they collected every week instead of every other week.

I was able to relax a bit.  We took a trip down memory lane and watch movies like Titanic and E.T. the last few days!

What have you been up to?

Friday, December 30, 2016

Flashback Photos from Erie VegFest & Looking Ahead with Changes


Erie VegFest took place back on September 24th and I'm embarrassed I didn't post these photos soon!  So sorry!  The Shimmy Shack was a food truck that drove all the way from Michigan to participate!  It was a pretty neat truck!


Once again my parents attended the FEST with me - neither of them are veg - but they enjoy checking them out and have always been supportive of me and my adventures.  My father had the Southwest Burger.


My mom munched on little things all day for the most part.  The truck had a simple yet wonderful concept of doing a basket of fries that was made up of 1/2 regular fries and 1/2 sweet potato fries.


I opted for the Indian Lunch that day!  It was HUGE!


Area and regional businesses participated, too!


Eventho they were not vegetarian eating establishments they did offer vegan options!


I wasn't able to try a lot of them because they were pretty large portions.


The first VegFest I attended was in Buffalo 3 years ago and this vendor participated from Ohio!  She made and sold her own flavored vegan cheese spreads!  I remember them well!  When I saw them at Erie VegFest I knew I had to stop over and mention it to her.  Dad ended up buying 2 of her cheese spreads!  The Blue Cheese with Spirulina was exceptionally awesome!


Oddly...one thing Erie VegFest did BETTER than WNY VegFest was that Erie incorporated a Farmers Market type vendor space.  It was a small Farmers Market Vendor space but still more than Buffalo offered.  As you can see here my dad in his TyeDye and my mom in the blue short in the front corner.


We did end up buying more produce that day than anything else.


The prices were good!  The people were nice!  I also found Erie to have more INFO available overall.  Erie did focus more on gluten-free stuff than Buffalo did, too.  However, Buffalo offered way more food options but that isn't surprising due to the size of the two markets and the population.  PLUS...this was Erie's first year and Buffalo's 3rd.  I will say that Erie had a WONDERFULLY IMPRESSIVE first year!  I hope both markets continue to grow!

A QUICK UPDATE:

I have continued to sleep different, wear different under garments, and take B-Complex, B-12, D, and Chlorella Tabs without missing a day!  I've tried to stick to 1 cup of caff tea a day instead of 6 to 8 and I'm upping my herbal tisanes.  I am seeing and feeling a difference over the last 3 days and I hope it continues to improve.  Thank you all for the encouragement!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Getting Into a Daily Routine


Well NOT really a DAILY Routine...but a beginning of the day routine.  I have been able to stick with my B-Complex and/or B-12 intake since Saturday so far.  Since it's winter in the snow belt I have been including a squirt of Vitamin D Spray.  All of which are part of the MyKind Organics Line...all whole food, plant based, vegan vitamins!  

My goal is to go a solid month and hopefully longer this time around.  A Morning Routine will help me with this.  I figure if I am overly pushy about giving my dog his meds - why can't I do the same for me? LOL

I have been trying to sleep differently the last several nights.  I'm usually a side sleeper and I think this is catching up with me.  I'm trying my hardest to lay on my back now.  So far - so good.

I'm still not real good about daily breakfasts.  That's something I still need to incorporate, work on, and stick with.  The last couple of months I have not been real good at eating breakfast or lunch.  I know that is really bad.  Then I pig out at dinner to make up for the rest of the day.  I will snack during the day sometimes if I have something to snack on but it's not the best in terms of healthy snack sometimes.  Because of all of this I have gained weight back.  This may or may not have anything to do with my aches and pains but it's probably best if I try and do better about it.

I've also started incorporating Chlorella back into my daily grind.  Mostly Mondays thru Fridays - because I have them on my work desk.  I will probably explain this more down the road.  In the meantime I am taking those again, too!

Herb intake!  I've upped it!  I thought about blogging about it as I drank them if I was in front of the computer which I may still do but for now - yesterday and today - I have been enjoying Brain Booster from Urbal Tea and Ginger & Lemon Myrtle from Lupicia.  

The Brain Booster from Urbal Tea includes: Gotu Kola, Peppermint, Ginko, Rosemary, Sage, Eleuthero, Parsley, Lemon Balm, Elderberry, Hibiscus, Apple, Blueberries, Currants, Cornflower, Raisins.

By doing this I am also cutting back on my caffeine.  Instead of 8 or more cups of highly caffed tea everyday I would like to stay to ONE or NONE to see what happens.

I found a way to do a little in more of the way of exercise in doors at work while in the winter months...STAIRS.  Simple enough.  I think I might tuck away a place for yoga during lunch soon, too!  I'm usually the only one in my office.  Time will tell.

I also picked up a few new bras.  I hate talking about those but I will since it's a change I am making.  I will give it a few days or weeks before reporting my findings.   

So far many of these changes are for the better.  I would like to work on attitude, inner peace, stress, anxiety, and muscle pain more, too!

I've also been feeling a salad kick coming on!  I have been eating more of them than usual but usually when I get in this mode...I will go for a month and eat HUGE salads at least once a day.  

I want to thank Christine and Hilary for their comments, encouragement, and support!  Keep on me!  I need it!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Accountability...


I know I have been pretty spotty with blogging as of late.

First and foremost by NOT blogging almost daily like I used to here at My Blissful Journey I have become LAZY in many areas of my life.  I have noticed that this blog has given me ACCOUNTABILITY above all else.  I NEED to get back to doing that.

The last year or more I have battled with Sciatica and was able to control it with the research I have done and noting it here.  If needed I will go to a Chiropractor but I haven't done that in like 2 years.

It's been a full year now...I trashed my contacts and switched back to glasses.  It took a LONG time to get used to them again but I was FINALLY able to.

I am now focusing on something else.  I have dealt with other issues...why NOT this?  I don't know if I am ready to 'come clean' on what is bothering me but I do know that this blog is a good why to do that.  I do know about several steps I am already taking to see if they help my aches and pains.

I would like to be better about reporting here on my blog about the steps I am taking.  It will give me accountability.  There are many things in life I am horrible at.  One thing has always been taking 'pills'.  In my case I have started taking B-Complex/B-12 again.  I haven't done this since I was 15.  It will be hard for me to do.  I will do it for a few days and then stop.  I MUST be better about this.

I don't often eat breakfast.
I know this is HUGE but I have never been a breakfast person.  Again...I will get going with a few days of a breakfast and then stop...whether it is because I ran out of time in the morning or because I don't have much to choose from in the house...or I just don't want to.
I NEED...no...I MUST be better about this.

I hate bananas!
I know I have said this MANY times here on my blog.
I want to like them...I do.  I haven't been able to bring myself to do it.  I was finally able to add up to 1/2 banana in my smoothies but I feel incorporating bananas into my diet MORE will certainly help with my overall pain.  I know that Avocados are great for this, too, but they are SO EXPENSIVE where I life.  I grab them when I can but it hasn't been to often lately.  

MORE WALKING.
What a horrible time for me to want to try and do this, eh!?  In the middle of winter - in the snow belt!
I'm going to try and be better about this...perhaps I will try and visit a nearby nearly abandoned mall and try and walk there.  Time will tell.

I know - this whole blog entry has been one HUGE blab-fest!  I just felt like I needed to get it out of my system.  Over the next weeks and months perhaps I will open up more about my thoughts and feelings but I am hoping by then my efforts will prove some overall improvements and it won't be as much of an issue.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Choco-Plum Smoothie



2 Plums
3/4 of a Banana
1 Scoop of GoL's Chocolate Cacao Raw Protein
2 C Coconut Water
2 T Agave Nectar
2 Drops of Vanilla Extract
1 Drop Stevia (optional)
Cinnamon to taste/optional

I revisited an old favorite with a few alterations and it was wonderful!  You can also top this with cacao nibs, hemp seeds, cinnamon, or nutmeg!