Stir fried rice

Finished Product

Ingredients!

  • 1 Cup Jasmine Rice
  • 1 head of Broccoli
  • 1 bundle of Carrots
  • 1 bundle of Green Onions
  • 1 Cup of Mushrooms
  • Vegan butter to taste
  • Stir Fry Sauce
  • 2 Cups of Water

Start by boiling two cups of water. Add rice and reduce heat. Cover with lid and let simmer for 20 minutes.

While your rice is cooking, chop your veggies and mushrooms. Cook the green onions and mushrooms on medium heat until desired wellness. In a wok, steam your broccoli and carrots. I fill my wok with water to steam, then drain when finished.

Once everything is cooked, add all other ingredients into your wok. This is where I like to add vegan butter, on medium heat, to “fry” my rice. Add in your stir fry sauce. I usually use about half a bottle, stirring frequently. When everything is mixed and heated throughout, serve and enjoy!

“I’m proud of you.”

“I’m proud of you.” Many people spend their whole lives chasing this sentence. Everyone wants to feel validated and supported. While this is true, especially for me, I cringe when I am told “I’m proud of you.” Why?

Growing up, and for most of my life, I’ve felt like a failure. I’ve always been a mile behind everyone, overly sensitive, and lost. I instinctively tear myself down, because that is what I’ve always known. I was never good enough. Not for anyone around me, although I tired. I tried and I failed repeatedly, because the expectations of others were too high. I couldn’t be happy with myself, and I couldn’t possibly feel accepted or loved. Despite all this, there has been one person who continuously has said “I’m proud of you.”

At first, I felt desperate for this sort of validation. I loved it and I needed more. It pushed me to try again, and again, to be better. But soon, I felt how I’ve felt for years now. I hear these words and they are empty. They are meaningless. They are words.

I am told over and over, almost daily, “I’m proud of you” and I feel nothing but anger now. Anger and frustration. I feel I am being lied to. I’m being coddled. They are overcompensating for the fact that, at one point, these were the words I needed most but never heard. They are doing only what they think they should. But they are wrong. I don’t want meaningless words repeated to me again, and again. I want and need genuine appreciation and support. I know they love me. I know they are proud. But they can’t possible have pride in everything I do every second of the day. Every time I call, every time I text. I wait for the inevitable words.

I am blessed. I know that. I am thankful for this person and their love for me. But I don’t want empty words and false support. I want honesty. I don’t always deserve someone’s pride. In fact, I rarely do. And I want to know that when I hear “I’m proud of you” it has weight.

Thank you for reading. If you have tips on how to handle this dilemma, please comment.

Fresh Pico de gallo

The Ingredients:

  • 5-6 Roma Tomatoes
  • 1 medium Red Onion
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 1 cup of Cilantro
  • 1 Lime
  • Salt to taste

Dice tomatoes and onion, mince jalapeno, and chop up cilantro… throw it in a cute bowl! Add lime juice and salt to taste. It is that easy!!!

ENJOY!

Should I?

Should I tell you how I feel.

Do I dare.

Will it frighten your frailty.

Will you turn away in disgust.

You dont understand.

You never will.

Is it my fault?

For not being honest.

For sheltering you.

For leaving myself to rust.

Alone.

I make myslef alone.

I dont want you to feel.

What i feel.

Should i tell you how i feel?

An open letter

You ignorant bitch. You have no compassion. I wish I could make you understand how hurtful it is that you do not care about me enough to educate yourself on mental illness. Instead, you judge me. You believe that I am a master of my thoughts and actions. You believe I have control. You believe that I have a choice. You find me to be pathetic and weak. You believe I make excuses. You believe I am the bitch in our relationship. But who am I to say what you believe? I am projecting my greatest fears onto you. I fear judgement. I fear rejection. And you, my friend, act accordingly. So, you are my greatest enemy. You become everything I hate about myself. You become everything I wish I could be.

My Journey Through Vegan Deodorant

The ugly truth

Hey yall! As this lovely picture depicts, I will be telling you all about my arm pits and the vegan products I have bought, used, regretted and wasted. Don’t worry… there is a slightly happy ending. I finally smell like lavender. Sort of.

Let us begin with the reason I decided to ditch my old deodorant in the first place. For years I had been using the same non-vegan, clinical strength, decent-smelling deodorant. But, suddenly I started getting a rash under my arms. At first I thought it was my laundry detergent, or a lack of rinsing in the shower. But, after a month of redness, I noticed things getting worse. I was irritated, inflamed, itchy, and burning! I didn’t want to believe that my beloved deodorant had been giving me this painful, bruise-like looking rash. Luckily, I had just made the decision to go vegan and was up for a new challenge…. vegan deodorant.

Now, when I do things, I don’t do them half-assed (usually). Not only was I determined to go vegan, I wanted to go zero waste as well. This meant finding a cruelty-free, vegan deodorant that came in a glass jar. Surprisingly, this was not difficult! I found my first failed deodorant at the farmers market, just as I needed it. I was pumped. A non-aluminum, baking soda based deo had come my way. Too bad I freaking hated it.

First of all, it came with a little plastic spatula, used to scrape out the amount of deodorant an ant would use. The smell was like liquor and lime, which I didn’t mind, until it was on my skin. Lime and sweat DO NOT MIX. Besides the form of the deo and the smell, it was packed full of baking soda that bothered my already irritated skin. (The deo package DID warn against using on broken out skin…. my bad). But, I continued using this deodorant for about a week and noticed a huge decrease in my pit rashes. Although this was a good sign, I moved on to something else.

While visiting a zero waste store in Colorado, I stumbled upon another vegan deodorant packaged in a glass jar. This one was from the brand Meow Meow Tweet. It smelled of grapefruit and possibilities. This deo had more of a cream base and seemed easier to apply, so I bought it for a cool 12 or 13 bucks. Their formula doesn’t include aluminum OR baking soda. I figured this would be perfect for my sensitive skin! And it was… sort of. The same week I started this deodorant, I became a gym member. I was putting this deo through the sweat test. Let me tell you, it did NOT pass. Not at all. I had to reapply throughout the day, before even heading to the gym. By the time I would actually get to working out, I smelled like the worst body odor I have probably ever produced. I quickly decided I had to move on, yet again.

Third, and lastly, I gave up on the idea of zero waste for deodorant and opted for a cruelty-free vegan option I found at Target… the Love Beauty and Planet brand. I also picked up their bar soap in the same lavender scent. I fell in love instantly. The smell… amazing. The feel… amazing. No more rashes…. amazing. My only problem with this deo is that I have to reapply throughout the day. Apparently I am a very sweaty girl. But, since I can’t have the “clinical strength” deodorant, I am more than content with this option and I recommend it to anyone wanting to switch their deodorant. Whether you want to help the planet, save the animals, or just need a good scent, Love Beauty and Planet is here for you.

Tell me your vegan deodorant horror stories or success stories! I’d love to listen 🙂

Pets and Mental Health

Gary the cat

You’ve heard that people who live with plants live longer. Well, just imagine what having a pet can do for you and your mental health if a little plant can make a big difference.

“An increasing amount of research is pointing to the benefits of pets for people with mental health issues. For instance, a large study interviewed people living with conditions such as depressionschizophreniabipolar disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder. The findings revealed that having a pet offers people a deep sense of “ontological security” — that is, the feeling of stability, continuity, and meaning in one’s life” (Medical News Today).

For someone like myself, who goes through long spurts of depression, having a pet is sometimes the only thing that gets me out of bed. I mostly live alone, as my husband works on an oil rig and is gone for weeks at a time. This makes my depressive downswings even more lonely and hard to bear.

I rescued Gary a couple of months before the worst depression I’ve ever felt and I can honestly say I don’t know how I would have gotten through it without him.

When I literally couldn’t complete tasks like washing my own hair, brushing my teeth, or feeding myself something other than candy, I would find comfort in taking care of Gary. I couldn’t take care of myself, but I had a little heart in my hands that I knew couldn’t survive without me. He was the only thing I found purpose in.

For those struggling with mental illness, I highly recommend a cat (best for lazy people due to low maintenance) or a dog. The companionship and sense of worth you find in a pet is irreplaceable. As I am typing this Gary is laying on my legs, constantly keeping me company… always there when I need him most.

Source: Sandoiu, Ana. “It’s Official: Pets Benefit Our Mental Health.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 19 Feb. 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320950.php.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

Finished Product

What is up everyone?! Today I put a spin on a delicious recipe found in my “Vegan Meal Prep” cookbook by making their sweet potato black bean hash into tacos! These are also wonderful as big breakfast burritos or on their own as a side dish. I will be referring to this book a lot coming up as I try some of their recipes and rate them for you. This one is definitely 10 out of 10!

The Recipe

To start, you will need the following:

  • 1 Tablespoon of Extra-Virgin Olive
  • 1 Large Sweet Potato (I peel mine) diced into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 Large Onion, diced (I use red)
  • 2 Cloves minced Garlic
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Tortillas
  • Vegan Cheese
  • Tomatoes and what ever other toppings you like on tacos

I usually like to add fresh pico de gallo. I will post a recipe for this soon!

-In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. (The recipe in the book says 5 minutes but I burnt mine that way).

-Add the sweet potatoes, cumin, and oregano. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes

-After the 15 minutes, increase the heat to medium-high and stir in the black beans, salt, and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes

-This is where I get out my tortillas, cheese, tomatoes, and whatever else I find for building my tacos

ENJOY! – leave a comment for any alteration ideas you may have. I love trying new things!

Side Note – I didn’t have a clean sharp knife so my food isn’t chopped up as evenly and beautiful as I would have liked, but it still tastes amazing! Thanks for reading 🙂