Feasting on Gratitude

Nearly a decade ago, a sweeping transformation happened in my life following a 30-Day gratitude challenge. During this time, I simply began each day by writing down five things for which I was grateful.   These things didn’t need to be extravagant, though sometimes they were. More often it was a warm cup of coffee, a great laugh, or appreciating that my husband wakes up in a good mood each day.

Developing a practice of gratitude trains your mind to look for more things for which to be grateful. Gratitude and thanksgiving can benefit us simply by boosting the mood, but it goes much deeper.

When creating a practice of gratitude and looking for more things to appreciate in life, you engage the reticular activating system (RAS). This is a transitional part of the brain stem that plays a critical role in consciousness. Think of the RAS as a reducing valve that allows us to filter out what we don’t want and invite more of what we want into our experience.

Have you ever noticed that when something comes to your attention, more of it comes to your attention? For example, my mom used to send me owls from beyond the veil. As the years went by, less and less owls have visited me. About a month ago, someone asked if I’d had an owl visit recently and my answer was no. It got me thinking. Two days later, owls landed in the trees outside my bedroom window, and I’ve been hearing them hoot consistently ever since. Maybe the owls were there before, and I didn’t notice. Maybe I attracted them. Hoot knows?

What we know is that feasting on gratitude helps us raise our vibration and might even engage the law of attraction through our energy and the chemistry of our brain. After my gratitude challenge, my mind kept looking for those things that made me feel grateful. I believe it was the catalyst for discovering new purpose, changing my career, and thus my life, for the better. And for that, I give thanks every day.

Easy Vegan Zucchini Bread

I am grateful for knowing how to veganize almost any recipe! This is an adaption of my vegan banana bread recipe, which was an adaptation of my non-vegan banana bread recipe. You may substitute 1 cup of pumpkin puree for the zucchini.


1 ½ cups whole wheat flour or brown rice flour

1 – 1 ¼ cup brown sugar or sucant

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed or chia seeds, mixed with 3 tablespoons water. Let stand for 15 minutes or until thickened (this is a vegan egg)

½ cup mashed tofu or vegan mayo

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 ½ cups shredded zucchini


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients

In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients

Bake in a silicone bread pan or bread pan lined with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking oil

Bake @ 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean

“Turkey” Tetrazzini

Creamy, filling, vegan. I discovered this recipe at a vegan potluck and have made some modifications. I really appreciate vegan comfort food!

Serves 8


1 12-ounce package of spaghetti

4 ounces dry or 2 cups of reconstituted Soy Curls, drained and squeezed of excess liquid. Alternately, you can substitute with 2 cups of plant-based tenders of choice cut into ½ inch strips or chunks

12 cherry tomatoes, halved

½ to 1 cup vegan mozzarella shreds, optional

Chopped fresh basil for garnishing, optional

 For Tetrazzini Sauce

2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

2 cups unsweetened soy milk

3 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder

½ cup raw cashews

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup of celery, chopped

8 ounces of white or cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 large Portobello mushroom, sliced or chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

½ teaspoon poultry seasoning

¼ cup apple cider vinegar or ⅓ cup sherry


Cook pasta per package directions.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 For the sauce

Heat 2 cups of vegetable broth to almost a boil.  Lower to medium heat.

In a high-powered blender, blend raw cashews with 1 cup of the soy milk and poultry seasoning until smooth and creamy.  If you use a regular blender, you’ll need to soak cashews in water for about 4 hours and then rinse and drain before using.

Whisk cornstarch/arrowroot into 1 cup of unheated soy milk.  Dissolve completely.

Add the cornstarch/arrowroot and unheated soy milk mixture into the almost-boiling broth — whisking constantly, over medium heat or until it starts to thicken and bubble just a bit, but not a rolling boil.  Once thickened, add the blended cashew and soy milk mixture into the broth-soy milk mixture on the stove.  Heat through until desired thickness.  Adjust seasonings. Add the apple cider vinegar.

Sauté the vegetables and soy curls

In a large non-stick frying pan, sauté the onions, celery, and mushrooms until they are softened, and liquid has evaporated.  Covering the pan as they sauté keeps them moist.  Stir occasionally to keep from sticking, adding a little water if needed. This takes about 7-10 minutes.

Add the rehydrated soy curls and tomatoes.  Mix well.  Season with salt and black pepper if desired and a little of the poultry seasoning.

Mix the spaghetti, sauce, vegetables, and Soy Curls in a big bowl and combine.

Put mixture into 9 x 13 pan and top with vegan mozzarella, if using. Cover with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes.  Uncover and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until it’s bubbly and lightly browned.

Accidently Speaking Truth……


 “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything” – Mark Twain

On this occasion, Jen Psaki accidently told the truth and said the quiet part out loud.

Why would she say PLANDEMIC instead of Pandemic? Perhaps because, as Mark Twain implied, it’s harder to remember a lie.

If you want to know more about what she knows and isn’t telling you, watch the documentary InDoctorNation. It’s the second film of a two part series. You can find this highly censored information here:


Empowered living is about facing truth and realities that may be difficult to swallow. In doing so, we claim our self respect, sovereignty and retake our power. The ultimate immunization from what ails our world.


Chicken-less Soup for the Soul

As summer is sunsetting, my husband and I are looking forward to squeezing in a bit more Lake Michigan beach time with loved ones.

Moving away from family and friends in 2021 means that gatherings are less spontaneous and occur mostly on weekend visits. The memories we make feed the soul and usually involve comfort food.  If we don’t plan, we’ll end up eating too much processed food during these gatherings, which leaves the immune system more vulnerable.

Processed foods are loaded with junk oils and chemical toxins.  The buildup of chemical toxins in our tissues and blood stream can stagnate the immune system. Given the cold and flu season are around the corner, it’s vital to feed the immune system with healthy plant foods.

Deep down, most of us know that food impacts our health from head to soul. Think about chicken soup. Mothers throughout the ages have turned to chicken soup to help everything from the sniffles to a broken heart, with good reason:  It’s the ultimate healthy comfort food, and it’s easy to make at home.

While no research has proven that chicken soup cures a cold or flu, according to the National Institutes of Health, research suggests that ingredients in chicken soup, such as the mirepoix of onions, celery, and carrots, can reduce the inflammation associated with the common cold.

I now prepare chicken soup chicken-less; it’s more nutritious due to the absence of inflammatory saturated fat.  And in my soul I feel nourished knowing that healthy eating can happen without harming a feather on another’s head.

 Chicken-less Soup

This super simple recipe is quick and loaded with nutrition. The star ingredient is soy curls. Non-GMO soy curls are a great meat alternative made by boiling and dehydrating soybeans. The process is totally natural, which makes them a whole food and not a processed synthetic meat product. I am fortunate to live near a vegetarian grocery store that sells them in bulk. If you can’t find soy curls in your area, you can easily order them online.

Soy curls typically need to be rehydrated in warm water for 10 minutes before use, but when using them in soups, you can skip that step and throw them into the pot straight from the package. The texture is almost indistinguishable from chicken and takes on the flavor of the dish, just as chicken does.


8 cups water or vegetable broth

4 teaspoons minced garlic or 4 chopped cloves

3 tablespoons white miso

1-2 teaspoons sea salt or salt to taste

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon pepper

3 stalks celery, diced

2 large carrots, chopped

2 medium onions, diced

¾ cup quinoa

6 ounces dry soy curls (once hydrated, equates to about 1 pound of chicken) broken into bite size pieces


In a large pot or pressure cooker, bring water or broth to a low boil. As water is heating, dice and chop the vegetables. Add miso and spices to warm water and stir until miso is dissolved. Add vegetables, quinoa, and soy curls.

If cooking on stovetop, cover pot, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa is soft.

If cooking in a pressure cooker, cover, and using manual settings, set timer for 8 minutes.

Superfood option: add fresh herbs, chopped spinach, or Swiss chard after soup is done.

Peaceful Vegan Feeling

Have you ever heard of the song “Peaceful Easy Feeling” by the Eagles?  I had that feeling recently when eating green rice for breakfast while gazing at our French Bulldog Buddha statue. The bully Buddha is purposefully placed across from the kitchen table to remind me each day that peace starts on my plate.

Now you might not think that green rice belongs on the breakfast table, or any table, although it’s truly a transformative dish. Whole grain rice is a breakfast staple of the macrobiotic diet, as are sea vegetables.

The macrobiotic way of eating was foreign to me before my health coach training in 2014, but after studying over 100 dietary theories, I explored many recipes and found macrobiotic meals appealing and satisfying. The basic principle is to eat lots of whole grains, sea vegetables, local seasonal fruits, veggies, and beans; all while limiting or avoiding processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, and refined sugars. There is also a spiritual aspect that encourages cultivating intuition, gratitude, humor, self-reflection, and respect for others. Could all of this could lead to more peaceful, easy feelings?  Seems to have done so for me, and it might for you too.

Green Rice 

This dish could be especially health-promoting if what I recently heard is true.

There is chatter these days about nano particles and the negative effects they may have on our health and immune system. These particles appear to be increasing in our environment and medical delivery systems. The “scoop” I received was that the combination of brown rice, sea vegetables (a great source of iodine), and sea salt is a powerful detoxifier of these nano particles. While there is no proof of this as far as I know, the potent healing ingredients in my green rice recipe have been proven to reduce the risk of cancer — and that is something to bring more peace of mind.


1 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped, or 4 teaspoons minced garlic from a jar

2 large portabella mush caps, or 8-ounce package of mushroom of choice, chopped

2 cups brown rice, rinsed

8 cups water

1 package of Nori or two .35-ounce packages of seaweed torn into pieces

1 to 2 teaspoons sea salt

½ to 1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice (optional)

1 cup edamame, fresh or frozen


Add chopped onion into a six-quart (or larger) stock pot and dry sauté (meaning no oil) for three to four minutes. Add garlic and mushroom and sauté for another three to four minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low to medium heat for 45 minutes or until rice is soft, stirring occasionally.

If using an Instant Pot, follow the method above and cook on manual setting for 25 minutes. This is my preferred method.

Once cooked, test and adjust sea salt and pepper to taste. When serving, a splash of liquid aminos or soy sauce and uncooked edamame gives extra punch and color.


It’s vegan & cheesy!  How beautifully deceptive is this plant-based mac & cheese? Kids of all ages will have no idea it’s good for them! The sauce is inspired by a popular online recipe that I’ve modified, making the gooey goodness healthier and less chalky tasting.


4 cups warm water

2 cups old fashioned oats

½ cup nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons arrowroot powder

2 tablespoons of garlic powder or minced garlic

2 teaspoons sea salt

½ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon liquid smoke, or ½ teaspoon smoked paprika

2 roasted fresh red peppers, or one 12-ounce jar of roasted peppers in water

1 pound box of macaroni pasta, cooked according to package instructions. I used Barilla whole grain elbows. It’s a healthier pasta that has the texture of the less healthy version.  You could also choose a legume-based pasta, which I just adore!


For the cheese sauce, add all ingredients except the pasta into a high-speed blender. Blend on high until the sauce thickens to a melted Velveeta consistency.  You will hear the motor of the blender moan a bit when the sauce is ready. This usually takes about 5 minutes.

If you don’t have a high-speed blender, add all ingredients to mixer or standard blender and process until a smooth consistency is reached. Transfer to a saucepan and heat to a low boil. Reduce the heat and continue to stir until the sauce thickens.

Pour warm sauce over cooked pasta, mix thoroughly and enjoy. Depending on your preference of cheesiness, you may have extra cheese sauce.  Leftover veesy sauce makes great nachos. Just add in salsa and dip with your favorite veggie or chip!