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    • French Onion Soup -Vegan

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    •  2/22/2013 9:34:16 AM

    • Right now the snow is coming down, and it doesn't look like it will be stopping anytime soon.

      This is the time when a warm bowl of freshly made soup is my favorite sort of "comfort food".

      We have some incredible soups in our FAVORITE SOUPS download that you can purchase here.

      I love the simplicity of a really good French Onion Soup.  For this recipe I just went to Costco and bought the large bag of sweet onions - which are perfect for this soup.  I also couldn't resist their multi-grain bread baked fresh in the bakery :)

      4 Large Sweet Onions, cut if half and sliced

      2 TBS Earth Balance Butter

      1 TBS coconut oil

      6 cups of broth (I use water and then add veggie boullion paste seen below)

      Product Details

      1 cup dry sherry, optional

      salt and pepper to taste

      In a large pan melt the butter and coconut oil and add the onions. Cook the onion on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

      Reduce heat to very low, and cook, stirring occasionally, 50 to 60 minutes, until onions are very tender and brown.

      Add the broth, sherry and seasonings. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes.

      • I cannot wait to make this! This sounds simple and perfectly delicious.
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    • Vegan Corndogs -waffle style!

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    •  2/15/2013 4:13:01 PM

    • One of the things that my older kids remember from before my "transition" into a healthier way of life was corndogs.  There is only one food that I ask my kids to please not eat and that is hotdogs.  I guess I was feeling a little nostalgic this week and decided to come up with a vegan version of the good ol' corndog.  I had seen a segment on Rachel Ray using the waffle iron for something like this and thought I would give it a shot.  I was shocked at how easy these were and my kids loved them.  Now I must say that even the vegan hot dogs are HIGHLY processed and are NOT a nutrient-dense food.  These are not something that should be part of the everyday.  However, every once in a while they are certainly welcome!

      I opted to make the batter Gluten-Free although the brand of hotdog I purchased (from Wal-Mart) were not gluten-free.

      3/4 cup pancake/waffle mix

      1/4 cup cornmeal

      3/4 cup Vanilla Almond milk

      1 TBS oil

      1 packet of stevia, optional

      4 vegetarian hotdogs

      Heat the waffle iron.  Using wooden skewers, gently slide the hotdogs onto a stick. Spray the pan with non-stick spray.

      Spread half of the batter onto 2 "squares" of the waffle iron.  Line up 2 hotdogs per square and then pour the rest off the batter on top.  They will take about 4 minutes to cook.  Cut each waffle in half to serve.

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    • Overcoming My Addiction...Part 1

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    •  2/8/2013 4:20:51 PM
    • As many of you may know, sugar is my true love... my arch achilles betrayer! 


      You can read a little more about that here and here.


      The long and short of it is that I have NEVER had a balanced, healthy relationship with sugar.  I have so often treated it like a good friend - welcome always. Believing that we had a respect for each other.  That it was a source of comfort as well as a means of celebration.


      Oh how wrong I was.  It took me a while to see, but me and sugar...well, we aren't really friends at all.


      Now I write this today simply to expose my relationship with sugar.  Not to preach to anyone about what may be hiding in their relationship - only to enlighten you about mine.  And quite frankly, it's time to give up this toxic relationship.


      I am a reader.  Always have been and probably always will be.  So many of the treasures that I carry have come from the wisdom of others - shared with me through books.


      When I decided that for once and for all I needed to QUIT SUGAR, I turned to books for comfort, for answers, for support and for understanding.  I thought that I would share a few of the ones that have really helped me on my way. 


      As of today I am 5 weeks clean.  This is not to say that I have had NO sugar whatsoever.  I have had a little bit on a few occasions.  But overall I feel much freer from than substance than I have ever before.  There have been plenty of times when I have gone on some sort of a cleanse (I went 6 weeks completely sugar free).  But the main difference is that this time there is no finish line.  There is no hot fudge sundae waiting for me at the end.  There is no countdown until cheesecake.  This time the changes I am making are intended to be for good (and yes there is a heaviness and a few tears that come with even saying that).


      I realized that I finally had to make a choice (and how grateful I am to even have the opportunity to make that choice).  What I really wanted was GREAT HEALTH - in all of its varieties.  I knew that great health and a relationship with sugar could not both be apart of my life.  I had to choose.  And since I am still in the process of "overcoming", I have titled this Part 1.  Part 2 will come...eventually :)


      The book that brought me so much hope was this one:


      Overcoming Sugar Addiction: How I Kicked My Sugar Habit and Created a Joyful Sugar Free Life



      I can't even put into words how powerful this book was for me.  It was honestly like someone had entered my life and my mind and had put it to words.  My fears and my weaknesses were all right there are paper.  And the knowledge that someone out there just like me had overcome was so uplifting!



      Another book that helped me along the way was this one:



      Product Details



      This book helped me tremendously with the logistics of actually "getting off sugar".  It taught me about the power of my body with things like my serotonin levels and my blood sugar levels.  I personally didn't believe everything that was written (for example, I think that we need a lot less protein than is touted) and I should say that I did not lose ONE POUND while I was following her program.  That said, I was VERY grateful to have a step by step action plan to break my sugar addiction.  I learned so much about how foods triggered my cravings.  It was another step in improving my self-awareness.



      The book that helped me begin this journey was this one:



      He Did Deliver Me From Bondage (20th Anniversary Edition)



      Words will never, ever be able to fully express how much this book has helped me.  Not just with sugar, but with absolutely every aspect of my life that needed some changing.  It is a beautiful take on Alcoholics Anonymous and the necessity of turning ourselves over to a higher power.  I have never felt closer to God in my life than when I was finished with this book. I will forever be grateful for the lessons that I learned about the power of my Savior and His ability to overcome ALL (including something as silly as my desire to give up sugar).



      The last book that I want to mention is one that I am currently in the middle of.  It has been a pure gift to read.

      A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever


      I should say that I don't necessarily agree with every single aspect of the book, but it is still one that I would highly recommend.  I feel that as with most learning, you can do it in pieces.  A little from this book, a little from that book until slowly (but surely) you have developed the type of learning that applies specifically to you.  This book has taught me so much about love.  The absolute need for love it every area of my life - including my kitchen.  I used to think that sugar was a great way to feel and give love.  I was wrong.  Something that leaves me feeling foggy, manic and sluggish is NOT what real love is about.  I also learned about fear.  I had no idea how many of my choices were fear-based and came from a place of scarcity-thinking.


      I have begun a journey dedicated to being my best self.  This will have ups and downs and I'm okay with that.  This will probably include cheesecake on my birthday and it will probably include lots of self-doubt (as well as judgement from others).  But I also know that my journey will include growth and plenty of mistakes. It will include tears and mourning - asking "Why can't I just be like everyone else?".

      In being my best self I hope to be a better servant to the world.  I am a nicer, clearer, kinder, more functioning human being when I am not thinking about my next fix or  when I am too tired to be of use to anyone.  Remember, this is merely MY journey.  I am still questioning and I am still finding answers. I have found peace with that process.  As for the sugar - I am not giving something up, I am CHOOSING something better!!

      • Wow! I could have written the part about your relationship with sugar. I am completely addicted. I was clean once for almost a year (with lots of support!) and enjoyed all the wonderful health and emotional benefits that came with that. It says something about the power of addiction when I traded all of that in for sugar again. I now try to only use raw honey and dates to sweeten, but I know it is only a form of denial. Thank you for the book recommendations. Reading has always helped me stay focused and strong. All the best to you on your sugar-free journey!!
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    • A "Healthier" Low-fat Guacamole!

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    •  2/1/2013 4:39:09 PM


      I absolutely love guacamole, but I also have to be careful with just how much I eat.  I have the body-type that puts on weight VERY easily and in one sitting, I can eat WAY too much of the creamy goodness.  This recipe was inspired by one on which is a fantastic website associated with  This is perfect for Super Bowl Sunday!

      Low-Fat Guacamole

      1 cup drained and rinsed canned green peas, or 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas

      1 large ripe avocado

      1 roma tomato, chopped

      juice from 1 lime

      3 TBS of finely chopped red onion

      1/4 cup cilantro, optional

      salt & pepper to taste

      If using fresh or frozen peas, blanch peas by placing them in boiling water for 2 minutes to soften. Drain peas and immediately shock with cold water to prevent further cooking. Place in either a mixing bowl or food processor.

      Cut the avocado in half from stem to bottom. Remove the pit and use a spoon to scoop out the inside. For a chunky guacamole, mash avocado and peas together using a potato masher or fork. If a creamy texture is desired, use a food processor (this is definitely what I prefer).  Mix in the rest of the ingredients.

      Guacamole is best when consumed on the same day. To prevent leftover Low-Fat Guacamole from turning brown, cover it directly with plastic wrap in the refrigerator, and it will keep for up to one day.

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