Raw Onion Dip Extraordinaire

Everyone needs a go-to to dip that works on everything and is perfect to take for a potluck or dinner party.

Here’s the recipe for mine. 

Onion Dip Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 Cups Raw Sunflower Seeds
  • 1 Cup Lemon juice, fresh squeezed. Or a bit less as you can always can more. 
  • 1 Cup Raw Cashews
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Tbl Onion Powder – heaping!
  • 1 Tbl Garlic Powder – heaping! 
  • 1/2 Cup + 3 Tbl Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbl Green Onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • Pinch or two of Salt
Directions

Add all ingredients except the 1/2 cup of Onions and Green Onions to a blender and blend until creamy. Scoop out into a bowl and stir in the 1/2 cup each of Yellow Onion and Green Onions – this provides a great texture and pop of flavor. Taste to adjust spices or add any additional seasonings you like. 

This is soooo yummy, savory and thick so it sticks quite well to all kinds of sliced veggies. It is also amazing on bread and crackers. 

Somehow I didn’t take a picture of the finished product 😮 but this picture below was a simple and delicious lunch that used this dip as the spread or ‘mayo’. 

What’s your favorite dip? I love new recipes so please share!

If you have a dip recipe that you’d like a healthier version of, post it below and I’ll see what I can come up with! 😃

Raw French Onion Soup

Summer is over and I am ready for a warm soup, how about you?

My recent decision to move forward with a Raw and Living foods lifestyle, aka Raw 4 Joie, is going splendidly, minus a couple hiccups here and there. 😉 It is a journey after all. I’m keeping things very simple and making lots of easy recipes that can be used as staples in the fridge and combined in with other things to quickly whip up something yummy.

However, I am enjoying reading recipe books and watching raw cooking shows online and when I come across an ‘OMG, it sounds amazing!’ recipe it’s fun to try it out. This is one of those recipes. 

I am also focused on the cozy, comfort side of food lately, seeing as I’m on a mission to create a go-to list of comfort foods. That has as always been a missing piece of eating raw for me so I’m really encouraged by this recipe discovery as it definitely falls into the comfort category. 🙂

I found this recipe in the Local Wild Life, Turtle Lake Refuge’s Recipes for Living Deep by Katrina Blair book that they had at my favorite restaurant in town – Go Vegan Cafe -and I was curious and excited to see it was a broth soup. Excited, as I’m not a fan of cold, raw, creamy soups like creamed corn or those where you blend up raw, fresh produce to make the soup base. I am not a fan of that type of thick texture. And curious, as how do you make a seriously CHEESY recipe, Raw (dairy-free)?

So here it is! Hope you enjoy it too!🙂

French Onion Soup Recipe

  • 1 Yellow Onion – Cut into very thin slices.
  • 2 Tbl Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbl Mellow White Miso
  • 2-4 Garlic cloves (I used 4 of course!)
  • 3/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (look for Cold-Pressed on the label)
  • 1/2 tsp each Dried Rosemary, Thyme, Tarragon, Marjoram and Ground White Pepper to taste (I used Black Pepper instead of white and Winter Savory instead of Tarragon – it was what I had)
  • 4 cups Water

Blend miso, garlic and water in a blender till well combined. Pour into a big bowl or soup pot. Add in the rest of the ingredients and allow them to marinate overnight, or for a few hours at least, at room temp to get the full flavor from the onions. 

Heat the soup slowly and gently on the stove top, using a thermometer to monitor the heat (118º – 1120º) to keep the nutritional benefits of it being ‘raw’. As a tip, it shouldn’t be too hot for your finger. 

Swiss Cheeze Recipe

  • 1/3 cup Raw Sunflower Seeds – soaked for a couple hours
  • 1/3 cup Raw Walnuts – soaked for a couple hours
  • 2 Tbl Nutritional Yeast
  • Juice from 1 Lemon
  • Pink Salt – to taste

Blend together all ingredients. Spread over slices of your choice of bread and pop into the dehydrator for 2 hours at 115º or in the oven on low until the cheese begins to dry. 

Serve bread with the soup and use for dipping. The flavor combo is FANTASTIC. I don’t know if it really tastes like a dairy Swiss Cheese or not, but it has a bit of a sharp note and all I can say is – paired with this Onion Soup it’s heavenly!

**Serving Tip – dish up the soup into ramekin bowls or another type of small ceramic bowl that you put in the dehydrator or warming oven. It helps your soup to stay warmer for longer once it’s away from the heat and also being a smaller portion, you can eat it quicker and get a refill, of freshly warmed soup. I heated up 4 of the red bowls pictured below so Kerwin and I each had a warm bowl waiting for us in the oven for a refill. 😊 It worked perfectly! The soup was so savory and filling we couldn’t eat more than 2 bowls. 

Choosing How You Think – Do You Get To or Have To?

Holding a bone for my dog while in my bathrobe

Lessons learned from my dogs are always powerful. and the learning never stops, no matter how many I’ve learned, there are always more.

And in case you thought that once a lesson is learned that one is done, allow me to reassure you that it will continue to show up over and over and over.

Today I was reminded of one while I was feeding the dogs breakfast. Mornings are usually a raw meaty bone meal and they tend to be the easier of the two meals the dogs are fed every day. Not this morning. The extra bone I’d gotten out for Larkin (he needs to have serious chew time periodically, it makes him happy and keeps him occupied) was rejected. It was a refrozen leftover from last time but those tend to be favorites as they are already started. Oh well, I got out another bone, a new one this time, and started thawing it in a sink full of cool water.

Then Ian is finished with breakfast and he now wants a bonus bone too. I offer him the one Larkin rejected and Ian did the same. Strange. So a third bone comes out, no time to thaw at all, I just rinse it under the faucet to get the ice off and so no tongue gets stuck. Lol. Both of the ‘replacement’ bones are happily accepted and off go Larkin and Ian. Great.

Well, now Nicklas is done and he thinks it’s a great day outside and additional chew time would be lovely 😋 but I don’t have any more Pork Feet/Hock bones. While I’m deciding what to do, Nicklas spies that twice rejected bone and he trots over, picks it up and happily carries it to his bed. 😮 Curiouser and curiouser. Nicklas is not the biggest chewer, he’s actually the lightweight of the pack; he likes the easy bones. He doesn’t use his paws to eat so without being able to hold bones there is no tearing and maneuvering to get a better angle on the bone is tough.

Nicklas clearly wanted to eat this bone but he told me (we talk all the time) he needed my help to hold the bone for him. I was surprised at how excited he was over this bone so I acquiesced, squatting down next to him I held out the bone.

This boy had a blast eating this bone! He worked on it for well over an hour and I moved from squatting to kneeling to sitting to sitting on my rear with knees up and bare feet flat on the floor to brace myself so I could hope to stay upright and HOLD ON while Nicklas was happily tearing at the bone like we were playing tug of war. LOL.

In that moment, it was Magic. Time was standing still. I wanted Nicklas to have this time and for absolutely nothing to interrupt him. I prayed that when Kerwin came home he wouldn’t let Elly out or even open the door at all. It would totally cause Nicklas to be distracted and, I feared, lose interest in his bone. I kept the corner of my eyes on the other 2 boys who were happily going to town on their own bones but, my note to self, never to break rule is when holding a bone that is being chewed I am not allowed to look away. I give full concentration when canine jaws are involved.

Here’s the thing. Early morning, no coffee yet, in my PJs and bathrobe, getting a mental and physical workout for an hour plus…my core was sore, my hands were tired from gripping, my back and legs got a workout too. Can you picture it? Not the morning I was planning to have.

Backyard scene, 2 Gordon setters chewing on bones, me in a white bathrobe holding a bone for Nicklas

Through it all, I kept thinking of the lesson I had learned: “I get to”.

I caught myself not too long ago saying “I HAVE TO feed the dogs again.” I was starting to feel resentful of the time and effort involved. I was getting tired. I wasn’t happy putting their bowls down in front of them. What the heck?!

It was my CHOICE to change their food to feed them a species specific diet. There is absolutely nothing about that decision I regret. The increased health of the dogs, the Aliveness in their eyes, the new zest for life – it’s beautiful and so gratifying. I’m only saddened I didn’t do this sooner. Like with my own health, I wish I had done made this diet change with the dogs years before. Cancer is the #1 killer of dogs, waaaay too young. It had started to feel inevitable, that it was only a matter of time till one of our dogs got cancer and I would have to say goodbye and watch them die. I am not okay with that! So what then was the problem?

I stopped to consider this and had the ah-ha to reframe it around LOVE. Yes, it is a chore to feed them but it’s one I do out of love. When I think of caring for our dogs out of love, the words change from an at times begrudging ‘I have to’ to a grateful heart ❤️ saying ‘I get to’ feed them. Made a world of a difference!

Because of that simple shift I now meal prep better and quicker, I plan each days mealtimes around my schedule, I feed them earlier in the day so I’m NEVER tired or coming home late from the movies and still having to feed the dogs. I am stepping up my game to do better by them, focusing on ways to increase their health and immune system. Why do this at all if you aren’t going to do it the best way you can? I feel there is still so much more I can learn and do!

I get to feed my dogs raw.

“I get to” go shopping for their food. “I get to” do meal prep when I leave town. “I get to” to spend money and time on their care. “I get to” take care of them. “I get to” teach them mealtime manners because their food is so tasty with such high pay value they get too excited. “I get to” teach Nicklas hot to eat a raw bone. “I get to” chop up raw meat of all kinds, even being a vegetarian and horrified by the feedlot farming industry. “I get to” show them love, kindness, patience and compassion.

Back to today, in that moment, I kept thinking 💭 “How awesome is this?! I get to hold a bone for my boy Nicklas. I could still be working a day job, rushing out of the house in the morning before the sunrise and not being able to have this fun recreational chew time with my gang.”

I am grateful for the time I get to spend with my dogs. I am thankful for all of it. Even when Nicklas has so much to say I think an office outside of the home I could escape to would be wonderful 😜, I am thankful I get to work from home, from anywhere really, and live this life I’m living. It’s a fabulous reminder of why I’m doing what I’m doing with my business. Talk about motivation! My pack is counting on me! Nobody else will look out for them like we will. No way can I or will I let them down.

I encourage you to use this ‘lesson I learned from my dogs’ to change your perspective so that the things around you change too.

How many times do you say “I have to….”?

I have to go to work, I have to cook dinner, I have to pay these bills, I have to do a performance review, I have to make this phone call, I have to drink more water, I have to be more patient, I have to eat more veggies…

When you GET TO do everything in life then life responds and it becomes full of magic, joy and special moments. 🤩🌈💖 And isn’t that what life is supposed to be all about?

I plan to create more of memories like this and to share this gift I have my hands on in Neora with as many others as I can so they can live life on their own terms, whatever it looks like.

Looking to create more ‘I get to’ moments in your life? If you’re looking to earn an extra $500-$1,000/month without changing a lot in your life, so you can create whatever it is YOU want to create – time, freedom, financial independence…holding raw bones for your dog not required 😉 then take 4 minutes and watch this: Why Neora, Why Now

I’m happy to chat with you, answer your questions and if you like what you see and hear, great, if not, no big deal.

I’m grateful I got to share this story and lesson with you! And now it’s time for me to go, as I get to take a dog to the park before sunset.

Cheers!

ps- My most amazing husband did come home, did get the moment Nicklas was having and quietly snapped these pics through the slats of the shutters on the window. 👍🏼💜😍 

Nacho Cheeze 2.0

The finished plating of the Nacho Cheeze Pasta dish

It’s soooo exciting to find recipes you love and new flavor combos!

As I write this blog I am relaunching my Raw food diet and turning it into my lifestyle, not something to start, stop or dabble in. Go big or go home, right? 😃 To help me track and document it as I go, I’m calling it: Raw 4 Joie. I’ll add that label as a ‘tag’ to each blog post I do so depending on when you are reading this and how long you’ve been following me, you’ll be able to go back and see the related posts.

Back to the topic at hand…FOOD!

I found this recipe in the Modern Raw book and absolutely LOVE IT! But then as I went to share this blog post I discovered on my website that I’ve previously shared a Nacho Cheeze recipe. 🤔 ⬅️ here’s that one if you’re interested. As I read through it, I noticed I sounded pretty serious about it being incredibly delicious. How could I have forgotten about it??! I wonder….Maybe I need to do a taste test blend off! 😋

Either way, I am currently seriously fixated on this version, so here it is. The texture is so smooth and the flavors simply pop. Definitely hits the mark of being a “comfort food”. SCORE!! 💥👍🏼💪🏼

Recipe

  • 1 cup Raw Cashews – soak for 20 min – 2 hours, drain and rinse.
  • 2 Tbl Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 cup Red Bell Pepper – rough chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1 Tbl Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (look for Cold-Pressed on the label)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Pink Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Turmeric

Blend all ingredients in a blender till as smooth as you can get it, but don’t blend too long for it to become hot.

**Tip – this Cheeze goes brilliantly with slices of raw Sweet Potato.

I’d love to hear back after you make this one or both! 😜 Seriously, it’s such a versatile dip why not make variations on it.

Layout of the ingredients that make up the Raw Cheeze zucchini noodle mealThe finished plating of the Nacho Cheeze Pasta dish

Discovery of The Holy Grail

Happy and in my element, the garden of course 😊, it’s a gorgeous day and I spontaneously snap this pic. The sunshine felt so good on my face! I was reminded of an earlier intention I had shared – to take more photos of me, just because.☺️💜 So here it is.

I wasn’t always a fan of selfies, or photos of me AT ALL. Hard to believe?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

I’ll never forget the moment 7 years ago when I looked in the mirror and thought 💭 “THIS is why women wear foundation. THIS is what getting old looks like. If you won’t use Botox, harsh chemicals or get a face lift, you better get used to it.” A bit harsh but such was my thought.

I was not loving my skin and never left the house without makeup; I was aging too quickly, stress from work and a poor diet had all left their mark. My face was ashy, pale, tired and sagging. I really was quite discouraged and sad.

So when my husband brought home a bottle of anti-aging night cream I immediately said “NO, I’m not putting THAT on my face!”

Yup, I surely did.😂🤷🏼‍♀️⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

I was a non-product user, who didn’t wash her face outside of the shower and KNEW nothing worked that didn’t have toxic ingredients. To top it all off, after all my years in the Corp World I was a die hard skeptic. It simply COULDN’T be revolutionary, like my husband said it was. Nope. Nothing is.

Kerwin had gotten the bottle from a co-worker, another guy no less LOL which I find funny, and brought it home for me to try as he was interested in the business. Married life…

He wouldn’t let it go so I finally broke down and used it to prove him wrong. For 4 days I cried about the scent, complained how I didn’t like how it tightened my skin, wouldn’t take a picture – what for?, reminded him I was juicing so of course anything I MIGHT see I would attribute to the juice. Sheesh, I was a tough case! 🤦🏼‍♀️

The morning of the 5th day comes around and I look in the mirror after rinsing off my face in the shower. My skin was visibly brighter. Juicing worked!

Gave him the bottle back and tried to forget all about it. My husband had other plans. A few weeks later, he comes back with the bottle AGAIN and this time says “You’re not juicing, try it again.”

Sigh…..

Fast forward to the morning of the 5th day, second time round and guess what, my face WAS brighter. Hmmm 🧐…what could it be?

There was quietly a burst of HOPE and a ‘what if’ in my head 💭 now. If 4 nights did that, what would 30 nights be like?? What if it was even better? Would it be worth the risk to find out?

After researching to my hearts content, which included reading the scientific white papers (not something I recommend, by the way), who does that?! my skeptic heart was happily blown away to find that this cream passed muster with flying colors.

Turns out the scent wasn’t so bad after all. I mean, the dogs loved it and they would know, right? 😉 Then I figured if I put it on just as I got into bed I wouldn’t even know my face was tight. At least it wasn’t green. LOL.

I did this for 30 nights and I’ll be honest and say that when I looked in the mirror I was ecstatic. I had found The Holy Grail!

I looked like I’d had a face lift without the surgery, expense or scars. I didn’t have deep wrinkles to disappear but gravity had been reversed and there was color in my face again; the tiredness was gone and oh my gosh the best part was how I FELT. I left the house makeup free and wasn’t self conscious. On the contrary, I kinda wanted to show off. 😋Like when you get a gorgeous new dress, you want to wear everywhere and anywhere just because you love it. That was me and my younger looking face. 💜😌

Now, I’m almost 7 years older and I STILL have the confidence to be makeup free, without apology. It’s not an “I don’t care” attitude when I use #nomakeup on a selfie, it’s actually a celebration. A celebration of confidence and gratitude and a serious wish for every woman to have this feeling.

Yes, beauty IS only skin deep but come on, let’s be real, it absolutely affects how we feel about ourselves, no matter how much self care and personal development we do. How we look matters. It’s not everything by any means but why do we spend so much time on the cut, color, design lines and pattern of our clothes if looks don’t make a difference in how we feel and how we’re able to show up in our life?

Sorry, I digress.

Since that first Night cream there have been formula changes and enhancements as new science and new botanical sources are discovered so the newest AGE IQ formulation is even better. The scent is now light, creamy and spa-like, the dogs still love it and when my face tightens it’s a familiar reminder that I’m going to wake up feeling great about my skin; I’m rather attached to it. I will even apply it before boarding a red eye flight so I can be sure to arrive without looking like I had a sleepless night. 😁 Thank goodness it goes on and stays on Clear! 

If you want to truly SEE The Holy Grail results for yourself, then click here. The other thing to know is, it’s risk free. If you aren’t thrilled with your results after 30 days you can send the bottle back for a refund. 

Or you can order a free sample here if you are skeptical and want to do the same 4 night Feel It experience I did. 

**I do recommend you take your picture. Please. Don’t be like me. 😉 I’ve learned my lesson over and over again and I do have results pictures from other products as they were launched but not from the original, flagship product that changed everything for me. 🤷🏼‍♀️😏 Lots of other people followed directions though and you can see THEIR results here.

The business behind these killer skincare and now wellness products is how I fund my product addictions (among things LOL) We have lots more products now and there are two of us so FREE certainly helps! How I got roped into the business side of things is a whole other story.

to be continued…

Spicy Asian Peanut Sauce

This recipe was an accidental discovery but it was soooo delicious that I had to pause and write the recipe down in Evernote real quick before I even sat down to eat. I didn’t want to forget anything!

**side note for full disclosure is that I’ve been known to not write recipes down, forget where I found a receipe or intend it write it down in the morning and then….it’s really painful when it turned out to be an incredibly tasty dish that you can’t recreate. Ugh. Kerwin has not been happy with me.

That is NOT happening with this one!

What makes this recipe even better is that it doesn’t actually have any “peanuts” in it! hahaha! I really don’t like peanuts and I know many people are also allergic to them. I have a theory on that….but that’s a topic for another blog. 🙂

Oh yeah, and did I say it’s super simple? It is!

Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 5 Tbl Creamy Raw Almond Butter (plus a little extra to taste)
  • 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce or Liquid Aminos (gluten free)
  • 2 Tbl Honey
  • 1 Tbl Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 3 – 4 Garlic Cloves, minced (note: we do love garlic!)
  • 3 tsp Sriracha sauce (start with 1 tsp and work your way up. The heat epends on the brand of sauce you use.)

Directions:

Simply add all ingredients to a bowl, stir together, taste and adjust flavors to your preference.

To make it a quick meal – I sauteed up a generous amount of some chopped purple cabbage and sliced red onions with a tiny bit of sesame oil.

I used 4 Ramen ‘cakes’ for the noodles, so we could have leftovers for lunch the next day. (I love doing meal prep this way! lol.) I cooked them for 7 minutes, the first 2 minutes was waiting for the noodles to soften so they could be separated and then 5 minutes of separating the noodles and stirring until they were done. The cook fast and go very quickly from perfect to mushy so keep a close eye on them and do taste tests. It’s easy to lose track of time while focused on separately noodles so I always set the timer.

•I plan to try spiralized Sweet Potatoes as the noodles next time. I’ll try and remember to come back and update this post with the results.

 

Where to find the Ingredients & The Brands I use~

 

•Ramen Noodle – Louts Foods Millet & Brown Rice

For the noodles I used the Lotus Foods brand with brown rice and millet instead of white/wheat flours.

Sometimes you can find them at Costco but if not available in your area, you can get them at the link below:

Lotus Foods Organic Rice Ramen Noodles Millet & Brown – 10 oz

•Soy Sauce – Ohsawa Nama Shoyu

My favorite Soy Sauce! Unpasteurized, Organic and No Preservatives.

The most “raw” soy sauce I’ve found and with a rich depth of flavor. I never ‘cook’ it over heat, I save it for the final application to season your dish or in unheated recipes to better appreciate it’s flavor. 🙂

Sadly, it’s no longer available at any of my local stores. You can get it on Amazon but I like this site, Vitacost (link below), as they often times have sales, so I wait and then stock up. 🙂

Ohsawa Organic Nama Shoyu – 32 fl oz

•Sriracha Sauce – Wildbrine, Probiotic Kimchi Sriracha  – Double Fermented

This stuff is the bomb! Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free & Unpasteurized! Yippee!

I found it at our local Whole Foods but for the label reference, here’s the Amazon link – I didn’t see anything other than this 8 pack available at the time I looked. But why not stock up?? We are now using this as our go-to hot sauce. More than heat, compared to other sriracha’s, this one has FLAVOR.

• Raw Almond Butter, Creamy

You can find Raw Almond Butter at several natural type grocery stores, like Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Natural Grocers and Whole Foods.

And at even more places you can find ‘non-Raw’ Almond Butter. The flavor isn’t the same but it could do in a pinch.

There is quite a range in price point as well and ‘sometimes’ the price is indicitive of the incredible flavor and, stick to the roof of your mouth, creaminess. Other times, it’s just a high price. lol.

Watch for the word “raw”, if you don’t see it, it’s not raw. Look at the back label and make sure there is only 1 ingredient listed – Almonds.

For standard dishes my go to is Trader Joe’s brand as they have an unbeatable price here in town at $5.99 / jar. It’s Unsalted and Unsweetened, only 1 ingredient.

Why it’s such a higher price on Amazon, I’ve no idea.

 

But if you’re want a nicer quality for special occasions I like this brand.

Windy City Organics Dastony鈩 Almond Butter – 16 oz 

If I’ve left any details out, or you have questions please let me know!

I would truly love to hear back once you made this dish, even just the sauce. I hope you LOVE it as much as we do!

Twisted Green Smoothie

I am super proud of this new flavor discovery! A while back I made this coffee frappuccino that rivaled and, to me at least, beat Starbucks version. It was my saving grace over the summer, I drank soooo many of them! Problem was I don’t know what happened to the recipe. You think  you’ll always remember it because it tasted so good and you made it so many times but all the recipes made in between until Summer came round again, blurred the memories. 

I haven’t found anything that came close…until now. To be clear, this recipe below ISN’T the flavor but….it’s even better! Woohooo! 😃 And that is saying something! Plus, this one has greens in it which the former version definitely didn’t.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooled Coffee (I take the leftovers from the mornings pot and put it in a mason jar in the fridge, once it’s cooled off)
  • 2 cups Spinach (I keep a bag in the freezer)
  • 6-8 Medjool Dates (adjust to your taste)
  • 2 Tbl Hemp Seeds (also stored in the freezer)
  • 2 Tbl Almond Butter
  • 3 cups Coffee Ice Cubes
Edit 7/31/2019- I’ve since further enhanced this recipe:
  • 3 Drops Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 2 tsp Raw Maca Powder
  • 1/4 tsp He Shou Wu Extract (Completely optional. This extract is of benefit to get additional longevity superfoods in your diet but not crucial to the enhanced flavor.)
Add all ingredients to the blender, in the order listed for best results, and blend until smooth.
 
**Cacao Nibs would also be a great addition if you want some chocolate flavor and a boost of Jing energy (Cacao is one of the, if not THE, top longevity superfoods.). Also, a few mint leaves thrown in would be tasty too (only if you haven’t already added the Peppermint EO).
 
This is light and refreshing with a bit of a coffee boost and hit of protein with the yummy spinach and hemp seeds. The lack of a banana keeps this smoothie from not being so heavy, the almond butter adds the creaminess and some fat to help you feel satiated.
 
Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
 
This cup is actually Yellow. LOL

Joie Is…Wild Horses

This pair of beauties came strolling down the trail as I arrived at the trailhead with Ian. I was delayed from heading out on our hike for a while as I was mesmorized watching them.

They were even closer on our return! It was so inspiring to see them!

Guys, THIS is why the speed limits are what they are. It’s not for road conditions, it’s for the hikers and wildlife that may be crossing the road or wondering alongside.

2 horses were killed just a bit earlier this year, a momma and later one of her babies. So tragic and such unnecessary loss of life.

Hopefully this stallions flirting with the mare will result in a Spring foal!

Body Image

When you look at yourself in the mirror what does the voice in your head say?

I focus so much on wellness and how I physically feel, the energy I have, the foods I eat and the importance of the choices I make and yet for me, all of those things are in no way shape or form driven by body image.

Perhaps you find that hard to believe? Well that’s why I am writing this blog, to share with you the story behind that comment in the hopes that it will be impactful for you in your own life and maybe inspire you to look at things a little differently. It was only by doing that myself that everything changed.

What exactly IS Body Image?

Body Image is how we SEE, FEEL, THINK and BEHAVE as it relates to our bodies – our shape, weight and perceived ‘looks’. Impacted to a huge degree by the media, books, curated Instagram feeds and perfect celebrities.

Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel. ~Kevin Trudeau

My Journey

I began my journey to greater health while EXCLUDING my weight and my looks as a focus. Yup. I actually flat out said that weight loss was NOT on the table when I started my challenge.

Don’t get me wrong, I had loooooonnngg wanted to lose weight and did not have a positive body image at all but nothing else had worked up till then so I decided to change things up a bit and focus on what was really the driving force behind everything; for me it was Energy, or the lack thereof.

I gave myself this permission to not focus on the weight by telling myself that IF after this challenge I hadn’t lost a single pound but I FELT stronger, more alive and with ENERGY that I’d be completely OK. This wasn’t “just talk”, it came from deep in my gut. In order to set myself up for success and not quit after the 1st week when the numbers on the scale didn’t change, I knew I truly had to be okay with it. Then I said I’d be able to tackle the weight and hit the gym, once I had the energy.

Interestingly enough, letting go of the mental anxiety about my weight, the never-ending beating myself up about it and hating the reflection in the mirror made a HUGE difference in my mental state. I really started to change the story I was telling myself. I grew to deeply appreciate my body. As I changed my eating habits I could see just how AMAZING my body has been for soooo many years taking care of me while I wasn’t even giving it the best tools to do so.

I could feel my body respond and heal with every passing day, it was exciting and so deeply inspiring.

The weight started to fall off. I didn’t exercise. I didn’t count calories. And many days I actually pigged out.

Now when I look in the mirror I say “thank you, I love you. You are beautiful and so amazing and I appreciate that you never let me down”.

Am I the weight I’d like to be? Nope. Will I ever be? Who knows. Perhaps the target will continue to change. Am I perfectly shaped like the curated Influencer feeds on Instagram? Nope. You say “But you look great, you’ve lost tons of weight, OF COURSE you feel better about yourself!”. True, I did lose a lot of weight, it took time and dedication though as like I said, weight loss wasn’t the goal and yet I know that the ONLY reason I did was because first I let go and secondly I started telling myself a different story.

My challenge to you is this:

Pay attention to what you are telling yourself. Change the story first, follow that up with daily actions (however big or small) and choices, that demonstrate you DO love yourself and your amazing body and watch what happens….Magic. Your life will change in ways you can’t even begin to imagine! Mine sure did.

I am writing a book on the full story of my journey to share the details and document it for posterity so I never forget. But I wanted to share a bit of it here, now, as I see so many people around me struggling, hiding in their clothes and looking for the one right diet. I urge you – don’t wait! Start now. Make a simple change, do one thing each day to show love, compassion and grace to yourself. Then please come back and tell me about your experience so I can celebrate with you!

For additional tips and a positive community you’re invited to join the Joy, Wellness & Women group, follow me on Facebook and Instagram or reach out below with your questions. I’m happy to help you!

Joie Is…being proud of yourself

being proud of yourself

This was a special moment to me. I haven’t set up a vendor table in a long while and this new design was inspired by a photo a friend shared. I had to tackle the great unknown Hobby Lobby to find what I was looking for. gulp! That was a huge win all on it’s own! LOL. I was happy I pulled it all together, showed up, dressed as me and spoke to the group. Proud side gig business owner moment! 🙂

What moment in your business has recently made you feel proud of yourself? Post a picture of it! Inspire me and everyone who sees it. 💜