Be the Happiest, Healthiest You!

Monthly Archives: October 2012

Composters, soup, and more on the way . . . Oh My!

My lovely husband helped build me a composter! I have been wanting to build one for so long. As you probably know, I have been working really hard to reduce our enviornmental footprint. It is sometimes like pulling teeth around here. I realize it is easier to just throw something in the trash, but it can be easy to recyle and now compost as well. I swear, before it is all over, we are going to major reduce our trash production. Plus we are ditching our truck (something I have wanted to do forever!) and we bought a Subaru Outback. An older model, but still way more fuel efficient. So that combined with our Yaris means we are super fuel efficient!

So back to the composter. I bought a barrel from a barrel recycling facility. Then we looked at plans on the internet, they are fairly easy to find. Of course, in the end, Robert came up with his own plan and built a far superior model. I wish I had the plans for you, but since it was a wing it, I don’t really, but I am going to give you the jest.

(1) You drill a hole in the barrel, and stick a pole through it. (2) Drill holes in the barrel for air circulation. (3) Drill matching holes in some 2×4’s. (4) Create a frame to hold the 2×4’s up. (5) Ta Da.

Alright, I am not great at writing directions for a composter, so I thought I would reward you with a soup reciepe.

Potato Soup


1 onion
3 carrots
3 celery stalks
1 pound of fingerling potatoes
Pinch of salt to taste
1 tsp of pepper
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
4-6 cups of vegetable broth


Saute onion, carrots, celery until onions are translucent. Add potatoes and rest of ingredients. Simmer until potatoes are cooked through.

I serve it with some hearty bread. It is fantastic for a winter day.

Tip: If your soup is too watery, add a tsbp .of cornstarch mixed with a tbsp. of water.


Stay tuned because I will be posting some awesome deserts this weekend to help us prepare for Thanksgiving!

Let’s get real about being Vegan and a great Breakfast Shake

It will come as no surprise that I get a lot of flack for being a Vegan. People question me about it, make fun of me, make snide comments. I have even been called, on more than one occasion, the Vegan Nazi (and trust me I’m not). At first, it really bothered me. I was so irritated by people making comments about how I needed a good burger, etc. I used to get furious, and if you are new to veganism, you will too. But I don’t get mad about it anymore.

Being vegan is awesome. It is about more than food. It is about life. It is about purpose. There is so much to it than that. This purpose is what sustains me.  I have done a lot of things that I am not proud of, but life is a journey not a single event. As I have grown up, I have realized how important it is to live my values. My whole life I’ve been a protester, and I have gone to marches and made posters, but I wasn’t completely living my values.

So many times I had tried to eat better, to loose weight, to recycle, to be an environmentalist, but I always failed. Then Veganism gave me a gift, a tool to live my values.  To me compassion is the most important thing in the world, and I get to live my compassion everyday. Of course, I have been pretty sensitive lately. Mostly because the attacks hurt sometimes. But that is just something I am learning to accept.

Veganism is a tripod: health, environment, and animals. Now I can live my desire to have a healthy life, to save the environment, and show compassion for animals. How awesome is that? I also get to eat the best food in the world! But I also understand that not everyone is ready to go 100%. That is ok too. For me, vegan is not about being judgmental. It is about inclusiveness and acceptance. So even one meal a day or a week is better than none. But I bet if you went Vegan for a week, you would be amazed at how much energy you have and how good you feel about yourself. Not only that, but now recycling seems easy, and we produce more recyclables than trash. I want to exercise. Everything seems better and easier. I think it is a combination of feeling proud of the way I eat and


I always need something good to eat for breakfast, and I like to drink breakfast. As some of you know, I have jaw problems, and it always hurts the most in the morning, so I like to not have to chew. I also like to eat a raw breakfast. I experiment with a lot of different things, but this drink is awesome. I love it so much. It sounds weird, but I swear it is yummo!

Breakfast shake!

Date my Banana Breakfast Shake


10 Pitted dates. (tip: if you aren’t using fresh dates, then soak them for about 20 minutes first)

20 ounces of coconut water

2 ripe bananas


Stick everything in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Dates can take a few minutes to blend up, so make sure you really blend them well.

This makes a lot of drink. Way more than you would expect. So be prepared to drink a lot! It lasts me until lunch.