We are two individuals, sister-in-laws, and friends who are striving to thrive and be our personal best as well as making our surroundings a better place to live! Connected by faith, family, friendship, photos, and writing, we just want to share our journey with you!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

H is for Happiness, Health, Hemp Hearts and Heros!

Hello Everyone!
I am so so excited that we finally have a few followers! YAY! I want to say WELCOME to you!!!! Thank you for your kind words and let this be the beginning of a new friendship full of fun, laughs and food!
I am on a journey just like you and although ours might differ in certain ways, I think we'll find a lot of common bonds and interests and we're all heading in the pursuit of health and happiness!

I am finishing up my last practicum for my education assistant course in a high school right now...and I had a revelation as well as many flashbacks as I entered high school ten years after I graduated! I was DREADING it to be honest...I love working with the little kids in Elementary School settings and I've never known any other way! I was terrified of the attitudes and hormones that I would surely discover at High School-level..but you know what??? I just realized once I set foot in a high school that they are just 'big' kids and are wonderful, kind, sweet, smart, funny and I've really had an amazing eye-opening experience!
My passion is still to tie my love for health, medicine and children together and I feel that stepping outside my comfort zone has made me more well-rounded and happier!!!

So onto my letter 'H'!

The Webster Dictionary's definition of
Health is the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit; especially: freedom from physical disease or pain.
I really strive to feel and live a healthy life. I think that health is parallel with balance because you need balance in your life to truly achieve health in all three (body, mind and spirit). This can be tricky and it takes a lot of organization and commitment but really, aren't we worth it?!!! I sometimes catch myself cutting myself down or being too critical and then (usually my husband), reminds me to stop, breathe and really look at what I HAVE achieved and what I HAVE done and focus on the positives!
Every day I learn something new and even though we take what we want and leave what we don't, we are really learning more about ourselves and taking steps to become happier, healthier beings!

I chose to talk about Hemp Hearts because they really are AMAZING! I know that I've bragged about their incredible nutritional value in previous posts but since it's a 'double-H', and a favorite of mine, I thought that it deserved another shout-out!!!
As Elizabeth Barrett Browning would say "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways."
I love hemp hearts by themselves (as you can tell by the above picture)...I love hemp hearts sprinkled over steamed greens with avocado, in vegan patties, stir-fries and over sushi....I love hemp hearts over granola or oatmeal!!! I love hemp hearts in muffins, cookies and almost anything!!!! It's a great food that is a complete protein, gives you an abundance of energy and keeps you feeling satisfied for hours...my 21 month-old son Noah loves to eat Hemp Hearts by the spoonful!
I don't know why I have posted more vegan burgers in the past month than it seems like anything else...we really do eat a more varied diet!!! I think with summer coming and our discovery of the amazing vegan burgers that are listed in The Thrive Diet, we just have branched out and experimented with our food processor and vegan burger-making!!!!
Dan made an AMAZINGGGGG vegan walnut-hemp burger tonight with the recipe derived from The Thrive Diet...let me tell you that it was INCREDIBLE!!! The only thing that I would change next time is the amount of coconut oil that Dan used (2 tbsp.)...I would personally just use 1 tbsp for the recipe but Dan insists that the 2 tbsp. was perfect and loved the burger the way it was made!!! Since I am a garlic-fanatic, I would probably throw in a clove or two of garlic next time too!!! But all-in-all I would even go as far as to say that this was the best vegan burger that we have ever made!!! The patty was quite mushy and crumbled easily but it was like butter melting in your mouth!!! YUM!
So here is the recipe (derived from The Thrive Diet) for

Vegan Walnut-Hemp Burgers:
1 cup of walnuts
1/2 cup of hemp hearts
2 1/2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar (tastes soooo good in this recipe)
2 tbsp. of coconut oil
fresh basil (to your liking)
1 tsp. of oregano
pinch of sea salt

Makes 2 medium patties

Throw all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until mixed. What is great about this burger recipe is that it can be eaten raw!!! Yes that's right! By eating part of your diet raw, you get a higher quality of nutrients from your food and it is less processed. We chose to slightly grill our patties tonight but I have enjoyed them raw before! We topped our burgers with hummus, cucumber, tomato and mustard!!! YUM!

I hope that you enjoy this recipe and I am going to experiment some more this weekend and post new and exciting recipes including an apple-hemp muffin recipe!!! So stay tuned!

I wanted to finish this post with a quick explanation of why I put 'hero' into my 'H is for' segment...
I really believe that you should be your 'own hero' in the fact that you shouldn't compare yourself to anyone (ideally)...it's one thing to look up to and admire but when it becomes unhealthy in a way where you cut yourself down and place unnecessary expectations and pressures on yourself, then it's detrimental to your well-being.
Deciding to become a vegan has been a journey for me with mostly smooth-sailing but I'm not perfect and have obstacles to face...the other night Dan and I went to a movie and I had a few handfuls of his candy that he had bought and although I LOVE treats and enjoy snacks, I try to make them myself so that I know the ingredients are more healthy than processed crap that you would find elsewhere..I don't even crave that processed stuff that you would find in a grocery store but the other night I didn't have anything and chose to eat some junk...it was an interesting experience because almost immediately I felt terrible! I went for a run after the movie was over and felt sluggish and had cramping...Instead of beating myself up for making a 'poor' food choice, I felt proud of myself for committing to my run and persevering through the discomfort. It was a good reminder at how far I've come and how I want to live my life and what food I want to fuel my body with! After my run was over, I felt cleansed and a sense of joy and gratitude for the lesson and my health!

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