Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Recipe

Hello everyone,

Happy Fall!  I don’t know about you but this is my favorite time of the year for food.  I love warm meals and the comfort of pumpkin and squash recipes. It is a wonderful time to try new recipes and to turn on those ovens to warm the house.

We made this incredible recipe, originally from the Forks Over Knives Magazine (and altered it a bit), and I wanted to share it with you.  This will be going on my favorite list to eat time and time again.  I hope you enjoy it at much as we did.

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Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with Lentil Marinara (serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash halved and seeds removed
  • 12 oz. brown lentils, rinsed and drained (canned)
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 6 oz. Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, unflavored plant-milk (I used almond)
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced (the more garlic, the better, in my opinion)
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper, ground
  • 1 Tbsp. of fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with a silicon mat.  Place the squash halves, cut side down, on the baking sheet.  Bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until tender.
  2. In the meantime, in a bowl, stir together the lentils and marinara.
  3. Place potatoes in a steamer basket in a saucepan. Add water to saucepan and bring to a boil.  Steam the potatoes, covered, for approximately 10 minutes or until tender.  Let the potatoes cool.
  4. Place the cooled potatoes in a blender.  Add the plant milk, nutritional yeast, white wine vinegar, garlic, sea salt and pepper.  Cover and blend until you reach the desired, sauce consistency. Set the sauce aside.
  5. Remove the squash from the oven.  Turn squash halves over, scrape squash strands with a fork, and spoon in the lentil mixture.  Bake for another 20 minutes or until heated through.
  6. Warm the potato sauce and poor it on top of the squash halves.  Add the basil as a garnish or mix it in.
  7. Enjoy!

 

 

 

The Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Being an Animal Rights Activist

Hello everyone,
I hope that you have all had an incredible summer.  I know that it’s been a bit…
I cannot believe that summer is almost over! Where does the time go?!  My summer consisted of working at the gym as fitness director, running my own business, taking a plant based nutrition course, activism, volunteering at a sanctuary, going to a wedding in San Francisco with the hubby, attending my 20 year high school reunion (whoah, I know!), and kissing Layla (our fur baby).  It was filled with ups and downs; the lowest of the downs took place a few weeks ago.  And that brings me to the subject of this blog:  “The Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Being An Animal Rights Activist”.
I know that seems like a rough transition, but hang in there.  It’ll make sense by point 3.
1) Being an Animal Rights Activist is one of the hardest jobs in the whole world!
Not only do you not get any financial support for your actions, but the job never stops. I am no where near as active as some other activists, but I co-hosted a Cube of Truth almost every weekend for a year. In addition, I try to cook vegan food for people to sample, offer online challenges and to post something valuable/informative on social media every day! This work may not sound difficult but you never hear the end of it when you are fighting for something that is against the social norm.  It is full of Internet trolls, family insults including “you are a f*ing moron”, and strangers posting pictures of tortured animals.  The hours also never stop.  Being an activist means knowing the truth about what happens to animals and never being able to get away from the images: on social media, going to the grocery store, at family dinners, smelling barbecues in the neighborhood, seeing commercials on the TV’s at the gym, listening to food commercials on the radio, in your dreams (or nightmares).  It is a constant battle of trying to be compassionate, yet knowing what a dark place this world can be.
2)  Self-Care is crucial and must be done to sustain this movement! (And this is where my breaking point comes in….)
As an activist, you feel like you can never stop.  At this very moment, thousands of animals are being slaughtered and I should probably get off my butt to advocate for them instead of writing this blog.  I don’t have time for a bath or a vacation because the animals need me (and if one more person tells me abut their vacation when I am trying to save the world!). I am tired but I need to go to a Cube.  I want to cry but I can’t stop.  I don’t have time to be sick…..and vegans don’t get sick!
These are all thoughts that go through our heads.  I have heard fellow activists who feel guilty for sleeping in a warm bed because the animals the animals don’t get the same luxury.
For me, it had been months of no sleep, anxiety, and months of activism when I simply broke: both physically and mentally.  I saw a video on Instagram of an activist who was entering a meat market.  At this market, the customer went inside, purchased a live animal and the animal was killed right there for them to take home.  There was a video of a baby cow, and this is where I lost it.  I cried so hard, one of those gut-wrenching cries where you have to hold back the vomit.  Since then, I have been broken.  I have not been able to think of activism, I cannot see a video on social media and I have had the most intense stomach pain for the last two weeks.  Not doing self-care or taking care of my mental well-being finally caught up with me.
As an activist, we have to remember that we have to put our oxygen masks on first.  We cannot take care of this planet and save animals if we don’t take care of ourselves.  It is not selfish.  It should be a requirement.  This is a lifelong movement and the animals need us for the long haul.
3)  It is okay…better yet, more than okay to be happy!  
I think sometimes as activists we think that we have to watch the slaughterhouse videos, we have to study the facts regarding how animals are killed and how we are destroying the planet.  And we become so angry at the world, at our family and at our friends.  We scream at them that “meat is murder” and we become people that aren’t fun to be around.  While I don’t think that we should ever sugar coat our feelings, I do think we may get more people on board if we are happy and compassionate human beings.  Someone is more likely to jump on board if they see us as an inspiration instead of someone who is sad all the time (“I don’t want to be vegan if it makes me angry like you!”).  In addition, what is that doing to our health if we are angry and sad all the time?!  The animals don’t want that.  They want people to be strong so that we can thrive in this fight.
Having said all of this, I am not quite sure when I will completely recover from my breakdown.  I am spending my free time doing Yoga, meditation, eating healthy foods, taking baths and staying off of social media (that’s a whole other subject).  I am not quite sure when I will be able to dive back into activism 100%.  I know that when I do, I will try to remember these points so that I can make it through this long haul.  Maybe some extra Layla kisses will help ❤
Thank you all for reading.  I will be back with something happier soon.  And to my fellow activists, please take care of yourselves!  ❤

FREE CHALLENGE GROUPS start tomorrow! (For vegans and non-vegans)

Hello everyone,

Happy Sunday! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

Starting tomorrow, I am offering two FREE challenge groups every Monday!  They will both run for 7 days at a time and participants will have the opportunity to win some amazing prizes!

The first is a Go Vegan Challenge.  This challenge will be great for anyone who wants to go “cold-kale” for 7 days, for someone who wants to try new recipes, or for anyone who wants to eat more plants.  It’ll include a grocery list, recipes, easy vegan swaps, cooking demonstrations and support.

The second is for anyone who wants to Get Active For the Animals.  It will encourage participants to do something for the animals every day, for 7 days.  It’ll include a list of ways that you can advocate for the animals with large-scale organizations, at the grocery store, on social media or in restaurants.

Did I mention that both challenges are FREE????!  They will start on June 3rd and will run every week from now on.  You are welcome to participate week after week.

To sign up, simply click on the link below:

SIGN UP HERE!!!

Have a great day!  I cannot wait to work with you! ❤

Potato Nacho Cooking Demonstration

Hello everyone,

Happy Food Friday!!  If you are looking for a delicious dish to make this weekend, look no further.  This recipe is dairy free, gluten free, vegan and is comforting!

Please click on the video below for the full cooking demonstration on how to make potato nachos.

I hope that you enjoy and have a great weekend!

My 10 Favorite Vegan Foods and Events Coming Soon

Hello everyone,

I hope you are doing well.  I am so sorry that it has been so long.  Somehow the month of April got away from me, but I am back!!!

Two quick things:

First, I am kicking off some FREE challenge groups, starting in June 2019.  One challenge group will be for anyone who is interested in going vegan.  The second group will be for people who are already vegan but may want to become activists.  Both challenge groups will be run on Instagram so please make sure to follow me there (@happyhealinvegan).  You won’t want to miss out; both groups will include some amazing prizes!!!!

Second, I have just published a new video:  My 10 Favorite Vegan Foods for Transitioning to a Vegan Diet.  This video includes some amazing products and is great for vegans and non vegans alike.

I hope that you continue to have a great week and I promise to be back with more content soon ❤

Raw Till Four: My Five Day Experiment With This Diet

Hello everyone,

I hope that you are having an amazing week!  I am so sorry that it has been so long but I was having some issues with my website.  The problem has been resolved and I am back!!

During my absence, I did some experimenting with a diet called Raw Till 4.  Although I was feeling pretty good prior to this challenge, I was also feeling a bit sluggish.  I had heard that this way of eating increased your energy, so I thought that I would give it a go.

Anyway, here is my video that documents my journey with Raw Till 4.  I explain why I took on this challenge, what I ate and how I felt after 5 days on this plan.  You may be surprised.

Please make sure to subscribe while you are there and let me know what you think.  Have you ever tried eating a raw diet? I would love to hear from you! ❤