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RAISING A PLANT-BASED EATING TODDLER

May 26, 2016
raising a vegan toddler

You know, life is pretty care-free when you're without child. There is no having to think about whether you'll get enough sleep, no having to worry about making sure you're making the best choices - you can just live life, have fun, and do whatever to reach your goals. Then when you have children, IT. ALL. CHANGES.


When I was growing up, life wasn't all silver spoons and cash money. If mom was struggling, we never knew it. I was raised well but as I got older, I began to question a ton of stuff. Things like why we were expected to eat, learn, and grow in the same way. I was always "different" and I guess it showed. When I became a mom, I knew three things: I didn't want to repeat the same cycle as my family did, I wanted to be a mother who respected the future she carried, and I wanted to do more than just say "I love you".

Fast forward 22 months later - my son will be turning 2 in July. When he was born, my choice to breastfeed him was nothing to think about. I knew the liquid gold was always going to be my first choice, especially if I was able to do so. According to society, I should have stopped and started to wean him at 6 months. Of course, I dismissed that foolishness. I'm proud to say my toddler still supplements with breastmilk (from the boob only - he never was a fan of bottles or pacifiers, hallelou!) - Trust me when I say extended breastfeeding benefits definitely outweigh the awkward stares and lack of knowledge others project with their opinions. I'll save that for another post.

When my son was "old enough to start eating real food", the first things my mom and others would tell me were to:
  • Add real milk to his diet (cow milk is not meant for humans, yo!)
  • Let him suck on a chicken bone (is he a dog or human being?)
  • He can have cheetos, it won't hurt him
  • He needs to eat more than fruit and veggies Neosha... he needs meat too. (yeah, maybe if it wasn't lying around dormant at Walmart)
  • If he doesn't get his shots on time, he'll get sick -__- (insert huge laughs)
Imagine the looks on their faces when I refused to feed my child cow pus, processed and karma-filled meats,  not follow a vaccine schedule, eat hot cheetos at 8 months, and sugar-loaded koolaid. You would've thought I was a damn foreign object. As a mother, I realized I had to make better choices all around. It was no longer just me I had to worry about, but a child as well - plus, society has been lying to us for too long already so at some point we have to take FULL responsibility for ourselves. Of course, with my family and maybe even strangers, I'm sure their concerns came from genuine places but I also knew that majority of society lacks true understanding of their own selves, let alone their own health. Like, why should we go on "diets" to be healthy? 

Anyway, my choice for going full throttle on plant-based came from the day I was eating a can of soup. I gave my little one a few of the noodles to eat. One hour later when he woke from his nap in tears his face was covered in risen warts. *insert scared mama face* - it got to the point here I had no clue what to do and my child was falling asleep in a way that made him limp. My family called 911 and I ended up taking him to the emergency room. Note that it was a true waste of time. The DOCTORS had no clue what really caused the problem and quickly said "maybe a spider bit him" (what the hell you mean "maybe") and they gave him a small dose of meds to stop the itching and bring him back to normal - but I realized it was the noodles (that were made from wheat/gluten). From that day on, I vowed to kill off dairy, meats, and go gluten-free.and avoid over the counter medications completely. 

It was hard getting my family to understand my choices - his father was supportive though even if he didn't fully "get it" yet. My mom is a huge advocate for running to Tylenol, doctors, or any medication for that matter for everything from a runny nose to an itch. My quest to heal my son of his eczema and handle his food allergies was my goal so the day I set the record straight there was no changing my mind. Our health mattered and suppressing it was not on my agenda in any way. After eliminating dairy, meats, and gluten out of my own diet, I began to see drastic changes in my son's health and his skin. If I backslid and ate a peanut butter cookie, he'd itch up a storm - if I stuck to plant-based, he was as fresh as his newborn flesh. back to 22 months later, he's one of the happiest, healthiest, most friendly and loving child I know. All because I stuck to my gut and ignored the naysayers and the opinions of others on how I should raise MY child. 


Fighting to keep myself focused on why I started was a struggle but today - watching him and seeing him thrive is all that matters. Aside from my family still believing he's spoiled and "too attached" to his own mama - they see how loved he is and respect the choices I chose to make. Gone are the days of asking me when he's going to go see a doctor or if he can have koolaid and hot cheetos for a snack. 

I'm not saying every parent should follow my example but this is what has worked for me and my household. If being self-sufficient is something we should all strive for, no better place to start than with your own health. I allow myself to trust that I know better and do not have to take every word from others as gospel. I often ask myself, "If someone asks my child to describe his mother - what things would I want him to remember and appreciate about me most?" 


CAJUN BLACK BEAN SLAW BURGER

February 28, 2016
cajun black bean burger vegan

Yeah - you know it looks good. Yeah - it's completely vegan. No meat whatsoever. Shall I request the hallelujah emojis? Since going vegan, I have literally felt a lot more better from the inside out. From no craps from Mother nature to no longer having those urges to simply be a carnivore. No, I'm not going to sit here and preach about how having a vegan diet is the bees knees because let's face it, lots of people would rather eat whatever they enjoy most. I get it - I promise.

I think my version of burgers however are just as delicious but with A LOT less "itis" and karma attached to it. The kitchen has become one of my favorite places ever because I get to do what I love most - be creative and experimental. I thought about creating a separate blog fo my vegan food recipes but then I was like, "nah, I have enough on my plate", so I started an Instagram account for it instead. Follow my food diary on UhOhVegan.

This Cajun Black Bean Slaw Burger was a combination of Pinterest inspiration and my sick obsession with black beans.... seriously. You can cook it in oil or bake them according to how you desire. I chose to bake them, of course. If you fancy a burger that is full of immaculate taste and "smoky" bbq flavor - this is it for you. I've gotten in the habit of actually writing down what I use to make my special concoctions because I do forget once my meal is over - so thank me later.

CAJUN BLACK BEAN SLAW BURGER



Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
cajun black bean burger vegan

Ingredients
  • Black Beans (soaked or canned)
  • Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs - I Use This
  • White Onion
  • Mushrooms
  • Brussel Sprouts (fresh or frozen)
  • Ground Flax Egg - I Grind My Own
  • Hemp Seeds - I Use These


Spices:
Cumin | Cajun Seasoning | Garlic Powder | Red Pepper Flakes | Celery Flakes | Old Bay Seasoning | Pink Himalayan Salt - Love This

Instructions:

Begin by prepping your ingredients for the "burger". If using canned black beans, drain and rinse. If using dried black beans, I recommend soaking them overnight before creating this recipe. I used (1) medium-sized can to make 4 burgers. In a food processor, add your black beans - 1 tsp Cumin - 2 tbsp Cajun Seasoning - 2 tbsp Garlic Powder - 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes - 1 tbsp Celery Flakes - 1 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning - 1 chopped onion - and 1 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt. Blend until most of the beans have smoothed. Add 1-2 cups of breadcrumbs and 1.5 tbsp ground flax egg. Blend for about 2 minutes. Mixture should be thick but smooth and easy to mend together into a burger shape. If "slippery", add more breadcrumbs for water absorption. 

How To Make Flax Egg 

I purchase whole flax seed and grind them in a blender. You can also use a coffee grinder. Take 2-3 tbsps of grounded flax and add 1/4 cup water or less and let sit for 2 minutes or until it has a similar consistency to a traditional egg. If mixture is too runny, add more flax - if too thick, add a bit more water. 

cajun black bean burger vegan


Prep and Cook Brussel Sprouts

These green babies act as the "slaw" on the burger only because it reminded me of cabbage as it too can be shredded. Many people hate brussel sprouts and part of that from what I've heard and seen has simply been because not everyone knows how to cook them - trust me, I tried to cook them myself ONE time and hated them until recently. All you need is an oil - some salt - and pepper. BOOM! 

Take a bag of frozen brussel sprounts or cleaned, fresh ones - drizzle a small but decent enough oil to coat them evenly (not drenched). I ended up using a little canola oil. Sprinkle with some pink salt and pepper. Pop them in the over on 375-400 degrees for about 20 minutes. 

Mold your black bean burger mix into burgers (as big or small as you like). I made them a nice thick patty for my own messy pleasure. Place in oven for 45 minutes. Be sure to flip them over after half that time to evenly cook each side. You can also opt to deep fry (use flour to coat) them if you prefer greasy foods.

Build Your Burger

Take your mushrooms and cook on stove until sauteed. Season to your liking. I used some garlic and old bay. Take your cooked brussel sprouts and cut them up to resemble shredded cabbage. For the tangy sauce I used, you will need to mix your favorite bbq sauce, with yellow mustard, and some sriracha - DONE! Add sauce to your gluten-free buns, mushrooms on bottom - add burger patty - cut up some onion rings - add your brussel slaw - more sauce - and enjoy!



This is a meal definitely made to be messy so don't even bother trying to eat all proper. Sometimes it's just best to use your original hsnd utensils (fingers) to fully enjoy a pleasant mess. 

HAVE YOU CREATED ANY NEW RECIPES IN YOUR KITCHEN LATELY?

SOMETHIN' LIKE A COMEBACK CLAPBACK

February 25, 2016
neoshaloves somethin like a comeback

Where do I actually begin with this blogging biz again. I don't believe I blogged about anything since December of last year - I have my reasons though. I needed a hiatus. I needed to disconnect and recharge.

While away, I was hard at work with implementing more and better ways to grow my startup, CreateHER Stock as well as my own business, HUNCreative. I am a firm believer in self improvrment even when it all seems impossible. But I'm back and refreshed. I got some things under my sleeve and I'm excited to share them with you.

There are some changes you may have already noticed. For one, I finally got a new domain - something that aligns with my life altogether for this blog right now. Remember when blogging was just another outlet used to simply express your likes, dislikes, and so forth? Nowadays, everyone is all about "blogging for business" and "branding your voice" - well, I decided that I'd much rather focus more on getting back to the basics and loving blogging again without the bells and whistles. I already have a love for simplicity as of late so if I can remain authentic and honest in a space that started off as a safe haven for me and still have brands and things come my way, so be it.

When I started blogging a few years ago before "blogging business" went mainstream on the forreal tip - I enjoyed all things beauty and hair, hauls and fashion. Nowadays, my lifestyle has changed. I love less materials and more presence. Here's what you can expect for me in 2016:

LEARNING TO LOVE MYSELF MORE

Sounds cliche', right? But seriously, since becoming a mother, my life has literally been trying to break me. Sure, online I seem super happy and super positive but I'm human like anyone else - I'm not always as happy as I feel I should be. People have hurt me, people have betrayed me, people have talked trash about me - but I still stand. I've been on a "self-love" journey, like many of us. Putting myself before others (not to be selfish) but simply because for a long time I would just allow things to happen or be said without truly speaking up for myself.

Not anymore. I'm a non-conformist so I'm quick to tell anyone I could care less about how they feel about me. I feel good about me and that's all that matters. I know where my heart is -  and it's never in a place of wanting to hurt others or see them suffer. We all have the power to change how we do things but we don't have the power to change the consequences of things we've already done. I'll be sharing that journey in this space.

GONE VEGAN + STICKING TO IT

Yes, most people don't know I've been vegan for a while now. Not just with food but even with external body care and such. You'll be seeing a lot of creative, vegan meal recipes I've enjoyed on here. If you follow me on Twitter, you probably have already caught wind of a few epic goodnesses.

KEEPING IT SIMPLE

I've downsized A LOT since last year. Hello minimalism! On top of going vegan, going back to the basics, and my self-love and discovery journey - I 've also been a minimalist. This isn't really new for me but I have gone deeper into it in all aspects of my life and businesses. Hopefully, you enjoy what I plan to share on here and back on YouTube - how this simple life stuff makes me happy.

I hope you enjoy what's to come because I am truly happy with where my mindset is about life this year. I have a lot to work on but I continue to improve and would love to help others do the same. Until then, if you want to hop on the list for monthly email love - do it! I tend to share even more there anyway. 

MY 13 PARASITE CLEANSE DETOX EXPERIENCE

December 14, 2015
13 parasite detox cleanse

These past few months have truly been good to me. I say that because the more I open myself up to welcoming what's foreign to me or not the norm for others, the less stressed and happier I am.
A great deal of my outlook has come from my past and having always felt "different". I call that special ... I would always questions things I was taught. I recently made the commitment to pursue a more vegan lifestyle too. Although it's been my whole effort the entire past year and such and I've been doing well. Other than the occasional back sliding to indulge in light seafood or turkey sub - *insert shame* - I figured it was time I detox.