Author Archive for tracilyn

Instant Pot Black Beans

Beans are a staple of my diet, and black beans are one of my favorites. I used to buy a lot of canned beans, but not anymore. I LOVE LOVE LOVE dried beans, and the Instant Pot makes cooking them a breeze. You don’t have to soak the beans first, but I usually do (and pour off the soaking water). This is my new favorite black bean recipe, and it was inspired by this post on www.apinchofhealthy.com. Enjoy!

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Everyday Essentials: My Favorite Perfume Oils

Did you know that your skin is your largest organ? As such, it’s important to consider what you put ON your body, as well as what you put IN it. I’m not a fan of commercial perfumes – in part because they often get their scents from synthetic ingredients rather than natural ones. And the scents are so strong – overwhelming to the olfactory system! (Think about it…do you really want to put that chemical shitstorm on your skin?) I prefer soft scents and natural ingredients, so I use certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils + unscented lotion instead of perfume. Here are a few of my favorites:

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Five Easy Steps toward Ditching Plastic

A few sad facts about plastic:

  • Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the Earth four times.
  • Fifty percent of the plastic we use is used once and thrown away.
  • More than 60 million plastic bottles end up in landfills and incinerators every day.
  • It takes 500 – 1,000 years for plastic to degrade.
  • Approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide each year, and more than one million bags are used every minute.
  • The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is located in the North Pacific Gyre off the coast of California and is the largest ocean garbage site in the world. This floating mass of plastic is twice the size of Texas, with plastic pieces outnumbering sea life six to one.
  • Plastic constitutes approximately 90 percent of all trash floating on the ocean’s surface, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile.
  • One million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans.
Sources: EcoWatch, Container Recycling Institute.

So, here’s the important question – what can you do about it?

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Easy Vegan Cream Gravy

I am a Southern girl, and every once in a while…I MUST have a biscuit and gravy fix. I’ve searched Wilmington for good vegan biscuits and gravy, to no avail. No worries, though. I just make my own! I love the “Best Damn Vegan Biscuits” recipe from Minimalist Baker, and this is my go-to gravy recipe. (Not that it’s vegan health food, but it sure is tasty!)

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Jamaican Jerk Marinade

I love this on seitan, or chickenless strips, or…well, just about anything. And here’s a hint: wear gloves when you handle the habaneros. Just do it. Trust me on this.

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White Bean and Roasted Garlic Hummus

Hummus is traditionally made with chickpeas, but you can make an excellent hummus with white beans as well. Roasting mellows out the garlic and gives it an almost sweet flavor, so don’t be afraid of the garlic! Plus, it keeps the vampires away. (Except the ones that you don’t mind coming around…Damon or Stefan Salvatore, perhaps?)

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It’s Cherry Season!

Would you believe I never had fresh cherries as a child? I thought those yucky sweet maraschino cherries were the ONLY cherries. Boy, was I wrong. Fresh cherries are one of my absolute favorite fruits. I was delighted to walk into the grocery store over the weekend and discover organic cherries for just a few bucks a pound! The health benefits of cherries are pretty awesome, so I stocked up!

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Everyday Essentials: My Favorite Laundry Day Oils

With my sensitive skin and sensitivity to chemical smells, I quit using chemical laden, scented laundry detergents and dryer sheets ages ago. Instead, I use doTERRA’s On Guard Laundry Detergent to wash my clothes, and I use unscented dryer sheets with a couple of drops of essential oil for a light, natural scent when I dry them. (And I’m on the hunt for reusable dryer balls that are NOT made of wool or plastic! If you know of any good ones, please let me know.)

I keep three bottles of oil on the laundry shelf and decide which one to use on the dryer sheets, depending on my mood. You can use others, of course – but these are my three favorites!

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Fifteen Quotes to Inspire and Enlighten

We all have bad days, even those of us lightworkers who do our best to shine brightly as a beacon of light and hope in these challenging times. Sometimes it’s helpful to take a break, take deep breaths, and meditate on a few powerful words. These quotes have helped me get through many a rough day so I could refocus and align with my deeper purpose. I hope they are helpful to you, too!

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Enchilada Sauce

Part of my fondness for the Southwest is the fact that I love the regional cuisine. I learned to make this sauce when I was living in Tucson, and it is one of the best enchilada sauces I’ve had. And it’s so EASY to make! I love it over spinach and mushroom enchiladas, or black bean and sweet potato enchiladas, and it’s great to use in pancake-style enchilada casserole. The secret is the cocoa – don’t leave it out, it is essential!

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