Fourth of July- Vegan Style

Friday, June 30, 2017

For every person who has grown up in America, the Fourth of July is synonymous with summer. It's a day full of friends and family, maybe water balloon fights, fires crackling at dusk, and the ever-present blast of fireworks going off everywhere. It's also one of the busiest holidays for the barbecue industry, and we all know what that means- hundreds of more animals slaughtered to satisfy the taste buds of the masses.

As a vegan, holidays like this can bring out of some uncomfortable, maybe even hostile, emotions. All of the meat on the barbecues on every back porch in America isn't just some slab of food to us, it was a living, breathing, sentient being.

But if you're like me, you still have places to be and people to hang out with. Just because you have made the decision to live your life without harm doesn't mean you have to miss out on great food and fireworks.

My favorite dish to make for almost any party (including work parties) is Cowboy Caviar. Sounds weird right? But once you take a peek at the ingredients (or the photo) you'll see that it's something you've probably had before.

I've seen a number of different recipes for this dish, most of the differences are seen in the choices of dressings, but I usually make mine with whatever I have in the fridge and cupboard- usually some red wine vinegar and a tiny bit of oil.

I think for this Fourth I'm going to add some red quinoa into the dish as well, just to make it into more of a salad than a dip. Whatever you do to switch it up and make it your own, it is seriously one of the easiest, cheapest, and more satisfying side dishes out there. And I can promise you everyone will gobble it right up!

If you make your own please tag me in the comments on Instagram! I would love to see!


  • 1 can black beans (or 1 1/2 cup dry and cooked)
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen or canned corn
  • 1 fresh tomato, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, fresh is best but dry would work if it's all you have
For the dressing:
  • 2 tbsp red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil (I've made this with and without the oil and both are great, so any oil-free peeps out there, don't fret!)
  • 1/2 a lime
  • 1/2  tbsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder (optional)

Love deeply xo

Spiritual Questions- 11/50

Thursday, June 29, 2017

"You're having lunch with three people you respect and admire. They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. The criticism is distasteful and unjustified. What do you do?"

Things question takes me back to Tuesday's question, about doing the right thing. Standing up for your friends, even strangers, can be scary. But it is by far the right and most rewarding thing to do. In the above situation, I would say to kindly ask these people that you admire to stop talking about your friend is such a manner, and depending on what is being said, maybe even tell how she is the complete opposite of what they believe she is.

I know we have all been in the position of being criticized, maybe even criticizing others, but I believe that the only time criticism is acceptable is if it can help someone better themselves or their work. That's what teachers do, right? They critic a student's work in order for that student to do better and learn more. Criticism that is distasteful is just someone being rude and bullying, in my book.

Have you or a friend ever been criticized in a nasty way? What did you do?

Love deeply xo

*Original questions here.

How about a little insight?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

I'm always looking for new apps for meditation and mindfulness, so when my friend suggested a new app to me I downloaded it right away. Boy, do I wish I found this app sooner.

Insight Timer is like no other meditation app I've ever seen. It's like a little community full of people from all over the world that all want to better their lives through mindfulness and meditation. You can connect with people through groups and see on a map of the world where everyone is meditating at that very moment.

The app is full of hundreds of meditations, both guided and free, as well as some podcasts, music to meditate to, mantras and meditations that focus on certain aspects of life or daily activities. And it's updated regularly! Like every day regularly.

And the best part? It's FREE. The app is free to download from the app store and there are no in-app purchases or ads. It's the perfect app for anyone who wants to start a meditation practice but feels stuck or all alone. With this app, it will only take you a moment on the home screen to see the thousands of other people meditating with you to know you are never alone.

Love deeply xo

*All opinions are my own and this post was not sponsored

Spiritual Questions- 10/50

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?"

I'm taking this question to mean that "doing things right" is sticking to the norm, doing what everyone else is doing. Was that the way the author intended this question to be asked? No idea, but it's what I read when I saw it.

I would say that I am definitely more focused on doing the right things and not necessarily the "right way" to do things. Just because everyone else thinks it's normal and "right" to consume the flesh of other living beings doesn't make it right. Just because some people are racist or homophobic doesn't make it right.

Standing out in a crowd isn't easy. Sometimes being vegan in a very meat-centered culture feels like you're wearing bright yellow to a funeral where everyone else is wearing black (do people still wear black to funerals??). It can be scary to stand up for what you believe in, for what is right and just, but in this world of social media, it is so much easier to feel less alone. All anyone has to do is jump on YouTube and they'll realize they aren't the only ones dealing with racial slurs, homophobia, or just those people who think they know best.

Never question your ground, your roots, and know that they will always hold you steady if you believe in them. Stand up for yourself and your beliefs, stand up for those around you, speak up for those who can't speak for themselves. 

Doing the right things isn't always easy but it can be so freeing to stand by your morals and beliefs. Whether or not it's what other people see as the "right" thing.

Love deeply xo

Spiritual Questions- 9/50

Monday, June 26, 2017

"To what degree have you actually controlled the direction your life has taken?"

I think I've had a lot of control over where my life is at right now, whether that be a good or a bad thing I'm not so sure yet. Ever since graduating high school I made decisions for myself that have taken me places and have given me opportunities I wouldn't have had otherwise.

I made the choice to go to college and change my major a year in. Changing my major presented me with an opportunity to study in Italy one summer, an opportunity that I never would have had otherwise. That trip will forever be one of the greatest memories of my life.

I moved home after college and after working odd jobs made the decision to go back to school for the second time, because I thought I finally knew what I wanted to do. Now that I attempted school for the third time and made the decision to drop out, I think it's safe to say that I am done with school at this point.

I now have a great job that pays enough that I can actually do fun things every once in a while and not just pay my bills and barely get by. I know I am fortunate to have this job that allows me to do those things when many people do not have that luxury. 

We all have control over our lives, each one of our decisions has an impact on our lives be that small or lasting. But I do believe that some things are just out of our control and that's okay too. Learning to go with the flow and ride the waves that life throws at you is a part of the trip.

Love deeply xo

*Original questions found here.