Joie Is…never tiring of watching hummers

Looking through shutter slats at a hummingbird sitting on a feeder that is suction cupped to a window.

Ignoring the dusty fingerprints on the shutters and the window that needs to be cleaned :’) THIS image brings me joy.

This is the window I look out of every morning as I sit in the library reading and journaling. This photo in particular was shot while I was at the computer desk; a blurry movement out of the corner of my eye had me turning my head to see the warm yellow fading sunlight glinting off of his gorgeous iridescent feathers.

Every once in a while this feeder falls off the window, the glass never breaks thankfully, and if I don’t notice it right away I’ll get random fly by’s from the resident hummers letting me know about it. lol. 

I always take a moment to stop to watch them feed and it always makes me smile. 

Keep an eye out for the little things around you and slow down long enough to BE in the moment and soak it all up.💜

Looking through shutter slats at a hummingbird sitting on a feeder that is suction cupped to a window.

The OMG Dreamy Creamy Smoothie

Mason jar 3/4 full of a white liquid that looks like milk

Looking for a healthy, refreshing, smooth and creamy drink that puts a smile on your face?

Mason jar 3/4 full of a white liquid that looks like milk
While on this detoxing plan, this week is only liquids, the goal is to continue to reduce calories, fat and sugar. Coconuts are a lighter, healthier, less caloric fat than nuts (nut milk), pineapple is great for digestion, plus gives some sugar and fiber and the rejuvelac (fermented water) is great support for my gut to keep the friendlies doing their thing. 😊 
 
Today I needed a little pick me up that also put something in my stomach. This smoothie was definitely IT! 
 
Next time I make it I may add some frozen strawberries simply for varieties sake but it was absolutely perfect as is, not slushy or icy at all. 
 
I hope you enjoy it as much as my husband and I did! 😃
 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Juicy Pineapple (super super ripe/overripe is best)
  • Half a Frozen Banana
  • 1 tsp Coconut Butter (if no butter, use an extra tablespoon or so of Coconut Cream)
  • Pinch of Cayenne Pepper (you can’t really even taste it)
  • 2 Tbl Aloe Gel (I use a frozen cube of Aloe gel made from the plant in my backyard)
  • Pinch, or more, of Lime zest (really gives it a nice pop)
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Powder ( I prefer powder as it’s without alcohol, although you can certainly use it, it just may change the color a bit.)
  • 4 oz of Coconut Water*
  • 4 oz of Rejuvelac** (If you don’t have this, you can just use all Coconut Water
  • 1/3 cup Coconut Cream
  • Depending on ripeness of the Pineapple, add additional sweetener as desired. Raw Honey goes well.

Directions:

Simply throw all ingredients into the blender and blend until SMOOTH, it may take a minute. Then drink away!

*The easy way to get Coconut Water and Cream, without cutting up a coconut, is to put a can of Organic full fat Coconut Milk in the fridge overnight. The next day you’ll have the liquid (water) separated from the cream which will have become solid. Use the needed amount of each, put the remainder in a mason jar back in the fridge to use in the next 3-5 days.

**Rejuvelac is made from sprouted grains and seeds, most commonly wheat berries. The water you soak and sprout the wheat berries for 48 hours becomes fermented, cloudy and a little bubbly – that liquid is rejuvelac. It’s full of good for your gut lactobacillus bacteria. As a side note, you can also use it in place of probiotics if you’re making cheese, it gets the fermentation process going. 

Do you like living this way? | Life & Times of Joie | Ep. 2 |

Sunday’s Life & Times of Joie….episode 2

We laugh at all the memes that joke about all that we have been living through this year, murder hornets and all, and yet laughter aside, I’ll be straight up and say this is not the life I want to live. 

This is a video that has been a long time in the making; the timing was finally right. There is more to be said but this is enough for today’s episode.

I hope you find this of value. All polite, kind and respectful comments are welcome. 🤗

Thanks for watching! 

My videos will now be on the censorship free platform Brighteon! Here’s the link to my new channel. 

Hmm, what shall I talk about now?? 🙂 

Joie Is…Walking Your Dog His Way

Selfie of a Gordon Setter dog and smiling white female

Perhaps this post would be better titled “Lesson Learned from my Dog”, but the emotion that inspired this picture was definitely joy.

One of my 2020 goals is to daily walk ALL the dogs; we have 4 and I’m not the Dog Whisperer so they mostly get solo walks which takes time. They do enjoy their Mommy & Me time, but if you want them to move their butts, walk any of the boys with Elly, she whips them into shape with her Speedy Gonzales moves. lol.

As chaotic as the times currently are (at this moment Las Vegas is in lockdown mode, The Strip is closed (last time this happened was ONE day, back when President Kennedy was assassinated) and all non-essential businesses are closed) the dogs need their walks more than ever.

I need them too.

Something I’ve learned over these last few weeks though is that the walk is truly for them, they NEED this time outdoors, exploring their world and simply living life. I see on social media so many people going stir crazy and actually being bored, which I can’t fathom, but think about it – that’s how your dogs feel every day when you leave to go to work or simply be out all day. All they have is these same 4 walls of your house, I bet they can’t even see out. I know they can’t in ours, my husband ensures that everything is locked and closed up tight when we leave.

You bring everything to their day: the outdoors, attention, food, play, happiness and love…so of course they are excited to see you and need time with you.

Back to the lesson I learned – what do I mean by the walk being for them? Well, I go where they want to go. I break the pack leader rules and I follow them and let their nose lead the way. It’s not about staying on the sidewalk, keeping them at my side and going round in circles to get them exercise – for my guys that’s like running on a treadmill in the house with no TV on, how boring. My dogs are hunting dogs, they need to cover ground and HUNT. We circle bushes, we double back, we stop and start and we definitely stalk pigeons. lol

It means that after our time at the park and before leaving Nicklas and I take a break and sit down on the grass, soaking up the breeze, the scents, the shade, and people watch. The joy and contentment felt in these moments oozes off of him. (That was this picture.)

Selfie of a Gordon Setter dog and smiling white female

 

 

 

 

 

 

Larkin LOVES people and his wish is to say hi to every single person that goes by so I’ve started calling out to people as we get close “Okay, if he says hi?” so they aren’t startled or as I see kids dying to touch him but mom has told them not to pet strange dogs, I say “he’d love it if you wanted to pet him”. It doesn’t make for a fast walk but it makes people smile and Larkin is so sensitive to energy he won’t try to go up to people that aren’t “dog friendly”.

I listen to what they are each saying and I do my best to create a space for them to experience joy.

What has resulted from this is I’m happier. It’s about the experience, not the time, how far we walked or how fast. Giving them the moment and watching them have such joy is beautiful. I truly love our walks together now, they are no longer a chore.

They have all learned now that they get to leave the house on a fun adventure every day and the excited anticipation in their faces is magical.

Another side benefit is that it makes working from home much easier and more peaceful when you walk them first. 🙂

All About Beets

Plate of sliced red beets over sautéed beet greens, stems and onions. Drizzled of balsamic vinegar on top

Plate of sliced red beets over sautéed beet greens, stems and onions. Drizzled of balsamic vinegar on top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 1 – Marinated Red Beets

  • 3 large Beets, thinly sliced on a mandoline. I prefer to not peel them but if they are not organic or the peel is very thick…use your discretion.
  • Zest and juice from 1 Orange
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin, a little extra wouldn’t hurt.
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper freshly ground

Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Toss well to ensure all the beet slices are coated on both sides. Allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes before serving. 

Store leftovers in the fridge for a week. 

Part 2 – Beet Greens & Roots

  • 1/2 large Yellow Onion
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • Leaves and Stems from the 3 Beets
  • Avocado Oil for sautéing
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Liquid Smoke

Preparation:

Separate the Beets stems from the leaves. Chop the stems into small pieces, set them aside. Chop or slice the onions as you prefer them and add them to the pile of stems. Greens can be rough chopped, they will greatly shrink as they are cooked. Dice the garlic cloves.

To Sauté:

Heat the oil to medium high, add the onions and beet stems, stirring to coat them in the oil and cook them evenly. As they start to soften, after 4-5 minutes, add the garlic gloves, stir for another 30 seconds then add the liquid smoke. Stir to combine then add the beet greens, stir again to combine and coat the greens, then turn of the heat and put a lid on so they are lightly steamed. 

Plating:

Spoon the sauteed mix onto a plate, add a few of the sliced beets on top. Drizzle with Balsamic Vinegar or if you like a sweeter taste use a Balsamic Fig Vinegar. 

Happy Eating!

 

Vegetable Bake

Leftovers of the casserole

This recipe is courtesy of Yoko Inoue’s book, Raw, based on recipes from her restaurant in Melbourne, Australia – Shoku Iku. You can check out her website here. I discovered “Raw” while on an Australia cruise with my husband for our 20th anniversary. We stopped in at Costco in Melbourne as is our tradition to stop at every Costco in the cities we visit. I checked the books section, as I do at every Costco, even our local one, to see what cookbooks they have. I was ecstatic to discover this book! This recipe is the very first I made and it was a serious hit with us both.

The scent coming from the dehydrator was drool worthy and when I sampled it to check if it was ready, it was that delicious I called to my husband and we ate dinner right then. Taking a beauty shot completely left my mind! So here is what was left. Lol

Leftovers of the casserole

Hope you love it too!  

Marinated Vegetables

  • 3 cups diced veggies (mix of your favs; zucchini, baby bellas, red onion and broccoli are mine)
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

In a medium bowl, toss together the vegetables and rosemary with the oil and salt. Set aside for 2 hours at room temperature before use.

Walnut Meat

  • 1 cup raw walnuts, soaked for 4 hours, drained and rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 250g carrots
  • 1 1/2 Tbl nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Combine the walnuts and garlic in a food processor and pulse chop a few times until the mixture just starts to break down. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until the mixture is coarsely ground. 

Cream

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours or more, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbl golden raisins
  • 2 tsp soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • 1/2 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 18 tsp cayenne pepper

Combine all of the ingredients into a blender and purée until smooth. 

Assemble

Place 1 cup of the marinated vegetables in the bottom of a baking dish. Top with half of the cream, then half of the walnut meat.

Add a second layer: first, with the remaining veggies then the remaining walnut meat. Top it off with the cream. Dehydrate uncovered at 135º for 1 hour, then reduce to 115º for 30 minutes, until it is warm and a crust forms slightly on top. (Up to 6 hours dehydrating at 115º will soften the marinated vegetables even more.)

Serve warm right out of the dehydrator and Enjoy! 

Raw Onion Dip Extraordinaire

Everyone needs a go-to to dip that works on everything and is perfect to take for a potluck or dinner party.

Here’s the recipe for mine. 

Onion Dip Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 Cups Raw Sunflower Seeds
  • 1 Cup Lemon juice, fresh squeezed. Or a bit less as you can always can more. 
  • 1 Cup Raw Cashews
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Tbl Onion Powder – heaping!
  • 1 Tbl Garlic Powder – heaping! 
  • 1/2 Cup + 3 Tbl Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbl Green Onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • Pinch or two of Salt
Directions

Add all ingredients except the 1/2 cup of Onions and Green Onions to a blender and blend until creamy. Scoop out into a bowl and stir in the 1/2 cup each of Yellow Onion and Green Onions – this provides a great texture and pop of flavor. Taste to adjust spices or add any additional seasonings you like. 

This is soooo yummy, savory and thick so it sticks quite well to all kinds of sliced veggies. It is also amazing on bread and crackers. 

Somehow I didn’t take a picture of the finished product 😮 but this picture below was a simple and delicious lunch that used this dip as the spread or ‘mayo’. 

What’s your favorite dip? I love new recipes so please share!

If you have a dip recipe that you’d like a healthier version of, post it below and I’ll see what I can come up with! 😃

Raw French Onion Soup

Summer is over and I am ready for a warm soup, how about you?

My recent decision to move forward with a Raw and Living foods lifestyle, aka Raw 4 Joie, is going splendidly, minus a couple hiccups here and there. 😉 It is a journey after all. I’m keeping things very simple and making lots of easy recipes that can be used as staples in the fridge and combined in with other things to quickly whip up something yummy.

However, I am enjoying reading recipe books and watching raw cooking shows online and when I come across an ‘OMG, it sounds amazing!’ recipe it’s fun to try it out. This is one of those recipes. 

I am also focused on the cozy, comfort side of food lately, seeing as I’m on a mission to create a go-to list of comfort foods. That has as always been a missing piece of eating raw for me so I’m really encouraged by this recipe discovery as it definitely falls into the comfort category. 🙂

I found this recipe in the Local Wild Life, Turtle Lake Refuge’s Recipes for Living Deep by Katrina Blair book that they had at my favorite restaurant in town – Go Vegan Cafe -and I was curious and excited to see it was a broth soup. Excited, as I’m not a fan of cold, raw, creamy soups like creamed corn or those where you blend up raw, fresh produce to make the soup base. I am not a fan of that type of thick texture. And curious, as how do you make a seriously CHEESY recipe, Raw (dairy-free)?

So here it is! Hope you enjoy it too!🙂

French Onion Soup Recipe

  • 1 Yellow Onion – Cut into very thin slices.
  • 2 Tbl Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbl Mellow White Miso
  • 2-4 Garlic cloves (I used 4 of course!)
  • 3/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (look for Cold-Pressed on the label)
  • 1/2 tsp each Dried Rosemary, Thyme, Tarragon, Marjoram and Ground White Pepper to taste (I used Black Pepper instead of white and Winter Savory instead of Tarragon – it was what I had)
  • 4 cups Water

Blend miso, garlic and water in a blender till well combined. Pour into a big bowl or soup pot. Add in the rest of the ingredients and allow them to marinate overnight, or for a few hours at least, at room temp to get the full flavor from the onions. 

Heat the soup slowly and gently on the stove top, using a thermometer to monitor the heat (118º – 1120º) to keep the nutritional benefits of it being ‘raw’. As a tip, it shouldn’t be too hot for your finger. 

Swiss Cheeze Recipe

  • 1/3 cup Raw Sunflower Seeds – soaked for a couple hours
  • 1/3 cup Raw Walnuts – soaked for a couple hours
  • 2 Tbl Nutritional Yeast
  • Juice from 1 Lemon
  • Pink Salt – to taste

Blend together all ingredients. Spread over slices of your choice of bread and pop into the dehydrator for 2 hours at 115º or in the oven on low until the cheese begins to dry. 

Serve bread with the soup and use for dipping. The flavor combo is FANTASTIC. I don’t know if it really tastes like a dairy Swiss Cheese or not, but it has a bit of a sharp note and all I can say is – paired with this Onion Soup it’s heavenly!

**Serving Tip – dish up the soup into ramekin bowls or another type of small ceramic bowl that you put in the dehydrator or warming oven. It helps your soup to stay warmer for longer once it’s away from the heat and also being a smaller portion, you can eat it quicker and get a refill, of freshly warmed soup. I heated up 4 of the red bowls pictured below so Kerwin and I each had a warm bowl waiting for us in the oven for a refill. 😊 It worked perfectly! The soup was so savory and filling we couldn’t eat more than 2 bowls. 

Choosing How You Think – Do You Get To or Have To?

Holding a bone for my dog while in my bathrobe

Lessons learned from my dogs are always powerful. and the learning never stops, no matter how many I’ve learned, there are always more.

And in case you thought that once a lesson is learned that one is done, allow me to reassure you that it will continue to show up over and over and over.

Today I was reminded of one while I was feeding the dogs breakfast. Mornings are usually a raw meaty bone meal and they tend to be the easier of the two meals the dogs are fed every day. Not this morning. The extra bone I’d gotten out for Larkin (he needs to have serious chew time periodically, it makes him happy and keeps him occupied) was rejected. It was a refrozen leftover from last time but those tend to be favorites as they are already started. Oh well, I got out another bone, a new one this time, and started thawing it in a sink full of cool water.

Then Ian is finished with breakfast and he now wants a bonus bone too. I offer him the one Larkin rejected and Ian did the same. Strange. So a third bone comes out, no time to thaw at all, I just rinse it under the faucet to get the ice off and so no tongue gets stuck. Lol. Both of the ‘replacement’ bones are happily accepted and off go Larkin and Ian. Great.

Well, now Nicklas is done and he thinks it’s a great day outside and additional chew time would be lovely 😋 but I don’t have any more Pork Feet/Hock bones. While I’m deciding what to do, Nicklas spies that twice rejected bone and he trots over, picks it up and happily carries it to his bed. 😮 Curiouser and curiouser. Nicklas is not the biggest chewer, he’s actually the lightweight of the pack; he likes the easy bones. He doesn’t use his paws to eat so without being able to hold bones there is no tearing and maneuvering to get a better angle on the bone is tough.

Nicklas clearly wanted to eat this bone but he told me (we talk all the time) he needed my help to hold the bone for him. I was surprised at how excited he was over this bone so I acquiesced, squatting down next to him I held out the bone.

This boy had a blast eating this bone! He worked on it for well over an hour and I moved from squatting to kneeling to sitting to sitting on my rear with knees up and bare feet flat on the floor to brace myself so I could hope to stay upright and HOLD ON while Nicklas was happily tearing at the bone like we were playing tug of war. LOL.

In that moment, it was Magic. Time was standing still. I wanted Nicklas to have this time and for absolutely nothing to interrupt him. I prayed that when Kerwin came home he wouldn’t let Elly out or even open the door at all. It would totally cause Nicklas to be distracted and, I feared, lose interest in his bone. I kept the corner of my eyes on the other 2 boys who were happily going to town on their own bones but, my note to self, never to break rule is when holding a bone that is being chewed I am not allowed to look away. I give full concentration when canine jaws are involved.

Here’s the thing. Early morning, no coffee yet, in my PJs and bathrobe, getting a mental and physical workout for an hour plus…my core was sore, my hands were tired from gripping, my back and legs got a workout too. Can you picture it? Not the morning I was planning to have.

Backyard scene, 2 Gordon setters chewing on bones, me in a white bathrobe holding a bone for Nicklas

Through it all, I kept thinking of the lesson I had learned: “I get to”.

I caught myself not too long ago saying “I HAVE TO feed the dogs again.” I was starting to feel resentful of the time and effort involved. I was getting tired. I wasn’t happy putting their bowls down in front of them. What the heck?!

It was my CHOICE to change their food to feed them a species specific diet. There is absolutely nothing about that decision I regret. The increased health of the dogs, the Aliveness in their eyes, the new zest for life – it’s beautiful and so gratifying. I’m only saddened I didn’t do this sooner. Like with my own health, I wish I had done made this diet change with the dogs years before. Cancer is the #1 killer of dogs, waaaay too young. It had started to feel inevitable, that it was only a matter of time till one of our dogs got cancer and I would have to say goodbye and watch them die. I am not okay with that! So what then was the problem?

I stopped to consider this and had the ah-ha to reframe it around LOVE. Yes, it is a chore to feed them but it’s one I do out of love. When I think of caring for our dogs out of love, the words change from an at times begrudging ‘I have to’ to a grateful heart ❤️ saying ‘I get to’ feed them. Made a world of a difference!

Because of that simple shift I now meal prep better and quicker, I plan each days mealtimes around my schedule, I feed them earlier in the day so I’m NEVER tired or coming home late from the movies and still having to feed the dogs. I am stepping up my game to do better by them, focusing on ways to increase their health and immune system. Why do this at all if you aren’t going to do it the best way you can? I feel there is still so much more I can learn and do!

I get to feed my dogs raw.

“I get to” go shopping for their food. “I get to” do meal prep when I leave town. “I get to” to spend money and time on their care. “I get to” take care of them. “I get to” teach them mealtime manners because their food is so tasty with such high pay value they get too excited. “I get to” teach Nicklas hot to eat a raw bone. “I get to” chop up raw meat of all kinds, even being a vegetarian and horrified by the feedlot farming industry. “I get to” show them love, kindness, patience and compassion.

Back to today, in that moment, I kept thinking 💭 “How awesome is this?! I get to hold a bone for my boy Nicklas. I could still be working a day job, rushing out of the house in the morning before the sunrise and not being able to have this fun recreational chew time with my gang.”

I am grateful for the time I get to spend with my dogs. I am thankful for all of it. Even when Nicklas has so much to say I think an office outside of the home I could escape to would be wonderful 😜, I am thankful I get to work from home, from anywhere really, and live this life I’m living. It’s a fabulous reminder of why I’m doing what I’m doing with my business. Talk about motivation! My pack is counting on me! Nobody else will look out for them like we will. No way can I or will I let them down.

I encourage you to use this ‘lesson I learned from my dogs’ to change your perspective so that the things around you change too.

How many times do you say “I have to….”?

I have to go to work, I have to cook dinner, I have to pay these bills, I have to do a performance review, I have to make this phone call, I have to drink more water, I have to be more patient, I have to eat more veggies…

When you GET TO do everything in life then life responds and it becomes full of magic, joy and special moments. 🤩🌈💖 And isn’t that what life is supposed to be all about?

I plan to create more of memories like this and to share this gift I have my hands on in Neora with as many others as I can so they can live life on their own terms, whatever it looks like.

Looking to create more ‘I get to’ moments in your life? If you’re looking to earn an extra $500-$1,000/month without changing a lot in your life, so you can create whatever it is YOU want to create – time, freedom, financial independence…holding raw bones for your dog not required 😉 then take 4 minutes and watch this: Why Neora, Why Now

I’m happy to chat with you, answer your questions and if you like what you see and hear, great, if not, no big deal.

I’m grateful I got to share this story and lesson with you! And now it’s time for me to go, as I get to take a dog to the park before sunset.

Cheers!

ps- My most amazing husband did come home, did get the moment Nicklas was having and quietly snapped these pics through the slats of the shutters on the window. 👍🏼💜😍