Thursday, April 30, 2009

Oat Groats...

After reading The Fitnessista's New oaty love posting, I decided to be bold, and try some oat groats myself! I'm a big oatmeal fan, so I figured, 'oh, heck, why not!'. I went to our local natural market and picked up a pound of oat groats (from the bulk bins), and some Synergy Kombucha (yum!).

Before going to bed (around 9pm) I put 1/2 cup of the groats into a glass bowl with 1/2 cup of water, and let them sit overnight.

By the morning, most of the liquid had been absorbed (sorry for the fuzz!!)

Then, I drained them, and mixed in 3/4 of a small mashed banana, and cinnamon, and topped it with thawed frozen organic raspberries and 6 crushed almonds.

YUM!! It was such a strange texture, but all of the flavors mixed together made it very enjoyable! I just finished my bowl, and should be full for a good long while! I encourage everyone to try oat groats!! This would be a great 'on the go' breakfast, since refrigeration and heat were no factor in making it!

Next time, I might try some other fruit alternatives- apple, blueberry, or strawberry, and instead of almonds, put in a teaspoon of peanut butter? YUM YUM YUM!!!

So, take care of yourself, and take care of each other. Until next time, try some oat groats! Namaste.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Vegetarian Burgers (Black Bean)

Lately, my husband and I have been eating mostly vegetarian-lacto/lacto-ovo. Why? Well, a few reasons-

1- it's cheap!
2- it's easy
3- it's healthy (with the right combo of nutrients/food groups)
4- did I mention that it's cheap?

We used to buy those frozen black bean, veggie, mushroom, everything else type of veggie burger from the store, but then I thought to look what was REALLY in the ingredients. OMG! Chemicals, unknown 'natural flavors', etc. etc. etc. So, I scoured the Internet to find other alternatives. I've looked at many recipes for bean burgers, and compiled the best of all of them to make my own version! Here it is!

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup packed cilantro
1-2 grated carrots (depending on how many you have)
1 piece of whole wheat bread, or 1/4 cup of bread crumbs
1/4 cup of salsa (any kind you like!)
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

Optional Ingredients:
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
Dash (or two... I like a lot of dashes!) of Tabasco/Franks Red Hot sauce
Avocado slices

Whole Wheat Bun

In a food processor, pulse the piece of bread to make bread crumbs (if already using bread crumbs, put them in the food processor)
Add beans, onion, cilantro, grated carrots, salt and pepper, and pulse together. BE SURE TO NOT OVER PULSE, OR YOU'LL LOSE THE MEATY TEXTURE.
Put the mixture in a bowl, and fold in the salsa
Mold into patties. I like to mold this recipe into 6.
Spray a skillet with cooking spray, and cook patties over medium heat until heated through. I like to cook until brown on each side.
Serve immediately.

If you would like to freeze these burgers, put them on a baking sheet and stick them in the freezer. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer container, or plastic zip top bags.

If you make 6 equal size burgers, each one is 100 calories (before condiments). I got this number from

Happy black bean burger making, and until next time, Namaste.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

'tis the season to be FRUGAL!

Spring is here, and weather such as this brings a flurry of yard sales! It's one of my favorite times of the year. Whenever I hit up yard sales, I have a few rules for myself:

1- only purchase items that will be used, or given away as gifts within the year
2- when an item is brought home, an already possessed item MUST be sold or donated
3- if bargaining is an option, do it! Get the most for your money
4- stick to a strict spending limit. Only bring as much cash with you as you're willing to spend
5- bring eco-friendly bags with you to carry items in. You never know if you'll have to park far away, and the seller may not have bags for you to use. Plus, it makes it easier to pick up items and continue to browse

I am very excited because the first yard sale of the year that I'm going to is happening on Thursday evening. It's at a church very close to work, in a very upscale area. Lots of nice items for VERY cheap! This year, I'm hoping to find organization-type items (tubs, drawer separators, baskets, underbed boxes, crates, shelves, hooks), nice clothes (I've lost 15 lb. since last year at this time!), container garden items (pots, potting soil, hanging baskets, seeds, potted plants-I'll post more on that in a later post), indoor plants/trees (decor), a trash can for under our kitchen sink, and glass Pyrex/Corningware. My intention is set to find all of these items by the end of the summer, at very reasonable (ok, CHEAP!) prices!

Keeping in mind that clutter is the enemy, I am very strict about the 'bring an item in, push an item out' concept. I'm a big fan of that tv show 'Clean House', and it's absolutely amazing how much STUFF people can accumulate. Unfortunately, too much stuff can throw off your chi, and make you a frazzled mess! The people that go on this show are SO stressed, and it's obvious that their clutter is a representation of some other inner conflict that they have.

When I was younger, I was a pack rat. I'm told it runs in my family... I would hold on to things and give them a sentimental value that I would get too attached to. Getting rid of possessions when I was a kid was a nightmare for me. It caused way too much of an emotional drain, for things as ordinary as a pen, or a tube of lipstick! Now that I understand what clutter represents (and in my life, it's a barrier to be able to accept better and new things into my life), I hold these strict rules to get rid of things that I have not and will not use.

Being open to give, is being open to receive. Keep this in mind when you are bargain shopping at your local yard sales! One item in, one item out.

Until next time, Namaste.

Monday, April 27, 2009

If you have enLightened a life, raise your hand!

I would like to welcome everyone to my enLightened Life blog! Thanks for stopping by, and you're welcome anytime! I am an advocate for living a positive, healthy, organized, and enjoyable life, frugally. Living this way, to anyone who knows me, is no secret. I share my knowledge with everyone I can, so that they too can live an enLightened life.

So here's something that has been on my mind, and I will consider this my enLightened tip of the day...

One thing that drives me crazy is when people say 'Oh, I'm too busy to take care of myself', or 'Oh, I put everyone else before my needs'. Come on! Really?! Look people, if you can't (or won't) take time to take care of yourself, how on earth are you going to take care of anyone else? You HAVE to take time for yourself, and you HAVE to put yourself first. Believe me, I'm as busy, if not busier, than most of you reading this. I work a full time job, and a part time job, and own a home, and do all of the cooking and cleaning and washing and bills... yeah I could go on, but I'll spare you. We're all in the same boat here.

One thing I do to 'pamper' myself EVERY DAY is get up 20 minutes earlier than I normally would, and exercise. That's right, people, exercise. And since summer is approaching, I enjoy going outside early in the morning to walk or run. The breeze is cool, it's quiet, and I'm doing something right for my body. I invest time in pampering myself, and exercise is pampering, believe it or not. I invest time in my body. I put my health first. This, to me, is pampering. Oh, did I mention that it costs NOTHING? I've heard that for every $ in prevention is $80 saved in treatment costs. I think Jillian Michaels said that in one of her radio shows. I consider this a no-brainer... a FREE way to prevent having to treat illnesses down the road! It's so simple. The moral of the story? Pamper yourself with a cardio exercise you enjoy! Break a sweat! Just 20 minutes of exercise will release endorphins that will make you feel good all day.

How will you pamper yourself today?

Until next time, Namaste.