We are Amy and Gail Shingler, sisters-in-law and friends!

We are passionate about living authentic and intentional lives!

We are enthusiastic about healthy eating!

We created a space to share our favorite recipes & the life philosophies from which they stem!

Our desire is to inspire,

may you be edified by what you read here!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Kale Salad and Hot Yoga...Oh Yeah!

Today was such a blessing to me.  I tried Hot Yoga.  I did a little research to find a place I would be most comfortable in.  As I entered the dim room with quiet music I immediately felt like someone had taken a burden off my shoulders.  I set out my mat and began to relax.  The room was 104 degrees which felt all warm and fuzzy at first.  We began the hour and a half class.  I soon found I was sweating but what was more surprising was how emotional I felt.  My instructor began to say things like you are totally accepted here.  There are no judgements about you.  You are not in control of anything right now (control is a little thing I have a love - hate relationship with).  She encouraged us to be in the moment which is not easy for me to do.  Thank goodness it was dim because the sweat and tears all ran down the cheeks of a woman (me) who found a place to let go.  Sometimes I believe we need someone to instruct us to let go.  Sometimes we can be that voice to someone else.  The movements relaxed my tense muscles and the music calmed my uptight heart.  I loved the experience.  As a Christian I was able to meditate on my relationship with my Creator and I was able to be reminded that He accepts me unconditionally even when I struggle at times to accept myself.  He loves with pure love...something that I want to exude from every fiber of my being!  This is true peace.  His Words began to flood my thoughts and I had a very intimate moment with myself and my God!  Isn't it awesome to have these moments of feeling good in our skin...sweat and tears and all.  It is a place I want to continue to explore!

When I came home I wanted to fill my body with good nutrients!  So here is a Kale Salad that was so good I will make it for my family tonight along with Vegan Cream of Tomato Soup! 

1/2 bunch of Kale
1 apple chopped
sprinkle of sesame seeds
sprinkle of sunflower seeds

Dressing:  (this made enough for 2 salads)
1 cup of cashews
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 dates
2 tsp curry
1/2 tsp sea salt

So here is to good food with a side of tranquility!

Monday, September 24, 2012

my version of chocolate peanut butter pie, revised due to misinformation!

in august i posted my version of amy's peanut butter pie...i did not double the recipe, i one-and-a-halved-it, but some of the ingredient quantities i typed were doubled!  if you tried to make it with the recipe i printed, it was probably too sweet and cocoa-y!  the revised recipe is now under the post "kids, dinner!"  so sorry!  then again, if no one tried to make it, no harm, no foul!

coconut oat chocolate chip cookie bites


I've made 3 batches of these cookies in 2 days from http://peasandthankyou.com/2012/09/21/no-sugar-cookies/
this recipe calls for carob chips...i used vegan chocolate chips because when i was young my health food mother gave me a carob bar as a "treat" and it left a bad taste in my mouth and a semi-permanent scar on my psyche!  i will attempt carob again..one day...just not...today!  i also added the maple syrup that the author suggests making them without...i have an issue with sugar right now!  and that issue is that I WANT IT!  i shaped some of the dough into a 'granola bar' and ate it for breakfast this morning!  these really are unbelievably good and i have to talk myself out of opening the refrigerator to grab just one more!  they are so delicious i could make myself sick before i realized it if i kept eating them!  please make these cookie bites, kids and adults alike will devour them!  you can easily add your favorite nuts and seeds or dried fruit to make them even more nutritious!

No Sugar Coconut Carob Cookies
Makes 10-12 cookies
Heather’s Oaties
*The sweetness of these cookies comes via the unsweetened coconut and unsweetened carob chips, and I promise they are sweet enough!  But if you really feel the need, you can add 1/4 c. of maple syrup to the dough prior to chilling.  I encourage you to try them without first, though!*
  •  1 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 c. old fashioned oats (gluten free, if desired)
  • 1/4 c. organic butter or vegan margarine (i.e. Earth Balance) softened
  • 1 organic egg, beaten, or flax “egg” (1 T. ground flax + 3 T. water, whisked and allowed to thicken) or 1 T. egg replacer, look for it at your local health food/healthy-eating store
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
    • 1/2 t. baking powder
    • 1/4 t. baking soda
    • pinch of salt
    • 1/2 c. unsweetened carob chips or vegan chocolate chips

    Combine coconut and oats and toast for several minutes in a dry skillet over low to medium heat or in the preheated oven on a baking sheet, turning frequently until starting to turn golden brown.  Set aside or in fridge to cool.
    Using an electric or stand mixer, cream together butter or magarine, egg of your choice and vanilla extract.
    Add cooled oats and coconut, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix until a dough forms.  Fold in carob or vegan chocolate chips.
    Using a small cookie scoop, scoop balls of dough onto a baking sheet, packing them tightly.  

    Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for at least 10 minutes before gently transfering to a cooling rack.  Store cookies in the refrigerator.  They will seem too soft when you take them out of the oven, but let them cool and keep them in the fridge to retain their firmness.

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

    Diet vs. Excercise?

    Click on this link and watch:

    Today I watched this intriguing video where they compared a plant strong diet with moderate exercise to a Standard American Diet with strenuous exercise to see which one would fight cancer better.  The results were mind blowing.  Please watch for yourself.  It is only a few minutes long and will inspire you to eat plant strong.  Exercise is very important, but we need to remember that good nutrition will help boost our immune systems to the max.  

    There are a lot of voices in our society that yell to get our attention and call us to bust our booties in the gym all for the sake of the exterior.  What if we focused on the internal?  I know for me, I want to silence these screams and embrace a pursuit to hone in on the internal...how I treat others, myself, my mind, my body, my family, my friends.  It is easy to fall in line with everyone else and do what we see patterned for us.  It is much harder yet more satisfying to be true to who we are as people from the inside out. 

    Tuesday, September 18, 2012

    The Besto Pesto

    I finally made Gail's awesome Molasses Cookies!  One word...YUM!  They only took about 15 minutes to make and we all devoured them within minutes!  My hubby absolutely ADORES molasses so he was in love at first bite; but then again, so were all the rest of us.

    I have been super busy but the other day I finally got around to making one of our family favorites.  In fact, when Joseph saw the meal being prepared he did a little jig.  Don't tell him I told you, he has a cool reputation to uphold.  :)  Anyway, here it is.   Don't be surprised if you do a little jig yourself...go ahead, no one's looking!

    Besto Pesto
    1/4 cup walnut halves
    1/4 cup pine nuts
    2 cloves garlic
    2 1/2 cups fresh basil
    1/2 cup fresh cilantro
    2 TBSP fresh thyme (optional)
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 cup water
    2 TBSP nutritional yeast flakes
    1/4 cup olive oil (or oil of choice)
    1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
    1 Pkg. pasta, cooked

    First toast the nuts.  I add the walnuts to a medium-low preheated skillet and toast for about 5 minutes.  Then I add the pine nuts and toast an additional 5 minutes.  Watch carefully!  You do not want to over do this step.  They should turn a few shades darker and smell toasty.  This is a great step to do while you are waiting for water to boil for the pasta.

    Second, add all the pesto ingredients (minus the pasta) to the food processor and pulse everything until it has the consistency you want.  Add the pesto to your cooked and drained pasta.  Instant Yum!

    here's to you !

    “How do you react when you think you need people's love? Do you become a slave for their approval? Do you live an inauthentic life because you can't bear the thought that they might disapprove of you? Do you try to figure out how they would like you to be, and then try to become that, like a chameleon? In fact, you never really get their love. You turn into someone you aren't, and then when they say "I love you," you can't believe it, because they're loving a facade. They're loving someone who doesn't even exist, the person you're pretending to be. It's difficult to seek other people's love. It's deadly. In seeking it, you lose what is genuine. This is the prison we create for ourselves as we seek what we already have.” 
     Byron Katie

    may we take steps to discover and uncover who we TRULY are and who we are meant to be, and may we learn to fall in love with ourselves in a way that leaves us with no "need" for others to love us, like us or even validate us, may we be and do all those things FOR OURSELVES, TO OURSELVES...may we completely let go of, LOSE, the desire to become something or someone OTHER than who we are!  here's to YOU, whoever that is!  :)

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012

    is perception truly reality?

    who loves me?  
    or is the question, who do i feel loved BY?  
    the truth is: perception is reality...or is it?
    and whether or not people actually love me, if i THINK they do, that is how i respond to them...
    maybe, in order to love EVERYONE UNCONDITIONALLY, it makes sense to assume EVERYONE loves me, that no one is out to get me, that everyone is on my side...
    or maybe it makes sense simply not to take personally the expressions or lack of expressions of love from others...simply appreciate kind, thoughtful acts for what they are: kind, thoughtful acts, and ignore thoughtless, selfish acts, noting what they are: thoughtless, selfish acts...
    NEITHER being a reflection of or on me, but rather, BOTH  being a reflection of and on where others are! 
    maybe i should resist being affected, rattled, moved, swayed, or influenced by whether or not i THINK people DO or DON'T love me and simply move and live and breathe and speak from where i am living, from my own loving spirit, a spirit GROWING and GROWING and GROWING more and more healthy, strong, selfless, and generous...
    i share MORE of ME with those who make me FEEL safe...
    i will admit i have shared lots of ME with those i THOUGHT were safe and they turned out not to be...
    i guess that brings me back to perception possibly being reality and maybe that idea needs more dissection...

    smile! and always be true to you! you're the only one who needs to know who that---YOU---truly is!

    accept who you truly are, all the ugly, scary, fearfully hidden parts you don't want anyone to see or even know about!  as long as YOU know those parts and  lovingly, gently, honestly ACCEPT them as parts of yourself, you can begin to look at them and change them if that is what you want to do! 

    Sunday, September 9, 2012

    thai lettuce wraps

    these lettuce wraps are comparable to those you would order in a restaurant!  

    this is the "meat" of the lettuce wrap
    1  1/2 cups walnuts 
    (chop in a food processor or put in a baggie and mash 'em a bit with an ice cream scoop or the like!)
    2 celery stalks, diced
    2 carrots, grated 
    1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
    1/2 cup fresh cilantro (optional)
    1/2 cup minced scallions, green part only
    you can also add cubed tofu 

    this is the sauce, blend in blender or by hand
    1/4 cup honey
    1/8 cup nama shoyu OR soy sauce
    1/2 tsp fresh garlic (best to use a garlic press or grater)
    1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
    1 Tbs sesame oil 
    1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (this amount is a mild spice, add more if you like HEAT!)

    mix well the carrot/celery/red pepper mixture with the sauce
    scoop into romaine leaves or bib lettuce leaves or simply eat as a side dish

    garnish with sesame seeds, mung bean sprouts, and/or grated carrot
    i tied mine with a scallion for the photo, but usually make them without that "pretty" addition

    Friday, September 7, 2012

    becoming a whole person part 1

    "Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you." 
    i love reading unfiltered writers, i love reading what they are thinking and feeling as they are thinking and feeling it, i love feeling like i am a part of their 'processing through' whatever it is they are processing through, no matter how 'small,' immature, or undeveloped their thoughts as they begin...in fact, the smaller, more immature, and undeveloped their thoughts, THE BETTER, because then i feel like i am not alone in MY OWN small, immature and undeveloped thoughts...so, i am now going to write about love, unfiltered, and i may sound small, immature, and undeveloped as i begin...

    becoming a whole person, which i think is a divine aspiration, involves constantly paying attention to, working on, and growing in the areas of mind, body and spirit, and "paying attention to, working on, and growing in" ANYTHING, is an ACTIVE process...understanding love is a big part of becoming a whole person...i think we think we understand love...the word gets thrown around A LOT!  in my own home i bet it is said to or about someone or something upwards of 30 times a day...i would not be pleased with my work as a parent if i did not facilitate an ongoing conversation about the meaning of love...it can become an easy thing to SAY all the while NOT being an easy thing to DO!  and i want my children to be able to DO love more than be able to say it, and i believe they will only DO love well, if i MODEL love well...so what does that mean?

    2012 began well for me, inside, inside of myself...my only resolution was to not give or offer advice unless i was invited to do so...pretty much i think i stuck to that resolution, and man was it freeing!  not only did i feel a self imposed burden lifted to help others manage their lives, but the more difficult relationships in my life simply changed...i noticed i was actually invited in MORE, that people i cared about felt safer with me than i perceived they had in the past, some tested the waters by sharing life choices and were met with simple acceptance, it didn't matter if i agreed with their life choices or not, it was nice just to say, "thank you for sharing that with me" and MEAN it and then have a meal or continue a conversation or go do something together...i know i failed some, i know some people still don't feel safe with me, still don't feel loved by me...those people fall into 2 categories: 1)people i need to have more opportunities with to SHOW them my care and 2)people who are in such a place in their own lives that it wouldn't matter what i did or didn't do, said or didn't say, they are not ready to accept that i truly love them...both are o.k. with me...like a previous post said, "we are where we are and we are who we are and it's all wonderful"...it is not my job to move people, it is only my job to love them...(side note, we do not move people to new places, nor do we present big spaces and safe places for them to realize their greatest potential when we choose to spend our time with them reminding them of all the ways we think they are 'wrong' in what they are doing, how they are living, or how they are thinking and feeling)...
    i believe ALL our interactions with people fall into 2 categories...what we choose to offer will either knock others down or lift them up...that's it...no other options...it does not mean we can't have spirited and dynamic disagreements, but the words we choose to say (which come directly from where are spirits are living) will either be a punch in the face or buoy them until we speak again...one will leave them less interested in returning to us and one will leave them excited about sharing time again...(another side note; people wanting to return to us is NOT ABOUT US, but about reconciliation, it is about support, about sharing, about adding depth and meaning to our lives through relationship and building our little communities of loved ones)...i am guilty of leaving people with both those feelings i am guilty of giving life and, in some cases, taking it away...i am working on understanding love, i am working on becoming a whole person...end part 1...

    Thursday, September 6, 2012

    don't forget your B's

    B 12 is integral to our health (it helps us 'maintain' during times of stress/busy-ness/chaos/high emotion) and comes only from animal protein, make sure if you are eating a plant-based or vegetarian diet you are getting your B 12 through a supplement...the brand in our home is NATURE'S SUNSHINE LIQUID VITAMIN B 12 COMPLETE,  2 or 3 times a week sublingually!

    2 sources for information on B 12:

    Monday, September 3, 2012

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

    We have a tradition of making Back to School Cookies on the first day of school.  This year my time is slipping away so I decided to make an alternative that my kids adore.  Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip.  UH...Yum!  We serve it with pretzels or apple slices or by the spoonfuls.  It is extra fun to see who can balance their spoon on their nose afterwards.

    I got this recipe off of Peas and Thank you Website from Mama Pea.

    1 Cup Raw Cashews
    2 TBSP.  Almond Butter
    2 TBSP Maple Syrup (or Agave)
    2 TBSP Nutritional Yeast
    1/2 tsp Sea Salt
    1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
    2 TBSP Non-Dairy Milk of choice
    1/4 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips

    Combine all ingredients (except chocolate chips) in a food processor or blender.  Mix and add more non-dairy milk until your desired consistency is reached.  Stir in chocolate chips and serve.  Sometimes I like to chill it for a little while before serving.

    The nice thing about this recipe is my kids can take it to school because it is peanut free.  It is a great way to get healthy fats and proteins in them and the nutritional yeast gives them a little extra B-12.  Win-win.  My favorite part is listening to their squeals of delight when I serve it.  It is like a chocolate chip Christmas morning, only not!