Vegan Brownies…AMAZING!

It’s been a terrible week at work. I’ve been craving a comfort sweet all week and since its potluck week at work, decided to make some vegan brownies. 

Not only were these the easiest brownies I’ve ever made, they are also cruelty free! No animals were harmed in this recipe. 

I took a traditional recipe and veganized it, and it was delicious! 


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar (vegan)
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa 
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl
  • Mix the liquid ingredients separately and mix into the dry ingredients
  • Pour into medium sized baking dish 
  • Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly on the top of the brownie mixture. 
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out almost clean 

I let the brownies sit for 15 minutes or so, before cutting. They turned out awesome!

I think I will try reducing the amount of oil and adding in applesauce in the future. 

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Changing My Life

If I want my life to change, I will need to change what I am doing.  This is not rocket science.  Life is short, and I want to spend my time exploring the world and all it has to offer.  I do not want to spend my life working tirelessly, waiting for the day I can start to live.  So, what am I going to change?

I have absolutely no idea.

When I was young I wanted to be two things, a professional writer that was able to travel the world, reporting on things of my choice and to be a photographer for National Geographic Magazine, traveling the world to capture images that will move people from inside the yellow magazine covers.

What am I doing now? Something that is very fulfilling and makes a difference, but it is not supporting my dreams of traveling the world and sharing the magic I find with the rest of the world.

So, here I am, Sunday evening, getting ready to prep my meals for the week.  About to wash my laundry for another Monday through Friday routine.  Hiding from my dreams.  Today, I took the first step in the direction I want to go.  I submitted a story to an eBook collection, that will include myself and a handful of other runners.  I am also committing to daily writing for my first official book.

Thinking back through the years, I am remembering when I was a sophomore in high school.  I spent my time in class writing a novel in spiral bound notebooks, which several of my classmates took turns reading.  I thought I would be a published author by now.  I thought I would be able to travel the country and world, sharing my books with others.  So, maybe that is what I should be doing.

I am giving myself 1 full year from today to complete a manuscript, and to have it accepted for publication somewhere.  I am committing to spend at least 30 minutes each day writing as well, for better or worse. Right now, I am entering the deadline date in my phone for 8/21/17.

Wish me luck!

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How to Change My Life

This is the question I continue to find myself asking. How can I change my life so I can live my passion each moment of the day?  What can I do to create financial freedom and the time to explore the world?  How can I stop feeling trapped in the day to day routine of life?

I listen to podcasts where people talk about how they made their dreams come true. I follow tremendous athletes or other talents, and see how they impact the world. I always feel like I’m on the verge of discovering what my purpose is, but it always seems to fade away. 

I’ve wanted to be so many things as I’ve grown up, I don’t think I focused my intentions. Now, I have a M.Ed in curriculum and instruction in Applied Behavior Analysis, which does nothing for me. I’m not sure what to do, or where to go, but I can feel I’m meant to do something amazing. I hope I someday figure out just what that is. 

Back to reading, “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. 

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Is it hard to be vegan?

This is a question I am asked often. Today, I gave this some extra thought, as I talk to a coworker about what it takes to become vegan.

In all honesty, giving up animal products has been one of the easiest things I have ever done. All my life I was aware of how animals or mistreated, but I turned a blind eye to just how bad it really is.

While I went vegan for health reasons, I stay vegan for the animals and for the environment. It hurts my heart to think of all the suffering I contributed to with all my years of meat eating.

A few years ago, I visited a local dairy farm. One of the fellow visitors pointed to some very small hits off in the back of the barnyard. There were maybe 10 rows of these small black huts. The woman asked, “What are those small huts for? Is that where you keep the baby calves for veal?”  The tour guide laughed awkwardly, and explained how the calves were kept in the huts to prevent them from being trampled by the adult cows.

I still think about this tour through the dairy yard to this day. I believed the tour guide’s explanation, at face value, for several years. Only after giving up animal products, was I able to understand how illogical his response was. Adult cows do not trample calves, and there is no reason to separate the baby cows from the mothers, but to take the milk for human consumption while the calves are denied their natural source of food.

These calves were kept in such small huts, that there was no room to turn around. For what other reason would these calves be restricted from movement, other than because they were soon to be sold for veal?

Now, when I see an animal cruelty video, I no longer block the images out. I accept what I see as reality, and understand that by consuming animal products, I am saying I am okay with the cruelty that takes place in factory farms. When I say no to consuming animal and animal products, I am taking a stand for the lives of animals who are unable to do so for themselves.

So, no. It is not hard for me to be compassionate. No, it is not hard for me to eat fruits, veggies and grains instead of flesh. No, it is not hard to not participate in the horrific animal abuses taking place all over the country and world. And, no, it is not hard to be vegan.

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It’s Been Awhile

Let’s be honest.  It is insanely hard to implement a perfect training plan, eat right, and keep up with regular blog posts. And in reality, I have not been keeping up with any of this things very well in recent weeks. 

It may have been a combination of factors, but I think I stretched myself so thin that I was unable to give 100% to any one specific area. For example, I was taking two full course loads at ASU to finish my M.Ed, as well as training in the Arizona summer for a 50 miler, while working full time and experiencing severe levels of stress at work. It was too much. 

I’ve been struggling to motivate myself as well as get back on track, and it’s been hard. But, this past week I somehow managed to get every scheduled mile in…all 56!  And, that including 18 miles on a treadmill in one day. 

I’m recommitting myself to my training plan, and of course this blog, in order to stay accountable. So, here we go into another wonderful week!  

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Some Weeks are Hard

This week was a struggle for me.  Work has been stressful, I’m taking my last courses for my Master’s program and ultra training in the summer…in Arizona, may have been a less than smart decision.

This week was rough.  I skipped my Monday workout and my Tuesday run.  I slept through my alarm on Wednesday, and nearly missed another run.  Somehow, I managed to salvage the week and ended up only a few miles below my goal for the week, with a grand total of 41 running miles.

I am at a point where ANY workout other than running sounds more appealing.  I am hoping this was due to my large amount of stress and lack of decent sleep, but I am thinking the 110 degree heat is not helping much.

Falling out of routine is so incredibly easy.  Even though I have been staying completely on track for many, many months, one day off track nearly ruined my whole week.  Literally, I began to talk myself out of running each day.  I had to say to myself, “Self!  You need to go run.”  I forced myself into my running garb, forced myself to drive to the gym, and then sat in the parking lot for another 10 minute before I was able to force myself through the door and onto the treadmill.  While this process was ridiculously hard, I instantly felt better after starting to run and was able to stay on track for the rest of the week.

Here’s to a new week!  Share some ways to keep motivated when you feel like stopping!

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Boxing Rocks my Socks

I’ve been looking for new ways to be active, while keeping it fresh and exciting. I’ve decided that I am going to try out a different exercise groupon each month, to help keep me on my toes.

This month, I signed up for unlimited classes at a local boxing gym. I’ve always wanted to try it, So what better time than with a discounted, no commitment, groupon?

I’m absolutely, positively in love with boxing!  I mean it!  Who would have thought that punching and kicking a bag could provide so much stress relief while toning the core and upper body, all at the same time.

This particular boxing gym is quite far from me, so after the month groupon is up, I plan to invest in a bag for home. This sounds like a family activity that everyone can enjoy!

Next month’s groupon has already been purchased, and let’s just say, I’m super hot for hot yoga!  Can’t wait to get started, but still throughly enjoying punch, punch, punching things!

What’s your favorite way to work out and have fun?

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