Turkey Sloppy Joe with Crisp Fresh Green Cucumber Salad

Lately I’ve been enjoying experimenting with SATH (stuff around the house) recipes.  I got really wild with it this past Saturday when I made homemade Black Bean Burgers in honor of the first Gator game of the season (go Gators!!!).  In addition to the burgers I made gluten free, vegan pumpkin brownies (yum!).  Then yesterday I made Asian fusion fish tacos with orange cauliflower rice.  

Needless to say, I’ve been having fun cooking up a storm, so I figured, why not start sharing these SATH ideas with people that I love? Now we’re cooking with gas!

**Note: I didn’t measure a single thing, so the amounts are estimates ūüėČ

Sloppy Joe Ingredients:

One package raw ground turkey, hormone & additive free (“the good sh*t” as Trent says)

3 tbsp Avocado Oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 shallot, sliced

3 tbsp ground cumin

2 tsp Haba√Īero hot sauce

3 tbsp Corn Syrup Free BBQ Sauce

2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (aka liquid magic)


Cucumber Salad Ingredients:

1/2 Large Cucumber, thin sliced into rounds

1/2 Green Pepper, diced

1/2″ Slice from a large Red Onion, diced

1/2 tsp Ground Pepper

1/4 tsp Sea Salt

1/2 tsp Dried Basil

1 tsp Dried Oregano

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar



Heat avocado oil in large pan on the stove set to medium-high.  Saut√© shallot & garlic in the oil until fragrant and golden.  Add in cumin and stir until dissolved and bubbling.  Add in turkey and use wooden spoon to break up pieces and stir to evenly coat with yummy goodness.  Stir frequently for about 2 minutes, then add haba√Īero sauce, BBQ sauce and apple cider vinegar.  Stir all together and allow to simmer for approximately 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, over medium-low heat.

While turkey is simmering and developing its flavor, slice and dice fresh salad ingredients.  Place in a medium-sized bowl and douse with olive oil, apple cider vinegar and dried spices.  Stir together and allow flavors to marry for about 5 minutes.  (If you have leftover salad like I did-iceberg lettuce, tomato, cilantro-you can add this to the plate and then top it with the fresh cucumber salad!)

Stir turkey and taste, adding whatever you wish to complete the flavor profile before turning off the heat. Plate and serve-enjoy!


Thank a Nurse!

I recently reflected that I have officially been licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN) for 7 years.  Holy crap.  I can’t believe I survived that long in the nursing profession and am STILL in it!! Nursing is TOUGH work.  I mean, grueling, thankless, depressing, exhausting.  However, it is also highly rewarding, self-revealing and amazing.  I have nothing but respect to all the caring, prudent nurses out there who are still practicing in hospitals, in clinics, nursing homes.  Thank you so much for all you do, every day.  You may rarely get the recognition you deserve, but you are significant to the lives of every person you provide care for.

If you know or are in close proximity to any nurse, please, express your gratitude for their service and caring spirit-they sacrifice themselves to give their energy to others every day.  Nurses are love.  Peace be with all nurses.  

Ode to my Mother

When it comes to sharing the joys of traveling, I must begin by expressing my gratitude to my lovely mother.

My mom is a remarkably strong lady.  She overcame a childhood of emotional and psychological abuse by a father who probably was not shown much love in his own childhood.  Her joyful spirit and kind, generous nature-as well as her faith in God and higher love-strengthened her to endure years of living in a stressful environment.

Breaking the cycle. ¬†That’s what my mom was all about. ¬†She set the power of her mind to also break the cycle of poverty which was the backdrop of her upbringing. ¬†Instead of rebelling against the negative influence of her father in a self-destructive way, she put her energy into studying and working hard in school, devoting herself to musical projects and studying Christian principles like love and forgiveness, which she continuously chose to apply to her life. ¬†She studied for hours until it was too dark to read (her father did not allow use of electric lights after the sun went down). ¬†She earned a scholarship and pursued higher education at the University of Florida, where she lived in a dorm to save money and worked part time in addition to studying. ¬†She disciplined herself to live frugally-that means within her means, not spending money on frivolous items that were not necessary-and kept her standard of living low so that she could save money and sidestep the trap we call debt.

She was determined to give her children the opportunities that she never had, which means she invested the hard-earned money that she exchanged for years of her life’s energy into college tuition programs, wedding gift funds and gifts of many forms-academic, leisure and travel. ¬†The greatest of these gifts was travel.

Not only did she take and send us-myself and my sister, Rebecca-on trips to beautiful places like Canada, Mexico and Yellowstone, she instilled in us the value of living within one’s means, saving one’s resources for the most important goals in one’s life and living in financial freedom.

The subsequent trips I have made over the course of my life would not have been possible without the tutelage and guidance of my mother.

My strong, beautiful, wise, patient, kind, gentle, loving mother. ¬†This and all travel posts to come are dedicated to her. ¬†Thank you for teaching me the value of living within my means, mom. ¬†Thank you for teaching me not to use a credit card unless I could afford to pay off the entire amount spent right now. ¬†Thank you for taking me to amazing places when I was young, even though I didn’t appreciate or see the significance of what you and it was doing for me and my life. ¬†I appreciate it now and evermore, more than I can express. ¬†Thank you.

Passion Flower.

Passion flower has a beautiful, calming and comforting property when ingested.  It has been used for many years to treat conditions such as insomnia and anxiety.

Passion flower blooming in my backyard!
Passion flower blooming in my backyard!

If you’re trying to wind down for bed, try a nice warm cup of passion flower tea for relaxation.  If you live in a warmer climate, they are also very fun to grow-their unique purple flowers provide a delightful surprise splash of color when they bloom.

Peace, be still.

My first post is an expression of my struggle to master the voice inside me that tells me to constantly be active in pursuits of various sorts.  These pursuits may be academic degrees, business ideas, or acquiring things which I momentarily perceive to be vital to my current state of happiness, such as a certification or an item of leisure.

I often get myself so worked up in this frenzy of self-imposed urgency for action that I eventually come to realize that I am, in fact, achieving nothing more than the undesirable feat of spinning my wheels and draining my energy.

This post creation is therefore an exercise in stillness, whereby letting my thoughts flow through me and express themselves through the movement of my fingers they are satisfied and released, thus liberating my spirit from a feeling of impending restlessness and a state of “not-yet-itis.”

In my training to become a nurse I learned that adding the suffix -itis to the end of a word was used to indicate inflammation or irritation of whatever was represented as the prefix, or first part of the word.  Therefore, tonsillitis would indicate inflammation of the tonsils and nephritis refers to the inflammation of the kidneys.  By the way, nephrology nursing is my specialty and the renal or kidney system is my favorite body system.  The kidneys are really amazing and play a much more vital role in our health than most people realize-so please take care of yours! I digress.

Back to “not-yet-itis.” One thing that I’ve realized about myself and others around me is the delay in allowing the self to feel a certain positive satisfaction that we feel in achieving a goal until we have achieved it.  While this can sometimes have a motivational aspect, I feel that it can also have a largely harmful effect.  This stems from two possible outcome.  First, it is possible that the feeling we predict or anticipate in achieving our goal is not always how we feel when we reach it.  For example, I expected to feel elated, accomplished and satisfied upon graduating from a high-ranked university with honors.  Instead, I felt a momentary satisfaction in walking in an overly long, mostly boring graduation ceremony and basking in the limelight of an afternoon’s worth of praise from family and friends.  The next day, however, I felt nothing.  Nothing but a cold determination to attack the next challenge with everything I had, which would begin about three weeks later: the commencement of enrolling in another university’s bachelor degree program.

There lies the second possibility: becoming so used to the feeling of ‘having’ to keep working and performing to reach our goal to feel the desired sense of achievement, that it becomes a ‘normal’ part of the life experience.  The time when we allow ourselves to feel good and accomplished is always a certain distance away.  It’s always coming, but it’s not here yet.  There you have it.  Not-yet-itis.  An inflammation of our inner-self because a voice says not to feel satisfied-not just yet-which prevents a sense of peace and well-being and enoughness.  You know that feeling, or at least you’ve heard of it.  Being or doing enough to be loved, to be happy, to be satisfied, to be content.  Not-yet-itis is a thief and takes away from our enoughness.

Well, enough is enough.  Today I made a decision to stop worrying about the future-what degree program to pursue next, what business idea to put into action, what skill I want to perfect.  Today I have administered my first dose of love and peace to heal the sense of not-yet-itis which has been a chronic condition for much of my existence on this journey called life.  Today, I am enough.  And so are you.  Peace be with you.



1.  Am I affected by not-yet-itis?

2.  If so, what can I do to let it go and return to my natural state of being and feeling satisfied and content enough?

3.  What actions can I take to create or nurture a space of peace inside myself so that it can manifest more fully in my life?