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Hello there, this blog page is geared toward my personal side. I share recipes that I love, training of the mind with meditation, and body with exercise and yoga.


— Dropkick


Chocolate chip macadamia cookies


Recipe for half a batch

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (or other light flavor oil/vegan butter)
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) organic sugar
  • 1/2 cup  gluten free baking flour *I used King Arthur that includes multiple flours and gums
  • 1 tb agave
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • approximately ⅛ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • approximately ⅛ cup macadamia nuts

Mix dry and then add wet. Form into six cookies. Bake 375 for 8 minutes

Removing distractions–Making time for the important things

Originally published on my Eksta Training program site

No one has time anymore. It is funny when people tell me that they do not have time to exercise or meditate yet they already said that they watch 4 hours of Netflix a day. That is where priorities are. When people say that they do not have time, they really mean something else right? You can fill in the blank. Aside from the person that works not stop and sleeps only 3 hours per day, we have time. We especially have time for things like exercise and training that will improve our health and happiness. I like hearing excuses get changed to saying, “I will make time.”

Now, let’s take a look at where your time goes. This should be fun.

  • What are your distractions? Can you cut back time on social media, flipping through apps, shopping, or surfing the web for articles or videos? Do you watch a movie you’ve seen dozens of times just so that you can escape?
  • Can you hire out some of your chores or errands? Can you cut down on cooking time? How about driving time?
  • Do you need to cut out social media completely because you are addicted? Do you need to cut out porn because you masturbate 5 times a day? Be honest about how you spend your time.

Where you can put time?

  • What do you love to do? Think about things that allow you to feel more like yourself and having clearer thoughts.
  • What did you enjoy doing as a child that you would like to do more of today? This can also help with looking at your career choice if you have questions around that.

Now, let’s look how we can start scheduling and planning.

  • Aside from putting these things in your schedule, you can join a group, Meetup, or online class that can help hold you accountable. Be cautious starting with just one friend unless your friend is very, very motivated and has no drama going on. A teacher or coach is also great.
  • Is there waiting time you can spend reading training materials?
  • Do you have an achievement goal for several months or a year from now?
  • Do you have any dream vacations that you actually want to start planning?
  • By joining this training, what do you see yourself becoming? What does your life look like?
  • Make space in your home if that is where you are going to practice things like meditation and yoga.


Another thing to think about is not sharing your new plan with those that will make jokes about it or be negative. Typically, they are just afraid of you changing or making them feel unproductive.

This is the day to write out some of these. Find what will make you happy and go for it.

Emergency food and backpacking food

Hurricane coming? Snow storm? Better rush off and buy canned food. That’s what the news says. If we use our own brain to think then there are other options. Healthier and cheaper options. Since when do apples not last a few days so we must buy canned apples? As convenient as canned beans or chili are, I prefer other options for Meals Ready to Eat. If I am backpacking for more than a day then I definitely thinking about being as light as possible- which means no heavy cans. Just a few options to get you thinking:

Instant refried beans- just add hot water and let sit. How simple. Perhaps have cayenne powder available.

Regular nut butter jars or peanut butter powder+water

Store bought MRE entree packages (Indian, Thai, American chili). These are pricey but light in weight and delicious.

Edamame nuts


Meal replacement powders

Protein bars or meal replacement bars

Trail mix

Bread or cornbread cakes

Instant oatmeal or quick oats

Dried fruit or freeze-dried fruit. (These are too delicious for me to keep around for an emergency.)

Dried veggie snacks

Instant MRE packs of rice

Instant coffee (or do like me and buy a camping percolator for grounds)

Kale chips (Can make these yourself ahead of time to save $$)

Fresh fruit

Options that take a bit longer:

Quinoa or quinoa with dried veggies 20 minutes on a campfire or butane cooker


If you are just stuck inside then there are more options. Fresh veggies last awhile and there are many that are good raw or that cook quick over a campfire or a kitchen gas stove. Backpacking with veggies can take up more room and if there is any extra water on them then it can get rancid.

Get creative and also look at what you already enjoy eating. Online stores and some bulk warehouse stores offer options for buying huge amounts of MRE and freeze-dried meals in tubs or cases if you want to get serious about stocking up.

3 Quotes from Muhammad Ali to live by every day

“I don’t count the sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting because they’re the only ones that count. That’s what makes you a champion.”

“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are.”

“What you’re thinking is what you’re becoming.”

Bouncing for training

Jumping on a mini-trampoline a.k.a. Rebounding

My favorite warm up exercise and one of my fav energizers is bouncing on a rebounder. I even use it to run on sometimes, and I get a better work-out than running. That split-second feeling of weightlessness gives of feeling of letting go which helps blow off stress.

  • It can be used by everyone. Those ill, injured, or the elderly can use it with the help of hand rails. Athletic people can do more challenging types of bouncing to further improve their conditioning.
  • It helps the lymph system, thyroid, and adrenals. That is great for weight loss and the immune system.
  • It helps digestion and aids in cleansing this system.
  • It increases muscle fiber tone and muscle-to-fat ratio.
  • It increases metabolism. Other cardio does the opposite when done too much.
  • It can burn many calories and make you sweat when done long enough.
  • Helps with balance, coordination, and flexibility. These are three very important things, but they are seldom worked on.
  • It is more effective cardio than running. Rather than harming joints, rebounding helps build stronger bones and joints.
  • Bouncing is fun. We need fun.

When you bounce try all types: bounce lightly without coming off the fabric, bounce high, run in place, bounce in a circle, kick your legs forward, bounce with a twist, bounce with a squat, bounce with calf raise, and bounce any way you come up with. Try it for at least 3 minutes. 15 minutes a day is great.

Good snack options

If you are hitting the fitness then you probably see that 3 meals per day does not cut it. Snacks between meals or having 5-6 small meals is a must for most of us.

The worst thing someone can do is not snack during the day and then overstuff at dinner to make up for the lack. There are many healthy snack options even when you are on-the-go. Many do not require a cooler or fridge. Some can be even picked up at a gas station. The key is to develop a routine of daily planning in the morning or before bed. Here are some ideas for snacks between meals:

  • Whole fruit or dried fruit
  • Raw veggies with hummus or avocado
  • Vegetable or avocado sushi rolls
  • Nuts (lower-sodium), 1-2 handfuls
  • Protein powder with water, juice, or vegan milk
  • Smoothie with fruit and/or greens
  • Meal bar or nut bar
  • 2-3 bananas and peanut butter
  • Salad with ingredients that give a variety of flavor and crunchiness
  • Vegan yoghurt (preferably with more fruit sugar than cane sugar or unsweetened)
  • Pre-baked potato or sweet potato
  • Baked tofu slices and hot sauce
  • Plant-based cashew cheese on flaxseed crackers
  • Oatmeal
  • Oatmeal bar or cookie, low-sweetener
  • Summer rolls with tofu and veggies
  • Hearty soup
  • Leftovers

***Of course, choose the amount of snack that fits within your calorie and fat needs. It is easy to eat 1000 calories of nuts or peanut butter, but that is too much for a snack for most people.

If you have a job that does not offer snack or lunch breaks- look for new job- then meanwhile bring food to drink down. Have a bottle with a high calorie protein shake, blended soup, or a oatmeal fruit smoothie. This can be partially frozen or iced if spoilage would be possible.

Home treat: If you are not on-the-go then vegan frozen banana ice cream loaded with toppings makes an excellent treat.

Some people like air-popped popcorn but I never have cared for popcorn without oil. You might.

Bad Snack Options:

Donuts, cookies, potato chips, candy bars, high-calorie coffee drink, zero calorie fake sugar drinks. Do Not Consume Them!

Find a healthy replacement.

The longer you eat healthier the more cravings for bad things will go away.

Which Tofu to Buy for higher protein diets & How to use it

For high protein cubes or slices:

As with other things, it is all about how firm it is.

A meal using super firm will give you 15-40 grams fairly easily. Sprouted tofu is better for digesting if you can find it.

Use super firm in a plastic bag not the white tray. You can buy this at any health food store and some markets. No pressing the water out needed. This tofu is mega firm. Water is low-so protein is high

2nd Option: Extra firm in the tray. Not quite as firm. More water-so protein is about 1/3 less. Squeezing the tofu needed (keep reading). This works in a pinch in an understocked store, but why pay for water instead of more tofu protein?

For scrambled Tofu or eggless Salad:

You need something more like the firmness of scrambled eggs to make the tofu version. Buy extra firm in the white tray. You will need to squeeze out much of the water with your hands or a paper towel/cheesecloth. Pressing it with a spatula when you heat it will cook out more water- this is why I never take time to let it drain before cooking.

For pudding or cheesecake:

Why are you eating pudding? It better be a rare treat. Use the firm tofu. Anything softer is useless and gross.

Elderberry tincture Kentucky style

elderberry bourbon tincture

Do not like sugar syrups?

Make a tincture from bourbon. A dropperful is a dose so no worries of getting intoxicated.

Alcohol actually pulls out more of the good stuff than hot water tea does.

Takes only 30 secs of work

You will have years worth of tincture for under $10. 


In a mason jar mix:

5 parts bourbon (or other drinking alcohol at least 80 proof)

1 part dried elderberries

Put on lid. DONE in under 30 seconds. Well, kind of. You must wait 4-6 weeks. Give a shake daily. Strain through fine mesh when the time is up. 

I use bourbon because of my roots + American made. You can use cheap vodka or any other alcohol. Alcohol quality and taste do not matter so much because the tincture will be as black as ink before it is done infusing. You may notice some change in flavor between types of alcohol. For herbs with shorter brews, I really notice a difference. Consult a herbal website or herbalist on how many drops should be taken for the immune system. Typically, it is a couple droppers full or 1/2 tsp.

Drink responsibly- getting wasted on tincture isn’t good for our training. For those with an alcohol-free lifestyle like me: you will not notice anything from this as it is about 1/20th a shot. Some people like taking a teaspoonful in club soda or juice for a very low alcohol adult beverage that is good for you. Do not try boiling out the alcohol to make it alcohol-free. That does not work. Buy a store-bought glycerin tincture for that version.

*** I am not herbalist. You may want to search around for other ways of making it. This is how I learned from an herbalist.

Vegan Elderberry Syrup for Flu Season- Great on pancakes!

vegan elderberry syrupWhen did not covering your mouth when coughing become okay? A warm yoga class turns into a Petri dish with the heat, deep breathing, and flu germs in a closet sized room. There’s probably less chance of catching something on Tinder than in yoga. I finally admitted that I know longer have an impenetrable immune system. Backpacking India for months and Celiac’s will do that. I found out that elderberry is the best thing for the immune system that can also be taken daily. Echinacea can cause harm to the liver after 2 weeks. Uh oh.

Since I am too frugal to buy $10 tinctures or syrup every month, I looked up various ways to make both from the dried berry… costing nearly nothing.

Finding vegan elderberry syrup recipes was pretty much impossible. They all use honey. Substituting with agave is easy but more expensive than using sugar.

Elderberry Syrup Recipe:

First off here is a warning: do not eat any of those raw berries because they are mildly toxic. They must be cooked. You will not die but you may want to.

2 cups water

1/2 cup dried elderberry

1 cup sugar, non-Florida grown (preferably organic- no pesticides)

2-3 lemon wedges

Put water, berries, sugar in a pot (Not aluminum. I used stainless steel.) Bring to near a boil. Then simmer another 20-30 minutes. It should be cooked down about halfway. Strain through a mesh strainer or large cheesecloth into your preferred storage jar. Add lemon juice. DONE. Refrigerate after it cools.

Good for 90 days. You can heat this again if not thick enough. Sometimes I like to reheat mine for pancakes toppings.

Uses: Just spoon 1 tsp+ daily for immune system, use as syrup on food, add to sparkling water, add to kombucha. If you are sick then take 1 tsp every 2-3 hours.

Do not like sugar syrups? Make a tincture. That recipe is up next postBuy your elderberries at a local health food store or Amazon. They also grow in every US state… if you feel confident in knowing what you are picking- trimming.  

Cherokee Corn Pone – skillet corn bread

This is a Native American staple depending on the tribe. I grew up having them about 360 days per year. It is eaten on the side like cornbread or bread. They are a perfect match with pinto beans. I like to get creative and use mine for refried bean sandwiches or as breakfast pancakes. I eat these more often after being gluten-free. Plus, I am too cheap to buy expensive gf bread that is like cardboard anyway.

corn pone recipe, vegan and gluten free

(Not perfectly round this batch. Oh well.)


1 cup Corn meal, fine-milled** Yellow is best

3/4 cup Warm water

1 tsp Sea salt

Mix ingredients in a large mixing cup or bowl. Stir. Heat your skillet on medium. Sit the mix 10 minutes if possible. This allows for the corn to rehydrate and not break with making into patties. You may want to add another spoonful of water if it is crumbly and dry. The batter with will be thick enough to pat out, but you do want some extra moisture. Put large spoonfuls in the skillet and pat with spoon to flatten into a round shape. It will be twice as thick as pancakes. Cook about 3 minutes on each side. It is hard to overcook them. 


Skillet- I use traditional cast iron. That allows me to not add oil. I flip with metal spatula, so that it does not break apart sticking to the cast iron. If you use a non-stick pan then you will want to add a spoon of oil for crispiness. Cook longer if you use no oil. My family members cook theirs in an inch of oil. There is no way in hell I will do that.

**I used Bob’s Mill Masa yellow corn meal. Bob’s is non-GMO even though the label does not say. Do not use polenta or grits or any corn meal that has large bits. I order a box to save money and because it is hard to find non-GMO in some stores. Feel free to use a cheap grocery brand. Some will taste like bleach or bland. It is the difference of it having taste great and it just being edible.

About Me

I am a web designer and yoga teacher. CPT, RYT & untrained chef. I have been gluten-free (Celiac) since 2008 and plant-based since 2000. I have a love of good knives, martial arts, meditation, fitness, Native American remedies, and reading books. I am a big animal lover with a retired Belgian Malinois and cat.