“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
  ~ Unknown

Hello friends! After an adventurous 2 month hiatus, I’m happy to report that I’m back in the saddle.  For readers of this blog, you might not be aware, but since the beginning of the year, I also write a daily morning blog, entitled “Reflections on Sunrise”.   This blog can be found on my main website or via Facebook at Facebook/SunrisesAndReflections.  Here I share a daily photo of my sunrise, along with an inspiring quote, and meditation thoughts from a yogic and zen perspective.  I had almost decided to give up on this blog, which I’ll talk about later.   But to have awoken to this most gorgeous of morning skies, after a week or grey and rain, was truly inspiring. How can I not share it !!


Tuesday’s Terrific Tip:

Yesterday morning, I began a free on-line meditation program entitled “21 Days of Gratitude” offered by Yesterday’s program featured a splendid visual meditation, filmed by Louie Schwartzberg. If you are familiar with the works of Ken Burns, Louie’s video photography of people and the nature world are of equal talent. And I can’t think of a better way to offer my gratitude over the next three weeks, as we approach Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays.

The presentation will focus on three areas for gratitude over coming weeks: Inner strength, family and friends, and the beauty of the living universe and the awe of nature. Twenty-One different mentors will share their personal experiences with gratitude. The visual patterns of nature will help the mind be free of distracting thoughts, and open the heart to the beauty around us.

I hope you’ll join me in experiencing this truly lovely gift to yourself. To Learn More and to Register, please visit:


Finding Your Purpose – Change to my Blog Format

lovewritingThe meditation theme and mantra yesterday was “Finding Your Purpose”. It couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve never had 8 weeks go by so quickly. And while my experience was truly amazing – a quick layover with my in-laws in St. Louis, vacationing and hiking Glacier National Park followed by 3 weeks of workamping at a Sugar Beet Harvest in Montana – I came back to find myself feeling more adrift than ever. But also truly ready to explore my purpose here on this mother earth. As I contemplated giving up my writing, I was filled with sadness. And I had to ask, why I was even considering it ?

As I sat with the question, I was struggling with the fact that “Reflections on Sunrise” was taking all of my time away from my other blog “The Twisted Vegan”. And that I am just as passionate about my food blog as I am talking about spirituality and spreading lovingkindness. And writing daily “Reflections” has been a heck of a lot easier than the intermittent style I’ve been sharing over at “Twisted”.

So I’ve decided to merge the two blogs. Which means you’ll be getting more content from me than ever 🙂

Vegan followers, I hope that my morning sunrise photo, quotes and thoughts on spirituality from a yogic and zen perspective will be uplifting for you. And Sunrise followers, I hope you’ll enjoy my food posts. I hope to be a trusted resource should you ever find yourself considering a switch to plant-based living (or have the concept recommended by your doctor), adding Meatless Mondays to your family’s weekly menu, or having a child announce that they are no longer eating meat or having me over for dinner, my hope is you’ll find what you are needing at


Recipes for 3 “Before-You-Know-It” Bean Dips

Quick-Bean-DipsAs I mentioned, our vacation started with a short layover in St. Louis to visit Spencer’s parents. The night of our arrival, we got in late, and my mother-in-law, Terry had prepared the most wonderful homemade bean dips, which she served with bruschetta from Sam’s Club (topped with vegan cheese substitute I might add!). This week is very busy for me, as I re-open the villa for a check-in on Friday. I know this time of year can be hectic for most everyone. Terry was kind enough to share her recipes with me over the weekend, which I’ve adapted slightly per her notes. Using on-hand ingredients, these dips come together in no time !! Perfect for unexpected company or a healthy, light meal after long days of holiday shopping.

Simply blend the ingredients until smooth in a Magic Bullet (my favorite appliance), food processor or blender.

Enjoy! And as always, I offer gratitude to you for taking time out of your day to read my thoughts. Namaste !!



Sesame Garbanzo Bean Dip

Adapted from the Cookbook “Dropping Acid”

 1 15.5 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

 5-6 tablespoons vegetable broth

 2 tablespoons olive oil

 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

 1/2 teaspoon salt

 Serve with Edamame and Rice Crackers


Zingy White Canellini Bean Dip

 Adapted from

 1 15.5 oz can canellini beans, drained and rinsed

 2 tablespoons vegetable broth

 2 tablespoons olive oil

 Juice of 1/2 Lemon (1+ tablespoons)

 1 small clove garlic, minced (1/2 teaspoon)

 1/2 teaspoon salt

 * For a seasonal kick, add in some fresh Rosemary

 Serve with cut veggies and Pita Chips


 Smoky Citrus Black Bean Dip

Adapted from God knows where!  Many recipes 😉

15.5 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon Adobo Sauce (from canned Chipotles)

2 tablespoons vegetable broth

1 tablespoons olive oil

1 small clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

zest of one orange

1/4 cup fresh orange juice, (juice 1/2 orange)

 Serve with cut veggies (I loved this with cauliflower) and Corn Chips




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