Twirling Self Love with World Love and Black Bean Sweet Potato Veggie Burger Recipe!

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Intelligence really is the most beautiful thing you can wear. I am wearing a very comfortable and easy on the wallet Forever 21 dress, but I feel my best and richest in happiness when I take concrete actions to make the world a better place.

Intelligence is defined by the ability to perceive and understand. What is more intelligent than perceiving and understanding how to simultaneously love yourself and the world around you at the same time? I believe that the truest form of wisdom involves spreading more love and positivity into the world. There is an interconnected relationship between achieving genuine, sustainable self-esteem and respecting the world around us.

How is this so?

It is my belief that we can increase our self-worth and self-esteem by living lives filled with purpose and meaning, which of course means doing our parts to live eco-friendly lifestyles. Unquestionably, we can all make a difference with our lifestyle choices and set a good example for others by doing so.

Nourishing Mother Nature with our love both by taking care of it with our own eco-friendly actions and by appreciating its beauty is vital for enjoyment of our lives, and it provides us with gratification that we are doing our part to preserve the beauty of the earth for future genera- tions. Loving our bodies and loving the planet are similar, because they both involve showing respect for life, maximizing our happiness, and enhancing the quality of our days.

Fresh, unpolluted air, green, well-watered grass, statuesque trees, sunshine that kisses the skin with warmth, and flowers that burst with vibrant colors gift us with life-enhancing, positive thoughts. It is the essence of the beautiful majesty of life all around us. Viewing a sunrise or sunset that sparks with a blend of reds, oranges, and yellows in the distant sky; venturing on a hike in the hilly, peb- bled woods; or letting our toes sink into the sand as we walk on the beach makes our souls happy, which has real calming effects on our nervous systems.

This is why educating ourselves about global degradation and what each of us can do to mitigate the damage is just as essential as enjoying nature itself! 

Today I was reading the latest news about food production and distribution and how the process consumes more than 90% of the world’s fresh water supply {a commodity that is becoming bafflingly scarce}. 90%! This is HUGE. Given our current water shortage crisis, learning about how to reduce our water-footprints is pretty major if we are going to love Mother Earth to our greatest capacity. Going vegan or significantly reducing animal product consumption is one of the #1 ways you can reduce both your eco- and fresh water-footprint.

“If you look at agricultural products, if you look at animal protein – the demand for which is growing – that’s highly water intensive. At the same time, on the supply side, there are going to be several constraints. Firstly because there are going to be profound changes in the water cycle due to climate change.” ~Rajendra Pachauri, U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Chairman

Another way we can easily care for the environment more is by making a conscious effort to reduce food waste.

Did you know that a third of all of the food grown in the world every year is thrown away? This is about a billion tons of food wasted, worth about $1 trillion. Wowza, that is a quantity of food and money so large that is difficult to imagine just how much that is. It’s enough food to end world hunger {4 times over}!

Here are 9 tips for reducing food waste.

Another compelling statistic is that the #1 cause of climate change is actually livestock production!

The last chapter of Love Your Body covers this subject and why this is the case. You can also read more about this connection on my friend Julieanna Hever’s website (aka The Plant-Based Dietitian).

10953659_1537372633204878_229005667_nI think it’s important that we lift each other up and not knock anyone for making lifestyle choices different than our own, for criticism solves nothing and does not foster productivity or positive change. Any positive actions taken to reduce our global footprints, improve our health and reduce animal suffering is commendable.

I am almost completely vegan, but not quite 100 percent. It’s very rare that an animal product finds its way into my life and I don’t eat animal products intentionally, but mistakes in restaurants happen and I am not a perfectionist. We can all do something, whether on a large or smaller scale. Each meal you have a choice, but you don’t have to be perfect all the time. The key is to do the best we can and not be judgmental of each other.

My blogger friends and I know that a gorgeous food picture will garner more likes and shares than the serious, more sobering stuff. I wish this wasn’t the case and I’ve asked my more experienced blogger friends how they confront this dichotomous yearning to provide our audiences with what they like and desire from us and our own wishes to post information about the deeper, more pressing issues of our time. The answer always seems to be to intersperse the more in-demand, happier posts with posts that are more sobering, yet informative and pack a huge education punch.

This is a link to my new favorite veggie burger recipe! It’s a Sweet Potato Black Bean Veggie Burger recipe and given how much I LOVE sweet potatoes, it’s no surprise that I love this recipe. I hope you enjoy it just as much as I do!

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Lastly, have y’all seen Cowspiracy?! It’s incredible and you can now view it in the comfort of your own home. How awesome!

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