Successful Sassy Southerner

Liberty's Vegan, Gluten-Free, Cheesy Chili

Liberty V Justice

I want to clear up the common misconception that healthy delicious food is unaffordable. Eating healthy is one of the main changes that keeps me out of the hospitals and doctors' offices today. Prayer, wisdom, resourcefulness, and the creative cooking skills to eat healthy, whole foods helped me overcome cancer.

I’m working hard on my YouTube show to give everyone the healthy, decadent, delicious food they deserve at a price everyone can afford — FREE! I’ll get paid for the show once I get 1,000 subscribers, so then I can open my restaurant. We’re planning to run off tips and donations. We’re going to create jobs and stimulate the local economy. We're going to create community and show the love of Christ to people by giving them free food and a place where “everyone knows your name,” like Cheers! I specifically want to help those fighting addiction, because I am a recovering addict. Having been unshackled from drugs for almost nine years, I know how hard it is to get away from people who are using, and it's even harder to find support when you are ready to quit.

Celiac’s Community, get ready! My restaurant will have a gluten-free, vegan/vegetarian menu with meat options. There will something for everyone, but the common denominator won’t be food, it will be love. People should be our priority.

I think the most important recipe I’ll ever create is the vision I have cooking up in my head to help heal the hurting.

But since I don't have the words or the time to write that recipe down, here's another of my creations: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Cheesy Chili.


• 1 can Tri-Bean Blend, Kroger brand (drained)
• 1 can black beans (drained)
• 1 can spicy black beans (undrained)
• 1 teaspoon of the "24 Herbs and Spice Seasoning" from Bragg
• 2 cans tomato paste
• 3/4 cup water
• diced carrots
• snow peas
• diced broccoli
• 3 tablespoons from a packet of chili seasoning
• your favorite Diaya shredded cheese (for topping)


1. Combine all ingredients except cheese in a crockpot and cook for 2 hours (more or less, because you can’t get sick from this!)

2. Add or subtract ingredients to your tastes.

3. Top with Diaya shreds — dare to share! (if you can save any!)

Chili in a mug
Photo by Fotolia/minadezhda

Here's a video recipe of this! If you like my Grit articles, you'll LOVE my YouTube Channel! Thanks y'all!

Grandma's Crack Cookies

Liberty V JusticeI always loved to get away to the good ol’ country to my grandma’s house. It was a haven for me. Grandma was my anchor. After the army and before my drug addiction got out of control, my affection for confection did. At 20 years old, trying to readjust my life plan, it was to grandma’s place that I ran for refuge when I came home that fall.  

The night I checked in to Shay Grandma, she gave a nice homecoming:

“Here’s some oatmeal raisin cookies; you can have three. The rest are for the kids. I counted them, so I’ll know if you eat more.”

(“Pff. Counted them? Right! You can’t scare me,” I said to myself.)

Those delectable delights were love at first bite. When she went to bed, I kept eating until only 3 or 4 were left from the three dozen grandma made. It felt out of my control to stop. Even the thought of taking candy from children didn’t stop me! (Hey, don’t judge me until you are sitting in front of a plate of grandma’s cookies!)

When grandma woke up, she looked in the fridge and I thought, “Oh no, here it comes! She’s gonna turn me into dust! Please God don’t let her find out, and if she does, have mercy on my soul.”

“Holy crap! Who ate all the cookies?”

I waited about two minutes, prayed to God she wouldn’t kill me, and went to the kitchen. “Gram, it was me, I’m sorry. I couldn’t help it. They were like crack. I couldn’t stop myself they were so good!”

The laughter rolled like thunder between Gram and Aunt Kathy. Grandma even had to call my mom and tell her. It was embarrassing for me, but grandma was so happy that someone loved her cooking so much. That was 18 years ago, and to this day, every Christmas, Grandma still says, “Liberty, I made crack cookies just for you!”

Oatmeal raisin cookies
Photo by Fotolia/RoJo Images

If you like this story, you'll love my YouTube Channel! Thanks y'all so much for all your love and support!

Meditation Releases Your Creativity and Health

Liberty V JusticeHere are 7 Health benefits of meditation.

1) Stress Relief, thus illness recovery (it helped me with cancer)
2) Sleep
3) Gut health
4) Strength
5) Memory
6) Concentration
7) Focus

I thank God I got stomach cancer in 2014, because it put me on this spiritual journey that brought me back to better health — physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, financially and best of all — spiritually.

I started meditating 3 times a day in 2014.

When I meditate on a regular basis, my eating habits are better, because I’m less stressed. I sleep better, my bowel movements are better and I am better able to serve God, myself, and others. These are only a few of the measurable benefits of meditation but they’re priceless and irreplaceable to me because they make my life a lot better. I am more productive and accomplished. My writing gifts are much better when I am liberated emotionally and mentally. Meditation empties me of the drain of worry and I am filled with the blessings of energy, strength and freedom to create.

I learn things, I problem solve, and receive all types of wisdom when I am meditating.

Give it time. Like everything else in life, it takes time to get good at the practice of meditation and to see the measurable results of your progress. Being mindful and studying your neurological and physiological changes is very important. Make sure you record them on paper.

When I am less stressed, my mind is able to focus better — that’s the same with all of us, some of us have realized it, others will later if we take the opportunity to better ourselves with education.

A good medication: meditation 3 times a day for 20 minutes. With everything else, start small. Do 5 minutes if you can’t sit or lay still for 20. You’ll struggle as I did to sit still and “do nothing” as I did. As runners are only victorious if they start, after you begin a meditation regime and are consistent, you’ll be victorious if you keep sprinting towards your daily goals of personal development! Thanks for reading and giving me yourselves in the form of feedback. We are all winners when we work together!

I'm passing the torch to Brendon Burchard to teach you his "Release Meditation Technique" via his Youtube video. Enjoy!


Photo by Fotolia/Maksim Pasko

15 of the Undeniable and Irreplaceable Benefits of Running

Liberty V JusticeRunning should be done as early in the morning as possible. At 5 am, I get the road and the moon all to myself. On the other hand, a late afternoon run is good for stress relief, almost like a meditation session. The day I found out my grandma was in the hospital, I went for a run and I felt much more assured, my anxiety melted away and I could think more rationally instead of emotionally.

Benefits of running:

Better sleep
Better self-esteem
Better memory and concentration
Better mood
More pain relief
Better diet the next day
Better spiritually
More hopeful
More fulfilled
Feel I’ve made progress towards all other my goals too, even before I do
Better locus on control — mine is internal

Once I read that running helps rebuild bone and muscles and helps with joint pain, I decided I really am a runner, and I started giving my running habit more attention than any other physical activity. After several months, something is missing without it. I’m not me if I don’t run.

Any longer than 1 or 2 days without a run and I feel a little void, a gnawing at my heart and I feel unaccomplished. I’m only accountable to myself, but I need those rewarding chemicals — dopamine and norepinephrine from the sense of accomplishment running gives me. They’re also pain relievers, something my body needs in the healing process.

I see an undeniable difference in my muscle tone; my skin is clearer and brighter and looks healthier. My eyes are brighter when I run. I feel better overall and I have more stamina throughout the day, more focus, can speak to people better, less anger, better problem solving abilities. Other people see the flame in my eyes and there’s more respect between us because they know I’m a Peaceful Warrior. It’s unspoken. Everyone talks because they don’t know how to be alone. Walking the walk is the only way to show others to the stadium where the race begins.


Photo by Fotolia/Brian Jackson

Jay Wro's Healthy Delicious Vegan Gluten Free Mac and Cheese

Liberty V JusticeJay Wro — Jason Wrobel — is the best chef I’ve ever seen. I do this blog out of gratitude for Jason. Jason’s Vegan Mac and Cheese recipe is much healthier and more delicious than mine. It’s another one of my core values — simplicity. Less is more. It’s made with spaghetti squash — nature’s noodles as Jason says!


Photo by Fotolia/ftlaudgirl

Jason’s more than a fun, smart, gluten free vegan. He’s a wise, talented, strong business man who knows how to thrive — it’s helping others conquer the way he has. Jason’s victories over his battles in the past such as depression are empowering and enlightening. Jay Wro knows what’s important in life. It’s people. People are his priority — that’s where he and I intersect the most. I too have battled with depression and suicide attempts among many other demons such as drugs and alcohol. That's why I fought cancer during my Masters in Seminary to stay alive — I want to empower others to realize they’re no longer imprisoned. We can be free the moment we realize we already are.

People are our most precious commodity. By watching Jason, I feel less alone. I love his food and his bold “no apologies this is me and I’m happy whether you approve or not” style. Jason, your courage never fails to encourage and empower me. Sometimes you bring me to tears with your fearless transparency, strength and determination. Your spirit makes mine soar to the heights I know I can! You’re like my gas can. This Mustang refuels and recharges in YOU!

Much love Jason. I appreciate you!

Thanks for your support for myself and for Jason everyone! Praying for you all!

Liberty V Justice

No period in "V" because my victories never end, and yours don't have to either!

How Getting Rid of Toxic People Heals Physically, Mentally and Spiritually

Liberty V JusticeChrist freed me from many things including drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and mental illness. I no longer take medications.  I forgave myself and the others who held me captive through abuse. I decided to free myself from other people’s opinions and problems. I won’t allow their bad attitudes or self imposed limitations to affect me negatively.

I do the things that others are afraid to do. Christ freed me of everything, including fear — so I legally changed my name to Liberty.

Once I discontinued all medications, left toxic people behind, I could really forgive myself and others. I started to focus on God and what He wanted, and finding my own voice so I could finish Grad school and start my writing career. That’s when I really started to heal. I decided I was going to be the person I saw myself as inside and do the things I’ve always wanted to do and nothing and nobody was going to stop me.

I found healthier, supportive people and built a real sense of community. This is how Christ helped me heal physically, mentally and spiritually. The amazing healings, people and accomplishments in my life are nothing short of miracles.  

It was when I found a supportive community that I began to grow my hair back and eventually I started walking again and regaining muscles in the rest of my body.

I have a sense of love and pride in myself that I always wanted, but for so long I thought was impossible for someone like me.

I’m the same in many ways as when I was a child, only much better.

Children have a strong sense of self confidence unless they get beat down mentally. Children love themselves because they know how to say "no". They have this innate ability to always enjoy themselves in the moment without inhibitions. They don’t care if their food gets on their clothes or their face, they just enjoy it. Overall children have fun, tell the truth and they don’t care what other people think.

I think that’s why most people seem to be so fascinated with me that they can’t stop staring. I believe in myself beyond all odds. I know Christ has a purpose for me life and I am not giving up on myself, on Christ or on the other captives I’m here to set free.


Photo by Fotolia/altanaka

Liberty through Drug Free Pain Relief

Liberty V JusticeIt is medically proven that pain can be reduced and even eliminated with yoga instead of medications.

In 2014, I lost most of my mobility. I couldn’t walk very far. I couldn’t even climb the steps to get on the bus.  I could barely move my arms. Even my wallet was hard for me to lift. I was very dependent on others for almost everything. I begged God to heal me. He heals me to this day through wisdom and having the courage to ask.

I told the doctors (who kept trying to push drugs month after month): “I want to do things the natural way. I don’t want any more surgeries and I don’t want drugs. I have 7 years clean and sober and I’m in grad school. I need my brain in working order.”

I asked the doctors what options were available besides drugs and surgery. After a few months they took me seriously and started giving me advice that didn’t involve drugs or surgery. One doctor said that yoga was strengthening, so I started with one or two small moves. It helped a lot with stress. 

Eventually, through consistency, it did strengthen my body. I graduated with a Masters Degree in Writing from Newburgh Seminary and am now walking AND running. If you're not a regular reader check out one of my running blogs here.

There were other factors but a healthy diet and yoga were the first two things I started, after I got out of the toxic environment.

Here’s an article on how yoga relieves joint pain from The Examiner.

I appreciate y’all reading! Thanks for your feedback too!




Photo by Fotolia/tatomm