Grit Blogs >

Successful Sassy Southerner

Free Food Creates Community

Liberty V JusticeI want to help people solve their self-confidence issues. I want everyone to be as happy and fulfilled as I am. I was able to overcome cancer when I found it was caused by celiac’s disease and had to start fighting to find food I could eat. From this search for healthy food rises my hope to start a restaurant — my first philanthropic endeavor. It will be my way of giving back, because I’m thankful and I'm proud of myself for conquering unhealthy food, emotions, and all that garbage that made me sick, poor, and miserable.

Conquering ourselves and our fears can help conquer our physical problems, relationship issues, and even financial wellness. Our most important relationship is with ourselves. Often, self-love starts by watching a confident trailblazer do it. Someone who’s been through the fire and isn’t afraid to go back in and help others come out without fear of getting burned. They help show they love themselves in the way they treat us and others, and that gives the rest of us fuel to go on.

I want everyone to know that they’re worth everything. We all deserve healthy, delicious food that fuels us physically, intellectually, and spiritually, but I also want to stimulate the economy by creating jobs to help employ those who think they cannot be employed — those who’ve been in prison or are still struggling though addictions.

I want to create community. I want to show love to others until they learn how to love themselves. I want to show them encouragement and believe in them until they believe in themselves, and I will enlist others to help me do it. It takes a village not just to raise a child, but also to help adults recover and reeducate them from the lies they’ve been told about life that keep them stuck. Lies that say, “You're not good enough.”

I want to educate the world about what it’s like to love yourself, and I want to do that by continuing to love myself. One way I can show myself love is to love others, and my restaurant will do just that when I finally break ground at my location and start giving everyone my free gift of not only food, but also friendship and community.

Sharing soup
Photo by Fotolia/highwaystarz

A Lesson in Assertiveness — from the Student

Liberty V JusticeI’ve always had problems sticking up for myself in a healthy way. I was taught to feel guilty if I had a need, because other people were important and I wasn’t. I know now that that is not true, and that we all have the same amount of value in God’s eyes. I’ve been subjecting myself to more and more opportunities for growth in this area. This is called “exposure therapy” — the more I do something, the better I become at it. (Mostly it’s dealing with crowds and forming relationships.)

I hate having fear in my body. I need to have the freedom to express my needs without the fear of retaliation, abuse, or rejection. I finally realized that I often mistake good feelings — like excitement or anticipation — for fear. When I am operating in fear instead of love, I’m living a lie. If I am letting fear keep me stuck in the mud of mediocrity, I am not loving myself. It’s not like me to become complacent. To become more successful in life, I have found I must speak up for myself and have my needs met. If there is an injustice against me, I need to trust myself. That means knowing that I can operate out of love and not hurt the other person, while still being assertive and speaking up for myself. Besides, if I don’t speak up for myself, how can I do it for others?

I must become better at being assertive so I can show others like me how to do it. To get myself in a better mindset for these types of confrontations, I simply calm down, breathe, and say, “Lord, let me show love.” I also remind myself that I can speak up against injustice without causing injustice to others. They’re human too, and everyone makes mistakes, but whether they did something to hurt me or not, they haven't always done it on purpose. Sometimes, it’s not about me.

For example, I had a hotel room recently. It was filthy! I won’t tell you where it was, or any details (that would not be love) but I was very unhappy! I said, “There’s no sense in me suffering silently, but I don’t have to be mean and make the manager and staff suffer, either. Lord, help me to be loving.”

I had a general idea of what I would say. I walked into the lobby, and the manager wasn’t there; the employee at the desk said they could help me. I asked if they could give me a new room, because mine was stinky. First, though, I said “What’s your name?” Then I introduced myself. I made sure my volume was low, I smiled, and I didn’t blame the employee. I also said, “I thank you for trying to help me. I’ll tell the manager how good you were to me.” When they said there were no rooms left but that they’d clean mine for me, I said, “Thanks so much! I’ll pray for you.”

They thanked me and gave me nice compliments, and the other employee who helped me confirmed what I was thinking: “We need to do things the way we’d want them for ourselves.” It's what I had just told the employee who was at the desk, and how I tried to treat that employee when we spoke.

As long as I treat each person as they are valuable and important, the outcome is often better than I expect (even if I don’t see it right away). If nothing else, I feel great about conquering myself — again!

Hotel employee
Photo by Fotolia/Kadmy


Liberty V Justice —
No period in my "V" because my victories never end and yours don't have to either my friends!


If you like this you'll LOVE my YouTube channel! Click HERE to watch! Thanks y'all!

Gluten-Free, Vegan, Potato/Kale/Cheese Soup Recipe

Liberty V JusticeTry this recipe for the most delicious (yet still healthy) soup you've ever had. No gluten, no GMOs, and completely vegan!

Prep time: Approx 10-15 minutes

Total cook time: 2-1/2 hours (or less based on your preference)

Ingredients:

• 1 package Diaya cheese (sharp cheddar slices)
• 4 medium potatoes (organic) - sliced small (keep skins on)
• 1 cup water
• 3 leafs organic kale
• 1-1/2 cups almond or hemp milk

Instructions:

1. Slice potatoes as small as possible, and boil to softness of your preference.

2. Add your almond or hemp milk.

3. Chop or tear the kale into small, bite-sized pieces, mix with the water, and add to the milk and potatoes.

4. Cook for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until potatoes or kale are tender.

5. Start adding Diaya cheese, two slices every 10-15 minutes (when one group has melted, add the next two).

6. Smile! You just ate the most delicious, healthy soup you’ve ever made!


They say selfishness is not choosing the way one wishes to live, but trying to impose the way you live on others. Since becoming a vegan in 2012, my life has gotten a lot harder. I have celiac’s disease, and that makes life a lot harder, especially right now with my income restrictions. 

Two years ago, I had many people come to me and say, “Why are you eating that?” or “You need to eat _____” or “I couldn’t eat like that.” I didn’t tell them I was suffering from cancer in my stomach. They always shamed me for being so skinny. I was put down because I “eat too healthy” and because I “work out too much” and I am “too skinny.” I’m not skinny, I’m strong! Thank God, because at least 70% of society is overweight — and sick — or will discover they are sick if they continue down an unhealthy path. I intend on becoming more educated on food and nutrition so that I can help kids and anybody else who is looking to become healthy or maintain their health — before it gets out of control.

I love how great this food makes me feel, and how strong and energetic is makes me.

Because of all the heckling of my healthy choices, I thought nobody would want to eat at my restaurant. Since I love cooking so much, I started making my recipes and giving them to people for free. (Which is what I am going to do with the food at my restaurant — free, healthy, delicious food. I plan to just run off tips and my YouTube channel.) I love cooking, and I want to share this gift of good health with the world!

I gave a bowl of this soup to a lady named Beth that works at Kroger, and she is still raving about it two weeks later!

When you try this recipe, please comment and let me know what you like about it. How did you make it better? Thank you!

Cheese soup
Photo by Fotolia/klukovkaali


Watch me make this recipe on my YouTube channel!

How I Define "Home"

Liberty V JusticePolice officers care about us; they wouldn’t take such a dangerous job for such measly pay if they didn’t have the heart of a hero. Heroes love. Heroes help. Heroes support, encourage, and lift others up. If you see a police officer, go shake their hand. Say, “Thank you. I appreciate you.” Don’t take for granted what they do for us. There’s a lot about them that you’ll never see in the paper or the news.

What I didn’t write in The State article last year was that I’m an ex-addict with no record, but multiple arrests. Without going into detail, I have good reason to fear harm from police. Officer Greg Alia came at time in my life when I felt the most insecure, worried, and distrustful of people in authority, and he unshackled me.

Our 2 a.m. meeting at Groucho’s Restaurant in Forest Acres was Greg’s opportunity to do something about injustice. I sarcastically asked, “Are y’all that bored?” — that was the lubricant that oiled us up and we had a real conversation. “We’re that bored,” he said. I’ll never forget that. I felt so comfortable with him, just as I do my own brother. Greg felt like home.

He respected me, and even admired me for sticking by Christ. I distinctly remember his response when I said, “Love ain’t what ya say, it’s what ya do.” I immediately saw a spark in his eyes. He must’ve been thinking about his wife, Kassie.

He said, “What if I paid for your hotel room tonight?” Greg didn’t know I prayed specifically, “God, I know you’re going to provide a place for me to sleep tonight. I trust you.”

You can call it “Southern Hospitality.” I call it Christ. Greg gave me more faith. My only regret was not giving him a hug.

Having the Forest Acres P.D. around made me not only feel safe, but, for the first time in my life, I felt connected. I feel I’m a part of something. Like Cheers, they all know my name. I feel they’re part of my family. The last time I felt a sense of community like this was when I was 11, only a few years before my life took its turn.

The next time you wanna bash the police, think of someone you love turning to a life of drugs and alcohol and self-harm all because of a lie told when they were young: “All people are bad. If something bad happens to you, the last person you want to tell is a cop. You can’t trust cops.” Instead, speak highly of those in authority and introduce the police to your children. That way they know to trust the police in a crisis, and the officers recognize them, too.

If you see police officers sitting for hours at a Circle K or Dunkin' Doughnuts, don’t think they’re not doing anything. Sure, maybe they’re drinking coffee, but I assure you, it’s so much more. I’ve seen several robberies occur, and because the cops and all the businesses' employees know each other, it leads to better cooperation, less fear (and better planning) of it reoccurring, and more crimes solved more quickly.

The biggest story is that a 37-year-old woman finally has people in her life she can trust and look forward to seeing every day. Even without Officer Alia's reassuring presence, it’s similar to a feeling of being in love, but with a whole group of people — the Forest Acres Police Department. Imagine what they could do for your community. Thank an officer and connect with them today!

police officers
Photo by Fotolia/majorosl66

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.

Ingredients:

• 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)

Instructions:

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!

Meditation

Photo by Fotolia/Maksim Pasko