Guest Blogger! Molly! Black Bean Simmer,

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Hi everyone.  I am happy to introduce my first guest blogger, Molly Bonner! Occasionally I will be handing the reins over to other inspiring folks.  You never know who might show up!  Enjoy Molly’s post and recipe!  I tried it and it is a winner!!!  By the way she blogs at The Write Perspective my go to for a little lift me up.

Be My Guest Molly!

Molly is enjoying a happy, busy life in Saint Paul, MN while working for Target Corporation and pursuing her curling goal to be in the 2014 Winter Olympics. She misses Northern Minnesota, and all that comes with it, most days of the week.

Dr. Oz is known for this quote, “I have become convinced that the most overlooked tool in our medical arsenal is harnessing the body’s own ability to heal through nutritional excellence.” 
Modern medicine has illustrated and programmed a belief into our society that our health has little or no connection to what we eat and put into our bodies.
My family has a history of Chron’s disease; ever since I really became mindful about how my body felt after I ate certain foods, I did not make the connection that my abdominal pains and sheer misery were a result of something so simple… what I was eating!
For years, I thought it was normal for a person to experience discomfort after drinking a beer, eating a medium-sized McDonald’s french fries order, or enjoying a nice filet mignon.  Somehow, I did not consider that I shouldn’t be feeling so miserable after doing something so normal, such as enjoying a nice meal with friends or family.
For the majority of a year, it was actually at the point where I was using an antacid about 5 times a week, and emergency room late-night visits happened when the pain was incredibly unbearable.
Luckily, I finally came to my senses and was able to begin to pinpoint some of the problem foods that my body is unable to digest appropriately.  Of course, there are still moments where I experience a great deal of abdominal pain; however, it is a world of a difference after I made a few changes to my diet.  
One problem food that I try to avoid as much as possible is red meat.  After doing quite a bit of research, it has been very enlightening to learn about many of the negative effects that a diet high in meat can have on a human’s health.  
We are very lucky to have so many options when it comes to what we choose to put into our body (too many options, potentially).  A common ignorance carnivores have regarding a vegetarian (although I am not completely vegetarian) diet is that “meat is the only place to get protein.”  Wrong!  
There are plenty of great, unprocessed options that are chock-full of protein for us to enjoy and revel in.
Below, I share one of my favorite creations:
Black Bean Simmer
2 cans reduced-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can stewed tomatoes
2 cups water 
1 bag frozen, shelled edamame
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch long pieces
1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. chili powder
  1. Get out your crock pot, place the first four ingredients in there (do not steam edamame or drain tomatoes)
  2. Add seasonings and onion to the pot.
  3. Cook on low for 5-7 hours.
  4. Chop your asparagus and add to dish.  
  5. Add more pepper or salt to season to your desired taste.
I enjoy serving this over brown rice, orzo, or quinoa.  You can also do this stove top if you’d like.  Follow the same directions but cut the water back to 1 cup.  

Okay Jodie Here now – I took some photos of when I made it. I had no asparagus (I think that would send it totally into the major leagues but it was still awesome!  Oh and the edamame I had was mixed with corn, great addition anyhow.)

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