Lori Minutoli    

Writer, Poet, Artist 

Blog

Welcome to my repurposed blog. For years I used this spot to share about my walk of faith. So much has changed. Now, it is going to be filled with writings about my new food journey, my hobbies, my adventures and possibly some faith based stuff as well. Please know that I have tried everything to put paragraph spaces in these post but this website removes them . Sorry, I'll try to make shorter posts.
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VEGAN CHILI

Posted on August 13, 2019 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (0)
My daughter figured it out! She successfully influenced me to make changes in my life all the while I was thinking it was my idea. That's mastery if you ask me. She long ago stopped telling me what I should do and every so often subtly offered me vegan nuggets of wisdom; once she gave me some vegan butter, another time, a substitute for Parmesan cheese, another time a book, and recently some samples of her vegan cooking. Everything she has given me over time, I have adopted into my eating habits. I tried them while still eating whatever I was into at the time and slowly the items replaced what I was used to using. The book was the most life changing as I have written about already. Today, I went to the grocery store with my son who is also vegan and he mentioned her vegan chili, so it was decided on the spot that's what I would make too. You see, a few weeks ago she told me about a cookbook, the cookbook with the recipe for this chili with a pumpkin base. So I only had to open my Kindle app and read the recipe at the store. Bottom line: I made the chili and it is amazing!!! As I was unpacking my groceries in preparation to make the chili, I automatically cut some vegetable tortilla into triangles and baked them- spritzed with lemon and salt (just like she taught me maybe a week ago.) I snacked on my baked chips and salsa while I cut up vegetables, strained beans, and scooped out pureed pumpkin. It was then, in that moment, that I realized how effective she was at influencing me to change my life. I love that I make my own tortilla chips now. I love that I made a vegan banana bread type thing for breakfast. I love that I am reading and sharing vegan books. I love that my kitchen is full of organic plant based foods. I love that I use a cutting board every day and have stacks of dishes in constant rotation through the dishwasher. Thank you Alison and Alex and Brandon for influencing me to be the person I am today. I am so happy to share this journey with you.

Still Raw (painful reality)

Posted on August 12, 2019 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

I thought I was getting better, healing and moving on, until I came face to face with family from the past.  Yes, imagine I said it that way, as if family could be cordoned off to a place in time. Over flowing with deeply sad emotions, I made it home from seeing them and almost couldn't breathe.  People just don't know how much a strong woman holds inside.  I couldn't hold back the tears while talking to them but I was trying to.  My ex-husband's family was my adopted family for 20+ years.  They were everything I ever wanted in life- a big, loving, connected family.  However, when I got divorced, I divorced the family as well.  I do realize this was  a self-inflicted form of punishment but it was a choice I made for deeply personal reasons of which I am not going to talk about right now.  Maybe the healing takes time.  Maybe I will have to test the waters inch by inch instead of diving right back in.  I don't know but today I became very aware of how raw things still are for me.  I appreciate their warm, tender compassion - I felt it.  But I am not interested in doing that again.  Nope.  I would rather stay in the safety of my little world  and send out these notes to the big world via writing. I put this out here because I honestly believe there is a bigger story happening, one that I just can't see, a new book being written perhaps.

Book Business Cards

Posted on August 2, 2019 at 7:40 PM Comments comments (0)

I wish I could post pictures with these blog posts. Imagine if you will, a business card with my name and website and a list of the titles of my books available on Amazon. The back of the card thanks the reader for supporting independent artists. That's it- no phone number, no address, no email. I feel safe handing this card out to people to gain exposure to my books. If you're reading this- THANK YOU! If you're reading any of my books, please feel free to comment anywhere on this page. I would love to hear your thoughts. (click the link to see my business cards on Instagram)


Nature's Studio

Posted on August 2, 2019 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (0)

I have an art studio in my home where I paint. Last week, however, I took my paints to the beach and made art in Nature's studio. It was thoroughly satisfying to sit on the beach with a watercolor palette and design bookmarks for my newly published books. I painted 30 of them! To see pictures and a video of these click the link to my Instagram.

Courage Slapped Fear in the Face

Posted on August 2, 2019 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)
I went to the beach with a friend who I haven't seen a while. Thankfully the distance between us held no weight to the bond between us and it was as if no time had come between us. We instantly had a great time, like old times. Whew! Then, while on the beach, I turned my head to face a different direction and noticed an old friend I hadn't seen in a few years. Remember how I wrote earlier about leaving the community, well, that meant friends too. This friend was sitting about 20 feet away from me and I became nervous. "Do I say hello?" I asked the girl I was with. "Of course" she replied. "Oh but I don't think I can. I just abandoned everyone years ago." The struggle in my mind was real. The old friend walked past me to go for a walk. While she was gone, I sat up, gathered my thoughts and my courage and decided I would say hello when she came back. Well, OF COURSE everything worked out wonderfully. She and her husband were happy to see me and there was no reason to have feared the meeting. I think I hugged her five times and her husband three times. It was really refreshing to realize fear had no position in my life though I was allowing it. Yesterday's adventure turned into a huge lesson for me, one I'm glad I had the courage to face.

Deconstructing Faith

Posted on August 2, 2019 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (0)
I woke up one morning and Googled "deconstructing faith." I had heard it on Instagram but wasn't exactly sure what it involved. At the same time I was curious about this, I had also read about Joshua Harris, author of "Why I Kissed Dating Goodbye", leaving his wife, his church, and his Christian faith. I didn't realize these two subjects were directly connected. What I learned is that when someone has deep spiritual beliefs and then suffers a trauma, they tend to deconstruct their faith in order to reconstruct it to fit their post-trauma life. THIS MAKES SENSE TO ME! Finally there is a word for what I've been going though. You see, I have already written about leaving the church, community, etc. after my divorce. I was deeply hurt and mad at God but I never walked away from Jesus. I just couldn't talk to him... for a few years. Recently, I reconnected with God and have been able to start rebuilding my faith-position. I'm not there yet, but I know I still believe Jesus is God and I still believe the bible is true. However, I still have a problem with "the church" as I knew it. So, for now, I am in this transitional phase of my faith journey. Unlike Joshua Harris, I have not left Christianity, I just don't want to talk about it to people- but I'll blog about it here-yeah I see it.

It Works!

Posted on August 2, 2019 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (0)
I have lost 45 pounds so far in 4 months and it has been easy! Yes, I said easy because I am eating such a diverse selection of food, creatively prepared and deliciously pleasing to the taste buds. Three months of keto-style and now a month of vegan style eating. I think more than the ideas of what I'm eating, the thoughts of why I'm eating what I eat is what makes a difference on the difficulty level. I have been doing these not-diet-diets as a self-challenge. The first one was to see if I could go without tortilla chips and also to see if I could even handle eating meat, cheese, etc. I thought I was going to have a devastating physical reaction to eating heavy foods but amazingly I didn't. I lost weight quickly and continuously, eating bacon, cream cheese, meat, olives, salads, and cheddar cheese, along with other foods. It was fun and effective. It worked! 35 pounds of fat fell off me to my surprise. Then I challenged myself to give up meat and dairy for oats and fruit. It has been wonderful eating fresh fruits again and grains. I've lost an additional 10 pounds in July. I am going to keep challenging myself along the way, refining the food choices in order to get a variety of vitamins and nutrients into my body and in order not to create any lazy habits. Once some more weight comes off, I am confident that I will then challenge myself in the area of exercise. I have no doubt that I have changed my lifestyle not just tried a couple of diets. It's the mindset that makes you win. I don't feel like I've given up anything. I feel like I'm taking back my life for the first time in my life.

How Do You Have Time?

Posted on July 22, 2019 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (0)
Today I was asked how I have time to write. I wasn't quick enough to say "do you watch TV? Read? Go on Facebook? How do you have time for that? The fact is, we make time for the things we want to do. Last week I got out of work at 6pm and was heading to the beach by 6:30pm, eating dinner with someone by 7:30pm on the beach. I did it because I wanted to. Over the last four years I have had plenty of time to write poetry. I don't have a television, I don't go on Facebook, I don't live with anyone either. I have minimal responsibilities so I have lots of time outside of work to do the things I want to. Sometimes I paint, sometimes I sew things, cook, clean, write, garden, etc. For two weeks before I published my latest book I spent all of my free time typing the poems. Now I have some marketing ideas I'm working on along with some other painting projects and maybe even a new endeavor. My mind is bursting with ideas of ways to spend my days off and time after work. I have found a good balance of work and fun. I hope you find that balance as well.

To the Beach!

Posted on July 17, 2019 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)
Chasing the setting sun over the ocean is my favorite adventure. It doesn't matter what season, nor the weather, I can be found on the sandy shores facing the horizon. Here in Rhode Island the coast is lined with beaches. You can be on one East-facing beach in the morning to catch the sunrise and cross the street to another beach facing the West to catch the sunset all in one day. Scarborough to Galilee is where I go for this adventure. Check out my Instagram page for pictures.

Real Food

Posted on July 17, 2019 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)

I don't know why it took so long for me to arrive at this point in life where I am finally eating real food, but I'm glad I made it. Don't worry, I haven't been eating plastic all these years, but to be honest, one never knows anymore. I'm loving eating a whole food- plant based diet. Before this, I was enjoying a meat and cheese type diet with vegetables (something like Keto.) And before that I was eating corn chips-every day along with chocolate, soda, and anything I wanted to eat. The change was brought on by my children. They live a vegan lifestyle and have been influencing me for years. Only after I read the book "How Not To Die" by Dr. Michael Greggor did I make the switch to a plant based diet though. And it feels so RIGHT! Not only do the real foods taste good, they look good in my cupboards and fridge. I even started storing dry goods in recycled jars. (see Instagram for photos) I love it. Does this mean I too am vegan? I'd prefer not to be labeled just in case I absolutely cannot resist something non-vegan in the future. Here is something that I'd like to shout about though- I've lost 42lbs in 3 1/2 months! 35 lbs on the keto-type diet in 3 months and 7lbs so far in 2 weeks vegan. Cheers to real food!!

To the Wolves

Posted on July 17, 2019 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)
Imagine a domesticated animal having been sheltered in a loving home for most of its life then suddenly being released to the wilderness. Imagine the fear, the curiosity, the emotions that would hit that animal all at once. That is exactly what I relate my life to after my divorce because I had lived in a protected, deeply spiritual- Christian environment, was a stay-at-home mom, and did not work with the public except for church and volunteering at the elementary school. I listened only to worship music like hymns, watched minimal television, stayed home most of the time, and had few friends. My family was my world. There's a ton of stuff I'm not going to talk about right now, so jump forward 4 years and here I am. I am back on my website writing with a purpose. What about the last four years though? You might ask. Well, they were kept in the dark. I wrote plenty during that time. Most of what I wrote was under secret aliases as I could not let my church friends see or hear what was going on in my mind and ultimately in my life. I was exploring the modern age. What most of society thought was normal, I hadn't participated in. I discovered how socially awkward I really was. Yet, in my secret world I was accepted. I found a new community and there was no pressure to live up to any standards. It is there that I experimented with several things most likely not approved by the church. It is there however that I discovered my love of writing poetry. It was therapy for me on so many levels. Today I have come to terms with it, but for the last four years I was slightly ashamed of what I was doing. No, actually, I wasn't ashamed- I was facing life head-on and making decisions I thought were right for me. It's just that the old me, the church lady, wouldn't approve. I am at the point now where I am accepting everything I did to the point that I compiled all of my writings from those four years and put them in a book call "Released to the Wild." I've asked my children not to read it, not yet at least. I told them some of it would make them uncomfortable. Here's the thing though, they've been with me for the last four years and much of what I wrote about though poetry, they've witnessed with their own eyes. We have actually grown closer since we've all left the nest. We've talked about many of the subjects I've written about. They were the only few who heard my secrets directly as they unfolded (with some filters of course.) I believe it has been helpful in their healing since the divorce. So, if you are reading this as a church person or you know me as such, heed this warning- don't read my latest book. If you do and you choose to judge me, I will block you from my life. This is not up for discussion. If you know me from the last four years and are dying to know my secrets- well, have fun with that because you will not be surprised. Anyone I've met in these last four years has seen the real me of late Today I am at an intersection and I have no doubt which way to go. My paths have all merged and now I am embracing ALL OF ME. There is no left or right to decide, there is absolutely no turning back, there is only onward and upward. From here on out, I am everything I want to be with no secret identities. My latest book is published and like the others, ends a path from the past. I deleted all of my secret writing pages. I removed all of the content from my Instagram page that is already in the book. Now, I move forward with new idea, new hopes and yes-even new dreams. Thank you for catching up with me and I look forward to connecting down the road. Oh! About that domesticated animal- I've adapted to my surroundings and now I'm thriving!

From My Heart

Posted on July 17, 2019 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (0)
"Lori's Walk of Faith" is what this page used to be called. For years I wrote about my life's struggles and how I handled them through prayer, bible reading, and connecting with God through people and nature. I transferred the entire collection of writings from here into a book. After publishing the book "From My Heart" I deleted every post from this website. After getting divorced, I left the church and the community in which I lived for 21 years. I couldn't face the reality of all that happened. My faith was shook! My understanding of all things, shattered. I was mad at God and I was unable to comprehend how I felt about myself. It took years for me to even speak to God again. At last, I have restored my relationship with Him and am fianlly able to speak on things of faith once again. However, it is not my aim. I'm in the redevelopment stage of who I am. It's complicated. I haven't worked out all of the details and I am not 100% sure of where exactly I stand on things of faith. So, when and if I choose to share about those things, I've decided to do it here. Thanks for stopping in and reading.

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