{Guest Blog: They’re Not Mistakes, They’re Opportunities by Heather Crosby} & Yum Universe book GIVEAWAY


Happy bright, shiny and sparkly New Year dearest followers!

I couldn’t be happier and more humbled that my very first blog for year 2015 is a guest post submitted by the lovely Heather Crosby. You might be familiar with Heather because of her newish gluten free and plant based cookbook that launched last fall called Yum Universe. Heather is an East Coast veggie lovin’ foodie who is a T. Colin Campbell Foundation Certified Plant-Based Wellness Coach. While I’ve never met Heather in person, I hope to someday. Can you say girl crush!?! She’s officially joined the ranks of my ‘Wannabe Vegan Friend List’ amongst other cookbook beauties and vegan superheroes like Annie Shannon and Kris Carr. Perhaps it’s Heather’s stunningly gorgeous looks paired with her shabby chic taste that won over my heart, or maybe it’s the rustic pair of cowgirl boots she adorns in the photographs in her book. Either way, Yum Universe is most certainly a cookbook you’ll want to add to your collection. Today Heather shares her thoughts on how mistakes can really be great opportunities; a perfect post as we enter this brand New Year!

Welcome and thank you for your contribution Heather. Take it away!

Yeehaw & xo, Kayle


I’m gonna give it to you straight. I won’t say everything’s easy on this journey, but I can tell you with great confidence that it’s worth it. The sooner you embrace the fact that blunders are just as important (and frequent) as the triumphs, the easier it will be to take that first step and feel great about it. All adventures have bumps in the road. They’re what make the trip special, memorable, and exciting.

When my brother and I were in our 20s, we were insatiable road-trip junkies. We’d fly to Seattle (my suitcase filled mostly with mix CDs), rent a car, and spend weeks driving back to Chicago, crisscrossing the wonders of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota. We’d follow dusty roads to a one-horse town for a legendary Huckleberry Milkshake. Or we’d drive along snowy, guardrail-less fjords in Norway, singing “Judy Is a Punk” instead of paying attention to the (definitely wrong) road we were traveling along. We’d head north for the weekend to explore Canada. Or south, to see a band — or three — in Nashville, Tennessee. When we reminisce about those times, it’s not about what we had planned (I doubt either of us can even remember that). We recall with joy the miscalculated turns, the surprises, the derailments, the adventure. Our detours made the biggest impressions and led to our greatest discoveries. Making the uncharted something familiar is what makes the story. And, excitingly, when we were at our most vulnerable was when we felt the most alive.

I know the daunting thoughts you think when starting your journey: “I’m a terrible cook, what if I ruin a recipe?” “I don’t think my family will hop on board.” “I’m afraid to do this alone.” “What if my coworkers make fun of me?” “What if I can’t follow through?” “What will everyone think of me?” Going outside of our comfort zone isn’t about learning how to squelch fear, because fear will always come along for the ride whether we like it or not.

But that’s okay. A fearful reaction tells us how deeply this matters. In order to maintain momentum so that we achieve our goals, we need to get comfy with fear, dance with him like we do other perceived obstacles. Just put him in the backseat and turn up the good jams to drown out his jabbering when he gets to be too much. You can always take a peek in the rearview mirror to check if he’s still there. Try to find comfort in that because if he weren’t around, it would be a boring, meaningless ride. Most of the stuff we avoid — confrontation, starting new habits, having to explain our choices to folks at a dinner party — we avoid simply because we’re afraid of being afraid. Go ahead and imagine the worst-case scenario. How would you deal with it? Probably like a champ, because it’s usually not as bad as we make it out to be. If you avoid fear, you’ll stay in neutral and stagnate. If you acknowledge fear, then you can shift into first gear.

Facts: You are going to stand out. So own it. You are going to screw up a recipe here and there. It’s an opportunity to improvise and learn. You will have to be a tad selfish. Those who love you will understand (or soon witness that it was worth it). You are going to feel healthier and happier than you ever have before, which may be downright scary for those of us who are used to a lifetime of the opposite.

These feelings may be completely uncomfortable, but they’re part of this ride — no way around it. Familiarity is reassuring, yes; but it’s also boring and rut-inducing. The unknown is where extraordinary things are waiting for us. We may not be able to see what’s ten miles ahead when we sit behind the wheel, but if we know where we want to go, and just keep driving forward, we’ll get there no matter how many detours we take.


And now onto the Yum Universe book…and GIVEAWAY

YumUniverse cover_WEB

If you haven’t gotten your cowgirl paws on this incredible cookbook yet, you might just have a lucky day in your near future because I’m giving one copy away. The giveaway is open to all residents of United States and Canada so spread the word. Yeehaw!

How do you enter? It’s simple.

1. Please leave a comment below explaining why you’d like a copy of this book (but pretty please make sure that you are signed up to receive my blogs first; this is crucial because I need your email to contact you if you’ve won). Are you new to the gluten free, vegan or whole foods world? Have you started dabbling in all things plant based in the New Year and you’d like guidance to get kickstarted? Or perhaps you’d like to gift the book to your best friend who you are trying to nudge to get their plant on? Whatever it is, let me know in the comment box below.

2. Extra entries will be given to those who share this blog post on social media (be sure to tag Cowgirls & Collard Greens on Facebook and @collardcowgirl on Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtags #yumuniversegiveaway and #collardcowgirl too.

3. One random winner will be chosen on Monday, January 12, 2015 at 12:00pm PST. Winner will be notified via email.

Giddy up and go enter and, of course, best of luck!

6 thoughts on “{Guest Blog: They’re Not Mistakes, They’re Opportunities by Heather Crosby} & Yum Universe book GIVEAWAY

  1. Sounds like a wonderful book to share with my sister-in-law, who is new to plant-based eating & has vowed to get healthier in 2015.

  2. This is one of the few cookbooks I didn’t receive last year! It would be nice to get a cookbook that I can relax and enjoy, rather than have to review.

  3. I’ve been a whole foods vegan for almost 2 years now but I’m new to gluten free. I do feel better when I don’t eat gluten but have trouble staying strict with it. I would love this book for ideas and inspiration to keep me on track!

  4. I HAVE gotten my cowgirl paws ni this book and I’m obsessed with it! I’m actually working on a blog post about it 🙂

    also, I just listened to Heather’s interview with Jessica Murnane. I feel like I’m totally stalking her out right now, haha 🙂

    your creepy, stalking friend, Crista

    1. This is a great book indeed! So glad that you got your cowgirl paws on it. Looking forward to your blog post. Yeehaw!

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