Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Health Tip: Health...

An example of an affirmation for health by Louise Hay is: "My health is radiant, vibrant and dynamic now."

Monday, December 30, 2013

Health Tip: Consciously choose your words!!!

According to Louise Hay, affirmations are consciously choosing words that will help either eliminate something from your life or help you create something new in your life.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Health Tip: Connect both hemispheres of the brain....

Feeling stressed? Try this little exercise to connect both hemispheres of the brain and restore focus and energy. Stand up and lift your right arm and left leg touching your left knee with your right hand. Repeat on the other side, repeat until flowing smoothly and stress has decreased.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Recipe for today: Christmas Eve Chili...

This all-American (Christmas Eve) chili recipe is perfect for cold snowy winter day and can be made on the stove for a comfort classic on a cold day.
  • Tofu
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups Melbac red wine
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained and coarsely chopped
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added kidney beans, drained
  • Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage. Add sausage, onion, and the next 4 ingredients (onion through jalapeño) to pan; cook 8 minutes or until sausage and beef are browned, stirring to crumble.
  • Add chili powder and the next 7 ingredients (chili powder through bay leaves), and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine, tomatoes, and kidney beans; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Uncover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard the bay leaves. Sprinkle each serving with cheddar cheese.
  • Note: Like most chilis, this version tastes even better the next day.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Recipe for today: Butternut, Barley & Lentil Pilaf...

1/2C Pearl Barley (For GF use Brown/Wild Rice or another hearty GF grain)
1/2C Puy Lentils
Small Butternut Squash (approx 680g/1 1/2lb), peeled and cubed
1T Olive Oil
1/2t Ground Cumin
1/2t Ground Coriander
1/4t Cinnamon
1/4t Garlic Powder
Large pinch of salt
1/3C Raisins
1/3C Pumpkin Seeds, toasted (Reserve 1-2T for topping)
1/3C Finely Chopped Red Onion
1/2C Roughly chopped Parsley
3T Orange Juice (fresh)
1T Red Wine Vinegar
1T Extra-virgin Olive Oil
Salt + Pepper (to taste)
Preheat oven to 200C/400F
Cook lentils & barley in two separate pots according to package instructions. Barley typically takes 40-45 minutes and puy lentils approx 25 minutes. When al dente, drain and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine cubed squash with olive oil, spices and a large pinch of salt. Spread in a layer on a baking sheet and roast for approx 25 minutes, or until soft when pierced with a fork.
Meanwhile, whisk together the dressing ingredients and add to barley and lentils along with the raisins, pumpkin seeds and red onion. Toss well.
Finally, fold through the roasted butternut and the parsley, transfer to a serving dish and scatter the remaining pumpkin seeds on top.
Serves 4 as a main, 6-8 as a side
Reference: http://coconutandberries.com/

Health Tip: Exercises don't require equipment...

Body weight exercises don't require any equipment, can be done anywhere and are excellent for building strength.

Recipe for today: Sugar Cookie Cut outs


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (using a paddle attachment if you have one), cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Gradually add the dry ingredients. Mix until fully combined.
  4. Divide the dough into two balls and flatten each into a disk shape. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough until 1/4'' thick. Cut the cookies with your favorite shape cutters and place them 1'' apart on a nonstick or parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, or until light golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool on the sheet for a few minutes before removing them. Allow to cool completely and store

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Health Tip: Muscle burns calories...

Did you know that muscle burns 35 to 50 calories per pound where fat burns 2 calories per pound?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Health Tip: You CAN replace lost muscle...

According to Dr. Gary Hunter at the University of Alabama Birmingham, if you work every major muscle group twice weekly, you can replace 5 to 10 years of lost muscle in just a few months.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Health Tip: About ½ pound of muscle per year

Around the age of 35, most people start to lose about ½ pound of muscle per year unless they actively strength train to maintain their muscle mass.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Health Tip: Good things will happen...

Research shows that people who think good things will happen to them are usually right. The next time your thoughts are negative, ask yourself what is a more positive way to think.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Health Tip: Indoor plants...

Research has found that indoor plants can absorb some common household pollutants. Some great air purifying plants are spider plants, bamboo palm, gerbera daisy, English ivy, Boston fern, or chrysanthemums.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Health Tip: Scalp massage...

Scalp massage can reduce tension and improve the health and appearance of your hair by improving your circulation and bringing nutrients to your hair follicles.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Ornament Exchange 2013: Day #12

Our 12th and final ornament in our ornament exchange is a blue butterfly created by Danielle Faust.

Here is Day #12 Ornament...

Health Tip: Get out in nature...

Getting out in nature, even for a few minutes is a great stress reducer. Spend a few minutes lying back and watching the clouds or sitting by a river or stream and watch the water, notice your stress melt away.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ornament Exchange 2013: Day #11

This beaded ornament has a charm in the middle to remind us of what Christmas represents.
Here is Day #11 Ornament...

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Joy Heart Tip: Life Lessons to Teach Yourself!

I ran across this article the other day, stating "Life Lessons to Teach Kids Before They Leave Home."  I think this list is pertinent to many adults too, so here is something to bring along with you to review during the day.  Take heart, read and contemplate:

  1. Don’t be afraid to fail: If you never fail at anything, you may be aiming too low, playing it safe, and doing what Stephen Covey used to call “playing par 9 golf.” So, keep challenging yourself, even – and especially – after defeats. Emerson wrote, “When it’s darkest, men see the stars.” Failure and adversity are among the best ways to grow and to learn. (See these 10 quotes about perseverance in the face of adversity.)
  2. Find the good in yourself. We all deserve to feel good about ourselves, without the need to derive our sense of self-worth from the people around us. Taken together, the judgments of teachers, parents, bosses and friends amount to a hall of funhouse mirrors – one in which you’ll never get an accurate reflection of yourself. If you grow up longing for approval, you’ll risk becoming a pleaser, dependent on others for your sense of security and well-being. The opinions of those around you – though worth considering – are slender reeds on which to base your self-image. Instead, pick what matters most to you and stick with it.
  3. And see the good in others, too. The harvest from showing genuine interest and respect to others is almost invariably an increase in your own self-esteem. The world is full of other people, so don’t go through life dismissing them, seeking distance from them, or being shy or afraid. Showing respect – and even reverence – for other humans is virtually always a “win-win” proposition.
  4. There's no substitute for hard work. Honest work may be the surest path to self-respect. As alluded to in a post about my earliest jobs, hard work is a privilege – it allows you to discover the depth of your own abilities, and to see the potential in others. Go the extra mile, and see how good you can be at something. The harder you work, the less crowded a road you’ll find – fewer people than you think embrace work as a central path to self-worth.
  5. Building great habits is critical. The more of them you have, the more capacity you’ll have to handle the many competing claims life throws at you.Good habits can take you to unanticipated heights – and in ways that’ll almost feel effortless. The “muscle memory” from having developed good habits in your youth (yes, including basics like eating right, good sleep, hygiene, regular study and exercise) will sustain you when others flag. Abraham Lincoln said, “by the age of 40, every man has the face he deserves." So it is that your habits will lead you to a destiny you earn.
  6. Don't expect fairness – at least in the short run. To deal with life’s unfairness, focus on the future, not on the past. Whatever happens, don’t wallow. Concentrate on others, not on yourself. Legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi reminded players that, “it’s not how many times you're knocked down, but how many times you get up again, that'll determine your destiny.” The message: just keep getting up.
  7. Be kind – it has more power than you think. In Aesop’s fable about strength,the Sun’s warm rays win out over the gale force of the North Wind. This gentle approach to influencing others may not be obvious in your early years. A bit of subtle kindness costs nothing, but can have huge benefits. Remember that it doesn’t take much to help lift someone’s burden, to say a kind word, to notice a success.
  8. Take yourself out of the center. The most miserable people I know live in a self-designed universe that revolves eternally around them. To keep their planets aligned, they desperately amass power, money, or fame – but their supernova usually ends up a black hole. One way to avoid this is by helping those less fortunate than you. As Helen Keller said, “There is no better way to thank God for your sight than by giving a helping hand to someone in the dark.”
  9. Embrace reality. President John Adams said, “Facts are stubborn things.” You can't change reality, so you need to face it head on. It might sound crazy, but you should seek out bad news – the earlier you find it, the earlier you can do something about it before it gets worse. Look for problems and become the solution. Nothing good ever comes of avoiding the hard truths.
  10. “Solve” for the long term. It’s crucial to be deliberate about your life. One way to approach this is to ask yourself: What am I solving for? Pleasure is short-lived. Even happiness is dependent on circumstances, and temporary. But joy – or deeper satisfaction – is rooted in meaning. Joy lives beyond the moment and despite present circumstances; and it can be conjured when needed. Peace is the ultimate resolution of a life well lived. It derives from finding a oneness with a purpose outside of yourself. In your own life make peace the quest that trumps the constant allure of pleasure.
Consider keeping your own list of what you want to impart 'In your life' and to your kids before they leave home. Even if you never show it to them directly, it'll serve as a map in case you need to make a few of your own course corrections.

Health Tip: Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink water...

If you wait until you are thirsty to drink water, you are already dehydrated. It is best to consume water throughout the day to avoid dehydration.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ornament Exchange 2013: Day #10

This pretty ornament has garland and colorful winterberry inside the bulb, this beautiful Christmas design is a nice added feature to the tree.  

This ornament was created by Dawn Cronce.

Here is Day #10 Ornament...

Health Tip: Easy way to tell enough H2O...

An easy way to know if you are drinking enough water is to check the color of your urine. If it is darker than pale yellow, you need to increase your water intake.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Health Tip: Pure water for vibrant health...

Pure water is essential for vibrant health. Water flushes out toxins, hydrates your skin and carries essential nutrients to your cells.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ornament Exchange 2013: Day #9

 Here we have a Christmas Crystal Hanger made by Deborah Shaffer.

This is what each crystal represents:
  • Citrine - is good for relationships, joy for living and abundance.
  • Jade - supports emotional balance.
  • Ruby Quartz - assists in acquiring spiritual wisdom, enlightenment and love.
  • Faceted Crystal - enhances the flow of energy; amplifies and activates energy as needed.

I will hang this on my tree and keep it in areas where I spend most of my time!

Recipe for today: Gypsy Soup

Ingredients: Servings:4-6
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large chopped onions (2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped celery (1 large stalk)
2 cups peeled chopped sweet potatoes
3 cups vegetable broth (or other flavor)
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 dash cinnamon
cayenne pepper, to taste
1 cup chopped tomato (fresh or canned)
3/4 cup chopped green pepper (1 large)
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 tablespoon soy sauce or 1 tablespoon tamari

1 Heat oil in large pot, and saute onion, garlic, celery and potato for about 5 minutes.
2 Add broth, bay leaf, and spices, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer (covered) 15 minutes.
3 Add tomatoes, peppers and chick peas, simmer at least 10 minutes more.
4 Stir in soy sauce and serve.

Ornament Exchange 2013: Day #8

Who hasn't seen or heard of the minion's, they are hip and so are we….  this Little Minion ornament is created by Jacqui Hayes.

Here is Day #8 Ornament...

Health Tip: Healthy way to deal with problems...

"A healthy way to deal with problems is to look at them as opportunities for growth."
C Norman Sheely, MD, PhD

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Ornament Exchange 2013: Day #7

Today is day 7 of our 12 day of Christmas Ornament Exchange.

This is our midway point, and I opened the package to find a little snowflake provided by Katie Zelenak.

Here is Day #7 Ornament...

Friday, December 6, 2013

Ornament Exchange 2013: Day #6

Today is day 6 of our 12 day of Christmas Ornament Exchange.

Here is a cute little button ornament!  This ornament was created by Susan Groshek, hand threaded on a wire button a-top button, eventually building a standing snowman ornament.

Reminded me of 'Frosty the Snowman."  Thank you Susan for this cute as a button ornament.

Day #6 Ornament...

Health Tip: Sources of vitamins A and C...

Sweet potatoes are good sources of vitamins A and C, iron, protein and fiber. When selecting sweet potatoes, choose ones that are firm without cracks, bruises or soft spots.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ornament Exchange 2013: Day #5

Today is day 5 of our 12 day of Christmas Ornament Exchange.

Here is our next creative little ornament!  This handmade santa ornament is designed out of scrapbooking materials and little rivets.   This one was created by Daun Musch.  

A very creative ornament to add to our tree.

Day #5 Ornament...

Health Tip: Health Coach....

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who had a brief monthly chat with a coach maintained more weight loss than people who didn't have a coach.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Ornament Exchange 2013: Day #4

Today is day 4 of our 12 day of Christmas Ornament Exchange.

Here is our next little ornament!  This reindeer ornament is made out of popsicle sticks. 

A cute little ornament to add to our tree.
Day #4 Ornament...

Health Tip: Can you believe what can lead to sleep disturbance?

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) produced by electrical wiring can lead to sleep disturbance, nervousness, allergies, inability to concentrate or focus, headaches and fatigue. To reduce your exposure to EMFs remove electronics from your bedroom.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ornament Exchange 2013: Day #2

Today is day 2 of our 12 day of Christmas Ornament Exchange.

Here is the second little ornament putting a little snow into the holiday season!  This beautiful snowman ornament is made out of bottle cap shapes.  It was created by Traci Keller.

I am so happy to have opened the 2nd wonderful handmade ornament.

Day #2 Ornament...

Monday, December 2, 2013

Ornament Exchange 2013: Day #1

Today is day 1 of our 12 day of Christmas Ornament Exchange.

Here is the first little ornament offering hope for the New Year!
It was created by yours truly, me!  I am so happy to start opening these wonderful handmade ornaments, my new stick tree is going to look full and happy! :)

Day #1 Ornament...

You might notice a couple more pictures since I made these I took several pictures of the 12 that I made for these creative group of ladies who participated in our ornament exchange this year.

I made reindeer out of wine corks.  
Here are several pictures.  Enjoy!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Recipe for today: Crock Pot Creamy Tomato Soup..

Servings: 6  • Size: 1-1/2 cups • Old Points: 4 pts • Weight Watcher Points+: 5 pt 
Calories: 177 • Fat: 10 g • Carb: 17 g • Fiber: 3 g • Protein: 8 g • Sugar: 8 g
Sodium: 600 mg  • Cholest: 21 mg 

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup finely diced celery*
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots*
  • 1 cup finely diced onions
  • 28 oz can whole plum tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 3 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth (or vegetable for vegetarians)
  • Parmesan or Romano cheese rind (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (Vegan - Olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (Vegan - vegan cheese)
  • 1 3/4 cups reduced fat (2%) milk, warmed (Vegan - coconut milk)
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste


Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add the oil, celery, carrots and onions; cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until golden. Add to slow cooker.

Pour the juice of the tomatoes into the slow cooker, then roughly crush the tomatoes with your hands; add to slow cooker. Then add chicken (or vegetable broth), the cheese rind (if using) thyme, basil, and bay leaf. 

Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours, until the vegetables get soft and the flavors blend. Remove the cheese rid and, using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth (or you can carefully do this in small batches in the blender).

Melt the butter over low heat in a large skillet and add the flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 4 to 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in about 1 cup of the hot soup, then add the 1 3/4 cups of warmed milk and stir until smooth. Pour back into the slow cooker and stir, add the grated Pecorino cheese and adjust salt and pepper, to taste.

Cover and cook on low 30 more minutes.

Makes about 9 1/4 cups.

Health Tip: Simple way to prepare cauliflower...

A simple delicious way to prepare cauliflower is place florets on a baking pan, drizzle a small amount of olive oil, salt and pepper and bake at 450 degrees for 45 minutes. Turn once or twice, so the cauliflower browns evenly.