We all have our own indulgences and at times they can even be healthy. It depends on the frequency of use that can make it a bad thing.
Take chocolate for instance, medical report show that 1 ounce of dark chocolate daily may help reduce heart disease & lower cholesterol, due to the presence of antioxidants and flavonoids. That doesn’t mean eating a half pound of dark chocolate will eliminate the risk of health issues, in fact can cause a few new problems.
Whether your pleasure is exercise, dancing, food, or shopping, moderation is key to enjoying your pleasure of choice.
Here is a favorite indulgence of mine. I have to exercise my will power each time a make these treats.
SIMLPY DELICIOUS PECAN PIE
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornmeal
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup egg beaters
1 1/2 cups pecans, pieces
2 unbaked pie shells
1. Preheat oven to 325°.
2. In a medium bowl, melt butter and mix (by hand) with sugar, cornmeal, water,vanilla and egg beaters.
3. Equally distribute pecan pieces into the two unbaked pie shells.
4. Pour mixture over pecans in pie shells.
5. Bake for 45 minutes.
Makes 2 pies; 16 slices.
Most of us have busy lives. How many of us take the time to fuel our bodies to get the most of our days? Breakfast is a key in achieving this goal. I know, many of you may say that, you don’t eat breakfast, or that you don’t have the time, but you need to make the time.
Eating breakfast not only gives you the energy to start your day of right, but can dictate the rest of your day. How focused you are, how much you eat the rest of the day and simply how much energy you have. Now, when I say eat breakfast, I am not talking about snagging a donut, or a bowl of sugary cereal, I mean proteins, fruits and grains that will stay with you to keep your battery charged.
Try and experiment for 1 month. Take time to eat a healthy breakfast. It can be egg whites with veggies, fruit with low fat milk, whole grains and lean meats, nut butters with veggies, hummus with whole wheat pita, get creative and eat something nutritious. Log your energy levels, productivity, focusing ability, and hunger for each day; see what changes you notice over the 1 month. I bet that you will become a breakfast believer. I would be happy to help you with fun breakfast ideas and recipes. Let me know your progress.
Here is a fun recipe that you can make a head of time and enjoy in the morning
HOT FRUIT & SPICE CEREAL
1/2 cup amaranth grain
1/2 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
2 tablespoons honey or 1 ablespoon agave
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1. In a small saucepan, bring amaranth, cinnamon, and 2/3 cup water to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook 10 minutes. Let cool slightly. Discard cinnamon.
2. In a microwave-safe container, microwave dried fruit, honey, and 2 tablespoons water until warm, about 30 seconds.
3. Mix 1 tablespoon honey liquid from the fruit into yogurt. Divide yogurt between 2 bowls, top each with half of amaranth, then half of honeyed fruit.
Have you ever noticed how simple happenings in life can may you smile. Watching my dog, Beano, prancing in the snow gives me that happy feeling.
I know that he is still only a pup of 1 year, but it takes me back to my childhood and the fun my brother and I had playing in the snow. Snow has a magical effect. The thought of creating snowballs, snow forts, snow angels and just trying to run in the snow makes me grin. Even Beano cries to go outside and play in the snow. He loves plowing through the snow drifts and the challenge of jumping through the yard. I get a kick out of how much fun he has. The best of all was when we were finally so cold and could not feel out fingers and toes, we came inside and Mom had hot chocolate waiting.
What kind of memories do you have of snow?
Soup, Glorious Soup!
I have fond memories of helping my mother prepare fresh soup on cold winter days. The smell would fill the house and warm us from head to toe. I watched her prepare the Trilogy, carrots, celery & onion and add the other ingredients as their time came. It came so naturally for my Mom. This is a skill that was fortunately handed to me. I love making soup!
Cooking for me is therapeutic. It’s a good thing, seeing that this is also my livelihood. I love touching people through food. Soup, to me, is a perfect meal. It has everything that you need in one place. It feeds the masses and has its own character. It makes people SMILE! My family enjoys soup. I get nostalgic each time I make a fresh pot; it takes me back to the kitchen with Mom. I consider each soup a work of art. It is amazing how bits and pieces of vegetables, grains, herbs, beans and broth can develop into a masterpiece.
Do you have a warm soup memory? Here is a pot of soup for you to make and create some new memories. Let me know what develops.
2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes 1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil
1. Place stewed tomatoes in a saucepan.
2. Bring to boil, and then turn down to simmer.
3. Stir in cream. Stir in basil, and serve.
Have you ever had a time in your life where you reached a fork in the road? Which path did you choose? Was it the road less traveled or the main artery? Life isn’t always cut and dry. We will, at some point in our lives reach a crossroads. Whether it is our career, relationships, community, food choices or spirituality, we all have a choice.
I recall a period in my life when many of these choices needed to be made all at once. Needless to say, I was more than overwhelmed. I was afraid of what lay ahead and uncertain of my future. I was going to start over in my career, relationships, community and my spirituality. It was quite a daunting task. I had faith to realize the road less traveled, for me, would be the most fulfilling, once I arrived there.
Regardless of your age, lifestyle or race we all at some point will encounter the challenge of the changes in our lives that are difficult. We may feel alone and scared, but with faith, a strong support network of family and friends, and a belief in one’s self, you will be amazed at what you are able to accomplish. There are times when it seems impossible, but it is attainable. You may just have to take baby steps, but you will get there. Never stop believing in yourself.
I love early mornings; I enjoy the peace and quiet. Once my day gets started, I have a difficult time finding quiet time for me. I am sure many of you have the same experience. I cherish this time, when my family is still sleeping, I am well rested, and it is still outside, minimal movement. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, but this is my time to pray, exercise uninterrupted, check emails, read, meditate, or sip a cup of ginger tea. This is the time of day I make sure my battery is fully charged in order to take on whatever the day may have in store.
We all need our own quiet time. It doesn’t need to be long and it doesn’t necessarily have to be all at one time, but we all need to make the time to make sure that we charge our battery. Today’s lifestyles pull us in many directions. We often over extend ourselves. We are the only ones who can take accountability for how we respond. So today, find a place, your own special quiet place, if even for only 15 minutes. You don’t even have to think about it, just do it. You deserve it!
Have you ever heard this expression? What does this mean to you? For some of us, this could mean putting your best foot forward. In the computer industry, garbage in, garbage out, may represent what you put into the computer will inevitably effect the results. The same concept applies to our everyday lives.
This holds true in my life. I sometimes wonder how those few extra pounds, decreased energy level and inability to focus on everyday tasks come into my life. I am responsible. Or should I say in those instances I have been irresponsible. Our body is our temple and if I am not eating clean and do not respect what foods I put into my body I am not reaching my full potential. When I do adhere to my clean eating habits I am refreshed, recharged and enlightened.
How do you reap what you sew? Is it through, food, teaching, hobbies or work? Many of us do it through everyday experiences and may not even realize it. Today, think about it. It will make you smile.
Some of you may remember the song, “Reach Out and Touch”. The lyrics to the words inspire me. We often get so caught up in our lives that we forget to give a helping hand or share a problem that’s not our own. Even a smile can give encouragement to someone who has lost their way, at no cost.
My mission is to touch people’s lives. Granted I am not the Nobel Peace Prize type, but I chose to do it through people’s bellies. A random act of kindness will come back to you time and time again. We live in a society where most people do not expect a stranger to help, but in some cases it may not even be a stranger. Kind words and simple gestures can really influence a person’s day.
Take time in your day to treat other’s as you wish to be treated. You would be surprised at what you may learn. You can make a difference.
Here is the challenge. Make a conscience effort to learn something new today. Whether it is something you already enjoy or something that you have always wanted to do, take a moment to learn something new about that interest.
Many people feel that you have to sink yourself into hours of learning about a hobby or interest, but it only takes a few minutes a day to collect bits and pieces of information. I know for me, I get excited and look forward to the next few minutes. It doesn’t consume my life; rather it gives me something to look forward to.
Whether it is an old favorite or an activity or subject that has fascinated you for years, take that leap. Start today. In a world of instant access to information you can start now. No more excuses. I will follow up to see you progress. Enjoy the ride!
Today is the beiginning of a new chapter in my life. I am jumping in not qiute sure of the outcome, but excited about the journey. I have be blessed to have a gift to touch peoples lives through food. I look forward to sharing my knowledge, experiences & partnerships with those who are interested in making a difference in how they feel.
Entering 2011 many of us are scampering to make New Year resolutions. May of them will not be kept. Why? Have you thought about turning the page and starting a new chapter in 2011? What changes do you want to make?