Sunday, September 27, 2020

Get a Healthy Pear of Lungs!

I know. I spelled "Pair" wrong!

....Or did I?

I just couldn't resist the dumb pun! I've been hanging out with hubby 24/7 due to pandemic rules, so I've started to take on his habit of telling really bad "Dad Jokes". Apologies.


On to my blog post....




OK, so I'm not really a Pear girl (I prefer apples), but I was at the acupuncturist (giving her my laundry list of what was ailing me at the moment) and I told her that my throat and lungs were feeling all scratchy from the smoke we had had here in WA due to the wildfires. She did her magic acupuncture thing (and made me feel amazing) and then sent me off telling me to be sure to eat some Pears (Bartlett, Asian, D'anjou, Bosc, etc.). In TCM, Pears are said to be great for lubricating the lungs and throat, dissolving mucus, and relieving a cough. Perfect knowledge for the upcoming cold and flu season, right? And how amazing that pears are IN SEASON right NOW!

Coincidence?

Some people would say "yes", but me? I like to go with the theory that "Nature Provides". All at the right place and time! It's kind of an amazing world we live in, isn't it?

So below, you'll find a link to a recipe I found (and tried!) for Baked Pears. As my Dad would say, they were "Yumzo"! Healthy, yummy, seasonal, and good for the lungs and throat!

PS
My pears were not quite ripe, so I had to cook them for about 45 mins...if your pears are ripe the indicated time should be about right!

PPS
Other nice spices/nuts to sprinkle on top for health and variety? Walnuts, sliced almonds, clove, star anise, and nutmeg!





Here's where I found the recipe:
https://www.foodfaithfitness.com/whole-baked-pears-with-honey/

And here's a GREAT article for those who want to learn about TCM, Pears, Lungs and Autumn!
https://www.drsebaa.com/autumn-tcm/

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Short on Time? Here are 3 Tips and Tricks for Streamlining Your Food Prep!


hi

Short on time? 

Here are 3 tips and tricks I use for streamlining my food prep and making life easier!


Sometimes I cook once and eat twice…  I admit it.  I don’t really want to spend all day in the kitchen.  Sometimes it’s fun, but other times, I just wanna go out and play!  LOL!  So, to give myself more play time, I cook once and eat twice...or thrice!  (Is that a word?)

    • If I make things like rice, quinoa, millet, or beans I make them plain and cook a whole bunch at once.  I eat one part and refrigerate or freeze the rest for another day.  Then when I’m short on time, I can make a stir fry or a buddha bowl (warm or cool, vegan or not) with veggies, beans, and leftover meats/shrimp. 

    • I also make plain oatmeal in bulk.  Then each day it takes just minutes to re-heat it and while re-heating I can add in different toppings for variety.  I can top it with nuts, seeds, diced fruits, raisins, chopped dates, fun spices, eggs, plain yogurt, pumpkin puree, almond butter, etc.  Even cocoa powder or 100% chocolate shavings!  And who doesn’t like chocolate for breakfast?

    • If you’re a crockpot/instant pot person, it’s easy to make spaghetti sauce, soup, and chili in bulk and freeze some for later for when you need a quick lunch or dinner. 

    • Making pork tenderloin, chicken, shrimp, carnitas, or other type of meat?  Make extra--eat it for dinner one day and use it for a bunch of stuff the next day! Top a salad! Make a stir fry! Have corn tortilla street tacos! Make a lettuce wrap!  And, as a fun little aside...some meats can be cooked and frozen (like carnitas and meatballs) and used on a whole other day!
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Sometimes I cheat! So yeah, I REALLY like to cook things from scratch so I can control what’s put into my food, but life can sometimes get suuuuper busy so I need to be mindful about balancing my stress level with the need to control what I eat. And sometimes, having less stress is way more important for my overall health!

    • In those cases, I’ve been known to buy a Rotisserie chicken from the store and use it sliced one night for dinner and use it the next day as a salad topper or cubed and thrown into a hearty soup.  If you’re trying to cut down on colors/preservatives/sugar or whatever, throw the skin away.  Most store cooked chickens have lots of junk thrown on top. 
    • Canned beans.  You can buy organic and check the labels for weird add-ins. There are lots of good brands out there with low/no salt and nothing else added!

    • If I’m REALLY pressed for time, I buy things like bags of organic power greens, pre-chopped veggies, frozen riced broccoli/cauliflower, frozen veggies, bone stock, etc.  Some peeps also buy prepared soups and frozen meals, but that’s harder if you’re trying to avoid sugar, reduce salt, or avoid additives, colors, and preservatives.  You have to REALLY check your labels!

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I do my best to do some food prep on days when I DO have time!  So on days when I have a minute, I turn on some tunes that I love to dance around to, I think about my 4-5 main meals that I want to make during the week, I grab the cutting board, and I take all the fruits and veggies out and have a little food-prep-dance-party in my kitchen!  And yes, I DO sing at the top of my lungs while doing it!

    • I peel and cut a whole bunch of carrots, peppers, celery, and cucumbers into strips.  Great for snacks with hummus or compliant dip, plus they are now half-prepped for salads, stir fries, and cooked sides for when I’m making lunches or dinners!

    • I chop a whole bunch of onions--now they’re ready for adding to dinners and salads or throwing into scrambled eggs or omelettes in the morning!

    • I make a large batch of mayo, dip, hummus, and dressings to use throughout the week!

    • I cut up that mini watermelon or cantaloupe and put it in a see through container in the fridge so hubby is more likely to see it and snack on it!


So that’s it!  3 ways to streamline meal prep!  


Do you have tricks and tips for making your time in the kitchen more fun or more efficient?  Share below!


Hugs to you!

Dorothy

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Monday, July 20, 2020

But "What if...."


It's Harrrrrd to change your mindset.
But it's important to try.
Especially if you're like me and you're a worrier.
I come by it honestly...I'm from a long line of worriers. We worry about everything--from big to small...with gusto.
I especially have anxiety over trying new things...even if it's something I REALLY want to try, and it it looks like fun! I'm always thinking, "What if I suck at it? What if other people think I suck at it? What if I don't like it? What if other people don't like it? What if I look silly doing it? What if someone laughs at me? What if it's not good enough..."
These thoughts are super limiting and often stop me from being adventurous and trying new things, engaging in social situations, and initiating new work projects. Because of the "What ifs..." I often miss out on opportunities to have fun, learn things, make new friends and, well, to make mistakes and grow.
So when I saw the above "But What If" post on a friend's timeline, it encouraged me to flip my "what if". I know it's going to be hard and feel unnatural, but I think it's worth a try. Flipping my "what if" mindset from negative to positive will give me the chance to experience more joy, make more connections, have more learning, and meet more growth and success.
(Even if I DO look silly doing it!)
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Wish me luck!
Hugs!
Dorothy
PS
Do you have any negative mindsets? How could you flip them from negative to positive? What benefits could come from your new, positive outlook?

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Presto! It's Power Pesto!

Oh, Pesto!  How I love thee!

I mean, really, is there a better way to get your greens on?

You can put your pesto on top of chicken or shrimp, you can use it as a spread on a sandwich, you can top your garden tomatoes with it, you can mix it in with your pasta...the uses are endless and it it gives a nice POP of lemon and garlic flavor! 

Plus, this particular Pesto is nutritionally fabulous.  Here's why:

Power Greens
  • Baby kale, spinach, chard, and basil are nutritional powerhouses!
  • Most people eat their pesto raw, so those wonderful greens retain all their nutrients
  • You usually pair your pesto with something you need to chew so your digestive juices kick in with the chewing action and it's better for your tummy (unlike when you eat your raw greens in a smoothie--not as fabulous for those with compromised digestion)
  • Did I mention leafy greens are good for you?  LOL!  In case you didn't know, they are not only filled with essential Vitamins like A, C, E, and K, but they are also high in antioxidants so they're one of the BEST foods to help prevent cancer!
Lemons
  • Lemons are high in Vitamin C--good for fighting infections, heart disease, and stroke
  • They help fight cholesterol build up, aid digestion, and combat kidney stones
  • Good for detoxifying the liver too!
Walnuts
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • High in Omega 3
  • Can decrease cholesterol levels
  • Good for brain health!

Brazil Nuts
  • Packed with nutrients (especially selenium, which is good for your thyroid, immune system, and cell growth)
  • Rich in antioxidants that reduce inflammation

Garlic
  • Good for fighting the common cold
  • Can lower cholesterol
  • Has antioxidants that may help prevent Alzheimer's and Dementia

Olive Oil
  • Rich in healthy monounsaturated fats
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Can protect against heart disease and stroke
  • Can lower blood pressure





Power Pesto!

Equipment:
  • Food processor (or blender)
  • Spatula
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Lemon squeezer (citrus juicer)

Ingredients:
  • 2-3 Cups of a mixture of Power Greens (baby spinach, kale, and chard) and Basil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 2 Brazil Nuts
  • 4 Walnuts
  • 1/2 lemon (juiced...juice only!)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil (approximate)
Directions:

  1. Add your Power Greens and Basil to the food processor, and pulse until you get a nice, even consistency. 
  2. Peel the garlic and add it to the food processor along with the nuts. Give it a few more pulses until it's fairly smooth.
  3. Add the lemon juice and salt.
  4. Run the food processor again, and slowly add the olive oil (adding more or less depending on your taste). Periodically scrape the sides down with the spatula.
  5. You're done!  Use that Power Pesto wherever you like! 

Thursday, April 16, 2020

How to Kick Your Nighttime Snacking Habits Right Off the Couch

So, work is over.  Everyone has been fed.  Pots and pans are scrubbed.  Dishes are in the dishwasher.  The house and all the people and pets in it are finally taken care of.  Whew!  It's time to just flop down on the couch, kick up my feet and watch a little mindless TV.  


But that's when the munchies kick in.  


I start to crave things like popcorn and chips. Or sometimes the sugar cravings tap me on the shoulder and I start to wonder if there's any chocolate or ice cream left hiding somewhere in the house?   



Bitmoji Image  chocolate


Even when I'm on one of my famous (or some would say infamous) "health kicks" I start craving things that have that amazing combo of sweet and salty--like sliced apples with mounds of almond butter.  Mmmmmm.  


"Seriously?  I JUST ate, like two hours ago!  There's no way I'm hungry!!"

Bitmoji Image

And I'm not...really.  It's just habit for me.  

Sometimes I eat to stay awake.  Sometimes I eat cuz I'm bored.  Sometimes I eat because, well, heck, I DESERVE a treat and this is the best time to get one without interruptions. 

Regardless of WHY I get the nighttime munchies, I KNOW eating 2-3 hours before bed is not a good idea.  Why?  Because...


  • I'm not really hungry, so I'm eating a bunch of calories, sugar, and fat for no reason.
  • I don't NEED food for energy.  I mean, I'm not going to suddenly jump up from the couch at 10PM and decide to go for a run or something!  So any calories that I ingest right now are just going to be wasted and stored as fat. 
  • I'm not reeeeeally paying attention to WHAT I'm eating (cuz I'm watching tv) so it's mindless eating.  I'm not enjoying that snack as much as I want to be and I'm not noticing HOW MUCH I'm eating either.  So...zero increase in satisfaction and +100 on the "I'm probably going to gain weight if I keep doing this" meter.  
  • It's nighttime, and by eating food right before bed, my digestive system (which was just settling in for the night) is now fully awake and hard at work rather than resting as it should be.  This can totally cause restless sleep, indigestion, acid reflux and weird dreams (which is fine, if it's that weird dream where Ryan Reynolds drops by for lunch, but it's never THAT dream, right?  It's usually me showing up panicked for a final exam that I didn't study for or finding myself getting chased by some kind of invisible psycho killer!  Where is Ryan Reynolds during THOSE dreams?  (Probably at his own house sleeping soundly...I bet HE doesn't eat snacks right before bed!)

OK, I digress. And I'm blaming it on Ryan...  

Ryan Reynolds explains the reason why his daughter is called James ...

Sooooo.  Now I've made up my mind to kick my nighttime snacking habit right off the couch. 

You Go Girl


How am I going to do this?  

I've got strategies, kids!  It's important to have tricks up your sleeves!  LOL!  

So here they are...in no special order....


Instead of snacking on the couch, I'm going to....

  • Drink herbal tea (cuz if you drink the right KIND of tea, you can also get some extra deep sleep or added health bennies!) 
  • Have little sips of warm lemon water (good for your liver!)
  • Soak my feet in some warm water and epsom salts (good for sleep too!)
  • Give myself a mani/pedi.  Cuz you can't eat popcorn with wet nails.  It WILL stick.
  • Do some stretching--get rid of some of the day's stress and move stagnant energy
  • Do a little self-massage routine (great for easing sore muscles!)
  • If I knew how to knit, I'd totally knit!  But I don't.  I'd get all tangled in that yarn.
  • Hop into bed--cuz I won't eat in bed, but I CAN read, meditate, or chill out to some relaxing music and aromatherapy
  • Have a soak in the tub--very good for a pre-sleep routine...and more relaxing than TV (Plus no blue light!)
  • Slather on some moisturizing lotion!  If my hands are too slippery to hold a spoon, I can't eat ice cream, right?  LOL!  Plus...good for my skin!
  • Do a little acupressure or reflexology to promote sleep and relaxation (you can learn little tricks right on the internet!)
  • Brush and floss my teeth.  'Cuz there's no way I'll snack after that.  I'm too lazy to brush my teeth twice in 2 hours!  

OK.  So I've got my tricks.  I'm gonna try 'em out.  

Who's with me?  

LET'S DO THIS!!

Here's to kicking the nighttime snacking habit off the couch and getting a nice restful sleep!

Sending Hugs!

Dorothy

PS

Do you have other tricks you use to kick nighttime snacking off the couch?  Feel free to share!  I'd looooove to hear them!!  I'll take all the tricks I can get!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Working From Home? Dress the part...IF it suits you!

So hubby and I are both lucky enough to be working from home.  A few days ago,  as I was getting ready for my work day, I noticed that my hubby was looking rather dapper.

"That's a nice outfit," I said to him, smiling.  (Knowing darn well that he thinks it's dorky when I call his pairing of jeans and a shirt an "outfit"). 

"It's not an outfit." he said rolling his eyes.  "But I'm trying something."

"What are you trying?" I asked.

"I think for work, I'm going to wear shirts with collars and when I'm not working, I'll change into t-shirts and hoodies.  And I'll wear different shoes on the weekend."  he answered.

I smiled.  I liked the sound of this.


Bitmoji Image


I know a lot of people who work from home who LOVE wearing sweats and PJ's all day long.  It totally works for them--it makes them feel relaxed and comfortable and puts them in a mood where they can feel creative and at ease during their work day.

But...I know my hubby (and myself).  We're on the other side of the coin where if we don't get up, shower, and get "dressed" for work, it feels like the day never started.  Our brains go into "hang out" mode and motivation goes out the window!

Plus, dressing for work gives us boundaries...especially when working from home and spending all our free time there too.  If we don't create clear lines between work time and personal time, then it's really easy for work to seep into everything we do and give us no time to rest and recoup!  And we need that time...especially with the crazy stress creeping in from Covid. 

So, work clothes on...it's time to buckle down and get things DONE!  Boom! Comfy clothes, PJ's or workout clothes on?  It's totally time to relax, have fun, and unwind!

What do YOU think?  What works for you? 

Do you prefer to get comfy and cozy when you work from home, or do you like to "dress" for work?

What suits you?  

Regardless of which way you prefer to dress for work, I hope you find what feels right.  I hope you feel creative, energized, and productive during your work day and that you can settle in and relax when the work day is done.

Sending hugs and wishing you all health and happiness!

--dorothy

working from home

Friday, April 3, 2020

I'm Quarantined and Can't Stop Snacking! (A funny trick that just might work!)

So yeah, I keep finding myself sneaking over to the fridge during work time and nibbling.   A little here.  A little there.  You know how it is, right?  Next thing you know, you've eaten a bag of cashews, 3 rice cakes, a giant handful of raisins, beef jerky, and 4 spoonfuls of Almond Butter.  And that's on a GOOD day.  

Strangely enough, I was on my way back from an afternoon fridge drive-by and a post popped up on my Facebook Feed.  It was meant to be a joke, but when I saw it, I thought...
Bitmoji Image
"That's just what I need!"


I'll tell you about what I saw in a second, but first I want to tell you WHY I think I need it!  

Snacking is ok now and then, but constant snacking is not a good thing.  You rack up extra calories, your digestive system doesn't get a chance to go into "rest mode", and if you're just snacking 'cuz you're bored/procrastinating/tired/lonely or whatever, you never truly scratch the itch so you always feel "unsatisfied"!

The problem is, most of us don't stop to think about it!  (Myself included.)  So this post I saw on my Facebook feed was perfect!  And I'm gonna try it out. One of these signs is in the fridge, the other is in a cabinet.  I think it will give me just enough pause for me to be mindful and be able to re-direct myself!



What do you think?  









Ha ha ha!

I know...it seems a little crazy, but I really DO think the reminder will help!


air hugs



Sending hugs and wishing you health and happiness!

--Dorothy



PS

Here are the signs if you want a copy for yourself!  

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1A5lhgDD5E-v5R6uxx8mVQJDM6H3nyLnLksLTqPDZOXI/edit?usp=sharing


https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zk_JxARLgkhNgOeUXKQczMlczFzJbfSWhQNud-0l4gg/edit?usp=sharing