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

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Taking Action! Building a Routine to Crush Your Stress and Get Your Body Into Balance

So...like many of you (hopefully ALL of you) hubby and I are doing the quarantine/social distancing thing. 

 Social Distancing Corona Covid-19 - Free photo on Pixabay

We are working from home, sharing space and internet bandwidth, and trying to figure out how to make this "always at home" thing work. 

After the first couple of weeks, I began to notice that my work/play lines got blurred, my late afternoon snacks led to me eating WAY later at night, and that led me to going to bed later, which led to me getting up later the next morning.  And then getting up later the next morning made me feel stressed that I didn't have enough time in the day to get everything done. I started feeling really off kilter.  And grumpy.  I knew I had to do something about it. 

 Bitmoji Image
So for those of you who know me, you know I like to experiment.  I do a lot of health experiments on myself. I do some research and then try something out. It's kinda fun to learn about your body and what works for you and what doesn't.

At this point, I figured the most important thing would be to get back into a good sleep cycle and I had remembered that there was a chart in TCM that had recommended hours for sleeping/waking according to the rhythms of our body.   

BTW, did you know your body has a rhythm?  You probably know a bit about the Circadian Rhythm, but did you know that many systems in your body follow rhythms that are responsible for your overall health?  Your brain, your adrenals/hormones, your gut...they all have times when they are supposed to be active, times when they should be restful, and times when they are washed/rejuvenated/detoxified.   

So I thought back to a TCM chart I had seen.  I remembered that it showed how the Meridians (Energy Channels) and Organ Systems in the body correspond to particular times of the day/night.  Here's an example of the chart:

This chart was borrowed from a website that had great examples of
how symptoms can be decoded using this TCM Body Clock.  You can
find it here
Pretty neat, huh?  

So my thought was, create a routine at least loosely based around the TCM Body Clock (which corresponds closely with the Western Med perspective of when your brain, gut, and hormones should be active/inactive) and go from there.

So this is my experiment. 

I made a schedule--I wrote in when I would get up, when I would eat, when I would work, when I would work out, and when I would relax...and wrote specific tasks for each section.  This way my sleep schedule and eating schedule would get back on track, and there would be a clear line between work hours and play hours.  ('Cuz when you work from home and you don't write in your "play hours" ALL hours become work hours...OR you feel guilty when you take "time off"...and who needs guilt right now?  No one.).   

My plan is to have basically the same schedule Mon-Fri and then make the weekend different by making work time into other tasks--planting, organizing, going for walks, playing games, playing an instrument, doing art, doing laundry, meal prepping, exercising, socializing via zoom...whatever! 

So here's a rough WEEKDAY schedule (which then becomes a detailed schedule--I DO write in my work tasks, exactly what my workout will be, and what my "relax" or "fun" tasks will be).

6:00 AM     Wake up, Drink warm lemon water, Workout/Meditate
7:15 AM:    Shower, Feed/Walk Dog, Eat Breakfast, Tidy the Kitchen
9:00 AM:    Work (I would list each task here! Water breaks as needed!)
12:00 PM:   Lunch Break, Walk the Dog (if needed)
1:00 PM:    Work (Tasks go here!  Don't forget!  More water/herbal tea at 3:00!)
5:00 PM:    Make Dinner, Feed/Walk the Dog, Eat dinner, light exercise (probably just a                       little walk), clean kitchen
7-9  PM:     Relaxation/Fun Time!  (Write in what that means, or else you're likely to do                     more work!)
9:45 PM:    Bedtime Routine (Write in what calms you down!)
10-11 PM:  Go to BED!

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That's it! I've only been doing the schedule for two days.  So far, so good.  I feel less stressed, for sure...mostly because routines make things feel "normal" and lately, as you know, life has been far from "normal" for most of us.  So routines are good.  Also, I am happy getting up earlier as it makes me much more productive.  And being productive makes me feel good.  And when I feel good, I'm much less grumpy.  So again, so far, so good!  

I will keep you updated!

Let me know if YOU try a routine/schedule!  I'd love to hear your observations too!

Sending hugs!
Dorothy

PS
A little advice...if you decide to create a schedule/routine, please don't beat yourself up if your schedule gets thrown off.  Life happens!  We do the best we can with the time we have!  If things get goofed up a little, it's ok!  Tomorrow is a new day!!


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Breakfast Balls! Nutritious and Delicious!

OK, so I'm calling these "Breakfast Balls" cuz they're made with oatmeal, but I kinda eat them in place of sweets like cookies (because they're better for you than most cookies...you can click on the ingredient links to see the health benefits).  

These are easy to make (you don't even need to turn on your oven), they taste yummy, and you can store them in your freezer and have them on hand for...whenever!





Breakfast Balls!


Ingredients:  


  • 1 Cup Organic Gluten Free Rolled Oats 
  • 1/2 Cup Organic Flaxseed Meal (I used store bought cuz I was lazy, but for better nutritional value, grind your own from seeds!)
  • 1/2 Cup Creamy Organic Almond Butter
  • 3 T Honey (Raw, Organic, and Local Preferred!)
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of Sea Salt

Directions:

  • Put all ingredients into a bowl and mix well.
  • Roll into 1 inch balls using your hands. 
  • Place CAREFULLY into a bag or freezer-safe dish and freeze until set...about 1 hour.
  • You can eat them frozen, but I think they're best when they thaw a little and get a little soft.  (Sometimes I just keep them in the fridge...)
Be aware...these ARE addictive!  







Sunday, March 22, 2020

Need Chocolate for Stress Relief? Eat This, Not That! Chocolate Pudding Edition

Stressful times, right?  

How many of you out there are stress eaters?  

Did you totally stock your cabinets with cookies, chips, and CHOCOLATE in anticipation of a quarantine?  

As much as it's comforting to stress eat, undoubtedly, you'll eventually start to feel crappy filling yourself with foods that lack nutritional value, are overloaded with lots of empty calories, contain boatloads of sugar and salt, and are chockablock full of artificial colors, artificial flavors, and bad-for-you preservatives that you can't even begin to pronounce.  

The answer?  Have a treat that you make yourself--one that won't leave you feeling guilt-ridden and bloated. 

Ready?


Here's an example....

You could make a well-known, store-bought instant chocolate pudding snack containing this: 


Image result for jello instant chocolate pudding



OR....

You could make a chocolate pudding snack containing this:

AVOCADO, COCOA POWDER, PURE MAPLE SYRUP, MILK OF CHOICE (OAT/COCONUT/ALMOND, ETC.), PURE VANILLA EXTRACT


Image result for AVOCADO



Now I'm not saying Chocolate Pudding made with Avocado is a "health" food (you'd be BETTER off eating a piece of whole fruit for a treat), but we all know that once in awhile, when under stress, chocolate is necessary and good for the soul!  

What can I say?  It's true!  Right?

 Bitmoji Image


So, if you wanna try out some Chocolate Avocado Pudding that's got no artificial thickeners, flavors, anti-foamers, and colors...here you go!


Chocolate Avocado "Pudding"


Ingredients:
  • 1 Soft, ripe avocado (flesh only!)
  • 1/4 C Cocoa Powder
  • 2T Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 C Milk of Choice (oat, coconut,  or almond)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:
  • Stick all those ingredients into a food processor.
  • Process until smooth and creamy.
  • Unplug processor and taste--If you like it thicker add more avocado, more chocolatey add cocoa powder, more sweet add maple syrup...you get the picture.  Make it how you like it.  Plug the processor back in and blend again.
  • You can eat it right away, but I think it's best after it's been refrigerated for at least 30 mins.  
  • Enjoy, guilt-free, knowing you're not putting any weird chemicals/ingredients into your body!
PS
If you wanna go even healthier, sub out the Cocoa Powder for Cacao Powder (a little more bitter, but nutritionally superior!)

Yes, I DO eat my Chocolate Avocado Pudding with a Minnie Mouse spoon!
Don't YOU?
LOL!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Top O' The Mornin' Shake!


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And boy are YOU lucky!  Today we have a recipe to tickle your taste buds, get your leafy greens in, AND keep you nice and healthy!

Fair warning...I'm not great on measuring...I just chuck stuff into the Vitamix/Nutribullet and then adjust if it doesn't taste the way I like it, so you do the same, OK?  More minty, less minty...whatever rocks your Shamrock!







Top O' The Mornin' Shake!

Ingredients:

  • 1 overripe chopped frozen banana (if you don't have an overripe frozen banana waiting in your freezer, use a room temp overripe banana and add ice!)
  • 1 regular handful of fresh mint (or 1/8 to 1/4 tsp PURE peppermint extract--not imitation)
  • 1 large handful of Organic Power Greens (frozen leafys would work great too!)
  • 2 scoops Collagen Peptides (or Vanilla/Unflavored Protein Powder of choice--following label directions for serving size...)
  • 1 cup milk of choice (regular, oat, coconut, almond, etc.)
  • 1-2 tsp cacao nibs or mini chocolate chips of choice (vegan, dairy-free etc.) or even chocolate shavings if you're feeling fancy!
  • Optional: pinch of sea salt to bring out the flavor

Directions:
  • Blend everything but the cacao nibs together in a vitamix, nutribullet, magic bullet or high powered blender until smooth and creamy.
  • Sprinkle cacao nibs or chocolate chips on top!  (Be sure your straw is big enough to get the sprinkles through!  LOL!)
  • Enjoy!





Saturday, March 14, 2020

Trapped at Home and Bored?

Hey Kirkland Peeps!  

And any other Lovely Peeps who are under house arrest!


I know the Corona Virus has got you down.  Lots of scary news out there, lots of people stuck inside the house going a bit stir crazy.  I'm here for ya.  Here's a BIG list of things to do while stuck inside....



Stuck Inside With Family?

  • Play games!  Twister, Charades, Scrabble, Taboo, Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza, Poker, Crazy Eights, Heads Up!, Bingo, Chess, Checkers, Tic Tac Toe, Pictionary, Dungeons and Dragons, Magic the Gathering, Jenga...whatever floats your boat!
  • Color/Draw/Zentangle/Manga/Create a Family Cartoon/Make an Art Gallery!
  • Do a Jigsaw Puzzle!  Seriously, when was the last time you did a jigsaw puzzle?  I can get lost in a puzzle for days!  LOL!
  • Have a Craft Day! Paper mache, clay, tie dye, jewelry making, rock painting, sewing...there are lots of crafts to try!  If you need inspiration just Google....I found a good one here...https://www.parents.com/fun/arts-crafts/
    Painted by my friend, Kym Forester
  • Pick a Family DJ--Have them make a playlist and rock out together!
  • Movie Night!  Make popcorn and get your jammies on!  At the end, have a "critic's review!"
  • Got Younger Kids?  Play Dress Up!  Give them some old costumes or clothes and let them use their imagination to create stories, plays, and shows!
  • Cook Together!  Build life skills by having your kids find a recipe, plan it out and make it!  If you've got older kids, check out cooking technique tutorials online!
  • Got Older Kids? Have them make a list of things they've wanted to learn/try/do.  And then go one by one and do them!   (PS. Tell them if they don't make a list...YOU will make one for them!  LOL!)

Stuck Inside By Yourself or With a Partner/Friend?
  • Take Online Courses!  There are so many places to learn online--Coursera, Udemy, itunes U, Khan Academy, etc. You can learn a new language, figure out how to play that guitar that's been sitting in the corner of your living room, brush up on some business skills, learn how to heal yourself with alternative therapies/herbs/reiki/massage/yoga, figure out how to design a garden, learn to code, immerse yourself in art history...the possibilities are endless! 
  • Have a Little Down Time:  Stressed out about all that's going on?  Take a free trial of a meditation app like Insight Timer, Headspace, or Calm.  Fill up a tub with some warm water and Epsom Salts....or do a warm foot soak if you don't have a tub!  Snuggle up with a cup of tea and a great book.  Indulge in a little aromatherapy.  Dim the lights and listen to some calming music (ask Alexa to "Play Music for Meditation"). 
  • Phone a Friend:  Is there someone you've been meaning to talk to, but haven't had time?  Give 'em a call!  Or better yet, video chat!
  •  Throw Stuff Out:  I know what you're thinking..."THAT'S no fun!"  LOL!  Well, maybe not, but when you go through your junk drawer where it's impossible to find what you need or that basement/garage where you're constantly tripping over things and you FINALLY clean it out and donate stuff...it feels pretty awesome!
  • Make a Fancy Dinner:  Whether it's just you or you and a loved one, it doesn't really matter.  Making a dinner with complete attention and focus is delicious for your soul.  Find a new recipe, have a glass of wine, light some candles, play soft music...heck, even use the cloth napkins and good dishes!

  • Play Online Games with Friends That Live Far Away!
  • Read Children's Lit:  Pick something you liked as a kid and notice if you see it differently as an adult...Old Yeller, The Secret Garden, Charlotte's Web, A Wrinkle in Time, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Outsiders, Nancy Drew, Call of the Wild, etc.
  • Listen to Podcasts!
  • Watch YouTube Videos and Learn How to Fix/Remodel Things!  We've always got things that need updating or fixing, right?  Now's a GREAT time to get it done!
  • Couples Massage!  Take an online Couples Massage course or watch a YouTube "How To" Video and ease some of that crazy stress and tension you have!
  • Journal!  These can be troubling times, so journaling can help you to clear your mind, focus on gratitude, or plan out your future! 
  • Write! This one is slightly different than the Journaling...write letters to friends (remember how awesome it used to be getting actual letters in the mail?), start a blog, write your life story for your kids/grandkids to read, write stories about people in your family who have passed on and share them with other family members.


NEEEEEEED to Get OUT?
  
  • Take a Hike!  Nature is STILL out there...waiting for YOU!!  Go alone and enjoy the solitude and fresh air or take the kids and do a Nature Scavenger Hunt 
  • Go For a Drive!  Sometimes it's just good for the spirit to get a change of scenery.  Drive to the woods, mountains, or coast...get out, walk around, take some beautiful photos.  

  • Plant Something:  Start your seeds inside, plant something outside, design a patio garden (or tiny balcony garden), get some indoor house plants...create and nurture life and health!
  • Take out the Wheels! Got a bike, rollerblades (remember them???), skateboard, etc. gathering dust in the corner of your garage?  Get them in shape and go use them!  Great exercise!
  • No Wheels?  Go for a Run!  Keep those endorphins going so you can stay positive and healthy!
  • Beautify Your Yard!  It's almost Spring!  Get out there and clean up the yard, wash the windows, weed, and get things ready for planting!  Give everyone in the family a job and then celebrate together when the job is done!
  • Become a Nature Photographer!  Get tips online and then get out there and photograph the beauty that's around you!  
  • Become a Bird Watcher!  Check online for a birdwatching list or download a birdwatching app for your smartphone!
  • Have Recess Outside with Your Family!  Remember the games you played as a kid? Red Light/Green Light, Mother May I, Simon Says, Kickball, t-ball, jumprope, hopscotch, 4 square, basketball, soccer...the list goes on!  Plus you can do things like blow bubbles, use sidewalk chalk, fly paper airplanes, fly a kite, or build a fort.  
  • Adult Recess?  Depending on where you live...you can still go cross country skiing, play golf, roll the bocce ball, go mountain biking, have fun waterskiing, surf...
Professional Sidewalk Chalk Art
OK, so HOPEFULLY you found SOMETHING to do while on lockdown!  If not, use your imagination, be creative, and come up with OTHER ideas!  Make the best of your situation!  And HAVE FUN!!  Life goes on!

Sending hugs and wishing you health and happiness!
--Dorothy

PS
If you have additional ideas, post below!  I'd love to know what works for you!!