Saturday, July 15, 2017

6 Colorful Summer Fruit Superstars

Summer fruits seem to be filled with the joy and sunshine of the season. That's why I'd like to share my 6 favorite summer fruit superstars. Each is plentiful right now at local farmer's markets, picked fresh from a home garden, or purchased at a neighborhood store. 

Buying in-season, locally grown produce is an easy way to assure fruits are loaded with flavor and eye-appeal. In-season fruits are freshest and often on sale. Since locally grown fruit doesn't have to be transported long distances to get to your table, it costs less and tastes better. It's alive with goodness.

I shop the sales, and look for organic items. Organic fruits taste better than conventionally grown ones, and organic produce has a nutritional advantage. Organic means that the produce thus labeled is a safe way to enjoy eating food that hasn't been sprayed with toxic chemical pesticides, hasn't been grown in sewer sludge, and doesn't pollute the environment or the people who eat it. 

According to the Mayo Clinic Website there is a growing body of evidence that shows health benefits of eating organic foods, when compared with conventionally grown foods.

Studies have shown small to moderate increases in some nutrients in organic produce. The best evidence of a significant increase is in certain types of flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties. Also noted is the fact that organically grown produce has lower detectable levels of pesticide residue. 
Michael Greger MD at states “Children raised on largely organic, vegetarian diets may have a lower prevalence of asthma and allergies. The President’s Cancer Panel report recommends choosing organic, especially for children, the most vulnerable population for increased environmental cancer risk.” 

6 Colorful Summer Fruit Superstars

Farm Fresh Organic Peaches

Peaches are one of the sweetest treats of summer eating. A medium size one is only 60 calories, yet it’s a healthy source of dietary fiber, Vitamin A, Niacin and Potassium, and a very good source of Vitamin C. Select fruit that feels heavy for its size, and gives just a bit when pushed. Avoid fruit that has green near the stem, as this is a sign that it's not ripe. See The Healthiest Fruits to Eat During Summer for a Beautiful Body Inside and Out.

Organic Apricots are Juicy and Flavorful

Apricots are a delicate, temperamental summer fruit. This yellow/orange colored fruit is harvested starting in late spring in warmer areas and through early summer. The most delicious apricots neither travel nor keep well, so take care when selecting them. This fruit does not have saturated fat or cholesterol and is very low in sodium. It’s a good source of dietary fiber and Potassium, and a very good source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Read 10 Impressive Apricot Benefits for more.

Sweet Organic Cherries are Deep Red/Almost Black in Color

Cherry varieties that are sweet and well-known are Tulare, Bing, Lambert, Chelan, and Sweetheart. Most look slightly heart-shaped, and have dark red or almost "black" colored flesh. Cherries are a good source of dietary fiber and Vitamin C and a whole cup of sweet cherries has only 77 calories. This luscious fruit contains antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties, even against serious conditions such as gout, arthritis, fibromyalgia, or painful muscle-related sports injuries. For more see What are Sweet Cherries Good For? 

Blueberries rank second to strawberries in popularity in the U.S. This dark blue fruit has one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits, vegetables, spices, and seasonings. Antioxidants are essential in optimizing health by helping to combat the free radicals that can damage cells and DNA. Enjoy eating a cup of raw blueberries — rather than relying upon blueberries baked into desserts. Like other fruits, raw blueberries provide you with the best flavor and the greatest nutritional benefits.

Organic Strawberries and Organic Blueberries Are Sweet and Delicious

Strawberries are loaded with goodness. Studies show that those people who eat just a cup a day (only 50 calories), have higher blood levels of folate, vitamin C and phytonutrients, and a higher intake of fiber than those who don’t eat strawberries. It appears that including strawberries in your diet might help you achieve and maintain a lowered risk for developing certain diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, and even some forms of cancer. For an easy to prepare strawberry and blueberry recipe combo see this red-white-and-blue recipe.

Watermelon is a good fruit to eat, if you want to stay cool during the summertime. Its high water content helps keep you hydrated. No wonder watermelon is the fruit of choice at so many summer meals. Eating a fully ripe watermelon pays off in terms of nutrient, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant benefits. When ripe, its bright reddish-shade signifies its’ loaded with the antioxidant lycopene. See this recipe Watermelon and Tofu Summer Salad, a cooling dish for your summer eating pleasure. 

Picture Credit Pixabay

Savor eating mouthwatering fresh summer fruits for snacks, dessert, or incorporated into dishes. Choose to munch on these 6 Colorful Fruit Superstars, and enjoy good flavors, good health, and colorful living.

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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Are Artificial Food Colors Harmful to People?

When I investigated food safety information from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), I discovered food dyes can cause everything from hyperactivity and allergic reactions to cancer. For food safety and public health reasons, this consumer watchdog (CSPI) is calling for the government to ban all food dyes. 

That's Why It's So Important to

Read all food labels. This is how to determine if ingredients in the product you are about to buy are safe and healthy. See FDA Food Guidance Regulation Document for more. Smart consumers look for labels that state, "This food contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservative."

Petition government officials. Let them know you favor increased labeling regulations so labels list every ingredient on each label.

Speak Out to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Demand artific1al colors be banned from all food in the U.S. There is no health, nutrition, or other need for them. Sign This Petition to Tell-the-FDA-to-Ban-Harmful-Synthetic-Food-Dyes.

Stress the Fact that the FDA Needs to Conduct and Supervise Ingredient Testing by Independent Researchers. Currently, food manufacturers are within the law to test their own products.

Reach out to your U.S. Senators and Representatives, as well as State and Local OfficialsAsk them to pass laws that require manufacturers to place warning labels on products that cause even one allergic reaction, behavioral issue, or is associated with any illness including gastrointestinal conditions and cancer.

Act Now. Contact food manufactures, and tell them you're going to stop buying their products, unless they voluntarily stop using artificial food dyes. Read my post at Obloggernewbie, Take-Action-with-Your-Food-Shopping-Dollars.

Select, Prepare, and Eat Real, Unprocessed Foods. Educate yourself about sound nutritional practices and food safety. It's a sure way to know what you're eating is nutritious and right for you.

Dana Angelo White writes Artificial Food Coloring: Good or Bad

Common Sense, observation, and scientific studies are proving the effects of eating artificially colored foods, snacks, soda, desserts, and the like result in impulsiveness, inattentiveness, and hyperactivity among young children. Many of these foods are also sugar, fat, or salt laden, and filled with empty calories.

One way to test this is to take stock of how you feel and act after Halloween. Notice how weird and hyperactive you and your kids act, if you've been munching on the unhealthy treats your kids collected. 

Take a look-see at Dr. Michael Greger's video and Website, if you're interested in improving your family's health. Then read Are-Artificial-Colors-Bad-for-You?

Eat foods that are minimally processed and snack on organic foods like those in the picture below. Take advantage of mother nature to add colorful eye appeal to meals, by eating fruits and veggies that get their vibrancy the natural way.

Are you currently eating foods that contain artificial food colors, and/or have taken steps to change family eating habits? 

Do you eat most meals at home and prepare real food snacks?

What will motivate you to look more closely at those labels? Please explain. 

Before you go, please spread the love by liking, commenting, or sharing this post on social media.

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

What Everyone Needs to Know About the Heart Chakra

Green is the color of the heart chakra/anahata. It's located at the center of the chest and is a powerful resource for lovingkindness. Anahata is the fourth of the seven basic chakras in the body. Thought of as an integrative energy center that blends the physical and spiritual within the body, this chakra influences the cardiovascular system, including the lungs. On a non-physical level, it impacts your relationships, lifestyle choices, mission or calling, values, and ethics.

Anahata is associated with the color green, and green is a great source of universal energy, supply, and health. It’s the ray that enriches the personality and raises vibrations for abundance and success.

According to Deepak Chopra, “the heart center represents the unifying energy of love and compassion. The heart chakra is dedicated to overcoming separation and division. When the heart center is blocked, there is a sense of alienation from others. When the heart center is open and flowing, you feel connected at a deep level to all beings in your life.” For more read What-Everyone-Needs-to-Know-About-Their-Chakras.

Green Tourmaline, Rose Quartz, Emerald, Jade, Green Calcite, and Selenite are minerals that support the heart chakra. See more from Rodika Tchi at Green-Tourmaline-Stones-and Their Properties and 8-Most-Popular-Feng-shui-Crystals.

When you place living plants and flowers in your home or office, it helps open the heart chakra as well as purify the air. Want to know which ones are easy to maintain, refresh the air, and comfort you?  Ways-Colorful-Flowers-Boost-Our-Happiness from an earlier blog post and Houseplants-that-Clean-the-Air from Maria Janowiak at Greatist.

Do you wish your heart felt better than it does now? Perhaps you're holding on to sadness or grief, and can't seem to let go of it. Maybe you've had respiratory issues including shortness of breath. Listen to Healing the Heart (opening your heart chakra) Guided Meditation on YouTube by davidji to help you release blocked energy, soothe body, mind, and soul, and overcome feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and heartache. 

Listen to and chant the sound of the heart chakra and allow sound and green color vibrations to fill you up. YouTube Video and Audio with the heart Chakra Chant from Meditative Mind offers Meditation Music.

When you're open to the healing, unifying, and warming energy of the heart chakra you realize, for this moment, all is exactly as it needs to be in your heart, family, community, and world. Chant YAM, the sound of the heart chakra or listen to a YouTube audio and video Magical Chakra Meditation Chants for Heart Chakra | YAM Seed Mantra Chanting and Music. Let the vibrations of green and the heart chakra color your world with love.

 Do you use color imagery and visualization, meditation, or prayer to empower yourself? What happens when you place your hand in the middle of your chest next to your heart and chant YAM? Do you feel the vibrations? 

Please hold your hand there another moment and affirm:

"I am a loving person who recognizes and treasures my own self-worth." 

"I love myself wholeheartedly and joy in my being spreads to all that I see or think about today."

Please take a moment to comment in the space provided below (don't forget to click publish when you're though commenting). Do you sense or think green and the heart chakra can help you in some way? Please explain. If the chakras are new to you, that's exciting. Comment about that too. I welcome questions so feel free to ask them. For info about the first chakra read How-to-Create-Balance-Energy-and-Strength-Through-The Root-Chakra.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

How to Create Flavorful, Filling, User Friendly Vegan Salads

Leafy Green Salads are loaded with vibrant plant energy, flavor, crunch, and plant-based protein. Greens, when served raw, are alive with chlorophyll, the building block of cells. It's the substance that your body converts to energy for that great "get up and go feeling." 

Most greens are rich in calcium, iron, potassium, and B vitamins too. Prepare a chilled, refreshing tossed green salad with all the trimmings. Elevate your health as well as savor a simple to prepare, delicious one dish meal.

The color green helps you focus on self-improvement, weed out old messages, and sprout new growth. Visualize green to give you motivation to turn over a new green leaf. Are there facets of your eating plan that require attention? If you want to increase your health quotient, pay attention to what you eat. Notice how quickly health improves, when you eat more fruits and veggies. Green energy stimulates health, facilitates new beginnings, and is the symbol of freedom and wealth. To feel better emotionally, spiritually, physically, and intellectually put more green into your life. 

Did you know that lettuce has an average glycemic index of 15? Because it has only one calorie per cup, its glycemic load is considered zero. Foods with low glycemic indexes are great for anyone watching their blood sugar. Eating salad with low fat or fat-free dressing is a great way to manage weight. 

Romaine, guacamole, pinto beans, and colorful veggies

Leafy greens are often available in markets or farm stands in an organic state (organic varieties are more nutritious and don’t contain toxic pesticides like conventional ones). Look for the prewashed, packaged salad blends for convenience. Buy individual heads of lettuce, that usually stay fresh longer and are less expensive than the prepackaged kind. 

Salad add-ins like tomatoes, red cabbage, red pepper, and spinach, are chock-full of antioxidants. Scoop on leftover beans, peas, or lentils, and make a simple meal that's hearty, as well as increase daily protein and fiber count. 

Whole food plant-based entrĂ©e salads are an excellent way to satisfy hunger, fuel your body so it can work at peak efficiency, aid digestion and elimination, and eat a delicious meal that’s cholesterol free. 

Brightly colored green veggies like celery, cucumbers, watercress, and zucchini squash are fun to use in salads. Add other colors too like carrots, radishes, beets, red onion, and cauliflower. 

Fruit Salads that include strawberries, apples, blueberries, and melon are tasty additions to your weekly meal plan. Check out this Delicious Watermelon-Tofu Feta Recipe from Diane at

Watermelon Tofu Feta Salad

 Mix or Match These Healthy Add-ins Instead of Using Junk Food Toppings

Cooked Whole Grain Pasta or Brown Rice 

Canned Black Beans or Kidney Beans

Raw Brazil Nuts or Sesame Seeds

Fresh fennel, celery root, jicama, radicchio, endive, escarole

Fresh papaya, mango, pineapple, Napa cabbage

Cooked artichokes, asparagus, Brussel sprouts

Olives, capers, onions, sundried tomatoes, roasted garlic

Note: It often follows that the more vibrant the color of the plant-based food, the more eye appeal and nutrients within.

Organic Greens, Tomato, Wheat Berries, Whole Grain Toast, and Vinaigrette

Dr. Michael Greger, author of How Not to Die and founder of, advises people to eat cruciferous vegetables every day. One simple way to include this type of food is to put broccoli, cabbage, collards, or kale into salads.  He says, “I recommend at least one serving a day (typically a half cup cooked cruciferous veggies) and at least two additional servings of greens a day (one cup raw veggies equals a portion)." Dr. Greger’s favorite greens are arugula, beet greens, collard greens, kale (black, green, and red), mesclun mix (assorted young salad greens), mustard greens, sorrel, spinach, Swiss chard, and turnip greens. 

See 6 Foods I Recommend Eating Every Day for a Long Life: A Doctor Explains. 

Here's a wonderful recipe from Hadia at Hadia's Lebanese It's a mouth-watering recipe for Potato-Green-Bean-and-Avocado-Salad that's colorful and filling.

Discover how simple, satisfying, and nutritious it is to chop up and put together a main course salad. 

Note: Be Mindful of Your Salad Dressing Choices. All the good work you do eating plant-based salads is for naught, if you smother your salads with fatty dressings. Here’s a terrific low-fat Tahini Salad Dressing. Recipe is from Diane at .

Tahini Dressing

Have fun and take it easy this summer, especially when the weather gets hot. 

To add to your enjoyment, click on this link to hear Norah Jones singing "Summertime."

Learn More About Plant-based Goodness By Clicking on the Links That Follow: 







Please don't forget to comment and share the salad love on social media. I appreciate the visit and hope you'll check back here again.

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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Ways to Use Rainbow Colors to Help You Make Positive Changes

Rainbow colors can help you develop greater self-awareness. They support you, as you learn to relate better with yourself and others, inspire you to grow, and increase your happiness. 

Once you understand your own personality, what things you prefer to do or not do, and what is comfortable for you, it’s much easier to expand your horizons, notice you have options, and if need be, amend your behavior to enrich the quality of daily living.

Having alternatives about how to behave, rather than just responding in whatever way you’re used to doing things, gives you the freedom to act in a life-affirming way. This is especially true if you realize that coping skills you learned as a child or young adult have often led to frustration and dead ends. 

Are you tired of repeating the same mistakes over and over again?

Here are Rainbow Color Characteristics and Great Ways to Use Them:

Red: excitement, passion, courage, love

Orange: social, enthusiastic, self-assurance, playfulness

Yellow: cheerful, sunny, optimism, clarity of thought

Green: fresh start, wellness, stress reduction, growth

Blue: soothing, cleansing, unifying, eases communication

Indigo: intelligence, idealism, intuition, infinity

Violet: inspiration, wisdom, spirit, royalty

Use RED when you feel you're stuck in a rut, lack enthusiasm, and want motivation to act.

Use ORANGE when you feel shy, are grieving, or want to be more social and vivacious.

Use YELLOW when you feel grouchy, need cheering, or your thoughts are confused.

Use GREEN when you feel up tight, for eye strain, or want to begin your day over.

Use BLUE when you are agitated, thirsty, nervous, and tongue tied.

Use INDIGO when you feel less than, want to stick to your principles, lose touch with your inner knowing or your ego is too high.

Use VIOLET when you want to connect with spirit, are working to heal physical or emotional issues, contact higher consciousness.

Colors bypass old patterns and rationalizing. They interact with you at the cellular level. 

Colors are instinctual, so envision, wear, or decorate with those that call to you. 

Colors are energetic powerhouses that rejuvenate, restore, encourage, and motivate you to change attitudes as well as behaviors. 

Have fun as you visualize, affirm, and take in those colors you sense you need.

Did you know rainbows are actually full circles of light? Most people view a rainbow on the ground, and that’s why they look like a semi-circle or arc of the rainbow that forms in the sky.

Rainbows appear because of both reflection and refraction (bending) of light in water droplets in the atmosphere. Rainbows can be seen not just in or after a rain shower, but are seen in mist, spray, fog, and dew. Visibility is possible, whenever there are water drops in the air and the light shines from behind at a 42 degree angle (opposite from the sun). For more see  and Judy Garland Singing Over the Rainbow on YOUTUBE.

Rainbows have been a sign or hope, happiness, and harmony to me. The picture below is one I snapped right after a rain storm.

The bottom part of the color spectrum wasn’t visible at the angle where I stood. Do you know what colors are missing? Isn’t it fun to capture a rainbow in a photo? 

Perhaps when you do, you’ll think of that pot of gold. Do you want to be the one to come along and claim it?

I wonder how many people nowadays know this rainbow legend; at the end of every rainbow lays a pot of gold just waiting for the right person to discover it.

I’d like to suggest a pot of gold/treasure awaits you, each time you learn more about yourself. That's why elements in Colors of Joy: A Woman’s Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss work with you to create self-compassion, enhance well-being, and increase joy. What better reasons could there be for you to purchase Colors of Joy

Be good to yourself. Order a Copy Today!

You'll be so happy you did.

Before you go, please share a memory you associate with rainbows.

Do you see rainbows often and how do they make you feel?

What color or colors do you think inspire you to be more truly who you are meant to be?

Share your experiences, comments, and questions in the comment section below.

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