Wednesday, March 15, 2017

4 Day Color-packed Vegan Menu Reveal

Most people I know have heard it’s healthy to eat the rainbow by munching on at least 5-7 servings of color-rich fruits and veggies per day. Want to learn how simple it is to do that, and eat delicious produce-packed fresh food combinations like I do?

This photo essay shows you how easy it is to include more of this good stuff into breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. I cook with my eyes as well as my other senses to bring you brightly colored veggies and fruits that are healthy, tasty, and easy to prepare. 

See this fun 4-day vegan meal plan reveal. Please use my ideas to amp up your own meal planning.

Note: any vegetable, fruit, legume, bean, nut, seed, or whole grain mentioned in this post is organic. I buy, grow, and eat organic fruits and vegetables. This designation assures the produce hasn’t been genetically modified (NO GMO’S), is not grown in soil, fertilized, or sprayed with toxic chemicals or pesticides, and the integrity of the plant is maintained and its innate nourishing, healing qualities are left intact.  

Green Lentils, Carrots, Red Cabbage, Celery, Minced Garlic and Indian Spices and Herbs

Lentil Stew with Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) and Brown Rice

The pictures above are just a sample of what follows.

Plan vegan meals with care, and you'll reap BIG rewards. There are so many vegetables and fruits in the world to choose from, you'll never get tired of eating them. Make sure your meals contain an assortment of produce, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and beans to get all the nutrients you need to stay healthy, happy, and improve the quality of your life.

Plant-based recipes can have added flavor and increased health benefits, when you use lively herbs and spices for seasoning. Vegan dishes are cost effective and eating this way gives you pep and energy to spare.

Please let me know which dishes and serving ideas you like most or are curious about. I'll do my best, in forthcoming blog posts, to supply food facts and the recipes for them.

First, I'll Share Important Reasons Why I Eat Whole Food Plant-based Foods

To Live Longer

To Live Happier

To Live Stronger

To Maintain Healthy Weight Without Dieting

To Be Kind to Animals and the Planet

To Prevent Diabetes, Heart Disease, Cancer, and Stroke

To Eat Delicious, Nutritious Food

To Keep Life Simple

Day 1

Steel Cut Oatmeal with Blueberries

Tri-color Quinoa, Red Pepper, Carrots, Asparagus, Romaine, and Red Cabbage Salad

 Pinto Beans and Chard Dish, Fresh Tomato Sauce and Italian Seasonings

Day 2

Pearled Barley, Sliced Banana, and Ceylon Cinnamon

Lentil Stew with Organic Brown Rice and Indian Spices

Romaine Salad with Sprouted Mung Beans, Red Beans, Squash, Beets

Day 3

Red Grapefruit Salad with Organic Raisins and Mint

Buckwheat Pancakes

Massaged Kale Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Squash, Beets, Red Pepper, Onion

Tofu Scramble with Red Potatoes, Zucchini, on a bed of Tossed Greens

Day 4

Sweet Potato, Avocado, Black Bean Enchilada with Mole Sauce, Corn Chips and Salad

Napa Cabbage Stir-fry, Carrots, Mushrooms, Onions with Miso/Ginger Flavored Sauce

Open Tempeh Salad Wrap with chopped Broccoli, Carrots, Onion and Tomatoes on a Collard Leaf

*Key Information: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) official position on a vegan eating plan advises that an appropriately planned vegan diet is best for reducing the risk and treating illness such as heart disease, hypertension, some forms of cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Their research shows that vegan diets were found effective at promoting a lower body mass index (BMI), are more environmentally friendly than other diets, and safe for people in all stages of life-including athletes, pregnant women, children, and older athletes. 

For More About Adopting a Vegan Lifestyle and to Gain Powerful Motivation Please See:

Please share your ideas, comment on mine, or ask questions about meal planning and/or ways to add more veggies and fruits to your meals. I'd love to hear from you and appreciate your support.

This post is FEATURED at The-Pant-based-Potluck-Party-Link-up-125 and I am delighted!

This post has been shared at The-Plant-Based-Potluck-Party-Link-up-124

This post has been shared at Thursday-Favorite-Things-279

This post has been shared at The-Healthy-Happy-Green-and-Natural-Party-Blog-Hop-150

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Ways Colorful Flowers Boost Our Happiness

When we receive a gift of fresh flowers or present them to ourselves, this caring act draws positive energy into our lives. Each flower family and its hue has an energy of its own. Read on to discover ways colorful flowers with distinctive color frequencies can increase joy and a sense of well-being in you. 

Flowers please our senses. Noticing a flower’s subtle or bright color, touching the petals, leaves, and stalks as we arrange them in a vase, and inhaling the fragrant aroma delights us. Our contact with this form of nature transmits the plants’ earthy, vibrant energy to us. 

Some, like me, feel an interdependent relationship with plants deep in my being. My food plan is a plant-based whole food one, and I know and appreciate that I can't exist on earth without flora in my life.

Now science backs up what vegans have been observing, studying, and sensing over the years.  Results from Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-based Diets affirms the major benefits for patients who decide to start a plant-based diet. It can help them reduce the number of medications they take to treat a variety of chronic conditions, lower body weight, decrease the risk of cancer, and reduce their risk of death from ischemic heart disease.

In another study, Researchers Jeannette Haviland-Jones, professor of psychology, and husband Terry McGuire, professor of genetics and evolutionary biologist from Rutgers University in New Jersey, explored the the link between flowers and life satisfaction.

This 10-month study traced and tabulated participants' behavioral and emotional responses to receiving flowers and followed-up to note long-term effects.

Ta-da. The results show that flowers are a natural, healthful moderator of moods (stabilizes them) and has potent power to elevate moods.

*Flowers have an immediate impact on happiness. All study participants expressed "true" or "excited" smiles upon receiving flowers, demonstrating extraordinary delight and gratitude. This reaction was universal, occurring in all age groups.

*Flowers have a long-term positive effect on moods. Specifically, study participants reported feeling less depressed, anxious, and agitated after receiving flowers.

*Flowers help us feel a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction.

*Flowers make intimate connections. The presence of flowers led to increased contact with family and friends.

*Flowers have a strong positive effect on our emotional well-being. They bypass reason and interact with us at a basic, sensory level.

Our reaction to colors and flowers is extremely personal, so remember to check in with yourself often. 

If you want guidance in selecting an appropriate flower, see:

Flower Power Ideas

Yellow flowers are cheery, a symbol of friendship, respect, rebirth, and faithfulness. The birthday flower for the month of March is a yellow flower called a Daffodil (from the Narcissus family). Choosing a bouquet of daffodils is a fine way to celebrate the idea that spring is right around the corner. Yellow flowers convey lighthearted, whimsical, energetic vibrations. For an easy, economical way to harness this power for your good, use your imagination to visualize a bunch of your favorite yellow flowers. If you prefer, visit a local farmer’s market, your neighborhood green grocer, or pick a few from your garden. Set the intention to use yellow to your advantage. Invite this happy color into your home, office, and heart. 

Red Roses smell heavenly. Red and rose colored ones traditionally signify love, passion, romance. Spotting them in a garden or looking at your beloved may lead to poetic inspiration. Read this from Robert Burns: A Red, Red Rose. The red rose is a subject pictured in Greek and Roman art, where it was tied to Aphrodite, or Venus, the goddess of love.

Lilac is the color of the flowers below. It is a light purple shade. In florist speak, lilac flowers symbolize first love. Lilacs bloom in springtime, and for this reason represent fresh starts and renewal. Lilacs also denote confidence, which makes them a good gift for Mother's Day and grads. 

The shade that is most popular for lilacs is captured in the picture above. Other shades of lilac flowers can be dark mauve, lavender, or white. If the bush is a "lilac" lilac, it can range from pale lilac, to rich lilac, to deep lilac. 

Lilacs can be a spiritual helper, because violet is a spirit centered ray. Envision this color to help you clear a space or situation (physical, mental, or emotional) you feel you're stuck in. Lilacs are often preferred by feminine personalities, and those who are delicate and sensitive. Once lilacs are cut from a lilac bush, the flowers don't last for more than a day or two. Enjoy lilacs' heavenly scent and know you are worth this special short-lived treat.

To keep the ball rolling, get color tips and ideas by visiting my Website. Take a peek at Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss. It's an interactive self-care journal program that features colorful activities, affirmations, journal writing, and space for reflections. The exercises, color visualizations, and journal writing prompts in Colors of Joy help you note and appreciate the goodness in each day and you. Buy Colors of Joy on Amazon or from these places.

Don't forget to comment and give my readers and me feedback. What's your favorite flower and why do you love it? Are there any flowers you don't like and why? Would you like to learn more fun things to do with colors? 

Then pick up your copy of Colors of Joy now!

This post has been shared at Happiness-is-Homemade-Link-Party-161

This post has been shared at Thursday-Favorite-Things-277

This post has been shared at the-healthy-happy-green-and-natural-party-blog-hop-148

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Why Beets are Tops

The deep red-purple color of a beet root and neon green and vivid red combo on the leaves is sure to delight your senses. Do you realize bold colors are nature’s way of broadcasting beets’ earthy, sweet flavor and nutritional punch? 

I sense your body will be truly grateful whenever you munch on this veggie, because it’s flavorful, simple to prepare, and packed with health promoting benefits.

Read on to learn top reasons why this veggie is so good for you, and tasty ways to serve them to your family and friends. If you already eat beets, perhaps when you read how easy it is to use them, you'll eat them more often.

Beet greens are in the same botanical family as spinach and chard. Key nutrients in beet greens include fat-soluble vitamins A and K, as well as water-soluble vitamin C and vitamin B2. 

Beets are an excellent source of Copper, Fiber, and Folate. Minerals in beet greens include Iron (32% of the RDA), Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, and Phosphorous. 

Beet greens are an excellent source of calcium and provide 25% of the recommended daily amount (98 milligrams per serving) of magnesium. Beet greens have a higher nutritional score than mustard greens and turnip greens, in that beet greens contain both calcium and magnesium and the other two don’t contain magnesium.

The root part of the beets, whether it's red-violet or orange-yellow contains powerful nutrient compounds or Betalains. These substances function both as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents, ones that help prevent heart disease and stroke. 

Beets also work to support liver health, detoxification, immune function, bone health, and blood sugar balance. Read this information if you are diabetic. Then check with your health care provider and review whether Beets are a Good Food Choice for You.

Beets help protect against heart disease, birth defects, inflammation, and oxidative damage. Read this from Dr. Andrew Weil at Stumped by Oxidative Stress?

Beet root is an outstanding source of a key carotenoid, Lutein. Lutein plays an especially important role in eye health, including the health of the retina.

For those who are concerned with high blood pressure, a report of a meta-analysis of 16 trials published in The Journal of Nutrition in 2013 shows that drinking one glass of raw beet root juice a day is enough to significantly reduce blood pressure in patients with high blood pressure, even when drugs had little effect. Reduce Blood Pressure Naturally and  YouTube Video, "Benefits of Beet Root Juice" by Norman Walker provide information for you. 

If you don't know how to juice veggies, see this YouTube Video, "How to Lower Blood Pressure by Juicing Apple, Beets, and Carrot." Fresh beet juice is prepared and sold in some specialty markets and displayed in the refrigerated case of others. Juice bars are springing up all over, because of the increased awareness and demand for fresh squeezed veggie and fruit juices.

Beets are at the forefront of research for cancer prevention and cure. See this article from the National Institute of Health (NIH): Potential Benefits of Red Beetroot Supplementation in Health and Disease. NIH.

How to Prepare Beet Root, Stalk, and Beet Greens

Beets are incredibly versatile, and easy to prepare. Slip on rubber gloves and an apron before you begin to avoid staining your hands or clothing. Use a vegetable scrub brush to scrub the peel well. No need to remove the peel. It's the most nutrient dense area. Use a paring knife to separate the greens from the stalk and root, but do not discard. Any beet juice that remains on your cutting board can be easily removed by running utensils under cold water and washing. If you prefer, apply lemon juice before washing. Do the same with your hands.

Picture Shows Beets from Bottom to Top
beet root, beet stalk (stem) and beet leaves

The greens and stalk can be sautéed as you would spinach, chard, or kale. Add a drop of olive oil to your fry pan. Chop up small chunks of stem (stalk) and cook for 2 minutes until they soften. If oil has been absorbed add a few drops of water or liquid amino's (or low sodium soy sauce) to pan. Then continue cooking fresh beet greens in a matter or 2 or 3 minutes more. 

Eating beets is economical and environmentally savvy. Using the whole beet plant in various ways limits the amount of food you waste and reduces garbage dumped in the landfill. Any scraps that remain can be put into your compost pile.

Note: I always eat organic beet roots and beet greens, because organic means that food isn’t genetically modified or sprayed with toxic chemicals. It also isn’t grown in soil that contains chemical fertilizers.

Chop, dice, shred, or grate raw beets and add them to your favorite salad mix. Some mixed greens already contain baby beet greens, so you're way ahead of the game. Beets taste especially good when you sprinkle on fresh herbs like dill. Bring out beets' natural goodness by sprinkling on lemon or orange juice as well.

Ingredients are All Organic: Romaine, Beets, Red Pepper, Snap Peas, Carrots
with Creamy Bean Herb Dressing

I'm delighted Angela Thompson at gave me the go-ahead to share a link to her recipe for Vegan Borscht (beet root soup). The Photo is from her too.

Vegan Borscht (Beetroot Soup) - Vegan and Gluten-Free
Serve this Soup Hot or Cold. It's So Good!

Beet roots can also be roasted, pickled, boiled, or steamed. No matter how you cook them, keep cooking time to 15 minutes or less to retain as many nutrients as possible.

My best tip is to eat beets and beet greens often. BEETS ARE TOPS!

Please comment below and if you'd like to, answer one of my questions:

Are you a beet expert or novice? Explain.

What amazing health benefit that comes from eating beet root and beet greens pleases you the most? Did you learn anything that was new?

Don't know about you, but I'm so excited to know that a veggie I LOVE is so healthy for me!

I'm Thrilled this post was Selected as the "Natural Feature" at The Healthy-Happy-Green-and-Natural-Party-Blog-Hop-147

It's Party Time! Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop #147

Yahoo. I'm excited this Post was Selected by Mary from The Boonsdocks Blog to Be a Feature at Sweet-Inspiration-Link-Party-45


This post has been shared at Share-the-Wealth-Sunday-95

This post has been shared at Thursday-Favorite-Things-276

This post has been shared at Sweet-Inspiration-Link-Party-44

This post has been shared at Healthy-Living-Link-Party-100

This post has been shared at Thursday-Favorite-Things-275

This post has been shared at The-Plant-based-Potluck-Party-Link-up-120

This post has been shared at The-Healthy-Happy-Green-and-Natural-Party-Blog-Hop-146

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Unique Valentine's Day Present Ideas

Sure. Flowers and chocolates are standard fare. But if you want to delight that special someone this Valentine's Day, a handcrafted gift can't be beat. It's original, thoughtful, and sure to be treasured.

Make it a One-of-a-Kind Treat

A wonderful thing I've learned from studying geology, is that mining for details about rocks has revealed unique rock formations. Check this out. Incredible-Rock-Formations. 

Rocks often contain semiprecious or precious stones within. Some attract the eye with vivid colors, even at first glance. Others look best when polished, cut, or crafted to bring out their hidden brilliance.

Research and investigation shows that specific crystals, stones, and rocks  have healing or balancing qualities. Others are energizing or encourage spiritual transformation. 

A neat gift for your Valentine is a piece of jewelry made of Amethyst Quartz. It's the official birthstone of February. Amethyst, in the rough, looks beautiful and decorative. A fine jeweler can mount a naturally formed crystal or rough stone into a setting that looks grand. 

Before you order personalized jewelry, it's best to check with the recipient to make sure he or she approves of your choice. 

Another way to get gift ideas that will be appreciated is to listen closely to those things your loved one says he or she likes or wishes they could own.

A third choice is to purchase a gift certificate for your partner, spouse, mother, sister, brother, or friend. Amethyst jewels can range in price, so be kind to your budget and purchase only ones you can afford.

Amethyst Crystals on Display at Arizona Lapidary

Like to learn why Amethyst Quartz is such a good bet? Its violet, purple, and lavender shades are eye-catching. Violet relates to the crown of the head and the crown chakra, the gateway for spiritual energy and creativity. Amethyst stones can help you transform set patterns and habits that concern ideas and emotions. It lessens anger and rage, fear and anxiety, and clarifies dreams. It also has magnetic energy and can accelerate all processes of mind, body, and spirit.

Make it Beautiful, a Gift to Brighten Daily Living

Check out the gorgeous hand crafted pottery from Deborah Davis, who is the designer and creator of By Hand By Design Ceramics.

"Hi, I'm Deborah Davis. I have loved seeing, touching, using, collecting, and making pottery for most of my adult life.

Eating from a handmade clay bowl or sipping tea from a clay mug are two of my life's greatest pleasures.

You are invited to explore, enjoy and ultimately use my hand built, textured clay platters, plates, bowls and mirrors in your daily life."

Make it Heart-shaped to Celebrate Love

A wonderful Tucson artist, Lisa Agababian, crafts stunning heart-shaped wall art, perfect for Valentine's Day. See More Designs at Fuchsia Designs Gallery of Hearts

Lisa Agababian/Artist

Lisa says, "I first touched clay at the age of seven, and it both relaxed, comforted and lit me up way back then, and does the same for me today.  

Transforming a ball of mud into something that speaks my truth, and communicates while touching the hearts of others, in simple and profound ways, is my bliss.  

I am absolutely grateful & joyful to be living my purpose, and offer workshops and classes as well.  This is my passion, my process, and my gift to YOU!  You may say I'm a dreamer, but thankfully I'm not the only one.  Spreading Peace, Beauty and Love through Self-Care, Self-Discovery, & Self-Expression with Clay!"

Please Note: I have supplied the gift ideas mentioned above, because I feel they are cool things to get as presents. I do not represent any person or business included above, and have not received compensation for showing these artifacts. Ordering, financial transactions, and shipping arrangements are to be made directly with the vendors.

Make it Colorful, Inviting, and Caring

Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss by Nancy Andres

Is Your Spirit Lagging? Feel Drained, Overwhelmed, or Tapped Out?

Do you want to create Clarity and Ease in your Life and Relationships? 

Need Motivation to Go After Your Bliss?

Want Tips that Help You Remember to Love Yourself Unconditionally?

Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss is a twelve-week journal program with Color-coded activities, Affirmations, Guided Journal Writing, and Tips for Self-care. Its Exercises are Fun, Designed to Raise Self-awareness, and Helps You Find Joy in Daily Living. 

Order an Autographed Copy of Colors of Joy Now!

What gift would you like to receive this Valentine's Day?

What's the most memorable gift you've ever given yourself?

How do you make each day special for yourself? For your loved ones?

Please comment below in the space provided.

Wishing my dear visitors, readers, and wonderful friends and family a Sweet, Juicy Valentine's Day! 

This post has been shared at The Healthy-Happy-Green-Natural-Party-Blog-hop-145

This post has been shared at Happiness is Homemade Link Party #157

This post has been shared at No Rules Weekend Blog Party #220

This post has been shared at Wonderful-Wednesday-211