Friday, January 15, 2021

Ways to Welcome and Embrace White Space in the New Year



The start of a New Year is a great marker to review the past, and an opportunity to contemplate the improvements we want to make in our lives.


This is where embracing the design concept of “white space” comes in.

According to the Interaction Design Foundation "White space is the area between design elements. It is also the space within individual design elements, including the space between typography glyphs (readable characters).”


Editor’s note: This blog is a guest post by Catherine Agopcan


“White space” is NOT blank space. When we remove that stack of magazines or put away our unfinished art project supplies, our actions create an opening for those things, people, and activities that are meaningful to us.

As we work through any clean-up effort, we can tap into the comfort element of the color white.

In Christianity, white is a symbol of birth, beginnings, and communion.

In Western culture, brides wear white as a sign of purity. White signifies clean lines, clear energy, and spaciousness.

We need not fear “white space” as being empty. It clears and lightens the way as we check out the “white space” ideas below.

 

Keep the Calendar Empty

 

It’s easy to fill our days with to-do lists and commitments we aren’t excited about. Instead of saying yes to all invitations, consider blocking out time to do nothing. 

Our current mindset may tell us we need to be doing something or consuming something at all times. 

Pause to consider ways to use the peaceful energy of “white space” into each day.

The big thing is to put our phone down, turn off the TV, and just sit with our thoughts.

If we find it relaxing, we may use this free time to meditate, journal, walk around the block or do something with our hands. 

In a world where our attention is a commodity, reserving down time to reconnect is key to our sense of well-being.

 

Curate Our Home 


Our homes are not storage spaces. They are places to enjoy alone time and be with the people that matter. 

Many of us are on auto-pilot, buying more things to organize our home. If we look through what we already have and review what is or is not useful, we are ahead of the game.

A constant barrage of things to see, and lack of “white space” means our minds are processing information that is not relevant to our daily goals.

If our home environment doesn't make us feel serene, we can look around to see what can be downsized or eliminated and gain white space.

Sort out junk from kitchen or bathroom cabinets and donate excess. Put things that serve a purpose into white or clear containers with simple labels. 

In our gusto for streamlining, we may go overboard. We need to find balance, and deal mindfully with one thing at a time.

While our homes aren’t meant to be museums, we can be discerning. One way to do that is to save only those objects that look good together.

One simple, inexpensive way to freshen things up is to consider changing the wall paint color to a white for a quick transformational fix.




Embrace White Objects


Use a white cloth table covering and that meal will feel special.

Serve food on a white dinner plate and notice how delicious it looks.

Choose white hotel sheets and the bed will look inviting.

Put out the white towels to make our guests feel welcome.

Wear a crisp white shirt and colorful accessories to stand out and look distinctive. 

Our customary habit may be to forgo using white objects, because of the potential care they require.

Remember our things need to be handled mindfully, and we deserve beautiful things. By limiting our possessions to treasured items, we'll make those we keep shine against a white backdrop.


Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash

Photo by Alexandra Gorn onUnsplash


Let’s visualize ourselves in the New Year, and imagine easily releasing excess possessions, habits, attitudes, and activities that no longer bring value to daily living.

Use the color white to help make bolder choices that will have deep impact throughout the year and beyond.


Catherine Agopcan is a financial educator and sustainability advocate educating others on how consumption affects their financial bottom line through the tenets of minimalism and sustainability. Find her at Sisters for FI, The Do Something Project and Instagram.

 

What changes or new ideas do you want to investigate in 2021? Please explain. 

Please share in the comment section provided below, with no links in your comment. It will not be published that way.

If you like what you see, please visit Catherine's links and leave a comment there too.

I so appreciate the great work Catherine is doing to educate, inform, and inspire us to be more thoughtful in our choices and improve the quality of our lives.

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Friday, January 1, 2021

Noteworthy Benefits of Being Mindful Each Day



Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing our attention on the present moment, and accepting what we discover without judgment. 

Research shows mindfulness is an excellent way to reduce stress and increase happiness. Mindfulness meditation changes our brain and biology in positive ways, improving mental and physical health.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, scientist, author, meditation teacher and father of the mindfulness movement, is known for bringing mindfulness into the mainstream of medicine and society.

Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as “the awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.”

Mindfulness helps us observe our body, mind, and spirit and our surroundings just as they are, moment to moment. 

Scientific studies indicate this life skill technique can induce a relaxation response and ease pain, both physical and emotional. Continue Reading to see


Noteworthy Benefits of 

Being Mindful Each Day



When we are mindful it

1. Allows us to get off to a fresh start each day, viewing experiences with open-mindedness. Mindfulness training helps us observe ourselves, others, and happenings in a more objective way.

2. Helps us check in with ourselves and act with intention. When we do, we have the option of detaching from dramas and knee-jerk reactions, and pause to respond in a calmer, clear-headed way. 

3. Alerts us to times we feel depleted or vulnerable and need to be kind to ourselves. Restorative self-care practices including taking a nap, doing physical exercise, writing in a journal, reciting affirmations, or eating a nourishing meal mindfully, helps us feel refreshed and better able to take on the rest of our day. 

See more about Self-care Activities to Encourage Optimal Health here.




4. E
nables us to notice whatever we’re feeling physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. A fun way to help us become more self-aware is to use a color visualization, Colors of the Chakras, to create greater balance and ease.


5. Supports long-term mindfulness meditators, as we experience and overcome setbacks. Mindfulness helps us cope with challenges and focus on those thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that will help us move forward. This is an effective element of flexibility and personal growth. 

Learn more about Staying Resilient during COVID and Beyond by looking at this free resiliency booklet from the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI). Click here.

6. Shows us how much time and energy we spend on distractions and observe how often we let our mind wander from our goals, priorities, and plans. Mindfulness also helps us have insights about our choices and observe how much time we reserve for people, places, and things that bring us pleasure, joy, and inspiration.

7. Empowers us to observe outmoded habits and work on replacing them with healthier ones. 

8. Can be practiced for free and as simply as taking 5 minutes to sit quietly and follow our breath. This economical self-care practice needs no special equipment or facility. Mindfulness activities are available in books, online, YOUTUBE or as apps for little or no charge. 

9. Helps us find compassion for ourselves and others. Studies show when we treat ourselves and others with lovingkindness, it increases our overall sense of wellbeing.

Perhaps by now you realize making a conscious effort to be more mindful has many benefits. They include the ability to sense the richness in life as it occurs, engage in activities wholeheartedly, have a greater capacity to recover from adversity, reduces stress, and enables us to fully awaken to ourselves.

Want to reap the benefits of adopting a mindfulness practice? It's as simple as setting the intention to take small steps each day to make mindful living a priority for 2021 and then following through. πŸ’–

Before you go, please comment below. I'd love to know how many of these mindfulness benefits inspire you.

Do you already practice yoga, meditation, and/or use color visualizations to help you feel vitally alive? Please share about that too.

No links in your comments please, as they won't be published that way.

If you like what you see, please share and like on social media. For additional color energy resources and wellness information, please visit my Website

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Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Wishing You a Festive Holiday Season

Heartfelt wishes for health, joy, and peace this festive holiday season !





Journal Prompts to Ease Stress of Holiday Season




Guilt-free Vegan Holiday Meals to Savor 






Hanukkah a Mini Guide to the Jewish Holiday




Eco-Friendly Moves to Green the Holidays




Thanks for your visit. 

Please know I'm grateful for you. 

Before you go, please comment in the space provided below. 

How do you plan to celebrate this year? 

My hope is we choose to be optimistic and 

envision better times ahead!

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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Effective Handwashing Strategy and Key Times to Use It


Maintain health and reduce the chances of getting sick by brushing up on this effective handwashing strategy. Follow through by using it, especially at key times outlined below.

Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates washing our hands correctly plays and important part in preventing illness including colds, flu, and COVID-19. Proper handwashing also reduces the risk of spreading germs to others. 


5 Easy Steps for Clean Hands 


1. Wet hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.

2. Lather hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of hands, between fingers, and under nails.

3. Scrub hands for at least 20 seconds. Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice, for a fun way to keep track of time.

4. Rinse hands well under clean, running water.

5. Dry hands using a clean towel or air dry them.


Key Times to Wash Hands






Handwashing isn't the only important element that contributes to our well-being. 

Eating right, physical activity, adequate rest and sleep, and reducing stress improves overall health and wellness, and increases resilience during COVID-19 and beyond.

For additional ways to stay happy, healthy, and safe through the year, check out the links below.


Awesome Ways to Use Colors for Healing and Wellness


Journal Prompts to Ease Stress of Holiday Season


Bloom into Health Eat Color Rich Produce


Low Cost Colorful Ways to Create an Exercise Habit


Please share a few steps you've taken to stay healthy during the pandemic. 

Enter comments in the section below this post. Please don't put links in your comment, as it won't be published that way.

If you like what you see, be so kind as to re-share on social media with a link back to this post. 😎


Before you go, consider this. Do you have too much work to do? You're in luck.

There's no need to stress, because I can help you.

I am a skilled Freelance Health & Lifestyle Writer, Blogger, and Author who writes non-fiction pieces to Interest, Inform, and Inspire.

Feel free to phone my office at 520-299-3547 (hours 8am-5 PM MST) or email to discuss ways my writing and editing services can relieve you of some of the deadline pressure you may be experiencing.

Visit my Website.

I will gear my writing to provide fresh ideas and content to appeal to your target audience. See more about

Ways for us to work together now.

 

Follow me on Pinterest to get fabulous color and self-care tips, recipes, and wellness ideas you're sure to love.

 Wishing you a Healthy, Happy Holiday Season and Abundance in the New Year 

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Sunday, November 15, 2020

Guilt-Free VEGAN Holiday Food to Savor

 



This post features guilt-free vegan holiday recipes to savor and tips to make meals healthier, budget and eco- friendly, taste-tempting, and joyful. 

Mix and match a colorful appetizer, salad, soup, entrΓ©e, vegetable, side dish, and dessert for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or New Years. The dishes provided below are tasty, festive, and  cause no remorse.

Have fun putting them together on a "regular day" as well. If you do, you can congratulate yourself for eating low-fat, low-salt, and low-sugar whole plant-based foods both for wellness and pleasure.

Before I go any further, I'll reveal how I stay within my food budget. 

I check food prices and shop with a list, and buy bulk foods including beans, legumes, dried peas, steel cut oats, brown rice, millet, etc., whenever I can. 

My priority is to eat high quality plant-based whole foods and limit processed foods to a bare minimum.

Fresh fruits and veggies are the mainstay of my eating plan, and in-season and sale items are cost-effective. I shop local or grow my own veggies, and select unprocessed whole foods to satisfy hunger and fuel my body so it can function well. 

Sustainability is important to me and I strive toward zero waste.

Consider this. Eco-friendly habits save money and make smart planetary sense. For more about zero food waste read How to Start a Zero Food Waste Lifestyle and Why it Matters. 

To get a bang for my buck, I select organic whole plant-based foods. Organic foods contain more nutrients than conventional ones. Organic means less pollution to soil, water, air, and our bodies. 

I choose to eat many of the foods that score high on the ANDI list. I keep abreast of nutrition research, and love to read and try out whole food plant based recipes to keep my cooking repertoire interesting and healthy. 

There are many plant-based food recipes, and it's challenging to pick just a few. The ones I've selected are those I consider some of the best! 


Guilt-Free VEGAN Holiday 

Food to Savor

Post and Photo from Nancy Andres at Colors 4 Health 


First up is  a Scrumptious Hummus Recipe Roundup with 5 yummy variations on this theme. Discover how easy and economical it is to make hummus look fabulous and taste great. Included in this post  is "Creamy Savory Hummus," an original recipe from yours truly.


Photo and Recipe Link from Love and Lemons


Pictured above is a dish from Jeanine and Jack, the bloggers at Love and  Lemons. This blog celebrates how nourishing, fun, and delicious cooking with seasonal fruits and vegetables can be. Their recipe for Butternut Squash Soup certainly lives up to that claim.
Photo and Recipe from Ashley Mellilo at Blissful Basil


Ashley shares simple plant-based vegan recipes and wellness tips to unearth vibrancy, health, and happiness. When you try her recipe for Dreamy Vegan Tomato Soup, you'll be glad you did.


Photo  and Recipe from Gluten Free A-Z Blog 

See the flavorful recipe pictured above. It's from Judee Algazi, the real food blogger at Gluten Free A-Z Blog. Her recipes are easy to make, colorful, delicious, and gluten free. Lemony Greek Stuffed Tomatoes or Peppers (Vegan) are so versatile. It can be eaten hot or at room temp and can be served as an appetizer or main dish.


Photo and Recipe from Stacey at Staceyhomemaker.com

Photo above reveals another Greek inspired recipe. Semi-Homemade Vegan Spanakopita from Stacey Eckert. It may look complicated, but it's easy to put together. Stacey specializes in vegan recipes that anyone can make and everyone will enjoy.


Photo and Recipe from Dianne's Vegan Kitchen

Meet Dianne Wenz, the food blogger at diannesvegankitchen.com. She's a Holistic Health Coach, Cookbook Author, and Plant-based Chef who offers up this delish vegan-green-bean-casserole pictured right above.



Photo and Recipe from Nancy Andres at Colors 4 Health

Let's not forget to include a salad in holiday meals. The high quality greens pictured above provide crunch, are an excellent source of plant-based protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, water, and are low in calories. See  How to Create Flavorful, Filling User Friendly Vegan Salads.


Vegan Potato Pancake Photo and Recipe from A Clean Bake


Next up is Nora the blogger at A Clean Bake. She provides a tasty recipe for Potato Latkes that are Vegan and Gluten Free. Nora shares ideas and tips to help those with food sensitivities adapt recipes for special needs.


Note: For your information, toppings that are vegan are applesauce, coconut yogurt, soy yogurt or other grain, pea and legume or nut yogurt, and vegan sour cream. Plain yogurt or sour cream made from animal products are not vegan.


Latkes are a traditional dish that's served at Hanukkah. I authored a recipe for them too. See it at Hanukkah a Mini-guide to the Jewish Holiday.
                                     
Photo and Recipe Link from Loving it Vegan



For dessert serve mouthwatering Vegan Pumpkin Pie created by Alison Andrews, the food blogger at lovingitvegan.com. This treat is rich, creamy, deliciously spiced and perfect for the holidays.


Recipe and Photo from nutriciously.com


Pictured above is an awesome snack or holiday dessert. Alena the certified vegan nutritionist from Nutritiously.com created a 4-ingredient recipe, Chocolate and Coconut Bounty Bliss Balls that takes only 15 minutes to make. You may be surprised you need not have any guilt eating them, even though they taste just like truffles.

πŸŒ°πŸŒΏπŸ‹πŸπŸ…πŸ†πŸŠ

This year our winter or summer holidays (depending on which part of the globe we reside in) may look different. Nonetheless, the holiday season can still hold its sparkle and joy. Before you finalize your plans, read this post at the WebMD Website. It poses the question, Can You Safely Host Holiday Events During COVID-19?


With a little bit of pre-planning, prioritizing, and mindfulness about world health issues, we can devise ways to honor our holiday food traditions, without guilt. 

Perhaps we'll develop a new traditions such as a eco-friendly vegan holiday celebration instead of the conventional one. 

A whole food plant-based eating plan strengthens our bodies' natural immunity and maintains or even enhances our wellness level

Please consider making each one of these recipes either for a special occasion or weekday meal.

Which ones appeal to you?  Have you made similar dishes at your home? 

How many of the dishes you cook at home are guilt free, vegan, economical, and delicious? 

Please comment below. If you'd be so kind, visit each bloggers' site and enjoy greeting them too. 

If you like what you see, please like and re-share on social media. 

Follow me on Pinterest to get fabulous color tips, WFPB recipes, and effective self-care ideas you're sure to love.

Wishing You a Delicious Holiday Season and a Healthy, Happy New Year.


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