Sunday, May 15, 2022

Summertime and Reading is Easy and Awesome

 

If you're making vacation plans for this summer, or prefer to relax close to home, this post shows you why summer reading is an awesome way to self-care and refresh yourself. 

Books can carry you on amazing journeys, increase self-awareness, and provide insights about the human condition.

Books may shift thinking, and help you exercise your mind. Studies show when you make reading a habit, it helps improve memory and gives your brain a work out.



Why not feast your eyes on the pages of a book set in a place you’d love to see? 

Perhaps your forte is reading cozy mysteries or thrillers for entertainment. 

Romance and fantasy novels may be your cup of tea, and you get totally immersed in bigger than life situations or alternate realities. * 


Each of us relishes reading certain genres or favorite author's' works. Summer is an awesome time to peruse those books we consider "guilty pleasures."

Some books may help us recall and reminisce about a person we've read about, whether they be non-fiction or fiction.

This may be the season we're able to improve our outlook by listening to an audio-book about topics we want to understand better.

To stimulate imagination look at the quotations that follow. Which one puts you in the mood to read more this summer? 📚


Quotations about Books and Reading 


"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go." ~ Dr. Seuss

 

“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair...” ~Susan Polis Schutz

 

“Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don't they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.” ~Ray BradburyDandelion Wine

 

“Come with me,' Mom says. To the library. Books and summertime go together.” ~Lisa Schroeder, I Heart You, You Haunt Me


"I was the kid who read a lot and who was academic, and who was more of an indoor person than an outdoor person. I would win the summer reading contest at the library." ~ Julianne Moore


“They are embossed on every song that was a hit that summer, in every novel I read during and after his stay, on anything from the smell of rosemary on hot days to the frantic rattle of the cicadas in the afternoon—smells and sounds I’d grown up with and known every year of my life until then but that had suddenly turned on me and acquired an inflection forever colored by the events of that summer.” ~André Aciman, Call Me by Your Name


“Books are a uniquely portable magic." ~ Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the  Craft


Reading tastes vary, yet most summer reading is light-hearted and amusing.


Look below for links to help you choose books for summertime enjoyment:

 New York Times Bestseller List

See the Indie Reader for book reviews, articles about independent publishing, and book news roundup.

If you enjoy motivational and goal setting topics, see this Essential Health and Wellness List for inspiration.

Want a celebrity recommendation? Look at The Complete List of All 95 Books Chosen for Oprah’s Book Club

Like Psychological Thrillers? See these eBooks at BookBub

Borrow eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, and more from your local library for free! Libby is the library reading app by OverDrive, loved by millions of readers worldwide.

Check out "A Fun Summer Reading Challenge for Adults," from Book Blogger Julianne a/k/a Jules Buono

See 50 Summer Books from Goodreads' Shelves

What books would you like to read this summer? Do memoirs, historical fiction, essays, poems, or short stories fascinate you?

Can you devote an afternoon or evening each week to curl up with a book, eBook reader, tablet, laptop, or audiobook? 

Please comment below in the space provided. 

How do you decide which books you'll read this summer? 

Do you have a favorite author or use a recommendation from a friend, newsletter, website, book blog, or other source of book information including the library?

I'd love to know.

I appreciate feedback, questions, and social shares about this and my other posts. Please reach out to me.

I also wonder if you're curious about the books I want to read this summer. 

I may do another post with my reading list, if there is enough interest.

When you leave a comment, please don't put links in it or I won't be able to publish it. Thanks for understanding. 📚


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Sunday, May 1, 2022

Why I Adore Eating Bananas

 Banana Nutrition Info, Banana Recipes

I adore eating bananas, because they supply a host of health benefits, wear eye-catching bright yellow peels, and taste delicious any way they are served.


Fresh bananas are one of the world's most popular fruits and can be purchased year-round. 


In the U.S., each person eats, on average, 13.4 pounds (6 kilograms) of bananas per year. 


A 2021 survey reveals bananas are the most widely purchased fruit among U.S. consumers.


Look below and see why I adore eating bananas and simple, healthy ways to serve them.


Bananas are loaded with nutrients including potassium and vitamin B6. 


"One large banana is about 8- to 9-inches long and equal to one serving of fruit. It has about 120 calories and 490 milligrams of potassium. That’s 19% of a woman’s daily potassium needs and 15% of a man’s. 


Potassium can remove sodium from the human body and relax blood vessel walls, which helps manage blood pressure. 


Bananas are also a good source of vitamin B6, which is essential for the immune system, nervous system, and brain."


Bananas contain 8% of the DV of magnesium, another mineral that’s important for heart health.Trusted Trusted Source


Magnesium deficiency may be linked to an increased risk of heart disease, elevated blood pressure, and high levels of fats in the blood. 


Bananas are also a good source of prebiotics. Those are the carbs you don’t digest, but they’re a food source for the more-popular probiotics. Probiotics help support health promoting bacteria found in your gut. 


Probiotics can help reduce diarrhea people get after they take some antibiotics, reduce yeast and urinary tract infections (UTIs), treat some gastrointestinal infections, and ease irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).


Bananas are economical even in organic form, making them a thrifty fruit choice to add to meals and snacks.


Banana Nutrition and Recipe Ideas


Bananas are versatile, and their pleasing aroma, flavor, and texture makes banana recipes shine.



This golden yellow fruit is the color of sunshine and its color energy perks up mind, body, and spirit with increased optimism. 



A banana's golden yellow wrapper serves as an on-the-go care package for those who travel away from home. 


It's convenient to take a banana to work, school, the gym, or whenever you need a healthful, portable pick me up.


Look below for easy banana recipes 

and delicious serving suggestions


First up is a recipe for Homemade Baked Banana Chips from Laura at MOMables. Her video and post  shows how to make a simple yet scrumptious banana snack the whole family will love. 




Next up is Mel, the creator of A Virtual Vegan who shares her recipe for Vegan Banana Smoothie. If you want a gluten free version, make sure the oats you use are labelled gluten-free.




Next is a serving suggestion from yours truly that's easy, colorful, and nutritious. Two of my favorite kinds of fruit (organic bananas and organic raspberries) are placed on a platter, and topped with a sprig of mint to create a luscious dessert.


Banana and Raspberry Dessert at Colors 4 Health


The finale is 

Dreamy Vegan Banana Smoothie 
by Nancy Andres

Dreamy Vegan Banana Smoothie Recipe from Nancy Andres


I love to cool off with a thick, creamy banana smoothie, especially on a sultry summer day. 
 

When I notice I have extra ripe bananas (those dappled with spots) hanging on the banana rack, I cut bananas into 1/4 in. round slices and place the bounty into one or two airtight glass jars or glass storage containers. 


I mark them with masking tape tags- “frozen bananas” and add the date I saved them. Then I pop them in the freezer for up to a month, to use later in smoothies.   


I live sustainably and one of my mottos is "waste not."  


Need a quick breakfast or a healthy snack? Reach for a container of frozen bananas, and make this fun recipe soon.


Dreamy Vegan Banana Smoothie tastes refreshing when made with frozen bananas, but you can use unfrozen ripe bananas in a pinch. 


Frozen bananas help to chill the smoothie and make it extra thick and creamy, similar to a milkshake. 


If you use fresh bananas, you may want to blend in a few ice cubes to chill the smoothie.


Ingredients:

1 cup ¼ in. round sliced frozen bananas (approx. 1 large banana)

½ cup unsweetened coconut, soy, or almond yogurt

½ cup unsweetened coconut, almond, or soy milk

¼ real vanilla or almond extract (if you use vanilla or almond flavored yogurt omit the extract)

Optional ingredients: 1 teaspoon almond or cashew butter, sprinkle of chia or flax seeds, and fresh pineapple, mango, strawberries or melon, etc.

 

What to do:

1. Assemble a lg. banana with other ingredients (layer) and place in the bowl of a blender. Blend on high speed until this drink is the consistency you enjoy. 

2. If some items stick together, turn off blender and remove the glass bowl from the base. Give the ingredients a swirl. Then, blend until smooth, adding more milk if needed to reach desired consistency.

3. Pour into a chilled glass and add a cinnamon stick, sprig of fresh mint, or slice of lime or lemon if desired.

This recipe serves 1 thirsty person and is best if used immediately.

To make multiple smoothies for family and friends, it's wise to make one smoothie at a time. 🍌



Did you know and understand these interesting details about bananas? Which information is new to you?

What reasons do you have for eating bananas?

Do you have a favorite way to eat or drink bananas?

Please explain in the comments section below.

I read and appreciate every comment. Just please don't put links in your comments, as I can't publish them that way. Thanks for understanding.

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This post is intended for information and entertainment purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Consult with a health provider for that.

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Friday, April 15, 2022

Root Chakra Tips to Support, Stabilize, and Sustain You

 

Tips to Align the Root Chakra

The ROOT CHAKRA is the first subtle energy center in the body, and it is associated with a basic human need for a healthy body, a sense of connection to the Earth, and is key to creating and maintaining a sturdy foundation for work and play.

Chakra means wheels in Sanskrit, and describes areas of energy running from the base of the spine and lower pelvic area, upward to slightly above the crown of the head.


Colors and Locations of the 7 Main Chakras


Ancient Hindus formulated that people have seven major energy wheels, each a different color and spinning in a clockwise direction. 

The root chakra or Muladhara is symbolized by the color RED, and this chakra is located at the base the spine in the lower pelvic region. 


Tips to Align the Root Chakra


According to the Chopra Center, the word Muladhara breaks down into two Sanskrit words. Mula means root and Adhara means support or base. Learn more about this on the Chopra Center Website.

When you doubt your ability to withstand challenges, or feel shaky and fidget, it may indicate the root chakra is out of balance. 

Read on to discover tips that help you regain your equilibrium and stabilize both your physical and emotional foundation.  

Most energy healers agree that to balance the other chakras, the root chakra must be in alignment.

If you feel unsettled now or want to use root chakra energy to reduce the jitters in the future, practice envisioning RED, the color of the root chakra. 

Meditating or visualizing on the color RED helps you feel centered, provides clarity to help you get on with your day, and reminds you that you're safe, secure, and supported.

If this seems too abstract, plant roses or other red flowers in your garden and use your sense of smell to ground you to the earth and the here and now.

Another simple way to ground yourself to our planet through the root chakra is to take a walk in nature. 

I particularly like to walk on a beach, but please feel free to select a spot in the great outdoors that makes you feel calm yet vibrantly alive.

The color red traditionally signifies love, passion, and romance. 

When you restore balance to the root chakra, it helps you find strength and willingness to do your share in improving interactions including those with family, friends, business associates, and romantic relationships.

Another technique that nourishes the root chakra is to compose and say a root chakra affirmation aloud. 

If you prefer, select one of the affirmations I supply below and use it to set your root chakra intention for the day.


Root Chakra Affirmations 

"I respect and cherish our planet and live in harmony with nature and all her creatures." 

"I am grateful for my body, and use healthy self-care practices today."

"I am aligned with abundance, and I choose to save as well as spend."

"I maintain a budget and am fully responsible for my own living expenses."

"I feel relaxed, safe, secure, and supported with each inhale and exhale."

"I choose to wear red apparel to energize me."

Root Chakra Affirmations


Another practice that helps tune the root chakra is to chant a mantra. Consider chanting the sound associated with the root chakra "LAM" to help you release fear and worries. 

If you enjoy yoga, take off your shoes and practice doing poses that align the root chakra. 

The mountain pose, tree pose,  warrior pose, or standing forward bend (hand to foot pose) helps restore a body-earth connection. 

The standing forward bend can also help with stomach problems, strengthens the spine, increases circulation, helps reduce mensural issues, and reduces belly fat..

Standing Forward Bend, Yoga, Root Chakra



I hope you try at least one or two of the simple ways I've provided to help you connect with the color red and root chakra energy. Each can help restore equilibrium and grounding. 💃

Please share comments below. Is chakra a familiar term or is the idea new to you?

Do you enjoy seeing red objects and select this color for clothing, home furnishing, office décor, or include red in your lifestyle in other ways? Please explain below.

What does grounding look like or feel like to you?

Which self-care practice helps you feel more secure, supported, and stable?

What makes you feel centered and empowered?

There's plenty of space below to share comments so please do. Please put no links in comments, as I won't be able to publish them that way.

 I appreciate your visit and love social shares. Please come back again!


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Friday, April 1, 2022

Tips to Make Deep Kitchen Cleaning Green and Healthy

 

Green Cleaning Tips for the Kitchen


The kitchen is the heart of most homes. It can be a more healthful and cleaner space, if we learn to make deep kitchen cleaning greener and more mindful.


In addition to daily and weekly kitchen cleaning chores, spring and fall are ideal times to deep-clean kitchen appliances, cabinets, windows, blinds or other window coverings, pantry, fixtures, walls, counters, and floors. 


Temperatures are usually more moderate in these seasons, and cleaning tasks are pleasant to do, when we're not sweating or chilled.


Twice-a-year deep kitchen cleaning helps us freshen this important room of our abode, and put it into tip-top shape.


Let's fling open the windows and let the kitchen cleaning process begin.


Keep on reading for 


Tips to Make Deep Kitchen Cleaning 

Green and 

Health Enhancing


Tip #1. Instead of using commercial cleaning products including Pledge and Windex that have been found to be contaminants in waterways as well as endocrine disruptors, let's streamline cleaning supplies to more healthful, eco-friendly ones. 


Making homemade kitchen cleaning products keeps home maintenance costs down, uses environmentally green ingredients, and contributes to a sustainable lifestyle.


Safe and Healthy DIY Kitchen Cleaning Products
DIY Cleaning, clockwise from left front: whole lemon, scrub brush, white cloth, spray bottle with vinegar and water, liquid soap, hydrogen peroxide, tooth brush, micro-fiber cloth, purple rubber gloves, center: baking soda. All fit into a bin for easy handling and storage


white vinegar

baking soda

fresh lemon ( lemon cleaning ideas below) 

liquid dish soap (unscented)

water

hydrogen peroxide

scrub brushes, toothbrushes, reusable rubber gloves, and micro fiber cloths or rags


Tip #2. Read Eco-friendly Tips and Tricks for Cleaning Your Home. Learn which methods are favored by cleaning pros. 


Tip #3. Don colorful reusable rubber gloves to protect skin and nails for all cleaning, and wear comfortable clothing to help you feel relaxed as you work. 


Tip #4. Encourage housemates, friends, and or/family to join in. Notice how teaming up with a cleaning squad can prove to be more enjoyable and productive than working alone. 


Tip #5. It's best to test a new housecleaning product on an inconspicuous spot, before using it on a larger area.


Tip #6. Most cleaning experts advise us to start from the top and work down. Dust and remove cob webs and dirt from the ceiling and light fixtures first. 


Save time, energy, and avoid aches and pains from over-stretching, by using a long handled brush to reach high and low places. 


If you dampen the brush with a few drops of water or one of the homemade cleaning solutions mentioned in this post, more dust will adhere to the brush than if it's dry.


After each cleaning job, clean the brush. 


Tip #7. To clean a ceiling fan: Slide brush along each fan blade, and voilà, the fan is dusted. 

Cleaning ceiling fan at colors 4 health


A vacuum cleaner can complete this task and here are the particulars


The third way to clean a ceiling fan is to use an old pillow case as a dust catcher. Slide the case over each individual fan blade. Use hands to press on both sides of the fan blade while sliding the pillow case off. 


Simply invert the pillow case and shake debris or dust into a trash can. To finish, clean the pillow case by throwing it in the wash inside out. 


Tip #8. If we lose interest and need extra motivation, select whatever kitchen area is the worst eye sore or germ collector. Tackle that now. 


This is a creative way to nip procrastination in the bud, and provides incentive to move full steam ahead. 


Tip #9. Think small. If the catch-all junk drawer is overflowing, the dust on top of the refrigerator is an inch thick, or the sink or food disposal drain is so smelly we gag, perhaps it's best to start there. 


Tip #10. Set a timer, and focus on one thing for 10 minutes. Then move on to the next mess, one area at a time. 


Tip #11. Put the contents of a cabinet or drawer on the counter, and remove those items that are never used by donating, recycling, or giving them away. 


While the drawer or cabinet is empty, clean the item itself and the shelving paper. Use this technique for the pantry and refrigerator (dispose of spoiled or outdated foods as well).

 

Put back only those small appliances, pots and pans, dishes, cooking utensils, or food that we definitely use.


Weeding out the "unused" creates storage space for those essential everyday items most of us had previously placed on countertops, crowded in, or stacked somewhere else. 


Whenever we clear clutter to make white space, we lighten the atmosphere and free energy for new recipes, ideas, people, and opportunities.

Tips for de-cluttering

 

Tip #12. Being proactive feels marvelous, and scratching something off our deep kitchen cleaning to-do list gives us a sense of accomplishment. 


Kitchen Cleaning Tip #12





To prevent kitchen cleaning overwhelm, continue to think small and do one job at a time. 


Tip #13. A DIY cleaning product I love is fresh lemon/lemon juice. Cut a fresh lemon in half, and rub it on stained laminate countertops, cutting boards, and the like. It whitens objects naturally and removes grease


Use lemon to remove lime scale from your faucet and sink, and make glassware shine. 


Fresh lemons are safe, pleasant smelling cleaning agents, and the citric acid in lemon acts as a natural antibacterial bleach. 


Just a word of caution: when cleaning granite do not use lemon, vinegar, or anything acidic. Acidic cleaners erode the finish and wear down the stone. Follow manufacturers' directions for cleaning granite.


Tip #14. Essential oils including thyme, cinnamon, clove, rosemary, and tea tree oil tend to destroy several bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens. 

 

These essential oils have earthy scents rather than a floral or citrus fragrance. We may want to add a few drops of essential oil into an all- purpose cleaner to sanitize as we go.


If you like a citrus scent, use lemon, grapefruit, or orange essential oil in a diffuser to freshen unwelcome odors in the air, instead of commercial air fresheners.


Tip #15. Wipe down walls with one of these homemade cleaning solutions. For pantry door, backsplashes, cupboards, table and chairs, and window frames, either spray product then rinse or use a cloth to apply and rinse.


Tip #16. It's best to read manufacturers' instructions for cleaning kitchen appliances. Save user manuals and refer to them before turning on a self-cleaning oven control, the cleaning cycle of the dishwasher, food disposal unit, etc.  


If an appliance breaks down and can't be fixed, replace it with an energy efficient one. This makes sense for the environment and saves money in the long run. 


Tip #17. Vinegar and water is a mixture that makes an awesome window cleaner. Fill an empty spray bottle with a combo of one part white vinegar to 3 parts water. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down your windows, laminate counter tops, and most appliances.


Tip #18. Tile floors need a thorough going over at least twice a year. Here's the method I recommend. 


Vacuum or sweep floor. Then make a paste of 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/4 vinegar to scrub those missed areas that have crevices and cracks (spots you may have overlooked during a regular weekly cleaning). 


Then use a clean mop and fill a bucket with hot water, a half cup of vinegar, and half a teaspoon of dish soap. Don't use too much soap, because a soapy residue  can make floors look dull or be slippery. This mixture does wonders on laminate floors as well.

Healthy, Green Way to Mop the Floor


Tip #19. We mustn't forget to inspect and/or install and maintain smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors. Safe, clean air is a must for good health.

Home and Safety Tips for Green Living at Home


When we are consistent with daily and weekly cleaning chores, we'll find deep kitchen cleaning the kitchen easier. 


If we forget to wipe up spills as soon as they happen, cook fried foods and don't clean grease or oil up, or have a cluttered kitchen, we'll have more to do during a deep cleaning. 


No matter how often we clean our kitchen, it pays off to deep clean the kitchen twice a year. 


The additional care and time spent when deep cleaning assures even those areas that may have been missed during a regular cleaning, are covered. 


When we rid our kitchen of toxic chemicals and sanitize cutting boards, counters, the sink, and the like with non-toxic products, our kitchen will be a safer space to prepare and eat food


Be kind to our planet and health of adults, children, and pets alike by using green cleaning products spring, summer, winter, and fall. This is an important step in enhancing total well-being.

 

Have you ever compared the cost of commercial kitchen cleaning products with ones made at home? Please share about it in the comments section below.


What cleaning job do you resist the most or enjoy doing the most and why?


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