Saturday, June 1, 2019

9 Practices to Help You See You Are Enough

This post is for those of us who worry we aren't enough, even when we start off feeling okay about ourselves.

It's food for thought for those of us who get down on ourselves, and sabotage an upbeat mood by comparing our insides to someone else’s outside. 

Can you relate?

When I was in my twenties, I thought caring for my family, taking on greater responsibilities at work and in the community, and leading a busy life would fill the emptiness I often felt inside.

Then in my thirties, I noticed making money, having a degree and career, and receiving praise from others, didn't make me feel I was a valuable human being. 

To compound things, my lack of self-compassion influenced the choices I made, and led to behaviors that further damaged my sense of self-worth.

Are you still with me?

Self-doubt about my right to a place in the world, only made me feel more anxious, gloomy, and dejected. 

How I Discovered I am Enough

In my early forties, at a low point in my life, I felt intense emotional pain. My rocky first marriage had ended, and I was anxious about how my family would survive. 

Fear and courage compelled me to journal write, and try to sort out my options.

Soon I noticed that expressing my thoughts, feelings, and reactions to happenings of the day in a journal, gave me a way to diffuse the negative energy I felt was trapped inside. 

That helped a lot, but I wanted to feel even better. I searched out and added additional self-care practices to my daily routine, and slowly began to feel stronger and empowered. 

That's why this quotation from Joan Halifax's book Standing at the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet resonates with me.

"Living systems that break down can reorganize at a higher and more robust level, if they learn from the breakdown experience."

Today, as a result of my steadfast effort to show up for myself, I've replaced damaging self-talk and self-defeating people-pleasing behavior with authenticity. I've gained confidence in my own worth, and like myself just the way I am.

Each day begins fresh and new, as I follow through with mindful self-care. 

I know for sure...

 I am a healthy person with bountiful life and you can have that too! 

Consistent self-care is how I got here, and... 

I invite you to come along with me to try out the 9 practices I outline below for a three week trial. By then, you'll be able to see which ones help you feel peace of mind, motivate you to keep on keeping on, and renews your faith in yourself.

How to Recognize You Are Enough

At least once or twice a day, check in with yourself to listen to the stories you tell yourself about you. Get in touch with your desires, emotions, body sensations, and beliefs. Look for at least five things you consider assets, challenges, successes, and dreams. List them without judging them good or bad. 

Embrace who you are right now, without any qualifications, conditions, or exceptions. Affirm you are enough. 

Early in my recovery, I learned to treat myself with kindness, care, and consideration. PLEASE do that too. 

Best Way to Take an "I am Enough Inventory"

If you are a perfectionist, "should" yourself, or treat yourself harshly, request help from a friend or counsellor to work through your personal inventory.

This is a good idea, because shame and guilt may actually send you deeper into a slump. Research shows that asking questions instead of ordering yourself around is a more effective way to create self-knowledge. 

When you catch your inner critic shouting accusations, reframe thoughts by asking: “What ways can I convert this noise into an information gathering opportunity?”

1. Reserve time to journalWriting with pen on paper grounds you to the present moment and helps you recognize distress or comfort in mind, body, and spirit. Journal writing is a meaningful way to check your emotional temperature, note progress, and supports self-discovery. See Journal Prompts to Boost Self-confidence for more. 

In fact, I suggest you order a copy of the guided journal, Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss. 

Its color-coded journal activities, affirmations, 12 weeks' worth of self-care journal prompts, and space for writing and reflection are designed to boost self-esteem and help you feel joy in daily living.

Colors of Joy has Journal Activities to Boost Self-Esteem
Order it Now

2. Explore meditative practices. Mediation techniques including breath work and body scans, yoga, affirmations and visualizations, mindful eating, reflection, and walks in nature can help you experience the richness in yourself and your surroundings, through your senses. 

If you aren't familiar with one or the other of these self-care practices, take a class, read a book, or get a pro to show you the ropes.

3. Use mindfulness daily. House cleaning and laundry, food prep, child care, exercise, and alone and family time are enriching experiences if done mindfully. Even the colors you choose to wear can have an uplifting effect. 

Living in the now creates calm and balance in you, and helps you be present for yourself, others, and the tasks at hand.

4. Contemplate gratitude. When you make a gratitude list, whether it's a mental or actual written one, you focus on positives in your life. Put an appreciative spin on everything by reading tips to draw more gratitude into your day. 

5. Be physically active and health aware. Incorporate aerobics, stretching, weight lifting, and balancing activities into daily routine. Exercise elevates mood, gets your heart pumping, and can give you the spark that inspires you to take better care of yourself in other areas of your life. Learn how walking is a step in the right direction. Then find out how adopting a plant-based eating plan can make life healthy and lively.

6. Meet your needs first. When you care for mind, body, and spirit, you're more likely to do things that bring you satisfaction, and follow through on actions to improve your sense of well-being. Make wellness a priority and persist with self-care. 

7. Hang out with the winners. Develop mutually supportive relationships with a few good people or many, depending on individual preferences. People need other people, and reaching out to socialize and get and give support is good for mental and physical health. Spending time with family or friends reduces stress and may even lower your risk of dementia

8. Detach from energy drains.  Say "no" to people, places, and things that disrupt serenity. Being around negativity increases tension, so for wellness don't take on anything that goes against personal ethics, values, or instincts. Get in the habit of letting go of small things, before they become bigger problems.

9. Develop a generous, loving attitude. Put your focus on loving kindness. Allow those good vibrations to help you remain non-judgmental, and love and approve of yourself and others wholeheartedly.

More About Improving Self-love:

Molly Mahar the blogger from has found 

"Before any reinventing or forward movement, we must start from a strong, loving, secure base of self-worth.  If we don’t believe we are deserving of a big bold bright existence, it will never happen.  And what I’m finding and exploring more and more is that this self-love, this ability to believe we are deserving, boils down to the ability to declare 'I am enough.' ”


Please comment below and click publish. 

If you are dealing with low self-esteem now or have dealt with it in the past, what helped you treat yourself with tender loving care (TLC)? Please share how you do it.

Have any tips about how you fit self-care into a full life? 

I appreciate and read every comment, but do not publish them if you add links. Thanks for understanding. 

If you'd be so kind, reshare on social media. Many people struggle with this issue, and your social share may be supportive to someone who needs it.


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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Recipes for Remarkable Vegan Meatballs

Remarkable Vegan Meatballs, Marinara, and Fusilli from Nancy Andres

I've had the urge to create a plant-based whole food recipe for vegan meatballs, scrumptious enough for all to love. To most of us, as we age, it does dawn on us that we could be eating healthier. Cutting down on processed, cholesterol laden foods is a smart health decision.

See what I discovered during my hands on food testing and cooking experiments, cookbook investigation, and research on the web.






See the Results in a Vegan Meatball Roundup Post to Live For! 

Here's My Recipe...I call it 

Remarkable Vegan Meatballs

This recipe is economical, as it's made from items most of you already have in your pantry or refrigerator. 

It's so adaptable. Serve vegan meatballs for brunch, lunch, or dinner.  Top spaghetti, shells, linguini, or other pasta with vegan meatballs. Savor the flavor in a hoagie, pita, or in a wrap. 

Serve veggie meatballs on a bed of sauteed broccoli or spinach, or top quinoa, barley, or farro with vegan meatballs and mushroom gravy. All these combinations are yummy. 

So let's give a cheer for Remarkable Vegan Meatballs 


½ cup pre-cooked brown rice (any variety will do)
1 can (about 12 oz.) lentils drained
1 yellow onion chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
8 oz. fresh white or baby bella mushrooms cleaned and chopped
1 flax egg: In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground flaxseeds. Mix with ¼ cup water. Let flax egg mixture sit until thick and viscous about 5-10 minutes before following directions in step 4 below
2 slices of whole grain bread for bread crumbs-any type as long as it equals about 1 cup ground bread crumbs 
Salt and pepper taste
pinch of fresh basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, rosemary chopped fine or 2 teaspoons dried Italian Herb Blend
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 jar of your favorite Marinara Sauce (25 oz.) or homemade

What to do:
1. Put the oven rack in the middle slot of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. While oven heats...

1. Clean and prep onion, garlic, mushrooms. Place a drop of oil in a saute pan and brown the onion for a few moments (for oil free version use water or veggie broth instead of oil). Then add garlic and do the same. Add chopped mushrooms and cook until all are soft and thoroughly cooked (about ten minutes).

2. While that cooks, get a large mixing bowl and mash the brown rice and drained lentils together. Add whole grain bread crumbs and combine. 

3. Use a slotted spoon to transfer onion, garlic, and mushrooms from saute pan to mixing bowl. Reserve mushroom cooking liquid to add to soup, chili, or other dish.

4. Add flax egg and seasoning to mixing bowl.  Combine all thoroughly. This flax egg mixture is the best I've ever tried. The veggie balls bind well and do not crumble. If you feel mixture is too dry and crumbles, add a drop or two of water.

5. Shape mixture into bite size veggie balls. Place them on a large ungreased baking sheet and put in the oven. Cook vegan meatballs for approximately 30 minutes. You'll know they are ready, when they look and feel firm (squeeze one) and are slightly browned. 

6. Meanwhile, empty the jar of marinara into a medium size sauce pan and simmer covered on stove top until pasta and meatballs cook. 

7. In a pasta pot boil the pasta of your choice (cook according to package directions). When done drain.

8. Top each serving of pasta with a ladle or two of sauce and two or three veggie balls apiece. Garnish with fresh clipped parsley or use the vegan cheese recipe below. Any extra veggie balls can be placed in the extra sauce and refrigerated. This recipe will make a dozen vegan meatballs and serves 4.

To change the pace, use spaghetti squash as the base instead of pasta. 

Plant-based spaghetti squash marinara with tossed salad

Try this fabulous recipe from Kelly, a Transformational Health Coach and holistic practitioner who blogs at Tasting Page. See
Vegan Lentil Mushroom Meatballs on a bed of lettuce now.

Vegan Lentil Mushroom Meatballs - a tasty meat-less meal filled with veggies - Tasting Page

For another slant see this recipe. It features Bulgur wheat and cauliflower for Vegan Italian Meatballs from Chuck Underwood. He's the blogger at Brand New Vegan, and he aims to make switching to plant-based eating as easy as possible. This is a link to his recipe for Vegan Parmesan.

vegan italian meatballs
Vegan Italian Meatballs from Chuck Underwood

Not sure what Bulgur wheat is? See more at health advantages of eating Bulgur Wheat from Dr. Axe.

Want to make your own Marinara Sauce? Here's a super way to do it. The recipe comes from yours truly who posted it on my other blog. See Versatile Vegan Tomato Sauce.

Tip: Try adding extra veggies to the sauce. When you include carrots, peas or legumes, and edamame it adds vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and plant-based protein. 

For the final recipe in my vegan meatball roundup...

Nora Taylor shares her version of Spaghetti and Easy Vegan Meatballs. She's the blogger at Nora Cooks, and she uses chickpeas to give vegan meatballs a satisfying, comforting flavor. 

vegan meatball on a fork
Photo Nora Taylor at Nora Cooks

Isn't it surprising that vegan meatballs can be made in so many taste tempting ways? 

Tip: Buying in-season, locally grown produce is an easy way to select produce loaded with eye-appeal, freshness, and often on sale. Since locally grown means items aren't transported long distances to get to your table, it costs less and tastes better. It's alive with goodness.

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

Which recipes sound and look good to you? 

No links in comments please, as I won't be able to publish them that way. 

After your food shopping run, have fun cooking up some vegan meatballs to discover they are healthy, colorful, easy to make, and delicious.

Invite your partner, friends, and family to join the cooking party. Perhaps it will turn into a vegan meatball marathon.

Please share a link to this post on social media and see the latest about wellness by visiting again. 

Sign up for the Colors 4 Health Wellness News for stuff only my email list gets to see. 

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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Top Reasons to Visit Tohono Chul Gardens

Are you traveling to Tucson for business or pleasure or are you a local who wants to refresh? A simple way to shed stress from body and mind is to visit Tohono Chul Gardens, Galleries, and Bistro.

This 49 acre urban park is a sensory treat. Rest your weary eyes and spirit on a wide array of colorful flowers, interesting succulents, drought resistant cacti, and other native or adaptive plants that grow well in the southwestern American terrain. 

See why Travel + Leisure named Tohono Chul "One of the World's Great Botanical Gardens" and National Geographic called it "One of the Top 22 Secret Gardens in the U.S. and Canada."

 Top Reasons to Visit Tohono Chul Gardens

1.  Fresh water, vegetation, and food supply attracts wildlife to the area. Reptiles and mammals from Gila monsters and rabbits to snakes, gray fox, and squirrels make their home here.

2. One hundred and forty species of birds are residents, including those who are seasonal visitors.  Sit in the shade and be still. Listen for the call of a mourning dove or spot a graceful blue heron. 

Many birds flit from tree to tree. Take a docent-guided or self-directed tour, whichever you prefer to find out more.

3. The gardens are a haven for butterflies. Some of them are permanent residents and others are seasonal. Monarchs use Tohono Chul as a Waystation. They breed and feed in a protected area, and then migrate to other climes. 

4. Love hummingbirds? This is a great place to see them. I snapped a shot of one and it appears at the top of this post. The photo is attached to an orange background with a green and white border. 

Hummingbirds are magnetized by the bright colors of yellow, pink, purple, and orange, although the color they love best is red. Tohono Chul cultivates salvia, desert honeysuckle, desert willow, and other hummingbird friendly plants including Firecracker penstemon

As you walk Tohono Chul's paths and trails don't forget to inhale deeply. The aroma of flowering vegetation is a healthy way to get intoxicated.

5. A lively pace through the various gardens helps get your blood pumping, allows your body to absorb vitamin D from sunlight, and connects you to nature's healing vibes.

Most paths and trails are wheelchair accessible and Tohono Chul is open every day but July 4, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years' Day. 

Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the grounds, and air smells fresh and sweet wherever you stroll.

One day when there is free admission is May 5th, 2019 for Cinco de Mayo. Authentic Mexican food demos, music, arts, and culture combine to make this an inexpensive way to participate in a lively celebration. 

6. Tohono Chul is a wonderful place for kids and grandkids to explore. Children, parents, and grandparents delight in the scenery. Kids can wade in a play stream, and all of us enjoy being immersed in nature.

7. Tohono Chul is a backdrop for special events and concerts outdoors. For example, I enjoyed a steel drum concert held in the performance garden on Easter Sunday. 

Tohono Chul Gardens is located at 7366 N. Paseo Del Norte, Tucson, AZ 85704. Call 520-742-6456 or see upcoming events on the Tohono Chul Website. Keep this in mind. On Mother's Day there's free admission for mothers and grandmothers.

8. What would an outing be, without refreshments? Tohono Chul has that base covered with brunch at the Garden Bistro

There's even a back patio where you can dine al fresco. While you're at it, admire the art work displayed on the walls, in galleries, and see sculptures that are displayed in the gardens.

If you prefer to eat your meal after the visit, whip up yummy taco and salsa recipes for Mother's Day Brunch, Cinco de Mayo, or any time you crave a south of the border treat.

Water features in several areas of Tohono Chul gardens helps deflect the heat created by the desert sun. In all seasons it's important to stay hydrated, wear a hat, and apply sunscreen.

The words "tohono chul" translates to "desert corner," and comes from the language of the Tohono O'odham, the indigenous people of southern Arizona.  I invite you to travel to this tranquil desert corner to experience nature's bounty.

Please comment below in the space provided, and don't add your link in it. I won't be able to publish it that way.

Are your curious about the southwestern Sonoran Desert flora and fauna? What animal or plant species would you like to see up close and personal?

Have you visited Tohono Chul Gardens? If so what did you enjoy? 

If not, what would be your first stop there?  

Please like and re-share this post on social media. Thanks for your visit and I suggest you...

For other posts about Tucson see..

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Monday, April 15, 2019

Awesome Tips to Help You Raise Greener Kids

Want to be a greener family this year? It may be easier than you think. Continue reading to get...

 Awesome Tips to Help You Raise Greener Kids, an Earth Day Roundup Post

Bright green has been adopted by environmentalists to symbolize the planet’s essential need to protect, recycle, grow, and reuse (transform) natural resources. 
Green energy suggests growth, change, and harmony. 

This post is offered to celebrate the planet and help parents and grandparents learn new ways to be eco-friendly.

Kids learn more from what you practice than what you say. Inspire your offspring by acting greener, and they will emulate you.

1. Do more of your errands on foot or bike, and take kids along. 

2. Reserve time to get outdoors for family interactions. Take in the beauty of nature. Add quality to relationships, and remove electronic devices from the equation.

3. Have fun this year at a family beach party, gather at a picnic table, play sports, relax in the shade of an oak tree, converse, and garden.

4. Appreciate sunlight. It provides a healthy dose of Vitamin D, and shows off the landscape with its flowers and fauna.

5. Help clean up a local park, nature preserve, and community garden. When kids join in to spruce up an area, they relate to nature in a caring way, and are less likely to dump garbage, damage, or destroy vegetation and property. 

Child holding borage flowers
Ashley Adamant's Daughter Loves Borage Flowers

6. Ashley Adamant from Practical Self Reliance, an eco-blog based in Vermont shows us ways to teach kids about herbs

Here's one example of how Ashley helps her kids understand and appreciate nature. 

"Exploring herbs is just part of their everyday life.  Herbs are tangible and easy to understand, even for the smallest of children.  Their young brains are wired for learning and pattern recognition, and the same openness that allows a toddler to learn language also allows them to recognize patterns in the natural landscape." Ashley Adamant.

7. Encourage kids to get involved in growing, tending, and harvesting produce. This increases awareness of where food comes from, improves physical development skills from digging, lifting, watering, etc., and your youngsters will be willing to taste and even savor those veggies and fruits they truly have had a hand in growing. 

8. Read 30 Great Ways to Upcycle and Recycle outgrown children’s clothes. Ideas from Tiffany Taylor at Morning Chores. 

9. Sort through personal belongings and have kids do the same. Recycle books, toys, games, electronic devices, and sporting equipment by giving them to a school or recreational facility. 

10. Marla Gates, the green blogger at Organic 4 Greenlivings provides 3 Tips to Go Green as a Family as You Prep for School.

11. Megean Weldon, the green blogger at No Waste Nerd suggests  5 Easy Things Kids can Actually do to Help the Environment.

One example from this post is:    "Give them (children) their own reusable water bottle, napkin, lunch box, and cutlery. Just like we carry a kit to avoid disposables, allow them to be in control of their waste avoidance too. Make using reusable items, as opposed to tossing the single use items, the norm as early in their lives as possible."

12. For eco-friendly clean ocean ideas see 11 Simple Ways to Save the Ocean from Turning Into Plastic Soup . The author of this piece is Sara Critchfield.

Published with permission from  

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

Share ideas, questions, and tips. Please no links in your comment, or I won't be able to publish it. 

Discuss environmental issues with friends, family, community groups, and political figures.  

Vote with your pocketbook and support those organizations and people that are eco-friendly.  

Be vocal about your eco-opinions on social media and in the voting booth. 


It's up to each one of us to do what we can to preserve precious natural resources, reduce our carbon footprint, and live greener lives!

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