Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Plant-based Food Tips to Make Life Healthy and Lively

Evidence is mounting that people who follow a whole food plant-based eating plan (WFPB), enhance their mental and physical health.

One of the most comprehensive controlled trials of diet and mood finds a plant-based nutrition program in a workplace setting across ten corporate sites significantly improves depression, anxiety, and productivity. 

The quote below is part of a Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets. It appears at the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health Website (NIH) from the Permanente Journal.

“The major benefits for patients who decide to start a plant-based diet are the possibility of reducing the number of medications they take to treat a variety of chronic conditions, lower body weight, decreased risk of cancer, and a reduction in their risk of death from ischemic heart disease.”

Perhaps your motives for change are one or more of the following:

You want to have more stamina

You struggle to manage your weight

You notice emotional eating is an issue for you, especially when you feel stressed, anxious, or bored

You'd like to feel more relaxed as you eat, instead of eating on the run

You want to learn how to prepare vegan food

You aim to keep food costs within your budget

You choose to be compassionate to animals

Consider the plant-based food tips below. Try each on for size. Then observe how each contributes to your healthy, lively life.

Don't wait for a special occasion. Eat plant-based foods today  A simple way to start is to take one step at a time

Put the whole spectrum of colors into your shopping cart

Prep a few days' worth of veggies, fruits, whole grains, and brown bag lunches. Planning ahead saves time and helps prevent impulse eating

Eat a wide array of cooked and raw veggies, as variety helps cover all your nutrient requirements and a rainbow of colors adds fun to eating

Learn why it's key to get your orange and yellow on

Surf the Web, bookstores, and library for WFPB recipes. See what I found? Vegan Stuffed Zucchini Boats from Judee Algazi at Gluten Free A-Z Blog is delicious, nutritious, and simple to prepare.

vegan Stuffed zucchini

Snack on in-season local, organic color-rich fruits including these 6 Colorful Summer Fruit Superstars

Shop for the freshest, most vibrantly colored produce and whole grains at farmer’s markets, health food stores, food co-ops, or a nearby market

Grow your own fruits and veggies. Connect with earth energy and become more self sustainable

Take it slow by experimenting by adding one new plant-based ingredient a week 
Step it up a notch and replace some of the animal protein in traditional dishes for plant-based kinds including beans, lentils, and green leafy veggies 

Be daring and substitute plant-based protein for animal protein in more and more meals

Add fruit and a small handful of nuts and seeds to oatmeal and other cereals

Find an unsweetened variety of nut milk you enjoy, and drink it instead of cow's milk

Substitute unsweetened applesauce or a banana in cake recipes that call for a lot of sugar or oil

Assemble salads and serve them as one dish meals. Whole food plant-based entrรฉe salads satisfy hunger, fuel your body so it can work at peak efficiency, and aid digestion and elimination. 

Say nix to the toppings on most conventional salads including bacon, cheese, eggs, and fat laden salad dressings. This will eliminate cholesterol and is good for heart health 

Want to enhance the taste of whole grain pasta, steamed veggies, or casseroles? Watch the video and bookmark Oil Free Pesto at Lori Clark Fitness, an excellent site for healthy lifestyle information.
Oil Free Pesto
Basil and Spinach are Rich in Phytonutrients

          Make beans a staple of your food plan

Mix it up and serve one or more portions of black, pinto, garbanzo, kidney, cannellini, great northern, adjuki, lima, mung, and fava beans each day 

Cook up a big pot of veggie chili, black bean soup, or other type of bean or legume. Freeze some, and use the rest to add to soups, salads, and wraps you eat during the week

Switch from white to brown rice, white to whole grain bread, and processed to unprocessed foods

Discover why beets and beet greens are tops.

Reap health rewards by eating organic soy products.  Here's prep and serving ideas for tofu and tempeh

Eliminate processed salad dressings, and mix up your own. One example is a high protein oil free recipe for nonfat bean dressing

Savor split green or yellow pea soup, lentils, and peanuts for good taste and high protein

Reduce inflammation by eating  broccoli and avocado. Learn new ways to include green-colored fruits and veggies in daily meal planning.

Eat whole grain plant-based breads, cereals, and cake, instead of grabbing those that are sugary, salty, and highly processed

Educate yourself and consider this advice from Michael Greger MD. Not all plant-based foods are equal

Take time to shop and read labels, discover awesome reasons for cooking meals at home, and eat whole foods that are colorful and seasoned well

Eat most meals at home to sustain your momentum of eating quality foods

Be selective about dining out, and patronize establishments that offer cooked from scratch meals that are good for your health. One fine example is The Tasteful Kitchen in Tucson, AZ. Chef Sigrid and Host Keanne Serve Delightful Vegan Fare. 

Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowl with black beans, fajita veg, fresh cabbage, and avocado crema from The Tasteful Kitchen

Make the most of Mother Nature’s bounty, and select and prepare foods that get their vibrancy the natural way. 

Generate more eye and taste appeal and increase nutrient count as well, by including at least 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies each day.

Be your own health advocate, and assure that in addition to fruits and vegetables, you get an adequate amount of whole grains, legumes, and beans. 

Flavor foods with interesting herbs and spices, and a small amount of nuts and seeds each day. Make WFPB eating the foundation and mainstay of meals. 

Remember, your food and lifestyle choices play a big role in making your life more healthy and lively.

What steps have you taken or want to take to improve your eating plan?

This is also an opportunity to brag. What food successes have you experienced recently? 

Before you go, take a moment to comment and share the love I'm sending you by posting on social media. If you do, please credit me and provide a link back to this blog.

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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Beauty, Healing from Red Rocks of Sedona

Sedona red rock formations are breathtaking. One of the reasons this is so, is the rocks exhibit a vibrant red and orange glow at sunrise and sunset.  This place's natural majesty is easy to see and feel. All you need to do is show up and be present, any day or time during the year. 

How did the rocks get that way? Layers of sandstone and limestone were left in the area by a receding ocean. Over the span of millions of years, iron oxide coated the grains of sandstone, and eventually rust was formed.

Visitors to Sedona can enjoy endless hiking and mountain biking trails in and around the rocks, on 300+ miles of trails.

If exploring the terrain is your desire, purchase a Red Rock PassIt covers the cost of parking and trail use. 
Many who travel to Sedona have found they feel inspired, recharged, and uplifted by the special vortex energy here.

A vortex is a place where the earth seems especially alive with energy. Top on the list of strong vortex sites in Sedona are Bell Rock, Airport Mesa Vortex, Boynton Canyon, and Cathedral Rock.

Sedona is a mecca for energy healers, yogis, spiritual guides, Reiki masters, massage therapists, crystal healers, Shamans, artists, writers, those who seek help, and appreciate its beauty.

See more at Sedona Tourism Bureau.

My husband and I explored Sedona a little more than a week ago. It was a wonderful opportunity to disconnect from electronic devices and set aside the cares of the world.

It turned out to a boon for my outlook, as I mindfully took in the Red Rock grandeur.

My personal experience shows traveling to a new environment, seeing sights, and temporarily jumping off the treadmill of striving, refreshed my mind, body, and spirit. 

Being more active than I am when I'm writing, spending quality time with my loved one, and learning new things, made me feel happy and at peace.

Time away from work, home, and family responsibilities, is a simple way to improve physical and mental health. It sure proved to be that way for me.

Studies show that those who take time out to vacation, often report come back to their regular life, feeling more productive and effective, and this is a win-win.

One study that tested men who were already at risk for heart disease, highlights cardiovascular health benefits of taking a vacation

Even if you don't feel energized by the red rocks of Sedona, I'm sure you'll agree each rock formation is a magnificent natural wonder. 

At lunchtime, I enjoyed this delicious salad at a totally organic restaurant, Chocola Tree in West Sedona. The address is 1595 W. State Rte. 89A and phone is 928-282-2997. 

Notice those cases of handmade chocolates and desserts in the background. Yum, yum.

Right next door to Chocola Tree is a neat bookstore I want to share with you. 

The Literate Lizard Bookstore is an Independent Sedona Bookstore, located at 1575 W. State Rte. 89A (phone 928-325-2971). It's a cozy place to browse and shop for adult and children's titles, as well as local interest books, and journals including Colors of Joy. 

The Literate Lizard Bookstore in Sedona Carries Colors of Joy
Yearn to feel inspired, recharged, and uplifted, during your vacation or back at home? A simple way to do that is to pick up your copy of Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss.

Colors of Joy offers tips to reduce stress, boost vitality, and spark delight through color themed journal writing activities, affirmations, and ideas for enhanced self-care.

Enjoy Colors of Joy at your own pace, and observe how its reflective exercises heal you, support you, and enhance daily living.

Colors of Joy Features Journal Activities to Make You Feel Beautiful Inside and Out!

Purchase an Autographed Copy Here

Before you go, don't forget to comment. Have you been to Sedona or another place with red rocks? Please explain. 

Do you like to see and do new things on vacation?  Where's your favorite place to visit?

Certain natural wonders like mountains, boulders, forests, oceans, and fields have vortex energy. Do you believe this? 

Try to focus on colors in nature, and visualize them to restore and renew your spirit. ๐Ÿ˜

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

How to Create an Inspiring Vision Board

A vision board is a dedicated place to display images, words, pictures, drawings, or symbols that represent whoever or whatever you want to be in your life.

This post shows you several easy ways you can create a vision board. 

Vision boards can be made of cardboard, cork board, paper, or even an online poster you design at your computer or tablet. 

There are no hard and fast rules about what it should look like. Add whatever you want, and make it any shape or size you like.

What to Include:

Anything that inspires, empowers, and motivates you. Examples are colors, textures, pictures, drawings, photographs, or magazine clippings of people, places, and things you admire and want in your life.

I joyfully create and maintain healthy habits easily and fluidly

Those sayings, affirmations, quotes, paintings, songs, or writing from people and books that motivate or encourage you.

Things that help you sense joy, love, health, peace, progress, gratitude, personal fulfillment, self-confidence, fun, plenty, and creativity. After all, emotions are the vibrational energy that activates the Law of Attraction. 

Use words, drawings, and souvenirs of things you love and enjoyed doing. Also feature representations of things you want to show up in your life more often.

Nan's Vision Board

Ask yourself what dreams, ambitions, or events do I want to manifest in my life? Include symbols of those too.

How to Use a Vision Board to Maximize its Power:

Relax and have fun working on it, as this instills gladness into the project.
Visualize the ideal life. What is your deepest longing? What colors convey that to you? Incorporate them.

Marianne's Vision Board

Once the vision board is complete, position it where you’ll see it every day. Reflect about the items you selected, and notice ways your body, mind, and spirit respond to its visual, positive ideas.

Commend yourself for progress, as many times as you observe it.

Share your vision board with a close friend, family member, or mentor. Then, discuss steps you can take to make your dreams materialize. 

When you affirm abundance in your life, you may recognize richness has been there along the way. 

Focus on gratitude for what you have. This step encourages more blessings.

Each time you look or think of your vision board, affirm what you seek is a reality now.

When you envision your ideal next stage of life, it helps you set and achieve new goals.

At times, I lose faith and my spirit feels deflated. After much trial and error, I've discovered how to use my vision board, when I need a "healthy pick me up."



Look at your vision board, when you’re having a rough patch, including those periods when you feel irritable, sad, confused, or disheartened.

Bank on the inspiration and motivation you used to create the vision board originally.

Kindle those warm, cozy feelings you had then to carry you through these challenging sensations and move on.

For in-depth help in creating abundance in your life, purchase Colors of Joy: A Woman’s Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss. It is designed to dispel negative energy, and its color themed journal activities make you feel vitally alive. 

Sarah at Crystal Magic in Flagstaff, a Shop Where Colors of Joy is Sold


Please comment below. 

Do you have a vision board? How do you use it? 

What suggestions do you think will help you create one of your own?

Want to supply motivational and self-care tips to help my readers or me? I welcome your input and thank you for the visit today.

Feel free to re-share this post on social media, as long as you give me credit and provide a link back to this post.

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Sunday, July 1, 2018

Vegan Coleslaw Quick Healthy Tasty

Looking for a quick, tasty recipe for vegan coleslaw? This one is healthy, colorful, whole food plant-based, gluten free, and doesn't call for mayonnaise.

Two proud members of the cruciferous vegetable family, green and red cabbage, are its star ingredients. Cruciferous vegetables contain a variety of nutrients and phytochemicals that work synergistically to help prevent cancer.

Red cabbage is rich in vitamin A, C, and K, and contains the minerals potassium and manganese. One cup of chopped raw red cabbage is 27 calories with 0 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein, 7 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, and 24 mg of sodium. 

Green cabbage is very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. It’s a good source of thiamine, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, and is a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, K, B6, folate, and manganese.

Additional ingredients in the slaw include carrots, celery, garlic, onion, parsley. 

Garlic and onion are both in the Allium family, and contain Sulphur compounds with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.

Parsley is a gentle plant based body cleansing and detox agent. Used primarily for flavoring or to freshen breath, it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits including pain relief and strengthening the immune system. It also provides relief from gastrointestinal issues such as indigestion, stomach cramps, and bloating.

Note: I shop organic when it's available, because it's important that food comes from a source that hasn't been genetically modified. I know organic food has higher nutrient value and tastes better too. A local health food store and farmers’ market are good places to find them.

Vegan coleslaw is a versatile dish, one that goes great at a summer picnic, potluck, or barbecue. Just as good, serve it anytime during the year. Savor its flavor at lunch or dinner with a bean and rice dish, sandwich, or alongside a hummus wrap for an economical, energizing meal.

Now on to the recipe...

Vegan Coleslaw Quick, Healthy, Tasty


4 cups green cabbage 
2 cups red cabbage
4 large carrots
3 large stalks celery
1/2 large or 1 small red or yellow onion
2 large or 3 small cloves garlic minced
small bunch fresh parsley
2 Tablespoons extra virgin first cold pressed olive oil
4 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
Optional: 1 packet or approx. 1 teaspoon Stevia (this sweetener is my personal preference. Choose whatever kind of sweetener you like or leave it out)
Pinch of salt and pepper
Optional: additional herbs and spices you enjoy

What to do:

1. Wash, but don't peel carrots-scrub the skin instead. Nutrients are at highest concentration close to the surface of the carrot. Just cut off ends of these and then wash the celery and cut off ends. Peel the onion.

2. Wash and cut green and red cabbage into chunks. Put chunks through the shredding attachment of your food processor. If you prefer, use a mandoline or knife. Then shred the carrots (can also use a shredder attachment of a spiralizer, if that works better for you) Put all three ingredients in a large serving bowl.

3. With the chopping blade of your food processor, chop the parsley until it's finely chopped. Next chop onion and garlic fine. Chop celery fine too. Place all into serving bowl.

4. In a separate small mixing bowl, pour in lemon juice, rice wine vinegar (or other vinegar you choose), stevia, salt, pepper, and other optional herbs and spices. When I made this dish I used dried oregano and basil too. Whisk everything together and drizzle onto the cabbage mixture. Mix well. 

5. Marinate for a few hours before serving to meld the flavors together or serve immediately for a fresh light taste. This recipe will serve 6-8 people. Leftover coleslaw should be refrigerated and kept no more than about 4-5 days.
Coleslaw goes well with veggie chili 

Hummus Collard Wrap with Vegan Coleslaw and Pickle

Do you serve coleslaw often? Some fast food places serve coleslaw that has between 20-28 grams of fat per serving. Ask yourself whether you want to eat that many fat calories just to save time.

If you make coleslaw without the mayo (high in calories and fat), one serving is a healthy substitute for a portion of vegetables or salad.

Do you have a special recipe for coleslaw? Please let me know about it by commenting below.

If you like what you see, please share the love on social media. All that I ask is that you credit me for the post and link back to it. ๐Ÿ’–

So excited and delighted to share one more thing with you. See the interview I did for Babs Hightower on her online magazine Babs BookMark July 2018 Issue.  Yahoo!

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