Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Ways to Use Colors to Improve Work-Life Balance

There are many ways colors can help you improve your work-life balance. This post suggests colorful ideas to help you set priorities, follow through on things that are really important to you, and reduce the stress of juggling work, play, family, social, and personal needs.

Try them on for size. Notice which healthy lifestyle tips make you feel a sense of purpose or enjoyment, allows you to organize your environment and time to participate in activities you love, and attracts more of what you want in your life.

Colors work to help you let go of energy blocks. Certain hues help you focus on positive thinking, and the people, places, and things that are healthy for you.

For example, this is what a balanced day looks like for me:

When I wake, if I feel unsettled, I envision RED, the color of the root chakra. Meditating on RED helps me feel centered, provides energy and motivation to get on with my day, and reminds me of my strengths. I may also say affirmations aloud or chant a mantra. If I still need to find my center, I get into the yoga pose, the mountain.

I observe the subtle energy in my mind, body, and spirit and appreciate when I feel aligned. My mood is upbeat, and I'm alert and healthy.  

As I set goals for the day, I’m not conflicted about missing activities that are not priorities for me.  

I may wear clothing and accessories in calming blue, nurturing pink, refreshing green, sunny golden yellow, or bright red. My selection depends on which color energies I need in that moment.

As the day progresses, I'm usually able to easily let go of minor annoyances including what others say they want or expect from me, and make my own time management choices. 

I resist the temptation to be pulled off-course by distractions. I feel calm, grounded, clear-headed, and motivated to make progress.

I curtail checking email, text messages, and social media until after I engage in meaningful career, social, and community activities. 

When something happens to trouble me, I journal about it, share it with a friend, or do some inspirational reading.    

I don't wait until I am thoroughly drained to give myself permission to take time to walk or stretch, sip tea or water, be with people I love, or phone others who live far away, to have direct contact with them. 

I am consistent with self-care and relaxation practices. I eat nourishing whole foods, exercise most days of the week, get adequate sleep, and have enrgy and willingness to be there for others. 

In the past, I overextended myself both at work and in personal ways. I learned the hard way, I have more to give if I take care of my own needs before helping someone else. 

Work-life balance does not mean the same thing to everyone. Some of us are introverts, others are extroverts or a combination of both. Some of us are high energy dynamos and others have subtle or sensitive energy levels.

Some of us are CEO's or entrepreneurs; some have careers outside the home; some are stay-at-home parents and/or work from home; some are retired, and some are students. Colors can help all of us. 

Ways to Use Colors to Improve Work-Life Balance

1. Consider the color ideas that follow. See which ones resonate for you and your stage of life. 

Just be aware, colors work at the sensory level and bypass thinking. No need to stress over choosing the right color. Be mindful, and you will be intuitively drawn to those colors you need. 

2. GOLDEN YELLOW. Tune into your mood at various times during the day. If you face a challenge, doubt your abilities, are sad or anxious, or have low energy visualize or place a golden yellow object in your home or workspace. 

Gaze at golden yellow to help you accomplish goals more easily. Yellow is the color associated with the third chakra/solar plexus and using it cheers and empowers you. 

This color energy can invigorate and transform you. To radiate self-confidence and act from your seat of power, use golden yellow.

3. BLUE. Sea blue, aqua, and sapphire are stress-buster colors. Colors of the sky and water are soothing, calming colors

Eating a piece of blue fruit is good for your body and mind. Most are loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that help you on a physical and emotional level. Blueberries, blackberries, elderberries, and Damson plums reduce free radical damage and helps calm your mind and enables you to detach from things that are beyond your control.

Blue is an excellent color to use in your bedroom. Pale blue sheets or accent pieces, make your room feel more spacious. 

In Feng Shui, the color blue is associated with the water element and the color blue. Both bring an overall sense of relaxation and healing.

Decorate your bedroom with a blue wall hanging, photo, or drawing. Paint the northern wall blue in any room. This color encourage calmness and clarity both in career communication areas and  prepares you for restful sleep.

4. PINK. Pink helps you love unconditionally and care for your mind, body, and spirit. It's a color associated with warm feelings, self-love, and gentleness. 

Pink is a mix of red and white combined, and provides a helpful balance of male and female energies that can reduce stress.

Wear Pink to lighten up your complexion, warm your heart, and nurture yourself. 

Pink is the color most often associated with breast cancer awareness, and October is the official month to acknowledge it. For ways to improve your breast health, tips on doing a breast self-exam, and other important information read Think Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness. 

5. GREEN. Green has uplifting color vibes to elevate mood and make you feel refreshed and invigorated. Green energy often suggests growth, change, and nature.

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

Keep a green plant in your apartment or office to cleanse the air and as a sign to get outdoors to exercise and commune with nature. 

Green veggies provide fuel to work and play at peak efficiency. Eat at least one green salad a day , and include a total of 5-9 servings of fresh colorful veggies, legumes, beans, and whole grains each day for optimal health.

Forest green/dark green is often associated with money, prosperity, and ambition. This shade of green works to help you concentrate and suggests prestige, power, and substance. For more read Tips to Help You Keep a Success Journal.

COLORS and YOU are the stars of the interactive journalColors of Joy: A Woman’s Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and BlissIts journal exercises, color-coded activities, and affirmations help you use a myriad of colors to center and empower yourself and find more joy in daily living.

Colors of Joy is affordable, provides hours of entertainment and discovery, and is a healthful way to be good to yourself. In fact, it makes an eye-catching holiday or birthday gift for all the women you care about.

To feel centered, balanced, energized, and serene envision, wear, affirm, meditate, decorate, or journal about those colors that help you stay on-course, motivated, or relaxed. 

Then, recognize you're enough just the way you are, and are a wonderful part of the human race. 

Please comment below.

Which colors are you attracted to?

How does each make you feel?

Do you often feel out of balance or centered during the day or night? 

What helps you focus better at work or enjoy play more?

What helps you remember to take "me time?" 

I read each and every one of your comments, but do not publish those with links in them.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Hearty, Healthy Vegan Mushroom Recipe Roundup

Combine You Favorite Veggies and Mushrooms for a Colorful Dish

This is an ode to the edible mushroom, one that reveals powerful health benefits and delicious whole food plant based mushroom recipes that are shared below. 

It's a fun way to celebrate National Mushroom Day on Oct 15th and encourage you to learn how simple it is to plan for and eat more mushrooms throughout the year.

Mushrooms are a favorite in my house, because they are: 

1. easy to prepare
2. scrumptious
3. adaptable and can replace unhealthy ingredients in a conventional recipe
4. low in calories
5. low in carbohydrates
6. low fat
7. low sodium
8. a healthy source of plant protein
9. cholesterol and gluten free
10. a whole food and vegan
11. healing and have disease prevention properties 

We love button, shiitake, baby bellas, cremini, and porcini mushrooms, and have discovered even a single Portobello mushroom contains more potassium than a banana.

Mushrooms provide other important nutrients, including selenium. This antioxidant protects cells from damage that might lead to chronic diseases and strengthens the immune system. 

Mushrooms are a good source of riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D, proteins, copper, and fiber. See more health benefits here and here.

Mushrooms are neither fruit nor vegetable, but are botanically classified as a fungi and considered a vegetable for nutrition. 

The textures and tastes are pleasing to the palate. Mushrooms can replace meat or other animal products in any recipe you choose. 

When put to the test, this study shows that mushrooms are as filling and satisfying as meat.

Season and roast mushrooms covered, and they stay juicy (they are made up of 90% water). 

Even though mushrooms are commonly white or brown, these colors are a healthy exception to the rule to eat the colors of the rainbow. 

Edible mushrooms grow into many shapes, size, and flavors. Each  of the 200 or so edible mushroom varieties packs a powerful nutritional punch.  

Warning: Don't forage for or eat wild mushrooms, unless they have been examined by a mushroom expert. Some varieties of wild mushrooms are poisonous. Better to be safe than sorry.

Mushrooms have a long history as a food source with healing capacities. Research posted on Medical News Today indicates incorporating mushrooms into your meals, even in small portions (three quarters of a cup cooked and served twice a week), appears to have lowered the risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in the sixty+ year olds who were studied. MCI is a condition which often precedes Alzheimer's disease. 

Another study suggests various compounds in mushrooms helps reduce inflammation and prevent and fight breast cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, uterine cervix cancer, pancreatic cancer, gastric cancer, and acute leukemia. 

This food when combined with a healthy diet and active lifestyle can help prevent diabetes and cardiovascular disease too.

Presenting the Hearty, Healthy Vegan Mushroom Recipe Roundup

To start the recipe ball rolling... this recipe comes from the Minimalist Baker #Minimalist Baker. It's for Caramelized Shiitake Mushroom Risotto.  You can make this creamy, rich, and delicious dish without the guilt, because it has such nutritious ingredients. 

Plate of delicious Vegan Caramelized Shitake Mushroom Risotto topped with fresh parsley

Next on the lineup is Vegan Green Bean Casserole, perfect for a side dish at an autumn or winter holiday feast or as the star of a simple mid-week meal. It's from Diane Smith at #plantbasedcooking.

Green Bean Casserole

Here's a wonderful recipe from Sarah at Making Thyme for Health. Vegan Porcini Mushroom Gravy is a yummy recipe that's pictured with mashed potatoes. It's vegan, gluten free, grain free, nut free, and soy free, and appeals to everyone, including those who don't eat or are allergic to these ingredients.

Vegan Porcini Mushroom Gravy- dried porcini mushrooms give this gravy tons of umami flavor that's sure to highlight any dish you serve! (gluten-free)

See this fabulous recipe for Mushroom Bisque from Judee Algazi, the blogger at Gluten Free A-Z Blog . This soup cooks up fast, tastes rich and delicious, yet it's vegan and gluten free. 

Broccoli and Mushroom Stir Fry comes from the recipe designers at Skinny Ms.  It looks and tastes great, and uses many nutritious, delicious ingredients for a one pot meal.

Next is a roundup post from this blog that first appeared on May 15, 2019. Recipes for Remarkable Vegan Meatballs has three mouthwatering recipes that include mushrooms.

Last but not least is my recipe for Marinated Mushroom and Red Pepper Sandwich at Colors 4 Health.


1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon Maple syrup
1 teaspoon fresh parsley or 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Other ingredients:
8 oz. of any type mushroom you have on hand (I used baby bellas)  cleaned and chopped
1 red pepper cleaned and chopped

Sandwich Fixings:
4 slices any variety of bread or 2 rolls (I used gluten free vegan)
Lettuce leaf
Sliced tomato
Sliced red onion
optional: guacamole, sprouts, shredded carrot, and hummus

How to Make It:

1. Sauté chopped garlic in one Tablespoon of oil until lightly browned. Then whisk all marinade ingredients together, until they are thoroughly blended.

2. Place items marked "other ingredients" in a glass or stainless casserole or baking dish. Toss in the marinade and mix well. 

3. Cover casserole dish and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Please note the longer you leave ingredients in marinade, the more tasty it becomes (up to one day).

4. When you're ready to cook, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cook dish covered for 30-45 minutes. If mushrooms and peppers are fork tender they are ready. If not, cook another 15 minutes and test again.

5. Scoop out portions with a slotted spoon and use the sandwich fixings to make up your sandwiches. This recipe will serve 2 people. The picture above shows it being served with a side of fresh organic corn. Double the recipe amounts to serve four people. 

Another way to eat vegan marinated mushroom and red peppers is to place the mixture including the cooked marinade on a bed of brown rice (pictured with fresh asparagus), or on wheat berries, lentils, or quinoa.

Wishing you bon appetite and much inspiration as you create many luscious, healthy mushroom dishes throughout the year.

Do you enjoy eating mushrooms?  Please comment below. I appreciate every comment, but do not publish those that have links in them. Thanks for understanding.

Which variety of mushrooms do you like best and why?

What recipes mentioned above will you try?

Do you have any recipe tips you'd be willing to share? Please include them in your comment as well.

If you like what you see, please reshare on social media and link back to this post.

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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Improve Health Spend Quality Time in Nature

Research indicates spending 120 minutes a week outdoors engaged in a combination of 2 half-hour brisk walks, meditative moments admiring the landscape and its inhabitants, and playing a sport, game, or participating in an activity with family or friends including a picnic or tending a community garden each week, improves health and overall well-being. 

A simple, refreshing way to take in the good vibes of the great outdoors is with a one minute grounding meditation. This one is from Mindful.org, and was written by Cara Bradley, who also is in a video that goes along with it. 

Want to absorb the refreshing energy of nature? Use your imagination to see the colors of nature. Then, look at the collage below. 

Envision a place you've visited or want to see that's serene, tranquil, or ablaze with brightly colored plants, trees, and shrubs. 

Green energy creates balance, harmony, self-compassion, and rejuvenation. Read Use Energy from Green to Refresh You and Your Home.

Gold, rust, amber, scarlet, and browns of autumn leaves and soil remind us of transitions. These colors provide grounding energy and connection to Mother Earth. Get suggestions for outdoor activities that are fun for the whole family here.

If you prefer, dream about a place where there's a broad expanse of sea, sand, and sky or picture it in your mind's eye.

Aquamarine and the green blue colors of a waterfall, ocean, lakes, or stream are colors that create a sense of expansiveness and tranquility. Sea blues of azure and sapphire remind our body and intuition to  "go with the flow." This energy shift helps reduce tension and attachment to outcomes.

It's surprising how many ways nature impacts well-being. It reduces stress, anger, fear, physical aches, and emotional pain including depression or anxiety. 

Notice how easily natural surroundings awaken awe and wonder in you. 

A large-scale nature engagement study conducted by the Wildlife Trust in the UK showed its participants, over a 30 day span, took greater notice of nature's beauty, their own physiological and emotional responses to nature, and felt an interconnectedness to their surroundings that led to improved happiness, health, and conservation behaviors.

Use your senses to tune into the sights, sounds, aromas, textures, and pace of nature. When you bring mindfulness to the time you spend in nature, it reduces stress, heals, and renews enthusiasm in you. 

When you take a break in nature, it shifts your perspective. Getting outdoors away from screens and other electronic devices, helps you relax. 

You'll notice down time helps you feel refreshed and improves your ability to concentrate, once you resume your work.

In fact, one recent study conducted at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston shows women may live longer in green environments.

Make time to get outside for even a few minutes a day. Enjoy relaxing or exercising outdoors, get a healthy dose of sunlight for Vitamin D, and give thanks for this inexpensive, fun way to enrich daily living.

Please comment below. 😊 I read and appreciate each one, but will not publish comments when they contain links. Thanks for understanding. 💗

What outdoor activities do you enjoy participating in and why?

Do you feel physically, mentally, and spiritually uplifted when you see a sunset, sunrise, the first snow, a deer in the woods, or a majestic mountain? Explain. What natural wonder makes your heart sing?

For those who live, work, or will be visiting Sedona AZ this week, come on down for

"Journal Tips for Self-Compassion and Personal Growth with Book Signing for Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss. 

When: Sat. Sept. 21, 2019 between 2-3 PM Book signing afterward

Where: Literate Lizard Bookstore, 1575 W State Rte. 89A, Suite D, Sedona, AZ

Why: This is an interactive workshop with games, fun activities, and an opportunity for us to meet.

Please consider spending more time in nature. It's an important  key to health and happiness.

Like what you see? Follow me on Pinterest

Like and follow my Facebook Page

and order Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss. Its journal prompts combine colors, affirmations, and self-care activities to boost vitality and give you many reasons to smile.

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Sunday, September 1, 2019

Come to Journal Tips for Self-compassion Workshops!

"Self-compassion is the act of accepting all parts of ourselves and treating ourselves with lovingkindness. A self-compassionate mindset helps us connect to our humanness, acknowledge mistakes and shortcomings, and perceive experiences as opportunities to heal and grow." Nancy Andres

Self-compassion is a self-care practice I've been relying on to walk through my grief, since my son died at the end of last year.

I'm prepared to share ideas and tips that helped me let go of self-judgment, critical thoughts, negativity, and guilt. 

One of the most effective tools I've discovered to improve my mood is to journal write about things I'm grateful for, count my blessings, and record those things I feel will help me be kinder to myself. 

Scientific research backs this upStudies show troubled people can get major relief from focusing attention on good things in life. Those who did enjoyed a higher percent of happy days, felt optimistic, and expected the best. They were also more satisfied with their lives, which they perceived to be more meaningful, and they felt more connected with others each day.

Here's where you come in. You'll have an opportunity to learn what things can be used to support and empower your thinking and behavior. 

Whether you're suffering from the end of a relationship or career, transition from one stage of life to another, or just want fresh ideas about how to treat yourself better when you feel less than, I can help you. 

September is a great month to use self-compassion and you are in luck because... 

I am facilitating two self-compassion workshops. I'd love to meet you at either one. ðŸ’—

You're Invited to "Journal Writing Tips for Self-compassion and Personal Growth with Book Signing for Colors of Joy " 

Come to an interactive workshop with games, fun activities, and an opportunity to meet Nancy Andres, author of Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss.

When: Sat Sept 14, 2019 2:30 PM-3:30PM, book signing after

Where: The Seasoned Woman, 5460 E. Broadway Blvd. #300, Tucson, AZ

Reservations are on a first-come first serve basis and complimentary. Please go to the Seasoned Woman’s Website and Click on the Link for Events to reserve your place. 

For Nancy Andres’ bio, event schedule, and wellness ideas see her Website. ðŸ’—

You’re Invited toJournal Writing Tips for Self-compassion and Personal Growth with Book Signing for Colors  of Joy.”

When: Sat. Sept. 21, 2019 between 2-3 PM Book signing afterward

Where: Literate Lizard Bookstore, 1575 W State Rte. 89A,Suite D, Sedona.

Call 928-325-2971 or email theliteratelizardsedona@gmail.com to RSVP

After the workshop meet Nancy Andres, author of Colors of Joy: A Woman’s Guide for Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance and Bliss. Colors of Joy provides tips and ideas to help you thrive!

Nancy Andres is a Health and Lifestyle Writer, Author, and Wellness Blogger. When she’s not working, she enjoys walking and hiking on Tucson trails and paths, has her nose in a book, is cooking whole food plant-based meals for friends and family, or is savoring dark chocolate. 😄

      Please comment below. 

Do you understand why self-compassion is so important? Explain.

Do you know simple ways to feel heard, cherished, and understood by you?

What techniques do you use to coax yourself to try something new, change a bad habit, or reframe how you look at things you see as failures? 

Do you think a self-compassionate attitude would help in these situations? Why?

I read and appreciate every comment, yet do not publish those that include links. Thanks for understanding. 💗

Come to a workshop and learn how journal writing prompts, affirmations, and fun activities can help that precious person who is you appreciate, approve, and be awe-inspired by you.

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