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, 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 concentrate, even after 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. 💗

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. 💗

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 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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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Key Reasons to Eat Mindfully with Tips to Succeed

Most of you know it’s unhealthy to overeat and gain extra pounds or skip meals to shed weight. Yet when stressed or rushed, you may reach for comfort foods, eat on the go, or veto a meal entirely.

This post offers tips to help you learn more about mindful eating and ways to help you do it.

Mindful eating is the practice of bringing open-minded awareness about your food choices, the how and why you prepare and eat certain foods, and ways foods and the eating experience affects your body, feelings, mind, and all that is around you.

Want to learn key reasons to eat more mindfully, tips to help you let go of pre-mealtime stress, and techniques that help you slow down and be fully present to enjoy the pleasures and health benefits of mindful eating?

Mindful eating studies show those who eat mindfully are more successful at sticking with a meal plan that supports wellness. The example is from Michael Greger MD.

Research about mindful eating also suggests that paying attention while eating assures full digestion as well as optimal nutrition benefits. 

The initial phase of digestion begins with the brain seeing, smelling, and anticipating food. If you are tense or distracted any place in the process, food may not be fully absorbed. See more at Mindfulness Helps Us Digest and Enjoy Our Food.

Additional studies indicate mindful eating may help reduce body mass index (BMI), reduce anxious thoughts about food and body image, and help those with diabetes get a better handle on managing symptoms.

Word of warning: Check with your medical professional before changing your diet. Posts on this site are offered for informational purposes, and not offered as medical advice.

Tune into your body’s signals to identify real hunger. With practice, you’ll be able to discern “when,” “how,” “where,” and "what" to eat for nourishment, health, and to create a sense of well-being in you. 

Just understand, one size does not fit all. Make your goal  "progress." Through trial and error you'll develop a meal plan and follow through with methods that fit your lifestyle. See this for more tips.

Aim for progress not perfection, and you ’ll feel encouraged and happy about foods' important place in meeting your health care needs.
Mindful Eating Can Evolve 
Spontaneously When you Do the 

Before you begin preparing a meal...

Clear clutter from table and kitchen counters. Mail, keys, papers, and work stuff detracts from the physical setting for an enjoyable meal. When junk blankets the dining table, it makes it tempting to eat on the couch or eat standing up. 

Take a moment or two to breathe deeply, and put aside any cares or concerns you felt during the hours before this meal. Perhaps even take a moment or two to say a thanks for the abundance in your life.

Then, gather brightly colored ingredients, lay them out, cut them up, and place them in the appropriate pot, pan, or on or in the stove.  

Notice details about what you’re doing in each moment. Are you following a cookbook recipe, winging it, opening a package, or cutting off the tops of radishes or carrots? Do you hear anything as you cook, feel air or lack of air around you, etc. How does the sauce you are simmering smell, look, taste, feel?

For fresh menu ideas, see Colorful Whole Food Plant Based Meal Ideas to simplify meal planning. 

You’re not cooking food to be eaten, you’re simply cooking the food, and you’re doing it with all of your being.

Before you actually sit down for a meal, pause to consider everyone involved in bringing your food to the table. 

Think of the loved ones or yourself who will prepare it, those who planted it, the water, soil, and other elements that were part of the creation, those who harvested the ingredients, to those who transported it to markets or will deliver it to your home. 

When you go back to the origins of the food you are eating, you’re likely to breathe easier, feel grounded, grateful, and sense you are interconnected.

Listen to physical hunger cues and distinguish between true hunger and non-hunger triggers for eating including boredom, loneliness, anger, sadness, joy, fatigue, and craving for love or comfort.
Set the intention to be mindful for at least one meal a day. Then branch out to two or three mindful meals a day. Expand your practice and include meals at home, with family and friends, and in restaurants.

Remember to engage all your senses and take in the colors, smells, sounds, textures, and flavors of the foods you are going to eat. 

Here's food for thought. Ask yourself whether the food you are choosing to eat contributes to your physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, community, and planetary health.
Keep your eyes on your table mates and the food. Take part in conversation. 

See this tip from Etiquette Expert Candace Smith:

“Have you noticed that table settings only include the tools necessary to assist you during dinner with others?  There are plates, glasses, forks, knives, spoons, and napkins.  Add humans and food, and you have a complete dining experience.  
This is why the table etiquette rule is: No items other than those included in the table setting are appropriate on the dining table.  Ergo, phones and other electronic devices should not make an appearance during a meal.” See more at  Using Your Phone at the Table.

When you are eating a meal solo, sit down at a table to eat without a book, electronic device or busy work. This will direct your attention where it can do the most good.

Notice the feelings, thoughts, and ideas that surface when you eat slowly, and without distraction, Give your full attention to the food you eat, and you'll be better able to notice when you feel satisfied, but not overstuffed. Stop eating then.

Eyeball your food to determine portion size, and be focused on selecting quality rather than quantity. 

Use a luncheon sized plate instead of dinner plate, if you have a problem gauging portions. 

Keep fresh, whole food on hand. You'll be less tempted to munch on junk food, and have more say about what is in or isn't in your food. 

After a mindful meal, notice how you're feeling. Are you tired, alert, grateful, hyper, or relaxed?

The food you eat and the mindset you bring to it, has a direct impact on your mood, outlook, health, and energy level. 

Make it a priority to eat mindfully one day at a time, and you're sure to succeed in increasing pleasure and health.

Get mindfulness tips and ideas through journal writing. Pick up your copy of Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss.

Illustration chapter 3 from self-care journal, Colors of Joy

Its colorful journal exercises, reflective space, and affirmations help you feel joy and centering as you become more self-aware and present (mindful) in your life from day to day. 

Journal owners have commented that it makes a great gift idea as well. See what they shared here or here. 💖

Do you want to eat meals more mindfully? 

Why do you think that's a good thing to do? 

What tips that I've written about can help you do more of it? 

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

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Thursday, August 1, 2019

Awesome Reasons to Eat Celery with Prep Ideas

You may not realize it, but adding celery to your food plan is simple and healthy, and its wellness benefits are so awesome you'll be glad you saw this post.

Research shows celery lowers the risk of developing certain forms of cancer, and reduces the risk from a host of other diseases and health concerns. 

Success is achievable, if you develop a healthy lifestyle  including exercise, stress reduction techniques, and whole food plant-based eating plan as well. 

Celery stalks and leaves have numerous medicinal properties. Select celery fresh from a local market, your home garden, or farmer's market.

Celery is part of the "green" family of vegetables and a good source of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, potassium, folate, and vitamin B6.

Why is Celery Healthy?

Celery contains an anti-cancer compound (apigenin) that reduces risk of lung cancer and shows promising signs it may kill breast cancer cells as well.

Further investigation indicates celery may help reduce symptoms of Arthritis (RA).

To help lower high blood pressure eat celery. It contains a phytochemical called phthalides that relaxes the tissues of the artery walls to increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure.

A compound in celery, apiuman, can decrease instances of stomach ulcers, and improves the lining of the stomach. 

Some people ingest a therapeutic grade celery seed essential oil to enhance heart health and for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Word of warning: Check with your medical professional before taking any new supplement or food. Go slow when changing your diet, and check with your provider before you begin. Posts on this site are offered for informational purposes, and not offered as medical advice.

Celery is 95% water. This makes it low cal and hydrating, with only 16 calories per cup. 

It's cleansing as well. With a combo of soluble and insoluble fiber, each cup contains 6 % of the daily requirement for fiber. See the nutritional breakdown here.

As celery travels through your digestive tract, its fiber feeds good gut bacteria and aids digestion and elimination. 

Fiber-rich vegetables including celery help reduce bloat caused by food that hasn’t worked its way through your intestines. 

Celery contains minerals, especially magnesium, potassium, and calcium that improve bone health.  

Celery contains a plant-based form of sodium, one that is easily absorbed and essential to good health.

Ways to Eat More Celery

One folk remedy suggests you eat a celery-based snack a few hours before bedtime. This may relax you and promote sounder sleep.

This writer makes it a point to consume at least 2 stalks of raw celery every few days. You can too. Munch on it au naturel or with hummus, guacamole, or nut butter.

Word of Caution: purchase and eat organic celery, since conventionally grown celery is on the dirty dozen list. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reviews fruits and vegetables each year and lists those that contain the highest levels of pesticide residues.

Savor the stalks, leaves, and celery seeds blended into your favorite casserole dish, stew, or roasted veggie medley. Cooking celery makes it taste sweeter, than when it's served raw.

Vary the way you prepare it; chop, dice, slice, or cut into chunks and include it in sauces, chili, soups, and a crudites platter.

Check for recipes online or in cookbooks. Favorite ways I serve it are raw, steamed, or roasted. 

Try your hand at making a crisp, crunchy, fresh-tasting veggie salad with a rainbow of colors that's pleasing to the eye and palette. 

Recipe for Chickpea/Celery Salad on a Bed of Tossed Greens

1. In a food processor, use its chopping blade to chop celery, a drained can of chickpeas, carrots, red cabbage, zucchini, red pepper, onion, 2 T. lemon juice, and 2T. extra virgin olive oil. 

2. Grate 2 cloves garlic and a 1/2 slice of fresh ginger and add that too. 

3. Season with your favorite herbs and spices. Mine are parsley, oregano, basil, black pepper, sage, and thyme.

See Chickpea/Celery Salad on a bed of tossed green salad right below.

Top this salad with a vegan bean, garlic, and ginger salad dressing to enhance celery's subtle, but juicy flavor. 

Thinking of juicy? Multi-vegetable smoothies that include celery are loaded with vitamins and minerals and provide quick energy. 

If you want to be part of a 2019 wellness trend, juice stalks and leaves of celery and drink it first thing in the morning.

Eastern medicine has used celery for thousands of years to treat bronchitis, skin disorders, nervousness, and the flu. It sure is time for modern medicinal practitioners and folks like us to eat more celery. Don't you agree? 

Before you go, please comment below. 💓

Did you discover something new about celery? Are you willing to add more of it to your food plan? 

Do you have info about celery's health benefits I didn't mention? Please let me know.

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

Spread the word by re-sharing on social media, and please credit me with a link back to this post.

I'm thrilled and delighted to announce Dee Blanding, the blogger at Grammy's Grid interviewed me. If you're curious about it read this and please support Dee as well. 

#GrammysGrid Presents the #BloggingGrandmothersSeries 3 with Nancy from Colors 4 Health!

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