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 
Following:

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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Monday, July 15, 2019

Renew Enthusiasm, Colors of Cape Fear Botanical Garden




A large scale nature engagement campaign study shows being in nature has many health benefits including reducing stress, improving a sense of life satisfaction, and encouraging sustained pro-nature behaviors. 

On a recent trip to be with family on the east coast, and as an important part of my self-care plan, I combined a family reunion with a day trip to Cape Fear Botanical Garden in Fayetteville, NC.


As my readers know, my adult son died late last year. That's why I've had to be extra vigilant about getting outdoors to walk in natural surroundings. Seeing a butterfly, gazing at a lake, or hugging a tree is a great comfort to me. 


Each time I hear a bird sing, see a butterfly, or take in the lush greens and grounding earth tones of mother nature, it helps in my healing process. 

Then, when I see new growth, I shed the blues and renew my determination to be present for life today.

Following is a photo essay of things that held my attention and renewed my enthusiasm 
at the Cape Fear Botanical Garden in Fayetteville, NC.


More about the Origami Exhibit Here



Much of the flora I saw on this look-see was in various shades of green. Color energy can bypass thinking and works at the cellular level. Green hues create balance, harmony, self-acceptance, self-compassion, and rejuvenation. 

One of the best color tips I offer today is to gaze at or envision something that's green to lift anxiety, self-pity, confusion, and refresh





Many things piqued my interest in this 80 acre natural wonderland, nestled between the Cape Fear River and Cross Creek. I was attracted to both soft and lively colored flowers, plants, wildlife, and origami.

I'd love to know what colors and vegetation appeal to you.


Hosta about to bloom at Cape Fear Botanical Garden


I am especially drawn to pink flowers like the camellias and lilies bellow. Pink helps soothe mind, body, and spirit. It's a color I associate with gentleness, unconditional love, and caring. It provides balance of male and female energies and helps to reduce stress.




The garden contains more than 2000 varieties of flowers, plants, trees, and shrubs including daylily, hosta, and camellia gardens. There's an arboretum, children's garden, and visitor center too. 

Even though some paths and trails offer shade and/or run through the pine or hardwood forest, it gets hot and humid during the summer months. 

A good rule of thumb is to bring ample water and wear sunblock any time you're outdoors.

Up for walking and hiking? Trails at the garden are packed earth surfaced with gravel or mulch. All except the River Trail are accessible by a normal wheelchair with an able bodied pusher who can negotiate the occasional root or rut.

Walking is one of the most relaxing types of activity, especially if you have a busy schedule. Fit even a short walk into daily routines, and know each little bit improves health, both mentally and physically. 

The Cape Fear Botanical Garden is a perfect place for Fayetteville locals or visitors to exercise and renew their enthusiasm.

Information for the Visitor to Cape Fear Botanical Garden

Cape Fear Botanical Garden Website The address is 536 N. Eastern Blvd., Fayetteville, NC 283o1. Phone is 910-486-0221

Things to do in Fayetteville 

Restaurants in Fayetteville

Although we didn't spent the night in Fayetteville, there are motels, hotels, and B&B's of various price ranges to choose from. If you're traveling there, see your travel agent or book a room online.

Downtown Fayetteville is approximately 2 miles away from Cape Fear Botanical Garden. A popular travel site names Cape Fear Botanical Garden a top sightseeing attraction for this area.


🌳🌲🍃

Before I go, I'd like to suggest another good way to nurture your mind, body, and spirit. Check out Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss. 

Journal owners say it dispels negative energy by showing them ways to express their cares, focus on dreams and goals, and learn more about their inner thoughts and feelings in a safe, private place. Read reviews here.

The 12 week journal program is arranged into chapters. Each helps shift perceptions. One example is the affirmation “I cherish and respect myself just as I am," which appears in the chapter Love Myself Unconditionally and Thrive. Its activities and exercises are devoted to improving self-esteem.




Colors of Joy
offers color-themed journal prompts to help the journal writer be more mindful of her choices. It supports and guides her as she takes advantage of the self-expression opportunities the book provides.

Pick up a copy of 
Colors of Joy and use its color-coded journal activities to stimulate intuition and inner wisdom through your senses. Notice which color energies transform fear to love, dread to hope, sadness to acceptance, confusion to clarity, and heartache to peace. 





Journal in Colors of Joy for Healing and
 Growth.

🌲🌳🍃



The Cape Fear Botanical Garden is a great place to visit. Have you been there and what did you enjoy seeing or doing? Please share comments below.

It's a popular venue for weddings, social events, and family outings. It makes a beautiful backdrop for pictures.



Do you get outside each day to fill up on a healthy dose of Vitamin D and connect to nature? 



Please share what things you like to do outdoors. Do you camp, canoe, picnic, swim, or play ball? Let us know in the comments section below. 



No links in comments please. They will not get published that way. 

Social media love is greatly appreciated. Just supply a link back to this post when you do.




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