Saturday, January 15, 2022

Why Choose a Word for the Year?

tips to select a word for the year

Selecting a word of the year can help us consciously and subconsciously set the tone to create more of what we want and less of what we don’t want in our daily lives. 

I notice when I take time to reflect about the progress I've made in the previous year, what is currently working well, and things I want to explore in the New Year, inner guidance helps me identify aspects of my being that need attention.

Then I ask myself these questions: 

What word resonates with me? What word makes me feel excited, supported, and motivated to update or change something about me that no longer serve me well? 

I say each word I come up with aloud, and try it on without over-analyzing it. 

Then I ask myself... Are you just interested in considering this word to be your mantra or committed to doing whatever it takes to draw more of it into your life?

I put those words I feel passionate about on a short list. 

Then I trust my gut/intuition to pick one or sometimes two words to help me prosper in the coming months. 

If you don’t have your word of the year yet, try to think of a word that most closely symbolizes what you absolutely yearn to increase or dismiss this year. 

Ta-da. Now on to my word for the Year and the ways I want to use it!


tips to select a word for the year

CON-NECT (verb):  to bring together or into contact so that a real link is established.

I intend to use "connect" as my theme for this year, as I follow my heart and focus on the people, places, and things that are important to me. I'll intone this word as I do.  

Connect to the present moment

Connect to the Source

Connect to mind, body, and spirit to improve well-being

Connect to reducing carbon footprint

Connect to friends and family

Connect to those I have yet to meet

Connect to possibilities

Connect to new interests

Connect to new insights

Connect to lovingkindness

Connect to gratitude

Connect to creativity and imagination

Connect to a flexible mindset

Connect to and work for world sustainability

Connect to giving back

Connect to patience and love

Connect to peace and serenity

Connect to stillness

Connect to joy

Tips and ideas for creating fun and joy

Connect to colors 💜💗💟

No matter what word you pick now, if it's not useful to you down the line, you're free to choose another. 

Have you chosen a word for the year and what is it? Please share in the comments section below.

How is your word working for you so far this year or why did you pick it?

Did this post help you decide on a word for the year? Please explain in the comments section below. 

Have you chosen a word for the year in the past? Please share about that as well.

I read and appreciate every comment, but will not be able to publish those that contain links. 

Thanks for understanding.

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Saturday, January 1, 2022

Ways to Supercharge Self-care in the New Year

 Self-care Ideas and Tips

This post illustrates powerful self-care ideas to help us reflect, reset, and revitalize our mindset to supercharge self-care in the New Year.

Ways to Supercharge Self-care in the New Year

Reflect about What is Working Well

January is a good time to focus on positive energy and notice what is working well in our lives. Whenever we pause to appreciate our progress and/or success in achieving our goals, we feel increased life satisfaction. 

self-care tip to use journal writing

Plan to start one small, manageable project or goal each day. Do it first thing, because dealing with our priorities reduces stress, fuels enthusiasm, increases productivity, and puts our attention on things that make the most difference to our sense of well-being.

Success encourages more success, and it's simple to use the law of attraction to draw more of what we want into our lives. Envision what we desire now, and manifest it by being persistent with the footwork and consistent with self-care.  

Self-care and the Law of Attraction

Clear Home Environment of Toxins

Take 10 minutes a day to weed out those household items that aren’t useful, beautiful, healthy, or meaningful to us. As we gradually make our abode more comfortable and functional, our living space becomes more of a sanctuary/retreat from the outside world. 

Choose to use eco-friendly soap, detergent, and shampoo instead of harsher chemical ones. Prevent skin irritations and don't harm skin, body, air, and planet by selecting cleaning products that are biodegradable and have minimal packaging. They are safer for the environment, and avoids pouring toxic chemicals down the drain or dumping containers they came in into a landfill. Read Frugal Ways to Live Greener and Healthier at Home for additional tips.

Green Tips for Healthy Living

Just as we revitalize living space by donating and recycle those things that are cluttering our home, we can let go of those thoughts, ideas, and behaviors we have outgrown. Look below for ways to do that.

Reframe Ideas about Who We Are

Question old thinking patterns, and adopt a kinder, more tender, supportive attitude toward ourselves. Read 9 Practices to Help You See You are Enough for additional ideas.

Self-love encourages us to have confidence to change aspects of our makeup that no longer serve us well.

Instead of telling ourselves we will never improve our skills in a particular area, we can coax ourselves to take a class in computer programming, accounting, singing, or public speaking. When we admit we don't know everything and are procrastinating for fear of making mistakes, it's easier to get help and training to learn something new.

Make a Financial Plan and Follow It

It's important to put together a financial plan or find a professional financial planner to help us make one. When we are mindful about controlling our income, expenses, and investments, we can better manage our money and achieve our life goals.

Experts advise us to set aside a portion of our income each week or month to put into a savings and/or investment account. Earmarking a small percentage of our earnings for savings and to contribute to a IRA or 401K are sound self-care practices. Read How much of your salary should you reserve each month for savings?

The first step in securing our financial future is to be intentional about the money we save, and recognize that setting this intention to delay gratification will pay off down the line.

Value Exercise, an Antidote for Unexpressed Emotions

Our feelings come alive in our bodies, not our heads. When we are physically active, pent up emotions may bubble to the surface. 

As scary as it can be, feeling our feelings is vital to self-care. Try a yoga class, tennis, a workout with weights, or even a long walk or run in nature to balance mind, emotions, and body .

Self-care Tips at Colors 4 Health

Reserve Time for People

Human beings are social animals, but each of us has slightly different social needs. As part of our wellness and time management routines, we need to build enough time into our schedule to maintain a fulfilling social life.

The greatest gift we can give to friends and family is to reach out to speak with or be with them. Even when we are swamped with work,  making time for people nurtures our spirits.

A chat with a close buddy or relative that includes active listening can lift a blue mood, bring clarity to issues we are working through, and boost joy both for the giver and receiver. 💓

We are never too old to learn new tricks. This New Year I wish you many opportunities to Supercharge Self-care. 💓

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Please share comments in the section below. 

Which self-care practices have you used to help reduce stress and create ease?

Which self-care practices do you want to use more often in the New Year?

Please explain in the comments section below.

Please don't put links in your comment, as I won't be able to publish it that way.

Self-care is a favorite topic I write about. After you comment below, use the search bar on this blog and enter "self-care." Discover other helpful self-care tips and ideas in posts I've written over the past five years. 

Wishing you a colorful New Year and many moments of health, peace, LOVE, and light each day!

Lead a colorful life!

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Wednesday, December 15, 2021

5 Star Vegan Collard Greens, Beans, and Dirty Rice

Vegan Recipe Collard Greens and Dirty Rice

Want to learn how to make delicious, healthy, hearty 5 Star ★★★★★Vegan Collard Greens, Beans, and Dirty Rice? 

It's a recipe that blends simple ingredients with savory and spicy seasonings for a lively meal too scrumptious to pass up.

I relish reading my fellow bloggers' food posts and frequently search for online inspiration. If  a recipe idea attracts me, I test it and adapt the dish to satisfy my hunger, make good nutritional sense, and feed my soul. 

A few years ago, I saw a Cajun/Southern style Dirty Rice Recipe that featured animal protein. The "dirty rice" part of this dish got its name from chunks of fatty meat and seasoning that makes the rice and collards look dirty, the food too greasy, and high in cholesterol. 

So I converted this conventional recipe into a plant-based, gluten free, cholesterol free main dish delight. 

My adaptation is rich in flavor, vegan, and provides a good amount of calcium, protein, and antioxidants. See details about the health benefits of collards here. See the health benefits of beans too.

Please note: this post is intended for entertainment and information only, and not provided as medical/nutritional advice. 

I hope my enthusiasm and information has piqued your interest, and you'll read the recipe below.

5 Star ★★★★★Vegan Collard Greens, Beans, and Dirty Rice

This dish is perfect for times you crave spicy, wholesome, and filling. Please let me know how you like it.



3 cups low sodium vegetable broth

1 cup long grain brown rice (I used organic brown Basmati for the aroma, health benefits, and good taste)

1 bay leaf

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans (drained) or same amount of pinto or other beans

1 bunch collard greens (about ten leaves) middle stalk (stem) removed from each piece

1 chopped red or yellow onion, or a bunch of scallions to equal 1 cup

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper up to 1/4 teaspoon depending on how hot you like it

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds

1 Tablespoon low sodium non-GMO gluten free soy sauce

Freshly ground black pepper

2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast. "Nooch" as it is affectionally called, adds a savory layer of flavor, and pleasing golden yellow color to this dish. Nutritional yeast is available in the bulk section of most markets or comes in a shaker container located near the spices.

Optional ingredients: mushrooms, red pepper, celery, carrot, or other veggie you enjoy. If you're using additional veggies, clean and chop them before proceeding to step one.


 What to do:

1. In a sauce pan bring 2 cups vegetable broth to a boil. Add the rice, bay leaf, turmeric, paprika, and freshly ground pepper. Cover and return to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 30 to 35 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed. Remove bay leaf and let the rice sit for a few minutes. Then, fluff rice with a fork.

2. While the rice is cooking, prepare the collard greens, (one cup contains 10% of the RDA of protein and 27% for calcium). 

Wash the collards in cool water. Place one leaf on your cutting board at a time. Remove the tough stalk that runs down the center of the leaf by slicing down each side of the stalk. 

Stack the collard leaves one on top of the other, with the leaf tips all at the same end. Roll the stack tightly in a long tube. Starting at the thick end, slice the collards as thinly as possible to make spaghetti like strands. Then cut the strands across into ½ in. pieces. Put stalks in your compost pile. 

3. Place raw pumpkin seeds in a roasting pan in the oven. Set temperature to 450° F. When the oven reaches that temp, remove the seeds from oven and let sit. For health facts see Pumpkin Seed Health Benefits from Medical News Today.


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion or scallions. Sauté until tender for approximately 5-7 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic, grated ginger, and other spices and sauté another two minutes. Add any extra vegetables you want to include now. 

5. Pour in the last cup of vegetable broth and add beans into the mixture. 

One cup of beans provide 6g-9g of protein, 6 g of fiber, and 10% of the RDA for Iron. Beans add depth and creaminess to this recipe without adding fat. 

Nutrition Info and Recipes for Beans

Stir in the collard strands and cover the skillet. Cook over medium-heat for 5-10 minutes more, or until the collards are tender and beans are hot. If there is a lot of liquid left in the pan, refrigerate it to use in soups, gravies, or stews.


6. Combine collards, beans, roasted pumpkin seeds, low sodium gluten free soy sauce, and nutritional yeast. 

Either serve on a bed of dirty rice as shown in the picture at the top of this post or mix all ingredients together as illustrated below. 

Collard Greens, Garbanzo Beans, and Dirty Rice

Grind in a generous amount of black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. 

Serve piping hot or at room temperature. This recipe goes well with a salad and cornbread. It will serve 4-6 hungry people. 💚

Before you go, don't forget to comment below. 

I read and appreciate every comment, but will not publish those that contain links. Thanks for understanding. 

Did you learn something new about dirty rice, beans, or collard greens? Will you try to include this dark green leafy vegetable powerhouse in meal planning? Sure hope you'll give it a try.

See my Website as well. Click on the link to Services to discover ways my health and lifestyle writing, editing, and online content development creation can help you and your organization thrive.

Learn How My Writing Services Can Help You

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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Frugal Eco-Friendly Ways to Spruce Up for the Holidays

Sustainability and Decorating Tips for Holidays

Want to make this holiday season one where you catch the holiday spirit without straining your budget, energy, or our planet's wellness?

Look below for tips and ideas to help you think and act more sustainably as you spruce up your home for the holidays.  

Frugal Eco-friendly Ways to Spruce Up for the Holidays

Budget for the holidays

Stick within your budget to prevent exceeding your income, draining your savings, or incurring debt. Want to make sure your holiday festivities brings good cheer? 

Save a portion of your paycheck throughout the year. Consider setting aside money and time to cover a mini-home refresh and spruce-up, DIY holiday décor and gift-wrap options, and planning potlucks for holiday entertaining. 

Sort and Declutter

Evaluate clutter in one room or one section of a room at a time. Release those things that are useless and just taking up space. Weed out items by donating, gifting, or recycling them to prevent creating more waste for landfills. 

Letting go of things you haven't used in years, makes space for whatever is functional, beautiful, and brings you joy. 

Melissa at Simple Lionheart Life, a blog devoted to simple intentional living, offers How to Declutter Before the Holidays: 11 Awesome Ways to Simplify.” 

See "Declutter for the Holidays: 20 Ways to Make Room for Joy," a post from Courtney Carver, the blogger at Be More with Less. Her blog offers ideas about ways to simplify life and really live. 

Enhance with Colors

Freshen up the entrance to your house or apartment with a good sweep, clean, and a coat of paint for the front door. If you are inspired, paint your door a whole new color. 

Find winter warmth snuggling up in a throw that's a deep-hue like burnt orange and drink a cup of rich hot chocolate or hot coffee. 

Tips, Ideas for Color Brown

Spread out the deep coffee brown area rug you've been storing in the attic to provide a sense of stability and grounding, either under the dining room table or in front of the couch.

Paint an accent wall maroon or coffee table indigo. If you lack space for kitchen or dining room storage and serving, thrift shop for a mahogany sidepiece. 

Set the holiday table with a festive red tablecloth .

Eco-friendly tips and ideas

There are many colors in the rainbow. Select those that make you feel happy and relaxed this holiday season.

Read Eco-friendly Holiday Decorating that Won’t Trash the Planet from Michela, the blogger at the Mindful Momma Blog. Her post shows ways holiday choices can be good for your health, pocketbook, and the environment.

Instead of buying new holiday trinkets, create a clean look by rearranging natural elements you already have on hand or find ones on a nature walk. 

Plants, pine cones, or other objects from nature look so appealing, when incorporated into your winter décor. 

Decorating and Decluttering Tips

Set up a holiday display shelf in a bookcase or on your mantel. Select a limit of two or three seasonal items you have collected over the years to highlight. Try out 2 or 3 different arrangements and choose the one you like best.

Illuminate the Season

Plan to use mood lighting at home, especially if overhead lighting feels harsh. Why not rearrange table lamps and floor lamps to be more welcoming? 

Shaded lamps usually diffuse the softest, coziest light. Consider using a pink LED light bulb or pink shade in the living room and guest bedroom for comforting, flattering illumination.

Learn about the Festival of Lights' colors and customs in this post, Hanukkah a Mini Guide to the Jewish Holiday

Hanukkah Food, Gift ideas, and Customs

No matter how little or how much you do to spruce up for the holidays, one thing is for sure.

I wish you the very best of health, love, and happiness during the holiday season and throughout the year as well!

What things do you like to use to decorate your home for the holidays? 

What customs or traditions do you enjoy at this time of year? Which ones could you do without?

Please comment in the section below. Refrain from putting links in comments, as I will not be able to publish them that way. Thanks for understanding.

Happy Holidays to Everyone. Sending Prayers for Peace, Plenty, and Planetary and Personal Wellness for All.

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