Thursday, November 15, 2018

Bank on Color Energy Quotes for Motivation to Live Joyfully



When I notice certain colors or color combinations, I feel energized, centered, and at peace. 

That's because colors work at the cellular level and transcend thinking to influence our mood, outlook, and even behavior. 

Current research shows that when we look at or imagine colors that appeal to us, we feel immediate satisfaction and a sense of well-being. 

Color enjoyment and usage is subjective, so observe how color preferences appear in your life. 

Trust your intuition. One day you may yearn to see the shades of the sea, aquamarine and blue. Another day you may feel compelled to wear an orange blouse or eat cantaloupeOn the third day you may feel perked up just by seeing or envisioning the colors of a rainbow.

 I bank on specific colors to:


1. improve my mood, when my spirit is lagging

2. calm me, when I feel unsettled

3. clear my confusion, and center me

4. enhance enthusiasm and heighten mindfulness 

5. inspire, delight, and awaken my senses


Take a peek at the color quotations I illustrated above and below. Then, reflect on them to discover which ones resonate with you.









Tips to Help You Wear Your Colors to Feel Great About Yourself






The self-care journal Colors of Joy features colorful journal prompts to help you increase self-awareness and happiness. It also highlights ways specific colors encourage you to go after your bliss and thrive.





See Colors of Joy Now! Order one for yourself, and give it as a no-hassle way to holiday shop online. 


Before I sign off, I'll share that I'm grateful for my eyesight, and the opportunity to use my mind and creativity to keep on creating this blog month after month. 

I'm grateful to you dear reader for dropping by and paying me a visit. Please let me know you were here by commenting below about your favorite color quote or how you use colors in your life (no links in comments, as they won't be published). 

Please sign up for the Colors 4 Health Wellness News to learn more about tips to help you live a healthy lifestyle. 

Happy Thanksgiving to One and All and Many Blessings to You.

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Thursday, November 1, 2018

How to Use Ginger in Recipes for Healing and Flavor




Ginger (Zingiber officinale) has a well-earned reputation for curing motion sickness, diarrhea, nausea, and indigestion. It helps calm colic, irritable bowel, poor circulation, menstrual cramps, colds, and flu. It also can reduce gastrointestinal issues like gas, bloating, and lack of appetite.


Ever feel like this?

Fresh ginger has high levels of vitamin C, amino acids, and trace elements including calcium, zinc, sodium, and phosphorus. 

I love the spicy tang of fresh ginger in many of the colorful vegetable dishes I prepare. It's my favorite go-to spice in tofu and tempeh dishes, lentil stew, and Asian Napa Cabbage, Mushroom Stir Fry. 



For an easy, tangy non-fat salad dressing recipe see bean, garlic, ginger salad dressing.


Ginger comes in six forms: fresh, dried, pickled, preserved, candied/crystallized, and powdered/ground, each with its distinct taste. 

Herbs like basil and parsley come from the leafy part of plants, and spices like ginger and garlic are extracted from the root, stem, bulb, bark, or seeds of their respective plants.

Fresh ginger is light/bright yellow inside(depending on the variety and freshness) with a brown-skin wrapping. 

Be sure to select pieces that are firm to the touch. If the skin appears to be wrinkled, shriveled, or moldy don't get it. 

When shopping for ginger, it's acceptable to break off a piece, because it's usually sold by weight. 

If you purchase more than you can use within a few days, peel and freeze the rest. It will keep for several months in the freezer.

Thaw frozen ginger by cutting off the size piece you need, and place that into a little cup. Then cover the ginger with boiling water. Allow it to soak for a few minutes, and it will be ready to use.

An appealing aspect of fresh ginger is its aromatic, spicy yet mildly sweet flavor, which adds warm, energizing notes to foods or drinks. 

A delicious way to use fresh ginger is in this gingery cannellini bean, mushroom, baby spinach saute pictured below. 




Gingery Cannellini Bean, Mushroom, Baby Spinach Saute


Ingredients:

1 medium size yellow onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
1-1 in. slice fresh ginger
1/2 cup (approx. 4 oz.) fresh or canned button, cremini, or baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 can (14 oz.) cannellini beans rinsed and drained
6 cups fresh baby spinach, washed and drained
Bragg Liquid Aminos or low sodium soy sauce

Shop for organic ingredients whenever possible. At the very least, select foods that haven't been genetically modified. Organic foods taste better and are higher in nutrients than conventionally grown ones.

What to do:

Before you prepare this recipe, wash your hands and put on kitchen gloves. 

1. Saute onion in a saute or fry pan on medium heat. Use a drop or two of fresh water or vegetable broth instead of oil, and cook until onion turns slightly yellow. 

2. Turn off stove for a few moments. Use a hand held grater with large grating holes to grate ginger right into the saute pan. I use this size grater, because ginger root is relatively fibrous. Scrape off any particles that remain on the back of the grater, and add them to the pan. Then grate garlic directly into saute pan too. 

3. Turn stove back on (medium heat), add a drop or two more water, and add sliced mushrooms. Cover and saute until soft and juicy.

4. Add a can of cannellini beans or substitute any variety of beans you like. The  light beige color of cannellini beans looks attractive in this dish, yet I've substituted great northern or kidney beans. They work just as well to add eye appeal and a sense of creaminess to the palette.

5. If you want to amp up the protein, add a few small chunks of organic tofu (3 oz. for each portion) and cook until flavor from the ginger and garlic is melded in. Add baby spinach next, and cover again. Cook until spinach is wilted, and soft enough to chew easily.

Note: This dish is very adaptable. You may add other veggies including red pepper, celery, carrots, and zucchini, or ones you have on hand. Allow extra time for cooking and add extra seasoning as well.

6. At the table, season with salt, freshly ground black pepper, Bragg Liquid Aminos or low sodium soy sauce. This dish tastes delicious hot or at room temperature. 

This recipe is good to serve to 3-4 people. If you're one or two people, it provides food to use for another meal. When those in your family have hearty appetites, serve with steamed brown rice or soba noodles and salad.


๐ŸŒฟ

Another recipe that's quick, tasty, healthy, and color-rich is carrot ginger soup for two from Judee Algazi A-Z Gluten Free Blog.


carrot soup
Picture Source Judee Algazi


A third way to use ginger for healing and flavor is to brew it as a spicy tea. The recipe is one I've used hundreds of times over the years, and now I share it with you!


Recipe for Spicy, Mighty Ginger Tea 






Ingredients:

2 in. chunk of fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced into little pieces
2 to 2 1/2 cups fresh water 
Optional ingredients:
Fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice to taste
1/2-1 teaspoon Stevia or other healthy sweetener of your choosing

What to do:

1. Boil water in a kettle or saucepan. Place ginger in a china or pottery teapot. Pour boiling water into teapot (over the ginger). Cover, and steep for 10-20 minutes. 

2. The longer you steep ginger the more healing oils will be infused (decocted) into the liquid. 

3. Pour ginger tea into cups or mugs and serve. You can also refrigerate it. Serve in chilled glasses with a touch of mint for a lively summer time treat.

Ginger tea is caffeine free and considered an herbal tea, even though it's a spice. This tea will calm a queasy stomach, and is great to serve during cold and flu season. It helps digestion, and is a treat any time of the year you drink it.


๐ŸŒฟ

My research shows that fresh ginger tea contains volatile oils and pungent phenol compounds that have healing power.

For more on ginger's health benefits see this video from Michael Greger MD on-ginger-for-obesity-and-fatty-liver-disease/

This study shows that ginger is an effective, inexpensive way to curtail nausea and vomiting during pregnancy and Chemotherapy.

Be adventurous, and add fresh chopped, grated, or minced ginger to your favorite recipes to spice up your creations. It adds tangy flavor notes to foods and drinks, as well as improves our sense of well-being.

Please comment and re-share to spread the word about the many benefits of ginger (with a link back to this post). 

Do you use ginger, both as a home remedy and food seasoning? I'd love to hear from you. 


Why not subscribe to the Colors 4 Health Wellness News? 

You'll get wellness tips I send just to those readers. Form is on the right side of this post. Please scroll up to reach it.


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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

5 Self-care Skills You Need to Know



Are you on mental overload, with too much on your mind? When you feel overwhelmed, it can prevent you from being effective in your career, diminishes creativity, and saps the enjoyment out of what you do. 

I know from the past, that on some days it's hard to maintain optimism, when you don’t even want to roll out of bed.

To restore a positive outlook in a world that may seem to be filled with negative hype, challenge yourself.

The 5 self-care skills I describe—have proven to be emotional/mental health lifesavers, and are well worth the effort to implement.

Establishing a daily routine helps people who lose focus easily, suffer from anxiety or mental overload, lack self-confidence, and set unrealistic expectations of themselves or others.

Take it from me, just as a workout routine helps our physical health, daily self-care practices help calm chaotic thoughts, remind us of daily goals, get us back on track, and restores balance. 

5  Self-care Skills You Need to Know
๐Ÿ’—


1. Start your morning in a meditative way, because it sets the tone for the rest of the day. Make your first priority to begin the day with ease.

For example, my biological clock wakes me without an alarm, so I’m not jolted out of bed. I take a few moments to stretch my body and get my blood moving. Then I spend quiet time in prayer, meditation, and journal writing

I may read a spiritual book, say affirmations, or explore a color-visualization too. Each inspires me and helps reinforce what I've read, written, or envisioned. 

After I eat a nourishing breakfast, wash and brush, and spend a few moments to straighten up my home (make the bed, and chop up a salad for lunch, etc.), I get to work.

Note: I choose to use no electronic equipment for prayer, meditation, and journal writing. I prefer to connect with my higher wisdom and check in with myself in a minimalist way, because it helps me feel grounded in my body, mind, and spirit. 

Then, I set an intention for my day to be mindful and loving. When I am, I can easily accept responsibility for my thoughts and actions, and release my "ego's need" to strive for results. 

If you like an app for yoga, meditation, prayer or other meditative routine, go for it. For me electronic equipment early in the day (5 am) just stirs me up and makes me tempted to text, or get sidetracked and go on a social media frenzy.

2. Recognize that a Positive Attitude is Key. Be kind, present, self-caring, and nonjudgmental with yourself and others as you go through your daily activities. 

Full consciousness tends to reduce negativity, fear, and confusion. In addition, a no-attachment view of how people, things, and places need to be, reduces anxiety, uncertainty, and creates greater compassion.




3. Eat more fruits and veggies. Reserve time to prepare and eat healthy food. It’s a great way to practice self-care throughout the day. 

Top nutrition minds advise us to eat a variety of at least 5 to 9 servings of color-rich vegetables, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, and fruit a day. 

Brightly colored low-fat plant-based whole foods aren't just visually appealing. Fruits and veggies are nature's way of highlighting a broad range of nutrients that boost health. 

In its original state, each vegetable or fruit is low in saturated fat, pleasing to the palette, filling, and doesn't make us feel overstuffed or sluggish. Research indicates eating whole food plant-based foods elevates mood and productivity. 

4. Include fun activities or periods of non-doing into your routine. Try this. Wear pink to brighten your complexion, warm your heart, feel love, or when you sense a need to nurture yourself. 




Ask yourself… what things make me feel happy and part of the human race? Partake of those sports, clubs, religious or spiritual groups, social activities, or hobbies you  enjoy at various times during the week. 

Nap time, real rest, and little breaks from work breathes space into your life. Pausing to kick back and relax, makes you feel more motivated and industrious, when you get back to tasks. 

Relaxation also elevates overall well-being. See How to Use Flowers and Plants to Increase Wellness for additional fun ideas.

5. Strengthen your self-care routine with positive energy. What you say, think, or feel about yourself, has an impact on how well you treat yourself. 

Journal writing raises self-awareness, and helps you understand your reasoning, vulnerabilities, and strengths. Guided journal activities like those in Colors of Joy show you how to shed negative self-talk and accentuate your assets. 


Order Autographed Copies of Colors of Joy Now.


Focusing on your talents and skills increases feelings of self-worth. Read Tips to Help You Keep a Success Journal and Soar at Business and Life!

The work you do on yourself has a ripple effect on how smoothly you interact with others (with more poise, confidence, and worthiness). 

Use affirmations, mantras, or other positive mind set outlets like combining shower power with affirmations. Putting these skills into practice is a simple way to shift energy from negative to positive. 

"When you develop healthy self-care habits, you put money in the upbeat bank. That pays off in feel-good vibes." Nancy Andres๐Ÿ’—




Sometimes self-care is not enough. If you're experiencing life burnout, check out this article that lists symptoms, and seek professional help.

Get treatment if you're dealing with addictions, financial problems, or other serious behavioral/health issues. Elizabeth Hartney, PhD states, “Most addictions have a serious impact on finances. In fact, financial problems are cited as a possible symptom of addiction for substance dependence and compulsive gambling.”

The fact is, most of us haven’t totally thrown self-care out the window. My experience and most probably yours too, shows that we function best when we take good care of ourselves. 

I wish you abundance and joyful feelings each day, and encourage you to use self-care skills to make your health and happiness a lifestyle priority.


Please comment below and/or answer one of the questions that follows:

What self-care techniques work best for you and why? 

When you feel in a rut, how do you restore optimism? 

One way I do this, is to walk in nature or meet a friend for lunch. 

What self-care practices are you willing to try? 

Any I haven’t mentioned that work for you?

Before you go I'd love to share a few links with you...


I'm thrilled and delighted to announce 



Colors of Joy a Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss is hot off the printing presses as a 2nd printing. 

Just this week, Colors of Joy was reviewed by 2 different bloggers.



To learn what they reported, check the posts out. Please give a thumbs up ๐Ÿ‘by leaving a comment here or on their blogs. I'd sure appreciate that.







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Monday, October 1, 2018

15 Healthy Ways to Nix Stress



Common sense and scientific research indicates that reducing your stress level makes you feel happier right now, and may protect your health in the long run. 

A recent study of young adults (ages 17-30) shows life satisfaction prevents inflammation, builds resilience to inflection, and can motivate you to stay on track with your eating plan, exercise, and other elements of a healthy lifestyle. 

Another piece of good news is negative effects of stress can be kept in check or even reduced, no matter what age you are today.

I suggest you pace yourself and adopt one or two of the techniques listed below at a time. Each is valuable, and helps you get off to a good start in improving overall well-being.

15 Healthy Ways to Nix Stress



1. Develop or revisit a hobby today. Play an instrument, crochet, garden, line up a game of tennis or chess, sing in a chorus, or dance up a storm.




2. Incorporate relaxing activities into your weekly schedule. Reach out to a pal for a phone chat, meet your BFF and sip a cup of chamomile or lavender tea, or pamper yourself with a haircut, bubble bath, or pedicure.




Instead of thinking of exercise as a drudge, think of it as a  health elixir. When you get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, it reduces stress, conditions your heart, lifts mood, prevents common diseases like high blood pressure, and helps you work  and play with more energy and joy. 

Make your conditioning routine a combination of strength training, stretching, and aerobic workouts.

Exercise keeps your body and mind strong, flexible, and energized!




Get moving by running, hiking, biking, walking, or window shopping. 

Line up an exercise partner to complete daily errands, walk outdoors in nature, or meet up at the gym or local Y, and combine a self-care practice with a social one.

4. Collect memorabilia that warms your heart, whether it’s stamps, pottery, coins, crystals, or CD’s, but don’t hoard. Delight in what you’re doing, without building up clutter.

5. Organize your belongings. See Organizing Rooms and Routines More Quickly and Effectively from Susan at Organized 31. An organized home prevents you from feeling overwhelmed, and eliminates stress of searching for misplaced items.

Organizing Rooms & Routines more quickly and efficiently means you have more time and energy to do the things you really want to - 10 Organizing Ideas & Tips for your home and life.

6. Focus on meeting your work needs, making progress on projects, and checking off that to-do list one check at a time. 

Say "no" to distractions and postpone things you do for others, until you've accomplished your goal for the day. 

Make yourself your first priority. When you accomplish what you set out to do, you wind up having more to give to others.


7. Carve out time to connect with your inner self. Prayer, meditation, 12 step programs, inspiring books, religious or spiritual activities, and devotional practices including chanting and tai chi help support, comfort, and calm you.

8. Attend the ballet, opera, or a poetry reading.  Dispel negative energy by taking in beauty, and possibly spark inspiration for your own creativity to bloom.

See an art film, visit a museum, art gallery, concert, or theater to enrich your life and release the cares of the day.

9. Cultivate self-compassion and give yourself a break. When you slip up or make errors in judgment, treat yourself as you would a beloved child. 

Soothe that vulnerable place inside you, admit that you're part of the human race, and give yourself unconditional love.

10. Write in a gratitude journal. Studies show the act of physically writing down what you’re grateful for, helps to solidify it in your mind. Build up a log of things you’re thankful for, and refer back to it, on days when you’re feeling low.
11. Spend social time with people who are kind, respectful, and have a positive outlook. Creating a nurturing, low-key home and social life makes you feel encouraged, loved and loving, and relaxed.

12. Prevent a financial crisis by making and keeping to a budget. Review often to stay financially solvent.

Start today to simplify spending, live within your means, and reduce the amount of financial responsibilities you take on so you'll sleep better at night. 

If you don’t know how or can’t do this alone, consult with a financial planner, organizational expert, or therapist. 

13. Visualize aquamarine and aqua to nip stress in the bud. Let these green-blue colors calm mind, body, and spirit, promote smooth communication, and relax eyes. 



Softly gaze at pictures of an ocean, river, or the horizon, or get out in nature to see aquamarine and aqua. Colors of the sky and sea help you feel more expansive and tranquil.


14. Recite affirmations. Affirmations are declarative statements confirming something is already a reality in your life. Affirm the ones below and see how fast that relaxes you.



    
15. One of the best ways to refresh yourself is to pick up your copy of Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss. 

 Colors of Joy takes a lighthearted approach, and helps even those women who are super-busy and/or put others needs before their own, to practice improved self-care.

Each of the guided journal's 12 chapters starts with a full page color illustration and affirmation, and contains plentiful lifestyle tips to brighten daily living. 


Order copies of the 2018 Printing of Colors of Joy Now!


There are many ways to nix stress. Take as many of the ideas from this post as you like, but don't forget to comment. 

What stress reduction techniques work for you? 

What do you still need to work on?

What healthy habits help reduce stress for you? Please share.


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