Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Awesome Home and Garden Ideas for Fall

To add more cheer and discover gratitude in daily living, I suggest you place fall colors or décor accents in your kitchen, home, apartment, or garden. Then take a spin around your neighborhood to look for signs and sights of Autumn in the air. 

Post Updated 8/29/21

The ideas in this blog post show you a selection of things I enjoy seeing, doing, or eating, as well as the awesome creations of the season from fellow bloggers near and far. 

Which ones appeal to you? Please let me know in the comments section below. 

How to Use Fall Colors to Awaken Your Senses

When you prepare, serve, and eat a colorful array of fall fruits and vegetables, you'll get important nutrients your body needs to work and play at an optimum level.

For Stunning Tablescape Ideas Drop by at Clearissa Coward's Command Center and see Seven Fall Tablescapes for Your Inspiration

Then travel over to  
Carol Chappell’s blog, Through My Front Porch for a Fall Home Tour. It highlights the lovely autumn touches in her farmhouse décor with traditional ideas too.

breakfast nook table and side board

Next in line is a tip from me to envision the beautiful colors of autumn leaves.

Gold, rust, amber, scarlet, and browns of autumn leaves and soil remind us of transitions. These colors provide grounding energy  to center you and connect you to Mother Earth. 

Then, find more ideas at Improve Health Spend Quality Time in Nature.

What things are you grateful for this fall? Please share that with us in the comments section below. 

I'm thankful for the cooler weather here in Tucson, and happy to be getting outdoors more often.

I'm so grateful for my eyesight, hearing, sense of smell, touch, and taste. 

One day at a time, I'm thankful I follow through on self-care practices that keep my body, mind, and spirit fit. 

As we age, being consistent with self-care is such an important thing we can do for ourselves. 

Another biggy is to appreciate what we have, and give thanks for our blessings. An attitude of gratitude and willingness to learn new things goes a long way in promoting good health, serenity, and happiness. 💓 GIVE THANKS!

Fall can be a time to look inward, and re-evaluate your priorities. Do you feel the need to do that? Please share your thoughts on that as well.

Wishing you a Happy, Safe Halloween and Awesome Fall. Before you go, share the love on social media.

See me on Facebook and Pinterest for more. 💖
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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.

Updated 11/18/20

Try each one on for size. Notice which healthy lifestyle tips make you feel a sense of purpose or enjoyment, allows you to organize your environment so you're free 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, and contact people I care about and interact 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 energy 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.


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 things remind you 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

Mushroom Recipes and Nutrition Facts

This is an ode to the edible mushroom. This post reveals details about the powerful health benefits of mushrooms and provides delicious whole food plant based mushroom recipes below.

Updated 09/27/2022

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

Marinated Mushroom and Red Pepper Recipe

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

1. easy to prepare

2. scrumptious

3. adaptable and replace unhealthy ingredients found in many conventional recipes

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. whole food and vegan

11. healing and have disease prevention properties 

12. economical

Don't you just love button, shiitake, baby bella, cremini, and porcini mushrooms? I've discovered a single Portobello mushroom contains more potassium than a banana.

Portobello Mushroom

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). Here's tips about seasoning without using salt. 

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

Baby Bella Mushrooms at Colors 4 Health

Porcini Mushrooms at Colors 4 Health

Shitake Mushrooms at Colors 4 Health

Edible mushrooms grow into many shapes, sizes, 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 age sixty and older group who were studied. MCI is a condition which often precedes Alzheimer's disease. 

An additional 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 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.

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 old and young alike.

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.

Marinated Mushroom and Red Peppers at Colors 4 Health

Marinated Mushroom and Red Pepper Sandwich by Nancy Andres


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 at the top of this post).

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, follow me on social media and share the love.

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