Friday, December 15, 2023

Kick off the New Year More Sustainably

Eat More Veggies and Fruits to Live Sustainably

This post provides tips and ideas to help you kick off the New Year more sustainably, and illustrates why that’s a brilliant idea.

Sustainable practices support ecological, human, and economic health and vitality. 

Sustainable living is based on the fact that living things are finite, and need to be nurtured wisely. 

Sustainable practices take a long-term view at ways natural and manufactured resources are consumed. It also looks for remedies for overconsumption and abuse. 

In simplest terms, sustainability is about our children and our grandchildren, and the world we will leave them.

Look below for ways we can reduce our carbon footprint and live more sustainably.

Swap out Traditional Foods for Plant-based Ones

The carbon footprint for those who eat a plant-based diet accounts for 75 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than those who eat more than 3.5 ounces of meat a day. 

New research from the University of Oxford indicates whole food vegan eaters cause significantly less harm to land, water, and biodiversity than omnivore eaters.

Experiment  with tried and true recipes, by decreasing portion size of animal sourced foods and increase amount of fruits, whole grains, and vegetables that you incorporate into menu planning. 

Make Your Bread or Pizza Dough

Be adventurous and try a new plant-based food recipe each week, perhaps one with a new grain like spelt or legume like lentils. Have some fun and try making homemade bread or pizza dough too. 

Add an extra serving of vegetables to your daily plate or add fruit to your breakfast and smoothies. 

After a few weeks of modifying portions, add a portion of a fruit and vegetable you don’t eat regularly. For example, add a kiwi to fruit salad or cauliflower to that stew, and give them a trail run.

Update Water Management Practices

Did you know water heaters account for about 18% of your home's energy use? Set the water temperature a few degrees lower, and wash clothes on cold

These habits can reduce your energy consumption, save money and natural resources, maintain the vibrancy of your clothes, and eliminate 860 lbs. of CO2 emissions a year.

Showering with cool water is actually incredibly beneficial for your skin, and it can boost your immune system and metabolism! 

Cutting down on time we spend running a bath, washing the car, or watering a lawn can conserve much water as well. 

Water Storage Tank and Sustainable Living

With droughts, wildfires, and shortage of water in the world, consider collecting rain water in a water storage tank. This type of container can store water for irrigation, farming, fire suppression, food preparation, and many other uses.

When we pause to consider that water is essential in sustaining life for all living creatures on our planet, we may foster a deeper sense of reverence and responsibility towards this finite natural resource.

Tips to Save Money and Water

Reduce or Eliminate Single-Use Products

Single-use products, including plastic shopping bags, plastic water bottles, and plastic take-out/take-away containers pollutes the planet. Bring your own reusable cloth grocery bags for shopping, non-plastic reusable water bottle for drinking water on the go, and reusable containers for meals to go.

At home, wash out and keep glass jars from food or use glass containers that can be washed and reused to store leftovers. 

Food Storage Containers that are Eco-friendly

If a single-use product is your only option, look for items that are made from recycled materials. 

When you order from the internet, make sure the products and  company you place the order with uses environmentally friendly packaging and shipping materials, and is working to be net zero.

Shop Smart and Track Spending

Be mindful about your belongings. Before you buy anything new, try to reinvent, repair, and renovate things you already own. 

Instead of tossing out old clothes, electronics, and household items, ask yourself whether it can be mended, altered, or cleaned up. 

 Sell things that crowd your closets, cabinets, and dresser drawers to a secondhand shop, swap with a friend, or donate items that no longer fit you to a local charity.

Donate, sell, or exchange clothing for sustainability

Many household items including plastic storage containers or plastic bottles contain harmful elements. Once they are dumped into a landfill, forever chemicals can leach into the soil or ground water or even end up in our reservoirs or the ocean. 

Finding a second home for unwanted items is a good way to avoid creating garbage. It also curtails production of new products, and reduces toxic emissions caused when garbage rots or fossil fuels are burned.

When you do need to purchase a tech product or service, try to refurbish one or support companies that have reached their goal of carbon neutrality or have taken steps to achieve it. For example, read about top carbon neutral companies in the digital space.

Live with Less and Do Your Part to Help Earth Survive

Some of the sustainable moves I suggest you adopt for the New Year may not come as second nature to you. 
See them for what they truly are. Things are not a reflection of your personality or achievements. They are simply objects that you have chosen to keep in your life.

If you resist the urge to buy stuff on impulse, it encourages you to live within your means, as well as reduce the demand for new products and resources required to produce them.

Living simply means you have less clutter, can locate and see what you have with appreciation, and live more harmoniously with our changing environment.

Releasing objects so others may have them, conserves natural resources, reduces waste, and promotes sustainable consumption habits.

Make Sustainability a Family Goal
Make Sustainability a Family Goal

Focus on experiences over material possessions. Spend time with loved ones and/or travel to new places by using eco-friendly modes of transportation whenever possible.

No matter how we view it, living more sustainably needs to be the new normal. Each one of us will decide if and how we do that. Please choose wisely. Our survival depends on it.

Do you think living more sustainably will save money as well as be eco-friendly? Please comment below.

What creative ideas do you have for living greener in the coming years? Please share them in the comments section below.

I read every comment I receive. Just remember to put no links in your comment, as it won't be published that way.

I post on the 1st and 15th of each month. Please add to your online reading list, as you'll get wellness and color tips at the place where a healthy lifestyle and colors intersect. 

See my Facebook page, Pinterest location, and Website too and give me some social love.

Wishing you health, happiness, and harmony in the coming years. Let's put more of our energy into  sustaining a peaceful, eco-friendly planet in the New Year. 

Colors 4 Health

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Friday, December 1, 2023

Delectable Vegan Lentil and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers


Red and Yellow Bell Peppers at Colors 4 Health

When I think about which vegan recipes to prepare for the winter holidays and beyond, I imagine a happy gathering of those I hold near and dear. I envision us savoring an entrée that is delicious, easy to prepare, and healthy.

Delectable Vegan Lentil and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers are attractive enough to serve at a fancy dinner party, yet simple and inexpensive enough for a regular weeknight meal.

Vegan Lentil and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers are

Savory and Sweet



Whole Food Plant-based (WFPB)

Simple to Prepare




I selected red and yellow sweet bell peppers for this dish, because the contrasting colors make it eye-appealing. Please feel free to choose any color peppers that call to you.

One cooked red pepper has 1 gram of plant-based protein, and is rich in fiber and antioxidants. For more on health benefits and nutrition see Everything to know about bell peppers.

No matter what their color, sweet bell peppers are low in calories and high in Vitamin C. 

Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron and heal wounds. It may also play a role in preventing a variety of conditions, including heart disease and cancer, as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.


Delectable Vegan Lentil and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers


1 Tablespoon olive oil for sautéing or 1
Tablespoon veg broth or water for fat free sautéing

1 medium yellow onion

1 or 2 teaspoons tomato paste

salt (I eat a low sodium diet so I substitute dried oregano instead) and fresh ground black pepper or red pepper flakes

2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning blend

1 can (15 oz.) brown or green lentils drained and rinsed or 1/2 cup dried lentils that have been cooked

1/2 cup quinoa (I used white but any variety is good)

1 cup water or veg broth 

What to Do:

1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Although quinoa is a seed and naturally gluten-free, it is prepared like a grain. It’s a complete protein, a good source of fiber, calcium, magnesium, and iron. Quinoa is a great alternative to grains.

2. While it cooks, sauté chopped onion minced garlic, Italian seasoning blend, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until onion and garlic turns translucent.  

Blend in lentils and heat for 2-3 more minutes. Then, add tomato paste and let it brown slightly. If pan is too dry, add a drop or 2 of extra water or veg broth so tomato paste doesn't burn.

I use lentils in the filling, because it’s both a comfort food and is so tasty. Lentils are a good source of B vitamins, folate, iron, and potassium. To make lentils from scratch, see How to Cook Lentils.

Lentils are also packed with protein and fiber. This vegan food source is inexpensive, and an accessible form of high quality protein for many people around the world.

3. Clean and prep peppers by slicing them vertically through the center, removing seeds, Rinse inside and outside well.

4. Arrange the bell peppers cut side up in a baking dish. Pour enough water into bottom of pan to cover it. Roast in a preheated 400 degrees F oven for 20-25 minutes. 

Lentil and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers in Roasting Pan

Note: I like my peppers to be soft and juicy, so I baste them at least two times as they roast, using a few drops of veg broth or water. If you like your peppers to be crisp, only baste peppers once.

5.When quinoa is cooked, combine it with all ingredients mentioned in step one.

Ingredients for Lentil and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

6. Stuff a portion of the filling into each pepper. Roast for 10 more minutes. Top with fresh basil or parsley, and Mangia!

Serving ideas: 

Close-up Stuffed Vegan Red Sweet Bell Pepper

Serve this dish with a tossed green salad and baked sweet and russet potatoes and green veggie. 

Serving Idea Vegan Stuffed Bell Pepper

This recipe is just as delicious on a bed of sautéed greens, brown rice, or whole grain pasta.

Leftover roasted, stuffed peppers will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight storage container for up to three days. Heat thoroughly when re-serving.

If you prefer, freeze leftover peppers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

This post is offered for educational and entertainment purposes only, and not intended as health or nutrition advice.

Please comment before you leave.

Have you learned something new about sweet bell peppers, quinoa, or lentil nutrition?

Did this recipe intrigue you, because it's so eye-catching, budget-friendly, or sounds delicious?

Delectable Vegan Lentil and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers is a dish that is versatile, economical, nutritious, and can easily be incorporated in practically any type of meal plan.
Do you think you will try this recipe, now that you know it's healthy, easy, and fun to prepare? Please let me know.

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

Thanks for understanding. 👌

If you like what you see, there's more. Just click the links to my Pinterest site and one for Facebook and get social with me.

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This Nov. I tested and perfected this stuffed pepper recipe, and the first blog party I am sharing it with is Natalie the Explorer and Weekend Coffee Share.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Why I am Grateful, Blessed, and Thankful

praying women expressing gratitude

As Thanksgiving and the winter holidays draw near, I reserve time to reflect on the personal progress I've made so far this year, and reasons why I am feeling grateful, blessed, and thankful.


I've discovered when I use positive self-talk to describe a shift in my attitude and/or small victories, my encouraging words help me see more clearly the blessings in my life.

Read Motivation from a Word for the Year to learn more.

from thought to action

Perhaps my research and personal experience on gratitude may help motivate you to identify and appreciate people, places, and things in your life you are grateful for. See Best Ways to Inspire Gratitude with Affirmations for ideas.

Here are current reasons why I keep a gratitude list. It helps me feel more thankful, names my blessings, and helps improve my sense of life satisfaction and even happiness.

Gratitude at Colors 4 Health


I am:

Grateful, blessed, and thankful I am alive, and am happy each day can be a fresh start.

Grateful I usually wake with a grateful heart.

If I wake in a negative space or get grumpy later on, I choose to use one or more of my stockpile of self-care practices that lift my spirit. Some examples include those detailed in Simple Morning Routines to Help Us Thrive All Day.

Mood Elevator Tips and Ideas

Grateful the older I get the more simply I want to live.

Grateful I appreciate what is rather than obsess or complain about what isn’t.
Grateful for the blessing of eye sight. 

Grateful for the blessing of hearing.

Grateful for the blessing of sense of smell.

Grateful for the blessing of sense of touch.

Grateful for the blessing of taste.

Grateful for a bird’s song and children's' laughter.

Grateful for my sense of humor and ability to laugh at myself and back off from judging others.

Grateful for bees and butterflies.

Grateful for the moon, stars, and sun.

Grateful for water to drink, wash, and clean.

Grateful for plants, animals, flowers, weeds, and trees.

Grateful to Mother Nature, the planet, the great outdoors, and beauty in the natural world.

Grateful for my voice and speech, and the ability to communicate.

Grateful for my home and savings so I have necessities and a little extra.

Grateful for healthy food and sustainable clothing and feel the abundance.

Grateful I feel the wonder in music, art, books, and creative endeavors. The arts help me see the world as beautiful and fascinating.

Grateful I am mindful to savor each moment.

Grateful for my legs for allowing me to walk, carry me to places, and enables me to conduct daily activities.

Grateful for my mind and the ability to think, remember, and find solutions.

Grateful for my hands, arms, shoulders, back, and additional organs, systems, and body parts that make me who I am.

Grateful for the love I share with my husband, friends, and family, and grateful I sense they are gifts in my life.

Grateful to be able to feel love, sadness, anger, joy, and a myriad of emotions, as my feelings help me discern what I want more of or less of in my life.

Grateful for mistakes, as they have helped me improve myself and become a more effective person.

Grateful I can start my day over at any time.

Grateful my life has purpose, and feeling grateful helps me be kinder, gentler, and more compassionate with myself and others, both in my thoughts and interactions.💗
Before you go, please comment below.

What things, people, and places are you grateful for and what are your reasons?

Did this post help you recognize some blessings in your life or give you inspiration to reach for new ones?

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

Thanks for understanding.

This post is intended for information and entertainment purposes only and not intended for mental health advice.

Be well. Live well. Lead a colorful life.

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