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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Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Vegan Butternut Squash Recipes are Tops for Fall and Winter

Butternut Squash, Tasty, Colorful, Healthy

Butternut Squash, which is plentiful in fall and winter, is a versatile vegetable that's colorful, delicious, and easy to prepare. 

Look below to see a butternut squash recipe roundup with delectable recipes, easy to follow cooking tips, and colorful serving ideas that will appeal to everyone in your crowd.

Butternut squash is a naturally sweet vegetable. It can be steamed, roasted, broiled, stuffed, sautéed, and pureed. 

It has a smooth texture, that adds depth to many sweet and savory dishes, and can replace pumpkin in nearly any recipe. In fact, in Australia and New Zealand it's known as butternut pumpkin. 

Butternut Squash grows on vines and varies as to its shape, weight, and size. Peak harvest time is after the cool weather of fall sets in. That's why these varieties have become known as “winter” squash.”

Butternut squash has a hard outer shell that is beige/tan. When kept intact, butternut can be stored in a cool basement, pantry, or similar place for several weeks. 

Squash contains important antioxidants including Vitamin A and C. It also has iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorous.

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

Butternut squash is eye-catching, with bright golden orange flesh. It's a complex carbohydrate, and one cup of steamed butternut squash has only 63 calories.

Squash is a high fiber food, packed with alpha-carotene and betta-carotene. Eating recipes that contain butternut squash may help reduce the risk of getting certain kinds of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and age-related macular degeneration.

See Tempting Butternut Squash Dishes, authored by some of the best food savvy bloggers around.

First up is the real food blogger at Gluten Free A-Z Judee Algazi. Her post "1-2-3 Easy Butternut Squash" provides ideas for prepping and roasting butternut squash to make it a snap to cook, peel, and cut.

Photo Credit Judee Algazi

The next recipe, "Harvest Vegan Butternut Squash Salad" appears below. It's an original from yours truly Nancy Andres, the wellness blogger at Colors 4 Health. 


Vegan Butternut Squash Salad

Photo Credit Nancy Andres at Colors 4 Health

Serve this colorful starter dish for anything from a weeknight dinner to a festive holiday meal.


4 cups assorted fresh organic salad greens (washed and spun or patted dry)
2 cups of a medium sized butternut squash or may sub ready-to-use cubed squash
1 cup Brussels sprouts (approx. 8-10 sprouts or may sub a cup of shredded Brussels sprouts)
1/2 cup dried tart cranberries (the kind that's sweetened with juice)
1/4 cup raw pistachios, or pecans, or walnuts, or omit for a nut free version
1 small organic red pepper washed and cut into 1/4 in strips  
1 large organic apple washed but not peeled


4 Tablespoons runny Tahini (leave jar or tin out of refrigerator to soften)
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves fresh garlic
1/2 in. chunk of fresh ginger
1/2 cup fresh water or 1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup of fresh herbs of your choosing 
 Salt and Pepper to Taste

What to do:

1. Look for a medium sized butternut squash that has solid beige/tan skin and no soft spots. The squash should be hard and feel heavy to hold for its weight. Select Brussels sprouts that are small, tender, and not wilted. 

2. Roast the butternut as suggested above by Judee Algazi (washed, unpeeled, in a pan in a 425 degree F oven for about 45 min-hr.). This step can be done early in the day or the day or night before. 

At the same time roast the Brussels sprouts. For detailed prep and cooking directions for Brussels sprouts see "Favorite Fall Fruit and Vegetables." If you want to substitute shredded sprouts, follow cooking directions on package. 

Once both vegetables are thoroughly cooked, refrigerate them.

Peel or cut off the skin of the butternut after it cools. Then cube butternut by making pieces bite sized or approx. 1/2 in. You may substitute ready-to-use peeled and cubed butternut squash to save time. 

3. Place cleaned greens into a salad bowl or platter and add butternut, Brussels sprouts, dried tart cranberries and/or pomegranates, nuts or seeds, red pepper slices, and herbs and spices.

4. Blend salad dressing ingredients in a blender, food processor, or use a whisk. Pour on salad and mix well. 

5. Right before you serve this harvest salad, slice an apple into 1/2 in. slices and mix that in. 

Once apples are cut, they quickly turn brown from air exposure. Dressing will coat the apple slices and prevent this fruit from turning so quickly. For best eye appeal, eat all the apple slices the same day you cut apple.

This recipe serves 4-6 people as an appetizer. Add chickpeas or other legumes and/or whole grains to this harvest salad and serve as a one dish salad meal. Feel free to omit the apple and add 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (called arils) instead. 

Double the recipe, and this salad is perfect to share at a potluck or party.

Butternut Squash Salad with Tahini Dressing

Photo Credit Nancy Andres at Colors 4 Health

Our third recipe comes from the food blog Love and Lemons. It's a creamy, comforting recipe from Jeanine and Jack aptly called "Butternut Squash Soup."


Photo Credit- Love and Lemons


Next up is a winning and filling recipe "Vegan Butternut Squash Chili", from Kathy Carmichael at Kathy's Vegan Kitchen.


Photo Credit Kathy's Vegan Kitchen

Carol Murphy the blogger at Comfort Spring Station hails from Tampa. She presents a scrumptious dish, "Stuffed Butternut Squash" for all to relish.

Photo Credit Carol Murphy

The next recipe is from Alyssa at Simply Quinoa, an online destination that provides ideas to create a healthier life. Cornbread can be a fun accompaniment to any of the dishes above. See "Butternut Squash & Sage Cornbread" now.

Photo Credit Alyssa at Simply Quinoa

Hope you enjoyed our Butternut Squash Recipe Roundup. We sure are happy to have shared it.

Please comment before you leave.

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

Did you learn something new about butternut squash food prep or recipes? Please explain in the comments section below. 

Do you think you will eat more of it, now that you know dishes made from butternut squash can be healthy, easy, and fun to prepare? Please let me know.

Please show your love by commenting, pinning, or sharing this post on social media with a link back please.

After you finish commenting here, pop over to my fellow bloggers' sites. They sure welcome comments and questions too. 

Thanks so much for the visit, and please come back again.

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