All Cheers, No Jeers

Thanks to the fine customer service people at BrandsMart USA for absolutely doing the right thing when things, beyond their control, went amiss.  Your commitment to excellence certainly makes us happy customers. We look forward to enjoying our new kitchen appliances and appreciate the efforts you made to make it happen in a timely fashion, despite the comedy of errors.

Congratulations to Derek on your new wheels.  I keep walking around the house singing “it’s electric,” which definitely makes me want to do the slide.  I know you will enjoy your new ride even more knowing you are reducing your carbon footprint, big time.

This time of year is my favorite.  So a big thumbs up to Mother Nature for all the yummy mangoes and other fruits and veggies, the absolutely beautiful array of  flowers and last but definitely not least, the longer days of sunlight.  I will miss you, May, but it’s always nice that joyful June, always follows.

 

Bottoms Up

Anything Goes Fruit 'N' Nut Smoothie
Anything Goes Fruit 'N' Nut Smoothie (Photo credit: well.written.or.badly.written)

I am totally showing my age when I say that juicing used to totally be associated with taking steroids, but I am glad to say that these days it has a much healthier connotation.  All over the net, the TV and magazines, ads for juice drinks and recipes for make your own, abound, so I won’t give you more. (Well, maybe I will link some recipes at the bottom of this page)  What I will say is that juicing or making smoothies is much easier and probably much tastier than you might think!  In my house, I have been using whatever I bought at the market that is seasonal.  Berries, bananas, mangoes, kale, chia and/or flax seeds and just enough water and some crushed ice to the blender or magic bullet has been how I have been making my morning drinks.  Though it sounds strange I have also been adding the parts of asparagus that I generally break off and discard, as their is a lot of nutrition in those stems and they are also a great diuretic.  I like to keep my morning shakes low in calories, so I don’t add soy or almond milk, but you certainly can.  You can also add some agave or honey for added sweetness.  Freezing bananas or berries will make the drink more of a frozen shake.  Rita sent me her recipe for the shake she had the other morning and it was simply almond milk, a few stalks of kale torn into pieces, a banana and some honey.  Since the combination possibilities are endless, use your imagination and have some fun creating your own blends.

So it’s not at all necessary to have a big expensive juicing machine, though those are nice, too.  While I have one, I hate cleaning it so I never use it!  I warn you that depending on what you choose to put in, the color might turn out unappealing, but I urge you to look past that.  Many of my shakes come out looking like I am going to dump them, until I take a sip.  If you are in the mood for something more along the lines of an afternoon smoothie, just mix up the fruits and ice with a little almond milk and a frozen banana and you will have something that looks and tastes like something much more decadent that it is!

Green drinks, juice blends and smoothies are a great addition to any diet.  The amount of vitamins and nutrients you can this way is over the top.  They are also a great way to include a meatless meal on this vegan feast Thursday.  Look around your fridge and fruit bowl and let me know what YOUR imagination comes up with!

Fun Run Anyone?

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Attention locals who are interested in a running group.  There is a Coral Springs/Parkland Run Club meeting every Thursday night for a 3-4 mile fun run.  This is for all paces and meets at Runners Depot in the LA Fitness plaza on Coral Ridge Drive (just next door to Falafel Bistro).  If you are on FaceBook they have their own page so you can get all the details there.  Or head on over to the store and ask for Hugo.  Though I have not joined them, I may consider it over the summer, pending my schedule.

Was able to multi-task, or more accurately, multi-watch last night and saw parts of the Heat game and all of Extreme Makeover with Chris Powell.  The game was too hard to just sit and watch.  The weight loss show was just “OK.”  I find the cookie cutter design of the show too impersonal and I honestly find the results hard to believe.  It’s no Biggest Loser, but it’s better than nothing!

Got a late start this morning and have to get out of the house soon, so it’s off to work for me.  Make your Wednesday a great one.  Remember that worrying about tomorrow ruins your peace, today!

Too Much Holiday

Mercat de la Boqueria, fruits & vegetables
fruits & vegetables (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With the incredible bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables available at this time of year, healthy eating and weight management is a simple as taking advantage!  The abundance of fresh produce in spring and summer drives prices way down making them even more desirable.  A trip to our favorite produce market this past Friday, stocked our fridge and fruit basket with every color of the rainbow and then some. Even water is more desirable, when fresh lemons and limes are floating in the big pitcher that I try to keep fill each night before bed.  Here’s a super simple recipe for a garlic smashed cauliflower recipe that I made to go with some grilled asparagus and portobello mushrooms. I used only one head of cauliflower, but if you are more than 2 people, I would use two heads.

English: Cauliflower Ελληνικά: Κουνουπίδι
English: Cauliflower Ελληνικά: Κουνουπίδι (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Cut or break cauliflower into heads and add to a pot of boiling water with a couple of pieces of garlic.  Boil for about 20 minutes or until soft.

  • Drain water well and put cooked cauliflower and garlic in the blender with a a couple of pats of Earth Balance butter (sure, you can butter) until creamy.   Add in some fresh ground pepper.

  • Transfer to a casserole dish.  Add a little more Earth Balance or butter to the top with paprika and bake for about a half hour before switching to broil for the last few minutes.

This dish is a great substitute for starchier, more fattening mashed potatoes.  Mine came out a little to “thin” so I would recommend really making sure the cauliflower is well drained before placing in the blender.

Loading up on lots of fruits, veggies and water while eliminating most everything else, for just a a day or two or three, is about the greatest way to detox without being hungry.  A morning shake with any combination of the fresh stuff will jump start your day with energy while giving your liver a really nice vacation.

If you woke up this morning feeling like you had just a little too much holiday, maybe a trip to your local market is just what you need to start feeling better IMMEDIATELY.  That and a great workout, of course!

English: Me Running
English: Running (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Gym Schedule….

Gym
Gym (Photo credits: www.mydoorsign.com)

Welcome to your holiday weekend!  Regular schedule for me, today, and the gym (TFC) is open usual Saturday hours.  It will, however, be closed tomorrow AND Monday, which obviously means NO CLASSES on Monday, as well.  Though somewhat forced, it’s always a great opportunity to switch up your workout routine when you can’t hit the gym.  Walking, jogging, running, swimming, biking, skating, dancing, yard work, hitting golf balls, tennis balls, softballs, or shooting hoops are just a few of the many ways you can take advantage of a break in your schedule.  Or, for those of you who are incredibly dedicated to your daily fitness, why not just take a day or two for some R and R!

In many parts of the country, the sun is scorching (it certainly is here).  So be wise about the time you spend in the sun and remember that colorful fruits and veggies will not only help your skin look healthier, but will actually help to protect it from sun damage.  There is no better time than right now to take advantage of the bounty of colorful, yummy and affordable seasonal produce, which makes it really easy and appealing to pack a colorful fruit salad to bring to the beach, pool or holiday picnic.

Stay safe and have a happy kickoff to your holiday weekend.

How you can Spread Happiness

Thanks, Dolores….

 

“You cannot make someone else happy, but you can help them in the right direction…with generosity for example.  Share your happiness!

 

Share your happiness…Give away a smile.  Give away another one.  Give away a million smiles.

 

Be generous. 

 

Give a way a million smiles a day. 

 

Remember, everyone wants to be happy.”

Happiness
Happiness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


 

–Patrick Whiteside (from The Little Book of Happiness)

 

 

 

What Wouldn’t You do for More Time with Your Loved Ones?

I am going to refrain from commenting too much on the following article and just let you read it.    It came in my weekly email from Forks Over Knives and I thought it was well worth the read.  We ALL dream of a cure for cancer.  Maybe there will be someday, but so far it seems like prevention might be the answer.  Many consider life on a plant-based (in this article it is referred to as starch based) diet extreme.  Clearly, a double-mastectomy is also pretty extreme.  What wouldn’t we do to have more time on this earth with our loved ones?

Forks Over Knives
Forks Over Knives (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

. Click here to read the full article.

Mull that around and consider the possibility that you may have a whole lot more control over your health than you think.

What Morning Drinking Can Do For You!

“Some people think of the glass as half full. ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Drink up!

The second thing I do every single morning upon rising, is squeeze half of a fresh lemon into a 16 ounce glass of cold water and drink it down.  I do this while my coffee is brewing and since our coffee maker is pretty quick, it encourages me to drink it all down rather quickly.  While I have been doing this for years, mostly as a way to make sure I am hydrated before I start my day working (working out) but the benefits are many and I believe it’s a practice that would benefit everyone.

Benefits abound…

  • Drinking water on an empty stomach stimulates your organs, basically waking them up.

  • Drinking water first thing in the morning works as a detox to remove waste that accumulates while you sleep.

  •  A tall glass of water first thing in the morning will cleanse your digestive system and make it easier for your body to absorb nutrients.

  • That first glass of water in the morning will stimulate the production of blood cells and muscle.

  • Since water serves to detox waste and toxins,  your first glass of water in the morning will have a positive effect on your skin, leaving it looking more healthy.

  • Kick off the day with a tall one and it will help balance your lymphatic system.

  • And perhaps, my favorite of all…starting the day with a 16 ounce glass of water can boost your metabolism up to a whopping 24%, helping you lose excess weight.

Forget the milk

Water does a body good.  Consider waking and drinking and all these benefits will belong to you!

English: Charlie, my cat, loves to drink tap w...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)