Monday, March 30, 2020

2 Chapters

In our current times of stress revolving around the coronavirius, it is especially important to direct your focus in a positive direction.

With this being said, this is a reminder that my book has 2 chapters that are of great use during times of stress, chapters 8 & 9.

        Stay positive, Stay motivated, to Live Life to the Fullest!

Links of Interest

Just click the link below, please:

Expand Your Awareness

Expand Your Awareness

Awareness leads us to the right decisions and the right goals to pursue.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

2 Book Recommendations

"Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America," by Robert Whitaker, Ken Kilban, et al.

“Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill,” by Robert Whitaker, Chris Kayser, et, al.

Remember, awareness leads to insights and these insights helps us make the best decision that leads us to success and happiness.   

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Six Foods to Eat for a Stronger Immune System


 It contains live and active cultures, the probiotics found in yogurt, and other fermented food products have been shown to improve the immune response.


Tahini, a key ingredient in hummus, is made from ground sesame seeds and is loaded with zinc, a key role player for your immune system that may help shorten the duration and severity of symptoms of a cold. Try hummus toast topped with bell pepper strips, abundant in vitamin C, for an extra immune boost.

Sweet Potatoes:

They are extremely rich in vitamin A, a nutrient that plays a role in the development of connective tissue. That connective tissue-that is, your skin-is the first line of defense against invading pathogens.


Tea contains a compound that primes the body's immune response against infection. Choose black or green tea for the most benefit.


Mushrooms have been shown to increase the production and activity of white blood cells, making for a healthy and humming immune system.


Oats are rich in a type of fiber called beta-glucan, which has been shown to have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Words of Wisdom...

“Even though life is hard, even though it is sometimes difficult to smile, we have to try. Just as when we wish each other “Good morning,” it must be a real “Good morning.” Recently, one friend asked me, “How can I force myself to smile when I am filled with sorry? It isn’t natural. I told her she must be able to smile to her sorrow, because we are more than our sorrow. A human being is like a television set with millions of channels. If we turn the Buddha on, we are the Buddha. If we turn  sorry on, we are sorry. If we turn a smile on, we really are the smile. We can’t let just one channel dominate us.”

The above passage was abstracted from the book, “Being Peace,” by Thich Nhat Hanh

I very much recommend this little book because it is a gem, full of wisdom.



When your focus is directed in a positive manner you are much more likely to achieve your goals and realize your dreams.

Try This!

Chinese Style –Beef Noodles

This recipe provides 8 servings.


1)    5 cups of water
2)    1 ½ cups rice wine or sake
3)    3/4 cups low-sodium soy sauce
4)    ¼ cup sugar
5)    4 teaspoons vegetable oil
6)    2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
7)    6 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
8)    6 garlic cloves, crushed
9)    2 cinnamon sticks
10) 1 ( 1-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
11) 1 ( 10-ounce) package fresh spinach, chopped
12) 4 cups hot cooked wide lo mein noodles
13) Green onion pieces (optional)


1)    Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl, stir with a whisk, and then set aside.

2)    Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium –high heat, add half of beef, browning on all sides. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining 2 teaspoons of oil and 1 pound of beef.

3)    Return beef to pan; add water mixture, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, and onions. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer approximately 2 hours, or until beef is tender.

4)    Discard cinnamon and ginger. Stir in spinach; cook 2-3 minutes, until wilted. Serve over noodles. Garnish with green onion pieces, if desired.

Serving Size: 1 cup beef mixture and ½ cup noodles


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Core Strength Exercise

 Chair Abdominal Crunch

This exercise targets the shoulder stabilizers and triceps, strengthening the upper body, and improving shoulder stability.

Step 1: Sit on a chair with your hands grasping the sides of the seat and your arms straight.

Step 2: Step forward so your knees are bent but your buttocks are lifted off the chair. Your hips and knees should be bent to form a 90- degree angles.

Step 3: Tuck your tailbone toward the front of the chair, and bend your knees toward your chest. Bend your elbows simultaneously. At the bottom of the movement, extend your elbows and press through your shoulders.

Step 4: Keeping your head in neutral position, press into the chair and lower your legs to return to the starting position. Repeat exercise 12 times, take 30 second break, repeat 12 more times.

 Proper Technique Cues:

Your spine should be neutral as you progress through this motion

Your body should remain close to the chair

Your knees should align over your ankles

*Avoid this exercise if you are experiencing shoulder and or neck pain. 

6 & 6

6 ways play specifically impacts the brain:

1)    Play stimulates brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which stimulates the growth of neurons in the amygdala (where emotions are processed) and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (where executive decisions such as problem-solving and reasoning occur).

2)    Play promotes the creation of neuroplasticity as well as new synaptic connections.

3)    Play improves cooperation, ability to follow directions, abide by rules, accept feedback from others, and accept help from others.

4)    Play improves academic performance, including math skills.

5)    Play improves attention and concentration.

6)    Play improves ability to connect to others and develop empathy.

6 ways you can incorporate play into your daily life:

1)    Surround yourself with playful, funny people.

2)    Be active. One of the quickest ways to jump-start play is to do something physical. Move, take a walk, throw a ball, and smile! Motion is one of the most basic forms of play.

3)    Host regular game nights with friends.

4)    Invest in an art class, buy construction or science toys, and create something. Try not to worry about whether you are "good" at the creative endeavor; just simply enjoy the experience.

5)    Re-engage in a favorite hobby you may have given up at one time.

6)    Watch funny movies, collect jokes, and try to find something funny to laugh at least once a day!

George Bernard Shaw once said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” 

Monday, March 16, 2020

Core Stability Exercise

Chair Dip

This exercise targets your triceps, shoulders and core stabilizers, strengthening the shoulder girdle and training your torso to remain stable while the legs and arms are in motion.

Step 1: Sit up tall near the front of a sturdy chair. Place your hands beside your hips, wrapping your fingers over the front edge of the chair.

Step 2: Extend your legs in front of you slightly, and place your feet flat on the floor.

Step 3: Scoot off the edge of the chair until your knees align above your feet and torso will be able to clear the chair as you dip down.

Step 4: Bending your elbows directly behind you, without splaying them out to the sides, lower your torso until your elbows make a 90-degree angle.

Step 5: Press into the chair, raising your body back into starting position. Repeat 12 times, 30 second rest, repeat 12 more times.

When doing this exercise, avoid the following:

Moving your feet

Pushing up solely with your feet, rather than utilizing your arm strength.

*Your body should remain close to the chair during this exercise and your spine should remain neutral throughout movement.

*This exercise is not recommended if you are experiencing shoulder or wrist pain.

One to Remember...

Spaghetti Deep Dish Casserole

This recipe provides 6 servings


1)    1 pound 90% lean ground beef
2)    ½ teaspoon sea salt
3)    ½ teaspoon black pepper
4)    2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce with garlic
5)    ¼ cup (2ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
6)    4 cups hot cooked spaghetti (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
7)    1 1/3 cups (about 5 ounces shredded reduced-fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese
8)    Cooking spray


1)    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2)    Cook lean ground beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat just until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain well, and return meat to pan. Stir in sea salt, pepper and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.

3)    Combine the sour cream, onions, and cream cheese in a small bowl, set aside. Place spaghetti noodles in a 2-quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Spread sour cream mixture over spaghetti noodles. Top with meat mixture. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F. for 25 minutes.

4)    Uncover; bake an additional 3-4 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.

Recipe Insight: You may substitute plain tomato sauce plus ¼ teaspoon garlic powder.


Sunday, March 15, 2020

Try This!

Curry –Roasted Chicken Thighs

This recipe provides 4 servings.


1)    ½ tablespoon red curry paste
2)    1 teaspoon lime zest
3)    2 grated garlic cloves
4)    4 (6 oz.) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
5)    1 teaspoon sea salt
6)    ½ teaspoon black pepper
7)    1 tablespoon canola oil


1)    Preheat oven to 450 F. Combine red curry paste, lime zest, and grated garlic cloves in a bowl.

2)    Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels. Loosen skin by gently pushing fingers between skin and meat (do not detach skin). Rub curry paste mixture evenly under skin of each thigh. Combine sea salt and pepper; sprinkle over chicken.

3)    Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken, skin side down; cook until skin is browned and crisp, approximately 8 minutes.

4)    Place skillet in oven; bake until cooked through (160 F.) approximately 10 minutes.

Recipe Insight: It is important to make sure you rub the red curry paste under the skin to keep it from sticking or burning.


Friday, March 13, 2020

A Quick, Healthy, Tasty Recipe

Lentil-Chard Soup with Ham

This recipe provides 6 servings.


1)    4 cups Swiss chard, chopped into bite sized chunks
2)    1 32-oz. carton reduced-sodium chicken broth
3)    1 14-oz package frozen mirepoix (carrots, celery, and onions)
4)    1 9-oz. package refrigerated steamed lentils
5)    2 cups water
6)    2 cups diced cooked ham
7)    1 ½ teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
8)    Finely shredded Parmesan cheese for topping (optional)


1)    In a 4-quart Dutch oven combine first seven ingredients (through Italian seasoning), cook to boiling. Reduce heat, simmer for 10-15 minutes, until vegetables are fork tender, stirring occasionally.

2)    If desired, top soup with shredded cheese.


1 Essential Question...

What strengths can you draw upon as you navigate the path of life to help you reach your goals and realize your vision of success and happiness?

Remember This...

“Make taking care of your body a top priority goal because it’s the only place you have to live.”

Monday, March 9, 2020

Top 6 Pro-Inflammatory Foods and Beverages to Avoid

1)   Foods high in saturated trans fats
2)   Foods with added sugars and/or artificial sweeteners
3)   Fried Foods
4)   Processed Foods
5)   Cured and processed meats
6)   Excess alcohol consumption 

Even low-grade, chronic inflammation takes an increasing toll on the body, damaging cells and overworking the immune system; this has the potential to lead to the following health issues: cancer, dementia, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, and irritable bowel syndrome, to name just a few.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

A Tasty, Healthy Recipe

Salmon and Lentil Bowl with Kefir Dressing

This recipe provides 4 servings.


1)    8 tablespoons whole-milk kefir
2)    3 tablespoons canola mayonnaise
3)    2 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh chives
4)    2 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
5)    1 teaspoon grated fresh garlic
6)    1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
7)    1 teaspoon sea salt
8)    ½ teaspoon black pepper
9)    1 (17.6-oz.) package precooked lentils (approx. 3 cups)
10) 2 cups shaved fennel (from 1 bulb)
11) 2 tablespoons olive oil
12) 1 cup thinly sliced English cucumber
13) 2 (4-oz.) baked or smoked salmon fillets


1)    Stir together kefir, mayonnaise, chives, parsley, garlic, dill, ½ teaspoon sea salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

2)    Combine lentils, 1 cup shaved fennel, olive oil, and ½ teaspoon sea salt in a bowl; toss gently.

3)    Divide lentil mixture among 4 bowls. Top evenly with cucumber, salmon, remaining 1 cup shaved fennel, and fennel fronds. Drizzle evenly with whole milk kefir dressing, and serve immediately.

Recipe Insight: Whole milk kefir serves as a probiotic-rich substitute for sour cream.