Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Try This!

Veggie Meatloaf

This recipe provides 2 servings.


1)    ½ lb lean ground beef
2)    1 slice bread, torn into small pieces
3)    1 egg, beaten
4)    ¼ cup shredded carrot
5)    2 tablespoon finely chopped onion
6)    2 tablespoons finely chopped green pepper
7)    2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
8)    ½ teaspoon sea salt
9)    ½ teaspoon pepper
10) 5 tablespoons ketchup, divided


1)    In a bowl, combine the ground beef, bread, egg, carrot, onion, green pepper, celery, sea salt & pepper, and 2 tablespoons ketchup

2)    Form into a loaf in an un-greased 5 3/4 x 3x2 –inch loaf pan. Spoon remaining 3 tablespoons ketchup over loaf. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F. for approximately 45 minutes, until meat is no longer pink.


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

What Determines Happiness?

Researcher David Lykken published a paper in 1996 that studied the role of genetics in determining our sense of satisfaction in life. He gathered information on 4,000 sets of twins; after comparing happiness data on identical versus fraternal twins, he concluded that 50% of happiness comes from our genetic makeup, 40% can be impacted by intentional activities such as meditation and cognitive therapy, and 10% is determined by life circumstances.

The essential key to happiness therefore lies in changing the 40% we can control, which is our daily intentional activities and how we think.


"Mindfulness helps you go home to the present. And every time you go there and recognize a condition of happiness that you have, happiness comes."
- Thick Nhat Hanh

Monday, April 27, 2020

A Classic

The Greek Salad

This recipe provides 2 servings.


1)    2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2)    2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3)    ½ teaspoon dried oregano
4)    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
5)    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6)    8 large leaves red leaf lettuce, sliced crosswise
7)    ¼ medium red onion, thinly sliced
8)    1 medium or large tomato, sliced into thin wedges
9)    1 small cucumber, sliced
10) 8 Kalamata olives
11) 2 ounces fat-free feta cheese, crumbled


1)    Combine the vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl and whisk together. Add the oil in a steady stream, whisking consistently.

2)    Combine the lettuce, onion, tomato, cucumber, olives, and feta in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over and toss until all of the ingredients are thoroughly coated.


A Quick, Tasty Breakfast Idea

Pesto Egg Wraps

This recipe provides 2 servings.


1)    ¼ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2)    4 eggs, lightly whipped
3)    2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
4)    2 tablespoons prepared pesto
5)    2 whole wheat tortillas (8 inch.), warmed


1)    Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add tomatoes; cook and stir until heated through. Pour in eggs; cook and stir until eggs are thickened and no liquid egg remains. Remove egg mixture from heat then sprinkle with feta cheese.

2)    Spread 1 tablespoon pesto across the center of each tortilla; top with egg mixture. Fold bottom and sides of tortilla over filling/egg mixture and roll up. Ready to Serve.


Quote to Remember

“Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.” –

Charles Swindoll

The 4 Elements of an Effective Exercise Program

1)    Intensity:

Intensity is the stress placed on a specific physiological system involved in an activity. Moderate-intensity activity is equal to a brisk walk and noticeably accelerates the heart rate. Vigorous-intensity activity is equal to jogging and causes rapid breathing and a considerable increase in heart rate.

Both moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity recommendations are in addition to routine activities of daily living, which are considered light intensity, for example, self-care, cooking, walking, or shopping or lasting less than 10 minutes in duration, such as walking around the home or office, or walking from the parking lot. Light-intensity activities show no noticeable changes in breathing patterns or sweating unless it is very hot, and a person can easily carry on a conversation.

Aerobic activities are rhythmic and continuous, and they involve moderate intensity for extended periods of time. The recommended levels of exercise needed to develop and maintain cardiovascular fitness include engaging in moderate-intensity aerobic exercise 3–5 days per week at an intensity of 55–90 percent of the maximum heart rate for 30–60 minutes, or a minimum of 3- 20-minute vigorous-intensity episodes during the week as well as muscle-strengthening activities. Aerobic activities are the most effective at producing ideal health benefits and reducing stress levels.

Even intermittent episodes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity, a minimum of 10 minutes at a time can be helpful. Any level of activity above the sedentary is beneficial for weight loss.

2)    Frequency:

Frequency is the number of exercise sessions per week, and the minimum recommendation is 3. A day of rest between aerobic exercise sessions is logical for beginners so their bodies can recover with less risk of strain on muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

3)    Duration:

Duration is the length of time a person is involved with the activity. The minimum duration for health benefits is 20 minutes, and the heart rate should remain elevated during that time.

4)    Method

The method of exercise is the type of activity chosen, for example walking, running, swimming, skiing, weightlifting or perhaps dancing.

Importantly noted, stretching and resistance training are vital elements of a well-rounded physical activity routine and should be done 2–3 days a week.

Physiological Effects of Physical Activity on Health

Physical activity provides numerous physical and psychological benefits that help reduce stress and enhance well-being.

Oxygen is the essence of the life force, and every cell in the body needs it to function properly. When you engage in physical activity and movement, your body's cells receive oxygen, obtain the nourishment they need, and eliminate waste products (such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid). Your blood vessels dilate as the demand for oxygen increases, allowing more blood to surround tissues and cleanse cells. The increased demand for blood flow carries oxygenated, nutrition-filled blood and lymphatic fluids to every cell in your body.

Lymph fluid differs from blood in that it is not pumped like blood but rather undulates, moving in wavelike motion in response to muscle contractions. Lymph pathways form a lace-like network throughout your body and function to remove excess fluid from body tissues, absorb and transport fatty acids to the circulatory system, and produce immune cells.

Physical activity stimulates bone marrow to produce more oxygen-carrying cells. Cells become stronger, and both the heart and lungs become more effective. As time goes on, this increased effectiveness means that, at rest, these organs do not have to work as hard to function properly.

The short-term effects of physical activity (both neural and hormonal) last approximately 36 hours, however the long-term benefits require continuous training to obtain and maintain.

If physical activity levels are maintained, impressive physiological changes occur after just 6 weeks, for example improved immunity, sleep quality, movement of joints and muscles, strength and endurance, self-confidence, libido and sexual function, decreased resting heart rate, resting blood pressure, and muscle tension, as well as decreased levels of chronic pain.  

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Qigong for Stress Reduction

Qigong stems from an ancient Chinese self-healing energy medicine method that combines movement, controlled breathing, and meditation. The term Qigong was most likely first utilized in modern China in the 1950s to define a type of health-promoting exercise that emphasized breathing regulation.

Qigong (pronounced chee-gong) is translated as qi (life energy) and gong (discipline). A common result of Qigong is improved control of the flow and distribution of qi, leading to improved health, harmony, and balance of the mind, body, and spirit.

Qigong can be broadly categorized as internal (use of meditation with visualization to guide the energy) or external (use of meditation along with physical movement). Some of the postures are static, while other movements flow smoothly from one posture to another. Some are inspired by animals, for example, the wild goose or swimming dragon, some are inspired by natural phenomena such as clouds, water, trees, and others include meditations based on the sun and the moon.

Qigong reduces stress by stimulating and balancing the flow of qi along the acupuncture meridians (energy pathways in the body).

The regular, consistent practice of Qigong reduces stress and stress-related conditions and can improve balance, muscle tone, mental attitude, immune function, in addition to reducing muscle tension, and blood pressure.

Book Recommendation

“Never Give In, Never Give Up: A Gripping and Inspiring Story About How to Soar Through Life's Adversities,” by Carlana Lawson

Benefits of Yoga for Stress Reduction

Believed to have originated in India, yoga is considered an ancient form of active meditation in the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. This ancient practice links the mind, body, and spirit through a combination of postures, breathing, and conscious relaxation and meditation. Yoga provides an integrative, healthy way to connect mind, body, and spirit, resulting in improved physical, mental, and emotional health.

Yoga encompasses 3 main techniques: breathing, postures, and meditation. Breathing techniques are based on the concept that breath is the source of life in the body. Yoga postures are designed to apply pressure on the body's glandular systems, which increases the body's efficiency, and total health. The posture and breathing techniques prepare the body and mind for meditation. Regular, consistent practice of all three yoga techniques helps to reduce stress and enhance the health of the body, mind, and spirit.

During yoga stretches, lactic acid is actually reduced. Yoga also helps increase range of motion and joint lubrication. Practicing yoga not only stretches the muscles but also lengthens the soft tissues of the body (ligaments, tendons, and the fascia sheaths, which surround muscles).

Several yoga styles, both vigorous and less vigorous, provide strength and endurance benefits. Standing poses strengthen the lower back and stabilize hamstrings, quadriceps, and abdominal muscles to increase stability, reduce back pain, in addition to preventing falls.

Consistent yoga practice reduces cortisol levels, and symptoms associated with anxiety and depression, as well as improve sleep quality and muscle relaxation.  

Saturday, April 25, 2020

One to Remember...

Chicken Gyros

This recipe provides 2 servings.


1)    ¼ cup lemon juice
2)    2 tablespoons olive oil
3)    1 teaspoon minced garlic, divided
4)    1 teaspoon ground mustard
5)    ½ teaspoon dried oregano
6)    ½ lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½ inch strips
7)    ½ cup chopped peeled cucumber
8)    1/3 cup plain yogurt
9)    ½ teaspoon dill weed
10) 2 whole pita breads
11) ½ small red onion, thinly sliced


1)    In a large re-sealable plastic bag, combine the lemon juice, oil, ½ teaspoon garlic, mustard and oregano; add chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

2)     In a small bowl, combine the cucumber, yogurt, dill and remaining ½ teaspoon garlic; cover and refrigerate until serving.

3)    Drain chicken, discarding marinade. In a large non-stick skillet, cook and stir chicken for approximately 8 minutes, until no longer pink. Spoon onto pita breads.

4)    Top with yogurt mixture and onion; fold in half and serve.


Friday, April 24, 2020


“Where your attention goes, your energy flows!”

This is important to...

Try This!

Sesame Beef Stir-Fry

This recipe provides 2 servings


1)    2 teaspoons cornstarch
2)    ½ cup reduced-sodium beef broth
3)    6 teaspoons reduced –sodium soy sauce
4)    1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
5)    1 garlic clove, minced
6)    ½ lb. beef top sirloin steak, thinly sliced
7)    4 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted, divided
8)    2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
9)    2 cups fresh broccoli florets
10) 1 small sweet yellow pepper, julienned
11) 1 cup hot cooked brown rice


1)    In a small bowl, combine first five ingredients until blended; set aside.

2)    In a large nonstick skillet or wok, stir-fry beef and 2 teaspoons sesame seeds in 1 teaspoon oil until no longer pink. Remove and keep warm

3)    Stir-fry broccoli in remaining oil for 2 minutes. Add pepper; stir-fry for 5 minutes, until vegetables are crisp and tender.

4)    Stir cornstarch mixture and add to the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes, until thickened. Add beef; heat through. Serve with rice. Sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons sesame seeds.


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Quick, Easy, and Very Tasty!

Tomato & Avocado Sandwiches

This recipe provides 2 servings.


1)    ½ medium ripe avocado, peeled and mashed
2)    4 slices whole wheat bread, toasted
3)    1 tomato, sliced
4)    2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
5)    ½ cup hummus


1)    Spread mashed avocado over 2 slices of toast. Top with the sliced tomato and shallot. Spread hummus over remaining toasts; place; place over tops.


Sunday, April 19, 2020

Try This!

The Portobello Sandwich to Remember

This recipe provides 2 sandwiches


1)    4 large Portobello mushrooms, stemmed, caps wiped clean
2)    Sea Salt
3)    2 tablespoons canola oil
4)    ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
5)    6 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
6)    8 cherry tomatoes, halved
7)    Juice of ½ a lemon


1)    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2)    Arrange the Portobello mushrooms in a single layer on a baking sheet stem side up, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons canola oil. Season with salt and the red pepper flakes. Bake the mushrooms until they release liquid from their centers, shrink slightly, and become tender, approximately 20 minutes.

3)    Begin assembling the sandwiches by spreading the goat cheese over two of the mushrooms. Place the tomato halves on the cheese, and season with sea salt and the lemon juice. Put the remaining 2 Portobello mushrooms tops on each sandwich. Cut the sandwiches in half, and serve immediately.


Interesting and Informative Information

Within only 5 minutes of being exposed to nature or natural views can result in positive psychological, emotional, and physiological changes, for example:

Decreased irritability and restlessness

Decreased headaches, digestive disorders (including nausea), and chronic pain

Reduced stressful thoughts

Reduced negativity, anger, fear, depression, or sadness

Improved awareness and creativity

Increased calmness and positive feelings

For people with disabilities, spending time in nature can provide mental, physical, and spiritual healing.

The fact is, experiences in the outdoors can be empowering and even life-changing.

Sunday Salad Suggestion

Spinach Apple Salad with Balsamic Dressing

This recipe provides 4 servings.


1)    1 cup toasted walnuts  
2)    1 recipe Balsamic Dressing (included below)
3)    1 apple
4)    1 ripe pear
5)    3 ½ cups baby spinach leaves
6)    3 ½ cups baby mixed greens


1)    Core the apple and pear, cut them into thin slices.

2)    Place the greens on serving plates and top with apples, pears, and walnuts. Pour over the dressing and serve.

This balsamic vinaigrette recipe is classic, tangy, and easy to make.


1)    2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
2)    2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3)    1 tablespoon maple syrup
4)    ½ teaspoon sea salt
5)    6 tablespoons olive oil


1)    In a medium bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and salt until fully combined.

2)    Gradually whisk in the olive oil, adding 1 tablespoon at a time and whisking until it incorporates. Store refrigerated and bring to room temperature before serving (keeps at least 2 weeks).

Recipe Insight: You can refrigerate this dressing up to 10 days, just bring to room temperature before serving.