Christmas: Imagining How it Might Have Really Started


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Dove

This is how I imagine one of the ways Christmas may have started.

I imagine Jesus in heaven.  He spends his days hanging with David, Joshua, Elijah, Joseph, Melchizedek and the rest of the crew.  They have good times.  Retelling their stories.  At least everyone does.

And Jesus asks to hear them again and again.  He never seems to tire of hearing about David’s exploits.  About how Moses saw the burning bush and eventually lead the people of Israel out of Egypt.  Or how Samson tore the lion apart with his bare hands.

These meetings are the highlight of Jesus’ day.  Once a day they would all gather to just hang and tell Jesus their stories.

Not that he didn’t already know. (more…)

Blogging for fun

And resolving to enjoy the life I have


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I love blogging

I’ve spent the last couple of months or so wondering why I’m blogging.

It’s not that I didn’t have good intent when I started.  It’s not that I didn’t know what I was doing. As a matter of fact, I was really excited about writing, blogging, whatever.  I loved to get a thought, have an experience or bump into a new discovery I can share. I envisioned I could share something that either helped or entertained.

Either way.  It was my way to serve in a fun way.

But somewhere, something not so pleasant happened.  I think I got way too serious.

I started listening to the podcast “gurus” and reading what they were all writing.  I basically drank the Koolaid.  I began to worry about subscription lists and niching down to my underwear.  I didn’t feel “serious” enough about what I was doing.  I was spending lots of money and way too much time trying to “engage”.  Why wasn’t I as “successful” as “they” said I should be?

Also, I was overwhelmed by the tens of thousands of unread emails in my blog’s inbox. I know I would never get to them. Not to mention the multiple “come hither” invitations to subscribe or to buy a course in this or that.

It wasn’t bad enough that I was being targeted multiple times a day by the same people.  I was also getting emails introducing me to the same people I was getting the multiple emails from. It’s insane!

(more…)

91% of consumers agree: If it’s GMO, they have a right to know

It's time for mandatory GMO labeling


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#justlabelit

According to a recent poll conducted by The Mellman Group, 9 out of 10 (or 91 percent of) Americans support mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms — “Frankenfoods,” as some people in the food revolution movement often call them.

This preference for GMO labeling has been supported by eight other polls, according to the Center for Food Safety. On top of that public demand, a group of CEOs from 127 food companies wrote to President Obama, urging him to support labeling of GMO foods. Most recently, in response to the FDA’s approval of GMO salmon for human consumption, a New York Times editorial called for mandatory GMO labeling.

Click to read more…

Nine out of 10 consumers agree: If it’s GMO, they have a right to know


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#justlabelit GMO labelingAccording to a recent poll conducted by The Mellman Group, 9 out of 10 (or 91 percent of) Americans… Click To Tweet— “Frankenfoods,” as some people in the food revolution movement often call them.

This preference for GMO labeling has been supported by eight other polls, according to the Center for Food Safety. On top of that public demand, a group of CEOs from 127 food companies wrote to President Obama, urging him to support labeling of GMO foods. Most recently, in response to the FDA’s approval of GMO salmon for human consumption, a New York Times editorial called for mandatory GMO labeling.

Click to read more…

My 6 Favorite Kitchen Tools

Great little helpers for preparing Holiday foods


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If you already love cooking and preparing delicious dishes, then great kitchen tools can make your work even more fun and exciting.

I love to cook and experiment in the kitchen.  But having useful tools that save time and energy as well as enhance my cooking experience are worth their weight in gold.  During the holidays, the first five tools below make food preparation and cooking a more interesting experience.

I do love the yogurt maker and think it’s a useful addition to any kitchen.

1. Kuving’s Whole Slow JuicerKuvings

I love this juicer because I juice a lot. It took me a while to purchase it because I didn’t like the idea of spending hours making my juice in the mornings.  But to my surprise, the “slow” is only in the way it chews the foods to make juice.  It is by no means a con for me.  I also own the Breville Juice Fountain Elite but use the Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer 90% of the time.  It comes with a 3″ wide feeding tube so you don’t have to cut up your food in tiny pieces.  Yet it’s slow enough so you can start juicing while you are still preparing your foods.  This is what’s called a masticating juicer.

This juicer comes with lots of useful attachments such as a basket cleaner and two brushes that works very well.  But it’s not hard to put together and cleans up easily.

Why I love it:  Produce lots of juice and just a small amount of very dry pulp. Not nearly as slow as it’s supposed to be and that’s just fine with me.  Great for leafy vegetables and herbs.  And excellent for juicing wheatgrass.Kuvings wheat grass juice

What I could do without: Sometimes the bowl gets stuck to the base after my juicing session.  It’s all I can do not to throw it out the window.

Well worth it: $449 with the smoothie strainer

Try: My go-to juice recipe

2. Cusinart Spice and Nut Grinder

Coffee beans, nuts, cinnamon stick and whole nutmeg.  I grind these all in the Cusinart food grinder.  It’s quick. It’s easy to use. And clean up is a breeze.   I even use it for quick homemade salad dressings.  Also, it cracks black pepper open in no time. Cusinart nut grinder2

Why I love it: Quick and easy.  Great for small jobs.   Wet or dry ingredients.

What I could do without: Certainly not this amazing tool.

Well worth it: $30-40

Try: Quick & Easy Salad Dressing –  2-3 tbsp olive oil; 1 tsp dijon mustard; pinch black pepper; pinch sea salt; juice of 1/2 small lemon.  Cover and press/pulse for 20 seconds.

3. Vitamix 750 Blender

Vitamix blenderA lot has been written about Vitamix.  What more can you say about a blender that can lasts for 25 years. Yet, I have something to say.  I have own a lot of blenders and products that call themselves blenders.  But none can hold a candle to Vitamix. The 750 model comes with a 64 ounce jar.  You can also purchase a smaller jar for dry ingredients.  This unit is fast and not very loud.  Also, you can use it to grind nuts, make salad dressing and mix pancake batter, especially when you need a large amount.

Why I love it: I can blend frozen fruits and nuts for creamy ice cream.Vitamix smoothie  Great for making a big batch of smoothies at once.

What I could do without: The long cord should be a pro for me but it just gets in the way and always seems to be under the base.

Well worth it: $329-590
Try: To-Die-For Ice Cream: Frozen berries, mangoes, pineapple, banana; homemade sheep milk yogurt; coconut palm sugar; cinnamon; and vanilla powder.  Blend on low using the tamper to keep ingredients near the blade.
Scrape into a bowl (using a plastic spatula). Sprinkle with ground nuts or raw cacao nibs/scrapes.

4. Spiralizer Ultimate Vegetable Spiral Slicer

Vegetable spaghetti (zucchini, radish), curly fries – when you have time to play with your food this spiralizer makes it fun and interesting.  My sons love it for curly fries.  I love it to make vegetable spaghetti.  It comes with three blades, two of which can be hidden away in a storage area in the unit itself.  Quite genius!spiralizer

Why I love it:  Easy to use and clean.  The parts come apart easily for washing with soap and warm water.  The feet with suction cups keep the unit from moving around.

What I could do without: This could use a vegetable catcher/bowl.  The unit is square and does not allow a round bowl to be placed close enough to catch food.  Takes all the fun out of the process when you have to stop often to catch the food from falling.  This can be helped by putting a piece of paper on the counter to catch food instead of using a bowl.  Which adds an extra step.  Of course using a square baking dish works perfectly.

Well worth it: $29.95

Try: Sweet potato curly fries: (feeds one) wash 1 medium sweet potato (can be peeled or unpeeled – your preference); cut off ends so you have a flat surface; place potato between (blade) and handle; place a square bowl or a large piece of wax paper  under the blade end and turn the handle until all the potato is curled.  add 2 tsp of coconut oil, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and salt and dried parsley to the bowl. Shake until pieces are coated.  Place in on an ungreased baking sheet or glass tray into a preheated oven and bake until brown and crispy minutes.  Turn “fries” about halfway through for even cooking.  Enjoy while still warm alone or with ketchup.  Can be cooked with coconut oil and cinnamon instead of salt, parsley and black pepper.

5.  Excalibur Food Dehydratordehydrator

Sun dried tomatoes.  Granola. Plantain chips. Dried pineapple.  These are just some of the delicious, healthy foods you can make in a dehydrator.  The Excalibur is the crown prince of dehydrators.  My model comes in stainless steel with stainless steel trays.  I also use the (purchased separately) silicone sheets which make using the unit so must easier.  Kale chips and chia crackers are also popular healthy foods you can make using a dehydrator.

Why I love it: It’s easy to use. Comes with a large recipe book. Very quiet.

What I could do without: It is very big. And I only bought the 5 tray unit.  I live in a tiny apartment  and it is obviously too big but it’s staying.

Well worth it: $99-495

Try: Granola – mix together rolled oats, ground nuts, chopped raisins, coconut palm sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, shredded coconut and coconut oil.  Spread on baking sheet and bake at 52 degrees for about 12 hours or until dry.

6.   Euro-Cuisine Yogurt Maker

With seven 6-oz jars, the Euro-Cuisine Yogurt Maker allows you to make a whole week’s supply of delicious, healthy homemade yogurt.  I use raw, sheep milk which makes really creamy yogurt. yogurt maker

Why I love it:  Great way to make yogurt at home. Another simple to use, very low cost tool.

What I could do without: n/a

Well worth it: $29.99

Try: Yogurt.  Warm milk. Add kefir/yogurt starter or culture. Pour into glass jars and set to 9 hours overnight.  Cool. Screw on covers. Refrigerate.

These are just some of the kitchen tools I enjoy using while preparing healthy homemade foods.  One I didn’t feature that is worth mentioning is the Cusinart 9-cup Food Processor.  Great for making cultured veggies, a large salad or coleslaw.  Also excellent for making sauces and salad dressings.

What is your favorite kitchen tool? Please share.

This post contains affiliate links that makes purchasing of these items easy for you.

5 Reasons to Get Juiced


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Get Juiced

I love to juice and there are many reasons to get juiced.

One reason is to give myself the opportunity to consume a large amount of vegetables and to a lesser extent, fruits as part of my daily diet.  But apart from this, what are the reasons or benefits for juicing?

Below are my top 5 reasons to juice daily:

  1.  It is the quickest way to get nutrients to your body’s 37 trillion cells.
  2. Juicing organic, clean vegetables promotes cellular health and clear skin
  3. When you drink fresh organic vegetable juices, you get approximately 95% of the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
  4. Juicing promotes weight loss, boost immunity and increase energy (Juicing: How Healthy is It?).
  5. If you do not like eating fresh vegetables and fruits, juicing is a way for you to get a high… Click To Tweet

There is an ongoing debate about juicing. What to juice. What not to juice. Who should drink fresh, organic, live vegetable juice and who shouldn’t.  Regardless of arguments, it is clear that juicing is the fastest way to get lots and lots of fresh foods into our systems.

Last year, I did the Super JuiceMe plan for 28 days. The experience was awesome and I felt amazing.

So what are you waiting for. Go get juiced!

Quick Juice Recipe

1 large green apple (preferably granny smith)

4 celery stalks

4 kale leaves (or 2 handfuls of spinach or mixed greens containing all or some of – arugula, broccoli rabe, sunflower sprouts, dandelion green, butter lettuce, etc.)

1/2 lemon (rind on if organic) or 1 inch piece of raw ginger (preferably organic. otherwise peel)

1 organic cucumber skin on (peel if not organic)

Wash all vegetables (use a vegetable wash or Bronner’s Sal Sud) if not using filtered water.  I use Whole Foods Organic White Vinegar to wash all my vegetables.

Place through a juicer (example: Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer, Breville Juice Fountain or similar).

Drink immediately.

Minimum Nutrients – Source: USDA National Nutrient Database:

Green Apple: Vitamins A, C,

Celery: Sodium, Vitamins A, C, Calcium, Iron

Green leafy vegetables: Spinach – Vitamins K, Omega-3 fatty acids; kale: protein, Potassium, Vitamins A, Thaimin, K

Lemon: potassium, Vitamins C, K

Sources:

Jason Vale’s SuperJuice Me!

Joe Cross’ Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

FMTV.com

Mercola.com

IMG_0602

Note: I’m not a medical doctor nor a nutritionist. I write about foods I eat and healthy habits I practice.  If you choose to follow any ideas on this site, please check with your doctor first.  The above post is for entertainment purposes only.  This post contains affiliate links.

On My Bookshelf: The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

Books I'm Reading to Improve my Life


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The Miracle Morning

I just finished reading The Miracle Morning: The Not-so-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life Before 8:00am by Hal Elrod for the second time.  Hal is one of my favorite influencers.

His story is inspiring.  His method is simple. I practice The Miracle Morning (TMM) but use it more as a catalyst for good daily habits.

What is TMM? It is a series of morning rituals you can practice to gain more clarity in your life.  It’s a way to practice habits that bring your goals into focus.  Say for example you are a writer.  Hal’s TMM gives you a strategy to practice writing every morning for about 20 minutes.

Here’s how it works: He uses the acronym S.A.V.E.R.S. to keep us in tuned with the strategy. Silence. Affirmation. Visualization. Exercise. Reading. Scripting (writing).  By incorporating this series of activities into a daily morning routine, you can bring yourself to a higher consciousness while doing activities that further your practice.

Hal has built his platform on TMM. His podcast, Achieve Your Goals is one I listen to regularly.  The Best Year Ever Blueprint is a live event.  These are just two of the ways in which he spreads his message to those who are interested in taking their life to a higher level.

I am grateful to use not only my successes, but also my failures, to help others in a way that can empower them to overcome their own limitations and achieve more than they ever thought possible. Hal Elrod

If you are feeling sorry for yourself this might be the perfect book for you right now.  Because Hal has overcome an amazingly devastating personal tragedy.

If you are searching for a way to discover your purpose then you will need to read this book.

Delicious Homemade Sun Dried Tomatoes in 5 Easy Steps

SheKnows.com
November 2, 2015

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I love tomatoes — fresh in a salad, as a sauce or even tomato juice.

However, one of my favorite ways to eat them is sun-dried. When I first discovered sun-dried tomatoes, I wondered how I could get tomatoes dried in the sun when I lived in New York City.

Bad news: it takes a long time.

Good news:

your food tastes delicious
you save money by preserving in season foods
food retains more nutrients
it’s perfect for adding more nutrient dense foods to your family’s diet.

To continue reading please check out my article 5 Easy Steps to Delicious Sun Dried Tomatoes

It’s Too Late When Death Rides In


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don't wait for death

Sometime in July I got a call from my cousin. We’ll call him B. B is always the life of the party. “Come Mek we go Jamaica nuh?” He said in his ever vibrant tone. Oh how I love the Jamaican accent!

I asked him, what for? He said he had retired and wanted to get away for a couple of weeks. Would I go with him? I have been away from Jamaica for almost 40 years. I couldn’t readily say yes to a trip there. At least not on the spur of the moment.

I lovingly scoffed and told him I would think about it.

On the early morning of September 20, I got a call from B’s sister. He had passed away the previous night. I lost my breath in that moment. My last conversation with him replayed through my memory. I had to finish the conversation at another time. I couldn’t contain myself.

During the month of August I called my beloved Uncle Tony. I got his voicemail. I left a message telling him I was thinking about him. For about a week and a half after that we played phone tag. I never got to speak with him again.

On sept 29 my youngest sister announced to our family Whatsapp group that our beloved Uncle Tony had passed away. It broke my heart and for the second time in less than a month I had lost two of the most wonderful men in my life.

(more…)

Listen

To the Still Small Voice


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Listen

Listening. It’s a rare gift indeed.

From the customer service rep on the phone to the clerk behind the counter.  Everyone wants to give their opinion.  

Yet no one cares to listen to yours.

Are you a good listener?

Are you?

Well let’s see. (more…)