Eat Healthy – Make Your Own

Fighting the battle of the bulge? Taking blood pressure medication? Swearing off sugar due to diabetes? These are just of few of the many afflictions Americans are facing and our diet has a lot to do with them all. Americans are one of the fattest nations in the world and no wonder. Just look at what we’re eating!

Part of the problem is our lifestyle. We are all so busy all the time, packing our agendas to the max. Corporations trying to squeeze more work out of less people.  Dining out and ordering carry-out seem to make sense in terms of saving time. But then the pounds start piling on, the blood pressure sky-rockets and so does the sugar level. What then?

Before you get to that point, I’d like to share some ideas I’ve implemented lately to help cut down on salt aka sodium, keep my weight in check and keep my sugar levels stable. Good news is it really is not all that complicated or time-consuming to make a few simple changes.

1) Make your own salad dressing. Check the sodium labels of your favorite salad dressing and you may be shocked. Sodium intake should be under 2000 mg per day. All you need is a good oil like olive oil or grapeseed oil, a nice vinegar and some herbs. I like to used balsamic vinegar but apple cider vinegar is good and so is rice vinegar. Experiment. Then add a touch of herbs and no-salt seasoning and voila! Low sodium salad dressing using what’s already in your cupboard.

Image result for pictures of spaghetti sauce2) Make your own spaghetti sauce. Another high salt item. The tomato-based ones are around 400-600 mg. The cheese based ones can go over 700 mg. That’s almost half your daily allotment in one meal. Simply open a can of organic tomatoes. Add your favorite herbs such as oregano, basil, thyme, and garlic. Heat and spoon over your favorite pasta.  

3) Summer time and who doesn’t love iced tea? But some of them are sugar-laden. Not a problem. Make your own. As a year -round tea lover, I enjoy trying different combinations of teas. My latest favorite is sweet rose/cinnamon tulsi tea. Tulsi tea, otherwise known as “holy basil” is an indian tea which calms the mind , relaxes the body, lowers blood pressure and has numerous other health benefits. Sweeten as desired with either Stevia or Agave nectar. Low calorie,low sugar and quite refreshing on a hot summer day. Another idea is to add mint leaves to the pot for a minty more energizing effect.

So there are a few tips on how to reduce those bad boys in your diet. Try them and let me know how they work for you. Pass them on and do share your own healthy make-your-own tips with us!

Until next time, here’s to all our good health and long life!

How to Connect with God

Ever feel like God is “up there somewhere”, distant? Think He’s too busy for you and your “stuff”? Perhaps you go to church on occasion and pray from time to time when things get really tough. You believe God exists, but you don’t really know him on a personal level.

Know God on a personal level? Is that even possible you may ask? The answer is a resounding YES! It is not only possible, God wants to connect with you on a personal level. Yes, YOU! He is crazy about you and cares about everything you care about. In fact, He wants to help simplify your life. He wants to make things go well for you. He wants to give you your heart’s desire. But, like any good relationship and like the saying goes, it takes two to tango.

What is the key component of a good relationship? Communication, right? It all starts with talking. Well, it’s the same thing with God. He wants us to talk to Him: not just on sundays, not just at church, not just when we’re in a bind. Let me give you a quick example.

The other night, I was contemplating what to do with my Friday evening.

“Lord, should I go to the movie or to hear the music?”

Go to the concert.

No, I’m not crazy and no, it was not an audible response, but let’s just say, I have learned to listen to that still small voice, for the most part that is.

“But, you know how much I love to dance and I hate sitting there with no one to dance with.. and besides – it’s been raining all afternoon”. 

Silence. I don’t think God likes to repeat himself.

So off I go to the concert. The sun began to peep its face out and the skies began to clear. The music starts. My feet are a-tapping and my hands are a-clapping. You get the picture. Next thing I know, out of my peripheral vision, I notice this guy walking towards my chair. I turn to look at him.

“Would you like to dance?” he asks. Now I will tell you I have been to this event many times over the summer and this is the first time someone from the crowd has asked me to dance.

“I’d love to,” I replied delighted. I could tell the guy enjoyed dancing as much as I do. He was smiling from ear to ear and in his own world.

 

“Thank you, Lord,” I uttered to myself. “Thank you for sending someone to dance with me tonight and for keeping the rain away. Thank you for a fun evening.”

Now this is just a simple story but it kind of gives you the idea. When we are unclear about a decision, or need assistance – say finding a parking spot, deciding what to do or where to go, it is to our benefit to talk to God about it. In fact, there are several scripture verses that speak to this:

“In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your plans straight.” (Prov. 3:6)
“Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find.” (Matt 7:7)
“Pray without ceasing,” (I Thess 5:17).

I encourage you to start talking to God about the little things in your daily life as well as the big ticket items. God is interested. When we have an attitude of gratitude, it shows our gratefulness for our blessings. You will see more of God in your life because God wants us to know him. Why do you think he created us? Share a situation in which you connected with God or post a comment on your thoughts about this post. I’d love to hear your story.

Until next time, keep smiling and keep looking up!

The Power of Priorities

Do you feel life is controlling you rather than you controlling it? Are you always reacting to “urgent demands”? Tired of being pushed and pulled in fifty directions? Never enough time to exercise? Eat well? Or get enough sleep? Well, friends, then this is for you!

There is a better way and you have more control than you may realize, and no, you do not have to move to a secluded island or an exotic foreign country. You can stop the rat race and start living in peace and in pace with God. How?

It all starts with prioritization: taking a good hard look at what really and truly matters to you down deep inside and aligning your activities to match what are called our “core values”. Let’s take Jesus for an example. Now there was a guy who had his priorities straight. Remember when his mother couldn’t find him for days after the festival, and when she finally found him in the temple, what did he say? “Did you not know I would be about my father’s business?” Or how about all the times he stopped to visit the sick, go to a friend’s house, or help out a neighbor in distress? He knew how short life is and he made each day count. Can we say the same?

So let’s say you want to lose 10 lbs. but can’t seem to find the time to exercise. Believe me, there is always a way to carve out 30 minutes to exercise. This is what I call “an excuse”. Sorry, but true.
Now you are the typical American who comes home exhausted after a long day at the office, eats dinner and then plops into the Lazy-Boy in front of the boob tube with a beer or a glass of wine.
Image result for photos of walkingThere is a reason those chairs are named “Lazy-Boy” by the way.

Instead, you could put on your walking shoes, grab your favorite tunes and head outdoors for a brisk walk. It’s a win-win. You get in your 30 minutes of exercise AND you relax. Your align your activity – going for a walk – with your core values of being healthy, losing weight, and relaxing.

When we make time for what really matters, we will feel less frustrated and more in control of our lives.  If we take the time to get clear about our core values, we won’t be side-tracked by every offer that comes along. It will simply be a matter of “Does this activity fit one of my core values?”

One last note, core values do change over time, so what was important 5 or 10 years ago, may not be so important today. Reevaluate every few years to make sure you are still following your heart and your dreams! Let me know your thoughts on this post and

Until next time, keep looking up!

3 Ways to Spot an Unhealthy Person

Do you keep attracting the same type of people into your life and don’t know why? You know the kind I’m referring to:  the energy-suckers,  the moochers, the controllers. These are a few examples of unhealthy people it is best to stay clear of.  As this blog is dedicated to all of our healing, I’m sharing an incident that illustrates what to be aware of when meeting new people before they cause us any heartache or pain.  

I was at the pool relaxing, when the lifeguard comes over and hands me a note. It was an invite from a new acquaintance to go for pizza at the newest Italian hotspot in town.

Isn’t that interesting? I’ve been wanting to go for pizza for several weeks and here, out of the blue, this person wants to go….hmmmm.


I thought about it for a while and decided it would be nice to visit the new place and besides it was Happy Hour and the prices would be discounted. Or so I thought. It was a lovely summer evening so we asked for a table outside and began to peruse the menu. Turns out happy hour prices were only at the bar, but we decided we preferred sitting outside.

Since this person has asked me to go “out for a drink” several times, I thought it was best to ask for separate checks.  I’m not a big drinker and drinks can sure up the tab.
Tip: ask for separate checks so you don’t have to squabble about who ordered what when going out with others. Unless, of course, you are independently wealthy, and money is no object.

As the evening progressed, all this person did was talk about herself, her kids, her new boyfriend, her ex, her business. It was interminable.

Is she ever going to take a breath?

I waited for her to ask me something about my life. She never did.

“I’ll have another glass of Malbec,” she said. It was getting harder and harder to follow her conversation.  

Oh brother. No wonder she asked me to drive.

You get the idea of how the evening went.  It ended with my dinner mate downing both of the complimentary shots of Limoncello and me heading for the parking lot, keys in hand and she staggering close behind.
Tip: drive your own car if you want to be sure to be home at a reasonable hour.

The good news is the evening provided fodder for this post.  So, before starting up a friendship with a new person, here are three questions to ask yourself:

1.  Is this person needy or emotionally-dependent?  Some clues are:
      a) does this person talk about him or her/self a lot?
      b)  are  the conversations one or two-sided? In other words, do you truly dialogue or are you
            listening to a monologue?
      c)  does this person have a circle of  healthy friends or are you this person’s main entertainment?

2.  Is this person a giver or a taker? Does this person pay their share when dining out? If you are on a first date with a guy, does he pay for you? Generosity is a sign of a healthy person and is not limited to money, but money is a good place to start.

And last, but definitely not least,

3. Do you feel comfortable being yourself around this person? I have actually had guys tell me what to wear, how to style my hair & how much makeup to wear, believe it or not.  One guy insisted which painting I should buy for my house! Ahem! Whose house is this anyway, I wanted to ask.
 Control is a huge problem in unhealthy relationships, so if you are feeling uncomfortable ask yourself if you are feeling free or controlled.
The healthier we become, the more we will attract healthy people into our lives and the quicker we will be able to spot unhealthy people. When we find ourselves frustrated, stressed, or anxious, it is time to deal with the issues in our relationships.

We are all in need of healing. Some of us more so than others. If this post has helped you in some way or at least made you laugh, please leave a comment and by all means, pass it on.

Until next time, remember we are all on our own journey so keep looking up!