Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year Intentions

I read an article recently on, suggesting three different ways to usher in the new year. It's short and interesting, you can read it here.

The author makes a good point about New Year's Resolutions. They usually don't work. They're often lofty goals that are out of reach and have no action plan attached. This author suggests "New Year's Intentions" instead. I like to set goals for myself for the new year. I try to make them about something I'm already involved in, something in which I'd like to improve. It's important not to set goals too high. 

In 2012 I planned to send out my completed fiction novel to three agents, write my first non-fiction, get it published in eBook format and begin the second non-fiction. I accomplished the first two and began some research for the last one. Looking back, I can say to myself, "Not bad." I realize these weren't huge, but they were doable. 

I also believe it's important to set goals/intentions that motivate you to take care of yourself. Purpose in this new year to set aside time to rest, to exercise, to meditate, to be thankful for your health, accomplishments and family. Remind yourself throughout the year that you are valuable, talented and good. Remind yourself that you are the apple of the eye of God. He rejoices over you and wants all the best for you. He's cheering you on and empowering you to do and be all He's made you to do and be. 

Here's my non-fiction eBook that came out in October. You can find it at my website,, or on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or anyplace you find eBooks. 

For comment, please share any success with New Year's goals you've had or any goals you're making for 2013.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Delicious Pineapple Enzymes

After a steady diet of celebration foods, you might feel like your body needs a boost. I do. And if you can add enzymes that heal, all the better.

Bromelain is the enzyme found in Pineapple, it helps digest proteins. This particular enzyme is used to reduce pain and swelling, help clear sinus infections and aid in the healing of colitis. All very helpful during this winter, holiday month.

Lactase is the enzyme found in any fermented milk product. The fermentation process turns lactose into lactase. It helps people with a lactose intolerance and is good for digestion.

So here's a recipe using yogurt and pineapple that will pick you up the morning after a big holiday meal. You could add a scoop of dairy-free Coconut Ice Cream instead of the yogurt for a light and delicious dessert.

Pineapple Smoothie

(check out for this and other healthy recipes)

This decadently thick drink satisfies my desire for ice cream. Sometimes I vary it by adding coconut flavoring or chunks of strawberries.
Photo: Mitch Mandel

Serves:   Prep: 5min Cook: 0min Total: 5min
  1. In a blender, combine the yogurt and ice cubes. Blend, pulsing as needed, until the ice is in large chunks. Add the pineapple and blend at "whip" speed until smooth.
FAT3.3 G

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tasty, Nutritious & Leftover

I enjoy cooking and I enjoy hosting, especially during the holidays. Those celebrations, coupled with attending various other dinners and lunch parties, can make a body feel bloated and lazy. Plus there are leftovers to keep us in the same comfort-food trap for weeks to come. I like to get creative and see how many nutrients I can add to leftovers. If you mix the fatty food with lots of vegetables or in a salad, you end up with a light and healthy way to use leftovers.

Here are a few ideas:

Make a pasta and mix in leftover veggies from one of your dinners. Veggies such as asparagus or brussel sprouts, even green beans work well with pasta. Drizzle some olive oil over it and add a tablespoon of grated cheese such as Gruyère,  Bemster, or swiss, and a splash of herbed salt. Now you have a light, healthy meal in one dish.

How about Burritos or Enchiladas?

Burritos: Put pieces of leftover turkey in a large frying pan and a little water. Add a can of drained black beans, chopped green chills, and chopped onions. Cook until warm and the onions are softened. Place a large spoonful in a whole grain tortilla and top with your choice of shredded cheddar, sour cream, alfalfa sprouts, avocado, or whatever you enjoy on your burritos.

Enchiladas: Mix shredded or chopped leftover turkey in a bowl with light cream cheese or soft tofu. When combined add a can of drained black beans, and green chills. You can spice it up with a dash of chili powder and/or tabasco sauce. Put a large spoonful in a whole grain tortilla, wrap tightly and place in a backing dish. Top with shredded cheese and some black olives or jalapeños. Smother with green chili enchilada sauce or another enchilada sauce. Be sure to choose an all natural or organic brand.

Soups and salads are great for using up leftovers and providing nutrition. Use the turkey carcass for a great turkey soup. Refrigerate after cooking, then scrape off the fat the next day. Reheat and add vegetables of your choice and wild rice or barley. Of course you can throw anything you have over torn lettuce and you have a meal in a salad bowl. Pieces of turkey meat add protein to the salad. You can also throw on some leftover veggies. Even if they've been cooked, cold vegetables such as green beans and carrots can be chopped up and added to a salad.

One more idea for today. If you've made a healthy pumpkin pie, why not eat it for breakfast? My kids always enjoyed this during the holidays. After all you've got eggs, squash, milk or tofu, spices and a little sweetness to make breakfast a treat. 

Enjoy your holidays without the feeling that you can't get off the couch. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Enzymes - A Key to Health

image from Taste For Life 

Enzymes are proteins that bring about change inside a cell. Some split cells apart, or break them down, while others join cells together. Without them our body could not absorb nutrients or break down food for assimilation during digestion.

Every living cell produces enzymes, so our body already has some. We can add more and different enzymes by eating foods with enzymes or taking enzyme supplements.

We all know that vitamins and minerals are absolutely necessary for good health, but did you also know that the body cannot assimilate them without the work of enzymes?

You may understand the importance of digestion. All the functions of the body are affected by the digestion and assimilation of our food. If it is not properly digested all sorts of health problems arise. IBS, colitis, crone's disease, and constipation are all directly associated with poor digestion. Many other illnesses come about as a result of poor digestion as well. Without enzymes to break down the food, there would be no digestion at all.

< SIDE NOTE: Can any scientist who studies the complexity of the body, and who understands mathematical probability, honestly deny intelligent design? >

Click here to see a short, simple video about how enzymes work.

Our body needs enzymes. Below is a chart listing several helpful enzymes for the body. These can be found in food and supplements.

Digestive Enzymes

Have you noticed that your digestion isn’t what it used to be? There’s a simple reason for that. The body’s manufacturing of enzymes slows as we age. These protein molecules work throughout the digestive tract to give us energy.
The good news is that supplemental enzymes, taken when you eat a meal, can aid digestion. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most common enzymes and their uses. 
What It 
Used For
Pain and swelling, sinus infections, colitis
Blood sugar and cholesterol regulation, intestinal tract detoxification
Sugar digestion, bacterial infections
Lactose (milk sugar)
Lactose intolerance
Celiac and Crohn’s diseases, indigestion, IBS
Proteins, fats, carbs
Digestive problems, viral infections, sports injuries, food allergies, autoimmune disorders
Proteins, fats, carbs
Pain and swelling, diarrhea, psoriasis

“Bromelain”; “Lactase Enzyme Oral”; “Papain;”
“The Health Benefits of Cellulase,” 5/29/11; “The Health Benefits of Invertase,” 7/1/11; by Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, Global Healing Center,
 By: Jane Eklund

Monday, December 3, 2012

Giving from the Heart

I'm not one of those people who knows the perfect thing to give each person. You know the kind who can find a gift that is special and specific to each recipient. I admire them. Once in a great while I can actually pull it off. But usually I just don't think of the right thing for the right person until it's too late.

I'm excited this week because I get the chance to bless the leaders in our church. I'm making them dinner. This is something I can do. I enjoy cooking when I make time to focus on it. I enjoy offering healthy, delicious food to those I love. We've budgeted time and money for it and it's finally happening this week.

My hope is that the food will be as good as if we'd taken them to a high-end restaurant. Most of us don't have the finances to go to those places, at least not often, so I hope it's a treat.

Here's my menu: Italian Roast Beef, Roasted Butternut Squash, Green Bean/Shallot Ravioli Salad, and Lemon Bunt Cake for dessert (I think).

What do you love to do that you can offer to others this year? It can be homemade, it can be simple, it can be inexpensive, as long as it's from the heart.