Vegetarian Multi-Bean Chili

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Vegetarian Multi-Bean ChiliIf using dried beans, plan on soaking the beans overnight and allow about two hours to cook the beans. I used a blend of beans that also included lentils and peas.

1/4 cup olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, diced

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups water

6 cups cooked beans, lentils and peas

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes

Heat oil in a large soup pot.  Add onion, red bell pepper and garlic.  Saute until the vegetables are soft.  Add the chili powder, oregano, cumin and salt; stir over heat for 2 minutes. Stir in the water, cooked beans and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chili thickens and the flavors blend, about 30 minutes.

Makes 8-10 servings.

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Feeling Cold? Change Your Bed Sheets!

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Feeling Cold Change Your Bed Sheets!Last night was another below freezing night. Prior to going to bed I decided to change the sheets. I was surprised when I noticed how much my body warmed up by the movement of putting clean sheets on the bed.

Rather than going to bed cold, or just sitting bundled up at night, here are some ways to warm up that can be done in less than 10 minutes.

If you live in a two-story home, walk up and down the stairs a couple of times

Do some yoga or sun salutation

Jump rope or pretend to

Jog in place or dance

Do jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, knee bends, or lunges

Any form of movement will increase your circulation and warm you up. When it’s really cold wear a vest to keep your core warm.  A neck scarf and hat will also help keep the warmth in.

Love, Health and Happiness,

Phyllis

Something To Look Forward To (Part 2)

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Something To Look Forward To (Part 2)Last week I wrote about the benefits of having something to look forward to in “What are you looking forward to?” Today, lets look at some ideas of what you might consider looking forward to and putting on the calendar. Select some things that are fun, special or different, to do today, tomorrow, in a week, in a month, next season and/or next year.

Here’s a list to get you started:

Getting together with a friend or two for a walk, lunch or tea

Going to the movies

Game night at home or with another family

Play time at a park

A trip to the zoo, amusement park or miniature golf

A vacation to another area, state or country

Bowling, skating, skiing, swimming, or playing tennis

A weekend away

Attending a concert, play or sporting event

Your birthday

Being pampered with a facial or massage

A drive to the mountains or beach

Play tourist in your own backyard or the next city over

Trying a new restaurant

Participating in a 5k, 10k, half-marathon or full marathon

Celebrating the next holiday on the calendar

May you, your friends and family, have lots of things to look forward to this year!

Love, Health & Happiness,

Phyllis

What Are You Looking Forward To?

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What Are You Looking Forward ToNo matter what your age, having something to look forward to that’s fun, special or different can help us get through our day-to-day routine.

Anticipating an upcoming event, outing or get-together, builds excitement and may even cause us to daydream about it, similar to being in meditation.

When have something to look forward to we may experience ourselves smiling more, being more kind to others and ourselves, and more tolerant of things that normally annoy us. In other words, having something to look forward may have a positive affect on our happiness, well-being, and even our productivity.

What are you looking forward to?

Love, Health & Happiness,

Phyllis

Another Reason to Eat Healthy

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Another Reason to Eat HealthyWould you eat healthier if you were told it would make you feel happier? A recent study in the journal of Social Indicators Research, found that people who eat seven portions of fruit and vegetables a day have the highest mental well-being and are the happiest.

So what could seven servings of fruit and vegetables look like?

Breakfast could include one or two servings: a banana, 1/2 grapefruit, an orange, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, melon, or cantaloupe.

A mid-morning snack could include one serving: an apple, pear, grapes, carrots, celery, or red bell peppers.

Lunch could include two or more servings: a green salad with raw or cooked vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beets, red bell peppers, celery, or cucumber. Or vegetable soup, coleslaw, kale salad, beet salad, broccoli cranberry salad, or cauliflower salad.

An afternoon snack could include one serving: same as mid-morning snack.

Dinner could include two or more servings: vegetable soup, a salad, cooked greensroasted vegetables, mixed vegetables, steamed broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, carrots. spinach, zucchini, bok choy, or string beans.

It’s easy to add fruit and vegetable servings to what you already eat when you plan ahead!

Love, Health & Happiness,

Phyllis

White Bean and Tuna Pitas

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White Bean and Tuna Pitas1 (15 oz.) can white beans, drained and slightly mashed

1 (7 oz.) can tuna packed in water, drained

1/4 cup red onion, chopped

1/2 cup celery, diced

Dressing:

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice or juice of one lemon

1/4 teaspoon dill

salt and pepper to taste (optional)

8 leafs of romaine lettuce

4 whole wheat pita bread pockets, cut in half

Place mashed beans and tuna into a bowl. Add red onion and celery. Prepare dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper, if desired, then mix the dressing into the beans and tuna.  Lightly toast the sliced pita bread, insert a leaf of lettuce, then spoon in the bean and tuna mixture.

Makes 4-8 servings.

Prevention Pays Off

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Prevention Pays OffLast week I was sick for a few days. It started with some sneezing and a runny nose. The next day I had a fever of 101 degrees for less than 24 hours, and by the fourth day I was just about back to my healthy self!

There is a virus going around and I attribute the “mild case” I had to living a healthy lifestyle of eating an abundance of vegetables, along with some fruit and whole grains.  In addition, I meditate daily, drink lots of water, get some daily movement and go to sleep early. See last weeks post “Please Take Care of Me,” for more details about prevention.

By comparison, other people I know who have been sick with similar symptoms have had a sore throat, bad cough and higher fever, lasting for days. About a week before I developed any symptoms, I had begun drinking apple cider vinegar, one tablespoon in 6-8 ounces of water each morning for the health benefits. I never had a sore throat or a cough, and during the days I felt sick, I increased the drink to 2-3 times a day.

Do all you can this year to stay healthy, including frequently washing your hands!

Love, Health & Happiness,

Phyllis

Time to Take Out the Trash

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Time To Take Out The Trash

Garbage in = garbage out, is a term often used when programming computers.  What if we looked at our brains like computers and acknowledged that we picked up some garbage along the way? By the time we are seven years old, we are pretty well programmed by the people who raised us, siblings, teachers, peers, religious organizations, television and society.

Think about the negative statements, judgments, rules and values that you were brought up with during childhood. You were too young to choose these, yet they became your primary programming for adulthood. Here are a few questions to show how “garbage in” produces “garbage out.” Are you kind to yourself?  Caught up in perfection? Tolerant of other’s mistakes?

As adults, we can begin to empty the garbage from our brains by becoming aware of the negative self-talk, fears, and self-defeating beliefs and habits that don’t serve us.  Thank them for being there and release them.  It’s time to take out the trash and let them go.  Make space for new ways of being towards yourself and others, with kindness and compassion.

Love, Health & Happiness,

Phyllis

Brain Food

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Brain Food

Researchers at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Calif., have found that blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress in animals, and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Studies have also shown that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills of aging rats, making them mentally equivalent to much younger rats.

The benefits of blueberries can be found in fresh, frozen or dried berries. Enjoy them by themselves or in oatmeal, a smoothie, yogurt, or a fruit salad.

Love, Health & Happiness,

Phyllis

Spaghetti Squash with Caramelized Onions

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Spaghetti Squash with Caramelized Onions

1 spaghetti squash

2-4 tablespoons olive oil

2 onions, chopped

Salt (optional)

oregano

Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds.  Bake, cut side down on a baking pan at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Rotate pan and cook an additional 30 minutes or until skin is tender. While the squash is cooking place the olive oil and onions in a frying pan and cook, stirring frequently, until browned. Season with salt if desired.

Once the squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape out the strands of squash. Place into a large baking pan and gently fold in the caramelized onions.  Sprinkle with oregano and reheat if necessary.