What’s the key to happiness?

THE RESULTS ARE IN!

The key to happiness is kindness.

 

A recent study published in April of this year has shown that doing acts of random of kindness (or ARKs, if you forgive me quoting from the movie Evan Almighty) has amazing results on personal, subjective feelings of happiness.

And it didn’t seem to matter whether the ARKs were done for complete strangers, acquaintances or loved ones. Doing something for another person made people happier. And the more ARKs they did, the higher the happiness quotient of the study participants.

So why does this work? Continue reading “What’s the key to happiness?”

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Thai (inspired) Noodle Soup

Thai Noodle

So when I need inspiration, I hit the books – recipe books, that is. I have fewer recipe books than you’d think, though. Once I discovered internet recipes and Pinterest, there was no turning back. But there are several I hang onto with beautiful pictures that I turn to for ideas. And this past Friday was one such day.

But not a single recipe took my fancy.

Sure, I had a few ingredients on a shopping list. Yet no congregation of ingredients lit up my heart. It was halfway to the grocery store, though, that a golden vision appeared in my head.

I remembered one visit my husband and I had made to a thai restaurant up in Phoenix, a sister establishment to its neighboring oriental supermarket. Both of our soups had been so beautifully arranged, each ingredient had its place, just waiting for a loving hand to stir and eat. The crisp taste of vegetables, noodles, and hot broth was suddenly all I could think about.

So I whipped this little number. And as usual, my husband would complain that the floor looked like a “lawn mower had come through.” But he was all smiles when he tasted the results.

What I love especially about this recipe is that not everything in soup has to be cooked to mush. I loved the fresh snap of some of the vegetables that I waited until right before serving to place in a hot bowl of broth. While the lemon was not as clear as I would have liked, I recommend adding a touch of lemon juice for flavor.

Thai-Inspired Noodle Soup

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

2 cartons (32-oz) low-salt, Vegetarian No-Chicken Broth
1 yellow onion, diced
6 carrots (julienned)
5 celery stalks (sliced)
1 lemongrass stalk, minced
1/2 of a jalapeño, minced
1 bundles of Bok Choy
8 oz of Buckwheat Soba noodles
Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced (divided)
Spring onions, chopped (divided)
Cilantro, chopped (divided)

PREPARATION

On a stovetop, heat up the broth. As it starts to bubble, add onion, carrots, celery stalks, lemongrass, and jalapeño. Cut the bok choy leaves from the stems, and cut up stems like celery and add to pot. Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add noodles. Cook until tender.

Take bok choy leaves and cut them lengthwise, like ribbons. Ladle out the noodles without broth into a bowl, and add mushrooms, cilantro, spring onions, and bok choy. Ladle a cup of hot soup broth and let stand for a few minutes as fresh uncooked vegetables soften in the hot water. Serve – and ENJOY!.

Iron & Pregnancy

During a woman’s pregnancy, her blood volume increases by 50 percent.
That is why it is extremely vital that a woman gets enough iron in her diet, and has herself checked for anemia, to ensure enough oxygen is getting to baby and mom’s muscles, brain, etc.
These foods are some of the richest in iron.
foodshighiniron

But some things to keep in mind is that:

A) Caffeine can reduce a woman’s ability to absorb iron. If possible, and drink less or avoid caffeinated beverages such as teas and coffees.
B) Calcium rich foods or supplements can also inhibit iron absorption. Try to consume calcium supplements and iron rich foods at opposite ends of the day.
C) Iron supplements can be hard on the body and result in constipation. While getting from diet alone is recommended, sometimes supplementation is needed. If you can, look for supplements that also include a lot of plant-based items. The fiber can greatly reduce those constipating symptoms.
D) The body more readily absorbs iron that is from animal-based food items, but nature has given us everything we need in order to absorb plant-based (“non-heme”) iron, as well. If we are eating vegetables, we are most likely eating fruits and veggies containing Vitamin C. Vitamin C naturally increases a body’s ability to absorb more iron. Be sure you consume both within a meal to give your body a boost in iron.

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Why healthy people don’t need to “juice”

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apple-juice

While juicing may still be all the rage in some circles, I can’t find it in my heart to fully get behind it as a well-person’s go-to health fix.

Here are some reasons why: Continue reading “Why healthy people don’t need to “juice””

Forget losing weight this New Year’s

new-years-goals

Happy New Year’s! As I sit and write this on the morn of New Year’s Eve, I see my Facebook feed flooding with “resolutions.”

We know the drill. Every year, people make the same promises to themselves. To get a better job. To stop smoking. Spend less. Spend more time with family. Get fit. And the topmost popular goal for New Year’s across the board: Lose weight.

The sad thing is, most people never make it past the first week of the new year in pursuit of their lofty, well-meaning goal. And it’s not our fault, generally.

Because the odds are stacked against us from the start.

Why you might not lose weight this winter

Continue reading “Forget losing weight this New Year’s”

Recipe: Apple Pumpkin Muffins

I am not usually into baking. But I married a sweets lover, so I decided to surprise my husband with this little treat when he came home from work this weekend.

Since it’s officially fall, my inner tastebud clock was jonesing for something pumpkin flavored. And ta-da! A completely fall-themed muffin recipe for you to try. These are so amazingly moist, it almost tastes like cake. It’s also gluten-free and completely vegan if you leave out honey. I would love to hear your opinion if you’ve tried it!

Apple Pumpkin Muffins

muffins

INGREDIENTS

1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup almond flour
3 tbsp chia seeds
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp (heaping) flaxseed meal
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
1 cup pumpkin puree
1.5 cups of apple juice
Coconut oil shortening

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients together, and slowly mix in wet ingredients until all is moist. Coat a muffin tin with coconut oil shortening, and spoon in mix to top of tin. Cook for 15 minutes. Check muffins and keep cooking until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!

 

Vegetarian Chili

Fall is officially here! Cold weather is coming and so are the holidays. In our family, there is nothing more heart (and tummy!) warming than having a pot of chili on the stove that everyone can pick from throughout the day when hanging out for a visit. This was one of my recent creations, and it was an immediate favorite. Enjoy!

Vegetarian Chili

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SERVES 10-12 Continue reading “Vegetarian Chili”