Sunday, December 29, 2013
Friday, December 27, 2013
Anyone trying to eat a more natural, GMO free, organic and seasonal diet, learns to search out sources for good healthy recipes and foods.
I recently discovered Shannon's Nourishing Days blog and I am very impressed with the care she puts into, not only her own families diet, but the quality of her blog and the wonderful, healthy and natural recipes she posts, with lots of instructions for those of us who have never made these foods before.
Nourishing Days Blog With Lots of Healthy Recipes
Here's what Shannon has to say about her blog:
For some reason I have been in a decluttering frenzy for awhile now. It's as if I sense that I am going to need to be really clear going into the new year and with the new energies that are here. (Maybe you do too?)
Numerous studies have shown that:
Clutter can make you tired.
Clutter can make you stressed.
Clutter can cause disharmony.
Clutter can mean less abundance in your life.
Clutter can make you anxious and depressed.
And studies have also shown that getting rid of clutter can bring peace, harmony, more energy, and even better relationships into your life.
Decluttering makes room for so much more (and so much better), in your life.
When you can't even relax at home; then where is the peace in your life?
For this article, I'll just focus on decluttering your physical space; your house, your office & work space, and your car. However, more serious decluttering efforts involve cleaning up and decluttering EVERY aspect of your life from your beliefs to your relationships, your Internet and online clutter, and your emotional, mental, and spiritual clutter.
This is what I have been doing this year, working on decluttering every aspect of my life. Whew!
As for the physical, there's more to that than just getting rid of excess "stuff" in your life as well.
For example, how's your diet?
Aren't junk food and poor quality food physical clutter too?
Check out these great articles on decluttering by clicking the link:
Declutter: The Huffington Post Articles on Decluttering
110 year old Huichol shaman Don Jose Matsuwa says that having too many possessions around us can detract from inner peace and balance. And he's not alone, most of the worlds greatest spiritual leaders advocated "The Simple Life."
"Clutter is stuck energy."
"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."
"The more you have, the more you are occupied. The less you have, the more free you are."
"Clutter is a physical manifestation of fear that cripples our ability to grow."
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
-Leonardo Da Vinci
Baqala Polo Iranian Rice With Beans and Dill Weed
(This is VERY good!)
3 cups long-grain rice, well-rinsed
* 8 cups water
* 1/4 cup melted butter
* 1/8 teaspoon saffron, dissolved in 2 tbs warm water (optional)
* 1 lb frozen lima Beans
* 1/4 cup dried dill weed, or 3/4 cup fresh
* Iranian yogurt and spinach (Borani-Ye Esfenaj)
* 1 lb spinach, fresh or frozen
* 2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
* 2 tablespoons oil
* salt and pepper
* 1 cup plain yogurt
Directions To Prepare Iranian Rice with Beans and Dill Weed (Baqala Polo)
* Cook lima Beans until done.
* Set aside.
* Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
* Add rice to water.
* Boil 5-10 minutes , until rice is no longer crunchy, but still firm.
* Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
* Drain rice in colander.
* Mix Beans and dill weed with the rice.
* Put half of the melted margarine in the bottom of the rice pot.
* Put the rice back into the pot, a spoonful at a time, heaping it into a mound, not touching sides of pot.
* With a chopstick or similar tool, poke holes in the rice in several places.
* Pour the remaining melted margarine over the rice.
* Cover the underside of the pot lid with a dish towel, and put lid tightly on pot.
* Cook rice about 20 minutes over medium heat, then turn heat to low, and cook for another 30 minutes.
* The rice on the bottom of the pot should become golden and crispy.
* Soak bottom of pot in cold water for a few minutes, to loosen this.
* Put rice onto a serving platter, surrounded by chunks of crispy rice.
* Take 2/3 cup of the rice, mix it with the dissolved saffron, and sprinkle over the rest of the rice as a garnish.
* Cook spinach in lightly salted water until tender
* Drain well.
* Set aside.
* Heat margarine or oil in a pan.
* Add onions, and fry until golden.
* Add spinach and fry together briefly.
* Turn off heat.
* Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
* Transfer to serving bowl or dish.
* Mix in yogurt.
-Middle Eastern comfort food, made with lentils, rice, and onions.
What you need
1 Cup Lentils
1 Cup Rice
3 1/2 Cups Water
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
How to put it together
Slice the onions. The onions should be sliced long, so they look like a rainbow versus diced into small pieces.
Heat pot on med-high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon of Vegetable Oil and 1/2 an onion. Cook until onion is caramelized.
Add lentils, water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, add rice and 1 Teaspoon Cumin. Cover and simmer for additional 20 minutes.
Heat a frying pan over med-high heat. Add the remaining 1 Tablespoon of Vegetable Oil and remaining onions. Cook until fully caramelized and blackened.
We used green lentils & yellow onions for this dish.
We usually serve our Mujadara with hummus & pita.
Belize Rice and Beans Recipe
Let’s start with the most Belizean of all dishes: rice-and-beans, the staple of Belize Cuisine. Although originally considered primarily a Creole dish, today it’s eaten daily by all and is simply called Belizean rice and beans. While, of course, nobody can make rice-and-beans as delicious as the grandmother of the first Belizean you ever talk to, the following is pretty much a recipe for a successful ‘beans’ as it is commonly called by weekend partygoers when they stop to purchase a plate late night in downtown Belize City from a variety of street-side sellers. Picture: Belize Beans and Rice is a variation of Rice and Beans.
Recipe for Belizean rice-and-beans derived from the original Meighans Beans recipe:
1 lb. Red Kidney Beans 2 plugs Garlic (crushed)
1 tsp. Salt
1 cup coconut Milk (either squeezed from grated coconut or bought prepared, canned, or made from powered variety)
½ tsp. Black pepper
½ tsp. Thyme
2 lbs. cleaned Rice
1 medium Onion (sliced)
6-8 cups of water
(optional) 1 small pigtail or salt beef or pieces of bacon
1. Wash the beans, then soak beans for 4 hours, using the 6-8 cups of water. If you are using distilled water, then soaked beans only needs 2 hours to soften.
2. Boil beans until tender, with the garlic, onion and pig’s tail/or salted beef or bacon pieces. Note: pre-wash the pigtail or salt beef and cut off excess fat. You can use a pressure cooker to cut down on the time.
3. Season beans with black pepper, thyme and salt. Note: You may opt not to add the salt if you used salt beef or pigtail above.
4. Add coconut milk. Stir and then let boil.
5. Add rice to seasoned beans. Stir, then cover. Cook on low heat until the water is absorbed and rice is tender. If necessary, add more water gradually until rice is tender. Note: Usually, one cup of rice absorbs two cups of water, although rice grains can vary in the amount of water they absorb. To warm up leftover rice-and-beans, you can sprinkle with water to re-moisten.
Belize Rice-and-beans, with its several accompaniments, can be found on most restaurants’ menus. A variation is rice-and-peas (made with black-eyed peas instead of with red kidney beans).
And a sister dish, but definitely different, is beans-and-rice, which is the stewed beans served with white rice (not cooked together like its sister dish) and also served with either potato salad or cole slaw, plantain, and your choice of meat or fish.
You might also want to check out our related Belize Tilapia Fried Fish Recipe Page.
One of its distinctive ingredients, coconut milk, is also a main ingredient in several other Belizean dishes. One of these is seré, which is a delectable dish, usually made with fish, swimming in a seasoned coconut milk sauce laced with okra and ground foods like cassava and cocoa. The sere is eaten with grated green plantain or often with white rice.
-from Belize.com, Belize recipes.
And here are some other great foods made with legumes and rice from around the world:
from India a delicious breakfast pancake made from rice and lentils
Mexican beans and rice
Spiced mung beans and rice, again from India
red beans and rice from the American South
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Your brain will work tirelessly to achieve the statements you give your subconscious mind. And when those statements are the affirmations and images of your goals, you are destined to achieve them!
Creating a vision board is probably one of the most valuable visualization tools available to you. This powerful tool serves as your image of the future - a tangible representation of where you are going. It represents your dreams, your goals, and your ideal life.
Because your mind responds strongly to visual stimulation-by representing your goals with pictures and images-you will actually strengthen and stimulate your emotions... and your emotions are the vibrational energy that activates the Law of Attraction. The saying “A picture is worth a thousand words,” certainly holds true here.
If you have already defined your dreams, it’s time to illustrate them visually.
How to create a vision board that depicts the future you wish to create.
Find pictures that represent or symbolize the experiences, feelings, and possessions you want to attract into your life, and place them in your board. Have fun with the process! Use photographs, magazine cutouts, pictures from the Internet--whatever inspires you. Be creative. Include not only pictures, but anything that speaks to you.
Consider including a picture of yourself in your board. If you do, choose one that was taken in a happy moment. You will also want to post your affirmations, inspirational words, quotations, and thoughts here. Choose words and images that inspire you and make you feel good.
You can use your vision board to depict goals and dreams in all areas of your life, or in just one specific area that you are focusing on. Keep it neat, and be selective about what you place in your vision board. It's a good idea to avoid creating a cluttered or chaotic board… you don't want to attract chaos into your life.
Use only the words and images that best represent your purpose, your ideal future, and words that inspire positive emotions in you. There is beauty in simplicity and clarity. Too many images and too much information will be distracting and harder to focus on.
If you are working on visualizing and creating changes in many areas of your life, then you may want to use more than one vision board. You might use one for your personal goals and another for career and financial goals. You might even want to keep your career vision board at the office or on your desk as a means of inspiration and affirmation.
How to use your vision board.
Try keeping your vision board on the nightstand next to your bed. Leave it standing in an open position as often as you are comfortable with, and spend time each morning and evening visualizing, affirming, believing, and internalizing your goals.
The time you spend visualizing in the evening just before bed is especially powerful. The thoughts and images that are present in your mind during the last forty-five minutes before going to sleep are the ones that will replay themselves repeatedly in your subconscious mind through¬out the night, and the thoughts and images that you begin each day with will help you to create a vibrational match for the future you desire.
As some time goes by, and your dreams begin to manifest, look at those images that represent your achievements, and feel gratitude for how well the Law of Attraction is working in your life. Acknowledge that it is working. Don't remove the pictures or images that represent the goals you've already achieved. Achievement of the goals in your vision board are powerful visual reminders of what you have already consciously and deliberately attracted into your life.
I recommend you write down the date you created your vision board. The universe loves speed, and you will be amazed at just how quickly the Law of Attraction responds to your energy, commitment, and desires. Much like a time capsule, this board will document your personal journey, your dreams, and your achievements for that particular year. It will become a record of your growth, awareness, and expansion that you will want to keep and reflect back upon in years to come.
It’s a good idea to create a new vision board each year. As you continue to grow, evolve and expand, your dreams will too. Your Vision Board is meant to be kept and cherished. They chronicle your not only your dreams, but your growth and achievements.
Final thoughts on using your completed vision board:
- Look at your vision board often and feel the inspiration it provides.
- Hold it in your hands and really internalize the future it represents.
- Read your affirmations and inspirational words aloud.
- See yourself living in that manner.
- Feel yourself in the future you have designed.
- Believe it is already yours.
- Be grateful for the good that is already present in your life.
- Acknowledge any goals you have already achieved.
- Acknowledge the changes you have seen and felt.
- Acknowledge the presence of God in your life.
- Acknowledge the Law of Attraction at work in your life.
- Look at it just before going to bed and first thing upon rising.
Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul® and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com
Saturday, December 7, 2013
1) Make a donation to your local food bank to help the hungry in your community. Or help pack food boxes or serve the holiday meal to local homeless people.
2. Gifts for Kids: Select a gift tag for a child from one of the Christmas tree displays in your local store and purchase the gift the child asked for.
3. Coat drives. If you live in an area with cold weather, then please consider donating a warm coat or two (scarves, mittens and gloves, and warm hats are needed too), to your local coat drive.
4. Recycle. Reduce. Reuse. For the planet and for you. Because it's a good thing to do, especially now during the holiday season when there is so much waste.
5. Donate school supplies to needy children in your cities schools.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Friday, November 29, 2013
During this Christmas season perhaps we can all be a little kinder to one another.
Just being kind to others may not seem like much but even the smallest act of kindness is like a stone thrown into water with beautiful ripples flowing out from it that you may never see or know about.
Being kind to the earth and every creature living upon it is the ultimate in kindness.
If everyone did that there would be no war, no hunger or homelessness, no deforested lands, no polluted skies or poisoned waters.
So today perhaps we can all be a little kinder to one another, to our planet, and to the waters, the skies, the forests, and all the living creatures upon our beautiful Mother Earth.
Planning to be kind and caring.
Sometimes we imagine that a kind and caring person was born that way, but nothing could be further from the truth.
For most a conscious decision was made at some point in their lifetime to be a kind and caring person.
Then they set kindness goals and ideals to live by and made plans and preparations to carry out that decision.
Kindness builds on itself. If you decide to do one kind act a day, for example, you will soon find that you are doing far more than that.
I don't know exactly why this is so but I've seen it happen over and over.
The acts don't have to be big either.
Opening a door for an elderly person is easy, takes just a second, and is a kind act that won't be forgotten. Other small acts of kindness that you can regularly incorporate into your day include letting people go ahead of you in lines, or letting a car into the stream of traffic, or commenting positively on the service in a store or a restaurant.
Then there are the little kindness's that are often forgotten or ignored in the home like truly listening to your spouse or to your children, or speaking with respect and affection rather than impatience or using discouraging or critical words or looks.
"Kindness is like snow-it beautifies everything it touches." -anonymous
"If there is any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not deter or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again."
"Three things in human life are important.
The first is to be kind.
The second is to be kind.
The third is to be kind."
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Tiny homes come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges, and can be found everywhere from the largest cities, where tiny apartments are often quite common, to tiny off-grid houses in the country.
Tiny homes include the thousands of people living aboard boats, in RV's, or in dorm rooms or tiny studio apartments.
See for yourself the many ways people are living big lives in small homes.
Check out these winning entries in the Small Cool 2013 contest from Apartment Therapy:
Tiny House Swoon link:
Tiny House Blog:
Sunday, September 1, 2013
planting a tree
play the free rice game
Helping others and being of service is important to me, but so is frugal living, therefore I am always on the lookout for ways I can help others without spending a lot of money. I even wrote a previous post about ways you could make a difference for ten dollars or less:
Making a Difference For Ten Dollars or Less
I can't tell you how many times I've heard someone say that they can't help other people because they don't have enough money. I don't have a large income right now either but I still manage to help quite a few people each year, and I support several causes close to my heart.
It seems to me that most people would really like to help other people, but have the idea that the small amounts that they could afford to donate would not make much of a difference to anybody. I used to believe that way too, but I know better now.
I've discovered many ways that anyone can make a difference in the world, for ten (10) dollars or less.
Lets start out with the unbelievable idea that you can actually do good in the world, and help others, for free. You don't have to spend one penny to help other people.
Here are some suggestions on how you can help others for free:
1. Click to donate sites allow you to do good in the world, for free, from your computer. Free Rice, for example, is a fun game you play that helps increase your knowledge, while at the same time you are "earning" rice to feed hungry people.
Charity Click Donation is a web site that puts a bunch of the click to donate sites together in one place for you to click on the ones you want to support.
Charity Click Donation - Give money to charity for free through charity clicks.
2. It costs nothing to be kind and caring, to treat people with respect, or to do something for someone such as help to carry heavy packages, open a door for someone, let a car go ahead of you in traffic, pick up litter on the street, or give someone a sincere compliment.
3. Search Kindly when you're searching the Internet, by making sure your searches are helping to support charity and worthy causes.
Your Searches Benefit Charities - Search Kindly
4. Recycle your household aluminum because aluminum is 100% recyclable, and it is so destructive to the environment to make aluminum in the first place. Not only does this cost you nothing, while benefiting the environment and many people you'll never know, recycling aluminum can actually make you money when you turn your aluminum in at the recyclers.
5. Recycle and donate all your unused coats, other clothing, and household goods to those who can use them. Donate coats and winter clothing to coat drives, shoes to shoe drives, and all clothing to women's shelters and homeless shelters.
Now, for one dollar ($1.00) what can we do?
1. The folks over at One Dollar Give have found plenty of good things to do with just one dollar. Check out their link.
The One Dollar Give: How Much Difference Can $1 Make?
2. Donate one dollar to your local food pantry. Or buy some food for a dollar and donate the food.
3. Buy a fleece hat or gloves at the dollar store and give to a homeless person or a needy person.
4. Give a dollar to a homeless person.
$2.00, another small amount of money, but still for that $2.00, at Alternative Gifts International, you can buy groceries for 1 person for 1 day.
Give a Gift in Honor of Someone - Alternative Gifts International
For $3.00, Alternative Gifts International will purchase one tree, and plant it, in one of the worlds deforested areas. Alternative Gifts International is a great place to find ways to help for just a little money.
feed hungry children around the world
2. $4.00 is also one day of support for one student in Kenya.
$5.00 will buy food to feed one family for one day, again through Alternative Gifts International.
For $6.00, you could purchase one pair of small animals for one Quecha Indian family in Bolivia.
2. That same $6.00 would also provide medicine and protein drinks for one child for one year.
3. $6.00 is also the cost of one share of water pipe or school supplies for a Gumiyuda school system.
For $7.00, you could provide care and food for an aged person in China who has no family.
$8.00 will fund one hour of job and skill training for one woman with no job skills.
Give a Gift in Honor of Someone - Alternative Gifts International
Food For The Poor, for $10.00, will provide three fruit trees to a hungry family living in Haiti. An avocado tree, a breadfruit tree, and a mango tree.
Food For The Poor | Helping the Poor, Charitable Giving, International Relief | Serving the Poorest of the Poor
2. $10.00 will also provide a mosquito net for people at risk for malaria through Nothing But Nets. Malaria is a huge killer world-wide and your $10.00 will save lives.
Home | Nothing But Nets Campaign
3. $10.00 at Global Giving can be used to support many different charities or relief efforts, including a school in the Dominican Republic for Haitian refugees.
GlobalGiving: donate to grassroots projects; education, health, microfinance
So, there you have it, several ways to help other people and make a difference in the world, all for under $10.00.
Many people spend that much everyday on junk food, expensive coffee drinks, or vending machine goodies. If you would rather use your money for good, then why not check out some of these charities, (or discover your own), and see how quickly these small amounts of donations can begin to make a big difference in the world.
Support aboriginal rights and people around the world
So, there you have my original post of June 17, 2010.
Now the prices for some of the ideas listed above may have risen a bit, as many things have in this economy, but the basic idea is still very sound.
There are many things you can do to make a difference in the world for very little, or no, money.
So what are you going to do to make a difference this week?