Thursday, March 29, 2012

Celebrating 2 years of Vibrant Health & Happiness!

Happy Spring!

 This past February marked two years of embracing the healthy lifestyle that I now enjoy today. It's been two years of growing and learning and thriving!  Every day is full of Simple Pleasures that bring me joy and keep me smiling. I was harvesting my wheatgrass recently and thinking how something that takes so long would have frustrated me in the past. Now I love all the time it takes because, much like chopping and blending my fruits & veggies, it's like a time of quiet reflection. I find my mind quieting, my body relaxing. I had a similar thought when I decided to have my nails done the other day. Although I didn't really want to spend the time just sitting there, I took the hour to just relax and enjoy the moment. I was so pleased with the results and again realized how peaceful I felt afterwards. The simplest things are the most rewarding! Sharing a cup of tea or chatting on the phone with my friends always brightens up my day. 

 Grocery shopping always brings me such pleasure now. I especially love the produce section. Everything is so fresh, the colors so vibrant and beautiful. Each week I try to find something that's new to me to try, which always makes it fun! Recently I tried burdock root, which I put in my tea (love it) and pumelo fruit, a larger sweeter version of a grapefruit. This week I was thrilled to find Meyers lemons, which are so sweet you can eat them like an orange. I look forward to my my trips to the grocery store each week and find the time spent mulling over the produce has a calming, soothing effect on me. It's become a weekly ritual that lways makes me happy and fulfilled.

I've mentioned that I've been sharing my green smoothies with several friends & family members on a regular basis. This makes me especially happy! Everyone is thrilled with the results they're getting, whether it be weight loss, renewed energy or overall well being. One friend has diabetes and his numbers have improved greatly by drinking them daily. All this has come about just by people seeing how much I enjoy this way of life and wanting a little bit of that green goodness in their lives too. Sharing my healthy happiness simply by living my life and leading by example has been one of the most rewarding things that has happened along my journey. 

Since December I have been spending time each day with my elderly neighbor Angelo. His wife passed away unexpectedly and they are like family to me. Angelo is not used to being on his own and was so fearful of taking care of himself, worried what the future would bring. He was very clear that he wanted to continue living in the house he built with his own two hands, so we knew we had to find a way to make that work. Having no family to speak of, I began stopping by each morning before work and in the early evenings to visit and see what he might need. This ritual has become a part of my day that makes me feel as good as it does him. He has such wonderful stories of growing up in Italy nearly 90 years ago, he loves sharing his stories and I love listening. Over time we've developed a really comfortable friendship based more on chatting and an occasional meal together than on meeting his shopping and medical needs. I truly enjoy his company. These days Angelo does a lot of his own cooking and loves being more productive than he originally thought possible! He delights in teaching me about all the little household tips his mom taught him so many years ago and they seem to be coming to him more and more often as he plays around in the kitchen. His eyes light up when I visit and he gets a great laugh out of my failed attempts at the Italian greetings he is teaching me. I'm learning! There never seemed to be a question in my mind that stepping in to help my neighbor was the right thing to do. I would hope that someone would do the same for me or anyone I love, if need be. It's really that simple. These visits bring both of us happiness and have become another one of life's Simple Pleasures!

 Living this healthy lifestyle these past two years has brought me to a place of contentment and a comfort in my own skin that I never thought possible. I am blessed with vibrant health and happiness and am so very grateful for the life I live today. 

 *~*  My life is full of Simple Pleasures  *~*

Vibrant Health!

Before & After

Sharing my smoothies

Spending time with Angelo

My kids ~ Jasper & Jasmine  :)

First Spring Blooms

Sunset outside my front door

Life is good ~ My cup is always full!


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Simply Salads

Not sure what to have for dinner? 
You can never go wrong with a salad!
I love salad!
Salads don't have to be boring.
They're vibrant & alive ~ always pretty and appealing.
I like to dress mine up with all sorts of things that make them burst with a myriad of colors and flavors!
Start with your greens ~ there are so many to choose from! 
Spinach, kale, lettuce, bok choy, arugula,endive and fennel,to name a few of my favorites. 
Dress it up with apple or pear, tangerines, avocados, grapes or pomegranate seeds... Walnuts or almonds, goji berries and raisins, cranberries or pine nuts.... In the summer I like to add berries or peaches... Sunflower or pumpkin seeds are a nutritious,delicious toppings along with sprouts. Sprouts are a powerhouse of nutrition and so tasty and alive. I always top my salads with sprouts! 
Peppers! The colors of the rainbow, talk about vibrant colors & each are tastier than the next! Shredding carrots on top is a nice touch and you can't forget tomatoes and cucumbers! How can a salad ever be boring? Fruits and veggies are a mainstay of my diet and there's no better way to enjoy them regularly than to create a nutritious, delicious salad!

Have Fun ~ Be Creative ~ The possibilities are endless!

 I find that preparing a pretty salad is a way of tapping into my creativity. Often I look to see what color would compliment what I already have prepared and this leads me to add something I may never have thought of otherwise. This is how I happened upon figs! I had some dried figs for munching on and they made a fabulous topping to compliment the grapefruit on one of the salads below. It's so important for my food to be colorful and attractive in order for me to really enjoy it. 

Nothing lends it's self better to that than a big, beautiful salad! 

Salad dressing
 I like to create light, simple dressings that compliment the tastes of the salads I put together. 
Sometimes I squeeze a lime on top, or blend a little of whatever fruit I've included to create a dressing.
I love the combination of tart and sweet, so my favorite dressing is fresh lime juice and a little honey!
Chopped fresh ginger adds a nice kick to that or sometimes a little garlic powder or turmeric.
Just like salads, there's no need for a recipe when it comes to dressing. Be creative!
If anyone would like to share a favorite dressing, that would be fun! 

     Always remember ~ there are no rules! Have fun with it when making salads! 
Tap into your intuitive side, your creative side! 
 *~* And always be sure to enjoy your delicious, nutritious works of art *~*  


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