You say, tom-ay-to…

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I say ‘tomat-oh’…
No matter, because any way you say it, autumn’s ‘the’ season for red and bright coloured foods, and for me nothing adds zest and comfort to life and this time of year quite like the inestimable tomato.

I’ve heard of late that certain ‘wellness gurus’ claim tomatoes are no longer a ‘good’ or even a healthy food. We’ve heard this about all kinds of things, so I  won’t even ‘go there’.  Instead, I will say that I love the health benefits and low calorie rich fibre benefits of tomatoes. My favorites are vine-ripened, (garden/organic) and bright-tasting bite-size romas, cherry tomatoes, etc.  I like to make homemade tomato soup this time of year, and I will continue to judge the goodness of tomatoes not by the latest ‘good for you, bad for you’ reports out there, but by how much this amazing fruit that dresses up as a vegetable continues to pack a load of lycopene, (an important antioxidant) and other positive benefits. Discover 11 good things about tomatoes at organicfacts.net  and if you have a favorite tomato soup recipe, let me know. Here’s one I love from AllRecipes.com

Keep loving good eats!

Image: feelgrafix.com

Brainy beauties…

Lavender Oil And Lavender Flowers On White BackgroundIf you’ve already discovered the wonder of essential oils you’ll understand why I call them ‘brainy beauties’. Essential oils are a wonderful and brilliant way to enhance natural healing and wholeness in your daily wellness lifestyle. Essential oils (or ‘E’ for ‘everything’ oils as I call them) are used in many natural beauty products and are worth investing time and money to enjoy and explore the benefits of use.

Dr. Axe’s website provides one of the best overviews in terms of benefits. I’ve been busy lately looking into blends that will help the lymphatic system and strengthen the immune system. We can all use more of that with environmental and other stressors impacting our lives. Both Dr. Axe and websites like mindbodygreen.com offer great suggestions for basic essential oils to have in your wellness arsenal. Do your homework to avoid sensitivities and a good rule of thumb – never use these oils directly on the skin.

Natural Living Ideas recommends a few oils to start out with and recommends some trustworthy quality brands. I find it fun to shop around for unique blends and to experiment making my own.  Here’s a simple restorative body oil to make easily at home (great after exercise or to reduce inflammation). Pour 1 c. of coconut oil and 1/4 c. sweet almond oil into a clean glass bottle with a tightly closing lid. Add 20 drops of frankincense and 20 of sweet orange or mandarin essential oil. Shake well and use regularly to enjoy fullest benefits. Essential oils take time to work and absorb with your body. Be patient with essential oils. Benefits are best realized over time. Stay happy and well!

image: wallpapersafari.com

 

Ah–hhh, black tea

black tea

No ‘ifs’, ‘ands’ or ‘buts’, stress is tough on our bodies. Whether it’s work/life-related, environmental or otherwise,  stress can do a number on our immune systems.  Even if you’re careful to hydrate, eat healthy, supplement with quality nutritionals, and make a regular effort to exercise and get a good night’s sleep,  life can sometimes flip into overdrive (even with ‘good stress’) causing immune system ‘overload’ and making you more vulnerable to viruses, flus and colds.  To get a jump start on stress while doing all the great things you do to stay healthy, try taking advantage of the health benefits of black tea.  Ahhh—hh, black tea.

One of my favorites is ‘Paris’ blend by Harney & Sons — (crazy about the hint of caramel, black currant and vanilla). To brew a perfect cup, bring water to the boil, fill your tea mug or teapot with hot water to insulate warm it up, then pour out the hot water, and fill again with ‘to the boil’ (never boiling) water, and steep for 3 to 5 minutes. I tend to use tea bags for convenience, but  infused loose tea is always amazing (try one of David’s Teas fun & creative infusers). Infusing brings out tea’s finer notes. Enjoy black or with a non-dairy creamer. I find a cup of black tea easily takes the chill out of cool weather while adding a healthy boost for your immune system (check out 25 impressive healthy benefits of black tea at OrganicFacts.net). If caffeine’s a concern — look for decaf varieties. Love life , love tea.

Image: Rivertea.com

go, go, GO…

gogo-quinoawelcome to foodie wellnessAs a lover of all food, I often adapt recipes to include a ton of veggies, pulses, legumes and super grains in my meal plans. A highly-energizing super-grain dish to prepare in under 30 minutes is falafel (croquettes) using organic quinoa and amaranth flours. Btw — these falafel store great in the refrigerator for 2-3 days & may freeze well too (but I have yet to keep them on hand to find out).

To prepare from scratch, select finely-ground organic quinoa and amaranth flours, (3 parts to one) and add turmeric, garlic powder, garlic scape/sea salt blend, and other seasonings to taste. For convenience, I prefer using an excellent ‘on the go’ ready-blend — ‘Go Go Quinoa Burger Mix’.  (available in both US and Canada). Go-Go’s a fair trade company with super grains directly sourced from Bolivia. Their website features incredible recipes, including desserts and monthly features like a Mediterranean Falafel Bowl.  To prepare from mix, follow package directions, adding warm water. Flour should be just moist enough to easily form golf-ball-sized falafel. Fry for 3-5 minutes in a ceramic non-stick pan (I never deep-fry), using 3 – 5 TBSP coconut or olive oil. Turn and remove from heat when golden brown. Before falafel are done try some spice and sizzle by adding a dash of coconut aminos (instead of soy sauce), green chili Tabasco and red chili paste. And…you’re ready to… go, go, GO. Keep loving & enjoying great food.

image (GoGoQuinoa.com)

 

 

the good news is…

sky and grass… wondering why live, laugh, thrive ‘s been off the radar…( I call it a ‘sabbatical’)the good news is I know you got on just fine without me! 🙂

FACT: most of us don’t take enough ‘sabbatical’ time. We are into being ‘there’ all the time for others, we try to eat right, exercise, take supplements, socialize, get enough sleep, etc., and hope that does it for us. But sometimes something tells us we need more. A sabbatical is more than a holiday away from a busy schedule. It’s a lifestyle we need to learn to practise and build into our lives in meaningful ways. It’s about making room to rethink, repurpose and recalibrate. It’s about giving your mind and body plenty of time off .  A sabbatical can mean a spiritual retreat or it could mean taking an adventurous lengthy trip away, but far more practically and simply it’s about adding regular ‘R&R’ to your ‘to-do’ list.

Don’t wait to take sabbatical time ‘some day’ or maybe when you retire. Do it now. One  small tip: don’t abandon your friends and loved ones — just gently let others know you may not be available to do this or that. And whatever your sabbatical time means or looks like for you, commit to NOT to giving up on it. Build it into your everyday time — and live well — body, mind and spirit.