Green May Be Good For You
Have you noticed more green around you indoors? Could be because greenery is the Pantone color of the year. Or it could be because some research shows that having live, green plants around us indoors is good for our health. A literature review of fifteen years of research showed the presence of natural elements, including plants, had health benefits including reduced stress, increased pain tolerance, improved task performance, increased sense of well-being and attentional focus recovery, and heightened natural killer activity. 1
If you notice that you feel better seeing live plants in your home or office, why not add a few? Remember, these suggestions are never a substitute for the plan of care you create with your health care providers, but if plants seem to help lift your spirit, give it a try.
One of my favorite indoor plants is an orchid. Low maintenance and they provide beautiful, long-lasting blooms.
Enjoy this short video on orchids where I share tips on types of orchids and care: Video
Do you notice a difference in your well-being when plants are around you? Please share your comments below and any questions that you have.
Farmer's Market Soup
Does the thought of a cold salad on a chilly, gray day sound unappetizing? If you are nodding your head 'yes', as I am, have you considered making a warm, hearty vegetable soup instead?
Many communities have access to a local farmer's market. To find one near you check the USDA's registry or try googling it. Purchasing produce from a local farmer not only provides us with fresh fruits and vegetables that typically last much longer, farmers can also be a great source of information.
Every Saturday morning I try and get to my local market. The farmers are always excited to share recipes and interesting information about their harvest. Thanks to them, I have tried food that I have never heard of or didn't know how to prepare.
One of my favorite winter recipes is what I call Farmer's Market Soup. It is very easy to make and delicious. Best of all, it never tastes the same twice because it depends on what is available at the market that week. This week's recipe:
1. Wash and chop all your veggies.
2. I like to sauté the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, shallots in a little bit of butter or olive oil.
3. Put the rest of your veggies in a crock pot. Add broth (I like to use Trader Joe's low sodium organic vegetable broth) and a can of organic crushed tomatoes.
4. Add your favorite fresh herbs (or dried organic herbs) and roots to season as you like. Check out this fresh turmeric I found at the Farmer's Market yesterday!
5. When the sautéed veggies are soft and maybe even a little browned, go ahead and add those to the crock pot.
6. Let it cook until the contents are soft enough to chew easily. Yumm!
You may have enough to share or freeze. You can add beans, meat, noodles or rice if you like. Get creative.
This simple, easy recipe is a great way to get an assortment of vegetables into our diet. Let kids help pick out the vegetables and they may be more likely to eat them. An added benefit-we get to shop outdoors and get some fresh air. Who doesn't love that.
Do you have a favorite farmer's market recipe you would like to share? Please post it or any comments below. Thank you!
When we go to the beach on a hot, sunny, summer day, what do we typically see? A group of kids with bright colored pails and shovels building a sandcastle? Perhaps some teens tossing a frisbee in the sand, or maybe a retired gentlemen flying a kite along the dunes? What we'll see most people doing, however, is sitting in their unfolded beach chairs staring at the ocean. Have you ever wondered why?
Fisherman line the shores of lakes and rivers for hours at a time, often throwing their catch right back in the water. Have you ever wondered why?
After a long day, many people retreat to a warm bath accented with delightful scents from oils, soaps, or bath salts. A major personal products brand, Calgon, built a whole campaign around the concept of soaking in a tub: Take me away! How does submerging in water potentially benefit us?
Beginning January 16th, a worldwide discussion, which you are invited to participate in FREE, will begin. Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, author of the book, Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do, will host a weekly book club meeting, which participants can join while reading one chapter a week. Readers will have a variety of ways to participate.
If you would like to join in for what should be a great learning opportunity for all, sign up here now for FREE link. Details are also on this link. You will need to purchase the book or audiobook or take it out of your local library. Hope to see you!