Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Friday, May 31, 2013

fun friday photo ~ pillow baby

"allright... if you're not going to take your nap... then, I will..."
baby Hope with a sleepy mama- aren't they beautiful? 
we are going out to the ranch next week; I can't wait to snuggle this miracle baby. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

thursday's smile ~ Casey

here is a story that will melt your heart, I saw it on Huffington Post; as well, several friends all emailed it to me...hum, you think they know I would love this story? I do- and would like to share it with all of you who may have missed it. This story appeared originally in Mysterious Ways magazine

Meet the Canine Minister to an Alzheimer's Man
By Ron Berler, New York, New York

An Alaskan malamute with a nose for mischief finds a new mission in life: paying daily visits to an ailing neighbor.

Casey wasn’t the most popular dog in her owner Carol Baird’s neighborhood of Dalton, Georgia. A huge, burly Alaskan malamute, she had a heart of gold but a nose for trouble.

She’d slip out the Baird family’s back door and trot down the street without a care. Most people gave her a wide berth. That was hardly surprising. From a distance, Casey looked a lot like a wolf.

She behaved like one too, or at least had an appetite like one. Neighbors often stormed over to complain. “Your dog got out again, and ate all of our dog’s food!” or “Casey’s turned over our garbage!”

Carol’s door, said he lived three blocks away and then asked for her dog’s name, Carol braced herself. What did Casey do this time?

“We have a sliding-glass door that we usually keep open in the summer,” the man began, “and every day for the last several weeks your dog has wandered off the street and come uninvited into my house.”

That dog, Carol thought. “I’m so sorry,” she said. “I don’t know why Casey gets herself into such mischief. A lot of it’s our fault. We have to start watching her more closely. But honestly, she means no harm...”

“No, you don’t understand,” the man interrupted. “I came over to thank you.”

The man must have seen the confusion on Carol’s face. No neighbor had ever said anything positive about Casey before. They usually wanted to know who would fill up the two-foot hole she’d energetically dug in their backyard.

But not this neighbor. He explained that his father, who had Alzheimer’s, lived with him and his wife and needed constant monitoring. The father rarely moved from his easy chair in front of the TV in the living room and was often agitated. Caring for him had exhausted the man and his wife.

“I couldn’t remember the last time we had two hours to ourselves,” the man said. “And then, one day, your dog showed up.”

Casey wandered into the house through the sliding door and made straight for the man’s father. “She sat right beside him, like she had planned to visit him all along,” the neighbor said, his voice filled with wonder.

He saw his father turn to Casey and begin to pet her. He stroked her and stroked her, and fell peacefully asleep. “He slept two full hours,” the neighbor said. “It was the biggest midday reprieve my wife and I have had in years.”

Casey returned the next day, and every day after that, as if she had an appointment to keep. Each time was the same. She’d pad to the old man’s chair and sit by his side, letting him pet her till he dozed off.

“To my wife and me,” the neighbor said, “Casey was a gift from heaven. That’s why I’ve come to see you today. Is Casey here?”

“Yes, she is,” Carol said. “Casey!”

The big malamute trotted up, looking at the neighbor with searching eyes. The neighbor gave a gentle pat. “You must have known, didn’t you?” the neighbor said to Casey. “That’s why you just stopped coming a couple of days ago.”

“Known what?” Carol asked.

“My father died in his sleep the night after Casey’s last visit. She knew her job was over.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

meal ideas ~ healthy fruit yummies

Fruit Cups with Ginger Nuts
These fresh fruit cups are full of bananas, orange slices, and flavorful mixed nuts with a sweet sauce and a crunchy nut topping in this easy dessert.  4 servings SERVING SIZE: 1/2 cup fruit and 2 tablespoons nuts CARBS: 21

1/3 cup  mango nectar or orange juice
1 teaspoon  cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon  ground ginger
1 small banana, sliced
2 small oranges, peeled and sectioned
1/4 cup  Ginger-Crunch Mixed Nuts (see recipe)

1. In a small saucepan, stir together mango nectar, cornstarch, and ginger. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly; cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Gently stir in banana; cool completely.

2. Divide banana mixture, orange sections, and Ginger-Crunch Mixed Nuts among four stemmed glasses. Serve immediately.

Ginger-Crunch Mixed Nuts
1/2 cup  macadamia nuts
1/2 cup  whole almonds
1/2 cup  lightly salted pistachio nuts
1/2 cup  coarsely chopped pecans
1 egg
1 tablespoon  water
2 tablespoons  granulated sugar or sugar substitute
2 tablespoons  packed brown sugar or brown sugar substitute
3/4 teaspoon  ground ginger

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a 13x9x2-inch baking pan, combine macadamia nuts, almonds, pistachio nuts, and pecans. Bake nuts for 10 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine egg white and water; beat with a wire whisk or rotary beater until frothy. Discard half of the egg white mixture. To the remaining egg white mixture, add granulated sugar or sugar substitute, brown sugar or brown sugar substitute, and ginger; stir until combined. Stir in cooled nuts. Lightly coat the same baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spread nuts in a single layer in prepared pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until nuts appear dry, stirring once halfway through baking. Spread nut mixture on a piece of foil coated with nonstick cooking spray, separating into individual pieces or small clusters; cool. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Tip: Use the leftover Ginger-Crunch Mixed Nuts as snacks. Or, use them to add pizzazz to a variety of foods, including breakfast cereal, fruit-flavored yogurts, tossed salads, or sliced fresh fruit.

Peach-Berry Frozen Dessert

Fat-free yogurt and light dessert topping help keep this fruity dessert low in calories, carbs, and fat. Using fat-free cheese and yogurt plus light dessert topping help keep this chilled fruit dessert recipe low in calories, carbs, and fat.  9 servings CARBS: 12
 
1 8 ounce package fat-free cream cheese, softened
2 6 ounce carton peach fat-free yogurt with artificial sweetener
1/2 8 ounce container frozen light whipped dessert topping, thawed
1 cup chopped, peeled fresh peaches
1 cup  fresh blueberries, raspberries, strawberries
Fresh mint leaves (optional)
Fresh berries (optional)

1. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and yogurt. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Fold in the whipped topping, peaches, and the 1 cup berries.

2. Pour into a 2-quart square baking dish. Cover and freeze about 8 hours or until firm.

3. To serve, let stand at room temperature about 45 minutes to thaw slightly. Cut into squares.

If desired, garnish with mint leaves and additional berries. Makes 9 servings.

Make Ahead Tip

Prepare dessert as directed through Step 2. Cover and freeze for up to 1 week.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

healthy living ~ summer time sleep suggestions

Exhausted after a long day of relaxation and summertime fun you finally settle in for a night of slumber, but all you can do is toss and turn. Here are some things to try before bed to ensure a well-rested summer’s night of sleep.

Eat at your normal time. Even though it stays lighter much later, it doesn’t mean you should push dinnertime to 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. Eating a heavy meal too close to bedtime can cause digestive upset and heartburn, making you too uncomfortable to fall asleep. If hot weather makes you crave ice cream after dinner, be sure to enjoy it at least an hour or two before hitting the hay so the sugar doesn’t pep you up.
 
Kick back with a refreshing iced herbal tea. There’s something about summer weather that makes us want to reach for a cold beer or margarita, but drinking too much alcohol at night can cause fragmented sleep. Enjoy one alcoholic beverage to satisfy your craving, and if you still need to quench your thirst, go for seltzer with fruit slices or iced chamomile tea.

Water before bed. Dehydration is more common in the summer because the heat makes us lose more water. Not getting enough H2O can make you feel tired all day so ensure you’re getting your fill of nature’s beverage by sipping some 30 minutes or so before bed (not too close to bedtime or too much that you have to pee in the middle of the night). It can help move things along digestively as well, preventing constipation in the morning.

Go for indoor cooling for allergy relief. Warmer weather means you can finally open the windows. The sweet sound of crickets chirping or the pelting of light summer rain can help lull you to sleep, BUT if you suffer from seasonal allergies, pollen will blow right in, causing sneezing, coughing, and itchy eyes to keep you up. Use a small fan on your dresser to keep you cool and you’ll soon love the gentle whirring white noise. If you must, use the air conditioner..but remember to be energy conscious.

Cool shower. Feeling hot and sticky, or worse—sunburned—will keep anyone up. Cool off (and wash away allergens that get trapped in your hair) with a refreshing shower before bed. Going to bed with wet hair is one way to help you stay cool all night. And if you suffer from a sunburn, moisturize with a lotion that contains aloe. If your burn is especially bad, lube up with some gel that contains pain-relieving lidocaine and take a few ibuprofen to reduce inflammation.

Soothing stretches. Getting in shape for baring your body in the summer often means working out more often and more intensely. If you tend to skip out on the stretching sessions during the day, you’ll end up feeling really sore (or could risk an exercise-related injury) so make a habit of stretching at night. Try yoga poses you can do in your bed to target commonly tight areas such as the hips, hamstrings, shoulders, and lower back; that relaxed feeling will help you drift off to dreamland

Monday, May 27, 2013

~ Memorial Day ~

Memorial Day
Remembering our Soldiers and their faithful canines who gave their lives so I may be free 
~ I shall cherish their gift with honor ~





Friday, May 24, 2013

fun friday photo~ a day in the garden

 just thought I would share a couple of fun moments I've recently had in my garden-
this young scrubjay is new to my garden, most likely from last fall's nesting of my two resident jays. He comes close to me and the "peanut" tray when I am filling it in the mornings-
 mom & dad wait until I am in the house. He is stunning in his iridescent blue.

Henry's back from his winter hiding, and just at big and beautiful as ever. He loves to lay out in the sun in our cactus garden area. We watched as he and his buddy valiantly fought off the jays recently, however, during the standoff another predator wizz'd in and nabbed his buddy.      The event happened so fast we aren't sure if it was an owl or road runner.  :(

While trimming my large jasmine bush I had a wonderful surprise  A baby garden snake's "skin" was laying entwined in the bush. It looked to have just been shed only moments earlier. I love snakes in my garden, they not only keep small pests at bay but larger garden rats out of my bird feeders. Yes, Sonia, they are a good thing; to be respected and not hated.  (although, I will be honest...I loathe snakes in water- just gives me the creepys to no end) 

~have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day weekend~



Thursday, May 23, 2013

thursday craft idea ~ pooch-potty-pullups

yesterday day was my "get-it-done" day, and one of the projects I have been needing to do was another of my "pooch potty bag pullup" containers for a friend in Wales. They are getting ready for their annual Bernese Mountain Dog Treasure hunt and I wanted to send some trinkets for the prizes. I have made several of these for friends and the best part is using recycled "wipes" tubs for the containers. You know me, if I can re-purpose or recycle something I am in heaven. These are simple to make and cost very little if you use things around the house such as old wrapping paper, sticky contact paper that is left over, you can use almost anything for your decorations. sorry for the bad photos. 

what you'll need:
1. an empty "wipes" tub, 
2. paper for your background,
3. stickers or other decorations
4. clear tape
5. acetate sheets to protect everything
     when cleaning the outside of the tub.
6. doggie bags, rolls

Cut your background and the acetate to fit and attach to the tub. I use a sticky shelving cork that adheres to the tub. You could use double sided tape or a spray glue.

Decorate your tub however you like, ribbons, photos, stickers. If you're a scrap-booker...then treat it like a page (just remember if you plan on putting an acetate cover to protect it, it needs to be flat.

When satisfied with your decorations wrap the tub with the acetate and attach the end with some "clear" tape where they meet. I also run some along the top and bottom to seal and finish. 

Fill the tub with rolls of "doggie bags." Most tubs can hold 12 rolls.

Start one of the rolls through the top, close the lid and, whalla, you are good to go. When you need a baggie, pull it out, tear it off, and smile.

I kept one of these in the back of my car so if out and about and the pooch needed to go, I just pulled out a couple of baggies and was ready when he was.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

meal ideas ~ salmon, grape toms & shallots

I love Salmon, grape tomatoes and shallots, if you do too, try this quick and tasty dish elegant enough for company.

Salmon with Roasted Tomatoes and Shallots
Roast salmon fillets on the juicy tomato-shallot mixture. There is enough to use some of the fish for other entrees. 4 servings : 3 ounces salmon and 3/4 cup tomato mixture per serving  CARBS: 12

1 pound  fresh or frozen salmon fillet
Nonstick cooking spray
4 cups  grape tomatoes
1/2 cup  thinly sliced shallots
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs fresh oregano or 1-1/2 tsp dried
1 tbs  olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1. Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse salmon and pat dry with paper towels. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Lightly coat a 3-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In the baking dish, combine tomatoes, shallots, garlic, oregano, olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Toss to coat.

3. Roast, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Place salmon, skin side down, on top of the tomato-shallot mixture. Sprinkle salmon with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast, uncovered, for 15 to 18 minutes or until salmon flakes easily when tested with a fork. Use two large pancake turners to transfer the salmon to a cutting board.

4. If desired, use the turners to lift the salmon meat off the skin and onto a large platter; discard skin. (do remember the skin is high in many minerals and vitamins and… the good fats) Serve the salmon with the tomato-shallot mixture.

Storage
Cover and store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

healthy living ~ get plenty of sleep

Importance of Sleep : Six reasons not to scrimp on sleep

A recent survey found that more people are sleeping less than six hours a night, and sleep difficulties visit 75% of us at least a few nights per week. A short-lived bout of insomnia is generally nothing to worry about. The bigger concern is chronic sleep loss, which can contribute to health problems such as weight gain, high blood pressure, and a decrease in the immune system’s power, reports the Harvard Women’s Health Watch.

While more research is needed to explore the links between chronic sleep loss and health, it’s safe to say that sleep is too important to shortchange.

The Harvard Women’s Health Watch suggests six reasons to get enough sleep:
  1. Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.
  2. Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.
  3. Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.
  4. Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.
  5. Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.
  6. Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.

Monday, May 20, 2013

impermanent, imperfect, incomplete beauty

I am a perfectionist, actually I use to be an unyielding perfectionist, however, a short time ago when I was taking a craft class (on making your own journals and booklets) I became frustrated because “mine” was not as I saw to be “perfect.” The instructor, who was Japanese, smiled softy and said “ohhhh miss, you need learnWabi Sabi,” and proceeded to write the words down on my table and then stated before she stepped away to help another in the class, “you know google? google is good.” I sat there, with chin dropped, and looked down at my booklet... “Wabi Sabi?” 

that one suggestion will last a lifetime of new creativeness…

The mossy, knotted roots of an old tree. A winding road only partially paved. The deeply lined face of an elder. Much of the beauty around us is neither symmetrical nor intricate. It is naturally radiant and uniquely striking. According to Japanese aesthetic tradition, the appreciation of beauty that is impermanent, imperfect and incomplete is called Wabi Sabi.

Wabi is the kind of perfect beauty that is paradoxically caused by just the right kind of imperfection. Sabi is the kind of attractiveness that can come only with age. Blending harmoniously, these two concepts provide a path to a definition of beauty that values humanity over flawlessness. Learning to appreciate the Wabi Sabi in your surroundings, you will open your eyes to beauty in all its diversity.

The concepts of Wabi-Sabi correlate with the principles of Zen Buddhism, as the first Japanese involved with its practice were tea masters, priests, and monks who also practiced Zen. Upon noticing the unique beauty of a roof tile, a mid sixteenth century Master of the Tea Ceremony, Sen no Rikyu, asked the tile maker to produce some pieces for the tea ceremony using the same materials and firing technique. The result was pottery with bold colors, great freedom of form and a simplicity that seemed to embody the essence of Zen. Today, many painters, potters and writers continue to create art in this tradition. Their Wabi Sabi art, which reflects humble soulfulness instead of machine-like precision, challenges the eye, asking us to transcend our usual ways of evaluating life.

You can begin to perceive beauty in this way by simply looking around. Surrounding you at all times is nature's earthy, unpretentious magnificence. Nature's imperfect loveliness will remind you to love your authentic self. Wabi Sabi teaches us that it is our flaws that make us beautiful.



Embrace your uniqueness and learn to see beauty in all its forms… why not see about adding some Wabi Sabi to your life.


my booklets… 
remained unchanged and beautifully imperfect:

Saturday, May 18, 2013

anger management ~

 oh yeah! .... adding this to my arsenal of dealing with difficult people- ha!


thanks for the laugh Lois.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

meal ideas ~ the berries are here......

it’s  spring and the berries are here….. 
                       yippie, it’s time to make the taste buds happy!

Double Berry Pie Squares
SERVING SIZE: 1 square and 1/2 tablespoon dessert topping CARB S: 25

1/3 cup  sugar or sugar substitute1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 pound  fresh strawberries, hulled and diced
1 12 ounce package frozen raspberries, thawed
Nonstick cooking spray
2/3 cup  finely crushed graham crackers
2 tablespoons  sugar or sugar substitute
2 tablespoons  butter, melted
1/3 cup  frozen sugar-free whipped dessert topping, thawed

For filling:
1. In a large saucepan, combine the 1/3 cup sugar and the gelatin; add strawberries and raspberries. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until gelatin is dissolved and mixture is simmering.

2. Transfer berry mixture to a shallow bowl. Chill about 45 minutes or until mixture begins to set up around the edges, stirring occasionally.

For crust:
3. Lightly coat a 2-quart square baking dish with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, stir together finely crushed graham crackers, the 2 tablespoons sugar, and the melted butter. Press graham cracker mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Place in freezer while chilling filling.

4. Carefully pour filling over the crust. Chill about 3 hours or until filling is completely set.

5. Cut into squares to serve. Top with whipped dessert topping. Makes 9 servings (1 square and 1/2 tablespoon dessert topping per serving)

Berry Ginger Shortcakes

For this ginger-flavored berry dessert recipe, sweet biscuits are split in half, filled with low-calorie sweetened berries, and topped with sour cream-flavored whipped topping. Heavenly!
MAKES: 10 servings CARBS: 28

3 cups  fresh berries (sliced strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and/or blackberries)
2 tablespoons  finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 2/3 cups  all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon  sugar
2 teaspoons  baking powder
1/4 teaspoon  baking soda
3 tablespoons  butter or margarine
1/2 cup  buttermilk
1 egg
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 8 ounce container frozen fat-free whipped dessert topping, thawed
1/4 cup  fat-free dairy sour cream

1. In a small bowl combine the berries and the crystallized ginger. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, prepare shortcakes. For shortcakes, in a medium bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter or margarine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine buttermilk and egg product or egg. Add to the flour mixture all at once, stirring just until mixture is moistened. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside. On a lightly floured surface pat the dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut the dough with a floured 2-1/2-inch star-shaped or heart-shaped cookie cutter or a round biscuit cutter, rerolling scraps as necessary. Place shortcakes on prepared baking sheet. Bake in a 425 degree F oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden. Cool the shortcakes slightly on a wire rack.

3. To serve, in a small bowl combine the whipped topping and sour cream. Split shortcakes in half. Place bottoms on dessert plates. Divide the berry mixture among bottoms. Top each with some of the whipped topping mixture. Replace the shortcake tops.

Berry-Cream Cheese Tart
Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries crown this tart filled with cream cheese. The sweet treat, with eye- and taste-appeal for all, meets guidelines for diabetic food plans.
MAKES: 12 servings CARB: 15

1/2 8 ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
2 tablespoons orange marmalade spread
1/2 8 ounce container frozen light whipped dessert topping, thawed
1 recipe Baked Tart Pastry (recipe below)
3 cups  assorted fresh berries (such as sliced blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and/or quartered strawberries)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, flatten the ball of pastry dough with your hands. Roll dough from center to edge into a circle about 11 inches in diameter. To transfer pastry, wrap it around the rolling pin. Unroll pastry into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Ease pastry into tart pan, being careful not to stretch pastry. Press pastry into fluted side of tart pan. Trim pastry to the edge of the tart pan. Prick the bottom and side of pastry generously with the tines of a fork. Line pastry with a double thickness of foil. Bake for 8 minutes; remove foil. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes more or until pastry is golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes.

2. For filling, in a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed about 30 seconds or until fluffy. Beat in marmalade. Fold in topping. Spread filling in Baked Tart Pastry. Top with berries. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Make Ahead Tip
Make Baked Tart Pastry up to 24 hours ahead; cover and store at room temperature. Prepare as directed through Step 1 without berries. Cover; chill for up to 4 hours. Before serving, arrange berries on filling.

Baked Tart Pastry
1 1/4 cups  all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon  salt
1/3 cup  shortening
4 - 5 tablespoons  cold water

1. In a large bowl, stir together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are pea-size. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cold water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Repeat moistening dough, using 1 tablespoon cold water at a time, until all the dough is moistened (4 to 5 tablespoons cold water total). Form dough into a ball.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

healthy living ~ natural hair boosting ideas

Hair Loss! yikes! As I stated in a post a couple of month ago: “I truly think I would rather lose my teeth than my hair." And with the issues I had with that nasty “thyroid storm” and then a very rare but real reaction to some medication I was given… my hair or rather lack of nearly became an obsession.  Now… that it is growing back, (I have two distinctive lengths- the short new growth and the long older strands that made it through the turmoil) I decided to give it a cut… a very short cut. Oh well, least I will save on shampoo and then having to launder that extra towel I used to wrap my hair out of the shower…and yes even time to dry. All in all, I can live with short hair for a while; at least I still have some left.  And…I have gained a lot of knowledge about hair care and things to do about thinning or hair loss.

Hair loss affects both men and women.  While genetics plays a role, there are other factors, including:  hormonal imbalances, an underactive thyroid gland, medications, nutrient deficiencies and insufficient scalp circulation. 

Here are some natural remedies I want to share that can help boost hair growth:

Cut back on meat: Hormonal imbalances are a primary culprit in hair loss.  Japanese researchers also link excessive sebum production in the scalp to high levels of 5-alpha reductase.  Their research indicated that animal fat intake may increase sebum production.
Get enough essential fatty acids:  Essential fatty acids from walnuts, flaxseeds, fish and avocado are also important for healthy hair.
Boost bioton: Biotin encourages hair and scalp health.  Dietary sources of biotin include: nuts, brown rice and oats.
Boost keratin production with MSM: Methylsulfonylmethane aids in the production of keratin (a protein in the hair) while doing double-duty to strengthen hair follicles.  In one study 100 percent of people who supplemented with MSM showed reduced hair loss and increased growth in only six weeks.
Rejuvenate hair follicles with B-complex vitamins: 100 mg daily of a B-complex supplement that includes biotin and vitamin B6 can reduce hair thinning by increasing scalp circulation and rejuvenating hair follicles.
Rev up collagen production with vitamin C: Collagen surrounds the hair strands but as we age collagen breaks down, causing hair to be more vulnerable to breaking.  The best way to boost collagen is not through some expensive medical procedure, it’s by getting more vitamin C.  Foods high in vitamin C include: citrus fruits, strawberries and red peppers.  Supplementing with 250 mg daily can help boost collagen production which has the added bonus of reducing wrinkling.
Prevent breakage with vitamin E: Vitamin E is required to nourish damaged hair and to prevent breakage.  It aids the body’s ability to manufacture keratin within hair strands to reduce breakage.  Supplementing with 400 IU of vitamin E can be helpful to restore locks.
Eat foods rich in iron: Iron is also essential for hair growth and can be found in blackstrap molasses, green leafy vegetables, leeks, cashews, dried fruits, figs, and berries.  To help your body absorb iron, you’ll need enough vitamin C.
Give your hair a mineral boost: The minerals silica and zinc are also critical for hair growth.  Take 500 mg of silica two times daily and 30 mg of zinc once daily.
Boost scalp circulation with rosemary essential oil: Rosemary essential oil has been traditionally used to increase circulation to the scalp.  Add a few drops per dollop of shampoo or, better yet, add a few drops of rosemary to coconut oil and massage your scalp regularly.
Address a possible underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) which can cause thinning hair:  Add sea vegetables like kelp, nori, dulse, kombu and wakame, all of which are rich in iodine may be helpful to balance this condition.  Avoid drinking tap water since it typically contains fluorine and chlorine, two chemicals that inhibit iodine absorption.  You may also want to supplement with 100 mg or 1 mL of the herb bladderwrack (focus vesiculosus) daily.  Work with a qualified holistic health care professional if you suspect a sluggish thyroid gland.

Healthy Living ~ Foods Your Hair Loves

(Minoxidil or Rogaine ??? - don't even get me started on critiquing those - stay away from those products !!!! I honestly would rather be bald. )

Monday, May 13, 2013

ahhhh...happiness


Happiness is .....

...accepting yourself and acknowledge both your pains and your joys. Honesty within yourself will free you from inner conflicts and allow you to grow.

...nurturing yourself as often as you can, be it with a daily personal ritual, a regular massage or simply a few hours with a good book.

...contemplating your weaknesses inspires fear, but focusing on strengths will bolster your mind. Self-improvement is a noble goal, yet it is important to recognize your contributions to the world. Revel in those activities that empower you.

...is written in the Bhagavad-Gita that "the highest happiness comes upon the one whose mind is calmed." Choose pathways in life based on the peace they inspire within you and happiness will follow.

...not in a wallet. While money counts, true happiness lies elsewhere. Ask yourself what paths you would most like to follow even without financial gain. Immerse yourself in beloved hobbies and they may evolve into more.

...open mindedness and increasing your imagination. Use your intuition as a guide.

...being active. Deep inside ourselves, we understand the actions that will make us happy. When doubt begins to creep in, take it as a warning and examine your actions using your heart as your guide.

...intense, joyful effort that is not a struggle. When it becomes one, it is time to retrace your steps and ask where happiness lies.

...never losing sight of your emotions. Your own reactions are signs clearly marking the way to happiness, but there are other, less obvious clues. Be open to new ideas that may contribute to your well being.

...new experiences that are a pathway to joy and wisdom, not an occasion to win or lose. The loftiest successes are often achieved through a simple leap of faith.


Friday, May 10, 2013

fun friday ~ out of the den and ready to be bears


hey ... boys! lookie who's here and she's got PECANS!

 SaraBear, C1 and C3 munching down treats 

C2, as usual, doing his own thing...
cleaning off the honey-cream he stole
 from a forgetful researcher's backpack,
which by the way was a treat intended for all the yearlings-

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

meal ideas ~ two wraps and a panini

Here are some more wraps I love and a Panini, which takes a little more work but is absolutely delicious!

Mediterranean Chicken Panini
Another time, use the subtly seasoned Dried Tomato-Pepper Spread to spiff up a cold turkey sandwich.  4 servings CARBS: 35
 
Olive oil nonstick cooking spray
1 recipe Dried Tomato-Pepper Spread
2 small skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 8 ounces total)
4 miniature squares whole wheat bagel bread or multigrain ciabatta rolls, split
1 small zucchini

1. Lightly coat an unheated panini griddle, covered indoor electric grill, or large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat over medium heat or heat according to manufacturer's directions. Add chicken. If using griddle or grill, close lid and grill for 6 to 7 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. (If using skillet, cook chicken for 10 to 12 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, turning once.) Cool chicken slightly; split each chicken piece in half horizontally and cut crosswise into 2-inch-wide slices.

2. Spread the Dried Tomato-Pepper Spread on cut sides of bagel bread squares. Place chicken on bottoms of the bread squares. Using a vegetable peeler, cut very thin lengthwise strips from the zucchini. Place zucchini strips on top of the chicken. Place bagel square tops on top of the zucchini, spread sides down. Press down lightly. Lightly coat the top and bottom of each sandwich with nonstick cooking spray.

3. Place sandwiches on griddle, grill, or skillet, adding in batches if necessary. If using griddle or grill, close lid and grill for 2 to 3 minutes or until bread is toasted. (If using skillet, place a heavy saucepan or skillet on top of sandwiches. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until bottoms are toasted. Carefully remove saucepan or top skillet*** may be hot. Turn sandwiches; top again with the saucepan or skillet. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes more or until bread is toasted.)

Dried Tomato-Pepper Spread

YIELD: 1/3 cup
1/3 cup dried tomatoes (not oil packed)
3 tablespoons boiling water
1/3 cup drained bottled roasted red sweet peppers
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon snipped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. In a small bowl combine dried tomatoes and the boiling water. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer undrained tomato mixture to a small food processor (if you have a larger food processor you will need to stop and scrape down sides occasionally). Add roasted red sweet peppers, balsamic vinegar, oregano, garlic, and black pepper. Cover and process until smooth.
  
Sesame-Ginger Turkey Wraps
This easy turkey recipe, simmered in a slow cooker, calls for only five ingredients and makes enough
to serve a crowd. Refrigerate leftover filling for another meal. And substitute buns in place of tortillas for a change. MAKES: 12 CARBS: 20
 
Nonstick cooking spray
3 turkey thighs, skinned (3-1/2 to 4 pounds)
1 cup bottled sesame-ginger stir-fry sauce
1/4 cup water
1 16 ounce package shredded broccoli (broccoli slaw mix)
12 whole wheat flour tortillas
3/4 cup sliced green onions (6)

1. Lightly coat the inside of a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place turkey thighs in prepared cooker. In a small bowl stir together stir-fry sauce and water. Pour over turkey in cooker.

2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 7 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 to 3-1/2 hours.

3. Remove turkey from slow cooker; cool slightly. Remove turkey from bones; discard bones. Using two forks, shred turkey into bite-size pieces. Place broccoli slaw mix in sauce mixture in slow cooker. Stir to coat; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Remove from cooker with a slotted spoon.

4. To assemble, place some of the turkey on each warmed tortilla. Top with some of the broccoli mixture and green onions. Spoon some of the sauce from cooker on top of onions. Roll up and serve immediately.

Curried Chicken Salad Wraps
This lower fat chicken salad can be served as a sandwich, in a tortilla, or for a lower carb option, in hollowed-out tomato shells. 4 servings CARBS: 18

1/2 cup fat-free or low-fat mayonnaise dressing or salad dressing
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (about 10 ounces)
1/4 cup sliced green onions
4 romaine leaves or 8 fresh spinach leaves
4 7 inches whole wheat flour tortillas
1 medium tomato, chopped

1. In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise dressing, curry powder, and pepper. Stir in chicken and green onion. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours.

2. To assemble, place a romaine leaf or two spinach leaves on each tortilla. Top with chicken mixture and tomatoes. Roll up; cut in half to serve.

Variation
Curry Chicken Salad Tomatoes: Prepare as directed in step 1. To serve, cut a thin slice from the top of each of 4 large tomatoes. Using a spoon, scoop out center of each tomato, leaving a shell. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture into each tomato shell.