Friday, January 30, 2009

An Inspirational Reminder

I just posted this inspirational story at my Circle of Women blog and I wanted to share this story here also. This story contains a message... a lesson and a reminder about life.

Why is it that we 'remember' while reading something or watching a movie that touches us that we should not take things for granted? To realize things are not really greener on the other side...To remember to love, be kind, live an honest life, treat others respectively and with a kind heart. We may remember for a short time, but then we forget...until the next time something crosses our path in which we remember again.

Unfortunately, for some, it takes a sad moment or an illness or losing a loved one to remember. I truly wish no one must go through a sad experience to remember how important life is...that life is a gift and we should not take it for granted or our loved ones.

This story touched me. In case someone has forgotten...

A Story to live by

There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always
there for her. She told her boyfriend, 'If I could only see
the world, I will marry you.'

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages
came off, she was able to see everything, including her

He asked her,'Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?' The
girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The
sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn't expected
that. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life
led her to refuse to marry him.

Her boyfriend left in tears and days later wrote a note to her
saying: 'Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before
they were yours, they were mine.'

This is how the human brain often works when our status changes.
Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who
was always by their side in the most painful situations.

Life Is a Gift

Today before you say an unkind word - Think of someone who can't

Before you complain about the taste of your food - Think of someone
who has nothing to eat.

Before you complain about your husband or wife - Think of someone
who's crying out to GOD for a companion.

Today before you complain about life - Think of someone who died
too early on this earth.

Before you complain about your children - Think of someone who
desires children but they're barren.

Before you argue about your dirty house someone didn't clean or
sweep - Think of the people who are living in the streets.

Before whining about the distance you drive Think of someone who
walks the same distance with their feet.

And when you are tired and complain about your job - Think of the
unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your

But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning
another - Remember that not one of us is without sin.

And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down - Put a smile on
your face and think: you're alive and still

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


You can't be beaten at anything, until you quit in your own mind.
There is no failure except in your not trying.
There is no defeat except from within.

You have no real insurmountable barrier except your own inherent weakness of purpose. The odds are with you if you keep on trying.

Consider yourself on a very long journey.
Sustain your personal vision of success until you achieve it.
In the end, you can fail only if you don't try.

Winning isn't everything, but wanting to is.
Success is a road that's paved with perseverance.

© Copyright 2009
Reproduce freely but maintain Copyright notice.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Isn't Our Brain Amazing?

You may have received this in an email and wondered...How Could I read This Paragraph of Mispelled words? When I first saw this, I was amazed that I actually could read and understand what I was reading.

Can You Read and Understand The Below Paragraph?

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by ist lef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?

It is said that we generally just read the first and last letters and have a quick recognition of the shape and content of the entire word. We process the written language in a dozen different brain areas. In most people, the left hemisphere of the brain is used the most.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

How Well Do You Sleep?

If you have trouble falling asleep or toss and turn all night, you are not alone. Millions of people do not get a good nights sleep. I sometimes find myself not feeling refreshed upon awakening and that truly affects my day. My mind is off, my body is achy.

Simple changes we can make will bring us better sleep. Our mind, body and soul will benefit.

Regular day exercise can help sleep. Believe it or not, as little as twenty to thirty minutes of activity during the day helps. Exercising close to bed time actually stimulates the body. Keep a regular bedtime schedule, including weekends. Overall sleep will be better if you do this.

Our mind and body associate 'light' with being awake and the opposite for sleep.
Your bedroom should be quiet, dark and a comfortable temperature with proper ventilation.

Make your bedroom the place for sleep. Don't associate your bed with work. Do you sometimes balance your checkbook on the bed while the TV is on? or finish that work you've brought home? Your bedroom should be the place where you go to relax, to sleep.

What about your bed? Is it large enough? Can you stretch out and turn comfortably or are you cramped? All these factors affect your quality of sleep. I usually wake up with aches in my back, so I know a new bed and mattress is a must. Shopping for beds has me stumped. There are so many choices. Does it matter what a bed looks like? I just want my bed to appeal to me. This way I want to be in it!

Surfing the web, I came across Time4SleepBeds. The choices are overwhelming: Leather Beds,Wooden Beds, beds for children, Metal Beds,French Style Beds,Antique Style Beds, to name a few. Then there's the decision of picking the mattress. I know it will be better for my back to pick a firm mattress. Maybe with a pillow top. I now use an egg crate on top of the mattress to make my back feel better, but my mattress is so old, that I'm not truly benefiting from it.

Does anyone have recommendations on what type of bed or mattress helps with back issues? If you also have some tips to getting a better night's sleep, please do share.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Eat These 8 Foods For Your Health

My friend from work let me borrow this great book called, Eat This, Not That. It was jam packed with easy to understand information about food. As the title suggests, it gives you information on what to eat vs. what not to eat. Like when you go into a restaurant or fast food place…it gives information (calories, fat etc…) on the food choices you have, so you can make a better choice based on grams of fat, sodium etc. For the size of this book (small), I couldn’t believe how many restaurants, fast food places, coffee shops etc this book included.

What really blew me away was this fact: One chicken marsala dish at The Olive Garden contained 86 grams of fat. Ok, so I thought it would be a high number, but 86?! Wow…then you have to include everything else you’ve eaten during the day, so your fat intake is probably what you should have for an entire week.

According to this book, eating healthy shouldn’t be so difficult. Along with making smart food choices, if you include these 8 foods everyday, it will boost your eating ‘health’.

Ø Spinach: is a rich source of plant based omega-3’s, folate, lutein and a noted muscle builder. Spinach helps reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis. Folate increases blood flow to protect you against age related sexual issues and lutein fights macular degeneration. Aim for 1 cup fresh or ½ cup cooked spinach each day. You could also substitute kale, bok choy or romaine lettuce for spinach

Ø Yogurt: contains millions of probiotic organisms that reinforce beneficial bacteria in your body. This helps to boost your immune system and protects you against cancer. Make sure the yogurt you’re eating states on the label: live & active cultures. Aim for 1 cup each day

Ø Tomatoes: Red are best because they contain more antioxidant lycopene, which decreases your risk of bladder, lung, prostate, skin and stomach cancers, as well as reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Aim for about 8 red cherry tomatoes or a glass of tomato juice a day. You can substitute red watermelon, pink grapefruit, Japanese persimmon, papaya or guva for tomatoes.

Ø Carrots: they are associated with reducing a wide range of cancers, as well as risk an/or severity of inflammatory conditions (asthma, arthritis). Aim for ½ cup each day. You can substitute sweet potato, pumkin, butternut squash, yellow bell pepper or mango.

Ø Blueberries: they help prevent cancer, diabetes and age related memory changes. They are rich in vitamin c, which boosts cardiovascular health. Aim for 1 cup a day or ½ cup frozen or dried.

Ø Black Beans: All beans are good for your heart, but black beans boost your brain power, which is due to the anthocyanins and antioxidant compounds it contains. Aim for ½ cup per day. You can substitute peas, lentils, pinto, kidney, fava, or lima beans.

Ø Walnuts: Contains more heart healthy omega 3’s than salmon and has more anti-inflammortary polyphenols than red wine and packs half as much muscle building protein as chicken. Just 7 nuts per day. You can substitute almonds, peanuts, pistachios, macadamia or hazelnuts.

Ø Oats: Contains soluble fiber which lowers the risk of heart disease, but do contain a lot of carbs. These carbs release those sugars slowly due to the fiber, but also because oats contain grams of protein. Aim for ½ cup per day. Can substitute quinoa, flaxseed or wild rice.

Here’s a power nutrient rich smoothie recipe:

Blend 1 cup low fat yogurt, 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, 1 cup carrot juice and 1 cup fresh baby spinach…That's it! enjoy...

If you want more nutritional information, tips, food cures and a section dedicated to children's dangers regarding food etc… check out Eat This, Not That

Eat This, Not That! Thousands of Simple Food Swaps that Can Save You 10, 20, 30 Pounds--or More!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Eat For Your Eyes and Brain Boosters

Eating For Your Eyes

I have read that people who ate two servings of fish weekly benefited 50% decrease in the risk of age related degeneration. For eye health, it is suggested your diet contains eggs, leafy greens, broccoli, winter squash and Brussels sprouts. These contain antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as vitamin C and E, zinc and beta carotene.

Brain Boosters

If you keep your heart healthy, you are keeping your brain healthy. I’ve mentioned before how Omega 3 fatty acids and whole grains are good for your heart…but they are good for your brain and mental health too. Research shows that diets rich in Vitamin C and E are associated with lower levels of cognitive impairment in aging. Eating a lot of fruits and Vitamin C can also reduce the risk of stroke.

Keeping your mind sharp, can be as easy as Vitamins B12, C, E and folate. In the lean protein of turkey you will get Vitamin B12 and folate.

Turkey & Wild Mushroom Hash Cakes
2 cups chopped shiitake mushrooms caps (about 4 oz)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups chopped cooked turkey breast
2 cups mashed cooked baking potatoes
3/4 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) divided
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add mushrooms and garlic to pan and saute 5 minutes. Sir frequently. Combine mushroom mixture, turkey, potatoes, 1/4 cup panko and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, shaping each into 1/2 inch think patty. Refrigerate 10 minutes. Dredge patties in remaining 1/2 cup panko.

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 patties, cook 2 minutes on each side. Repeat with remaining patties.

Broccoli with Garlic & Red Pepper

Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper and 2 minced garlic cloves, saute 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup water and 1 pound trimmed broccoli, saute 2 minutes. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 10 minutes.

Compliment recipes above with some cranberry sauce.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Better Bones and Heart

I think most of us realize that our bodies need calcium, but did you know that Vitamin D and Phosphorus work together with calcium to build stronger bones?

Leafy greens and vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli contain calcium, but the body absorbs calcium best from dairy products. Dairy is abundant not only with calcium, but in phosphorous and vitamin D as well. Some non dairy foods high in calcium include canned salmon, sardines and fortified tofu.

Anything 'green' is still good for bones. Broccoli, kale, bok choy contain a little calcium, but offer vitamin K, which boosts bone mineralization.

Whole grains, fatty fish, fresh fruits and vegetables help keep our heart in good condition. Two and a half servings of whole grains each day can reduce heart attack and stroke by 21%. Whole grains are rich in antioxidants and vitamin E. Almonds, peanuts and green leafy vegetables also contain vitamin E, which help maintain our blood vessels.

Soluble fiber from fruits fruits, vegetables and nuts help to lower harmful LDL cholesterol and control weight, which aids in heart health.

You can also cut your risk of heart attack further by eating fish high in omega 3 (like salmon, mackerel or trout). Omega 3 makes platelets in our blood less sticky and helps reduce clotting.

Omega 3 can also be find in walnuts and flaxseed.

The below recipe offers fiber, whole grains, plenty of Vitamins B6 and E, and folate to maintain heart health:

Wild Rice and Barley Salad
1 3/4 cups fat free, less sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup cooked brown and wild rice mix
1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
3/4 cup rinsed ad drained chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup sliced Green onions
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted

Combine first 3 ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 40 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.Remove from heat, let stand, covered for about 5 minutes. Spoon rice mixture into medium bowl. Add chickpeas, raisins and green onions.

Combine vinegar and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk. Pour over barley mixture. toss well. over and chill about 2 hours. Stir in the basil and almonds.
Servings: 8