Tag Archives: health and wellness

Lovely Lavender

This gorgeous photo of a lavender field caught my attention as I browsed my WP Reader today.

I ♥ lavender!

Do you use medicinal plants on a regular basis?

Have a healthy, happy day, G 🙂

Wellness Seeds

fresh lavender flowers pic

Posted by Gwyn MacDonald

We had a sneak preview of spring weather on Tuesday, with warm sun and cool breezes. I stopped by the garden between clients to get a boost from the crocus and mini iris that have been blooming steadily for a few weeks now. I walked around the garden, catching glimpses of little goodies slowly but surely poking out of the earth. So good for the spirit to see that!

And I really only intended to observe… but suddenly I found the clippers in my hand, my jacket thrown aside and there I was, pruning away the winter!

I cleared the old, withered leaves from the lambs ear, cut the dried stems from the chrysanthemums and straightened the wire frame that will soon be entwined with a lovely, low growing pink clematis. Then I noticed the lavender plant toppling out into the aisle. “ Oh my, do…

View original post 365 more words

On the Menu: Tangy Barley Buttermilk Soup

image019

It was a perfect “soup day” yesterday, here in BC. 🙂

There was a bit of chill in the air, intermittent drizzle….so I got busy and made a big pot of: Tangy Barley Buttermilk Soup along with some: Sausage, Cheese and Thyme Muffins. What a yummy and oh so satisfying dinner it was! 🙂

GGK II cover (front )

I’ve shared the complete soup recipe below, this one is from the Groovy Green Kitchen II: Simply, Super, Supper Soups.

The muffins are from volume I of: The Groovy Green Kitchen: Weeknight Veggie Slow Cooker. They were perfect with this luscious, cream soup. 😉

The_Groovy_Green_Kit_Cover_for_Kindle

I hope you’ll enjoy a bowl (or two) soon!

Happy Cooking and Week!

PS: Yes, the cover of the GGK I has been updated.I also did some work on the interior photos to improve the overall presentation. If you have a copy already, an update would be available from Amazon. If you need any further info. about this, just send me an email (see contact page).

***

Tangy Barley Buttermilk Soup

This soup was inspired by a recipe from the first edition of the ground-breaking book: Diet for a Small Planet. My updated version adds garlic and herbs but leaves out the butter.

I also recently “tweaked” the seaonings a bit, adding some from Splendor Garden (certified organic, gotta  that, and they added a wonderful flavor and color boost to the soup). Serves 6.

-¾ C. pearl or pot barley

-3 T. vegetable or olive oil

-1 large (preferably sweet) onion, diced

-2-4 cloves garlic, minced (to taste)

-2 teas. bouquet garni seasoning or GGK Herbal Blend Seasoning (GGK seasoning recipe is in the book)

-1-2 teas. dried chives (to taste)

-¼ – ½ teas. freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

-1-2 teas. Splendor Garden Organic All-Purpose Seasoning SF OR Splendor Garden Organic Lemon Pepper Seasoning

-5 C. vegetable soup stock

-2 C. regular or low-fat buttermilk

-Optional garnishes: finely chopped fresh parsley or chives and/or additional sprinkle of Splendor Garden seasoning blend

Thoroughly rinse and drain barley, set aside.

In a large soup pot, heat vegetable oil over MEDIUM-HIGH heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes.

Add herbs, black pepper, Splendor Garden seasoning and the barley and stir to combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Cover and steam over MEDIUM-LOW heat for 5 minutes to release flavors and slightly toast barley. (Hint: be careful not to burn the barley, stir at least a couple of times)

Add vegetable soup stock, cover and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to LOW and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until barley is cooked but not mushy.

Add buttermilk to soup and simmer for 2-3 additional minutes, just to heat through.

Adjust seasonings if required. Garnish and serve.

The Dangers of Vacuum (and other) Dust :-(

158-365 Cleaning

Do you know what dust is actually made of?

Are you aware of the health dangers associated with inhaling dust?

This is just one of many reports about how harmful inhalation of dust can be. You can read many more online.

Since reading more about this topic myself several months ago, I always make sure to have windows open when vacuuming now and to wear a dust mask when dumping out the dirt cup of the vacuum too.

Small measures that can add up to better health, in the long-term. It’s so worth the extra bit of time and effort.

What steps do you take in daily home life/when cleaning, to safeguard your health?

Have a healthy, happy weekend! 🙂

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Forgive Yourself

A very good reminder, I think. 🙂

Have a wonderful Friday.

Lots of Hugs, G

Book Review: The Power of Reiki

reiki

I’ve always been intrigued and interested in Reiki.

I recently had the opportunity to read:

The Power of Reiki by Tanmaya Honervogt

This is THE best Reiki book that I’ve read to date. 

Here’s my review from Amazon.com

As a person who truly believes in holistic healthcare and the power of the mind/body connection for healing, I’ve always been intrigued by Reiki.

Up until now, I haven’t actually had any Reiki treatments or training to do them for other people. But after reading this book, I now feel that I want to take that next step and explore Reiki in much more depth.

The Power of Reiki is a beautiful book. With full color photos throughout (much preferred to diagrams) it explains in detail what Reiki is really all about. A simple but powerful discipline that has been embraced by millions of people around the world and that has also stood the test of time, in terms of its effectiveness.

Topics covered in this book include:

-the history of Reiki

-Reiki in daily life

-Reiki and it’s meaning

-On healing and illness

and many others.

After reading this book, my interest is not only piqued to pursue classes in Reiki, I already feel that I would be capable of doing simple Reiki procedures on myself at this point, and for family members. Something that has never happened before, when I read other books on this topic.

If you’ve been wanting to find out more about Reiki in an interesting and easy to understand way, this is a book you won’t want to miss.

Highly recommended!

***

PS: Have you or your family tried Reiki? What are your thoughts on this discipline, if you have?

I’d love to hear about your personal experiences! 🙂

How Do I ♥ My Slow Cooker…

slow cooker

….let me count the ways! 😉

-I ♥ how many types of recipes I can make in it.

-I ♥ how I can “set it and forget it” and free up time to do something else.

-I ♥ the oh-so-tasty and consistently good results.

-I ♥ that it’s energy efficient.

-I ♥ that foods cooked in a slow cooker are often healthier than when using other types of cooking methods.

– I love cooking once and enjoy twice. There’s usually plenty of yummy leftovers. 

the list goes on and on! 

Here’s my review of the Hamilton Beach 6 QT. slow cooker that I use all the time, pictured above. 🙂

And some of my fav slow cooker recipes for you to enjoy too!

-Moroccan Vegetable Stew with Fragrant Orange Basmati Rice  (from the Groovy Green Kitchen Volume I)

-Southern Nights Slow Cooker Veggie-Sausage Gumbo(sample recipe from the Groovy Green Kitchen II)

PS: I’m on the home stretch for the Groovy Green Kitchen II! Will be available at Amazon by the end of February. 🙂

-Slow Cooker Party Mix

-Sweet Potato Lasagna

-Slow Cooker Granola

Do you have a slow cooker? Do you ♥ yours too? Any fav recipes to share?

Happy SLOW Cooking! 😉

Peanut Butter: I Still ♥ It! ;-)

I’ve always been a peanut butter fan! 🙂

I  ♥ it, especially the natural, organic (with no-salt) kind, that contains only peanuts.

I feel sorry for children who can’t eat this wonderful spread, due to allergies etc. It was a staple when I was a kid. Not the case anymore it seems. 

But for those of us without allergy concerns, peanut butter (in moderation, it’s always about moderation isn’t it?) can apparently be good for us (and not just delish) for health and many other benefits.

I also like to add a tablespoon of pb to my morning smoothie. Apparently added to soy milk, peanut butter provides a complete protein source.
 
This provides an alternative to adding protein powders to smoothies. And some protein powders can be hard to digest; so I like this option instead, for adding protein.
  

 Aren’t these yummy looking? Yummy to eat too. 😉
                        
I’ve made these many times:
 
I do cut back on the sugar though, by about 1/2 and they are still “plenty sweet” IMO!
 
My dear mom made these too.
 
What bliss after school with an ice-cold glass of Mmoooo….teehee…that’s what we called milk. 😉
***
Do you enjoy peanut butter? Any PB recipes that you particularly like? If you have a link to a good one, do share. 😉

Sauerkraut: Hate it? This Recipe Might Change Your Mind! ;-)

Bubbies SAUERKRAUT

I’ve always ♥ sauerkraut but I know it’s a “no-no” food for a lot of people.

Hopefully, if you’re one of those sauerkraut-haters, you’ll give the following recipe a try. It just might change your mind about the yummy goodness of ‘kraut! 😉

And if you’ve been looking for a good sauerkraut brand, stop by to read my full review of Bubbies brand, over at My Real Life Reviews.

German Sauerkraut Feast

Bring on Oktoberfest! Make this hearty and flavorful “feast” with minimal prep time and simple, pantry ingredients.

Serve with Beet and Fresh Dill Layered Salad (recipe also from the Groovy Green Kitchen) and with grainy mustard and/or sour cream on the side, for dipping sausages, if desired. Serves 6.

1 teas. butter or margarine for greasing slow-cooker liner

10 medium red potatoes, peeled and quartered

1 T. dill or caraway seeds, your choice. (caraway has a stronger, distinctive flavor; the dill is slightly milder. Either one works well. Don’t leave out!)

2 T. vegetable or olive oil

1 large onion, coarsely diced

4-6 cloves garlic, minced (to taste)

1 L. Bubbies or wine-type sauerkraut (use marinade too)

6 vegan beer-brat sausages, cut in 1” thick circles (I use Tofurky brand)

Thoroughly grease slow-cooker liner with butter or margarine and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine potatoes, dill or caraway seed and oil. Pour into slow-cooker, followed by layer of onions and then the minced garlic. Top with sauerkraut and marinade. Pour 1 C. water over all ingredients.

Cook on HIGH for 3 ½  hours or LOW for 7 hours or until potatoes are tender but not mushy adding sausages for last 15 minutes of cooking time on HIGH, layering on top of the sauerkraut.

Recipe also featured in:

The Groovy Green Kitchen: Weeknight Veggie Slow Cooker

Happy Cooking!

If You ♥ Toast and Jam (and all things organic) ;-)

 

organic jam

If you ♥ toast and jam  and all things organic (like I do) this is a product you’ll want to check out! 🙂

Italissima Organic Fruit Spread is oh so yummy good, made with organic fruit from Italy and with no added sugar.

And unlike a lot of commercial jams and fruit spreads, this one is not “jelly-like” with a lot of pulverized fruit. It’s very close to good homemade jam with real fruit pieces that you can actually see! 

I’ve tried the Blackberry flavor so far and have some of the Blood Orange on the way right now, from Amazon.ca. Unfortunately, did not see this product at Amazon.com but I’m guessing it would be available at a lot of stores in the US and probably Canada too.

The company that makes this product could probably help with where to buy their products in your area, their site can be found here. They also offer several additional flavors of this jam and a wide variety of other gourmet food products.  

It’s taken me a long time to find a commercial, organic jam that I really like, but I finally did! 😉 Italissima is a keeper!

Looking For A Better Bath/Tub Mat?

tub mat

If you are, you might want to check out my latest review at: My Real Life Reviews for:

Essentials Bath Mat (click to read full review)

This one is a keeper and for so many reasons. 🙂

Have a great week!