Warming Up with Broccoli Soup

A piping hot bowl of soup is my favorite way to incorporate vegetables into my diet. I especially like puréed, low-starch vegetable soups that are quick and easy-to prepare.

Puréed broccoli soup is at the top of my list.

Considered one of the most nutritious vegetables–and often described as a superfood–broccoli is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

This daily bowl of comfort helped me survive (and somewhat thrive) during this past week of frigid temperatures, record snowfalls, and dangerously low windchill factors in Southern Ontario.

On Wednesday, I thought we’d reach a windchill of -40 degrees Celsius. At that point Celsius and Fahrenheit meet…something my well-honed left brain finds fascinating. But only in theory!!

Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery
Handful of parsley, roughly chopped (include stems)
4 cups of chopped broccoli (florets and stems)
2 cups of chicken (or vegetable) broth
1 cup water
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Hemp hearts (optional)

Directions

1. Heat butter and oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft.

2. Add garlic and celery. Cook until softened, 4 to 6 minutes.

3. Add parsley and stir for about ten seconds.

4. Add broccoli, broth, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Let the soup simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Test to see that the vegetables are tender.

5. Transfer the soup (in batches) to a blender and purée until smooth. Or you can use an immersion blender.

6. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

7. Optional: Sprinkle hemp hearts into individual bowls.

Makes 4 servings, about one cup each.

Buon appetito!


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It’s #BellLetsTalk Day!

In September 2010, Bell Let’s Talk was launched to begin a new conversation about Canada’s mental health. Millions of Canadians, including celebrities, have engaged in open discussions about mental illness, offering new ideas and hope for those who struggle.

Institutions and organizations throughout the country have received new funding for access, care and research from Bell’s Let Talk and from governments and corporations that have joined the cause.

Bell Canada’s total donation to mental health programs now stands at $93,423,628.80, and they are well on their way to donating at least $100 million. Today, Bell Canada will contribute 5¢ for every applicable text, call, tweet, and social media video view.

Remember to use #BellLetsTalk in your online communication.


Spotlight on Revolutionize Your Health

I’m happy to welcome authors and healers Janet Nestor and Cornelia Merk. Today is the launch of their unique and illuminating book, Revolutionize Your Health.

About the Book

Be Inspired to Take Back Your Body’s Power to Heal

Are you feeling helpless about the health problems you face? Do you suffer from a chronic condition that gives you no peace or relief? Are you ready to trust your body’s innate power to heal?

Revolutionize Your Health is filled with inspiring stories of real people, who have healed themselves in incredible circumstances or experienced miraculous healings. The authors illustrate, backed by the newest scientific findings, that all healing is self-healing and explain how everyone can heal, even in the most desperate of times.

This unique and illuminating book gives you all the practical tools you will need for a real change in the way you approach your body’s health problems, showing you that healing is possible, no matter what the diagnosis.

Awareness is the Key to Healing

The Basic Principles of Healing teaches how the authors overcame their own individual health challenges and also provides fundamental scientific background and latest research in the emerging fields of epigenetics and neuroscience.

Holistic Awareness – The Secret to All Healing talks in depth about awareness of the body, mind, emotions, energy, and spirit. The section explores how thinking patterns and beliefs, self-treatment, hidden and unacknowledged feelings and emotions, environment, or disconnection from your spirit may be the at the root of a person’s current state of health.

Exercises That Help You Heal is a compendium of physical exercises and mental activities that are designed to further develop levels of awareness.

Packed with inspiring cases of miraculous healing and scientific research, this new book teaches you how to approach your body’s health issues mindfully, and inspires that healing is always possible.

buynow


On sale for $0.99 … January 22, 23, and 24!

About the Authors

Janet G. Nestor is an author, licensed counselor, and expert in energy healing and relaxation strategies, who is regularly interviewed about mindful living and inner peacefulness. Janet has released several books recently including Pathways to Wholeness and Yeshua: One Hundred Meaningful Messages for Messengers. She has also contributed to four books by other authors and participated in five collaborative books that have all become best sellers. In 2017 and 2018, Janet was recognized by Richtopia as one of the top 200 most influential authors in the world.

Janet maintains a private practice where her ability to communicate with Spirit underpins her holistic counseling, spiritual coaching, and soul art, which are drawings of the soul complete with a detailed reading for her clients.

She also connects mothers, fathers, children, and friends with their loved ones who have passed into spirit, providing an extremely validating and healing experience. She intuitively views a person’s energy field and creates bespoken drawings that automatically bring calm and balance. She is a master teacher for those wishing to take the journey into self-awareness and mindful living.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Pinterest | Amazon


Cornelia Merk is an intuitive healer, holistic wellness practitioner, and motivational speaker with an extensive background in the study of human potential and the body’s self-healing capacity. She is a certified Nia Brown Belt instructor and has explored the martial arts of aikido, tai chi, and taekwondo to expand her knowledge in body movement and energy flow. In addition, she is a third level reiki practitioner and worked as a personal trainer with Educogym, a fitness training that specifically uses the power of the mind in weight training and losing weight and includes education in nutrition and supplementation with the Irish Association of Holistic Medicine.

For the last 20 years, she has helped hundreds of people all over the world to reconnect to their body’s self-healing power and develop a lifestyle that supports increased health and well-being on all levels. Inspired by her own healing in 1998 after living with debilitating pain for eight years, Cornelia Merk has now co-authored Revolutionize Your Health, a book about how to take back the body’s power to heal.

Facebook | Linked In | Twitter

Happy Launch Day!


Words of Wisdom from Thich Nhat Hanh

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season. Whenever that happens, I like to read the following words of wisdom from renowned Zen master and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh. Affectionately known as “Thay” by his students, he is the author of more than 100 books on mindfulness and meditation. His key message is that happiness lies in the present moment.



Living Well and Opting for Joy – A Centenarian’s Secrets

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

Yoga teacher and competitive ballroom dancer Tao Porchon-Lynch turned 100 on August 13, 2018. Just before her birthday, she shared the following seven secrets for aging gracefully:

Secret No. 1: Wake up before the sun. “I wake up before the sun rises because I like to watch it rise,” says Tao Porchon-Lynch.“ By observing nature, I can feel a life force. I look outside my window to the sky and tell myself that this is going to be the best day of my life. Then I’ll often pick up my journal and write something that comes to my mind that’s in my heart.”

Secret No. 2: Be grateful—and optimistic. Tao Porchon-Lynchsays she learned the importance of embodying both of these traits from the time she was a child. “I was raised by my aunt and uncle, and my uncle started every day with, ‘It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?’ Now I do the same, and I do it with a smile. I believe the key to a long life is positive thinking.”

Secret No. 3: Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. When Tao Porchon-Lynch has something to do, she says she does it right away—she never procrastinates. “I don’t want to sit there hoping, wishing, and wasting time,” she says. “I always practice my yoga in the morning and my dancing in the afternoon. This commitment is likely why I’ve received the Guinness World Records for being the oldest yoga teacher and the oldest competitive ballroom dancer.”

Secret No. 4: Remember the true meaning of yoga. “Yoga can be the joy of life, and it’s not just about putting our bodies into specific postures,” she says. “It’s about expressing what comes from inside of you and showing up when you meet other people to create a oneness.”

Secret No. 5: If you see a barrier, try to push past it. Yoga has almost always been a part of Tao Porchon-Lynch’s life. “I was introduced to it when I was seven years old; I wandered to the beach near my childhood home in French India and saw some boys practicing yoga on the sand,” she says. “I followed their movements and I thought that I was learning a new game. That evening I told my aunt about the game, and she explained that it was called yoga and that it was only for boys. This was 1925. I told her that girls can do what boys can do, and by the time I was eight years old, I was on that beach joining the boys during my playtime.”

Secret No. 6: Do what you love. “I became a yoga teacher after friends saw me incorporating yoga into my everyday life and asked to join my practice. What I love most about teaching is seeing a smile come onto someone’s face when they realize that they can do things that they thought were impossible, physically and mentally.”

Secret No. 7: Don’t be afraid to age. “I don’t feel any different now that I’ve turned 100. I’m not even scared. And I’ll never stop practicing yoga—it’s the dance of life! The breath is the breath eternal, which makes all things possible.”

Source: Yoga Journal September 2018



Navigating the Food Court

Shopping in the mall can be challenging, especially if you are hungry and tired.

Ideally, you should eat before going to the mall, but sometimes that isn’t possible, and you need to eat on the run. Most food courts offer a wide variety of foods from around the world. Take some time to carefully examine each menu and select the best low-fat, nutritional entrées.

Here are some suggestions…

Italian: Pasta with tomato sauce, vegetable soup, or salad with dressing on the side are good picks. The best pizza choice is vegetarian–get double vegetables instead of double cheese. Avoid garlic bread, cream-based sauces, Caesar salad, and chicken parmigiana.

Mexican: Select chicken fajitas, enchilada, beef soft tacos, or vegetarian burritos without the high-fat toppings. Avoid high-fat nachos with cheese and guacamole.

Greek: Order chicken souvlaki and a salad with dressing on the side.

Chinese: Try egg drop and wonton soups, mixed vegetables, steamed dim sum, steamed rice, or stir-fries. Avoid deep-fried egg rolls, chicken balls, chicken wings, and fried rice.

Burger Outlets: Order a plain hamburger or veggie burger dressed with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and onions. Consider grilled chicken on a bun, a stuffed pita, or a wrap. Avoid the special sauces, bacon, and cheese toppings.

Submarine Shops: Order a six-inch sub on a whole wheat bun with turkey, beef, chicken, or seafood, lots of vegetables and low-fat mayonnaise. Avoid club subs and those with meatballs or deep-fried chicken.

More tips to keep in mind…

• Take advantage of late shopping hours. Head out after an early dinner at home.
• Wear comfortable walking shoes and leave your coat in the car. You won’t be as tired or on the lookout for a snack to cool you down or revive you.
• Try shopping downtown where you can stroll the streets and eat a healthy meal at a local café.
• Bring your own food: bottled water, a snack bag of nuts, protein bar, and an apple.
• Indulge and buy a single truffle at the chocolate store. (There are several women in my circle who can limit themselves to a single truffle)

Any other tips to share?


Food for Creative Thought

According to Dr. Frank Lawlis, author of The Brain Power Cookbook, it is possible to eat our way to higher intelligence and greater creativity. He believes that a protein-rich diet is essential for improved mental focus and creative success.

In his book, he shares the following success story. One of his clients had dreams of becoming a published writer, but her manuscripts were rejected consistently. Overweight by nearly 100 pounds, she snacked on processed and sugar-based foods. With his help, she switched to a diet that included grilled chicken and fish, eggs, fruits and vegetables. She was able to lose 60 pounds and also published a series of children’s books.

Continue reading on the Just Romantic Suspense blog.