Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Home Brewed Tea Straight from Your Herb Garden

Is your garden over flowing with herbs? Try making tea — whether iced, sun-brewed, or made the old-fashioned way, homemade tea is a wonderful way to add more antioxidants to your day.

Good herbs to try:
  • Basil (lemon basil)
  • Chamomile
  • Fennel
  • Lemon Balm
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Orange or Lemon Mint
  • Peppermint
  • Rose Hibs
  • Rosemary
  • Pineapple Sage
  • Lavender
Start with 3 teaspoons of fresh leaves per cup of water. Pick your herbs in the morning. Don’t be afraid to mix and combine herbs. If the scents smell good together they are likely to taste good together too. Mix your herbs with boiling water and steep for 5 minutes, strain. Alternatively, put your herbs into a pitcher with cold water and set outside. Let brew for several hours.

You can add a splash of juice or sparkling water to make it an herbal cocktail. Serve over ice!

This post was written by Melissa Williams for

Friday, February 24, 2012

Play Your Mind a Melody: Why Sound & Music Therapy Works

In a nervous-system phenomenon called "brainwave entrainment" music has been shown to successfully lure your brain into wave patterns to reduce stress, enhance concentration and create restful sleep.

Pop in a CD, and you may notice your foot thumping to the beat. But did you know your brain could also be tapping along?

Dr. Jeffrey Thompson, director of the Center for Neuroacoustic Research and a chiropractor who has been experimenting with sound since 1980, says listening to specific sound frequencies can train the brain to follow. By shifting your brain into a different frequency, he says, you can shift your state of consciousness to be more aware, relaxed or creative. Although it sounds extremely scientific, the concept is actually based on a basic law of nature.

"Everything in nature times itself to everything else in nature," he explains. "It's the reason why heart cells beat together, why a wine glass vibrates when an opera singer hits a certain note, and why women who share a dorm room have the same menstrual cycle."

It also explains why our brains mimic sound waves played through headphones. "It's an energy-saving phenomenon," Dr. Thompson explains. "It saves energy to time myself to a beat that already exists. The whole universe is versing together to save energy."

The Brain Naturally Tunes Itself to Its Surroundings

Dr. Thompson isn't the first person to discover that the brain tunes itself to external sound frequencies. In October 1973, Dr. Gerald Oster of Mount Sinai Medical Center published a paper in Scientific American showing that sound pulses could be used to cause the entire brain to resonate to that frequency.

"The brain is the most responsive organ in a biological system," Dr. Thompson explains. "So brainwaves are the most sensitive to changing their clock to an external pulse. The body has no allegiance to a particular drummer — it will change to the most dominant pulse in the environment."

Listening to certain recordings with headphones, he asserts, can gently guide your brain into modes for stress relief, better focus, more creativity and heightened productivity.

Music Can Treat Common Ailments

People without specific medical problems can benefit from brainwave entrainment — specifically in the delta frequency, where the deepest state of sleep takes place. "Healing is basically what sleep is all about," he says. "When you go to sleep, the brain runs a series of programs to tune up for the next day."

This post was written by Ginny Figlar for

Thursday, February 23, 2012


As an excellent source of potassium, dates help maintain fluid and electrolyte balance within the body.  Dates also help regulate bowel function because they are high in fiber. This naturally sweet fruit is available dried or fresh and is a healthy snack great for satisfying a sweet tooth. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Creative Framing

I've been trying some new art projects and this is my latest creation.

I love the colors of this frame & love how it turned out (it was my first try).  I'm opening an Etsy store for my art and crafts too. The Art of Holistic Living.  Hope you like it. :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Roasted Veggies

I bought some purple potatoes from our local market.  It was the first time that I've ever cooked or eaten them.  I wasn't sure about their taste so I thought I'd try a familiar recipe.  I sliced the purple potatoes, yellow potatoes, green bell peppers, onions, carrots, and mushrooms.  I seasoned them with seasoned salt, Italian seasonings, black pepper, and parsley.  Added a couple tablespoons of olive oil, then roasted them in the oven for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently.  The dish was colorful and delicious.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself

Every day, as you see the same people (your boss, for example, and your spouse and kids), do the same things (drive to work, perform your daily tasks, and do the same workout), go to the same places (your favorite coffee shop, the grocery store you usually frequent, and your place of employment), and look at the same objects (your car, your house, your toothbrush ... even your own body), your familiar memories related to your known world “re-mind” you to reproduce the same experiences.

We could say that the environment is actually controlling your mind. Since the neuroscientific definition of mind is the brain in action, you repeatedly reproduce the same level of mind by “re-minding” yourself who you think you are in reference to the outer world. Your identity becomes defined by everything outside of you, because you identify with all of the elements that make up your external world. Thus, you’re observing your reality with a mind that is equal to it, so you collapse the infinite waves of probabilities of the quantum field into events that reflect the mind you use to experience your life. You create more of the same.

You may not think that your environment and your thoughts are that rigidly similar and your reality so easily reproduced. But when you consider that your brain is a complete record of your past, and your mind is the product of your consciousness, in one sense you might always be thinking in the past. By responding with the same brain hardware that matches what you remember, you’re creating a level of mind that is identical to the past, because your brain is automatically firing existing circuits to reflect everything you already know, have experienced, and thus can predict. According to quantum law (which, by the way, is still working for you), your past is now becoming your future.

Reason this: When you think from your past memories, you can only create past experiences. As all of the “knowns” in your life cause your brain to think and feel in familiar ways, thus creating knowable outcomes, you continually reaffirm your life as you know it. And since your brain is equal to your environment, then each morning, your senses plug you into the same reality and initiate the same stream of consciousness.

All of the sensory input that your brain processes from the external world (that is, seeing, smelling, hearing, feeling, and tasting) turns your brain on to think equal to everything familiar in your reality. You open your eyes and you know the person lying next to you is your spouse because of your past experiences together. You hear barking outside your door, and you know it’s your dog wanting to go out. There’s a pain in your back, and you remember it’s the same pain you felt yesterday. You associate your outer, familiar world with who you think you are, by remembering yourself in this dimension, this particular time and space.

To read the entire article and to learn how to Break the Habit of Being Yourself, go to

This post was written by Dr. Joe Dispenza for

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Veggie Stuffed Green Peppers

I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day.  We did. 
Dinner and a movie, with stuffed green peppers as our main entree.

It's a really simple recipe.  Clean and slice off the tops of your green peppers.  Cook one bag of vegetarian meat crumbles.  Add to the cooked meat crumbles diced tomatoes, onions, the tops of green peppers, and brown rice.  Stir all together in pan.  Season with Italian seasonings, black pepper, and a pinch of salt.  Put the mixture inside the green peppers.  Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes.  Top with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.  Eat & Enjoy!  
*You can use any color peppers that you'd like.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything.  It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else fails.
-1 Corinthians 13:7 Phillips

Enjoy love and the hope and limitlessness that it offers.  
Today and always, love yourself, others, and the life that you have.

Monday, February 13, 2012


-Stimulates the mind
-Aids in concentration
-Settles the stomach
-Relieves nausea
-Relieves headaches
-Contains antiseptic properties

(Contraindicated for babies and young children.)

*Consult with your physician before using this, or any other, essential oil.*

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cleaning as Meditation: How to Transform Your Chores

Rules for Mindful Housekeeping

Elisha Goldstein, coauthor of "A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook," tells us how to make peace with cleaning.

1. Imagine you're doing this chore for the first time. In your mind, it's just a sinkful of dirty dishes. Look for the bubbles instead.

Use your five senses, focusing on one at a time. Appreciate the warmth of the water, the scent of the lemon cleanser.

3. Consider it a neural workout. Incorporating mindfulness-based techniques into everyday life can make you calmer and your brain more adaptive.

Don't think of housework as punishment. Goldstein says, "You're cultivating kindness toward yourself."

These are additional excerpts to ponder from this article.  Click here to read the entire article:

What if I Could Slow Down?

I'm thinking of that Zen proverb: "Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water." The idea is that we should find meaning in ordinary tasks, because true clarity is fleeting enough -- and when it's over, somebody still has to clean the crisper.

Cleaning Out Your Soul

"When your physical surroundings are cluttered, your emotional and spiritual self is cluttered. If your space is clean, then your mind is open and you can let God in."

Work as Prayer

For the Benedictines, work and prayer are one and the same. "I think one of the reasons the order is still here after 1,500 years is that no one is excused from kitchen duty," Norris says. "They try to honor work as part of just being human." She tells me about one young novice she met who made a meditative practice out of running the commercial cleaner, again and again, in circles over the hallway's hardwood floors.

On a More Earthly Plane...

Floor cleaning is the therapy of choice for Alexis Stewart, Martha's daughter and cohost of "Whatever" on Martha Stewart Living Radio. "You don't have to do it," she says. "But the result is fun. I never liked cleaning out the chicken coop when I was a kid, but I sure liked the result." (I bet her crisper is spotless.)

This is the kind of old-fashioned pragmatism that women adopted in the days when we were better at wringing meaning out of chores. Take"The American Woman's Home,"written in 1869 by Harriet Beecher Stowe and her sister Catharine E. Beecher. It's a complete compendium of how a woman should manage her household's physical and spiritual ecosystem, from prayers to healthy beverages, dusting to moral foundations. There are three chapters on how to ventilate the house: Homemaking is not about managing the moisture emitted by your furnace; it's about putting the very air in your family's lungs.

The Magic Soap

"When we expect things to be more than they are, or when we value them as less than they are, that keeps us at arm's length from our own life," Miller says. "We think we're supposed to follow our bliss, but when we're really present in every moment, even when we're vacuuming, we can begin to chip away at the feeling of inadequacy. And little by little, our lives are transformed." 

Miller thinks the way we work can tell us something about who we are -- the way we tenderly fold our children's clean pajamas or rage over our husband's towels in dank trails on the floor -- and so it is a spiritual practice of sorts. Plus, "the rituals of daily work just enfold your day in dignity. They make life tasty." Uh-huh........

"Well, here's the magic soap," she says. "Your own attention is what spiritualizes things. Attention to the meal you cook, the clothes you wash. Attention is love. And that's transformative."

My Life as a Bathroom Sink

Kathleen Norris was right about life as repetition. Am I the only person who keeps having the same disagreements, the same gripes, the same bad habits? I was in that slough of despond where it wasn't the bathroom sink but my life that was covered in toothpaste sludge and someone else's beard hair. I set out to clean the thing with attention and enfold my day in dignity.

At first all I noticed was the usual simmering irritation. Then I saw the thin layer of funk on my drain (not much dignity there). But as I worked the cloth around the spigots -- focusing on the doing, not the getting done -- it started to feel pleasantly personal, like giving someone a bath. Not the newborn Buddha, but some cranky elderly relative. Because the sink had been entrusted to me, and because it deserved to be clean, and because I was the one to do it. I scrubbed at that film of filth on the drain, which I'd never noticed all the times I'd spit into it, and there actually was a shiny circle underneath.

Making Things New

The cleaning seemed different when I wasn't doing it for the guy with the clipboard anymore. That guy had been me anyway. In some way, I was starting over again. What was that quote from the Bible that my mother kept on our spotless refrigerator? Behold, I make all things new.

I'll never love it, but I can say this: Cleaning changes things. So much in life is uncertain -- you take vitamins and get sick, love people who disappoint you, pour your heart into a job and lose it at the end of the fiscal year. But if you take a rag to a piece of soap scum, it will go away. From that point of view -- the pure continuum of cause and effect -- cleaning stops seeming futile. It starts to look like the only thing worth doing.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Love is in the Air

In preparation for Valentine's Day, I've created these gift tags.  They can be used as tags, favors, or whatever you'd like.  

I'm thankful for the love in my life and I celebrate it everyday.  I hope you do the same!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Winter Fruit Salad

  • Serve dishes with both adult and kid appeal, like this simple and refreshing fruit salad of Asian pears, grapefruit, and pomegranate seeds.
  • Ingredients

  • 3 pink grapefruits, peel and pith removed, cut into segments
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded
  • 2 Asian pears, quartered, cored, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 6 to 8 fresh mint leaves
  • Flaky sea salt


  1. In a medium bowl, toss grapefruit, pomegranate seeds, pears, and honey.
  2. Top with mint and salt.

    Yield: Serves 4 to 6

    This recipe was taken from

Friday, February 3, 2012

Upward Salute

Benefits: Upward Salute stretches the shoulders and abdomen, while improving digestion.  

Practice:  Begin this pose by standing with your hands by your sides and your feet together. Turn your hands outward so that your palms face away from your body.  As you inhale, sweep your arms out and up toward the ceiling.  

Press your hands together, beginning with the palms of your hands, then your fingers.  Extend your arms completely reaching through your fingertips, while slightly tipping your head back and gazing at your thumbs.

Inhale, then exhale, sweeping your arms out, returning them to your sides.  Inhale.  Exhale.  Relax.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Adobo Marinated Chicken Quesadillas

  • Chicken breasts gain a smoky richness and a little heat from marinating in adobo, a tangy Mexican chile sauce.


  • 1 can (7 ounces) chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 chicken cutlets (4 ounces each)
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 jalapeno chiles, stems removed, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 cup rice vinegar (not seasoned)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 8 eight-inch flour tortillas
  • 5 ounces low-fat Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (1 1/3 cups)


  1. Puree chiles in adobo sauce and water in a blender until smooth. Pour mixture over chicken to coat. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, place onion in a small bowl. Combine jalapenos, vinegar, and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, and cook until jalapenos are soft and sugar has dissolved, about 10 minutes. Pour over onion, and let stand until mixture is cool. Strain through a fine sieve.
  3. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Grill chicken, about 2 minutes per side. Slice into strips. Wipe pan clean.
  4. Place 1 tortilla onto a work surface. Arrange strips of 1 cutlet to cover tortilla. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup Monterey Jack cheese and some onion-jalapeno mixture. Top with another tortilla. Repeat with remaining tortillas, chicken, cheese, and onion mixture.
  5. Carefully place quesadilla onto hot grill pan, and cook over medium heat until tortillas are crisp and cheese melts, about 4 minutes per side. Cut each quesadilla in half, and divide among 8 plates. Cut into wedges.

    Yield: Serves 8

    This post was taken from
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