Archive | February, 2014

Your Weight is Not Your Worth

24 Feb

IMG_1765You are not your weight.

You are not a clothing size.

You are not a body shaped like fruit.

You are not a fad diet or exercise regime.

You are not the negative noise in your head.

You are not your circumstances.

You are not your career.

You are not your hobby.

You are not your checking account, savings account or money market fund.

You are not your home, your car, your smart phone or your diamond ring.

You are not, and never will be, what someone else says you are.

 

You are your compassion.

You are your graciousness.

You are your unique soul.

You have always been, are, and will forever be the love you show to others and to yourself.

Organic or Bust?

17 Feb
Farmer's Markets are great places to purchase organically grown produce inexpensively (or grow your own for the best produce available).

Farmer’s Markets are great places to purchase organically grown produce inexpensively (or grow your own for the best produce available).

Eating organically grown fresh vegetables and fruits is the bee’s knees, no question. But does your produce always have to be organic? Eating conventional broccoli always beats eating a brownie any day of the week. If eating organic produce doesn’t fit your budget or isn’t available to you, here is a handy-dandy list for what fruits and vegetables are the cleanest (least amount of pesticide residue) and which are the dirtiest (most contaminated produce) and worth the extra organic cost.

 

Clean:

asparagus

avocados

cabbage

cantaloupe

eggplant

grapefruit

kiwi

mangos

onions

papayas

pineapples

sweet peas

sweet potatoes

 

Dirty:

apples

celery

cherry tomatoes

cucumbers

grapes

hot peppers

nectarines

peaches

potatoes

spinach

strawberries

sweet bell peppers

kale/collard greens

summer squash (zucchini and yellow squash)

 

Information adapted from EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides.

Sweet Potato & Cashew Hummus (beanless and tahini-free)

10 Feb

IMG_1884I whipped up this tasty appetizer when it was my turn to host our monthly mastermind group. Sweet bliss = intelligent women changing the world + sweet potatoes + cashews. I hope it sparks good karma in your roundtable too!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup raw cashews

3 small sweet potatoes

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 tsp sea salt

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, sliced

pinch of cayenne

paprika for garnish (optional)

Directions:

1. In the morning, place 1/2 cup cashews in filtered water and let soak for 6 hours. This can also be done overnight.

2. Pre-heat oven to 350°. Wrap sweet potatoes in aluminum foil and bake for 45-60 minutes or until tender. Let cool.

3. While sweet potatoes are cooling, drain cashews and rinse clean. Pat dry. Thinly slice the garlic cloves.

4. Peel the cooled sweet potatoes (the skins should fall off), chop them into thirds and place in food processor. Add cashews, lemon juice, sea salt, olive oil, garlic and cayenne.

5. Blend on low into a creamy consistency. Adjust seasoning as needed.

6. Place in a serving bowl and sprinkle with paprika. Serve with your favorite vegetables and Flackers (flax seed crackers).

Recipe courtesy of Stephanie Bell

Spring Garden Guide

3 Feb
Go forth and spread your seeds! Your vegetables seeds in case there was any confusion.

Go forth and spread your seeds! Your vegetables seeds… in case there was any confusion.

Let the gardening season begin! Yippee! I know it is hard to think about your garden plot when the ground is covered with snow and the temps are sub-zero, but the thought of a freshly picked juicy ripe tomato on a BLT puts a smile on anyone’s face and a song in my heart. *sigh* While it is far too early to start planting outdoors in Nebraska, it is never too early to order seeds and create your gardening guide for rows of tasty (and might I add super inexpensive and healthy) produce come spring and summer. I can smell the bacon cooking…

 

February

Preparation: Now is the time to start ordering/purchasing seeds or attend seed swaps in your community. Seeds are good for 3-4 years, so share the good lovin’ if you have plenty left over. This is also the time to consider your gardening space (community, backyard, raised beds, containers, etc) and your chemical-free means for controlling pesky pests while keeping your produce–and all of the big and little people who eat it–safe.

 

March

Preparation: Time to play in the dirt and by dirt, I mean manure that will add nutrients to your soil for the best possible growing conditions. That poo is the holy grail for hearty, healthy produce. Also, plant seeds for transplant plants such as cabbage, celery, eggplant, leeks, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. Depending on the variety, you will want to start the process 6-8 weeks before they are to be transplanted outdoors in the garden. If you plan on buying the plants, then no worries darling.

Outdoor Planting: Plant asparagus crowns, collard green seeds, onions, pea seeds, radish seeds, spinach seeds and turnip seeds.

 

April

Outdoor Planting: Plant leek plants, swiss chard seeds, broccoli plants, cabbage plants, cauliflower plants, lettuce seeds, kale seeds and beet seeds.

 

May

Outdoor Planting: Plant carrot seeds, potato plants, cucumber seeds, pumpkin seeds, eggplant plants, pepper plants, tomato plants and summer squash seeds.

 

Truth be told, I am not a master gardener by any means. My experience comes from trial and error through my own garden and through gardening advice from my parents who have organically gardened for over 30 years. Yes… they are the cat’s meow.

 

For more regional gardening information, check out the UNL Extension program, your local nursery and community garden, and organizations such as City Sprouts, North Omaha Tool Library and Common Soil Seed Library at the Benson Public Library.