Giving Thanks

The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.

William Blake

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I was walking my fur ones for their outside visit and I could smell feasts cooking and baking from all over the apartment complex; with anticipation of family and friends gathering around the harvest table to give thanks for the abundant year.

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Thanksgiving has so many different meaning to different cultures and lives.  Oddly enough it has nothing to do with what they taught us in school.  Thanksgiving in the United States was first fixed in 1863, when US President Abraham Lincoln inaugurated a day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”.

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According to Wikipedia, Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated in Canada, the United States, some of the Caribbean islands, and Liberia. It began as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Similarly named festival holidays occur in Germany and Japan. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States, and around the same part of the year in other places. Although Thanksgiving has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, it has long been celebrated as a secular holiday as well.

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Thanksgiving is one of the numerous harvest festivals that are celebrated around the world, not only in Christian societies – at different times, but roughly connected to the end of the harvest, and generally in autumn. Actually, the word “harvest” itself comes from the Old English hærfest, a word that could mean both autumn in general or “harvest time” in the agricultural calendar

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Obviously, harvest festivals are very much dependent on the region you live in (and the crops you harvest). The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is held in late September or early October, the German Erntedankfest on the first Sunday in October.

In other cultures, Samhain would be the equivalent of Thanksgiving, as it celebrates the end of the Celtic year and the beginning of winter.

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So, regardless of how you give thanks to the many blessings that have been given you, from my heart to yours, Happy Harvest Thanksgiving!

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With Hugs and Hope

Diane

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What am I Eating, Anyway?

Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments.

Bethenny Frankel

When I worked at a bank many years ago, I drank sodas like it was a drug.  My body actually craved it like an addiction.  I always swore, they put something in there to trigger our brains.

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I have been incorporating healthier food choices as  am getting more aware, and I am thinking and feeling so much better because of it.

 

The food industry, processed foods- when I fall back into the trap of a frozen pizza or a burger from my favorite fast food place; it sends me on a tailspin of an eating frenzy.  I am consuming so many empty calories; my body feels like it’s starving to death.

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Let’s think about this for a moment.  In reality, I am starving to death.  There is absolutely no nutrition whatsoever in processed food- Just chemicals and stuff that causes obesity and illness.

I don’t need to be a scholar in nutrition to figure this out.  Just by the reaction my own body has is proof enough for me.

Speaking of additives in processed food; do we even know what they are and what they are doing to our bodies?

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medicalnewstoday  breaks down 9 ways these foods are harming our bodies.

I am wondering if the convenience and price of these types of food and its correlation to cancer and how readily available the products are, is what is causing the hike in our beloved cancer victims.

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We need to be aware of what’s going on around us.  Just because the FDA slapped an OK sticker on it, doesn’t necessarily mean it is really OK for us to consume.

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Listen to your body.  Do some experimenting with food choices.  Plan one or two days of eating naturally derived food and see for yourself if you feel better.  nerdfitness.com has some wonderful budget friendly ideas to help with this challenge.

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If you do try this-let me know if you feel different!

As always, stop the mind chatter, go within and listen to your body.

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

 

Finding Beauty

Because you are women, people will force their thinking on you, their boundaries on you. They will tell you how to dress, how to behave, who you can meet and where you can go. Don’t live in the shadows of people’s judgement. Make your own choices in the light of your own wisdom.

Amitabh Bachchan

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I was coming home from class today riding my favorite bus, the Spur.  I overheard a conversation from a woman in her 20’s, mentioning her husband requiring her to have dinner promptly prepared when he gets home from work.  She also has a full time job AND has sole responsibility of taking care of the children.

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I was thinking to myself, I remember those days 25 years ago, working full time, taking care of 4 children and having dinner ready promptly every day when my husband came home from work.

I also remember, when I had a day off from my outside job, I did laundry, cleaned toilets, caught up the dishes, mopped, vacuumed dusted……and my husband on his days off, went fishing, hunting, and whatever else his heart desired.

And I remember we were moving to a different house down the street, and he decided on moving day, he needed to take the boat out to go fishing; Left me in charge of moving the rest of our things.  I thought to myself, “I don’t think so”, and took the kids to the lake to go swimming.  I don’t need to tell you what happened that evening.

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When did society decide that women were not equal to men?  When was it decided that women were expected to behave a particular way?

This brings me to today.   I friended a person recently, and he immediately assumed I was going to be his Barbie/Trophy.  Had no interest in my intelligence whatsoever; even had the nerve to tell me to shut down my blog.  HA!  I don’t think so buddy.  Very short friendship indeed.

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When that person who sees the true light that I am; my intelligence, my strengths as well as my weaknesses; and appreciates all of it, as I him, and only then. ….

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Obviously, men and women have strengths and weaknesses; but, we are both equally capable of loving and caring and sharing the joys and burdens of life.

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We have jumped leaps and bounds in technology, science, communication, and physics.  But, co-habitating  in society has come to a slow crawl at best, when it comes to appreciating male and female equality;  Equality, meaning, appreciating a females’ boldness, or a males’ sensitiveness, appreciating that person as a whole.

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We are human.

All of us.

Each day, we should look in the mirror and remind ourselves; We are all strong.  We are all loved.  We are all worth it, the same.

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

Coconut Water; Another Nutty Trend?

 

Food is for eating, and good food is to be enjoyed… I think food is, actually, very beautiful in itself.

Delia Smith

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I tried coconut water for the first time yesterday- from the actual coconut.  Now I need to figure out how to get the nut open to get the pulp out.  I don’t have a hammer.

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My pooches, Kali and Olive LOVED it!  So, I of course had to make sure it was safe for them to drink.  (They took over my cup, which Kali never does)

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As I researched, I found out I was pretty lucky.  The older the coconut the worse the water tastes.  It starts losing its flavor and properties.  The shell was pretty brown.

The best tasting coconut water should come from a green nut. As the coconut ages, it loses taste and nutrition.

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According to Webmd, the water from a coconut has the amount of potassium as 4 bananas.  It is also a great way to replace electrolytes and minerals after a workout or a hard night of partying! Adding a little sea salt can also help replenish lost sodium.

Once you open the coconut, though,  the water must be consumed within 24 to 48 hours.

If you are not too keen on the taste this site has great ideas for add-ins.

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It has also been said the nutrients in this nutty water can help with decalcification of the pineal gland.  The pineal gland is inside our brain, between the two hemispheres and controls the chemical production and release of melatonin which helps our circadian and seasonal sleep cycles.

 

Of course, the coconut has so many other benefits; the oil and milk are great for our bodies.  Livestrong.com   has a wonderful article on all the benefits of the milk from this magical fruit.

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Going back to my pooches, this tasty treat is perfectly okay for the little ones, as long as you only give them a little bit.  Too much of a good thing can cause tummy upset and diarrhea.

Maybe after a session of Kali-Yoga, I will treat my pups to a little coconut water.

Remember to take some time for yourself and go within to listen to your body’s needs.

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

A Healthier Us:  Alternative Protein Sources

It’s easy to impress me. I don’t need a fancy party to be happy. Just good friends, good food, and good laughs. I’m happy. I’m satisfied. I’m content. 

Maria Sharapova

 

Since my week in the hospital last June, I have been experimenting and discovering what food I can and cannot eat.

Of the many changes in my diet and metabolism, one of the things I have noticed, are my protein choices.  I am finding that red meat like beef and pork are very hard for my body to metabolize.  Not only digestion, but the affect overall; I was having to take digestive supplements just to help my body tolerate it.

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I decided to take a step back and observe what was actually going on; did some research and found more plant-based sources.  Also with some trial and error, I found, that I respond much better to alternative protein choices and I have an overall feeling of wellness and a sense of lightness.

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This also works budget wise as well.  The price of meat in the grocery store has become astronomical.  It doesn’t matter if I am buying ground beef or some center cut pork chops. I have noticed, the meat section is pretty close to the same price per pound.

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Speaking of being budget-friendly, it can be so easy to jump on the band wagon of all organic or non-GMO, which I will save for another topic, but today let’s just stick with options and budget.

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One thing nice about living in this day and age, we do have a lot of variety of choices and information on those choices.  We just need to look at packaging, additives, price and where it’s coming from.  With all the informative blogs out there that talks about all the different ways to incorporate protein into our diet that fit the individual needs of our bodies; this one-  http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/vegan-sources-of-protein  has a wonderful informative list of a variety of tasty alternatives.

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With all the protein food choices, we can shop our local grocer ads and as long as we stick to the original source of food, we can also save on our grocery budget.

We are killing 2 birds with 1 stone here.  Eating better for our bodies AND eating better for our budget!

 

Being mindful is also very important for our overall health.  With the process of livestock that is legally allowed, has to affect us energetically as a whole.  This I will also save for another topic.

Just ‘Food for Thought’

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Waking up every day, spending a few moments quieting the mind and going within, our bodies can tell us so much about ourselves.

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

 

Finding Me (Again)

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

Thomas A. Edison

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I haven’t written in a while. Sometimes we have to sit in the dark, so we can see the light again.

 

We meet people, thinking they are like minded; and sometimes they end up being wolves in sheep’s clothing. Over the summer months, I have experienced this on several occasions.

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I started feeling really drained and heavy. All I wanted to do was retreat. I couldn’t figure out why. It is really devastating what negative words can do for a person’s self-esteem.
I am currently doing course work so I can be full-time employed. My poor furbabies need a grooming session severely.
I remember instances in my childhood, where someone non -suspecting, without realizing the impact a negative sentence can do. “You’ll always be lazy” or you’ll never be anything but a (fill in the blank here)” Or recently, “Your grammar in your blog is terrible, I have a hard time reading through it”. “Your dancing is embarrassing, please stop”.

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Even with my coursework, that has been so graciously gifted to me by the Universe; I was unconsciously sabotaging my success, with random illness and excuses.

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I laid in my bed under the blankie’s wondering why I can’t succeed. Why I am I always destined to fail. Why aren’t I good enough to have the things I don’t have? Why can’t I find my happiness?
I cried out to Spirit and begged, why???
She told me to quiet my mind and listen to my heart. The answers are there. They are always there.

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No one or thing has the power to control me but me. I have to remember that.
So, I am taking back my power.
I am spending every morning, quieting my mind, doing Kali-Yoga with my furbabies and finding my happiness. Even if it’s only for 15 minutes.

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Being mindful, getting back to basics, eating the right food, drinking plenty of water, simplifying my routine and centering my soul; And hugging trees whenever possible!

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Giving back to the universe, because after all, that is when the magic happens.

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

Thursday Afternoon

 

 

I got off the Spur, looking for the Post Office from the wild goose chase Google Maps sent me on.  I went into the Enchanted Forest and asked the owner, Mr. Walker,  if he knew where my location was.  I showed him my phone and across the street was the Gas Station Google insisted was where the federal building was supposed to be.

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I headed downtown to catch the Number One to the actual place I needed to go.  This grand building, opened in 1933 and composed of Cordova limestone, the three-story rectangular building was designed in the Beaux Arts style architecture.

It was like going back in time.

 

I decided to walk back to the Transfer Center and of course I don’t know north from south;  ended up on Main and 8th near the Hilton.

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I have lived in Texas since 1995 and Fort Worth since 2011 and I never knew we had a JFK monument.

Nestled safely between the Convention Center and some fine downtown restaurants was the bronze statue of our 35th President.

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President Kennedy was assassinated November 22, 1963 in downtown Dallas in a Lincoln convertible.   The rare occasion First Lady, Jackie Onassis, was by his side.

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I sat on one of the benches, closed my eyes and I could feel the history of this monumental event.

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I continued my journey to the station, purchased a vitamin water and my favorite BBQ baked Lays and thought to myself,   not too shabby for a Thursday afternoon.

 

 

With Hugs and Hope

Diane

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My Mother-in-Law, when my kids were little was Sicilian.  She taught me so many tricks to feed a family of six and sometimes more on a tight budget.

Pasta was the mainstay of almost every meal, but sometimes we had to switch it up.

The kids called it JimBob- after our late Labrador Retriever that lived to be 16.  (I know, twisted sense of humor)

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One thing that is so awesome about cooking Sicilian, is you can change up the ingredients.

When the kids were little, we used sliced  hot dogs for the meat.  This version I am using Turkey Sausage.

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Enjoy!