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

 

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

 

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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!

Freezing Veggies

 

 

I remember as a child, my mom working to the bone, and still sparsely any food in the cupboard. 

There was this one summer in particular; we somehow ended up with lots of garden fresh veggies and fruit of all sorts.   A friendly neighbor helping an overworked mom, I am sure.

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Mom and I spent the entire weekend, canning and freezing these lovely treats that were given to us so generously.

 

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When I finally got to go grocery shopping; I told myself to just get a few things since I was taking the bus.  Unfortunately, I don’t listen very well and ended up with a half a basket full of deals and edible treats!

I bagged and doubled bagged the best I could and proceeded to put my arms through the handles, and in the process, a gentleman asked if I had it okay.  Being of Scotch-Irish and Welsh decent, nothing can stop this tenacious redhead and I continued with my 12 bags of groceries down the walk to the bus stop.

I set my bags down, and asked others to double-check as I didn’t want to board the wrong bus.  A nice girl helped me get my groceries onto the bus so I could swipe my boarding pass and sat with my loot wondering how I was going to reload.  I still had to change vehicles when I got to the East Side Exchange Station.

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I managed to resort my stash and managed to change buses when it was time.  When I finally made it to my stop, the bus driver lowered the bus so I could step off easier.

I muddled across the busy thoroughfare to my building.  I stared at the stairs and thought better of trying.  I set everything down and carried 3 at a time into my apartment with two anxiously awaiting fur pups that were very excited to see me.  Only smashing one loaf of bread and one egg in the dozen.

Since I got carried away with buying fresh veggies from the produce isle and no way could I eat all of these treats by myself; I remembered when my mom and I bagged and froze our dispensations.

I spent my morning dicing and bagging veggies for various recipe starters and meals.

A tidbit of history-freezing food was introduced back in the 1930’s by a man named Clarence Birdseye.

There are many sites on the web that have lots of good info on freezing guidelines.  Here is one example that I used.

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BTW, my first batch of Hooch came out yummy!

Hugs and Hope

Diane

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Then and Now

I don’t know why I am so fascinated with the Great Depression; I guess it has a little to do with my living situation as of late.

My mother was born in 1934.  I remember growing up (we didn’t have much then either), of her telling stories of what it was like living in that time.  From using cereal box cutouts for soles of shoes to her mother having to use Rations to buy food for her family of 9.

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Depression Glass.  When I was in college I remember having to do a public speaking project on artifacts and I chose a cake plate that I still had that belonged to our family.  I remember it as a young child.  It had a small chip in it and it was green.  I don’t have it anymore.  One day, I will build my collection up again.

Depression glass is clear or colored translucent glassware that was distributed free, or at low cost, in the United States and Canada around this time.  Much depression glass is uranium glass. The Quaker Oats Company, and other food manufacturers and distributors, put a piece of glassware in boxes of food, as an incentive to purchase. Movie theaters and businesses would hand out a piece simply for coming in the door.

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S&H Green Stamps were trading stamps popular in the United States from the 1930s until the late 1980s. They were distributed as part of a rewards program operated by the Sperry & Hutchinson company (S&H), founded in 1896 by Thomas Sperry and Shelley Byron Hutchinson.

green stamps

Quoted from allabouthistory.org; most characteristic of life during the Great Depression was the widening gap between the “haves” and “have-nots.” Unemployment rose from a shocking 5 million in 1930 to an almost unbelievable 13 million by the end of 1932. It would be rural America that would suffer the greatest. Unemployed fathers saw children hired for sub-standard wages. In 1930, 2.25 million boys and girls ages 10–18 worked in factories, canneries, mines, and on farms. Children left school to support their families.

The harsh reality of life during the Great Depression is vividly recalled by Travis (12 yrs) who found his father behind their Massachusetts house, crying and heartbroken. “My dad was the strongest man I knew, but the Depression brought him to his knees.” While starving children in the Appalachians chewed on their hands, nearly drawing blood, nursery school children in Philadelphia played an “eviction game.” Toy furniture would be piled up in one corner of the room, then picked up and moved to another corner. “We ain’t got no money for rent, so we move. Then we get the sheriff on us, so we move again.” 

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I look out my kitchen window, I see children playing with the mouse trap boxes and collecting grass hoppers with them, eating a hotdog on a piece of white bread with ketchup; using the Diet Pepsi cans as soda bombs for some kind of childhood game.

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We’ve come along way, haven’t we……

I did finally get my Food Card, and took my bus trip to the grocery store. I will save that story for another day.

I am also learning how to make wine from grape juice.  I will tell you how that goes.

Hugs and Hope

DTC

 

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