Joy Held's Writer Wellness

"Be well, write well."

Friday Feast: Independently Sweet

I love sugar. This isn’t a post about the evils of sugar. I love sugar, but too much of anything refined and white is apparently unwise. Just think obesity and cavities. If sugar didn’t sneak its way into everything we eat and drink, we might stand a fighting chance of monitoring the amount we ingest. Alas, they are making the decisions for us and dumping sugar into our bloodstreams like toxic waste from a chemical plant in the middle of the night.

If we are to be aware of the amount of sugar we take in, the first job is to read food labels. Yes, it’s a silly feeling to be blocking an aisle in the grocery store while reading the criminally miniscule print on the side of spaghetti sauce. Yes, it takes more time to shop when we stop and read the contents of what we’re buying. Yes, it makes a difference. It makes us look important too. Don’t be surprised if while reading labels in the grocery store someone asks you what aisle the tuna is in. The first job is to read labels.

The second job is to know what means sugary goodness besides sugar. Look for high fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, sucrose, sorbitol, and beet sugar. Here’s a cool list of 50 other names for sugar

http://www.dietriffic.com/2009/03/26/names-for-sugar/

The third job is to limit the products purchased with sugars in them.

The fourth job is to choose sweeteners and add them to food instead of relying on the whims of manufacturers to decide how much of the sweet stuff is in our food. What are they hiding anyway? Some alternative choices for sweet goodness are stevia, xylotol, and agave nectar. http://allaboutagave.com/ They are all plant based and a little goes a long way. It takes some trial and error to find alternative sweeteners that are not chemicals and that your mouth will tolerate. But it’s worth the effort. Real sugar is okay, but just like anything else it’s okay in moderation.

What do you sweeten your tea with?

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well.

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Friday Feast: The Consequences of Loving Food

Friday Feast: The Consequences of Loving Food

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

I eat too much. It’s because I love everything about food. I especially love eating food. Because I workout several times a week, I get hungry. Sometimes really hungry and when I sit down to a meal, my eyes are bigger than I should be eating. Portion control is a must if I am to maintain the svelteness I so desire. Oh, but how to know when enough is enough? One of the consequences of loving food is not knowing when enough is enough.

I have never measured my portions and I’m not about to start, but I will play tricks on my mind and my stomach to curb overeating. Here are a few of my tricks. Am I really tricking myself because it’s me? Don’t know, but it works most of the time!

Portion control trick #1: Eat out of a bowl. Forget trying to use a smaller plate. I just stack mashed potatoes on a small plate until they look like the leaning tower of Pisa. A soup bowl works for me. The food in a bowl is not too high and not too wide which is exactly how I want my body to be, so the imagery and the amounts have equal messages for my brain.

Portion control trick #2: Eat smaller portions over the course of multiple “meals” during the day. This is also a good metabolism booster because the body is perpetually on task churning away which causes it to burn more calories.

Portion control trick #3: Candied ginger is a great way to curb appetite and not eat so much at meal time. About 30 minutes before eating, eat a small piece of candied ginger and drinks LOTS of water with it. You won’t eat so much later.

Have any portion control tricks up your sleeve? Care to share?

Happy Note: Book signing and hatha yoga demonstration Saturday, June 25 at Borders in Vienna, WV, 2-4 p.m. Will I see you there? Bring your yoga mat!

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well.

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Friday Feast: Egg Salad and Blog Mash-up

 

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

I promised this egg salad recipe to a good friend who shared a recipe with me last FF for guacamole.

“Joy’s Egg Salad Delight”

 6 hard boiled eggs, peeled, mashed

3 Tablespoons light mayonnaise or canola mayonnaise

1 stalk celery finely chopped

¼ red onion finely chopped

2 Tablespoons red pepper relish (found in the pickle aisle at the grocery)

1 Tablespoon fresh dill chopped (1/2 tsp. if using dry)

Salt & pepper to taste

Mix everything together, cover in an air tight container and cool immediately. Because of the mayo this can’t be left out for long periods of time. Serve on toast with a piece of crisp romaine lettuce.

Friday Blog Mash-up

Here are the great blogs I’ve visited this past week. Check them out.

http://www.eatmovewrite.com/ Interesting blog about the trials and tribulations of a freelance writer.

http://www.creatingkeepsakesblog.com/index.php?s=art+journaling Nifty site with some good basics about art journaling.

http://www.onewomanswrite.blogspot.com/ Linda Rettstatt’s excellent blog about life as an author.

Do you have a recipe to share with Friday Feast?

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well.

Leave a comment »

Friday Feast: College Food & and Blog Mash-up

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

When I first came across Rachel Ray and her 30-minute cooking, I shouted, “Hooray!” Here was everything I needed in the right place at the right time. When I get home from teaching yoga, I’m STARVED. The slow cooker is really helpful on those days because I get home from the studio after 7:00 p.m. I can’t cook from scratch that late at night and have it ready before midnight. But slow cooker recipes seem too heavy some days so I like to do quick meals that are satisfying in many ways, the most satisfaction being it is done in a hurry!

Now that my daughters and their friends are in college they have all learned snap cooking, and I have recently been amazed how simple and healthful some of their recipes are. Maybe they were listening all those years I said, “Corn chips give you zits!” Here are a couple of their stand-by foods that are really healthy and quick to prepare. (Thanks Aurora and Pam!)

Turkey Fingers

Turkey cutlets, egg wash, canola oil, flour, bread crumbs, and Grill Mates (trademark)seasoning of your choice.

Put the seasoning in a bowl and mix with bread crumbs. Cut the cutlets into strips, toss lightly in flour, dredge in the egg wash, then the breadcrumbs. Fry in about 1/4 inch of canola oil, until golden brown turning only a few times.

Serve with sister’s honey mustard: honey and Gulden’s (trademark) brown mustard mixed to taste. 

Super Delish Guac

3 hass avocados
.5 small red onion
.25 chopped fresh cilantro
2tbs lemon juice
1 tsp minced garlic
.5 tsp cumin
.25 tsp salt

Mash avocados and mix with everything else.

**

Here’s the stupendous mash-up of blogs I’ve haunted this week.

http://www.onewomanswrite.blogspot.com/

http://bethtrissel.wordpress.com/

http://www.patyjager.blogspot.com/

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

 Be well, write well.

Leave a comment »

Friday Feast: Mash-up Blogs and Potatoes

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

Friend and social media expert Kristen Lamb reminded me today there is always something to blog about IF you make the rounds of other people’s blogs and leave comments for them. She calls it being a “blogger booster”.

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/one-of-the-best-ways-to-build-our-social-media-platform-be-a-blogger-booster/

But Friday Feast is supposed to be devoted, however loosely, to ideas about nutrition, so my brain associated “mash-up” from Kristen with mashed potatoes. Today we talk about mashing up sweet potatoes. They remind some people of their baby pictures from bygone days sitting in the plastic high chair with orange mush all over their fingers, smashed into their eyebrows, and used as “product” to hold up baby’s first mohawk. That’s how good mashed sweet potatoes are. We just don’t remember. And somewhere along the way, we grow up and forget to eat every color of the rainbow when it comes to fruits and vegetables. Orange foods get a bum rap. Why?

Quick and Yummy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

1 large can of candied yams

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/4 cup milk or half/half

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Drain half the liquid off the canned yams, empty into a large saucepan, and heat thoroughly. Remove from stove. Use a potato masher or hand mixer to mash the yams blending the liquid in as well. Add butter, milk, and maple syrup mixing completely. Reheat in microwave or on the stove on low if necessary. Serve.

You’ll love ’em. Care to share your mashed potato recipes?

Here’s the blog mash up where I’ve thoroughly enjoyed visiting this week:

http://www.writerchris.blogspot.com

http://www.joannaaislinn.wordpress.com

http://www.castlesandguns.com

http://www.laverneclark.blogspot.com

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com.

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com/ Natalie Markey

Have you subscribed to this Writer Wellness blog yet? Get email updates when a new post is added. Click “subscribe” and leave your email. That’s it and thanks in advance!

Be well, write well.

Leave a comment »

Friday Feast: Slow and Steady Gets Dinner Ready

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.)

The slow cooker is the greatest invention since fire. I teach in the afternoons and evenings so I’m making dinner at noon before going to class. When I get home later, dinner is waiting just like a personal chef cooked for me all afternoon! I have a slew of easy, healthy, and satisfying slow cooker recipes that are regulars in our house.

On weekends I go shopping and spend the extra time preparing vegetables and herbs so they are ready and easy to use in a flash during the week. I do my baking on the weekends as well and freeze homemade breads to get out the morning I plan to serve them. I am usually rushing out the door in the early afternoon to get to classes and having the veggies chopped and the herbs cleaned makes preparation a snap. Thanks to weekend prep, I can have dinner in the slow cooker in 15 minutes. I normally set the cooking temperature to low since it will be six to eight hours before I get home to eat. Once home, I throw together a fresh salad and have a healthful meal that meets our nutritional needs without adding a lot of calories. You know how dangerous it is to eat late at night!

Try these three recipes soon and your whole family will be happy with the results.

“Turkey Roast” 

                3 lb. boneless turkey roast, thawed

                3 ribs of celery

                ½ cup water

                ½ cup chopped onion

                salt, pepper to taste 

Rinse and pat dry the turkey breast. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Line the bottom of the slow cooker with celery and onions. Place turkey on top of celery and onions. Add water.

Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

When you get home, use a meat thermometer to check internal temperature of the meat. It should be 170 degrees.

Heat a canned vegetable and serve with bread and butter or margarine. 

“Vegetarian Vegetable Soup” 

                1 can Campbell’s tomato soup

                4 cups water

                5 chicken or vegetable bouillon cubes

                1 small onion chopped

                1 bay leaf

                1 small can diced tomatoes, basil and garlic flavored

                1 medium potato chopped

                3 medium carrots chopped

                1 can green beans

                ½ cup corn

                ½ cup peas

                ½ cup lima beans

                (veggies can be canned or frozen)

                1 cup pasta (elbow, rigatoni, etc.)

                salt, pepper to taste 

Add all ingredients except pasta to slow cooker. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours.

Add pasta to soup in the last 30 minutes of cooking. Remove bay leaf before eating

Serve with salad and bread. 

“Mediterranean Turkey and Rice”

                1 package boneless turkey tenderloins

                1 celery stalk, chopped

                1 can diced, basil and garlic seasoned tomatoes

                1 sprig of fresh rosemary, stripped and chopped

                3 cloves crushed garlic, or 3 tsp. minced garlic

                2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

                ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

                ½ cup white or yellow onion, chopped

                1 tbs. lemon juice

                cracked black pepper to taste

                1 ½ cups uncooked long-grain rice

                ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

                ½ cup black olives, sliced (optional)

Place everything except the rice, black olives, and the Parmesan cheese into the slow cooker.

Cook on high 4 to 6 hours adding rice the last 30 minutes or low 6 to 7 hours adding rice the last 30 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and olives if desired before serving. It’s nice to sprinkle some fresh chopped parsley before serving also.

Serve with raw carrot sticks and ranch dressing.

A Life Saver!

While shopping, pick up a box of Reynolds brand “Slow Cooker Liners.” The first time you line the slow cooker with one of the specially designed liners you will wonder all day if it will actually work and how the food will taste. They fit all size cookers and the kitchen clean up committee in your house will be thrilled with the results. I’ve never had one spring a leak and clean up is as easy as the product claims. Four liners per box cost around $2. Most important, the food tastes fantastic and NEVER STICKS!

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous. 

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

http://pentopublish.blogspot.com Natalie Markey

Be well, write well.

4 Comments »

Friday Feast: Spelt-the Other White Flour

There are five primary areas of practice to the Writer Wellness plan. Every other week I will post an idea for relaxation (Monday Meditation,) creative play (Tuesday Tickle,) fitness and exercise (Wednesday Workout,) journaling and misc. (Thursday Thought,) and nutrition (Friday Feast.

After a mouthful of spelt flakes cereal, my outspoken teenage daughters proclaimed, “The first man who ate this spit it out saying, ‘Splet!’ and that’s where the name came from!” I still cook and bake with spelt in spite of the girls’ drama and it’s paid off in the long run. For ten years they’ve eaten cookies, bread, and pasta made from spelt instead of bleached white flour or whole wheat and no one’s digestive system is complaining. In fact, everyone is much leaner, healthier, and happier. What is spelt?

 Today’s whole wheat and white wheat flour are descendants of spelt grain. It’s an ancient grain that has come back into vogue for gourmet cooking and to help wheat intolerant persons continue to enjoy pasta and pastries. Most people who suffer from celiac disease can eat spelt because the gluten in spelt is more easily digested. This doesn’t apply to all celiac patients, but many people who cannot eat wheat find spelt a tasty, simple alternative to going without bread and pasta. Even some gluten free people can eat spelt without complications. 

When the book Eat Right For/4 Your Type by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo was published in 1998, many people took D’Adamo seriously and cut whole wheat and white wheat from their diets. I and my family switched to alternative grains and we’ve been happier ever since. It’s taken a while to get a handle on the differences in baking times and a slightly different taste, but overall spelt is a delicious substitute for wheat. http://www.4yourtype.com.  

Spelt is full of flavor, protein, and B vitamins. It’s much easier on the digestive system and because its popularity continues to grow, it’s now easier to find in health food groceries and online. (See resource list below.) 

Spelt noodles cook faster. Pastries made with spelt flour have a heartier texture. Spelt foods are more filling so you eat less while feeling satisfied. Spelt is a bit more expensive but it balances out when you don’t eat as much to feel full. After ten years of baking with spelt, my family takes it for granted that every pasta, cereal, bread, and cookie is made from spelt flour and they’re right! The extra effort is worth it.

Kitri’s Favorite Iced Spelt Oatmeal Raison Cookies

2 ¼ cups of white spelt flour sifted

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup oats (not instant)

1 cup dark brown sugar

½ cup white sugar

1 cup salted butter half melted

2 Tablespoons honey

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 ½ cup raisons

Icing

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

4 Tablespoons half and half (use more liquid if necessary to acquire desired consistency)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Sift the flour, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl.

In a metal mixing bowl, melt the butter half way in the oven while it is preheating. Take out the butter and blend the sugars with the butter then add the honey, vanilla, and eggs one at a time until a grainy paste is reached. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture mix lightly then add the oats and raisons.

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Place the cookies in the freezer for 10-20 minutes to reset the butter. Bake one sheet at a time for 18-22 minutes checking regularly. Spelt bakes faster than regular wheat. As soon as a light brown is visible around the edges of the cookies, remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for one minute before removing to a baking rack. When cookies are medium warm, drizzle icing over the tops. Store in airtight plastic containers with parchment paper between layers of cookies. Cookies freeze well for up to two weeks.

Resources

www.spelt.com

www.purityfood.com

www.berlinnaturalbakery.com

Meanwhile, remember to look for a digital or print copy of Writer Wellness, A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity at Who Dares Wins Publishing, http://whodareswinspublishing.com

And check out these great blogs for ideas to keep your writing and publishing healthy and prosperous.

http://writeitforward.wordpress.com/ Bob Mayer

http://jenniholbrooktalty.wordpress.com/ Jenni Holbrook

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/ Kristen Lamb

http://inspiration4writers.blogspot.com/ Inspiration for Writers, Inc.

 Be well, write well.

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