Being Present

Being present and feeling life as I move through each moment of each day is allowing me to live in joy to its fullest and fills my heart with gratitude. I’m becoming more and more aware of how precious (and fleeting) life is. Connecting with nature, sharing in healthy relationships, being good to myself, and the abundance of blessings mysteriously making their way into my life affirms to me that God wants us to know happiness. He wants us to know and feel what is in his heart. If we focus on the “now”, there are so many ways we can feel God’s presence.

However you choose to pass your time, I hope you savor it; these moments truly are a gift from God.

 

 

Dedicated to my grandfather with love and gratitude.

Sharon – Embracing My Joy

Spicy Homemade Granola (Reaping the benefits of Mother Nature the Tasty Way!)

This is my first attempt at homemade granola. Once you have a basic recipe, adding ingredients you love makes it a little more special. It’s simple, quick to prepare, gluten free, and delicious!

Lately, I’ve been reading up on the health benefits of incorporating various herbs, spices, and essential oils into our lifestyle and diet. Little by little, I’ve been making small changes that are improving my health and well-being in big ways. Keeping this in mind, I picked some healthful spices for my first batch of granola. I hope you enjoy!

Here in New England, high humidity has been a daily occurrence so I’ve been working more anti-inflammatory ingredients into my diet whenever I can. Here’s the scoop:

The basic recipe:

2 1/2 cups of gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats

1/4 cup all-natural unsalted smooth peanut butter

1/4 cup raw creamed honey

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, warm the peanut butter and honey, add the oats and vanilla and stir until mixed well.

A few add-ins to boost the health benefits:

1 tsp. cinnamon (anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, may reduce the risk of heart disease)

1 tsp. ground powdered ginger (anti-inflammatory, digestive aid, boosts metabolism, may lower cholesterol, may lower risk of cancer, may improve brain function)

1/2 tsp. nutmeg (anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant)

2 tbsp. organic unsweetened shredded coconut (heart-healthy antioxidant rich in iron, protein, and manganese – essential for healthy bones)

1 single-serving box of raisins (good source of fiber, iron, and calcium)

Single layer on a sheet of parchment paper and bake at 275 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring half-way through.

Bake up a batch and your house will smell divine!

There’s so much nutritional goodness available to us from mother nature and it feels good, both physically and mentally, to utilize what is given to us naturally to protect our bodies and our health.

I hope this inspires you to become more aware of how we can stay healthy the natural – and tasty – way!

 

I slightly modified the basic recipe found at http://www.kristineskitchenblog.com (Thank you, Kristine’s Kitchen!)

If you want to do your own research on the health benefits of herbs and spices, one of many websites available at our fingertips is http://www.healthline.com.

Vegetable Soup – Protein Packed (vegan, gluten-free)

I’ve gotten back to my intermittent fasting again and, after two days of water and smoothies, this vegetable soup is light but filling enough for a meal. I added a can of pureed cannellini beans to boost the protein and thicken the soup just a bit.

I hope you try it and add it to your recipes of healthy soups!

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. olive oil

½ medium onion, chopped

1 medium summer squash, chopped

1 large portabella mushroom, chopped

1 medium tomato, chopped (I like off the vine)

½ cup frozen peas

1 can of low sodium cannellini beans, 15.5 oz.

4 cups vegetable stock

If you follow me, you know I don’t measure so feel free to add the following to taste:

A handful of fresh parsley, chopped

Garlic powder

Oregano

Rosemary

Black pepper

4 cups vegetable stock

Gluten-free soy sauce, optional

Sauté the onion, summer squash, mushroom, and tomato in the olive oil until onion is translucent and veggies are softened. Stir occasionally and while the veggies are cooking, prepare your stock. Drain, rinse, and puree the can of beans with about one cup of warm vegetable stock.

Add the herbs and seasonings to the veggies. Stir in the pureed beans plus the remaining 3 cups of stock and the frozen peas. Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes.

Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or soy sauce.

Enjoy!

Spiritual Growth – An Inside Job

As my spiritual journey continues, my experience of love and compassion is, in fact, growing. I naturally began reaching outward to share joy and love along the way; however, I’ve come to realize that self-love is equally if not more important. How we treat others is a direct reflection of how we treat ourselves.

Tuning into my own heart enables me to open my heart to others and this allows all the goodness of what God offers us into my own life. Whatever we put out into the universe always finds its way back to us.

It’s an amazing gift to be had every day if only we take the time to tap into it and accept it as truth.

Sharon – Embracing My Joy