Tag Archives: healthy eating

Naturally Motivated: Keeping the Faith

Did you see Julie and Julia? The movie about a blogger who records her experiences while cooking her way through Julia Child’s Mastering The Art of French Cooking in one year? There is a scene where Julie has been writing for quite a while and is, momentarily, elated to see she has finally gotten her first comment; only to open it and read something like:

“Julie, this is your mother. It appears I am the only one who is reading your thing. Why are you doing this?”

Luckily, she didn’t get discouraged. She kept true to her vision, kept cooking and kept writing about it. Eventually, Julie’s audience found her. She completed her project on time and wrote a book about it. That book was adapted into the movie. Voila! The rest is history.

Sometimes, it seems like we are doing everything we can to make a difference in the world but no one is freakin’ listening. Worse yet, maybe the people who are listening are critical of us and tell us that we are wasting our time. If you have an idea for something that you believe can help make people’s lives better, brighter or happier in any way, I’d like to encourage YOU to keep going, regardless of what seems to be happening at this moment. Stay true to your vision and just keep doing the work!

It is very easy to constantly look to other people to see if we are on the right track. I suspect it’s because approval from other people helped us out early in life; when we were learning to do things we had never done before like walk and talk. We would have learned those things anyway from modeling other people but it’s certainly a lot more fun when someone is cheering you on at every step! Most of us find that our cheering committee seems to dwindle a bit, as we get older. ‘Attaboys and ‘attagirls are often replaced with comments about fears, worries or warnings to do things a certain way in order to be safe or respectable. While these comments are probably well meant, they certainly aren’t exactly motivating to the creative individual.

After letting this blog molder for several months, I really didn’t know what to expect in terms of readership. I’ve noticed something interesting. A lot more people read it than comment on it. When I first launched, I didn’t get stat reports on click-throughs from social media. The only way I knew if people were reading was when they were kind enough to leave me a comment or send me an email. Even though I know now that more people are reading than I had evidence for before; I don’t know what they think about it because they don’t directly engage with me.

Then the other day, I was blessed with an eye-opening email from Jodi:

Hi, loved your last post on veggie scraps. I commented away on that already! lol.

Did I mention I am well on my way to vegetarianism – even dare I say veganism??? Probably since February. And Garry is right there with me, sometimes ahead of me! He feels so good, his glucose numbers are normal (he tests every morning). He’s lost 30 pounds. It’s kind of been a process – but I figure every meal without meat, fish, or dairy saves or helps an animal, the planet & our health. The reason I wanted to mention it to you is because one of your blogs about being a Vegan & the whole thought process of being a snobby Vegan or a militant Vegan really made an impression on me. Also, that it was a process & took you a while to give up cheese. I never forgot that post – so remember that when you write, even if you don’t know it, you are making an impact on some people. I didn’t switch right away but it was stored away in my brain – not word for word but the gist of it! We are probably 98% there.

Wow! I wrote those posts on being a vegetarian, which Jodi so kindly refers to, well over two years ago! Last week, my best friend, who is not a commenter, sent me this text: “You are a really good writer Cindy. Did you ever consider writing a book?” I can’t tell you how moved I was by these wonderful and completely unexpected remarks!

Keep moving toward your dream. Keep doing the work. Keep going even when you feel like nothing you do matters because you may be making an impact on someone right now, who just hasn’t told you… yet!

Many blessings to all,

 

Cynthia

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justdragonfly

Naturally Healthy Fat-free Snack: Baked Kale Chips

I always liked the idea of kale chips but whenever I tried the store-bought kind, I found them to be very small, kind of greasy and a bit mushy.  They just never tasted quite right.  They barely resembled kale.  They were more like the soggy embers of kale!

I really like using parchment paper when I make oven fries.  They don’t stick to the cookie sheet and you don’t need any oil.  So, they are fat-free! Seriously, what’s not to like?  I reasoned if I was happy with the results,  I was getting with sliced potatoes, yams, carrots, etc., using this method, then was worth a try with Kale too.

It worked!   Essentially, you are in between baking and dehydrating the kale in your oven.  The best part is these chips are so easy to make:

Baked Kale Chips

Large Bunch of Kale

Cookie Sheets

Parchment Paper

Sea Salt (optional)

Sriracha Sauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 270 Degrees

Wash and dry kale.  (I like to spin the water out with a salad spinner.)   De-stem Kale.  You want to remove the stem all the way up the leaf (no tough veins!)  Tear into large pieces (remember they will shrink as they bake.)  Place on parchment-lined cookie sheets.  Do not overlap.

Place the leaves close together but not overlapping!

Place the leaves close together but not overlapping!

Place in oven on different racks, allowing the heat to circulate.  Bake for eight minutes.  Check on kale.  Sprinkle salt on if desired.  Turn the pans the other way (vertical to horizontal or vice-verse.)  Bake for another 8-10 minutes.  The kale should be thoroughly crisp but not at all burnt when it is done.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before handling.  Then place kale in serving dish.  I shake any leftover salt into the bowl with the chips.  At this point, I like to put a drop of Sriracha sauce on each chip as I eat them.  Yum!  Sometimes, I’ll sprinkle them with my homemade cashew “Parmesan cheese.”

Hope you enjoy!

Many blessings,

 

Cynthia

Please follow me on Twitter.  Also, please LIKE my Facebook Page.

justdragonfly

 

Natural Energy: Chia Seed Lemonade

I am pretty much full of chia seeds lately. They are fantastic! If you are looking for one easy way to improve your health, take chia seeds daily.

Chia seeds have a long history of providing excellent nutrition. Ancient Aztecs and Mayans used them to maximize their energy and strength. Chia seeds are still considered a superfood today. Packed with fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids.  They have all the benefits of flax seeds without the need to grind to them to make them digestible. Plus, they are shelf-stable and bugs don’t like them. Hallelujah!

Chia seeds are really easy to incorporate into your diet. You can sprinkle them into salads, cereals, casseroles and baked goods. I often put them in brownies and muffins. You can also drink them. I put them in my smoothies. Unlike other seeds which stay hard, when you add chia seeds to liquid, they expand and form a gel. So, they slip right down your gullet!

Chia Seed Lemonade (a.k.a. Chia Fresca a.k.a. Iskiate) is my new favorite to take these wonderful seeds.

Chia Seed Lemonade

Tall Glass of Water

Three Tablespoons of Chia Seeds

Three Tablespoons of Lemon Juice

Half Teaspoon of Stevia

Ice

Mix the seeds into the water and let sit for ten minutes. You will notice it is much thicker at this point. Stir again. Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir again and enjoy!

Do you think you will try Chia Lemonade? Do you already use chia seeds in your diet? Please let me know by leaving a reply. I love hearing from you!

Blessings to all,

Cynthia

justdragonfly