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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

6 Ways to Shower Yourself With Kindness

6 Ways to Shower Yourself with Kindness

I've been ruminating about "kindness" lately, because someone I care about was rude to me. Although my adult self knew his angry tone and harsh words were all about him, for a few hours, the tender young person inside me took his actions personally. I felt ashamed, even though there was no good evidence to back up my conclusion that his behavior meant I was at fault, guilty, and flawed. To make matters worse, I went as far as to think of how I could retaliate, seek vengeance, and inflict pain on him. 

Writing this blog is my way to look at myself and admit my spirit felt depleted and grieved for the loving kindness he couldn’t give. In hindsight, I know his behavior was a blessing in disguise. It was an opportunity to confront that vulnerable part of me that let myself be disturbed by an outside situation, person, place, or thing and reminded me
 to shower myself with the loving kindness I sought from outside myself.

Knowing what happened to me may come in handy for you, when something triggers you or makes you feel unlovable. Read on to discover the steps I took to recover my equilibrium and love myself unconditionally. Hopefully, these self-help methods will work for you too.

1.    Let go of things that are none of my business. What someone says or thinks about me is beyond my control. This tip helps me refrain from analyzing why I think someone acted a certain way, and puts the focus on me, where it belongs. I've learned that people carry and reveal their hurts in different ways, and this knowledge helps me forgive without knowing more than that. Detaching with love lets me go on with my day unburdened by carrying around resentments, suffering, and things that are beyond my control.

2.    Use "heal not hurt" as a mission statement. This phrase reminds me to pause to rope in my feelings and take to higher ground. I write out my emotions in a journal and reach out to a close friend to express the undercurrents in my emotional sea. When I share about my heartache with someone I trust, it usually releases trapped energy and allows me to go to a loving place.

3.    Take a break to refresh my spirit. If I notice my mind rehashing the situation or wishing things were different, I recite the serenity prayer or meditate. Other ideas may include a soak in a warm Epsom salt bath or a long walk in nature. Both remove toxins from mind and body. 

4.   Love and accept myself just as I am. As soon as I say this mantra and recognize that everything happens for my highest good, I feel more grounded and secure in my self-worth.

5.    Express gratitude for my blessings. This is a key element that helps me accentuate the positive. My “gratefuls” seem to multiply when I count them while disappointments and grudges diminish. My daily gratitude list starts with the blessing of life, love, hope, family, friendship, and goodness and contains even the smallest detail like being grateful I saw a bee in my garden. Being specific and using people’s names and things like my eyesight, dark chocolate, and yoga helps me tap into the abundance in each day.

6.   Treat myself with self-compassion. Unkind words, especially those I think or say about myself, creates stress and turmoil within me. If my inner critic prevents me from coming up with a gentle way to deal with myself, I ask “What would my best friend say or do to comfort me?” Then, I apply it to me. Another tip is to remember that self-esteem is built on and strengthened by self-acceptance, caring, and respectful treatment of oneself.

Once I've taken time to shower myself with kindness, I notice the ripple effect that self care has on other areas of my life. My thinking is clearer, my creative juices flow, and relating to my work and people is invigorating instead of draining. 

Self-help techniques often bring insights later on about what is really going on inside oneself. Do you use any of them or are you willing to try a few on for size? What methods help you remember to be kind to yourself? Please comment below.  

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The quotation for today is: “Champion yourself and all else follows.” Nancy Andres

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Friday, October 30, 2015

Cauliflower Steaks: Vegan Taste Temptation

Cauliflower Steaks: Vegan Taste Temptation

I'm always on the lookout for new ways to serve veggies. The recipe that follows is one I've recently created, after seeing a cauliflower steak recipe on Susan Viosin's blog Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

This is my original recipe, a fun way to put cauliflower, a power-packed cruciferous veggie, into family meal planning. See how easy it is to entice even the most veggie-phobic eater, by assembling this meat-free main course dish that's eye-appealing, economical, and loaded with good taste and goodness. 

*Roasted Vegan Dijon/Lemon Cauliflower Steaks Supreme *


1 large head of organic cauliflower rinsed and prepped (see steps 1, 2, 3)
2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed organic lemon juice
3 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast (fortified with B-12)
2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard (preferably organic)
2 cloves garlic, grated fine
salt and pepper to taste
2 T Braggs Liquid Aminos (optional Ingredient)
Sliced Organic Tomato for garnish (do not put into coating mixture)

What to Do:

1. Shop for cauliflower at your local farmers' market or green grocer. If you're a home gardener, pick cauliflower out of your home garden. Select as large a head as possible. To assure you're getting the freshest organic cauliflower available, look for a head that is creamy white, with densely packed blemish free florets. Examine the leaves closely, and if they are green instead of white, you'll get a cauliflower that is top notch. This means it will be loaded with nutrients, and taste sweet instead of strong, as older ones tend to do.

2.Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut leaves off the head of  cauliflower , but keep the center core intact. Place cauliflower on a cutting board, stem side down. Slice the head in half (top to bottom), straight down the middle. On either side, make slices that are 1/2 in. thick and place them on a cookie sheet that is covered with parchment paper. 

3. Cut as many steaks as possible. You'll know when to stop when the cauliflower pieces start to crumble. Coat each steak with a mixture made from the remaining ingredients. Place slices of tomato on top of steaks and cook all together. Use loose pieces in your salad or bake them alongside the cauliflower steaks (coat loose florets with Dijon lemon mixture as well).

4. The crumbled pieces will take less time to bake than the steaks. Taste test everything (what fun!), when browned to determine whether the cauliflower is cooked to your liking. We enjoy crispy cauliflower steaks at our house, so I cook them from 5-10 minutes on each side.  Loose pieces take about 10 minutes total to cook. 

5. Serving ideas are plentiful. Combine with whole grains, green or orange veggies, or a combination of those you like. 

Health Benefits of Cauliflower: "One serving of cauliflower contains 77 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. It's also a good source of Vitamin K, protein, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, and manganese." See more at Dr. Mercola's Website

For a super plant-based meal, one that's packed with deliciousness, make Roasted Vegan Dijon/Lemon Cauliflower Steaks Supreme. It will fill your belly and warm your heart.

Have you made any Cauliflower Steak recipes? How did they turn out? Please share by clicking on the white envelop below. Did you know cauliflower was so nutritious? Are you willing to try out this recipe and see how it's received at your house? Please let me know what you think of my recipe. If you can, link to this post on social media to share the love.

Before I go, I'd like to tell you something personal about myself. I have been successful in breaking free from a cycle of negativity I saw modeled early on in life. In fact, I wrote and published a book to help others face the difficult task of letting go of deeply held beliefs and opinions about themselves and learn (practice) life skills that promote happier, healthier lives. Colors of Joy: A Woman’s Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss is a 12 week journal program that uses colors, affirmations, journal writing, and reflection to support and encourage us as we learn to love and approve of ourselves and others wholeheartedly. Why not pick up a copy or two for the holidays? It makes an attractive gift or special treat for yourself. See it on My Website or at Amazon Books.

The quote for today follows: "Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education." Mark Twain

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

It's Your Life Magazine Online: Great Ideas for Wellness

It's Your Life Magazine Online: Great Ideas for Wellness 

I want to share my excitement about It's Your Life Magazine, an online resource that features articles, recipes, projects, products, and ideas to help you enhance the quality of your life. 

Natural living topics like health enhancers, organic gardening, organic food, healing with herbs, powerful reasons why journaling is good for the soul, and effective methods to nurture mind, body, and spirit are provided in the Oct.-Nov. issue just for you.

The Publisher, Joyce Wheeler Presents Oct-Nov 2015 Issue

In this issue, she writes. "Discover the health problems with electronics which give off electromagnet fields, how they affect our health, and what to do about it. Please subscribe. It's free and get bonuses. Every 2 months you'll be offered a new paperless edition to your inbox.  Here's the link to sign up. Subscribe to It's Your Life Magazine."

The quote for today follows:
"The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician. Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mind." Paracelsus

Sharing is caring. Please take a moment to share a link to my blog with friends, family, fans, and followers. If you like what you see, become a follower. That way you'll always get a new post as soon as it's published. 

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Tofu Magic: How to Make Tasty Tofu

Tofu Magic: How to Make Tasty Tofu

photo credit
Salad with Broiled Tofu from

Knowing how to handle and prepare tofu is still a puzzlement to many people. It doesn’t have to be that way. This blog will show you how easy it is to put together a tasty tofu dish, even if you’ve never made one before. Tofu (plain tofu) is gluten free, has only 70 calories in each 3 oz. serving, and is an excellent source of vegetable protein (6 g). One portion contains 6% RDA of iron and 15 % RDA of calcium. Tofu is naturally cholesterol free and bland tasting. A trick to pack it with flavor is to combine it with lots of herbs, spices, vegetables, and seasonings. Sprinkle on spices like chili powder, oregano, or paprika generously to assure your taste buds sing.  

I offer tofu tips and recipe suggestions, especially for those who want an awesome change-of-pace meal, or are moving toward a more plant-based lifestyle. Read on to discover how economical, fun, and easy it can be to prepare tofu dishes you and your family will enjoy.

Transform Meals with Tofu

Lasagna or Stuffed Shells       
Follow your customary recipe, but instead of using ricotta cheese, use organic silken or organic soft tofu for half or all the ricotta cheese. Top with grated organic soy cheese instead of Parmesan.

Wraps, Soups, Chili       
Add pureed, highly seasoned organic tofu or spicy cubed organic tofu to traditional fare to stretch a recipe and be kind to your pocketbook. Substitute crumpled tofu with added spices and herbs for chopped beef, poultry, or dairy in recipes to reduce cholesterol without losing taste.

Flavorful Sandwiches and Salads
Mix chopped firm organic tofu with Sloppy Joe sauce, BBQ, or Old Bay seasoning. Blend equal amounts of organic tofu with canned tuna or crab meat, boiled eggs (use whites only for lower cholesterol), or combine tofu and paprika mashed garbanzo beans. Then enjoy. When making sandwiches, remember to use whole grain roll or bread.

One of the secrets of improving the texture of water packed tofu and heightening its taste is to remove all excess water. Place a brick of firm or extra firm organic tofu on a plate. Cover tofu with another plate and place a weight such as a large can on top of all. Refrigerate for at least one half hour. When you're ready to begin, pour off liquid and follow your recipe. 

Water-packed organic tofu can be found in the dairy, produce, or Asian food case of your supermarket or health food store. It also is offered for sale in aseptically wrapped packages. This form of tofu doesn't need to be refrigerated before opening, has a long shelf life, and is already drained. Prices for organic tofu list from $1.99-$2.50 lb. Figure a portion at 3-4 oz. of tofu per person. How's that for good value? 

Ta-dah! Now, on to my recipe.

Nancy Andres' Broiled Tofu


1 package firm or extra firm Organic Tofu (approx. 14-16 oz.)
2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger 
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
4 Tablespoons Braggs Liquid Aminos (gluten free)
2 teaspoons grated fresh garlic
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

What to Do:

This recipe requires advance prep time, but the actual cooking time is only 6 minutes. Early in the day, set up the tofu to drain as shown here and refrigerate. 
Simple way to drain the water out of a brick of tofu from

After a half hour or when all the water is drained out of the tofu, slice it into ½ in. slices. Place the tofu in a large container (one where you can lay the tofu slices out flat without overlap). In a small mixing bowl, blend all the remaining ingredients together to make a marinade. Use a pastry brush or spoon to coat pieces of tofu with marinade, cover container, and refrigerate for one hour or more. The longer tofu marinates, the tastier it gets.

My method for marinating tofu

When you're ready to broil the sliced tofu, put it in a broiling pan. Use a pastry brush or spoon to coat the surface of the tofu with the extra marinade left in the container. Broil 3 minutes on each side or until the tofu is lightly browned.

Broiled Tofu, Sweet Potato, and Kale from

Serve tofu with brown rice or sweet potato, green veggies, and a tossed 

green salad. Tofu is a complete protein and is gluten free. This recipe 

serves 4-6  hearty eaters, depending on what foods you serve with it.

One fabulous way to use leftover broiled tofu is to place a few strips on 

top of a tossed salad for a quick energy lunch (pictured at the top). Another idea is to put a few slices of tofu on rye bread, add sauerkraut and mustard, and you have a tasty sandwich.  

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: In the United States, almost all tofu that is not marked non-GMO or organic is genetically modified. Genetically Modified seeds have their genes manipulated, changed, and put into other species that normally they would not grow in. Incredible results have been produced. Some include mutations, diseases, abnormalities and trigger other diseases that otherwise may have remained dormant. Little testing has been done on the health effects of humans ingesting and using genetically modified products. Tests that have been done on animals that naturally refuse to eat Genetically Modified feed, but are being force-fed the Genetically Modified feed, develop lesions, abnormalities, disease…and some have died.
Following is information from Green America about soy products. I have obtained permission to quote them.

"Soy Has Been Genetically Modified since 1996

How widespread: 94 percent of the US soybean crop was genetically modified in 2011, according to the USDA.

What to watch for: Soybeans show up in many traditional (i.e. not organic) soy products, such as tofu, soy milk, soy sauce, miso, and tempeh, as well as any product containing the emulsifier lecithin (often derived from soybean oil), such as ice cream and candy.Green America Website

Here's a special offer, just for blog readers. If you'd like to receive a delicious recipe for tofu scramble, send an email to Please write "Tofu Scramble" in the subject line of your email. Supply your name and email in the body of the email, and I'll take it from there.
Tofu Scramble from

Do you already make tofu part of your eating plan? If you have a favorite recipe or tofu tips, won't you share it with my readers and me? Click on the envelope below this post or send comments and questions to If you're a tofu newbie and want to learn more, please let me know. If you show an interest, I'll schedule another blog that includes a yummy recipe for a super-easy tofu dessert.
Spreading the word about this post on social media is greatly appreciated!

The quotation for today follows: "We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are." Adelle Davis

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Monday, September 7, 2015

Value Your Work, Value Yourself

Value Your Work, Value Yourself

The past three days leading up to Labor Day has been an opportunity for me to reflect about the importance of “work” in my life and how purposeful activity has bettered me. Perhaps you know that in addition to my being a Wellness Blogger, I am a Health & Lifestyle Writer, Author of Colors of Joy: A Woman’s Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss, and Independent Publisher at Align Publishing LLC.

Many years of toil, persistence, and patience with myself and my learning curve has taught me much. I have a strong work ethic and do my utmost to create interesting content that features ideas and tips to enhance the quality of your life. I’m enthusiastic about the topics I choose to share with you. The writing process makes me happy, and today I savor my process as much as I do the bounty of my efforts.

I’m grateful I continue to feel excited about learning new things. My next project is to increase my technological ability in order to expand my audience and touch more people with my words. My goal is to be of service to others and stimulate thinking about health issues, wellness topics, food and recipe information, travel gems, book recommendations, writing tips, environmental issues, and relationship and self-care skills.

On this Labor Day, I pause to honor all workers who live in our great nation. I encourage you to do your best every day, whether you are an entrepreneur or work for someone else. Be conscientious and go that extra mile whenever you can. Take my word for it. It's worth it. You're sure to gain proficiency, have more self-confidence, feel gratification for the effort you put in, and even may be noticed and promoted. 

If you don't feel good about your current occupation, or feel under-appreciated or under-paid, recognize it as a sign that your self-esteem is lagging, you need to speak up for yourself, and/or it’s time to move on. Before you take this step, it’s best to have another job lined up. If you want to shift gears, and need additional schooling to prepare, have the courage to go for it. 

Another good way to investigate a new career is to speak with those who already do this job.  Why not volunteer in a field that you are considering and see whether it is a good match for you? At the very least, you'll find out what skills are required in that position, meet contacts, and learn what leadership qualities make people in this role stand out in a competitive market.

Be daring! Let your unique talents and gifts shine. Cultivate them on your career path and your spirit will dance. Everyone has something that is special about themselves. I believe our life purpose is to discover what that means for us. 

On Labor Day I especially want to salute all those who are raising or have raised children. Your job is extremely valuable and challenging , and many of you also maintain your household, serve in the military, and/or are our bus drivers, police, waiters, teachers, technicians, shop owners, and the countless others who are part of the work force. Whatever your job may be, do it well! Kids learn from our guidance and the example we set.

What do you value about your work? What challenges and growth has occurred as a result? What self-care techniques help you function well on the job and in your down time? Please comment below. Then share the love on social media. I'd love for you to become a Google+ follower. That way you'll get an update automatically (about twice a month), when I post. 

The quotation for today follows:

"No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence." -- Martin Luther King Jr

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Thanks for Visiting

Hope you enjoyed your visit and will return again. Be well. Live well. Lead a colorful life! Warm regards, Nan