Thursday, May 26, 2016

Create a Colorful Red, White, and Blue Dessert 1,2,3

Nowadays, many of us make plans to get together with family and friends during the Memorial Day Weekend for picnics, cookouts, or other gatherings. Want the perfect dessert to serve at your party? It uses fruits that are at the peak of ripeness and flavor right now. 

You're sure to see smiles on the faces of family and guests as you serve this colorful red, white, and blue dessert at your dining or patio table. A three ingredient recipe that's relatively inexpensive, a snap to assemble, and packed with 3 healthful ingredients. What more could you ask? Just follow the 3 steps below.


1 Quart Organic Strawberries or about 16 oz. of berries that are lightly washed in cool water and hulled (see links below)
1 Quart Organic Blueberries or about 16 oz. that are washed in cool water
1 Cup unsweetened shredded coconut (either fine or coarsely shredded)

Read what Molly Watson shares about washing and hulling strawberries.

4 hulled strawberries

What to Do:

1. Wash and hull strawberries and wash blueberries as described above. Place them in a medium-sized glass bowl and mix them together.

2. Sprinkle the berries with coconut flakes.

3. Insert serving spoons into bowl and place on your holiday table or portion out into individual dessert dishes for a more formal touch.

This is a Berry Good Dessert

Strawberries and blueberries contain many healthful elements. They're high in vitamin C, phytonutrients, and contain no cholesterol. Shredded coconut provides fiber, iron, and healthy fat to satisfy and stave off hunger. 

Look at the links below for additional nutrition facts from

Nutrition facts about blueberries

Take some time this Memorial Day weekend to remember and honor those Americans who are our war dead. They gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Serve this color rich dessert to honor the red, white, and blue. In fact, serve it anytime you want to top off your meal with a delicious and healthful finale.

For a More Formal Look, Serve in Goblets

Before you go, ask yourself how often you serve summer berries. Do you purchase them at a farmer's market, pick them from your home garden, or purchase at a local shop? Berries lose nutrients and spoil, the longer you keep them it. Serve within a day or two of purchase. What are your favorite ways to serve strawberries and blueberries? Have you made plans for this weekend or is your plan to relax and kick back? Leave questions, comments, and/or share this berry recipe. Sharing is caring and I care about you. Happy Memorial Day Weekend Everyone.

Here's the quotation for today from Jordin Sparks:

"I love berries. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, black berries, anything with an 'errie' in it!"

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Awesome Reasons to Eat Family Meals at Home

Life is often hectic, and filled with responsibilities. Nonetheless, the ritual of eating meals around the kitchen or dining room table can help you and your loved ones feel centered, nourished, and energized. Whether it’s your nuclear family, your life partner or roommate, or a group of congenial friends, eating meals at home together is salve for the spirit, and does wonders for wellness.

 A consistent habit of eating meals together bolsters everyone’s sense of well-being. According to data collected in the National Survey of Children’s Health, 48% of youth surveyed ate a meal together with their families every day during the previous week. Additional studies show that children who knew a lot about their family history, through family meals and other interactions, had a closer relationship to family members, higher self-esteem, were less likely to abuse alcohol and drugs, and had a greater sense of control over their own lives.

Gathering with folks to break bread is a relaxing, restorative social function. It’s a great time to put aside electronic devices and daily tasks temporarily. Partaking in regular family meals establishes a tradition of unity as well as provides an opportunity to hone communication skills. Mealtime talk demonstrates by example the “how-to” of polite, effective conversation. Each person involved will have the experience of taking turns to share the happenings of the day, light moments, and the joys and sorrows of being part of the human race.

Slow Roasted Black Eyed Peas, Roasted Carrots, Greens and Sprouts

Research indicates that home cooked meals reap mighty nutritional benefits. The USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) has found meals and snacks based on food prepared away from home contained more calories per meal than those based on at-home food. Away-from-home food was also higher in ingredients that Americans over-consume (sodium, sugar, and saturated fat) and lower in nutrients that Americans under consume (calcium, fiber, and iron).

Although it requires planning, know how, and time to assemble and serve a healthy meal at home, you and your family or friends can share responsibility for prepping meals, setting the table, and clean up. When you consciously choose to incorporate a variety of fresh produce, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and fruit into meals served at home, you and your loved ones will get back on the wellness track. Purchase these foods at the peak of freshness and you’ll get more of the body’s daily requirement for vitamins, protein, minerals, complex carbohydrates, unsaturated fats, fiber, water, and antioxidants. Menu planning and cooking food for oneself and others are positive life skills. It’s good training for both youngsters and oldsters. The first group grows up and the second may lose a partner through divorce or death. Both kinds of individuals often need to fend for themselves as they live on their own.  

You can design a more relaxing ambiance for healthy eating and good communication at home than in many restaurants. When you eat at a fast food place or even a moderately priced restaurant, more than likely you will be bombarded by loud music or offensive smells like excessive perfume or rancid cooking oils. Perhaps your serenity is disturbed by people at a nearby table, who shout into their cell phones or are accompanied by a crying baby.

At home, you can regulate the air conditioning or heat to your liking, you won’t get a rush job, or be served by ineffective or rude wait staff. Although there are no large-scale studies to show that it’s more cost effective to dine at home, I’ve found that if I plan ahead, buy sale items and in-season, local produce, and freeze what I can’t use for another meal, I save money and time shopping and cooking. An informal study I conducted indicates that all those interviewed do think it makes good sense to eat more meals at home. Here’s a link comparing time and money saving of a Fast Food Meal vs. a Home-cooked One.

If you eat at home, there’s no need to drive to an out of the way location or get tied up in traffic, before you can eat that meal. Even if you pick a restaurant that’s close-by, it’s hard to assure the cook doesn’t add too much oil, salt, sugar, or processed ingredients rather than serve a low sodium, low fat, whole food meal.

Family connections require attention to sustain them. Make it a point to eat at least one meal together daily, and you will automatically reserve a place in your busy schedule for shared time. Often, it’s the only time when you and your loved ones aren’t rushing to get somewhere else. Make family meals as uncomplicated as possible. To give them a festive flair, serve foods on dinner wear instead of paper plates. You don’t need a special occasion to use a tablecloth and cloth napkins. Decorate your home with flowers and candles to celebrate the next birthday, anniversary, graduation, or other special occasion, when you might have been tempted in the past to eat out. A delicious home cooked meal conveys caring and interest in the people you cook for.
When you and your family eat nourishing food at home, it broadcasts a positive message about warm sentiments and a passion for good health. For fun, gather individual family members together each week, when no one has to leave early. Stay in your pajamas, and each help prepare a meal that includes lean protein and complete carbohydrates, instead of fattening bacon, home fries, and eggs. Before too long, you’ll realize your clothing has gotten looser and it's much more cozy to stay put, than it is to drag yourself out in that rainstorm, heat, or other inclement weather to have a meal in a restaurant. Celebrate the joy of eating the earth’s bounty at home with family and friends. Nurture your body, mind, and spirit by entertaining and eating healthfully at home more often.
The quotation for today follows:
“To make changes like this more widespread we need action both cultural and political. The cultural lies in celebrating real food; raising our children in homes that don’t program them for fast-produced, eaten-on-the-run, high-calorie, low-nutrition junk; giving them the gift of appreciating the pleasures of nourishing one another and enjoying that nourishment together.” Mark Bittman
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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