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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Broccoli, Why It's a Smart Food Choice For YOU

Broccoli, Why It's a Smart Food Choice For YOU

Stir Fry Ginger Broccoli, Carrots, Red Pepper, on Brown Basmati Rice

Broccoli is a key weapon in the dietary arsenal against serious health issues. This flowery green vegetable boosts the immune system, lowers the incidence of cataracts, supports cardiovascular health, helps with Vitamin D absorption, and contributes to bone health. Case Adams, PhD in Natural Health Sciences explains, “Researchers from Italy have recently determined that broccoli will cut inflammation within hours. And eating broccoli for just ten days will cut the body’s inflammation by more than half.”

Following are shopping tips, preparation ideas, and serving suggestions that make eating broccoli simple, delicious, economical, and nutritionally savvy.

Note: Use organic vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds whenever possible, because organic produce tastes better, is healthier for you, and doesn't pollute the planet.

Shop for broccoli at a farmers' market, health food store, or pick it fresh from your home garden. In fact, learn why growing your own broccoli sprouts (indoors year round)  is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve one’s diet. Biggest-Nutrition-Bang-for-Your-Buck/

On your food shopping run, select fresh broccoli that has dark green, tight, dense florets, or flowers. Leaves and stalk should be firm and fresh-looking too. Flash frozen broccoli is a suitable replacement, when the fresh variety looks yellow or is wilted.

Store broccoli in the crisper compartment of your refrigerator for a few days, but don't wash until ready to use. Broccoli is inexpensive and is available throughout the year in most supermarkets.

The easiest way I've found to clean and prep broccoli is to rinse it in cold water. If broccoli seems sandy, soak in cold water and rinse until clean. Use a sharp paring knife and cut across the head, below the florets. Separate each individual flower into a bite-size piece. Don't discard the stalk and leaves; they are edible. The stalk is rich in fiber and the leaves are rich in nutrients. Cut off the tough bottom part of the stalk and the hard outer covering. Chop in small pieces, as the stalk takes longer to cook than the florets.

Broccoli should retain its bright Kelly green color, even after it is cooked. Quick cooking (steaming) is the healthiest method to use, because it retains the most nutrients. Don't steam for more than 5 minutes tops. If you accidentally overcook broccoli, it tastes strong and bitter. One way to remedy this is to sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon of salt or low sodium soy sauce to mask the bitter taste.  

To add a lively dimension to broccoli’s flavor, sprinkle on fresh cut dill, basil, oregano, browned minced garlic, or a seasoning blend that combines a medley of flavors. Add zing to this powerhouse of nutrition, by splashing on a teaspoon of lemon juice or a ½ teaspoon of mild flavored vinegar.

Uncooked broccoli is a crunchy addition to green salads, coleslaw, potato salad, and bean salad. Add raw pieces of broccoli including leaves and stalks to any vegetable salad.

Eat florets, leaves, and stalk of Broccoli

Broccoli is in the same plant family with cauliflower, cabbage, garden cress, bok choy, and Brussels sprouts. This green vegetable is a mighty source of folate, vitamin C, calcium, beta carotene, vitamin K and iron. "As little as 10 grams a day or 1/8 cup of chopped broccoli can have a significant effect on reducing your risk for developing cancer," advises Dr. Steven G. Pratt, author of SuperFoods Rx: Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life.

Meatless Monday Salad with Broccoli, Black Beans, Quinoa Tabbouleh, and Pumpkin Seeds

Here’s another simple, delicious recipe you'll love. It comes from Saveur Magazine.  Steamed Broccoli with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Pine Nuts.

Note: if you prefer, you can substitute cashews or walnuts. They are more economical and easier to find.

Serve broccoli often, because it makes a great addition to any meal and can be easily incorporated into a stir fry, pasta dish, soup, casserole, or stew. If it’s handled properly and not overcooked, this plant powerhouse will nourish and energize you and make you and your family sing its praises.

The quote for today follows:

 “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”  ~Hippocrates

Please take a moment to comment below. Do you eat broccoli often and how do you like to serve it? Did you learn anything new about this superfood? I welcome hearing about your tips and vegan recipes that include broccoli. If you like what you see, please spread the word. Sharing is caring.

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Friday, February 12, 2016

Share the Love

Today and every day is a wonderful time to share my love, thoughts, and feelings about you, me, and the meaning of "share the love." I'm going to do it by using original quotations I've created and present to you. Each is a gift dear reader. I've shared a few of them in blogs posts, and others are affirmations I repeat to myself. The rest are inspiring ideas I get during meditation or when I'm out living my abundant life. If any have meaning for you, please let me know.

"Love yourself through each day, even if it is challenging. Self-compassion fills each day with promise." Nancy Andres

"I nourish my mind, body, and spirit healthfully and my thoughts, feelings, and actions heal me." Nancy Andres

"Friendships are like gardens. They give us pleasure and comfort, as long as we tend them with care. Nurture your friendships and your garden will grow." Nancy Andres

"Recovery and healing are day-at-a-time processes. I am generous with myself and others and know each of us has the option of starting over any time we need to." Nancy Andres

"I keep life simple by lovingly focusing on my own business and gently releasing others to experience their own choices." Nancy Andres

"Joy is everywhere that I see it. I live life with my eyes wide open." Nancy Andres

"Be well. Live well. Lead a colorful life!" Nancy Andres

Sending Much Love to You Every Day of the Year.

P.S. Feel free to use these quotes, but please link back to my post.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Creative Gift Ideas Women Love

If you're anything like I am, you try your best to select the "perfect" present for each of the women on your gift giving list. Are you stuck for gift ideas for Valentine's or Mother's Day, Birthdays, Graduations, and Thinking of You Gifts? No need to fret. I'll provide several ideas to help you whiz through the shopping process. Put some thought into it, and the recipient of your gift will be delighted and so will you.

Photo Jack Moreh/

1.Consider the preferences of the person you are shopping for. Think of the colors she wears and the color scheme and style of furniture in her home. Is it modern (sleek and unadorned), traditional (classic and solid), or Mediterranean (scrolls and flourishes)? Does she like new ideas and up to the minute fashion? Perhaps she wears classic styles and color-coordinates all her outfits. Choose your gift according.

2.What are her hobbies and interests? Is she the outdoors type (sports or gardening items), stay at home home-schooling mom (on-line magazine or newspaper subscription), career woman ( streamlined pocketbook or case for a laptop or tablet), or the woman who wears many hats? Is she a woman who works out at the gym or a health club, while on her lunch break? Perhaps a thermos, gym bag, or gym attire would fit the bill. Does she stop at the market on the way from her kids' soccer practice? She may appreciate an insulated shopping bag or appointment book. 

Her lifestyle is a good clue to her taste. Accessories like a beautiful scarf, sunhat (UV protection), cross the body pocketbook, wallet, yoga mat (recycled material of course) are items that don't require you to know her size.

3. Give a customized gift, if you can. You don't have to break the bank to do that. Make her a bead jewelry necklace in her favorite colors, frame a picture of the two of you, or make a scrapbook keepsake of a favorite time you two spent together. If you don't have enough pictures of that time, cut out ones from magazines to illustrate joy, fun, dancing, music, bike riding, or other activities you enjoy doing together. Another idea that is personalized is to make a donation in her name. You'll be able to work within your budget, and help spread the holiday spirit in a very generous way.

4. A wonderful idea that I've saved for last is affordable, provides hours of entertainment and discovery, and makes an eye-catching gift. 

Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self Discovery, Balance, and Bliss is an interactive journal that's heartwarming and attractive. In fact, you don't have to wait for special occasions. Surprise that special someone by ordering it and gifting it right now.

Purchase an autographed copy from my Website by clicking right here, pick up a copy of Colors of Joy at a fine Book Store or Shop Where it is Sold, or order it at Amazon Books.

This post has been updated 1/31/18

The quote for today is:

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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