When You Just Need Chocolate

I have been very vigilant in my weight loss efforts. I have lost 20 pounds and make an effort to go to the gym at least 4 times a week. But two things always stand in my way — pizza and chocolate. I have eaten cauliflower pizza crust (it’s satisfactory), but I have not been able to satisfy my chocolate craving until now. So I want to share with you my recipe for Flourless Chocolate Chip Brownies.

Ingredients:

. Nonstick cooking spray

. 1 15 oz can chickpeas (drain and rinse)

. 1/4 cup butter (or organic coconut oil)

. 2 large eggs

. 1/2 cup pure maple syrup

. 1 tsp vanilla extract

. 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

. 1/2 tsp baking powder

. Sea salt

. 1/4 cup semi-sweet (or dark) chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Line 9 x 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Lightly coat with spray.

3. In separate blender (or food processor) place chickpeas, butter, eggs, maple syrup, extract, cocoa powder, baking powder and a touch of salt. Blend until smooth.

4. Add chocolate chips, mix by hand until blended.

5. Evenly spread batter into prepared pan.

6. Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean.

7. Cool. Cut into squares.

Please note that you can substitute cannelloni beans for garbanzo beans. They make it a little smoother. If you use an 8×8 inch pan brownies will be a little thicker.

ENJOY!!!!!!

True Happiness

When you wake up every morning ready to face a new day do you ponder what it is that truly makes you happy? Do you take a moment from your routine (getting up, getting ready for work, commuting, working and then coming home again) to understand what makes you a happy person?

Most of the time our lives consist of To Do lists, chores, jobs and everyday life hassles. We hardly ever take time to just breathe deeply and take in the sights around us. We always put it off to when we have time, like the weekend, or our next vacation. Perhaps you can change that. What if you spent ten minutes every morning before you start your day thinking about all that you have to be happy about and what you can do today to add to that happiness.

Sometimes a simple deed for a less fortunate person can make us feel happy, sitting outside with a cup of coffee can make us feel peaceful, and just taking a moment break can help us regain our reasons for doing what we do. Remember that you go to work every day to make life better for you and your family, to pay for the beautiful house or apartment you are living in, to save for a bigger place, to work towards that European vacation and so on. We should add these goals and dreams to our weekly or daily To Do lists to keep us on track and to make us find more meaning in the everyday, mundane parts of our lives.

Sit back and imagine that beautiful place you hope to visit, where peace and tranquility will give you that relief from the everyday. Don’t put off those planned excursions for work and chores. Make them a part of your To Do list.

While doing that, make your family a part of your To Do list. Instead of the list of errands you are running this week, make a list of all the ways you can tell someone you love them, show them your love and experience their love. Life is too short to wait for these expressions of love. Sip in the moment, breathe in the ocean breezes, and take a pause to reflect on what your life truly means at the end of every day. A job can always be replaced, your life and your time cannot, so hold on tight to that which you love and want in your life.

Life’s Journey

Life is a confusing, day to day journey that has its share of ups and downs. We often sit and reflect on our lives — sometimes with so much happiness we fear sharing it and other times we feel such sadness we try to figure out a way to get through the night. Each of us is fighting our own daily battle. Step aside during your busy day to remember why we have this life and how not all the small stuff matters in the scheme of our lives. Embrace love, empathize with others and feel God’s presence as you tackle each new day as a fresh start.

Life changes within a split second. How often do we sit down after a long day and remember how easy yesterday was? A day could be going along as usual and then you find yourself somewhere you didn’t plan on that morning. Life is so unpredictable. Sometimes just watching a show for 10 seconds can bring back moments of extreme sadness that we put out of our minds.

So how do we attack this journey every single day? Does it get easier with every blow? Not easier just more bearable. When you endure pain in your life through losing your parents or some dear friends, an important friendship is lost or just some career disappointments, each time we endure these hardships we add to our strength and endurance.

Sometimes we have a habit of comparing ourselves to others but we must always remember that everyone had their own journey with their own bumps, their own happiness and their own sadness. We are not alone. Opening up to each other helps us get through those days. A hug goes a long way whether you are giving it or getting it in return. When we give love, no matter what pain we are going through, we will find love and peace in our own lives, in our “own journey”. Let’s open up to each other and not walk on the path alone, but rather alongside the people who matter and make our lives whole. Make the journey worthwhile and live each day to the fullest….

Burn Fat

Turn fat into fuel.  With a delicious Access Bar or Shake, your body is better able to turn fat into fuel as you exercise.  Burn fat, increase endurance, and get better results with each workout with Access.  Melaleuca’s exclusive Access technology block adenosine, a chemical that slows down your body’s fat burning and muscle-recruitment processes.

Access technology with the patented power of natural CLA, is clinically proven to:

. help reduce body fat

. increase lean muscle and help improve muscle tone

. help keep fat off and prevent weight regain

. increase endurance with less fatigue and soreness.

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This is just one of the products that Melaleuca offers for weight loss and nutrition.  Check it out on our website, www.melaleuca.com.  We have products to help with weight loss, improve fitness performance and minimize muscle tissue breakdown.  This is just one area of wellness that Melaleuca offers.  We have over 400 products including healthy cleaning products, beauty and hair care, pet needs, everyday household items and the list goes on and on.  We offer a yearly membership into our wellness club.  You have access to many benefits with major retailers, security system, a Visa card and so much more.   We offer Loyalty dollars for simply watching videos about our products.

Check it out and when you are ready or have further questions, email me at HealthELiving713@gmail.com.

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Free Radicals in the Body

For centuries, scientists and physicians have been searching for ways to measure and predict health and illness.  While Galileo developed a thermoscope in the 16th century, it wasn’t until 1868 that Carl Wunderlich invented the clinical thermometer, which allowed accurate temperatures to be read.  The stethoscope began widespread use about the same time.  And in the early 1900s, accurate blood pressure measurement became easier and more widespread.

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Over the last 130 years, these tools have become essential in measuring and monitoring key health indicators.  Today, the four key measurements gathered from them are known as “vital signs” and consist of pulse rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and respiratory rate.  These are the first essential measurements that medical professionals takes to help assess the general physical health of a patient, gives clues to possible diseases and show progress toward recovery.

Advances in technology have not only made these measurements easier and faster to take, they have added new measurements to provide additional health clues.  Many physicians now recognize blood glucose level as a 5th vital sign, and blood cholesterol and blood lipid levels are now an essential part of standard health screenings.  As technology evolves two additional measurements are being recognized as major markers of wellness and predictors of disease — free radicals and inflammation.  If your health-care provider isn’t talking to you about these two measurements yet, it won’t be long until they do.

Medical research now understands that recognizing and controlling free radicals and inflammation are more critical to maintaining long-term health than just about any other marker.  If you can reduce free radicals and inflammation, you could not only extend life, you could increase the quality of that life, giving you the vitality to enjoy those extra years and make the most of them.

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Inflammation is a term that refers to the body’s complex response to any outside threats like germs and bacteria.  When those invaders are detected, the body produces a wide variety of chemicals and specialized cells to protect it.  Heat, pain, redness, or swelling are the most common indicators that the immune system is being called into action.  Anytime you have inflammation, you have free radicals.  The two are inseparable.

With chronic inflammation, the body’s defenses don’t stop with just destroying bacteria, they continue their attack damaging healthy cells and tissue as well.  When healthy tissue is damaged, the body sees it as an additional threat and increases the inflammatory response to stop the problem.  This inflammation creates more free radicals, which do more damage and signal more inflammation.  Once begun, this process becomes like a dangerous runaway train, one that experts are recognizing as the engine that drives many of the most feared illnesses of our time.  Unlike traditional vital signs, chronic inflammation is often invisible and undetectable, you can’t see it or feel it happening.

For most problems, nature provides a solution and our health is no exception.  The human body is miraculous when supplied with nutrition it needs.  Proper nutrition is directly linked to the the body’s ability to increase energy levels, fight off and recover from illness, improve overall well-being and reduce the risk of major health concerns.  Proper nutrition can also reduce inflammation and free radicals. In fact, antioxidants and other nutrients in the Peak Performance Pack by Melaleuca are crucial to keeping them at bay.  Changing dietary habits and dropping nutrient levels make it harder than ever to provide the body with the critical nutrients it needs to maintain health and longevity.  That is exactly why the Peak Perforance Pack  was created.  The Peak Performance Nutrition Pack is powered by Oligo.  Oligo is the only mineral delivery system that delivers minerals to the body in the same form as found n plants, by binding them with proteins and fibers.  This provides superior mineral absorption and maximum antioxidant protection.  The minerals processed with Oligo technology undoubtedly played an important role in the results of the Freiburg Study.  Read more about this study and the various Peak Performance Packs developed as a result of this study at http://www.melaleuca.com.  For more information on these products, and also our other wellness products please email HealthELiving713@gmail.com.

Zoodles With A Twist

Zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables and so healthy as well as low in fat. I like to spiral them and make noodles or what we now call zoodles. Tonight I was making my zoodles with my hand spiralizer and realized it is a lot of work. Well I can always buy them premade in a pinch.

So tonight I decided to make them with pesto, Parmesan and some chopped tomatoes. In addition I seasoned with pepper, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, onion salt and added pesto and chopped tomatoes.

I cooked the zoodles in avocado oil for about five minutes with seasonings added. Then I added the pesto and tomatoes and more Parmesan cheese. Yummy.

I have also made zoodles with meatballs and tomato sauce, with chicken and mushrooms– the varieties are endless. Check out my fish dinners with zoodles at https://vocal.media/feast/fish-dinners-in-a-snap. Please share with me any way you have made zoodles.

Cauliflower Power

I love using cauliflower as my “carb” of choice on my diet.  You can use it as a rice, a mashed potato and if you are really creative, you can bake breads or make a pizza crust with cauliflower.  Some of my favorite recipes so far:

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes with Garlic

Ingredients:  cauliflower, chives, ricotta, butter, garlic (can use sour cream instead of                               ricotta)

Cut up a big head of cauliflower (or cheat and buy the pre-chopped one in your produce aisle).  Cook them in salted water until tender (about 10 minutes).  Drain and spread onto a paper lined baking sheet so that they soak up as much of the moisture as possible.  Then mix in food processor or blender with ricotta, butter and roasted garlic.  Serve with chives on top.  You can reheat this as well.

Cauliflower Rice Broccoli Risotto

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Please note you can substitute a different vegetable for broccoli

Ingredients:

. 1 cauliflower, 1 head broccoli, 2 tablespoons cream, 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, 2 onions finely chopped, 2 tablespoons butter,, 1/2 cup vegetable stock, salt and pepper to taste

Make rice out of the cauliflower (or purchase already riced) and rice the broccoli by grating it or put in food processor or blender.

Heat butter in large saucepan on medium heat.

Saute the onions for two minutes or so until soft.  Add cauliflower and broccoli and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Add the vegetable stock, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Add cream and parmesan cheese.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Ingredients:  1 head of cauliflower or a bag of frozen riced cauliflower, dried basil, dried oregano, garlic powder, 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella  cheese, 1 egg, pizza sauce and toppings.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet and spray with non-stick butter spray.

Cut off the florets of the cauliflower if you don’t use the bag of pre-riced cauliflower.  Place florets in food processor and rice it.

Place cauliflower in microwave in microwave safe bowl for 4 minutes.  Pour it out on a kitchen towel and wring water out of it.  The more water you get rid of, the better.

Mix in a bowl with all the other ingredients.  Roll into a ball.  Place on the parchment paper and flatten it out to a pizza shape.

Place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake until the edges start to get golden brown (about 15 minutes).  Flip over and bake a few more minutes.

Remove and let it cool for a few minutes.  Then put your favorite pizza toppings on and cook on 350 degrees for 5 minutes or until cheese is melting and it is browning.  A pizza stone does work best!!!!!!!.Image result for cauliflower pizza

Enjoy these recipes and let me know if you have others to share!!!!!

Freedom Rings

As we sit and enjoy our first juicy hot dog and barbecue of the summer, remember why we are celebrating this three day weekend.  We should remember those men and women of our military who lost their lives so that we may have the freedoms we have in our lives.  Memorial Day is a reminder that our freedom didn’t come cheaply and that there are families everywhere, and through the pages of time, that have mourned the loss of a family member, a spouse, a friend, a cousin that lost life in protecting the freedom and honor of the United States. Memorial Day is a legal holiday in the United States which is observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who served in the US military.

It originated following the Civil War and became an official American holiday in 1971.  American observe this holiday by family gatherings, participating in parades, and even visiting cemeteries.  It is the unofficial beginning of the summer season as citizens hang flags and decorative items on their lawn commemorating and honoring our soldiers.

So when you dig into that grilled hot dog and open your first cold one on Memorial Day, please remember why we are celebrating this day.  It is an honor to be an American and we need to remind ourselves of the freedoms we hold dear.  Why do people from other countries want to make this their home?  Because they want to feel this freedom and honor what we do on Memorial Day and should every single day as a citizen of America.

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Forgiveness

Often I sit and reflect on the changes in my life, especially most recently, that have affected my overall goals and feelings about my life in general.  I have reached a point where as I see my beautiful daughters all grown up and living their lives, where I see retirement from my teaching career in the near distant future, that  I think more about where I may be headed.

First of all, I have decided to go forward and forgive those who have wronged me in the past.  Sometimes people do things or act a specific way (and I’m sure I am just as guilty) that they do not intentionally mean.  We cannot dwell on the past but should only move forward and make the very best of our future.  I say this as a person who has done the best job I can as a wife, mother, teacher and friend.  Morally, I always hear my mother’s voice in the background telling me the right thing to do.  The only difference is that some of my choices may have not been my mothers.  This I must accept as I move forward to becoming a better version of myself.  I often ask myself if I am too young to retire and then quickly answer myself that I need to do this while I still love the profession, maybe just not the everyday parts of it. Teaching children has always been my greatest joy but unfortunately my joy is often interrupted by administrative orders and programs that I may object to and know that in the long run are not helping my students thrive.  I plan to enjoy every moment with these children until my last day as a teacher.

I sit here knowing that I have an entire world waiting for me. Already I have committed myself to wellness and health in my diet, exercise and most recently as a Melaleuca representative.  I also see myself using my knowledge in the education field to pursue some other dreams:  writing, curriculum planning, and mentoring others who want to become teachers  I reflect on all these aspirations as this school year will soon come to a close.  During the next year I plan to make my retirement plan come to fruition.  One more year in second grade and putting my all into every day and enjoying it to the fullest.  In this way, I can leave proudly and ready to embark on the rest of my life.

I sit here today and think about my past with forgiveness in my heart but also joy for the strength it has given me to become the me I want to be.  Also I remember the times where I felt as if I could not go on because of the doings of someone else.  I also reflect on how much I miss my parents so deeply every day that I feel them inside of me giving me undying strength. At the end of the day, move forward as yourself, forgive others and remember you don’t have to keep everyone in your life, but they traveled with you for a portion of your life for a reason.  Enjoy every day as if it is your last.  Find forgiveness and tranquility in your life.

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