Mindfulness-Meditation-Slowing Down in Our Daily Lives

What is mindfulness?

The opposite of mindfulness is mindlessness.  It is being on “automatic pilot,” out of touch with our bodies and our experience in the moment.  For most of us, our minds are often constantly wandering.  We are often quite literally “not here” in the present.  And we can be absent in many ways from the best moments of our lives because we are caught up in our thoughts, memories, plans, or feelings.

Mindfulness is moment-to-moment, nonjudgmental awareness.  It involves paying careful and detailed attention in the present moment—just noticing and exploring whatever our experience is from one moment to the next, without judging it as positive or negative.

 Mindfulness includes just observing:

  •  Paying attention to the present moment, on purpose, without judgment.
  • Allowing yourself to just “be”—versus always having to “do” something or change circumstances or your experience in some way.
  • Objectively observing your experience, and perhaps quietly naming it to yourself (such as “thinking,” “planning,” “remembering,” or “sad,” “happy,” “worried”).
  • When your mind wanders, simply bringing it back to your breath or other object of focus and the present moment—again and again.

 

Mindfulness meditation

Formal practices of mindfulness are at the heart of mindfulness meditation—also known as “insight meditation.”  Mindfulness meditation enables us to be more grounded in the present moment and develop a greater understanding of our experience and how we relate to it.

One of the benefits of this type of meditation is that we can focus the meditation on the experiences we typically deal with every day.  We learn and practice mindfulness meditation by focusing on the breath—but we can also focus the meditation on our thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and experiences.

Mindfulness meditation will help you learn and experience nonjudgmental awareness in the moment. Practicing mindfulness in meditation can change the quality of your everyday life by increasing your awareness and your ability to be present and alive in the moment, attuned to all of your experience and the world around you.

You can also practice mindfulness in many ways during your ordinary daily activities. Being mindful of your experience during your activities can be very enriching—and informative. Everyday mindfulness can also help you prevent and decrease stress and other unpleasant experiences.

Try doing ordinary activities “mindfully” as you slow down

There are many ways to practice mindfulness. Try doing some of your daily activities mindfully. Consider the activity the most important thing you can do in the moment—and something that deserves your special attention. Slow down and pay attention moment by moment.

Using all of your senses, pay attention to your experience in your body and your mind. What do you see? What do you hear? What scents or smells do you notice? What do you feel with your hands or in other parts of your body? What feelings or moods arise? What thoughts do you notice?

Practicing mindfulness is not to “think about” your experience, but simply to notice your thoughts. As thoughts and feelings arise, note them to yourself, and allow them to change or shift as they will—and gently bring your attention back to the activity at hand, and your direct sensations.

Activities to practice doing mindfully could include:

  • Making and drinking tea or coffee mindfully. Notice each step in the process, every sensation and every detail. Drink in slow motion, noticing every aspect of your experience as you sit and enjoy your drink.
  • Taking a slow-motion bath or shower. Using all your senses, simply notice and enjoy a warm bath or shower.
  • Washing dishes mindfully. Consider washing the dishes to be the most important thing you can do in the moment. Wash them thoroughly, with careful attention to your complete experience.
  • Taking a mindful walk. Notice every part of your body and all of your sensory experience as you walk. Notice all of the details in the environment around you—take them in with all of your senses. What do you see, hear, smell, and feel?
  • Brushing your hair in slow motion for several minutes, or brushing your teeth mindfully and thoroughly. Pay attention to every detail from start to finish.
  • Taking a mindful drive. Notice every thing you do and experience during the drive, including your experiences in your body, your feelings, and your thoughts.

Lifestyle Awareness Training: Do less. Enjoy what you do more. How?

  • Just don’t do something. Sit there! Have unscheduled time. Practice slowing down and doing nothing every day. Practice useless gazing. Really, observe the world around you. You will probably feel uncomfortable at first. Choose to act outside of your normal routines.

Notice (be mindful of) what you are doing with each of your daily activities:

When you wake up

As you get ready for work

When you use the toilet

While you brush and floss your teeth

As you wash your hands

When you take out the garbage

Be present as you wash dishes or clean up the kitchen

Notice the sensations as you drink coffee or tea

Be present when you hug someone

Notice how your breakfast and other meals taste

Notice your “hungers”—for food, rest, affection, accomplishment, and nurturing activities

When you go for a walk

While you talk on the phone

As you drive your car

When you grocery shop or do errands

As you turn on the TV—also notice how what you see effects your emotions

Be deeply present as you meet others

When you get sleepy, celebrate your blessings of a comfortable place to lay your head

 

  • Pay attention. Don’t just do your activities on Have a sense of the sacredness of your life. Your life is rich and valuable. Celebrate your wild and precious life!
  • Resist rushing. An example from Thich Nhat Hanh’s book Present Moment Wonderful Moment (mindfulness verses for every day life) and Peace Is Every Step deal with driving, something that most of us do every day.

For a PDF copy: Mindfulness—Meditation—Slowing Down in Our Daily Lives

Make Your Mind an Ocean: Become Your Own Therapist!

Four Foundations of Mindfulness: body, feelings, mind, and all phenomena

How to Plan Quick and Easy Menus

                                    DINNER, WHAT’S QUICK & EASY?

                                                      

Making Quick Dinners

Busy schedules create a need for quick and easy meals. Fatigue, stress, and special events can threaten to overwhelm our intentions about eating sensibly.

Planning is the key, but it is easy to forget as pressures mount. A few moments of planning will reduce last-minute stress and confusion and save approximately 15 percent on food costs. I eat all of my meals and snacks for about $7.50/day. Planning ahead does not mean you have to plan every detail. Merely decide when you will plan your meals each week, leaving allowance for changes. Keeping your pantry well stocked is the key!

                                                   Quick Meals According to Categories

How to Plan  

  • Review your upcoming schedule. When will you have time for: Planning? Grocery shopping? Cooking? Who will eat the meals? What are their food preferences?
  • Have necessary materials available, such as cookbooks, newspapers, magazines, and a shopping list.
  • Prepare a cup of tea or a cool drink to sip when planning. This can make it enjoyable. We suggest that you also involve other family members, when possible. This helps them feel included. They also develop the skill of meal planning.
  • Be realistic. Plan foods you will prepare easily. See “Quick & Easy Meals For Busy Lives–According To Meal Categories” below.

What to Plan 

  • Think of a meal “focus” or category, then use simply prepared foods to round out meals and add interest. Consider fresh or canned fruit for dessert, a variety of sliced breads, vegetables that are quickly cut, or bagged salad mixes. See suggestions below.
  • Select protein items that cook quickly, such as poultry, thinly sliced fish, or shellfish.
  • When preparing mixed dishes, keep the number of items to five to speed up the process.
  • Plan for leftovers. Prepare several dishes at the same time. With extra food prepared, you will be able to take a day off from cooking!
  •   Check Out Delicious Quick Meals!

Use of Time-Saving Equipment

  • Apple corer
  • Slow cooker
  • Food processor
  • Large vegetable steamer
  • Microwave
  • Pressure cooker
  • Rice cooker

Ask For Help

  • If the post-meal clean-up discourages you from cooking, ask for help in cleaning up.
  • Make meal preparation a group affair.
  • Request a back or shoulder rub since you are preparing the meal! Ahh!
  •   Listen to your favorite music. Ooh…this part is FUN! I just made a salad and steamed veggies while listening to some wonderful tunes! Singing is FUN too!

Keep it Simple

  • Once you have your Healthful PANTRY set up it’s easy to “max & match” meals
  • Keep a variety of “emergency foods” on hand for times when there is NO time to cook
  • Perhaps try one to two new recipes per week.
  • Include the new ones along with old favorites.
  • Keep a folder with menus and recipes in it.
  • Think seasonal: in Winter–> soups and stews, baked meals; in Summer–> salads and sandwiches, and stoveless meals.

                                                                        Quick Menu Ideas!!!

          Quick & Easy Meals For Busy Lives–According To “Meal Categories”

Developed By Bob Wilson BS, DTR

CATEGORIES (MEAL “FOCUS”)          WHAT’S IN YOUR PANTRY?

Casseroles

Great flexibility and mouth FUN!

Noodles, rice, beans, potatoes, frozen/fresh: peas, corn,  eggplant,  all other vegetables,  tofu, tempeh, frozen/fresh meat, fish & poultry, lowfat gravies and soups
Pasta

Use LOTS of fruits and veggies

Stewed tomatoes, onions, green/red/yellow sweet peppers, garlic,  sun dried tomatoes,  sautéed  or microwaved vegetables, dried or canned beans, bean soups, lowfat chili, lowfat/fat-free cheeses, lowfat meats, fish or poultry, lowfat salad dressings
Vegetarian

See vegetarian main dish ideas

All kinds of fresh/frozen vegetables & fresh/dried and canned fruits, dried/canned beans, refried black, pinto, & spicy beans, tofu, tempeh, rice,  barley, buckwheat, bulgur, lowfat dairy products (yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese), chili, pita bread, tortillas, nachos with lowfat cheese/salsa, Garden Burger/Sausage& Garden  Spicy Bean, yogurt & fruit, SPICES from “A to Z”!
Breakfast For Dinner

On-the-Go Packed Lunches

Use when HOT or in a rush

Lowfat omelets/frittata  made with egg substitute & all kinds of vegetables, lowfat waffles/pancakes with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc., whole wheat French toast, all kinds of cereals, lowfat/fat-free milk and yogurt, lowfat muffins
Baked & Microwaved Dinners

Baked dinners in Winter, microwave in Summer time

Potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, all kinds of vegetables, lowfat lasagna (noodles, stewed tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, lowfat cheeses, beans, etc.), lowfat meat, fish or poultry, tempeh, even commercial lowfat frozen entrees and dinners!
BAR (Salad, Taco/Burrito & Potato!)

*Salads:

-Fruit & Vegetable Salads

-Potato Salads

-Green  & Marinated Salads

-Slaws & Mixed Fruit/Vegetable

-Bean & Grain Salads

Mix and Match!

Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, sweet bell peppers, green beans, jicama, Jerusalem artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower,  beets, onions, corn, cabbage,  eggplant, spinach, zucchini, fennel root, pineapple, oranges, bananas, apples, melons, pears, grapefruit, grapes, kumquats, kiwi fruit, mangoes …and MANY MORE!, salsa, spaghetti sauce, tortillas (corn & whole wheat),  red/purple or Yukon Gold potatoes, lowfat meats, fish & poultry, dried cooked & canned beans, lowfat salad dressings, flavored vinegars, chutneys, sauces & dips
Meats

Use Kabobs & stir frys; encourage use of veggies and fruits!

 

Grilled/broiled chicken & turkey, fish,  meat with vegetables or fruits (kabob’s), marinades, SPICES!
Soup (stews/chili’s) & Salads (Sandwiches for Summertime!) Chili, lentil, split pea soup, borscht, gazpacho,  all kinds of vegetables & fruits, SPICES!, mustards, bean spreads & refried beans, GREAT breads
Stir Fry ALL vegetables- fresh & frozen, tofu, tempeh, chicken,  turkey, lowfat thin-sliced meats,  SPICES, marinades, low sodium tamari soy sauce, hot sesame oil, noodles, rice
Leftovers!

Planned cook-overs

???????  Mix & match–cook up large batches and freeze extras, make large  vegetable & fruit salads, soups, bean spreads–Use when “no time to cook”!
Guinea Pig!

Don’t cook the poor thing!!

TRY SOMETHING NEW!  Check out magazines, newsletters, cookbooks, newspapers and then keep a file –one page per “category”–with your favorite “yummy”  recipes to use again!
Adapted from Yolanda McVicker, Frugal Homemaker Newsletter

                                  Cook It Quick! link: https://cookitquick.org/

                                                IS AN EXCELLENT SITE!

 

 

13 Ways to Eat More Fruits and Veggies

  1. Try at least one new vegetable or fruit each week. To enliven meals, switch from the old, familiar green beans, apples and bananas to okra, winter squash, papaya and kiwi.

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  1. Eat more “meal” salads. Use a large salad as the base, but throw in meat “condiments” —several ounces of cooked chicken, turkey, tuna or some low-fat cheese and/or legumes.  Add warm bread, and you’ve got a complete meal.  See Dinner Recipes for examples. For very simple ideas, see BOB’S SIMPLEST SALAD MIXTURES and use Bob’s Everything But The Kitchen Sink Salad as a base for scrumptious meals.
    2016 KITCHEN GARNISHING FUN
  2. Put fruit in your vegetables. Add sliced or chopped apples, pears, grapes, melon, kiwi and orange sections to tossed spinach and cabbage salads. You can even combine cooked vegetables with fruit.  Try the “Fruit & Vegetable Salad”. Serve cooked yams, with Carrot-Apple Salad and Black Bean and Corn Salad (see Dinner Recipes section). CREATIVE GARNISHING FUN!
  1. Take advantage of ready-made bag salads.  These are great when you’re in a rush or feeling tired.  Look for fresh ingredients, and add a low-fat or fat-free dressing.  Experiment with some of the darker greens, like Romaine, kale, and leaf lettuce—they’re tastier and more nutritious.
  1. Have at least one fruit serving with each meal.  It’s easy. For instance, have a banana or strawberries on cereal, a piece of fresh fruit with your lunch and/or as a snack and a fruit serving with dinner.  (If you don’t feel like cooking a vegetable or making a salad, slice up some cantaloupe or honeydew melon.)  Look over ideas for Stoveless Meals in the Essential Skills area. Also visit ideas for delicious breakfasts and lunches.

Garbanzo Appetizer

For Bob’s Garbanzo Spread Appetizer,

  1. If you’re in the dessert habit, try substituting fruit, served in a creative way, in place of at least three deserts a week.  For instance, try an apple baked with some cinnamon and a few raisins, a banana with a small amount of reduced-fat peanut butter, or “Baked Bananas” (see recipes), a bowl of fresh, juicy mixed berries, or a big serving of fruit on top of a small serving of frozen yogurt or angel food cake.  (To save on unwanted calories, avoid fruit canned or frozen in heavy syrup or with added sugar.) See also Nutritious and Yummy Snack ideas.

BUTTERFLY FRUIT GARNISHING

  1. Experiment with nonfat flavorings.  Sprinkle nutmeg and lemon juice on spinach or broccoli, dill week and Dijon-style mustard on green beans or carrots, and basil on tomatoes.
  1.   Mix your vegetables.  For example, combine corn and beans, zucchini and onions, red potato and carrot slivers, eggplant and tomatoes, cucumbers and onions. Frozen mixtures without sauce are fine too.  Try “Italian Salad” or “Italian Marinated Vegetables” or “Steamed Marinated Vegetables”. Discover Essential Skills #6 Planning and Preparing Delicious Recipes.
  1. Eat more vegetable-rich main dishes.  For instance, try  “Eggplant Parmesan” or “Zucchini Pizza” (see dinner recipes).
  1. Combine vegetables with tasty broths and juices.  Green beans cooked in chicken broth, summer squash in tomato juice, and carrots or beets in fruit juice are flavorful and need no added fat.

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  1. Have at least one vegetable at lunchtime. Take along ready-to-eat carrots, cucumbers and celery, or red pepper slices with fat-free salad dressing.  If there’s a refrigerator at work, keep these items on hand.
  1. Be creative with low-fat potato toppings.  Try salsa, nonfat cheese, and nonfat sour cream with chives, fat-free butter spray and a few bacon bits, fat-free salad dressings, low-fat chili or low-fat cottage cheese with dill weed.
  1. Try roasting or grilling vegetables. Roasted vegetables taste heartier and more flavorful than steamed or boiled ones, and they are easy to prepare. Coat chunks of peppers, zucchini, summer squash, onions, eggplant or firm tomatoes with a light coating of vegetable spray or marinate them in a low-fat dressing, and grill or bake at 400° F oven for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally.

Additional Terrific Ideas For Enjoying Fruits & Vegetables

Fruits and Veggies Help You Manage Weight.pdf

Coping With Caregiving for Your Loved Ones

 A Caregiver’s Guide & Resources

My brain and heart dreams up commitments my body can’t keep! In the past, I provided care to sick or elderly friends and family members for many years. I took care of my mother for 12 years and my grandmother for another 10 years. For me this proved to be exceptionally challenging.

Many times, while providing exceedingly loving and compassionate care, I depleted my “sanity reserve bank account” and fell into self-destructive patterns for myself.

My thinking patterns became very distorted—I loved others so completely that I would do anything for them, but when it came to me, I wished God had made me a robot so that I would have NO needs. Having needs was inconvenient. If I was supposed to be of “infinite helping support,” then why did God make me with needs?

I finally realized that I had over-commitment to others and under-commitment to me. I saw the effect of this pattern on my emotions and life.

Clues that I was becoming overwhelmed by my caregiving were that I started to get grumpy and resentful towards those I was caring for. I felt like I was “dial a disaster, dial Bob! I’ve got a problem and I need you to fix it!” It seemed that the only time the family member called me up was to request something of me, or to tell me what I had done wrong.  At that time it felt like my caregiving was done out of obligation and not freely given–I felt drained–and I had no more to give. 

I felt torn apart: in that I was SO emotionally committed to my loved one and would do ANYTHING for them…and I had reached my limit of providing care for them.

From hindsight, I would have talked with those family members and had an agreement up front that IN THE FUTURE when their need for additional care had exceeded my ability to provide it (that I was mentally, physically, and emotionally being harmed) that I would let them know. At that time they would need to go to an assisted living facility or find some other type of help. 

I would have had these steps already planned out and communicated right at the start to avoid problems later on.  I learned that if in my old age anyone was willing to offer assistance to me for my care, that I wanted to respect their natural limits.

I would want to acknowledge that  their love and support has natural and healthy limits. I would want to let them know that when “it’s THAT time,” just let me know, and I will understand. They KNOW that I love them and myself, as well.

Aging Matters Documentaries: End of life Decisions, Caregiving, Economics of Aging, The New Old Age, Aging In Place, Healthy Aging, Living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, and other superb topics are discussed. They provide perspective and life tools to use. Their website is: www.wnpt.org/agingmatters/home/

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Additional Resources

According to the American Psychological Association, about 20% of seniors 65 and older meet the criteria for some kind of mental disorder. They also found that this age group is significantly less likely to receive mental health treatment, typically sticking to primary care doctors for all their needs.

While there is no substitute for seeing a mental health professional,  it’s important for seniors to have access to the most current, comprehensive information about their mental health. Check out: http://www.balancedweightmanagement.com/Articles.htm#Seeking_Support_and_Counseling

Caregiver’s Guide to Understanding Dementia Behaviors

The Benefits of Cooking with Alzheimer’s: A Caregiver’s Guide

Six Things Seniors Can Do To Improve Memory

Preparing Your Home for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s: A Caregiver’s Guide

10 Easy Ways Seniors Can Boost Their Mental Health and Well-Being

Eating for Your Brain as a Senior

Overcoming The Loss Of A Child Without Drugs Or Alcohol — A Parent’s Guide

Mourning A Parent or Spouse’s Death

Promoting Mental Health at Home: How to Design the Perfect Meditation Room at Home

Newsweek Magazine has a wonderful article about A Guide for Caregivers and explores Caregiving & Alzheimer’s: a PDF file: Newsweek A Guide for Caregivers-MSNBC.com.pdf

See below the extremely helpful resource, COPING WITH CAREGIVING.pdf which shares many practical insights about how to manage stress when caring for loved ones. Discover below many other essential resources.

Overwhelming circumstances

One of the great joys and blessings in life is being able to share our talents and gifts with our larger community—as volunteers. Again for me, this area has time and again caused me problems. I want to make a difference in my spiritual group, dietetic community, neighborhood, and the world at large—but my diaries have shown me the harmful effects of what happens when I get out of balance. I become compulsive, cranky, controlling, reactive, depressed, and physically, mentally, and emotionally ill.

What’s your experience with this area? It you find that the topic of providing care to a loved one challenging, perhaps see below for ideas on how to manage this matter. Also visit: Bob’s Story: Balance In Life.

Many clients I see and friends that I know have experienced the overwhelming stresses of  providing TLC for their loved ones. More that 20 million households contain Americans who look after loved ones. While caregiving can offer enormous rewards–providing a sense of fulfillment, deepening lifelong loves–research increasingly links it to deleterious health effects, including a weakened immune system, depression and even premature death.

There are ways to relieve the burden. Support groups offer lifelines out of isolation. Adult day-care programs provide respite. Regular exercise lowers blood pressure and reduces stress and depression. Taking time for healthful eating provides essential fuel for the body. Most important of all: caregivers must look after themselves–without their own good health, their loved ones will suffer, too.

Don’t forget “care for the caregiver” by noting how our daily lifestyle choices effect how the caregiver feels too. For additional helpful insights consider visiting:

EXPLORE 2017 CELEBRATE STEPS TO VIBRANT AGING PowerPoint

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A friend recently shared some insight about aging: “I spent my younger years doing what I was told to, my adult years doing what I had to… My golden years are for what I want to do!”

Indeed, I have a friend who living proof that retirement doesn’t have to mean sitting around and watching time pass. They are involved in several clubs, they golf at least once a week, and takes their son on outings every chance they get. They even inspired several other friends to get more active!

I thought I’d try to spread that inspiration even further by sharing some senior resources about making the most of the golden years.

Retirement: The Payoffs of an Active Lifestyle

Transportation Options for Seniors Who Don’t Drive

How Playing a Musical Instrument — at Any Age — is Good for Your Health

The Senior’s Guide to Becoming a Real Estate Agent in Their Golden Years

9 Things You Didn’t Know About Dating for Seniors

How to Love Our Adult Children with Purpose

Identifying and Stopping Opioid Abuse in Adult Children

How to Follow Your Dream and Spend Your Retirement Traveling the World

Aging in Place with a Little Help from Roommates, Neighbors, and Teenagers

5 Communities That Will Change Your View of Independent Living

Retirement doesn’t have to just be about stopping work… It can be about starting the fun!

Resources shared by Marie Villeza http://elderimpact.org/

How to Manage Stress When Caring For Chronically Ill or Elderly Relatives

Powerful tools for Caregivers:  Powerful Tools for Caregivers.org http://www.powerfultoolsforcaregivers.org/about/ A terrific comprehensive workbook and class series.

A Pacific Northwest Extension Publication. This excellent resource that is packed with lots of really helpful information. It can be downloaded and printed off for free.

For the PDF version of this excellent book, click on: COPING WITH CAREGIVING.pdf

Found at: http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/details.php?search=coping+with+caregiving

INJURIES-KEEP GOING

There is a great program that has started around the country called: “Program of All-Inclusive Care or the Elderly” or PACE- It is a pretty amazing program that offers a way for fragile elders to stay in the community, has healthcare and many social services.

Check out the Eldercare ABC Blog with many important topics: http://eldercareabcblog.com/pace-programs-an-important-senior-care-resource/

SSC currently serves a 34-zip code area and has two sites. The mission of SSC is to:

  • Provide high quality care and services to its participants
  • Take steps to keep participants as healthy and independent as possible
  • Prevent premature nursing home placement

Comprehensive, coordinated care is a key part of Sutter SeniorCare. Participants receive a broad range of services including all benefits provided by Medicare and Medi-Cal and more. Most care is provided at SSC centers by an interdisciplinary team, which includes physicians, nurses, social workers, rehabilitation therapists and others.

How can we help you care for your parents? Visit www.caring.com for many terrific topics. Check out: Health A-Z, In-home care, Money and Legal matters, Caregiver Wellness, Senior Living Directory and much more!!

Elder Abuse:  http://www.injury-settlement-guide.com/elder-abuse-and-neglect.html This website provides an overview of elder abuse, the types of, where, and why it occurs and actions that can be done once, and while it is occurring. It provides links to many resources.

Gift From Within (www.giftfromwithin.org) a non-profit organization is dedicated to those who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), those at risk for PTSD, and those who care for traumatized individuals.  GFW helps everyone with PTSD by sharing ideas, improving morale, and reducing the stigma of the diagnosis and its treatment. We have articles written by authorities in the field, poetry and art gallery for trauma survivors, peer support pal network, personal coping and inspirational stories, a Q&A, videos, book reviews, list of retreats for survivors, global list of trauma survivor support groups, and other educational materials and resources.

Some of our articles include:  “The Art and Science of Caring for Others without Forgetting Self-Care”; Trauma Addiction: Safety and Stabilization for the Addicted Survivor of Trauma;  Life After Breast Cancer: Surviving & Thriving; “Exposure To A Traumatic Event Does Not Automatically Put A Person On A Path To Develop PTSD: The Importance of Protective Factors To Promote Resiliency.”; Latinas in Pursuit of Healing: Cultural Implications for Counseling Sexually Abused Latinas; “I Will Survive: The African-American Guide to Healing from Sexual Assault and Abuse (excerpt)”; Trauma in American Indian Communities; Suffering in Silence: The Problem of Male Sexual Abuse; Stress Responses in Sexual Trauma Victims and in Others Experiencing Overwhelming Events ; Don’t Make it Worse! Use of Alcohol or Drugs After Trauma; Secret Diet Disasters of Trauma Survivors

Geriatric Care Manager:  www.caremanager.org 

GCM is a non-profit, professional organization of practitioners whose goal is the advancement of dignified care for the elderly and their families. With more than 1,500 members, GCM is committed to maximizing the independence and autonomy of elders while striving to ensure that the highest quality and most cost-effective health and human services are used when and where appropriate.

Assisted Living Today, a Web publishing company that specializes in information about elderly living.

We published on the subject of choosing the best care type for your loved one would be interesting for your readers. We created guides for each of five different care types:
• Assisted Living Care Guide: http://assistedlivingtoday.com/p/assisted-living/
• Memory Care Guide: http://assistedlivingtoday.com/p/memory-care/
• Nursing Home Guide: http://assistedlivingtoday.com/p/nursing-homes/
• Care Home Guide: http://assistedlivingtoday.com/p/care-homes/
• Independent Living Guide: http://assistedlivingtoday.com/p/independent-living/

The aim with these guides is to help people faced with deciding what type of care to choose for a loved one make the best possible decision.

They’re also designed to help those looking for care to determine which type of facility is best within a certain care type, and offer information like questions to ask, fees to look for, contractual issues you may run into, etc.

National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys: www.naela.com

The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations and others who work with older clients and their families. Established in 1987, the Academy provides a resource of information, education, networking and assistance to those who deal with the many specialized issues involved with legal services to the elderly and people with special needs.

The mission of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys is to establish NAELA members as the premier providers of legal advocacy, guidance and services to enhance the lives of people with special needs and people as they age.


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Another terrific resource is:

Visit them to discover: Caregiving articles, journal exercises, healing circle of prayer, inspiration, humor, alternative healing, readings, resources, and MUCH more! Visit: http://www.care-givers.com/

Discover numerous resources for: Caregiving sites, elderly sites, grand parenting resources, alternative healing therapies, legal and financial information, dying, death, and grieving sites, spiritual  and metaphysical sites, humor and more are found at: http://www.care-givers.com/pages/resources.html#Anchor

Aging Solutions

Aging Parents and Elder Care: www.Aging-Parents-and-Elder-Care.com Articles, comprehensive checklists, and links to key resources … designed to make it easier for family caregivers to quickly find the information they need … and avoid overlooking something important in the care of their loved one.

Administration on Aging: www.aoa.gov : Provides caregivers and their parents information on various services including elder rights.

Area Agency on Aging: This government program provides a national network of social services. See www.n4a.org  (National Association of Area Agencies on Aging) or call 800-677-1116 for your local agency.

Medicare Rights: www.medicarerights.org Independent source of health-care information and assistance for people with Medicare.

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization: www.nhpco.org  Offers information on end-of-life issues and state-specific advance directives.

Nursing Homes: www.medicare.gov/nhcompare  Provides detailed information on the past performance of every Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing home in the country.

Welcome to the Eldercare Locator

Is a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging. The Eldercare Locator connects older Americans and their caregivers with sources of information on senior services. The service links those who need assistance with state and local area agencies on aging and community-based organizations that serve older adults and their caregivers.

You may find the information resources you need by following the directions below or you may speak to an Eldercare Locator information specialist by calling 1-800-677-1116 Eldercare Locator  Discover local information, referral resources, and contact information for state and local agencies, from the United States’ Health and Human Services Department. www.eldercare.gov/ 

Family Caregiving Alliance: National Center On Caregiving

Family Caregiving Alliance is a public voice for caregivers who provide loved ones with support who have chronic, disabling health conditions. Our pioneering programs provide:

  • Caregiving Information and advice
  • Education
  • Fact sheets and publications
  • Services
  • Chat groups and message boards
  • Research
  • Advocacy

Visit: http://www.caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/home.jsp or call: 800-445-8106

An excellent national resource is: www.nofec.org

Exploring Disease States and How to Best Manage Them

Healthopedia.com, a medical and health consumer information resource containing comprehensive and unbiased information in patient-friendly language from trusted sources on over 1,500 health topics, 70 focussed health centers, and more than 11,000 drugs and medications. Visit: http://www.healthopedia.com/

How to manage Alzheimer’s disease: http://www.healthopedia.com/alzheimers-disease/Resource In Multnomah County (Portland) Oregon

Cultivate Health as You Celebrate Well-Being!

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Cultivate health! Celebrate well-being!

Vitality/aliveness/well-being is more than a number on a scale!

Ask yourself: What’s NOT wrong?

What are the blessings in my life that sometimes I might take for granted?

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Come to the banquet table of life.

Learn to nourish yourself in ways that provide lasting nourishment to the soul (heart).

Practice the recipes for nourishing the heart.

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Learn the art of cultivating joy.

Ask yourself, what nourishes joy in me? What nourishes joy in others?

Do I nourish joy in myself and others enough? Do I enjoy the precious jewels that I have?       

        Daily Check-in:

  Notice if there’s suffering (obstacles/patterns that don’t work well).

See a cause.

See a way out, and a path that shows the way out.

Practice the path.

     Ideas for Self-Nurturing Activities         By Bob Wilson, BS, DTR

(* = FREE) This list is euphoric and non-caloric!!!

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Paint Your Life with Creativity! The Painting Experience

Self-Nurturing Restorative Box

Sprinkle Dollops of Delight and Self-Care Towards Yourself

Ways to Learn to Love Your Body

Listen to my favorite music

Enjoy a long, warm bubble bath

* Go for a walk

* Share a hug with a loved one

* Relax outside

* Practice feeling contented

* Physical activity (of my choice)

* Spiritual prayer

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*Attend a caring support group

* Practice diaphragmatic breathing

* Do stretching exercises

* Reflect on my positive qualities: “ I am…”

* Watch the sunrise/sunset

* Laugh

* Concentrate on a relaxing scene

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Create a collage representing “the real me”

Receive a massage…ah…

Massage

* Reflect on: “I appreciate….”

Write my thoughts and feelings in a personal journal

Attend a favorite athletic event

Do something adventurous!

Read a special book or magazine

* Sing, hum, dance or whistle a  happy tune!

Play a musical instrument

* Spiritual meditation

MEDITATING DOG

Work with plants (gardening)

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Learn a new skill

See a special play, movie or concert

Work out with weights

Ride a bike or motorcycle

Make myself a nutritious meal

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Draw/paint a picture

MY FIRST PAINTINGI SAY YES TO MY LIFE

* Swim, float, wade, relax in a  pool, or on the beach

Do aerobics/dance

Visit a special place I enjoy

* Smile & say : “I love myself.”

* Take time to smell the roses  (and other flowers I enjoy!)

uncondition love ROSEP1040518

* Imagine myself achieving my goals and dreams

Go horseback riding

* Reflect on “my most enjoyable memories”

* Enjoy a relaxing nap

Visit a museum/art gallery

* Practice yoga

Relax in a whirlpool /sauna

Enjoy a cool, refreshing glass of  water or juice

* Enjoy the beauty of nature

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* Count my blessings: “I am thankful for…”

* Play as I did as a child

* Star gaze- stay up late, get up early!

* Window shop

* Daydream

* Tell myself the loving words I want to hear from others

Attend a special workshop

Go sailing/paddle boating

Reward myself with a special  gift I can afford

Take myself on a vacation

Create with clay/pottery

GIZO FRONTVOW PLAQUE

* Practice positive affirmations

* Pet an animal

* Watch my favorite TV show

* Reflect on my successes: “I CAN….”

Make a bouquet of flowers

LOVE OF FLOWER ARRANTEMENTS

* Relax: watch the clouds

Make myself something nice

* Visit a park/woods/forest

Read positive, motivational literature

* Reflect on: “What I value most in life…”

Phone a special friend

Go on a picnic in a beautiful setting

Enjoy a gourmet cup of herbal tea or coffee

Participate in a favorite sport, game, recreation

* Practice a relaxation exercise

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* Practice the art of forgiveness

Treat myself to a nutritious meal at a favorite restaurant

Participate in a hobby

* Practice feeling awe for life

woman meditating on rock

* Discover a new place

* Hug a tree!

* “Meow” with a cat; “ bark “with a dog, “chirp” with a bird !

* Create my own list of self-nurturing activities

LIVE LIFE

ABC's of Zestful Living-COLOR

You Become What You Contemplate!

Do your habitual thoughts lead you to feeling calm, centered, happy…OR

…distressed and anxious?

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Just like with food habits….you BECOME what you think, what you eat, and what you do….

your moment by moment choices shape your world.

Your life is your garden. Over time, what you plant is what you get.

                                                                                          

ASK yourself: What mind am I contemplating?

1. The “I, me, and mine” mind: This is a mind that is always planning, fearful, and obsessed? Maybe anxious? Always concerned with outcomes? Trying to control all things in your life? How do you feel when you are lost in all of those type of thoughts?

2. “Concern for your family and the whole-world” mind: This is a more expansive and broader contemplation, but consider what happens to your mind and emotions when you are watching too much news and seeing directly the distress of the world.  Perhaps your thinking about your family and friends with a caring and open heart? Where does seeing too much suffering, problems, and individual distress lead you? Do you end of feeling discouraged, feeling hopeless, sad, or wanting to run away from it all?

WORLD DAY OF METTA

3. OR, “focus on a VAST” mind: the mind of the still forest or whole Universe: connected, present in the here and now, concentrated, celebrating life! Aware of senses: seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching. Practice how to cultivate that vast mind:

Winter Stillness: Talk by Kodo Conover

  • Be aware of the 4 elements in everything: earth, air, fire, and water parts of all life.
  • Let go of the thinking/planning mind whenever possible–come to silence–focus on the great VAST mind–just like the sky with stars in it or clouds in it (all floating by)–all levels of manifestations on earth–constantly arising and instantly manifesting…and then…instantly disappearing.
  • All in the VAST space of awareness (my mind)…everything arises in it…and disappears…
  • Allow all to arise and pass away–without preferences
  • Don’t “judge or label” what happens….allow it to be just as it is in this moment.
  • The VAST Universe, world or planet is ONE continually pulsating, alive organism–all with mysterious intelligence that guides it and brings it to harmony. My apparent “life” is intimately and completely connected with the whole world and Universe–it is NOT separate from it.
  • Allow myself to experience the awe, wonder, and mystery regularly…contemplate it and rejoice!!
  • Accept all as the perfect teacher for what I need at this moment.

LIFE GIVES US WHAT WE NEED TO LEARN

LIFE IS FULL OF BEAUTY. NOTICE IT

DALAI LAMA-INNER PEACE

ACCEPT YOU AS YOU

Considering all of these thoughts can benefit the entire world!

WE ARE ALL TOGETHER-1

Discover Creative Holiday Garnishing Fun: Make a Sandwich Birthday Cake and More!

Celebrate Holidays and Special Occasions!

                Jon Cake-Fruit Jon Birthday Cake-smile

For all people who love to be creative in the kitchen but want to avoid making traditional gooey, high-calorie cakes for birthdays or weddings, consider this fun and delicious alternative. My kitchen creativity previously expressed itself in making 8000-calorie cheesecakes for all of my friends!

When I lost weight, I knew that I needed to find alternatives that were still fun to make and healthful. I started making birthday cakes for my friends and even one for a friend’s wedding. The wedding cake had 3 cakes with a large bouquet of flowers in the middle.

I love using flowers and colorful vegetables in my creations.

  • In the above cake, I used green onions, red pepper circle-slices and red cabbage for my friend JON’s name.
  • The flower is made of carrot circles and green onions.
  • I put red pepper hearts that were cut out using a small, heart-shaped cookie cutter. I also have used a small teddy bear cookie cutter on other cakes.
  • I decorated the sides of the cake using carrot circles and red pepper hearts.
  • Colorful chrysanthemum flower tops were used around the base of the cake for accent.
  • The icing is really herbed tofu dip (you can use low-fat cottage cheese).
  • The cake is really a two-layered sandwich with low-fat tuna salad (It’s green-colored in the above picture because I used green catsup!) on the bottom layer and low-fat Toby’s® Tofu Dip—it tastes similar to egg salad—which could be used instead.
  • Options: I have also used my garbanzo spread and black bean spread for the layers and have used pureed cottage cheese for the icing. See: dinner recipes.

Banana FRUIT art

Ingredients:

18 slices Orowheat® Best’s Winter Wheat  Bread (a chewy bread—6 slices/layer)

2 heads red leaf lettuce

3 6½-ounce cans of water packed tuna

catsup, to taste (I used green!)

spicy mustard, to taste

dried onion flakes (or use fresh), to taste

6 stalks celery, diced

1 ½ pints of Toby’s® Tofu Dip or low fat egg salad

dried dill weed, to taste

garlic powder (or minced garlic), to taste

2 12-ounce, extra-firm tofu packages You can also use low-fat cottage cheese.

vegetable garnishes, as desired

keep going

What to do:

  1. Prepare “salads” and “icing” first: the low-fat tuna and egg, or garbanzo and black bean—use any “salad” filling that is desired. Refrigerate the salads, for best results and to keep everything safe from bacterial contamination.
  • For tuna salad: used 3 cans water-pack tuna, 6 stalks of diced celery, green catsup, horseradish mustard, black pepper and dried onion flakes—make according to your tastes
  • 1 ½ pints of low-fat Toby’s® Tofu Dip (found in Portland, Oregon) OR low-fat egg salad—make according to your tastes
  • “Icing”: Blend in a food processor or blender 2, 12-ounce boxes of Mori Nu® low-fat extra firm tofu, dried onion flakes (about ½ cup), dried dill weed (about 2 tablespoons), garlic powder (about 2 teaspoons) and horseradish mustard (about 1 tablespoon)—make all according to your tastes
  1. Get a large 18-inch round platter and line it with red leaf lettuce (washed and patted dry).
  2. Arrange the 6 slices of bread—in two rows of three slices—in the middle of the platter on top of the lettuce.
  3. Use a spatula to spread the layer of tuna salad evenly on top of the 6 slices of bread.
  4. Put 6 more slices of bread on top of the tuna salad—just like you just made 6 sandwiches.
  5. Then put on the low-fat Toby’s® Tofu Dip OR low-fat egg salad on top of the bread using a spatula.
  6. Next put 6 more slices of bread on top. Now you have 6 double-decker sandwiches, in two rows of three.
  7. Now get out the “icing” and using a spatula, cover all of sandwiches, top and sides, to a thickness of ¼ inch—just like you were icing a cake.
  8. Prepare the “names” and garnishes out of whatever you want to use—carrot circles, red or yellow peppers (hearts, teddy bears), red cabbage slices; you can use pretzels to make the names. I suggest that you use tweezers or needle-nosed pliers to place the vegetable or pretzel pieces on the cake.
  • You can decorate the sides of the cake using carrot circles, red pepper hearts, peas, chive flowers, or any other edible delight.
  1. Lastly, put whatever type of flowers around the edges of the sandwich cake for a garnish.
  2. The cake takes about one hour to assemble after the “salads” have been made.
  3. Refrigerate the cake until serving time.

Serving Suggestion:

This cake is a delightful alternative for people with diabetes or for those who want to avoid eating lots of sugar, fat and extra calories. People always LOVE receiving this cake (except children, because they expected REAL icing!).

Cut the cake using a sharp knife after letting everyone see it.

This cake serves about 15 people, with serving 1/3rd of a sandwich to each person. 

Serve with a fresh fruit and cut up vegetable platter.  

 Make a Sandwich Wedding Cake Too!

Sandwich Wedding Cake-2 Sandwich Wedding Cake-1

I have two friends who were married and they did not eat sugar, but wanted a wedding cake. So I offered to make them one. A sandwich cake!

Use the same process as described above, but make several cakes. Then I cut the flowers from the yard and made the center arrangement and added the flower garnishes to the cakes.

I went to the wedding reception and set the cake up on a table.

It was a Spring wedding, and so all of the flowers in the garden were blooming. Take a peek and see how it turned out. It was SO fun and everyone enjoyed it!

Christmas Relish Tree

                                                          Christmas Relish Tree Think Light For The Holidays!                                                                                           

To clearly see the type click on the thumbnail then print off the page.

 

Simple Garnishing Creates a Colorful Easter Celebration!

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Create a feeling of consciousness, delight, and pleasure about your eating!

I love mixing flowers (some are edible) from the garden,  along with cut up fruit. 

The meal also includes a low-fat mini pizza and coffee.

 Enjoy!

Garbanzo Appetizer

Bob’s Garbanzo Spread Appetizer (See Dinner Recipes)

For a wedding-brunch appetizer:

I lined a platter with red leaf lettuce. I formed the garbanzo spread by using an empty yogurt container. I then emptied it on top of the lettuce. I added a few flowers around the base.

Next I topped the Garbanzo Spread with borage flowers, carrot circles, red pepper hearts, and teddy bears.  I made the teddy bears and small hearts using small cookie cutters that I purchased from a kitchen store. 

I served the appetizer with Lavache heart-shaped crackers on top of red leaf lettuce.

Pickled Beets and Asparagus Platter

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BE WHO YOU ARE. Be happy for this moment--it is your life!