Archive | November 2016

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

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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!

Learn to Effectively Manage Social Gatherings

 Holidays are Here! So Be a Lamp Unto Yourself!

 BE A LAMP UNTO YOURSELF

Failing to plan is planning to fail!  An ounce of preparing is worth a pound of fat!

Prior Planning Prevents Painful, Poor Results!

Get to know your DANGER ZONES. Where is it difficult for you to stand up for yourself and make healthful choices?

autobiography in 5 chapters

Which situations and times do social groups influence you the most? At work? During pot lucks? At your church or spiritual group? With family and friends? At the neighbors? On vacations and holidays? At restaurants? When you’re feeling overwhelmed (too many needs and requests for your time) and out of balance? What’s your challenge?

Consider that you probably have been through these situations numerous times in the past. What can you LEARN from them? HOW can you make more effective choices next time?

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Take into account the mindset of  holidays or special occasions:

  • Special occasions are filled with people, food, and emotions. Because of this, the events may be enjoyable and stressful at the same time!

  • Notice that the gatherings frequently center around FOOD! You’ll probably find tempting treats everywhere!

  • Many times you may find that overeating is encouraged, “Oh you can go off your diet, just this once!”

  • Because the events may involve lots of preparation (cleaning up the house, shopping, food preparation) you may not find time to go for a walk or to practice other stress reduction activities (like taking a NAP!)

  • Watch out for being:  P-HALT? Are you too: P=Pressured, H=Hungry, A=Angry, L=Lonely, T=Tired?

  • You may discover that family dynamics may increase stress for you.

THE OVALS FINAL-COMPLETE WORKSHEET.pdf

SHORT-Journal tips and ideas-1.pdf

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Get to KNOW yourself as you develop wisdom. Pay attention to your choices as you notice a lifetime of holiday habits automatically play out. Prepare yourself to be successful on special occasions by exploring the following sections:

Use the Stages Of Change  and The Daily Personal Check-In for suggestions on how to become a more effective self-manager.

Remember, progress not perfection! Easy does it, but DO it!

Think Light For The Holidays!    Christmas Relish Tree

                                                                                                                                                            Think Light for the Holidays!                                     Christmas Relish Tree!