Not feeling so “seasonally bright”?

Not in the brightest of moods?

Recently, a discussion group that I belong to posed the question: What have you done to bring  joy into your life during times you don’t FEEL joyful?

I’d been wrestling with this lately because cold weather had me feeling over-dressed and frumpy—which in my experience, often leads to weight gain and poor body image. Maybe you can relate.

There must be as many strategies as there are people, but one that works for me is to—Dress the way I want to FEEL —and build on it from there.

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Lentil Soup, Turkish Style

(4  Servings)
Ingredients: 
  •  1 1/3 cup (about 8 ounces) red lentils, picked through and rinsed
  •  7 cups water
  •  1 large onion, diced
  •  1 large carrot, diced
  •  4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  •  1/4 c. canned and chopped tomatoes
  •  1 teaspoon ground cumin
  •  1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  •  3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  •  1/4 cup Braggs Amino Mins (unfermented soy product) or 1/8 Soy Sauce
  •  1/4 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
Wash red lentils and add to pot of water.
Bring to boil as you chop the veggies 
Add to simmering water to make broth
Add garlic, cumin, cayenne and simmer for 1 hour
Add Braggs (or soy sauce), salt and pepper
Let simmer on low heat until the lentils begin to soften and thicken
You can blend for smooth texture or eat it lumpy–if you like veggie texture!

Arepas (Colombian style)

#5

(Recipe: www.epicurious.com)

Accompanying Music:

6 servings

INGREDIENTS

1 cup arepa flour (precooked cornmeal)
1 cup crumbled ricotta salata or grated mozzarella (1/4 pound)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Toss together arepa flour, cheese, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a bowl, then stir in water until incorporated. Let stand until enough water is absorbed for a soft dough to form, 1 to 2 minutes (dough will continue to stiffen).

Form 3 level tablespoons dough into 1 ball and flatten between your palms, gently pressing to form a 1/4-inch-thick patty (2 1/2 to 2 3/4 inches wide),

Then gently press around side to eliminate cracks.

Transfer to a wax-paper-lined surface.

Form more disks with remaining dough in same manner, transferring to wax-paper-lined surface.

Heat oil in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then fry arepas in 2 batches, turning over once, until deep golden in patches, 8 to 10 minutes total per batch. Drain on paper towels.

Canary Island Salad

Delicious and nutritious
(1 serving)
  • 2 Canary tomatoes-small, full of flavor;  Chopped.
  • 1 1/2 oz  nice hard cheese; Chunked
  • 2 T White beans (Alubia, here in Tenerife)
  • 2 perfect olives 
  • 1 pickled garlic clove (comes in the jar of olives)
  • Dash of coarse salt
  • Sprinkle of coriander
  • Black Pepper

 

Way to Stretch!

As a medical massage therapist, Here’s what I know about stretching:

Stretching is a dialogue between muscles and nerves.  It’s always seemed downright sweet to me, not to mention, prudent, that the nerves respond to a stretch with a built-in response mechanism called a reflex to keep the muscle from being stretched too far–to the point of injury.   Unfortunately, the response often triggers a spasm which is a muscle contraction designed to stopping inhibit the stretch NOW.  Quick, jerky movements are highly excitable to the nervous system, triggering the response and cold tissue is more likely to spasm as well.

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Everywoman–of a certain age

The CHANGE    

Meet my friend, Lola

She’s in her mid-60’s, smack-dab int he middle of the baby boomer generation.   Divorced, she’s accustomed to living alone. She’s happy to be the mother of a good mother.  Deeply involved with her grandkids, she’s enamored beyond belief–who knew?                                                                                                         

She had a successful marriage for approximately 15 years then she experienced a change. Many people call menopause THE CHANGE.  Maybe it is.  But maybe the change is more than hormones in need of replacement.  Maybe THE CHANGE is a change of heart and a change of mind.

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Last Day in Spain

 

On this last day in Spain,  I’m reviewing my visits here…
The colors that I associate with Spain are blue and orange–the sky and all the tiled roofs and buildings.
All things Spanish seem to be of terra cotta and marble– lots of marble:  marble floors, marble walls, tiles of marble, stairs of marble– slippery when wet–cool in the heat– resilient yet breakable. Ancient and beautiful, what is older than stone?
Like agates, each piece is a work of art…

Head too heavy?

Do you sometimes feel that your head is too heavy and your neck is too tight to turn?

Remind your self to use your headrest and take advantage of the support.                         Here’s where a little “self-talk” comes in–be conscious of relaxing the neck muscles that you are not using when you rest your head against something.

In that moment, a release can make all the difference.                                                       Exhale the tension that has built up–really empty your lungs as you sit with your head agains the top of the couch or the backrest of your car–or wherever…

It only takes a few moments to change your situational discomfort.  And the relief becomes worth the effort–believe me.