Category Archives: H. E. A. L.

H. E. A. L. Stands for Healthy Eating, Active Lifestyle. Wellness and Healing are a part of a big picture scenario . It is a totality of nutrition, awareness, mindfulness and physical well being. Check out this category for articles on all of these topics.

Closed Doors?

I understand that this may look like a cold, snowy, nothing day. This is a “closed door” for sure. But wait-I have some words of wisdom for you.

They say that when God closes a door He opens a window. Sometimes though a door closes because it no longer leads to somewhere you should go.”

So, next time it looks like a nothing day, a closed door so to speak, give these suggestions a try:

  1. Call someone
  2. Read a book or magazine you have wanted to look at for a while but not had the time
  3. Bake, Cook, Kitchen Create
  4. Pull it together, dress warm, and go for a walk
  5. If you have a dog, all the better. He is probably dying to go outside
  6. Catch up on Facebook
  7. Write a card or better yet, a real letter, and send it to a friend
  8. Join an on line group but be sure it is free and not tagged
  9. Do a craft-knit, crochet, update recipes, color in your coloring book
  10. Last resort?? Clean your house!

Variety is the Spice of Life!

There are so many different foods that are considered part of the Mediterranean Eating Plan. I know, I know, there are also many foods that we think taste good but we know are not healthy for our bodies. Sometimes it is really tough to know what to do. I have said before that it is recommended to “Eat The Rainbow” which means searching for food that is colorful. Not too hard, right? BTW, did you know that the color of the food also tells you how fresh it is? Look for this especially in fresh veg. Bright greens and reds, yellow bananas, dark rich colored fresh herbs, and so on.

Watch out for fish and shell fish. Be sure not to buy fish that is not responsibly farmed or wild caught. I buy salmon that is farmed in Norway. Yes, it is farmed, but in a cold water natural habitat, not warm water that may be contaminated with sewage. Watch for this especially in Talapia. Frozen fish, like frozen veg. is not bad for you. In fact, it is very healthy. Often vegetables (Birdseye for example) are frozen in the field and many fish are frozen as they are caught to insure freshness.

I know I have said this many times, but Read The Label!

PS-Watch sodium also!!

Why Not Indeed?

I asked myself one fine day, just exactly why was it that guys couldn’t go into the kitchen and simply Make Something? Bingo-The answer is that they don’t need to. Okay, at least that is the case with my dear and wonderful husband. He told me that it was too hard for him because he was not used to doing it and he would mow the lawn instead if I did the cooking. Wrong answer. Mowing the lawn used to be giving a check to the yard guy, and now that he is retired it means sitting on his rider mower and going around the property.

Meanwhile, my definition has not changed. Food prep, I grant you, is easier now but it is still the same in many ways if you chose to cook farm to table or organic or in my case vegetarian and for some regular guests even pre-diabetic. Still a challenge, right? In the spirit of being a guide rather than a dictator, I have come up with a list of REALLY easy things that anyone can prepare. Don’t say you can’t do it simply because you have never done it either.

  1. Heat some soup-Some canned soups are sooo good. I especially like Progresso, or the soups that come in boxes like Bisque of Tomato or Butternut Squash. but experiment around.
  2. Any kind of a sandwich-Buy ahead for this. Cold cuts, sliced cheese, tomatoes and lettuce a can of tuna, etc, are all you need. If you must, keep it prepped in the fridge so there are no excuses.
  3. Boiled eggs, toast, and fruit-Yes, any time. This is both healthy and high protein.
  4. Three Bean Salad-Open 3 cans of beans (kidney, black, green, garbanzo, and so on) and add a bottled vinegar and oil type dressing.
  5. Any bagged salad-This is totally a no brainer
  6. Any good frozen entree-Also a no brainer. (I like Amy’s or Marie Callendar)

I could go on and on, but I am sure you get the idea. Not just guys, but kids in the kitchen too. Just make a start and see where you go from there. Bon Appetite!

Go Somewhere!

Yes, you! get up and go somewhere. Take the kids, or in my case grand child, out to someplace where actual food is grown and sold. We went to a place called Kitchen’s Farm Market this last Saturday and they were giving out free coloring books. We came home with pears, a pumpkin to carve, and a couple of hours of fun coloring. The best picture went up on the fridge and we had pears and ice cream for dinner. Okay, so I am not perfect but Mmmm boy, it sure was yummy!

PS The apples were great too!

Eat This, Not That

The lowly potato is highly under rated. I slice potatoes on my mandolin and toss them in a bit of salt and olive oil and make chips in the air fryer. Potatoes quartered are a super addition to a sheet pan dinner. Use both Russet and Sweet potatoes. Mashed potatoes with just a bit of salt and pepper and a small pat of real butter is the perfect match for just about anything.

Baked potatoes are one of the most versatile foods ever. Have one with just a bit of salt and pepper, a pat of butter, 1/2 cup cottage cheese or chili, two tablespoons of LITE sour cream, or broccoli and a bit of grated cheese. I could go on and on, and so could YOU!

FKO (For Kids Only)

I found this book in a thrift shop and wanted to share not only the title, but the idea. Take your kids to a farmer’s market or just a farm. If that is not possible, share a book about farms, dairies, or anyplace that gives us food.

So many children today do not realize that food comes out of the ground or from a tree or even a cow. They think it all comes from the grocery store, or worse yet, a Fast Food Restaurant!


Now is a really great time to check out closets and any other possible forgotten areas of your home. As heaters are going on, look out for dust, lint, old papers, any sort of leaks, etc. Home safety is a wellness issue!

There is nothing more healthy than Butter Nut Squash Soup. What a Fall favorite! I grew my own this year but BNSQ is available in any store produce section or better still from any Farmer’s Market. Cut open the squash and scoop out or cut out in chunks the orange flesh. Boil until pretty soft and drain all but enough to keep the squash from clogging your blender. Add back some more liquid and some milk or cream in your blender and flavor as you like. I like a dash of nutmeg but my husband likes cinnamon. Blend until smooth. Cook in a large pot and be sure to make extra. I freeze leftovers in milk cartons. This is super easy.

PS for totally non-cookers. Go down to the store and buy the soup and also bisque of tomato if you like it, in the square cartons. There are several brands and all are good.

PPSS Add a large piece of French bread or a roll.

Cooking For One

Some people say that it is hard to cook for just one person Personally, I don’t think so and I never use this as an excuse to not eat something good. If you don’t want to actually cook, how about opening a carton of yogurt and adding some fruit and a couple of tablespoons of walnuts?

Speaking of cans, what about a can of soup with a piece of French bread or a roll? There are some really good soups out there now and I especially like the “YES!” brand.

Making a sandwich is OK, but how about making a really god one? Keep some boiled eggs in the fridge and make a deviled egg sandwich or cop out and make just sliced boiled egg with mayo and tomato.

Put together a salad and while you are at it, make enough to take some out and have it for lunch the next day See above for a suggestion, you guys!

I confess I often go the easy way and microwave a packaged entre. There ae no TV dinners out there any more. Some of the frozen dinners now are fabulous. I know “Amy’s” are a bit high in fat, but yum yum! Some of the veggie types are really good too.

Cottage cheese and anything (fruit, tomatoes, yogurt, nuts etc) is good and healthy too. OK, so no more excuses.


Beauty is not just in what we see!

Beauty is not just in what we see, but let us not forget that beauty is also in what we hear. Loud strident sounds, shouts, bitter, angry voices, an urban cacaphony are jarring and discordant.

Try a little quiet in your day. Meditate to the sound of water or soft music.

Listen to gentle sounds or light classical music. Be still and hear the sounds of life.