Simply Happy

Palm Sunrise

On this Thanksgiving weekend it’s time to learn the simple truth. Being happy is simply a state of mind.

I’m not going to give you a long dissertation on happiness, but tell you that nobody can make you happy except you. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise and don’t let anyone take that happiness away from you with their actions.

Here is the easiest way to gain perspective.

  1. Think of 3 things to be thankful for – for example, do you have food? Do you have shelter? Do you have family, friend or pet you share your time with?
  2. Think of people in need- Do you have more than others? Be grateful. What is there to be unhappy about?

Just being thankful for what you have is reason enough to be happy in this world and if you want more, there are so many opportunities to get it. Never underestimate yourself. Everything is possible.  And the best thing of all…….the journey to get there can be just as exciting as when you achieve it.  It’s all up to you!

Simple Healthy Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Cranberries

When Thanksgiving comes around do you struggle with what dish to bring to a Thanksgiving dinner? If you are really busy beforehand or have a long way to drive, have I got the dish for you! Fresh cranberry sauce is so easy to make and you can do it days ahead. It also travels well. A blob of cranberry sauce out of a can does not compare to the incredible flavor of real, fresh cranberries.

Did you know Cranberry sauce has virtually no fat or cholesterol?  It’s also high in fiber and has a number of vitamins and trace minerals. If you are diabetic, this is not the dish for you. Sugar is one of the main ingredients.

Here is a simple recipe with a twist. Adding grated peel from an orange or tangerine adds a little extra flavor. I also know some people who add canned pineapple or mandarin oranges to create more of chutney. I prefer just the peel.

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
24 ounces fresh cranberries
1/2 to 1 tsp grated orange peel

Mix water and sugar together in a large saucepan and heat at medium to medium-high until the sugar is completely dissolved. Grate orange peel into the water. Add cranberries and cook until they start to pop. The skin will tear open when it pops. Once most of the cranberries are done popping, turn off the burner and let the sauce complete cool, placing it into the refrigerator.
That’s it! That’s all you have to do and you can brag “I made it from scratch!”

Happy Thanksgiving!

No Cages, Better Nutrition

Farm

Are you one of those people who believes that farming should not be done in cages? Well now there is even more reason to purchase your food from farmers who allow their animals to roam.

Recent findings show that eggs from free roaming chickens had less cholesterol and higher amounts of Vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acids. It’s believed this higher nutritional value come from chickens who eat more than just a basic feed. They have the luxury of all different kinds of seeds and insects that result in a wider range intake of vitamins and minerals. In addition, exercise reduces the amount of fat hence lower cholesterol.

There were similar findings in meats from free roaming livestock. It is lower in fat, higher in Omega-3 and Vitamins B, E and beta carotene.

Dairy products also have the same benefits.

The easiest way to find foods from free roaming animals is to choose organic products. It’s part of the requirement for the USDA Organic certification. You can also check for smaller local farms who usually don’t have large cage operations. Cooking meat, eggs and dairy may take less time due to the leaner nature.

Always remember that the closer to nature your food is, be it produce or meat, the better it is for you.

 

 

What kind of melon is this?

Thai Melon

One of the last days at the farmers market I was digging through a bin of late ripened cantaloupe and found this. I asked the farmer what it was and he said it was a Thai melon. My adventurous side forced me to take it home to see what it as all about.

When I cut it open it had light green flesh like a honey dew melon.  The taste……actually sweeter than the honey dew melon. The texture was slightly softer.

The health benefits of the Thai melon are similar to other melons. They are high in Vitamin C, B6, Folate and Potassium making it great for your heart and immune system.

If you want to grow your own Thai melons, they like a warm, moist climate. Plant seeds in mounds as they grow on a vine similar to cucumbers.  If you live in a dry environment, more watering will be required.