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Monday, April 15, 2013

What Am I Reading??

After taking a break with all my juicing and vegan posts, I figured I could tweak your curiosity with several books that are on my "to read over the summer" list.

This past Saturday I made stops at my usually places - the Winter Park Farmers' Market, Whole Foods, and Publix, but also added a trip to the University of Central Florida campus to visit their book fair.  I had heard about this event on the radio and didn't want to miss out on meeting authors of books and of course scanning though new books to add to my collection.  If you are a reader, you can completely relate.  While I have an e-reader and love it, there is something about holding a hard back book in your hand while scanning the pages, taking yourself to another place and time.

Well, to my surprise, I was not impressed with the book fair at all.  I expected it to be grand and covering large amounts of floor space.  Not...  If my grandchildren would have been with me, they would have loved it!  However, I looked over the books that were available for purchase and thought to myself that I could pick up at few to read over the summer.

The first book I purchased was The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck.  I had "pinned" it a while back and remembered the cover when I saw it.

Here is what Good Reads says about it:

Four brides. One Dress.

A tale of faith, redemption, and timeless love.

Charlotte owns a chic Birmingham bridal boutique. Dressing brides for their big day is her gift . . . and her passion. But with her own wedding day approaching, why can't she find the perfect dress...or feel certain she should marry Tim?

Then Charlotte discovers a vintage dress in a battered trunk at an estate sale. It looks brand-new-shimmering with pearls and satin, hand-stitched and timeless in its design. But where did it come from? Who wore it? Who welded the lock shut and tucked the dog tags in that little sachet? Who left it in the basement for a ten-year-old girl? And what about the mysterious man in the purple vest who insists the dress had been "redeemed."

Charlotte's search for the gown's history-and its new bride-begins as a distraction from her sputtering love life. But it takes on a life of its own as she comes to know the women who have worn the dress. Emily from 1912. Mary Grace from 1939. Hillary from 1968. Each with her own story of promise, pain, and destiny. And each with something unique to share. For woven within the threads of the beautiful hundred-year-old gown is the truth about Charlotte's heritage, the power of courage and faith, and the timeless beauty of finding true love.

Now if you are a Downton Abbey fan, I suggest you pick up this book, While We Were Watching Downton Abbey.

While We Were Watching Downton Abbey

Here is the review from Good Reads:

When the concierge of The Alexander, a historic Atlanta apartment building, invites his fellow residents to join him for weekly screenings of Downton Abbey, four very different people find themselves connecting with the addictive drama, and—even more unexpectedly—with each other…

Samantha Davis married young and for the wrong reason: the security of old Atlanta money—for herself and for her orphaned brother and sister. She never expected her marriage to be complicated by love and compromised by a shattering family betrayal.

Claire Walker is now an empty nester and struggling author who left her home in the suburbs for the old world charm of The Alexander, and for a new and productive life. But she soon wonders if clinging to old dreams can be more destructive than having no dreams at all.

And then there’s Brooke MacKenzie, a woman in constant battle with her faithless ex-husband. She’s just starting to realize that it’s time to take a deep breath and come to terms with the fact that her life is not the fairy tale she thought it would be.

For Samantha, Claire, Brooke—and Edward, who arranges the weekly gatherings—it will be a season of surprises as they forge a bond that will sustain them through some of life’s hardest moments—all of it reflected in the unfolding drama, comedy, and convergent lives of Downton Abbey. 

I'm sure I will be adding to my collection soon - the summer is the only time I get to read anything not related to education!  

What are you reading or have read that is really good?  Let me know!

Until next time...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"Food for Change" Worldwide FREE Screening

The documentary, "Food for Change" is offering a FREE worldwide on-line screening, March 21-23, 2013. You will NOT want to miss seeing this movie and I highly recommend it!

Here is the link to the information.  

Here is a trailer for it.

Let me know what you think.  Until next time...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day

As I have mentioned several times - we LOVE where we live!  Today, not only was the weather B-E-A-Utiful, but we enjoyed the Winter Park Art Festival.  There were so many incredible artists this year.  It is times like these, I wish I had a huge bank account so I could purchase some of the fabulous artwork, especially the still life paintings!

I think it is really cool that most of the restaurants on Park Avenue extend their seating to the street.  Many families and couples were enjoying brunch there today.  

Of course there were tons of food booths but none were vegan, so we settled on a snack of popcorn.  

I always enjoy the beauty of a rose.  I will hopefully have a rose garden in my back yard this year.  I snapped several shots of some of the roses in the rose garden.  Their colors are so vibrant and rich.  

Of course, we were not allowed to take photos of the booths, but we did enjoy taking photos of other things, as well as, ourselves goofing off.  We always have fun, no matter where we are!

Rennie and I posing as the GEICO mascot - I look like I have a wig on, but no...all that silver is mine!

My sweetie and the St. Patrick's Day bear - Top of the morning to ya!

I hope you had a wonderful St. Patrick's Day - I know we did!  Until next time...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Oil vs Olives

I read a very interesting article from the Happy Herbivore newsletter this morning.  It said:

Olives Not Oils

"There is no such thing as a “healthy” oil. Quoting Dr. Essy, “The reality is that oils are extremely low in terms of nutritive value. They contain no fiber, no minerals and are 100% fat calories. And above all, they contain saturated fat which immediately injures the endothelial lining of the arteries when eaten.”
I gave up oils after I realized 1 tbsp of oil had the same amount of fat as a Snickers bar and  ½ cup of premium ice cream has less fat and less calories than 2 tbsp of oil. Worse still, the candy and ice cream are technically more “nutritious” than oil because they still contain fiber, protein, carbohydrates and vitamins and oil does not. Oil offers nothing but fat and calories.
If you believe there are special properties or nutrients in olive oil, or flax oil or any other oil -- they would also exist in the whole food the came from, so eat olives and flax seeds instead. Plus, by eating the whole food you’ll also get fiber, vitamins, minerals and a host of other nutrients the oil version is missing.
Take Action: Compare the nutrition label on oil to various “junk” foods, such as candy bars, ice cream, sugar and cookies."

We have cut out oils in our diet since we've been juicing and eating one meal a day.  I get all the oil/fat I need from avocados and nuts.  

Just something to think about today.  Until next time...

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Good Morning Juice!

I wanted to share with you our juice for this morning.  

It contained:
4 stalks of collard greens
4 stalks of purple kale
2 stalks of celery
2 roma tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
1 cucumber
1 sweet potato
3 small carrots
1 orange
1 grapefruit
A handful of strawberries

Oh so good and good for you!

Enjoy your day!  Until next time...

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Milestone Hit!

This week was a great week!  First, my sister and I were reunited with our half brother, whom we have not seen or heard from in about 20 years! We have searched and searched for him for years and this week finally found him.  We chatted on the phone the other night and it was so good to hear his voice and be able to tell him how thrilled we were to have him back in our lives.  He was happy about our reunion as well.  My heart is full of gratitude and a piece of my heart healed.  Thank you Lord!

Another exciting thing that happened this week was that I hit a major milestone with my weight loss.  My sweetie and I weigh in every Saturday morning at Publix (in front of God and everybody!).  Last week, I was bummed because I didn't lose any weight but was happy for Rennie that he lost five pounds.  Today, on the drive there, I prayed, "Please God, let me hit that milestone, PLEASE"!!!  My prayers were answered and I was one pound under that goal weight.  I haven't been this far down the scale in over five years.  Happy...very happy!  Oh, and I was able to console Rennie because he didn't lose anything this week.  The tables were turned. Hopefully next week, we'll both be in the weight loss category. 

Recipe Time
While there are tons of vegan recipes on line and in cookbooks, Rennie and I have had fun creating our own dishes.  Since we LOVE black bean burgers and have yet to find a recipe that meets our dietary needs, we decided to create a black bean wrap (photos to come soon as soon as we make another one).  The other recipe we call, Vegan Veggie Italian Stew, is our favorite "pot-o-meal".

Here is the recipe (using only organic ingredients or local fresh veggies):

Knopf Vegan Italian Stew
  • 16 oz of pureed tomatoes
  • 1 - can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 - can of red beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 - can of garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 large box or two cans of vegetable broth
  • 2 sweet onions, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2-3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • Fresh corn taken off 3 ears 
  • Fresh okra cut up
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 2 medium zuchinni, chopped
  • 1 small head of broccoli, chopped ends only
  • In a food processor process the following and add to the stew pot: 6 Roma tomatoes
  • 1-2 tablespoons Himalayan salt
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground pepper 
  • Did I say you needed everything but the kitchen sink??
Combine all the ingredients in a large stock pot - bring to a boil stirring frequently.  Cover the pot with a lid and turn the heat to low or simmer for 30-45 minutes or more.  The longer the simmer, the better the flavor.  Add more spices for your taste.

Once we serve the stew in a bowl, we add a half of a chopped avocado and some slivered almonds.  Yummo!  

Store the remaining stew in the fridge or freezer.  You can eat off this for days!

Until next time...

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Morning Goodness!

After our trip to the market yesterday, we made this "morning goodness"!  Can't get enough of this great stuff, packed with vitamins and minerals, and makes you feel wonderful!  

Here the ingredients (for the two of us):
6 stalks of fresh from the garden collard greens (thank you Kim!)
Parsley - handful
Cucumber - 1 whole not peeled
Romaine Lettuce - 6 stalks
Bell Pepper - 1/2 of a red
Carrots - 3
Tomatoes - 4 small
Orange - 1, peeled
Grapefruit - 1 peeled
A few strawberries

Yummo!  Yes, I know it looks like pond sludge, but it tasted Oh So Great!!!

Happy Sunday and until next time...