Keep it Simple

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In life we often try to make things more complicated than they are.  If we can just take the time to listen to what our hearts, minds, and bodies are telling us, we can face the world and all its challenges with confidence.

 

Hack Your Habits with Healthy Nudges – Quiet Revolution

Advice on how to use small changes in your environment to encourage yourself to make healthier choices—to increase movement, eat better, and reduce stress.

Source: Hack Your Habits with Healthy Nudges – Quiet Revolution

5 Ways Music Enhances Your Mood and Health | The Chopra Center

I can’t get through my day without music.  I have a playlist for every story I write.  Music means a lot to me and I truly believe in its health benefits.Music isn’t just a source of entertainment; it can benefit your physical, mental, and emotional health, too. Here are five positive influences that music can have on your mind and body.

Source: 5 Ways Music Enhances Your Mood and Health | The Chopra Center

Me time

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I absolutely need “Me” time.  It is a necessity and I grab it any way I can. Sometimes I just go to the bathroom for about 15 minutes and just stand there.  It sounds crazy but, I need that time throughout day.  I will take a 10 minute walk outside, or I will just close the door of my office just to stare at the ceiling and just enjoy the silence.  I encourage my employees to do the same.  On a nice sunny day it is part of their jobs to spend 10 minutes outside if they choose to.  If they do not want to go outside, they must find something non-work related to do for 10 minutes.  Allowing this “me” time is very important for anyone to be productive.

I would like to encourage all of us to find that time.  If you are an employer, offer the same to your employees.  They will be thankful and more productive.

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Kale Chips

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I love kale!!  My best friend turned me on to it a little over a year ago and I have been eating it so many different ways. I put it in smoothies, I juice it, I eat it raw, I eat it cooked, but one of my favorite things to make are kale chips.

Kale chips are a perfect low carb, low calorie, gluten free snack.  My family loves them.  We eat them in lieu of popcorn and potato chips.  The wonderful thing about them is that you can add whatever seasoning you want.  My favorite is lemon pepper.  I also love Cajun seasonings too.  If you would like to make kale chip, here is what you need:

iBourgie’s Kale Chips

kale

olive or coconut oil

seasoning of your choice

parchment paper

cookie sheet

Cut washed and thoroughly dried kale to desires size.  Then modestly coat the kale with the oil (This took a little trial and error. If you put on too much the kale will cook too fast and fry, then you will be left with little burned burned pieces). Next season to taste. Then lay the kale out on a cookie sheet covered with the parchment paper.  Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes on 300 or until the edges turn slightly brown.

Quick and Easy Tomato Soup

I am always trying to find ways to make use of everything I have.  Leftovers are never thrown out.  I came up with a great use for spaghetti sauce when you aren’t quite in the mood spaghetti, but you could not resist the sale your local grocery store had on marinara sauce.

I used my extra sauce to make a delicious tomato soup that all my family loves.  The wonderful thing is it is pennies per serving and easy to make in a pinch, and spaghetti sauce already has many of the spices and herbs added.  I prefer a chunky soup so I add a few extras.  Feel free to leave them out for a thinner smoother soup.  As I have mentioned in other recipes, I only use measurements when it is critical to the success of the meal.  Use much or as little as you need to accommodate your needs and tastes. Here is what you’ll need:

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iBourgie’s   Creamy Chunky Tomato Soup

Spaghetti sauce (I prefer Newman’s Own Marinara for its all natural ingredients)

Bell Peppers (diced)

Onions (diced)

Diced tomatos

Heavy Cream (optional)

Olive Oil or Coconut oil

Drizzle olive oil on the onions and bell peppers and saute until the onions are caramelized and set aside.  Then warm spaghetti sauce on medium heat until the desired temperature. Now you may stir in the heavy cream.  Finally add bell peppers, diced tomatoes, and onions.

This soup goes great with a salad, grilled cheese sandwich, or solo.  For a little added protein and texture you can throw in a little quinoa.  Also, if you are vegan you will ditch the heavy cream.  The coconut oil gives a nice creamy flavor without the use of dairy.

What’s for Dinner….or Breakfast or Lunch?

I love to cook, but I don’t always have a lot of time.  I also love to introduce my child to healthy options that he will also enjoy eating.  My best friend turned me on to a food that I had not  been very familiar with, but now I eat it almost everyday–Kale.  Her exact exact words were “Kale is King.  Kale is King”.  She actually said it twice so I felt I should at least try it.  She was absolute right.  Kale has so many good things in it.  It is super high in Vitamin K which  is necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions, including normal blood clotting, antioxidant activity, and bone health.  Kale is also has a  high concentration of vitamins A and C.

kale-benefits

Another food that I have fallen in love with is quinoa.  Quinoa is a great alternative to pasta or rice.  It high in protein and fiber and is a desirable addition to a vegetarian or vegan diet.   It is also a great filler for soups, stews, and chili when you want to add more protein, without adding lots more calories and animal fats.  You can cook a large batch of quinoa and store it in the fridge and use it as needed, but I don’t recommend longer than 2-3 days.  It cooks fairly quickly so it can be prepared at a moments notice.

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I have a simple recipe that combines both of these two foods that I love and has become one of my 7-year-old son’s favorites.

iBourgie’s Quinoa and Kale

(I only use exact measurements when it is absolutely crucial to the success of the meal. In this case it isn’t. Use your own taste and judgment when planning this meal.  Tailor it to you needs.)

What you will need:

Kale

Quinoa (cooked)

Pesto optional (you may make your own or use store bought.  I prefer Classico)

Olive oil (about a teaspoon)

Water (about 1/4 cup)

Cook quinoa according to directions and set aside.  In a large bowl add the olive oil and toss in kale for an even coating. Lightly saute kale on medium heat with the water until it turns bright green.  Then stir desired amount of pesto to the quinoa.  Next you may add the kale to the quinoa or eat separately.  My son and I prefer to mix the two.

This is a great post-workout meal and it also tastes good warm or cold.