Giving thanks for our food

Even if you aren’t religious, giving thanks for our food is something that really benefits us. Many may be worried about over-eating on Thanksgiving Day with all the rich-tasting foods, many of the dishes being ones we don’t typically have throughout the year. The day becomes a dreaded day when we feel we can’t hold back and may feel that we will ruin our diets or gain weight. This doesn’t have to be true and it isn’t true. Be thankful for the abundance of food available to you. Offer up thanks for your food. Be truly grateful to have food to fill your belly. Savor each bite you take. Sip on a favorite drink. Enjoy the company you’re with. Don’t rush through the meal. Only take a small serving of each dish. If you really want seconds, take it without feeling guilty. Eat a piece of pie.

Go for a 20 minute walk after eating, even if it’s cold.

Hug someone. Tell another how much they mean to you or what you’re thankful about them.

Call a friend or relative you haven’t talked to in awhile.

Text your co-workers a quick “Happy Thanksgiving.”

In all, enjoy this day and don’t let food get in the way of your happiness.

10 Comforting Hot Drinks for the Winter

Two weeks into November here in Middle Tennessee area and we are experiencing some chilly weather. Especially today when it’s rainy and dreary, I crave a warm drink to sip on while I type at my laptop or read to myself or my children.

Soon, we will be in a warmer climate, but I still enjoy a comforting, warm drink.

Here are 10 comforting hot drinks for you to enjoy too!

  1. https://draxe.com/recipe/turmeric-tea-recipe/

Oh, try out this ghee:

Vanilla Bean Grass-Fed Ghee Butter by 4th & Heart, 9 Ounce, Pasture Raised, Non-GMO, Lactose Free, Certified Paleo(this is an affiliate link) for the ghee in the tumeric tea recipe above!

  1. https://wellnessmama.com/25946/apple-cider-recipe/

Yes, I do drink bone broth warm and so does my oldest daughter.

  1. http://www.raisinggenerationnourished.com/?s=instant+pot+bone+broth

This one is perfect for holiday time when we are exposed to extra germs and sweets:

  1. http://www.healthhomeandhappiness.com/ginger-tea-for-gaps-and-sore-throats.html

A classic with a twist:

  1. http://nourishedkitchen.com/mexican-hot-chocolate/

I love a good Chai Tea and this one is perfect to make up extra to give out as gifts!

  1. https://www.mommypotamus.com/masala-chai-tea-recipe/

I’m all about a homemade pumpkin-spiced latte!

  1. http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-pumpkin-spice-latte-even-better-than-starbucks-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-96277

My little sister got me into these:

  1. http://thebusybaker.ca/earl-grey-vanilla-tea-latte-london-fog/

A little night-time drink:

  1. https://minimalistbaker.com/chili-cinnamon-bourbon-hot-toddy/

Yummy Matcha green tea latte!

  1. https://rootandrevel.com/matcha-green-tea-latte-recipe-vegan/

 

No Guilt

I know many of you feel guilty indulging in the yummy foods and goodies that are all around us during the holidays. I’m sure like me this morning, you awoke feeling not your best. Perhaps feeling sluggish this morning. Tired from the celebrations, tired because of the not-so-healthy foods consumed, and a bit mentally exhausted too.

I am here to tell you, there’s no guilt needed. You enjoyed your day and today is a new day to start fresh.

To make sure you’re starting your morning off healthy, make up a hot smoothie. I made a hot orange, ginger, carrot smoothie from http://kitchensanctuary.com/2014/10/orange-carrot-and-ginger-hot-smoothie-week-4-of-my-hot-smoothie-saturday-series-for-october/

Like many of you, I am tired and did not create my own recipe this morning. I chose this one with oranges for two reasons. One is that while visiting my grandfather and parents in Louisiana last week, I was given a huge bag of fresh oranges, satsumas, and grapefruits. These all came from my grandfather’s back yard. They weren’t the prettiest, but they are home-grown and pesticide free! The satsuma oranges are so sweet, juicy and brightly colored! I wanted to incorporate these delicious, fresh fruits into my morning.

The second reason I chose this recipe was that it is loaded with vitamin C from the oranges and lemon. The ginger in it helps with so many things, but the gingerol that is present in fresh ginger, can help with lowering the risks of infection and we all know at this time of year, ourselves and our children tend to get sick. The carrot is full of healthy nutrients as well. Honey is great, especially if you choose local honey as it may help with seasonal allergies. Also, the hot water and lemon combination is so good for your body! It helps balance your body’s pH, flushes out your liver(hello holiday cocktails!), and stimulates your gastrointestinal tract. As you can see, this is a powerful combination of nutrient-rich foods, a great way to start your morning, every morning, but especially after indulging during a holiday.

So, enjoy your no guilt Monday and be renewed and refreshed with a tasty hot smoothie!

Traditions for Christmas

What are some Christmas traditions you and your family do during this season? Are there any that don’t bring you joy? What are the ones that do?

Some traditions are passed down, others are made by society, still others are created by ourselves over the years.

I’ve kept several from my family. Some are putting up a tree, but we do a fake one and my parents always did a real tree. Stockings are hung and filled for Christmas morning. Santa will come for the children.

I’ve always enjoyed baking cookies and making a gingerbread house with my family and children.

I do miss holiday parties as I don’t work outside of the home and it would be nice to have at least one small holiday party.

This year our family is parring down extremely in the gift giving department. Over the years, we haven’t exchanged much with extended family as they moved further away. For awhile we all did a drawing as we had a large extended family, then we stopped doing that. I still love to send and receive Christmas cards, letters and pictures. I feel this is enough for us. For my children, this year we are trying to not focus on the gifts they will receive Christmas morning. I’ve been wanting to implement this for several years, but just haven’t. With us wanting to travel in an RV, this has been a catalyst in making this happen this year. We are going to still do stockings, but only have one or two small gifts. We are going to take the three girls to an American Girl Doll store to pick out a few items and spend the day there enjoying the things they offer(bistro or desert bar and activities).

One thing that my children enjoy and that I do as well, is Christmas sticks. These were originally made at a mom’s group I was in several years ago and they have evolved. This year I bought new, large, colorful popsicle sticks to write on and updated some of the things to do on them. One thing I do is remove the more time-intensive activities during the week and add them in on the weekends. You may write whatever activities you would find joy doing.

Here is a list of what we have currently:

Open one present early

Write a letter to Santa

Make Christmas cookies

Watch a Christmas movie

Go see Santa

Color Christmas pictures

Decorate tree

Set up nativity

Pay “find the wiseman”

Make a paper chain or snowflakes

Make reindeer food

Hot chocolate and Christmas lights

Shopping trip with mom or dad

Christmas crafts

Christmas music dance party

Make Christmas colored pancakes

Read Christmas books

Family pizza night

Take goodies to neighbors

Trip to library for Christmas books

Make homemade hot chocolate

Special family outing

Build a gingerbread house

Bake cookies for santa