Holiday Hype: November/December 2016

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

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By November, more & more trees have shed a blanket of leaves onto the ground, BUT……

As we enter the last two months of the year (already?), stores have Christmas holiday items for sale, almost bypassing Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays. Why? Because it is about being thankful and can be celebrated by all people living in the USA whatever  race, religion or political persuasion.

Additionally, Thanksgiving comes during my favorite season of autumn, with leaves clinging to the branches and piles of leaves already on the earth’s floor. (See photo above.) Actually, I feel as though most of the fall has been a busy holiday season with Jewish holidays occupying many days in October, capped with Halloween over the week-end, and now the “getting ready” for the Big Three: Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa, and New Year’s.

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Starting with Halloween, sweet treats seem to be high on the list of foods to buy, make, and serve. This overlaps conveniently or inconveniently, depending your point of view, with November’s American Diabetes Month. I have an introductory post on the 5th about this important issue. Since I believe Type 2 Diabetes is preventable, and it is one disease that responds to a cleaner diet, I hope to post several articles on this topic with recipes that reflect the guidelines of a generally healthier lifestyle, which include diet.

 

……. there are still trees in “full fall bloom,” like these in our condo backyard rimming the pool.

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My first recipe for November/December will be one I made recently with quinoa and veggies. I searched the ‘Net to see if quinoa is a good food to use for preventing or treating diabetes, and this is what I found (direct quote):

Quinoa is an excellent addition to a diabetic diet. A whole-grain with a low glycemic index to support an even blood sugar, it is packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Quinoa is easy to cook and flavorful, and you can incorporate it into a healthy diabetic diet through a variety of ways.

Source: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/quinoa-good-grain-diabetics-eat-1759.html. (When I clicked on this today, Nov. 2nd, the address did not work correctly, even though I asked the same question: Is quinoa a good grain for diabetics to eat? If the link does not work, try the question to get to the source.)

The article gives an excellent profile of quinoa, a food native to the Andes Mountains that, in addition to the quote above listing its attributes, is also gluten-free. My recipe (photo below) includes hearty vegetables in season for additional fiber. Watch for it! I also plan to search my archives for other quinoa recipes that I will reprise. (I now use spouted quinoa for additional nutritional benefits.)

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I also have several books that I read during the summer and into the fall to review that may help you maintain a healthy balance and lifestyle as well as one (photo below) that has links to Election Day. All eyes will be on the race between Clinton and Trump as well as other major offices on the ballot and your voice can be heard on Election Day by voting.

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I know you won’t be thinking about food as much as politics next week, but keeping yourself healthy with good food, exercise, and reduced stress is good advice any time of year, especially as we approach the end-of-year holidays with all the media hype, present buying, cooking, and visiting family and friends. Traditional foods that may not be so healthful need not be eliminated, but balance these with foods that do support your immune system, like fresh fruits and (more green) vegetables.

Balance! I think it has become one of the most important words today.

I also notice that almost all the nutrition books recommend eating lower on the food chain (exceptions: Paleo and Atkins diet books), eating more fresh foods and less processed commercial foods, and eating more organically grown foods. I think a healthier diet as part of a healthier lifestyle is finally hitting mainstream media and hopefully that will mean better health for everyone, regardless of age or income!

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I did not see a visual that said:  Happy, Healthy Holidays! so I am adding it as a                        reminder that this website is about health: mental, physical, and spiritual.

P.S. the icons for Facebook & Twitter will soon be at the bottom of each posting.

Happy, Healthy Holidays: Nov.- Dec. 2015

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

November and December are especially busy months for many people. From after Halloween to New Year’s we are busy, busy, busy. Much of that has to do with shopping and cooking for family events. If you are working full time, this time can be especially stressful. So, hopefully, the postings will help you navigate the next two months with ease and joy.

This time of year seems to go with a fireplace. Picture downloaded from Home Depot’s website.

Part of my postings are obviously about recipes. Now that colder weather is on its way, I will be featuring soups, root veggies and denser foods to keep your energy levels up in the colder weather. Below is a beet salad I will be posting:


While many of you are too busy to read, I would still like to review some books that may help you through the holidays, even if just to unwind. This one is in the latest issue of an online magazine called It’s Your Life and I will report the review here as wells give you the link to this terrific new publication.


Don’t be fooled by the title. There are lots of recipes for adults with allergies, as well!










When I searched for other events for November and December, I came across some interesting ways to celebrate or ruminate or investigate. Here are just some:

November 1st– National Author’s Day – As a writer, I may investigate this further. It is also National Literacy Day and my older daughter has just signed up to be a literacy volunteer for a young Hispanic woman. What a great way to contribute to another person’s education. Computers, Kindles and iPads notwithstanding, I still like the feel of a pencil and pad and a book in my hands to read.





November 2nd is National Deviled Egg Day, so maybe I will post my curry inspired deviled eggs.

It’s also Election Day, so don’t forget to VOTE!

And Daylight Savings ends, so “Fall Back” with your clocks.


November 11th is Veterans’ Day, a day to remember all theme and women in the military who help defend us and others in need.

The Great American Smoke Out is Nov. 20th, a good day to stop smoking and think about what it does to your body. Because smoking has been linked with cancer, I will also have some more information on cancer as a follow up to Breast Cancer Awareness month in October.

Of course, the big day in November is Thanksgiving on November 26th and I hope to post some recipes suitable for your consideration. (I may be able to post a couple of seasonal recipes from a cookbook I reviewed in the Spring called Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas.

 

I would like to think that this was a time when Native Americans and Europeans co-existed peacefully!

Traditionally, Thanksgiving is a family day and I hope to have my article about a family that is giving up half their day to serve the homeless in Center City Philadelphia. I went to the Good Shepherd Soup Kitchen in late October with the husband and wife who volunteer weekly to get an idea of what happens on any given weekday and ended up helping to serve more than 200 men, homeless or in the shelter, feeding them casseroles made by dozens of volunteers in the Philadelphia area. Quite an experience!

I will post December events during the first week of December, since there are already enough in November for you to digest!

Finally, I found a list of 100 ways to reduce stress and hope to post some them throughout these last two busy months of 2015. And I couldn’t resist posting one more leafy photo, since we still have trees that are brilliant!

P.S. on Nov. 9th- I forgot that November is National Diabetes Month. An article appears on Nov. 10th in Health Flashes & Special Reports.

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