Airline Safety

Traveling by plane is the safest mode of transportation in the world, and it’s the safest it’s been in many years.

Here’s an article from International Business on Air Travel Safety.

And…another article about safety on airlines.

Train travel is also safe…and both modes of transportation are safer than driving in a car.

So get out there and travel.

Seeing the world opens your eyes to the beauty of the world around you.

Allows you to meet people in other cultures.

Learn about their way of life, the foods they eat, their customs, and so much more.

Travel enriches you in a way nothing else can.

And to honest…even if air travel weren’t the safest way to go…I’d probably still do it.

Because I can’t NOT travel.

Although…perhaps I could get there by cruise ship.

Hmmmm….good idea!

 

Picnic Ideas

Since Memorial Day is this weekend, I thought I’d share some ideas I found on lightening up our picnics.

Rather than burgers, fried chicken and mayonnaise based salads…why not try something new and healthy?

Check out these ideas for a healthy picnic.

South America

I have been in love with the idea of going to South America for a very long time now.

Today, a couple of interesting articles came to me that I thought I would share.

To me…grabbing a back pack and walking/bussing across South America would be a wonderful, life altering adventure.

Unfortunately you hear so many ‘stories’ about it…not all good. Then there’s that whole job, money thing….

But I was pleased to see this article about bus travel across South America.

And I would LOVE to learn more.

If you’ve taken the bus system anywhere in any of the countries…please comment and let me know your experience.

Next is 60 days in South America.

I found this interesting as well because from all the research I’ve done so far, it doesn’t mention alot of the cities or places I thought were ‘must-sees’.

Just goes to show you that travel is a very subjective, individual thing and what’s spectacular to one, may not work for someone else.

To me, it’s all spectacular….and I can’t wait to go.

 

Meditating for Beginners

I’d LOVE to learn to meditate.

Looking around I found a post for Meditating For Beginners.

#5 is definitely me!

I’m going to try some of these tips though and I’ll let you know how I do.

If you try them….please let me know how you do.

I would love to get to a point where meditating helps me to calm myself, lose some anxiety and stress and helps me to quiet my mind.

Recipes

 

FRUITFUL FROZEN YOGURT

Yield: 6 servings

View Online: http://diabeticgourmet.com/recipes/html/841.shtml

Source: Diabetic Dream Desserts

Book Info: http://diabeticgourmet.com/book_archive/details/61.shtml

 

Ingredients

 

– 1-1/2 cups frozen fruit, coarsely chopped and thawed

  (such as raspberries, strawberries, blueberries,

  blackberries, cherries, or peaches)

– 4 cups light vanilla yogurt (or use the same

  flavor yogurt as the fruit you choose)

– Sugar substitute equal for 1/4 cup sugar

Directions

 

Place the fruit and the accumulated juices in a large bowl and mash slightly with a fork.

Stir in the yogurt and sugar substitute.

Pour the mixture into a 1-1/2 quart ice cream maker and proceed as directed by the manufacturer.

 

Spoon into dessert dishes and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)

Calories: 114; Protein: 8 g; Sodium: 122 mg;

Cholesterol: 4 mg; Fat: 0.4 g; Carbohydrates: 19 g

Exchanges: 1 Carbohydrate

 

CREAMY SPINACH DIP

Yield: 16 servings

Serving Size: 2 tablespoons.

View Online: http://diabeticgourmet.com/recipes/html/842.shtml

Source: The Diabetes Food and Nutrition Bible Book Info: http://diabeticgourmet.com/book_archive/details/11.shtml

Ingredients

– 1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained well

– 1-1/2 cups low-fat sour cream

– 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

– 2 tablespoons minced mint

– 2 garlic cloves, minced

– 1/2 cup minced water chestnuts

– 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

– Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

 

Prepare the spinach and set aside.

 

In a medium bowl, combine the sour cream, vinegar, mint, garlic, water chestnuts, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Add the spinach and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

 

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)

Calories: 33; Protein: 2 g; Sodium: 27 mg;

Cholesterol: 7 mg; Fat: 2 g; Dietary Fiber: 1 g;

Sugars: 1 g; Carbohydrates: 3 g

Exchanges: 1/2 Carbohydrate

 

BACON AND MUSHROOM BITE-SIZE QUICHE

Yield: Makes 3-1/2 dozen.

Serving size: 1 quiche.

View Online: http://diabeticgourmet.com/recipes/html/844.shtml

Source: NPB

Ingredients

– 8 slices bacon

– 1/4 pound fresh mushrooms, chopped

– 1 tablespoon butter

– 1/3 cup green onion, chopped

– 1 2/3 cups Swiss cheese, shredded

– Pastry for double-crust pie, (homemade or purchased)

– 5 eggs

– 1 2/3 cups sour cream

Directions

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

 

On a lightly floured board, roll out

the pastry dough 1/ 16-inch thick.

 

Using a 3-inch cutter, cut out

42 circles; re-roll scraps as needed.

 

Fit circles into bottoms and slightly up sides of lightly greased 2-1/2-inch muffin pans.

 

Meanwhile, fry bacon slices until crisp, drain; crumble or chop.

Chop mushrooms, saute in butter until limp and liquid evaporates.

Combine bacon, mushrooms, green onion and cheese.

Divide filling equally among muffin cups.

In large bowl, beat together eggs, add sour cream and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1 tablespoon into each muffin cup.

Bake until puffed and light brown, 20-25 minutes.

Cool in pans 5 minutes; lift out.

 

Serve warm or let cool on wire racks. If made ahead, wrap cooled quiches airtight, and refrigerate overnight.

 

Reheat, uncovered, in a 350 degrees F.

oven for about 10 minutes.

 

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)

Calories: 95; Protein: 3 g; Sodium: 87 mg;

Cholesterol: 35 mg; Fat: 7 g;

Dietary Fiber: 0 g; Carbohydrates: 4 g

 

QUINOA SALAD

 

Yield: 4 servings.

View Online: http://diabeticgourmet.com/recipes/html/852.shtml

Source: The Diabetes Food and Nutrition Bible Book Info: http://diabeticgourmet.com/book_archive/details/11.shtml

 

Ingredients

 

–  1/2 cup raw quinoa, rinsed

–  1/4 cup finely chopped yellow pepper

–  1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper

–  1/4 cup finely chopped carrot

–  1/4 cup finely chopped celery

–  2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

–  1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil

–  4 tablespoons rice vinegar

–  2 cloves garlic, minced

–  2 tablespoons minced green onions

–  Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste

 

Directions

 

Prepare the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa

in a fine sieve for 20 seconds.

 

In a 1-quart saucepan bring 1-1/2 cups water to a boil.

 

Add the quinoa and bring to a boil.

 

Lower the heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

 

Meanwhile prepare the vegetables. Combine the chopped yellow pepper, red pepper, carrot, celery, and parsley in a medium bowl.

 

In a blender, combine the oil, vinegar, garlic, green onions, salt, and pepper. Blend for 15 seconds.

 

Once the quinoa is cooked, add it to the vegetables.

Pour the dressing over the quinoa and vegetables and toss well.

 

Refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve over lettuce if desired.

 

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)

Calories:  125; Protein: 3 g; Sodium: 12 mg;

Cholesterol: 0 mg; Fat: 6 g; Dietary Fiber: 3 g;

Sugars: 2 g; Carbohydrates: 16 g

Exchanges: 1 Starch, 1 Fat

Thanks To A Rock

THANKS TO A ROCK!

 

The rain hadn’t stopped all day, which was unusual since this is Southern California: the land of warm sunny days, flip flops and tank tops, but not today. The cold blustery day actually brought people into the gift shop that I work at part time to escape the wet streets and wander around in some warmth. While they warmed up, perhaps they would find a gift for themselves to remember their time in this seaside paradise or maybe a souvenir or trinket for the dog-sitter or Mom back home. But that day, one gift in particular was special.

I’d not worked there long but in my short stint I’d sold my fair share of worry stones. Some are made of sea glass, others petrified wood. All of them have sayings on them; peace, joy, happiness, magic, etc… Designed to be in your pocket, you reach in, rub the rock, and hopefully rub away some worries.

As the day wore on people came and went until evening arrived. The sun managed to peak out just enough, melting the evening sky over the ocean and sand when she walked in.

She came with friends and, even though I didn’t notice at first, she walked a little separate from the others. Alone. The others in her party joyfully walked through the store chatting to one another. Each holding their to-go bags from an earlier dinner. She stopped immediately at the bowl of rocks, paused over them just for a moment, chose one and put it on my counter, declaring she would take the rock but would look around for a minute in the shop. After browsing she came back to the wrap up desk. She bought nothing else on this damp, chilly evening. She knew what she wanted, what she needed. A rock. I rang her up and made small talk with her. I asked if she needed a bag, but she declined. I offered to put it in tissue to be placed into her handbag, again she said no. Then she explained she just wanted to put it in her pocket and rub on it. It was then I noticed the pain in her face. She said she needed the rock now. Her fingers rubbed across the smooth surface as we spoke, hoping it would begin to help ease her woes immediately.

I know that pain. Perhaps we all do at some point. At that moment I felt compelled to tell her my own special rock story.

I was in sunny Florida. It was a much needed vacation but unfortunately on this trip I brought my cares with me. My Prince Charming husband and I had decided to go out to the beach. It was an intensely hot afternoon with the bright Florida sun beating down on me turning me the color of a firecracker and with the burdens I was carrying I was sure I might actually explode like one. After walking a short distance down the beach my husband decided to go and get us some cold bottled water and I continued strolling. Looking out at the sea, occasionally reaching down to examine a shell on the sand. Walking along, alone with my worries.

I’ve always found solace in the sea. I think that’s why I’ve always tried to live near it. I like the idea of leaving my debilitating thoughts on the beach for the pounding surf to grab hold of and carry them away into the black depths of the sea. Crushing them against the coral and kelp beds, having the remaining bits get eaten by the small fish. At least that’s what I like to envision in my mind.

On that day, I was holding tight to them, unable to let go. It was then I noticed him walking toward me. He walked across the blazing sand with a purpose. Stopping in front of me. He held out his hand, in it was a rock. A stone from the Atlantic, rubbed partially smooth from the slow, gentle rock of the ocean. He handed it to me and said, “I found this rock for you. You look like you need it. Over the years put your hand on it and rub it when you’re worried or carrying too many cares. Eventually the rock will be smooth as silk. When the rock is smooth, you and I will meet again.” I was taken aback by his gesture of kindness. He saw the pain in my face, as I saw it on my customer’s face and felt moved to aid me in finding a way to happiness. Giving me a small but obvious token of generous human spirit. Perhaps he felt my pain. Was I emitting like a beacon of light from the lighthouse on the point? Guiding him to me like a ship to safety? Was he giving me a safe shore to pull up to?

I thanked him and expressed how moved I was by his gesture. I told him that I did indeed hope that we would meet again someday. I watched him walk away, continuing down the beach. He met up with his family, wrapped his arm around his wife’s waist and they walked on. Was he telling her what had just happened? As he got further into the distance I looked at the rock, began to rub it and the tears streamed down my hot sunburned cheeks.

I still have this rock. It’s quite a bit smoother today than the day it was so lovingly bestowed upon me but it’s not butter-like so he and I have not yet met again. I am still hoping we will. I’d love the opportunity to share how truly touched I was by his kindness. A kindness I try to remember when I’m out in the world. I still have many cares and worries but in hopes of finding release or answers, I rub that rock.

I shared my story with my customer and she attentively listened with an open heart. I told her that I was hoping she’d find some peace rubbing her rock. I also suggested that she take a walk on our nearby beach, before going back home, and possibly cast some of her cares into the ocean for them to be swallowed up.

Her eyes welled up with tears and she told me that with her, I had indeed repaid the kindness that was long ago shown to me. We shook hands and I told her that someday I hoped that she and I would also meet again. She said she wished the same. She left the store and was lost into the blackness. Years from now when our cares are hopefully lighter, perhaps on a warm, sunny day the ocean breeze with blow us together again.

I hope so.

Pilates anytime

Want to get started in Pilates?

Give it a try.

Five Anywhere, Anytime, Pilates Exercises…. 

Even if you aren’t familiar with Pilates, these easy moves will help you build a foundation for a firmer core, better posture, and more effective workouts overall.

You can do these moves at the same time; you can do them one at a time; and you can do them anytime. But don’t think you have to do them all the time (except When you practice these moves on and off during your day, they will become more natural and the extra support they provide will be there when you need it.

1. Breathe Deeply

Shallow breathing does little but keep you going at a low-level of vitality. Deep breathing oxygenates your body. It relieves stress. It is even said to give you an internal massage. A deep breath goes all the way into your belly and back, and you can feel it down to your toes.

The Move: Take a big inhale and bring the air all the way into your belly, allowing your belly to rise with the breath. Use that deep breath to lengthen your spine as you keep your shoulders down and let your back expand laterally. Repeat.

2. Lengthen Your Spine

Look better. Feel better. Move better. The hallmark of good posture is a long, well-supported spine.

The move: When you sit, feel your sitbones under you and press down into them to help you extend your spine up through your shoulder girdle so your neck gets long and energy is extending through the top of your head. When you stand, think of a line from your ankle bones to your ears and let your body lengthen along it. Go for length, but keep a good posture. Your spine should be neutral with its 3 natural curves. Don’t get so caught up in lengthening that you pop your ribs forward, or lean back, or tuck your pelvis.

3. Pull your abs in and up

Being able to walk, run, dance, and play better are among the many benefits of having toned abs that support your spine and help you move. They are one of the keys to preventing back pain.

The move: You can sneak this ab exercise in anywhere: Keep a neutral spine, then from deep inside pull your abdominal muscles in. Go for an in and up feeling. Start with a sense of engaging the pelvic floor muscles. Then begin pulling your abs in from down low, just above the pubic bone. Move up and in from there. Don’t hold your abs in until your teeth chatter. Just engage your abs every now and then.

4. Relax your Shoulders

Stress and hunching over computers has many of us holding ourselves up by our shoulders. But what if your core strength held you up and your shoulders relaxed down? You would feel less stress, and less pain, and move with more freedom. It’s not as hard as you think.

The move: Sit or stand tall with abs engaged and spine long, as in the exercises above. Then, take a deep breath as you raise your shoulders up. Exhale and let your shoulders drop. Repeat. Then leave your shoulders relaxed down as you go through your day feeling support from your core.

5. Activate Your Feet

Your feet should be as toned and alive as any other part of your body. They connect you to the earth and should provide a flexible and adaptable platform for living. Even when you are not standing, the health of your feet affects how you move.

The move: Wriggle your toes and tap your feet, then do this easy arch-lifting exercise: With your feet flat on the floor, keep your toes relaxed and pull the ball of your foot and heel toward each other. Imagine a dome inflating under the middle of your foot. Hold and release.

Finding Treasures

While in Carslbad, California the other day with my friend we found a really amazing place.

The Leo Carrillo Ranch.

Have you ever been there?

Do you remember Leo Carrillo?

He played in the show The Cisco Kid as ‘Pancho’ in the early 1950’s.

When he wanted to escape Los Angeles, relax and spend time with his family, he retreated to the ranch in Carlsbad.

It’s a lovely area covered with adobe structures he built with his family to live in.

The grounds have peacocks walking around everywhere.

It’s quiet, peaceful and I could see how Leo would have loved it our there.

I did.

We walked around for quite a while.

We enjoyed watching the birds strut around, feeling the breeze in the trees and just took in the general quiet and peacefulness of the area.

Here are some images I took from that day.

I hope (as usual) that you enjoy them.

As a side note, if you’re in Southern California, in the summer they have movies outside on this lovely ranch.

Bring a picnic and a bottle of wine. Sit under the stars and watch an old classic movie. For Free!

Can you think of any better way to spend a lovely summer night?

Check the website in July for the schedule.

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