Thoughtful Thursday – Milky Quartz Crystals

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Crystals are beautiful gems treasured by many. Some are worn as jewelry or placed in homes as decoration. They have been used throughout time for their healing properties as well.

I was introduced to crystals by my late sister many years ago. One Christmas she gave a quartz crystal candle holder. It’s a large 3.5″ square block of white quartz with a hole in the center big enough for a tealight candle. It’s a stunning crystal to say the least.

Right after Christmas, I spent the next several nights tossing and turning, unable to sleep. When my sister called I told her how tired I was from lack of sleep and she got pretty quiet and asked, “where did you put the candle holder I gave you?” I replied, on my nightstand. Then she asked “when did your sleepless nights begin?” I said, “basically right after Christmas.” She instructed me to move the crystal into the bathroom, cover it with a towel and close the door at night. I was pretty skeptical at the thought that her candle holder was causing my lack of sleep. So I did as she asked and to my surprise, I had no problem sleeping once I moved it.

I tried putting it back on the nightstand and yep you guessed it, I couldn’t sleep again. This began my journey into exploring different crystals and their properties. I still have the large quartz candle holder but now it sits on my office desk where it charges my energy throughout the day. If you have the chance, stop by a crystal shop and explore these magical gems and see how they make you feel.

Milky Quartz Crystal Properties:

  • increases concentration
  • boosts your energy
  • purifies negative energy
  • removes energy blockages
  • enhances properties of other crystals

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“Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love.” ~Rumi

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Thoughtful Thursday – Benefits of Ginger

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Ginger root has been used for centuries as a spice and for medicinal purposes. The first time I tried ginger, I wasn’t too crazy about it. I loved the scent but the flavor, not so much.

Over the years, I’ve grown to really love ginger. I’ll put a few small pieces in my salad or add some to my veggie juices. I even make fresh ginger tea which is very aromatic and quite delicious (recipe below). I’ve learned and personally experienced the healing powers of ginger and I can say in all honesty, it’s truly a Superfood.

Ginger has many benefits and can help the body heal from a number of ailments naturally including:

  1. Aids in Digestion
  2. Regulates Blood Sugar
  3. Reduces Inflammation
  4. Lowers Blood Pressure
  5. Helps with Nausea
  6. Antibacterial Properties
  7. Reduces Menstrual Pain
  8. Aids in Reducing LDL Cholesterol
  9. Anti-Cancer Properties
  10. Aids Weight Loss

Before making any changes to your healthcare regime, always check with your doctor/health practitioner to make sure it’s right for you.

Ginger Tea Recipe:

  • 4-5 quarter inches pieces of ginger, slightly crushed
  • 2 Cups Water
  • Sweetener (honey, stevia)

Add ginger and water to a teapot. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and steep for 15 minutes. Strain ginger pieces, add a little sweetener and enjoy.

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“Our Food should be our Medicine & our Medicine should be our Food.” ~Hippocrates

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Thoughtful Thursday – Keeping a Positive Attitude

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How do you stay on the path of positivity when there is so much negativity around you? How do you find that ray of hope each and every day? It’s hard, no doubt. Not something to be taken lightly either.

I’d like to think everyone starts their day on a positive note but depending on what your day was like the day before, that may be a tough thing to do. You may still be carrying all of that luggage. But I look at each day as a clean slate, a chance for a new beginning and a chance to make a positive change. Leave yesterday’s problem in the past and focus on a better today.

A few years ago I started listening to podcasts and grew to really love them. I go for the ones that grow my mind and spirit and a few business ones. Brendon Burchard is a life coach and is one of my favorite podcasts. He came up with a mantra that he uses first thing in the morning. I slightly changed it to fit my needs but here it is:

“Thank you God for this opportunity to serve today. Grant me the strength to focus. To be mindful and present. To serve with excellence. To be a force of light and love.” ~ Brendon Burchard

These words when spoken from the heart most definitely have a positive affect on your day. They don’t guarantee nothing will go wrong, but if it does, you can get back on track easier.

The podcasts are free and are a great resource for inspiration and spreading the happy! If you don’t have access to the podcasts on your phone, check YouTube.com, you can find a lot there. I highly recommend trying them out if you haven’t done so already. You may be pleasantly surprised!

A few of my favorites:

  • The Brendon Show
  • On Purpose with Jay Shetty
  • The Highest Self Podcast with Sahara Rose
  • The Marie Forleo Podcast
  • The Design You Podcast with Tobi Fairley

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“Your life is simply a collection of all your thoughts and actions. Which direction to steer it in, is a choice you make every day and every moment. Be positive, live happy.” ~Unknown

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Thoughtful Thursday – Earth Day

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Photo taken by Maria Vidaurre, Marco Island, FL

Earth Day started April 22, 1970, as a way to bring awareness to environmental issues and changing the public’s outlook. We are all interconnected on this planet. Every action causes an equal reaction whether it be good or bad.

Everyone chooses their battles to fight. Some battle to reduce air pollution while others battle for the forests. My battle is for the oceans because they are one of the biggest sources of life on this planet. It’s heartbreaking to see the islands of plastic that have formed as a result of dumping garbage into the oceans. Some of the plastic breaks down, pollutes the waters and eventually settles on the ocean floors. Marine animals mistake plastics for food causing them to get sick or even die.

As humans we consume tons of fish, crabs, lobsters and shrimp from the oceans every year. With the amount of plastics, garbage and toxins that have been dumped into the oceans the marine life has become toxic for humans to eat. Yet it still is a very large food source for us, so what does that say about the state of our health?

This is just one small part of a much larger problem in the oceans and I could go on and on about the issues at hand, but I think you get the gist of it. Everyday we wake up we need to be mindful of the role we play on this planet and be proactive in taking care of Mother Earth so we will have a beautiful tomorrow.

What are some of the things you do to help make a better tomorrow?

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“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” ~Unknown

All photos above in the slide presentation were taken by Maria Vidaurre, Bahamas.

Thoughtful Thursday – “No Tuna” Salad Sandwich Recipe Review

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Vegan Chickpea "No Tuna" Salad | Forks Over Knives

I’ve been exploring more vegan recipes, especially the ones that don’t necessarily appeal to my tastebuds. And I must say, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. So far, they have all been quite delicious and tasty.

My family likes to eat tuna fish sandwiches but tuna is one of the most toxic fish you can eat. They’re high in mercury and other heavy metals because of pollutants in the water. So I wanted to find a vegan alternative. I finally decided to give this recipe a try and I’m glad I did. It’s a “No Tuna” Salad Sandwich. It’s great because it doesn’t have that fishy smell like real tuna but it’s super delicious and quite filling. Plus it’s quick and easy to make.

The recipe was published in the latest Forks Over Knives, “100 Best Plant-Based Recipes,” 2021 and it can also be found on their website “No Tuna” Salad Sandwich.

Forks Over Knives  100 Best Plant-Based Recipes  2021 image 0

The main ingredient is chick peas aka garbanzo beans which is not necessarily my favorite but they work well in this recipe. I served my family these sandwiches and they were a hit! Lots of flavor, very filling and satisfying, vegan and most important, No Mercury! It’s a win win.

I recommend getting a little crazy and giving it a try. You may discover new flavors on this adventure!

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“Good nutrition creates health in all areas of our existence. All parts are interconnected.” ~ T. Collin Campbell

Thoughtful Thursday

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14 Ways to Show Your Love

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. We all know that we should express our love every day to those we hold dear, but Valentine’s Day is that 1 day to really shine. Without spending a lot of money, here are 14 Ways to Show Your Love to that Special Someone in your life:

  1. Make a nice breakfast.
  2. Take over and do their chores for the day.
  3. Go for a nice walk together.
  4. Do a yoga or other exercise class together.
  5. Go out on a picnic.
  6. Watch a movie with candy and popcorn.
  7. Bake a special sweet dish like the vegan brownies from last Thoughtful Thursday!
  8. Make a handmade Valentine’s Day Card.
  9. Create a surprise “Love You” display on the kitchen table with candy, flowers.
  10. Order a “To Go” meal and have a candlelit dinner at home.
  11. Create a romantic music play list and dance the night away.
  12. Leave little love notes for them to find.
  13. Give them a Spa Day at home with candles, chocolates and bubble bath.
  14. Spend quality time together talking with no distractions and really listen.

“Where there is Love, there is Life.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

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Zucchini Brownie Recipe Review

Many moons ago when I tried eating vegan, it really wasn’t the tastiest, at least not the recipes I tried. I’ve been vegan now for the past several years and can say that the recipes have improved tremendously. Some recipes are so good you can’t even tell they’re vegan and not made with eggs, milk and the usual ingredients. A lot are even better all plant based.

You may have seen Zucchini Brownies for sale in health food stores and restaurants. The thought of making something as delicious as a brownie from a vegetable didn’t quite appeal to my taste buds at first. But being a chocolate lover I finally gave into my curiosity and tried one at a small restaurant. To my surprise it was so delicious and moist, I pretty much inhaled it, lol.

Since I love to bake, I figured someone on the internet must have a pretty good recipe. Lo and behold I came across ElaVegan.com hosted by Michaela. She is a very talented vegan food stylist, recipe creator, photographer and writer.

Michaela’s Zucchini Brownie Recipe was absolutely delicious as are her many other recipes which I highly recommend you try. The recipes are written with easy instructions, lots of photos and helpful tips. She also puts a tab at the top of each recipe for a quick print. Even if vegan isn’t your thing, it’s a delicious alternative to healthier meals. I highly recommend trying these delicious brownies!

“Health is like money, we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it.” ~Josh Billings

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Many Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar has become the latest buzz with all of it’s health benefits. Growing up, it was a staple in our house. My mom would use it to make delicious foods and salads, color Easter eggs (my favorite thing to do, although I remember not liking the smell too much) and to clean just about anything. There really wasn’t anything that vinegar couldn’t do.

Apple Cider Vinegar is made from fermented ripe apples. Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar, which is cloudy and has cobweb looking pieces in the bottle contain lots of gut friendly bacteria and is often referred to as “The Mother.” The unfiltered variety is considered to be the most nutritious.

Studies have shown that it can help with weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol, improve heart health, improve skin health, detoxify the body, reduce dandruff, clean and disinfect fruits and vegetables, soothe sunburns and the list goes on.

Too much vinegar however can cause nausea, itching, sore throat, head aches, loss of tooth enamel to name a few. It can also adversely interact with medications.

I believe that moderation is the key to success with any health regime you start. But always check with your doctor/health practitioner before starting anything new to make sure it’s right for you.

“Nature itself, is the best physician.” ~Hippocrates

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10 Essentials Oils for Colds and Flu

When I start to feel a little off, I always turn to my essential oils. They’re my first line of defense against colds or flu. Essential oils have wonderful therapeutic properties and help shorten the duration of the illness when used at the first signs of symptoms including itchy eyes, sore throat, cough, sneezing and mild fever or just the general overall feeling of being unwell.

My favorite way to use essential oils when I start to get sick is through steam inhalation in the shower or bath or by using a diffuser. You can rub some blends directly on your skin, however you need to use caution because they can be irritating to some. Also, if you are pregnant you should consult your doctor before using essential oils.

  • Basil – useful in treating colds, aches and pains
  • Bergamot – useful in treating fevers and coughs
  • Cinnamon – useful in treating colds, flu, coughs and viral infections
  • Clove – useful as an analgesic and antiseptic
  • Eucalyptus – useful in treating sore throats, coughs, sinusitis, aches, pains and as an antiseptic
  • Lavender – useful in treating colds, flu, coughs, sinus congestion
  • Peppermint – useful in treating fevers, flu and can ease breathing
  • Sandalwood – useful in treating colds
  • Tea Tree – useful in treating colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections
  • Thyme – useful in treating bacterial and viral infections also helps to boost immunity

There are many books and online resources for finding oil blends but I recently came across a great book by Stephanie Gerber titled “Essential glow.” Below are a few of her recipes and I encourage you to check out her site at HellowGlow.com

11 Essential Oil Diffuser Blends for Cold + Flu Season

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