Disease Prevention, Health Promotion

Spontaneous Happiness!?

Book:  Spontaneous Happiness – Andrew Weil, MD

I love to peruse the clearance section at bookstores!  I came upon this book, flipped through it, and immediately felt it should belong to me.  (Plus…$5!  Couldn’t pass it up!)  The first paragraph of the inside cover said – “Everyone wants to be happy.  But what does that really mean?  Increasingly, scientific evidence shows us that true satisfaction and well-being come only from within.”  Y-E-S!  This is exactly what I needed to read!

There are so many meaningful points throughout this book!  It’s broken up into three sections – Theory, Practice, and Putting It All Together.  In the latter section, it gives you an opportunity to test your knowledge. Dr. Weil has designed an eight-week program where you can assess your well-being, lifestyle, and set attainable goals.  Personally, I haven’t done the program…yet!

EVERYONE should read this book!  It just makes sense!

For more information, please visit the following sites: www.drweil.com and Spontaneous Happiness

Disease Prevention, Health Promotion, Uncategorized

NEW Year = NEW Attitude :)


“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is, we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” — Dr. Charles R. Swindoll

Cholesterol, clean eating, Disease Prevention, Healthy Foods, Nutrition

Butternut Squash

Hello, little butternut squash! 

This pear-shaped squash is considered a POWER FOOD due to it’s multitude of health benefits.  It is a member of the gourd family, and is technically a fruit due to the seeds located in the deep orange-colored flesh.  They are available year-round but best to eat when they’re in season.  Since it’s very rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants, it promotes optimal health including anti-inflammatory benefits.  (Contains: Vitamin A, C, B1, B3, B5, B6, potassium, dietary fiber, manganese, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, copper, and tryptophan.)  Even though there are minimal studies, it may prevent cardiovascular disease and block the formation of cholesterol, too.  It is low in calories containing 82 calories per cup.  There is NO fat, either!


  • Antioxidants – “Any of various substances (beta carotene, vitamin C, and alphatocopherol) that inhibit oxidation or reactions promoted by oxygen and peroxides, and help to protect the body from free-radical damage.”
  • Phytonutrients – “Antioxidants that disarm free radicals before they can damage DNA, cell membranes, and fat-containing molecules such as cholesterol.”

Source:  The Everything Superfoods Book by Delia Quiqley, C.N.C. with Brierley E. Wright, R.D. 2008

The healthiest way to cook butternut squash is to cut it into 1″ cubes and steam it for 7 minutes.  But, I went a little further and baked it! 🙂  Recipe is adapted by A Taste of Home.  (Please see the link for the detailed recipe.)

After cutting it in half, scoop out the seeds.

After brushing the halves with butter, you’ll mix the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper together and sprinkle on top.  Then, sprinkle on brown sugar.  Bake (covered) at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or longer.

MMMmmm…ENJOY!  🙂 

Butternut squash recipes:

Other source of info:  The World’s Healthiest Foods and Whole Living.

Blackberries, clean eating, Disease Prevention, Healthy Foods, Nutrition

Wild Blackberries

Yes, I’m the woman on the side of the road picking wild blackberries 🙂

According to the Clean Eating Club, they are “rich in antioxidants, including vitamin c, ellagic acid and anthocyanins”.  They also contain “calcium, iron,  magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, vitamins A and E, selenium and folate”.

Nutrition Data  lists blackberries as a low calorie (62) and low fat (6) food – this is based on a 1 cup serving size.

The best way to eat this delicious fruit is to eat them raw, and mix them with other berries 🙂  But, of course, it’s also fun to make a blackberry cobbler and/or blackberry ice cream!  (Go ahead…you can indulge once in awhile!)

Blackberry Cobbler – The Pioneer Woman 

Blackberry Ice Cream – Blooming on Bainbridge

Blackberry Tart – The World’s Healthiest Foods


clean eating, Disease Prevention, Health Promotion, Healthy Foods, Nutrition

Clean Eating

Yes, it’s been a while since I posted a blog 🙂  I have a lot of super ideas but I’ve had a MAJOR case of writer’s block!  Anyhow…let’s not waste any time and get right into CLEAN EATING!

According to the Clean Eating Club website, clean eating is a LIFESTYLE.  The Clean Eating Magazine recommends consuming whole foods in its most natural state or close to it.  The Clean Eating Club  suggests you AVOID processed foods (mostly white flour and sugar), trans-fat foods, colas/juices loaded with sugar; eat mini-meals; consume fresh fruits and vegetables; and eat lean cuts of meat.  Some clean foods that will BOOST your ENERGY are: oatmeal, wheat pasta, brown rice, nuts, fish, chicken, avocado, low-fat yogurt, bananas, beans, and drink green tea.  Sounds simple and tasty to me! 🙂

To read success stories, visit: CLEAN EATING magazine’s SUCCESS STORIES

Here are a few blogs I recently discovered:

Think about changing your lifestyle towards CLEAN EATING!  You’ll notice you’ll maintain a healthy weight, increase your energy levels, and your skin will glow!  Not bad!  Good luck! 🙂

Atherosclerosis, Children, Cholesterol, Disease Prevention, Health Promotion, Nutrition, Nutrition Dimension

Children and Cholesterol – Part I

Now that I’m a Certified Health Education Specialist, I have 75 credit hours to fulfill within a 5-year time frame.  I really wanted to expand my knowledge on nutrition in children.  I perused the Internet and found a Childhood & Adolescent Nutrition class through Nutrition Dimension.  One of the chapters stopped me in my tracks – Cholesterol and Children.  I was actually shocked by some of the information.  Keep this in the back of your mind -> high cholesterol, which leads to many chronic diseases, is PREVENTABLE!


  • “…be concerned about what a child eats today because it can increase his risk of having cardiovascular disease in the future.”
  • “…atherosclerotic process begins in childhood and progresses slowly into adulthood.”
  • It’s much safer and far less costly to prevent blockage in the first place rather than rely on heroic medical intervention after a heart attack or stroke.  That is why as health care professionals we should encourage children and their families to avoid consuming a diet in fat especially saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol.”
  • At birth, total cholesterol is about 70 mg/dl, of which half is HDL.”
  • The process of cholesterol deposition in major arteries begins in childhood.”

Source: Good and Bad Cholesterol


In the next post, Children and Cholesterol – Part II, I’ll concentrate on ways to lower your cholesterol.  If you have any questions, please let me know!

Body Image, Disease Prevention

Body Image

 What does the term “body image” mean? 


Source:  Women’s Health. 

National Eating Disorders Association defines it as:

  • How you see yourself when you look in the mirror or when you picture yourself in your mind“;
  • What you believe about your own appearance“;
  • How you feel about your body“;
  • How you sense and control your body as you move.  How you feel IN your body, not just ABOUT your body“. 

Source – Norman Rockwell

It not only happens in the female population – males often feel negatively about their body image, too!  And, if you think teenagers are more vulnerable, it can happen at any age!  I remember reading an article that stated girls at age 8 have negative feelings about their body. 😦  That is WAY too young!

Positive Body Image can be developed by recognizing and respecting your natural shape.  Here are a couple of great links to help you achieve positive body image  – click > Women’s Health.  and 20 Ways To Love Your BodyNegative Body Image can lead to various disorders – not limited to – Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge-Eating Disorder.

For more information, please click on the following links:


What do you think attributes to negative or positive body image?