Glowing, radiant health is the new black. Our Green Table is serving it up, for the whole body! Healthy recipes and tips, the latest on eco-friendly food and "skin food"products and a head's up on ingredient safety are all woven into family-centered stories and discoveries. Bring informed, aware and empowered looks good on everyone!

Abrazos! xox Penny

Monday, February 28, 2011

Another peace of cake

This is a little weird. But I am going to do it. Just this once because many of you have asked. I am going to re-run a post from when I first started this blog. My dad passed away two years ago yesterday and I started this blog to "write to myself", I guess, during the difficult period of his illness and all that came afterwards. I also decided to weave the stories and thoughts around recipes. A girl's gotta eat or at least, this girl does. The cake in this post is fabulous. And so, here it is again... 

Let the elephant in the room eat a peace of cake...

There is an elephant in the room that's hungry and so I am going to feed it Carrot Cake.

In my heart, I feel my dad fell and died because of his chemo treatment. There... I said it. Not quite out loud, but I said it. I was with him the day he went to the oncologist and learned that after radiation, his condition had taken two steps back and one forward. He asked what else could be done and chemo was offered, a little hesitantly but still put out there and up for grabs. Without batting an eye or taking a breath, he asked when he should show up. My mom and I were aghast and both blurted out to the doctor, "We'll talk about this and get back to you!" One treatment of chemo six months earlier landed him in the hospital for a week and he was now six months frailer. I got on the phone and called doctor friends, my family and my brother. What should I do...I had three weeks to talk him out of this, but how??? All can't. It is his decision and he feels hopeful.

What I could tell was that Dad was determined to live and fight nature and his disease from taking its course. Stunning in itself given my dad's aversion to pain and to confrontation of any kind. It was obvious to me that he was not ready to die and also that he wanted to fight his battle a little more privately. "You go on home, Babe" and so, after being with him for four weeks, I did, in early February. His doctor said he would receive the mildest dose of chemo. On February 25th, he did. On February 27th, he died. One of the first things I found when I got up there just hours after he died, was a shopping list by his chair for February 28th. And so, he did die hopeful and optimistic that he would go on doing what he loved and I have to deal with the wonder, and the fact, that in a strange way, I am thankful that he went ahead as he chose.

One of the other things I have to deal with is that in over 50 years of cooking (counting those cute little cakes I made in that 1950's toy oven...what were those called...anyone remember??), the first time I ever made Carrot Cake was February 27th. That same night, just two hours before he died, my dad ate his last piece of cake with a scoop of his favorite ice cream. What flavor of cake? He ate Carrot Cake given to him by his bridge partner. And so, there we were, father and daughter, eating the same cake at the same time, half a country away. It is sweet peace indeed.

Here is the cake as I made it. I am working on a gluten-free version and will have it soon! And, it would be simple to make this vegan as well.

Special Carrot Cake (Serves a herd of elephants)

Preheat your oven to 300. In a blender or food processor, combine:
1 cup of vegetable oil (peanut or corn)
1 scant cup local honey, topped off with 2 tablespoons molasses

Add, one at a time:
3 fresh eggs

Sift together:
1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/3 teaspoons EACH baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and just a dash of freshly grated nutmeg

Stir the dry ingredients into the oil-honey mixture and add:
1 teaspoon vanilla

Then, fold in:
2 cups grated carrots (raw)
3/4 cup dark raisins
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Transfer batter to an oiled 9 x 13 pan (line with parchment paper if you wish) and bake for about 1 hour or until done (use toothpick test). Serve warm or cool, plain or with ice cream or whipped cream. Also delish with a cream cheese buttercream frosting!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Golden Inspirations

I adore Nicole Kidman. No, not just because underneath the flat-ironed blond, she is also a fellow curly-haired redhead. I love her work. When going to a "Nicole Kidman movie", I never know who and how she is going to show up. She doesn't seem to have a "type" and has acted out some very courageous roles.

One is in Rabbit Hole and she is up for an Oscar for it. This movie is not popular at all at the box office and my friend and I were the only ones in the theater the night I saw it. Its subject matter is hardly entertainment for most. Instead, it is one of our biggest fears: the loss of a child. I had already seen the play and so I was emotionally prepared and focused instead on her incredible performance. She goes from raw, gut-wrenching heartache to completely encapsulating her grief to even some comedy and then out...out into the Rabbit Hole. A breath-taking performance.

I have seen four of the Oscar nominated movies: Rabbit Hole, Black Swan, The Social Network and The King's Speech (thanks Christian!!)...a record for me. However, I have missed Annette Bening's performance and The Fighter. I think "they" say the Oscar is a toss-up between her and Natalie Portman. I think Nicole Kidman should win. Give me a ballot! I would also vote for Colin Firth for Best Actor, The King's Speech for Best Movie. Supporting actors, unsure. I cannot imagine topping Geoffrey Rush's performance.

And, while talking about winning, I am going to try out a new pilaf recipe over the weekend. It is from The Fresh Market's magazine, "Inspirations". (For more on The Fresh Market, please scroll down to yesterday's post!) I am going to serve it with my fave kale salad pictured below and add in a little extra Golden Delicious apple for good measure! Enjoy your weekend!

Sundried Tomato Rice Pilaf (taken verbatim from Inspirations)

1 package Rice River Farms Multigrain Rice Medley, cooked according to instructions
1/4 cup TFM Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 package Baby Portabella Mushrooms
1 1/2 cups Julienne Cut California Sun Dried Tomatoes
2 teaspoons Parmesan cheese, grated 

While rice is cooking, heat sauté pan over medium high heat for 2 minutes. Sauté onion in olive oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and quickly sauté, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms and cook until they release their liquid, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, toss to combine mushroom mixture, cooked rice, and sundried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top and serve. Serves 3-4.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Heroes of the Day!

Here are some pictures of my heroes from yesterday...Bountiful Chili Kit Delivery Day!

Brad with his cart full of exquisite veggies

Nathanial with the veggies unloaded at the Foodbank

And here is what happened at The Foodbank...

A sea of bags from Melinda filling up

Beautiful, gorgeous produce peeking out 

Done and delivered!!

When I started this project it was a dream for sure...a dream to be able to give a meal to those who needed it and have it be bursting with health. I wanted to pack it full of great protein, wonderful vitamins and minerals, anti-oxidants, healthy fats, blood-sugar stabilizing carbs, fragrant spices and have it be a "good old American meal"...only better. This dream swirled around one thing...I needed help. I had already developed a chili recipe that was loaded with everything I wanted. On paper, it looked great...fabulous actually, once my teenage artists decorated the recipe cards.

But, in order to make this dream come to life, I needed a soul mate or two. Boy, did I ever find them.

This post is beyond a Red, White and Food tribute. It is really a love letter to The Fresh Market. It is still February after all!

One day, big as life, I walked in there and asked to speak with Curt, the store manager. I love that store and especially love its produce department. I explained to Curt what I had in mind and how essential fresh produce was to these chili kits. He didn't waste a nanosecond and declared, "We are in! We totally get what you are wanting to do and it fits our philosophy to a "T".

The Fresh Market has a mantra...and it would be great if it was contagious. They believe in doing the right thing the first time and giving people their best. They know about the value of good, wholesome food and how health and lives can change for the better. Like they said, it starts with one person, one meal, one community.

To help with this project, Brad, the produce manager ordered in especially for us... 

55 pounds of red bell peppers, 50 pound of green bell peppers, 10 pounds of mushrooms, 50 pounds of yellow onions, 48 pounds of organic carrots and 50 pounds or organic celery.

From the  bottom and top of my heart, I thank them for their vision and generosity. With their help, this project came to life and jumped off the recipe card and into all those bags. The veggies they brought to the table were so fresh they sparkled! 

The Fresh Market brims with other delights as well...fabulous fruits, cheeses and breads, meats, poultry and seafood, a mouth-watering ready-to-eat case, a dazzling array of wonderful oils and vinegars, pastas, sauces, spices and really fun candies and nut mixes. They have lot of different beverages, coffees and teas, beers, waters and organic and local wines. They also carry my fave cleaning potions which I will talk about next week. Here is a link for you to learn more:  Their website is fabulous...full of great recipes, too. Better yet...visit the store! We are so lucky they are in our community!

While The Fresh Market does no advertising, they do publish a great magazine called "Inspirations" that you can pick up at the check out counter. In it are some great wine picks under $10! It is Thirsty Thursday after all and why not head out there and check out their selection?!

I also want to thank Nathanial and his fellow classmates at The Clinton School of Public Service for helping. Without Nathanial yesterday, I would have had to tie produce to the roof of my car. More than just a help carrying veggies, he was also a cheerful and encouraging supporter throughout this project. There is another post with more thanks you's. Go to January 18th, "Fighting Hunger...."

Thank you to the Arkansas Foodbank for pulling the canned goods and for letting me hang out there and stuff all those bags yesterday. They also found a wonderful agency to disperse these kits to families in need. As I write this, 100 plus families are firing up about 600-700 servings of Bountiful Chili!

xoxoxoxo to The Fresh Market and to all who dreamed along with me! We got it done!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Today is D-DAY!!!

Oh, my. It is here. Delivery Day for the Bountiful Chili Kits. I am so grateful. My heart is bursting.

And so, I have a super busy day. The agency receiving these kits is coming at 2:30 and I have a bunch of bags to stuff with all the fixings for Bountiful Chili...600-700 servings! Here are some pix...Our Green Table is totally coated in spice packs...

and soon to be covered by about 600-700 servings of fresh veggies from this jewel of a store...


Gather them up and I am off to the Arkansas Foodbank! I want to especially shout out to Nathanial at The Clinton School of Public Service for helping me load up the veggies today. Phew...such a help!

I want to leave you with something one of my extraordinary donors (tomorrow's post) said, "Let's give as good as we get!".

Yes, let's!  What can you give that is as good as you get?  Think about that in the context of others and your community.

Then, because this is Wednesday and I usually talk personal care health and products, think about what you are giving your body and the results you are getting. Do you look and feel good enough???  Have a great day...see you tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Another two-fer

Another two-fer is in the works and hopefully, I will have the full story on Thursday. 'Til then, here is a teaser and if you happen to go there between now and then, please shout out a giganticTHANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fitting the Bill

Happy Presidents' Day!!! And while I should be lauding George and Abe collectively, I still do on their individual days. Abe's big day was February 12th and as a little girl, I made log cakes for the occasion. Tomorrow is George's big day and something cherry will have my name on it, his, too! Which reminds me, I do need to research both of those remarkable men and their foods...get back to you on that next year! Til then, here is another president that's on my mind.

As you know, Bill Clinton no longer eats animals. For about a year now, he has eaten generous amounts of veggies, fruits, whole grains and legumes. Like me, he also starts off every morning with a protein shake. Chelsea, his daughter, wanted him to look picture perfect for her wedding and designed a plant-based diet for him to lose 15 pounds. He embraced it and lost 23.

Bill himself had read some of the books we list as references and decided that going plant-based would fill both his daughter's heart's desire and it might even help fix his. He has had bypass surgery and some lingering complications to boot. Judging from the recent photo below, his new way of eating fits the Bill.

He was in Little Rock this past Saturday to open up a new community theater. I would have given my eye teeth to be there. I wonder what and where he ate??? Here is a soup that might have been perfect to serve him.  A Korean variation of a miso soup, it is a shoe-in fit for Meatless Monday, especially on a Monday during this raging flu season, and it is about time for a tofu recipe. Like a rare visit from a former president, I don't eat or feature tofu very often. Lots of folks have a tummy virus. (All the more reason to let me help you with your food and skincare for whole body defense!) This soup fits the bill for that, too...delicious, soothing, and healing.

Bill's Tofu Soup

1/4 cup crumbled dried seaweed, such as wakame or kelp (see Tip) 
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 cups water
2 tablespoons white miso (see Note), or to taste
1/2 cup diced firm tofu...must be organic, non-GMO!!
  *I also add in some mushrooms

Place seaweed in a medium bowl, cover with water and let soak for 20 minutes.
Combine scallions, garlic, sesame oil and pepper in another bowl. Warm a medium saucepan over high heat and add the scallion mixture. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in 4 cups water and miso. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the liquid does not boil. Whisk to dissolve the miso.

Drain the seaweed and stir it into the soup along with tofu. Cook over medium-low for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Taste and season with more miso, if desired. Don't let soup boil after you add in the will diminish some of miso's wonderful natural, healing powers!

Tip: Wakame is easier to find than you think. Look for wakame in natural-foods stores,  Asian markets, lots of grocery stores in the "international section" and even Drug Emporium has it.

Note: Miso is fermented bean paste made from barley, rice or soybeans and is used to add flavor to dishes such as soups, sauces and salad dressings. It is available in different colors, depending on the type of grain or bean and how long it’s been fermented. In general, the lighter the color, the more mild the flavor. It will keep, in the refrigerator, for at least a year and is usually found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. There are also some dried misos available. Check the label to see how to use them.

Here are the brands I use...

Friday, February 18, 2011


Seems like it is spring. Lots of things are sprouting through the ground. Last night, I even heard crickets. Crickets, in February! The "sprout-i-ness" around me got me thinking...

In this week celebrating love, there is an adorable veggie that could use some: brussels sprouts. I adore them, but a good number of you don't. A few of you have asked me to suggest some plant-based party menus and to a person, all have requested "No brussels sprouts!". I am not going to go into their fabulous nutritional profile, that they provide tons of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, fiber and kick-it-to-the-curb, cancer-fighting anti-oxidants and that they are cute as a button, whole or cut in half. Ahem. Focus.

It's Friday and I thought I would do a little weekend match-making, Our Green Table's version: Match. Veg. Today's match pairs a seasonal veggie/wall-flower (brussels sprouts) with a seasonal sweetie (maple syrup) and we shall see if we have a match you can love. My friends up in Vermont, New York and New Hampshire are entering sugar season and the town where I grew up in Pennsylvania, literally translated from the Native American means "Sweet Water"or Maple Syrup, PA and so, I think the timing for this match is great. Has a little romantic, folks-y history! Both are easy to find...lots of brussels sprouts, lots of delicious maple syrup in almost every store. Give this recipe a try...remember it is only a date, OK!

Sugared Sprouts

1 ½ pounds brussel sprouts
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon (or 10 grinds of) black pepper
2 tablespoons maple syrup (the real stuff!)
½ cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. To prepare the brussel sprouts, remove any yellow or brown outer leaves, cut off the stems, and cut in half.

In a large bowl, toss the brussel sprouts, olive oil, salt, and pepper together. Once all of the brussel sprouts are coated in oil, spread them into a 9x13 (or larger) baking dish or sheet tray to roast. Note: You may want to line your sheet tray with parchment papaer or foil for easy cleanup because the caramelizing process leaves a sticky residue.

After 15 minutes, stir the brussel sprouts around with a spatula or large spoon to even out the browning. After 15 minutes, stir in the maple syrup. Continue to roast the brussel sprouts for about 15 more minutes, or until they are fork tender (about 45 minutes total roasting time).Toss the roasted Brussel sprouts with the hazelnuts and go grab a fork.

*I like my brussels sprouts still  a little crunchy. You may want to cook a few minutes longer.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Today's post is a two-fer...a combo of Tuesday's regular Red White and Food and Thursday's wet and wild (or not) Thirsty Thursday.

I am teaching a spring cooking class this Saturday at The Culinary District. No, not the one in Los Angeles, at the fabulous one here in Hot Springs. Here is the link:

The building alone is reason enough to go see this mouth-watering store. Absolutely gorgeous and filled with some amazing antiques as well as a cook's dream of foods, equipment and drum roll, please, wine.

I went over on Tuesday for a walk-through of their foods and pot and pans that I would need and wouldn't you know it, the first thing that caught my eye walking in the back entrance was a case of organic wine. Organic red wine at that. Why, it is practically a stand alone food group and there it was, front and center!

And so, in addition to cooking up some of my favorite spring dishes (a luscious soup, fresh as spring salad and perfect spring pesto), I will also give a nod to their organic wine selection. Here are my three favorite red organic wines, all available at The Culinary District.

What makes a wine organic? Here is a great link:

I believe Saturday's class is full but I bet we can do this again! Just ask them to schedule another class. My classes are a little, a little spunky and with easy and del-ish recipes. As a nutritionist with an eye on both your well-being and Mother Earth's, my recipes and techniques are "health-supportive". I am self-trained cook, though, and so believe me, after my classes, you will be able to DIY, too!

A big shout out and thank you to The Culinary District for being the cook's dream that they are and for inviting me to "cook up some good" on Saturday! Cheers!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

PG...I'd rather not.

I am not an alarmist. I would rather create an environment of "smarts" than fear.

It always concerns me and arouses my "need to find out more" when I find an ingredient like Propylene Glycol everywhere. In the United States, the FDA classifies it as "generally recognized as safe" whereas in Canada, its CEPA classifies it as "expected to be toxic or harmful". Remember that Europe has much higher ingredient safety standards and bans close to 1500 chemicals from use in personal care products. The United States bans just 9.

Cottage cheese, in case you are wondering!

Propylene Glycol is a big industry (DOW Chemical) player and is used in scads of products relevant to Our Green Table...from your cottage cheese to your deodorant. It is a carrier of fragrance oils (think massage oils here), used as a moisturizer in cosmetics, toothpaste and hair care and is the main ingredient in deodorant sticks. According to the safety review, it is in over 5,600 personal care products and while currently rated a "4" on the hazard scale, it has lots of rising safety concerns. 

"About PROPYLENE GLYCOL: Propylene glycol is a small organic alcohol commonly used as a skin conditioning agent. It has been associated with irritant and allergic contact dermatitis as well as contact urticaria in humans; these sensitization effects can be manifested at propylene glycol concentrations as low as 2%".

There are tons of industrial uses as well, including use as a de-icing agent. It is the ingredient that keeps you from having to shake or stir your products before you use them. It also keeps products from freezing during shipping or storage.

And so, why am I saying "NO" to Propylene Glycol? It is a petroleum derivative. Period. End of story. I do not want petroleum derivatives in my body. Propylene Glycol and petroleum found in petroleum, petroleum jelly and mineral oil are among the most commonly used ingredients in skin care treatment products. They are cheap...or are they? Think what our need and use for petroleum in everything means to the peace, safety and well-being of this planet. (See a post under Environmental Impact for more on this). Often these ingredients are labeled as being “natural.” And, some women believe that advertising in the U.S. at least. 

Even though Dow Chemical Company reports that Propylene Glycol will not cause cancer or gene-damage, a recent study found that the breast tissue of women with breast cancer contained significantly higher levels of petroleum than women without breast cancer. A recent hospital study showed that infants are 11 times more likely to get systemic candidiasis from the use of petroleum-based skin care products. The candidiasis stopped when the hospital discontinued use of the products

Other reports show that long-term use can result in dry, wrinkled skin with reduced lipids (naturally occurring skin fats) and dulled tone and texture. The problem is that Propylene Glycol mines moisture up from the lower layers of the skin. This keeps the upper layers moist while the moisture contained in the subcutaneous and dermis layers of skin becomes depleted. The long-term result? New skin is dryer, and you end up needing more moisturizer.

This makes me think of lip balms and how "addicting" the wrong ones can be. Always applying yours? Now you know why! 

Do your products have Propylene Glycol? Mine don't and I am soooooooooooo glad! Better safe than sorry...or wrinkled or both! Go to Tab at top of blog, "Our Little Green Store" and check out this link see what I use...all without Propylene Glycol and other potentially harmful chemicals! Let me know what you'd like to try and I will get you some specials available to Our Green Table readers. Contact me at

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

I wish you love today!!

I even found a vintage veggie Valentine's card...

Many of you may be headed out to an evening on the town. But, I bet some of you are dining in. I found this recipe that looks so good and will take advantage of all the fresh avocadoes that I see on sale in every grocery. looks so pretty with that glass of organic red wine and a few fair-traded roses! Have a great day...may love fill your life today and every day. xoxoxo

Avocado Pesto

1 pound dried linguini
1 bunch basil leaves (about 2½ ounces)
½ cup pine nuts
2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about ½ of a lemon)
3 cloves garlic
½ cup olive oil
Sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped sun dried tomatoes (optional)

In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add pasta and cook to package directions. While pasta cooks, in a food processor, blend basil, pine nuts, avocados, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Drain pasta. In a large serving bowl, toss pesto with hot, freshly cooked pasta and garnish each serving with a basil leaf. For an extra touch of color and flavor, top pasta with sundried tomatoes. Serves 4-6.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Dream on...

Maybe it's me. But I feel a lot of resistance in the crisp cold air. I went on two glorious walks yesterday and bubbled off to all I passed, "Isn't this fabulous?!!" Instead of wild agreement from everyone I met, I got more than several "It needs to end already" replies. And, the kids...where were they? I didn't see too many out playing. The day before, yes. But yesterday when it was so bright and blue and the snow was still just perfect...only a couple here and there. Oh well,  I love it snowy. It is such a rare treat here.

With the weekend and Valentines' Day coming up and taking into consideration many of you may not be the winter fan that I am, I thought I would calm you with this dessert. It has a warm, languid, tropical vibe...

Coco-Chocolate Fondue

Bananas and mangoes pair deliciously with this simple sauce which could be your Valentine's dessert. Refrigerate leftover sauce for up to a week, then reheat it and serve over toasted slices of banana bread.

1 (15-ounce) can cream of coconut, such as Coco López or Thai Kitchen
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa power
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 bananas, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices
2 mangoes, peeled and cut into chunks

Combine cream of coconut and cocoa powder in a small, heavy saucepan. Heat over low, whisking, until mixture is warmed through and smooth. Transfer to a fondue pot or a warmed heatproof bowl, stir in vanilla and salt, and serve with bananas and mangoes for dipping. Makes 6 servings.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sugar on the Snow

This is a day worth flipping for!

It is stunning out there this morning...crisp blue skies, sunshine creating a sparkle-fest on blankets of beautiful snow and a wind chill that makes me hunger for...sugar on the snow. What? No cocoa? No, I can have cocoa next week (also shared a non-dairy version last Thursday). 

Sugar on the snow is a treat that I have to put out there today because 60 degree temperatures are coming. I made this as a kid... and ate it as is, without the sour pickles and doughnuts. It is like a maple crusted Slurpee and a perfect fit for today's Thirsty Thursday! Go out there and scoop yourself up some gorgeous snow!

Sugar on the Snow
Vermont Fancy, Grade-A Light Amber Maple Syrup
Pure white snow

Boil syrup to 255 degrees Fahrenheit. Scoop snow into large bowl or pan. Drizzle hot maple syrup lightly over snow.

Use forks to eat the sticky top layer. To eat "traditionally", follow with a bite of sour pickle or your favorite doughnut...or not!
Isn't she a beauty?!

Stopping by the woods on a snowy morning...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

O, Canada! And, Some Peace of Heart...

Thanks to a reader, Our Green Table has a maple leaf! Hi and a heartfelt welcome to our new readers in Canada!

From Meatless Monday to woohoo-it's-the-weekend Friday, I look forward every day to posting my thoughts, sharing recipes and stories. Wednesday is the day I wake up and say, "Oh, girls... I gotta share this!" 

It is a big Wednesday. It is National Heart Month and right before Valentines' Day. Plus, I read a couple of articles on women's SOP of always satisfying others before finally seeking out what makes us truly happy and I thought about my grandmother who always gave herself "To Me from Me" gifts which, at the time, I thought that was a little weird. Now, I think her plan was brilliant. And so, splicing all these together, I have personal care for our hearts on my mind today. Peace of Heart for Women.

For our physical heart's best, here are 10 Physical Peaces of Heart...

1. Explore a plant-based diet. "Lean into it" one meal at a time or go full plate ahead.
2. Get informed and read the books and studies that are done without funding from drug and food giants. 
3. Ditch the diet angst and eat to live and live well.
4. Know our cholesterol, good and bad cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, weight, BMI
5. Get plenty of rest and plenty of play...walk, run, dance, garden, make a snow angel. 
6. Pitch the harmful chemical soup we are bathing in, washing our hair in and making up our faces with. Switch to a brand without harmful chemicals so our bodies can work as they should.
7. Listen up. If we hear our bodies talking and the sound is out of tune, find a doctor who listens, too, and doesn't blow us off or patronize.
8. Breathe.
9. Chill out. Once we have gotten on track to improved health, let's not obsess.
10. Take joy. Take peace. We are our healthiest!

For our emotional heart's best, here are 10 Emotional Peaces of Heart...

1. Welcome our own BFF into our hearts. Yes, she's that gal in our own mirror.
2. Surround ourselves with people who support and encourage us to grow and grow beyond.
3. Offer our hearts. Volunteer.
4. Watch our step. Back off or walk away from those "drano" situations. We will know them if we listen up. Our guts will tell us when things are icky.
5. Be part of the solution. The problem is over-populated, big enough already.
6. Stretch our spines. Stand up tall for what we believe in.
7. Have courage. Play outside the box, if that's what makes us happy. My dad used to say, "As long as it doesn't scare the horses!" And, play up what makes us each unique. See OKCupid's post "The Mathematics of Beauty"
8. Use our own voice.
9. Dream and dream big. We are each a child of the universe for heaven's sake, not a kid from the cubicle.
10. Take joy. Take peace. We are our happiest!

If you want some great gifts in a box, go to our store page. You will find some books that are wonderful and some links to the personal care products I love as well.  In Tuesday's The Red, White and Food posts, there are also some charities that could use your heart.

Happiest Women and Wednesdays to you...and me! xoxoxo

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Share Love, Share Life

This picture says it your love by giving a better life to another. Go to The Farm Sanctuary's website to adopt a farm animal.

If you also want some yummy chocolate or a little bling, click on their links and you will find these:

I continue to be amazed by the power of a single person, a single conviction to change the world, one life at a time. This Red, White and Food posts salutes Gene Baur and The Farm Sanctuary.

I will share some other gift ideas that are also cruelty-free, environmentally friendly and love-filled tomorrow.

Also, how about being a foster parent for the dog I found? That lovely gal (yes, she is spayed!) needs a home. She's been waiting two weeks. Please contact me. Here she is again...