It’s Great to Be Alive – So Thrive!!

If you don’t live in a larger metropolitan area, then access to the cool and healthy stuff is left to navigating Amazon. Even if you are lucky enough to live near a Costco or a Whole Foods store, you are stuck with Costco’s unpredictable selections and Whole Food’s elite Shopping Cartpricing.

What to do?

Well, this spring another website did what I am about to do, and that is share good news!

Don’t we love to do it?

Like a great recipe for Watermelon Salad I will soon be passing on to you. The checkout lady at Hyundai of New Bern had a watermelon on her desk which caused a comment from me, which caused her to share a recipe with great enthusiasm, which caused me to fix it for my family, which caused rave reviews by all, which caused me to want to share the recipe with you—soon.watermelon

Next post.

But FIRST, let’s solve the healthy food and healthy body products shopping problem! There is an answer to our pain! I have been trying out this resource since the spring and have nothing but raves about Thrive Market. Costco-meets-Whole Foods-AND Amazon – but BETTER! How about saving money better!? Selection better!? Free shipping better!?

Surprised-WomanThere is so much to like about Thrive Market! When you use the link on THIS PAGE, you will really help sponsor the website! Nothing in the world is free, and maintaining this site does have its expenses – which I have gladly been funding myself—but, working as an affiliate for Thrive Market, we can help cover our website costs.

What immediately grabbed me about Thrive Market was their commitment to giving more people access to healthier choices at reduced costs. It is a membership organization, and they match every new membership with a free membership to a lower income family found through organizations such as Boys aThrive_Sharing_0004_5nd Girls Clubs of America.

Another thing I have found is that shopping and finding what I am looking for is so easy. I just love that drop down selection of gluten free, dairy free, Paleo, vegan, etc.!

Have I said “awesome” yet?

Everything they have shipped me has arrived in pristine shape; and perfectly packaged in recyclable materials. I recycled my paper “net” wrappings during Vacation Bible School when they became tree bark for palm trees! Fabulous!

Thrive_Sharing_0000_1Just today, I have another favorite thing about Thrive Market! They just sent me a refund for a certain item that was out-of-stock, along with profuse apologies, AND a 25% off code to use on my next purchase! Stupendous customer service! That was a first for me!

I think you will enjoy finally having a place to shop for the better choices! Thrive Market has a great and growing selection to choose from and everything is easy to find. Give it a try by clicking on the link provided below so you, too, can Thrive!

Just about every food item I have shown you on this blog is available through Thrive Market!

In health-


Color My World …

Looking for an open-eyed tool to turn down the inner stress levels? I mean, mindful breathing requires closed eyes. Meditation, again, is a closed eye thing. All great tools, mind you; but sometimes I want to have my eyes wide open with my mind tuned into something totally different that is, at once, fully engaging my senses but not contributing to added stress. Even relaxing on the back porch is great, but sometimes I see weeds to pull or flowers that need watering, you know?

Help! What to do?

I have an answer that may help you. It has been a life-saver for me this week! It is akin to comfort food, but without the calories, sugar, fat, guilt, or health consequences. Deep down comfort that hails from our childhood.color-1

Remember sitting down with a brand new box of crayons and a cool coloring book? I will never forget moving up to that 64 color pack of Crayola wonderfulness!

Through the years I have often thought that certain days would have been perfect for reliving those moments, but with adult pictures and maybe quality colored pencils!

Well, why not?

Last week, Parade magazine featured an article on a growing trend for adult coloring books! Vaguely aware of this smart return to adult coloring needs, I read with relish about resources now available to answer that inner desire to focus not on learning the latest technology or social media app, but to just apply color to the page!

IMG_1333They even have a free resource at Parade magazine where you can download and print a few sample pictures and designs to get you started! After a trip to Michael’s with a coupon for 25% off entire purchase, I returned home with my new set of 24-count colored pencils! I started to give life to a pretty picture of paper lanterns, streamers, and dangling beads!

Right now, my coloring station is easily accessible on an open space of the kitchen counter. It has become a favorite spot to start my day – after doing planks – and my new way to finish my evening winding down process before bed. It’s amazing what just five minutes of coloring can do for one’s mind and spirit.color 23

There is no multi-tasking with applying color to paper. There is no halfhearted or distracted effort here, coloring gently requires our full attention. The only thing I am thinking about is applying the chosen color to the paper in a way pleases me. It is completely engaging, yet unstressful in nature. It’s like meditating with your eyes wide open!

There are repetitive patterns available such as paisley prints or mandalas, and there are pictures for adults as well such as “The Secret Garden.” The Parade link will give you a variety to choose from so youIMG_1341 can experiment with the coloring experience before actually buying a full book.

Crayons, markers, pastels, or colored pencils- it does not have to be complicated. Certain markers may bleed; crayons quickly get rounded points- that’s why I went with colored pencils.

Another calming effect with this coloring activity is that it enables you to organize and put order to the page. I have seen and heard of people who rely on jig saw puzzles to help them to have a sense of putting their lives back in order during or after stressful or traumatizing events. With coloring, I think the therapeutic power is magnified because there is also a creative process going on. Rather than piecing together a picture someone else created, you are giving color, life, order, and beauty to something to which you actively contributed.

If you can give life, color, and beauty to a printed design, then maybe


you can do the same in a certain area of your life? In any case, you will leave from the coloring experience much more relaxed and with a stronger inner calm to either face the day or to ease into a restful sleep.

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Book update! I am aiming for a fall release this year, paired with offerings for seminars on wellness! There is a lot to coordinate, but it is an exciting process and a real growth curve! Every week I meet people who come to me seeking advice and direction about their issues for mental, physical, and spiritual wellness. My goal is to help. I do not claim to have all of the answers, but I hope to encourage people as they head in a better direction with pointers for success along the way!

In health-


Peaches Gone Wild!!

Tired of swooning over the covers of Southern Living and other karen-tran-soolip-wedding-pink-crystal-brooch-centerpiecemagazines just wishing you could join the rest of the world in cool summertime deliciousness?  Except, you have wisely chosen to no longer eat gluten; and since giving up sugar, you really do not want to get that addiction started again.  So, you stand in the line at the checkout counter at the grocery store and you salivate at the magazine covers looking pitiful and deprived.  It could be embarrassing:

“Clean up at register 5; customer weeping buckets and drooling on the floor!”

I regularly prepare what I like to call “Fruit with Benefits” which is a concoction of already healthful berries, sometimes an apple or a pear, and varying amounts of Great Lakes gelatin and ground flax seed.  This gives me all the goodies of the berries PLUS protein, PLUS more fiber, PLUS Omega-3 fatty acids!  A small scoop of this satisfying dessert and you are a happy camper.

Fruit-SaladSince developing my “Fruit with Benefits” skills, I am always looking for ways to squeeze in some more nutrition.  Therefore, when presented with this mouth-watering spread in the magazine about icebox pies, I began to wonder…and as the imaginative and creative juices flowed, an idea formed… Well, I think I’ve done it!

There is a bit of sugar, just over ½ cup total, for the entire pie but that’s compared to way over 1 cup of sugar in the original recipe that uses store bought peach preserves which have who knows how much sugar?!

The original recipe called for folding gobs of whipped cream in the filling, but I chose to not even convert that by using more whipped coconut cream.  Enough is enough.

I have tried lots of gluten free pie crust recipes, but this one is the best.  One of the things I especially liked were the occasional whole flax seeds that had escaped the food processor blade; it not only tasted great, but it looked great, too!

So, do not despair my lovelies, this will be a great treat, not sweet enough to initiate binge carb fests, but smooth and creamy and peachy enough to make you smile!

This recipe has plenty of bone and joint health benefits of gelatin and boosts in protein from not only the gelatin and eggs but from the flax seed that also gives omega-3 fatty acids! Win! Win! Win!

Prepare the crust first so it can completely cool before adding the contents.Pie-dough

Put the following ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well-combined:

1/2 cup whole flax seeds

1 cup almond flour

1/4 cup sugarpastured-cow

1 tsp. Kosher salt

6 Tbsp. butter from pastured cows, melted- (I use the Kerrygold brand)

Pat dough into a smooth ball and press into a 9-inch, lightly- greased pie plate. Evenly distribute the dough, pressing it up the sides.

Create an edge.  I just pressed a fork into mine.Food-Talk-4-u-finished-pie-crust

Bake 6-10 minutes at 325 degrees until golden. Remove from oven and cool.

Food-Talk-4-U-Jam-PrepPrepare fresh “jam” by putting the following ingredients into a sauté pan and cook on medium until it comes to a boil, check for sweetness, and take off heat:

1 Tbs. coconut oil

2 peeled and finely-diced peachesCooking-Jam

1 Tbs. lemon juice

1 Tbs. sugar

1 Tbs. gelatin that is wisked together with 1/4 cup boiling water: NO lumps!

Prepare the filling as follows:

Pie-filling-before-preservesFill a 3 1/2 quart sauce pan with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium to keep at a simmer.

Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the following together in a 2 1/2 quart glass bowl:

3 large eggs

1/3 cup sugar

Place bowl over simmering water and cook while whisPie-filling-after-preservesking constantly five to six minutes or until mixture becomes slightly thick and sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and the simmering water.

Place 4 tsp. gelatin in a small bowl and pour 1/4 cup boiling water over it, whisking constantly until gelatin is completely dissolved.

Using the handheld electric mixer, whisk the egg mixture on high speed for 8-10 minutes until ribbons form on surface of mixture when beater is lifted.

Food-Talk-4-u-assembled-pieAdd gelatin mixture and continue whisking one more minute.

Fold in the peach “jam” and a pinch of kosher salt.

Spoon filling into cooled pie crust and arrange thin sliFood-Talk-4-u-Pie-bite-with-forkces of 2 medium peeled peaches over the filling. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze 2 hours.

Serve slices of pie with a dollop of whipped coconut cream sweetened with a pinch of sugar and a splash of vanilla!

Going, going, gone!

Just peachy!!