Saturday, November 29, 2008

BEATING BAD HABITS

I have always been wary of sleeping pills. I believe there are natural ways of having a good nights sleep. Of course anxiety, worry, fears, discomfort and tension, reduce the chance of a good nights sleep, but I feel that people need to be more aware of what their individual needs are. It is no good to take the advice of one of the gals at the Lunch Club, or a fellow bridge or tennis friend. You need to know why you need a pill.. You must consult with your Doctor. The gal at the Pharmacy does not treat you and has no idea what medication you are swallowing. Each person has their own needs….find out what yours are

You, might need to supplement your eating program with multi vitamins, minerals and special tonics. Some times we have a need of iron, Vitamin C, magnesium and potassium. If you have been on a course of antibiotics, you might need a yogurt a day and some vitamins. Your protein levels and sodium might need correction. So be in touch with the Doctor and Nutritionist. Kids and older folks need special care and regular visits for check ups to the Doctor and Dentist.

Sleep needs special conditions. You must be tired. No good going to sleep if you have energy and are wide awake. Read, bake a cake, tidy a drawer, mend something, call a friend, or reorganize the fridge. Make a few notes of what you need to do, what you need to fetch and attend to. Leave all the bits and pieces on paper, and not floating in your head.

Have a hot bath. Rub two drops of lavender oil, , on your warm shoulders. Dry your feet well and massage a cream on them. Buff your nails and use a night cream.
Sit down and breathe deeply for five minutes. Just in and out, at a pace that is good for you.
Skip flicking the TV channels before bed. Do not play on the computer and do emails when you are ready to go to bed.
Read something relaxing, poetry, love-notes and fun things.
Make sure you have not eaten a snack or a meal a while ago. You need to stop eating a few hours before bedtime. Large, late night dinners, alcohol and heavy desserts can only add to sleepless nights.

Cut out all the caffeine drinks, soda pops and weird concoctions filled with junk. At night there are good drinks like Chamomile tea.

These are a few I suggest:

Honey and Lemon Tea. Boil the water and add a teaspoon of honey, and some mint leaves and a slice or two of lemon. Great in the morning too.

Cinnamon Treat. I boil the water and pour two thirds of water into a large cup, add a little cinnamon powder. You will adjust it to your taste. Then I add a little honey and milk to the top. This is a great TV tea, a warm drink for people who cannot have too much milk. It is good for the kids.

Cloves, mint and honey. When we had toothache, my Mom always gave us a special tea. Boiling water, tea in it and four to five cloves. Let it stand for ten minutes and drink this great tasting brew. This can be drunk cold and used as a compress on cotton wool for sore teeth and gums. You can rinse the mouth with it too.

Lemon and Herb Tea. We drink FORTUNE DELIGHT in one of the flavors according to the season. There is Natural, Lemon and Cinnamon. Have a glass of cold or warm water, add and mix Great for the digestive system. You can add natural sugar SUNNYDEW, the Stevia sweetener.

Chocolate Drink. This is great for the kids to prepare. Warm up some Soya, Rice, Almond or ordinary milk. Add a chocolate and stir. There is place for a cookie with a chocolate drink. Remember to brush the teeth after the treat.

Grapefruit and Honey Drink.
We have organic grapefruit in the garden a Jeff always made this Grapefruit drink. It is an excellent way to reduce caffeine drinks. Just squeeze a grapefruit into a tall glass, and add some honey and fill up with boiled water. We always leave the spoon in the glass, as we were taught that the glass won't break with a spoon in it. I often make a large jug for guests on a wintry night and it is a good start to a meal. Apple cider is also a fun warm drink.

Finally, clear the mind, tidy all thoughts and allow the body to relax. Make sure the bed has ample warmth, that the cushions are aired and switch off all electrical buzz and unnecessary plugs around you. Place the cell phone and alarms, a distance away from your body. Have appropriate lights and if you need a night light, just have a small one.

I have always tuned in to the powers that be and meditated for peace, loving kindness and a better world. Thanks for the day, the things we have and the vision of a good nights sleep, are the way to nod off. Have a peaceful sleep and wake up refreshed and energized, healed and ready for the day.

Love and light RONA

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

THANKSGIVING

 


"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but also the parent of others."
Cicero.

Thank you is a word that should be with us daily and constantly. We are so fortunate to have what we need, a home, food, education and to be free to live our lives with dignity.
Remember that each person has their own way to give thanks and while some do it at prayer, when they bless the food they eat, when they reap a crop, it is an individual way of saying Thanks for what we have.

Education, Democracy, Justice and a Government that leads the people and creates an environment of Peace and Harmony, are a great deal to be grateful for.
So wishing you all a day of togetherness with those you love and time to reflect and feel wonderful for what we are blessed with.

Thanksgiving gifts, cards and little messages are a part of the day. Sit down now, while you have time and select the gifts, write love notes, wrap them carefully and they are ready to give with love. Post the gifts to the soldiers far away now and to love one that cannot be with you. (See the blog re SOLDIERS)

Plan the menu, tables and d├ęcor and buy it all now.
A large tray with all kind of candles on it, is lovely for the family to light. Let each person say their own thank you and light up the candles
Plan the food you can cook ahead and freeze. Make a selection of cookies and cakes now. Have spare plates and cutlery for extra meals during the day and have small containers for left over foods. It is easier to pack them into the fridge.

Prepare natural drinks and extra juices, beers and lollipops for the kids. You can never win. No matter what, the demand is great, because it is a long celebration.

A few ideas you might like.
SWEET POTATO AND PUMPKIN ROLL.
This is quick and easy. Use ready pastry. I make this in the morning and bake it. Just roll the pastry on a floured board. I roll it fairly thin, If it is difficult to handle, roll three pieces and join them later.
Cook four sweet potatoes, four cubed potatoes. And two sups of diced pumpkin. When it is cooked, just cube it all and arrange it on the pastry.. Sprinkle cinnamon on it and drizzle a tablespoon of honey on the dough. I place the honey in a soup ladle over the steam of a kettle and it is then easy to drizzle. Grate mozzarella cheese and goats cheese over this and carefully roll it up. The dough will stick together if you wet the edges. The amount of cheese is up to you, a cup is enough. I spice with the cinnamon, honey and a little grated onions. Beat up an egg and brush this over the pastry roll. Sprinkle sesame seeds on it and bake in a hot oven for twenty minutes.

PUMPKIN PIE.
I do the pumpkin pie without a base. We have so much food that it is lighter to digest this way. Take a pie dish and moisten with olive oil Sprinkle crushed corn flakes over it. That is the base. Now cook pumpkin. You need two full cups when cooked. Mix the cooked pumpkin with half a cup of brown sugar, a teaspoon of cinnamon, half a teaspoon of ginger, four tablespoons of raisins and three eggs. Mix well and add one jar of yogurt and a grated apple. Mix and put this into the base and bake in a medium oven for twenty minutes. You can serve this with grated parmesan on the top and chopped chives. Looks great and is yummy.

BAKED APPLES.

I bake apples for everyone. If they are left over simply puree them. You can freeze them with the .following.. This is for twelve apples. Two tablespoons diced dried apricots, four cut up dates, and half a cup of raisins, a tablespoon of lemon juice or a squeezed fresh orange. A teaspoon of cinnamon and two teaspoons of honey. Fill the cored apple and place it in a baking dish that allows you to fill it with water half way. I place an apple tea bag in the water and bake it in a medium oven for thirty minutes. You need to baste it a few times. When it is ready and cool, you can freeze them or wrap individually to freeze for later use. You can serve this with custard, a soya caramel pudding, ice cream or simply maple syrup.

Have a great time and enjoy it all Love and light Rona

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

SOLDIERS AWAY FROM HOME

If your have a soldier far away on military service and you are wondering what to send them for a Thanksgiving treat, here are some ideas. I have given these a great deal of thought and know what kids like, what is NOURISHING and easy to digest. They are often tense, tired and missing home and the people they love. Send it with kisses and vibrations of love and warmth.
You can send chocolates, chocolate spread, carob spread, cinnamon powder, cocoa,
peanut butter, halva spread, honey and molasses, Marmite, Almond paste, Halva, tinned hummus, techina, sesame snacks, dates, dried fruits, raisins, figs, apricots, prunes and nuts. Almonds are good and sugared pecans, cashew nuts and some walnuts too. I suggest that these are packed in easy to "open and close" plastic containers. Check that the dates of the products are good for a few months. Send tinned food snacks, relishes and jams. Today you can buy easy-to-squeeze mustard, honey ketchup and even techina in a tube.
Find out if they need vitamins, some vitamin C or a general tonic.
There are great crackers, health cookies, individual soya and rice milks, cereals, and instant soups. I feel the guys and girls want the feel of home treats. In Israel every soldier likes soup almonds. These are divine to snack dry too.
Send a few packets of instant soups and healthy energy snack bars.
Take care to pack everything in a practical way. Skip large containers; just repack the cereal, crackers and foods that spoil, in air tight plastic containers.
Send a good deodorant, foot powder, body lotion, a shower cap for the girls, carefully chosen toothpaste and hair conditioner. Include dental floss, an extra tooth brush, a new hair brush and nail file. These little things just make life a bit sweeter.

Send a small board with a few laminated photos of the family and pets. It is a good feeling of home. A small note book and few pens are handy as well.

A new CD or music tape is fun and a magazine that they like, some news of contemporaries, cuttings of people they know and a letter or two. When you are far away the touch of the human hand on paper has a lot of meaning.

Finally, do it today. Do not think you will do it tomorrow. The idea is to get it there before Thanksgiving. So rush out and shop, pack and post the parcel.

Pray for the safety of every one and let them come home safely.

Make Thanksgiving a global feeling and enjoy who you are, where you are and what you have to cherish and be thankful for.
Love and light, Rona

Sunday, November 9, 2008

STUDENTS WINTER MEALS.

STUDENTS WINTER MEALS.

Hi to all of you! It is the start of a new year of studies, activities and living on a busy campus. You guys have to remember to eat and drink logically. This Sane and Sensible food plan will help you to create a small food corner.

You need nourishment: wholesome foods, fruit and vegetables in season, healthy drinks and supplements

There is very little time to cook so shop carefully for products that are quick to prepare. Oats is a quick and easy breakfast. Simply put a cup of oats and a little salt in a saucepan of two cups of water. Cook on a low flame for ten minutes. You can eat it with honey, raisins, cinnamon, granola and milk. It is a nourishing and satisfying meal.

These are the items you need to keep on hand: Yogurt, buttermilk, milk, cottage cheese, yellow cheese and olives. Have olive oil, grains, rice, pastas and some instant soups. Keep honey instead of sugar. Peanut butter and jams are good for sandwiches. There is a product called MARMITE and I recommend it for a spread on toast and as a hot drink. Just a teaspoon in boiling water is a broth you will enjoy
Soups are easy to make and you can literally throw in all vegetables and some lentils, barley, yellow lentils and chickpeas You need to eat grains, peas, hummus, techina, healthy grain whole-wheat breads, rye bread, rice crackers and whole-wheat pitot and crackers. Look at my former recipes and you will find soups, quinoa, rice and lentil dishes. They are simple to make and are nutritious.

Milk products are necessary and a glass of milk, cottage cheese, yogurts, yellow cheese and cream cheese are great. Do not forget eggs, boiled and make easy protein meals of omelets and pancakes.

Skip sugar pops, junk nibbles and commercial drinks. They do very little for you. Water is the best drink. You can have boiling water in the morning with a squeeze of lemon in it. This is good for the system and cleans the throat. Eliminate caffeine at night and make yourself a hot milk drink with cinnamon and honey in it. Grapefruit is a good winter drink. Squeeze a grapefruit into a tall glass and add a little honey, and boiling water.

Remember to keep your teeth and gums in good condition. Floss daily and rinse the mouth with salt water a few times a week.

Salty snacks, sugary cookies and commercial junk foods are of no value. Eat fresh apples, cucumbers, carrots, fruits in season for winter, like grapefruits, oranges and mandarins. Choose fruits and vegetables with beta carotene, red peppers, carrots, kohlrabi, loads of green herbs, onions and garlic too.

Get into the habit of eating breakfast and taking foods for the mid morning snacks.
Peeled carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery and apples, bananas are great with a chunk of cheese. Easy and fast to do.
You are in charge of your health. Smoking and coffee are trends and style, but not an investment to your health or well being. When you are young, you take your body for granted. Don’t! Eat simply and sanely. You are worth the trouble.
Study well, love what you are doing and put joy into each day.

Love and light, Rona

Saturday, November 1, 2008

WINTER SOUPS

When you plan winter meals, do the cooking in the afternoons and it will warm-up the kitchen and the aromas will float out the windows, welcoming the hungry family home. Nothing like home cooking, soups, a stew ,a quiche and casseroles, fresh bread and large platters of pasta.

Keep a supply of winter pastas, grains, lentils, oats, barley, wheat, rice, couscous, quinoa and burghul.
Soups can be made for a day or two at a time. Use family time to share the peeling of vegetables, cutting and creating pots of soup. When you teach a kid to make soup, they can use their skills when they go camping, hiking and simply for fun.
Use fresh herbs and delicate spices. Cool soups before you put them in the fridge. If you freeze them, label properly, names and date,. .

LENTIL SOUP.
1 1/2 cup of lentils. I use mainly brown, and some orange thrown in too.
3 potatoes and 3 sweet potatoes.2 diced onions and 2 cloves garlic.
I cup of diced pumpkin and 1 whole peeled turnip that you remove at the end.
1 teaspoon of curry powder, salt and pepper. 1 Tablespoon of dried onions.

Rinse the lentils and drain.
Sautee the onions and garlic in 2 teaspoons olive oil on a low flame. Place everything in a large saucepan with all the vegetables that are peeled and diced. Bring to the boil on a medium flame and let it simmer for a minute or two and then turn the flame lower and let it cook for forty minutes. Cool and blend it all.
Serve it with a few tablespoons of chopped parsley or chives, a few peas or diced carrots sprinkled with a few sunflower seeds on the .top ,When you add the fresh vegetables at the end, they give the dish energy Try it and you will see it is delicious..

VEGETABLE SOUP

Wash and dice all the vegetables you have. Carrots, beans, pumpkin, potatoes, onions, garlic, leaves of parsley, fennel, a little cabbage, broccoli, spring onions and celery. Add three tablespoons barley, green split peas and rice. I put in some salt , pepper and a little paprika. There is a product made from vegetables, called MARMITE and this is a good flavor for soups. Use a teaspoon to a pot. I use dark miso and find it very tasty. When you use a stick of Kombu, remove it before the end. I like KOMBU, as it gives a balance to the soup.

Cook this with water on a medium flame until it boils. Lower and cook for 40 minutes. Cool and blend, leaving some vegetables whole in the plate of soup when you serve it. You can sprinkle a teaspoon of grated Parmesan cheese on the soup. A few chopped chives, sprigs of parsley and for parave meals, cut up squares of toast.


PUMPKIN SOUP.
3 Cups of diced pumpkin, 4 diced potatoes, 2 onions, cut up into small pieces.
Sautee the onions in two teaspoon of olive oil. Place the onions, diced potatoes and pumpkin into 7 cups of water and bring to the boil.. Cook for 15 minutes and check that the vegetables are soft.. cool and blend them.
Add I cup yogurt, a pinch of curry powder and a teaspoon of grated ginger, or half a teaspoon of chives, parsley, some sunflower seeds and chunks of wholesome breads with herbed butters.

Winter meals are the best served with softer lights, colorful cloths, pretty serviettes and pots of herbs as centre. pieces of the table setting.



Serve the soups with little extras like gated cheese in a bowl, cut up squares of toast, herbed croutons and a few cut up boiled potatoes.
I make herbed croutons from left over breads. Just mix olive oil and oregano, basil and salt and pepper. Fry lightly in a pan and serve as a snack. Cooked chick peas, sprinkled with salt are another snack with soups.

Winter night are time to relax, just to sit a little longer, reflect, think and dream. Let the night be gentle, listen to music, read and take time to curl up and just be.

Love and light Rona