Attitudes, values, opinions, interests, way of life

So, why a gratitude list?

June is here. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a gratitude list. Spring has been a very eventful season. A lot of life changing events, good and bad, and for awhile, I was not motivated to blog. I finally pulled myself together to write a few posts in May, but they were mostly product review posts that didn’t require too much emotional thought.

So why a gratitude list? I remind myself that I started this blog to get me through a very emotional and difficult time. It was my gratitude journal.  I look through my old posts with fondness and a filled heart.  As I read them, I think back and remember life’s simple moments, “my favorite things”, which were listed in my gratitude list so that I can be grateful for everything and every simple moment that made me happy. Having a gratitude journal during an emotional and difficult time helped me realize that I have so much to be thankful for. Gratitude continues to help me through life and the difficult times. Gratitude continues to fill my heart with happiness. 

Enjoy the little things in life for someday you will realize they were the big things.

Gratitude is being thankful for your blessings, even the simple pleasures and acknowledging all that you have received, including difficult times and challenges. Because even in that, you have something to be thankful for- a life lesson, an opportunity to grow, an opportunity to build your strength and character and to appreciate all that you already have. 

Shifting your focus from what your life is lacking to one of abundance helps you LIVE fully in the present. It helps you to see what you already have to be thankful for. 

By living fully in the present, there is no lack. By being fully present in the moment, there is mindfulness. With mindfulness, comes gratitude and with gratitude comes happiness.


2017 Chinese New Year- The Year of the Rooster

The Chinese New Year starts on January 28, 2017, which is the second new moon after the winter solstice. 2017 will be the year of the Rooster.

We are not Chinese so we don’t know much about the Chinese New Year. But I love learning about and celebrating different cultures and their traditions. In addition, teaching a child about a different culture or tradition is beneficial. Not only does it open their minds and hearts, but by learning about a different culture or tradition, it teaches your child cultural awareness and diversity. It teaches them to understand and respect differences as well as similarities. It also helps them to learn a little bit more about themselves and others. Mostly, it teaches us humanity.

Here is what I learned about the Chinese New Year:

-Chinese New Year celebrates a year of hard work. It is also celebrated to wish for a lucky and prosperous new year.
-Firecrackers are set off to start off the new year and ward off evil.
-Chinese New Year celebrations last for up to 15 days. It begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice and ends on the full moon 15 days later.
-Some traditions include a family reunion dinner where several generations get together to share a meal and good times together.
-Certain foods are eaten to increase good luck such as fish. Dumplings, spring rolls, glutinous rice cakes, and sweet rice balls are also foods that are eaten in celebration. In addition, the orange is a fruit that symbolizes wealth and good fortune.
-The streets are decorated with red, such as red lanterns. Red is the main color of the festival. Red is believed to ward off bad luck and misfortune.
-Children are given red envelopes filled with money. This is to give them good luck for the new year.
-The holiday ends with a festival where people hang red lanterns and attend a parade.

There are also some great children’s books you can borrow from the library or purchase so that you can read about the Chinese New Year to your child. I found a few at Amazon.

Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin.


Dragon Dance: A Chinese New Year by Joan Holub and Benrei Huang.


Chinese New Year and the new moon- a great time for new beginnings. Set your intentions at this time for love, health and happiness. Don’t forget to add a dash of gratitude. Wishing you a prosperous and happy Chinese New Year!

How will you celebrate the Chinese New Year?

Today I am grateful for happy celebrations and traditions with family and friends.

My favorite must-have foods for a healthy WOL

I think everyone has those “must have” foods that they eat as a part of their healthy WOL (Way of Life). Exercise or just moving, no matter how small or large, is a big part of a healthy WOL. What you eat is important too. Everyone has their own list of “must have” foods that work for them. Their favorite, tried and true foods. These are mine:

-Vegan plant based protein powder. My favorite is Orgain Organic Protein™ Plant Based Powder in Vanilla Bean. I like it because it is vegan, plant based and tastes so good. I have mostly used the vanilla bean flavor which is my ultimate favorite, but I have also tried and like the chocolate flavor. Drinking this is great to get your protein in for the day. In fact, it contains, 21 grams of organic plant based protein. In addition, it contains, 5 grams of organic Fiber, has only 5 grams of net carbs and is only 150 calories per serving. It is gluten free, kosher, vegan, non-GMO, and soy free. This may be my favorite brand, but I am open to trying any vegan plant based protein powder especially if it’s vanilla flavored.

-Unsweetened vanilla almond milk. I use almond milk for my protein shakes. I blend it with ice and it is so delicious. Almond milk contains proteins, lipids and fiber. It also contains calcium, vitamin D, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc. There is no cholesterol or saturated fats in almond milk. Almond milk is great if you are vegan or want to be dairy free. It has less calories than 2% milk and even skim milk.

-Almonds. Almonds make a perfect snack. It curbs your hunger and gives you energy. Because it reduces hunger, it can promote weight loss. It contains healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium and vitamin E. Eating almonds can lower blood sugar levels, reduce blood pressure and lower your cholesterol.

-Old Fashioned Oatmeal. Oatmeal is great because it is nutritious, keeps you full and keeps that cholesterol down. I like the old fashioned oatmeal even though it takes longer to cook. The oats are thicker and I think tastes better. Oatmeal has many health benefits including weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and a reduced risk of heart disease. Oatmeal is nutrient dense since it is loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidant plant compounds. Oatmeal can lower cholesterol levels and protect LDL cholesterol from damage. Oatmeal can also improve blood sugar levels by lowering blood sugar levels. Since it is very filling, it can keep you fuller longer and therefore help you lose weight. It’s also full of fiber which is great for your diet.

-Green Tea. Green tea is great for a healthy lifestyle. It can lower cholesterol and improve blood flow. It has antioxidants that fight and may even prevent cell damage. It can also help keep blood sugar stable. Green tea is a perfect substitution for sugary drinks.

-Hard boiled eggs- Eggs are incredible. And edible. Incredible edible eggs. They are full of protein and healthy fats. Yes, eggs are high in cholesterol. However, they don’t adversely affect blood cholesterol in most people. In addition, eating eggs increases HDL cholesterol, that ‘s the good cholesterol. Whole eggs are an excellent source of choline. Eggs are great for eye health because they contain the antioxidants, Lutein and Zeaxanthin. Eggs are very filling and helps you stay fuller longer. This helps with weight loss.

– Bananas. Bananas make a great snack. Not only are they convenient to pack as a snack or breakfast, they contain several essential nutrients, fiber and antioxidants. Eating bananas are beneficial for digestion, heart health and weight loss. Bananas can also help regulate blood sugar levels.

So those are my favorite must have products for a healthy WOL. What are your tried and true healthy products?

Today I am grateful for good health.