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Health Benefit of Basil - my garden runneth over

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Well I am having a ball with my container gardening. My basil plants have already yielded multiple zip lock bags of basil in my freezer not to mention what I have been enjoying fresh. I needed to look up basil to find possible smoothie recipes because I just have so much basil. Good thing I love basil. I found out some other things as I was researching smoothie recipes.

There are 3 health reasons below that I never knew basil could take care of. Stress, boosting your memory, and kidney stones are reasons for me to eat more basil. It is well worth reading the sources below for the information on each reason.

Health Benefits

1. Healing Power
2. Fever & Common Cold
3. Coughs
4. Sore Throat
5. Respiratory Disorder
6. Kidney Stone
7. Heart Disorder
8. Children's Ailments
9. Stress
10. Mouth Infections
11. Insect Bites.
12. Skin Disorders
13. Teeth Disorder
14. Headaches.
15. Eye Disorders
16. Purifies the Blood
17. Sharpens the memory
18. Anti-Inflammatory
19. Basil is also a good source of magnesium
20. Very good source of iron, and calcium, and a good source of potassium and vitamin C.


My recipes I use for basil.

Linguine with Clam Sauce

want to WOW them the next time you make linguine with clam sauce. Forget the parsley and use basil. One day I had no parsley on hand so I substituted basil. I have never used parsley again in this dish. Everyone always asks me why my Linguine with Clam Sauce tastes so much better than any other they have ever had. The secret ingredient is basil.

Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Fresh basil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Salt,pepper, and garlic powder to taste

No particular amounts/ measurements here. Depends on how many cukes and tomatoes you use. I leave the skin on the cuke for extra vitamins - your preference. I can eat a huge bowl as a meal. I will also add raw corn to this mixture as well. emoticon

Watermelon Feta Salad with Basil and Red Onion

3 cups seedless watermelon, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup feta cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
8 slices red onion, thinly sliced
4 handfuls baby arugula or other greens
15 large basil leaves, thinly sliced

For the vinaigrette:
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Whisk the balsamic vinegar into the olive oil until emulsified, and set aside.

Arrange the arugula or other greens onto 4 separate plates. Top with the watermelon, feta cheese, red onion slices and sliced basil. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salads, garnish with basil sprigs and serve.

No Cook Tomato Sauce - one of my summer favorites

5 or 6 large really ripe tomatoes
3 cloves of minced garlic
1/4 olive oil
handful of fresh basil
salt/pepper to taste

You need a big bowl.

Take the 1/4 olive oil and add the minced garlic and microwave it for one minute just till the garlic gets translucent. I do mine raw but it may be too strong for some of you.

Mince up the tomatoes and throw into the bowl with all of their juice as well.

Chop up the basil and season with pepper. Mix really well then add the salt to the top. Place bowl on your kitchen counter and walk away. The longer it marinates the better it gets. When you return you will have this really juicy raw sauce to put over a pound of your favorite cooked pasta. I sometimes do this before I go to work in the morning. When I come home I just have to cook the pasta. Voila dinner is done. Serve with salad, some nice crusty bread.

***You can also just use this as bruschetta and put on crusty bread in ;lieu of pasta

Raw Zucchini Paste and Sauce

I just make zucchini ribbons
I use the above No Cook Tomato Sauce over my raw zucchini pasta

Raw Gazpacho

I use what ever raw veggies I have on hand but always use fresh tomatoes and a red
pepper as my base
add clove of garlic
add fresh basil

Tomato and Basil Smoothie

1 cup lossely packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 fresh lemon - squeezed
5 large frozen cored, seeded, and diced ripe tomatoes
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Salt/pepper to taste

Place in blender and then blend away.

I found these basil smoothie recipes for my Raw Foodies

Banana Basil Smoothie


2 ripe bananas, peeled, chopped
10 fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup filtered water
2 tablespoons agave (or raw honey)


1. Blend the ingredients in a blender until liquefied and smooth.
2. Serve immediately or chill the smoothie in the refrigerator for an hour or until ready to serve.
*** I am not going to add the agave, the bananas will add enough sweetness
Blend away

Green Smoothie and/or Raw Soup

1 small avocado
some basil leaves
garlic clove
salt to taste
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. turmeric
few sprigs parsley
handful coral lettuce leaves
cherry tomatoes (as many as want to eat with the soup)

Blend all ingredients except tomatoes with a little water until smooth.

Pour over halved cherry tomatoes.
Serve and enjoy!

Sweet Basil Smoothie

1 cup mango
1 cup fresh squeezed pineapple juice
1 handful of basil
pinch of salt
1-2 dates

Blend all

***Again I am leaving out the dates as it should be sweet enough

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEFIANTVEGAN 6/14/2010 9:57PM

    Yum I love basil I always wondered how it would hold up if I planted it. I usually buy a bunch and it dies fast I need to plant it to see it grow grow grow.

thanks for the recipe's they are awesome I just have to try it in a smoothie and make my Raw Corn salad that calls for basil as well.

Yumm I haven't had it in awhile.

emoticon emoticon

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SKFEREBEE 6/14/2010 11:24AM

    My favorite basil dish is cherry tomatoes and silver queen corn cut off the cob (both out of our garden) sauteed in a pan with chopped fresh basil, a drizzle of olive oil & balsamic vinegar. Sautee until tomatoes burst. Salt & pepper to taste & sprinkle w/ grated parmesan cheese if desired. It tastes awesome! emoticon

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DEBBIEANNE1124 6/13/2010 7:07PM

    Wonderful summer recipes anytime. Yummm. thanks!

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DEBBIEANNE1124 6/13/2010 7:07PM

    Wonderful summer recipes anytime. Yummm. thanks!

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    Basil Chicken with Eggplant. It's a thai dish. You're suppose to use Thai Basil, because it's stronger, but if you have so much, you might as well use a ton of basil.

Also, if you like pesto, you can store that in the freeze.

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CATHYGETSFIT 6/13/2010 4:38PM

    I LOVE basil and had no idea that there were so many health benefits to eating basil! Love the recipes...they sound amazing!


P.S. Thank you for your encouraging words on my fitness minutes! Your words mean a lot to me!

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NWFL59 6/13/2010 4:23PM

    Glad to read you are enjoying the products of your container garden and have some excellent ideas for its application.

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DS9KIE 6/13/2010 3:31PM


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RANJINI4 6/13/2010 2:52PM

    Oh,i am going to try your recipes!Thank you! emoticon

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JEMPOWER 6/13/2010 11:38AM

    I have basil growing in my container in my window. I thank you for the many recipe ideas. I did not realize it had so many health benefits. Thanks for all the great information.


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BIBLIOMANE40 6/13/2010 11:37AM

    Thank you so much for all the wonderful-sounding recipes! My Mom has been asking me to take some of her basil, as her plant is a monster as well! Now I will have to get some and ziploc them up in the freezer!

Sherry emoticon

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 6/13/2010 11:28AM

    I had no idea that Basil was so good for us. I'll have to indulge more often. Love ya, Dawn

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L*I*T*A* 6/13/2010 11:23AM

    great ideas thanks for sharing...........
blessings and hugs...............lita

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KAITLYNSNAMMY 6/13/2010 10:18AM

    Yummy! I love basil too but was unaware of its health benefits! Thanks so much for the info and the reciepies! I will be enjoying them right along with you!


emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MRDPOLING 6/13/2010 10:01AM

    I never knew all that about basil. very cool

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SUNNYH99 6/13/2010 9:58AM

    Mmm! That raw pasta sauce sounds great! I'm bookmarking this blog so I'll have it handy when I decide to try it.

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EGRAMMY 6/13/2010 9:51AM

    Wonderous Basil and wonderous Travelnista emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/13/2010 9:52:06 AM

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TRACYZABELLE 6/13/2010 9:46AM

    Everything sounds great

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DEVORA4 6/13/2010 9:42AM

  emoticonMartha Stewart, oops I meant to say Yvonne. I love Basil and will most-likely use all of your receipes except for the clam one {I am a vegetariann} they sound DELICIOUS I trust your job is going well and that you are fine. Have a peaceful Sunday. emoticon emoticondebby

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I back slid...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Oh man I was on a roll. I was leaving work on time and made some ' me" time every night except tonight. I only just got home from work a little while ago. I was so tired my dinner consisted of freshly popped corn in1 Tbsp of olive oil. Still within my calories though.

We had a training in our office today and that set me way back in my workload. Next week we have all day trainings on Mon - Tues- and Wed. I guess I stayed to get ahead of my work for next week.

Am I a workaholic or just stupid? Maybe a little of both. I am sending myself some emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEFIANTVEGAN 6/14/2010 9:54PM

    Aww you're not stupid being a workaholic has its ups and downs you are very active and that is a plus.

Also you stood within your calorie range and that is very hard to do when you are working and you lose track of time. Sometimes you forget to eat or you eat to much from snacking all day.

You are a well rounded person you are focused and you are able to multi-task which most people are not able to do.

emoticon emoticon

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FERGSGIRL2 6/13/2010 11:50PM

    I agree with the other persons who posted a comment! You are awesome; one change in your choices does not make for a failure!

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KARENTOO2 6/13/2010 12:25PM

    Ease up a tad, Yvonne, please! You succeeded every night but one? Sheesh! Cut yourself a little break. You're progressing so well. Focus on that progress! And learn from this one shortfall. Maybe it was the best solution for day. Work doesn't always flow the same, just like everything else. You're doing great!

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DIFROMWYOMING 6/13/2010 9:40AM

    Sounds like you have done an excellent job of keeping yourself first almost all of the time. Life does happen. The real bonus here for me to read was that you stayed in your calorie range when you did get home....which is not easy to do and I'm not sure I would not have been reaching for something fast and comforting at that point. Really that is just wonderful! Congrats on handling life so well this week!

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    I suspect that you are too hard on yourself. I find that it's a trait that many of us here have in common. You try to be "practically perfect in every way" and that should only be reserved for Mary Poppins! Don't beat yourself up or kick yourself too hard. Just do the best that you can do. I MISS YOU! Love, Dawn emoticon

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DYNAMICDEB53 6/12/2010 9:54PM

    You know no matter how much you plan there are days that things happen. So they happen. Keep to your plan as much as you can so that on those days when stuff happens it will not take you down.
You are making good changes in your life that this is the most important. Have a great weekend.


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NWFL59 6/12/2010 6:15PM

    you come across as intelligent, smart, dedicated and a preplanner. I'm sure you can make those traits and the others you have work for you to aide you in your quest for a healthy lifestyle.

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TEDYBEAR2838 6/12/2010 5:16PM


WOrkaholic - Probably... but you are dedicated and a good worker so it's hard to be any thing else. Sometimes we have to do what we have to do, just when the training is over, get back to the ME TIME!

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DJS-DEBBIE 6/12/2010 1:48PM

    Sometimes you have to do something now to head off something later. I think staying late one night to get ahead when you know you are going to have training is better than not planning ahead and then being stressed when you are supposed to be concentrating on the training.

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FOXXYROXXYD 6/12/2010 1:28PM

    Life happens, huh? I hope that you have lots of time planned for just YOU this weekend. Have a good one!

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TRACYZABELLE 6/12/2010 1:23PM

    You always need to make time for yoU!

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WEDDWT 6/12/2010 1:09PM

    Of course you are not stupid, you are Yvonne, the Warrior.
Balance will be restored, hang in there!

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MYSTIQAL 6/12/2010 10:34AM

    You are a "Process in progress".... You will make adjustments as you go and learn from previous days. emoticon

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ELDORADO2 6/12/2010 9:18AM

    Sometimes work tend to get in our way. Just hang in there and do better the next day. You are determined and you will suceed !!!!

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MRDPOLING 6/12/2010 6:21AM

    Well a job is going to do that from time to time. Need to plan better for those buy having premade healthy meals in the fridge or freezer for those times you are too tired to think about what is right to eat.

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ASHLEEWEBART 6/12/2010 1:37AM

    This idea may be of help to you:

It has been months coming, but finally I pay attention to the hour I am most hungry in the afternoon. At that time I have ready, and eat my mini meal.
Some foods I enjoy for that is a few walnuts, apple slices, or individually wrapped light Cow Cheese. In my mind I am thinking that a mini meal needs to be balanced with protein, a little fat, and fresh fruits or vegetables. Now at least, the snack (or mini meal) and it helps me have much less appetite at dinner.

I use walnuts or almonds, and have to fight myself not to exceed the recommended daily limit. Some nutritionists recommend one ounce or less per day. Some may say as little as one tablespoon, since nuts are high in fat content.

Comment edited on: 6/12/2010 2:02:26 PM

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DARKTHOR 6/12/2010 1:19AM

    It sounds like circumstances got in the way this time. Your responsibility is to figure out the best way to deal with it next time, especially since you can see it coming up again next time.

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MTNHIKER1971 6/12/2010 12:10AM

    I think you are Wonder Woman!

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DEBBIEANNE1124 6/11/2010 11:14PM

    I just hope you don't regret it by overdoing it take it easy and enjoy your life, too.

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L*I*T*A* 6/11/2010 11:11PM

    life happens and everyday can't be the same right............
take one day at a time.........
have a great weeeknd and enjoy!!!
blessings and hugs...........lita

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FITJEDI 6/11/2010 11:01PM

    Sending you a vorpal sword and suggesting you use it to carve out some time this weekend.

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EGRAMMY 6/11/2010 10:20PM

    emoticon I'd like to send you some sage advice about making priorities. And you should be it-the priority. Any business is not going to send you flowers for ignoring yourself and your needs. So PLEASE take care of you needs; notice I say needs. You and they are necessary. emoticon

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PAPPHEM 6/11/2010 10:16PM

    Hang in there! It's going to happen from time to time but you know what to do!


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MSANITAL 6/11/2010 10:05PM

    All work and not play... Trust me I know how it is to dive in to work and get it done which ok that is your thing and you can do it but when it comes time to other things like your healthy plan you need to give it some attention I know for me at 5:00 my body is starving and it is better to listen to it then to just trudge forward and end up making a bad choice.. well any ways tomorrow is Saturday.. take it easy and be good to you

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DEVORA4 6/11/2010 9:55PM

  You have met the enemy and it is yours. [get it?] Now fix situation and get "me" time. You deserve it. No more backsliding. We are rooting for YOU. emoticon emoticon

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Do you utilize all Spark People has to offer?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Or are you just sitting on the sidelines? If you are you are doing yourself such a disservice.

I honestly miss it when I can not get in all of my Sparking. I try to take advantage of all that Spark People has to offer. The very basics I do everyday is track my food, water, and fitness. No matter how busy I am with work or whatever I make sure I jump on to take care of that.

There is just oh so much more here on Spark People. We have the many Challenges you can take part in, the Teams to participate in, exercise demo videos, recipes, articles, and tutorials. I really hope you subscribe to their various daily emails they send out.

Yesterday 2 of those Spark emails hit me smack in the face. It was as if they were just speaking to me. Now I know that weren't but it is almost like magic; when I need to be reminded of something the article or email suddenly appears for me to read.

The 1st one was the Exercise Tip of the Day. I sit at a desk all day long in front of a computer. The evenings after work when my computer decides to behave I am sitting in front of it all night till I go to sleep. I am constantly looking for stretches to do to relieve the tension in my neck and shoulders. Yesterday's topic was the Neck Stretch. Like I said it was talking to me, calling my name.

The 2nd one was Healthy Reflections. I love this daily email, it always make you think. I have read this one before months ago but yesterday it really got my attention. It was titled, "Are you a good friend to yourself?"

Stop laughing for those who know me. I am trying! I am getting better at it. It was talking about if you met yourself would you want to make friends with person. The 2nd part of it dealt with whether or not you cut yourself as much slack as you do your friends. This is what caught my attention. Not the idea of cutting myself slack because i don't think I beat my self up or go negative on myself. But I don't cut myself slack by making time for me. I am always taking care of others instead of taking care of me. I am getting better at this though.

I learn something new on Spark People everyday either through their articles, members blogs, team threads, or the daily emails I get sent to me that I subscribe to. Stop sitting n the sidelines and jump into all Spark has to offer and subscribe to these emails.

It is simple. Go to your Start Page. Underneath where it says Welcome and then your screen name

Click on email preferences
Click on Email tab.
Check all of them. They are a wealth of information.

It really is true, the more you Spark the better you do. One reason why is because the more you Spark the more you learn. The more you learn, the better equipped we are to be successful on our journey to health.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEFIANTVEGAN 6/14/2010 10:00PM

    emoticon You are too funny and yes you/we need to pay attention to ourselves.

Especially you, you take care of everything else except you so true it is my friend.

emoticon emoticon

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BIBLIOMANE40 6/13/2010 11:39AM

    Absolutely true! I subscribe to several e-mails and read articles and join challenges, etc. It's a whole life changing site!


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FUNNYGRANNY71 6/12/2010 3:45PM

    I just love all the articles about improving your health, changing your lifestyle to a healthier one and the exercise videos. There is a lot of valuable exercise on this website. I always try to take advantage of it.

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NWFL59 6/11/2010 4:18PM

    I too enjoy trying to maximize my utlization of what this website offers. I'm always finding something new to try or think about.

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FARLEY_GIRL 6/11/2010 2:13PM

    Thanks for the gentle reminder.....when I initially signed up, I had all these emails coming at me...I got a bit overwhelmed and shut down from I'm trying to do a little at a time...I think I might add one or two emails back...see how that works out :-)

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MYSTIQAL 6/11/2010 11:17AM

    I don't get too many Spark emails and I don't use everything Spark has to offer. It's just waaaaaay too big for me to utilize everything. I use what I need to help me reach my goal and keep me focused when I'm discouraged.
I want to be more active outside this summer so that means less time on Spark.
Winter time is another story. I don't have all that outdoor stuff to do so I spend more time Sparking.
It's all about balance. I have to balance my Spark life with Living my life. It's hard since Spark is so addicting.
But I also found that if I get too many Spark emails or try to do too much on Spark, I only give things a quick going over and don't really take it all in.
I want quality not quantity. I get less Spark points then I used to but that's okay with me. emoticon

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GALSAL59 6/11/2010 9:04AM

    Some times I use much of it and others I go through the motions. There's much offered by Spark!

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FLMOMX2 6/11/2010 8:04AM

    Your blog is s reminder to use it all

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BARBARAROSE54 6/11/2010 7:25AM

    I love sparks mail daily.

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MRDPOLING 6/11/2010 6:58AM

    I like the food comparison email. Most of the time I guess wrong which means I am learning more about my bad choices with each email.

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TRACYZABELLE 6/11/2010 3:45AM

    I love the mail spark sends me!! It is a wealth of information!

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DEVORA4 6/11/2010 12:07AM

  emoticon I may have acquireed a lot of points since joing Spark but they were well worth it. I read, read and then read some more. Many times I re read so as to make sure I "own" it. I also take pertinent notes more often than not.

Your blog is again outstanding and you have my emoticons for you dear lady are a champion. Love and best regards, Debby

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_MRSFISH_ 6/10/2010 11:10PM

    I get several emails but not that one. I'll have to check it out! I'm trying to take advantage of all that SP has to offer, but it just seems like I don't have enough time in the day. I love the challenges and support that you get here. I do try to use my trackers and fitness/nutrition resources (though I'm bad about remembering to log my water. I only drink water and an occasional hot tea so I'm good on intake.) I don't blog regularly, and I tend to only have time to either read team messages or visit friend pages. Eventually I'll get the right balance!

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L*I*T*A* 6/10/2010 10:33PM

    love it all.....the whole package!!!
great .........thanks
blessings and hugs...........lita

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/10/2010 10:33:54 PM

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SHARON10002 6/10/2010 10:30PM

    I like the Healthy Reflections, too. But I do read and use other additional resources.
I especially like the nutrition and fitness trackers.

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SHARON10002 6/10/2010 10:30PM

    I like the Healthy Reflections, too. But I do read and use other additional resources.
I especially like the nutrition and fitness trackers.

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LOOZINITNOW 6/10/2010 10:17PM

    Healthy Reflections is my favorite article. It really gives you food for thought.

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Stress is finally taking a back seat...

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

It actually feels strange not having that albatross around my neck. Stress is finally taking a backseat in my life. It almost feels eerie. I am sleeping so much better and am in a better mood.

This week my computer at home has taken on a life of it's own. Monday I think I was on the computer for 5 minutes before I decided it was not worth the battle. I was afraid that perhaps it had been hit by a virus but I did not have time to sit on the phone with my Service Provider to iron it out. Last night was not much better so I just turned it off and relaxed for the night. Normally all of that would have put me in a tailspin.

I take my Sparking serious. I feel bad and I feel guilty when I am not on Spark People. I really feel bad when I am not current and up to date in my Friend Feed. I stress when I am behind in my Sparking. I feel as though I am letting my Spark Buddies down.

Not sure what is going on but I really have been feeling calm and taking things in stride. I am quite sure the new team I am on, the Stress Busting Challenge has a lot to do with it. Debbie, thanks for inviting me and if you have stress in your life I invite you to go take a look at the team.

Another team I recently joined, Fierce, Fabulous, and Unstoppable Spark Warriors has had the same effect. That Team is always having us face issues that can cause stress in our lives and gives us challenges to combat those issues. The Team shows us different ways to handle or deal with clutter, yes clutter causes stress, money issues, organizational skills, etc. To me this team is like one big destressing workshop where we face these issues headon. We have all the support of our fellow Spark Warriors there to encourage us and share with us how they overcame their "monkeys " on their backs.

I know that it certainly helps that I now have a steady paycheck coming in. It feels like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders. Money issues were a huge source of my stress. Money is often the root of most people's stress.

I am proud of myself for not throwing my computer out the window. I am proud of myself for taking time off this weekend for ME time. I am proud of myself for not obsessing on how far behind I am.

I know I will catch up once these computer issues are resolved and worrying about that will not get me anyplace. I think I am most proud for that - worrying less.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASHLEEWEBART 6/10/2010 11:15PM

    I am glad that things are going well for you! I can relate to what you are saying here. Feeling less stress is like"a dream come true"!

Comment edited on: 6/10/2010 11:16:48 PM

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TEDYBEAR2838 6/10/2010 9:15PM

    I am SO GLAD you are working through the stress, Yvonne. Stress will always be a part of
our lives. I think everyone has the problems, just some handle them better than others.
I'm pretty much a NOT stressed person. I pretty much accept things as they come and deal with them then, and just don't worry about what I can't fix. NOt that I never worry, but it's not a big part of my life.

I know my Faith has a LOT to do with it. The Lord always provides and I KNOW He's in Control, so I'm not going to worry, just Trust.

We do have our part to do but leave the rest to Him

I'm happy emoticon for you!


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FUNNYGRANNY71 6/10/2010 3:53PM

    I am so glad you are not as stressed. Stress can cause so many bad things for your mind and your body. I guess I don't have to tell you that. I just hate it when I am stressed, but when I retired, I haven't felt a lot of stress. Being 70+ years is not all bad.

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NWFL59 6/10/2010 1:46PM

    Congratulations on taking steps to destress your life.

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SWIM_2_SLIM 6/10/2010 12:25PM

    Yes things are falling into place for you and you are taking care of yourself first. That is the most important thing that you can do for yourself. And you are seeing how everything thing else in life is falling into place like magic. First things first my friend and everything will fall into place of priority. WooHoo!!!

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GRANDMAMAOF3 6/10/2010 11:40AM

    You are doing wonderful. Keep it up; everyone needs some -me-time. Enjoy every minute of it. We appreciate all you do.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MRDPOLING 6/10/2010 5:58AM

    I don't think there is anything good about Stress.

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DJS-DEBBIE 6/10/2010 3:21AM

    Good for you - I am glad you are feeling less stressed!

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    Glad to hear you are not having as much stress in your life. Have a great Thursday.

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TRACYZABELLE 6/10/2010 2:02AM

    Hang in there and remember to leave time for yourself!

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DEBBIEANNE1124 6/10/2010 12:36AM

    It's nice to know you are not suffering much stress with the kind of job you ahve.

Hope to see mroe of you soon.

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L*I*T*A* 6/10/2010 12:16AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DYNAMICDEB53 6/9/2010 11:35PM

    I am glad to hear the the stress is being less of a monster in your life. For whatever reason, I am glad you are feeling calmer. All of these are good things, you are right you will catch up and if not you will keep in touch.

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PAPPHEM 6/9/2010 10:35PM

    Oh! Good for you! I may have to check out these teams. But seriously, all your Spark buddies appreciate your attention and encouragement. I'm sure since I do, but we won't mind if you don't catch up with all of us for a day or two every now and again. It's definitely not something to stress over.

Good luck getting your computer fixed

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SUNNYH99 6/9/2010 10:28PM

    What a wonderful development for you! I'm so glad the new job is working out so well and the stress-busting and warrior teams are helping you help yourself. Yay!

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MYSTIQAL 6/9/2010 9:54PM

    May I say it???
IT'S ABOUT TIME!!!! emoticon
I'm very proud of you and happy that you are finally getting a hold on your stress and taking care of you.
As far as keeping up with your Spark friends, have you ever thought about taking one day a week and saying "Sorry, today is Yvonne time only".. Then don't even try to get caught up the next day. Just pretend that day didn't happen. It would be a free day and your Spark buddies would accept that for that one day a week they don't exist in your world.
I know I would understand and honestly, I would be happy that you forgot all about me because you are spending some time taking care of no one but you and that's very important! emoticon emoticon

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LOOZINITNOW 6/9/2010 9:52PM

    So glad to see that stress is getting put on the back burner. I totally agree with the teams. The Spark Warriors Team has really motivated me to get my act together. Hope you have a very relaxing evening!

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DEVORA4 6/9/2010 9:50PM

  Hello and I was happy for you that you are less stressful. Computers can drive most people up the wall and it has done that to me.
I agree the 2 teams you mentioned are terrific. Take care. emoticon debby

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Spelt, the grain of the week.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Spelt has a light, slightly sweet, nutty flavor. The use of spelt dates back to about 5000 BC, when it was first cultivated in the region now called Iran. A kernel of spelt looks like a large grain of rice; it has a tough outer husk that protects its nutrients. Removing the husk makes spelt costly to process, so this ancient grain all but vanished in the United States until it was rediscovered about 12 years ago by a grain purveyor in the Midwest. Even though it does contain gluten, spelt seems to be tolerated by most wheat-sensitive people. Please check with your Doctor 1st if you are allergic to wheat.

Spelt is found in cereals and in baked goods, such as crackers, cookies, and breads. It is also available in flake form, or as a whole grain or flour.

Health Benefits:

Spelt can increase your energy level

Spelt is easier for your body to digest than other grains

Spelt is highe in protein than wheat

You will not eat any harmful pesticides with your Spelt - it is grown naturally (pesticide free)

If you are gluten-sensitive, you may be able to include spelt based foods in your diet

Spelt reduces the risk of Atherosclerosis

Prevent Heart Failure with a Whole Grains Breakfast

Significant Cardiovascular Benefits for Postmenopausal Women

Spelt and Other Whole Grains Substantially Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Gallstone Prevention

Fiber from Whole Grains and Fruit Protective against Breast Cancer


Homemde Spelt Pasta
Ingredients (Serves 2)

2 cups 100% Spelt flour
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
Water, as needed

Combine flour, eggs and salt. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until dough becomes firm (not sticky). After each tablespoon of water, check to see if dough has firmed. Amount of water will vary depending on your flour.

Form a rectangle and roll dough as thin as you can. If dough starts to spring back when rolled, let the dough rest for ten minutes then resume rolling.

Trim the edges of the dough and roll the flat sheet of dough into a jelly roll. Using a very sharp knife, slice the roll into small rounds. Unroll the rounds into long noodles, and toss them with flour on a baking sheet to dry, or cook immediately.

Fresh noodles will only take about 4 minutes to cook - they are done when they float to the top of the water.

Sweet and Hearty Spelt Bread Recipe

To cook this Spelt bread recipe you will need a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and patience. Unlike white bread this recipe for Spelt bread will take twice as long to leaven. From start to finish, it will take 2 - 3 hours.

Ingredients (Makes 1 Loaf)

1 1/2 cups warm water (just barely hot to the touch)
1 package active dry yeast (1/4 ounce)
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon whole flaxseed (optional)
2 1/2 cups whole spelt flour
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 3/4 cups whole spelt flour
1 tablespoon butter, melted

In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, 2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon of flaxseed (optional). Mix in 2 1/2 cups of spelt flour. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.

Mix in 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter, 2 1/2 tablespoons of brown sugar, and salt. Stir in 1 3/4 cups of spelt flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with spelt flour until it pulls away from the counter but is still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 1 to 2 cups of spelt flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 30 minutes).

Punch down and place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Allow to rise until dough has topped the pan by one inch. Depending on your yeast this will take between
1 - 2 hours.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not over bake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 1 tablespoon of melted butter when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely.

Spelt Pancakes

Ingredients (Serves 2)

1 1/4 cup buttermilk (see substitutes)
No buttermilk? just add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to milk and let stand 5-10 minutes
1 egg
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (or melted butter)
1 cup spelt flour
5 tablespoons ground flaxseed (optional/see substitutes)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon butter

In a medium bowl, combine buttermilk, egg, and oil.

In another bowl, mix together spelt flour, ground flax, sugar, salt and baking powder. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet buttermilk-mixture. Stir until lightly mixed.

Heat a griddle or large frying pan to medium-hot. Add 1 tablespoon of butter. Form 4 inch pancakes out of the batter. Once bubbles form on the top of the pancakes, flip them over, and cook them on the other side for about 3 minutes. Continue until all the batter has been made into pancakes.


Soy milk or yogurt can be substitutes for the buttermilk.

Wheat germ, almond meal, or ground teff can be substituted for the ground flaxseed in the spelt flour recipes.

Spelt Pizza Dough

Spelt Flour Recipes : Pizza
Ingredients (Serves 8-10)

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (110F, just barely hot to the touch)
4 1/2 cups spelt flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup pizza sauce
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, diced
10 basil leaves, torn into small pieces

In a large bowl combine yeast and warm water and let proof about 5-10 minutes, until foamy.

Using a wooden spoon, mix-in flour, 1 cup at a time, to yeast mixture until everything is well mixed.

Lightly flour a surface and knead dough on prepared surface 8-10 minutes.

Lightly oil large bowl. Place dough in prepared bowl, cover, and allow to rise in a dry, warm place until doubled (about 90 minutes).

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F and lightly grease a large pizza pan.

Once the dough has doubled, punch it down and knead in olive oil and salt. Allow dough to rest for 5 minutes.

Roll dough out and place on pizza pan. Crimp edges to leave a small lip.

Spread sauce over pizza leaving a 1/2 inch space at the edges. Top with mozzarella.

Bake for about 8 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Remove pizza from oven. Brush the exposed crust with a little olive oil to maintain moistness, and sprinkle fresh basil over the top.

Spelt Cake with Apples
Ingredients (Serves 12)

5 apples, cored and peeled
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon white sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground flaxseed (or guar gum)(both are optional)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and lightly grease a 9 inch cake (bundt) pan.

Place apples, cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a food processor and pulse until you have coarsely and fine chopped pieces.

In a large bowl, using a whisk to mix the eggs. Then whisk in the ½ cup sugar and vanilla until everything is frothy. Stir in the olive oil, juice, flour, flaxseed, baking powder, salt, and 2 teaspoons cinnamon until everything is mixed thoroughly. Fold the apple mixture into the batter. Pour mixture into the prepared baking pan.

Bake for 30 - 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Spelt Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients (Makes 24 Spelt Cookies)

1 3/4 cups crunchy peanut butter
1 3/4 cups dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 ounces of semi-sweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped (or 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place peanut butter in a medium-sized, microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high about 45 seconds or until the peanut butter is melted. Stir once as it heats. Using a spoon, stir in brown sugar and vanilla.

In large bowl, add flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix thoroughly. Add peanut butter mixture and stir until well blended. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop dough by 2 tablespoons, 2 inches apart, onto a non-stick cookie sheet. Bake 8 - 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow cookies to cool 3 - 5 minutes before removing and placing them on wire racks

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Thanks for this Yvonne... you're the superwoman of recipes and ideas! Love ya, Dawn

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DEFIANTVEGAN 6/9/2010 12:13AM

    OH wow what a variety of recipes with spelt. I saw all the nutritional values it had while searching for a recipe.

Glad you posted this. . emoticon


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NWFL59 6/8/2010 5:10PM

    spelt, its a grain we can live with.

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MRDPOLING 6/8/2010 9:25AM

    Om Nom Nom Nom!

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PAMNANGEL 6/8/2010 2:59AM

    Sounds yummy. I'll have to look for it.

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TRACYZABELLE 6/8/2010 2:16AM

    I have had spelt bread-- it reminded me of a honey wheat berry bread I had years ago..

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DEBBIEANNE1124 6/7/2010 11:08PM

    Hmmmmm these recipes seem pretty good.
thanks for sharing.

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L*I*T*A* 6/7/2010 10:21PM

    great recipes.............thanks for sharing...........
blessings and hugs.................lita

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BEYOURBEST1 6/7/2010 9:59PM

    I will also try the spelt chocolate chip cookies.
The recipe looks great and I am looking for ideas for my son' s

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BEYOURBEST1 6/7/2010 9:56PM

    Thanks for the recipes. I will try the bread one.
I have made spelt challah bread. The flavor was good and it was very filling, but you could see some crumbs in it, so it probably did not rise well. My children loved it, though.
I will try your recipe.
Thanks again for sharing.

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DEVORA4 6/7/2010 9:28PM

  I have used it. I neither loved nor hated spelt BUT after reading the benefits I will learn to love it. Would you consider this a raw food? I work very hard to keep my rawfood intake to 75% of my what I consume.

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MYSTIQAL 6/7/2010 9:19PM

    Ewwww. I wish they would have named it something else then it might actually sound tasty. Of course, you could come here and cook it for me then I would HAVE to try it.... emoticon

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DIGBOI 6/7/2010 9:05PM

    Thanks for the recipes. They sound yummy!! emoticon

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TEDYBEAR2838 6/7/2010 9:03PM

    How is that 'spelt'. Oh, yea, you already told me.

Just teasing ya.

Thanks for all the work you do for all of us and giving us such information. Things we don't know about and have not tried.

Have a blessed week~! emoticon emoticon

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