Recipes

Recipes

QUINOA AND WATERMELON SALAD

Ingredients

  • 6 cups watermelon cut into small bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 4 oz feta cheese crumbled
  • 1/2 cup almonds or walnuts
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions. When complete, drain and set aside to cool.
  2. Toast the almonds (or walnuts) in a dry pan on top of the stove over medium-low heat. It will take about 10 minutes to toast them. Watch the pan as you will need to shake it occasion to ensure they do not burn. When they are toasty brown, remove them from the heat and immediately remove them from the pan (If they are left in the pan, they will continue to cook and may burn) and set them on the cutting board. When they are cool enough to handle, give them a chop. You’ll want large, crunchy pieces.
  3. Cut the watermelon into small bite sized pieces. Put these a bowl. When cooled add the quinoa and nuts. Add the crumbled feta cheese and arugula. Drizzle with olive oil and an entire lemon. Toss together well, transfer to a beautiful bowl and drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Enjoy!
  4. This salad is best super cold, so it makes sense to cook the quinoa the day before and chop the watermelon and refrigerate them overnight. The next day assembly is super easy!

My Quest for Peace and Joy

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I am currently on my second day of blogging. I am still updating and tweaking the site. I hope when I am done you will find it very informative. As I try to find the words to type today, I am slightly disturbed by some issues in my life. I am on a quest to find my inner peace and joy. I know from going to church, it can only be found in God. Therefore, I pray daily for peace and joy. I know from experience it is not found in people. As I have grown to learn, people will always let you down, whether it is intentional or not. I am currently reading Joyce Meyers new book “Unshakeable Trust”, she mentions how she has decided to trust with her eyes wide open and not expect anyone to not ever disappoint her, except God. And even when he does disappoint us, it’s for our own good. We can’t expect from people what they don’t have (that’s from me:) If people are not happy and at peace, how can they give that to you.  As God’s child you have the option to decide to be happy. Each day of your life, your are in control of how you will spend it. I know some days don’t go as planned, but it is up to you to make the best or let it take the best of you. Today I could have been sour and ate up everything in the kitchen, skipped my exercise, and just be mean to everyone around me, because things didn’t go my way. I chose, through a lot of prayer, to not let my  current circumstance dictate how my day is going to be spent. I personally call it being disciplined, which I learned through biblical teaching and going to school. You can’t let anything stop you from doing what you are called to do and accomplish.

Entrepreneurship

Tax Laws for Being Your Own Boss

Being your own boss definitely has its advantages — flexibility, upward mobility, the chance to take your business in the direction you choose — but at tax time, being self-employed can be a challenge. Here’s a look at what’s expected of you when you go to work for yourself.

Self-employed people must pay self-employment taxes

As a business, you are required to pay self-employment taxes, which include Social Security and Medicare taxes. These must be paid by anyone who works for himself or herself and earns $400 or more in 2017.

Self-employment taxes are assessed on a percentage of your net earnings. In order to calculate and pay this tax, you must first figure your net profit from your business.

Schedule and keep current with estimated tax payments

Our tax system is pay-as-you-go. If you work for someone else, your boss withholds a percentage of your paycheck for taxes and sends that money to the taxing authorities on a regular basis.

As a self-employed person, you have the responsibility of paying quarterly estimated tax payments for both income tax and self-employment taxes. If you fail to make these periodic payments or you underreport your income, you may be subject to penalties and interest.

 Take advantage of all available business tax deductions

As your own personal employer, you can write off far more business expenses than employees even dream about, and you’ll want to take advantage of every one of them. The IRS defines deductible expenses as any and all expenses that are ordinary and necessary for your business. A few common business deductions you won’t want to miss include:

  • Expenses related to the business use of your home, including:
    • Certain amount of rent
    • Utilities
    • Phone
    • Internet service
  • Business use of your vehicle based on business automobile expenses or the standard IRS allowable mileage rate for your tax year.
  • Depreciation of some property and equipment you purchase.

 

 

WORKING FROM HOME…IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU

You may be drawn to the advantages of working from your home.  Ask yourself a few questions to determine whether having a home-based business is right for you.

  • Do you have the self-discipline to motivate yourself, even when business is quiet?
  • Might you have difficulty setting boundaries between your personal life and your business role? Will you face interruptions from family and friends?
  • Is there enough room for the resources you need, like special equipment or employees?
  • If your business is successful, will there be room to expand? How will you address this when the time comes?

When you decide you are ready to launch your home-based business, consider the following suggestions:

  • Review provincial and federal health, safety and taxation regulations related to your business.
  • Check municipal by-laws and determine whether your area is zoned for operating a business, particularly if you plan to deal with the public or have non-family-members working out of your home.
  • Designate a specific area of your residence as your workspace (as removed as possible from the ebb and flow of your household activities).
  • Try not to let chores or other distractions take you away from your work and interrupt your productivity.
  • Avoid letting the less formal setting interfere with your professionalism.
  • Be available to your clients by keeping a consistent schedule and getting back to them in a timely fashion.
  • Be aware that some home-based business opportunities may be fraudulent.

source: https://canadabusiness.ca/starting/choosing-and-setting-up-a-location/home-based-business/

 

 

 

Veganism

Veganism

Vegans vs. Vegetarians

Vegetarian and vegan are two words that we have all heard of but most of us won’t really understand the difference. We know that it means vegetarian food or a vegan diet doesn’t contain eat red meat or any meat-based diet, but what is the difference between the two?

Introduction Veganism is a philosophy and compassionate lifestyle whose adherents seek to exclude the use of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose. Vegans endeavor not to use or consume animal products of any kind. Vegetarianism is the practice of a diet that excludes meat (including game and slaughter by-products; fish, shellfish and other sea animals; and poultry). There are several variants of the diet, some of which also exclude eggs.
Diet Vegans do not consume meat, eggs, milk, honey or any food that is derived from animals. Do not eat meat or fish. Some do consume dairy and some vegetarians consume eggs. Lacto-vegetarian: eating dairy products. Ovo-vegetarian: eating eggs. Do not eat gelatin or other animal by products.
Products Do not use any animal derived products, e.g. fur, leather, wool, etc. Do not condone the use of animal testing. While vegetarians do not eat meat, most vegetarians do not mind using other animal-derived products, e.g. fur, leather, or wool.

 

Source: https://www.diffen.com/difference/Vegan_vs_Vegetarian,

 

 

BEING VEGAN AND LOSING WEIGHT

A vegan diet isn’t a guaranteed way to lose weight. You can very well eat processed chips, cereal, energy bars and pasta as the bulk of your diet and still be heavier than someone following an omnivorous diet consisting of lean meats and leafy greens. Long-term vegans, though, do tend to have less body fat and lower cholesterol than meat eaters, reported a study in Nutrition Research and Practice published in 2012. Vegans are successful at keeping a healthy body weight focus on eating whole foods, such as beans and legumes, fresh vegetables, and soy protein. To lose weight quickly, even as a vegan, you’ll still need to moderate your calorie intake and exercise.

Weight loss on any type of diet occurs when you eat fewer calories than you burn. A deficit of 3,500 calories leads to 1 pound lost. You create this deficit by cutting calories, exercising more or a combination of the two. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends not losing weight at a rate faster than about 2 pounds per week, or you’ll be less likely to keep it off. This may not fit your definition of “fast,” but it’s the most manageable and safest rate.

One of the benefits of a vegan diet is that you’re cutting out potentially high-calorie foods, such as fatty meats, poultry with the skin and processed meat. A vegan diet includes no animal flesh and sometimes no animal products, no eggs, and no dairy.  A vegan consumes mainly plant foods.

To lose weight quickly, you may need to limit certain snacks that are healthy and vegan, but can easily lead to overeating. A scant handful of nuts or two tablespoons of hummus fit into a vegan weight loss plan, but if they turn into a half- or full-cup serving, you’re better off resisting them altogether. Opt for a snack of plain, soy low-fat yogurt with berries, a piece of fresh fruit or cut-up vegetables, instead.

Stay away from fried vegan foods, including French fries and tempura vegetables. Don’t deprive yourself of fats altogether when trying to drop pounds, though. Just opt for healthy unsaturated versions by sprinkling a few seeds over your salad, tossing roast vegetables in a tablespoon of olive oil, or adding a tablespoon of chia seeds to your morning smoothie.

Just because a food item says it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s low-calorie. Vegan cookies, cupcakes and pizza usually contain large numbers of calories and could undermine your results. Salads are excellent meal options, as long as you limit the amount of high-calorie toppings — including croutons, creamy dressing, cheese crumbles, dried fruit and candied nuts.

 

 

 

Fitness Tips

Being Fit Over 40

1. Adopt a mindfulness practice

Whether it’s yoga, meditation or another practice that works for you, it’s thought that mindfulness practices can positively influence the plasticity of the brain. Brain health becomes increasingly important as we age, so establish a practice sooner rather than later.

2. Build muscle

This doesn’t mean that you have to lift huge amounts of weight and get bulky muscles — although if that’s what you enjoy, go for it! Muscle mass decreases as we age. If you’re physically inactive, it can decrease by three to five percent every decade after age 30. Adopting a strength training routine can be beneficial.

3. Protect your bones

Bone density decreases as we age, as well. And in particular, it decreases for women after menopause. Regular exercise and a diet rich in leafy greens can help to protect the health of your bones.

4.Stretching

Maintaining flexible muscles should be another important part of your fitness routine. The best way to stretch is in between sets when you’re exercising—this is when the body is warmed up and more flexible. Hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.

5. Cardio

Opt for weight-bearing cardiovascular exercises like walking, jogging, stair climbing or dancing, over non-weight-bearing activities like swimming or biking. Moderate- or high-intensity activities help to build and strengthen bones along with burning extra fat. Shoot for 30 minutes five times per week.

6. Dietary changes

We often find that food we ate in our 20s and 30s don’t agree with our bodies like they used to.  The weight gain, mood swings, low energy and fatigue we experience at age 40 may be a sign of an unbalanced diet.

 

Sources: https://www.thealternativedaily.com/health-tips-for-women-over-40/ https://www.vitacost.com/blog/sports-and-fitness/4-fitness-secrets-for-women-over-40.html

 

FIVE WAYS TO MAKE SURE YOUR KIDS INCORPORATE FITNESS INTO THEIR DAILY ROUTINE

1. Make Time to Play

Set aside 30 minutes three times a week to do fun exercises with your kids. Make it a part of your after-school or after-dinner routine. If your kids are young, they might like hopscotch or hide-and-seek. Kick a soccer ball around or shoot hoops with older children.

Also plan at least one family activity every weekend. It can be as simple as taking little ones to the playground– or as challenging as an all-day hike with your teenager.

A key to getting kids moving is to plan time for physical activities. You can find that time by turning off the TV, for starters. Then offer a variety of family activities, both competitive and noncompetitive. When kids explore different ways to move their bodies, they can find exercises they enjoy and want to stick with for the long run.

2. Walk or Bicycle Everywhere You Can

Use muscle power: Bike or walk to the grocery store, library, or to your child’s school or sports events. Go for a 30-minute family walk after dinner instead of heading right for the television. Track everyone’s steps with a pedometer, and try to add more distance every week. Use a family exercise log or colorful stickers to track your progress. Put your log or chart on the refrigerator as a reminder to keep up the good effort together.

3. Plan Active Family Gatherings

Serve up family fitness as well as cake at your child’s birthday party by planning active games such as tag or relay races. Older kids might enjoy throwing a dance party.

4. Sing and Dance While You Clean

Set aside time for household chores and do them together as a family. Play music as you clean, and take turns choosing favorite songs. Younger children love to help out and can pick up toys or sweep floors while dancing with the broom. Older kids can dust, vacuum, and help make beds.

5. Make Yard Work Less of a Chore

Enjoy seasonal yard work together. Younger children can help plant and tend a garden. Older kids can rake leaves into a pile — and then jump in it. Make snow shoveling fun for all by building a snow fort or creating a family of snow people.

Source: https://www.webmd.com/parenting/raising-fit-kids/move/family-fitness-ideas#2

Nutrition

Nutrition

Sample label for Macaroni and Cheese

Source: https://www.fda.gov/Food/LabelingNutrition/ucm274593.htm#see1

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