Archives for May 2013

Whose Business Are You In?

What a relief!  This message brings to mind Byron Katie’s thoughts on Whose Business Are You In?  Here is what she has to say. (It’s definitely worth reading!)

Whose Business Are You In? (Byron Katie)

Notice when you hurt that you are mentally out of your business.

If you’re not sure, stop and ask, “Mentally, whose business am I in?”

There are only three kinds of business in the universe: mine, yours, and God’s.

Whose business is it if an earthquake happens? God’s business.

Whose business is it if your neighbor down the street has an ugly lawn? Your neighbor’s business.

Whose business is it if you are angry at your neighbor down the street because he has an ugly lawn? Your business.

Life is simple—it is internal.

Count, in five minute intervals, how many times you are in someone else’s business mentally. Notice when you give uninvited advice or offer your opinion about something (aloud or silently).

Ask yourself: “Am I in their business? Did they ask me for my advice?” And more importantly, “Can I take the advice I am offering and apply it to my life?”

When I am tempted to give unsolicited advice or when I am worried about what is happening in another person’s life, I ask myself, “Whose business am I in?” Most often it isn’t mine! I feel torn between the desire to share my wisdom (Ha!) to be of help while also acknowledging that it’s not my life or my business. If I am asked for advice, I may give it but I have found that giving advice that hasn’t been requested is typically met with resistance. I also discovered that when I give advice or share self-help materials without being asked, the message is, “You need fixing. I can help.”  This stems from my belief (that I haven’t shaken completely) that I Need Fixing, so I project that belief onto others. It damages relationships and sets us apart.  Stay in my own business. Heal my own life.  Respect others enough to do their own work.  Anna Martinson, Life Coach.

“When you think that someone or something other than yourself needs to change, you’re mentally out of your business.” Byron Katie


Museli – the Breakfast of Champions!

Museli is one of my favorite summer breakfast foods. I especially love it with fresh blueberries from the Farmer’s Market or with raspberries from my own garden. Yum!!! It’s really good any time of the day. This recipe makes quite a lot so I keep it in the refrigerator for a few days, eating daily this already prepared delicious breakfast. It’s also a good choice for anyone on a weight loss plan because it is low in calories, very healthy, and provides protein which is an important way to start your day along with fruit, dairy, and a good carb (rolled oats). Enjoy!

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup ground almonds

2 cups plain unsweetened yogurt (I use Greek yogurt)

3-4 grated apples

½ cup orange juice

Juice of 1 lemon

3-4 Tbsp milk or cream

Honey – to taste

1 tsp. cinnamon

Add any fresh fruit you desire.  (Blueberries are great!)

Mix all together except fresh fruit.

Let sit overnight for oats to absorb liquids and time for flavors to blend.

Stir in fresh fruit.

(Fresh granola sprinkled on top is also delicious!)

Happiness Isn’t Peace!


baby                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           A few days ago I read an article by Eckart Tolle on Happiness and Peace. He suggested that when many people are searching for happiness, what they truly desire is peace. “It’s a state of heightened aliveness, when we become more conscious rather than less, and this requires an awareness of the kinds of thoughts that habitually go through your mind.” (Eckart Tolle)

In the past I often made a list of what I wanted in my life, “Happiness” was on my list. When thinking of what I wanted for my children, I wanted them to be happy. Now Peace Of Mind takes priority. Happiness is fleeting/temporary. I am happy that my family is coming to visit. I am unhappy that rabbits ate all my lettuce. When at peace with that inner deeper level inside, the emotional highs and lows do not occur.

Three years ago I was experiencing ecstatic happiness when I received a call that my first grandchild had just entered this world. I hung up the phone with great excitement and joy followed immediately by the thought that I wanted to call my mom to tell her that her first great-grandchild had just been born. I burst into tears and sadness when I couldn’t call my mom because she had passed away one year earlier. Even in the midst of my grief I was aware of how the intensity of my emotions had changed in an instant.

I seek peace of mind. When happiness enters my life, fantastic! When unhappiness enters, I try very hard to accept what it. Byron Katie said “When I argue with reality, I lose but only 100% of the time!”  When my coaching clients are stuck in a repeating negative thought, together we delve into the thought, questioning its truth and how that thought plays out in their life. Often there is a recurring pattern or behavior that a client wants to change yet they are unable to stick with it. Here the old negative thoughts are over-riding the good intention for change. Once old thoughts are released, new behavior is possible.

I had been in the pattern of thinking “I will be happy when (I lose weight, I have enough money, my kids are happy, I have the job of my dreams). My thoughts were taking me away from the present moment, projecting into a future that may or may not match my expectations. This movie, as Tolle calls it, is not reality.”You can’t see the present. You’re too busy with where you want to be next or where you were, which causes stress. The only solution is awareness, awareness that the voice in your head is really just repeating thoughts – no more, no less.”   Thich

The question I ask myself is this, “Am I going to read about, study, go to more courses on being at peace OR and I going to Stop, sit down and BE at peace?” I know how to do it. I know how calming it feels to be still in the present moment. All is well in my world when I sit in peace. So, another question for me is “Why do I often think it’s more important to accomplish tasks than to BE present in peace?”  What pulls you away from BEING in the present moment? What thoughts enter your mind?  I would love to hear!




Lemongrass/Citrus Rice Pudding

I LOVE Indian food!  I also thoroughly enjoy Rice Pudding yet the type served in Indian Restaurants is way too sweet for me. I adapted this recipe to make it healthier with a fraction of the sweetening and sugar.  It’s fresh take on a more traditional Rice Pudding recipe.  When served chilled in small ramekins or dessert dishes with orange, lime and lemon zest sprinkled on top, it’s also a beautiful presentation.

Serves 8  


3 (5”) length fresh lemongrass, finely chopped

3 cups 2% milk

3 ½ cups coconut milk, not low fat (a bit less than two 13 ½ oz cans                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           (You may also use 4 cups unsweetened coconut beverage and 2 ½ cups milk)

1/2 cup sugar (or ¼ cup Agave)

1  ½ tsp salt

1 ½ cups uncooked Arborio or Basmati rice, rinsed with cold water and drained

1 ½ Tbsp combination of grated lemon, orange and lime zest. Use more to top individual servings

2 tsp vanilla

¼ tsp ground cardamom


1.      Spray slow cooker with cooking spray.

2.      Place lemongrass on a small piece of cheesecloth, form into a bundle & secure with kitchen twine.

3.      In a medium size heavy saucepan, add milk, coconut milk and salt. (Also add sugar if using sugar instead of Agave.)  Stir and bring to a strong simmer over medium heat but do not boil.

4.      Pour the hot mixture, lemongrass sachet and rice into slow cooker. Stir well.  Cover and cook on low until the rice is completely tender, about 2 hours. There should be some liquid left.

5.      Remove from heat; discard lemongrass sachet and stir in agave, zest, vanilla and cardamom.

6.      Let cool slightly, then pour into individual serving bowls, cover and refrigerate until cold.

7.      Garnish with additional zest before serving.

The Dirty Dozen

EWG's Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen Plus ListsEach year I check out the current list for the “Dirty Dozen & Clean 15” which rate the pesticide levels in fruits and vegetables. Although I do not eat 100% organic foods, I do only buy organic fruits and vegetables listed in the Dirty Dozen. It’s so much easier to eat organic in the summer when most my fresh vegetables come from my organic garden!  Regarding meat, I started eating only free range organic chicken and eggs years ago. Next on my list to eliminate from my diet, conventionally raised pork. I am not only concerned about the health aspects of the food I eat but also the treatment of the animals. One step at a time…….

EWG’s 2013 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

Eat fruits and vegetables!

The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure. Use EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides™ to reduce your exposures as much as possible, but eating conventionally-grown produce is far better than not eating fruits and vegetables at all. The Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ will help you determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and are the most important to buy organic. You can lower your pesticide intake by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and choosing the least contaminated produce.

Read below to see the Environmental Working Group’s 2013 list.

The Dirty Dozen — 2013

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Grapes
  • Hot peppers
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet bell peppers.

The Clean Fifteen, 2013

  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe
  • Sweet corn
  • Eggplant
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi
  • Mangoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Papayas
  • Pineapples
  • Sweet peas
  • Sweet potatoes



Summer Salad with Cumin Crusted Salmon

This delicious salad takes some time to prepare but it’s worth every minute. It’s also a salad/meal full of color, nutrition, texture and flavor.  Yum!!! When I serve it to company, my guests ask for the recipe.


2 oz. pine nuts

5 cups mixed greens

15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup scallions, sliced

1  lg orange, cut in 1” chunks

½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

1 cup cilantro, chopped



2 Tbsp. orange juice concentrate

4 Tbsp. olive oil

½ tsp. cumin

1 ½ Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 garlic cloves, crushed

¼ tsp salt


Cumin-Crusted Salmon:

1 ½ Tbsp. cumin

2 tsp. paprika

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 pound salmon fillet, skin removed


  1. Heat a non-stick skillet, add pine nuts and stir until toasty, about 5 minutes. Watch closely to prevent burning.
  2. In a large bowl, place all salad ingredients except half of the cilantro and half of the pine nuts for garnish.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir dressing ingredients together.
  4. Combine cumin, paprika, salt and pepper in a flat pan or plate.
  5. Cut salmon in 8 strips and coat with spices.
  6. Grill (or cook in a non-stick skillet brushed with oil) until cooked through and crusty.
  7. Toss salad and dressing: divide on plates.
  8. Top with salmon and reserved cilantro and pine nuts.


Serves 4

“I Like You”

This morning I was babysitting my 3 year old Grandson Vincent for just an hour. I’ve had a strong connection with him since his birth and I’m absolutely blessed that he lives just 3 miles from me!  About 50 minutes into our play together, he turned to me and said “I like you.” I told him that I liked him too. His genuine, unprompted expression of caring for me touched my heart so deeply that I was overflowing with love and gratitude for his presence in my life.

My grandson’s touching voice of affection led me to question when I had last said to someone, “I like you.” I couldn’t remember! I do remember when my children were teenagers occasionally thinking, “I love you immensely but I don’t like you very much this moment.”  In fact I verbally stated those words a few days ago to my new puppy after she chewed up a cord (not plugged in), dug a hole in the yard and pooped on the floor!

“I like you.” How often do you say that to someone? What does it mean to you? To me it means that I enjoy being with you. I like who you are. I am grateful that you are in my life. And, today I commit to telling 3 (or more) people “I like you” after I acknowledge the ways I like myself!

“What you pay attention to grows. Pay attention to your loveliness, your magnificent self. Begin now.”  Geneen Roth, Women Food and God.


Beet Burgers

      Beet Burgers are one of my favorite summer meals. I buy enough fresh beets, carrots and onions at the Farmer’s Market to make a double batch so I can freeze the extras. If you’re not a fan of beets, this might not be the recipe for you! Check out some of my other delicious healthy vegetarian recipes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Beet Burgers

2 cups grated raw beets

2 cups grated raw carrots

½ cup grated raw onion

1 cup cooked brown rice

1 cup toasted sunflower seeds

½ cup toasted sesame seeds

2 eggs, beaten

2 Tbsp. tamari

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

3 Tbsp flour

¼ cup oil

Herbs to taste: garlic, cayenne, parsley

Salt & Pepper


(To make gluten free – use gluten free tamari in place of soy sauce and substitute oatmeal for the flour.)

Toast sunflower and sesame seeds in dry skillet several minutes at med/low heat, stirring constantly, until lightly browned.  Mix all ingredients together, form into patties, and bake at 350 degrees 40-50 minutes, depending on the size of your patties.  Burgers do not need to be turned during baking unless they are very large.

Yield: 8 large burgers

Beet burgers can be eaten plain or in a bun in place of a hamburger patty.

(I double this recipe after buying beets, carrots and onions at the Farmer’s Market and freeze the extras.)


“I’m dying.” Is it True?

Recently a woman I know who is living with cancer told another woman she just met that she is dying. She has been living with cancer for 3+ years now and has many more days/months ahead of living her life.  I hadn’t questioned the belief of dying until I was at the 9 day Byron Katie School of The Work.  During one large group session a man stood up to tell Katie his story before doing The Work with her.  As a part of his introductory story, he said “My dad is dying.”  Katie interrupted him and asked, “Is it true? Is your dad dying?” He replied “Yes!” and then shared his father’s medical condition.  Katie responded, “We are either alive or we are not. In my experience people are living until they are not.” Katie then asked the man, “Is your dad dying?” After thoughtful contemplation he replied “No” and then continued with his story.

This was such a brief exchange but I found it profound. It inspired me to question my own idea of “dying” to discover that I agree with Katie. When I look at someone who tells me they are dying, I see a person who is alive and still full of life force. We are alive until we are not! About a year ago a good friend with terminal cancer said to me, “I need to get everything in order because I’m dying.” My response was, “You look very much alive to me!” And is it true, do we need to get everything in order? Is it possible to get all things in order?

What other beliefs do we carry that could be questioned? “She’s lazy.” “He should get a job.”  “I don’t have enough money.” What beliefs would you be willing to look at today?

Vegetarian Lentil Chili

I adapted this recipe from a Weight Watchers recipe. I made some changes to add flavor and also made it into a slow cooker recipe. It’s so quick, easy and yummie and also a good addition to a weight loss menu!

vegetarian chili

Vegetarian Lentil Chili


1 ½ cups dry lentils

32 oz beef, chicken or vegetable broth – low sodium

1 lg onion, chopped

1 green or red pepper, diced

2 Tbsp minced garlic

3 Tbsp chili powder

2 tsp. dried oregano

1 ½ tsp ground cumin

1 tsp kosher salt

Opt: ¼ tsp cayenne or hot sauce to taste

29 oz canned fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained

 4 oz can diced chilies, undrained

32 oz canned black beans, rinsed and drained

14 oz garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

Cilantro, fresh and chopped


Place all ingredients in slow cooker except beans and cilantro. Stir.

Cook on low overnight or for 8 hours during the day until lentils are tender. You can add the green pepper closer to the end of the cooking time.

Add beans and heat thoroughly.

Serve with chopped cilantro sprinkled on top of chili.


Serves 8

Weight Watchers – 1 cup serving = 6 points