January - Recaps & Resolutions

Happy New Year!

January is known for recaps and resolutions, the new year starts with retrospection (as we bemoan past regrets and celebrate successes), then moves forward with hopes and resolutions for the year ahead!

More than half of all resolutions fail, but this year, they don’t have to be yours. Here’s how to identify the right resolution to improve your life - create a plan on how to reach it, and become part of the small group of people that successfully achieve their goasl. Notice I’ve said “goals”. That is what I do… I don’t make resolutions (as I’ve mentioned in December’s Blog) but I set goals. You’ll give yourself your best shot at success if you set goals that are doable and meaningful. So as we jump start 2019 I encourage you to enjoy good food, stay healthy, live your best and remember to be flexible when life gets in the way.

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Cheers,

Renate


FOOD

WINTER’S WARMTH

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When the wintry days sets in during January, cozy up with a bowl of this delicious soup. The flavors and texture are bound to warm you up.

Pantry staples solved a soup-of-the-day crisis and became a favorite. Once when my youngest was not feeling well, I decided to make her some chicken barley soup only to discover when I opened the pantry that I was out of barley! But lying there was a bag of dried green split peas. I was pleasantly surprised when I had concocted this soup from almost nothing, and it turned out so delicious that my daughter enjoyed it and began to feel better, achieving her inner “peas” (peace). This is now an often-requested soup for the cold season and is part of my cook book recipes collection.

INNER PEAS SOUP

SERVES ABOUT 10

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 sweet onion, medium diced

½ red bell pepper, medium diced

½ yellow bell pepper, medium diced

2 celery stalks, medium diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 bag (16 ounces) green split peas, rinsed well and soaked for least at 30 minutes

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth, more if needed

2 bay leaves

2 chicken or vegetable bouillon cubes

Salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over low heat.

Add the onion, bell peppers, and celery, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

Drain the green peas and stir them into the sauteed vegetables.

Add the broth, bay leaves, bouillon, salt and a few turns of fresh-ground black pepper.

Cover and let cook, stirring occasionally, until peas have dissolved, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Remove bay leaves and serve warm.

 QUICK TIP: A delicious add-in to this soup is left-over baked chicken cut into small pieces. Follow the recipe, and halfway through the process, stir in the baked chicken pieces.


FASHION

WOMEN’S GYM BAG ESSENTIALS

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Stay on top of your game! Don’t fall behind on your goal of staying healthy. Most of us are excited to start exercising right after the New Year then by mid January we tend to start slacking off. You don’t necessarily have to go to the gym to get some daily exercise, but when you do, here are some great fitness accessories I’ve researched you shouldn't forget to pack in your gym bag to make the most of your daily workout session. They can be found at sporting goods store.

Gym Bags: The latest gym bags keep you organized from work to workout, complete with plenty of pockets and compartments for all your gear. You never have to scrimp on style — complete your look with a bag designed in luxe fabrics and materials.

Activity Trackers: These super lightweight wristbands deliver speed, heart rate, sleep and activity tracking 24/7. Plus, many wirelessly sync to your smartphone, so you can always stay connected to your latest stats.

Water Bottles: Hydration is essential when you train, but not all water bottles are created equally. Look for one that’s BPA-free with a leak-proof lid. To add some flavor (and healthful nutrients) try an infusion water bottle.

Earbuds: Music motivates our workout. We like compact earbuds that are both sweat-resistant and ergonomic. Built-in mics are great for switching between calls and tunes.

Armbands: Make sure your armband supports touch screen functionality — so you can skip tracks or take calls as you move. Adjustable bands help provide a secure, no-bounce fit.

Running Socks:  We count on our running socks to protect us from chafing and irritation, mile after mile.  Lightweight padding in key areas prevents rubbing, while perforated fabric keeps the air flowing. Mix it up with a variety of cuts and colors.

Headbands:  Need to keep flyaways at bay during your next HIIT session? Headbands wrapped with technical fabric offer excellent hold and shape.

Scarves: A classic, open-knit scarf takes us from the studio to the street. Find one in your signature hue.

Yoga Mats: Maximize your zen with sustainable, zero-waste yoga mats. We like a fabric-like texture for better grip as we pose.


FAMILY

Relationship Checkup

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Relationships are incredibly complex. Not only are they are made up of years of memories, experiences and interactions, they also involve layers of complex emotions and motives.

The good news is that most aspects of our relationships don’t have to be complicated. The brief moments and small gestures are often what matters most in the dynamic between two people. Yes, it’s the little things that matter the most. Often time, we overlook the ‘little’ things that can make a big difference in our relationships.

Try taking two minutes out of each day and put these simple tips in motion.

#1  Start the Day on a Positive Note

It’s far too easy to get off to a bad start in the morning with family members. Comments like “Get down here and eat your breakfast” or “We’re late! Let’s go!” aren’t exactly bursting with love. Try to make your first interaction of the day a positive one. A simple “good morning” can go a long way. If you are in charge of waking others up, do so with a gentle tone or even a kiss.

#2  Send a Text

Do you have moments of down time in your day? Send a text to a love one during the mundane moments while you’re waiting in line at the store or using the microwave. Sending a quick text to let them know you are thinking of them can go a long way.

#3  Write a Note

You don’t have to be Shakespeare to write a note. You also don’t need beautiful stationery. A post-it note on the table that says “Love you!” is perfectly sufficient. You could also leave the note on the bathroom mirror or the fridge for the loved one to find. If you want to put in extra effort, write out a short note expressing gratitude for someone and drop it in the mail.

#4  Give Love Pats

Even brief moments of physical affection can greatly improve your relationships. It lets the other person know you care and helps you connect with them. This can include a quick kiss, a warm hug, a pat on the back or a minute of snuggling.

#5  Think Double

Are you stopping for coffee? Buy a second cup for your special someone. Are you making yourself a snack? Whip up something for them too. Did you discover a great bargain? Let your friend know about it or buy one for them too. These small selfless acts are incredible blocks for relationships.

#6  Surprise Them With Words

A picture is worth a thousand words, but the spoken word can truly be priceless. Don’t wait for the next Hallmark card occasion to express gratitude or love. When you’re watching TV with your spouse, tell your spouse you are glad to be married to them. Tell your child you are proud of them, on a day when nothing significant has happened. Acknowledge a positive change you’ve seen in someone. You could change someone’s day and make a huge impact on your relationship with just one sentence.
















Renate MooreComment