Healthier Apple Crumble

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So, my husband became a Citizen of the United States last week, YAY! It’s been a long process since his arrival from South Africa, so we are extremely happy to have this chapter behind us! Since America and Apple desserts seem to go hand in hand, I was in the kitchen on Sunday experimenting with healthier ways to create a delicious Apple Crumble, and I think I succeeded! It’s not too sweet, is full of fiber and fills the house with the most incredible aroma!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Filling

  • 5 Medium Sized Apples – Cut into chunks (I left the peel on.) (All I had on hand was Red Delicious, but any apple would do.)
  • Zest of 1 Orange
  • Juice of 1 Orange
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1/8 Cup Honey, Pure Maple Syrup or Agave
  • 3 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1 T. Cornstarch

Topping

  • ½ Cup Oats
  • ½ Cup Nuts (I used mixed which included pecans, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts & pistachios.)
  • ¾ Cup Ezekial 4:9 Almond Cereal
  • ¼ Cup Coconut Sugar
  • ¼ Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/8 Cup Chopped Pecans

Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Grease 9x9in. baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a medium sized bowl, toss all of the filling ingredients together and add to baking dish.
  • In a food processor, pulse the oats, nuts and coconut sugar, just until it’s a course mixture.
  • Add the Ezekial Cereal to a bowl, then mix in your oat/nut mixture and the coconut oil.
  • Add additional coconut oil by teaspoonful if needed, until the topping clumps together.
  • Sprinkle the topping over the apple filling.
  • Top with the chopped pecans.
  • Bake for 30 minutes while covered with foil.
  • Bake another 30-40 minutes after removing the foil, or until the apples are soft.
  • Enjoy!

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Let your smile change the world, but don’t let the world change your smile.

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It’s not everyday that you see a smiley face on a water tower, but, it’s interesting how much of an impact on your day something like that can have. I don’t know about you, but, it makes me want to smile too!

I found these interesting facts on Smiling on pickthebrain.com by nursingschools.net and wanted to share them with you:


  1. Forcing yourself to smile can boost your mood: Psychologists have found that even if you’re in bad mood, you can instantly lift your spirits by forcing yourself to smile.
  2. It boosts your immune system: Smiling really can improve your physical health, too. Your body is more relaxed when you smile, which contributes to good health and a stronger immune system.
  3. Smiles are contagious: It’s not just a saying: smiling really is contagious, scientists say. In a study conducted in Sweden, people had difficulty frowning when they looked at other subjects who were smiling, and their muscles twitched into smiles all on their own.
  4. Smiles Relieve Stress: Your body immediately releases endorphins when you smile, even when you force it. This sudden change in mood will help you feel better and release stress.
  5. It’s easier to smile than to frown: Scientists have discovered that your body has to work harder and use more muscles to frown than it does to smile.
  6. It’s a universal sign of happiness: While hand shakes, hugs, and bows all have varying meanings across cultures, smiling is known around the world and in all cultures as a sign of happiness and acceptance.
  7. We still smile at work: While we smile less at work than we do at home, 30% of subjects in a research study smiled five to 20 times a day, and 28% smiled over 20 times per day at the office.
  8. Smiles use from 5 to 53 facial muscles: Just smiling can require your body to use up to 53 muscles, but some smiles only use 5 muscle movements.
  9. Babies are born with the ability to smile: Babies learn a lot of behaviors and sounds from watching the people around them, but scientists believe that all babies are born with the ability, since even blind babies smile.
  10. Smiling helps you get promoted: Smiles make a person seem more attractive, sociable and confident, and people who smile more are more likely to get a promotion.
  11. Smiles are the most easily recognizable facial expression: People can recognize smiles from up to 300 feet away, making it the most easily recognizable facial expression.
  12. Women smile more than men: Generally, women smile more than men, but when they participate in similar work or social roles, they smile the same amount. This finding leads scientists to believe that gender roles are quite flexible. Boy babies, though, do smile lessthan girl babies, who also make more eye contact.
  13. Smiles are more attractive than makeup: A research study conducted by Orbit Complete discovered that 69% of people find women more attractive when they smile than when they are wearing makeup.
  14. There are 19 different types of smiles: UC-San Francisco researcher identified 19 types of smiles and put them into two categories: polite “social” smiles which engage fewer muscles, and sincere “felt” smiles that use more muscles on both sides of the face.
  15. Babies start smiling as newborns: Most doctors believe that real smiles occur when babies are awake at the age of four-to-six weeks, but babies start smiling in their sleep as soon as they’re born.

So, as you can see, there are many benefits to smiling! :)

Here’s your mission should you choose to accept it:  Try these tips anytime you need to turn that frown upside down!

  1. Pull up a picture on your phone, computer, etc. of someone that you love dearly and that makes you happy.
  2. Do something silly! This could mean, dance, hula hoop, run through a sprinkler…the possibilities are endless!
  3. Listen to one of your favorite songs.
  4. Make a game out of seeing how many strangers you can get to smile just by smiling at them first.
  5. Do something nice for someone else. This could be for someone you love, or a complete stranger. Buy someone a coffee, help someone carry groceries to their car, send a sweet text to a friend…

Have a bright, sunshiny day! :D

Namaste,

Sign

Cottage Pie

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If you’ve noticed, I like to make one dish meals. Mainly because I can get them together ahead of time, then pop them in the oven while I’m teaching a class. While this one is easy to make, it does take a little while, primarily because of the bake time. It’s yummy, nonetheless!

Here’s what you’ll need:

• 1lb Ground Turkey (at least 93/7)
• 1 Onion, chopped
• 1 ¾ Cup Beef Stock
• ¼ Cup Worcestershire Sauce
• 2 heaping Tbs. Cornstarch
• 12oz. Frozen Mixed Vegetables (peas, carrots, green beans, corn) (uncooked)
• Thyme, Garlic Powder, Salt & Pepper to taste
• 4 Medium-sized Sweet Potatoes
• 1 tsp. Coconut Oil

Here’s what you’ll do:

Bake the potatoes:
• Heat oven to 450.
• Line baking sheet with foil.
• Wash & dry potatoes, make little pokes all over with a knife, then place on baking sheet.
• Bake for 35 minutes.
• Turn them over, then bake for another 35 minutes.
• Remove from oven and let them cool completely.
• Slice them open, and using a spoon, scoop out the insides and place into a bowl.
• Add salt, pepper and 1 tsp. of coconut oil, then mash altogether with a fork.
• Set aside.

Make the turkey:
• Brown ground turkey and onion in a medium skillet, then drain off the liquid.
• Mix the beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, cornstarch and spices together, then add to the turkey.
• Add mixed vegetables
• Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.
• Place into a medium casserole dish, then add the mashed potatoes to the top
• Fluff the potatoes with the ends of a fork

**If you will be serving right away, place it under a broiler for about 10 minutes, or until the potato peaks are golden brown.

**If you will be serving later, then you will bake it at 350 for about 35 minutes, or until it bubbles.

Enjoy!

Be your own kind of beautiful.

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We are all unique. Our individual attributes, personalities & characteristics are what make each of us unmistakably beautiful. Be your own kind of beautiful and don’t try to do things to change yourself into what you think others perceive as beautiful. Just know that you are, and embrace the unique beauty that is yours and yours alone. :)

We tend to make a habit out of focusing solely on the outer façade of ourselves and/or others to determine beauty. The fact of the matter is that true beauty is not just skin deep. It’s also a very subjective matter. What I find beautiful about myself or someone else will most likely vary to what your perceptions are…kind of like art. Is there a specific set of guidelines to outline what beauty is? Absolutely not. That determination is a judgment that each of us make personally based on our opinions.

The easiest way to distance yourself from the idea that someone is absolutely either Beautiful orNot, is to first acknowledge the fact that: EveryoneIsBeautiful. Rather than looking at yourself in the mirror or someone in the street and making an ultimate decision, alternatively, hone in on what you do find beautiful. This also applies to situations you are in, places you go, or personal circumstances. Make it a point to seek out beauty rather than ugliness. Isn’t that a much better way to view the world? Appreciate the beauty of your neighbors kind heart, or the beautiful rainbow after the storm. Love your beautiful laugh lines, and enjoy your friends beautiful singing voice. Beauty can be found in everyone and everything! ;)

Here’s your mission should you choose to accept it:  Each day, try these 5 things to make you appreciate beauty:

  1. SMILE!
  2. For everyone you encounter, find one thing you find beautiful about that person. This includes yourself each time you look in a mirror!
  3. For every place you visit, find one thing you find beautiful about your surroundings.
  4. Listen to a song that you find absolutely beautiful.
  5. Share your beauty with someone else. That could mean visiting an old friend, making a donation to a charity you support, or complimenting a stranger.

Namaste,

Sign