Sunday, June 1, 2014

tiny magical goals :)

Tiny magical goals

When my dentist cheered "Your gums look really good!", I wanted share with you all how it happened! I learned about changing tiny habits from this fabulous TEDx talk by BJ Fogg, a social scientist from Stanford University:


He says we can very easily make very small changes that will stick. Small changes add up to large changes. Just like every body of water starts with just one drop! It reminds me of some effective workout goals: dress in your workout clothes, or step outside to your sidewalk or drive to the gym. The rest of the workout happens without much notice!

So, here is one of BJ's first examples. I tried it and with very little effort, I had amazing results! Begin flossing just one tooth each time you brush your teeth. After you do it, you must celebrate. The positive emotion will help your brain remember.

BJ shares another personal example about pushups. BJ wanted to start doing push-ups throughout the day. So he began doing two push-ups each time he peed. After a while, he added another pushup, then another until, he was doing around seven push-ups per pee. Now BJ does quite a lot of push-ups each day, with very little effort. I will try this next!


The way I see it, you need a TRIGGER, a SIMPLE habit, and a CELEBRATION.

1.     A "trigger" is something that you ALREADY do (pee, brush teeth, etc.) which will remind you to do your NEW SIMPLE HABIT.

2.     The SIMPLE HABIT needs to be TINY, as in one tooth or one minute or one pushup.*   Here are many examples of tiny habits you may want to try!

3.     Finally, you must CELEBRATE! This need not be extravagant. An audible "Awesome!", a fist in the air, or a "Yessss!" will all work. Plus, some great ways to celebrate from BJ Fogg!

Years ago, I abandoned regular floss for the ease of a REACH flosser. By BJ’s FOGG Method, within a week or two, I accomplished regular flossing without even consciously deciding to make it a goal! Suddenly, I am flossing the old fashioned way, TWICE a day!, and it is no burden at all! 

Next up for me are push-ups, and the possibilities are ENDLESS!

BJ offers a FREE 5-day program EVERY WEEK to anyone interested: the Tiny Habits Program to make the process even easier! Sign up by June 6, to begin on Monday, June 9, to get email updates and advice as you quickly engrain awesome new habits!

*BJ also discusses the importance of choosing the best tiny habit by considering MOTIVATION (your reasons for doing your habit) and ABILITY (for example, if you want to do pushups, but you cannot physically do one yet, success is unlikely). One other important factor BJ suggests is to get SPECIFIC...always important with SMART goal setting!


What are you going to try? How will you celebrate? I absolutely love this idea, process, that a program is offered to help, and how well it works!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Easiest Couscous Preparation!

Couscous must be the fastest grain to make, and now it's even faster! Try this:

Boil a kettle of water. Combine 1 part couscous and 1.5 parts boiling water IN your serving bowl, or for a single serving, in the bowl you will eat from! Cover with a plate, wait 3 minutes, and FLUFFY COUSCOUS!

Tomato Chickpea Pesto Salad
Whole Wheat Couscous Chickpea Pesto Salad

Tomato Chickpea Pesto Couscous Salad

1/2 c whole wheat couscous
3/4 c boiling water
1 fresh tomato, chopped (I used 2-3 because mine were really small)
3/4 c chickpeas, (canned is convenient, dried are better -- I made a bunch yesterday!)
~2 Tbsp pesto (I used this leftover from this recipe)

Prepare couscous as described above, chop tomatoes while you wait, mix everything together, and enjoy!

Can't go wrong with beans and fresh tomatoes!
Couscous with no pan!

Cut tomatoes with my ceramic knife -- mine is from Victorian, and I love it; here are others
Fresh pesto is delightful, easy, and cheap!


COMMENTS: This was so good that I ate my bowl right up, probably too fast, and then proceeded to make a whole new bowl, and finish it too! That's how FAST AND YUMMY it is! What are your favorite quickest meals to make?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Apricot Marmalade Sweetness

This idea came to me when I was teaching a nutrition and wellness class several months ago. It took me until now to try this simple, delicious, and healthy idea! I really think these proportions came out just right. Still, it's very sweet, so if you find it's too much for you, add lemon juice.

Non-Cook Apricot Marmalade

2 c unsweetened dried apricots
1 c water
1/8 c lemon juice or the juice of half a lemon, optional
1/4 c chia seeds

Blend for just a minute or so to desired consistency, and enjoy!

Some cranberry or orange peel would probably be tasty!

How cute are these Triscuit Minis?! My kids love them :)

This spread would be great on Ezekiel Bread or on or in pancakes!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Peanut Butter Banana Crunch Breakfast Cookies

These cookies are awesome! The dough is also sweetly delicious straight from the bowl! This recipe came about when my three kiddos came storming at me wanting to bake cookies! That first time I only approved and suggested ingredients to add, and it was a pretty perfect combination! We've made these cookies several times since. You probably can't go wrong if you include each of these ingredients, and the proportions below definitely work well!

Peanut Butter Banana Crunch Breakfast Cookies

1 c old-fashioned rolled oats
4 ripe bananas
1/2 c ground flaxseed
1/4 c chia seeds
1/3 c Grape Nuts (they add an awesome tiny crunch!)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 c natural peanut butter

Mix everything up in one bowl, making sure to mash the bananas. Spoon dough onto cookie sheets. I use a silicone sheet over a thin metal baking sheet. You want to spread and flatten dough spoonfuls to about a half inch or less thick. They won't change shape while baking. Small cookies are good, so you have a lot of browning and crispiness on the edges. I baked them in a preheated convection oven at 375 degrees, for 15 min.  SO in a conventional oven, 400 degrees for closer to 20 min should be right :)


Friday, February 21, 2014

56 3-Word Bits to Improve Your Life and Make You Smile :)

John Tesh posed the simple question: In 3 words, what advice would you give your younger self?

Photo from John Tesh's Facebook page :)

SO inspiring, that I wanted to share a few (just 56 out of the 600 or so I read!)! 

  1. Relax more.
  2. Save your money.
  3. Trust your gut.
  4. Get a hobby.
  5. Let it go.
  6. Parents were right.
  7. Enjoy the moment.
  8. Get exercise routine.
  9. Put God first.
  10. Don't be afraid.
  11. Just say no.
  12. Go for it!
  13. Practice gratitude daily.
  14. Do not settle.
  15. Be kind.
  16. Don't judge.
  17. Stop stressing out.
  18. Love yourself.
  19. Take your time.
  20. Ask more questions.
  21. Stop worrying.
  22. You'll be okay.
  23. Be more confident.
  24. Ask God first.
  25. Follow your dreams.
  26. Think before speaking.
  27. Nurture your creativity.
  28. You are enough.
  29. Forgive and forget.
  30. Travel, learn, DO!
  31. Choose your battles.
  32. Collect less.
  33. Floss your teeth.
  34. Stay in school.
  35. Take that trip!
  36. Pay it forward.
  37. Love your job!
  38. Be not ashamed.
  39. Run, run, run!
  40. Follow your heart.
  41. Keep a diary.
  42. Learn from mistakes.
  43. Find the humour.
  44. Count your blessings.
  45. Find your passion.
  46. Live your passion.
  47. Get more sleep.
  48. Never stop reading.
  49. Carpe diem!
  50. Be open-minded.
  51. Nothing is impossible.
  52. Be at peace.
  53. Never lose hope.
  54. Family is forever.
  55. Take deep breaths.
  56. Laugh more often.
COMMENTS: Now it's your turn.  In 3 words, what advice would you give your younger self?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Crazy Cool Costco Catches

Costco could probably keep my family happily fed, and nourished with just these few favorites!

Organic frozen raspberries

These are one of the most delightful foods in my whole world!  A bowl of these berries is a wonderful dessert, with a happy aftertaste and after-feel (like no bellyaches or yucky feelings).  They just melt in my mouth!

Organic frozen broccoli

A pound or two each day has become a staple for my family.  We all happily eat them up each night for a powerful daily dose of cancer prevention and we love it!

Organic Garofolo whole wheat pasta

I normally get WHOLE WHEAT pasta from Costco, and ORGANIC whole wheat pasta from Trader Joe's. Now, I can have ORGANIC WHOLE WHEAT pasta from Costco, for $1.30/lb!  It tastes great too!  Here are some yummy pasta alternates and recipes!

Unsalted cashews

These are delicious! I do enjoy salted cashews, but after a bite or two, that saltiness is too much for me, and it makes stinginess on my lips, and of course who needs all that sodium?!  Try some Cashew Cookie Laraballs or Tasty Tofu Stir-Fry or Lemon Bar Laraballs or or some Morning Power Smoothie!

Hass Avocados

Avocados are such a favorite that I must give them a quick shout out!  Just remember to buy them hard, set them out until softened, but still firm, and then refrigerate them until you are ready for their delightfulness!  Some avocado recipes are here (don't mind the posts without avocado recipes).

Deglet Noor Dates (restocked after a long wait...again!)

This is the ultimate sweetness!  Fiber, no refining, no artificial sweeteners, AND this particular brand is pitted (huge time-saver) and cheap (little over $2/lb)!  Check out these sweet date recipes!

Here is another post about other things I like from Costco!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Black Forest Smoothie

A simple and refreshing smoothie from a friend!

Thank you Melissa for the lovely combination!  I've never actually had Black Forest cake, though I'm sure I would love it, and this drink sure hit the spot!

Black Forest Smoothie

1 cup water (so everything will blend)
2 cups fresh spinach (2 hearty handfuls)
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa (or less if you don't want a super strong chocolate flavor)
1 1/2 cups frozen, unsweetened cherries (I used a variety of 3 cherries in bag from Costco)

Blend and enjoy!

Makes 4 cups.

It was perfect right away -- chocolate-cherry yumminess with a milk shake consistency!


COMMENTS: How is 2014 treating you?  I am very excited about this new year -- I like the look and sound and feel of it, 2014 :)  However, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed.  So many wonderful things going on, ... it's challenging to keep track!

Peace be with you :)


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