Healthy Living A to Z: Z is for Zucchini

Source:  MorgueFile

Source: MorgueFile

I know winter may seem an odd time to be talking about zucchini. Have you ever tried to think of a healthy living word that starts with Z? I was grateful for zucchini. And why shouldn’t I be?

Zucchini being made up mostly of water is low in calories with just 20 in one cup chopped w/skin. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2639/2
You want to eat zucchini with the skin on because that is where most of the nutrients are including fiber. Zucchini is also a source of antioxidants vitamins A and C, potassium and phosphorus. http://www.livestrong.com/article/314857-raw-zucchini-nutrition/

Just rinse, then slice or grate. I bake or steam sliced zucchini with a little chopped onion and sliced or chopped tomato with a little fresh basil. Try using Zucchini sliced lengthwise to replace lasagna noodles. Or cut a zucchini in half lengthwise, scoop out the some of the middle, stuff with your favorite veggies or grains and bake. Include zucchini in your favorite soup or grate a little raw onto your favorite salad. Of course cookies, muffins and cakes are still good, but why not take on the challenge of finding ways to make them healthier?

What’s your favorite way to prepare zucchini?

Thought for Today

 

Snow Couple Wreath Copyright 2011 by R.A. Robbins

Snow Couple Wreath
Copyright 2011 by R.A. Robbins

 

“Shall we liken Christmas to the web in a loom?  There are many weavers, who work into the pattern the experience of their lives. When one generation goes, another comes to take up the weft where it has been dropped. The pattern changes as the mind changes, yet never begins quite anew. At first, we are not sure that we discern the pattern, but at last we see that, unknown to the weavers themselves, something has taken shape before our eyes, and that they have made something very beautiful, something which compels our understanding.” – Earl W. Count 4,000 Years of Christmas

December Follower of the Month Samantha Key

Our December follower of the month is Samantha Key of Key Image Photographers.   She is in the process of making life changes I think you will enjoy hearing about.  Please take a minute to visit her blog at http://keyimagephotographers.wordpress.com/

Seasonal Change

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With the Christmas season in full swing it is hard for me to feel Christmasy this year. Usually I am Little Miss Christmas. I love getting my decorations down, the colder nights and walking my dog  looking at the amazing light shows that people on my estate display. If I am feeling really adventurous I will walk nearly an hour to the estate with the giant inflatable Simpsons Santa in the garden.

However, this year I am spending Christmas on the other side of the world, in Australia. The temperature has reached mid twenties everyday and the nights are staying light well into 7pm. The shops are displaying Christmas trees and decorations and Christmas songs are blasting out everywhere. I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas just doesn’t feel the same walking around in shorts and thongs (Australian for flip flops).

I’ve brought some budget baubles, a grow your own Christmas Tree and some tinsel, but it still doesn’t feel like Christmas. I still want to run outside every day to make the most of the sunshine!

All this change has started me thinking how widespread some of our celebrations are. We can be cultures and miles apart but people all over the world are still putting up Christmas Trees. You can be rich or poor but you will still be giving to someone you love on Christmas day. Christmas and New Year seem to be celebrations which unite cultures. Some people will spend Christmas huddled inside in front of a toasty fire, others on the beach with a BBQ but everyone will celebrate the same event in some way. How amazing is that?

Now apply this globally on a daily basis. Imagine if everyday people from different cultures and countries united to celebrate life, to celebrate the wonderful planet we live on, to give thanks? How much positivity, appreciation and joy would that create?

Who’s for a universal Christmas, where every day is shared in a balance of giving and receiving our gifts? Let your everyday gift to the world be the fabulous person which is you, your uniqueness, your talent, your time and your energy. What a wonderful planet we could all create.

So I am off to buy a disposable BBQ, stock up on vegetarian sausages and embrace Christmas this year Aussie style. Some traditions just need to be challenged with new ways of doing things!

Happy Christmas everyone.

Thought for Today

“Music does bring people together. It allows us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit. No matter what language we speak, what color we are, the form of our politics or the expression of our love and our faith, music proves: We are the same.”  –JOHN DENVER