Thursday, July 25, 2013

#Antioxidants! Quick Tips To Eat More

Nutrition & Antioxidants! 

What did you picture first when you read the italicized word above? 

For me, I think of berries of all kinds but even some vegetables pack antioxidants. Choose your liking of: onions, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, and garlic, are all considered “anti-cancer;” which means these foods benefit the body through the protection to our cells.

Here are some quick #LEAN tips to eat more antioxidant rich foods:      

* Add antioxidant rich fruits (berries, grapes) to your plain or low-fat yogurt for breakfast or mid-afternoon snack.

* For lunch or dinner, add antioxidant rich vegetables (cabbage, artichoke, potatoes, and spinach) in a salad, soup, stew, vegetable casserole, or in a light sauté. 

* For all day snacking, build a nibbling tray (use a muffin tin or ice cube tray) and fill each section with an antioxidant rich food.

* During the high heat days of summer, infuse your water with berries (frozen or fresh). Frozen blueberries eaten alone are great for cooling off and they’re delicious!

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Choose, eat, and live well! =)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Raise a [healthy] #grazer - the L.E.A.N. Way

Raise a [healthy] grazer!

Here are some various grazing trays I've made for my son. I'm sharing this post as the letter G in the blog post, "Meatless Monday: Eating the Alphabet from A-Z," owned and written by Jennifer Fischer

Image 1
1. Pictured are my son's daily 'supplements' - the gummies being 100% plant based fruits and vegetables (not a vitamin or supplement, but whole food), graham crackers from Trader Joe's (no HFCS), 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter, grapes, 1/2 KIND bar, and organic apples with cinnamon. 
Image 2
2. Cantaloupe slices, Trader Joe's cookies (less than 40% sugar), organic apples with cinnamon, nectarine, organic cheese crackers, and organic strawberries. 
Image 3
3. Trader Joe's O's, grapes, 1/2 KIND bar, organic yogurt, daily 'supplements,' sliced pineapple, organic cheese crackers, 1/2 Cliff fruit snack, organic apples, 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter, graham crackers from Trader Joe's, and more organic apples. 
Image 4
4. Pear with cinnamon and drizzled raw honey, Chobani greek yogurt, organic nectarine, organic white peach, and organic apricot. 
Image 5
5. Grapes, 1/2 cliff Z bar for kids, organic white nectarine, hummus with sliced carrots, organic apples, and graham crackers with natural peanut butter. 
Image 6
6. Organic strawberries, organic apples, organic nectarines, organic rainier cherries, and graham crackers. Not pictured: natural peanut butter. 
Image 7
7. Rice crackers, organic apples with cinnamon, daily 'supplements,' veggie straws, Trader Joe's O's, grapes, pineapples, apple straws, 1/2 Cliff fruit snack, 1/2 KIND bar, and more grapes. 

Image 8
8. White nectarine, plum, apricot, red and green grapes, and cantaloupe. 

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Choose, eat, and live well! =)

Monday, July 15, 2013

#Omega3s - The #L.E.A.N. Way!

Omega-3s make your heart and brain happy. 

Want your body to be in biochemical balance?

Want your brain to be smarter?
Want to feel happier?
Want your vision to to be sharper?
Want your heart to be stronger?
Want your skin to feel smoother?
Want your pregnancy to be healthier?
Want your breast milk to be more nourishing?
Want your children to grow smarter and healthier?
Want your loved ones to live longer?

If you want any or all of these health perks, you want The Omega-3 Effect! ~ Dr. William Sears

Fish is a yellow light food because it’s not a fruit or a vegetable but it is still one of the healthiest foods you can eat (more on the Traffic Light Eating concept click here). Salmon is rich in Omega-3 healthy fats that make our brains and hearts happy! Omega-3 is the most thoroughly researched nutrient with over 22,000 articles! 

Wild Pacific Alaskan Salmon is the safest, healthiest, and cleanest fish to eat. It is high in protein, B12, Omega-3 (both EPA/DHA), calcium, and it is antioxidant-rich.

If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you can obtain your Omega-3s from plant sources like flax seed/oils or by taking an algae-based supplement. 

If you want information on sustainable supplementation, please visit my Products page to learn more. 

Dr. William Sears recommends the following dosages: Pregnant and nursing mothers - 1,000mg daily; Babies 0-3 years - 300mg daily; School aged children - 500mg daily; Adults - 1,000mg daily; and for those with compromised immune systems - 2-5g daily. 

More information on Dr. Bill's recommendations, please consider purchasing his book, The Omega-3 Effect

I do receive a small commission from if you purchase anything through their site using the link above (read my full advertising disclosure here). 

Thank you very much for your generosity in helping to offset the costs of website upkeep, so that I can keep sharing wellness resources with my community and beyond.

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Choose, eat, and live well! =)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

#BuenaLomaGardens - 1 year #anniversary - #Support your #localfarms

The purpose of this blog post is to showcase my recent visit to Buena Loma Gardens in Temecula, CA. I have hosted one article from a guest blogger and written two articles (my visit and cooking class) about this fantastic place. I believe after viewing the images, you'll want to make a trip if you're ever in the area. 

In this visit, I invited two moms with their children to meet my son and I at one of the best organic farms in the SW Riverside County region. 

You can find Buena Loma Gardens at 45485 Buena Loma Rd, Temecula CA 92590. They are open 7 days a week, 9a-5p. Call ahead to make sure: 951-694-5328. Ask for Elvie or Charlie. Please let them know you heard about them through Conveying Awareness with Jessica David.

Their location is about 15 miles or a 20 minute drive outside of the city. It is a beautiful, scenic and peaceful ride, too. If you have any worries, they'll be gone!

If you're going for the first time, give them a call and let them know how many in your family they should be expecting. Elvie may just prepare you a few samples to try. This day she shared with us raw kale salad in addition to slices of plum and white nectarine and blood orange and apple wedges. 

One of my friends' children is a vegetable lover. Here he is pictured enjoying the raw kale salad (below, left). This cutie patootie is eating the rest of the blood oranges. 

In the picture to the right, Elvie is giving us a quick demonstration on the 'dressing' she made for the raw kale salad. Ingredients: white distilled vinegar (about 2 cups), 1 tablespoon of powdered stevia extract and 1/2 tablespoon of fine sea salt. Mix well. Pour over fresh salad ingredients. 

On the cutting board is perslane, a succulent found in many people's yards commonly known as 'weeds.' Of the 13 people that visited this day, I believe there were 3 who added the perslane to their raw kale salad. I was one of the few. I knew it was safe to eat because they don't use any chemicals on and around their gardens plus Charlie chopped some up and ate them. I added them to my salad and found they were pretty bitter. I'm a savory and salty girl and I couldn't handle the taste so I tossed it into their compost bucket. But, it was worth a try! 

After sampling the produce, we were given an extensive tour of their gardens. In this image, a shiny red and silver twisted foil was strung from one end to the other to keep the birds away from the berries. Charlie said the birds stay away because they think it's fire. I've never seen something like that before and thought it was a pretty cool idea.  

Elvie said flowers should be planted in between and around the garden to aid in pollination. She planted zinnias. In between the flowers is a different plant (see the difference in the leaves?) - can you guess what it is? She said it is her first time planting it and wasn't sure what to expect as it grew. I will share the answer of what type of plant it is somewhere towards the end of the article.  

This tree is an almond tree (right). The 3 of us moms that came to visit never realized that almonds grew on large trees. Personally, I thought they grew from small bushes like you find blueberries on. She opened up one of the almonds to see if they were ripe. We learned that they need another month or two before they'll be ready. It was an experience. She used her teeth to cut through the outer skin and then was able to peel back the center to reveal the almond in the middle.  

The following are several images from the walk around the gardens. I caught the kids talking about wanting to explore some areas that were off limits to small children due to pots and thorns. 

I think these two images are pretty with all the various flowers. Though the yard was somewhat hilly (side note: don't wear open toed shoes unless you want dirty feet upon leaving), the gardens offered a nice reprieve from the hot summer temps. 

To your left is an image of the children asking for seconds for dehydrated apple slices with cinnamon. I'd love for Charlie to build me a miniature version of their 'natural' dehydrator or green house so that I could use it in the triple digits where I reside now. 

To the right are super duper cactus. Salsa con nopales anyone?

Pictured here is Elvie speaking to two of the moms about various produce being beneficial to diabetics. She said she has diabetes but has been able to control her health through eating more fruits and vegetables and walking daily. Then there's the satisfaction of growing your own and reaping the rewards of a good harvest, too, that will benefit anyone regardless of health concern. 

After the tour, we shopped for produce. Most everyone spent about $30 though one spent less than $10 for her huge haul of veggies!! Even thirty dollars is an excellent cost for the amount of locally grown, harvested organic produce. We learned about the benefits of jujubes while we were there and everyone took home some to bring to their husbands ($8 a pound). Elvie also made two kinds of fruit leather ($2.50 per sheet) and asian mulberries ($8 a pound). Other produce was about $2 a pound. Kale is always picked fresh upon ordering. The plant pictured next to the zinnias was chia! 

Pictured here is two happy shoppers. The mom picked up 5 sheets of the fruit leather along with some other produce. 

The kids are enjoying their fruit leather and sitting nicely next to one another on the hammock.  

Pictured is me and a great friend. It was wonderful to see and spend time with her over this mini-vacation to Southern California. 

The image to the right is my son chatting with Elvie about something very important - the lessons in life - learning - by asking questions. Keep seeking the answers. There is growth in learning. 

Not pictured - the other mom (wearing her baby in an image above) I haven't seen in person since her family transferred to TN 3 years ago. They just got back and my visit to Southern California was right on time. After the tour of the gardens, my son and I had dinner with her family. She made a rendition of Elvie's raw kale salad. It was delicious!

I hope you get a chance to tour these gardens and best of all, meet two lovely people who have a passion for eating your way to wellness. Did you see that I shared the answer to the question about what plant is beside the zinnias in one of the paragraphs above? Go back and check. It's there! 

Recipe for the raw kale salad, ingredients: kale, daikon radish, red onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Chop all ingredients to the size of your taste. Add the vinaigrette (white distilled vinegar, sea salt, and stevia) to the salad. Refrigerate. Eat! Add perslane if you dare! Oh, but do make sure it's been grown without chemicals. 

When you drop by, be sure to mention that Jessica David of Conveying Awareness sent you. Elvie and Charlie will take care of you. When you leave, your heart will be swelled from their love and generosity. When you return, you'll feel like family and will want to stay and hang out. Bring a book and some conversation. Best of all - Relax! 

Choose, eat, and live well! =)

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Update 7/13: After reading this blog post, my friend's family decided to take a trip out to the gardens in which they drove about 45 miles from their home. She messaged me with an image from their shopping trip spending $45 which included 3 of the fruit leathers and all this that you see below!  She has a family of 4. She said they spent two hours with Elvie and Charlie and were able to tour their property too! (If you'd like the opportunity to tour their property, be sure to mention my blog when you visit.)

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Choose, eat, and live well! =)

Friday, July 5, 2013

#AshleyAlikoDesigns – #Custom Photo #Quotes, July 2013 #SmallBusiness

Ashley Aliko Designs – Custom Photo Quotes
July 2013 Small Business

Intro: There was a time not too long ago that I was at a major crossroads in my life. I had to dig deeper emotionally and find a way to utilize my skills, abilities and talents as a designer to benefit the people I work with or to get out of the industry entirely. The thought of escaping this circumstance I had created and returning to school for an entirely different occupation occurred to me several times. I loved the thought of being in school again. In reality, I had misplaced my sense of humor and everything became increasingly serious in all aspects of my life. I was not living life or doing work as I had intended. In retrospect, it is clear to me now that I had to face that struggle in thoughts and ideas about my life to get to the next step in creation of what would satisfy me.

Ashley Aliko is a graphic designer and illustrator living in Hemet, CA with her dog Lili. Her focus is on creating customized and branded photo quotes for entrepreneurs who no longer have time to create their own.

After speaking with a dynamic and driven goals coach, she helped me to sort out some of the basics of my life and came up with this amazing idea. I could not quite grasp all of the details of the idea upon first listening. She shared the potential for a niche need for busy entrepreneurs to have their own customized and branded photo quotes that would get fans and communities going back to their site to look at the products they were offering. It seemed too simple. I sat with the idea for a few days learning more about how it could work. As she spoke further, she shared with me her train of thought in that having a customized and branded photo quote would be a great way for business owners to bring people back to their website rather than simply putting out a quote that so many have already seen and shared. It would also create a way for the busy entrepreneur to have pre-set what they want to share with the world on the various social media sites. Additionally, since I was doing the work of designing and creating the customized and branded quotes, the busy entrepreneur didn’t have to and could focus on another business building area.

Since over 80% of the population learn visually, having a customized and branded photo quote that could be shared on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr, Instagram would keep the business in the public eye longer and the algorithm, known as EdgeRank  that Facebook uses to sort the relevance of posts could be increased for the business owner. She also expressed that since I was a trained and professional designer, if I could build trust with some of the business owners, I could create their quotes rather than the busy entrepreneur spending the time to create the quotes. I really liked what she was speaking about because I was able to find a way to create a useful service that could benefit beyond

And so it began: My new business model, Custom Photo Quotes. I started by branding Custom Photo Quotes utilizing Facebook. I then started volunteering for the Valley Community Pantry - a non-profit in the low desert helping families and seniors in need. After the customized and branded photo quotes displayed on the Valley Community Pantry Facebook page, readership increased, awareness increased as well as donations. The system that was put in place was starting to pay off. After meeting a very pivotal person whose business it is to influence design and presentation  through strategy... how people present their brand to the world, I then worked with a photographer, musician, another couple of non-profits and an entertainer, created their customized and branded photo quotes. They all reported increased traffic to their site as well as additional revenue from products being purchased. I was delighted. They immediately got in return revenue the cost of creating the photo quotes.

Communication: Ways to communicate with our customers have changed so quickly. Where once a yellow page ad would suffice to bring in new business, now we are a social media nation. We have not even tapped into the entirety of what the world wide web can offer as far as sharing our products and learning about additional resources.

Asking the question: What percentage of our world’s population have computers? Computer ownership is now at about 4-5% of the world’s population. However, with many social projects placing computers in the villages of developing countries, between 12-14% of the world’s population have access to a computer. Approximately 3-5% of the world’s population has internet access.

To put this into context:  “Only about 25% of the world’s population sleep in their own bed at night and only about 30% of the world’s population are rich enough to have a bank account!” Source:

This illustration reveals what is happening in the world of Facebook from 2011 Q1 - 2012 Q1: A substantial increase that is continuing to rise!

Social Media: With Pinterest, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr now in the picture as viable means of sharing images and business.... the odds are even higher that you will be seen worldwide. LinkedIn now allows for images to be posted along with likes and sharing. We are in the beginning of new ways to communicate through the use of quotes that make your customers feel good, information that is useful and ways of keeping your business in front of your ideal customers who want to purchase from you.

Special promotion:  Purchase one customized and branded photo quote (plain background or one with an image) and get the second one FREE. A $14.00 value for $7. Offer expires 12/31/13. Contact Ashley on her Facebook page or email: to arrange designs and payment. Mention code, ICACustomQuote or mention my blog to take advantage of this great offer! 

Examples of Ashley’s work:
A - Dr. Flom
+ (A) Dr. Peter Flom. Bringing awareness about learning disabilities through attractive visuals.

B - Billy Roddy 
 + (B) Billy Roddy's Manhood from the Hood was a fantastic opportunity to work with Sweetie Berry at Chaffee Creek Creatives and Mr. Bill Roddy. Here the message is more epic and positioned to be hand-in-hand with blog posts and potentially a short video series.

C - Osiris Organization
+  (C) Osiris Organization. Bringing awareness of this non-profit through customized and branded photo quotes will follow the same model as Manhood from the Hood. Osiris Organization is run by Bill and Gail Roddy who are making such a huge and positive difference in their community. This project came into being working with Chaffee Creek Creatives.

D - Conveying Awareness

+ (D)  Jessica David, CHC, Conveying Awareness. Advocates for families to eat more fruits and vegetables daily. I met Jessica David when I reached out to her on LinkedIn after reading her blog and some Facebook posts. 

E - Ashley Aliko Designs
E - Ashley Aliko Designs
+ (E) Lighter and brighter examples of work that simply has a good message. I would post these at strategic times to remind myself to get up or take a deep breath.

F - Ashley Aliko Designs
F - Ashley Aliko Designs
+ (F) Being aware to use my own images or Royalty Free images, also creating quotes that have a general theme, as in these examples for Zen Thinking.

Reminder: Purchase one customized and branded photo quote (plain background or one with an image) and get the second one FREE. A $14.00 value for $7. Offer expires 12/31/13. Contact Ashley on her Facebook page or email: to arrange designs and payment. Mention code, ICACustomQuote or mention my blog to take advantage of this great offer!

If you’d like an opportunity to be featured on my blog, use the contact form on the right side of my blog (second from the top) to send me a request. Send me a short bio and your website links. If we're a good fit, I'll send you the criteria and cross-networking is a must! 

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Choose, eat, and live well! =)