Discover Great Starts To Healthy Soup Making

Get out your soup spoons, everyone, as I believe we have officially hit soup season! Are you among those that are craving a nourishing, steamy bowl to take the chill off and make you feel cozy and full? But, wait, it does not have to have a chill in the air to enjoy soup as even if it isn't soup season where you are, it really is an all-year-round way to start any healthy meal!

Up your cooking game by learning a few international flavor bases to make your next pot of soup (or stew) amazing!  Simple swaps and steps do the trick that you can view here.

So, how do those great, healthy soups all begin? Besides digging out your favorite stock pot or extra large ladle, what do most soup recipes call for up front? A mirepoix, a soffritto or maybe even a "Holy Trinity?"  Call them what you want, but they all are a convivial gathering of aromatics, occasional herbs and spices and usually a bit of fat to get the party started.

These various flavor combinations go by different names in different cuisines, but they always play an upfront role in how that soup turns out. They provide a foundation of flavor to distinguish it from one healthy pot to another.

How to Make a Flavor Base For a Healthy Pot of Soup

Most pots of soups start with a flavor base influenced by a particular type of cuisine (Italian, French, Asian) and it generally works like this:

1.  Prep and gather your tools.  Most soup recipes begin by gathering a flavor base. These flavor bases originating from around the world usually break down into three or four aromatic vegetables, sometimes herbs, and occasionally a small bit of fat. Asian cuisines often add freshly ground spices as well.

2.   The veggies play a star role.  The vegetables, cut into uniform small pieces, make up the largest part of the flavor base and are typically given a slow, easy start over low heat to extract the flavor.  Many flavor bases are only vegetables depending on the cuisine.

Don't miss this: Stumped for ways to get more veggies in your diet? Find lots of ways to bring healthy vegetables to your table right here.

Health Warrior: Butternut Squash & A Sweet 'N Spicy Soup

So appropriately named, that butternut squash. Both buttery and a bit nutty.  The bright tangerine in color and that hour-glass shape tell us fall has arrived! And with that arrival, that sunny shade indicates an abundance of health warrior nutrients known as carotenoids, shown to protect against heart disease and many other unwanted health issues. But that is not all. Come with me to learn a bit more why you want to place this beauty in your grocery cart . . .  and often. (And, don't miss the easy, fantastic sweet and spicy soup recipe, too!)

Squash With Benefits

Here is the roll-out of four big reasons why to include butternut squash in your diet regularly while in season:

1.  Keep the immunity going strong. The gourd provides very high levels of beta-carotene that your body automatically converts to vitamin A.  Vitamin A keeps the immunity strong and acts as a great deterrent against cancer and age-related macular degeneration.  Significant amounts of potassium, important for bone health, and vitamin B6, essential for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems are throughout the squash as well.

Don't miss this:  Here are some other superfoods to keep your immunity climbing!

2.  It tastes rich, but it is not.  It is low in fat, despite the buttery, rich and silky feel and it delivers an ample amount of dietary fiber to keep you full.

Take Note: Why Music Is Good For Your Health

My father had a very successful jazz band in college, played the saxophone and had a wonderful baritone voice.  My mother played the piano by ear and could magically harmonize almost any song, but, the musical gene sorta skipped me.

I did sing soprano in a pretty popular singing group way back when, but when I tried to learn to read music, the nuns told me it was hopeless. I dreaded my weekly piano lesson when I was 8.  But, I figured out if I just watched Sister Frances play the songs on the piano and listen to the tune she was assigning me during my weekly lesson, then I could go back and not have to practice at all and just play the tune by ear at my next lesson.  It worked for a while, but, Sister Frances wised up. She caught on when she kept pointing to notes and I could not recall them. Busted!

Music is an incredibly powerful tool to improve your health! Tap here for 10 ways science says it can aid depression, lower blood pressure, help with childbirth, reduce pain, help you study and so, so much more!
But, whether you are a musician, singer or a listener, you probably feel how powerful music can be. It has the ability to set the mood instantly, does it not? It can bring up emotions and intensity the moment.  Yes, it is a real game changer! But, let me show you the many other powerful ways it can affect your health, too.

10 Powerful Effects Music Has On Your Health

I am rather sure you have felt how music can change your mood, but did you know it actually can affect your body in other ways as well? Here are some other fascinating effects it may have on your health with loads of links to studies to back it up:

1.  Play tunes an hour day to keep that doctor away.  Listening to music that pleases you may increase your immunity, which in turn helps fight disease. It lowers stress hormones that harm our body.

Don't miss this: A diet rich with vegetables can strengthen your immunity, too. Tap here for lots of delicious recipes for them.

2.  Pounding headache? Music may help.  Yes, it sounds counterproductive, but, I have the playlist right here for you to lessen the pain. Although, there may be a tendency to search for quiet when your head is pounding, studies says otherwise.  Next time, I feel a migraine coming on, should I reach for that playlist rather than the aspirin? Apparently! Studies say music can help sufferers reduce the intensity, frequency, and duration of headaches.

Don't miss this: Is that headache a migraine? See the checklist here and new ways to treat them without drugs.

3.  Music makes for a great entrance.  Incorporating music therapy during childbirth decreases post-natal anxiety and pain, increases the satisfaction with childbirth and reduces the likelihood of postpartum depression.  I'd say that's a great way to bring a child into the world!

Don't miss this: Lots of tips to get that body ready for pregnancy way before that little one arrives.

How To Create A Kitchen That Will Inspire Healthy Eating

This is a part of a monthly column, Health Plans, to help you become an organized ninja when it comes to your health. I write once a month on a different area of your life to help you get and stay organized for your best health. Please check out other months' plans, too, and come along with us to become your organized healthy self.
Certainly you would agree that having healthy food choices in your kitchen is vital to keeping to your plan to eating healthy! Right? But, there is another strategy that plays an important part in creating that healthy game plan too: a well-organized and inviting kitchen!

Yes, that organized space will help make preparing and eating your healthy meals and snacks much easier, a lot more enjoyable and successful, too! I am here to help you get there, and if your kitchen is already pretty darn close to being in health-promoting, tip-top shape and a place your family never wants to leave -- Bravo! But, I will wager a guess that you may just pick up a new tip or two here that can elevate it even further.

It’s such a worthwhile effort to spend a bit of time initially as well as the bit of time regularly to maintain an organized and inviting kitchen.  With a thought-out cooking space, you will eat healthier, feel better, enjoy family meal-time more, look better and even save money and time. And, tell me, who doesn't want more of that?

Here is a great strategy that plays an important part in eating right and creating that healthy lifestyle: a well-organized and inviting kitchen! Tap here for all the steps to get it right and be on your way to healthier

How to Design a Healthy Kitchen That Everyone Will Love

I am not talking a kitchen renovation here. Instead, use these low-cost tips to create a healthy kitchen that everyone will want to spend time in (maybe not even want to leave) making and eating healthy meals:

1.  Make a still-life.  Let those colorful, beautiful fresh fruits and vegetables that you shopped for be a beautiful design on your counter and let them be the first thing people see when they enter your kitchen.  Take out that beautiful platter or cake stand and make a work of natural art!

Tap Into The Sweet Benefits Of Maple Syrup

Those flannel-loving, snowshoe-wearing men and women of Vermont and Canada - they are on to something. Something good. The rich, clean and caramel noted flavor of maple syrup that slowly drips out of those taps from those maple trees can't be beat.  And, not just for pancakes. Maple syrup does so much more. It can enhance savory dishes as well as provide some nutrients for our bodies, too.

Real maple syrup isn't just for pancakes or waffles! It is an elixer that can enhance savory dishes as well as provide some nutrients for our bodies, too. Tap here to learn how to use it for your next sweet or savory dish! The

Why Choose Maple Syrup as a Sweetener

Here is why I reach for maple syrup when I need that hint of sweet:

Maple syrup has zero additives. It is barley processed at all. Table sugar is highly processed. The less processed of anything, generally, the better.

Minerals like manganese, potassium and zinc are found in this elixir.  Vitamin B2 can be found in maple syrup, too. Pretty nice for a sweetener.

Health News: The Latest Skinny (October 2015)

Check out these latest health studies and discoveries that you can evaluate and discuss with your health care team.  There is lots of new information every day thrown our way and it can be a bit overwhelming to read it all, right? But, you can tap here for my previous monthly round-ups of a few health-related links and scan on below for some items I have spotted this month as well to help you stay up on it all.


Scan on down to zero in on these interesting topics that could optimize your health and that of your family or friends:

1.  Those antibiotics are miracle workers and they save lives, but they should be used judiciously.  Besides potentially harming our environment and our health, now a John Hopkins University study says it looks like antibiotics may increase our weight, too.

Don't miss this:  Here is really important information that everyone should know about regarding the tremendous negative impact antibiotics can have on your health and your future.

2.  Everyday frustrations can damper our mood, increase our stress and negatively affect our health.  But, there are a few tools to turn that bad day around that we all experience and make it a better one and suffer less stress.

Don't miss this:  Here are 7 foods that can help keep us calmer and handle stress better.

How To Easily Convert A Brussels Sprouts Hater

Those poor brussels sprouts.  They have been the butt of numerous jokes and many turn their noses up at the mere mention of them. But, I assure you, we can change all that.  Besides, have you noticed brussels sprouts on all the menus at trendy restaurants lately?  They are rather, shall I say, in the "popular crowd" now and perhaps even "in demand" at social gatherings!

Learn why brussels sprouts can do so much bodily magic and try this fantastic & easy recipe tonight that everyone (even veggie haters) will love!

However, many of those trendy brussels sprouts dishes are laden down with lots of high fat and nitrate-containing meats or other unhealthy preparations.  But, you really do not need to do all that to enjoy them and convert those naysayers to downright addicts of the healthiest kind.  Check this out!

5 Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts

First, just a few words to let you know why brussels sprouts are a healthy, healthy choice and why you should do your part in converting the haters:

1.  Brussels sprouts make you look younger!  Thanks to the high dose of Vitamin C levels, sprouts help in collagen making and reducing sun damage.

Don't miss this:  Anti-aging habits you can easily adopt now and should!

2.  Brussels sprouts are in the top 20.  The ANDI score (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index), which measures vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient content in relation to caloric content, places it high on the list to eat often!

Don't miss this: Many other healthy vegetables recipes that you should place on your plate.

5 All-Natural Deodorizers That Really Work!

Musty basements to not so fresh garbage disposals to even your recent fish dinner - some smells in our homes we just want to eliminate . . .  and oh so quickly!  I went into detail about how to make your house smell amazing naturally by eliminating indoor air pollution as well as a few other tricks to keep you and your family breathing easy. As I explained there and I am saying now, those tricks do not include masking offensive odors with canned air fresheners or certain scented candles that contain harmful toxins. That really should not be an option especially when you have so many easy, inexpensive and great non-toxic alternatives.  Come take a peek!

Come take a look at these natural, non-toxic deodorizers that really work and that can make your home the best smelling house on the block!

How to Effectively Get Rid Of Bad Odors in Your Home Toxin-Free

Have your tried any of these natural and non-toxic methods to keep your home in the clear and smelling fresh?

1. Wipe pet odors away with a simple sprinkle.  Here are two quick and natural ways to neutralize pet odors:  One - scatter the area (say your carpet where your dog hangs out) liberally with baking soda.  Close the door and leave it there for several hours.  Vacuum up to a much fresher smelling space.  Two - sprinkle generously some active charcoal granules (used in kitty litter for a good reason) in a bit of thin fabric or cheesecloth doubled up and tied to seal.  Leave it near the pet area but out of reach from your pet.

That amazing baking soda? Don't forget to leave any leftover boxes of it in closets, under sinks, in your refrigerator, and garage . . .  It is a really inexpensive, non-toxic odor eliminating solution for a lot of areas.

Don't miss this:  You may find some other natural ways to take care of your pet here, too.

2.  Borrow from your art supplies.  Those sticks of chalk can reduce odors as well as create great designs.  Place a few pieces of chalk in strategic smelly places like mudroom closets, lockers, gym bags, shoes and even your car to keep it smelling fresh.

Clear The Air & Make Your Home Smell Amazing . . . Naturally

With windows shut tight when our heaters are blasting or our air conditioning humming, it allows full reign to those germs and toxins to multiply in our homes and our work places.  Let's not allow that! After all, that increases stale air, offensive smells as well as our chances of catching a bug, creating a serious illness, worsening allergies and lots more.  It is not too difficult to fix all that, though! Come along and check out how to easily purify the air at your place and make your home smell great!

The air in your home could be more polluted than your outside air causing flu, headaches and serious disease! Tap into quick strategies here for easy solutions to remedy those musty smelling and toxin-laden environments to breath easy and make your home smell great!

Tap into these strategies here that are offer quick solutions to musty smelling rooms and toxin-laden environments.  Most of these tips do not require repeated efforts either so a bit of time devoted to cleaning your indoor air can reap health benefits for years to come.  So, see what solutions you can implement below to rest easy and breath deep to clean air and an amazing smelling home!

Why We Should Purify The Air in Our Home 

Before I offer those ideas to create a great smelling and toxin-free space, here are a few reasons why it is imperative for you to devote some efforts to remedy your potentially poor and even hazardous indoor air quality:

Indoor air may carry more toxins and chemicals than outdoor air.  In fact, indoor air quality can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air, and since most people spend a majority of their time indoors, it is a good idea to give it some effort to clean up our indoor act . . . no?

Some gases in your home can cause serious diseases.  Those diseases include lung cancer, emphysema, and COPD. Those gases can aggravate asthma and allergies, too.