Healthy Eating By Alicia Coleman

In an effort to keep my promise to myself about eating a healthier diet, I’ve brought a new meal to the table.  Here’s a recipe for a very tasty and healthy meal.  I love soup and nothing beats it on a cool winter’s evening.

Cream of Wild Rice Soup

Ingredients:  Serves 4

  • 1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup died carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups diced kale
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • 2 cups reduced sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup unsalted white beans, prepared
  • 2 cups 1 percent milk
  • 1/2 cup wild rice, cooked

Directions

wild rice soup image2

Saute onion, carrot, celery and garlic in olive oil in a soup pot until lightly brown.  Add kale, parsley, stock and spices.

In blender, puree beans with milk.  Add bean mixture to soup, bring to simmer and add rice.  Cook for 30 minutes.  Serving size: about 2 cups.

Blended beans in this recipe provide real creaminess without the fat–and the bonus of fiber.  (Recipe from the chefs at the Mayo Clinic)

Serve with a crisp green salad.  Delicious!

Calories: 229

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Waiting on Wednesday by Alicia Coleman

Waiting on Wednesday Pink Rose 2

Check out the anticipated release of one of my favorite authors at my other blog.  What do you think of the cover? What new releases are you waiting on?

The Legend of Saint Valentine by Alicia Coleman

The story of its patron saint is shrouded in mystery. The Catholic church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus.  All of these saints were martyred.

One legend contends a Roman Clergyman, named Valentine  was killed for secretly marrying couples in defiance of the emperor, Claudius II. The holiday commemorates the anniversary of his death.

According to the legend Valentine was arrested for this act. While in prison, he was approached by his jailor, Asterius. It was know that Valentine had the power of healing. The jailor had a blind daughter he wanted Valentine to help.  The legend does not mention how, but it is rumored because of Valentine’s faith, the girl’s sight was restored.  Meanwhile, Claudius II met with Valentine and liked him. He tried to get Valentine to agree with his ban on marriages and to convert to the worship of Roman gods. Valentine refused and was sentenced to death.  A deep friendship formed between him and the girl. Upon hearing of her friend’s imminent death, she became grief stricken.  When Valentine heard, he requested pen and paper from the jailor and signed a farewell message “From your Valentine,” which is an expression still used today on holiday cards.

-St-Valentine-Kneeling-In-Supplication

The story of Valentine emphasizes his appeal as a heroic, sympathetic and romantic figure.  He is believed to have been executed February 14, 270 AD.

(Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

February has long been celebrated as a month of love and romance.  Here are examples of enduring love:

Shah Jahan of India built The Taj Mahal, a mausoleum, as a memorial to his Queen Mumtaz Mahal, the most beloved of his three wives.  She died giving birth to their 14th child.   The Taj Mahal

Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett wrote letters to each other for twenty months before secretly marrying in 1846.  One of the best know poems written during their courtship and early marriage was about Barrett’s romance with Browning.  The poem was published in Sonnets from the Portuguese.  The most famous line of the sonnet is “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”

King Edward VIII abdicated the throne of England to marry “the perfect woman,” Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee.  He said in a public radio address, “I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love.”

Did you know?

In the United States, the first mass-produced valentines of embossed paper lace were produced and sold shortly after 1847 by Esther Howland of Worcester, Massachusetts.

and

Approximately 150 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, making it the second most popular card sending holiday after Christmas. (Hallmark Card research)

Happy Valentine’s  Day!

Tracking My Fitness Goals by Alicia Coleman

One of my New Year’s goals involves increasing my physical activity and eating healthier meals.  I’ve found a program to help me.  It’s called Lose It!   A friend mentioned it in a blog post a few weeks ago. It’s a program for tracking daily meals, physical activity and participation in challenges.  Competition with others or working together to achieve common goals is encouraged in the Lose It! community.   Some of the challenges include increasing water intake,  eating more vegetables, daily log-ins or challenges to stay within your caloric budget for a month.  bathroom scale

My personal challenges are increased water intake, daily log-ins and making an effort to stay within my caloric budget.  On Saturday, I went over my caloric budget.  My family and I ate at a  favorite restaurant. The next day, I adjusted my intake and increased activity.

Since I’ve starting the program, I’ve lost three pounds.

There are Apps for iPhone, Android phones, iPod Touch and iPad for people who want to track on the go. There is also a premium program that allows connection to other fitness Apps for a better tracking experience.

Writing is a sedentary job.  Keeping your butt in the chair is good for your writing career, but not so good for your body and your heart.

What programs or activities do you use to keep fit and healthy?