Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Free Halloween Printables

There are plenty of amazing printables for Halloween. From cupcake decorating, banners, party invitations to labels and many, many more. Here are a few that I may use this year.

From MimiLee

Cupcake or candy labels

Party Invitation

Pumpkin carving designs

Flame pumpkin stencil


Wall decoration - simple and fun.

Book Covers

Something a  little less scary, coloring pages for the little ones

I hope you found some designs that you like.

Please share if you have a favorite Halloween design that you have used in the past.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

 6 Healthy Treat Ideas for Halloween 

As we approach Halloween I am afraid to even start thinking of all the candy that we are going to end up with. I know it is a part of tradition but trying to control the amount of sweets that my kids will eat over the next two months (this is how long it usually takes, after we get rid of the unwanted stuff!!!) gets tough at times 
I am also guilty of sneaking away a chocolate or two or three, just so there is less for them of course.

After Halloween, my kid’s birthdays and Christmas come unwanted pounds and the terrible habit of having a sweet every day.

This year we are staying home and I have decided that at least at my place there will be less candy being handed out.  
Study from Yale University shows that children enjoy receiving toys as much as candies.

Here is what I came up with:
  1. Drinks: small bottles of water (some years a bottle of water was truly the best thing for thirsty Trick or Treaters) . Print some Halloween themed labels. 
  2. Healthy snacks: dried fruit or mixed nuts packets, cheese sticks, small bags of popcorn
  3. Party items: Glow sticks, party whistles, bubbles
  4. School supplies: pencils and erasers, Play Dough, mini crayon sets, rubber stamps
  5. Halloween accessories: eye patches, vampire teeth, fake eyeballs, temporary tattoos
  6. For small business owners – you can attach your business card with a discount coupon.

You can download labels here

 What do you usually hand out? 

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Book Review. “Clean Gut” by A. Junger   M.D

In the last couple of years I have read a ton of books on health, dieting, nutrition and lifestyle. 
I was looking for following information:

  1. Which foods are good for me and which are not and WHY?
  2. What is behind the “IT” diet of the year? What makes them work, what are benefits and risks?
  3. I wanted to learn how to design my meals for optimum health and enjoyment.
All I want is to look forward to my meals, do not spent eons preparing them and know that I get the most nutrients I possibly can. That is it. I am not asking for too much.

As you probably know there are more books on the subject that we can read in a lifetime. In order to understand how our bodies work and how to look after ourselves in a best way, you really need to go through quite a few sources as you will find polar opposite opinions and statements. 
At some point I simply did not know what to make out of what I have read so I continued with my research. At the end I was able to discard some claims and make some sense out of what I have read. 
There are some ideas that I am not entertaining simply because I do not like them, not because they are harmful or unsubstantiated.  For instance eating for you blood type. Everything that I like is a big “no” for me according to that diet. I do eat most of what is allowed, and little of what is not, so in the end I am pretty close to the recommendations. It makes it hard to cook for the whole family though. 
I believe that I should listen to what my body is telling me. How I feel after eating certain way. We are all different and what sounds good on paper does not always work in real life.

One of the books that I have read that resonated with me was “Clean Gut” by  Alejandro Junger M.D. Dr. Junger is a cardiologist who was stressed, overweight and suffered from bouts of depression. You may think that as a doctor he should know better how to deal with those problems rather that suffer for years. Once he started looking for reasons why he was not feeling well, changed his diet, lost weight and became a whole new person Dr. Junger started sharing his personal experience and knowledge to help others.

In “Clean Gut” Dr. Junger explains how our digestive tract works and why it is health is paramount to our well being. Ailments like joint inflammation, weight gain or even depression may all be a result of infection and bacteria imbalance in intestines. So simple and yet even among doctors the association is not immediate.
He writes about being aware of what we eat and how those foods make us feel. That was the information that I was intuitively seeking.
We eat for nourishment but food is also a part of our emotional life. It plays a big role when we are happy, celebrating (birthdays or weddings) or in sad times (funerals). Dr. Junger explains how that plays a role in our eating habits, changing for the worse without us realizing it.

You will find a lot of information on proper food combination and supplementation along with meal ideas.

I wrote a post a while ago about yeast  overgrowth and how to promote healthy bacteria in the intestines. 
I hope you find value in both my posts and in the book if you read it.

Do you have a favorite book that you would like to share?

I have not received any compensation for recommending this book, it is my personal opinion that it is one of a better books on a subject of healthy eating.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Happy Thanksgiving. How to make it a stress free one.

In Canada on a second Monday of October we celebrate Thanksgiving. Taking the time to reflect on our lives lived in comfort and peace, being grateful for being able to spend time with loved ones is a great reason for celebration.
Not only do we have a long weekend but also plenty of time to either relax or prepare for Monday’s holiday dinner. Actually, there is time for both.

I find that it is the easiest dinner to prepare for, mostly because it is one course.

Here is my plan for stress free holiday:
  1. Plan your menu a week before party. Choose sides that are crowd favorite.
  2. Do your grocery shopping 3 days before.
  3. Clean the house 2 days before.
  4. For always moist turkey, put it in the brine a day before the party. Bake cakes. Set the table.
  5. On the day of the party prepare side dishes, cook the turkey and have fun.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

This year I have gone for a really simple menu:

Roasted turkey.
Acorn squash with rice stuffing (vegan)
Cranberry and pear sauce (vegan)
Pumpkin Spice Cake
Peach Crumble with vanilla ice cream
Fresh fruit platter

Peach Crumble

It makes for light a meal and since I do not use gravy I think we deserve two desserts.

Now, I better get back to cooking.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

What is your favorite Thanksgiving side dish?

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Hello Readers. 

Since hubby fried our laptop I find it really difficult to do any work and post from my phone. Has anyone mastered blogging from their phone?
I hope to learn quickly but until I figure it out I can send you on a trip. Would you like to visit Europe? Here you go:

Virtual trip only I am afraid:)  Check out page 26!  I am proud to say that my home country is featured.

Have you a dream vacation destination? Please share.