No Diet But…

Even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, you still need to be vigilant about the amount of sugar you consume every day. From sweetened beverages like fancy store-bought coffee to pasta sauces to breads — and of course, desserts — sugar is in lots of foods we eat.

When blood tests and MRI revealed that I had to pay attention to my health, my general practitioner sent me to talk to a nutritionist. Hearing that I was borderline diabetic put the fear of the Lord in my mind and convinced me I really should pay more attention to what I eat, and more precisely to the junk food I nibbled on between meals when I am stressed or bored. Luckily I met with a wise and understanding dietician who didn’t try to change the food I was used to but showed me how to eat wisely. So here are a few tips if you are interested in protecting your health:

  • Eat 3 meals and 2 snacks per day.
  • Fill half the plate with fruits or vegetables.
  • Choose low fat meats and dairy.
  • Make half your starch whole grains.

To build a plate:

  • Choose 3 food groups for each meal.
  • Choose 2 food groups for each snack.
  • You need a protein with each meal and snack.

Servings:

  • Whole grain or Starchy vegetables: 5 servings per day
  • Proteins: 9 serving per day
  • Non-starchy vegetables or Fruits: 2 servings per day

Examples of meals:

Breakfast2Eggs
1 sliceToast with 1 teaspoon butter
1 cupOrange slices
AM Snack2 tbspNuts
Lunch¼  cupTurkey deli meat
1 sliceCheese
2 slicesBread
2 cupsGreen leafy vegetable/tomatoes
1 tbspMayonnaise
PM Snack1 tbspPeanut butter
1 cupApple slices
Dinner2 ozChicken Breast
½ cupPasta
1 cupBroccoli
Night snack½ cupYogurt
½ cupBlueberry

Eat healthy and keep your mind healthy: read fun romance novels

No Vacation Plans

ON SALE TODAY Only April 19, 2023
Denise Lambert fell in love at first sight with Damien Booker, a biracial law student. They danced the night away, and she welcomed his passionate kiss. But then he disappeared.
Five years later, she can’t believe her eyes when the pizza delivery boy sporting a long frizzy mane and a bushy beard is none other than Damien. He kisses her and runs away. She manages to get his phone number and reconnect with him. For weeks, they chat on the phone, until she bumps into Zorro, the exotic male dancer, at her friend’s bachelorette party—Damien again who kisses her senseless. But Denise is fed up with the jack of all trades, working long hours at three low-paying jobs. She’ll have to break it off with him unless…
Determined to be worthy of her love, Damian set aside his resentment against discriminating lawyers. Clean cut and well-groomed, he applies to various firms, until he garners several interviews and finally lands the right position in the right firm. Will his effort pay off? Or will he have to fight her friends and relatives to bring Denise into his arms?
No Vacation Plans is part of Love Plans Series.

Dogwoods are Blooming by Rachelle Ayala #mgtab @mimisgang1

Hey friends, I’m in Western North Carolina this week and caught the transition from winter to spring. It was cold and rainy last week with downpours on Saturday, but come Easter Sunday, and the sun was up, the skies were blue, and the dogwoods were blooming.

I’ve come to learn how special the dogwood is, especially here in Western North Carolina where the dogwood blossom is the state flower. It started blooming this past week and temperatures warmed up nicely. There’s still a nip in the air in the morning and the days are sunny and bright. But sun worshippers, watch out! You never know when another cold snap might be heading your way. If so, the old timers call it a Dogwood Winter and that usually happens right about now.

Here are some fun facts about dogwoods:

  • The dogwood tree, with its delicate and ethereal blossoms, has long been associated with love, romance, and new beginnings. In the secret language of flowers from the Victorian era, the dogwood blossom represented durability and reliability, reflecting the strength of its wood. And guess what? It’s not just about romantic love. It’s also about the unwavering support and dependability we find in our dearest friendships.
  • The dogwood’s four-petaled flowers, resembling a cross with a crown of thorns in the center, speak of love’s ability to endure, sacrifice, and grow stronger through life’s challenges. So, whether you’re embarking on a romantic journey or celebrating a cherished friendship, the dogwood tree serves as a beautiful symbol of the deep bonds that connect us.
  • Dogwood Winter is a gentle reminder from Mother Nature not to get too carried away by the warmth and excitement of spring just yet. It’s a brief pause, a moment to cherish the beauty of the dogwood blossoms and the love and friendships they symbolize, before fully embracing the season of renewal and growth.
  • Long ago, a young Native American couple was in love, but their families were enemies. They decided to run away together, but they were pursued by their angry relatives. They prayed to the Great Spirit for help, and he turned them into two dogwood trees that grew close together. Their blossoms were white to symbolize their purity and innocence.

It’s not only dogwoods that are blooming here, but also azaleas, redbuds, and wild cherries. A quick drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway will reward you with a burst of spring color, from the light-green buds to the showy purple-pink and reds. Western North Carolina is a great place to bring in springtime with its rivers and ponds, birds, tadpoles, bumblebees, and dandelions galore.

If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, I hope spring is budding right around the corner for you, too. As for me, I’m enjoying my family time, and working on two romances: Blue Mooned: Diamond, a light-hearted romantic fantasy, and Where Love Blossoms, a light and easy beach and vacation romance. Happy April, wherever you are!

Five Inexpensive Ways to Celebrate Spring (Plus Bonus #6)

The first day of Spring was March 20th. Many of us are experiencing Spring-like weather, and Spring is definitely “in the air.” Here are some fun ideas to help you celebrate:

Spring

  1. Enjoy a simple picnic in the park.
  2. Clean out your closet and donate your clothes to a woman’s shelter.
  3. Commit to eating healthy.
  4. Start a veggie garden in your yard, a pot container, or a neighborhood shared garden.
  5. Peruse old cookbooks for a favorite fresh salad. Plan your veggie garden around the new salad recipes.
  6. Find a comfortable outdoor space to read, spread out a blanket, and enjoy your favorite romance read. 🙂

1-800-IRELAND, my sweet Irish romance, is FREE with Newsletter signup.

 

1800 Ireland

Have you visited the main page of Authors’ Billboard? You can find a slew of books on sale and New Releases.

 

Coffee to Improve my Health!

Drinking 2 to 3 cups of coffee daily, including ground, instant, or decaffeinated coffee, is associated with significant reductions in cardiovascular disease and mortality, compared with avoiding coffee, a new analysis of the prospective UK Biobank suggests.

Ground and instant coffee, but interestingly, not decaffeinated coffee intake was also associated with reduced risk of new-onset arrhythmia, including atrial fibrillation. “Daily coffee intake should not be discouraged by physicians but rather considered part of a healthy diet,” Kistler said.

“This study supports that coffee is safe and even potentially beneficial, which is consistent with most of the prior evidence,” Carl Lavie, MD, who wasn’t involved in the study, told theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology.

“We do not prescribe coffee to patients, but for the majority who like coffee, they can be encouraged — it is fine to take a few cups daily,” said Lavie, with the Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Significant reductions in the risk of incident coronary heart disease were associated with habitual coffee intake of up to 5 cups/day. Coffee consumption at all levels was associated with significant reduction in the risk of congestive cardiac failure and ischemic stroke. The lowest risks were observed in those who consumed 2 to 3 cups/day.

“Coffee consumption is associated with cardiovascular benefits and should not empirically be discontinued in those with underlying heart rhythm disorders or cardiovascular disease,” Kistler told theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology

“Caffeine has also a role in weight loss through inhibition of gut fatty acid absorption and increase in basal metabolic rate. Furthermore, coffee has been associated with a significantly lower incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus,” Kistler added.

So enjoy your coffee while reading a new book, or better a box of new books.

No love can ever be as special as your first.
What if you could have the chance at a new beginning with your first love?
Find true love and your happy ever after in the pages of these SIX BRAND NEW, full-length steamy stories from New York Times and USA Today Bestselling, Award-Winning Authors.

TWO HEARTS REUNITED by Tamara Ferguson, USA Today bestselling author. When Lieutenant Eric O’Neill returns to Crystal Rock for a family reunion, he’s shocked to run into none other than Anya Weldon, the only woman he’s ever loved. Learning that her life’s been filled with tragedy, he’s determined to win her back—even if it means assisting with her search for her sister, who she believes was abducted by human traffickers ten years earlier.

BACK TO ME by Natalie Ann, USA Today bestselling author: Cooper Winslow accepted that his first secret love in college was lost to him forever and moved on with his life. Years later, fate brings them together and now he wonders if he is going to lose her again with all the family drama he’s lived with for years.

SWEET SUCCESS by Suzanne Jenkins, USA Today bestselling author: Carly and Jake love each other, but have goals that will place them at opposite ends of the country. When their dreams fall through, will love still be an option?

YOUR DANGEROUS KISS by Alicia Street, USA Today bestselling author: Rafe March considers his career on the big screen a fluke that he isn’t sure he ever wanted. With magazine cover good looks, a near genius IQ and a wealthy family, his options in life are plenty. Too bad the only thing he ever really wanted was Lucinda.

WE’RE ALL WINNERS by Mona Risk, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author: Scheming people and secrets separated them. With help from her toddler and his German shepherd, love may bring them together again.

THE REGAL ROSE by Susanne Matthews, International bestselling author: She’s a princess in distress; he’s her knight in shining armor. Can he rescue her one more time?