How To Eat ~ 3 Simple Rules by @Donna_Fasano #HealthyLiving

How To EatI don’t know about you, but I love food. There aren’t very many food items that I won’t eat. Over the course of my life, I’ve been skinny and I’ve been chunky. I’m happy to say that, right now, I’m at a weight that is healthy for me. Here are the three simple rules I used to get there.

Eat Mindfully

Three times each day we have the opportunity to truly practice who we are and what we believe. All of us should ask ourselves a few questions about what we’re eating. Are whole foods healthier for me than processed foods? Am I bothered by what the overuse of pesticides and fertilizers is doing to our planet? Am I concerned with GMOs? Do I want to contribute to my local economy? You could probably think of many more profound questions to ponder… and I invite you to suggest them in the comment section.

Eat Just Enough

My beloved father has passed away. But when eating out, his favorite places to go were “all you can eat” buffets. He was obese and suffered with Type 2 Diabetes. I inherited my love of food from my dad and I’ve come to realize that I am often compelled to eat for reasons other than hunger. I try really hard not to do that, although I have to admit that I fail every once in a while.

As I get older, I find that I am eating less. My metabolism has slowed down, so I don’t need as many calories. I feel better when I eat smaller meals; I suffer fewer bouts of heartburn and bloating. I’m not telling you to go hungry. I’m only suggesting that you eat just enough to feel satisfied and then stop.

Eat Mostly Plants

It’s a fact: eating meat contributes to heart disease, cancer, and a shortened life span. And I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that animals used for food are treated with abject cruelty. Many years ago, in the time of the hunter/gatherer, there was a deep sense of gratitude, even reverence, offered to any animal that gave its life to the hunter; the sacrifice of the animal was recognized and appreciated. We’ve completely lost sight of that concept. Today, we do the slaughtering in hiding, and the practice is horrendous. A tiny bit of research will show you it’s true. Everyone who eats meat should take the time to really think about how that steak, that bacon, that fried chicken came to be on their plate.

Am I telling you to become vegetarian? Absolutely not. I eat meat. I just don’t eat it very often. And when I do, I do it mindfully.

Reverse Heart Disease

Did you know that a plant-based diet can reverse heart disease? It’s true! Other great reasons to eat mostly plants:

  • Most veggies have only 10 to 50 calories per cup, while 1 cup of cooked ground beef contains 340 calories with 44% saturated fat.
  • Eating plants is better for the environment. It takes 15 pounds of grain to raise 1 pound of beef, and 5 pounds of grain to raise 1 pound of chicken. Animal products are the highest producers of greenhouse gases. It takes 460 gallons of water to produce one quarter-pound hamburger. Wow!
  • It’s cheaper. The average “fast food” meal for a family of 4 costs an average of $24. Well, you can cook a whole pot of lentil soup and serve a fresh salad with a loaf of crusty, fresh-baked bread, and the meal will cost right around $10 for that same family of 4.

I guess what I’m trying to do is get you to think before you eat. I am still a firm believer in the old adage “all things in moderation.” I still have a sweet tooth, and I work hard to get in my 10,000 steps per day, but if we practice more conscious living, all of us will be the better for it.

How do you feel about my 3 simple rules for how to eat? Are there any rules you would add?

15 Feel Good New Year Resolutions

Many people will make New Year resolutions to ring in 2020, but we seldom keep our promises for very long. Reevaluating your life is hard stuff! Here’s a list of New Year resolutions that will make you feel better, physically and mentally. These suggestions aren’t that difficult and are sure to make you feel happier about who you are.   

  1. Practice anonymous random acts of kindness.
  2. Make at least one person smile each day.
  3. Read at least one book each month. (Don’t forget to review it. The author will SMILE! See resolution #2.)
  4. Go someplace you’ve never been.
  5. Be kinder to yourself.
  6. Be kinder to others.
  7. Be quick to listen, slow to speak.
  8. Take the stairs. It’s good for you.
  9. Let go of old hurts and grudges.
  10. Forgive.
  11. Try a new hobby.
  12. Donate all clothing you haven’t worn in a year.
  13. Start and end each day consciously feeling happy and grateful.
  14. Buy less plastic. It’s bad for our planet.
  15. Stay in touch with the people who matter.

What New Year resolutions would you add to the list?

Jan 99¢ Sale!

TWO HEARTS IN WINTER is book 2 of The Ocean City Boardwalk Series. The book is available for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iTunes iBooks.

15 Feel Good New Year Resolutions

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Farro Salad is Healthy and Delicious

I’ve heard farro called an “ancient” grain which means it has been cultivated for thousands of years. My first attempt at using farro failed miserably. I bought a type of small-grained farro that had a very earthy taste. I didn’t like it at all. But I decided to try again and I have to say, this Farro Salad is healthy and delicious!

I bought a large-grain farro described on the package as pearled (pictured below). Once cooked, the grains are plump, moist, and chewy. I would compare them to old-fashioned barley. Pearled farro is perfect for this easy summer salad because the farro absorbs the dressing, which makes for a very flavorful dish.

Summer Farro Salad

2 1/4 cups vegetable broth (or water)

1 cup pearled farro, rinsed and drained

1 cup celery, thinly sliced

1 cup fresh tomato, cut in small cubes

1 cup fresh zucchini, cut in small cubes

1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely minced

1 teaspoon Salad Supreme (optional)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup Robusto Italian Salad Dressing

  1. Prepare the farro: in a medium sized pot, heat the water to boiling and add the farro. Turn down the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes or until farro is cooked through but still toothsome (chewy). Do not overcook. Cool completely.
  2. Add cooled farro, celery, tomato, zucchini, and parsley to a large bowl. Sprinkle the Salad Supreme, salt, and pepper over everything. Pour on the dressing and stir to combine. Chill and serve. (As the salad sits, the farro will absorb the dressing. Add more dressing, as desired.)

Feel free to swap out any of the vegetables for those you prefer. If you don’t like raw zucchini, use cucumber instead. Not a fan of celery, use broccoli or cauliflower or black olives… whatever you like. This farro salad is healthy and delicious. It’s a versatile, nutritious summer side dish that’s out-of-the-ordinary. And who doesn’t like out-of-the-ordinary?

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

I’m offering a 3-book bundle for 60% off the regular price. A FAMILY FOREVER usually sells for $7.99. During August, the bundle will be available for just $1.99. This boxed set includes one marriage-of-convenience, one secret child, and one fantasy romance. Grab this box of beach reads before you go on vacation!

Farro Salad is Healthy and Delicious

Available at these retailers:

Kindle Worldwide

Nook

Kobo

iBooks

Have you signed up for the Authors’ Billboard weekly newsletter? You should! It’s free! Click the pink box in the right-hand column.

If You’re Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands!

Happy People

If you’re over 50—or if you’re currently enrolled in kindergarten—you’ll  know the title is from a song. Although whether we’re really happy or not may not be a simple thing to know, we all clap our hands anyway.

But how do we know if we’re happy, technically speaking? Well that’s a matter for experts to examine, including Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and bestselling author on the subject of living long, healthy & happy. I’ve read Buettner’s articles and many others about happiness—took a whole college course in psychology focusing on what makes happiness tick—and I’ve come up with my personal best list.

Top 7 ways you know if you’re happy:

  1. You laugh a lot. Like every day. Multiple times a day. Sounds simple, right? But really think about this one before you answer it for yourself. How often do you laugh? (Also, how often do you cry?)
  2. You like going to work every day. Especially if you’re like me and you don’t have to go anywhere! It’s no surprise that a long commute can be a big negative in people’s lives according to Buettner. It’s also no surprise that liking your job can make you happy.

    But did you know that you don’t even have to like your job to be happy  if you like the people you work with? 

    In fact, according to Buetner and others, liking your fellow employees and having friends at work is more important than making more money. I can personally attest to the truth of this!

  3. You have a great social network and get together with friends/family often. Everyone agrees about how important the people in your life are to your happiness, right? Maybe it’s hard to put this into practice in  every day life, but those who do are happiest.
  4. You are healthy. While it’s not something we think about, according to statistics, it is harder to be happy when you’re unhealthy. So don’t take this one for granted.
  5. You make a decent living. No need for riches. But just in case, I did buy a Powerball ticket when the jackpot went to $625 million yesterday. It would be a kick to play Santa Claus with all that money. Which brings me to the next tell for happiness.
  6. You focus on others with acts of kindness, helpfulness, care, donating and/or volunteering. Or maybe you’re there for someone with a shoulder to cry on in a tragedy. Of course, you probably already know how these things can make you feel all warm and fuzzy.
  7. Life Balance. You have the right amount of work, socializing and sleep—and all those other personal care things to keep you healthy, like staying active. This is no news for anyone who spends too much time at work, or too much time sitting around. Or not enough time sleeping!

Now that you know, what are you going to do about it?

I’m going to work on getting more sleep!

Tell me what you’re going to do to improve your happiness.