Hope For The World, Peace My Brother

artistic blossom bright clouds
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com



by Maya Angelou


“But in this season it is well to reassert that the hope of mankind rests in faith. As man thinketh, so he is. Nothing much happens unless you believe in it, and believing there is hope for the world is a way to move toward it.” (Gladys Taber)

At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth’s tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.

We, Angels and Mortals, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.

Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.


Mother’s Day Without Mom


As I reflect on the first Mother’s Day without my mom, I find myself more emotional than usual.  Memories flash before my eyes of getting together on this day to celebrate our beautiful mom.  May she rest in peace.

Happy Mother’s Day to all mom’s!  Celebrate and cherish the time you have together.



I knew mom’s health was failing and her time was near- I woke up anxious every morning afraid of what I’d hear.

God’s gentle nudge to visit her the day before she died- was life’s richest blessing – no words can describe.

I stayed by her bedside and countless tears I cried- I watched her constant pain and suffering- as I sat helpless by her side.

She whispered, “I love you” – they were her last words to me- I desperately wanted her to stay with me- but also to be free.

She fought so hard to stay here with her children and in her home- but she knew Dad would be waiting and she would not be alone.

I can’t imagine life without her – just knowing she’s not here- never again to see her is one of my worst fears

. I loved her Irish temper, her skin so pale, so fair- I admired her strength and determination- I loved her beautiful, fiery, red hair.

I’ll always treasure our memories and be her little girl- for to the world she’s just a mother, but to me she was MY WORLD.

Your Loving Daughter

My daily Challenge For Lent


I love the season of Lent and how it reminds me to slow down and put my life into perspective. I often have trouble coming up with ideas of what “to give up” for the forty day period. Over the past several years, I’ve decided to put more thought into my Lenten promise; and the likelihood of me actually following through. I mean one year I actually tried to give up peanut butter and chocolate. What was I thinking??


Then there was the year I chose to give up social media. That didn’t work either. Although I thought I had plenty of willpower; forty days is a lot longer than you think.


Therefore I decided this time to keep it simple this year. I put much more thought into my choices and came up with the following:

  1. Spend more time each day on my daily readings and in prayer. I signed up for two social media sites that would deliver daily Lent readings to my inbox. These are wonderful reminders and often offer different perspectives on the readings. One of the sites is USCCB.org and the other is UCATHOLIC.com
  2. Meatless Friday– This one is pretty easy. I can have fish but usually end up eating veggies, pasta, or cheese pizza. I put a reminder in my phone so I don’t forget. food-dinner-lemon-rice.jpg
  3. Intermittent Fasting– There are many different types of fasting. I decided to do the fast where you eat during an eight-hour window during the day and then fast for 15 hours. This is a good challenge for me since I love breakfast. I typically eat every morning at 6 am, so to hold out until 9 or 10 am is a quite a challenge.
  4. No Peanut Butter– I truly am addicted to peanut butter so although it was nearly impossible for me to give up chocolate and peanut butter at the same time, giving up one is doable.
  5. Do something nice for someone everyday. Start at home with your family and then expand to others throughout your day. It can be as simple as a compliment, a card, a gift, holding the door for someone, paying for someone’s meal, etc. The goal is to make someone’s day better. gift-made-surprise-loop-40562.jpeg

When Vegan Becomes Unhealthy


The vegan lifestyle is becoming increasing popular these days. A common reason people consider converting to a vegetarian or vegan diet is to improve their health, avoid contaminants in meat, and  their compassion for animals.

Many people begin by reducing their meat intake and incorporating more meatless dishes into their daily meals. Further research and experimentation into a meatless lifestyle can quite often lead to the transition to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.


There can be some confusion regarding the terms vegan and vegetarian. Vegetarians eliminate meat but some include dairy products and eggs in their diets.


Vegans on the other hand eliminate all animal products, dairy, eggs, and often avoid any products made from animals.

Global Healing Center explains the

Differences Between Vegan and Vegetarian

A vegetarian excludes meat, poultry, and seafood from their diet. Some vegetarians also exclude dairy, some don’t, and some may consume eggs. Likewise, vegans avoid meat, poultry, and seafood, but they also take it a step further by eliminating all animal products from their diet. This includes any type of animal milk and eggs. Vegans avoid foods produced using animals or animal products in any way, including honey. Many vegans also avoid household products, clothing, or other items made from animal products or tested on animals.

Additionally, the terms vegan and vegetarian can be difficult for many to differentiate as some people think the words have the same meaning.

To add to the confusion, some vegetarians are called “lacto and or ovo” and include dairy/eggs in their diet.

So as you can see, the term “vegetarian” can mean different things to different people:

  • A true vegetarian eats no meat at all, including poultry and fish.

  • A lacto-ovo vegetarian eats dairy products and eggs, but excludes meat, fish, and poultry.

  • A lacto vegetarian eats dairy products but not eggs.

  • An ovo vegetarian eats eggs but not dairy products.

Therefore, when considering converting to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle it’s imperative to do your research. Make sure you are clear on the differences between the diets and that you have a good understanding of what’s involved in the switch.  Making the change to a more restricted diet can be challenging to follow. Many restaurants don’t offer vegan options, so understand your choices for grabbing food on the go will be limited.  Also, making meals will require more planning than before.

It’s important to make sure meals are well-balanced and include sources of vitamin b12, essential fatty acids, iron, calcium, and vitamin d.


Per Dr. Josh Axe a wellness physician certified in clinical nutrition, popular radio show host, and sought-after national speaker points out some important issues when considering a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Switching to a vegan diet is considered a healthy move by many, but it may not be all it’s cracked up to be in some bases. Below are some of the downsides to eating a completely vegan diet long term (more than several months): (6)

  1. Protein deficiency (lack of amino acids). Amino acids are the building blocks of muscle and are important for cellular health and proper metabolism. Too little protein can call muscle wasting, cognitive changes, mood swings and weakness.

  2. Low levels of vitamin B12. You can only get vitamin B12 in substantial amounts by consuming meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, so vegans usually need to take supplements.

  3. Lower intake of other nutrients like zinc, sometimes calcium and omega-3 fatty acids.

  4. Higher intake of antinutrients like phytic acid. There are grains, beans and legumes, such as raw soybeans, lentils and mung beans, that may contain trypsin inhibitors. These inhibitors can block key digestive enzymes. Also, grains can contain phytic acid that can keep you from digesting calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. However, soaking and sprouting your grains and legumes can greatly reduce phytic acid.

  5. Potential inability to put on muscle. This may be due to the lack of certain vitamins that we normally get from meat and fish.

  6. Overconsumption of carbohydrates. One of the most common trends I’ve found from working with hundreds of vegans and vegetarians is that they tend to overconsume carbohydrates and hidden sugar foods. Eating too many carbs can cause candida and yeast overgrowth along with weight grain. There are some vegans who have created a better balance, but this is far from the majority.

  7. Fatigue and feeling exhausted. Again, this is usually due to the lack of certain vitamins and minerals that we normally get from meat and fish, such as iron and B vitamins.


The issue of children consuming vegetarian/ vegan diets is controversial. Some experts report it’s not safe for children while others state it can be perfectly healthy if followed properly.


Per EurekAlert! an online, global news service operated by AAAS, the science society : reporta that when:

parents pursue a vegan diet for their child, they must seek and strictly follow medical and dietary advice to make sure their infant receives adequate nutrition. Both mother and infant should follow advice regarding supplementation” advises Professor Mary Fewtrell, chairman of ESPGHAN’s nutrition committee comments:

The biggest risk to vegan children is that of vitamin B12 deficiency. Foods derived from animals have been shown to be the only reliable source of vitamin B12 and a deficiency of the vitamin can have devastating effects. Vitamin B12 is essential to the creation of DNA, indispensable for the maintenance of the nervous system, and a lack of it can result in haematological and neurological disorders, causing damage in young children which can be irreversible.

Therefore problems can arise when parents are unaware of the associated risks of switching to a more restricted diet….

Per CBS news:

Stories of vegan parents being arrested for malnourished children pop up every few years in the U.S., and the cases in Italy have made international news.

In Arizona, Kimu Parker was arrested in April 2005 for nearly starving her three children with a diet she and the children’s father called vegan. She was sentenced to 30 years in prison; the father, Blair Parker, got 15 years.

In Florida in 2005, Joseph and Lamoy Andressohn got probation for neglect in the death of their 6-month-old son, who was fed only wheat grass, coconut water and almond milk.

In Georgia, Jade Sanders and Lamont Thomas were sentenced to life in prison for the 2004 death of their 6-week-old son, who starved to death after they fed him a too-limited diet of soy milk and apple juice.

Therefore, do your research! Know that if you make the decision to change to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, you must make sure you and your family get the proper nutrients.  Meals should be well balanced with complete proteins and you may need to  use supplements.

Be sure to consult your child’s pediatrician, family physician and or certified nutritionist to ensure you and your family are getting the proper nutrients in your diets.


Follow these tips to make sure your diet is healthy and provides the proper nutrients:

  1. Include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables with all your meals. Make smoothies and juices to make it more appealing for kids and picky eaters.
  2. If needed consider supplementation with a multivitamin that contains b12, iron, zinc, and vitamin d. Discuss this with a nutritionist or your family physician.
  3. Make sure you get enough protein in your diet- beans, nut butters, protein supplements, etc.
  4. Have regular family check ups with complete blood work ups to make sure you and your family are getting adequate nutrients on a daily basis.
  5. Plan your meals and snacks each week to make it easier to avoid eating processed foods loaded with sugar and unhealthy ingredients.

Comparison, Happiness, Enlightenment


Life is too short to waste on things that aren’t important. Too much time is often wasted comparing our life to others. Why not try to work on gratitude and enlightenment. Our mindset is key to living a life of purpose and without regrets. The words COMPARISON, HAPPINESS, AND ENLIGHTENMENT – something we all need to think about.. NO REGRETS….


There is no point where we’re done growing, and all we will ever do is look down upon others who are behind us. No one is ever at the top. We are all growing at our own rates, and no matter how terrible or how enlightened we fancy ourselves to be today, the future will be sure to give us a different perspective.

There is really no use in comparing yourself to others. There will always be someone ahead and someone behind, and there will be dozens (if not hundreds) of different scales and gradients to be behind and ahead on.

To be number one is never final. It is and always will be a momentary, fleeting instant. But to be a growing version of yourself? That, you can be. You can be that every single day.”
Vironika Tugaleva


“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.”



“A person experiments in life and reflects upon those events in order to discover how to lead a meaningful life. We conduct a quest searching for the source our essential being. What we seek is inside us waiting for us to discover. Until we realize the vital inner source that provides direction for our life, all our efforts are in vain. The ego with its craving and fearful protection strategies is what prevents us from perceiving the transparency of the world in which we belong. When we cease clinging to the past and no longer daydream of the future and unreservedly accept whatever is occurring while sacrificing ourselves in service of other people our sense of self vanishes and we exist only as conscious and nonjudgmental witnesses of reality.”
Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls


Seven Days To A Healthier Lifestyle

Life it too short to neglect your health.  We all tell ourselves ” I’ll start a diet next week” or ” I’ll start going back to the gym on Monday. ”  The problem is – that day never comes. There will always be work to do and obligations to fulfill.  But what about your health; how long can you continue to put it off?


One of the top regrets at the end of life is “I wish I would have taken better care of myself.”

“If I had known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.”

― Mae West

Power Of Positivity reports # 8 of theThe Top Ten Regrets Of The Dying


If you don’t have your health, you have nothing, so make sure to look after yourself. If someone else must take care of you due to not taking care of yourself, you pretty much have no freedom left. You have to live with illnesses and ailments that probably could have been prevented simply by taking care of your health. You only have one body, mind, and spirit, so take care of all of them now to ensure that you can enjoy life even in your older years.


Why not try incorporating a new healthy habit each day this week.  Nothing difficult; not an overhaul of your diet or and extensive new workout program.  No I’m talking about one simple task per day to improve your health.  Here we go!  Check out these seven easy tips to improve your health.  What are you waiting for??

Day 1:  Wake up and drink a glass of water.  Get in the habit of starting your day off right by jump starting your metabolism.  Do it immediately after you get out of bed.  No excuses! water-glass-theme-water-16490.jpgDay 2: Have a Healthy Breakfast.  Something as simple as a banana and yogurt, grapefruit and a handful of raw almonds,  or whole grain organic oats with blueberries.  I’m not asking you to overhaul your whole diet.  Just one healthy meal.  Start your day off right.  No fast food- nothing processed or out of a box!  It’s easy.  I’m only asking for ONE MEAL!



Day 3 Set a timer and get up and walk around for a few minutes every hour– Make a point of moving more throughout the day.  Setting a timer every hour will remind you to get up out of your chair and move around.  We all sit too much and this is an easy way to add more activity to your day.



Day 4:  Do something nice for someone.  This can be as simple as opening a door for someone, giving a compliment, or buying someone coffee.   mentalhealth.org

suggests that:

evidence shows that helping others can have a positive effect on your own mental health and wellbeing. For example, it can reduce stress as well as improve mood, self-esteem and happiness. There are many different ways that you can help others as part of your everyday life. Carrying out good deeds doesn’t need to take a lot of time or even cost money. Small changes can make a big difference. This guide gives you some ideas and tips to get you started by looking in more detail at:

  • Volunteering

  • Mentoring

  • Doing something for a good cause

  • Random acts of kind



Day 5:  Journal your food intake.  There are so many apps today that make it easy to keep track of your daily calories.  It’s hard to change eating habits if you are unaware of what you are eating.  Many people don’t have a clue as to how many calories they consume each day.  Increased awareness of your intake and the breakdown of protein, carbs and fats can help promote better eating habits.  Two of my favorite apps are Lose it  and  My Fitness Pal



Day 6:  Try a 7 minute workout after your evening meal.  Yes you heard me right!  ONLY SEVEN MINUTES- everyone can do that, right??


Day 7:  Add 10 Minutes of breathing exercises or meditation at bedtime.  

Try this 5 minute breathing meditation

The Washington Times reports; reports:

The truth is that peace of mind can be attained and enjoyed even in the midst of the demands and stressful conditions and circumstances of life. And meditation is essential in offering healthy benefits to help us focus, eliminate negative thoughts, worries, anxiety, as well as other factors that can cause havoc with our overall health and well-being. It has been proven that the practice of meditation, carried out on a regular basis, will mitigate the symptoms of stress and anxiety—and support beneficial health!

So there you go- Seven tips in seven days.  One week to start you on the road to better health.  Each week it will get easier and easier to incorporate the seven tips into you day.  Don’t make the mistake of continuing to put off taking care of your health.  Don’t be the one to say at the end of life-


“If I had known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.”

― Mae West

Learn A Yoga Arm Balance

The true miracle lies in our eagerness to allow, appreciate, and honor the uniqueness, and freedom of each sentient being to sing the song of their heart.” 
― Amit RayMeditation: Insights and Inspirations




I love yoga arm balances.  They build all over strength; specifically in the upper body and core.  This is eight angle pose.  If you would like to try it; check out the video below:




Oatmeal Banana Bread,Yoga,& Meditation


Most People look forward to the weekends to relax and unwind.  I love to make bread and if it’s healthy, that’s even better!  Bread is a comfort food and with oatmeal, bananas, and walnuts you can’t go wrong.  This is a quick and easy recipe that is great for breakfast or a healthy snack.  I tossed all the ingredients in the blender, poured it in a bread pan and popped it in the oven.  It’s absolutely delicious.  I used honey instead of the Agave.  After enjoying a slice of this delicious banana bread, consider trying this wonderful yoga and meditation video.  It’s perfect to do in the morning or evening before bedtime.  Ahhhh  a slice of heaven!

I found this delicious recipe from livingsweetmoments.com

Healthy Banana Oatmeal Bread

Prep Time
2 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 2 mins
Healthy Banana Oatmeal Bread – this delicious bread is made in the blender without flour or refined sugar. Enjoy a slice for breakfast or as a snack. Yum!
Course: Breakfast
Servings:  Loaf of Bread
AuthorTiffany Bendayan
  • 2 1/2 Cups of Oatmeal
  • 2 Bananas ripe
  • 2 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
  • 4 little packets of Stevia (I used Truvia you may also use honey or agave syrup)
  • 1-2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon add more or less
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup of Water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 Cup of Walnuts chopped (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Place ALL ingredients (minus walnuts) in a blender or in a food processor until it creates a batter. Add the walnuts
  3. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray
  4. Pour batter inside the loaf pan
  5. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean
  6. Remove from oven and cool
  7. Enjoy

Here’s your yoga.  This is a short and wonderful yoga sequence to help you relax and find your inner peace 🙂

Homemade Larabars

I love Larabars! Guess what? You can make them yourselves and here is an easy recipe from Daily Burn with only 3 ingredients! How cool is that??


3-Ingredient Homemade Larabars
Store-bought bars are great for convenience, but homemade versions are always healthier, tastier and more budget conscious. This recipe is packed with nuts and dried fruit for a healthy balance of fiber and protein. Change up the flavor by adding cinnamon, vanilla extract or cacao powder. Add texture by mixing in some cacao nibs or chia seeds! Photo and recipe: Renee Blair / Life by Daily Burn

3-Ingredient Homemade Larabars Recipe

Serves: 8

Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 1 hour


1 cup nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts or pecans)
3/4 cup pitted medjool dates
3/4 cup other dried fruit (such as cranberries, cherries, raisins, figs or more dates)
Pinch of sea salt


  1. Add the nuts to a food processor and pulse until they form large crumbs. Then, with the motor running, add the dates and other dried fruit to the food processor.
  2. Process until you have a mixture that sticks together when you press it between your fingers.
  3. Pour the mixture onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Form the mixture into an 8-inch square and wrap in plastic. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour before cutting into bars.
  4. Store the bars in the refrigerator for up to a few weeks or in the freezer for a few months.

The Skinny

What You Do Today Will Affect Your Future

How often do you think about the future? What would you see if you looked into a crystal ball and saw yourself 10 or maybe 20 years older?? Would you like what you see? Your crystal ball could provide some valuable insight regarding quality of life in later years. Perhaps you can control your destiny much more than you think.


Would your crystal ball show someone vibrant and active; enjoying life to the fullest?


or would you see someone sick, overweight, and living on the sidelines?


I love the quote ” We are our choices.” The daily decisions we make regarding our health have a way of sneaking up on us. Before you know it; you are 15 to 20 lbs heavier, pre-diabetic and have high blood pressure. You wake up one morning wondering what happened and where did all the time go?


Center For Science In The Public Interest reports

Unhealthy eating habits and inactivity affect quality of life and cause disabilities

Few recognize that unhealthy diet is a leading cause of disability. Yet unhealthy eating habits and physical inactivity are leading causes of loss of independence:

  • Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness and amputations. Roughly 73,000 people have lower-limb amputations each year due to diabetes.8
  • Bone injuries due to osteoporosis are most likely to occur in the hips, spine, and wrist. Even just a slight fracture in these areas can result in loss of independence. Twenty percent of seniors who break their hip die within just one year. Those who survive often require long-term (nursing home) care.
  • Heart attack or stroke can result in difficulty with everyday activities—such as walking, bathing, or getting into or out of bed—or cognitive impairment.

But it’s not too late. You have the opportunity to change your future. All it takes is the decision to start making better choices today.

Although hereditary factors can play a part in some diseases, you have more control of your health than you might think. Your body is an amazing machine designed to heal, but continual unhealthy food choices and inactivity can lead to permanent damage. There comes a point where your body gives in and stops fighting.

Once this occurs there is often damage that can’t be reversed. Diabetes can lead to blindness, loss of limbs, and even coma. Heart disease and hypertension can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Your choices could leave you dependent on others for your care.

But the good news is you can change your future. You have the the choice everyday to make better decisions regarding your health.

Don’t wake up one day and regret the opportunities you had to create a healthy lifestyle and live a better quality of life. Read the rest of my article here:

Read my article for tips on how to maximize your health as you age


  • Monitor your weight- Although it’s important not to obsess over the scales and weighing yourself daily, you do need to check your weight periodically. Gaining just a few pounds each year can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Make a point to weigh yourself once a week and log your results. If you notice a slight gain of a couple of pounds, then simply increase your activity and cut back on portion sizes. Tracking your weight weekly will help you avoid unwanted pounds that can creep up over the years.
  • Clean up your diet- As you get older you may find yourself more relaxed about your appearance and the pressure of maintaining a certain image. Retirement often brings a more relaxed lifestyle without the pressures of a career and children. This is a wonderful time to explore life, travel, and experiment with delightful new restaurants and foods you’ve always wanted to try. The key is to eat a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables and to limit your food splurges to one meal a week.
  • Remain active– Staying active is a key factor in maintaining an optimum weight as you age. Many people become more sedentary after retirement when they no longer have the pressures and activities of a daily job. It’s important to remain active so you can enjoy a good quality of life as you age. Brisk walking is a great cardiovascular exercise or join a gym and become involved in group fitness classes. Many gyms offer programs specifically for seniors and offer discounts for memberships. You may want to consider trying aqua aerobics or a senior yoga class. It’s important to find an activity you enjoy and can adhere to on a consistent basis.
  • Avoid processed foods- Processed foods are typically high in calories and contain chemicals and toxins that can lead to weight gain. If you frequently eat out, try to select grilled lean meat without sauces. Select a salad, baked potato, or steamed vegetables as a side dish. Try to cook and eat most of your meals at home. Purchase organic fruits and vegetables when possible and experiment with healthy new recipes you’ve always wanted to try.
  • Do resistance training- Weight training is vital as you get older. Studies show that muscle mass declines with age. Muscle mass peaks around the mid-twenties; starts to decline in our thirties, and picks up speed as we age. Weight training helps you maintain a healthy metabolism and helps combat the loss of muscle tone as you get older. Lifting weights 2-3 times a week can play a major role in maintaining your strength and muscle tone. Therefore, if you are already strength training, you are on the right track! If not, it’s never too late to pick up a set of weights and get started.

Take control of your health starting today! Begin by making better choices so that the future (what you see in your crystal ball ) is someone happy, healthy, and full of life.


Check out these wise words from Ben Franklin:

I guess I don’t so much mind being old, as I mind being fat and old.”