Perfectly Satisfying Pumpkin Soup

The first time I ever heard of pumpkin soup, my knee jerk reaction was, “Ewe, pumpkin soup???” And then I tasted it. It was delicious. Nothing warms the heart and soul like soup does, and it sure hits the spot on a cold winter day. Especially when it’s snowing outside, which it did for three days straight last week, giving me the perfect opportunity to putter around my kitchen.

I had a can of pumpkin in my pantry that had been staring me in the face for months, and it was time to set it free. I found a recipe for pumpkin soup in an old cookbook, and true to form, I used my ninja skills to cut the bad stuff and include some healthier options, like decreasing the amount of butter and substituting the whole milk (ack!) for unsweetened almond milk. It was delicious! And, here it is, the debut of my Perfect Pumpkin Soup.

1 TBS butter

1 medium-large onion, chopped

1 16 oz can pumpkin puree

1 10 oz can chicken broth

3 cups unsweetened almond milk

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp white pepper

In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Saute onions until tender. Stir in remaining ingredients, and heat just to boiling, stirring constantly. BOOM, that’s all there is to it. It was fabulous! Just for grins I added a small amount of spicy Italian sausage left over from the night before. All I can say is “yum!” This is now my go to soup for the next few months, or at least until it stops snowing, whichever comes first. Enjoy!

Episode #34: Discover Your Strength Within

Meet Dr. Ashley Zimmerman, physical therapist in private practice specializing in pelvic floor health and awareness. Discover how (and why) your hip, knee, back, and even neck pain can be related to weakness and dysfunction in your pelvic floor. More importantly, learn what you can do about it. This episode is a must for women, men, and anyone who wants to maximize their health, strength, fitness, and function in every aspect of their life.

Website: Your Strength Within https://yourstrengthwithin.com/

Instagram: @ashleydpt https://www.instagram.com/ashleydpt/

Facebook: @ashleyysw https://www.facebook.com/ashleyysw

Plan Ahead For Healthy Holidays

I love the holidays, especially the food, the parties, and the fun. But, unfortunately it can wreak havoc on our health and fitness. Many of us strive to get back into shape, lose weight, get fit, healthy and back on track with (ack!) New Year’s Resolutions.

However, once the holidays are over, the New Year’s Resolutions that sounded like such a good idea during the whirlwind of the holidays are now staring us right in the face. And the high goals we set for ourselves seem unattainable. Usually because they are. So we give up after two weeks, feeling guilty and frustrated. What a way to start the new year!

But I have another thought–since we plan for the holidays, why not plan ahead for healthy holidays at the same time? That way, you can practice a bit of moderation while still having a good time. Then you can sail through the holiday season with your health and fitness intact as well as your self-respect. Here are a few ideas to help you get started, but feel free to tweak it a bit, or create your own plan. Use your imagination, turn it into a game or a challenge. Recruit a friend or family member to help you stay on track, and turn it into a fun challenge to see who can come up with the most ideas. Here are just a few of my own.

Create a calendar

Create a calendar for November and December. I prefer a print calendar rather than one on your phone or computer. Write down every event or party that you will be attending so you know ahead of time what’s coming up. It also helps you not to become overwhelmed with holiday activities.

Guard your schedule like a jealous lover

Now that you have a calendar, keep a close eye on your schedule to make sure you aren’t over-extending yourself. You don’t have to accept every invitation, or attend every party or event. Prioritize the events that are the most important to you, and skip the rest. It will be so much better for your health and well-being in the long run, which brings me to another point.

Schedule time for yourself

While you are planning your calendar and your schedule, remember to schedule time for yourself, and write it down. Whether it’s going to your favorite exercise class, taking a walk around your neighborhood, sitting down with a good book, listening to music, meditating, playing with the dog….you get the idea. It will keep you balanced, grounded, and energized.

Be mindful of your movements

It’s important to keep moving, especially when we’re busy entertaining or preparing feasts for our friends and family. Even just a few minutes of sitting and bouncing on an exercise ball, taking a quick walk around the block, or even putting on music and dancing in your kitchen as you work will do wonders for your circulation, your metabolism, your immune system, and your body, mind, and spirit.

Snack before going out

As a final suggestion, have a light, healthy snack before going out to a party or a big dinner. It will keep you from over-indulging and help keep you on track as you enjoy all of the wonderful treats that the season has to offer.

Most of all, be gentle with yourself. If you do over-indulge, don’t beat yourself up. This is such a lovely time of year, and we want to enjoy all of the many blessings that it brings. So, plan ahead, have a wonderful time, and look forward to starting 2020 with your health, fitness, and sanity intact. Here’s to your health!

Episode #033: Do It For Dalton

On December 29th, 2013, Roni Lambrecht’s world was turned upside down when she and her husband lost their brilliant, beautiful, and beloved only child, Dalton John.

Roni shares her story along with straightforward tips on being a mindful parent and taking the time to build meaningful relationships with all of the people you love in your life. This episode will open your eyes, your heart, and change your life forever.

Email: DoItForDalton@gmail.com

Website: https://www.ParentingAtYourBestWithoutRegrets.com/

Amazon: amazon.com/author/ronilambrecht

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RONIWINGLAMBRECHT

 https://www.facebook.com/ParentingAtYourBest/

Episode #32: Natural Healing and Functional Health

Our bodies have an incredible ability to heal itself, naturally. In this episode, Kimsey Self, the owner of Progressive Health and Wellness talks about whole foods, natural healing, and functional health. She busts the many myths of food and health while she also clears up some of the confusion regarding what to eat, what not to eat, what’s going to make you live forever and what is going to kill you long before your time.

Download this incredible informative, educational, and fun episode to learn valuable tips for ultimate health and wellness. It’s also full of surprises!

https://www.facebook.com/ProgressiveHealthandWellness/

Website: www.progressivehealthandwellness.com

Get Out Of Your Own Way

Sometimes you just have to get out of your own way. Or, more specifically, out of your mind. As someone who has been out of my mind more often than I care to admit, I understand how sometimes your mind can mess with your head. And your goals. And especially your dreams.

One of the things I learned as a brand new martial arts student was how to get out of the way of an attack. And I was really, really good at it. My technique of choice was to cover my head with my gi top and run off the mat screaming, “Don’t touch me!” Ah, yes. Those were the good old days.

Eventually I was able to get out of my head and into my body to stay engaged with my attacker and gracefully step out of the way. Soon after that, I was able to step back into my attacker and take him down. It was a slow and tedious process for me, but once I let go of my preconceived  conviction that I was going to get beaten to a pulp, magic slowly began to unfold.

Not only did I learn to get out of an attacker’s line of fire, I learned how to get out of my own way as well. Because it’s that negative self-talk, the fear that we are either going to fail, look stupid, be ridiculed, or fall on our face. Huh, been there, done that. All of the above. And yet I survived.

I have to be honest, and I have to confess that I still struggle with getting out of my own way, especially when a remarkable opportunity presents itself. And it recently did, but I’m not quite ready to talk about it quite yet. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it and wonder what I had gotten myself into.

But if we don’t keep reaching for new heights, think of all the incredible experiences we might miss out on. And that would just be sad, don’t you think?

Episode #31: Kindness, Respect, and Abundance of Spirit

Meet Claire Maghtas and Karen Epps, two retired teachers turned first-time authors. They share their personal insights to uplift and encourage educators to take care of themselves (as well as their students) through the practice of kindness, integrity, respect, abundance of spirit and much, much more.

Download this episode to be inspired to be a better person, and learn valuable life lessons that can be applied to every profession which is in the service and caring for others.

https://www.facebook.com/C-K-Authors-365645843935755/

www.linkedin.com/in/karen-epps-1247bb6a.

Episode #30: The Symphony of Your Life

This high-spirited, fun-filled, and inspiring episode features Mark Hardcastle, aka Captaininja. Mark is a graduate of the Air Force Academy, which he fondly remembers as “the Dark Ages.” He is a commercial airline pilot, author, music aficionado, athlete, and all-around great guy. He bravely ventures into the FemiNinja girl cave to share his incredible stories of surviving the Dark Ages, as well as many of the other challenges in his life.

Mark uses music to illustrate that sometimes life doesn’t go the way we want it to, and how to restore harmony when your life gets out of tune. Download this episode to learn how to play through the music when your life gets out of tune, and how to get back on track in the glorious symphony of your life.

https://www.symphonyofyourlife.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TheSymphonyOfYourLife/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/speakermarkhardcastle/

Episode #29: Living Your Dream

Meet Janet Langmeier, a woman who knows how to dream, and dream big! She is an Actualization Mentor, founder of All Out Coaching, and co-founder of the dynamic new networking group Rising Tide. Janet helps people of all ages and walks of life focus on their dreams rather than chasing after goals.

As a teacher, trainer, coach, and mentor Janet has helped hundreds of people successfully transform their lives, including their careers, education, relationships, spirituality, body image, health, and even weight loss. Janet shares some of her philosophy and techniques to help her clients live their avowed dreams. The possibilities are endless!

http://janetlangmeier.com/index.html

http://www.risingtidebusinessnetwork.com/index.html

https://www.facebook.com/alloutcoaching

https://www.facebook.com/janet.langmeier

https://www.instagram.com/janetlangmeier/

Be Aware, or Beware!

Last week I was honored to deliver my information packed, educational, motivational and interactive signature speech “Be Aware, or Beware” to the members of Rising Tide Business Network. I have decided to share a brief synopsis of the presentation as well as one key life lesson or take home point which was emphasized under each topic that was covered. Keep in mind, this is simply a sneak preview.

 BE AWARE…..OR BEWARE
I. Introduction:

My personal story, as well as first martial arts class and how my journey into the strange new world of men and martial arts began.

Life lesson and key point: I was stronger than I thought I was, and so are you. I firmly believe that there is an incredible amount of strength and power in each and every one of us, just waiting to be discovered.

II. Evade, Deflect, and Redirect

The first thing a brand new martial arts student learns is how to get out of the way of an  attack….evade. It’s the secret of the ninja disappearing act. All of the negative angst and energy goes right past you and back into your attacker. It’s beautiful to witness.

Life lesson and key point: Life is full of hits, and in a variety of different forms including physical, verbal, emotional,   and psychological. How we respond to them is imperative to our ability to survive, and thrive.

Evasion is just the first part of the secret. The entire secret is to evade, deflect, and redirect. This ninja secret is a valuable life skill and tool to keep you from getting drawn into pointless conflicts with family, colleagues, strangers, spouses, “friends,” etc.

*However, the next part does NOT apply to physical threats! Your number one goal is to get out of the way and run to safety.

III. Awareness and Attention

A distracted person is an easy target. And an easy target is exactly what perpetrators are looking for. The good news is that we can train our awareness and attention by making simple changes to our routine.

Life lesson and key point: It’s easy to develop new neural pathways which will develop a keen sense of awareness by making simple changes in our routine. When you continue to practice awareness, all of your senses will become more sensitive, which leads us to the next topic.

IV. Intention and Intuition.

Intention is a course of action that a person intends to complete. Perpetrators have an agenda, and they are committed to completing their chosen course of action. It’s actually possible to be able to read someone’s intention, which is another reason why practicing your awareness is so important. Conversely, it is possible for someone to read your intention as well. If you are committed to keeping yourself safe and do not present yourself as an easy target, a perpetrator can sense that as well, making you less attractive as a target.

Intuition is an immediate understanding of a situation without conscious thought. It is a sense of “knowing.” Intuition is rarely (if ever), wrong.

Life lesson and key point: The ability to read someone’s intention is not that difficult when you practice it, and you can train your intuition just as you train your awareness.

V. Body Language

Our body language speaks volumes, and communicates to the world what kind of day we’re having, what kind of person we are, how we feel about ourselves, and  even whether or not we are an easy target. It’s important to present ourselves with strength, confidence, and composure while we remain grounded, balanced, and flexible.

Life lesson and key point: When you learn how to stand, walk, and move like a ninja you will be grounded, balanced, confident and less attractive as a potential target.

VI. Self-Defense Tools, aka Weapons

Self-defense products can give you a false sense of security. They can also malfunction, or be totally ineffective if you are not thoroughly trained in how to use them. More important, any weapon you carry can be taken from you and used against you.

Life lesson and key point: A high-powered military or police grade flashlight is the best self-defense tool to have, along with taking frequent self-defense classes is the best way to keep yourself safe.

As I said, this is just a brief synopsis and example of my presentation. For more information or to book my services, please feel free to contact me. Stay safe, stay strong, and stay aware!