Welcome to Self Soul Space! This blog is designed to bring you healthy lifestyle tips. A true healthy lifestyle, embodies a healthy mind, body, spirit, and environment. Thanks for stopping by to check out my way of living.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A New Year, A Better You!

2013 is coming to an end... Do you remember your goals or resolutions from December 31, 2012?  Did you stick to them? Did you achieve your goals?  This year instead of saying 'a new me', what you will change, not going to do next year, good bye to the past! Why not set goals to make the year better for you, your soul, and your environment... And learn from the past year.  I wish for everyone a 2014 full of happiness, healthfulness, peace, abundance, positivity, and gratitude.  I encourage you to write down your goals for this year, and share them with close friends and loved ones.  So, they can hold you accountable.

My 2013 Goals were:
Run another Half marathon, with an improved time
Become a personal trainer/fitness/or yoga instructor
Continue to build Self Soul Space, maybe even webisodes
Get out of Debt
Re-learn how to ride a bike... Not a spin class bike.
Improve my swimming stamina... For future participation in a  triathlon
Continue to spread positivity, happiness, peacefulness, and healthy living

How did I do? 
I ran another half marathon in May and shaved 5 minutes off my time.  I became a certified Les Mills instructor over the summer.  I featured more recipes and and started a YouTube channel for Self Soul Space.  We are still working to get 100% out of debt.  I have not relearned how to ride a bike nor increased my swimming stamina, due to a big life changing discovery in July.  And I always try to spread positivity, happiness, peacefulness, and healthy living tips in my everyday life, connections, and fitness classes.  

2014 Goals:
Run another Half Marathon (maybe 2), with an improved time (again)
Work towards becoming a personal trainer and/or nutritionist 
Bring webisodes to Self Soul Space
Continue to work on debt
Relearn to ride a bike
Improve swimming stamina 
Participate in a family fitness event
Improve meditation
Continue to spread Positivity, Happiness, and Healthy Living ways
Enjoy being a Mother of 3!!!

With your goals, make sure to assign a plan to you goals... Because a goal without a plan, is just a wish... Make it happen, and make 2014 a Better Year!
Happy New Year from our family to you and yours!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Greek Crustless Quiche

A new Meatless Monday Recipe for you!  This recipe would also be great for brunches, showers, or when you have unexpected guests over for breakfast.  I made this for dinner, and served it with warm bread and a side salad.  I had a container of spinach approaching it's expiration date, and a lot of eggs.  So, here you go... Bonus, it's easy and low carb (if you're into that)!!

Greek Crustless Quiche

Serves 6-8, time 60 min (15 min hands on)

2 cup Fresh Baby spinach (packed)
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk (or cream, unsweetened almond/soy) *i used 1 cup skim milk, 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup feta cheese
2 tbsp Romano cheese (grated)
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp rosemary (chopped)
Dash ground nutmeg
Salt & pepper
1 tsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Sauté spinach with olive oil in a large pan, season with a little S & P, until bright green.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs and milk. Add oregano, rosemary, nutmeg, salt & pepper.
In a 9" deep pie dish, spread spinach on bottom, then top with feta cheese.  Pour egg mixture over top of spinach. Top with Romano cheese.

Bake quiche for 30-45 min, checking around 30 min. Quiche should be slightly browned, and a knife can be inserted and comes out clean, even though center is soft.  Remove from oven, let sit another 5-10 min, center will continue to cook.  Serve warm, room temp, or cold even...  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wellness Wednesday

Well, it's the first Wednesday of December, and the holiday season is off to a start.  With work, family, holiday functions, and other obligations, it’s easy for your workout to become the first casualty in an already busy schedule. A little creativity, though, can help you make the most of your time:
1. Carve it up. You don’t have to do your workout all at once. Take 10 or 15 minutes twice instead. Even short bursts of exercise have plenty of benefits.

2. Try the early bird approach. Wake up 30 minutes earlier twice a week to work out. Even if you’re not a morning person, it’s nice to check it off your list first thing. Morning exercise can also boost daytime energy.

3. Include walking in other rituals. Movies, a trip to the mall, coffee with friends, and a favorite healthy restaurant can become active traditions by incorporating a walk into the plan.

4.   Use leg power, not gas. Park farther from every destination and budget extra minutes for the walk. And when you walk for a few errands, notice how the steps add up.

So, don't forget about your workout, and stay well this Wednesday and this holiday season!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Thankful November: Day 29 & 30

November 29: I am thankful for holiday movies.  Tonight after a long day of work at the Las Vegas auto show, I came back to my hotel room, put my feet up, and began surfing the channels.  I found so many holiday movies, I settled of This Christmas.  I've never seen it before.  But I watched it, cried, and felt all warm and fuzzy and ready for the holidays.  I am grateful for holiday movies and music that help put me in the holiday spirit!

November 30:  As the month comes to an end, I am thankful for my job. The flexibility it awards me, the travel time, the quiet mommy time on the road, the fun laughs with co-workers and consumers, but most importantly, I am thankful for coming home from my job... I love coming home to my family.  I miss them so much when I am on the road. I am grateful to be wrapping up my last show of 2013 tomorrow, and heading home.  All the wonderful places I've been, nothing is like coming home!

Even though November is ending, you don't have to stop being thankful.  Remember to begin every day with a smile, calmness of mind, coolness of emotions, and a heart filled with gratitude!!
What are you thankful for?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Thankful November: Day 28... Thanksgiving Day!

November 28:  Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Chanukah! Today, I am thankful for so much... Just look back over the month, that's just the tip of the iceberg though.  Of course, I am thankful for life, health, and happiness. I am thankful for my family and friends, and for the those I don't know. I am thankful for all of the many blessings God and the universe continue to bestow upon us.  I am also thankful for Self Soul Space, and the readers. Thank you for checking in, following, and reading about my way of living and my journey towards a healthier life.  This Thanksgiving and Chanukah, I wish you and your loved ones a Happy and Healthy Holiday season, and may you be blessed with all that your heart desires.  Thank you for supporting Self Soul Space!

A Thankful November: Day 26 & 27

November 26: I am thankful for my daughters' swim instructor.  Miss Amanda has been working with Jordan and Mia for about 2 years now.  She is amazing teacher, my daughters don't just love playing in the pool, they really love to see how many laps they can swim now.  She has taken them from little, splashing guppies, to lap-swimming, water-confident fish.  Thank you, Amanda! We all are truly grateful for you!!

November 27: I am thankful for quality time with my mom, Jereline.  Today, my mother & I spent the day just hanging out. We had an awesome brunch at the Hollywood diner, then we took care of a little Christmas shopping, and had an awesome pre-thanksgiving dinner at the Columbus Inn.  All while dodging, freezing rain and a bit of snow.  Even though it was cold, we had warm laughs and conversations!  I am grateful for fun days with her!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wellness Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! Happy Hanukkah, and Happy (early) Thanksgiving! With the holiday season off to a start, I just wanted to share a few tips that have helped me survive many of holiday dinners and stay well....
Don't skip breakfast, no matter how large of a meal you are anticipating.
Be a taste tester, sample foods and don't over load your plate.
Get up and move, challenge the family to a just dance competition, a game of touch football, or go for a walk (or maybe even run in turkey trot race).
Choose fruit for dessert, avoid the pecan pie, or German chocolate cake, look for the fruit crisp or pumpkin pie... Skip the a la mode.
Don't over eat, leftovers are a wonderful thing, save some of those calories for another day.
Keep the dinner conversations light and positive. Remember the true reasons for the season, and be grateful for your many blessings... Yes, that means no obnoxious family gossip, and avoid politics. Plus stressful conversations can lead to indigestion... And no one wants that!
Most importantly, enjoy your holiday season... May it be merry and bright! Stay well! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Thankful November: Day 25

November 25: I am thankful for the innocence and hopes of children.  Tonight, my daughters wrote their letters to Santa.  I love their true belief in him and his magic, their hope he will give every boy and girl a wonderful Christmas, and their desire to help others in need have a nice holiday season.  I am grateful for it, it's amazing how the belief in such magic comes back alive inside of me.  I hope no one ever takes their hopes, dreams, innocence, and belief in magic and miracles away from them.

Smoothie Recipe: Daily Fruit & Vegetables in One

I've always been curious how many vegetables and fruit should I be eating everyday.  I found that the CDC has a great fruit and vegetable serving calculator on their website.  You type in your age, gender, and activity level... then it spits out your daily recommendation.  For me, it recommended 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables.  So, I thought, wouldn't it be great if I could put it into one meal!  Then whatever other fruits and vegetables I have, will be icing on the cake!  That's how, I came up with this green smoothie recipe.  I split this smoothie up into two, and I drank one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  Now, its green... but refreshing... might swap banana for an apple next time around.

Daily Fruit & Vegetables in One
Makes 2 small adult smoothies, or 1 big adult smoothie

12 baby carrots (counts as 1 Veg serving)
1 1/2 c baby spinach, packed ( counts as 1.5 Veg serving)
1 stalk celery, cut (counts as 1/2 veg serving)
1/2 cucumber, cut (counts as 1/2 veg serving)
1 c water
1 banana (counts as 1 fruit serving)
1 c pineapple chunks, frozen (counts as 1 fruit serving)
1 tbsp ground flaxseed

Add Carrots, Spinach, celery, cucumber, and water to blender, and liquefy.  Then add flaxseed, banana, and pineapple, and blend until desired consistency.  Pour and enjoy!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Thankful November: Day 24

November 24: I work with some really talented people.  I am truly thankful for my healthy living friend, and co-worker Carla Sanchez.  She is the creator, host, and blogger of Organic Lifestyle Tv. This weekend, Carla let me pick her brain, on everything from blogs to webisodes, and of course our favorite topic, healthy living.  I am truly blessed to have people, like Carla around me.  I appreciate her continued support!  Thank you, mi Amiga!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Thankful November: Day 23

November 23:  Today, I am thankful for the warm weather of Tampa and central Florida.  I have enjoyed my visit here. I've loved sitting on my balcony, walking along the water, the beautiful sunsets, and absorbing the warm sunny days.  I am grateful for the nice break from the cold in Delaware.

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Thankful November: Day 20, 21, 22

So, I realized, I am a little behind on my Thankful November posts... Please don't think I have run out of things to be thankful for... I don't think that could ever happened.  This week just flew by, literally, to now I am sitting on a balcony in Tampa, sharing the things I am thankful for.

November 20: This might seem silly, but everyone has their favorite show or program on tv... Tonight, I am thankful for mine.  I have been a crime drama lover since I was a little kid. I used to watch Perry Mason and Matlock with my Nana.  Then when Law & Order hit the screen, my mother and I became instant addicts.  I am thankful for the creators of Law & Order, SVU, and Criminal Intent.  I am especially grateful for NBC and new episodes of Law & Order SVU... I hope it never goes off the air! I am also thankful for all of the networks that play the old Law & Order episodes and Matlock too!

November 21:  I am truly thankful for medical doctors, specialists, and nurses.  I am amazed at their knowledge, and dedication to healing the sick, and maintaining the well.  I especially am thankful for my team of doctors and nurses that care for me and my family.  I love how my medical team listens to my concerns, values my opinion and the way I choose to live.  I am truly grateful, Thank you for keeping us well!

November 22: Today, I am thankful for girl talk and vent sessions.  I actually am a pretty private person, there are things that bother me, hurt me, worry me... And for the most part I keep them inside, until I can release them through meditation or exercising.  I don't like confrontation or arguments, and I always try to keep my blood pressure low and a smile on my face.  That being said, I am truly grateful for a good laugh or a good cry during a vent chat.  I am also thankful for those who listen, when I choose to confide in them.  Thank you, for being open, non judgmental, and allowing me to vent when I need to.

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Thankful November: Day 19

November 19: I just wrapped my evening meditation, and I was thinking... Wow, we are all healthy...I don't hear any coughs, any sniffling, and fortunately we haven't suffered any major illnesses or injuries... Thank you, Jesus!  I am truly blessed and appreciative for my and my family's health.  At times, it takes work to maintain or improve it, but I am grateful for our health.  I am also thankful for those who are on a journey to live a healthier life.  You only get one chance on this planet, why not make it your best!  I am thankful for a healthy mind, body, soul, and environment... And I wish the same blessing for all.

For those I may or may not know, who are battling illness or a health crisis... I send you healing and healthy thoughts, as well as strength to get through your health challenge.

Mushroom Soup

This yummy recipe is in honor of my husband. He loves mushrooms!  Plus it is a meatless dish, so great for Meatless Monday!  This Mushroom Soup is warm, filling, and perfect for cold evenings.  I served it with a side salad and some yummy, warm bread.

Mushroom Soup
Serves 6, total time 60 min

1 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp butter
1 small sweet onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp thyme, dried
2 tsp dried parsley, plus additional to top
8 oz Bella Brown Baby Crimini mushrooms
8 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
4 c fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt & Cracked black pepper, to taste
1/4 c skim milk

Heat oil and 2 tbsp of butter in a large stock pot, over medium heat.  Add onion and saute for for 5 min.  Add garlic, thyme, salt/pepper, and parsley, saute for another 5 min.
Add Mushrooms and remaining butter, then cook for about 15 min, until tender, stirring occasionally.
Add broth and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 20-30 min.  Stir in a little more salt/pepper. Remove bay leaf.  Let stand for 5 min.
Place 1/4 of mushroom mixture in a blender, and puree. Pour in a bowl, and set aside, repeat with another 1/4 of the soup, leaving about half the soup whole.  Pour and stir pureed soup back into pot.  Or keep soup in pot, and use an immersion blender.  Then fold in milk.  Serve, and garnish with additional parsley.  Maybe top with sour cream, if you would like.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Thankful November: Day 17 & 18

November 17: Sunday was a long, busy day!  I wrapped up the Nashville auto show, then headed straight to the airport to fly to Charlotte then home.  After a day filled with a noisy convention center and 2 noisy airports... I am thankful for the quiet times, that are hidden in the midst of chaos.  Sneaking a quiet moment away off the show floor during a break, finding a quiet seat in bustling airport, and enjoying the quiet time on a packed airplane.  I appreciate quiet time, no matter how short or how long.  There's an old saying that says, when a loud room gets quiet all of a sudden, an angel has entered the room.  I love this thought, so I look for and am grateful for the quiet moments of each day, and the angel visits.

November 18:  Today, I am thankful for family dinner.  Yes, I am grateful for the food we have on our table, but more importantly, I am grateful for the time of day my husband, my kids, and I sit down for family dinner.  No matter how fast or home cooked the meal, I truly enjoy this time we can come together and talk about our day... Away from the TV and away from electronics.  We try very hard to make sure, we sit down to dinner almost every night... And I love it!  I am also thankful for family dinners that include our parents and extended family, and of course those wonderful holiday dinners that are coming up soon.  I learn so much from our dinners, and I look forward to them everyday!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Thankful November: Day 16

November 16: Today is a total pregnancy thankful post... I am thankful for this wonderful snack from Barry's Bakery! 
My dear friend and carpool buddy, Erin, gave these to me for my flight to Nashville! OMG, they are so good and vegan! I had to smack my hand after I ate half the bag.  I am so thankful for yummy, low calorie snacks like this!!  And thankful for friends like Erin, who know what I like, and share their finds with me! Try them!

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Thankful November: Day 15

November 15: I am thankful for salad! Big, small, side, field greens, romaine, ice berg... Any & all salads!  No matter where you are, even the most unhealthiest fast food places, a salad is always a healthier option and usually available. Today, there was only 1 concession stand at the convention center... You had a few choices, a few different BBQ mystery meats, chips, cookies, or a salad.  I was so grateful for the salad option. It didn't contain much, romaine lettuce, candied walnuts, and chicken breast, with a creamy mystery dressing. Wouldn't you know, it was actually pretty good, and a healthier choice for both me & baby Thayer.  It also didn't upset my stomach, and for that I am really grateful! I think I'll be eating that same salad tomorrow & Sunday!

A Thankful November: Day 14

November 14: After a long busy day, I was sitting on my Usairways flight heading to Nashville, I was thinking what am I thankful for today?  Today, I am thankful for kind, personable customer service personnel.  I encountered the kindest people today in the Philadelphia airport, and many times it's not that way.  I first, am thankful for the kind, pregnant TSA agent who did my pat down... Thank you for cracking jokes and being non-judgmental for me opting out of the screener.  I am thankful for the kind cashier at the Magazine stand.  I appreciate your enthusiasm for collecting donations for the troops and your friendly smile.  I am thankful for the friendly, comedic gate agent, who made boarding fun!  I am thankful for kind flight attendant, who went back to the galley to get me 2 cups of hot water.  I am also, of course, thankful for the pilots who were friendly during boarding and deplaning, and for getting us in 30 minutes early!  I am always thankful for kind, friendly, funny, helpful people who work in  a customer service position, because I work in customer service. So whether you are the customer or the service provider, remember kindness and a smile go a long way... Life's too short to be a mean negative Nancy... Think about that the next time  you encounter a new customer or a new service employee behind the counter... And be thankful for them.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Thankful November: Day 13

November 13:  I am thankful for my meditation practice.  I love meditation, as I've mentioned before.  I am grateful for its ability to clear my head, create peace around me, and most of all it gives me a sense of calm inside my body.  I am also grateful for the ability to share one of my favorite activities with others, through my BodyFlow class and on Self Soul Space.  I encourage everyone to try a few minutes of meditation, you'll love it and feel as thankful as I do... Now, it's time for me to sign into day 3 of Deepak Chopra & Oprah's Destiny & Desire Meditation Challenge... I am also thankful for Deepak Chopra for offering his wisdom, completely free for 21 days... Namaste!

Wellness Wednesday

On this Wellness Wednesday, my tip is for you to stay safe while outdoors!  Remembering a few safety rules will help you enjoy and get the most from your outdoor workout, especially as the days get shorter.

Wear bright and shiny. Use reflective gear that slips over your clothes, like bibs, belts, or bands to wear on your arms or legs. They’re so lightweight you won’t notice them, but oncoming motorists will. Even wearing a white T-shirt over your outfit will make you more noticeable.

Walk or run in well lit public parks, that host a lot of activity, such as those with sports facilities, pet areas, or playgrounds.

It’s best to use sidewalks and paths, but if you must go on the road, be sure to face oncoming traffic to see what’s headed your way.  Go against traffic at all times.

Assume drivers don’t see you or are on their cell phones. As a pedestrian you may have the right-of-way, but many drivers don’t know this or aren’t paying attention. Waiting a few seconds to cross a street isn’t a big deal when you consider the consequences.

Workout with someone. Beside the other benefits of pairing up, having a companion means safety in numbers for both of you. If you don’t have a partner, tell someone where you’ll be and what time you expect to return.

Stay well this Wednesday, take your workout outside, and enjoy the fresh, crisp, fall air!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Thankful November: Day 12

November 12: I am thankful for exercise and fitness... It is my outlet.  I am grateful for the ability to incorporate it into my daily life.  I am thankful for my BodyFlow class and my participants.  I am grateful for running and walking.  I appreciate my local YMCA and it's staff.  I truly appreciate all that fitness and physical activity does for my health, my body, my sanity, and my strength (both inner and muscular).  I am so glad my children enjoy being active too! Fitness is great for anyone, and everyone... once you add it to your daily life, you'll be thankful for it too!

Meanwhile, I'm off to teach BodyFlow at 7:30pm at the BG YMCA, who is in?

Thayer Favorite: Chicken Stir-fry

I love fast, healthy recipes.  My chicken stir-fry is a regular dish in our house.  We love all of the veggies, we serve it over brown rice.  However, most traditional stir-fry dishes contain soy sauce and sesame oil... Which are no-no's in our house, because of allergies.  So, with our seasonings, and the juice from the veggies, you don't really miss the soy or the sesame.  Sometimes on Meatless Mondays, I omit the chicken and we just have veggie stir-fry.  I hope this recipe becomes a regular in your home.

Chicken Stir-fry
Serves 6, time: 30 min total


2 tbs olive oil
2 large boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large zucchini, cut into 1/2 pieces
1 large yellow squash, cut into 1/2 pieces
15-20 baby carrots, halved
1 container sliced mushrooms
Salt & pepper
Garlic powder

Heat oil in a large non-stick pan.  Season chicken with S & P, and maybe a little garlic powder.
Brown chicken pieces, then pull chicken out and set aside when cooked completely. (7min)

Using the same pan, add garlic, carrots, and mushrooms, and sauté until a little tender.  (5min)
Add a little S & P.
Then add zucchini and squash, continue to sauté, until tender.  (5min)

Add cooked chicken pieces, and a little more S & P, cook until flavors combine. (3min)
Serve over brown rice, enjoy!

*Feel free to add soy sauce, once food is plated or during cooking of all veggies and chicken.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Thankful November: Day 11

Well, it's Veterans Day.... So, I think Today's post is obvious.
November 11: I am thankful for all of the military personnel who serve and protect our country and our freedoms. Retired, wounded, active duty, reserves, and those that are no longer with us... All veterans... Thank you!  A day off, shopping sales, and a free meal, can't really express the gratitude that I and the rest of the country have for all that you do and did. But none the less, enjoy your day of honor!
I am especially thankful for my father, Cliff, a Navy Veteran!
For my gramps: Charles, an Air Force Veteran
For my Cousin: Martin, a Army Veteran & active Reserve member
For my Friends: Clarence, an Active duty Army Service man; and Troy, an Army Veteran who works in Veteran Affairs.
And all of my friends and family that have served our country!

A Thankful November: Day 10

I have got to remember to post these before I go to sleep, lol...
November 10: I am thankful for my Aunts and Uncles! Today, my Aunt Susan came to visit, even though we missed church, I appreciate her driving up from Maryland to spend the day with us (especially play with J & M for hours). All of my Aunts & uncles give us so much love & support, I appreciate and love every single one of them.  I am so grateful to have so many of you, and that you are in my & my family's life!
*A special note for my ill Aunts and Uncles... I pray everyday for God to heal your bodies, and take away your pain! 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Thankful November: Day 9

November 9: I am thankful for my friend and cousin, Lenise. Today, we spent more quality family time... Laughing, dancing in my basement, and having girl time. I appreciate her helping me with my overwhelming shopping trip. I am so grateful for her, and our friendship! You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family... I'm so glad she's my cousin and my friend!!

A Thankful November: Day 8

November 8: I am thankful for the gift of laughter!  We had a wonderful Friday evening as a family... Spending quality time, laughing, and just enjoying each other's company. All of us just let our hair down (except D, lol), had fun, and maybe even got a bit silly!  I am grateful for being able to hear and enjoy the full belly laughter from my loved ones! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Thankful November: Day 6 & 7

I forgot to post this last night after a wellness Wednesday...

November 6:  I am thankful for my husband.  I am thankful for all that he does, and even what he doesn't do.  I appreciate how great of a father he is.  I especially love his funny voices when reading to our girls.  I appreciate when he takes the trash out and kills the occasional spider or stink bug. He's no 'Mr. fix-it' but he sure can carry a laundry basket up & down the stairs for me, he can even reach the upper-back itch, I can no longer reach.  I am thankful for that day in the summer of 1995 when he literally walked into my life.  I am grateful for our love!

And here is today's...

November 7:  I am thankful for books!  Kid books, adult books, fiction and non, cookbooks, e-books, learn to read books, chapter books, picture books, big & little books... All books!  I am thankful that books not only educate the youth, but they also educate the old.  I love hearing my children learn to read books and I love reading books to them.  I appreciate the facts they contain, the places they can take you, and recipes they can share.  I am grateful for the colorful pictures they create on the page or in the mind.  I am thankful for the ability to read books, and the freedom to read whatever kind of books I would like!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wellness Wednesday

Today I was asked today before yogilates, "you eat before you workout?"  (I was carrying an empty Chobani blueberry container). I said "yes, you wouldn’t take a trip, if your car had no gas. Your body works much the same way."  Fuel is necessary, but how much?  Since it's Wednesday, for our wellness tip, I decide to answer the question...

Choose the light meal or snack. Even if you like to have a light workout before breakfast, have a glass of juice, some whole grain toast, or a bit of low-fat yogurt before heading out. Eating a light, low-fat meal about 1 to 3 hours before your workout will give you the benefit of fuel without stomach trouble.
Now, if you’ve eaten a large meal... Wait. Your body takes several hours to digest fats and proteins. Let your body work on the task at hand — processing your meal — and save your exercise for later.

If you’d like to workout, but you’re between meals, a quick carb-rich snack, like a banana, glass of juice, or whole grain English muffin, about half an hour before exercise should keep you from feeling hungry.

Hope this helps to improve your workout energy and wellness.  Here's a little food for thought...
“The way you think, the way you behave, the way you eat, can influence your life by 30 to 50 years.” — Deepak Chopra

Happy Wednesday Friends!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Smoothie Recipe: Banana Berry

This is one of my favorite smoothies, the perfect wake up smoothie.  I make this often, as a matter of fact, I made it this morning!

Banana Berry Smoothie
Makes 1 adult smoothie

1 cup vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup packed baby spinach
1 tbs ground flaxseed
1 banana
4 whole strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
1/4 cup frozen raspberries

Blend almond milk, spinach, flaxseed, and banana.  Add berries, and blend until desired consistency. Pour and enjoy!!

Sorry, I forgot to snap a photo... Drank it too fast, lol.  I'll try to remember to add one, the next time I make it.

A Thankful November: Day 5

November 5: I am thankful for the school my daughters attend.  I am grateful for the teachers who are educating my girls and their peers. I appreciate the office staff, the school nurse, and of course Sister (the principal). Our school is small enough that every family knows every family, that we feel like one big family!  But with enough diversity that we are all unique, and my daughters learn about new cultures every day! I love the fact that everything my daughters are learning will not only make them better students, but also better Christians. They come home excited with new information, new prayers, new spelling words, and new ways to make better choices.  I couldn't ask for a better school. Thank you for educating my daughters and making us feel like a part of family!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Thankful November: Day 4

November 4:  Today, I am thankful for my children. I am grateful for the joy they bring into my life everyday!  I am amazed by their talents and impressed by their strength. I love their emotion, and live for their smiles.  They are both so caring, loving, well mannered, passionate, and funny... That even when they are not at their best, I still love to be around them.  I appreciate all that they do at home, in school, and out & about.  I am thankful for my children (born & unborn).

What are you thankful for today?

A Thankful November: Day 3

November 3: Today is Sunday, I am actually in Camden at my parents house and when thinking of the many things I am thankful for, it hit me... Duh, I am thankful for my parents... All of my parents!  Some of you might know how many parents I actually have, if not, I will tell you, 7.  To say the least, I am truly blessed in the parent department. I am thankful for my mother, Jereline. I am thankful for my father, Clifton. I am thankful for my stepmother, Terry.  I am thankful for my in-laws, Harry and Colleen.  I am grateful for all of the love and support they continuely give us.  I am also thankful for my birth parents, Lori & Chris.

What are you thankful for?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Thankful November: Day 2

November 2: I am thankful for my home state of Delaware!  I love the east coast, and being centrally located between all of the the major east coast cities.  The weather in Delaware is always beautiful, even on the rainy days!  I am thankful for the change in season and the historical landmarks. I am thankful for Delaware business, no sales tax, and for kind, fellow Delawareans!  I love my home state, the first state, Delaware!

What are you thankful for today?

A Thankful November

Happy November!  I hope everyone enjoyed the rest of their October! Halloween was fun in the Thayer household, and not too much candy, yay!  We love spending holidays with family and Halloween was no different, trick-or-treating with the Simmonds Family and the Young Family.
But since it's now November, a month where many Americans focus on giving thanks, I figured Self Soul Space would join in.... 30 days of being thankful.  Can you think of 30 different things to be thankful for?  Now, Self Soul Space encourages you to be thankful everyday of the year, not just in November.  But how can you make these 30 days special or different?  Maybe share your 30 days of thankfulness with someone, or show how grateful you are by giving back.  This November, I am challenging my family to join me.  Every night before bed, we will share what we are thankful for.  You can never start too early in teaching kids to be appreciative and grateful for the many blessings that surround them.

November 1.  I am thankful for the gift of life! I am grateful to wake up every morning and see a new day. I am thankful for the lives of my daughters and my husband, as well as the rest of my family and friends. I am also thankful for the gift of life that is growing inside of me.  The gift of life is everywhere around us, so enjoy the gift of life, take care of the gift, and be thankful.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Breaking News...

Breaking News...

We are expanding!

No, not Self Soul Space... but the Thayer Family is expanding.
We will welcome our 3rd bundle of Joy into the world in early March 2014.  Some of you may have already known, or picked up on my hints throughout some of my posts.  But here it is, official news... Yes, we are growing from a family of 4 to 5!  We are all very excited, especially Jordan and Mia!!  What does this mean for Self Soul Space... nothing really.  Outside of this post, I won't talk or share much about my pregnancy.  This is still a healthy living blog written for everyone!  If you are curious, how have the past 5 months been? Quite interesting, actually.  I was nauseous the entire first trimester, morning, noon, and night!  I was also exhausted, mid-day naps became a must.  However, it was hard to keep our secret a secret, especially from Jordan and Mia... but somehow we managed to wait until the end of the first trimester.  Due to my previous obstetric history, I was taken off of high impact exercising, which was the biggest let down for me, NO RUNNING!  However, when I look at the bright side, I'll take 9 months of not running, for such a wonderful blessing!  Other than that, there have been no major issues.  And here's a bonus, I am still able to teach my BodyFlow class, yay!  Also, I can still cross train and travel for work.  I count my lucky stars, everyday, for this healthy pregnancy!  Where am I now... At the end of my fifth month, feeling good, feeling fetal movement, face full of pimples, with a healthy-healthy appetite, but I'm loving every second of it... Do we know the sex of the baby? I'm sure you are wondering....

Boy or Girl??  What do you think?? 
Will the ladies reign supreme, or will the gents start to balance the kingdom?

This just in....

Baby Thayer is a...................................................


Do we have a name picked out?  No, not yet, but we are open for suggestions... feel free to comment below with your ideas!

Now, back to your scheduled programming!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wellness Wednesday

Are you having a Well Wednesday so far?  I hope so!  This Wellness Wednesday tip is to drink a cup of juice for your wellness... But not just any juice!  Juice can provide additional nutrients and vitamins to the body.  That being said, it should never replace your daily water intake, it is in addition to your daily water intake.  You're probably wondering, 'well what type of juice is good for my wellness'?  Fruit, vegetable, or fruit and veggie combined are the best. Fresh squeezed juice from a juicer or a juice bar are absolute best.  But if looking for bottled juice in the store... read the label. 

Things to look for...
Not from concentrate
No artificial sweetener, or added sugar (high fructose corn syrup and splenda included)
No artificial coloring, or chemical ingredients
Organic is preferred
Minimal ingredients, only fruits and/or veggies
Added calcium is ok orange juice
Stay away from Huggie juices, Hawaiian Punch, Kool-Aid, etc...

Now, keep in mind, juice contains calories, and can be considered empty calories if you choose the wrong juice.  So, if you're minding your caloric intake, be sure to keep track of these too.  Also, juice has natural sugars, and can sit on the teeth, consider cleaning your teeth after drinking juice, as you would after eating, to help prevent cavities.  Choosing juice with made from whole fruits and veggies, is the best way to get the most for each sip.  If you can, try juicing your own juice, be it as simple as orange or apple, or as complicated as spinach, apple, cucumber or beet, carrot, apple... then you can control your ingredients.  Happy Sipping for you Wellness!!

p.s.  since it is fall, visit a local orchard for some fresh apple cider, yum!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fasta Pasta Primavera

Mondays are always a busy day for us!  The kids of course have school, then they have swim lessons at our local YMCA right after school.  Then it's a mad dash for home, take a quick bath, do homework, make & eat a meatless dinner, and before you know it, it's 7pm: story and bedtime!  Usually, I don't recommend, or use Campbell's cream of anything, because of the amazing amount of non-whole food ingredients.  However, that being said, I'm a realist, who is also a busy mom! So, I do keep a can of cream of mushroom in my pantry for emergency occasions.  Here's a quick Meatless Monday dish, I prepared last week, with Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup, it's called Fasta Pasta Primavera!  Why fast-a? Because it only took 17 minutes from start to finish, and the kids liked running around saying Fasta Pasta!

Fasta Pasta Primavera
Serves 4, total time 17min

1 10oz can Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup (I used Healthy choice one)
1/2 c of skim milk
2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for topping
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 16oz bag Frozen California blend vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)
1 c frozen broccoli (optional, we love broccoli, so I added extra)
1/2 of a 1 lb box of cooked pasta (I used bow tie)
     - water & salt to cook pasta
Salt & pepper to taste
Fresh chopped parsley to top

Boil salted water for pasta, and cook according to package.
In a 3qt sauce pan, heat soup, milk, cheese, garlic powder, and frozen veggies over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for about 10 min until veggies are tender.
Drain pasta, then dump into veggie/soup mixture, toss.  Add salt & pepper if needed.
Plate, and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.  Enjoy!

P.S.  You can easily turn this into a Meat-filled dish, by adding cooked chicken or shrimp to it (that's was the husband's recommendation)

Monday, October 14, 2013

New Snack: Gold Emblem Baked Rice Crisps

My Family loves snacks, healthy ones and unhealthy ones.  As an allergy household, our snack selection can be limited at times.  Many times, I am asked what snacks do I eat, and what on earth do I feed my kids?  Well, with that in mind, CVS Pharmacy and Gold Emblem asked me to taste test, and review their new Baked Rice Crisps.  
The Rice crisps are gluten free, minimal ingredients, low in sodium, and zero trans fat.  30 chips equal a serving size (yum), with only 120-140 calories, 3g of fat, 1-2g of protein.  So, the kids, hubs, and I sat down to try the Sea Salt Baked Rice Crisps, and the Barbeque Baked Rice Crisps.  The kids loved the geometric shapes of the crisps, especially Mia, because their learning about diamonds, circles, hexagons, etc in school.  They both said "Ooo, Fun, shapes!"  

The Sea Salt flavor was Jordan's and my favorite flavor.  They are crispy, and are great by themselves or with a dip. After trying them by themselves, I tried them in hummus and in my yogurt herb dip, extra yummy.  Baked rice crisps are a great substitute for potato chips, because of the salty-crunchy flavor.  Jordan said "these are crunchy, I like 'em." My husband said "they're not bad", translation: he'll eat them again, and he did.

The Barbeque flavor was my husband's and Mia's favorite flavor.  They had a more flavor, but not too much, that the Barbeque overpowered the snack.  Which makes them a yummy snack for kids.  Mia ate the crisps, then licked her fingers to get more of the Barbeque flavor!  My husband said "now, these don't taste healthy, yum!"  He was also pleasantly surprised when I showed him how many crisps you can eat for a serving vs. how many potato chips are in a serving size.

Here's a basic comparison, 
Gold Emblem's Sea Salt Baked Rice Crisps
Serving size, about 30 crisps
140 calories
3g of fat
110mg sodium 
2g protein

Lay's Classic Potato Chips
Serving size, about 15 chips
160 calories
10g of fat
170mg sodium
2g protein

So, if you're looking for a healthier-crunchy-allergy friendly snack, try Gold Emblem's Baked Rice Crisps.  You won't be sorry! The Baked Rice Crisps can be found in a 3.5oz bag at your local CVS pharmacy, and the average price is $2.49 a bag.  They are Self Soul Space and Thayer family recommended!  Happy snacking!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wellness Wednesday

It's Wednesday already, this week is flying by.  For your wellness Wednesday tip this week, I want you to focus on the health of your brain, and your memory.  No matter how old or young you are, it's always a good idea to stimulate the brain (and not just with social media or tv).  I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone; read more or different material than you are used to, try your hand at puzzles (crosswords, or sudoku), learn a new language, learn a new craft, learn to play a musical instrument, or play memory games (not candy crush).  Stimulating your mind, keeping it active and healthy will help fight off dementia and Alzheimer's.  You'll be surprised how even your daily memory will improve.  Keep in mind, that an active brain also needs rest, so try implementing a little meditation in there too.  Improving your brain health is essential in order to have a well Self, Soul, and Space! Have a well Wednesday friends!

Here are some of my favorite brain activities...
Word finds
Reading (fiction, non-fiction, research/study material)
Trivia games (trivial pursuit, & battle of the sexes)
Word games (taboo, catch phrase)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Recycled Rainbow Crayons

Do you have kids (yours, step, grands, nieces/nephews) in your house?  Have you ever noticed how many crayons they have?  And broken ones at that... Some how, restaurant crayons come home with us, and we already have a million Crayola sets already.  So one day this summer, I had Jordan and Mia search the house for all of the broken, unwrapped, old, worn-down, and miscellaneous crayons.  We were going to recycle them, and make a craft!  I originally found this craft idea on Pinterest in the winter, but decided to tuck it away until we were in our Rainbow week of summer learning.  During that week, we visited the Crayola factory, and learned how to make crayons, so this was a perfect way to recycle old crayons.

Here's how we made our Recycled Rainbow Crayons...

Kids: Collect all old, broken, worn-down crayons.
Adult: Preheat oven to 230 degrees
Kids: Take off any extra wrappers.
Adult: On an old cutting board, Chop the crayons into small (1/2 inch or smaller) pieces with a sharp knife.
Kids: Throw all of the pieces in a bowl to mix them up.
Kids: Using a mini-muffin pan, fill each well with a variety of colors. (A silicon muffin bakeware would work too- then you can skip # )
Adult: Put pans in the oven, bake for 15 minutes.
Adult: Pull pans out, crayons will be melted. Let cool on counter top, until solid.

Kids: Once solid, pop into the freezer for 5-10 minutes. This allows the wax to separate from the pans like ice cubes. Flip pans over, tap, and VOIlÀ.. Rainbow Crayons!

Kids & Adult: Now, color & have fun!!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Smoothie Recipe: Very Berry Purple

I really love smoothies, obviously!  So, does my daughter, Mia!  Mia came up with this smoothie, while she and Jordan were watching an episode of The Fresh Beat Band.  The Fresh Beat Band drinks smoothies almost every episode.  Very Berry Purple, has veggies, berries, yogurt, and more!  Here's Mia's smoothie recipe...

Very Berry Purple

Makes 2 adult smoothies, or 1 adult & 2 kid smoothies

10 baby carrots, halved
16oz coconut water
6oz Chobani greek vanilla yogurt
1 tbs ground flaxseed
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup frozen raspberries
8 whole strawberries
1 cup frozen mango chunks
1 banana

Dump carrots and coconut water, and liquefy.  Add yogurt, flaxseed, berries, and mango. Blend until smooth.  I poured Jordan's, then we added banana, since she's allergic. Blend until desired consistency, pour and enjoy!!

Let your kids get creative with their food too!  It's amazing what they will come up with!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wellness Wednesday

Happy Wellness Wednesday friends!  I hope everyone is having a great week so far!  With so many of us having busy schedules, late meetings, running the kids to practice or lessons, and social engagements, cooking meals from scratch is becoming a thing of the past.  With so many, fast, boxed, frozen, processed options on the grocery store shelves, it's hard not to pick them up and go.  Are you eating healthier by cooking at home?  Yes and No!  Hooray for not eating out at a restaurant or Fast Food, where you really have no idea what is in your food.  However, so many processed foods are also filled with things we don't even know we are consuming.  There are many preservatives, chemicals, GMOs, unnecessary soy, and tons of sodium added to boxed/frozen kits & meals to extend their shelf life.  Keep this in mind... The average healthy person should only consume 1500 mg of sodium daily, the average frozen "healthy" meal contains 800-1100 mg of sodium.  That's more than half your daily allotment, and you still need to eat at least 2-4 more meals.  Boxed and frozen foods are designed to make our life easier, but there are just as many easy ways to make similar dishes without using processed foods or kits, and you'll save yourself some money too.  By making whole foods at home allows you to control the ingredients, the sodium content, the portion size, and gives you leftover food and ingredients for meals on following days.  Plus, you get the opportunity to be creative!!  Now if you're not creative, check out Google, Pinterest, Food Network, and Self Soul Space's Recipes tab for great, fast, healthy recipes with whole ingredients.  I hope you take the time this Wednesday to nix the box, limit processed foods, and eat whole foods for your wellness.

P.S.  30 min meals take too long? I found 16 min meals on Food Network... How's that for fast!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Spinach Lasagna Rolls

Since Mondays are Meatless here in the Thayer household, and we usually eat some sort of pasta.  I came up with this recipe as something different, morphed from a cheesy lasagna roll recipe I found on pinterest, and decided to 'Self Soul Space' it to be more healthy!  Here's my new Meatless Monday recipe for you, bonus is you can make it ahead of time... It was so delicious, filling, and the family enjoyed it.  I served it with a Caesar salad!!

Spinach Lasagna Rolls
Serves 6  Time: 30 min hands on, 55-60 total

8-10 uncooked whole wheat lasagna noodles
Olive oil
1 cup ricotta cheese, skin
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cup marinara sauce (I used my recipe, but jarred is fine too)
2 cup packed baby spinach
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, part-skim
Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil, add noodles and cook until al dente.  Drain well, and lay out on a clean work surface.
In a small casserole dish, drizzle olive oil and spread to grease.  Working with 1 noodle at a time, spread about 2 tbs of ricotta, sprinkle with salt & parmesan cheese, then 2 tbs of marinara, then top with spinach.  Starting at the end of the pasta, snugly roll up pasta, and arrange them seam-side down in the dish.
Pour remaining sauce over rolls.
Top with mozzarella and remaining Parmesan cheese, bake until golden and bubbly, about 25-30min.  Serve with a salad, and enjoy!  

*If making it ahead of time, follow directions and assemble the dish... For freezing, stop at marinara level, top with plastic wrap and foil, then freeze for up to 3 months.  Defrost, then top with cheeses and bake.  Just refrigerating, to bake within 24 hours, follow directions all the way to topping with cheese. Cover with casserole lid or plastic wrap. Allow dish to sit at room temp for 20-30 min, before baking.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Trying Something New...

Over the summer, I decide to step out of my comfort zone... And get certified to be a Les Mills instructor.
 I love fitness and and healthy living, but I have never taught an official fitness class, so this would be interesting.  Les Mills has many different fitness programs, I choose BodyFlow, my favorite!  It's a combination class of Tai Chi, Yoga, and Pilates.  Designed and choreographed to current music, to build flexiblity and strength, and leave you feeling calm and centered.  I started taking BodyFlow 4 years ago after I had my youngest daughter, Mia.  I loved the 50 minutes of strength and flexibility poses, the ultimate bonus is the 10 minutes of meditation at the end of the class.  While becoming certified, I got a teaching job at my local YMCA.  I would love for you to add BodyFlow to your wellness journey.  BodyFlow is both great for your Self & Soul.  BodyFlow is offered at the Bear-Glsagow YMCA, at least everyday.  It is a wonderful cross trainer to any fitness plan; runner, swimmer, cyclist, football-basketball-soccer- any sport, etc., because it forces you to stop, listen to your body, and stretch.  My classes are Monday and Thursday at 8:15am, and Sundays at 1:30pm.  I hope to see you! Don't forget your mat!

P.S. if you are not a member of the YMCA of Delaware, join before September 30th, and NO joiner fee!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wellness Wednesday

A big part of your overall wellness has to do with the environment you live in.  Look around, do you have too much stuff? Is your storage closet/shed full of items you don't use?  What about you closet, are there clothes that you haven't worn in over a year, or can't fit anymore?  Well, it's time to simplify and de-clutter your personal environment.  My Wellness Wednesday tip for you this week is to clear out the clutter, and donate your unused items.  If you are not getting use out of something, guaranteed there is someone out there who would put that good tv stand, or that business suit to use.  By donating your items, not only are you creating a healthy, stress-free environment, but you are also also helping the community... Which in turn warms your soul (it's a triple win).  Here's one more bonus, usually you can get a tax deduction for donations.  Check with the charity, find out their policies, and what items can they really use... Not all organizations are the same, so do your research.

Here are some ideas of places to donate your items:
  • Goodwill (clothing, household items, electronics) (pic: one of my many trips to Goodwill of Delaware)
  • Salvation Army (clothing, furniture, household items)
  • Homeless Shelters (clothing, new toiletry items, 
  • Habitat for Humanity Restore (appliances, cabinets, doors, electronics, fans, tools, etc)
  • Animal Shelters (sheets, towels, blankets)
  • Church organizations (varies per organization)

So this Wellness Wednesday, Reduce your clutter, allow someone to Reuse your unused items, and let those items truly be Recycled!  Your wellness, your environment, your stress level, and your soul will thank you.... And so will the receiving person or organization.  Stay well and clutter-free this Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Avocado Salads

I've been trying to find new, healthy, fast, and easy lunches, I can eat while on the go or doing my daily Stay-at-home Mom activities.  I love chicken & tuna salads, but sometimes they can be a pain to make each and every time, and they can be super unhealthy by the time you add the creamy & fatty mayo.  So instead of using calorie-filled mayonnaise, I added a healthy avocado as my creamy binder... That way I get more bang for my bite.  Plus, avocados are packed with antioxidants, beta-carotene, and is considered a healthy fat, bonus!  I like to serve my salads on a bed of lettuce or in a wrap.  The best part is you will have leftovers, for at least 2-3 quick go-to lunches/snacks... Unless, your husband eats it as a late night snack.  Anyway, here are my recipes for both...

Avocado Chicken Salad
Serves 4

2-3 c chicken, cooked & chopped
1/2 c celery, chopped
1/4 c sweet onion, finely chopped
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1 avocado
Juice from 1/2 lime
Salt & Pepper

Mix ingredients in a bowl, mashing avocado as you mix.  Salt & pepper to taste.  Serve on toast, in a wrap, or over a bed of lettuce. Store remaining salad in an airtight container, for lunch or snack the next few days.

Avocado Tuna Salad
Serves 4


2 (5oz) cans albacore tuna in water, drained
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
1 tbs sweet relish
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1 avocado
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Salt & pepper

Mix all ingredients, breaking up tuna and mashing avocado as you mix. Add lemon juice, and season with salt & pepper to taste.  Serve in sandwich form, with crackers, on a wrap, or over a bed of lettuce.  Store remaining salad in an airtight container, for lunch or snack the next few days.