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.

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.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Smoothie Recipe: Green Boost

Well, its back to school time, which means back to germs time.  On Wednesday night, my oldest daughter, Jordan, woke up in the middle of the night complaining of not feeling well. She did not have a temperature, so we just assumed it was allergies and sent her back to bed.  Then Thursday morning, Jordan greeted us with a fever and a nasty virus. Anyway long story-short (saving you the nasty details) as she started to feel better Friday afternoon, when Mia came home from school not feeling well with a fever... Yay, the virus had spread!  I knew I had to take drastic action, I cleaned & disinfected everything in my house. Opened the windows, aired out my house, and made my Green Boost Smoothie for everyone.  Here's the recipe...

Green Boost Smoothie
Makes 2 smoothies


1 celery stalk
6-8 baby carrots
2 handfuls spinach
8oz coconut water
1 tbs ground flax seed
1 cup frozen mango chunks
1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
Juice from 1/2 lime

Cut celery & carrots into smaller pieces, make it easier for the blender.  Blend coconut water, flax seed, celery, carrots, and spinach.  Then add mango and pineapple, I use frozen to make the smoothie cold and refreshing w/o adding ice, blend.  Add lime juice, and blend to desired thickness.  If its too thick, add a little warm water.  Pour, enjoy, and fight those nasty back to school germs!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wellness Wednesday

As I was winding down for bed tonight, I realized I forgot to post a Wellness Wednesday tip.  Where did the day go?  Since I always meditate before bed, that is my Wellness Wednesday tip. Try meditation, add it to your daily life.  It doesn't require a lot of time, special training, or special positions or music.  Stop, turn everything off, close your eyes and just enjoy the quiet for a few minutes.  Focus own the breath, slowly inhaling through the nose, and exhaling through the nose.  Clear your head of your to-do lists, and just enjoy the peace.  Set a timer if that helps, 5-7-10min, especially if you feel like you'll keep opening your eyes to look at the time.  Remember that meditation is a practice... It takes time, and no one is perfect. Some days are great, some leave a little more to be desired. But just try it, I think you'll really enjoy the time without emails, phone calls, social media, and TV.  Meditation can be any time of day, and just about anywhere... So, this Wednesday, give meditation a try.  I am signing off, to continue my bedtime routine, and enjoy my own meditation practice!  Good night, and stay well my friends!

For more meditation tips, check out Meditation: Health for the Soul and Do You Have 8 Minutes to Change Your Life?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Smoothie Recipe: Red, White, & Blue (plus green)

Here's a great smoothie recipe that I made for the entire family on the 4th of July (and Labor Day)!  A way to keep with the American theme, I made Red, White, and Blue Smoothies.  Keep in mind the smoothies turned out purple, but the ingredients carried the theme.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!  P.s. Phillies & 49ers tumblers make every smoothie taste better!!

Red, White, & Blue Smoothies
Made 3 adult smoothies, or 2 adult + 2 kids

16oz coconut water
2 handfuls baby spinach
1 tbs ground flaxseed
1 6oz container Chobani Vanilla
15 whole strawberries (I used frozen)
1 c blueberries (I used frozen)

Add coconut water, spinach, and  flaxseed to blender, liquefy.  Then add yogurt and berries, blend until desired texture.  Pour, enjoy your Red, White, & Blue smoothie, celebrate America!

Monday, September 9, 2013

"Happy Birthday Big Poppa"

            Today is my husband, D'reardon's birthday!                                          

 So, I decided to make him one of his favorite dinners and a special treat!  My husband, the carnivore, did not want a meatless monday option when I presented it to him.  What did he want? His mother's Pot Roast... And that's what he got (well, my take on his mother's pot roast).  My MIL recipe called for canned mushrooms, water, unseasoned beef chuck, can of tomato sauce, vegetable oil, onion, green pepper, jarred garlic, potatoes, carrots, and light salt/pepper.  Still keeping with the same bones, here's my Spin on Mrs. Thayer's Pot Roast.

My Pot Roast
Serves 8, total time 3 hr 30 min

1 tbs olive oil
3.5-4 lb Beef Chuck (seasoned w/ salt, pepper, garlic powder)
1/2 c  Onion, chopped
1/2  c green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 28oz Can diced tomatoes, in juice, no salt added
1-2 c beef broth, low sodium
1 container white mushrooms, quartered
Salt & Pepper
8-10 small red potatoes, peeled & quartered
15+ baby carrots, halved
* wait to peel & cut potatoes and carrots, they are not needed until last 60 min of cooking

Heat oil in a Dutch oven, over med-high heat. Add seasoned beef, and brown on all sides.
Remove roast, set aside. Sauté onions, green pepper, and garlic until tender.
Add tomatoes and broth.
Add roast & mushrooms, sprinkle with S&P.  Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hrs.
Add potatoes & carrots, cover continue cooking for 60 min, or until tender.  Remove roast, let rest 10-15 min, then cut into serving pieces, and put them back in pot.  Serve with salad or another green veggie, and enjoy.

Now, I also made a Big Poppa (as Mia calls him) his favorite Red Velvet cake (from scratch) with homemade cream cheese icing.  I might share this recipe later, but I must forewarn you, it's not healthy. Lol!

P.s. I did substitute Chobani Plain yogurt for buttermilk... Yum!

The girls & I would like to wish our Big Poppa, D'reardon, a wonderful 32nd birthday, and many (many, many, many) more happy & healthy years!  We love you!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wellness Wednesday

With all the talk about the US going to war against Syria, pulling out of the war in Afghanistan, and the violent war in our city streets, I thought I would share a poem of peace for your wellness this Wednesday.  I'm not saying I am for war or against it, I am for a happy, healthy, peaceful life for all mankind, everywhere!  With that said, here is a poem by Cappy Hall Rearick.  Have a peaceful & well Wednesday!

We Interrupt This War

     We interrupt this war for doctors to heal the sick, poets to write a sonnet, and ministers to teach us how to love one another.
     We interrupt this war for economists to find a way to balance the national budget, for people to find jobs, for authorities to rid us of drug lords, and for minorities to find their equal place in the world.
     We interrupt this war to find our future.
     We interrupt this war for soldiers to hug their children, for family reunions, for more time to find a lasting peace for our world.
     We interrupt this war for artists to paint and sculpt, builders to clean up slums and writers to create unforgettable plots and characters.
     We interrupt this war so that we might feed the hungry, save the whales and find a cure for cancer and AIDS.
     We interrupt this war for the Special Olympics. Girl Scout Cookies. The World Series. For newborn babies.
     We interrupt this war to care for the aged, to be kind to animals and to share with others.
     We interrupt this war to clean up the environment, to find homes for the homeless, and to defend the weak and defenseless.
     We interrupt this war to marvel at a sunset, to enjoy a child’s laughter, and to sing a love song.
     We interrupt this war in order to hear a message from our Number One Sponsor:
©2003, Cappy Hall Rearick