How I felt after my morning goji berry tea

I had a great morning, visiting and staying with my brother in Montreal this week.

He’s got loads of healthy food so I tried Goji berry tea for the very first time.

It was so easy to make, just took an ounce or two of goji berries put them in a mug and put some warm to hot water on top.


The tea was good, the goji berries became softer as they sat in the hot water, and I have to say I really do feel different! I feel good, energized! My skin is tingling, and I feel like I got some energy. I drank this in the morning, fasted, and soon we will go out to brunch. 

Here are some benefits:


xxSerena

The joys of running

I’ve been running lately, thanks to that group of dear friends you know who you are, who are challenging me to Fitbit challenges. I’ve got a love/hate relationship with running, I hate it in every which way but loves the happiness it gives me, how it makes me feel about myself and I love how my body responds to the work.


Here are 5 joys running has given me this month:

  1. It makes my sleep AMAZZZINGGG… I dream well, I sleep soundly and I fall asleep fast! Sometimes, as soon as my head hits the pillow, I’m out. A massage therapist once told me once about the pineal gland, and how if you clean it out with a short juice fast you begin to dream better.. which leads me to my next point …
  2. My dreams are as interesting and vivid as good movies. Perhaps the fact that I’m running and pushing my body to metabolize quickly; push blood through my body faster, process oxygen quicker, make my heart step out of its box, etc. is in a way cleansing my body, battling against dull/slow/groggy movement of blood? Maybe my pineal gland, some say responsible for vivid dreams, is getting cleaned out in the process? I don’t know, but I like it.
  3. It reminds me I’m strong. The strength the body feels when it’s pushing to the limits reminds me of my inner strength. It reminds me I can do anything I put my mind to.
  4. It makes me very sharp. My brain, my eyesight, my speed .. all is quicker, it’s “revving” like an engine of a sports car or something. I feel as though I can do something quickly, with a good quality, I’m “all there” .. as opposed to groggy or slow … which brings me to my last point …
  5. It keeps me in the moment. Running forces me to stay in the present moment. I’m focused on the step of that very second, so even though thoughts can come into my mind during my run, I practice, successfully, how to stay in the moment, and enjoy the health I have today.


Do you run? What’s been your experiences with running?

 

xxSerena

Big Loop blanket by Loopy Mango

100% merino wool from upstate New York, this big loop blanket is absolutely gorgeous.

The skiens are large; you can hold them in two hands, and each one is handspun & hand dyed.


I needed this big blanket at one of the yarn stores here in Calgary, Stash Lounge. The class cost of $250 and came with the skien of yarn, which cost $245 CAN. Our instructor, Chantal, was amazing.

I chose the color heather grey. I won’t be making another for myself because I realized only after I made it I”m allergic to wool! With direct contact my skin gets really itchy!

In class we got to learn about the wool and how to take care of the blanket, and got started. It took about 5 hours to make and today I’m giving it to my mum for mother’s day!

xxS

 

Making dryer balls

I heard so many good things about dryer balls. The first time I heard about them was on a blog. I thought dryer balls would be perfect for me because I wanted to get away from using Bounce sheets.

I read about the benefits of using a wool felted dryer ball in your wash instead of a chemical fabric softener: left irritants for your skin, dries your clothes faster so no waste of energy, remove static cling and makes your clothes softer.

So to make dryer balls, first I learned how to roll wool into a ball from watching YouTube. 

Then I bought the 100% wool. It has to be 100%.

I put small folded old socks in the middle of the ball to make the balls bigger. 


Then I got some old pantyhose so the balls would stay round as they felted in the first three washes. 


So now I am happy to say I won’t be buying Bounce sheets anymore but will be using wool dryer balls! 

Have you heard of dryer balls? If you have any questions leave them in the comment section!

xxSerena 

The first hat I knitted

I made a hat! I made a hat using circular needles, my first time! My first project using circular needles was easier than I thought. 

To prepare I watched a bunch of YouTube videos a few times. I was excited to start and I knitted the hat in an afternoon.


Excuse the lighting, it was an extremely sunny spring day.

Despite the sun, however, it was chilly outside and my newly acquired allergies were in full bloom.


My only mistake was I meant to make it bigger for someone else’s head. But it turned out too small. So instead it was a hat for me.


xxSerena

The first scarf I knitted 

I read on Reddit that a good beginner site was Row House and for me it was perfect. 

I chose my first project ever, following a simple pattern. I chose to do the stockinette stitch scarf. 

I chose a cheap acrylic yarn because I was still learning. As I work through this scarf, which took a couple weeks, I learned a little about wools and yarns from a friend of mine who is an experienced knitter. 

Then I did my own research but this exercise for me wasn’t about the quality of the piece. It was purely a learning experience. An opportunity for growth. 


I used what I learned to make this cute little scarf. It has a border.


I made a few mistakes along the way. And I learned a lot during this project. I learned how to correct my mistakes.

And the scarf kept getting longer and longer. The yard is the type that changes from color to color so it became interesting to knit. I was looking forward to seeing what the next color would be and what the finished product would look like. It kept me going.


The yarn was called Bernat pop! In color Ebony and Ivory.


And so after a couple of weeks I completed my very first project. A scarf! I think a scarf is a perfect project for a beginner. Because it helps you to learn the stitches over and over again. And it seals in that knowledge!


xxSerena

My new hobby is knitting! 

I have been a knitter since March 14, 2017!

I started by learning how to knit with two pens by my work neighbor and coworker and dear friend Kathie:


She taught me the knit stitch, which is the basic stitch in knitting. It was not easy for me to learn this! I did still stumble quite a bit. 

But she gave me homework. So I practiced and practiced after I finally got it with just some cheap medium sized yarn and medium sized needles from Walmart:


And I taught myself how to find off, or cast off, make a slipknot, purl, and then began learning how to correct my mistakes.


And this was the beginning of my knitting adventure!

Stay tuned for more posts! 

xxSerena

Zucchini lasagna 

Today I found a bag of small beautiful zucchini for one dollar. Don’t ask me how it was done, this was a blessing and I don’t want to jinx it.

I had some staples cheese, tomato sauce, onion, spices and some turkey sausage so I thought… Zucchini lasagna. No pasta just thinly sliced zucchini as noodles. I put it in the oven for 45 minutes at 350° and it was so good. If you want to keep it vegetarian leave out the turkey and add mushrooms, peppers or corn.

Ingredients:

3 to 4 zucchinis, cut the tips off, slice longitudinally
Half a jar tomato sauce.
Three turkey sausages, casings removed.
One onion, diced
Spices: turmeric, Greek seasoning, garlic aoli granules, pinch hot chili flakes, S&P

Directions:

  1. Clean zucchini, cut off ends and slice longitudinally
  2. Diced onion and cook with turkey sausage under medium heat with turmeric, salt, Greek spices for ten minutes. Add tomato sauce & simmer.
  3. Coat bottom of the glass dish with tomato sauce or half a teaspoon olive oil. Lay slices of zucchini, layer the tomatoes sausage onion mixture, cheese and then another layer of zucchini the opposite way from before. Keep stacking and layering. Topped with tomato sauce and cheese on top.

Zucchini lasagna!!! It was so delicious 🤗👌🏼❤️‼️😁

xxSerena

Turkey muffins

With less than 8% fat, about 22g of protein in a serving of 100g, for my macros, turkey muffins were a perfect lunch idea.

When I made them yesterday I can’t begin to tell you how amazing the aroma was steaming out of the oven. I ate this over spinach and with roasted sweet potato.

Ingredients:

500g (1 package) extra lean ground turkey
1 red bell pepper chopped into tiny squares
1/2 red onion also chopped into tiny squares
1 egg
2 teaspoons sweet chili sauce for chicken
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Maille Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° before preparation
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  3. Drop turkey mixture into silicone molds
  4. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn oven off and let muffins set for an additional 20 minutes in warm oven.
  5. Serve with steamed vegetables, spinach, sweet potato or rice.


I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed these muffins! Finally, delicious turkey that was moist, flavorful  and a great lean protein that goes with other healthy options.

I will definitely be making these many more times again this year! How do you cook with ground turkey or chicken?

xxserena

Half marathon? Unrelated: does love make you fat?

In my quest to keep running, perhaps to gain more time? To get my physique back? To maintain health and a positive mood? To live longer? Not sure but what I do know is that being in love has made me fat. Since falling in love with the love of my life I’ve gained over ten pounds and even though I’m still skinny, I’m skinny FAT and I’m less bouncy and my brain gets foggy and tired. I miss the days when I used to feel the muscles work through my clothes, when I could flex muscles just to feel them breathing, ALIVE.

In an article for the Daily Mail in 2013, research does suggest that falling in love makes people fat, especially women!

So I began running November 11. That week I ran 12 miles and on November 30, after about 3 weeks of running (proving it to myself) I joined a running group (a WINTER running group at that) on November 30 and I’ve run about 14 times now.

There’s a half marathon on Feb 11. It’s called the HYPO 1/2 and it takes place in Canada and a bit in the USA.

Am I ready?

I read the most inspiring article today about a great runner!

If I sign up for the half marathon I’ll only have about 6 weeks to train. I’ve been running the past 8 weeks, in a 10K training clinic. Is this possible? The only person I spoke to about it said she doesn’t think that’s enough time to train properly for a half marathon.

What do you all think?

xxserena

 

Health, eating for abs, fitness, natural beauty secrets

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