2018 SARA Fiesta Medal Blog Hop

It’s springtime and in San Antonio that means FIESTA!

It’s springtime and in San Antonio that means FIESTA!

 

The San Antonio Romance Authors (Romance Writers of America) bring you an awesome chance to win a glittering and collectible Fiesta medal.

These medals are in limited supply and not currently for sale. Are you ready to win one? We hope so. During the dates of April 19-28, visit the below sponsors sites for an opportunity to learn about them and get entered to win a medal.

Entrants need to be at least 18 years old and love romance books as much as we do. USA only for shipping and void where prohibited. Entry to all contests is free. You can only win one SARA medal for the whole event.

“Viva Fiesta”

I have the letter “T”.  Visit the other sponsors to collect the letters.

Want to win? To enter click the caption under the T.

 

FiestaFindT
Click here to enter.
norsarafiesta
Night Owl Reviews

 

 

emilymimscfm
Emily Mims

 

1teriwilsoncfm
Teri Wilson

 

2maidamalbycfm
Maida Malby
willablaircfm
Willa Blair

Continue reading “2018 SARA Fiesta Medal Blog Hop”

Going Indie?

A while back I was asked to join a group of multi-published authors to put together six never before published novellas with a Christmas theme. This was my first walk down a truly indie path and couldn’t ask to do it with a better group of women. I also LOVE Christmas stories. Well, anything Christmas.

fb_img_1475854655474-1

I’ve have some ask me what it means to be indie. I write for a publishing house in New York, Harlequin’s Love Inspired line. I love working with my editors there. They put the book together and send it out into the world. I get an advance and a royalties beyond that. That is considered a traditional contract.

With an indie it is like opening my own small business.  I alone decide on the product I’m going to produce and hire the right people such as editor, cover designer. I promote and get the word out. Working with experienced authors has been great and I’m so proud of the set of book we are offering

 

This past week the Mistletoe Memories bundle released and I couldn’t be more excited to say  it is already getting great feedback. The best part: right now you can snag this bundle for only 99 cents. Being indie we get to set the price and you can’t get a better deal.memores

My story is Forever Christmas Kiss–Jolene Navarro: Isabella Cortez is a small town librarian with a large family and has been in one too many weddings. This Christmas might be the worst. Not only is she still single, but she is standing in her twin brother’s second wedding. His best man is the opposite of everything she wants in a husband–an artist, and the biggest Peter Pan she has ever met. Xavier Sanchez grew up in foster care, and has no family or traditions. He lives in the moment, which gets him in trouble. Can the rock steady librarian help give him roots? Can he teach her to take a risk and fly?

Enjoy!

 

The Nuts & Bolts of Healthy Eating

N
N is for Nuts

Nasty rumors are floating around about the fat in nuts.  Instead of being afraid of the little nuts you should embrace them for the nutritious, healthy snack they  provide. Almonds, cashews, walnuts, or pistachios, any whole nut makes a healthy high-protein snack. And these nuts are high in fiber.

You mix protein with fiber and you will fill full longer.  Even though they are loaded with the good fats, it’s still important to measure out portions. 

A hand full can lower cholesterol, make for a healthy heart, help weight control and even lower cancer risk and that is just the tip of the iceberg for these tiny little nuts.

nuts 1
Another reason to love My H.E.B – I can buy in bulk and keep it local. They have so many choices.

Unfortunately, too few Americans eat nuts regularly: They account for less than eight percent of daily antioxidant intake.  Let me remind you that just a small handful can add protein, fiber, good fats  and important vitamins and minerals to you diet.

Here are my favorites.

Pistachios: They slow down your eating

Pistachios are my travel companions. This nut has the fewest calories, less than four calories each. If you eat them shelled, then you are working for your food and you’ll eat less but it takes longer. I love eating them in traffic on my long trip home.

Pistachios are rich in the antioxidant gamma-tocopherol, a form of cancer-fighting vitamin E. Pistachios are also packed with potassium, which we need for healthy nervous system and muscles. Vitamin B6, is another gift that comes in this tiny package. It helps  lift your mood and build up your immune system.

About 50 nuts make up a serving.

Almonds: They keep things moving.

Of all the nuts, almonds have the most fiber. If nothing else I hope you have learned how important fiber and a healthy digestive system is to your overall health.

nuts 3
I like a touch of chocolate or dried fruit thrown in the mix.

They are also rich in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. Some research shows that almonds are good for someone trying to keep their blood sugar levels healthy. In one study: Those who ate about 20 percent of their calories from almonds for four months saw their bad LDL cholesterol drop and their insulin resistance decrease compared to a control group who didn’t eat them. They may also help if you are on a healthy weight loss journey. In one International Journal of Obesity study, when two groups of obese adults followed low-calorie diets for six months, those who included almonds in their weight loss plans lost more weight than those who ate more complex carbohydrates.  Almonds may even keep your gut healthy: A test-tube study (funded by the Almond Board of California) found that Almonds brought more good bacteria to the body’s immune system.

Unsweetened almond milk and unsweetened Almond/coconut milk are two of the milks I use in my smoothies.

About 23 nuts make a serving.

Pecans: The Heart of Texas. This is a native and our state tree.

Pecans are famous for those tasty pies. But what they should be know for is the health benefits to your heart.  They may help prevent plaque formation in your arteries. In fact, a Journal of Nutrition study (funded partly by the National Pecan Shellers Association) found that consuming pecans can help lower LDL cholesterol levels by as much as 33 percent. Pecans may also buffer your brain health, according to an animal study from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. The vitamin E found in the nuts could delay progression of degenerative neurological diseases like amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Serving size is only about 18 halves.

Cashews: Good for your brain

nuts and coco granola chia clusters
Some cashews mixes with coco/chia granola.

 

Cashews deliver the magnesium. Which may help improve memory and protect against age-related memory loss, according to a study in the journal Neuron. They also are heavy in iron and zinc. Our body uses iron to carry oxygen to our cells, and zinc helps with immune health and healthy vision.  Unsweetened cashew milk is the other liquid I like using in my smoothies. It has less calories than skim milk (25 compared to 80) but has more calcium (45% compared to 30%). It is also creamier.

About 1/4 cup is a serving.

Walnuts: A happy nut.

A handful of walnuts may level out any mood swings you might be having because of hormones. Manganese has been given credit for happy mental health and nerve health. It also has the most antioxidants of all nuts. This is the stuff that helps protect your body from the cellular damage that can lead to heart disease, cancer, and premature aging. If you would rather avoid fish, walnuts have the highest counts in omega-3 fatty acids. They  fight inflammation. I like to drop a small hand full to a smoothie every now and then.

A serving is  14 walnut halves.

A couple of my favorite smoothies:

(Right) Walnuts, fresh blackberries, kale, frozen blueberries and a cup of unsweetened cashew milk. (left) Unsalted almonds, frozen blueberries & strawberries, fresh bananas & spinach along with unsweetened almond milk. I throw them in my Ninja for about 40 seconds and enjoy!

 

There are more nuts to explore and this is a good site to find information :

http://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-and-nutrition/0406/why-you-should-go-nuts-for-nuts.aspx#03

 

 

 

HEB Blendable with Strawberries, Blueberries, Banana, raspberries. I added juice of half lemon, hemp and handful of spinach, & a cup of unsweetened almond milk.

My H.E.B…Love

MToday is M and I’m going to tell you about a great MEAL deal at My H.E.B. Okay so I might be stretching the M part a little much. but I wanted to tell you about these meals I found at My local H.E.B. In the Texas Hill Country there is one grocery store. It started in Kerrville and grew from there, with a huge heart for non-profit work and giving back. They also pride themselves in local and healthy choices. I buy my organic bulk seeds and grains at My H.E.B.

Once I started making so many smoothies I needed to keep fruit in the freezer. I wasn’t looking for pre-made mixes but found the HEB Blendables. The best part? They were $1.50…Yes, that’s right. One dollar and fifty cents. That is cheaper than a happy meal. You could just add water and call it good, but I like to add my own little touch. It is still the cheapest meal you could get for the nutritional value.

my heb 2
Three of the Blendables from My HEB. Easy and fast smoothies

Here is one of My favorites.

HEB Blendable with Strawberries, Blueberries, Banana, raspberries. I added juice of half lemon, hemp and handful of spinach, & a cup of unsweetened almond milk.
Three of the Blendables from My HEB. Easy and fast smoothies
  • The Powerhouse Smoothie
  • Handful of fresh spinach
  • 3 tbs hemp
  • half juice of a lemon
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond/coconut milk

 

Plus there are the Spurs commercials.

 

Do you have a fast go to for an easy morning meal?

 

 

Where Trouble Melt Like Lemon Drops

LLemons are happy fruits. I love just having them around the kitchen. They bring sunshine indoors.  Lemons are to bring joy and happiness. Even Judy Garland as Dorthy, sings about troubles melting like lemon drops in Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
Lemons bring happiness. The home remedies that use lemons are endless. They are one amazing little fruit. I’m going to freeze some lemon juice to add to my ice cold water. lemons-1
The health benefits of lemons are due to its many nourishing elements like vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, niacin thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, copper,  calcium, iron,  magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus and protein. Lemon is a fruit that contains flavonoids, which are composites that contain antioxidant and cancer fighting properties. It helps to prevent diabetes, constipation, high blood pressure, fever, indigestion and many other problems, as well as improving the skin, hair, and teeth. Wow, I need to start putting lemon in my water everyday.
lemon-2
Studies conducted at the American Urological Association highlight the fact that lemonade or lemon juice can eliminate the occurrence of kidney stones by forming urinary citrate, which prevents the formation of crystals.
Next time you make a smoothie, cut a lemon in half and squeeze some juice to perk it up.
kiwi smoothie a
Do you add lemon to your fish and chicken or maybe your water?  What is your favorite healthy L food?

 

 

 

Kiwi! Antioxidant protection, potassium, fiber, magnesium and zinc and lots of vitamin C

Kale & Kiwi sitting in a tree…

K in healthy food gives us Kale and Kiwi
K in healthy food gives us Kale and Kiwi

No surprise that Kale and Kiwi are on the list of healthy foods. Kale is a dark green that packs more iron in a serving than beef (calorie for calorie). It’s rich in carotenoids lutein & zeaxanthin.

Okay, and that means???

Kale delivers these to the retinas and they absorb the sun’s damaging rays. The nutrients in kale have been shown to help bone health, aid in natural (non-stressful) detoxification and it may lower the risk of cancer.

kale-2
K in healthy food gives us Kale and Kiwi

It can get a little tough and bitter, so I take the stems off and with a little almond milk with smoothies or oil for salads you can “massage” the leaves to soften them. I also like the baby kale. Adding a fruit such as strawberries or kiwi helps too.

 

Kale is what's happening in healthy foods
Kale is what’s happening in healthy foods

Kiwi:

The fuzzy skin of a kiwi can be eaten the same way the fuzzy skin of a peach can be eaten. It’s great when mixed with other fruits such as strawberries, pineapple and banana.

Kiwi! Antioxidant protection, potassium, fiber, magnesium and zinc and lots of vitamin C
Kiwi! Antioxidant protection, potassium, fiber, magnesium and zinc and lots of vitamin C

It is actually a giant berry and has more vitamin C than an orange. It’s loaded down with fiber, vitamin E, polyphenolis, potassium, magnesium & zinc. And it is my nephew, Kennan Ward’s favorite fruit. (Kennan is another great thing that starts with K).

 

 

Kale, Kiwi  & Banana Smoothie

  • 2 kiwi, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1 cup of kale
  • 1 banana, peeled and chopped
  • quarter of avocado (love the color)
  • handful of sliced almonds
  • Half a lemon squeezed into mixture
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt

kiwi-smoothie

 

 

 

 

And there you have K – as you can tell I substituted spinach for kale (I didn’t know I was out of kale). I think this might be one of my favorite smoothies. What about you? Do you have a favorite kale or kiwi recipe or maybe another food in the K family?