Holly and Heather's Helping Hands

Inspirational Heartfelt Hints

Month: September, 2012

Holly & Heather’s Handy Hint: Healthy Eating is the Way to Go!

There has been such a big change in the last few years for a call to go back to good, wholesome, real food. When we were growing up in the 70’s, tv dinners were king, along with lots of food in a package or box and plenty of soda. Today we hear a lot about the farm to table movement and organics. Our food has changed so much in the last 60 years and some of that change is really hurting our bodies. With obesity and so many diseases on the rise, it’s time to reassess what we put into our bodies everyday. We have a choice every time we put something into our mouths and need to realize we are feeding our cells, blood and vital organs.  When we eat better, we feel better and we act better.  Who wouldn’t want that?

We hear it a lot but it’s worth repeating that fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and lean meats are the way to go. Cut back on sugar, soda and processed foods, you’ll feel so good.  If you’re going to have dessert, have the real thing. Better to have something sweetened naturally than with chemicals.  In our houses, we always have a little something sweet around, especially for the kids.  If you deprive yourself, sometimes you wind up going overboard the other way, so have a good bar of dark chocolate in the house or better yet, make something from scratch using fresh ingredients.  Chances are if you only eat sweets you make, you’ll have a lot less of them because it’s time-consuming!  For a few more healthy eating suggestions all week long, here are a couple of good hints to try:

* Take some time one day during the week for prep work, literally cutting up and cooking whole food. Buy some hearty vegetables that won’t go bad quickly such as broccoli and carrots and cut them up.  Save them to use in meals during the week or as healthy snacks for munching on in between meals. Boil some chicken, brown rice and whole grain pasta (toss pasta in a little olive oil so it doesn’t stick together). Put everything in individual containers in the fridge and assemble things together on different days during the week.  Just heat up and toss in a few herbs or spices for some healthy dinners that are already cooked such as a chicken, broccoli & rice stir fry.

*Open a few cans of beans like kidney, cannellini and navy beans, toss with some olive oil, onion powder & dill and throw in the fridge for a filling side.

*Buy frozen fruits that you can put in the blender with some almond milk for a quick smoothie.  Strawberries, blueberries and peaches are great and also make tasty additions to cereal & yogurt.

* Remember to drink plenty of water to keep things flowing smoothly in your body.

The idea here is a little preventative medicine. Be mindful of what you eat & feed your family.  Take a healthy approach to nourishing your body!  There are so many more things you can do…please share your ideas for healthy eating!

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Holly and Heather’s Handy Hint: Reinvent Yourself!

Holly’s daughter has not gotten her hair cut in a while. “I want to grow it long, Mom” she would say.   And it is getting long, but needed a minor trim. So after a washing, it was combed out and trimmed at home, ever so slightly, barely noticeable to even the trimmer (Holly). But when the eleven year old woke up the next day, she felt like a whole new person. “It’s gorgeous,” she said. “I look beautiful!” How funny that such a small thing can make us feel so good about ourselves! And we don’t need to spend a lot of money or time to make it happen. So this week’s hints include some ideas for making small changes to the everyday ordinary circumstances of life that will hopefully boost your spirits and bring new vigor to your attitude!
* Give yourself a manicure or pedicure. A new coat of polish and/or a good foot soak is worth admiring when complete.
* Trim up a pair of old pants and turn them into capris. You can even add embellishments to the “new” bottoms – iron ons, beads or ribbon.
* Grab an old cookbook and look up a new recipe for dinner. We are amazed at how many ways there are to cook chicken as compared to how many ways we actually cook it!
* Rearrange the furniture in one room in your house. Talk about reinvention! You will feel like you’ve come home to a whole new place!
* Do your makeup or hair a little differently today. Try a new shade or a new ‘do.
* Tell yourself how awesome you are and believe it. Try it for a week and see what happens! Post a reply and keep us updated!

Any other suggestions from our readers?

Holly & Heather’s Handy Hint: Instant and Distant

This week’s hint, isn’t really a hint, but rather a reflection about our thoughts on our technology-driven world.  Actually, maybe it is a hint.  If you want immediate knowledge, communication, instantaneous information coming at you night and day, this is the era for you – especially if you’d like to be removed or distanced from “real life” contact.  Imagine going to the library to do research or going to your neighbor to chat over coffee!  What a thing of the past!  Now this might seem hypocritical as we are currently using technology to blog at this very moment.  And technology is great for so many reasons (see above re: library).  But the majority of our concerns lie with how easy, fast and distant our social communication has become.  From personal relationships to advertisers bombarding us with unwanted products and news, media and photos, we receive information that we did not ask to be privy to.  In social media, it is hurtful to be subjected to comments to which we otherwise would know not of.  In fact, technology-based negativity in our culture was one of the reasons we decided to start this blog after all!  We hoped to spread a little joy and help, in a small way, to make this world kinder!  With that in mind, go knock on your neighbor’s door today just to say hi!  Pick up the phone to connect with a friend, work out a problem or just to say hello instead of texting or emailing them.  Let’s all try to make today a little less instant and distant!!

ps Shortly after blogging, Holly was closing her curtains and happened to see her elderly neighbor walking her dog.  Many people walk in the neighborhood each night but thinking about what she and Heather just blogged, Holly decided to go outside and say hi. Her neighbor smiled but looked sad and when Holly asked how she was doing, the neighbor shared that her husband had passed away.  So they talked for a bit longer….and when they finished Holly thought how little a sacrifice it was just to walk out the front door and unexpectedly be able to comfort someone, face to face.

Holly & Heather’s Handy Hint: Back to School Days!

This week is back to school time for our kids and a fresh start for us as well. We try to look at this week positively and hopeful for what’s ahead this year but we really love summer time too and all that goes with it. Relaxed days, routine free weeks and lots of beach, pool and bbq fun make it hard to go back to the school schedule. Let’s take the month of September to settle back in rather than an abrupt end to all that fun! The weather’s still great so we will try a few things to make the start of a new school year a little easier like: doing homework outside – the backyard table and chairs are perfect for studying and reading, shop for new clothes next month – summer clothes may even hold out ’til October!, eat outside – keep the bbq going for dinner (some of our friends grill year round). Back to school days are a great time to renew friendships and delve into interesting classes with a renewed spirit; hold on to that summer feeling at the same time!

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