Colors of Joy Blog-Explore colors and discover how they affect you 

9/1/14 Nancy Andres, Tucson, AZ. Indigo is the color of the midnight sky. Meditating on it can help you with inward communication (self-talk) and introspection (self-thought). I put indigo in my life, when I want solitude or need emotional distance from any situation, place, or person. Imagine this powerful color as you drift off to sleep and wake with insights, discoveries, or solutions to unresolved issues that trouble you.
"Today, envision the color indigo. This midnight blue shade is associated with the sixth chakra, located in the space between your eyebrows. Indigo helps you tap into your intuition and spiritual knowledge. Have you developed a spiritual practice or have none? Answer this question now. Then, describe activities like meditation, prayer, yoga, music, art, dance, or other healing arts that help you experience a sense of unity, serenity, and bliss. If you need more space for journaling, use the reflections area at the end of this chapter." 
The quotation above appears on Page 132 in Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self Discovery, Balance, and Bliss, an interactive self-care journal. Want an autographed copy? Order it from Align Publishing LLC. See details on the contact page of this Website.
During the coming weeks of September, let indigo work in your life. Nurture yourself by eating blueberries. Release your concerns, uncertainty, or insomnia by envisioning them floating up into an indigo sky. Embrace this shade. Let it become your companion. It improves intuition, and assists you in your spiritual pursuits to relieve physical, mental, and emotional pain. It also helps you become aware of how often the mind affects your body and spirit and vice versa. 
Nancy Andres, Health & Lifestyle Writer, Author, & Blogger lives in Tucson, where she appreciates the high desert colors and breathtaking mountains that surround her city. For additional hints about colors and how to incorporate them into your life, order Nancy Andres' Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss at

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Image Chance Agrella,
8/3/14 Nancy Andres, Tucson, AZ. Lavender, an offshoot of purple, encourages many to think of refinement, gentleness, femininity, and grace. Those who favor lavender are often artistic, but have a practical streak hidden underneath. This hue is often featured in advertisements that aim to convey a nostalgic, romantic message.
Additional shades related to lavender include lilac, mauve, orchid, plum, purple, and thistle. Perhaps one or more of them appeals to you. Which ones do you like best and why? 
Light purple hues adorn the petals of beautiful flowers like lilacs, orchids, and the herb, lavender that grows in the fields. When you inhale oil made from lavender, notice how much calmer and more at ease you feel. If you have a headache, place an eye pillow that's been lightly scented with lavender essential oil over your eyes and stretch out. This relaxation technique can make your headache disappear, improve a grouchy mood, and relax muscles. Here's a link to Jes' blog that shows you step by step how to make your own lavender infused oil.
Radiant Orchid has been picked as Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2014. This company is a world renowned authority of color systems and provides the standard that is used to accurately communicate color in paint, decorations, and design to manufacturer, retailer, and customer alike. Click on the link below to see this vibrant color.


How do the colors mentioned today affect you? Please let me know through the social media links located on the left side of this post.


In the coming weeks, let the purple family help you visualize your cares away. Be well. Live well. Lead a colorful life!


Nancy Andres, Health & Lifestyle Writer, Author, & Blogger lives in Tucson, where she appreciates the high desert colors of a city surrounded by mountains. For additional hints about using color to your best advantage order a copy of Nancy Andres' interactive self-care journal,
Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery Balance and Bliss at


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7/1/14 Nancy Andres, Tucson, AZ. Red-White-Blue are the colors I selected to focus on during July. They are the colors in the U.S. Flag, and serve as a symbol of America’s independence as a nation. These colors are often featured in a July 4th fireworks’ display.


There have been many changes to our flag since our nation was born. Here’s a quick review of how our flag came into being and evolved. It is a result of a resolution adopted by the Marine Committee of the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia on June 14, 1777. The resolution reads:


"Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation."


As our country increased in size and more territories became states, the flag was altered to accommodate these changes. Check out the first link below to learn about the first U.S. flag in our nation and keep on clicking next, to witness the flag’s transformation. This article is available online from a @ and concludes with a description of our flag as it is today


The American Legion Website provides a wealth of information about proper flag folding procedures and additional flag care. The site mentions the colors of the U.S. flag and explains, “according to custom and tradition, white signifies purity and innocence; red, hardiness and valor; and blue signifies vigilance, perseverance, and justice.” See the link below:


Since this is a color blog, I’d like to share additional ideas about how the color energies of red, white, and blue can help you.


Navy blue connotes steadfastness and reliability. If you want to increase these skills, perhaps wearing or visualizing this color will help remind you to check your thoughts and actions to see whether you follow through with what you intend to do.


White contains the energy of light, as it is a combination of all the colors in the light spectrum. It signifies illumination, understanding, and stands for wholeness and completion. Light can clear away clutter, and visualizing a snow covered mountain brings freshness to a crowded mind.


Red is the color with the longest wave length. Think of a red warning light, heat of a fire, or excitement of a red party dress. The eye needs to make internal adjustments to see red, and therefore makes red objects appear closer than they actually are. Visualizing red increases enthusiasm, energy, and helps reduce unwarranted fear or anxiety.


Wishing you a star spangled July, a month adorned by red, white, and blue.


Nancy Andres, Health & Lifestyle Writer, Author, & Blogger lives in Tucson, where she appreciates the high desert colors of a city surrounded by mountains. For the latest information about her interactive self-care journal, Colors of Joy: A Woman’s Guide for Self-Discovery Balance and Bliss check out and


Copyright © Notice 2014. No article, blog post, document, or visual item provided on this Website is to be copied without written permission from the webmaster. You have permission to provide a link to this blog.




5/29/14 Nancy Andres, Tucson, AZ. Blue, the color of sky, sea, and dependability.


I invite you to visualize the shades of blue you enjoy. Perhaps you imagine the calming blue hues of sky, sea, and cornflowers in the fields. Many color members of the blue family are “helpers.” For example, when you have a scratchy throat, imagine ice blue ice cubes in your mind’s eye. Then "feel" the ice cubes as they cool and soothe a sore throat and dry mouth.


Each one of us comes from our own experiences with blue, and that affects how we perceive it. Cerulean blue, the color of the sky on a crystal clear day is a cooling calming color for me, one that seems to go on forever and helps me remember to breathe deeply. How does seeing cerulean blue affect you?


According to Pantone/Color Think Tank @, “While a light blue-green appears to be tranquil, wet and cool, a brilliant turquoise, often associated with a lush tropical ocean setting, will be more exciting to the eye. The psychological association of a color is often more meaningful than the visual experience.” Here's one example of a light turquoise blue. How does your mind and heart react to it?


Here are additional ways envisioning blue or seeing it can help you:


Place accents of navy blue in your home or work environment. Navy signals reliability, dependability, and trustworthiness. A navy blue suit suggests a similar idea.


Think medium blue, when you are stressed or physically, mentally, or emotionally drained. Blue can help calm agitated, excitable, or chaotic states of mind. That explains why many operating rooms in hospitals are painted blue and the staff wears scrubs of hospital blue.


Gaze at blue water to stimulate a shift in your emotions and help you reduce over-thinking. Sea blues of azure and sapphire remind you to “go with the flow,” as the river, stream, or ocean does.


Pale blue sheets or wall paint in a bedroom encourages sleep as well as makes the room appear cooler and larger than it actually is.


When we realize we can’t change another person, place, or thing, at first we may feel blue. One remedy for “the blues” is to share our concerns with someone we trust and address our emotions by verbalizing our worries or fears. Blue is the color of the throat chakra and center of the spoken word (sky blue). The throat is the passageway by which we express feelings through communication. Visualizing blue helps us verbalize more effectively and honestly. Paying attention to the blue energy of the throat chakra clears the airway to the lungs and makes blue a restorative, health promoting color. It can comfort us emotionally, and help us detach from things that are beyond our control.


Are you conscious of how you respond to the blue family? Studies have shown it’s the most popular color for both men and women. Do shades of blue engage you in ways I haven’t mentioned? Please comment. Your input is valued and can help others learn more about blue.


Nancy Andres, Health & Lifestyle Writer, Author, & Blogger lives in Tucson, where she appreciates the high desert colors of a city surrounded by mountains. Check @ for details about her newly released self-care journal, Colors of Joy: A Woman’s Guide for Self-Discovery Balance and Bliss. 


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4/23/14 Nancy Andres, Tucson, AZ. Orange and the colors of the Southwestern Sunset.


I am spellbound as I take in the light cast by this southwestern sunset. The orange, pink, purple, yellow, and golden hues remind me to count my blessings, and a sense of peace flows through me. The sky changes, and fills with a multicolor glow. Then, as if by magic, a splash of bright yellow signals that the sun is disappearing below the horizon. My being vibrates with its beauty and my heart swells.


In the moment, I open to higher guidance, a force I connect with, when observing the natural wonders of earth and sky. I am aware I am accepted, loved, and a precious part of the universe, and have more to learn in this lifetime.


Orange has beckoned me since early childhood, when I was drawn to the orange zinnias, marigolds, and tea roses in our garden. In grade school, I discovered at my classroom easel that orange is a combination of two primary colors, red and yellow. In artistic play, I saw the fiery heat of red and the lively cheerfulness of yellow combine to make orange.


Hues of orange help me feel grounded and protected as I watch the sunset show. Orange comforts me, when I’m feeling vulnerable. In the past, my dreams have helped me envision this color and I instinctively don an orange blouse if I’m anxious about being in a social situation. Orange energy is available, whenever I feel I need extra fortification to meet and greet new people.


Orange generally appeals to those who are fun-loving and sociable. They may even wear bright orange to attract attention. Their friendly attitude is one reason I gravitate to those wearing orange. Perhaps another is that being with these lively folks helps me to feel a part of a popular group.


A little bit of orange goes a long way for me. It adds an invigorating touch to any room that is dark, by energizing the area. Orange often helps me take a lighthearted approach with myself, when I'm feeling awkward or self-consciousness among new people.


Another way this color aids me is to alert me to a nutritional need. One example is that when my body craves cantaloupe, I go to the market or refrigerator and enjoy a serving of this orange melon, a good of Vitamin A and C.


Trust your intuition. Color enjoyment and usage is subjective. Pick those shades that appeal to you. Consider sampling orange, by reflecting about the members of the orange family like peach, apricot, bright orange, amber, fire maple, and rust. Close your eyes and envision each one helping you in some way. Time spent this way may show you which shades are pleasing and useful to you. Here’s a link that demonstrates additional shades @  


Experiment by using orange colored clothing, décor, foods, and other orange objects. See where it leads you. Display an orange terracotta planter in your garden, a rust throw rug on the floor, or an eye catching woven wall hanging made of threads that echo the colors in the setting sun. Notice your reaction, when you image the following items: candy corn, Halloween, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, tangerines, monarch butterflies, and oranges.


Please give feedback by emailing me at If you prefer, use the social media buttons below. Let me know in what ways you relate to the things I shared or how you use the color orange to help you.


Nancy Andres, Health & Lifestyle Writer, Author, & Blogger lives in Tucson, where she appreciates the high desert colors of a city surrounded by mountains. Check @ for details about her newly released self-care journal, Colors of Joy: A Woman’s Guide for Self-Discovery Balance and Bliss. 


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3/22/14 Nancy Andres, Tucson, AZ  GREEN, RED, ORANGE,  AND  IVORY OF SPRING

Bring the vibrant colors of the spring fields and farmer’s markets onto your table. Learn how easy it is to create a main course dish that looks and tastes great, smells delicious, and is healthful too. 


Before I share my recipe, I'd like to introduce the colorful components of this dish now.


AsparagusFresh Green


Asparagus is a sweet tasting vegetable that is one of the first to be harvested in the spring. Its tender stalks are rich in vitamins K, C, and A as well as folate, which is a B vitamin. These vitamins are good for blood, eyes, and the immune system to help you ward off illness and stress. Asparagus contains the amino acid asparagine, one that cleans out toxins from your body. That is the reason, after you eat them and urinate, you may notice that your urine may smell strange.


Red Bell PepperBright Red


Red bell pepper is a fruit not a vegetable. It is a good source of fiber, folate, vitamin K, and the minerals molybdenum and manganese. Red peppers are mature green peppers and have more carotenoids and vitamin C than the green variety. See more about red pepper benefits from Annie Stuart at WebMD.


Carrots-Vibrant Orange


Almost everyone knows that carrots are rich in beta carotene, an organic compound that is good for your vision, immune system, and general well-being. Perhaps you don’t realize carrots are the root portion of the carrot plant. When the taproot reaches about 1 inch in diameter, it is harvested. This is the time when the root is most juicy and tender. See more



Quinoa-Ivory, Brown, Red, and Tricolor


Quinoa is high in protein and comes from the seed of a plant. It isn’t a grain or cereal grass, but is a member of the same food family as spinach, Swiss chard, and beets. Many researchers refer to quinoa as a "pseudo cereal." This term is typically used to describe foods that are not grasses, but can still be easily ground into flour. In any case, this product is a powerful plant-based building block for health and comes in several hues. Pick the color that calls to you. They're all nutritious. See more about quinoa @


Here’s my recipe. It takes only 15 minutes to prepare.


Steamed Spring Asparagus, Red Pepper, and Carrots with Quinoa


Note: Make an effort to buy and serve organic produce, as conventionally grown fruits and veggies often are heavily sprayed with harmful pesticides and may be genetically modified. Organic, non-GMO products are better for you and the health of our planet. 



1 Cup quinoa of any color

Water and Bragg Liquid Aminos All Purpose Seasoning or vegetable broth

1 lb. slender asparagus stalks. They require no peeling and taste sweeter to me than the chunkier kind.

2 Cups carrots peeled and sliced into 1 in. x 1 in. strips

1 Cup red bell pepper, cut into 1 in. x 1 in. strips

¼ teaspoon salt (leave this out if you use Bragg Liquid Aminos)

1 Tablespoon fresh chopped dill and 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped parsley

2 Cups water for steaming asparagus, red pepper, and carrots

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice


Part 1

Prepare quinoa according to package directions, remembering to rinse it well before you begin.

If you can find Bragg Aminos in your supermarket or health food store use 1 Tablespoon and water instead of vegetable broth to give quinoa an added dimension of flavor. 

When the water starts to boil, cover and lower to simmer. Then, proceed to part 2.


Part 2

While the quinoa simmers on the stove, wash asparagus, red pepper, carrots, dill and parsley. Cut off the dry or tough ends of the asparagus and cut asparagus into 1 in. pieces. Core and slice the pepper into 1 in. strips, and peel and slice the carrots into 1 in. strips also.

Place water in the bottom of a 3-4 qt. saucepan and insert a steamer basket above. Add asparagus, red pepper, and carrots, into the top part and cover. Steam for 5-10 minutes or until produce is tender, yet still brightly colored. Don’t let the water in the bottom saucepan touch the top basket as that robs the dish of nutrients.You'll know the quinoa is cooked when all the water is absorbed. It should expand and look like there is a circle within a circle or like this.

Fully cooked quinoa


Fluff the cooked quinoa lightly with a large serving fork or spoon and transfer to a serving dish. Top with freshly steamed produce. Drizzle olive oil on top. Sprinkle on the chopped dill and parsley, add salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a splash of lemon juice. That's when you'll know you’re good to go.


This simple yet flavorful dish may be served hot, accompanied by a tossed salad to feed four. It can be served chilled on a bed of romaine as a one dish main course salad. Get creative. Add additional veggies like onions, fennel, kale, squash and the like, by steaming with the other ingredients. If you prefer, add raw veggies including celery, cucumbers, turnips, and beets to the quinoa salad dish to add crunch. The more the merrier.



This blog has been shared on the Plant Based Potluck Party Link Up.


Nancy Andres, Health & Lifestyle Writer, Author, & Blogger lives in Tucson, where she appreciates the high desert colors of a city surrounded by mountains. Check @ for details about her newly released self-care journal, Colors of Joy: A Woman’s Guide for Self-Discovery Balance and Bliss. 





2/8/14 Nancy Andres, Tucson  GREEN


Green is the color of evergreens, as well as most shrubs, plants, and grass in the plant kingdom. Certain shades of green have a strong psychological impact on the mind. Let’s try an experiment. Think of bright Kelly green. Does it remind you of St. Patrick’s Day or something else? What about dark or forest green? Does that hue make you feel reassured? When you think of spring green, a hue that studies show is most accepted and appreciated by both sexes, do you think of new growth and vitality? Vegetation in nature has refreshing, relaxing qualities that penetrate your eyes, mind, body, and spirit. The greens of springtime convey a sense of liveliness, balance, good health, and abundance. Perhaps that’s why a trip into the country is so restorative and satisfying for the soul. 


Bright green has been adopted by environmentalists to symbolize the planet’s essential need to protect, recycle, grow, and reuse (transform) natural resources. Green (clean) energy is represented with a green logo or icon, and conveys a sense of vitality and harmony. See more here.


Forest green/dark green is often associated with money, prosperity, and ambition. It works to help you concentrate and suggests a sense of prestige, power and substance.


Green hues carry varied connotations, and can serve multiple purposes. Green most often signals growth, change, and nature. The expression, “to have a green thumb,” means everything thrives in your garden. Why not see whether green can help you perk up (energy) or calm down (reduce stress). Live a little and use green plants to decorate your home, enjoy pea soup or green salad for lunch, or post green accent colors on your business website.








1/4/14 Nancy Andres, Tucson Bubble Gum Pink


Have you ever held a piece of pink quartz in your hand and felt soothed and serene? Perhaps you’ve worn a pink shirt or blouse and noticed your mood had improved. Maybe you’ve even wondered where the expression “in the pink” came from.


Research and case studies tabulated at the Department of Clinical Services at the San Bernardino County Probation Department in California might explain this phenomenon better. Since this facility painted a holding cell “bubble gum pink,” it has proven to be effective in relaxing manic and psychotic juveniles enough that they stopped yelling and banging and often fell asleep within 10 minutes. This approach differs greatly from methods employed at the department less than four years ago. “We used to have to literally sit on them,” said Paul E. Boccumini, director of clinical services at the probation department. “Now we put them in the pink room.”


Fifteen hundred hospitals and correctional institutions in the U.S. have followed suit, by painting at least one room in their facilities bubble gum pink. Others are sure to follow.


Although most of us don’t have emotions that run to extremes, let’s experiment by painting the powder room in our apartment or home a pleasing hue of pink. If you’re not into decorating, don a pink cap. Note changes in your emotions when you’re wearing or gazing at “bubble gum pink.” Please send me an email at Mention where and when you used this calming shade of pink. Did it help you unwind and relax? I'd really like to know how it worked for you.


Copyright © Notice 2014. No article, blog post, document, or visual item provided on this Website is to be copied without written permission from the webmaster.

Here's a link to an interesting color article from The Daily OM Nurturing Mind, Body & Spirit Website.



Nancy Andres, Health & Lifestyle Writer, Author