Colors of Joy Blog-Explore Colors and Discover How They Affect You 

5/1/15 Nancy Andres, Tucson, AZ. May's birthstone is the Emerald, a gem treasured for its vivid green color and beauty. Green is the color I selected for May, because it symbolizes the vital energy of spring. Vegetation bursts forth with buds, leaves, and blooms. Have you seen signs of growth, health, and rejuvenation in your part of the country or world?

May is a good month for fun times, easy springtime living, and the observance of holidays. Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, and Memorial Day are three holidays that occur in May.

The first holiday mentioned above commemorates the Mexican army's 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). Although it is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, here in the United States, Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) festivities often include events that showcase Mexican culture and heritage with parades, mariachi music, street festivals and food. Here's a link to a video from the History Channel.www.history.com/topics/holidays/cinco-de-mayo

The second holiday I highlight this month is Mother's Day, which falls on Sunday, May 10th. This holiday reminds me of many joyous and/or challenging experiences I’ve had as a woman, mother, daughter, friend, sister, and wife. 

I have complicated feelings about this holiday, and it helps me to reflect about those women and men who have nurtured and respected me and vice versa. Some in this group have never born children. Some have played major or minor roles in my life. Each one has contributed to my understanding of how I want to be treated. 

Others in my life have treated me harshly, and they are no longer part of the daily substance of my life. I didn't get to this point easily. It took much work and introspection to accept they did the best they could with what they knew at the time. I am grateful I was able to forgive them all. 

Both groups of people are Mother's Day gifts in my life, because we have been teacher and student for each other. Most have interacted in ways that enabled us to grow and evolve. However, some have not been willing to change and are still stuck in the past. This is why it can be a bittersweet holiday for me.

Dear blog readers. I think about you often and want to tell you I love you too. I suspect that when we were kids, several among us, did not receive the best of care from their Mothers. However, as adults, on this day and every day, we can accept responsibility for our own happiness. Even if we didn't get it, we can learn to cherish, comfort, and re-parent ourselves and adopt behaviors and attitudes that a loving, healthy parent/Mother ideally would have helped inspire. 

 

The last May holiday included in this blog is Memorial Day. This Federal Holiday is commemorated on the last Monday of the month. As a nation, we proudly honor the men and women who have died, while serving in the military. Families and friends customarily visit cemeteries or attend services to honor the dead. I think it’s an ideal time to visit a VA Hospital to comfort the sick or make a contribution to a Veterans' organization in memory of deceased service people.

How do you acknowledge these or other May holidays? Which ones are important to you? Have you created a tradition of your own? What colors help stir memories of Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, or Memorial Day for you? Do you enjoy wearing Emerald jewelry or can you recall seeing pictures of Elizabeth Taylor, Julianne Moore, or another celebrity decked out in Emeralds? What moments or people from times gone by do you hold dear and what new adventures are you wishing for this month?

 

 Please send comments, questions, or observations to nancyandreswriter@gmail.com

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Before I close, I'd like to suggest you pick up a copy of Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss. Its color-coded activities, affirmations, and guided journal writing helps the journal owner find greater peace, balance, and joy in daily living.

 

Wishing you a colorful May, days filled with blessings, and wonderful moments to savor.
 
This post has been shared at The Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Blog Hop #64. urbannaturale.com/celebrate-earth-month-live-it-up-at-the-healthy-happy-green-natural-party-blog-hop-64/

 

Comments Follow:

Hi Nancy,
When I think of May I see yellow, green, orange, red in my mind's eye! I have always enjoyed the special holidays we celebrate in May including Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, and Memorial Day. I had the pleasure of celebrating Cinco de Mayo in Mexico one year and what a joyous celebration it was! Growing up, my parents always arranged large cookouts on Memorial Day and invited lots of family members and friends. And of course Mother's Day was very special to me--even after my mom died when I was just a young teen. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post with us at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I'm pinning and sharing. Deborah Smilke-Davis @ urbannaturale.com/
 
Dear Deborah,
Thanks for sharing those delightful color images and May memories with me. It's amazing that your sharing reminded me of family gatherings I enjoyed on Memorial Day too. I so enjoyed the other posts at your blog party. Sure hope my readers will check them out here. urbannaturale.com/celebrate-earth-month-live-it-up-at-the-healthy-happy-green-natural-party-blog-hop-64/ Warm regards, Nancy Andres 
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4/1/15 Nancy Andres, Tucson, AZ. There’s a spring in my step this April, because milder temperatures, more hours of daylight, and time outdoors has lifted my spirit. Perhaps my good mood is also due to reflecting about lovely April colors. Let me tell you what I mean.

I adore colorful spring bouquets, especially those that include daffodils, tulips, and roses. When I close my eyes, I imagine the sunshine yellow, dusty pink, and delicate rose of the blooms and smell their sweet perfume wafting into the air. Then I think of my childhood family garden. In spring, the purple and lavender hydrangeas would beckon to me with their heavenly aroma and eye-catching colors. What’s your favorite springtime flower and why do you think you appreciate it so much?

Spring has always been one of my favorite seasons, because around Easter time women replace customary dark winter hued clothes with spring tones of pale green, soft pink, baby blue, lavender, peach, and creamy yellow. I find these shades joyful, gentle on my emotions, and nurturing as well. Maybe that’s why I wear pastel colors often throughout the year. What color or colors do you like to don in the spring? Do you have a new spring dress, pair of shoes, or hat? For those who’d like to know more about popular spring colors for this year, see this from Leah Bourne at Stylecaster.com, who reports, “Pantone’s Top Colors for Spring 2015:”

at http://stylecaster.com/pantone-top-colors-spring-2015/

The mention of fashion starts my thoughts traveling, and I recall my excitement as an eight year old, getting a new shiny pair of white patent leather Mary Janes to wear at our Passover Seder. Our family and friends wore our best dress outfits and gathered round the dining room table to celebrate this Jewish holiday of exodus and redemption. 

For many, springtime is a symbol of new beginnings and rebirth. Buds appear as if by magic on tree branches and the optimistic white, yellow, purple, and lavender crocuses pop their heads out of the ground to herald the season.

Today is April Fools’ Day, so beware of pranks and jokes played on you. I’m not a jokester, and am uncomfortable with jokes that are made at the expense of others. I choose to be extra kind instead.

One April holiday I do enjoy is International Children’s Book Day, which always falls on April 2nd. You may want to take part in it by visiting the library, either by yourself or with a child. Perhaps a trip to a neighborhood library will motivate or inspire you to choose a book to borrow, or do research to learn something new. Another great way to celebrate the day is to purchase a new book for each of your kids, a neighborhood child, nieces or nephews, or grandkids. If children are too young to read on their own, spend some quality time reading a story to them.

Do you know about National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day on the 2nd of April? PB & J is a delicious sandwich combination, and tops on the hit parade for both kids and adults alike. What’s your favorite type of jelly? Do you like the traditional dark purple grape jelly or do you use raspberry, strawberry, or blueberry? What about peanut butter? Do you like crunchy or creamy? Please let us know.

No Housework Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 7th. If you’re the one who does most of the home care jobs, take a break and be queen or king for the day. If you’re the spouse, partner, or roomate of someone who does most of the chores, take over the role for this day. What color do you think of when you need to do some work and can’t take time off to relax or refresh? Blue and green helps me drop down a notch, slow down enough to breathe deeply, and get on with the work at hand. Try envisioning a field of green grass or broad expanse of sea and sky and see whether these colors help you too.

Want to celebrate another fun April holiday? World Penguin Day falls on the 25th each year to coincide with the annual northward migration of penguins in the Antarctic. I love seeing pictures of these splendid creatures in fancy dress, in their tuxedos of black and white. For more see

https://penguingeek.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/world-penguin-day-4/

If you can, please share with us about those colors you enjoy wearing in the springtime or your spring color memories via email at nancyandreswriter@gmail.com. Whatever special days you celebrate in April, I hope they bring you much joy. As you go through the first full month of spring, notice how colors stimulate forgotten memories. Did the colors mentioned today help you recall occurrences, people, or past events that are important to you? Also, which colors are spring favorites of yours? Please send your comments and questions to nancyandreswriter@gmail.com. If you enjoyed reading this blog, share the love by mentioning it to others.

Before I go, I'd like to suggest you pick up a copy of Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss. It provides tips and ideas to increase self-awareness and shows you ways to get off to a fresh start this spring. Support Independent Bookstores and shops listed on the Colors of Joy Page on this Website and purchase copies of Colors of Joy at those fine shops. If you'd like to order an autographed book, see www.nancyandreswriter.com/contact-me/. It's available from Amazon Books as well. See it at goo.gl/3GN3pP.

This post has been shared at the Live It Up at the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Blog Hop #60 urbannaturale.com/live-it-up-at-the-healthy-happy-green-natural-party-blog-hop-60/

This post has been selected and is featured at the Live it Up at the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Blog Hop # 61 in the "Happy" Category.urbannaturale.com/live-it-up-at-the-healthy-happy-green-natural-party-blog-hop-61/

 

3/1/15 Nancy Andres, Tucson, AZ. Aquamarine and aqua are in the color family I will explore during March. These green-blue hues are easy on the eyes, promote the smooth flow of communication, and reflect the colors in water and sky. They encourage us to feel a sense of expansiveness and tranquility too.

Please Note: Aquamarine is usually the name given to the gemstone and aqua is used to describe clothing, decor, or a paint color. Paint color can vary, depending on which paint company you consult. See the photo above and report back to me how many shades of blue-green you see in the water.

 

Put aquamarine in your life, if your thoughts are jumbled. Its calming energies can reduce stress and help you clarify perceptions as well as clear out confusion.

 

Use aqua to help center your body and spirit, when you are in a rut or find yourself judging the actions of others. Reflect on these hues to help restore your equilibrium and balance. Perhaps it will help to visualize yourself being bathed by the warm, healing waters that one finds in the Bahamas or Caribbean. Sailors have used aquamarine as a good luck charm. The belief is that it assures safe travel on water.

 

Water is the Feng Shui element associated with blues like aqua. Use Feng Shui by incorporating items including a water fountain, aqua vase, or an aqua blue accent pillow in the North, East, or Southeast portion of a room. This helps you feel relaxed and gives you a sense that activities conducted in that room flow more freely. In Feng Shui, aqua is the color of the throat chakra, and symbol of fluid communication.

 

Aquamarine is the modern birthstone of March, and in geological terms, is one of the members of the beryl group of minerals. Gemstones made of aquamarine can range from the palest see-through blue to a darker shade of light blue. Aquamarines are prized for their clarity and transparency. When made into jewelry, they are treasured as decorative necklaces, bracelets, and rings. See more about this lovely gem at goo.gl/ecziu.

 

Live it up by putting a touch more aquamarine and aqua into your life during March. Notice the results. If you can, please contact me to share how aquamarine and aqua make you feel or what you think about when you see those shades of blue-green. Reach out via email at nancyandreswriter@gmail.com. Please spread the word on social media. I sure would like the support and am interested in knowing what things you've discovered about these pleasing colors. 

 

To learn ways to use many more colors, pick up a copy of Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss. Its guided journal activities and self-care exercises will improve your sense of well-being. In addition, its creative journal activities and exercises will show you how a spectrum of beautiful colors can help you attract more joy into daily living. Colors of Joy makes a unique birthday, special occasion, or hostess gift. Purchase it at Independent Bookstores and shops listed here www.nancyandreswriter.com/news-and-resources/. If you'd like an autographed copy of the book, see  goo.gl/K2ANwA

 

This post has been shared at  

Live It Up at the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Blog Hop #56 goo.gl/xdCkZx

 

Comments:

 
 

From Charlotte:

Both of your blogs are really nice. It seems we have some things in common - like sustainability in everyday living as well as in mind and soul. The post about aqua/aquamarine was very interesting. Funny is that we are going to put up framed fabric in aqua on the North wall in our bedroom. 

Best regards,
Charlotte @My Green Nook https://mygreennook.wordpress.com/

 

From Nancy Andres:

That is so wonderful that we are sisters in spirit and share about environmental issues dear to our hearts. Happy to learn you are decorating with aqua on the north wall. Very Feng Shui and healthy for you. Thanks for responding to my blog post. Wishing you many moments of joy as you use aqua in your life.

 

 
 

2/1/15 Nancy Andres, Tucson, AZ. February is the fabulous month to wear red. Red is the color of passion, excitement, enthusiasm, love, and fire. Not only is February 6th National Wear Red Day for Women’s’ Heart Health, it’s also American Heart Month. Heart Month officially started in the 1960’s when our president at the time, Lyndon Baines Johnson, designated February in this special way. See more about it in an article from Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association which appeared in the Huffington Post last year at goo.gl/Ivr0mO

 

For right now, I’d like you to think of red as a symbol of a healthy heart. Here's an explanation about the amazing work your heart does, which I found on the WebMD Website, “As the heart beats, it pumps blood through a system of blood vessels, called the circulatory system. The vessels are elastic, muscular tubes that carry blood to every part of the body. In addition to carrying fresh oxygen from the lungs and nutrients to the body's tissues, it also takes the body's waste products, including carbon dioxide away from the tissues. This is necessary to sustain life and promote the health of all parts of the body.” See more at goo.gl/1Ekh6D    

 

Red is a call to action color. Discover How Many Ways Red Can Motivate and Encourage You to Leap Forward with Passion, Heart-felt Enthusiasm, and Energy

 

1. Red is a lively color for exercise attire and can pep you up as an accent color for the décor in your exercise room. Red can speed up your metabolism and energize you. Remember to do aerobic exercise a minimum of 30 minutes on most days for good heart health. Red can increase appetite so unless you need to gain weight, don't focus on red in the kitchen or dining room.

 

2. Red can serve as a reminder that it’s important to amp-up healthful eating practices. Read vegan cookbooks, blogs, and other internet and bookstore resources to learn new ways to reduce or eliminate saturated and trans-fats, and discover the benefits of eating more fruits, veggies, and plant based protein. Portion control and eating a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables that are organic and non-gmo are a sound practice on any eating plan. When you eat non-GMO certified products you avoid eating food that can cause food allergies, digestion problems, weight gain, and other serious conditions.

 

3. Red can signal danger, so use it to help you remember to go easy on salt to ward off high blood pressure goo.gl/Kev9H4. Be wary of eating fatty animal protein. It contains high levels of LDL Cholesterol and low levels of HDL. For information from the Center for Disease Control to help you understand why this is important, see goo.gl/ULGKFA

 

4. Stop smoking or using tobacco, reduce alcohol consumption, and seek medical help when you need advice or support for kicking a bad habit. It’s preferable to prevent health issues from becoming serious ones than it is to clean up the effects of any that are left untreated.

 

5. Manage life stressors effectively by addressing financial difficulties, career issues, relationship stresses, and health concerns before they turn into major problems. Develop practices and hobbies like meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, swimming, and find delight in anything that is a healthy lifestyle activity. A contented heart will make you feel calmer and more relaxed.

 

6. Seek professional help for depression and other psychological conditions, because emotions play a key part in heart health and total well-being.

 

7. Participate in mutually supportive relationships with people you care about. It’s heart-healthy to share love and time with others who love, appreciate, and respect you. This does much to reduce the impact of daily life stressors and loneliness.

 

8. Create meaning in your life, and devote your energy to a career, home life, spiritual concepts, and social activities that allow you to blossom and shine. Does your life have purpose and do you feel satisfaction, a sense of accomplishment, and joy often? These are important elements that make you feel balanced, whole, and warms your heart.

 

Let me know how red helps you or what you associate with this lively color. No need to be shy. Let me hear from you via email at nancyandreswriter@gmail.com or click on one of the social media buttons on this Website to share the love.

 

Before I go, I'd like to suggest you pick up a copy or 2 of Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss. Its guided journal activities and self-care exercises help you develop awareness of a wonderful spectrum of beautiful colors and describes ways to use color to help you thrive. Colors of Joy makes a wonderful birthday, Valentines, or hostess gift, because it offers tips and ideas to help boost vitality and enriches its readers’ lives. Support Independent Bookstores and shops listed on the Colors of Joy Page on this Website and see Colors of Joy at those fine shops. If you'd like to order an autographed book, see goo.gl/K2ANwA. In addition, find it at Amazon Books goo.gl/3GN3pP.

 

This blog post has been shared at the Live it Up at the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Blog Hop # 52

 @ goo.gl/trkeHx

 

This blog post has been shared at the Live It Up at the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Blog Hop #54

goo.gl/AaD7Ik

 

Comments Follow:

 

Hi Nancy,

When I was a little girl, my mother dressed me in lots of red clothing. She felt that this rich, vibrant color was the most attractive color for me. I have always gravitated towards the color red. For my entire adult life, I have worn red lipstick, for example, despite the fact that I tried other colors, but no other colors seemed to feel right to me.

I also appreciate the fact that red is the color of "passion, excitement, enthusiasm, love, and fire". Maybe that is why I love it so much. Thank you for gifting us with your enlightening article about the color red at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I'm pinning and sharing! Deborah Davis @ goo.gl/AaD7Ik 

 

Dear Deborah,

Thanks for feedback. From what you describe, it sounds like red is definitely "right" for you. The photo of you on urban naturale urbannaturale.com/about/, with bright red lipstick, definitely attests to that. I appreciate learning about your experiences and love of red and ditto for your support about this blog. Warm regards, Nancy Andres 

 
 
 

1/1/15 Nancy Andres, Tucson, AZ. January is a fine month, because it is an optimum time to envision what you want to draw into your life this year. Specific colors can help you with this process. First, picture a brown open field that has been tilled and freshly planted with grass seed. No sprouts of grass show above ground. Then, with proper nurturing including selecting the right fertilizer, watering, and sunlight the grass pops its head above ground. Weeding and careful tending throughout the year makes the grass grow and flourish. 

 

You can imagine a similar thing happening to you. Picture what your life would look like if you turned over a new green leaf. Do you want to mature emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, or learn better ways to manage your health, finances, attitudes, and self-defeating behaviors? Perhaps you yearn to explore career opportunities, improve relationships with friends or business associates, or attract your soul mate. Whatever your secret longings are, this is an ideal time to journal about them. Writing things down acts as positive reinforcement, and converts them from day dreams to possibilities.

 

Don't allow negative thinking to stop you from imaging how you'd feel if you expanded your horizons. What would your day look like if you were a new, organized, or upgraded version of yourself? Green energy encourages health, facilitates new beginnings, and is the symbol of freedom. Keep whatever shade of green invigorates you in the forefront of your mind as you write about your aspirations for the coming year. Keep on returning to a green image that pleases and fortifies you, any time you feel self-doubt, stress, or anxiety about making changes. Set an intention to tend your garden of mind, body, and spirit and you're sure to soar this year. 

 

Another color helper to use this month is white. Think of 2015 as a blank white canvas, and recognize white as a symbol of space and innocence. Let this color inspire you to create new facets of yourself. Set the intention to experience the spontaneity and joy of childhood glee. Find pleasure and value in each moment you are alive.  Use this year to gain greater ease or skill at stuff you haven't been able to master yet or let go of those things that drag you down. 

 

Perhaps you can use part of this year to recharge your batteries and step back from activities that zap your energy. Are you recovering from a loss or healing from a serious illness in yourself or a loved one? Now is the time to take extra special care of yourself. One color that can help support you is orange. Eating orange fruit or vegetables can help you process loss and nourish you. Orange also helps you feel easier around other people. Think of soft pink and wear a pink tee shirt or cap, any time you need a reminder to be gentle with yourself. Think about or wear blue to help you calm stormy emotions.

 

Please tell me which color or colors help you set goals or inspire you. Which colors remind you that you can reach out to others for support? If you'd care to, share with our readers about what changes or goals you hope to work toward this year by sending comments to nancyandreswriter@gmail.com. Share the love by clicking on the buttons for social media on this website.

 

Before I go, I'd like to suggest you pick up a copy or 2 of Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss. Start 2015 on the right foot. Its guided journal activities and self-care exercises help you develop greater self-awareness and life skills that help you thrive. It also makes a wonderful birthday, Valentines, or hostess gift for women. Colors of Joy is great reading, because it offers tips and ideas to help boost vitality and enrich your life. Support Independent Bookstores and shops listed on the Colors of Joy Page on this Website and see Colors of Joy at those fine shops. If you'd like to order an autographed book, see www.nancyandreswriter.com/contact-me/. In addition, find it at Amazon Books goo.gl/3GN3pP.

 

This post has been shared at chloeofthemountain.com/faith/its-all-in-your-perspective/

 

This post has been shared at naturalfamilytoday.com/natural-family-friday/natural-family-friday-122015/

 

This post has been shared at urbannaturale.com/live-it-up-at-the-healthy-happy-green-natural-party-blog-hop-49/

 

Comments Follow:

 
Jessica David Says:
 
Hi Nancy,
 
The colors that resonate with me are the ones in my logo - purple, green, and brown. They are symbolic in meaning. 
 
The colors represent: 
brown: earth, stable; 
green: nature, healthy, and environment; 
purple: enlighten and transformation.
 
If you'd like to check out the logo, you may visit my blog at http://www.iconveyawareness.com
 
Be well,
Jessica 
 
Nancy Andres Replies:
 
Thanks Jessica for the feedback. I love your blog and color choices. Thanks for sharing with us today. 
 
Warm regards, Nan
 
Mari Says:
 
Great post Nancy, I loved the color analogy and for me color is everything. I would say my color is Red. It's bold and show stopping; it inspires me to do my best in whatever tasks I set out for. It is so influential in my life that my bedroom is painted White and Red.
Again great share.
 
Nancy Andres Says:
 
Thanks for responding Mari. I think it's fascinating to find out what people say their "color" is. Now I'm wondering how and why red has been so influential in your life. Can you share a little about that? In any event, I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog @ livingmommywood.blogspot.com/. You tell it like it is for you and I so appreciate your honesty, courage, and flair. 
 
Warm regards, Nan
 
 
 
 

Judy Lee Dunn Comments:

 

Hi Nancy,

 

I didn’t see anywhere to leave comments on your blog post at your site, so thought I would send this along via email. It is interesting how you align different colors with different pieces of the self-care puzzle. I never really thought about it that way, but I know I am especially drawn to blue. It just may be that it feels calming to me. And I like white because it makes me think I can write any story on it, choose the direction my life will take. Glad I had the chance to meet you over on Chloe’s porch. Judy Lee Dunn, contributing author of SEASONS OF OUR LIVES: WINTER, Amazon bestseller in Writing References and Women's Memoirs.

 

Nancy Andres Replies:

 

Dear Judy,

 

Thanks for taking the time to contact me. I appreciate it. You are not the first one to tell me about being drawn to blue. Statistics show that it's the most popular "favorite" color for both men and women. Blue has a calming effect on me too, especially since I think of the ocean every time the word blue is mentioned. I'm so glad we did link up on Chloe's porch. Be well. Love well. Lead a colorful life! Wishing you much inspiration in 2015. 

 

Warm regards, 

Nancy Andres

 

 

N.F. Hill Comments:

 

Hi Nancy

 
Your early January ’15 blog hop post contains wonderful visualization prompts for using color!  
 
See you tomorrow at Tucson Women Bloggers I hope. 
 
Best regards, 
N. F. Hill  @ Reason Creek Blog

 

Nancy Andres Replies:

 

Dear Nancy Hill,

 

Thanks so much for your comment. I think visualizations are such a cool way to change ones' perspective. It's good to know you like those I shared in this post. Be well. Love well. Lead a colorful life! Wishing you much inspiration in 2105. 

Warm regards, 

Nancy Andres

 
 
 

12/1/14 Nancy Andres, Tucson, AZ. December is a month of many colors. Celebrations for Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa include brightly lit candles, scrumptious foods, pretty table settings, colorful gifts, and spiritual and religious activities.

 

At first, I think of the giggles and spontaneity of children as they open their presents. I imagine red and white striped Christmas candy canes, forest green garlands, and luminaria candles, shedding white light along drives and rooftops of many a southwestern home. I imagine red Poinsettias, melodious Christmas Carols, and remind myself that Christmas is a religious and cultural holiday. See more from the History Channel Website. www.history.com/topics/christmas/history-of-christmas/videos

 

I envision the glowing candles in our Hanukkah Menorah, and reminisce about times gone by, when we gathered with family members and friends to eat Latkes (potato pancakes), jelly donuts, and sing “Rock of Ages.” I look forward to doing that again. For more about the history of this festive Jewish holiday, see www.history.com/topics/holidays/hanukkah

 

Although I’ve not had the pleasure of taking part in a Kwanzaa celebration, I've learned the following from the History Channel Website. “Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase “matunda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits” in Swahili. Each family celebrates Kwanzaa in its own way, but celebrations often include songs and dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading, and a large traditional meal. On each of the seven nights, the family gathers and a child lights one of the candles on the Kinara (candleholder), then one of the seven principles is discussed."  www.history.com/topics/holidays/kwanzaa-history

 

When people work and play outdoors in December, they usually layer clothing to keep warm. Winter temperatures can be invigorating, especially for participants of winter sports like ice skating, sledding, and hockey. Use your imagination to see the glorious white, crystal, or blue ice and snow sparkle. Lively colors of winter hats, gloves, scarves, and ear muffs are bright and cheery, and are a dramatic contrast to pure snow. However, when snow melts, it can mix with dirt and other materials and looks unappealing in grimy gray or muddy brown slush. Brrr. I prefer to stay indoors. Even envisioning being in a colder climate, chills me to the bone. 

 

So how about a healthful warm up treat? Rod Stewart & Dolly Parton sing, "Baby it's Cold Outside!"

www.popmodal.com/video/1196/Baby-Its-Cold-Outside-Rod-Stewart-and-Dolly-Parton

 

 

Another treat you can give yourself in December is to be warmed by a friendly fire. If you don't have a fireplace, visit a public place to enjoy one. Pay attention to the bright red, orange, gold, brown, black, and amber colors that glow in the hearth. See whether all colors dance together or some look more distinct, set apart from others. The fiery blaze in the picture above reminds me to give thanks for my eye sight. A roaring fire warms my spirit, and I admit I’m grateful for shelter from the elements, love in my life, and joy in this moment. What colors do you see in this blazing fire? Do certain colors encourage feelings of gratitude in you? Please send comments by email to nancyandreswriter@gmail.com or share the love by clicking on the buttons for social media on this website. Would you like to explain to my readers which colors are your December favorites or recount colorful December memories? Give your permission, and I'll post comments during this month as long as they are g-rated and concise.

 

Before I go, I'd like to suggest you pick up a copy or 2 of Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss, because it makes a wonderful holiday or hostess gift for women you care about. It's great reading for you too, because it offers tips and ideas to help boost vitality and activities that enrich your life. Support Independent Bookstores and shops listed on the Colors of Joy Page on this Website by picking up copies of Colors of Joy at those fine shops. If you'd like to order an autographed book, see www.nancyandreswriter.com/contact-me/. It's also available from Amazon Books goo.gl/3GN3pP.

 

Stay well as you celebrate the month of December. Wishing you Happiness, Health, and My Best Wishes for a Bright, Colorful New Year!

 

This blog post has been shared at www.create-with-joy.com/2014/11/inspire-me-monday-week-152.html

Inspire Me Monday

 

This blog post has been shared at back2basichealth.blogspot.com/2014/12/tuesdays-with-twist-87-is-live.html

Back to the Basics

 

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Special Holiday Edition: Celebrate the Season at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop 2014

  

Comments Follow:

 

Lovely posts Nancy! I appreciate your focus on joy, gratitude and self-care. These are topics I also find so important and write about in The Whole Cure! Great to connect with like-minded souls! Dr. Jennifer L. Weinberg, MD, MPH, MBE

 

Thanks +Norma Perez, my Google+ friend for your comment.

 
Happy Holidays Nancy...Oh Yeees, Beutifull Colors show those Crissthmax Seassons.
:))
 
 
Here's one from my wonderful hubby. "Your blog is terrific. It brought me into the holiday spirit with a big smile! Please share with everyone!" Steve P.S. I love you

 

 

 
 
 

11/1/14 Nancy Andres, Tucson, AZ. November brings cooler temperatures to most parts of the country. I sip a steaming cup of hot cocoa and notice how focusing on this rich brown color affects me. How about doing that too?

My cup of cocoa has a sprinkling of warm brown cinnamon spice on top. I inhale its sweet yet pungent aroma, and it reminds me of nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, and cloves that spice up our Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.

Then I recall how often visualizing brown has come in handy, when I needed to center myself or felt scatter-brained. Brown makes me feel grounded, and helps me cope with the practicalities of life. How do you react to envisioning the color brown? Each one of us has our own sensibilities and sensitivities, so take a moment and notice what are the first few things you think of when you think of brown.

Brown is an important color in nature. It is the color of most tree trunks, dried leaves, earth, and many animals like apes, lions, deer, brown bears, and even some family dogs and cats. Brown is a good camouflage color and helps animals blend into their environment.

If you want to be inconspicuous wear brown too. Brown clothes are slimming, and are a good choice for those who want to blend into the background. Wear a brown baseball cap, brown suit, or dress if you want to avoid conflicts at work or home. Think brown and it will help you stay out of a heated argument. Brown clothing can also convey the message that you're very conservative or even boring. To enliven brown, accessorize with a turquoise tie or an apricot colored scarf.

Be cautious when decorating with brown, because too much of it can be overbearing or depressing. Select rich colors like white, gold, rust, and orange for the upholstery of dark brown wooden furniture or scatter colorful gold, rust, green, or red pillows on brown wooden furniture. Use Oriental area rugs to brighten hardwood flooring and you'll create a cozy, stable setting in which to work or play.

 

Next, think about firewood and envision fiery orange flames in a wood burning fireplace. As the wood burns, smell the oak logs and hear the oak crackle and fire roar. The fiery colors combine with the physical sense of heat, and help you relax, feel its warmth, and be comforted. Do you have a fireplace? If so, what kinds of wood do you like to use?

Try to recall times when brown energy affected you. Please share your experiences with me by email or use the social media contact information on the left side of this page.

To sum up, remember that a little bit of brown goes a long way. It can give you a sense of staying neutral and feeling grounded; brown can clear your mind and comfort you. Thanks for visiting!

 

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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 color and how to use it to your advantage, order Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss at Amazon goo.gl/3GN3pP. Support Independent Bookstores and shops listed on the Colors of Joy Page on this Website by picking up Colors of Joy from one of them. If you'd like to order an autographed copy, see www.nancyandreswriter.com/contact-me/.

 

Comments Follow:

 
Marianne Cannon: "I love the color brown! It seems I rarely think about it consciously though! I think about wearing blue and red, green and purple. Turquoise jewelry. Gold rings and earrings. Brown is the master color of calm and feeling good. Not the exciting color of red. Not the refreshing color of blue. You are absolutely right about being able to brighten it up with just about any other color. What would we do without it! A more personal feeling and memory about brown is that I immediately, when you asked in your blog what brown reminded me of, thought of my first sewing project in home economics. That medium brown straight skirt made me feel proud, comfortable and confident when I wore it. Even when walking in the woods brown is always there, but subtly, without my thinking about it. What an important color brown is!"
 
Sandra M: " I'm a big Brown fan. Goes along with my love for orange, tan and beige." 
 

Mary Hood: “Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing! I sometimes overlook brown even though some of my favorite things are brown: my writing desk, dark chocolate--even my hair! I like wearing shades of brown eyeshadow when I want to create a soft and warm look :)”

 
Nancy Andres: "Thanks Mary Hood, Marianne Cannon, and Sandra M for sharing. I hope brown energy supports you during November and at those times your intuition tells you need it. Be well. Love well. Lead a colorful life!"

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

10/1/14 Nancy Andres, Tucson, AZ. I recall past Octobers, when I lived on the east coast and golden yellow, burnt orange, dusty brown, oak red, and Japanese maple hues highlighted my autumn leaf reverie. When I look toward the west now, I see startling, vibrant Arizona colors displayed in the magnificent orange, gold, rust, purple, and fire red of an early fall setting sun.

 

Fall marks the culmination of the local summer growing season here, and mouthwatering red and yellow tomatoes and pale green Armenian cucumbers are going out of season. California blueberries and several varieties of red, green, and black grapes are almost a thing of the past in the local stores. Nonetheless, autumn means other crops are coming in.

 

Cream-colored butternut squash, dark green and orange acorn squash, bright red apples, juicy red and yellow Bartlett pears are plentiful in the produce section of my local market. Soon to ripen are pumpkins in the pumpkin patch. 

 

Halloween will be here before we know it, and October is the month that’s synonymous with Jack-o’-lantern orange. This color draws all eyes to shop displays, advertisements in the paper, on-line, and in classroom decorations all over the country. Pumpkin orange is a major color for Halloween, but other hues of orange have beckoned me since early childhood. I was fascinated by orange zinnias, marigolds, and tea roses in our family 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 observed how the fiery heat of red and the lively cheerfulness of yellow combine to make orange. Orange warms without burning and lifts ones mood, a perfect color for this fun holiday.

 

It’s no wonder that midnight black of the wicked witches’ pointed hat and black cat is the other major color for Halloween. Midnight black is a mysterious color, one that absorbs all aspects of light. That means it is a concealing color and can cover-up the unknown things that lurk in the dark. Over the years, Halloween black has evolved into being the harbinger of hidden danger, and seeing it can send shivers down the spines of the children in the neighborhood. See “Why Do We Get Shivers…” from Stephanie DePetrillo on Mental Floss @ http://mentalfloss.com/article/12879/why-do-we-get-shivers-our-spines.

 

Which colors do you associate with the month of October? Did you know that colors can bypass reasoning and stimulate forgotten memories? Did the colors mentioned today help you recall occurrences, people, or past events that are important to you? I’d love to know whether you notice a connection between colors and memories. Please use the social media buttons to the side of the screen to share about it. Better yet, send an email to nancyandreswriter@gmail.com with your comments and questions. 

 

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 color and ways to incorporate more color into your life, order Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss at Amazon goo.gl/3GN3pP. Support Independent Bookstores or shops that stock it, or order an autographed copy from this Website.

 

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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 goo.gl/3GN3pP.
 
This blog post was shared at the "Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural" Party Hop! #39
 
 

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Image Chance Agrella, Freerangestock.com
 
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 goo.gl/3GN3pP

 

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Image Heather Kitchen, Freerangestock.com

 

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 usa.gov/epublication @

 

http://publications.usa.gov/epublications/ourflag/history1.htm and concludes with a description of our flag as it is today http://publications.usa.gov/epublications/ourflag/flagtoday.htm

 

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: 

 

www.legion.org/flag/questions-answers/91471/what-do-colors-flag-mean

 

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 www.nancyandreswriter.com and www.amazon.com/Colors-Joy-Womans-Self-Discovery-Balance/dp/0615932738.

 

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The following blog post was featured at          Live It Up at the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Blog Hop #40
 

 
 
 
 
 

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 @ www.pantone.com/pages/pantone/Pantone.aspx?pg=19382&ca=29, “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  Amazon.com @ www.amazon.com/Colors-Joy-Womans-Self-Discovery-Balance/dp/0615932738 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 @ http://colors.findthebest.com/d/s/Orange  

 

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 nancyandreswriter@gmail.com. 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  Amazon.com @ www.amazon.com/Colors-Joy-Womans-Self-Discovery-Balance/dp/0615932738 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.

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/why-pee-smells-funny-eat-asparagus

 

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.

www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/health-benefits-of-peppers

 

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

@  http://www.naturalnews.com/042513_carrots_surprising_facts_health_benefits.html#

 

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 @ blogs.usda.gov/2013/08/16/quinoa-a-plant-with-a-lot-of-potential/

 

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. 

 

Ingredients:

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  Amazon.com @ www.amazon.com/Colors-Joy-Womans-Self-Discovery-Balance/dp/0615932738 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. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-green-energy.htm

 

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 nancyandreswriter@gmail.com. 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.

 

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

http://www.dailyom.com/articles/2014/41564.html

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Nancy Andres, Health & Lifestyle Writer, Author Tucson
85710
520-299-3547 nancyandreswriter@gmail.com