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beauty in life worth living

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Create a Life Worth Living


Brookhaven Retreat Blog - For inspiration, growth & a fresh perspective.

Asparagus, Salmon and Herb Verrines

Sunday, 01 May 2016 00:00  by Yolanda F.
After years of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, day after day, and decades of meal preps, you may be hungry for a different culinary experience. It’s nothing too over-the-top, just a little something to make both prepping and eating more fun. If you’ve never prepared (or eaten) a verrine, the time has come. To see part of your meal looking more like art isn’t merely a novelty, it’s a form of mealtime therapy. Such is the case with verrines, a concept that originated in France. The purpose of layering your…
Do you have trouble remembering people’s names? I never forget a face, but for me, names can be tricky, especially common names. Unusual names are less of a problem. It seems that I’ve met a lot of people who say the same thing. They can’t remember names. It makes me wonder if we bombard ourselves with so much information during constant cell phone use that it causes a sort of clog in the memory bank. Or perhaps exposure to chemicals in foods, beauty products, cleaning products and other things has…

Hug a Tree

Saturday, 30 April 2016 00:00  by Yolanda F.
People hug trees for a reason --- not just “hippies” and not only on Arbor Day (April 29). It’s because no one can deny the importance of trees for the way they beautify, fortify and shade the earth. They are a constant source of nurturing energy wherever they grow. The first formal celebration of Arbor Day was held in 1872, in Nebraska, even though tree-planting festivals had been going on since civilization began because trees have always been considered the symbol of life. The founder of Arbor Day, Julius Sterling…

Genuine Role Models

Friday, 29 April 2016 00:00  by Christina M.
Nia Vardalos is a successful actress, screenwriter, director, and producer. She has been praised for her realistic portrayal of women, and for including strong women in her casting. She has most recently been on the road doing a press tour for her new film “Big Fat Greek Wedding 2”. Vardalos mentioned how independent her 8-year-old daughter was in a recent interview. Verdalos said that her daughter asked to leave a movie after realizing that hardly any of the characters were women. Vardalos didn’t know the reason for leaving the film…

Mindful Eating & Nutrition

Thursday, 28 April 2016 00:00  by Jessica B.
With all of the fad diets that have come about over the last couple of decades, mindful eating has long been a scary territory for most. Our bodies are incredible machines that are capable of notifying us of what is required in order to function properly. It is my belief that we have the ability to nurture and heal our bodies through nutrition. There are many benefits that derive from eating mindfully, which include: reductions in emotional and disordered eating, weight loss, improved mood, and greater enjoyment of the foods…

A Century of Beverly Cleary

Wednesday, 27 April 2016 00:00  by Yolanda F.
I just decided that when I grow up I want to be a century-year-old writer like Beverly Cleary, who just celebrated the biggest birthday yet. Cleary, the award-winning author of the Ramona Quimby series, dedicated her life to helping young readers live vicariously through characters like Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins and Ralph S. Mouse, who learn about bullying, sibling rivalry, and many issues surrounding the general politics of growing up. Cleary was born on April 12 in 1916 in McMinnville, OR. She said, “Children should learn that reading is pleasure,…

Earth Day: Every Day Facts

Tuesday, 26 April 2016 00:00  by Yolanda F.
Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970 in the U.S. when 20 million people gathered in the streets all over America as a protest of the industrial revolution. That event jump-started the environmental movement and Earth Day gained worldwide recognition by 1990. Enjoying Earth Day can be as simple as spending the afternoon outside to explore a natural trail in the woods, walk the beach, or even run around a park full of trees, to name a few. The warmer weather begs us to get outside in the…

Halibut with Carrot Ginger Sauce

Sunday, 24 April 2016 00:00  by Yolanda F.
Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, said all disease begins in the gut. That may not be entirely true, say for instance when it comes to genetic diseases. But there is a lot of evidence, according to Authority Health’s website, that many chronic metabolic diseases do start in the gut. No matter what, the integrity of your gut’s lining and what bacteria has settled there, largely depends on what you’re eating or not eating. One thing is for sure; incorporating more ginger into your daily menu can only help. We…
On clear warm days like today, during my lunch break I walk down to a neighboring farm and take a breath. I take in the sights and sounds and observe the animals. These moments of mindfulness give me renewal. Today a new sight arrived: a baby goat, only several hours old. This baby is still fresh and new and so is the world around her. Her mother is close by grooming and helping this newcomer learn to walk, but it will take time before she is steady on her feet.…

National Stress Awareness Day

Saturday, 23 April 2016 00:00  by Yolanda F.
I’m amused to learn that National Stress Awareness Day on April 16, the day after tax day, is no coincidence. In fact, it was designed to wake everyone up to the anxiety pangs exercised by everything involved in getting your income taxes to the IRS on time, and the importance of releasing that stress before it does any long-term damage. Whether you’re actually experiencing IRS-related anxiety or some other brand of it, releasing it should be a priority. Let go of those hot potatoes fast or risk being burned. If…

Patty Duke’s Brilliant Madness

Friday, 22 April 2016 00:00  by Yolanda F.
The recent passing of Patty Duke at age 69 is a good reason to consider the importance of the practice of mindfulness. Anna “Patty Duke” Pearce was best known for her Academy Award-winning portrayal of Helen Keller with Anne Bancroft, who played Anne Sullivan in The Miracle Worker. After that, she played identical cousins in her own TV sitcom, The Patty Duke Show. Both shows, which date her career back to the late 1950s, came long before Duke’s diagnosis of bipolar disorder in 1982, which she wrote about later in…
Turmeric is a small root with a bright orange center. It comes from the rhizome (rootstock) of the Curcuma longa plant, and has been used in Chinese and Indian fold medicine for centuries. The powerful anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities of turmeric have made it a precious commodity for ages! To manufacture it, the roots of the plant are boiled, dried and then ground into a powder. With a peppery, warm and bitter flavor, the mild fragrance of turmeric resembles orange and ginger, which makes it a national favorite in curry…

Rescue and Recovery

Wednesday, 20 April 2016 00:00  by Christina M.
Imagine how you would feel in the unsettling shipwreck scenario. How would you feel stranded and alone on a deserted island, without resources, and left to your fears and anxiety? Millions of people struggle with the fear and anxiety of isolation, but not because of a shipwreck, because of mental illness. There are many differences in physical isolation and that of the isolation caused by mental illness, but the answer to a safe return is the same: reaching out for help. Depression and bipolar disorder can make it difficult to…

Community Through Grief

Monday, 18 April 2016 00:00  by Christina M.
When my cousins, my grandparents, and several mentors died, I grieved. I cried, I was upset, I went to the funerals, and then I kept going. But there is something about grief that lingers on. Even if I did not acknowledge it, my body did. Around the anniversary of their passing I would feel it physically, especially if I was not acknowledging it mentally. Depression, grief, and mental illnesses do not just go away. Even while making progress and healing, being mindful of everyday struggles is healthy and necessary. Healing…
Source: Cook. Nourish. Glow. By Amelia Freer Who can eat pasta anymore? When I do, it’s usually because I’m experiencing a crisis that manifests as a momentary mood disorder that can only be remedied with carbs. But I know I’m not alone. WebMD confirms that it’s normal to crave carbs and sugar when we feel down. The question then becomes, is that a red flag for depression? You can also have such cravings when you’re plain old tired or upset or have anxiety about something in particular. Apparently, cravings relate…
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