recipes, salad, Uncategorized, vegan

Winter Brussels Sprout Salad

Have you signed up yet for my monthly newsletter? If not, stop reading (go ahead, I’ll wait) and hop on over to www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com to sign up. If you do it now, you’ll be in time to receive my February and March newsletters. March is all about the health benefits of green vegetables, of which Brussels sprouts get a pretty nice shout out.

So in the spirit of green vegetables, I’m sharing with you a really wonderful, healthy, and easy recipe for a winter salad that boasts Brussels sprouts as its star.

Wonder where Brussels sprouts get their unique name? There’s no mystery here. People in Belgium have loved Brussels sprouts since the 16th century, so much so that these healthy little veggies now bear the name of the place that loved them so!

Now is the perfect time to take advantage of these healthy superstars; they’re in season from fall through late winter. Brussels sprouts have tons of cholesterol-busting soluble fiber and have been shown to reduce cancer risk.

This recipe makes a great starter to a festive meal, or a side dish alongside pork or chicken (if you’re a meat eater). It can be served hot, or cold, which makes it easier to serve leftovers (should you have any). Have some picky eaters that turn their noses up to Brussels? This recipe calls for the sprouts to be halved, which makes them easier to eat and less daunting to look out. Plus, the sprouts in this recipe have a little sweetness from the agave and cranberries, and some earthiness from the walnuts, which combines perfectly with the sprouts.

Winter Brussels Sprouts Salad

1 ½ pounds of Brussels sprouts
1 cup of water
½ cup of chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons of olive oil (for cooking)
1 clove of garlic, minced
¼ cup of chopped dried cranberries
1 tablespoon of agave nectar
1 tablespoon of olive oil (for dressing)

1. Add 2 teaspoons of oil to a large pan. Add Brussels sprouts and cook 5 minutes, or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
2. Stir in cranberries, agave, and water. Partially cover pot. Simmer 5 – 7 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated and sprouts are tender.
3. Put sprouts in serving bowl and toss with the tablespoon of olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Top with chopped walnuts and serve.

Enjoy!

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out.

Karen

Are you ready to make 2016 Your Best Year Yet!?
If you haven’t picked up your copy of my book, take a trip in cyberspace to www.amazon.com and grab your copy today!

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recipes, soup, Uncategorized, vegan

Curried Cauliflower Soup

Christmas is on Friday, and the weather forecast here at the beach says it is going to be 70 degrees. Forget milk and cookies for Santa – I’m leaving him iced tea and bean chips!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am so not complaining about the warm weather. I have been thoroughly enjoying this mild winter. I do however look forward to a cold and blustery day when I can stay home and make a big pot of soup.

I could live off soup and salad (with a side of crusty bread, of course). Soup is so hearty and versatile. I like cooking up a big batch to share with friends, or, making a big batch, eating it for days on end, and then freezing the rest to enjoy at a later time.

This recipe is a favorite of mine. Not only are the flavors rich and hearty, but it contains one of my all-time favorite anti-inflammatory ingredients – turmeric.

This is a fabulous, healthy, vegan recipe that hits just the right spot on a cold, blustery day.

Enjoy!

Curried Cauliflower Soup

1 head of cauliflower, chopped
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic
5 cups of vegetable broth
1 can of coconut milk
2 tablespoons of Thai curry paste
1 teaspoon of cumin
½ teaspoon of turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread cauliflower, onion, and garlic in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

2. While the vegetables are in the oven, bring the vegetable broth, curry paste, cumin, and turmeric to a boil in a large pot.

3. Remove the vegetables from the oven and add them to the pot. Reduce the heat, add salt and pepper to taste, and let simmer for 15 minutes.

4. You can leave the soup chunky, or, use a handheld blender to blend it smooth. Me? I like it part chunky and part blended.

Serve with a side salad and some crusty bread for a perfect cold-weather day!

If you make this recipe, drop me a comment and let me know what you thought of it.

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out.

Karen

Haven’t gotten your FREE health consultation yet? C’mon, you know you want to! Hop on over to http://www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com for all the information or to schedule your free consultation. Phone, FaceTime, and Skype sessions are available!

Karen Ann Kennedy’s commitment to wellness and service is at the heart of her life and career. As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a decorated United States Army veteran, and a longtime Human Resources Director, it is only natural that Karen would launch The Caring Coaching Center, to support others in reaching their health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. As the company’s President, CEO, and “Coach in Chief,” Karen provides individual, group, and corporate health and wellness coaching that is flexible, fun, and free of denial. As Karen likes to say: “Little changes. BIG results!”

Thanks to her studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school, Karen is well versed in the importance of nutrition and healthy living. Karen also has extensive experience in compassionately coaching and counseling others through her work in human resources and volunteer management, having worked in this industry for over 20 years.

Karen shares her knowledge and passion for healthy living as a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Known for her bright smile, boundless energy, and approachability, Karen is an in-demand speaker who has presented training programs for many prestigious organizations and schools in the Philadelphia area, including The National Constitution Center, The Urban League of Philadelphia, Constitution High School, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, The Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, City Year of Greater Philadelphia, and the Upper Darby School District.

Karen is also a decorated veteran of the United States Army, serving her country for eight years including a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, and now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey, Karen offers Caring Coaching to clients nationwide. In addition to coaching, she loves cooking, marathon running, and writing her blog, Carrots Don’t Scream When You Boil Them.

Karen is also the author of Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes that Add Up to Big Results! Available on http://www.amazon.com.

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Health and wellness, healthy living, holidays, Uncategorized

Happy Healthy Holidays!

This is the time of year when I just give up! I will admit that I’ve stopped exercising regularly, have let my diet slip, and, haven’t been diligently keeping track of my budget in the midst of holiday shopping.

But I don’t want to totally derail all the good work I’ve done this year, so I’m trying to “stay on track.”

If you’re also trying to stay on track (but aren’t trying that hard, like me) here are a few quick tips to help you have a healthy and happy holiday. I hope they are useful for you!

1. If you aren’t working out as much or as hard as you were prior to the holidays, aim to get in a brisk walk at least three times a week.

2. Participate in exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise. Play with the dog in the snow, build a snowman with the kids, go ice skating, or, walk the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights.

3. Sample holiday treats, but don’t go overboard. Focus on foods that you can’t get all year round. You can have biscuits from a can anytime, but maybe you only get Aunt Rita’s famous cheesecake once a year. Eat the cheesecake and skip the biscuits!

4. When hosting, or when invited to, a potluck-type event, bring something healthy. Trust me, there will be enough fattening foods available.

5. Spend time with friends and family but don’t overbook! For every party, outing, event, etc. that you say yes to, say yes to one or two days just for yourself. This is the time to enjoy with family and friends, not for experiencing burnout!

6. Keep healthy snacks with you for those marathon shopping trips. Apples, bananas, pears, and orange slices travel nicely. My trick? Pack a Ziploc bag with a napkin in it, that way, you can wipe up after you snack and then use the bag to discard the peel or rind of the fruit. Or pack other durable snacks like pretzels, trail mix, or granola bars.

7. Keep alcohol consumption in check. For every alcoholic beverage you consume, drink a glass of water to keep hydrated and to keep from overdoing it.

8. Give yourself one healthy gift this year. Go get a massage, a pedicure, manicure, or a haircut. Take a hot yoga class, or buy yourself a gym membership. Money tight? Try a free fitness class at a local gym or treat yourself to an at-home spa night.

I want to take a moment to wish all of you a happy and healthy holiday season. I’m grateful for the support that I’ve received from all of you over the past year, and look forward to writing for you in the New Year!

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out.

Karen

Now is the time! Get your free health consultation TODAY! It’s the perfect way to kick off the New Year! Email me at: karen@thecaringcoachingcenter.com or visit my website, www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com for more info.

Karen Ann Kennedy’s commitment to wellness and service is at the heart of her life and career. As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a decorated United States Army veteran, and a longtime Human Resources Director, it is only natural that Karen would launch The Caring Coaching Center, to support others in reaching their health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. As the company’s President, CEO, and “Coach in Chief,” Karen provides individual, group, and corporate health and wellness coaching that is flexible, fun, and free of denial. As Karen likes to say: “Little changes. BIG results!”

Thanks to her studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school, Karen is well versed in the importance of nutrition and healthy living. Karen also has extensive experience in compassionately coaching and counseling others through her work in human resources and volunteer management, having worked in this industry for over 20 years.

Karen shares her knowledge and passion for healthy living as a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Known for her bright smile, boundless energy, and approachability, Karen is an in-demand speaker who has presented training programs for many prestigious organizations and schools in the Philadelphia area, including The National Constitution Center, The Urban League of Philadelphia, Constitution High School, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, The Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, City Year of Greater Philadelphia, and the Upper Darby School District.

Karen is also a decorated veteran of the United States Army, serving her country for eight years including a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, and now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey, Karen offers Caring Coaching to clients nationwide. In addition to coaching, she loves cooking, marathon running, and writing her blog, Carrots Don’t Scream When You Boil Them.

Karen is also the author of Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes that Add Up to Big Results! Available on http://www.amazon.com.

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aromatherapy, Health and wellness, recipes, Skin Care, Uncategorized

Holiday Home Spa Night

Tis the season for being stressed; for many people I know, that is. Just recently, I was coaching one of my clients and she just sounded stressed over the phone. I could tell that she really needed a day off to herself, but trying to find a whole day was, in itself, stressful.

If you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, take a deep breath, roll your shoulders back, and relax…I’ve got you covered.

Maybe you don’t need a whole day to relax. Maybe you just need an hour for a relaxing spa bath? Can’t get an hour? Even just a half hour will help you feel more relaxed.

Are you ready?

First things first, clean your bathroom! You can’t relax in a cluttered, dirty space. Tidy up and give the bathtub a good scrub.

Next, whip up a homemade bath soak. Since it’s the season of everything peppermint, here is my favorite recipe for peppermint bath soak:

1 cup of powdered milk
½ cup of cornstarch
½ teaspoon of peppermint oil

Blend all ingredients above and mix with 2 cups of warm water before dumping into the tub.

Not a peppermint fan? That’s okay; how about almond and honey?

1 cup of powdered milk
¼ cup of honey
1 tablespoon of almond oil

Blend all ingredients and mix with 2 cups of warm water before dumping into the tub.

Okay, it’s the holidays, so I’m feeling generous. Here’s one more. How about lavender to help you sleep?

1 cup of powdered milk
¼ cup of dried lavender

This recipe is best mixed and put into a cheesecloth (you can get them at most cooking stores). Tie a string around the cheesecloth and let it hang under the running water while you fill up the tub. Think of it as a giant tea bag! Don’t have dried lavender? Use the peppermint recipe above and substitute the peppermint oil for ½ teaspoon of lavender oil.

Once the bathroom is all spic and span and you have a bath soak that you like, grab some fluffy towels, light some candles, put on some relaxing music, and head into the tub for a soak.

While you are soaking, indulge in a cup of warm herbal tea. Skip the alcohol. It won’t really relax you and if your bath is particularly warm, the alcohol might not be a good idea.

Once you get out of the tub, before you dry off, slather your body in a rich, thick body butter before drying off and jumping into some comfy PJs or sweats.

After you’re dressed, head to the kitchen and grab yourself a glass of cool water with some orange, lemon and mint in it. Rehydrate your body and relax with a good book or magazine.

As the holiday season gets closer, be sure to take time to get rest, eat well, and sneak in some exercise. It’s when you’re busiest and don’t have time for these things that you need them the most!

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time, veg in – don’t veg out!

Karen

Are you ready for a fantastic 2016? Of course you are! Kick off the New Year with a FREE, personalized health consultation to help you reach your health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. Consultations can be done in person, over the phone, by SKYPE, or by FaceTime, and while they are FREE, they do book up fast, so don’t delay, schedule yours NOW. Really…RIGHT NOW before you get busy…I’ll wait.

Just email me at karen@thecaringcoachingcenter.com or call me at 267-258-7338, to get going.

Karen Ann Kennedy’s commitment to wellness and service is at the heart of her life and career. As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a decorated United States Army veteran, and a longtime Human Resources Director, it is only natural that Karen would launch The Caring Coaching Center, to support others in reaching their health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. As the company’s President, CEO, and “Coach in Chief,” Karen provides individual, group, and corporate health and wellness coaching that is flexible, fun, and free of denial. As Karen likes to say: “Little changes. BIG results!”

Thanks to her studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school, Karen is well versed in the importance of nutrition and healthy living. Karen also has extensive experience in compassionately coaching and counseling others through her work in human resources and volunteer management, having worked in this industry for over 20 years.

Karen shares her knowledge and passion for healthy living as a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Known for her bright smile, boundless energy, and approachability, Karen is an in-demand speaker who has presented training programs for many prestigious organizations and schools in the Philadelphia area, including The National Constitution Center, The Urban League of Philadelphia, Constitution High School, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, The Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, City Year of Greater Philadelphia, and the Upper Darby School District.

Karen is also a decorated veteran of the United States Army, serving her country for eight years including a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, and now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey, Karen offers Caring Coaching to clients nationwide. In addition to coaching, she loves cooking, marathon running, and writing her blog, Carrots Don’t Scream When You Boil Them.

Karen is also the author of Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes that Add Up to Big Results! Available on http://www.amazon.com.

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baking, Holiday Baking, Uncategorized

Going Against the Grains

The holidays are upon us and I’ve got a sudden itch to get in the kitchen and start baking stuff. Of course, I’ve been trying to avoid white flour and white sugar, and, I’m aware of all the people out there with gluten sensitivities, so I want to bake items that can be enjoyed by everyone.

There are so many different types of flours and grains out there, and I find it very confusing. I thought it might be helpful for you (and for me) to have a breakdown of some of the different types of flours and grains that are available. Hope this helps make your holiday baking stress-free!

Wheat Flours
Wheat flours contain gluten so if you are baking for someone with Celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, you’ll want to steer clear of these four flours.

1. Whole wheat flour has a pronounced earthiness with raw-sugar overtones and a bit of bitterness similar to that of red wine or coffee. Whole wheat flour is great for hearty chewy breads, cookies, and brownies.
2. Whole wheat pastry flour is a more finely ground flour that tastes just regular whole wheat flour. It’s best used for tender crusts, cakes, and pancakes.
3. Graham flour is a coarsely ground flour from hard red wheat berries. It has a rustic taste with faint honey notes. It’s an excellent flour for crisp crackers and pie crusts.
4. Spelt is a terrific one-to-one substitute for all-purpose flour. It has a sweet and mild taste, reminiscent of toasted walnuts. Spelt flour can do anything that white flour can do, so if you’re trying to avoid the white stuff like I am, spelt is a great alternative.

Hearty Grains
Barley and rye are probably the most commonly-known flours (next to white flour) and boast a rich, malty flavor. Both have small amounts of gluten, so again, if gluten is not your friend, these will not be your friend either.

1. Barley flour has a caramelized nutty taste similar to that of browned butter. Barley flour can be used to make smooth and buttery cookies, cakes, quick breads, and crusts.
2. Rye flour is milled with the germ, bran, and endosperm, and then sifted. The taste echoes that of malted milk. The darker the flour the stronger the flavor, so it’s best to think about what you are baking when choosing your rye flour. Rye flour can be used for breads, crusts, cookies, scones, waffles, and pancakes; so as you can see, it’s a very versatile flour.
3. Oat flour has a milky, mild sweetness and is great for chewy muffins, cookies, scones, biscuits, pancakes, and waffles, and works best when it’s combined with other grains or white flour. If you are baking for someone with just a mild gluten sensitivity, mixing a little oat flour with your white flour might be okay (but you’ll want to check with them first).
4. Buckwheat flour is ground from fruit seeds related to sorrel and rhubarb. Buckwheat has a nutty taste that may make you think of mushrooms or red wine. When mixed with wheat flour, it can make amazing griddle foods like pancakes, crepes, and waffles.

Ancient Grains
Technically, these aren’t all that old, but they have been dubbed “ancient grains” recently; probably by all those marketing gurus out there. These grains can be used in baking when combined with other flours, such as wheat or white flour.

1. Amaranth is a fine, powdery grind from the seeds of a leafy plant. It has a distinct grassy taste that is an acquired taste for some. It’s great for making denser baked goods like muffins, cookies, cakes, pancakes, and waffles.
2. Quinoa is not just for salads and porridge, it can also be used for baking, again, when combined with other flours. It has a hint of toasted sesame that adds a rustic, hearty flavor to baked goods such as moist and chewy cookies, muffins, cakes, and quick breads.
3. Millet is a finely ground grain with a mild and sweet taste. It’s best used for more delicate baking like cakes and cakey cookies.

There you have it, your go-to grain guide for holiday baking! Hope it helps!

While we’re here, please allow me to take a moment to wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. You can be sure when I count my blessings this year, I’ll be counting all of you twice!

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well, and until next time – veg in, don’t veg out.

Karen

Have you gotten your copy of Your Best Year Yet! Now’s the time! Snag your copy and get ready to follow along as I take you through 12 months of practical, easy-to-implement strategies to help you control your finances, cook more healthy foods, get out there and exercise, organize your life, and improve your relationships!

Get your copy today at www.amazon.com

Karen Ann Kennedy’s commitment to wellness and service is at the heart of her life and career. As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a decorated United States Army veteran, and a longtime Human Resources Director, it is only natural that Karen would launch The Caring Coaching Center, to support others in reaching their health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. As the company’s President, CEO, and “Coach in Chief,” Karen provides individual, group, and corporate health and wellness coaching that is flexible, fun, and free of denial. As Karen likes to say: “Little changes. BIG results!”

Thanks to her studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school, Karen is well versed in the importance of nutrition and healthy living. Karen also has extensive experience in compassionately coaching and counseling others through her work in human resources and volunteer management, having worked in this industry for over 20 years.

Karen shares her knowledge and passion for healthy living as a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Known for her bright smile, boundless energy, and approachability, Karen is an in-demand speaker who has presented training programs for many prestigious organizations and schools in the Philadelphia area, including The National Constitution Center, The Urban League of Philadelphia, Constitution High School, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, The Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, City Year of Greater Philadelphia, and the Upper Darby School District.

Karen is also a decorated veteran of the United States Army, serving her country for eight years including a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, and now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey, Karen offers Caring Coaching to clients nationwide. In addition to coaching, she loves cooking, marathon running, and writing her blog, Carrots Don’t Scream When You Boil Them.

Karen is also the author of Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes that Add Up to Big Results! Available on http://www.amazon.com.

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Uncategorized

Tomorrow is Veterans Day

Tomorrow is Veterans Day. No, it’s not a day for deals on new mattresses or new cars, it is a day to honor the heroism of those who died serving their country.

As a veteran, this day holds special meaning for me; I know it is equally special to the other veterans that I know who have served their country and have been blessed to come home with their lives – many others have not been as fortunate.

Veterans Day has officially been named: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

I joined the Army while I was still in high school. I knew the implications of enlisting but never thought I would see a war in my lifetime, let alone be in one. When I was 19, just two short months after completing basic training, my reserve unit was called to duty in support of Operation Desert Storm. You can imagine how terrified I was at the prospect of leaving home for an undisclosed location and for an undefined length of time.

As terrified as I was to go off to war, I was also proud and honored to have the opportunity to serve my country. Each year, on Veterans Day, I am reminded of my service and the service of others. My fellow veterans and I swap stories about our experiences, and we mourn the loss of our brothers and sisters in arms who never returned home.

This year on Veterans Day, while you go about your day, please take a moment to stop and think of those that have fought to protect us. Do something to take part of the observation of the day; go to a parade, give a donation to a veterans’ group, or stop by a local VA hospital and drop off something for the patients and/or staff.

Don’t let the day go by as just another day. It’s an important day to all who served but should also be an important day for anyone and everyone who enjoys the freedoms of living here in the good old U.S. of A.

Remember, freedom isn’t free. Many people fought, and many people died, to ensure that we can enjoy the freedoms we so easily take for granted.

To all my fellow veterans, I tip my hat to you. Thank you for serving. God bless you all, and God bless the United States of America.

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out.

Interested in health coaching services? Ask about my veterans’ discounts. It is my pleasure to serve all who have served.

Karen

Karen Ann Kennedy’s commitment to wellness and service is at the heart of her life and career. As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a decorated United States Army veteran, and a longtime Human Resources Director, it is only natural that Karen would launch The Caring Coaching Center, to support others in reaching their health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. As the company’s President, CEO, and “Coach in Chief,” Karen provides individual, group, and corporate health and wellness coaching that is flexible, fun, and free of denial. As Karen likes to say: “Little changes. BIG results!”

Thanks to her studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school, Karen is well versed in the importance of nutrition and healthy living. Karen also has extensive experience in compassionately coaching and counseling others through her work in human resources and volunteer management, having worked in this industry for over 20 years.

Karen shares her knowledge and passion for healthy living as a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Known for her bright smile, boundless energy, and approachability, Karen is an in-demand speaker who has presented training programs for many prestigious organizations and schools in the Philadelphia area, including The National Constitution Center, The Urban League of Philadelphia, Constitution High School, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, The Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, City Year of Greater Philadelphia, and the Upper Darby School District.

Karen is also a decorated veteran of the United States Army, serving her country for eight years including a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, and now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey, Karen offers Caring Coaching to clients nationwide. In addition to coaching, she loves cooking, marathon running, and writing her blog, Carrots Don’t Scream When You Boil Them.

Karen is also the author of Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes that Add Up to Big Results! Available on http://www.amazon.com.

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recipes, Skin Care

Breakfast in the Bath?

Fall has fallen and geez, it’s been cold here at the beach! When the weather starts to turn, I start craving good, hot, stick-to-your ribs types of breakfasts – oatmeal anyone?

We’ve all heard of breakfast in bed, but what about breakfast in the bath?

Besides serving as the base for a hearty breakfast meal, oatmeal can serve double duty as a soothing bath soak. Oatmeal has been known to help ease the itch of dry skin, especially during cold winter months.

This simple bath soak is easy (and inexpensive) to make. I mix up a batch and store it in a glass jar in a cool, dry place. When I’m ready for my bath, I add a cup of the oatmeal mixture to my bath water and soak.

I usually soak in the evening and slather on a good thick body lotion or body butter while my skin is still damp, and then, I slip into my jammies for the night. The combination of the oatmeal and the body lotion really helps to keep me from getting itchy due to dry skin. I find that dry skin plagues me in the colder months when I’m cooped up inside with forced air heat blowing on me.

You can double, or even tripe the recipe below and make a big jar to keep handy. The soak will last for at least a month or two (I think); mine never seems to last that long!

In addition to whipping up a batch for yourself, don’t forget that the holidays are coming up, and this would make a lovely gift for your friends and family. Buy a pretty glass jar, fill with the oatmeal mixture and attach a small wooden scoop to the lid of the jar with a festive ribbon.

Enjoy!

Cinnamon Oatmeal Bath Soak

1 cup of powdered milk
1 cup of baking soda
3 tablespoons of cornstarch
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
1 tablespoons of cream of tartar

1. Be sure to grind the oatmeal VERY FINELY in the food processor.
2. Mix the finely ground oatmeal with the rest of the ingredients.

That’s it! Add a cup of the mixture to your bath and soak away with the sweet smell of cinnamon wafting through your bathroom.

If you decide to try this at home, leave me a comment and let me know how you liked it. Want more recipes like this? Check out my website, http://www.thecaringcoachingcenter.com and sign up for my monthly newsletter to get even more recipes and tips.

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out!

Karen

Karen Ann Kennedy’s commitment to wellness and service is at the heart of her life and career. As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a decorated United States Army veteran, and a longtime Human Resources Director, it is only natural that Karen would launch The Caring Coaching Center, to support others in reaching their health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. As the company’s President, CEO, and “Coach in Chief,” Karen provides individual, group, and corporate health and wellness coaching that is flexible, fun, and free of denial. As Karen likes to say: “Little changes. BIG results!”

Thanks to her studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school, Karen is well versed in the importance of nutrition and healthy living. Karen also has extensive experience in compassionately coaching and counseling others through her work in human resources and volunteer management, having worked in this industry for over 20 years.

Karen shares her knowledge and passion for healthy living as a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Known for her bright smile, boundless energy, and approachability, Karen is an in-demand speaker who has presented training programs for many prestigious organizations and schools in the Philadelphia area, including The National Constitution Center, The Urban League of Philadelphia, Constitution High School, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, The Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, City Year of Greater Philadelphia, and the Upper Darby School District.

Karen is also a decorated veteran of the United States Army, serving her country for eight years including a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, and now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey, Karen offers Caring Coaching to clients nationwide. In addition to coaching, she loves cooking, marathon running, and writing her blog, Carrots Don’t Scream When You Boil Them.

Karen is also the author of Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes that Add Up to Big Results! Available on http://www.amazon.com.

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breakfast, gluten free, recipes, vegan

Creamy Quinoa

If you’re looking for a gluten free, vegan, hearty, healthy, and delicious hot breakfast, look no further!

This fabulous recipe that will warm your belly on those chilly fall mornings.

I love that the recipe is so versatile. Add in peaches, blueberries, strawberries, or blackberries. Bananas and cinnamon one day, pumpkin puree the next! This recipe can be customized to meet your tastes.

Creamy Quinoa
1 cup of quinoa – make sure you rinse it really well
2 cups of water
1 cup coconut milk, or milk of your choice
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
Dash of salt
1 ½ cups blueberries, peaches, strawberries, or other fruit of your choice

1. Combine quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.
3. Stir in milk, spices, and fruit; warm through.
4. Top with brown sugar, chopped pecans or walnuts, or hemp seeds, if desired.

That’s it! Quick, easy, and delicious!

If you make this recipe at home, leave a comment and let me know what you put in to make it your own.

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out!

Karen

Did you get your copy of Your Best Year Yet! October is all about cooking, so get your copy TODAY at http://www.amazon.com.

Karen Ann Kennedy’s commitment to wellness and service is at the heart of her life and career. As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a decorated United States Army veteran, and a longtime Human Resources Director, it is only natural that Karen would launch The Caring Coaching Center, to support others in reaching their health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. As the company’s President, CEO, and “Coach in Chief,” Karen provides individual, group, and corporate health and wellness coaching that is flexible, fun, and free of denial. As Karen likes to say: “Little changes. BIG results!”

Thanks to her studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school, Karen is well versed in the importance of nutrition and healthy living. Karen also has extensive experience in compassionately coaching and counseling others through her work in human resources and volunteer management, having worked in this industry for over 20 years.

Karen shares her knowledge and passion for healthy living as a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Known for her bright smile, boundless energy, and approachability, Karen is an in-demand speaker who has presented training programs for many prestigious organizations and schools in the Philadelphia area, including The National Constitution Center, The Urban League of Philadelphia, Constitution High School, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, The Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, City Year of Greater Philadelphia, and the Upper Darby School District.

Karen is also a decorated veteran of the United States Army, serving her country for eight years including a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, and now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey, Karen offers Caring Coaching to clients nationwide. In addition to coaching, she loves cooking, marathon running, and writing her blog, Carrots Don’t Scream When You Boil Them.

Karen is also the author of Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes that Add Up to Big Results! Available on http://www.amazon.com.

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foot smoother

Rosemary Citrus Foot Smoother

Happy September Everybody! I hope you had a wonderful summer! I know I did; but after lots of barefoot walks on the beach, running, and wearing cute sandals, I’m not sure my feet enjoyed the summer season as much as the rest of me did!

Since I’ve started seriously training again for another marathon, and after working long hours on my feet, I’ve started to notice how achy my feet are at the end of the day. This rosemary and citrus foot smoother will not only help your feet look and feel smooth, it also helps tired feet feel great.

If you find your feet are sore at the end of the day, you might try this smoother to ease foot pain, but don’t use it too soon to bedtime; citrus scents are normally used to invigorate and energize, so the scents in this smoother might actually keep you awake!

Rosemary and Citrus Foot Smoother

½ cup of sea salt
2 ounces of a carrier oil such as almond or grapeseed oil
10 drops of grapefruit essential oil
8 drops of lemon essential oil
6 drops of lime essential oil
10 drops of rosemary essential oil
1 spring of rosemary, chopped finely

1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Soak feet in warm water for 10 minutes to soften skin.
3. Rub rosemary mixture onto feet.
4. Wrap feet in plastic wrap and then cover feet with a towel.
5. Leave on for 15 minutes.
6. Rinse with warm water.

There you have it! I hope your tootsies enjoy!

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out!

Karen

Karen Ann Kennedy’s commitment to wellness and service is at the heart of her life and career. As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a decorated United States Army veteran, and a longtime Human Resources Director, it is only natural that Karen would launch The Caring Coaching Center, to support others in reaching their health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. As the company’s President, CEO, and “Coach in Chief,” Karen provides individual, group, and corporate health and wellness coaching that is flexible, fun, and free of denial. As Karen likes to say: “Little changes. BIG results!”

Thanks to her studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school, Karen is well versed in the importance of nutrition and healthy living. Karen also has extensive experience in compassionately coaching and counseling others through her work in human resources and volunteer management, having worked in this industry for over 20 years.

Karen shares her knowledge and passion for healthy living as a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Known for her bright smile, boundless energy, and approachability, Karen is an in-demand speaker who has presented training programs for many prestigious organizations and schools in the Philadelphia area, including The National Constitution Center, The Urban League of Philadelphia, Constitution High School, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, The Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, City Year of Greater Philadelphia, and the Upper Darby School District.

Karen is also a decorated veteran of the United States Army, serving her country for eight years including a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, and now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey, Karen offers Caring Coaching to clients nationwide. In addition to coaching, she loves cooking, marathon running, and writing her blog, Carrots Don’t Scream When You Boil Them.

Karen is also the author of Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes that Add Up to Big Results! Available on www.amazon.com.

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Loneliness

Livin La Vida Lonely

“But you always look so happy,” I hear from across my vanilla latte at Starbucks. It’s a phrase I’ve heard a million times from a million different people; today, it’s coming from a friend at church.

“Just because I look happy doesn’t mean I am. And sometimes I am happy, but a lot of times, I’m lonely,” I reply; feeling vulnerable and a bit on the defensive.

Ah, the internal struggle of the introvert; needing time alone to recharge my batteries, but feeling terribly lonely at the same time.

This situation begs the question; “Can a person be happy and lonely at the same time?”

I consider myself a generally happy person. Not much in life gets me down. I am blessed to have a lot of good things in my life and I practice gratitude daily as a way to remind myself of all that I have.

But every now and then, the dark cloud of loneliness creeps in. It started this past week at work. I recently started a part-time job at a local card and gift shop. Hey, budding authors have to eat, you know!

One of my duties is to straighten up the cards at the end of the night. As I passed through aisle after aisle of birthday cards for husbands and wives, anniversary cards, retirement cards for good friends, and countless other cards for friends and family members, I could feel the loneliness bug creeping in.

As I was nearing the end of my shift, I thought about going home to my apartment, with no one there to greet me but my beloved three-legged rescue cat, Felix. Felix is good company, but he’s not a great conversationalist.

“But you look so happy,” popped into my head again as I walked the boardwalk on my way home, watching happy vacationers with their families. “I am happy,” I thought, “But I’m also lonely.”

Does this sound like you? Are you both happy and lonely at the same time? I don’t claim to know anything about psychology, but I can tell you what has helped me in those moments of loneliness.

1. Have a few good friends or family members that you can call or text when you’re feeling down.
2. Practice gratitude daily. Take the time to reflect on all the good things you have in life and all the things you have to be grateful for.
3. Learn when to force yourself to get out and interact with others, and when to retreat. Too much forcing can cause unnecessary discomfort; too much retreating can spiral into depression.
4. Avoid the triggers that can bring on loneliness; TV programs, magazines, etc. (or in my case, greeting cards) that cause you to feel lonely.
5. Find meaningful activities to fill your downtime. Volunteer, pick up a hobby, establish a workout routine, etc.
Loneliness isn’t fatal, but it sure isn’t fun either. If you’re feeling the pains of loneliness, I wish you well. And hey, if you don’t have anyone to call or text, feel free to email me at karen@thecaringcoachingcenter.com. Chances are, I’m home feeling lonely too!

Take care of yourself, be nice to yourself, and be well. And until next time – veg in, don’t veg out!

Karen

Karen Ann Kennedy’s commitment to wellness and service is at the heart of her life and career. As a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a decorated United States Army veteran, and a longtime Human Resources Director, it is only natural that Karen would launch The Caring Coaching Center, to support others in reaching their health, fitness, and lifestyle goals. As the company’s President, CEO, and “Coach in Chief,” Karen provides individual, group, and corporate health and wellness coaching that is flexible, fun, and free of denial. As Karen likes to say: “Little changes. BIG results!”

Thanks to her studies at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world’s largest nutrition school, Karen is well versed in the importance of nutrition and healthy living. Karen also has extensive experience in compassionately coaching and counseling others through her work in human resources and volunteer management, having worked in this industry for over 20 years.

Karen shares her knowledge and passion for healthy living as a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Known for her bright smile, boundless energy, and approachability, Karen is an in-demand speaker who has presented training programs for many prestigious organizations and schools in the Philadelphia area, including The National Constitution Center, The Urban League of Philadelphia, Constitution High School, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, The Penn Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, City Year of Greater Philadelphia, and the Upper Darby School District.

Karen is also a decorated veteran of the United States Army, serving her country for eight years including a tour of duty in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, and now residing in Ocean City, New Jersey, Karen offers Caring Coaching to clients nationwide. In addition to coaching, she loves cooking, marathon running, and writing her blog, Carrots Don’t Scream When You Boil Them.

Karen is also the author of Your Best Year Yet! 365 Days of Little Changes that Add Up to Big Results! Available on http://www.amazon.com.

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