It rained all night long, literally. It was one of those rains that was steady and strong, not pouring, not sprinkling, just a steady fall that lulled me to sleep. For the first time in a couple of weeks I slept soundly and peacefully. As a matter of fact, waking up this morning was really difficult! I just wanted to snuggle back under those blankets and go back to sleep until daylight. It wasn’t to be though, and here I am visiting with you!
National Women’s Health & Fitness Day – Today is the 14th annual observance of this celebration that draws attention to the very important subject of women’s health and well-being. The focus is that women need to put their health first and get strong, whether it’s through weight training, cardio fitness or nutrition education. Here are some really good tips for helping to put things into a healthy mindset and getting going in the right direction:
* Do continuous low impact exercises all day. Regular physical activity has many benefits, including improving your mood and reducing the risk of depression.
* Make a grocery list. If you go to the store without planning what it is you are going to get, you’re more likely to get things you wouldn’t normally get – like too many snacks and less produce and meal ingredients. A list keeps things focused and on track. And speaking of the grocery store . . .this is something I’ve found for myself . . . don’t go shopping when you are hungry. That’s a terrible time for me to be shopping for food because EVERYTHING looks good and the determination to make wise choices tends to fly right out the window when my stomach is gurgling. Have a healthy snack before you go to the grocery store and you’ll save yourself not only unnecessary calories, you’ll end up saving money too. Junk food is expensive!
* Listen to your body. We all have food cravings, and we shouldn’t give in to them, but we should listen to what our bodies want. If we are craving sugary treats, it could be that you are needing something that you can’t identify. Try having Greek yogurt mixed with fruit – you get your dairy and the sweetness.
* Distract yourself when you are having a craving. When you start really wanting something unhealthy, distract yourself. Call a friend, brush your teeth, go run an errand. Cravings usually last about 5 minutes, so find something that is quick to take your mind off of it.
As women we find ourselves last on our own list of priorities. We really are worth the better choices. Let’s start making them for ourselves.
Schwenkfelder Thanksgiving – So, have you ever heard of the Schwenkfelders? I hadn’t, until last year. Well, the Schwenkfelders are the descendants of a small Protestant sect that sprang up in Germany around the time of the Reformation. They were followers of Caspar Schwenkfeld (1489 – 1561), a Silesian Reformation theologian who founded the movement called “Reformation by the Middle Way”. He and those who followed him separated from the orthodox Protestant circles and formed small societies and brotherhoods that still exist today in the United States as the Schwenkfelder Church, or “Confessors of the Glory of Christ”. In 1733, a handful of their followers arrived in Philadelphia, with a second group emigrating from Germany on September 22, 1734. On September 24 they expressed their gratitude to God for having delivered them from persecution. In the Pennsylvania Dutch counties where Schwenfelders still live, this day is observed as a special Thanksgiving Day. They have been celebrating this day for more than 260 years – the longest continually-celebrated Thanksgiving in the country – yet many of us have never even heard of it! Of course, the Schwenkfelder churches have a combined membership of less than 3,000 people. A lot of folks graduate from bigger schools! It started out a whole lot smaller though. When they settled here, there were fewer than 200 people in the church. So, how do they celebrate their holiday? With a huge meal, roast turkey, pies and cakes? Nope. They celebrate with a simple meal of water, bread, butter and apple butter. This celebration first happened in 1734, just two days after the people arrived in North America – so they didn’t have crops to harvest. They were so happy that they escaped persecution, being driven from their homes, imprisonment, or even being sold into slavery, that they gave thanks with what they had on hand. I think maybe I need to bake some bread and thaw out some of the freezer apple butter that I still have left – maybe have a mini Schwenkfelder’s Thanksgiving right here at home.
Punctuation Day – Every year on September 24th, we celebrate the correct usage of punctuation and spelling. Now, I know that this is something that is a pet peeve for me, as is poor grammar. How many times do we see something on Facebook that would be right on point with how we are feeling, that we may like to share . . . but whoever wrote it completely destroyed the punctuation. I know that I cannot, with any degree of satisfaction, share something that looks completely ridiculous. Today pay attention – perhaps keep a red pen with you and circle the errors you find in the newspaper, in stores on signs, in books you’re reading, in your emails . . . the possibilities are nearly endless!
Food Celebration of the Day –
National Cherries Jubilee Day – I have always heard about this dessert, but hadn’t ever tried it, and honestly wasn’t quite sure what it was! Well, it is delicious! Juicy fruit, soaked in booze, and poured over ice cream? Seriously, this deserves to be celebrated! We’ve actually celebrated it for 2 nights in a row because the recipe I used made way too much for the two of us to eat in one night.
- Cherries Jubilee
- Drunken Cherries
- Golden Jubilee Cake
- Brandied Strawberry Sauce
- Bourbon Fruit Trifle
- Light Cherries Jubilee
- Strawberries in Cointreau
I get to start organizing my new cupboards today, putting things into their new home, which will make room in my cookbook room to get organized in there! Sorting and moving things is definitely time consuming, but it is going to be worth it once it’s all said and done.