July 25, 2010

Chocolate Blueberry Cake

Posted in Breast Cancer, Cancer, Food, Health, Recipes tagged , , , at 7:05 am by Liliana

Michigan blueberries

Michigan blueberries

Sweet, plump blueberries are all the rage in Michigan at this time of year.

I eat them every day. Most mornings, I have a bowl of blueberries with plain yogurt or kefir for breakfast.

But what can be more delicious than blueberries with chocolate?

Try this light cake with your afternoon tea or coffee.

  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (white whole wheat preferred)
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground chia seeds or flax seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup date syrup, maple syrup, or other liquid sweetener
  • 1 cup blueberries (for serving)
  • additional syrup or agave nectar to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, chia (or flax) and salt. In blender, combine water, 1/2 cup blueberries, and balsamic vinegar and blend until smooth.

Make a well in the dry ingredients.  Add the syrup and the blueberry mixture. Stir until completely mixed.  Pour into an oiled 9-inch round cake pan.

Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before inverting onto serving platter.

Serve with blueberries on top, drizzled with additional syrup or agave.

Source: FatFree Vegan Kitchen

May 25, 2010

Ways to Feel Better

Posted in Cleaning, Family, Food, Friendships, Health, Home, Weather, Women tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:00 am by Liliana

Nena, Nicky and Kaya

Nena, Nicky and Kaya (puppy)

All of us have dark, irritable days when nothing goes right and everything seems to be our own fault. How to make oneself feel better and lift one’s mood? Often it is the simple, everyday, sensible things that help the most.

Here are a few practical and effective suggestions:

  • Let the sunshine in – open the windows and let in the sunlight and the fresh air. Taking a few deep breaths always makes me feel better and reminds me of the beauty of the world.
  • Play with your pet – animals are non judgmental. They love you for being you and cheer you up with their presence.
  • Exercise regularly – talk a walk or go for a swim. Do something you love. Just getting out of bed or that dark chair will lift your mood.
  • Clean your house – order gives us a sense of control and accomplishment.
  • Repaint your room – change your environment. Beautiful colors transform your vision of the world.
  • Listen to music – whether listening to a classical piece or singing a popular song, music allows us to examine and explain our emotions.
  • Don’t over schedule – this is very hard for me to follow, but I thought I would say it anyway.
  • Take care of your health – visit your doctor and dentist regularly. Control the things that you can control.
  • Eat a healthy diet – good, nutritious food makes you healthy in body and mind. You will feel more optimistic and energetic.
  • Eat chocolate – in moderation. Chocolate boosts one’s moods.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol – they might make you feel better for a very short while, but you’ll be sorry later.
  • Maintain a daily routine – don’t be rigid, but it helps to have a daily plan. My husband, Jeff, has taught me this.
  • Talk about things – there is nothing more depressing than resentful, sullen silence. It feels liberating to discuss issues and try to find a joint solution.
  • Connect with others – get together with your friends. One long, freezing winter my girlfriends and I got together every Tuesday night. We all remember it as a wonderful season.
  • Get a good night’s sleep – when all else fails (and when it does not) rest and sleep and recharge. You will feel better.

Take good care of yourself. Be your own best friend.