Category Archives: Things That Contribute to Good Health

Diva Musing: Breakfast at the Watering Hole…..


After I meditate and leave for the day, I usually eat a light breakfast before work… as I often don’t get to stop, even for a comfort break, all day.  Recently I’ve started going to the Taco Bell near here.  I sit and send my morning motivational texts to friends and family, while listening to joyful music from the 50-60’s… which won’t mean much to you younger lot.  However,  I smile and enjoy some of the best coffee ever and ease slowly into my day; thanking the Universe for making such a great way for me to start my mornings. 

How about you my Divakind? Are you good to yourself from dawn to dusk?  Do you take the time needed to “smell the roses”, hug the pups or kids, enjoy the simple settings around you no matter what? 

I encourage you to try it!  Your day just goes better and you get more out of it.  Find a good local near you and try it. If you are a stay at home Diva then get the morning…”must do’s” done… sit quietly in your meditation space and enjoy your cup of coffee there.  Drink in the silence of your own safe space.  Feel the flow of your calmly beating heart and enjoy what the Universe offers each new day.. We love you….   Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Diva Musing: I found a good calorie counter….


I was looking for an online calorie counter and found this great website below. I looked up the calories and fat in an apple fritter and almost stroked from seeing it!!!! I have got to do better. If you are on a …” I’ve Got To Do Better”….kick use this as a good tool to look up a few things that may lead to the dead butt like I’ve got now…..Namaste, The Queen Cronista….

Yup, dead butt syndrome is a thing. Also known as gluteal amnesia, it happens when your gluteus medius — one of your three butt muscles — stops working properly.


Most of us spent a good part of our day sitting down.  It’s. Just. Not. Good. For. You.
In addition to increased risks in health problems from sitting too much, you can also get “dead butt” syndrome.
Yup.  It’s a thing.
Think you’re safe because you exercise?  You might not be.  Runners, for example, are susceptible to dead but syndrome.
This Week’s Challenge
Get up off of that chair and get your rear in gear! And?  Do at least one of the exercises in the “
Dead Butt Syndrome:  How to Wake Up Your Butt and Get it Moving Again.”
You got this!
Are you on Facebook?  Come join me!  Check out these daily Facebook motivators.
Eat better, move more and believe in yourself,
ACE-certified Health Coach & Fitness Nutrition Specialist
FitWatch – Eat Better. Move More. Believe in Yourself.

Our mailing address is:  FitWatch Inc.1900 Seguin;  Brossard, Quebec J4X 1K8;   Canada


Diva Tasting: Solstice Halibut and Summer Fruit….


Keeping it fresh for the solstice…..

Grilled Halibut with Spinach and Tomatoes


  • 4 (4 ounce) halibut filets
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 garlic clove minced, or to taste
  • 2 cups roughly chopped spinach, or to taste
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil, or to taste
  • 4 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, or to taste
  • 4 slices mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes


  1. Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
  2. Place fish on a piece of aluminum foil and season with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Top fish with spinach, tomato, and onion; season again with salt and black pepper. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over cod and top with mozzarella cheese. Fold foil over cod creating a packet, crimping the edges together making a seal.
  3. Cook on the preheated grill until fish flakes easily with a fork, 7 to 10 minutes.
  4. Serve with rice pilaf and garlic bread.

Whipped Ricotta and Summer Fruit


  • 1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 8oz Cream Cheese softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pint fresh peaches, halved
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, halved
  • 3 plums, pitted and sliced into eighths
  • 1/2 cup raw organic honey
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 3 sprigs fresh mint, or more to taste


  1. Beat ricotta cheese, cream, cream cheese, and vanilla extract together in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Spread ricotta mixture onto a platter; top with fruit. Drizzle honey over the fruit and sprinkle black pepper over the top. Garnish with mint sprigs.

Diva Rambling: Gossip Cures…


I truly am on a kick to be a better Cronista!  However this morning I woke up and wanted to kick something.  Then I hugged my puppy who had been up all night chewing up the house and I felt better.  Then the day started ;~)  I wanted to rant about all the disorganized, non-visionary, unsympathetic, slanderous cows around me….STOP!!! RESET!!! Now I am at work and needing the tips below…Love to all….Namaste, The Queen Cronista

6 Steps to Recover From a Gossip Addiction

Here are some tips by Sarah Wilkins for monitoring and controlling your tendency to talk negatively about others.

1. Pick a gossip buddy.

One spiritual teacher suggests that you confine your gossiping to one or two people, perhaps your best friend, spouse, or significant other. If you have a designated gossip buddy, it’s much easier to practice restraint with the other people in your life. Choose someone who can keep secrets and who will support you in your desire to be more conscious of what you say.

2. Catch yourself.

Learn to notice when you’re about to make a snarky remark, and stop yourself before you do. If one slips out, apologize.

3. Notice the aftertaste.

Become aware of what it feels like after you gossip. It will be different for everyone, but for me the aftertaste of gossip feels like anxiety (tight shoulders, tight stomach) and what I can only describe as a worried, slightly sinking feeling that comes from sensing I might have said something I’ll regret. Note where you feel the tension in your own body the next time you engage in a gossip fest.

4. Just say no.

Turn down invitations to pick others apart. Try changing the subject when a friend wants to have a bad-mouthing session. Ask them (tactfully) to talk about something else, and tell them that you’re trying to break yourself of the negative gossip habit. You’ll find that many people will actually thank you.

5. Don’t rush to judgment.

When someone confides a piece of gossipy information about someone else, question it. Check the source. Don’t believe something unless you have clear proof—and the fact that a whole lot of people are saying something does not constitute clear proof.

6. Try a one-day gossip fast.

Decide that for one whole day you won’t talk about other people. Then, notice when that’s especially difficult. Observe what feelings prompt you to share news about someone or repeat something you’ve heard. Does your desire to gossip come from a feeling of emptiness or boredom? Does it come from a desire for intimacy with the person you’re talking to? What happens inside you when you deny the urge? How do you feel when you’ve gone through a whole conversation without once saying, Have you heard?

Sally Kempton is an internationally recognized teacher of meditationand yogic philosophy and the author of Meditation for the Heart of It.

Diva Tasting: Caprese Portobellos…



Now… garlic butter smothered portobello mushrooms stuffed and grilled with fresh mozzarella cheese, grape tomato slices, and drizzled with a rich balsamic glaze!

Serves: 5­6


Garlic Butter

2 Tablespoons Butter

2 Cloves Garlic, Crushed

1 Tablespoon Freshly Chopped Parsley

Mushrooms: 5­6 Large Portobello Mushrooms, Stem Removed, Washed And Dried With A Paper Towel

5-­6 Fresh Mozzarella Cheese Balls, Sliced Thinly

1 Cup Grape (or Cherry) Tomatoes,

Sliced Thinly Fresh Basil, Shredded To Garnish

Balsamic Glaze:

(or You Can Use Store Bought, Or This Recipe)

¼ Cup Balsamic Vinegar

1 Teaspoons Brown Sugar (OPTIONAL)


1. Preheat oven to grill/broil settings on high heat. Arrange oven shelf to the middle of your oven. 2. Combine all of the Garlic Butter ingredients together in a small saucepan (or microwave safe bowl), and melt until garlic is fragrant. Brush the bottoms of each mushroom and place them, buttered side down, on a baking tray. 3. Flip and brush any remaining garlic over the insides of each cap. Fill each mushroom with the mozzarella slices and tomatoes, and grill/broil until cheese has melted and golden in color (about 8 minutes). 4. To serve, top with the basil, drizzle with the balsamic glaze and sprinkle with salt to taste. For the Balsamic Glaze: 1. (If making from scratch, prepare while mushrooms are in the oven.) Combine sugar (if using) and vinegar in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low; allow to simmer for 5­8 minutes or until mixture has thickened and reduced to a glaze. (If not using sugar, allow to reduce for 12­-15

Diva Musing…. Healing Herbs for The Garden…


I’m on a health kick as we continue to plant our gardens.  I’m a firm believer in alternative healing physical and medicine.  Whether it is holistic, Ayurveda; Native American, Shamanic or Oriental.  They all lend wonderful healing to the world.  God’s pharmacy as I like to call it.  Study, discern, listen to your body….Heal!!  

Namaste, The Queen Cronista

P.S. this one did not convert as hoped but the website is there for your review….

11 Powerful Native American Medicinal Cures
The Cherokee is a Native American tribe that is indigenous to the Southeastern United States. They believe that the Creator has given them a gift of understanding and preserving medicinal herbs. The Cherokee trust the healing and preventative properties of nature’s pharmacy. Because many plants become scarce throughout history, the Cherokee promote proper gathering techniques.

  • The Cherokee is a Native American tribe that is indigenous to the Southeastern United States. They believe that the Creator has given them a gift of understanding and preserving medicinal herbs. The Cherokee trust the healing and preventative properties of nature’s pharmacy. Because many plants become scarce throughout history, the Cherokee promote proper gathering techniques.

The old ones have taught them that if you are gathering, you should only pick every third plant you find. This ensures that enough specimens remain and will continue to propagate. Here are some of the medicinal plants that were commonly used and foraged for by the Cherokee tribe. 

11 Medicinal Plants For Healing

1. Blackberry

To the Cherokee, the blackberry is the longest known remedy to an upset stomach. However, this herb can be used for just about anything. Using a strong tea from the root of blackberry helps to reduce swelling of tissue and joints. A decoction of the roots, sweetened with honey or maple syrup, makes an excellent cough syrup. Even chewing on the leaves of blackberry can soothe bleeding gums. (source)

Some other health benefits of blackberry fruit include

These tasty berries are also incredibly nutritious. Vitamins provided by blackberries include vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folate. Blackberries also have an incredible mineral wealth of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and zinc. They are also an excellent source of dietary fiber and essential amino acids.

2. Hummingbird Blossom (Buck Brush)

The Cherokee has used hummingbird blossom for the treatment of cysts, fibroid tumors, inflammation, and mouth/throat problems. Present day research has concluded that this herb is also ideal for treating high blood pressure and lymphatic blockages. (source)

The Cherokee mainly use hummingbird blossom as a diuretic to stimulate kidney function; however, it was also used to treat conditions such as:

  • Inflamed tonsils

  • Enlarged lymph nodes

  • Enlarged spleens

  • Hemorrhoids

  • Menstrual bleeding. 

To get all of the benefits from hummingbird blossom, the Cherokee would steep the leave and flowers in boiling water for about five minutes then drink the tea while it is still warm.

3. Cattail

The Cherokee consider this herb to not exactly be a healing medicine, but rather a preventative medicine. It is an easily digestible food that can help with recovery from illnesses. Almost every part of this herb, except for the mature leaves and seed heads, can be used for medicinal purposes. The root of cattail is high in starch, and the male plants are high in pollen content.

Cattail root can be prepared much like potatoes, boiled and mashed. The resulting paste is a great remedy for burns and sores. The pollen from cattail is a great source of protein and can be used as a supplement in baking. The fuzz from flowers called the seed down can also be used to prevent skin irritation in babies, such as diaper rash. The flowers of cattail can even be eaten to help with diarrhea.

4. Pull Out a Sticker (Greenbriar)

The roots of this herb are high in starch while the leaves and stems are rich in various vitamins and minerals. Due to the rubbery texture of Greenbriar, its roots can be used like potatoes. The starch in the root of Greenbriar has a harsh, strange taste but is rich in calories.

The Cherokee use Greenbriar as a blood purifier and mild diuretic that treats urinary infections. Many Cherokee healers make an ointment from the leaves and bark and apply it to minor sores and burns. The leaves from this herb can even be used in your tea to treat arthritis! The berries of Greenbrier can be eaten raw or made into jams. They make great vegan jello shots too.

5. Mint

Cherokee is a Native American tribe that is indigenous to the Southeastern United States. They believe that the Creator has given them a gift of understanding and preserving medicinal herbs. The Cherokee trust the healing and preventative properties of nature’s pharmacy. Because many plants become scarce throughout history, the Cherokee promote proper gathering techniques.1.

6. Mullein

This herb has the power to soothe asthma and chest congestion. According to the Cherokee, inhaling the smoke from burning mullein roots and leaves works miracles to calm your lungs and open up pathways. (2Mullein is exceptionally helpful to soothe the mucous membranes.

You can make a warm decoction and soak your feet in it to reduce swelling and joint pain. Due to mullein’s anti-inflammatory properties, it soothes painful and irritated tissue. (3) Mullein flowers can be used to make tea which has mild sedative effects.

7. Qua lo ga (Sumac)

Every single part of this herb can be utilized for medicinal purposes! Sumac bark can be made into a mild decoction that can be taken to soothe diarrhea. The decoction of the bark can also be gargled to help with a sore throat. Ripe berries can make a pleasant beverage that is rich in Vitamin C. (4)

The tea from the leaves of sumac can reduce fevers. You can even crush the leaves into an ointment to help relieve a poison ivy rash. A study published in Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research reported that sumac if added to the daily diet, can help lower cholesterol levels (source).

8. Big Stretch (Wild Ginger)

The Cherokee recommend a mild tea, made from the root of wild ginger, to stimulate better digestion. This herb can also help with intestinal gas, upset stomach, and colic. A strong tea from the root of wild ginger can be used to remove secretion from the lungs. 

The Meskwaki, another Native American tribe, use crushed, steeped stems of wild ginger as a relief from earaches. (5) You can use rootstocks from this herb as a substitute for regular ginger and flowers as the flavoring for your favorite recipe!

10. Squirrel Tail (Yarrow)

This herb is known best for its blood clotting properties. Fresh, crushed leaves can be applied to open wounds to stop excess bleeding. Yarrow’s juice, mixed with spring water, can stop internal bleeding from stomach and intestinal illnesses. You can also use the leaves to make tea which will stimulate abdominal functions and assist in proper digestion. (source)

11. Kawi Iyusdi (Yellow Dock)

The Cherokee often use this herb in their kitchen. It is very similar to spinach but contains a lot more vitamins and minerals due to its long roots that gather nutrients from deep underground. The leaves of yellow dock are a great source of iron and can also be used as a laxative. (11)

You can even prepare a juice decoction out of yellow dock stems from treating minor sores, diaper rash, and itching. The Cherokee healers use a decoction, made from the crushed roots of yellow dock, as a warm wash for its antiseptic properties. (12)

You should always remember that all of the above-mentioned medicinal plants are very potent and might be dangerous if used in the wrong way. The Cherokee healers have many centuries of practice and experience. Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that these herbs are all very valuable! They are the nature’s pharmacy, so please be kind and caring when scavenging any of these.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.


  1. White wolf pack. 12 of Nature’s Most Powerful Medicinal Plants From Traditional Cherokees   Accessed: January 16, 2017. 

  2. Organic facts. Health benefits of blackberry Accessed: January 16, 2017

  3. Legends of America. Herbs and healing properties page 2 Accessed: January 16, 2017

  4. Plants for a future. Ceanothus cuneatus Accessed: January 16, 2017

  5. Bio Brandeis. Medicinal plants of the northeast Accessed: January 16, 2017. 

  6. Foraging Texas. Greenbrier Accessed: January 16, 2017. 

  7. Montana Native plans and early peoples. Buckbrush Published: 1976. Accessed: January 16, 2017. 

  8. Medical News today. Mint: Health benefits, uses and risks Published: February 16, 2016. Accessed: January 16, 2017. 

  9. Heal with food. Sumac- A spice with health benefits Accessed: January 16, 2017. 

  10. Mother earth living. Herb to know: wild ginger Accessed: January 16, 2017. 

  11. Wild foods and medicine. Wild rose flower Accessed: January 16, 2017. 

  12. The Herbal Academy. Accessed: January 16, 2017. 

  13. Ascension lifestyle. Accessed: January 16, 2017. 

  14. Shutterstock. Accessed: January 16, 2017. 

  15. Vetanat. Morphometric Study on the Digestive System of the Wild Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis).  Accessed: January 16, 2017. 

  16. NCBI. Rubus fruticosus (blackberry) use as an herbal medicine Published: 2014. Accessed: January 16, 2017. 

Diva Musing: Summer Health…


I searched the web and found a creative article on ways to use vegetables for a healthier lifestyle.  Enjoy the summer bounty!  Namaste, The Queen Cronista….

17 Creative Ways to Eat More Vegetables


Including vegetables in your diet is extremely important. Veggies are incredibly rich in nutrients and antioxidants, which boost your health and help fight off disease.

Additionally, they are beneficial for weight control due to their low calorie content.

Health authorities around the world recommend that adults consume several servings of vegetables each day, but this can be difficult for some people.

Some find it inconvenient to eat vegetables, while others are simply unsure how to prepare them in an appetizing way.

This article will cover 17 unique ways you can incorporate vegetables into your diet, so that you never get sick of eating them.

1. Make Veggie-Based Soups

Soups are an excellent way to consume multiple servings of vegetables at once.

You can make veggies the “base” by pureeing them and adding spices, such as in this tomato soup recipe.

Furthermore, it’s simple to cook veggies into broth- or cream-based soups.

Adding even a small amount of extra veggies, such as broccoli, to soups is a great way to increase your intake of fiber, vitamins and minerals.

For example, this recipe for broccoli veggie soup contains 1/2 cup (78 grams) of broccoli per serving, which provides a significant amount of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A and folate (1).

Here are a few other veggie-based soup recipes for you to try:

2. Try Zucchini Lasagna

Another creative way to eat more veggies is by making zucchini lasagna.

Traditional lasagna is a pasta-based dish made by layering lasagna noodles with sauce, cheese and meat. It’s tasty, but it’s also typically very high in carbs.

A great way to prepare this delicious dish so that it has a lower carb content and more nutrients is to replace the lasagna noodles with strips of zucchini.

Zucchini is a rich source of B vitamins and vitamin C, in addition to trace minerals and fiber (2).

This recipe for zucchini lasagna is fairly simple to make by combining zucchini with ground beef, cheese and a variety of other veggies.

3. Experiment With Veggie Noodles

Veggie noodles are easy to make, and a great way to get more veggies in your diet. They’re also an excellent low-carb substitute for high-carb foods, such as pasta.

They are made by inserting vegetables into a spiralizer, which processes them into noodle-like shapes.

You can use a spiralizer for almost any type of vegetable. They are commonly used for zucchini, carrots and sweet potatoes.

Once the “noodles” are made, they can be consumed just like pasta and combined with sauces, other vegetables or meat.

Here are some veggie noodle recipes for you to try:

4. Add Veggies to Sauces

Adding extra vegetables to your sauces is a sneaky, unique way to increase your veggie intake.

While you are cooking sauce, such as marinara sauce, simply add some veggies of your choice to the mix, such as chopped onions, carrots, spinach or bell peppers.

You can also puree certain veggies with seasonings and make them into a sauce on their own.

Here are some examples of sauce recipes that incorporate extra veggies:

5. Make a Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Cauliflower is extremely versatile, and there are many unique ways to include it in your diet.

One strategy is to replace regular, flour-based pizza crust with a cauliflower crust, such as this one, which is made by combining cauliflower with eggsalmond flour and some seasonings.

You can then add your own toppings, such as fresh veggies, tomato sauce and cheese.

Substituting cauliflower crust for flour-based crusts is an excellent way to enjoy the delicious taste of pizza, while reducing your intake of carbs and calories.

A cup (100 grams) of cauliflower contains only 5 grams of carbs and 25 calories, in addition to lots of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which flour-based crusts lack (3).

6. Blend With Smoothies

Smoothies make for a refreshing breakfast or snack.

Typically, they are made by combining fruit with ice, milk or water in a blender. However, you can also add veggies to smoothies without compromising the flavor.

Fresh, leafy greens are common smoothie additions, such as in this recipe, which combines kale with mango, peaches, ginger and some other flavorings.

Adding spinach and kale to smoothies is an easy way to get more nutrients.

Just 1 cup (30 grams) of spinach contains 181% of your daily needs for vitamin K and 56% for vitamin A. The same serving of kale provides 206% of your daily needs for vitamin A, 134% for vitamin C and 684% for vitamin K (45).

In addition, frozen zucchini, pumpkin, beets and sweet potatoes work well with smoothies, which you can try with the following recipes:

7. Add Veggies to Casseroles

Including extra veggies in casseroles is a unique way to increase your veggie intake.

Casseroles are a dish that combines pieces of meat with chopped vegetables, cheese, potatoes and a grain, such as rice or pasta. As you might expect, traditional casseroles are typically very high in refined carbs and calories.

Luckily, you can reduce calories and carbs in your casseroles by replacing the grains with veggies, such as broccoli, mushrooms, celery or carrots.

This casserole recipe incorporates eggs, coconut milk and spices with broccoli, onions and mushrooms.

These veggies contain a combination of several important nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K, B vitamins, trace minerals and antioxidants (678).

8. Cook a Veggie Omelet

Omelets are a great dish to include in your diet if you want to eat more veggies.

They are made by frying beaten eggs with a small amount of butter or oil in a pan, and then folding them around a filling that often includes cheese, meat, vegetables or a combination of the three.

Any type of veggie tastes great in omelets. Spinach, onions and tomatoes are common additions.

You can also add chopped bell peppers to omelets, such as in this recipe, which is a great way to enhance your intake of vitamin C and vitamin A (910).

9. Prepare Savory Oatmeal

Savory oatmeal is a great dish that will incorporate more veggies into your diet.

Oatmeal is typically consumed as a sweet breakfast food, often combined with fresh fruit, raisins or cinnamon.

However, you can also enjoy it as a savory meal by adding eggs, spices and lots of veggies.

This recipe for savory oatmeal includes onions, mushrooms, collard greens and tomatoes, all of which provide a healthy combination of nutrients, including vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A and potassium (681112).

Here are a couple other savory oatmeal recipes for you to try:

10. Try a Lettuce Wrap or Veggie Bun

Using lettuce as a wrap or certain veggies as buns in place of tortillas and bread is an easy way to eat more veggies.

Lettuce wraps can be a part of several types of dishes, and are often used to make low-carb sandwiches and bunless burgers.

Additionally, many types of veggies, such as portobello mushroom caps, sliced sweet potatoes and sliced eggplant make excellent buns.

Lettuce wraps and veggie buns are an easy way to reduce your calorie intake, as one lettuce leaf contains only one calorie. Refined bread is much higher in calories (1314).

Furthermore, replacing flour-based products with veggies is a great way to reduce your carb intake, while consuming lots of nutrients.

The following recipes are a great place to start with lettuce wraps and veggie buns:

11. Grill Veggie Kebabs

Veggie kebabs are a great dish to try if you want to increase your veggie intake.

To make them, place chopped vegetables of your choice on a skewer and cook on a grill or barbecue.

Bell peppers, onions and tomatoes work well for kebabs. You can also use mushrooms and zucchini, such as in this recipe.

12. Enjoy a Veggie Burger

Veggie burgers are a delicious and unique way to increase your veggie intake.

A burger is a sandwich consisting of a ground meat patty, typically made of beef, that is then placed inside of a bun with various toppings.

Burger patties can also be made by combining vegetables with eggs, nuts or nut flours and seasonings. Sweet potatoes, which are an excellent source of vitamin A and antioxidants, are also commonly used to make veggie burgers (15).

The following recipes combine sweet potatoes with almond flour, egg and a variety of spices and chopped veggies, such as mushrooms and cauliflower:

You can take these recipes a step further by wrapping your veggie burger in a lettuce wrap, instead of a bun.

13. Add Veggies to Tuna Salad

Adding veggies to tuna salad is a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet.

In general, tuna salad is made by blending tuna with mayonnaise, but any type of chopped vegetable can be added to increase the flavor and nutrient content.

Onions, carrots, cucumber and spinach are common additions, such as in this recipe.

14. Make Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed bell peppers are an excellent dish to include in your diet if you want to increase your veggie intake.

They are made by stuffing halved bell peppers with cooked meat, beans, rice and seasonings, and then baking them in the oven.

Bell peppers are a rich source of many vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A and C (9).

You can increase the nutrition content of stuffed bell peppers by including lots of extra veggies. Onions, spinach or cauliflower work well, such as in this recipe.

15. Add Veggies to Guacamole

It is fairly easy to add veggies to guacamole, and makes for a unique way to increase your veggie intake.

Guacamole is an avocado-based dip made by mashing ripe avocados and sea salt together with lemon or lime juice, garlic and additional seasonings.

A variety of vegetables taste great when incorporated into guacamole. Bell peppers, tomatoes and onions are good options.

This recipe for veggie guacamole includes onion, carrots, zucchini and yellow squash, which provide a combination of fiber, vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, vitamin C and manganese (2816).

You can also make guacamole with roasted vegetables, such as in this recipe.

16. Blend Veggies With Meatloaf

Another way to increase your veggie intake is by blending them with meatloaf.

Meatloaf is a dish made with a combination of ground meat and other ingredients, such as eggs, breadcrumbs and tomato sauce. It is then molded into the shape of a loaf, which is where it gets its name.

You can add just about any type of chopped vegetable to meatloaf, including onions, bell peppers, carrots and zucchini, such as in this recipe.

Additionally, you can make “meatloaf” that is completely veggie-based, like this one, which includes chickpeas, carrots, onions and celery.

17. Make Cauliflower Rice

A unique way to increase your veggie intake is by eating cauliflower rice.

It is made by pulsing cauliflower florets in a food processor into small granules. You can then use it raw or cooked as a substitute for regular rice.

Cauliflower rice is significantly lower in carbs than regular rice, with only 5 grams of carbs per cup, compared to 45 grams in a cup (158 grams) of rice (317).

Additionally, cauliflower is significantly higher in nutrients than rice. It is particularly high in vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and potassium (3).

This recipe for cauliflower rice contains step-by-step directions on how to make it, in addition to some ideas for extra ingredients you can add to enhance its flavor.

The Bottom Line

There are many unique ways you can include more vegetables in your diet.

Make “rice” and “buns” with vegetables, or incorporate them into common dishes, such as casseroles and soups.

By making veggies a regular part of your eating habits, you’ll significantly increase your intake of fiber, nutrients and antioxidants.

Eating enough vegetables is also associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer, and may be beneficial for weight control (1819).

At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong eating more veggies.


Diva Musing: FAMILY FUN….

I was reading this article today and it was like my beautiful daughter-in-law Jenni had written it herself. These are all activities we enjoy each time I visit her and my son and 2 grandsons.  She even created an outdoor drive-in on the back wall of the house for me so we could all expedience the fun of the old fashion drive in movie at home under the stars.  Popcorn included!  The zoo, planetarium, and museum included.   The sense her sons have of home and family will cause them to be great men, fathers and husbands.  Plus grandma enjoys too….
Namaste, The Queen Cronista

10 Activities That Will Strengthen Your Family Bond

A strong family bond creates happiness and security for each family member. When kids are bored, they may exhibit behavioral problems which cause parents to discipline them. This takes away from the happiness and feelings of security kids should have. If you do fun things with your kids that have elements of education hidden in them, everyone is happy.

Parents feel like they’re doing a good job raising kids that will become good people. Kids feel nurtured and cared about as their parents take time to be with them. Parents are the leaders of the family unit and it’s their responsibility to ensure bonding. It may not be easy with hectic lives but it’s essential to ensure a good foundation for healthy minded children. There are many fun family bonding activities that can bring a family together. See these ten activities that will strengthen your family bond.

10. Build a Family Tree Together

Building a family tree will give each member of the family a sense of identity as you learn where you came from. Building a family tree can be a daunting task for just one person so doing it together makes it easier. Start off by finding a template that allows you to easily add family members as you find them. Give each family member a task they’re responsible for. If you have older kids, get them to do some research online.

9. Eating Meals Together

For a family that is involved with individual activities, sitting down for dinner is important. Taking the time to enjoy food together while you touch base should be a nightly activity if possible.

You have the opportunity to talk about the details of your day. It allows you to find out on a daily basis what’s happening in school and social activities with your kids. Cooking together or cleaning up after dinner is good practice also. Getting your children to contribute to some of the domestic duties of the house will teach them about work ethic.

8. Play Board Games Together

Playing board games is fun and they’re designed to make you think. It doesn’t take that much time and you don’t have to leave the house. Building these memories for your children are invaluable to their state of mind and your own.

There are many board games designed to interest all members of your family regardless of age. Make it a weekly family engagement to have a games night. Teaming up with your kids is a great way to bond, especially if you happen to win. You’ll also have the opportunity to be a good sport in the event that you lose.

7. Volunteer Together As a Family

Volunteering is a great idea for a family on so many levels. Doing something deeply meaningful together brings you closer. You are teaching your kids how to have a humanitarian mindset at an early age.

Many experts suggest that volunteering boosts self-esteem and is good therapy for depression. Getting your kids volunteering at an early age gives them a good sense of self. This is essential when they become teenagers. Some options are serving meals at a shelter, helping a family in need over the holidays or doing a charity walk as a family unit.

6. Be Crafty Together

Kids love being creative as it gives them the opportunity to express themselves. Their finished craft project will be one of a kind which is how children discover their individuality. Many adults say they’re not creative but everyone is creative as art is whatever you want it to be.

Being creative is just as important as academic enhancement for children. Better still is when you involve yourself with the crafting projects as a means of bonding. It’s a lot of fun and you have the opportunity to learn something from your kids such as learning that coloring outside the lines isn’t so important.

5. Go Camping

Camping with the family is a valuable bonding experience as you get away from every day distractions. Whether you rough it in a tent or stay in a motor home, getting into nature with your family has many benefits. You can take the opportunity to educate your kids about the environment around them. You can teach them how to fish, go on hikes and explore the wilderness that surrounds you.

Being in close confines together is interesting in its own way and a brand new way of cohabiting together. You may have obstacle to overcome as camping isn’t always easy or convenient. Kids will find the small things interesting too like how you heat up water or make dinner without the standard kitchen.

4. Get Outdoors

If you don’t have time to go camping, take a day trip outdoors. Go for a hike and include a picnic lunch. In the summer, spend a day at the lake. Another great way to bond with your family is to go geo-caching. This involves getting a GPS system and finding the spot where a secret treasure has been hidden. Usually, the spot will include a stamp your kids can use to mark in their geo-caching passport. Kids especially love this activity as they love treasure hunting. Teaching your kids to love the outdoors at an early age will benefit them later in life as they make their own choice on activities.

3. Bedtime Bonding

When your kids are small, reading them a book before they go to sleep is a great way to bond. It gives you the opportunity to spend some relaxed time with your kids. They also have the opportunity to wind down and will tend to go to sleep more quickly. Families that go to church will often say prayers with each other before going to bed. If you’re not religious, it’s still a good habit to share what you’re grateful for. To acknowledge those who aren’t doing well in life and wish them the bet for them gives you and your family an appreciation for what you have. This gives your children a sense of gratitude for the life they have instead of taking it for granted.

2. Plant and Nurture a Tree or Garden

Many schools have an adopt-a-tree program where they’re given a sapling from their local forestry association. Planting a tree in your yard with your children is a great way to document the years that go by. It’s fun to get down in the dirt and out in nature with children as you teach them the lessons of how they play an important part in the environment.

Creating a family garden is another great way to bond with each other. Kids love to play in the dirt anyway so teach them how to assist in gardening. Smaller kids would be happy to pull weeds or plant seeds. Older kids can assist with fertilizing and daily watering.

1. Science Experiments

If you look online, you’ll find many easy science experiments you can do with your kids at home. You’ll probably only need everyday household items for any given project. It’s a fun way to spend time with your kids as they learn. The actions are fun but you also get your kids thinking about the scientific reaction of the project. Expanding your child’s mind in a fun way is an efficient way to ensure their mental development

Diva Rambling: Hoarding

My daughter was once on a TV Show called “Clean House” she was the yard sale Diva and organizing expert.  I use to watch her try to talk people out of the junk they were hoarding in order to get their homes in order and generally always from being a health risk.  If you are concerned you or someone you know has an issue…Below is one school of thought to help you decide…..

Namaste, The Queen Cronista

8 Facts on the Physical, Social, and Emotional Impacts of Hoarding

Hoarding is the compulsive collection of possessions accompanied by difficulty parting with them. This behavior can negatively impact many areas of a person’s life causing serious physical, social, emotional, financial, and legal problems. These collected items can include objects such as newspapers, food, clothing, boxes, photographs, plastic bags, household supplies, magazines and animals. Let’s take a closer look at the reality of hoarding…

1. Hoarding Statistics

Hoarding affects 4-percent of the population.  It is estimated than 40-percent of object hoarders also hoard animals. In the United States 3,500 animal hoarders are reported yearly, affecting at least 250,000 animals.

It is estimated that more than 80-percent of animal hoarders have diseased or dead animals on their properties. Approximately 70-percent of hoarders are women, who are single, divorced, widowed, or have suffered emotional trauma in their lives. Unless a hoarder receives treatment they have a 100-percent chance of relapsing.

2. Hoarding Symptoms

Symptoms of hording include severe anxiety when they or someone else discards or attempts to discard an item. Patients also experience difficulty organizing possessions and are indecisive, overwhelmed and embarrassed about their collection. They distrust others who try to help.

Obsessive compulsive thoughts plague them in regards to their possessions. They are afraid of needing the item in the future. Other symptoms include pathways through their homes with possessions sometimes piled floor to ceiling, social and marital problems, health hazards and financial problems.

3. The Main Reasons People Hoard

Hoarding is associated with depression, hyperactivity, and obsessive compulsive disorder. In a few cases it may be related to an eating disorder such as pica (eating non-food stuffs) or psychosis. Hoarders often have endured emotional trauma in their lives, such as abuse, divorce, or the death of a loved one. Animal hoarders typically substitute the perceived love of the animal for the intimacy of actual human relationships.

4. Effect on Quality of Life

People who hoard often live in hazardous conditions. Their homes are cluttered and filthy. Presenting both a fire and disease hazard. Animal hoarders have the added danger of sick or dead animals which can spread disease to them. Hoarding causes anger and resentment in family members and can adversely affect the growth and emotional development of children.

5. Hoarding vs. Collecting

Collectors are usually well organized and have a sense of pride and joy associated with their possessions. They tend to budget carefully and don’t overextend themselves. In contrast, hoarders tend to be embarrassed about their hoarding, are disorganized , indecisive and try to hide their possessions from others. They are secretive and feel sad, discouraged and overwhelmed. They’re often in debt and feel sad after acquiring more items.

6. Animal Hoarders

Cats, dogs, and horses are animals typically collected by hoarders. They take in or “rescue” these unwanted, unloved animals with the best of intentions. Hoarding gives these people the feeling that they are important and loved. Hoarders often become emotionally attached to the animals and don’t believe anyone else can love them as much. This makes it difficult for them to adopt the animals out, despite the fact that due to overcrowding they can no longer provide the basic necessities of life.

7. Hoarding Health Risks

Hoarders often neglect their own health, and often spend all their time, energy and money on hoarding or caring for their animals. They are often sleep deprived due to feeling overwhelmed by the great responsibility of caring for all the animals they have collected. Hoarders can also suffer from animal-borne diseases, fleas, ticks and the problems associated with ammonia inhalation. The animals are stressed, malnourished, and living in filthy, overcrowded conditions resulting in disease and death.

8. Hoarding Intervention

The most effective treatment for hoarders is intensive cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT). People with hoarding problems have been successfully treated. Treatment for animal hoarders involves help from family and friends. They will also need intervention by animal control officials who will apprehend distressed animals and make it more difficult for the hoarder to rescue or adopt in the future. Animal hoarders need to learn to replace their animals with caring human relationships. This can only be accomplished by the support of family and friends and with the help of a skilled therapist.


Good Health Tips:Let’s Get to Know Swiss Chard…


The Juicy Crones tend to buck trends.  I for one prefer Swiss Chard to the newly popular kale.  Below are some facts for gardening and cooking it.  Enjoy…


The Queen Cronista…

Swiss Chard Facts

Chard is a veggie super-hero! It offers a powerful punch of vitamins and a variety of preparation options–from salads to cooked dishes. And chard makes a terrific stand-in for asparagus or spinach.

Five Reasons You Should Grow Chard
1. Chard produces in less-than-ideal soil and shade.
2. It resists most plant diseases, and insect infestations are fairly rare. (Though watch for deer in fall.)
3. Chard requires little care–just water regularly, and cut and discard any leaves that wilt or turn brown before you can harvest them.
4. Long after your asparagus, spinach, and other greens close up shop for the season, Swiss chard keeps on giving, right up to the first hard frost. A four- to six-foot row of plants spaced eight to ten inches apart will keep a family in the green all season.
5. It’s pretty! Those bright stalks and shiny ribbed leaves look right at home in a flower border.

How to Grow Chard
Chard is super-easy to grow, making it an ideal choice for beginning gardeners–it thrives even in poor soil.

Start seedlings indoors and transplant, or start from seed outdoors just before the last frost.

You can begin harvesting as soon as the leaves grow large enough to use–young plants provide the most flavor.

Don’t worry about cutting them to about an inch above the soil or cutting stalks from the outside. These plants replenish for re-harvest again and again through the fall, and the leaves get tastier as the weather gets cooler.

Contact your local garden center or horticulture extension office to find out what grows best in your own backyard.

Chard: Chock-full of Nutrition
A one-cup serving of boiled Swiss chard contains a mere 35 calories, yet provides:

Vitamin K–More than 600 percent of the recommended daily value. Important in blood clotting.

Vitamin A–More than 100 percent of the recommended daily value. Important in visual health.

Vitamin C–42 percent of the recommended daily value. Helps the immune system; protects cells against damage.

Magnesium–47 percent of the recommended daily value. Helps bone health; important in muscle function.

Potassium–20 percent of the recommended daily value. Helps maintain normal blood pressure levels; aids heart function.

Iron–50 percent of the recommended daily value. Helps prevent anemia; can boost energy; carries oxygen in the blood.

Vitamin E–22 percent of the recommended daily value. Acts as an antioxidant; helps protect cells against damage.

Dietary fiber–14 percent of the recommended daily value. Can reduce high cholesterol levels; promotes intestinal health.

Main Dishes

Swiss Chard with Garbanzo Beans and Fresh Tomatoes

Quinoa Chard Pilaf

Mediterranean Pasta with Greens

Spinach and Red Chard Quiche

Salmon and Swiss Chard Quiche

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese

Italian-Style Swiss Chard

Red Chard and Caramelized Onions

Smart Tips!

Store unwashed chard in a plastic bag in the fridge; it will keep for several days.

With a cold frame, you can usually harvest fresh chard through December–and avoid skyrocketing lettuce prices

Did You Know?

Swiss chard is a member of the beet family–it just doesn’t have a bulb.

Swiss chard isn’t native to Switzerland, but to the Mediterranean region.

Chard is also considered a good source of copper, calcium, vitamin B2, and Vitamin B6.

Savory Swiss Chard with Portobellos


  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Crushed And Chopped
  • 1 (8 Ounce) Package Portobello Mushrooms, Stemmed And Cut Into 1/2-Inch Wide By 2-Inch Long Pieces
  • 1 Leek, Chopped
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 1 Bunch Swiss Chard, Trimmed And Chopped
  • 2 Cups Grated Parmesan Cheese


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the red pepper, garlic, and portobello mushrooms. Cook and stir until the mushroom has softened and begun to release its liquid, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the leek, and continue cooking until the leek has softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the chicken broth and Swiss chard. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, and simmer until the chard leaves have wilted, about 10 minutes. Remove the lid, and continue cooking until the chard is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese; let stand until melted.