beefandwhitebeanchili

Since it’s fall, it’s time to make the chili and put it in the freezer for a very cold day. Are you with me? This beef and white chili bean recipe is to die for! Seriously. You will L.O.V.E. it.

Ingredients

1 large red onion

1 large jalapeno

3 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)

2 (6-in. corn tortillas, torn into pieces

1 Tbsp. olive oil

8 oz. 90% lean ground sirloin

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 ½ Tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. smoked paprika

2 cups canned unsalted crushed tomatoes

½ tsp. kosher salt

1 (15 oz.) can unsalted cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

¼ cup plain 2 % reduced-fat Greek Yogurt

2 oz. pre-shredded 2% reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese (about ½ cup)

 

  1. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high.  Cut 2 (1/2-inch-thick) round slices from onion.  Chop remaining onion; reserve.  Add onion slices and jalapeno to pan; cook 8 minutes, turning to char on all sides.  Remove onion slices; chop.  Remove jalapeno; thinly slice.
  2. Combine stock and tortillas in a food processor; process until combined.
  3. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add beef; cook 6 minutes, stirring to crumble. Add reserved chopped fresh onion and garlic; cook 5 minutes.  Stir in chili powder, cumin, and paprika.  Stir in stock mixture, tomatoes, salt, and beans; bring to a simmer.  Cook 10 minutes.  Place 1 ¾ cups chili in each of 4 bowls.  Top each serving with 1 tablespoon yogurt, 2 tablespoons cheese, charred chopped onion, and jalapeno.

 

** Blended corn tortillas add a delicious masa flavor and give the chili extra body.

 

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thinkbeforeyoubuypink

Think Before You Buy Pink

My friends at Breast Cancer Action coined the term pink-washing as part of a “Think Before You Pink” campaign. Pink-washer: (pink’-wah-sher) noun. A company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are linked to the disease.

Here Are Critical Questions to Ask Before You Buy Pink

  1. Does any money from this purchase go to support breast cancer programs? How much?

Any company can put a pink ribbon on its products. The widely recognized pink ribbon symbol is not regulated by any agency and does not necessarily mean it effectively combats the breast cancer epidemic. Some products sport pink ribbons to try to communicate that they are “healthy” and don’t contribute to breast cancer, such as a number of natural health and beauty products. Other products have a pink ribbon in order to indicate that the company supports breast cancer programs even if the company’s contributions are not tied to the purchases of the specific product bearing the ribbon. Still other companies give a portion of an item’s cost to a breast cancer organization but may require further action on the part of the consumer for the donation to be realized. Can you tell how much money from your purchases will go to support breast cancer programs? If not, consider giving directly to the charity of your choice instead.

  1. What organization will get the money? What will they do with the funds, and how do these programs turn the tide of the breast cancer epidemic?

Many companies that sell pink ribbon products and donate a percentage of each sale to breast cancer programs fail to indicate which of the many different breast cancer organizations will get the money. Furthermore, the consumer is left to trust that these organizations are engaged in work that is meaningful and makes the greatest difference. If money goes to “services,” are they reaching the people who need them most? How do screening programs ensure that women can get treatment? And how do breast cancer awareness programs address the fact that we already know that breast cancer is a problem and that action is needed in order to end the epidemic? Does the money go to truly addressing the root causes of the epidemic, like social inequities that lead to women of color and poor women dying more often of breast cancer, or environmental toxins that are contributing to high rates of breast cancer? Before donating, check the recipient organization’s website to make sure that its mission and activities are in line with your personal values. If you can’t tell, or you don’t know what the organization does, reconsider your purchase.

  1. Is there a “cap” on the amount the company will donate? Has this maximum donation already been met? Can you tell?

Some companies that indicate that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of a particular pink ribbon product will go to support breast cancer programs put an arbitrary “cap” on their maximum donation. Once the maximum amount has been met, the company may continue to sell the product with the pink ribbon without alerting customers that no additional funds will be donated to breast cancer organizations. This means you may be buying a product for which none of your purchase price will go to a breast cancer cause but only to the bottom line of the company.

  1. Does this purchase put you or someone you love at risk for exposure to toxins linked to breast cancer? What is the company doing to ensure that its products are not contributing to the breast cancer epidemic?

Many companies have sold pink ribbon products that are linked to increased risk of breast cancer. Some believe that companies that are profiting from building a reputation based on their concern about breast cancer have a responsibility to protect the public from possible harms when scientific research indicates that there is a risk or plausible reason for concern. Some of the earliest cause-marketing companies were well-known cosmetics companies that continue to sell cosmetics containing chemicals that have been linked to breast cancer. Even car companies have gotten in on the action and sell cars that emit toxic air pollutants in the name of breast cancer. In considering a pink ribbon purchase, does the product contain toxins or otherwise increase the risk of breast cancer?


Please Think Before You Buy Pink!

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owensuskind

Image:wbur.org

It’s a whole new world for Owen Suskind. He was diagnosed with autism at age 3, and barely communicated until his parents learned they could speak to Owen using dialogue from Disney movies. The family’s journey is captured in the new film Life, Animated, which shows how the magic kingdom helped Owen, now 25, discover his own voice. Go to lifeanimateddoc.com and check it out.

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shop

Image:Stylevilet.com

 

“I always say that shopping is cheaper than a psychiatrist.” ~ Tammy Faye Baker

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onepotcheesypastabake

Images: Myrecipes.com

This easy-peasy skillet pasta bake is a surefire family hit.  Pasta and meat sauce topped with mozzarella cheese will make everyone at the table happy, and the all-in-one-pot technique will have the cook smiling pretty.

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

8 oz. 90% lean ground beef

¾ tsp. dried oregano

1 ¼ cups unsalted chicken stock

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

1 ½ cups unsalted crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce

8 oz. uncooked whole-grain penne pasta

5 oz. fresh baby spinach

4 oz. pre-shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 1 cup)

 

  1. Preheat broiler to high. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high.  Add onion, saute 2 minutes.  Add beef and oregano; cook 3 minutes, stirring to crumble.
  2. Add stock, salt, pepper, tomatoes, and pasta; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 12 to 13 minutes or until pasta is done. Stir in spinach.
  3. Sprinkle cheese over pasta mixture. Place pan in oven; broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown.

 

Enjoy, enjoy!!

 

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firstdayofautumn

Image: Pcwallart.com

Thursday, September 22nd is the first day of Fall!  Yippy Skippy. I looooooove fall…everything about it, from the colors, to the smells to the pumpkins to the food and yes, even the cozy clothes!  It is definitely my Shining Moment season. Hope that it is the same for you!

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The Food Lab

 

foodlab

Finecooking.com

You know I’m a nerd and love my books, especially cookbooks! Well, I’ve found a fellow nerd and cookbook author, J. Kenji-Lopez-Alt. This massive and informative cookbook called, The Food Lab was written by this MIT grad. This professional cook-cum-Serious Eats chief creative officer spent years’ systematically testing ways to make food tastier. The 300 recipes prove his experiments to be successful. From the secrets to perfect steak (hint: flip frequently) to no-fuss risotto, the book is a catalyst for great cooking. It costs $50 and is 938 pages. It sure does make a wonderful house warming gift.

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change

Tinybuddha.com

 

“By changing nothing, nothing changes.” ~ Tony Robbins

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3ingredientpancakes

Cookinglight.com

 

Start your day off with this delicious and healthy breakfast. I love pancakes, and can’t believe this 3-ingredient pancake is made from whole grains, fruit, and one protein-packed egg. They are yumma-licious and so easy-peasy to make. These single serving pancakes are a bit more like the custardy center bite of French toast: fluffy, eggy, and golden delicious.

3-Ingredient Pancakes Ingredients:

1 medium ripe banana

2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour

1 large egg, lightly beaten

 

  1. Mash banana with a fork until smooth. Add flour and egg; stir well with a whisk.
  2. Heat a large non-stick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Spoon batter onto skillet, using one-third of batter for each pancake. Cook 2 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked.  Carefully turn pancakes over; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.

 

As an added bonus, I like to add 2 tablespoons part-skim ricotta chesses, 1 tablespoon toasted walnuts, ¼ cup blueberries, and 1 teaspoon honey.

 

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notthelastgoodbye

Image: Bookdepository.com

I’ve just finished the most amazing book, Not the Last Goodbye. I picked it up because I saw that it was written by David Servan-Schreiber (not because I knew what it was about!).

Shortly after my diagnosis, I devoured his first book, Anticancer: A New Way of Life (a must read, by the way, whether or not you have or have had cancer). What I didn’t know until I started reading it was that this is the story of the last year of his life.

In June 2010, the author received the news that a “gigantic, vein-filled mass” had taken over his frontal lobe, the region that had been operated on twice nearly 20 years before.

Though he acknowledged the fact that the survival rate of this type of cancer recurrence is zero, his “desire to live was very much intact.” Rather than falling into despair, Servan-Schreiber faced his many rounds of hospitalization, surgery and radiation treatment with courageous resolve. He also continued to adhere to the regimen of “physical exercise, yoga, and meditation” that he promoted in his international bestseller Anticancer.

Even when he knew that he was dying, Servan-Schreiber never stopped believing in the value of his holistic approaches, despite his relapse: “The fact that I have lived all these years with such an aggressive form of cancer…is enough to support the idea that it was within my power to contribute positively to my health.”

One of the most powerful aspects of this book is Servan-Schreiber’s authenticity. Essentially, he took full responsibility for having disregarded a key part of his own treatment plan: stress management. Instead he had embarked on an international tour (criss-crossing the Atlantic several times a month) to deliver his Anti-cancer message. Nevertheless, he concludes that he would not have done it any differently.

As his disease progressed and he drew closer to death, which occurred in July 2011, the psychiatrist turned his thoughts toward “dying well.” That meant getting his affairs in order and, more importantly, saying goodbye to friends and family, forgiving others and seeking forgiveness. For the author, dying was not an inevitable fate that would separate him from the life he so loved. Rather, it was a gift that allowed him to cultivate inner peace and forge even closer ties with those who mattered most. How is that for the ultimate Shining Moment?

This book is powerful, honest, and truly inspiring. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did!

 

 

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