Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Banana Pumpkin Munchkins

It is that time of year again where pumpkin is a celebrity and I begin to follow like a loyal fan.  I wanted to make a healthier option for my Dunkin Donuts pumpkin munchkin craving, so I made these mini muffins.  

To make these pumpkin treats a tad more healthy I simply used organic ingredients like; unbleached flour, coconut oil and organic sugar, but lets be real, while these will satisfy your pumpkin craving, they are still a treat.  So remember to be mindful when you pop these little suckers into your mouth!

Muffin Ingredients
3 Bananas
3 Organic Eggs 
2 2/3 Cup Pumpkin puree
2/3 cup Coconut oil
1 Cup Honey
3 1/2 cup Unbleached Flour
1 Cup Organic Sugar
1 Tbsp Baking powder
1 Tbsp Baking soda
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp Nutmeg, ground
1 Tbsp Allspice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl mash the bananas and then ad in beaten eggs, oil, pumpkin, and honey.
3. In another bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda and powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.
4.  Pour the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture in thirds and stir until just combined.
5.  Pour batter into a greased mini muffin pan and bake for 18 min or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Glazed Icing
Icing Ingredients
2 Cups Confectioners' sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Tbsp Butter
1/3 cup Almond Milk

1.  In a dry bowl, mix vanilla and butter (room temperature) together.
2.  Pour in sugar and mix into butter mixture.
3. When muffins come out of the oven, add the almond milk slowly and stir.
4. Drip glaze over warm muffins and let cool.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Women Friendships

Dear Sophie, I have a question from a woman to woman.  Do you think it is important to have female friendships?   

Absolutely!  Women and men are different and need to have companionship with their own gender.  Women sometimes need to speak more than men, and women understand this, which is why women friends are so important!  I find myself often saying to my female clients, “your daily word quota is bigger than his.”  While there is some humor in that, there is also some truth to it.  Your female friends can give you a deposit that maybe others in your life are not able to give, like feeling compassion, feeling understood and heard.  Typically females will lend an ear and can truly sit with you, in the details, and help you iron it all out.  There may be times in the friendship when you fill most of the air space, and then there will be times when you are there just to listen. 

In communication, we have two different approaches and needs.  Sometimes people need to monologue and just have someone listen.  If they are in this mood, that can take up to about 30 minutes, but then they will be empty and ready for feedback.  Then there is dialogue, which is much more of a give and take type of exchange that can go on for hours.  Tuning into this communication approach can be helpful in your friendships, and if you see a friend in a monologue mood, just let them go.  On the other hand, be aware that a monologue should not dominate the friendship, as this doesn’t bode well for long term balance.  Being a great friend is so important to having healthy and balanced friendships.  So tune in with yourself and become aware of your friendship patterns. 

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

The Inner Voice

If you listen to the inner voice, 
you will inherit her.
At first, she may seem vague, 
bringing confusion to you, 
but she is trying to discipline you 
until she can trust you, 
testing your willingness to listen.
She then comes becomes understandable 
and makes you happy,
revealing her secrets to you.
If you go astray, however, 
it will seem as though she has abandoned you,
leaving you to your own destruction.
But never fear, 
she is always waiting for you to listen, 
once again.

-Original Source, Ecclesiasticus/ Sirach 4:11-19

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Transforming Unhappiness

Does it make you feel Good or Bad? 
by Sophie Skover

There is a very simple (maybe not easy), but a simplified way to begin to shift your unhappiness and start living a happier life.  All you have to do is start with the question: does it make you feel good or bad?  In terms of your day to day mind frame, start checking in to see how you are feeling about what you spend your time doing or thinking about.  Next, see if it makes you feel good or bad.  If it makes you feel good, carry on!  If it makes you feel bad, however, find a way to change it.  So the process goes:  
  • Does it make you feel good or bad? 
  • If it makes you feel bad: 
    • stop doing it, eliminate it from your life, if that is not an option
    • change the way you see it, or
    • edit the thought to find empowerment. 

-Here are some examples of this process-

Eliminate it from your life:
"My house is a mess, but I cannot get rid of anything because it was given to me or means something to me."
Oh clutter.  This can actually be a great place to start.  Clutter is one of those things that can just accumulate overtime, and ends up weighing you down.  Cleaning out your spaces is a great way to feel uplifted or even temporarily happy!  Begin to de-clutter your space by starting with one thing.  Simply look at that specific object and ask yourself if it makes you feel good or bad.  If it makes you feel good, keep it.  If it makes you feel bad however, find a new home for it, or pass it on to someone who would love it. Most importantly get it out of your space, and keep things around you that make you feel good.  

Change the way you see it:
"All I want is to meet my soul mate, but cannot seem to find anyone I click with."
We all have these kind of thoughts at one point or another. You know the ones I am talking about: the thoughts that make you think you are talking about what you want, but are ultimately making you feel unhappy.  When asked, does this thought make you feel good or bad, even though it sounds like a desire, the answer was: "it makes me feel bad."  The next step is to shift this same thought to an empowering one: "I believe I have desires for a reason, my desires are whispers from God that lead me to my ultimate purpose.  Therefore, I believe I am worthy of finding a great partner who I connect with. I choose to keep the faith."  

"I don't want to cold call and bother this person, if they needed something they would contact me, it's a waste of time."
Cold calling! NO.  Who wants to cold call, or get a COLD call, probably no one.  But what about a warm call?  I wouldn't mind a warm call.  A warm call is reaching out to another fellow human who is sharing in this same human experience and connecting by asking questions, providing valuable answers and most importantly sharing the essence of Namaste.  No matter your industry, try to have an open heart in the work you do, give YOUR best, and good luck with your warm Namaste calls!  

Edit the thought and find empowerment : 
"I'm too tired to do the dishes and put my clothes away."
If thoughts or activities make you feel bad, tired or lazy, think about how you will feel after you have completed them.  Will you feel good after it is done?  If the answer is yes, then these chores become an opportunity to work through and see the end result.  There are always going to be things that we have to do, which we may not view as enjoyable, but maybe there is enjoyment in some part of the process.  That is what you want to look for.  Once you find it, then you practice the "good old fashioned push yourself through it until you are on the other side" technique. This thought can transform to: "I find the energy to complete my chores, because I love feeling good upon their completion."  

"I am so frustrated that I can't say what I am really thinking or feeling, professionally or personally? 
It has been expressed that we live in a society where we are encouraged to repress our thoughts and feelings.  Sometimes this can look like we are repressing our honesty and sincerity.  However, I challenge you to look at this from a different angle.  Have you ever heard the saying: "it is not your message, it is your delivery."  The WAY we say things is so important, and I am a huge advocate for speaking your truth, always with the intention of helping others.  The number one rule is, know your audience.  A DJ needs to know his audience, a minister needs to know her audience, and I encourage you to know yours by becoming aware of who is in front of you.  This awareness will guide you.  Next, find your inner truth and look to see if it has the power to hurt others.  If so, I would encourage you to do a bit more internal seeking until you inwardly discover a message that will empower the whole situation.  I am by no means saying this is easy, but it comes down to having an authentic voice, and learning how to share that with others in a way that can be effectively received.  This thought can transform to: "I am willing to discover my truth and learn how to share it in a loving way that empowers others." 

You don't have to be unhappy, so remember to stop and check in to see if there is a way you can eliminate or change this state from your life. Whatever you do, from this point forward, first check in with yourself and see if your thoughts, ideas, dreams, items, activities or desires, make you feel good.  It is simple, if you are thinking thoughts that lead you to feel bad, become aware and then make a change!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Love Pumpkin, but can't tolerate dairy? Solution: Pumpkin Spice Creamer (non-dairy)

I love the fall and living in south Florida, I have had to learn to create that fall feeling through scent and sight, rather than temperature.  I have a crush on anything pumpkin and after seeing this recipe for pumpkin creamer, I had to see if I could make it, just as tasty, without the dairy!

I try to stay away from dairy because of the mucus it creates in the body that can show up as all sorts of symptoms, so I wanted to try making this pumpkin creamer with almond milk instead of milk and cream.  I also like to eat foods that are more whole and not processed, so I sweetened with agave nectar, but if you want to cut those calories down and are a spenda lover, go ahead and use that to taste, instead.  

This blog normally does not post recipes, but rather ideas on how to overcome irrational food cravings.  After I made this non-dairy creamer however, I figured it was totally blog worthy. I hope you enjoy... and happy fall!  

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer 
(Non-Dairy and Natural)

2 cups Almond Milk (vanilla sweetened)
4 tablespoons organic pumpkin puree 
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Allspice
1 tablespoon Agave Nectar
3 tablespoons Maple Syrup 

Whisk almond milk, pumpkin, agave nectar, syrup, and spices together over medium heat.  When it gets steamy remove from heat. Use a strainer to transfer the cream into a mason jar.  Let it cool down and chill it the refrigerator

Weight Watchers points: 
2 points per 1/3 cup

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Low-Cal Leftovers (all under 400 Calories)

The average Thanksgiving meal can add up to 3-4,000 calories, in one sitting. This can make the idea of leftovers overwhelming and can add to the mentality of holiday weight gain.  Leftovers, however, can be so yummy when you make sure to eat only 400 calories or less in one sitting.   (The key to the four hundred calorie meal  is that you can burn through approximately 200 to 400 calories in one sitting, so if you only eat that much food, you are likely to burn and not store.)  Low-cal leftovers are the answer to enjoying the indulgent holiday remnants, but eliminating the holiday weight gain!

Here are some ideas of what you can do with your leftovers, all under 400 calories.  All you have to do is be conscious and mindful and measure your food portions!  

Thanksgiving Low-Cal Leftovers 
(all under 400 Calories)

1.      Thanksgiving Open-Face Sandwich: 390 calories
a.       Whole wheat bread—1 slice, 110 calories
b.      Cranberry Sauce Spread—¼ cup, 100 calories
c.       Turkey—2 ounces, 80 calories
d.      Green Bean casserole—1/3 cup, 100 calories

2.      Thanksgiving Simple Dish: 375 calories
a.       Turkey—3 ounces, 125 calories
b.      Mashed Potatoes—1/2 cup, 200 calories
c.       Cream Gravy—¼ cup (3 second pour) 50 calories

3.      Protein Lovers: 310 calories
a.     Turkey—4 ounces (2 pieces) 160 calories
b.      Green Bean casserole—1/2 cup, 150 calories (place in-between turkey, eaten like a sandwich)

4.      Sweet-Tooth Special: 315 calories
a.       Pumpkin Pie—1/8 of pie (Of a 9 inch diameter pie), 315 calories

5.      Thanksgiving Sampler: 390 calories
a.       Turkey—1 ounce, 40 calories
b.      Mashed Potatoes—1/4 cup, 100 calories
c.       Candied Sweet Potatoes—¼ cup, 75 calories           
d.      Stuffing—1/4 cup, 100 calories
e.       Green Bean Casserole—¼ cup, 75 calories   

Happy Holiday Season!  

Check out some other suggestions: