September Superfoods

September Superfoods

We usually associate edibles with superfoods. 

Of course,the ingredients we put in our body every day are essential in sustaining our well being. My definition of a superfood includes daily movement, and attention to the thoughts we think throughout the day. 

Just taking five minutes away from your work desk to move and breathe deeply can recalibrate your mindset. That sounds like a superfood to me!

In September comes a wave of cool weather. The colors start to change, the air has a hint of crispness, and the aromatics of the fall harvest start to intoxicate our palate.

With the body’s divine intelligence we begin craving warmer foods. Eating with the seasons brings harmony to the body and the mind, and sustains us while we ease into autumn with our own natural flow. 

With this, comes new delectable opportunities for us to keep moving toward good health with hope and excitement.

It’s the little things that help most of all. Every lifestyle choice, no matter how modest, gets noticed and celebrated by the body’s perceptiveness. If it feels hard to give up certain foods, start slowly, by adding in some nutrient rich whole foods like leafy greens, whole grains, and seasonal spices.

Consuming a colorful diversity of plant foods in your daily life, will promote a well functioning gut microbiota.This allows for a quicker and more effective response to disease-causing organisms. In turn this will create a strong immune system, to support a vibrant body. 

In addition to the foods we eat, a beauty routine that leans on natural ingredients will help you look and feel good ~ without sacrificing your health. 

With our skin being our largest organ, what we put on our body is paramount to our wellness.

In a culture of doing with less being, our health and the way we approach it, has become central to our way of life.

Simple Superfood Inspiration ~

Design your own superfood bowl with this savory dukkah recipe that is scrumptious on just about everything.  ~ Keep it colorful, organic, when possible, flavorful, and incorporate texture by adding some crunchy bits like this delicious recipe with a superabundance of essential omega fatty acids.

To your good health…

If you are a curious cook, join me on my Radio Show ~ “A taste for All Seasons”  

We explore the world of food, with the philosophy of eating with the seasons. 

And… as always, l  will be sharing cooking tips, seasonal shortcuts and kitchen essentials that will make your life easier in the kitchen. 

Visit:  A Taste for All Seasons Show Page @ WPVMFM.ORG. and listen to the August 28th show, at 11am, for a delicious conversation with Dairy Farmer Andrea Vangunst of Grassroots Farm.

It airs on the last Saturday of every month at 11 am, on WPVM FM 103.7 in Asheville, NC.   

Laurie Richardone is a seasonal gluten free chef and certified health coach. For more information, visit

Look On The Bright Side

Look On The Bright Side

 Pessimism can hold you back in life. After all, if you always assume that the worst will happen, you will always stay on the safe side. But taking risks is what life is all about. If you didn’t take any risks at all, you would never date anyone in case things didn’t work out. You wouldn’t change jobs because you might not be able to handle the new role.

Some people believe that they are natural-born pessimists. But if that were true, you would never have enjoyed the carefree and hope-filled childhood that you likely remember. So, if you want to regain that youthful optimism, read on. Here are some tips to help you become more of an optimist.

Learn from Past Mistakes

Past experiences shape a person’s attitude to life. So, if you have experienced disappointments or hardships, then it is only natural that you might have a more negative view of your future. However, you cannot change the past, so there is no point in dwelling on past events. Instead, learn from your mistakes and failures and recognize that you did eventually come through the bad times.

See the Good as Well as the Bad

If it is past events that have made you a pessimist, then it is likely that you are only focusing on the negative aspects of events. For example, you are only thinking about the pain that a breakup caused, and you are ignoring the good times that you had with your ex-partner. So, every time a negative thought comes into your head, try replacing it with a positive image of something good that came out of that situation.

Keep Things in Perspective

People who are pessimists are incredibly good at catastrophizing. If a pessimist has a bad day at work, for example, they will start thinking about losing their job. Next, they will imagine themselves being homeless and destitute and never being able to find a job again. When you feel yourself beginning to make a mountain out of a molehill, try to get things back into perspective. Don’t think about the worst possible outcomes; try to weigh up the situation logically and think about the most likely outcome.

Remind Yourself of All the Disasters that Never Happened

If you look back at all the times you thought the worst would happen, you will likely find that the disaster you feared never materialized. Indeed, if you did lose your job, you probably got a new job reasonably quickly. And, what’s more, you likely get paid more now, and the role is more enjoyable. So, when you find yourself in a negative thinking spiral, just remind your pessimistic self about how many times you have been wrong before!

Stay in the Present

Instead of letting your negative imagination run wild, try to focus on what is happening around you right now. While you are thinking about the bad things that might occur, you are missing out on all the beautiful things that are happening right now.

Talk Yourself Out of Pessimism

If you had a friend who was going through a tough time, you would try to help them through it and give them some encouraging words of advice. You certainly wouldn’t tell a friend that their current woes are only the beginning, and it’s going to get a lot worse from here! So, try to be kind to yourself, too. Instead of talking yourself down all the time, try giving yourself the same kind of upbeat advice that you provide for a friend who was worried about something.

Think Longer Term

If pessimism has become an ingrained way of thinking for you, then you probably assume the worst of every situation. If you want to go out for a walk, you will believe that it will rain. You may think you will make a fool of yourself if you go to a party. You may be right, but five years from now, you won’t even remember that you got soaking wet, and you will laugh along with everyone else about the time that you spilled red wine down your shirt at a party. So, try to remember that, even if embarrassing or painful events do occur in your life, they won’t last forever.

Make a Daily Gratitude List

Start each day by making a list of six things that you are grateful to have. Making a gratitude list will set you up for the rest of the day with some positive thoughts. Becoming an optimistic person is not all about changing who you are; it is about changing how you look at the world. So, when you start focusing on the good things in your life, it will help you realize that positive things do happen to you.

Tell Yourself That You Are Optimistic

If you walk out of your front door every day, convinced that you are a pessimist, guess what? You will spend the rest of the day believing that you are a pessimist! No label describes who you are, because you are an individual, and, like everyone else, you will have some good fortune and some bad.

Spend Time With Optimists

People tend to gravitate toward like-minded individuals. So, if you take a negative view of life, then it is likely that you have friends who do the same. Try to widen your circle of friends to include some more update optimists, because enthusiasm and optimism are catching on! If you spend too much time with pessimists, you will all convince each other that things are even worse than you imagined!


Of course, the above tips are not going to transform you into an eternal optimist overnight. Hopefully, though, these ideas will give you a starting point. The most crucial decision that you must make is to decide that you want to change your perspective on life to a more positive one.

“Reality is created by the mind, we can change our reality by changing our mind.” -Plato

For the Birds

For the Birds

By Gigi Steel

It’s hard to imagine anything more peaceful than sitting in a rocking chair with a beverage and listening to songbirds as they flit around your backyard. Whether you live in the city or the country and whether you have a backyard or balcony, you can attract birds with just a few simple steps.

Birds need a regular supply of food and water, so the first step in attracting them is to provide fresh water and quality food. A clean water supply not only provides birds with water to drink, but also gives them a place to bathe and preen. Bird baths work great but must be cleaned regularly to discourage the growth of bacteria and algae. A water feature with a pump will keep water moving to help avoid this problem. Many birds enjoy misters. On a sweltering afternoon, they will playfully dart in and out of the water mist.

Purchasing high quality bird food will keep your feathered friends healthy. It will also encourage them to come back for more and raise their families in your backyard.

Remember that different varieties of birds have different preferences of what and how they eat. Putting out their favorite food will encourage them to come for a visit. Cardinals prefer to stand on a flat surface while eating dried fruit and sunflower seeds. Bluebirds seek out open spaces and find mealworms irresistible. Chickadees eat a variety of seeds, nuts, and insects. They prefer to dine near trees where they can quickly fly away to safety. Hummingbirds require a specific type of feeder, and will search for blooming petunias and bee balm. Offer food and install feeders to attract the kinds of birds you enjoy watching. For safety concerns, birds will typically go to a feeder placed high enough where other animals can’t interrupt their meal. Keep your feeders clean. Damp and moldy seed and feeders can spread disease. If the food isn’t eaten, don’t allow it to accumulate and harden. Clean it out and start over.

Pretty bird houses can provide decor to your outdoor space and a safe spot for birds to raise their young. If building a birdhouse on your own, learn how big the entrance hole should be to accommodate the bird species you want to attract. The hole may look small to you, but to a bird, it looks like a safe place where larger birds can’t intrude.

A habitat of trees, shrubs, and flowers will encourage birds to come to your backyard and make it their home. Fruit trees, berry-bearing shrubs, and long grasses offer natural sources of food and nesting material. Birds also seek out tasty bugs to eat. A scrap pile of logs at the corner of your yard will soon host enough bugs to feed several bird families. After you begin feeding birds, it’s important to continue feeding on a regular basis or they will move on to a more reliable source.

By taking care to keep your space a safe and welcoming sanctuary for birds, they will see this as an invitation to visit and make your outdoor space their home.

Mother Nature’s Magic

Mother Nature’s Magic

By JeanAnn Taylor

This past January I ran into that brick wall known as, The Flu. It was a hard hit that put me in bed for over a week. When The Flu hits, you have no decisions to make; it makes them for you. The only thing to do is to wait until The Flu says, “You can get up now.”

While lying in bed day after day, I had time to think about what I want 2020 to look like. Of course I’ll keep dancing.

Of course I’ll continue to sew, crochet, paint, and write; but what needs to change to make my life fuller, happier, healthier? The answer I came up with is to spend more time outside. Like most people I know, my life in work and play demands indoor time. Yet being in nature—surrounded by growing, buzzing, tweeting, blooming, and other enchanting mysteries—has so many benefits good for our body and soul; outdoor time is worth making a priority.

In the 1990s, the Japanese concept of shinrin-yoku began. As many Japanese traditions follow common sense, simplicity, intention, and authenticity, this practice, which translates into “forest bathing” is another way to live with these virtuous ideals. Forest bathing doesn’t require water, bubble bath, or a soaking tub. It simply requires that you spend time in nature where your mind can meander with no predestined intention. The only requirement is that you slow down and notice. As you wander through the woods or park, be mindful of the scent of blooming honeysuckle. Pay attention to how the wind feels as it blows across your skin. Touch a tree and observe how rough or smooth the bark feels on your hand. Look up and watch as birds fly above you. Listen as leaves crunch under your boots, as a waterfall cascades into the river, and as a songbird alerts her family of your presence. Be awed while watching butterflies puddle at the river bank, as bees flit from flower to flower, and as water bugs dive into the lake. Walk barefoot to absorb electrons from the earth, and dip your toes into the icy water of a mountain stream.

An important component of forest bathing is in the action of walking. Walking is considered to be the single most important thing we can do to improve our health. Along with reducing stress, managing our weight, and warding off many diseases, walking inspires creative thinking by delivering more blood flow to the brain. Without the distractions of cell phones, emails, and to-do lists, your mind is free to unconsciously process ideas and predicaments. Answers to questions and dilemmas that seem impossibly overwhelming often appear as if by magic. Combine walking with nature-focus and epiphanies can happen.

Spending time outdoors can also help us sleep better at night. The natural rhythms of light and dark can be distorted by our modern lifestyle of constant, artificial lighting. Going outside to watch the sunrise or sunset, or to gaze at the stars, can help to reset our internal clock. Awareness of weather also keeps our days and months from blending into each other. When we spend our lives in a controlled climate, every day feels the same and we mindlessly miss the experience of the seasons. This can lead to a loss of perspective.

This spring, take a walk in the woods to look for tiny wildflowers popping up to say, “Hello.” Breathe in the fresh, cool air, and feel inspired at a waterfall. What you’ll find as you lose yourself in nature is—yourself. Go outside, follow your nose, and accept the healing gift of outdoor wonder.

Please send your thoughts and ideas to me at

Sofia Style – Fashion at your Fingertips

Sofia Style – Fashion at your Fingertips

By JeanAnn Taylor

Once upon a time, a lady would never, ever consider leaving her home without first slipping on a pair of outfit-matching gloves. In fact, no outfit was complete without a lovely pair of this essential fashion accessory. Sadly, while gloves will always be practical, stylish, and elegant, fashion gloves have lost favor in our casual-obsessed, fast-fashion, contemporary-styled world.

Gloves have a history that dates back to centuries ago, and they have been worn for many reasons: protection, communication, religious ceremonies, and to symbolize social status. Most recently, they were at the height of fashion during the 1950s when women were focused on feminine style. Wearing white gloves was always an option, but women who wanted to look ultra-fashionable chose gloves to match the color of their outfit. Glove etiquette was also important and taught to young girls by their mothers as well as in home economics classes in high school. Girls were taught when to wear gloves, when to take them off, and what to do when eating or shaking hands. Tip: A lady never takes off her gloves to shake hands unless meeting the President, First Lady, or high-ranking church or government official. You may take them off for dancing as it is more intimate to touch your partner’s hand. Now you know.

The general rule for fashion gloves is that the shorter your sleeves, the longer your gloves. Long gloves look elegant with strapless gowns, while short gloves look best with long sleeves. Types of fashion gloves include:

Wrist length gloves, sometimes called shorties, hit at or slightly above the wrist bone. This glove is considered more casual and appropriate for daytime wear.

Gauntlet gloves are dramatic with their turned-up cuff pointing outward. They may be wrist length or go part way up the forearm. The cuff is often made from a different material or color from the finger portion of the glove.

Classic, sometimes called bracelet gloves, hit mid-way on the forearm. They often have ruching, which allows the wearer to shorten or lengthen the glove as desired.

Elbow length gloves hit at the elbow and are most often worn for evening events.

Evening or opera gloves are a more formal style of elbow gloves. They often feature embroidery or a row of small buttons.

Although gloves are no longer a fashion must, or come with strict fashion rules, they do remain a practical wintertime accessory. Gloves keep our hands warm and protected from the elements of winter and most of us own a pair or two. Modern gloves can be made from materials that insulate and keep hands dry; some gloves even have heating elements

A current popular style is the fingerless glove. You may think this smart invention was designed for texting; however, fingerless gloves date back to the early Romans and Greeks. Remember, homes were not as warm and cozy as they are now, so wearing gloves inside allowed women to continue working on projects such as embroidery and other hand-stitching. These fingerless gloves also allowed them to show off their flashy rings.

Gloves come in many varieties of materials including leather, silk, satin, wool, acrylic, plastic, and lace. You can find gloves specifically designed for sports, driving, gardening, cooking, or dishwashing. There are practical gloves with flaps to cover and uncover fingers and fancy gloves with embroidery, and beadwork. I keep a pair of “gas-pump” gloves in my car to protect my hands while pumping gas. Although gloves are not all the rage they once were, they will always be functional and fashionable.

Style expert JeanAnn Taylor can be reached

JeanAnn’s Journey–New Year New You!

JeanAnn’s Journey–New Year New You!

By Jean Ann Taylor

This catchy little phrase gets a lot of publicity in January. Many of us take a look at our lives each new year and reassess where we are and where we want to be. Some of us then make the decision to create a “new you,” or to “reinvent” ourselves. The primary purpose of reinvention is to give ourselves the gift of living authentically.

I’ve “reinvented” myself several times over. I reinvented myself when I became a mom, when I worked in a professional career environment, and when I got out. I reinvented myself after surviving cancer and as an empty-nester. I reinvented myself from a “reserved-introvert” to a “social-introvert” so I could compete in dance competitions and speak to large groups of people. Reinvention isn’t something I do each New Year; it’s something I do regularly to keep up with the person I become as I go through my life. I’ve found that reinventing myself is essential for my happiness and personal fulfillment.

I think it’s unrealistic to expect that the dreams and goals you have at 20-something will always be the same at 60-something. Those first objectives served a purpose and may have given you joy—and money—but that doesn’t mean the career you choose at 25 can’t change when you are 45. Life is ever-changing, and reinvention helps us honor our personal values as we go through our journey.

The motivation to reinvent ourselves often comes from feeling dissatisfied or unhappy with our current situation. I’ve learned that this initially feels awful, but if you take a good look, you’ll realize that the uncomfortable emotions are actually sending the message that it’s time to make a change. This yearning or dissatisfaction keeps us from staying in paralyzing circumstances. Without the anxious or restless feelings, we may never reach the point where we say, “This is enough.” Only when we acknowledge our truth can we begin the search for new experiences or changes that will lead to living a fulfilled and authentic life.

There are also times when serendipitous occurrences lead to the desire for reinvention. You may decide to learn a new skill for a specific project and then realize that you have discovered a new passion. This can lead to the desire to make changes in your life so you can explore these possibilities further.

Happy, fulfilled lives don’t just happen; they require work, focus, and a desire to live authentically. When you are feeling stuck, the first thing to ask yourself is, ‘What do I want?” Sounds simple, right? It’s not. I love the line in Alice in Wonderland when Alice asks the Cheshire Cat which path she should take. His simple answer says everything, “That depends on where you want to go.” Ask yourself: How do I want to live my life? What gives me joy? What do I have to do to make my dream a reality? To answer these questions, you must know who you are at every stage of your life. It’s good to know that it’s never too late to reinvent yourself. I know an 80-year-old lady who recently began taking dance lessons, and she just entered her first dance competition! Changing who you are and being willing to take risks requires courage, drive, energy, focus, and planning; but the results are fulfillment, contentment, happiness, and inner peace.

“New Year, New You” can be more than just a January expression when you adopt it as the motivation you need to take a conscious look at your life. You can then create changes that will make you healthier, happier, and more fulfilled. Reinvention can give your life meaning because living authentically is really the only way to live your life with purpose, and to have your wishes and dreams realized.

Happy New Year!