Taking time to smell the roses!

I read this yesterday and it stuck with me all day, a sure sign it should be shared:)  Thanks to my kids’ great piano teacher for posting!
“A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went…

through the station, most of them on their way to work.   Three minutes went by, and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule.   A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, and continued to walk.   A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.   The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.   In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.   No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.   Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.   This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?   One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:   If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?”

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Photo: "A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

 Three minutes went by, and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

 A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, and continued to walk.

 A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

 The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

 In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

 No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

 Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

 This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

 One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

 If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?"
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Halloween, Tricks for the Treats.

With Halloween quickly approaching I have been in somewhat of a dilemma as far as what we are handing out for our trick or treats.  After a year of helping families navigate the craziness of meal planning, recipes, reading labels and creating a sustainable healthy lifestyle, I felt like “I can’t hand out candy for crying out loud, there are many trick or treat options out there that are not candy”.  We thought about balloons, stickers and vampire teeth.  All totally fun options.  But after running these ideas past our kids (Melissa’s and mine), I realized that I was losing the meaning of Sprouting Souls.  Balance!  This is Halloween, one night a year.  I need to let it be what it is.

A treat is just that, a treat!  If you are eating healthy every day there is plenty of room for a treat now and then.  I know what you may be thinking.  You may live in a neighborhood where the houses are 10 feet apart and the kids gather an exorbitant amount of candy in such a short amount of time.  I know!  I live in one of those neighborhoods. My husband brought a backpack one year to carry the excess candy.  Ridiculous!  We actually forgot about it and found it almost a year later when we needed the backpack for camping.

I agree, it is just too much candy but they don’t have to eat it all.  Our dentist office has a buy back program where the kids can sell their excess candy to the dentist at $1.00 a pound and they send it to U.S. Soldiers that are deployed overseas. One year, we made up little baggies of candy and took it to an Assisted Living Home in our area.  You choose how many pieces they can keep and give the rest away.  I have to for my own health because God knows that I will be the one eating it all!  Here are just a few tricks for your Halloween treats:

  • Hand out stickers, pencils, spider rings or funny erasers. (If you feel like you just don’t want candy)
  • Hand out one piece of candy at a time or ask the trick or treater to please only take one piece.
  • As you are out trick or treating try to slow down the pace.  Ask you child about their trick or treat and have them show it to you. (Also makes for a safer experience)
  • Ask your child to only take one piece of candy from each house. (Unattended candy bowls on the front porch is an open invitation for a fist full of goodies)
  • When the candy comes home just keep an eye on it and let the kids know that this is not their new source of nourishment for the next month.
  • Find a buy back program in your area or create a donation idea of your own.

Please share with us any ideas you may have or things you and your family have done in the past.  We would love to hear them! -Andrea.

Also, visit www.andreahoyt.com to find out more about the Sprouting Souls philosophy about Balance and Living 80/20.

Tuscan Kale Chips Recipe

I hope everyone had a great week.  I finally feel like I ‘m getting back into the groove since getting the kids back to school after being home for three weeks of track out.  It’s always such a juggling act isn’t it?  And even now, after 3 attempts this morning, I am finally writing this post.  It seems like every time I sit down at my desk, I get a “Mommy can you……?”.  Literally as my butt hits the chair!  Any who…  Tuscan Kale Chips!  A long-lost friend we re-acquainted ourselves with over track out.  Kale Chips are super easy to make and has a fun factor for the kids as they turn that wet green leaf they eat it soup or salad into a light, salty, crispy chip.

Tuscan Kale Chips

1 bunch of Lacinato Kale

Olive Oil

Salt

Garlic Powder

Pre heat oven to 275.  Wash kale, pat dry with paper towel and remove from stems.  Cut kale leaves into 1 1/2  inch strips.  Place kale in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Lightly toss with olive oil, salt and garlic powder.  Using your hands,  mix the oil with the kale, gently rubbing each leaf with the mixture.  Bake on 275 for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven, after a minute or two, use a spatula to transfer kale chips to a plate lined with a paper towel and let cool.

Kale: Top source of Lutein for eye health, high in vitamin K, chlorophyll, anti-oxidants, assists in body detox.

Make it Matter. – Andrea

Spaghetti Squash with Peas

I’ve always shied away from spaghetti squash.  Every time I see it in a recipe or referenced in an article it seems to be paired with a marinara sauce…I guess the two together just don’t appeal to me.  Anyway, they are abundant right now and I feel guilty every time I pass them up in favor of my favorite butternut variety.  Yes, guilty, like the spaghetti squash is screaming, “What did I ever do to you? It wouldn’t kill you to give me a try!”  So, I decided to buy it, cook it, and then figure out what to do with it.

It was actually easier to cook than a large butternut because I did not have to cut it in half first.  I just rinsed it off, poked it with holes, placed in a baking dish lined with foil, and put it in the oven at 375 degrees.  I checked it after an hour and it felt like it needed a bit longer so I left it in for another 15 minutes.  It was very tender and easy to slice in half. I then scooped out the long strands of squash, placed them in a bowl, separated them a bit with a fork, drizzled on some olive oil, salt and pepper, and took a bite. Quite good, not packed with flavor, but good.  I decided to steam some frozen peas and season with a lemon olive oil, a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, and sea salt.  I really like it!  So simple, yet filling and healthy.  Next time I’m going to try adding more veggies and feta or goat cheese!  Because it’s so easy to season with whatever makes you happy, it’s  a great dish for the kids to help with.  Let them add their own healthy toppings and you may have a new family favorite!

What’s so great about spaghetti squash?  It provides your body with folic acid, potassium, vitamin A, and beta carotene.  It’s also super low in calories, 42 per cup!!

Peace and greens,

Melissa

Congratulations Athletes! You Inspire Me!

Do you ever take a moment to just sit back and take in the awe of the people you love?  This has been a weekend of that for me.  I am so amazed and inspired by my family and friends this past weekend I can’t get the smile off of my face.  People I have known for more than half of my life and people I have known for only a few years have given me such hope for what I inspire to do in my life.  I never would have imagined that we would be  this active and health conscious coming from the lifestyles that we did.  It’s pretty crazy, don’t you think my 2 a.m Taco Bell friends?

My friend and neighbor raced her way through a 1/2 Iron Man Marathon with a hip that wasn’t 100% and had the fastest time from our area, my best friend ran her first 5K, my brother-in-law ran his first 1/2 marathon (both through Detroit)and my husband did his fifth 1/2 Iron Man and came in 3rd place in his category.  I am so proud!!

The fastest growing group of tri-athletes are women with the largest rise in the 40 and older age group.  That is inspiring. There is a lot of hard work and perseverance that goes into training for a marathon.  You have to be dedicated to getting up and out and moving.  That is the first step, even if it is a baby step (in the case of the 1/2 marathon in February we are training for).

Beach to BattleShip is always a fun time and inspiring to see all different shapes, sizes, ages and genders pushing themselves to go beyond their limits to achieve a goal that brings instant gratification and the ability to feel and say “YES, I DID IT” from the bottom of their toes.  What a feeling!!!!!

Congratulations my inspirational athletes. I am SO proud of you! You are Sprouting Souls!!

-Andrea

Beach to BattleShip Iron Man – The Night Before

It’s the night before the first big Team Sprouting Souls Race: Beach to BattleShip in Wilmington, North Carolina.  We made the two-hour trek over to the beach this afternoon, checked into the race, the hotel and a table for 5.  Libby and Scott are so excited!!  We opted for a light dinner tonight, well not all of us.  Tonight happened to be lobster night at the Blockade Runner so Jack went for it.

It was a great dinner, great night and we are all so excited for tomorrow.  It is supposed to be a beautiful day and Junior, Jack and I will be supporting and cheering Scott and Libby on tomorrow for the big 70.3 miles they will be knocking dead.

Scott filled me in on the way here of things not to say to people who are racing “you can do it”, “you’ll almost there” and “are you ok?”.  I definitely get the last one.  So, at his request we will be yelling  “you rock”, “Go!” and ” you’re kaleing it” (I know, funny).   Good luck to my hunny and my friend.

Go Team Sprouting Souls!

Faster. Stronger. Longer

– Andrea

Super Immunity Stir-Fry

You know when your baby sleeps through the night for the first time for a few nights in a row, the excitement!  Then you make the mistake of saying it out loud,  “thank God, he’s finally sleeping through the night”, and then the next night the freaking baby wakes up at 2 a.m. for the next month.  Well, that’s why I am not going to talk about what super immunity cooking has done for my family.  But I think that you get the hint.  When I start to see the flu shot signs in all of the drug store windows I know it’s time to start with the super immunity recipes.  It’s like wrapping our cells with a warm fuzzy blanket to protect us through the fall and winter months.  I try to use super immunity combinations all year-long, but I like to double up on the frequency this time of year.

According to Joel Fuhrman, M.D., author of Super Immunity, the holy trinity of super foods for super immunity are onions, mushrooms and cruciferous vegetables.  I try to incorporate that combination of foods into meals 2-3 times a week.  The other night I made a super immunity stir-fry recipe that was super easy and quick.  Need to entice the kidos to eat their veggies?  Give them a set of chop sticks and let them have a little fun with it.

Super Immunity Stir-Fry

1 head cabbage / sliced into long shreds

1 cup bean sprouts

1 cup broccoli stems / trimmed and sliced lengthwise

1 yellow onion / sliced lengthwise

1 pkg sliced mushrooms

1 red bell pepper / seed and slice

3 cloves garlic / crushed

1 T ginger paste

2 T  sesame oil

2 T sesame seeds

Heat pan with sesame oil then add garlic and onion, saute 2-3 minutes.  Add mushrooms, cabbage, red bell pepper, broccoli stems and bean sprouts, allow to cook down slightly.  Add ginger paste and let cook together until the veggies are to your desired doneness……I know that’s not a word but my mind just drew a blank.  Cook them longer for a softer veggie, shorter for a crisper veggie but I know you already know that. Top with sesame seeds and serve with rice or noodles.  I went crazy the other day at the Grand Asian Market and bought about 8 packages of different types of noodles so I made my stir-fry with buckwheat noodles that time.  I also read some where that buckwheat noodles help with varicose veins.  So, I’ll be eating more of those too! 🙂

Stay healthy! -Andrea