Friday, July 27, 2012

5 Delicious and Beautifying Summer Drink Recipes (via Kimberly Snyder)

5 Delicious and Beautifying Summer Drink Recipes

summer drinks
During the summer, it’s especially important to stay hydrated for optimal health and beauty. Your body will crave more fluids as you are naturally perspiring more. Sometimes I feel like a camel in the summer, and just guzzle away many times more the amount of fluids than I do in the winter.
While pure water is always best, sometimes you want a little flavor in your refreshment. Unfortunately, many popular summer drinks are filled with sugar and chemicals that do you no favors in terms of your health or hydration. But there are many other good choices, and you can enjoy a refreshing summer beverage without all of the chemicals and sugar. Here are five of my favorites.

Cucumber Water

cucumber water
If you follow the Beauty Detox program, you religiously start each morning with hot water with lemon, and perhaps drink more lemon water throughout the day. This is a different twist on our daily citrus-flavored water. Cucumber is a powerful beauty food, and this refreshing beverage infuses water with the flavor of cucumber. Cucumbers are high in vitamins A, C, and B6, as well as folic acid. Best, the drink is super easy to make and really delicious!
  • 1 medium cucumber, cleaned and cut into ½ inch slices
  • 2 quarts of pure water
Combine cucumber and water in a large pitcher and allow to sit for one hour or longer. Serve cool.

Aqua Fresca

Aqua Fresca
This popular Mexican drink infuses water with your favorite fresh fruit.
  • 4 cups pure, cold water
  • 2 cups of your favorite fresh fruit (I like berries or papaya)
  • Stevia to taste
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh squeezed lime juice
  • Lime wedges
  1. Place fruit and water in a blender and puree.
  2. Place a small sieve over a pitcher and pour mixture into it, straining the liquid into the pitcher. Discard solids.
  3. Add lime juice and stevia.
  4. Garnish with lime wedges.

Iced Rooibos Mint Tea

iced mint tea
Rooibos tea is high in antioxidants and flavonoids, so it promotes youthfulness and great skin. Over a little ice with mint and lemon, it’s a refreshing and detoxifying summer beverage.
  • 6 Rooibos tea bags
  • One lemon, sliced
  • Several leaves of fresh mint
  • Stevia to taste
  • 1 gallon of boiling water
Pour water over lemon, teabags and mint leaves and steep, stirring occasionally, until liquid cools. Remove tea bags, pour into a pitcher, and refrigerate. Serve cool or over a little bit of ice.

Basil Lemonade

 Basil Lemonade
Lemons are high in vitamin C and promote alkalinity and cleansing in the body. The basil adds a refreshing flavor to this sugar-free lemonade.
  • ½ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 cups of cold water
  • 1 cup of fresh basil leaves
  • Stevia to taste
Place basil in the bottom of a pitcher and muddle it by slightly crushing the leaves. Combine lemon juice and water and pour over basil leaves. Add stevia to taste. Chill, and serve over ice.

Cilantro and Jalapeno Limeade

Cilantro and Jalapeno Limeade
Cilantro is loaded with antioxidants and aids in detoxification, while jalapeno can help rev up your metabolism. Lime is high in Vitamin C.
  • 4-1/2 cups of water
  • 1 cup organic cilantro, washed and chopped
  • 2 large jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed and chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups of fresh lime juice
  • Stevia to taste
  • Lime slices for garnish
Pour water over cilantro and jalapenos. Steep for 30 minutes at room temperature, and then cover and chill for 3-4 hours. Strain the mixture into a pitcher and stir in lime juice. Add stevia to taste. Serve over ice garnished with lime slices.

Summer Hydration Tips

Staying hydrated is essential, especially in the summer. Water helps flush toxins out of your body. Your best bet is to drink pure water at room temperature, especially after periods of activity. Other tips:
  • Drink 30 minutes before or 60 minutes after you eat so you don’t dilute your gastric juices necessary for food digestion.
  • Avoid electrolyte replacement beverages, soft drinks, and other sugary drinks filled with chemicals. Just avoid them all.
  • When you are active, be sure to take plenty of pure water with you.
  • Drink mostly water, and have special drinks like those listed above occasionally when you feel that you need something with some flavor. Coconut water is also a good option.
  • The Institute of Medicine suggests letting thirst be your guide to summer hydration. There’s no need to force beverages.
  • How can you tell if you are dehydrated? Along with thirst, urine color may be a good indicator you need more water. If your pee is amber colored, you get thy water glass to thine lips!
  • Alcoholic, sugary, and caffeinated beverages dehydrate you, which is another reason water is best.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Finding Your Passion in Life (RePost)

Dr. Laura Blog

Finding Your Passion in Life

If you are bored or not happy in life, the key is having a passion.  If you want to transform your life and feel meaningful on the face of the earth, you need to have a point to your life.  It could be your job, your career, or your hobby, but it needs to be something that you are simply absorbed with.  And I'm not talking about obsessive-compulsive: I'm talking about a passion, something you love doing.

I talk to so many young people in their 20s immersed in some very sad state, going nowhere, and feeling a lot of pain and confusion about life or a relationship.  I typically ask, "What's your dream?"  I'm amazed at how almost 100 percent of the time I get nothing back.  Children are not being brought up anymore to imagine there's a point to their lives and something they are talented at that they need to commit themselves to.  Their job should be to maximize it, respect it, be patient with it, water, fertilize, grow it, and let it bloom.  People who do that are typically not depressed, sad, exhausted, or bored.  There is something about a passion and a purpose that makes people live longer.  When people give up on life, they usually give up on living in a general sense.  So, it's really important you know what your passion is. 

How do you find your passion? 

One cute way is to ask people who know you, "What do you think is my thing?"  A lot of times you will ignore what you have a knack for because you grew up in a family where somebody said it was stupid, or you figure you can't be great at it and you definitely can't make money with it. 

I have a number of passions, and they really save me when bad things happen.  My biggest passion is my radio program.  I've been doing this for a span of 35 years.  I can't imagine not doing it.  Sometimes people say, "Don't you just want to retire so you will be able to do whatever you want to do whenever you want to do it?"  Well, I sort of do that now because my radio program is my biggest passion. 

I feel very fortunate to be able to exercise my biggest passion.  And it was by total accident.  I was off being a scientist when one day, I decided to call into a radio program.  They liked what I had to say so much that I was asked to be on the radio show once a week for a year.  I then decided I ought to know more about what I was talking about so while I was teaching full time, I enrolled in a marriage and family therapy program at USC.  It was then I discovered something I never knew before: I had the ability to hear and put things together in a way which proved valuable in helping people with their problems.  I didn't know I had that in me.  It wouldn't have occurred to me, but I wonder if people who knew me then thought so as well. 

So, I came upon my passion accidentally.  And of course, I've added a million other things, and the crafts I go crazy over.

Additionally, using your passion to contribute to the well-being of others is seemingly simple and not very complicated.  For example, the daughter of my friend who just recently died is going to start a charity association where women who are dealing with cancer can go to beauticians to have their hair and nails done to make them feel better.  It's a small thing, it will never be made into a movie, and most people won't even know about it, but other human beings will be made happier.  I think that's huge.  It's like ripples in the water - if you make one person happy, that in turn affects the people in their own house, and then those people impact others, making them happier.

I found a list of 15 questions that you can ask yourself to help discover your passion and life's purpose:

Simple Instructions:
  • Take out a few sheets of loose paper and a pen.
  • Find a place where you will not be interrupted. Turn off your cell phone.
  • Write the answers to each question down. Write the first thing that pops into your head. Write without editing. Use point form. It's important to write out your answers rather than just thinking about them.
  • Write quickly. Give yourself less than 60 seconds a question. Preferably less than 30 seconds.
  • Be honest. Nobody will read it. It's important to write without editing.
  • Enjoy the moment and smile as you write.
15 Questions:     
  1. What makes you smile? (Activities, people, events, hobbies, projects, etc.)    
  2. What were your favorite things to do in the past? What about now?     
  3. What activities make you lose track of time?
  4. What makes you feel great about yourself?
  5. Who inspires you most? (Anyone you know or do not know. Family, friends, authors, artists, leaders, etc.) Which qualities inspire you, in each person?
  6. What are you naturally good at? (Skills, abilities, gifts etc.)
  7. What do people typically ask you for help in?
  8. If you had to teach something, what would you teach?
  9. What would you regret not fully doing, being or having in your life?
  10. You are now 90 years old, sitting on a rocking chair outside your porch; you can feel the spring breeze gently brushing against your face. You are blissful and happy, and are pleased with the wonderful life you've been blessed with. Looking back at your life and all that you've achieved and acquired, all the relationships you've developed; what matters to you most? List them out.
  11. What are your deepest values?
  12. What were some challenges, difficulties and hardships you've overcome or are in the process of overcoming? How did you do it?
  13. What causes do you strongly believe in? Connect with?
  14. If you could get a message across to a large group of people. Who would those people be? What would your message be?
  15. Given your talents, passions and values. How could you use these resources to serve, to help, to contribute? (to people, beings, causes, organization, environment, planet, etc.)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Re: Group Discussion: Re: God's Favor

I'm about a month late in my response, but since my sister keeps harrassing me about it, here it is.  ;-)
I think that favor is two-fold.  There is unmerited favor that you get, but may not necessarily deserve, and there is favor that you have gotten based on your actions/faith, etc. (which, still you may or may not deserve).
Within these two types of favor, I think there is also an element of how you look at and interpret "favor."

I was listening to an advice show online (Dr. Laura) earlier this week and there was a lady (Lisa) on there who had an incredible story.


Lisa was born to a prostitute mother and an unknown father.  Her mom tried to abort her, but the abortion clinic would not allow it because she had already had 20 abortions prior.  The lady survived utero (in the belly) beatings by her mom's pimp, but was born healthy.  While Lisa was a baby, her mom abandoned her (and the pimp).  Her mom's pimp left Lisa on the steps of one of his relatives, who didn't really want her but raised her off-and-on until adulthood.  Lisa told stories of how the relative would just put her out on the streets when she didn't feel like being bothered and for much of her teenage years, she was homeless….sleeping in the band room at school or at friend's houses whose parents felt bad for her.


In a strange twist of events, Lisa was smart…..very smart….and she found acceptance and validation in teachers who appreciated and praised her hard work.  Lisa graduated salutatorian of her high school class and received scholarships and student loans to go away to college and support herself…..through graduate school.  When she graduated her Master's program, she got a top notch job as an aerospace engineer.  She used the money she earned to get eye surgery (oh yeah…..she was also born, legally blind), get her own house and begin paying off her student loans. 


Lisa called the radio show for two reasons.

1)      She was recently put up for a promotion at her job, which required she get a top security clearance from the government.  While all the background checks and tests were being performed, she found out that she had herpes, which she had from birth…..and was the cause of her previous eyesight issues.  She had never had any outbreaks, so never knew she had this until these tests were performed.  Ever since she found this out, all the old memories of her as a baby began flooding back to her and making her depressed.  She didn't know what to do?

2)      While her job as an aerospace engineer was financially rewarding and had done well in making her a more balanced person, Lisa felt that she had a greater calling in life.  She wasn't exactly sure what she wanted to do, but knew it involved helping other people throughout the world to overcome (esp. in 3rd  world countries) their hardships.  Her issue was that she still had all these outstanding student loans to pay off and wasn't sure what to do or how to transition into a whole new field.


Of course, Dr. Laura gave her advice and offered her encouragement and praise, but that is not the point of my story, so I will overlook the advice given.  My point is to use this story to illustrate my point.  Did Lisa have God's favor or was she one of those people left out in the cold?  Lisa had a very, very, very challenging life.  More difficult than any of us have experienced.


However, she was alive, had all of her limbs, was intelligent, an overall good person and a survivor.  Isn't that God's favor?  Aren't there people on respirators or people who can't speak or comprehend what's going on around them?  What did Lisa or any of her absentee parents/family do to deserve this favor?  What about those people she wants to help in the 3rd world countries?  She's way better off than them.  Why was she able to escape those circumstances and be born in America, where she can create her own destiny, per se.? (Unmerited Favor)


Given her circumstances, Lisa could have easily given up on life.  She, herself, could have decided to become a prostitute to support herself as a young teen.  She could have drowned her problems with booze and drugs.  However, she chose to work hard and survive.  Had she done some of the aforementioned things, she could be dead now.  She could have AIDS.  She could be in jail or she could be sleeping on the streets.  Instead, she has a good job, a nice home and clear eyesight.  While, things could've turned out differently, her faith and actions helped to put her in a place where her life improved tremendously….and is a lot better than some of the people who were born with a silver spoon in their mouths and parents that pampered them until the very end. (somewhat Merited Favor)


The third part of this is the interpretation.  Would you say that Lisa did not have God's favor as a child because she went through all these things or would you say that it was part of God's favor that chose her to go through all of these things, so that she could be used for his glory and have an impact on thousands of people?  Perhaps she wouldn't have gotten as far as she has gotten, if she had grown up in a functional family.  Perhaps she would've been self-centered and not considered others and what they needed.....and no one would be saved.

On Mon, Jun 18, 2012 at 3:02 PM, Frankela Albury <> wrote:
Hello Group,
It's been awhile since we've had an online discussion,but I thought maybe I'd bring up a question to the group.
Recently I was having one of my deep thought sessions with myself and I began to tweet.  I asked about God's Favor.
It's something we should all be familiar with hearing about especially those of us who grew up in the church.  You've heard people mention how these wonderful things happened for them b/c they have "GOD's FAVOR".
So I wonder what exactly is God's Favor?  How is it determined who receives God's favor? Do you think it's luck of the draw? Either you're born with it or not?  Is it reserved for an elite few?  If so, what happens to all the rest of us who don't have the favor of God?  Do we just have to go about life living it however we see fit and just deal with the outcome?
I'm curious to know what you guys think of it.
Let the fun begin!!!!

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"Do what you can, with what you have, from where you are."
- Theodore Roosevelt
People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get.
  - Frederick Douglass

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Guiding Opposite-Sex Friendships in Marriage/Relationships

So, I came across the following questionaire and felt it was interesting.  There have always been questions in my dating relationships and marriage on opposite-sex friends.

I, personally, have had bad/questionable experiences with opposite-sex friendships in my adult life, so typically stay away from any type of friendship (unless it is very surface-level) with people of the opposite sex.  The exception would be if I were single and/or interested in exploring more with the individual.  In that case, I can do what I want.
Please note that if you are single and the person of the opposite sex is married or in a relationship, the guidelines still apply. (though the bulk of the responsibility does fall on the committed person to make that distinction to their opposite-sex friend.)
Also note that there are some people who have attractions towards the same sex.  In these situations, the opposite-sex rules would apply.

Questions: Guiding Opposite-Sex Friendships in Marriage

If you have ever wondered whether or not your close opposite-sex friendship poses a potential threat to your marriage take a few moments to answer the questions below. Read each question and then quickly and honestly record the first answer that comes to mind.

1. Is your spouse unaware of your opposite-sex friendship? __Yes __No

2. Would you ever behave differently around your friend if your spouse were present? __Yes __No

3. Would you feel uncomfortable if your spouse had the same quality of friendship with someone of the opposite sex? __Yes __No

4. Do you prefer to spend time alone with your opposite-sex friend rather than in a group setting? __Yes __No

5. Are you physically and/or emotionally attracted to your friend? __Yes __No

6. Is your friend someone you would consider dating if you were single? __Yes __No

7. Have you ever entertained romantic fantasies about your friend? __Yes __No

8. Do you ever compare your spouse to your friend? __Yes __No

9. Do you think about sharing important news with your friend before your spouse? __Yes __No

10. Do you and your friend ever exchange highly personal details about your lives or complain about your marriages to each other? __Yes __No

11. Do you often reference or talk about your friend with others? __Yes __No

12. Has your spouse ever expressed concern about your friendship? __Yes __No

13. Is your relationship with your friend ever a source of tension or conflict between you and your spouse? __Yes __No

14. Have you ever ignored or minimized your spouse's requests to end or modify the relationship with your friend? __Yes __No

15. Have you ever deceived or misled your spouse about matters concerning your friendship? __Yes __No

16. Has anyone other than your spouse ever cautioned you about your opposite-sex friendship? __Yes __No

17. Do you do things with your friend that your spouse is unwilling or uninterested in doing? __Yes __No

18. Does your friend fulfill needs that you wish your spouse would meet? __Yes __No

19. Do you have unexpressed or unresolved anger toward your spouse? __Yes __No

20. Does your marriage lack intimacy? __Yes __No

If you answered, "yes" to one or more of the questions above, your opposite-sex friendship poses a real threat to the quality of your marriage. It may be in the best interest of your marriage to either significantly limit or actually end your close friendship. Be completely honest with yourself and your spouse and pray that God will give you the wisdom, discernment and courage to do what is best!

It is possible for married people to have healthy opposite-sex friendships. However, special consideration must be given to a number of factors that, if ignored, can potentially serve to threaten your marriage and seriously compromise your relationship with God. If you desire to make or keep your marriage strong, here are some tips for managing opposite-sex friendships in your life.

• Make your relationship with Jesus Christ your number one priority in life.

• Develop and consistently nurture a "best friend" relationship with your spouse.

• Develop and consistently nurture close same-sex friendships.

• Make sure your spouse knows your friend and is completely comfortable with the type and level of interaction you have with them.

• Honor your spouse's wishes concerning your friendship —even if it means ending it.

• Avoid establishing close friendships with opposite sex singles.

• Avoid close opposite-sex friendships if you are struggling in your marriage relationship.

• Address unmet needs and unresolved anger in your marriage in an open, honest and timely fashion.

• Demonstrate a God-honoring character in all your relationships.

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable —if anything is excellent or praiseworthy —think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)

My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. (Proverbs 3:21-23)