In a world faced with uncertainties, we crave our holiday traditions now more than ever. We want to embrace what is familiar.
What is comforting is a table filled with family, friends, laughter, and food from recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation.
I was in charge of the stuffing and Waldorf Salad this year. My mother gave me the stuffing recipe that she has used since her mother taught her to make it. Now I am taking up the tradition, and I will pass it on to my children. These recipes and traditions can be such a stabilizing part of our lives.
My mother recently moved, and it has not been the same this year. She said that she wasn’t going to decorate for Christmas this season, because it is so much trouble getting all the ornaments out, and then putting them away after the holidays.
It would have been so hard to imagine going to my mother’s home on Christmas morning without the Christmas tree and the festive decorations that she so lovingly put out every year of my life.
I suggested that we just change a few things this year and still make it work, and the traditions will grow and change with the times, and my mother agreed.
When my daughter asked my mother about the traditions we always had every year, she said that many years ago, she just decided that we were going to have some traditions, and she simply made them up as she went along.
After all these years of my mothers’ wonderful traditions, these are what her children and grandchildren now embrace and cherish so very much.
One of these traditions that my mother started years ago was to have a “Family Wassail Party” the weekend after Thanksgiving. The entire family goes over to my mother’s house, and drinks wassail (a hot mulled cider), eats, talks and helps decorate the tree.
There is a rule that you must put at least 10 ornaments on the tree before you can leave. This creates such fun and merriment, as everyone is part of the overall creation.
The tallest members of the family put the ornaments way up high, and the smaller ones decorate the lower hard-to-reach part of the tree.
The laughter and sharing of the evening together is a time when we all get to relax and just catch up with each others’ lives, since we are all running at lightning speed these days.
My family is very large, and even though most of us live in the same city, we don’t get to see each other all that often. It is the eye-to-eye contact, sharing and communication that truly bond us together.
These traditional events reconnect us and bring us closer together as a family.
I am going to make my grandmother’s recipe (that was handed down to my mother, and now to me), with loving care. I know that the energy and love that I will put into the making of this dish will be what makes it so good.
All the foods your grandmother made had her loving energy in it. The main ingredient was always love. That is why that familiar traditional food tastes so much better. That is also why we crave it when we are sad or lonely.
So as we continue our traditions, remember that we can create comforting, wonderful memories for our families and friends by just relaxing, and putting a lot of love into everything we do. It is the warm feelings in the traditions that we will always cherish.
It truly is about being present, and being here, right now. Slow down and savor the moment. It is food for our soul.
Food For The Soul Retreat
April 6- 13th, 2016 (sold out);
July 28 – Aug. 4;
Aug. 7 – Aug. 14;
Nov. 13 – Nov 20, 2016.
A Certificate Of Basic Intensive In Healthy Food Cuisine is given to all participants
when you come and attend my classes on preparing healthy food at the retreat!
This Retreat is For Those Who Really Want To Have A New Lease On Life!
We have been concentrating on truly manifesting joy, prosperity, health and well-being in our life!
Only a short flight (about a 2 1/2 hour flight from Miami) from the USA to Central America.
Nicaragua. Is a magical world rich in culture and spectacular nature.
The accommodation for the retreat is a beautiful home on the highest point above the Pacific Ocean of Nicaragua outside a gentle fishing village.
Charlotte’s amazing 3 story home, with balconies all around, nestled in the trees – some first floor bedrooms available
We take time to get our vitamin D and have fun, while learning and exploring the wonderful country of Nicaragua!
The whole retreat is to be taken at your own pace and with your own discretion. If you wish to simply nap in the ocean breeze and read a book, that is perfectly wonderful.
We have a lady come and give us private massages, pedicures and facials at Charlotte’s home. It is great having her there all day, so we can get a massage when we truly want to have one without having to get dressed and go out to a spa for one.
Included in our retreat is:
Personal Time With Nancy All Week!
Nancy’s Health, Nutrition, Cooking, Meditation & Life Skills Discussions/Talks
Transportation to and from the Managua airport.
All lodging at the retreat center, including a night in the beautiful, historic city of Granada.
All meals in Granada with the group
Guided Tour of Granada
Hotel room and breakfast at the
luxury hotel, Tribal, in Granada
Yoga every morning
Swimming or kayaking at the beach.
Healthy meals of fresh local food.
Cooking Lessons by Nancy
Meditation and energy building lessons
water aerobics classes
personal health and nutrition talks – discussions and information with Nancy
adventures in Nicaragua
Retreat located just above Aqua Resort
Just a few minutes walk
down the hill.
Abundant exotic wildlife.
Four Beautiful Beaches
Optional but not included in the price:
Incredible Deep Sea Fishing,
Surfing on a World Class Beach
Mukul’s Resort and Spa, rated best Spa in the World
is 5 minutes away
and it has golf and
an incredible restaurant, beach and various things in their huge spa including sessions
with a Shaman.
Aqua resort and spa.
The price is the amazing amount of
Price does not include airfare.
Contact Nancy Today about our next retreat: April 7- 14th, 2016
We saw this and 2 other rainbows at the last retreat, as well as an abundance of wildlife, including: mating sea turtles, an abundance of monkeys, red and orange crabs, silver flying fish, eagles, pelicans, geckos, butterflies, etc.
What people are saying about the retreat:
What a fabulous week! It was a “Trip of a life time”.
Nicaragua and the Emerald Coast were so magical! Not only did we have fabulous food, adventures and a wonderful time; we all were blessed to have three incredible rainbows. In the evening the stars were spectacular. We saw the Milky Way. I have not seen that in over 20 years!
Also, the wild life in the forest was a treat! We saw monkeys, turtles, fish, crabs, white squirrels, eagles, many beautiful birds and donkeys and cattle crossing the roads right in front of us. The nature in Nicaragua was beautiful!
Wasn’t ready to go home after 7 days. Wish I could have stayed longer!
Being with Nancy Addison on one her Nutritional Retreats in Nicaragua was a blessing for me. She is a terrific teacher and food expert! Actually “mind/body” wellness would better describe the week. Learning to breathe, relax, meditate as well as taking time in life to choose what we put in our mouths and to prepare it! Nancy is truly amazing. She has the patience and experience to listen and to teach people how to eat a healthier and balanced diet! Teaching our group how to eat healthy with fresh and organic foods and showing our group how to prepare and make healthy meals! Everyone has health and diet issues and she was able to balance those needs specifically to each person on the retreat. Nancy has written wonderful books with the recipes included to help people with all sorts of diet and lifestyle needs. Having to plug back into the real world and the time restrictions we all have – Nancy showed us how to balance our diets and to listen to our bodies more. I would highly recommend anyone to read her books, go on one of her retreats, or contact her for improving ones health and diet! Thank you Nancy! With Love, Mary Jo Rausch
I just received a super review on my latest book: How To Be A Healthy Vegetarian – second edition:
Best health book of this century!
By Amazon Customer on January 28, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
“How To Be A Healthy Vegetarian” second edition, is an excellent book. Having had the opportunity to assist and promote health and nutrition with world-class athletes over the last 25 years; it is my opinion that Nancy Addison’s book is a formula for high-level performance in our daily lives. I can’t imagine a more informative book for the person looking to improve their health. The chapter about sugar is the most complete information available. Nancy is an expert in Nutrition. What you put on the end of your fork is more powerful medicine than anything you will find at the bottom of a pill bottle.”
Gary L. Massad M.D.
-First National Corporate Medical Director and founder of Occupational Health Centers in America. Attending physician to the Iron Man Hawaii; Attending Physician, United States Triathlon Association; Attending Physician United States Tae Kwon Do Association, Attending Physician United States Cycling Federation.
1 Gago-Dominguez, Manuela, et. al. (2007). Lipid peroxidation, oxidative stress genes and dietary factors in breast cancer protection: a hypothesis. Breast Cancer Research 2006, [9:20]1. Retrieved from http://www.breast-cancer-research.com/content/9/1/201
2 Cinnamon’s Health Benefits: Wondering how to lower blood sugar? Try some cinnamon, which has double duty benefits.” (2007, November 7.) Women’sHealth. Retrieved from http://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/cinnamon-benefits-explained
3 Goulart, Frances Sheridan. (1991, March 1). “Are You Sugar Smart? Linked to Heart Attacks, Kidney Disease, Diabetes and Other Diseases, Sugar Is to the ’90s What Cholesterol Was to the ’80s (Includes 9 ways to Cope with Sugar Cravings).” American Fitness. Retrieved from http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-10722552.html
For more information go to: www.organichealthylifestyle.com
Healthy Tips For Surviving The Holidays
The Holidays are upon us and we can get caught up in a whirlwind of activities, dinners and cocktail parties. You may encounter holiday treats at work or at home, brought to you by a kind neighbor or friend. Every event may seem like an excuse to splurge, but the consequences of overindulgence in food and drink can be painful, and can even put your health at risk. Here are my top 6 healthy tips for surviving the holidays!
First: Before going to a cocktail party, I usually take one tsp. of raw, organic green food powder (I like “Perfect Food” powder by Garden of Life, spirulina powder, or chlorella powder), and 1 tsp. of organic psyllium husks, with a little water. I then drink another glass (16 ounces) of water immediately afterwards.
Doing this makes me feel a bit full and prevents me from showing up to a party hungry, which can lend itself to overeating. This drink mixture also contains a lot of fiber, which can be helpful if one overindulges in the liquid spirits at the party.
Second: When I am in a buffet line, or at a party where there is an amazing amount of food, I use an appetizer or salad plate instead of a dinner plate. People who do this, on average, eat 40 percent less! I try to choose cut up fresh veggies, hummus and other truly healthy foods. In addition, I try to avoid sugar.
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, one teaspoon of added sugar shuts down a person’s immune system for up to five hours. (1) Since I am wanting to feel really great this season, boost my immune system, and avoid being sick, I keep this in mind while I am eyeing the beautiful deserts and goodies.
Third: If overindulgence in spirits is a problem, here are a few natural ways to help relieve a hangover:
Remedy #1: Combine 1 tsp. raw, unfiltered honey, 1/2 c. freshly squeezed orange juice, and ¼ c. kefir or yogurt. Consume.
• Remedy #2: Soak organic dates
(pitted) in water for a few hours or more. Drink the water and eat the dates.
Remedy #3: Eat a banana.
Remedy #4: If feeling nauseous, try cutting up a bit of fresh organic, ginger root (you can buy this in the fresh produce section of the grocery store) into little pieces, and steeping it in hot water for about 3 – 5 minutes to make a ginger tea. It is very effective for relieving nausea.
Four: Make sure to get enough rest. Everyone has experienced the fatigue, lack of focus, and short temperedness that can follow a poor night’s sleep. We don’t want to experience that during the holidays! But even beyond these side effects, research has linked poor sleep with higher risks of heart disease and stroke, Type 2 Diabetes, and depression.(2)
If you have trouble sleeping, try having a little chamomile tea or warm milk (hemp, coconut or from organic, humanely raised, and grass fed cows or goats) with 1 tiny bit of raw, unfiltered honey.
If you are under a lot of stress and need a little relief, valerian root can help with tension or anxiety. For thousands of years, the herb valerian has been used in Europe and Asia to aid with sleep or anxiety. For insomnia, it’s suggested you use between 400 milligrams to 500 milligrams of valerian root up to two hours before bed.
Also, as we get older, humans don’t produce as much melatonin, which is what helps us sleep. You can buy melatonin as a supplement at the store. It comes in different strengths (one to three milligrams). Dr. Gary Massad, who has researched melatonin and sleep problems in depth, states that studies show if you take half a milligram of melatonin around three or four in the afternoon and then another half gram again about an hour before bedtime, it will work most effectively.
Other hormone imbalances can also disrupt sleep patterns, so have your doctor check you for any hormone imbalance or vitamin deficiencies. I recommend only using a vitamin from a whole food source, and I do not recommend ever taking synthetic vitamins.
You might also listen to recorded sounds of rain or ocean waves to help with sleep, as they may relax your mind. Experiment to find out what works best for you.
Five: Most people are so busy doing everything for everyone else, that they aren’t making enough time to nurture and take care of themselves. Let’s face it, the better we take care of ourselves, the better we can take care of the ones we love.
Make sure you take some time each day to slow down, calm the mind, get a little exercise, and love yourself. If we don’t take a little time for ourselves, stress can get hold of us.
Try making an appointment with yourself each day to slow down, rest, exercise, and do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself. Even consider marking it in your calendar or setting a daily timer to keep you on track. Try and keep that appointment like it is with your most important client or friend.
I have exercise down as an appointment, and although I reschedule once in a while, I don’t cancel it because it is a commitment to myself (even if that just means walking around the block briskly).
Six: If you’re feeling blue, pamper yourself and do what feels good. Try to take a walk, or spend time alone if that’s what you want. Remember, this is your holiday too and you can be there for yourself just like you try to be for everyone else.
I’ve spent many a holiday alone. Sometimes I have felt a little blue. When that happens, I intentionally will shift my focus to something new. Exercise has been shown to help with weight maintenance, health, stress relief and depression. So, make sure you keep it in your schedule. Or, I may turn on a funny movie, take a walk, turn on joyful music and call a friend to come over, or take a supplement called 5 HTP.
5-HTP or 5-hydroxytryptophan, is an essential amino acid that can increase the levels of serotonin in the brain, similar to antidepressants. Low levels of serotonin can contribute to the development of depression and increased appetite. I have found 5 HTP really helps me when I am feeling low. Studies show it begins working as quickly as 15 to 20 minutes after taking it. You can purchase it at a healthy grocery store.
Remember, the holidays only come once a year and only last for a short time. So many of us have an idealized idea of what the holidays should be like and can be disappointed when they don’t live up to those expectations.
Try to be realistic and remember, nobody has a perfect holiday or perfect family. If you follow these tips, you might just find this year to be healthier, less stressful and more joyful!
1- Albert Sanchez, J. L. Reeser, H. S. Lau, P. Y. Yahiku, R. E. Willard, P. J. McMillan, S. Y. Cho, A. R. Magie, and U. D. Register. “Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis.” The American Society for Clinical Nutrition, Inc. 1973. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/26/11/1180.abstract.
2- NHS, Government of United Kingdom, Why lack of sleep is bad for your health http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/tiredness-and-fatigue/Pages/lack-of-sleep-health-risks.aspx.
3- Find a Vitamin or Supplement, 5 – HTP,, Web MD, http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-794-5-HTP.aspx?activeIngredientId=794&activeIngredientName=5-HTP.
I’d love to hear your comments.
For more information contact Nancy (at) nancyaddison.com
I love the tradition of sharing a meal with family and friends on an annual basis. For this reason, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.
The American Thanksgiving is a traditional meal inspired by the pilgrims. The original feast was probably shared sometime in the fall, possibly in October, with the Wampanoag first nation’s people. Thanksgiving did not become an annual federal holiday until 1941, and what we have come to know as our traditional meal of turkey and fixings has evolved over time.
Thanksgiving often involves a number of rich, savory foods, creamy dips and fried foods. And yet, these foods don’t always make our body feel at it’s best. So, here are a few ingredient or food choice tips that can make our dishes healthier to share with beloved family and friends.
When making or serving snacks, dips can be a healthy high protein hummus or guacamole. Cutting some cucumber, red bell pepper or celery to use as the dipping chips is a great choice! If you want to serve crackers or chips, try using a whole grain, sprouted, organic version.
A potato dish can be made with sweet or purple potatoes in place of white potatoes. Use a high quality, organic butter or use organic ghee or coconut oil as the healthy fat to mix into it when mashing them up to cook or to cut up and bake as fries. Sweet potatoes are delicious and high in fiber and beta-carotene.
When preparing a turkey, try using a little orange juice and coconut oil to add moisture to the turkey, and try baking it instead of frying it. If you are baking, frying or sautéing anything, use organic, pure coconut oil in place of lard, vegetable oil or a trans fat like Crisco. It handles heat well and has fantastic health benefits.
For other types of animal, fish or fowl, you can grill, broil, or sauté them in a little coconut oil. After you remove it from the heat, you can drizzle some pure, organic, extra virgin olive oil on it and serve with lemon juice or a lemon juice vinaigrette. When dining, choose skinless, white meat pieces and then add just a tiny bit of gravy.
For a healthy stuffing, try making one with organic sprouted rice or even wild rice. Then, bake your stuffing in a separate dish instead of cooking it inside the turkey where it can absorb a high amount of high saturated fat from the meat.
When making corn bread stuffing, purchase the non-GMO, organic cornmeal (which is free of the bT toxin). If you are feeling brave, try using blue cornmeal which is about 30 percent higher in protein and has more zinc and iron than white or yellow corn
Now for dessert, try making a pumpkin pie! You can make a whole sprouted grain crust yourself or you can find a whole grain ready-made crust at the store, and make my cashew crème recipe as the whipped cream for the topping.
Try using non-dairy milk in your recipes or for your coffee creamer.
If you want it to be sweeter, blend the milk (like the unsweetened, vanilla coconut or hemp milk) with a little extra added vanilla or maple extract in a blender and add some pitted dates (I soak them in water to make them softer, so they will crème up easier) and voilà! You have a healthier version of a sweet, holiday creamer for your coffee or desserts.
For snacks, try serving combinations of organic, sprouted nuts, sprouted seeds and raisins.
With these ingredient substitutions, you can still eat all the delicious flavors you love while enjoying a number of health benefits.
In this way, you can feel and look your best as holiday activities continue on into December. Instead of regretting what you ate, you will glow with radiant health as you welcome the New Year of 2016!