March 6, 2012

A Healthy Outlook

How To See The Glass As Half-Full

OK! I need this right now. You know that feeling when you are in transition? In between where you should be and where you currently are...I think it's a trait of Cancer's to be homebodies....you need to feel planted, settled....in your space! We feel somewhat, well....discombobulated....(is that really a word?) Mind you, it's been a long, long time since we have been in an apartment.....without...things! You know that feeling right? SO......I am keeping myself in check with this "self-talk!"

Cultivating an attitude of optimism can not only make you happier, it can also boost your health and relationships. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center found that heart disease patients who scored high in an optimistic survey had the best medical outcomes. A study in dating couples published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology revealed that optimists are less likely to fight with their significant others.

Need more research to turn that frown upside down? Research indicates that an optimistic attitude improves coping skills and may ward off colds and prevent depression. March is Optimistic Month, a perfect time to look at the bright side. The Mayo Clinic offers a few suggestions.......

CHANGE what's not working. Identify aspects of your life you feel negatively about and focus on ways to improve them.

MONITOR YOUR THOUGHTS. If you catch yourself in a negative spiral,
reframe your thoughts in a positive way.

MAINTAIN HEALTHY HABITS. Exercise in a proven mood lifter and nutritious foods nourish your mind as well as your body.

FIND POSITIVE PALS. Negative people can undermine your ability to manage stress in healthy ways.

CHECK YOUR SELF-TALK, Would you think such uncharitable thoughts about a good friend? Treat yourself kindly too!

What can be more comforting and settling than a healthy, hot and delicious family dinner? Thank you Estelle's!

Estelle's Stuffed Peppers with Sausage and Risotto
7 medium to large bell peppers
 (green, yellow, or a mix), stems and seeds removed)
2 T. olive oil
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups Arborio rice
4 cups chicken stock
1 t. Italian seasoning
5 cups marinara sauce
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
3 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
4 T. unsalted butter
2 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1/8 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place 4 cups of marinara in the bottom of a large baking dish and set it aside. Trim the bottoms of the peppers so they stand evenly upright. Set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the sausage, onion, and garlic and crumble the sausage into small pieces with a spoon. Sauté until the sausage is no longer pink. Add the rice, chicken stock, and the Italian seasoning. Bring the mixture to a simmer and continue to simmer, stirring often, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Do not let the rice stick. Add 1 cup of the marinara sauce and continue to cook for another minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add the Parmesan, mozzarella, butter, salt, pepper, and fresh parsley. Spoon the mixture into the bell peppers and place them in a baking dish with the marinara. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove the foil and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese and continue to bake, uncovered, for another 15 minutes, or until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.

Estelle's Marinara Sauce
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup white wine
1 (28-oz) can tomato pureé
1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
3 (28-oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 T. dried oregano
1 T. dried basil
1 T. sugar
4 t. kosher salt
1 t. ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the garlic and onion until aromatic and tender. Add the white wine and simmer for 1 minute. Stir in the remaining ingredients, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for at least 40 minutes.


  1. It looks like apartment living may be in the cards for you, it's not the end of the world(can you see it from there?) Just kidding, it's going to be ok. We spent a month at the Holiday Inn when our North Carolina move didn't co-incide with the house being finished. Rainy weather, unseasonable cold kept the builders from staying on schedule. Amy was 8 at the time, all of us in one room, one tv, one bathroom for a whole month! We had to eat every meal out, it was terrible but we lived through it! Another transfer we lived in a rent house until the new one was finished(you'd think we would have learned our lesson building). Everything was in storage except the necessities. One day I wanted to make a pan of lasagna and that's when it hit me. I set down on the kitchen floor and sobbed like a baby!!! It's HARD, and I feel for you cause I'm a Cancer too... I understand! It's gonna be OK Sweetie!

  2. That is funny Joycee, looking back, isn't it? Wonder how we do it all? We also had that experience of being in a one room apt when we moved to TX, but with four children. They always said it was the best Christmas they ever had! It's comforting to know others have been thru relocations. The good, the bad and the ugly! Thank you for your sweet comments always!


I so love receiving your thoughts and comments. I also hope you found something that made you smile.