The Meaning of Joy

November 15, 2013 by  
Filed under current, Health Space

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So many different things bring joy into my life, so it’s sometimes hard to define. One thing for sure, though, is that the meaning changes constantly. A standout right now is color. As a foodie, I delight in having a rainbow of color on my plate, signifying a variety of antioxidants from the red peppers, green broccoli, orange sweet potato and yellow squash. Or the green spinach, blueberries, green avocado, golden maca and red strawberries I blended together for my morning smoothie today. Colorful food definitely brings a smile to my face, because it reminds me I am nourishing my body.

colorvegThe colorful leaves in autumn tell me the weather is changing, days will be cooler, the air crisper and that my energy will actually increase as I anticipate the coming holiday season and the joy of family getting together. Since we live in a very rural area, the drive to town from our farm takes me past some amazing horse farms with loads of brilliant-leaved trees. The color takes my breath away and makes me smile.

Two of our grandsons dressed up as Superman for Halloween this year, and their costumes were the iconic blue and red of that super hero. Seeing them swinging in the park in their colorful garb brought me joy, as did our granddaughter in her princess dress in bright pink. Of course, just seeing those wee ones makes me smile, no matter what they are wearing, but as toddlers they seem to love colorful clothes – until they grow up and tone down their taste. That must be why a wise woman wrote the poem about wearing purple as an ‘old woman.’ We love color when we are young, then push it aside for conformity in our eagerness to achieve success, then return to it when we realize we are happiest when we allow ourselves that expression of being who we really are.

Recently my husband of 47 years had a heart attack, and I can’t even tell you how much joy came to my heart when he regained the color in his face, and I knew I would be blessed to keep him with me a bit longer. As part of his recovery plan, we are upping the ante on the color of what’s on his plate, and each day it gives me great joy to watch him enjoy a large glass of green juice as we help his heart to heal.

Glorious Green Juice

greenjuice2While there’s tremendous benefit from eating whole foods, especially green leafy ones, fresh juiced veggies provide the quickest and most efficient way to get nutrients into the cells. So I recommend blending smoothies and drinking green juice to get the maximum benefit from these very special foods. Frequently we have a smoothie for breakfast, have our main meal in the middle of the day when digestion functions best, and have a glass of green juice followed by a handful of nuts in the evening. Here’s our favorite juice combination:

4-6 cucumbers
1 bunch of kale
2 limes
1 fennel bulb
2-3 small (1/4 inch) pieces of ginger
1-2 apples or pears
a few drops of liquid stevia (optional)

Power Smoothie

This is a great way to kickstart your day with big energy, and can provide the vehicle for getting kids to eat more fruits and veggies. It’s satiating enough to get you through to lunchtime so you can skip that mid-morning snack.

8-10 oz. coconut water
handful spinach or chard
1/4 avocado
1 T. coconut oil
1 T. chia seed
1 T. maca powder (a wonderful adaptogenic herb, helps the body to manage stress)
1 scoop organic whey protein powder from grassfed cows
1 banana
1 C frozen berries – any kind
1 t. bee pollen

Blend and enjoy!

Image credits: Top – Rustlet Two; Others – Author

About Our Health Space Contributor

Paula Antonini cAs a Holistic Health Coach, Paula Antonini specializes in helping business and professional women step off the diet roller coaster, get their energy back and take charge of their health through 1:1 coaching and small group programs.

To learn more and sign up for her newsletter, go to www.simplynutrition.org. For a Complimentary Consultation contact Paula at paula.antonini@gmail.com. Her Autumn Detox is now available on the website to support you on your journey toward feeling terrific!

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