Avocado Yummy by Mary B. Baker [mobi | 1,60 Mb] ISBN: B00F1ZOT56

  • Full Title: Avocado Yummy – 50 Delicious Healthy Recipes
  • Autor: Mary B. Baker
  • Print Length: 114 pages
  • Publisher: Mary B. Baker; 3 edition
  • Publication Date: November 23, 2013
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: B00F1ZOT56
  • ISBN-13: 
  • Download File Format | Size: mobi | 1,60 Mb
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This Avocado Yummy Book not only shares 50 delicious and healthy recipes but also give you the history and health benefit of Avocado. All of the recipes are easy and fun to make. It also includes old favorites such as Avocado Chicken Salad, and shares new and unique recipes such Avocado Cheese Cake.. so Yummy !

 

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Keywords

AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY

ROGER STEFFENS

INTRODUCTION BY LINTON KWESI JOHNSON

W. W. NORTON & COMPANY

Independent Publishers Since 1923

New York • London

LIVICATION

To the ineffable CC Smith, cofounder of The Beat magazine, devoted friend and partner, without whose efforts on my behalf this book would never have existed.

And to my beloved wife, Mary, and our children Kate, and Devon, whose constant support and tolerant overstanding are a gift from Jah.

There are no facts in Jamaica, only versions.

—Old folk saying

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION: THE PEOPLE SPEAK BY LINTON KWESI JOHNSON

PREFACE

CHAPTER 1.Where Is My Mother?

CHAPTER 2.Trench Town Rocks

CHAPTER 3.The Wailers at Studio One

CHAPTER 4.Good Good Rudies

CHAPTER 5.Love and Affection

CHAPTER 6.Rasta Shook Them Up

CHAPTER 7.Wailers A Go Wail

CHAPTER 8.Nine Mile Exile

CHAPTER 9.The JAD Years

CHAPTER 10.Leslie Kong Meets the Tuff Gang

CHAPTER 11.Lee Perry and Jamaican Politricks

CHAPTER 12.Cold Cold Winters in Sweden and London

CHAPTER 13.Island’s Kinky Reggae

CHAPTER 14.Burnin’ Out in London

CHAPTER 15.The End of the Beginning

CHAPTER 16.Natty Dread

CHAPTER 17.Hope Road Runnings

CHAPTER 18.Cindy Breakspeare and the 1975 Tour

CHAPTER 19.Rastaman Vibration and the Fatal Reissue

CHAPTER 20.Ambush in the Night

CHAPTER 21.The CIA and the Assassination Attempt

CHAPTER 22.Smile, You’re in Jamaica

CHAPTER 23.Who Shot Bob Marley?

CHAPTER 24.Exodus to London

CHAPTER 25.Blackwell, Bob and Business

CHAPTER 26.The Bloody Toe in the Paris Match

CHAPTER 27.The One Love Peace Concert

CHAPTER 28.Babylon by Bus from the U.N. to Ethiopia

CHAPTER 29.Charity and Survival

CHAPTER 30.From the Apollo to Gabon

CHAPTER 31.Natty Mash It inna Zimbabwe

CHAPTER 32.Uprising

CHAPTER 33.Madison Square Garden Then Everything Crash

CHAPTER 34.Dr. Issels and the Final Days

CHAPTER 35.Marley’s Legacy and the Wailers’ Favorite Songs

EPILOGUE

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

LIST OF INTERVIEWEES

INDEX

INTRODUCTION

The People Speak

Linton Kwesi Johnson

In an essay I wrote on the lyrics of Bob Marley’s Exodus, voted album of the twentieth century by Time magazine, I said of his lyrical genius that it was based on his “ability to translate the personal into the political, the private into the public, the particular into the universal.”* Genius, it can be argued, is not merely an exceptional personal attribute; it is historical in the sense that it becomes manifest when there is a conjunction of the biographical and the historical. The second half of the 1970s, the period when Bob Marley began to reap the rewards of his long apprenticeship as a musician, was a time of turbulence not only in Jamaica but around the globe. The Cold War was at its most intense; proxy wars were being waged between East and West in developing-world countries; anticolonial wars were still being fought in Africa; there were anti-imperialist struggles taking place in South America. Jamaica was on the brink of all-out civil war as the opposition, aided and abetted by the CIA, sought to wrest power from Michael Manley’s democratic socialist government. Bob Marley almost lost his life during that conflict. His music is resonant of that period; it reflects the zeitgeist. At the apotheosis of his career he had become a kind of Che Guevara of popular culture.

I have the dubious distinction of having written a critique of Marley’s rise to fame at a pivotal time in his career. As a fan of the Wailers triumvirate of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, I was deeply disappointed when they went their separate ways. Then, on top of that, Marley was being hailed in the rock music press as the new “king of rock” following the release of his first solo album, Natty Dread. As far as I was concerned that was a travesty—and I was not alone in harboring such sentiments. Bob Marley was, after all, a top-ranking Jamaican reggae artist who belonged to the world of black music and was being appropriated by the white rock world. In the article I wrote, titled “Roots and Rock: The Marley Enigma,” published in Race Today in October 1975, I not only criticized the way Marley was being marketed, I laid the blame at the doorstep of Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records.† Back then I was a twenty-three-year-old sociology undergraduate and I had just published my second book of poems, Dread Beat an Blood. Three years later I was signed to Island Records by Blackwell and, a year after that, by Marley to Tuff Gong. With the benefit of hindsight I can say that my analysis of the marketing strategy was more or less correct, even though the sentiments were misplaced.

Linton Kwesi Johnson at Herne Hill, London, May 27, 2003.

When it became clear that Bob Marley would not
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into croquettes, but more often for carrot salad. She never had a cake stand and instead served cake on a big round plate. She had boxes of birthday candles, cooling racks, cookie sheets, and cake pans with removable bottoms. Nothing out of the ordinary, but pretty much everything in her kitchen she had most of her life. For instance, while exploring an abandoned house with her father in the 1920s, she found an old potato masher, and used it for the next eight decades.

Since there were usually two or three cows, later replaced by goats, there was a lot of milk, heavy cream, and butter. Tasha always kept chickens. At times there were omelets to use excess eggs. Every morning for breakfast she squeezed orange juice and served eggs, sausage, or cereals like oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, or Maltex. Cold cereals were also popular: cornflakes, shredded wheat, puffed oats, and All-Bran. She often made pancakes served with maple syrup and plenty of bacon. Interestingly, Spam was sometimes used, fried, usually for breakfast instead of sausage or bacon. Sometimes the Cream of Wheat was made the day before so it was fairly hard, cut into strips, and fried until brown and served on a plate with maple syrup.

There was beef, pork, lamb, ham, chicken, and occasionally fish. Beef was in the form of roasts, steaks, or hamburgers. On rare occasions there was lamb with mint sauce, or ham roasted with cloves. Chicken was stewed or roasted. Some of the meat was raised on the farm, and other times she bought it. Beef stew was always good, along with homemade baked beans and wheat bread. She made very rich corn bread in iron pans, served with butter and jam. When it got a little stale it was cut in half and fried. There was never any hard alcohol, beer, or wine in the house.

Vegetables from the summer garden included lettuce, tomatoes, corn, broccoli, spinach, chard, Brussels sprouts (not popular), cabbage, cauliflower, beets, kale, carrots, peas, beans, squash, potatoes, and onions. In winter if she ran out of vegetables from the big chest freezer, she would buy commercial stuff.

There were always a lot of desserts and sweets around. Apple pies, oatmeal cookies, baked custard served out into saucers, fudge, puddings, often chocolate pudding served cold with heavy cream, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, sugar cookies, and rice pudding with raisins. There were cakes, usually two layer, ice cream with homemade chocolate sauce, and baked apples filled with brown sugar and raisins. The brown sugar melted and made sticky syrup in the pan, and was later poured over the apples.

Tasha made crackers and baking powder biscuits, but also bought soda crackers, graham crackers, Fig Newtons, Oreos, and Ritz Crackers, peppermints, Junior Mints, and Milky Way bars. And “refrigerator cookies,” which were store-bought, round or square, thin, plain chocolate cookies assembled in a pile with whipped cream in each layer, refrigerated until softened, with chocolate syrup over the top. She made punch, tea, cider, and root beer.

Tasha traveled a great deal. Locally, she went to Boston, New Haven, Pittsfield, New York City, Connecticut, and along the way ate at Howard Johnsons and Schrafft’s in Boston. Traveling also meant picnics with sandwiches made from thin slices of bread and filled with chopped hardboiled egg, mayonnaise (always Hellmann’s), and chopped bacon, or marshmallow and peanut butter, or chopped pickle and mayonnaise, or jelly, or sliced beef or chicken. She spent a lot of time in the kitchen and her gardens, and she put it this way: “I love to cook, and don’t mind doing the dishes.”

The continued interest of Tasha by the many people who got to know her either in person or through her appealing, detailed watercolors and stories is a vital component to her legacy. She felt deep gratitude for her fans and never missed an opportunity to thank them for their support of her art.

Breads and Muffins

Baking Powder Biscuits

Makes 18 2-inch biscuits

Baking powder biscuits tend to show up most often at breakfast. They are good with jam and butter. Yet they do very well at lunch when baked with a slice of cheese between two flat dough cutouts. Their usefulness extends to strawberry shortcake, too. They attain greater height while baking if cut from dough versus dropped in mounds on a baking sheet. Tasha did both, and they tasted the same. She rolled the dough on a small, yellow, free-standing marble-top counter.

The more dough is worked, the tougher biscuits are. Tasha observed the addition of an egg to baking powder biscuits was prevalent in New England, but less so in the Southern states.

1 egg

½–¾ cup milk

2 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Whisk together egg and milk in small bowl. In separate large bowl, combine flour,
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r single-serving recipes such as financiers (see here) and other small, fragile cakes. To perfectly unmold the Mi-cuit au Chocolat found here, carefully push up from the bottom of the mold using two fingers so that they pop out with ease. A silicone sheet pan with a depth of about ⅓ inch (1 cm) is equally useful. To test the quality of silicone, discreetly scratch it with your fingernail; it should not leave a mark.

• Do not use glass or ceramic pans when a crisp, browned crust is essential. Instead, keep these for other baked desserts, such as clafoutis.

Baking Sheets

When lined with parchment paper, a rimmed sheet pan (half-sheet, 13 x 18 inches, [33 x 46 cm] can be used for baking the sponge cakes in this book. For cookies and other items usually produced in batches, two rimless baking sheets are useful when you want to bake on two different oven racks at the same time.

Electric Mixers

If you make desserts and pastries often, a heavy-duty standing mixer is indispensable, preferably one with both paddle (flat) and whisk attachments. If you do not have a standing mixer, then a handheld mixer and a little extra time and arm endurance when mixing the ingredients will achieve the same result.

Immersion Blenders

This is a valuable tool for puréeing, as its ability to produce a silky texture by perfectly emulsifying mixtures, such as creams containing gelatin or butter, is unrivaled.

Cake Rings

Without these essential tools (which until recently were only used by, and available to, professionals) constructing multi-layered cakes with delicate fillings would be nearly impossible, as they make unmolding easy. One adjustable round and/or square cake ring will bring a professional look to your Fraisier or Succès, making them ready for competition!

MISCELLANEOUS SMALL EQUIPMENT

The following tools are also essential for anyone serious about baking:

• One or two silicone spatulas, one very soft and one semi-soft.

• One or two whisks, ideally one large and one small.

• At least two pastry brushes (made of silicone, or paintbrushes made of fine, natural bristles).

• One of the brushes should be reserved for fatty mixtures. The brushes should be dishwasher safe.

• One small metal spatula, flat or offset, for spreading fillings.

• Two or three washable plastic pastry bags (fabric bags tend to dry poorly and absorb odors). Alternatively, use disposable pastry bags.

• A variety of pastry tubes (also called pastry tips; at least three plain tubes of different diameters and two sizes of open star tubes), either stainless steel or plastic. Helpful sizes for the recipes in this book include ⅓-in (#3), ½-in (#6), ⅝-in (#8), -in (#9) round; ⅝-in (#8) French star; and -in (#7) open star.

Specialized Equipment

• For éclairs and cream puffs: plain long pastry tubes (small and large bismark tubes) for piping fillings into the pastries.

• For Saint-Honoré and yule logs: Saint-Honoré tube (-in notched tube) and yule log pastry tube (⅞-in flat, serrated tube).

• An instant-read thermometer: for testing cakes for doneness.

• A candy thermometer: for testing caramel and syrups (instructions are also provided in the recipes for the traditional cold-water method of estimating the temperature of a hot syrup).

• An oven thermometer: if your oven’s thermostat is not reliable (temperatures and cooking times indicated in the recipes should be adjusted according to your oven’s temperature variations).

• Ceramic pie weights: for prebaking pastry crusts.

• Metal yule log pans: can be found in professional pastry shops, or purchase less expensive plastic ones online under the description “plastic yule log mold.”

METHODS

Prebaking (or Blind Baking)

This is an effective approach for avoiding soggy tart crusts and preventing dough from shrinking during baking. Follow the step-by-step instructions here for this method. Ceramic pie weights are preferred over dried beans, which become too light after several uses. You can also use small pebbles that have been thoroughly washed. Refrigerating the dough after transferring it to the pan is also very helpful in ensuring it keeps its shape.

Patience

Read through all of the recipe directions first. It is not a good idea to attempt to complete, in one day, a multi-layered cake or one that contains a center layer that must firm up. Begin as many steps as possible the day before serving and pay close attention to the timing indicated for each step—this is critical for ensuring creams have set properly before use. Once assembled, most of these cakes must rest in the refrigerator or freezer for several hours—or ideally overnight—until fully set. (Recipes that use puff or choux pastry are the exception; these soften with continued refrigeration).

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and deveined

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice

6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus 6 sprigs for garnish

½ medium red onion, cut into ¼-inch cubes

1 medium, ripe tomato, peeled, seeded and cut into ¼-inch cubes

salt

freshly ground pepper

1. In a large heavy saucepan, heat 5 to 6 inches of the almond or peanut oil to 375 degrees F. Fry the tortillas, one by one, in the hot oil until they are soft, about 10 seconds and drain on paper towels. Reserve, covered, in a warm spot. Heat wire “potato nest” baskets in the hot oil for several minutes, or until they are very hot. Fit a soft tortilla into the bottom basket and place the smaller basket on top of the tortilla. Immerse the basket in the hot oil and cook until the tortilla cup is crispy and golden brown. Remove the tortilla cup from the basket and invert on paper towels to drain. Repeat the procedure with the remaining tortillas. (If you don’t have a potato nest basket, you can also lay the tortillas one by one on the surface of the hot oil, then immediately push the center to the bottom of the pan with a small empty tin can, thus creating a freeform cup. Be sure to use tongs and heat resistant gloves to protect yourself.)

2. Cut the shrimp into pieces the same size as the bay scallops. (If you are using sea scallops, cut them as well as the shrimp into ¼- or ⅜-inch cubes.) Refrigerate the scallops and shrimp separately until serving time. This may be done several hours ahead.

3. In a bowl mix together the olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, red onion and tomato and add salt and pepper to taste. To make a spicier version, add chopped jalapeño peppers to taste.

4. At serving time, toss the scallops and shrimp with enough of the olive oil mixture to coat well.

PRESENTATION: Place the tortilla cups on appetizer plates. Divide the seviche among the cups and garnish each appetizer with small sprigs of cilantro.

TORTILLAS

Makes 8, about 7 inches in diameter

1 cup masa harina (6 ounces)

2/3 to ¾ cup water

1. Mix the masa harina with enough water until it forms a ball.

2. Cut it into 8 equal pieces and roll into balls. Keep the balls covered with plastic wrap or a damp towel.

3. Heat a griddle or heavy skillet on top of the stove until very hot.

4. While the griddle is heating press the tortillas: Place a ball of the dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap on a tortilla press. Press hard to make a very thin tortilla. (You can also use the bottom of a pie tin as a press or you can roll the tortillas out with a rolling pin.) Remove the plastic carefully.

5. Bake the tortillas on the hot griddle or in the skillet for 30 seconds on each side. They should still be soft and pliable.

6. Stack the tortillas, on a plate, covered, until ready to use.

MARINATED TUNA WITH MAUI ONIONS AND AVOCADO

This was one of the first dishes on the menu at Spago. The combination of the Far East and the West makes this probably one of the most popular and most imitated appetizers at the restaurant.

Serves 4

Ginger Lime Vinaigrette

3 tablespoons soy sauce

juice of 2 limes

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

salt

freshly ground white pepper

Salad

8 ounces fresh tuna (blue fin or yellowtail)

1 small sweet Maui or Bermuda onion

1 bunch daikon sprouts (or any sharp salad leaves like arugola)

1 large avocado

2 generous teaspoons Sevruga caviar or golden caviar

1. Prepare the vinaigrette: Combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a blender and blend well. Set aside.

2. Prepare the salad: Slice the tuna into 3-inch triangles, ¼ inch thick.

3. Finely mince the onion.

PRESENTATION: Place the daikon sprouts in the center of each plate. Slice the avocado thinly and arrange it in a fan on one side. Arrange the tuna on the other side. Put the onion on top of the tuna and garnish each serving with ½ teaspoon caviar. Mix the vinaigrette well and spoon it over the tuna and avocado.

SMOKED SALMON AND CAVIAR ON BUCKWHEAT CAKES

Serves 4

Buckwheat Cakes

3 tablespoons buckwheat flour

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon minced fresh dill

½ cup good-tasting beer at room temperature

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 egg, separated

Topping

thinly sliced red onion

3 to 4 ounces Scotch or Norwegian smoked salmon, cut into paper-thin slices sour cream

2 ounces domestic golden caviar minced fresh dill, plus additional sprigs for garnish

1. Prepare the buckwheat cakes: In a mixing bowl, combine the flours, salt, pepper and dill. Slowly stir in the beer, melted butter and the egg yolk. In a small bowl, whip the egg white until stiff. Carefully fold it into the buckwheat batter.

2. Heat a heavy skillet, g
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l.

To ensure I get my daily fix, I divide my main course plate at lunch and dinner as follows: half vegetables, a quarter whole-grain carbohydrates, and a quarter protein. A plate following this formula will by default normally also contain most of the fats you need, whether in the form of an olive oil dressing or in the oily fish or nuts or other protein sources you choose. I also try to make sure I eat a rainbow of colored vegetables, to ensure I get the full range of phytonutrients. Remembering rainbows is an easy way to remember what to eat.

2. Use herbs and spices

This Golden Rule sits next to the need to eat mostly plants. Herbs and spices are my friends because cooking with them has helped me to up the amount of vegetables I eat, as they add natural and enticing flavors. I used to think of vegetables as a side rather than a main dish, but now that I know how to make them delicious, they take pride of place. As well as being tasty, some herbs and spices may trigger digestive processes that can help the body benefit from meals.

We have used both saffron and turmeric, a bright yellow root found in Indian cooking, in a lot of our recipes, as they may help alleviate depression.

Saffron has been used in healing for thousands of years; it was first mentioned as a medicine in the ancient Greek city of Thera. And scientists have recently concluded that it might be an option in the treatment of low mood: when compared to Prozac, it was found to have a similar effect on symptoms. We still have a long way to go before these findings can be confirmed, and larger-scale trials need to be carried out before anyone replaces their pills with this most vibrant of spices. But I love it. Saffron is expensive, so cook with as much as you can afford. If nothing else, the scent of it can be soothing: another small study found that its aroma had some beneficial effects on symptoms associated with menstruation.

3. Go to seed

Sprinkling seeds on everything from soups to salads has been another useful way of making vegetables more appealing. Now and then I toast a selection of sunflower, pumpkin, butternut squash, and any other seeds and pop them in a jar ready to be used. Seeds are the eggs of the plant world. They contain all the genetic instructions and nutrients to produce life. These include magnesium, B vitamins, selenium, and calcium, along with protein and healthy fats. Some seeds are also a source of tryptophan, the amino acid that is the building block of serotonin. We cannot make tryptophan ourselves, so we have to get it from our diets, a recurring theme in this book. Seeds are a plant source, so find your inner squirrel. We advise sticking to around two portions a day.

4. Eat for your gut, “the second brain”

The gut or gastrointestinal tract is the long tube that starts at our mouth and ends at our back passage. It is controlled by the autonomous nervous system, which also controls our breathing, body temperature, and blood pressure, acting mostly without our conscious effort. Consequently, Michael Gershon, professor of pathology and cell biology at Columbia University in New York, has referred to this extraordinary system as “the second brain.” I was riveted when I learned that it is not solely our brain that controls our body. No wonder we talk about “gut feelings.”

Not only is the gut home to 90 percent of our serotonin, as mentioned in the introduction, it is also one of the first lines of defense against bacteria and viruses. The lining of the intestine acts as a barrier, allowing nutrients to pass through but preventing most large molecules and germs from getting into the bloodstream. If we are stressed, our digestive system may work ineffectively and even become inflamed. This in turn may affect our mood.

To feel calm, we need to nourish our guts by encouraging healthy bacteria to flourish, and so help avoid inflammation. Our Nice and Calm chapter gives details about how to nourish a healthy gut, but in summary, we should avoid resorting to antibiotics unless absolutely needed, as well as alcohol, fatty cuts of meat, gluten, burned food, and processed foods, and eat more anti-inflammatory omega-3s, herbs, spices, and colorful fruits and vegetables.

5. Fats are my friends, and remember number 3

Our brain is made up of about 60 percent fat. I have never seen a brain, but I am told it looks rather like a pat of pale butter. So the brain needs some fats, and it is important to consume the right types. The main fats to remember are the omegas. These healthy fats are named after the last letter of the Greek alphabet: they contain a long chain of carbon atoms, with one end referred to as the alpha end, and the other the omega end. There are three main types of omegas—omega-3s, omega-6s, and omega-9s—with omega-3s being the most important to a happy diet and the lucky number to remember. As you will see in our Nutrition Note below, there’s evidence that omega-3s can
the reasons why I wanted it: for comfort, as a reward for having been healthy for a couple of weeks, and just because I really, really liked cake! Then I wrote down the consequences if I caved in, which included feeling tired and bloated afterwards, and the fact it would probably kick off sugar cravings for a few days and throw my regime out of whack. Was it worth it? When I looked at the pros and cons there on paper in front of me, I could instantly see the answer was no. And giving myself five minutes to really consider it showed me that. By writing down everything that was going round in my head I could reason with those feelings, instead of pushing them down with junk food.

Getting things out of my head and into my diary freed me up from all the negative thought patterns that had been circling my mind like a merry-go-round. And I’d really like you to do the same.

In case you’ve not read my Honesty Diet, I’ll explain again here how I like to structure my Honesty Diary. It’s served me so well that I still do it exactly the same to this day.

Every day I wrote down:

what time I ate

what I ate

why I ate it

how it made me feel

Copy the grid opposite into your Honesty Diary or simply photocopy it lots of times, then get ready to start filling it in each day.

I still write in my diary each night before I go to bed – sometimes a lot and sometimes a little – so I don’t have anything swirling around my mind while I’m trying to sleep. As well as noting down all the things I’ve eaten or drunk throughout the day, I also write down anything I’ve done that’s made me feel proud/annoyed/happy, etc., what I hope to do tomorrow, and sometimes even longer-term plans for the future.

CHALLENGE YOUR BLOCKAGES

Any time you feel like it, it can be very helpful to write down a really honest critique of yourself. Not to give yourself a hard time, but to make yourself aware of blockages. Jot down the things that are bothering you about yourself in that moment, or the things you’re finding tricky, and then underneath write down what you think the solution might be. For instance:

I feel lazy and sluggish:

I’m going to get up and go for a walk tomorrow, even if I need to take it slowly.

I’m not feeling very motivated with exercise at the moment:

I’m going to have loads of fun putting together a new playlist of my favourite upbeat songs to help get me excited about working out.

I’m still eating too much sugar:

I’m going to eat a little bit less sugar tomorrow, and even less the day after, then slowly wean myself off it.

Every day, read your answers out loud to yourself five times and really absorb what you’ve written. If you say it often enough, you’ll soon start to believe it.

You’ve just created your own positive affirmations!

By saying these affirmations out loud, you’re telling yourself and your subconscious that you’re ready to change. There is no limit to how many you can have or what they can be about. And they don’t all have to be things you want to improve or change. Some can also be reminders of good things you’ve already got in your life. If you think your best asset is, say, your hair? Remind yourself! Write out a positive affirmation that says ‘I have fabulous hair!’ Have you helped someone through a tricky situation recently? Be proud of it with an ‘I am a kind and empathetic person!’ affirmation taped to your wall.

It’s great to make these affirmations big and hard to miss, so I recommend using coloured markers to write your statements on big sheets of paper, or type them up and print them out. Stick them up on the wall, or pop them in a special Happiness Folder and put them near your bed to read through each morning. As long as your statements are positive they’re allowed in your Happiness Folder or your Honesty Diary.

GET GRATEFUL

One of the things that has been life-changing for me is taking time to be grateful for what I have, and every day I include a gratitude list in my Honesty Diary. Sometimes I have to dig pretty deep, but when I put my mind to it there is always so much to be thankful for – even if it’s just that someone smiled at me in the street, the sun is shining, or the fact I have a comfortable bed to sleep in. Those are all incredible things. Look for things to be thankful for on a daily basis and you will start to do it automatically after a while.

My friend Flossie and I often send each other lists of things we’re happy about, and it’s such a great reminder of how lucky we are. Why not start a Facebook or WhatsApp group with some mates so you can message each other a little list of wonderful things each day? You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference it can make, and it’s so nice to hear other people’s uplifting messages too. Have a rule that you are only allowed to share positive things in that particular grou

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