Holly and Heather's Helping Hands

Inspirational Heartfelt Hints

Month: June, 2014

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Healthy Summer Recipes!

Last Saturday was officially the first day of summer. There’s something about the warmer weather that makes you want to eat lighter fare. When it’s hot & sticky outside the last thing you want is a heavy stew heating up your house. In addition to that, we will be wearing bathing suits, shorts and t-shirts which reveal more of us to the world than a bulky sweater and jeans! We are trying to eat healthy but tasty food, to feel satisfied and satiated.  Here are a couple of recipes for some great summer dining!

Heather’s Bean Salad:

2 cans of beans (I prefer a mix of garbanzo & dark red kidney beans)

1/3 cup olive oil

1 1/2 Tbsp. onion powder

1 1/2 Tbsp. pear infused vinegar (you could also use apple cider or balsamic vinegar)

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Drain the beans and put them in a bowl.  Add olive oil to coat, onion powder and vinegar.  Stir to combine.  Add crumbled feta cheese and stir lightly.  Easy & delicious!


Holly’s Light Lemon Chicken:

1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast cut in strips

2 Tbsp. flour

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

2 cloves minced garlic

1 cup broccoli, roughly chopped

1 lemon

Lightly dust the chicken in 1 1/2 Tbsp. of flour.  Brown the chicken in a large pan with the olive oil, approximately 5 minutes.  Remove chicken to a plate.  Add the garlic to the hot pan and 1 cup of the chicken broth.  Cook for one minute.  Add the broccoli and cook for another minute.  In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1/2 Tbsp. of flour and 1/2 cup of chicken broth.  Add to the broccoli pan and stir.  Add the chicken to the pan and zest of one lemon.  Then cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice from both halves into the pan.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Stir and cover/cook for 5-10 more minutes.  Serve with rice, cous cous (my favorite) or Heather’s Bean Salad (also my favorite) and enjoy!

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: It’s How You Say It

We had the experience of hearing somebody tell a story about a note they received – a note that was meant to be helpful – and it was written in all capital letters with a giant exclamation point at the end.  The receiver of the note felt that he was being yelled at instead of receiving a well-meaning message.  Have you even gotten a text or email with, as we call it, “shouty capitals”?  Whatever the words were meant to convey, it’s like all we “hear” are the shouty capitals.

This can be true with any exchange, via the written word or verbally face to face.  It’s not always what you say it’s how you say it.   Sometimes we all need to take a minute before we speak or write and think about how we sound.  How would we feel to receive this message if it were directed toward us?  Even the most well intended comment can be hurtful if it is not said in a kind way.  Let’s think about our words this week and try really hard to use them in a way that uplifts spirits and promotes kindness.

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Changes

Life is constantly changing in big & small ways. This time of year for us, with kids in school, always brings about a lot of changes. Routines and sleep patterns are different, new work schedules begin for the summer.  With those changes come mixed emotions. Some things are ending, some are beginning and even when change is good, it is still a little unsettling.  We get used to a certain routine and its upheaval takes a little getting used to.  Maybe it makes us stop and think how fast our kids are growing up or that we are getting a little older.  Each season seems to flash by and we try to enjoy it all.  If you find yourself getting a little emotional this time of year, it may be because things are changing.  It’s ok, it just takes a little adjustment.

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Perspective

Sometimes “stinky” stuff happens in life.  Try as we may to keep a positive attitude, things happen beyond our control that can really bring us down.  It is difficult to remain joyful on the inside when there is disharmony on the outside.  We don’t think that being “happy” 24/7 is the answer or even very realistic.  We can’t force a feeling no matter how badly we may want to in the moment.  For us, this is where perspective comes into play.

Perspective makes us realize that circumstances could be worse.  Even if they are terrible at the moment, taking a bigger look at our lives or the world around us to recognize a glimmer of hope – maybe for the future – can bring the here and now back to a better place in our minds.  Like that old saying, “Put yourself in their shoes,” when we think of others, our focus shifts from self to other.  Yes, things may seem dark today, but they could be darker.  Our mother used to always say, “There will always be someone richer than you and someone poorer than you; someone sicker and someone healthier; someone bigger and someone smaller…” and so on.  And these ideas are not meant to make one feel mediocre or as if they are living life in comparison to others (see blog 5/22) but to put one’s thoughts into perspective for that moment.  Putting our difficulties into a larger perspective can help shake that “stinky” feeling life can throw our way.

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