End of Year Teacher Gift – 2018

Teacher Survival Gift | www.sproutingbalance.com | #teacher #gift #survival #useful

Lil Sprout has had a great time with her teacher this year. I like to give her main teacher a little gift of thanks. But it has to be useful!

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Choose Happy Bracelet

Choose Happy Bracelet | Tiger's Eye & Sandalwood Mala | www.sproutingbalance.com | #Mala #Bracelet #27Beads #Choose #Happy

A sweet little reminder to ‘Choose Happy’.

Choose Happy Bracelet | Tiger's Eye & Sandalwood Mala | www.sproutingbalance.com | #Mala #Bracelet #27Beads #Choose #Happy

Sandalwood is used in Ayurvedic Healing to promote energy and enthusiasm, while Tiger’s Eye aids in balance and harmony. Add this to a cute little ‘Choose Happy’ charm and who wouldn’t feel a little bit happier? I certainly felt cheerful while designing and making it.

And for those that don’t use Alternative Medicine, you have to admit that clothes affect your mood. Sweats make you feel relaxed and slouchy, while a cocktail dress makes you stand a little taller and ready to party. A little reminder to ‘Choose Happy’ might help on those days that require a suit but you would rather be in your pjs.

Choose Happy Bracelet | Tiger's Eye & Sandalwood Mala | www.sproutingbalance.com | #Mala #Bracelet #27Beads #Choose #Happy

As for me, I will wear this on the grey February days during a Canadian winter to remind me to keep my mood sunny and bright.

Do you have an article of clothing that helps you to ‘Choose Happy’? Please share in the comments, on Twitter – @sproutbalance – or Facebook.

SPROUTING [P]INSPIRATION:

Looking for some ideas on recipes, organization or things to do with your Lil Sprout? Come check out my Pinterest page and the things that inspire me to become more balanced.

Owl Mala

Owl Mala | 108 bead hand knotted necklace | www.sproutingbalance.com | #mala #green #sandalwood #owl

Meet my latest creation – An Owl Mala.

Owl Mala | 108 bead hand knotted necklace | www.sproutingbalance.com | #mala #green #sandalwood #owl

It is an 108-bead hand-knotted necklace with a tube pendant.

Owl Mala | 108 bead hand knotted necklace | www.sproutingbalance.com | #mala #green #sandalwood #owl

The pendant was engraved by my grandfather. I don’t wear much gold toned jewelry so I knew it would never be worn on a gold chain. Leather or suede seemed too casual. So it sat in a box until I started to make knotted Malas. I realized that the simplicity of sandalwood allowed the stone to shine. The knotting of the string provided the formality the piece needed. I’m happy that the owl has finally found a woody home.

Remember to follow me and SPROUT a conversation on Twitter – @sproutbalance – and Facebook!

SPROUTING [P]INSPIRATION:

Looking for some ideas on recipes, organization or things to do with your Lil Sprout? Come check out my Pinterest page and the things that inspire me to become more balanced.

Easy Swap – Banana Hemp Muffins

Easy Swap Banana Hemp Muffins | www.sproutingbalance.com | #healthy #swap #hemp

I have been looking for easy swaps to decrease our carbohydrate intake and increase our protein and good fats. Muffins are an easy grab on those busy days and require no icepack when we are on the go. I recognize that a hard boil egg or a handful of almonds would give us a higher protein kick but sometimes you just want that carb hit.

Banana Bread Muffins are often made in our house to use up the brown bananas and the nearly expired milk. Our household recipe had the sugar cut in half a decade ago; the overripe bananas are sweet so it was easy to decrease the granulated stuff. So if I wanted to decrease the carbohydrate further, I needed to look beyond sugar and tackle the flour I was using.

In order to be school safe, almond flour (or any nut flour) could not be used. I have tried coconut flour but always noticed a change in flavor. Thankfully, I have now found that Hemp Hearts can easily replace ¼ of the flour in our recipe. [Good time to mention that this is not a sponsored post and I am in no way affiliated with these products.]

What does this mean nutrition wise? Let’s compare 30g of each product:

Robin Hood Nutri Blend Flour:
100 calories
1.5 grams of fat
21 grams of carbohydrate (4 grams from fibre)
4 grams of protein

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts:
170 calories
13 grams of fat
3 grams of carbohydrate (all fibre!)
10 grams of protein

If you are used to having a fat-free diet, you are probably freaking out now. Our body needs good fat to work properly. We get essential fatty acids from our food, which our bodies need for brain development and controlling inflammation. Fat also helps us to absorb some vitamins (e.g. A, D, E).

I also find that I stay fuller for longer if I incorporate good fat and protein into my diet. And the hemp hearts provide 2.5 times the protein of the same weight of flour, so there’s the extra boost of protein I needed! Of course, I can’t forget the carbohydrate difference, 7 times more in the flour versus the hemp hearts. Wow.

I’m not leaving you with a recipe today but I am leaving you with a challenge…

Make a healthy change to your favourite recipe. Try cutting the sugar and experimenting with non-wheat flour options. Don’t be afraid to play with your food!

In the comments, please share which recipe you hope to play with and what change you are going to make.

Remember to follow us and SPROUT a conversation on Twitter – @sproutbalance – and Facebook!

SPROUTING [P]INSPIRATION:
Looking for some ideas on recipes, organization or things to do with your Lil Sprout? Come check out my Pinterest page and the things that inspire me to become more balanced.

Road Block Ahead

Road Block Ahead: Finding Calm Instead of Road Rage - www.sproutingbalance.com - #calm #driving

I spend my day going in circles.

I am behind the wheel of a car multiple times a day shuffling between work locations, my daughter’s school and her activities. Now, this can be spent in a positive state or hinge on the edge of road rage. I try to stay cool and collected but a lot of the time, the other drivers make it difficult.

This morning, as others turned up their road rage, I dialed mine down and reflected. I started thinking about how their time on the road mirrors the rest of their life. How these habits are affecting the physical and mental health of these drivers and what we are indirectly teaching our children.

Full Speed Ahead
The light turns green and the car speeds up to (or past) the speed limit in a matter of seconds … to slam the brakes on for the next red light. Continue reading

Saying Goodbye

Saying Goodbye

 

Yesterday, we put my friend’s father to rest after a very short struggle with cancer. It has brought so many thoughts and feelings to the forefront.

My friend is a little older than me and her father was a little older than my father. We are also both only children and this has been the first parent lost in my grouping of friends. Not only is it difficult dealing with the loss of a great man, but also it is a reminder that we are all getting a little older.

Saying Goodbye is not easy and certainly a journey that does not happen quickly. Yesterday, the memorial provided an opportunity for all of us to start the emotional process. The service was in a small building but we probably broke a few fire codes to get everyone in there. Family, friends and old colleagues filled the room to support the immediate family … and each other.

We took our four-year-old daughter as I feel that it is important for children to understand the process of life. Life is worth living and enjoying. Birth should be celebrated and cooed at, and death should be acknowledged and celebrated for the life that was filled. I know that many people will disagree with her presence there but these friends are like family. It is good for her to learn that adults do cry and feel strong emotions. It is also good for her to learn to be a supportive friend and hold a hand for comfort.

I was proud of my friend for letting her children be there and be an active part of the service for their grandfather. I know it was tough for her to pack her protective shield away, but I honestly feel that her children will never regret going. They felt sadness and loss but also learned how many people were special to their Papa.

I am grateful to have parents that are open to the discussion of death and dying. I recognize that grateful might be seen as a strange word to use. They have taught me not to fear the sight of death or the tears of mourning. They have also been wise to complete Wills and Power of Attorneys to make the difficult years of aging a little easier on their only child. I know how we will say goodbye when the time comes. I won’t be ready. We never are. No one likes Saying Goodbye.

In the comments, please share your thoughts on this difficult topic. To my dear friends and family, please keep the privacy of the family in this post and not use any names in the comments.

If you are new to Sprouting Balance, please follow us and SPROUT a conversation on Twitter – @sproutbalance – and on Facebook!

SPROUTING [P]INSPIRATION:
Looking for some ideas on recipes, organization or things to do with your Lil Sprout? Come check out my Pinterest page and the things that inspire me to become more balanced.