Sunday, March 19, 2017

Chili Peppers

I attended a big literary event (FILEY) with some writer friends this week, and on the way back we had a conversation about chili peppers. My spicy-heat tolerance is mild-to-medium. They were telling me different health benefits of peppers and you can build your tolerance. That sounded like something I could learn more about and experiment with, especially while living in Mexico. (Thanks Martine!)

So I bought three peppers at the produce market today: I can't remember the name of the yellow one.

I started googling about peppers: health benefits, different kinds, how to cook with them, etc. So far the tips I've read are that it's recommended to wear some disposable gloves when cutting the peppers and removing seeds and membrane. And if you burn your mouth to avoid water and use dairy - drink milk, have some yogurt, or even ice cream.

Chili peppers contain the molecular compound capsaicin which apparently aids in weight loss and fighting cancer.

Some health benefits include:

Increase circulation
Contains lots of vitamin C
Help lower bad cholesterol
Help improve digestion
Help lose weight
Help lower blood pressure
Help fight inflammation

 I plan to make some vegetarian chili and chop up Serrano, or maybe a a bit of all three, and add just a bit. I now the Poblano peppers are commonly roasted, and can be stuffed. I have to start out slow! Any suggestions or recipes are welcome.

I found this site to be interesting and helpful;
Dr. Axe has an article about capsaican here:

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

g r a t i t u d e

Attention to gratitude might be a trendy thing, but I just finished reading, 'The Gratitude Diaries, How A Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life' by Janice Kaplan. I enjoyed her stories, studies, and interviews about the positive affect gratitude can make in your health, attitude, and life, as well as influence on others. It's a year-long project exploring and practicing gratitude.

I've tried gratitude practices in the past like noting one-to-three specific things from the day to be grateful for in a journal, and another time via email with a friend.

What I like about this book is how she made gratitude a lifestyle by daily actions. It can be retraining yourself to pay attention, notice and acknowledge the good, the blessings.  And learning to re-frame your responses when life hands you challenging or frustrating situations.

Clever planter!

I also like how she began the year by noticing and appreciating her husband each day. By stopping to appreciate things he did, and not taking anything for granted had a very positive influence on their marriage. Counselors confirmed practicing gratitude strengthened neural circuits for love and connection, like fitness strengthens your body. (note to self: good place to start.)

Of course it's easier to be grateful for nice people, good circumstances, favorable conditions.... but she also has examples of people going through loss and hardship, and how they still choose to be positive, and make the most of their lives.

 Being an impetus of appreciation and kindness, and helping others goes a long way. It is very reciprocal, usually you feel better in return, and those touched by gratitude tend to be pay-it-forward. Gratitude is an action.

Así es la vida.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Here is a little photo update. We took a walk and saw they still do that video mapping on the Cathedral and saw the pretty flowers/colors.

This morning we passed by Parque Santa Lucia and noticed they added a Merida sign by the 'Edith Ann' chairs.😁

We took a ride on the scooter and rode through a colorful cemetery. Seriously, the colors and mausoleums everywhere make it seem, dare I say, cheerful, considering it is a cemetery.

And then we drove around the park area that goes on for blocks. Paseo Verde.

There is an area that looks like a playground, but it's crazy really! Look at those swings. I don't even know how you get on them. George walked up the stairs but it's kind of scary.

 There are many places we have not been yet and will have to make some effort to get out and explore more. 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

ayer y hoy (yesterday and today)

Yesterday I went to the English Library to hear a Writers Group panel speak about writing. I got there late and missed half, but I was in the presence of writers, which often inspires me to write. It's been breezy here in Merida lately. I can still hear the wind blowing strong against the trees.
Martine's Basil Plant

I also visited my friend Martine yesterday. She has the biggest basil plant growing that I've seen. I am going to move my small basil plant into a bigger pot!

pancakes with side of mango
 This morning I tried one of the those recipes I've seen on Facebook where you watch the short video of it being prepared. It was two-ingredient pancakes and it worked well! Mash one banana, then mix one egg in with it (I added some chia seeds) then pour in pan to cook. I thought they came out pretty good. If you like, give it a try.

These two Sisters were walking in front of me. I don't know why,
 but I love when I see them on the streets in any city.

Today I walked to the Slow Food Market, I picked up salad greens, brown eggs, ginger root (to make ginger iced-tea), pumpkin seeds, and radishes. Then I had lunch with two friends Martine, and Alex, at the yummy Korean restaurant in that area. I love meeting with these two expat friends. We enjoy each others company, and offer each other support and different perspectives. Actually, that is true with most of my friends!

I also got to see another amigo Jerry for a little while. He's smart and funny and we had some good laughs. 

This social community, plus staying in contact with other good friends around the world has added so much to my life. It's worth the time it takes for writing long emails, and having skype calls. Is there someone you have in mind, or would like to hear from? If you choose, take a few minutes and let them know you are thinking of them.

muscle fascia

Travel size foam roller

Are you familiar with muscle fascia? It's a band of collagen-connective tissue beneath the skin that wraps around internal organs and connects to muscles and bones. Many years ago at a gym I remember using a foam roller, and rolling on it with my quads and sides of my legs. It hurts, which shows how tight that can get. I continue to use my travel size foam roller which helps stretch and loosen things up a little.

Dr. Christiane Northrup posted a good article about it here:
densely-packed collagen fibers that wrap around each of your internal organs and connect them to your muscles and bones - See more at:
densely-packed collagen fibers that wrap around each of your internal organs and connect them to your muscles and bones - See more at:
densely-packed collagen fibers that wrap around each of your internal organs and connect them to your muscles and bones - See more at:
densely-packed collagen fibers that wrap around each of your internal organs and connect them to your muscles and bones - See more at: