If you are not redirected automatically, follow at http://vcstyle.blogs.vcstar.com/

Results tagged “healthy living” from VC Style

Stay in Your Best Zone Podcast

Share: Share on Facebook submit to reddit StumbleUpon Toolbar

One of my favorite things  (besides cooking & writing!) - Travel with family and photographing nature's beauty

Take care of You

If you don't take care of yourself, there won't be enough for you -- or for anyone else -- to go around.  So make sure you're getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep a night and that you're eating right.  When you reach for that candy bar or artificially sweetened food, remember that eating fresh and natural foods minus the chemicals is better for your health.  Read labels.  If the ingredients are one's you can pronounce or can't readily identify, don't buy the product.

When you purchase food look for the "USDA Organic" label because these national standards define organic as those foods that are produced without the use of most conventional pesticides and without synthetic fertilizers. Food products cannot use the USDA Organic seal unless at least 95% of their ingredients are organic.

Additionally, the food can't be genetically modified, irradiated to kill bacteria, or fertilized with sewage sludge from waste treatment plants.  Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that are given organic feed and no antibiotics or growth hormones. Currently, there are no organic regulations for fish.

Also look for foods that are NON GMO Project Verified and make sure when you buy whole grains; you're really getting whole grains.  Look for labels that say 100% Whole Grain (47g or more per serving) vs. Just Whole Grain (8g or more per serving) at the beginning of the ingredient list.

When buying meat or poultry, it says 'natural,' that may mean the meat just hasn't been fed hormones in the last 12 months before finding its way to the grocery shelf. Ask for 'never never' meat -- as in never used growth hormones or antibiotics. Grass-fed is another step up in terms of flavor, quality, and nutritional benefit."

Plant a Garden

Not getting enough fresh fruits and vegetables?  Plan a garden.  Gardening, a wonderful distraction to everyday life, allows us to focus on the task at hand.  In doing so, it actually helps to decrease stress.  The great thing about gardening is that you'll also benefit from all the fresh locally grown produce.  If you don't find gardening appealing, enjoy another hobby on a regular basis - dance, tennis, and bird watching - any hobby that allows you to escape and live in the moment.

Learn how to say NO

Before you agree to paint a friend's house, host a dinner for 40, join one more networking group, go over your schedule and figure out if it's coming to come with a price.  Saying yes to everything can often create stress and unnecessary activity in our lives keeping us from the things and people that mean the most to us.  Evaluate what each activity will take, the pros and the cons, and how it will impact your precious time.

Take a Trip with a Friend or Loved One - Leave the kids at home

Family vacations are fantastic and important.  However, Mom and Dad have got to have their time away from the kids. Parents need to connect as romantic partners.  If you don't have kids, or the kids are long gone, you still need to get away every now and again.  For a long weekend -- or a week or more vacation.  Planning a fun getaway is a great way to have something exciting to look forward to, dream of and talk about.

A Few of Your Favorite Things

We all remember that song Julie Andrews sang in the "Sound of Music" -- "My Favorite Things."   Well, make a list of what yours are.  It might be enjoying that first cup of coffee of the day outside sitting in your garden.  Maybe it's having a glass of wine at night looking at the stars, talking a long walk by the shoreline or volunteering for an important community event.  Make sure you do at least one or more of these activities daily to put a smile on your face.

Live. Love. Laugh.

Live to your fullest. Love a lot and laugh daily. If you do this, the best in life will come to you and your heart will be open to receiving.








For great recipes, creative living inspirations and more, visit my website and blog at SimplyDeliciousLiving.TV



Healing Power of Meditation & Prayer

Share: Share on Facebook submit to reddit StumbleUpon Toolbar

Many studies have been conducted that demonstrate that those who believe in a higher power, pray and meditate, tend to be healthier and happier.  The reasons for this, in part, may find its roots in the recognition of being loved by a Divine power, a sense of purpose, and for the general well-being these practices promote.  Both prayer and meditation have been linked to fighting depression, lowering blood pressure, reducing stress and keeping an individual in balance mentally and physically - all factors that contribute to positive health.

To pray and to mediate, it's important to find time where you can be free from distraction.

For meditation in particular, it's important to clear at least 20-30 minutes of alone time.

Meditation is something you'll be doing for yourself, but that will impact not only you, but those around  you - in a positive way.

Some tips to get you started:

•Wear comfortable clothing

Meditate in your PJs, in your yoga pants, baggy sweats -- something comfortable!

•Create a quiet space that is free from distraction

Turn off the phone, TV and Music. No technology, please.

•Get in a comfortable position

Sit cross-legged, lay down - whatever position makes you the most comfortable.  You'll be in it for at least 20-30 minutes, so comfort is key.

•Close your eyes


Take deliberate breaths. Develop an in and out rhythm.

•Accept thoughts in to your mind and then let them leave

The goal in meditation is to clear the mind of all thoughts. Concentrate on your breathing can help you quiet your mind.

The more you meditate, the easier it will be and the more you will realize the benefits of the calm and harmony it creates.

There are many helpful books about meditation and prayer available.  I personally enjoy the guided meditation tapes for health, well-being, spiritual wellness.

Some great resources include:

How To Mediate:  A Practical Guide by Kathleen McDonald and Robina Courtin

Meditation for Beginners by Jack Kornfield

Your Present:  A Half-Hour of Peace:  A Guided Imagery Meditation for Physical & Spiritual Wellness by Susie Mantell

Getting in the Gap:  Making Conscious Contact with God Through Meditation by Dr. Wayne Dyer

How to Pray When You Don't Know What To Say:  More than 40 Ways to Approach God by Elmer L. Towns

and of course, there is always the Bible - Old and New Testament!




-Maryann Ridini Spencer

STOP: Smell the Flowers!

Share: Share on Facebook submit to reddit StumbleUpon Toolbar

STOP and Smell the Flowers!


Do you find yourself rushing off to work in the morning, and getting home late every night?

Are you taking meals in the car or at your computer?

When you look at your calendar for the week, do you find that you are ever overwhelmed by the endless schedule of activities?

As the years pass by, do you find them getting shorter and shorter with dreams and vacations always put on the back burner?

It's important for your health, well-being and success to stop and smell the flowers - or the coffee - EVERY DAY!


*Look at your calendar. Is every meeting and every appointment absolutely necessary?  You might find you can combine a few meetings and/or eliminate one or two.

*Are you driving all over town without any plan?   Try to organize your meetings in certain areas of town back-to-back.  You might also want to coordinate meetings out of the office only 1 day a week.  This will save on time and gas money.

*Make a part of every evening and weekends an opportunity to spend quality time with your family.  Prepare dinner and weekend meals together.  Use this time for uninterrupted conversation minus the electronics.  Plan family activities.

*Enjoy the moment - the wind on your face, the taste of morning coffee, the sun on your shoulders.

*When you're eating a meal - Sit down to a table or to nature, and enjoy your meal. Taste it.  Eat natural, fresh foods and produce. You'll feel better and find you need less food to satisfy you. 

*Meditate and Pray every day.  Give thanks for what you have. 

*Write down your goals and dreams.  Look at them often.   You'll find by doing this, you'll begin to see them transpire in your life.

*If you are unhappy or depressed, look inside honestly and work to change what is ailing you.  Seek counsel if necessary.

*Whether at home or at work - ask for the guidance and support you need - Delegate when possible.

*Plan ahead for vacations, weekend trips and special getaways that you can look forward to.

*Start TODAY to create love and happiness in your life.  It starts with you. Express your love with a card, a text or a small token of your affection.

*Put a smile on someone's face and SMILE a lot!

A friend of mine recently lost a young family member in an accident.  Another person I know lost their parent suddenly.   Don't let a tragic event find you wishing you spent more time with a friend or loved one.

Take heed that it is the QUALITY of life, and the deep personal relationships that bring meaning - not the superficial material things we can't take with us.

Enjoy simply delicious living EVERYDAY. 

Visit my blog at SimplyDeliciousLiving.com for joyous living inspirations and great easy-to-make, simply delicious recipes and cooking videos!


Listen to STOP: SMELL THE FLOWERS Podcast in ITunes, CLICK HERE.


Simply Delicious Living's "French Toast To Die For"

Share: Share on Facebook submit to reddit StumbleUpon Toolbar

On Sunday mornings, I love having French Toast for breakfast.  Usually, I use wheat or rice bread.  However, I recently happened to have some sourdough French baguette in the kitchen and thought I'd try making french toast with it.

One thing led to another as I eyed the smoked salmon and goat cheese in the frig... et Voilà!  "French Toast To Die For" was born!



(French Toast with Salmon, Goat Cheese & Fresh Basil)


Serves  4-6


Prep Time:  5 minutes

Cook Time:  5-10 minutes



  • 1 Sourdough French Baguette
  • 1 - 4 ounce Goat Cheese log (Montchevré  or other)
  • 5 ounce(s)Smoked Wild Salmon
  • 20 Fresh Whole Basil Leaves
  • 5 Roma Tomatoes
  • 1 cup(s) Capers in vinegar (Optional)*
  • 1 cup(s)Milk
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 tbsp.Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Recipe Instructions:

  • Cut French Baguette into 1 pieces. Set aside.
  • Slice smoked salmon into individual pieces. Set aside.
  • Slice Roma tomatoes into thin slices. Set aside.
  • In a bowl, pour in milk and beat in two eggs with a fork.
  • On the stovetop, over medium heat, pour olive oil into a frying pan.
  • Pick up a piece of baguette with a fork and dip into the milk and egg mixture.
  • Make sure both sides are well coated. Place in the frying pan.
  • Repeat with all the baguette slices (cooking both sides until golden).
  • Place cooked pieces of baguette on a pretty serving plate.
  • Spread a generous helping of goat cheese over each baguette piece.
  • Place a tomato slice on top of each baguette piece.
  • Place a basil leaf on top of the baguette covered with goat cheese.
  • Place salmon slice (s) on top of tomato slice.
  • Place a few capers on each baguette piece (*Optional)
Serve "French Toast To Die For" hot, at room temperature, or chilled.
The dish goes great with eggs for breakfast or with a green salad for
lunch or dinner.  For more recipes, visit:  Simply Delicious Living's

©2011 - Maryann Ridini Spencer, Host of the

"Simply Delicious Living with Maryann®" TV show seen 24/7

on Time Warner Cable's ON DEMAND throughout Southern

California and on CAPS-TV, Channel 6, Mondays, 8:00pm

with rebroadcasts weekly.

Simply Delicious Living's Very Green Salad

Share: Share on Facebook submit to reddit StumbleUpon Toolbar
On "Simply Delicious Living with Maryann," host Maryann Ridini Spencer
creates a simply yummy dish made with spinach, green beans, mushrooms,
red cabbage and olive bread croutons! Delicious and nutritious!


One night, as I was going through the refrigerator deciding what to make for dinner,
I decided to combine some green beans (leftovers from the night before) with fresh
spinach.  I also had some olive bread that I thought would make some great tasting
croutons for the salad.  Et voila! the Very Green Salad with Parmesan and Olive
Bread Croutons
was born.  This salad can be served as a meal and/or with grilled
shrimp, chicken or fish. 


Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes


  • 1 bag fresh spinach
  • 2 c. red cabbage
  • 1 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 2 c. or 16 oz. green beans (parboiled)
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 3/4 c. shaved Parmesan cheese
  • ½ c. slivered almonds
  • 1 c. olive bread croutons
  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • garlic salt and pepper to taste
  • Dressing: Lemon Vinaigrette from http://www.garlicgold.com
NOTE: If you are in a jam, and can't get your bottle of Garlic Gold's Lemon Vinaigrette,
you can make a similar dressing with Olive oil, several diced (or minced) garlic cloves
and a 1/4 c. of fresh squeezed lemon juice.


  • Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Cut several pieces of olive bread into small (one inch) cubes.
  • On a cookie sheet, drizzle extra virgin olive oil all over the bottom of the pan.
  • Place bread cubes in the pan.
  • Bake in the oven at 450 degrees F until croutons are a golden, crispy brown. 
Place croutons aside while preparing the salad.

Recipe Preparation:

  • Cut off both ends of the green beans.  Rinse and drain.
  • Bring a pot of water to boil on the stovetop. 
  • Place green beans in the pot. Boil 3-4 minutes until beans are
  • cooked (ala dente). Drain green beans and set aside.
  • In a skillet on the stove top over medium heat, put olive oil in the pan.
  • Add in garlic and almonds.  Cook until the almonds and onoins are a golden brown.
  • Add in the green beans and a quarter cup of the Parmesan cheese.  Toss.
  • Add in garlic and salt & pepper to taste.  Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add in spinach, red cabbage, mushrooms, croutons & beans.
  • Mix the salad.
  • Pour Garlic Gold's Lemon Vinaigrette dressing over the salad.  Toss well.
  • Serve Immediately!
©2011-- Maryann Ridini Spencer

"Simply Delicious Living with Maryann" is a FUN and Enchanting journey
serving up simply delicious recipes and dedicated to all things home,
hearth and joyous living!

Watch the show on Time Warner Cable ON DEMAND® throughout Southern
California (approximately 1.8 million digital subscribers). With your remote,
and scroll to the SIMPLY DELICIOUS tab.  The show is also seen
on CAPS-TV, Channel 6 in Ventura, Mondays, 8:00pm with
rebroadcasts weekly.

VC Style
Maryann Ridini-Spencer produces video stories about environmentally friendly and healthy living in Ventura County.

She co-hosts "Sustainable Ventura" with Ray Olson on CAPS-TV's VTV, Channel 15 as well as "Simply Delicious Living with Maryann" on Time Warner Cable ON DEMAND.