Heart Choices: 2009-06-21

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Fitness Friday ~ Healthy Lunch


It's Fitness Friday and my friend Sandy of God Speaks Today has returned from sunny southern California. She's back on the job as host of Fitness Friday. If you're a blogger and want to join in, simply write a post about health or fitness and link to Sandy. We always love to welcome new bloggers to Fitness Friday.

Remember Friday = Health talk, OK?

I'm sure Sandy had many opportunities to do lunch with all the celebrities in Beverly Hills, LA and Malibu. I heard a rumor that she had lunch with Angelina and Brad. Is that really true, Sandy? Take a look at this photo op of the Coopers in front of the famous Beverly Hills sign? Is that cool?

But the big question is: Did they eat a healthy lunch?

Well, you may not have time for a leisurely lunch. Maybe you have a few other mouths to feed ... like your children?

Or maybe you only get a 30 minute break from work to have something quick to eat. So, what can you eat for lunch and still be healthy?

How about a sandwich? Now, I'm not talking about a greasy burger or a bunch of processed meat on a submarine.

  • Use whole grain bread, a pita or a whole wheat wrap

  • Use mustard or non-fat mayo to flavor it

  • Go heavy on the lettuce, tomato, cucumber, sprouts

  • Fresh herbs are great on a sandwich for flavor

  • Vegetable soup is a great accompaniment to a sandwich

  • Fresh fruit or a small salad works well too

A few suggestions for your sandwich filling:

  • Chicken breast

  • Tuna fish packed in water

  • Turkey breast

  • Portabello mushroom, grilled

  • Grilled vegetables

  • Veggie burger

So, what are you going to eat for lunch today? That is the question.

And by the way, I read Sandy's Fitness Friday post and it's so good. She must be well rested after her vacation because she certainly did a great job. She's talking about our Fitness Witness. After all, our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. What are we telling others by how we treat our bodies? You've got to check it out.

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Flaunt Your Red Day


Flaunt your Red Party

Today is Flaunt Your Red Day! I'm sure most of you never heard of it unless you read my blog post on Monday. If you missed it, you can read it here.

For some reason, I love the color RED! I enjoy wearing RED. I love RED cars. But I really don't use RED to decorate my home. It's a little too much for me at home because I see my home as my nest ... a place of peace and rest.

But let me start flaunting my RED!

I hope this photo isn't too risque. I was just showing off my RED lounge wear at Christmas time.My mom always liked RED too. This is her table at Christmas time all set with her china and RED accents.

The American Heart Association (which is very near and dear to my heart) has a special program called Go Red For Women. And do you know what their goal is?
To stamp out heart disease in women! Notice the big RED stop sign? BTW, did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women? I had to get that plug in somehow. After all, it is still ...Fitness Friday.

Do you recognize who that is with the lady in RED? Yes, it's Charlie Gibson. He happened to love RED so he asked to be photographed with me! Yeah, right ...I took my niece to Good Morning America and he was kind enough to allow me to be photographed with him.

How about these beautiful RED geraniums in my backyard? Only kidding ...they are on the grounds of Phoenix Biltmore Hotel. I really do have RED geraniums in my backyard around my pool but they aren't doing that great right now in the heat. So, I figured these look better than mine.

This is me and my honey in Italy! This photo was taken when we were sailing to the Isle of Capri which is such a beautiful location. Notice my RED and white shirt?
And my final RED picture is one of my friend Helen and me. We were goofing off at Christmas time and even had a girl's weekend bash. As you can see, Helen has RED hair and she likes RED too!

Well, I certainly had fun flaunting my RED today! How about you? You can join in and write a Flaunt Your Red post. Simply link your blog post to our host Nancy's Southern Lady. Or you can check out the other participating blogs.

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Thankful Thursday ~ Laughter


It's Thankful Thursday. I'm learning that it's good for me to have one day a week to focus and write about the things for which I'm thankful. It's been a difficult season in my life and it's easy to lose my focus and get caught up in problems or as I like to say ...challenges.

But then I consider that the one, true, living God knows me and sees all that's going on in my life ...so I can be thankful.

In the midst of challenges, I'm thankful for the gift of laughter.

Yesterday, my friend Tina was going to stop by my house to introduce me to her boyfriend Eric. She is moving to Abilene, Texas as that is where Eric is stationed. I thought it might be nice to bake a cake to celebrate.

I found a beautiful strawberry cake with the recipe on Dear Daisy Cottage. Kimberly has one of those blogs that I can spend an hour reading and looking at her amazing photos and it makes me ...smile. She got the recipe from Lulu at Southern Lady, another fun place to visit.

So, I made the cake but didn't fully read the recipe. I only had two round cake pans instead of the three on the recipe. To compound that, I decided to use my convection oven because I heard that's better for baking but I'm not very familiar with it.

The strawberry coconut cake didn't turn out as I hoped it would. I think I under cooked it by using two pans instead of three. What do you think?



Do you believe it? What a flop! But I had the choice to cry or ...to laugh. And I decided to laugh.

And Tina and Eric actually ate it and ...seemed to like it. Or maybe they were just being nice. But I have to say how thankful I am for good friends and for a good laugh!

So on this thankful Thursday, what about you? Do you sit down and cry or do you try to see the humor in things? I guess there's a time for tears and a time for laughter. But right now, I choose to laugh.

If you have any baking tips for me, please share. And don't forget to visit Laurie at Women Taking A Stand. You can sign in and participate in Thankful Thursday or find other blog posts to read today.

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Wednesday's Walk ~ Columbia Presbyterian's Homecoming Day


It's another Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane and I'm linking to Lynnette's blog Dancing Barefoot on Weathered Ground. This meme has been so much fun for me. I guess the older you get ...the more memories you cherish and want to remember.

I was born with a congenital heart defect in the days when modern surgical techniques were not fully developed. So, I was very sickly as a child.

This photo was taken when I was seven years old just before the doctors finally decided that I had to have the open heart surgery. This is my Grandpa and Nana Sumstad along with my baby sister Christine and brother Steve. If you missed my story about my grandfather, you can link to it here and here.

This photo was taken ten years later when I was a senior in high school. I am pictured here with my cardiologist, Dr. Sidney Blumenthal.My surgery had been performed at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. They had a special part of the hospital at that time called Babies' Hospital.

In 1970, the hospital began to host an annual Homecoming Day. It was a time when former patients could be reunited with each other and their nurses and doctors. I had been asked to speak to this huge audience of people and I was so honored.

Don't laugh at the hair style. It was popular in those days, along with short hemlines. Here I am with my hero. This is my heart surgeon, Dr. James Malm.

It's interesting but when I began searching for old photos, I came across the speech I gave to this gathering on Homecoming Day. I shared about my experience as a patient and how I remembered waking up in an oxygen tent with tubes coming out of all parts of my body. A wonderful nurse reassured me. And then I told them that I planned to become a nurse. I received lots of clapping from the medical staff and especially ...the nurses.

It really was a special day to see everyone once again and to say thank you. When I was leaving, I was approached by the news networks and asked to do an interview. I agreed and was seen in NY on the nightly news.

How's that for being famous for one day?

Now, don't forget to link over to Lynnette's blog to read about other participating bloggers' memories.

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Flaunt Your Red ~ Coming Friday


Flaunt your Red Party

Have you heard of Flaunt Your Red? I hadn't either ...until today.

As you may know, I follow a variety of blogs. I know my list is long ...but I have a variety of interests.

Flaunt Your Red is the brain storm of Nancy at Southern Lady. Her theme is "Home is the heart's resting place." I only found her blog recently but I'm finding it very interesting.

Now, you may know that I'm not at all southern. I was born and raised in New York. I did live in Florida for a few years but that doesn't really count and I've lived in the west (Phoenix) for 25 years. But there's something interesting to me about the south. I think it's the manners, the tea, the Paula Deenness (is that a word?). Anyway, it's something different and interesting to this northern and now ...western girl.

When I saw this post for Flaunt Your Red, I had to consider doing this too. RED is my favorite color! I love to wear red. I used to have a red Corvette when I was single (oh so many years ago). I love hearts and they are red. And this blog is called Heart Choices. So, I am chosing to participate in Flaunt Your Red this coming Friday, June 26th. I hope to still post a Fitness Friday post too.

So, if you like red too you may consider linking up with Nancy. She's going to put Mr. Linky up on Thursday for convenience. So, be sure to check back on Friday to see RED!

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Happy Father's Day ~ A Tribute to My Dad


Today is Father's Day and I want to honor my dad.

The older I get the more I realize how fortunate I've been to have a father like mine.

I've never gone a day in my life doubting that he loved me. Even when I messed up (yes, I did that plenty), I knew my dad loved me. I'm finding out that's pretty rare for a father and daughter.

My dad was always excited with each of us kids. Here's a photo I found after my mom gave birth to my brother Steve. He was the first born and the roof my dad is standing on was my parent's first house. And my dad built it. It was in Smithtown, New York which is on Long Island. The sign says "It's a boy!"

This photo is my dad holding me in his arms and I was three months old.

During my high school years, my dad and mom were both very involved in my life. They knew all of my friends and boyfriends well. They wanted everyone to feel welcome at my house because this way they knew what was going on. Don't laugh at this photo but many many years ago, I was crowned Lindenhurst Centennial Queen and they were so proud. I had the opportunity to represent our village for one year in parades and events.

When I moved out to Phoenix my dad took the drive with me to get me settled. He always loved Corvettes so it was fun for him to drive my car.

One year we went to San Diego, California. We were both hobbling around since he had knee surgery and I tore ligaments in my ankle. So, we helped each other along the way.
My dad reads the newspaper cover to cover every morning. Of course, the sports page is always first.
My dad even let me teach him about computers. He now does email and goes on the internet and he's 80 years old. You're never too old to learn!

And finally, here's my dad overlooking his family farm in Sumstad, Norway.
He feels so at home here.

Dad, I'm sending you a big hug and my love across cyberspace.
Happy Father's Day!
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