Every Day is Valentine's Day

You don't have to wait until Valentine’s Day to celebrate love and friendship

Although it is important to celebrate love and friendship as often as possible, the reality is that we don’t do it enough. Valentine’s Day can remind us to focus more on the people we love -- any day and every day.

You can live a long and successful life full of exciting adventures and achievement. But in the end, the only thing that will matter is who we loved -- and how. We should be grateful for being able to give and receive love and friendship.

Valentine’s Day was kind enough to fall on a Saturday this year. In the U.S. it will be a three day weekend for many, as Monday is the President's Day holiday.

Planning a nice and relaxing day at home might be better than driving somewhere and dealing with traffic, parking and spending too much money. You and your spouse (and children) or significant other or best friend can enjoy each other Amira Elganin genuine harmony and relaxation in the comfort and privacy of your own home and sanctuary.

Decorate your home for the occasion. Flowers and candles can transform a room's atmosphere. Of course, heart shaped things and red colors can really give your home that special Valentine's Day touch. The best rooms to decorate are the dining room, kitchen, living room, bathroom and, of course, the bedroom. Doing aroma therapy along with candles, especially in the bathroom and bedroom can help relax and sooth the senses.

Plan menus for the whole day. Cook breakfast together, read the newspaper together, go on a picnic for lunch, take a walk at the beach or park and watch a nice family or romantic comedy movie together.

Dinner should be a very special affair. Set up the table with your best china and linen and decorate it with flowers and candles. Play some relaxing or romantic background music as you cook dinner together. When you sit down to eat, talk about your best memories, tell your loved ones how much you love them and all the things you love about them.

Saying “I love you” may seem unnecessary sometimes, but it’s vital. We need to express our love with our actions and words to those we love, such as our spouses, children, parents, siblings, relatives and friends. Loving someone and saying “I love you” is never out of place. If that’s how we feel, it is crucial that we say it not just for our own well-being but also for the well-being of those we love.

After dinner, clean up together then go relax. Get the fire place going if you have one and maybe sit on some pillows on the floor. Depending on whom you’re celebrating with, you can play a board game, exchange gifts or cards, dance to your favorite love songs or read some poetry together.

Couples can take a bath together, do some quiet meditation for relaxation and give each other massages. Otherwise, move the festivities straight to the bedroom; slip into something comfortable and enjoy a passionate night of love.

The celebration of love and friendship is a beautiful and ideal opportunity to say “I love you” in many different ways.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Reader Q&A 

Q: What’s the difference between a shake prepared by the Vita-Mix blender and any other brand blender? How can a breakfast shake be 40 times better for you if it's prepared in a Vita-Mix blender as opposed to other mixers? I'm not gonna cook bread or make ice cream with my mixer - - why should I buy a $500 Vita-mix blender as opposed to the 40 buck blender from Wal-Mart - if all I'm gonna use it for making breakfast shakes. Can you point me toward a place that does testing to see why one shake is better than the other that is prepared in another blender? Thanks.
K.H., Anderson, CA

A: There is no difference between a shake or smoothie prepared by a Vita-Mix blender and any other blender, at least, nutritionally speaking. The nutritional value of a blended beverage has to do with the nutritional quality of the ingredients blended not the blender itself. A Vita-mix blender may be superior only in terms of performance, horsepower and versatility but there are many other blenders that cost a lot less and are almost just as good. The bottom line is that if you're not going to use a Vita-Mix for all that it is capable of doing but rather just for smoothies and shakes then you are better off buying a less expensive model. Of course, generally speaking, you get what you pay for so buying the cheapest blender may not be the best decision in terms of durability and efficiency for blending ice or frozen fruit well.

Consumer reports did a review of blenders, but you need to subscribe to their magazine to get the information online. I suggest you read the following review, which is actually a consensus of several in depths reviews including the one done by Consumer Reports, Wall Street Journal and Vegetarian Times as well as comments by consumers posted on different web sites.

Here is a site that carries most available blenders and provides descriptions of each.

Words of Wisdom

How Do I Love Thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The Research Department

A new in-depth study done by the British Medical Association has found that the ill-effects of smoking are far more damaging to human health than previously thought -- especially reproductive health.

The findings of the most comprehensive research ever done revealed that smoking harms a person’s sexual and reproductive organs. The alarming findings, among other things, show that around 120,000 men ages 30 to 50 in the UK are impotent as a result of smoking. Click here to read the complete report.

Men who smoke are twice as likely to suffer from infertility and DNA-damaged sperm, according to researchers. Between 3,000 and 5,000 miscarriages in the UK each year are directly linked to cigarette smoking.

Good News

You'll notice that I've added breaking news from the world of health and nutrition to my home page: http://www.vegetarianorganiclife.com By visiting the site every day, you'll be informed of all the most important health news as it happens.

Vegetarian Organic Recipe of the Week

Click on the picture for a closer look!

Peachy Walnut Scones (vegan)
Makes about 14 scones

For a healthy addition to a special breakfast, these easy-to-make scones are a wonderful, delicious and nutritious sweet treat—much better for you than any dessert you can buy at the store.

Preparation time: 5 minutes Baking time: 25 minutes Equipment: Food processor or blender

Get ingredients ready (use organic ingredients if possible)
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour (if allergic to whole wheat use 3 cups spelt flour)
1 cup spelt flour
2 tablespoons EnerG Egg Replacer
1 tablespoon non-aluminum baking powder
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold non-hydrogenated (trans fat free) margarine
¾ cup sucanat (or rapadura)
¼ cup regular or vanilla creamy soymilk
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cup unsweetened apricot apple sauce
½ cup walnuts, finely chopped (reduce or increase quantity as desired)
3 cups fresh peaches, finely diced (or frozen peaches, 10 oz bag)
½ cup raisins (optional)

1. Pre-heat oven at 375ºF. In a large bowl, combine flour, EnerG egg replacer, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and mix well with a large fork (or sift together for better results). Add cold margarine to the flour and cut it into the flour with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture looks coarse. Add sucanat and use fork to mix and toss well. Add soymilk, vanilla and apricot applesauce mixing with fork completely until a wet and soft dough mixture forms (just firm enough to hold its shape). If using frozen peaches, chop them in the food processor. Add peaches, walnuts and raisins combining thoroughly.

2. Promptly, with a large spoon scoop about 1/3 cupfuls of dough onto a cookie sheet (not greased) each 2 inches apart. Drop the mounds carefully so they’re tall—not flat. Place on middle oven rack and bake for 25 to 30 minutes on until the scones show tiny brownish spots on top. Remove from oven and let them cool for 2 minutes. Placed scones on a cloth lined basket or plate. Serve and enjoy. Will last for a couple of days and may be reheated on toaster oven.

 Nutrition Facts 
Amount Per Serving      
Calories   151.00  
Calories From Fat (28%)   43.00  
    % Daily Value
Total Fat 4.00g   6%  
Saturated Fat 1.00g   5%  
Monounsaturated Fat 2.00g      
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.00g      
Trans Fatty Acids 0.00g      
Cholesterol 0.00mg   0%  
Sodium 117.00mg   5%  
Potassium 143.00mg   4%  
Carbohydrates 24.00g   8%  
Dietary Fiber 3.00g   12%  
Sugar 3.50g      
Sugar Alcohols 0.00g      
Net Carbohydrates 21.00g      
Protein 3.50g   7%  
Vitamin A 72.98IU   1%  
Vitamin C 1.49mg   2%  
Calcium 49.92mg   5%  
Iron 0.84mg   5%  
Thiamin 0.09mg   6%  
Riboflavin 0.05mg   3%  
Niacin 1.17mg   6%  
Vitamin B6 0.07mg   4%  
Folate 8.11µg   2%  
Pantothenic Acid 0.21mg   2%  
Phosphorus 78.09mg   8%  
Magnesium 26.63mg   7%  
Zinc 0.59mg   4%  
Copper 0.11mg   5%  
Manganese 0.71mg   35%  
Selenium 10.76µg   15%  
Alcohol 0.06g      
Caffeine 0.00mg      
Water 23.18g      



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This newsletter is not intended to provide and replace medical advice. The author and editor expressly disclaim all responsibility for any adverse effects resulting from any information, diet or exercise suggestions. It is imperative that the advice of a physician is sought before any diet or exercise programs are adopted.

Copyright© 2003-2004 Amira Elgan. All Rights Reserved.