How to Drink Your Veggies Without a Blender or Juicer (and Why You Might Want To)

One of the things I do to nourish myself is to hang out with other people who are trying to treat themselves in a healthy, nurturing way.  One of the groups I attend is T.O.P.S. (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly).

One of my T.O.P.S. sisters shared a newspaper article talking about how broccoli sprout tea could cleanse the body of environmental toxins. The concept intrigued me, so I started googling how to make the tea. I couldn’t really find any useful directions. Then I remembered that you can make “tea” (technically, not “tea” which comes only from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, but an “infusion.” But most people just say “tea.”) from fresh herbs. So I decided to treat broccoli sprouts as if they were herbs.

For my first batch, I bought fresh broccoli sprouts from (where else?) Sprouts. I simply put the sprouts in a tea ball, put the tea ball in a cup and added boiling water.

I let it steep for about 10 minutes. When the brew was cool enough, I tasted. It reminded me of vegetable soup broth and wasn’t bad at all.

Later I learned that broccoli tea is also helpful for gastritis. Since my husband was suffering from that, I talked him into trying the tea. Now he drinks it daily (and is gastritis free).

I’ve learned to grow my own broccoli sprouts and sometimes add them to salads and sandwiches in addition to drinking the tea.

My broccoli tea experiment reminded me of another way to cleanse environmental toxins. The book, How to Grow Fresh Air, talks about how adding house plants to our environment can remove airborne toxins.

Sometimes nourishing ourselves can be as much about what we take out as it is about what we put in.

Is there anything in your life you’d be better off without?

Joshua 24:23 “Now therefore, put away the foreign gods which are in your midst, and incline your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel.”
Job 11:14 If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, And do not let wickedness dwell in your tents;
Proverbs 4:24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth And put devious speech far from you.
Ezekiel 45:9 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Enough, you princes of Israel; put away violence and destruction, and practice justice and righteousness.
Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.


Another nature lover seeking nourishment from trees

Recently I found a passage in a book that startled me. It described how some Native Americans, when ill, would seek out pine trees and stand beside them, soaking in their “energy.”

What surprised me was not that people did this, but how well I understood what drove them out into the trees. A few years back, when I was recovering from one of my several cancer surgeries, I noticed within myself a deep yearning to spend time in the tree-rich mountains. It was a feeling as strong as physical hunger.

I have spoken with other people recovering from various illnesses who have felt the same longing. I even mentioned it to an outdoor educator and ecopsychologist who confirmed that many people experience a longing for nature when ill.

Several scientific studies have been conducted that have found that hospital patients tend to recover quicker (and need less pain medication) when they are placed near a window with a view of trees or other natural scenery. Even looking at artwork depicting nature scenes seems to have a positive effect.

Since my illness I have deliberately sought to bring myself into contact with nature much more often. I take walks outdoors, in a park, whenever possible, even if it means getting out early, before the heat of the summer day. I photograph as many natural scenes as I can so that when I have to be indoors I can still look at God’s creation. I turn these photos into screen savers and wallpaper for my computer and phone so that I can take frequent nature breaks throughout the day.

I try to surround myself with the sounds of nature too. I set up bird feeders in my backyard so I can delight my ears with birdsong first thing in the morning. I listen to babbling brooks on Mp3s.

I’m not claiming that spending time in nature cures disease, but it sure makes me feel better. Looking at the handiwork of the One who created me nourishes my soul.

How about you? Any positive natural experiences to share with other readers? How do you connect with nature?

Next week: How to Drink Your Veggies without a Blender or Juicer (and why you might want to)

My cat, Pixie, drives me nuts sometimes. A few weeks ago I had given her a fancy new feeder loaded with five pounds of automatically-dispensed-at-regular-intervals-so-that-she-never-had-an-empty-bowl yummy cat food. And here she was, standing at the empty old feeder, meowing pitifully as if I were starving her to death.
I picked her up and took her to the new feeder (for about the 20th time). She sniffed the food and started nibbling, looking up at me as if to say “Well, you finally fed me!” And yet, this abundance had been in front of her all the time.

A well-fed Pixie, hard at work editing my manuscript

A well-fed Pixie, hard at work editing my manuscript

Not only does Pixie frustrate me, she also teaches me. Watching her I began to wonder how often I go hungry, emotionally and spiritually, because I am looking toward empty feed bowls to fill me up instead of at the places where ample nourishment actually resides.

To test myself I started yesterday morning by making a list of all the ways I’ve recently felt nourished, happy or satisfied. I started with a “big” thing–by remembering my recent vacation in which I’d spent time with my entire family, including the three grandchildren who live across the country from me. “Spending time with you, your wife and your kids is deeply soul-satisfying for me,” I had told my oldest son as he enjoyed a rare, peaceful moment, swinging in a hammock beneath a green tree canopy. His ear to ear grin told me he appreciated my observation.

Then I moved on to the “little” things currently in my life. In my back yard I noticed the hummingbirds at the feeder I’d hung for them and the squirrel munching on the peanuts I’d laid out for him moments before. I love watching my backyard menagerie. I hugged my husband and asked how he felt. When he said he’d had a restful night I noticed that just weeks before he had been in the throes of a bad gastritis attack which kept him awake many nights in a row. What a welcome relief to hear that he had been pain free for the night. How satisfying to note that medication, life style changes and prayers for his healing had helped.

I kept on noticing and adding items, like how good my morning coffee tasted and how comfortable my bathrobe was, to my list. A few moments later I realized something. Once I turned my attention to looking for them, I found so many satisfying, nourishing or happy moments that it would have taken the rest of the day to record what I observed in just a few minutes of searching. I felt as if someone had picked me up and placed me in front of a large bowl of cat, uh, I mean, people treats.

How about you? What moments of nourishment can you find in your life today? Care to share them with us?

  • What devotional or inspirational literature did I read/listen to today?
  • What do I want to remember from the devotional literature?

We can all benefit from hearing other people’s opinions.  We can especially benefit from informed opinions.  Many times our understanding of what the Bible says can be deepened by listening to other people explain or teach on what it says.  That’s where listening to or reading high quality devotional literature from reputable authors or speakers can be helpful. And again, we need to make an effort to remember what we hear or learn so writing down what we have learned helps us retain the insights we have gained.

Do you have some favorite authors or teachers to recommend to our readers?  What have you learned from them?

As I promised in my last post, I’m beginning to give you a series of questions which will help guide you into a more fulfilling life.  Most of the questions will not be about the Bible or Christianity, but the first ones are.  I’ll try to post one question a week.  Here are this week’s thought provokers.

  • What Scripture verses did I read/listen to today?
  • What do I want to remember from the verses?

One of the first truths of Christianity is that the Bible is God’s message to His people, His instruction manual to life.  It teaches us how to live the way God wants us to live, the way that will bring us maximum satisfaction and happiness in life.  It is by reading the Bible that we hear what God is communicating to us. Reading it, studying it and learning from it are important keys to spiritual (and emotional and physical) health and happiness.

As important as it is to read the Bible it is even more important to remember what we learn from it. These questions give you the opportunity to record what portion of the Bible you read and then to remember and solidify what you learned.  There is no better way to reinforce what you have learned than to explain it.  Writing down what you have learned is one way to explain it and make it stick in your brain.  Writing the truths you have learned also gives you a record so that in the future, you can go back and review them.

Being well-nourished can make you smile!


When I first started this blog my idea was to read a few books that talked about ways to be good to yourself, to try out the techniques and then to report how the experiment went.  I envisioned bubble baths, fresh flowers, an occasional baked treat, a walk in the park and more time with friends. 

 While all of these things are good for us and nourish our beings I have learned that these are only the tip of the iceberg.  The more I dug into this issue of being good to ourselves, the more there was to it.  I found out that there is even a whole branch of psychology devoted to studying how to increase our well-being.  My original three book reading list has grown to hundreds of volumes waiting to be harvested. 

 You may have noticed that there has been a gap of time since my last post.  That is because I have been devoting time to studying these books and gleaning what wisdom that can be found.  I have also been recording the insights and gathering them into a usable form that will make it easier to track how well we are doing at nourishing ourselves.  I’ll let you know more about this tracking device as it gets a bit nearer completion. 

 Over the next few weeks I want to share some of what I have discovered.  Once a week I’ll be posting a question for you to mull over.  The questions will help you discover new ways to nourish yourself at the deepest level.  I’ll have other posts during the week too, posts about good things, but especially watch for the questions that I will call Happiness Helpers.  They will be extra beneficial to you. 

 So look for the first question tomorrow.  But in the meantime, here is a quick way for you to nourish yourself in the next five minutes.  Close your eyes and think of something good that has happened to you today.  Keep thinking.  Did you get a goodbye kiss from someone you love this morning? Did you have a good cup of coffee or an enjoyable bowl of cereal for breakfast?  Did the sun warm your skin today?   Did you see your favorite bird as you glanced out the window?  Did you listen to a song you like?  Keep thinking until you think of something good that happened. Then, if you can, tell me about it.  Respond to this blog with your one good thing. 

 Until tomorrow. 


My recent blog on the relationship being good and doing good really stirred up some great thinking and comments from you, my dear readers.  You not only thought deeply about the question, you also gave some powerful and pertinent examples of how the “conflict” can play out in daily life.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your responses!  You really did what I was hoping to do in this blog, you thought deeply and shared your thoughts.  Please keep up the good work!!  I really appreciate your participation.

For those who were concerned about my personal welfare and what would lead me to pose such a question as “how do we balance being good to ourselves with being good?” I’d like to introduce a term that may either clear up your concerns about me or make you write me off as a total loon.  The term is Christian hedonism.  Here is a brief definition.

Christian Hedonism teaches that the desire to be happy is God-given and should not be denied or resisted but directed to God for satisfaction. Christian Hedonism does not say that whatever you enjoy is good. It says that God has shown you what is good and doing it ought to bring you joy (Micah 6:8). And since doing the will of God ought to bring you joy, the pursuit of joy is an essential part of all moral effort. If you abandon the pursuit of joy (and thus refuse to be a Hedonist, as I use the term), you cannot fulfill the will of God. Christian Hedonism affirms that the godliest saints of every age have discovered no contradiction in saying, on the one hand, “We are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered” (Romans 8:36), and on the other hand, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I will say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). Christian Hedonism does not join the culture of self-gratification that makes you a slave of your sinful impulses. Christian Hedonism commands that we not be conformed to this age but that we be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2) so we can delight to do the will of our Father in heaven. According to Christian Hedonism joy in God is not optional icing on the cake of Christianity. When you think it through, joy in God is an essential part of saving faith.

I’d love to hear what you think of the concept of Christian hedonism.

One of my favorite ways to nourish myself is to read (or listen to) a good book.  My definition of a good book is a one that uplifts me in some way, that I feel like I have received benefit from when I finish it.  Sometimes the benefit received can be entertainment, sometimes it can be insight into another culture or time period, sometimes it is a stimulating idea to ponder or things I want to incorporate in my own life.  And sometimes I like to read just for the pure fun of it.

I like to have two kinds of books open at all times, books that I enjoy and books that I can learn from.  Sometimes the two types overlap, but sometimes not.  Sometimes I have to work at reading things in order to learn.  But working at something doesn’t mean it isn’t nourishing!

When I run out of ideas of what to read next I turn to several resources. These have helped me to meet new authors I like (and some I don’t) and to expand my book reading experience.  Next time you are looking for something to read try these out:

Christy Winners-Christian novels of excellence

Readalikes-input an author, series or genre you like and get suggestions of similar books

What Should I Read Next?-Like Readalikes, but this site adds the ability to search by ISBN numbers also

Shelfari-find a book you like then see what other people who also like the same book have read or are reading

Paperbackswap-A site where you can trade books with other people.  You have to pay for postage to ship books but it ranges from 2-3 dollars per book.

There are many other sites out there, but these are a few of my favorites.  So find a nice cool spot to curl up, pour yourself a frosty glass of lemonade and enjoy!

Today’s entry is a little philosophical.  It’s also a little more revealing of myself than I am comfortable being.  However, I’d really like to hear your thoughts on the subject.

As the tagline of this blog says, this is a place to explore ways to nurture ourselves.  I am not writing from a standpoint of “Look at me.  I’ve got all the answers.”  I am writing because I too am exploring, I’m walking places I haven’t been before.  I’m seeking out new territory.  I’m telling you about good things I’m seeing along the way, but I am still very much on the journey.  I have not arrived at the destination.  I am asking the questions too.

And today’s question is, how do we balance being good to ourselves with being good?  How can we balance nourishing ourselves with living a moral and ethical life?

Here is where I am coming from.

As you know from my last post, I am a Christian.  That means I find my life’s meaning in the person of Jesus Christ.  I try to follow the teachings of the Bible.

But that doesn’t mean that I am mindless.  It doesn’t mean that I am blind to some of the difficulties of following a faith that occasionally seems at odds with common sense.  (Now don’t get your feathers ruffled.  I know that God’s ways are the wisest and best.  I believe that with my whole heart.  But that doesn’t stop me from wondering.)

Scripture tells us that the best way to nourish ourselves is by depending upon God and obeying Him.  But to be honest, sometimes following what God seems to require involves some personal pain.  Sometimes obeying Him feels like it’s hurting us rather than building us up.

So what do we do when faced with this situation?  How do we live a good life while still being good to ourselves in the times when the two goals feel in opposition to each other?

Thoughts?  Comments?

And don’t worry.  The next post will be much lighter.

Although it has been three decades since I nursed my first newborn infant, I’ll never forget what an awesome experience it was.  That squalling little baby came into this world already equipped with an inborn knowledge of what he needed to do in order to survive and grow.  When he was hungry he knew just how to get my attention so I’d put him into the position from which he could nourish himself.  When I held him to my chest, he knew how to turn his head and to search for the necessary food.

Amazingly my newborn son needed only one source of nutrition during his early months.  The milk he slurped from the mommy bar contained all the nutrients he needed to develop and grow.

Just like newborns, older humans also have an innate knowledge of what we need to grow and thrive, not just for now but for forever.  We have a deep sense that there is only one source that will satisfy our needs and our longings.  An ancient book of wisdom calls this being born with eternity in our hearts.  But just like the newborn we need help to get to the source of nourishment.  We need someone who will bridge the gap between where we are and where we long to be in order to get what we need.  That is where Jesus Christ comes in.  When we believe in Him we are letting Him pick us up and place us near God’s heart, the one place where we can latch on and receive all the nourishment we need to grow and thrive..

Unlike a newborn, we never outgrow our need for nourishment from God.  It’s one diet that lasts for a lifetime and beyond.

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June 2023