Rainbow Gardens – A Bright and Colorful Idea

Are you thinking about adding a rainbow of color in your garden? Rainbows certainly inspire a feeling of joy and hope, don’t they? A rainbow-colored design of flowers and other plants could be a gorgeous way to showcase lovely flowers on your property. Some people design a bow on their front lawn or around the center of their yard to section off different areas. A lovely mixture of colors like red, yellow, orange, violet, and green in a bow shaped design could make your garden the envy of the neighborhood.

Whether you hire someone to help bring your garden fantasy to reality or decide to do the planting yourself, here are some helpful tips for great flowerbeds:

· Plan carefully. Flowers you might envision looking lovely in your rainbow garden beds may or may not work well together and may or may not grow well in your space. You’ll want to pick the right flowers for your area with consideration for the amount of sunlight the area gets. If you’re new to gardening, your first year might be a bit of a gamble but getting some skilled advice can increase the chances of everything turning out the way you hope it will. You can talk to a landscape gardening company or the expert at your local garden centre to get some expertise.
· It’s wise to plant a rainbow garden with plants, rather than with seeds. This will make it easier to arrange everything to look the way you envision and will help you achieve the look you are going for as you won’t be as likely to have a sparse looking flowerbed where flowers bloom at different times.
· Sketch out your plan. A bit of planning can go a long way in achieving your desired goals. Writing down a game plan with a list of the things you’ll need is a good idea and the map of your flower arrangement can help keep things straight, especially if you’re getting help with the planting. If you’re planting perennials, be sure to leave a bit of room for expanded growth.
· Carefully construct the bow. Higher maintenance plants are probably best to go to the front where they will be easiest to reach (depending on what sort of accessibility you’ve got, of course)
· Consider installing some sort of edging to help shape the border initially and to help you keep grass and weeds from creeping in to your flower garden.
· Don’t forget to set up a nice sitting area nearby so that you can sit, relax and admire your handiwork!

About the Author

Jen Byiers writes for Gardens Galore, a company with green fingers and a passion for garden landscaping.

*Image: kenfotos / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

This light, flavorful recipe for tuna steaks is easy to make and absolutely delicious!

Cilantro & Lime Tuna Steaks

Ingredients

2 sushi-grade tuna steaks

2 large handfuls of chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 garlic clove, minced

Juice of 2 large limes

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Iliada brand, recommended)

Pinch of sea salt and sugar

Fresh Crushed Black Pepper

Preparation

Start by just salting and peppering the tuna. Next, mix together the cilantro, ginger, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, sugar and oil. Add the tuna to the marinade and let the flavors mesh in a shallow dish overnight.
When you get up the next morning, give it a flip so that both sides are well seasoned and by the time dinner hour rolls around, your fish is full of flavor.

Take a trip out to the grill to get those juicy tuna steaks cooking.

Brush a little olive oil on the grill so that it doesn’t stick. If you like your tuna just seared, be sure that you are using sushi-grade tuna. To sear the sides, I’ll fire then flip it very quickly. Voila! Cooked outside, raw inside- Perfection! Feel free to cook your tuna longer, on lower heat, if you prefer fully-cooked fish.

You can replace the tuna with chicken breast, Tilapia, or Orange Roughy and those will turn out super tasty, too!

This recipe is featured on episode 5 of Brook Benten’s independent healthy cooking show, BB’s Back Burner.

10 Stylish Indoor Plants and Flowers that Can Add a “Green Vibe” in Your Home

If you want to freshen up your living space and create a more “green” home environment, consider adding some stylish indoor plants and flowers to the area. Certain plants and flowers are perfect for windowsills, tabletops, and even work well as centerpieces. These plants and flowers can add a burst of color to an otherwise drab area, and also make the air cleaner!

Here are ten stylish indoor plants and flowers that will add a green vibe to your living space:

1. Potted Mixed Greens. An indoor basket filled with mixed greens and bold-colored flowers is perfect for any small room or space that doesn’t have much décor. Pick up something that has an assortment of ferns, large-leaf plants and a few flowers.

2. Tropical Hibiscus potted plants. When you want to create a tropical-inspired setting, pick up a potted hibiscus for its beautiful flowering blooms. Tropical hibiscus flowers are usually a bright pink, yellow, and white in color and will instantly liven up the living space.

3. Peace Lily. A great indoor plant that works very well as a centerpiece is the Peace Lily. The white lilies aren’t overbearing and each plant has plenty of green leaves to create your “green” look you want. These are a good match for relaxation rooms and even bedrooms – anywhere where you want to create a soothing, relaxing environment.

4. Jasmine. The beautiful white flowers of the Jasmine plant are also a great match for centerpieces and will freshen up any dull room in a flash. These plants are also very easy to maintain and can be a good fit for living rooms, office spaces, and dining rooms. This is also a very lightly-scented plant so you can enjoy the jasmine fragrance wafting through your living space.

5. Brazilian Fireworks. This bold and bright bouquet of flowers and leaves will quickly become the main attraction in the living space. This is another indoor houseplant that is easy to take care of and may be a good fit for your dining room table, a mantel, or an empty side table. It’s definitely a standalone houseplant that commands attention!

6. Guppy Plant. The thick leaves and bright orange blooms of the Guppy plant make this an attractive addition to any living space. This plant is full of life and character. Since the stems tend to arch, it’s also a good fit for hanging baskets.

7. Shrimp Plant. This is actually more of a shrub and can be lined up with other indoor house plants and flowers. The plant does tend to produce several flowers throughout the year so it will always add some color to your living area. Consider purchasing a set of these plants to line up along a shelf or mantel.

8. Guzmania. If you’re looking for a showstopper, this is it. This exotic-looking plant has a deep red, orange, and yellow flower in the middle and produces very long, tendril-like leaves. It’s perfect for side tables and also as a centerpiece.
9. Scented Geranium. When you need a fragrant houseplant to keep the air clean and add a nice scent to the area, pick up a few scented geraniums and pot them in separate pots to leave around the home. You can actually choose from a range of scents including lime, ginger, and chocolate.

10. Tea Rose Begonias. Begonias are among the more traditional types of houseplants out there but the Tea Rose variety can add a pop of color to the living space and also produce a fresh scent. The flowers in this plant tend to cascade over the pot so make sure to place them up on a higher shelf or bookcase.

About The Author

Aileen Pablo is part of the team behind Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading providers of TAFE courses equivalent and interior design courses. When not working, Aileen blogs about travel, lifestyle, home improvement, and beauty tips. She is also often invited as a speaker in Personality Development Seminars in the Philippines.

*Image: chainat / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

In Tuscany, bruschetta are really just deliciously toasted bread that is rubbed with fresh garlic and topped with super-ripe tomatoes—at their harvest peak. The word “bruschetta” means toasted (or literally burned). By slicing the chicken breasts in half horizontally, the grill time is cut in half.

Grilled Chicken Bruschetta with Tomato Tapenade

Ingredients

CHICKEN

2 to 3 (14 ounces) Just BARE® Hand-Trimmed Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, look for a package with two large breast fillets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 oblong slices whole-grain country bread (from a round loaf or wide baguette)

TAPENADE

3 ripe plum tomatoes, diced (1/4 inch)
1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans
10 pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 clove large garlic, finely chopped
1 lime, juiced

Preparation

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Slice chicken in half horizontally with a sharp knife. Lightly brush chicken with 1 tablespoon oil; season with oregano, pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Brush the bread slices with remaining 1 tablespoon oil.

Place chicken on grill; cook about 4 minutes, turning once, until no longer pink in center. Place bread slices, oiled side down, on grill for about 3 minutes or until lightly toasted.

For tapenade, mix tomatoes, garbanzo beans, olives, basil, green onion, capers, and garlic in medium bowl. Toss with juice from lime.

To serve, place grilled chicken on toasted bread; top each toast with a generous spoonful of tapenade.

*Recipe and image courtesy of JUST BARE Chicken.*

Cycling For Health And Fitness

In nearly half of developed countries, 50 percent of people are obese or overweight. With obesity, diabetes and heart disease on the rise, now is the time to take control of your health, fitness and well-being. Cycling can be a fun, low impact, and inexpensive exercise that helps improve health while controlling weight. It burns around 600 calories an hour — and lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke. In addition, cycling promotes psychological well-being. Several studies suggest that cycling leads to reduced stress, improved mental abilities and a more positive attitude.

To help you get into cycling, members from one of the United States’ premier professional cycling teams, Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies, provide these fitness and nutrition tips:

• Make sure your bike fits: “Finding the right bike fit is important for a comfortable ride,” explains Rachel Heal, Women’s Performance Director and a former Olympian. An expert can help you find a bike that suits your body and riding style.

• Ride at your own pace: Know your limits. If you can’t keep a smooth pedal stroke or you aren’t able to talk or take a full breath, slow down.

• Cross-train for strength: Men’s Performance Manager and three-time Olympic athlete Eric Wohlberg suggests adding lower body exercises such as single leg squats, lunges, jumping rope and running to build strength and power for cycling.

• Eat for optimal energy: Professional cyclist Jade Wilcoxson knows firsthand the health benefits of cycling. Just five years ago, she was diagnosed as prediabetic. Jade took up cycling and quickly learned she had a talent for racing. She recently signed with Optum Pro Cycling’s newly formed professional women’s team. To feel her best, Jade recommends a diet high in protein, fruits and vegetables. She also recommends staying away from processed foods, using the rule of “seven ingredients or fewer.”

• Prepare nutritionally for a long ride: On long, rigorous rides lasting more than two hours, your body will need about 250 to 300 calories every 45 minutes to an hour. Sports gels or small snacks that incorporate lean protein and carbohydrates can be smart choices.

• Recover effectively after a ride: Take in some calories immediately after a long ride to help your body recover. Wohlberg recommends chocolate milk to incorporate calories, sugar and protein quickly. After cooling down, eat a good meal of lean protein and carbohydrates and plenty of water to rehydrate.

• Enjoy it: The best thing about cycling is that just about anyone can do it, at any level, and still have fun. “You control how hard or easy your workout is,” said Wilcoxson.

• Learn more: For more information on cycling and to follow the team, visit www.humanpoweredhealth.com.

*Article courtesy of NAPS. Image: nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

Fresh baby arugula leaves would be a terrific substitute for watercress if you find some at the farmers market or in your own garden. The flavors of a chilled gazpacho soup make a refreshing salad on a warm summer evening.

Char-Grilled Drumsticks with Gazpacho Salad

Ingredients

CHICKEN

5 to 6 (20 ounces) Just BARE® Chicken Drumsticks
1 to 2 tablespoons dried mesquite barbecue seasoning

SALAD

2 cups diced tomato (1/2 inch)
1 cup diced English cucumber (1/2 inch)
1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper (1/4 inch)
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups fresh watercress leaves

Preparation

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Rub chicken with seasoning. Place chicken on grill; cover. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, turning once, until no longer pink near bone.

Meanwhile, mix all salad ingredients except watercress in medium bowl. Serve salad on watercress with chicken.

*Recipe and image courtesy of JUST BARE Chicken.*

Is your Mom a foodie, like “Mom” at Tiny Green Mom? Then she will absolutely love this stylish, 2-pack sauté pan set from Bialetti for Mother’s Day! While the exterior may be a pretty pink color, the Aeternum Pink Cookware is a green, planet-friendly choice for eco-conscious moms. Plus, 10% of all sales benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

What makes the cookware eco-friendly? Aeternum Pink Cookware is PFOA-free and its non-stick coating is applied at a low temperature, leading to a lower emission of C02 into the atmosphere. In addition, the pan heats up quickly requiring less energy. Clean-up after use is so simple due to the white ceramic non-stick interior that less soap and water is required, making the Aeternum Pink a “greener” choice that also supports a great cause.

Bialletti’s Aeternum Pink Cookware is sold as a 2-pack sauté pan set (9.5” and 11”) and is available for $59.99 at amazon.com and bialettishop.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Green Comfort Food: Vegan Pizzas

At one time finding a decent vegan pizza was not easy. The main problem was with the vegan cheeses, which often didn’t melt or brown properly. A number of these non-dairy products were so bad that some vegans chose to eat their pizza without cheese rather than deal with an unpleasant clump of muck topping their crust.

Today, however, there are some vegan cheeses on the market that can mimic almost perfectly the stretchy, yummy gooeyness of real cheese on a pizza.

Just like traditional pizzas, diners can now find vegan pizzas at restaurants, in the frozen food aisle or they can even try their hand at making their own yummy versions.

Dining Out

While most chain pizza operations don’t typically offer vegan options, there are a few that do. Zpizza, which prides itself on using fresh, healthy ingredients, will make its pies, as well as its salads, to fit a vegan diet. The chain substitutes a vegan cheese for the mozzarella and will leave some cheeses — like the feta in the Greek pizza — off. In addition, veggie crumbles can be added as a meat substitute. While zpizza is not yet nationwide, the chain does have locations in 16 states and Washington, D.C.

Pizza Fusion is another chain that offers vegan options for its pies. Currently, it has locations in five states and two in Saudi Arabia.

In many cities, today, there are also local restaurants that offer vegan pizza options. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently announced what it considered to be the three best vegan pizzas in the nation. The winning restaurants were 3 Brothers Pizza Cafe in New York for its Seitan Bacon Ranch pie. Second place went to Peace o’Pie in Boston for its Neapolitan, and third went to VegiTerranean in Ohio for its Chrissie’s Choice. As a sign of how far vegan pizza has come, there were finalists from many other cities from across the nation, as well.

Frozen Vegan Pizzas

Vegans can now enjoy the ease of frozen pizzas that not only taste good but will also meet their dietary guidelines. Amy’s, a well-known organic frozen food company, offers a vegan pizza that is also gluten-free. This pizza is based on a crust made of rice flour and uses a tofu cheese.

Tofurky also has ventured into the pizza arena. Currently, it offers three versions of its vegan pies: cheese, pepperoni, sausage with vegetables.

Tofutti’s pan crust pizza has probably been around the longest of any vegan pie. This dairy-free pizza is also cholesterol free.

Homemade Vegan Pizzas

Of course, if a person has the time, probably the best way to enjoy a healthy vegan pizza is to make it at home with fresh vegetables and the many vegan products available on the market today.

The most important ingredient when it comes to making a homemade vegan pizza is the non-dairy cheese that is used. The wrong type of cheese won’t melt or brown properly and may ruin a pizza. The most recommended brand of vegan cheese for pizzas is Daiya. This is the brand that many restaurants and frozen brands use when making their pizzas, including Zpizza and Tofurky.

Luckily for vegans, there are now a number of delicious options available when they crave a pizza. Even better, they are all much healthier for a person than traditional pizzas.

About the Author

Renee Varney is a freelance blogger and occasionally writes for delivery.com a site she loves using their Food Delivery LA directory to look up a different Food Delivery Service each night of the week.

*Image: Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

With both brining and cooking on the wood, you’re guaranteed tender, juicy chicken every time!

Spice-Brined Planked Chicken

Ingredients

CHICKEN

1/4 cup fine sea salt
2 teaspoons pickling spice
2 tablespoons honey
1 (3-1/2 pounds) Just BARE® Whole Chicken, backbone removed, cut into quarters 2 cedar or hickory grill planks
2 tablespoons olive oil

FRUIT

4 ripe nectarines, pitted, halved
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Sprigs of fresh thyme, if desired

Preparation

Bring 2 cups water, salt, and pickling spice to a boil in Dutch oven or soup kettle, stirring until salt dissolves. Remove from heat; add 6 cups water and honey. Cool mixture to room temperature. Place chicken in pan; let soak, refrigerated, for 2 to 3 hours.

1 hour before grilling, place grill planks in water (the sink works well) Place planks, side by side on grill.

Heat grill to mediumh heat.

Remove chicken from brine; rinse with cold water. Pat dry; rub with olive oil. Place on hot planks. Cover and grill 40 to 45 minutes or until juice run clear and internal temperature reaches 165°F. During the last 20 minutes of grilling, arrange nectarines on planks around chicken. Mix 3 tablespoons, honey and lemon juice; brush onto fruit and chicken.

Serve chicken and nectarines sprinkled with fresh thyme leaves.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

*Recipe and image courtesy of JUST BARE Chicken.*

PROBAR has debuted a delicious, gluten-free superfood snack bar that is designed to deliver 1 serving of fruit in every bar! Perfectly portioned at 160 calories per bar, fruition™ bars are 100% vegan, organic, non-GMO, and contain a gloriously gluten-free medley of dates, oats, chia seeds, and cashews. The new bars are rich in taste, with a lovely fruit base, and make a wonderful mid-afternoon or post-workout snack! You can pack them easily in a gym bag, diaper bag, or purse for when you are on-the-move, and they make an excellent healthy road trip snack!

Fruition comes in 7 flavors, including Blueberry, Cherry, Cran-Raspberry, Peach, Lemon, Strawberry (“Mom’s” favorite!), and Chocolate Orange.

To learn more about this award-winning gluten-free bar from PROBAR, or to locate a retailer near you, please visit theprobar.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*