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Savoury food travel trip in Mekong Delta area

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If you are a traveler, a food lover, surely Mekong Delta is one of the best regions waiting for you to explore in terms of food culture. Experiencing different exotic foods is one of the best parts of travel like tasting fruits and vegetables previously unknown to us, inhaling the aromas of street food as you walk past, pulling up a chair at a communal table and enjoying the meal just on the pavement. A Mekong Delta tour can give you the time to taste the specialties here, but sometimes it can not fullfill your curiosity. Let’s do a food travel trip in Mekong Delta area by your own, that’s the best way!

As be known, Mekong Delta is where the coexistence of the Vietnamese, Chinese, Khmer, Cham people which create a mix mutual interfence in terms of culture and food culture also. Every people have some typical dishes, like for Vietnamese, they have sour soup, fish soup, braised fish, while Bun Nuoc Leo, Bun Mam are typical for Khmer. However in fact, these dishes have no clear limit between each people, they have tendency to eat alike. One more thing, in the Vietnamese, Khmer, Chinese community, they also have some differences in taste & in food processing, for example, the Chinese like to eat meat than fish, eat lard, more than eat sour soup. Add to that, the Mekong Delta – “Rice Basket of Vietnam”, produces some unique ingredients thanks to its fertile soil (rice paddies and fruit orchards) and its vast network of rivers, canals and ponds, home to floating fish farms, floating markets. In general, you can see some distinctive features about food culture in Mekong Delta area above, however, in some regions, it has different features so you have to go and discover all the tastes.

Let’s take an example of Can Tho city – the western capital of the Vietnam, the largest city in the Mekong Delta to be an excellent place to experience the food of the region. Many tour operators organize one or two days Mekong Delta tour in Can Tho, so if you still wondering, take a tour and stay here after the tour to start your savoury food trip. Can Tho doesn’t really have any one dish considered its own, it’s co-opted some of the most iconic dishes of the region, and luckily, you will find one street, De Tham, known locally as “food street”, where you can sample some of the best foods of South Vietnam all in one place.

We start off with Bun nuoc leo, a noodle dish with Khmer origins as stated above which is most known for in Soc Trang, 60 km southeast of Can Tho. The soup base is made from slow boiling fish stock and was originally flavored using Khmer prohok, a pungent fermented fish paste, but the Vietnamese version uses pickled river fish instead, often seen piled high in local markets. A hot bowl of Bun nuoc leo is served with noodles, whole shrimp, roasted pork, pork crackling, fish balls and a heap of fresh herbs, chives, crunchy soy beans and shredded banana blossom. For added spices, you should use kumquat instead of limes, you will see the differences.

For something a little more tame, you can try the banh cong which is fried dough made from mung beans, taro and rice flour, popular in Can Tho and Soc Trang. The batter is poured into muffin tin-like ladle, topped with a whole shrimp, and deep-fried for a crispy taste in your mouth. Banh cong is often eaten in the afternoons and can be wrapped in a lettuce leaf with some fresh herbs before dipping into fish sauce. Try 3-4 along with some fresh vermicelli noodles to make it into perfect dinner. Another delicious snack is banh xeo, often called “sizzling pancake” for the sound (xeo) it makes as the rice flour batter hits a searing hot wok. Banh xeo in Mekong Delta area is huge and filled with pork and shrimp. There’s the rich yellow hue that comes from turmeric along with the bright green from the accompanying fresh lettuce leaves and herbs. The dish is also tactile in that it’s meant to be eaten with the hands, with a portion of the pancake wrapped in a lettuce leaf and fresh herbs before being dipped in a fish sauce-based.

On De Tham street in Can Tho city, you can find many other excited food along the street but just notice that you should look for stalls that are busy, eat where locals eat and check for hygiene first. There are many typical dishes are waiting for you to taste so let’s start your trip now. If you want to find Mekong Delta tours in Can Tho, check here.

EXPLORING TOP 3 FAMOUS FRUIT ORCHARDS IN MEKONG DELTA

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Mekong Delta, considered as Vietnam’s rice basket, is the biggest rice-growing region in country which can produce three harvests a year and provides 60% rice for whole country.  Besides, Mekong Delta is also the country’s largest fruit cultivation area, the majority of Vietnam’s fruits come from the many orchards of the Mekong Delta which supplies a variety of fruits such as durian, coconut, banana, pineapple, dragon fruit…. For fruit-lovers, it will be regretful if you don’t take the chance to visit one of Vietnam’s three well-known fruit orchards in Mekong Delta. How wonderful favour of the locals fruits that we should try.

Cai Mon Orchard Village

Cai Mon Orchard Village – most often referred to as the “kingdom of bonsai” – is located in Ben Tre, a little province in the east of Mekong Delta. Walking along winding roads, admiring lush artistic gardens and you might feel like being lost in an amazing royal garden. After enjoying “the kingdom of bonsais”, do not forget to enjoy the vast array of pleasant scents of other tropical fruits such as longans, mangosteens, durians….and pickyou’re your delicious tropical fruits and enjoy them as they are at their best. Another must-try experience is watching the sunset sunset on the rope bridges, you will see a peaceful Cai Mon with fantastic scene of a typical village in Mekong Delta Vietnam. Visitors can choose 1 day Mekong tour package or Ben Tre tours to visit these orchards.

Vinh Long Fruit Garden

Vinh Long is a popular destination for travelers in their Mekong Delta Cruises. From the center of Saigon, it takes you only 2 hours to reach Vinh Long fruit orchard. The ambrosial fragrances of the Vinh Long Fruits Garden have made it a top travel destination by tourists for years.  Vinh Long has been famous for green fruit orchards during four seasons in which there are especially popular Binh Minh Nam Roi grapefruit. In Vinh Long, grapefruits are crunchy and sweet. This is also the land of Binh Hoa Phuoc rambutan which is considered the most delicious in Vietnam with many different varieties. Tourists can relax while enjoying hands-on experience in harvesting fresh fruit in the orchards.

Cai Be Fruit Garden

Surrounded by canals, around the year immersing in fertility alluvial of the Tien River delta, Cai Be is a specialized cultivation areas providing fruits for domestic needs and for export as well. About 70 km from the north of Ho Chi Minh City, Cai Be gardens are located along the northern bank of the Tien River, Cai Be district.  It is not only a large basket of fruit of Mekong Delta, Cai Be is also a stop can be missed by most tourists in their Mekong delta tours. Visiting Cai Be Fruit Garden, visitors can go to green orchard,  relax in a quiet atmosphere and enjoy many famous delicious fruits such as Hoa Loc mango, Nam Roi pomelo, longan, orange, Lo Ren atar apples…

Ideal packing list for women when travelling in Mekong delta

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Ideal packing list for women when travelling in Mekong delta

Vietnam is a friendly country that is generally safe to travel but each country, each region has its own rules and culture.  Therefore, tourists especially women should pay attention to some suggestions below to have a joyful and comfortable journey in Mekong Delta, both in tours or by yourself.

Best time to travel

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mekong delta tour

Normally, you will travel in Mekong area from 1 – 3 days with tours. The Mekong delta has a pleasant tropical monsoon climate with two alternate seasons: dry and rainy which is suitable for Mekong Delta tour all year round. Dry season runs from November through April/May with average temperature around 28 °C and the rainy season from May to October. From June to September, it may be hot and humid but the greatest variety of tropical fruit is available only in these months. During October and November, occasional flooding is expected, especially in Mekong Delta’s remote areas like Dong Thap and Tra Vinh, so stay informed of regional weather forecast ahead of your trip if you are travelling in these months.

Health & vaccination

Take with you a small first aid kit with aspirin, common cold and flu tablets, antihistamines for allergies and itches, medications for diarrhea, insect repellant, sunscreen, lip palm and some bandages. If you are having a regular prescription, bring enough for the entire trip.

Ideal packing list

We advise you to adjust your luggage according to the season you’ll find yourself in. It is also useful to change the luggage according to the activities that you intend to do.

  • If you go in winter: Typical packing lists should include a camera, a guidebook, sunglasses, sun cream, mosquito repellent, warm clothing, a warm coat, an umbrella (or raincoat), comfortable walking shoes, and medicines as above.
  • If you go in summer: just remove warm clothes and add to the above list with light clothing, sandals and hat.

In general, it is advisable to bring comfortable clothes and good shoes. Especially with women, don’t forget to bring your personal belongings. You have to note that while it is easy to buy everything in large cities, in Mekong Delta, to find new shoes can be a headache especially if your size is too small or too large. Bring sun glasses, sun scream and hat along because Mekong Delta is quite hot and sunny in dry season.

Packing Tips:

  • Remember to bring a plastic bag for dirty clothes.
  • To ensure that your clothes won’t get too wrinkled in your suitcase, roll them up and fill the gaps so that they do not move too much. For pants and skirts, place them flat on the bottom of your suitcase, trying not to fold.
  • If you bring make-up things, put them all into a small make-up bag
  • The main routes in Mekong Delta are by water on boats or cruises so store your paper, camera, medicine, etc. carefully
  • Finally, secure your luggage with small padlocks.

For dressing:

With women, to visit the pagodas, it is recommended to cover your legs and shoulders (sometimes you have to remove your shoes before entering). The dress code is free during the day (with short and T-shirt). You will not be judged, just be aware that during summer days in Mekong Delta the sun is very strong. So if you wear short clothes, remember to apply plenty of sun cream and wear a hat to avoid sunburn.

Hope that wilt all tips above, you will have an ideal trip in Mekong, especially with women. Normally, will Mekong Delta tours, you should pay attention to the notes below the itinerary to see what to bring, if not you can note down these tips. Wish you have best trip in Mekong Delta!

 

Shopping lists for women in Ha noi

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Shopping is an “everlasting” hobby of all women of all ages, jobs, and live at anywhere in the world. Women go shopping to beautify for themselves, to satisfy the fashion addiction and sometimes it is also spiritual medicine to help them dispel all sadness and fatigue in life. That is the reason why shopping is the most concern of any women whenever they travel. Shopping in Hanoi is famed for its bustling markets and narrow shophouses, let’s refer top 5 best shopping in Hanoi list below.

1.Hang Gai Street (Silk Street)

Hang Gai Street is the best place in Hanoi to provide for high quality, fashionable silk materials, traditional Vietnamese apparel, and home furnishings.Women shouldn’t miss  two of famous local tailor shops on Hang Gai Street are the famous brand Khai Silk and the colourful Tan My Design both offering ready-to-wear fashion.

2. Dong Xuan Market

Dong Xuan Market, or Cho Dong Xuan, is the oldest and largest market in Hanoi, located at Dong Xuan Street, at the end of Hang Dao Street, on the northern part of the Old Quarters, surrounded on all sides by merchant shops and stalls. This large multi- storied market sells anything and everything. Surrounding Dong Xuan Market are many more shops where women can purchase traditional Dong Ho drawings, Binh Da embroideries and laces, Bat Trang ceramics and sand paintings.

3.Ha Noi night weekend market

Taking place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 19:00 p.m, Hanoi Weekend Night Market is a busy, bustling gathering of local food vendors and roadside stalls that brings huge crowds of locals and tourists. spreads from Hang Dao Treet to Dong Xuan Market, this creates a walking street where all kinds of vehicles are not permitted.Women can find easily clothes, salted dry fruit, sweets, , decorations, stationeries, toys, sundry goods on the streets: Hang Ngang, Hang Duong, Hang Ma, Luong Van Can…

4.Trang Tien Plaza

Trang Tien Plaza is a shopping center located in the downtown of HanoiVietnam. Trang Tien Plaza is the place that Hanoi’s rich and famous come to shop for luxury items and international designer goods. Trang Tien Plaza is spread out over five floors with famous fashion brands such as Cartier, Ermenegildo Zegna, Burberry, Ermenegildo Zegna and Louis Vuitton locating the ground floor, electronics and home furnishings spread out over the second and the third floors and there is a supermarket on the fourth floor which sells many international goods. Opening hours: 11:00 – 20:00.

5.Hang Bac Street ( Silver Street)

One Hanoi street remaining true to its name and of interest to tourists is Hang Bac. This is surely an ideal shopping place for women having great passion with jewellery. “Bac” means silver in Vietnamese and the street is still lined with silver shops, atmospheric street still retains many small outlets of jewellers selling necklaces, rings, and many types of inexpensive fashion pieces although some have expanded their wares to include jade bangles and the like.

We hope this bucket list of the top 5 Shopping lists for women in Ha noi helps add some fun and excitement to your Hanoi  itinerary. If you travel to Hanoi, and you find yourself looking for something fun to do, please check out our Hanoi Tours

A Week-By-Week Guide to Making 2014 Your Best Year Yet

This new year, we have the end-all, be-all of cleanses, regimens and paths to feeling good. You won’t find any restrictions or deprivations here – this is a feel-amazing, no-depriving, no-negativity zone!

We have compiled a well-thought out week-by-week guide to making 2014 your best year yet. Some of the weekly action steps are more general, and some are very specific. They are meant to be interpreted in whatever way is meaningful to you. We have purposefully not described each item fully, and there are no rules.

This list is not for the weary, however – some of this is hard work, but you’ll find that the weeks that are harder are followed by weeks that are more pleasurable. This is designed to help you balance yourself, achieve big things and make your dreams come true.

Print this out, and give this year your all. We promise, if you do these things, it will be your best one yet.

JANUARY 5: Contact someone you miss who you want back in your life on a more regular basis.

JANUARY 12: Make your bedroom a tech-free zone.

JANUARY 19: Say what you actually feel. Take a week off from semi-true status updates, either online or in-person.

JANUARY 26: Make friends with a stranger.

FEBRUARY 2: De-clutter your desktop.

FEBRUARY 9: De-clutter your house.

FEBRUARY 16: Adorn yourself with something beautiful.

FEBRUARY 23: Eat only things that grow, walk or swim.

MARCH 2: Make your distance from one person who is bringing you down. Crowd them out with someone who lifts you up.

MARCH 9: Plan an adventure.

MARCH 16: Be a mirror. Make a list of your loved one’s best qualities and reflect them to the world.

MARCH 20 – FIRST DAY OF SPRING

MARCH 23: It’s Spring! Let go of one thing that is no longer serving you so you can spring forward.

MARCH 30: Make sure you know everyone’s name, including your dry cleaner, the parking attendant.

APRIL 6: Pray, in whatever way is meaningful to you.

APRIL 13: Treat your body as a temple.

APRIL 20: Focus on giving, possibly through donations, volunteering. Purchase gifts for loved ones and put them away for the holidays.

APRIL 27: Focus on receiving, possibly through nature, breathing. Give yourself a gift.

MAY 4: Do something this week you never thought you could.

MAY 11: Write or call three women and tell them why you love them this week.

MAY 18: Create something.

MAY 25: Do something active every day this week.

JUNE 1: Replace every negative thought you have about yourself this week with two positive ones.

JUNE 8: Find community.

JUNE 15: Get in touch with the elements. Earth, wind, fire, water.

JUNE 21 – FIRST DAY OFSUMMER

JUNE 22: Treat yourself to something fabulous.

JUNE 29: Reflect. Consider how your year is going and what you need to do to nourish yourself.

JULY 6: Delete one thing on your calendar to make room for something more important.

JULY 13: Try a new exercise regimen this week, or focus on enjoying your current one.

JULY 20: Evaluate your relationships and consider what’s strong and what’s missing.

JULY 27: Evaluate your finances and take one step toward reaching your financial goals.

AUGUST 3: Do something to improve the status of the world, or your world.

AUGUST 10: Grow something – a plant or a friendship – and watch it bloom.

AUGUST 17: Love something – bestow love and kindness upon everyone you touch.

AUGUST 24: Dream something – big or small.

AUGUST 31: Do something to bring your dream to fruition.

SEPTEMBER 7: Clean your closet and donate any clothes that don’t make you feel beautiful to charity.

SEPTEMBER 14: Have fun. Have one day in which you do nothing that’s not fun.

SEPTEMBER 21: Plan a healthy menu for the week filled with nourishing recipes.

SEPTEMBER 23 – FIRST DAY OF AUTUMN

SEPTEMBER 28: Have a week of pleasure in which you focus on enjoying all five senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch.

OCTOBER 5: Do something you’ve been meaning to do for a really long time but haven’t.

OCTOBER 12: Do something you never thought you would do but want to.

OCTOBER 19: Nourish your mind. Learn something new.

OCTOBER 26: Do one thing that scares you this week.

NOVEMBER 2: Be queen for a day. Treat yourself like royalty this week.

NOVEMBER 9: Surround yourself with color.

NOVEMBER 16: Remember your dream? Do something about it.

NOVEMBER 23: And do something else about it.

NOVEMBER 30: Explore another culture. Incorporate three things from it into your life.

DECEMBER 7: Practice a hobby you forgot you had.

DECEMBER 14: Warm up. Consider what brings you warmth and garner it.

DECEMBER 21 – FIRST DAY OF WINTER

DECEMBER 21: Do a random act of kindness each day this week.

DECEMBER 28: Express gratitude.

Fabulous Friday: 5 Spookingly Spectacular Healthy Halloween Recipes

1. Goblin Grins

1 pea pod
1 red bell pepper
few slivered almonds

For each one, use the tip of a paring knife to cut a slit centered in one side of an edible pea pod. Cut out a tongue shape from red bell pepper and insert the top of it through the opening in the pea pod (it looks best if the inside of the pepper faces up). For the finishing touch, insert a few slivered almonds for teeth.

2. Mexican Pumpkin Punch

2 cups packed dark brown sugar
4 cinnamon sticks, preferably Mexican
1 29-ounce can pure pumpkin (about 3 1/2 cups)
2 limes
Splash of rum (optional)
Pineapple chunks and/or pecans, for serving (optional)Combine 12 cups water, the brown sugar and cinnamon sticks in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the pumpkin and return to a simmer. Meanwhile, remove the zest from the limes in wide strips using a vegetable peeler; add the zest to the pot and simmer 15 minutes. Let cool, then refrigerate until the liquid is cold and the pumpkin pulp settles to the bottom, 2 to 3 hours. Working in batches, ladle the liquid into a fine-mesh strainer set over a pitcher (repeat if necessary to strain out all the pumpkin pulp). Discard the pulp and lime zest. Return the cinnamon sticks to the punch and refrigerate until ready to serve. Pour the punch into ice-filled glasses. Add rum, pineapple and/or pecans, if desired. Serve

3. Chocolate-Dipped Fruit

Finely chop a 4-ounce bar of dark chocolate; microwave on 50% power until almost melted, about 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Dip dried mango, papaya and/or apricot pieces in the chocolate, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill until set, about 10 minutes.

30 fresh strawberries
8 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon shortening
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Wash strawberries and gently pat with paper towels until completely dry. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt white chocolate and shortening at 50% power; stir until smooth. Stir in extract. Dip strawberries in chocolate mixture; place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet, allowing excess chocolate to form the ghosts’ tails. Immediately press chocolate chips into coating for eyes. Freeze 5 minutes. In microwave, melt remaining chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Dip a toothpick into melted chocolate and draw a mouth on each ghost. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.

5. Healthy Deviled Eggs (we know, they’re not traditional Halloween-y, but we love the pun!)

12 large hard-boiled eggs (see Tips & Techniques), peeled
1/3 cup(s) nonfat cottage cheese
1/4 cup(s) low-fat mayonnaise
3 tablespoon(s) minced fresh chives or scallion greens
1 tablespoon(s) sweet pickle relish
2 teaspoon(s) yellow mustard
1/8 teaspoon(s) salt
Paprika for garnish

Halve eggs lengthwise with a sharp knife. Gently remove the yolks. Place 16 yolk halves in a food processor (discard the remaining 8 yolk halves). Add cottage cheese, mayonnaise, chives (or scallion greens), relish, mustard, and salt; process until smooth. Spoon about 2 teaspoons yolk mixture into each egg white half. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired.

Fabulous Friday: 5 Good Reasons to Slow Down and Chew Your Food

There are many great reasons to slow down and chew your food:

1. Saliva breaks down food into simple sugars, creating a sweet taste. The more we chew, the sweeter our food becomes, so we don’t crave those after-meal sweets.

2. Chewing reduces digestive distress and improves assimilation, allowing our bodies to absorb maximum nutrition from each bite of food.

3. More chewing produces more endorphins, the brain chemicals responsible for creating good feelings.

4. It’s also helpful for weight loss, because when we are chewing well, we are more apt to notice when we are full.

5. It’s European! Ok, well, not officially, but next time you’re in France or Italy, watch how slowly people enjoy their meals. Slowing down and chewing will make you feel like you’re right in the middle of Eat, Pray Love.

Taking time with a meal, beginning with chewing, allows for enjoyment of the whole experience of eating: the smells, flavors and textures. It helps us to give thanks, to show appreciation for the abundance in our lives and to develop patience and self-control. Try eating without the TV, computer, iPhone, newspaper or noisy company. Instead just pay attention to the food and to how you are breathing and chewing. This kind of quiet can be disconcerting at first, since we are used to a steady stream of advertising, news, media, email and demands from others. But as you create a new habit, you will begin to appreciate eating without rushing. You have to eat every day—why not learn to savor and enjoy it?

Fabulous Friday PUMPKINPALOOZA edition!

It’s Pumpkin time! You see it every where. In the farmers markets, on our doorsteps as decorations, in pies, cookies, meatloaves and snacks. And the reasons are great…..it is good for our eyes, our skin, full of energy producing potassium and is chock full vitamin A, C and beta carotene, our fav cancer preventing nutrient. Oh, and it tastes good! Lordy, lordy…here are 5 great recipes of our favorite gourdy!

*Disclaimer- while we usually advocate for non processed foods in their natural state….every now and then you just HAVE to eat a cupcake! Remember the 90/10 theory…90% of the time eat a clean lifestyle, 10% of the time indulge in something out of the ordinary.

1. Chocolate Muffins

1 box chocolate cake mix

1 15oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

1 cup water

Mix all ingredients together in bowl. Pour into 18 cupcake tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Easy and delicious! (can also be made in a 13×9 inch pan and cut into squares)

2. Pumpkin Mousse

1 15oz can pumpkin 15  (not pumpkin pie filling)

2 (3 ½ ox) boxes fat free sugar free instant vanilla pudding mix

1 ¾ cup skim milk

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

2 cups fat free whipped topping

Combine pumpkin, spice and milk in mixing bowl. Mix until smooth. Add pudding mix and beat for 1-2 minutes. Fold in whipped topping. Chill well before serving.

3. Pumpkin Chili

(www.eclecticrecipes.com)

Ingredients:

1.5 pounds ground chuck
1 – 15 oz can dark red kidney beans
1 – 15 oz can light red kidney beans
2 – 15 oz cans pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

2 – 28 oz cans crushed or diced tomatoes
4 cups beef broth
1 large onion, diced
1 large green pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
3 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder, or more to suite your tastes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons dried cilantro
2 teaspoons dried oregano

Directions:

1. Add ground beef, salt and pepper to a large soup pot. Brown meat. Add diced onion, diced green pepper and garlic. Cook until translucent.

Soup2. Add dark and light red beans, pumpkin puree, tomatoes, beef broth, cumin, chili powder, dried cilantro and dried oregano. Stir well. Bring soup to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Adjust seasonings to taste. Simmer far at least 1 hour, stirring from the bottom every 10 – 15 minutes.

Crock Pot Method
1. Add ground beef, salt and pepper to a large soup pot. Brown meat. Add diced onion, diced green pepper and garlic. Cook until translucent.

2. Add ground beef and vegetables to crock-pot. Then add dark and light red beans, pumpkin puree, tomatoes, beef broth, cumin, chili powder, dried cilantro and dried oregano. Stir well. Turn to low for 6 – 8 hours, or high for 4 hours.

Fall is the perfect time to bring out the stockpot and make warming soups. This low fat cream of pumpkin soup is perfect on a cold fall day, or as an appetizer for a Thanksgiving dinner. A spoonful of plain low fat yogurt can be swirled in just before serving.

4. Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 cups fat-free, low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated fat-free milk
  • Freshly ground Black pepper to taste

Preparation:

Heat oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened. Stir in curry powder and cumin and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken broth and pumpkin. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Add evaporated fat-free milk and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer soup to a blender and blend until smooth or use an immersion blender right in the pot!

5. Pumpkin Pie Dip

 1 15oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

¾ cup brown sugar (brown sugar Splenda works too)

1 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or more to taste)

6oz fat free Greek yogurt

8oz cool whip free

Cut up apples to dip

Mix pumpkin with brown sugar, vanilla and spices, blend well.  Mix in yogurt.  Fold in cool whip and chill in refrigerator until ready to eat. Makes 6 cups.

Fabulous Friday: 5 Ways to help another woman this week

Donate to a cause that helps women in need – There are so many women around the world, as well as right in our own backyard, who are not as fortunate as us. Donate to your favorite charity that benefits women. Consider sacrificing your daily cup of coffee or monthly manicure and putting that extra money toward a good cause.

Be a friend to have a friend – Reach out to a woman in your network you may be able to help: Your new neighbor, a woman from church or synagogue, or anyone who you think you may be able to be of service to. Schedule some time together and see if there is an opportunity for you to help them in some way.

Be a role model – Take your niece, direct report or daughter out to lunch.

Honor the elderly women in your life – Set aside some time to call your mother, grandmother, or an older friend, and consider how you can be more helpful and present in their lives.

Volunteer – Offer your professional services pro bono for a women’s organization, or volunteer at an organization in your community that focuses on women’s issues. Find a way to use the skills you were given for the greater good.

Testimonials

Here is what members of The 100 Women Project who participate in our programs are saying…

“I lost 15 pounds during the program, and I just keep losing! Even after finishing the program, I just keep losing weight because I am continuing to implement the healthy habits I learned. Thank you so much!”

“I left the program feeling like a different person.  My pants are loose, I feel more confident in my body, and I have a deep understanding of the foods that truly nourish my body. When I finish a meal I never feel bloated anymore. As my body began to feel better, my mood also improved.  I found myself feeling less tired, happier… it is also easier to think through difficult situations now – I am mentally clearer.”

“I started my journey with Debbie because I felt that my eating was out of control.  I soon found out that it was health issues and challenges in my life that I was letting control me.  Through working with Debbie, I became more aware of what I was eating and what was eating me. Her warm, caring approach, informative guidance on diet and empowering motivation to overcome life challenges have all led me to a new healthier me. I now feel more aware of how what I put in my body affects what I put out.  I take care to feed myself healthfully with food and with life choices that make me feel good inside and out. Thank you, Debbie. You are a wonderful person and an inspiring coach.  I highly recommend Debbie to help you create a healthy, happy life!”

“Since I began working with you, I have lost about 15 lbs, fit into all of my old clothes with room to spare, and I completed my first seven day cleanse ever.  Words cannot adequately express my gratitude for you, your program, insight, knowledge and treatment.  Thank you!”

“I met Debbie Zimmerman several years ago when she was on her weight loss journey. We exchanged weight loss stories and lamented together how we had lost and gained hundreds of pounds. I watched Debbie stick to her program week after week and lose 90 pounds. While she was losing her 90 pounds, I was busy playing around and wasting my time. Last January on my 52nd birthday I turned to Debbie and asked for her help. I was very upset with myself and knew that I needed someone to personally motivate me and guide me. Debbie became my mentor. I am proud to say that in the past year I have lost 35 pounds, with 20 more to go. With Debbie along my side to guide me, I continue to make the changes needed to continue on my journey. In a warm, sensitive and understanding way she empowers me to help myself. This is the first time in my adult life that I have stuck with a weight loss program for a solid year and have no intention of giving up. I know, now, that it is a lifelong commitment and way of life, not a diet. Whenever I feel like throwing in the towel, I think of my mentor, Debbie. She truly is an inspiration and my hero! I am proud to be counted among her successful clients.”

“Working with Sheri has made a huge difference in my life.  Among other changes, I have lost 10 pounds, begun eating a more balanced diet that fills me up and gives me energy, and begun amino acid therapy to reduce my depression and anxiety levels. Sheri is extremely committed to helping her clients live healthy, balanced lives, and she is very effective at tailoring her approach to the individual.  Sheri’s realistic, encouraging approach helped me to focus on smaller goals so that working my way toward living a healthier lifestyle didn’t seem overwhelming.”

“It has taken a long time to put these pounds on, and with Sheri’s help I am learning how to take them off the smart, healthy, sustainable way.”

“I am in a completely different place than I was when I started with Sheri.  Throughout the past six months, I have dropped five pounds, reduced my cholesterol by 40 points, and dramatically improved both my physical and emotional state. It is obvious Sheri’s clients are more than clients to her. With her help, I learned how to finally improve my health in a smart, sustainable way.”

“I have to tell you that I went bathing suite shopping yesterday and everything fit!”

“Thank you for today…. I don’t know if you realize what a thoughtful job you do.  I have been in counseling several times in my life and I have never felt so empowered when I left as I do with you…..Thanks for being firm with me and reminding me how I sabotage myself. Your care and concern is obvious and I’m grateful. You are affecting so many lives, and you do it with such respect and love.”

“Since I started this program, I never feel bloated.  I finally feel comfortable and happy in my clothes, and our sessions together give me the motivation to keep feeling that way.”

“I can breathe better now that I am making myself a priority. I have learned to stop and smell the roses and appreciate life. I am more aware of what I need to do and how to do it more effectively, as well as what is not necessary. Planning makes all the difference. Everyone needs you!”

“Committing to this program was just that: a commitment that I felt responsible for.  I felt that if I didn’t commit to the things we discussed, I would be letting both of us down. And I like that, because it helped me create goals that I had to work hard to attain.  And every time I reached a small goal over the past six months, I felt really good about myself.  I am positive that with Sheri’s program I would be in a terrible physical and emotional state right now.”

“Without Sheri’s help, my total cholesterol wouldn’t have dropped so much in one year!”

“Now, instead of counting calories, I think to myself ‘how will this food nourish me’?  It’s made a huge difference and is finally giving me freedom from worrying about food.”

“As I am getting older, I realize that taking better control of my health is more difficult and really requires much more attention than I had been giving my body and mind.Now, with Sheri’s help, I am better prepared to focus on giving myself the attention I need to get my health under control, and I now have the tools I need to do that.  I am determined to maintain the progress I have made!”

Since starting with you and making the suggested dietary changes, I have lost weight, am taking less Prilosec and arthritis medicine, have less gastric reflux, no more stomach problems, more energy, and am more in tuned to my eating habits. My skin is less dry and the redness on my face has disappeared. I have more energy, less arthritic pain and my clothes and even my shoes are all too big! I have had migraines my entire life and NO specialist had been able to help me. I am now migraine free! Thank you so much for your help!”

“Since engaging Debbie as my Health Coach three months ago, I have lost 12 pounds, seen my morning diabetic sugar levels consistently near perfect and as of this morning, been able to fit a wedding band back on my finger after not being able to do that for over a year due to swelling of that finger.  As we often celebrate together in our very supportive and enjoyable bi-weekly sessions, ‘Life is Good!’ and it’s worth working hard to keep the health and make that a mantra for a long and fulfilled life.”