Tutorial: How to Keep a Gratitude Journal and See the Bright Side (through the dark)

I’m Grateful For…

I recently read The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan. I loved learning how she was able to convert her natural pessimism to optimism by seeking out the bright side of things. (She spent a whole year committed to finding gratitude).
Janice recommends keeping a gratitude journal. It’s a great way to keep yourself in a thankful and positive state of mind. I encourage you to give it a try! You could make it focused on gratitude for your health, the people in your life, or anything that makes you feel energized, strong, or happy!

gratitude journa;

Gratitude Makes You Happier and Healthier

Happier people are healthier people. This excites me because I’m fascinated by the amount of control we have over our health. We can choose to grow happiness by choosing to express gratitude. Whether you write in detail or just take a moment to pause and reflect, the choice to do something is in your hands.

I’m grateful for this delightful piece on Gratitude by Arthur Brooks in the New York Times I’ve seen copiously shared in my social media feeds, primarily because he says even if you don’t feel grateful, you should practice gratitude anyway! (YESSSSS!)

How Does Gratitude Help You?

Are you grateful on the regular? What’s your secret? How has gratitude transformed your life and your health?

Like What You See?

Sign up for my e-mail list and get my FREE Feel Great Guide and get a handy health and happiness journal and more.

Celebrate Gratitude With a Healthy Twist: Breakfast Strata, Corn Chowder, Roasted Cranberries

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 1.36.53 PM

Check out my latest appearance on WBAL talking healthy eats during the holiday season.

Thanksgiving is only days away but the holiday season is just kicking off! I love this time of year because it’s all about gratitude – celebrating with good friends, family – and of course, FOOD. Check out my recent TV appearance where I share some last minute healthy twists to your festive holiday dishes and where to find the best grocery bargains.

Holiday Entertaining That Won’t Break the Bank

When I’m hosting a crowd I love making one dish meals. It saves time and doesn’t skimp on flavor. I love this savory recipe inspired from bacon kale stratBon Appetite Magazine: Bacon, Kale, Parmesan strata  Strata is dish where you combine sautéed vegetables (I added mushrooms and tomatoes to the original recipe), eggs, and bread and then bake it. It’s surprisingly easy to pull together simple natureand it’s a great dish to serve around the holidays, especially for a crowd. You can get this recipe and many more at Aldi.US.
And who doesn’t love to save money this time of year? If you haven’t shopped at Aldi yet, you can save up to 50% on your grocery bill! (Surprising, right?) You can find great deals without compromising on quality – including organic fresh and frozen produce and even a line called Simply Nature with no artificial ingredients.

What to Serve With the Bird

Dairy-Pure-Milk-Printable-Coupon-Looking for last minute ideas on “what to serve with the bird”?  Mashed potatoes are a favorite on Thanksgiving – but don’t let the white color fool you, potatoes are a vegetable with good nutrients. These Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes are a guaranteed crowed pleaser at your Thanksgiving feast. mash spuds For a twist on the corn side dish, try making this Creamy Corn Chowder filled with vegetables.  Both recipes are made with milk too, which offers a boost of protein, vitamins and minerals.

I like DairyPure milk for all my holiday cooking and baking recipes. It contains no artificial growth hormones and is the only milk backed by a Purity Promise. Fresh, quality milk for your family. You can get these recipes at Dairy Pure or follow them on Facebook.

Add Color and Health with Cranberries

This time of year it’s all about cranberries – fresh, frozen, dried, and cranberry juice can benefit your health. New research from the Cranberry Health Research Conference shows that drinking cranberry juice may protect the heart. A study on healthy men showed improvements to vascular function and blood flow. cran spritzerServe up a festive looking beverage to your guests with a simple cranberry spritzer using sparkling water and a splash of cranberry juice.

For Thanksgiving dinner, take a shortcut using canned cranberry sauce and dress it up with chopped dried cranberries, pecans and orange zest. cranberry-and-pecan-green-beans-033Or try adding a pop of color and tang to any holiday dish using chopped dried cranberries — they’re a great compliment to Brussels sprouts, green beans or any grain-based salad. Cranberry products are usually sweetened because they are naturally acidic and low in sugar. Dried cranberries have similar sugar to other dried fruits. You can visit The Cranberry Institute to learn more great health benefits of cranberries.

Hear it From You

Let us know! What festive Thanksgiving dishes will you be serving up? Please share below or tweet to @ScritchfieldRD! I’d love to hear them!

Find out more about these products and topics through Twitter at @USCranberries and @AldiUSA and follow Dairy Pure on Facebook.

Disclosures: I was compensated by The Cranberry Institute, Aldi US, and Dairy Pure for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.

7 Gifts that Spark Joy

7 Gifts

Did you know that we are actually happier when we enjoy experiences more than “things”, meaning it’s more about the people we’re with than the gift we get.

If you’re like me, this time of year brings out my innermost giver. I want to recognize everyone in my life during the holidays…my family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, mail carrier, fitness instructors, and the list goes on! But like everyone, I don’t have an unlimited amount of time or money.

So what’s a giver to do? This time of year is not without stress, but we can thrive through those ups and downs if we keep the bigger picture closer to our hearts. As you celebrate, think of all the good feelings that you experience when you are around those you love. Experiences build and strengthen connections and these positive emotions grow in us and all those we reach.

Share what matters most to you this holiday season using the hashtag #whatmattersmost. It’s a simple gift you can give to the world.

Gifts that Spark Joy

  • Get crafty. No matter your artistic ability a homemade gift will warm the heart. Make a recipe ring of your favorite recipes to share. Or give a gift that gives back by making “gifts in a jar” or homemade gift baskets loaded with holiday treats.
    Spa In A Jar
  • Share an experience. This could be anything from going to a concert, jet setting to a sandy beach, watching a winter sunset, to making snow angels and sipping on hot cocoa.
  • Practice random acts of kindness by volunteering your time. Give back to your community by spending that day at a local food bank, your child’s school or animal shelter.
  • Donate to a cause you care about. Instead of giving a gift card, honor those you care about by donating to a charity on their behalf. If you have toys, clothing, or appliances you no longer use donate them to a local organization.
  • Participate in a Thanksgiving race, such as a local Turkey Trot. It’s a great way to get some exercise while contributing to a great cause.rvwithtito_holiday_fun_flickr-200w
  • Pamper yourself in peppermint. Schedule a day at the spa with a your girlfriends or keep the cost down by creating your own home spa with homemade facial scrubs, manis and massages.
  • Cook. Whether it’s a home-cooked meal with your closest friends or breakfast in bed for your honey, we all love a good meal. Edible gifts are another great way to show you care without spending a lot of money.

Do you think you’d find more value in experiences more than material gifts? There’s only one way to find out…help inspire us all by sharing your gifting giving ideas by leaving a comment below.

Want More Like This?

Sign up for my e-mail list and get my FREE Feel Great Guide and get a handy health and happiness journal and more.

3 Festive Thanksgiving Feast Ideas to Boost Flavor and Nutrition

happy tday

Watch here! My mindful eating tips to enjoy your Thanksgiving Feast, plus festive holiday food ideas.

Thanksgiving is almost here! I love this time of year because it’s all about gratitude – celebrating with good friends, family – and of course, FOOD, which is a meaningful part of our traditions.

Don’t waste time on thinking about “food rules” and what you can or can’t eat. It’s not fun, AND most people don’t realize, you usually end up overeating because your brain gets too tired out from resisting tempting foods! Instead, focus on savoring your food and slowing down – or Mindful eating helps you enjoy what you really want, and get satisfied without putting you into a food coma.

I’ve got some food ideas and recipes to help boost the nutrition value for your festive food choices to make your celebration healthy, happy, and memorable.

What to Serve While Everyone is Waiting on Dinner

When you’re entertaining, it’s nice to take some shortcuts. But instead of putting out potato chips, offer up satisfying snacks that won’t spoil your guests’ appetites before the big feast.pistacio

Wonderful Pistachios are just as easy to serve to your guests, plus they have three times the protein, fiber, and portion size per serving! Just put them out for crackin’ and snackin’ on and around Thanksgiving.

If you’re on the road, Wonderful Pistachios come in convenient 100 calorie packaging or you can make your own–you get 49 nuts in a serving of pistachios – more than any other nut. Try tasty varieties including the classic roasted & salted, lightly salted for just a touch of salt, and great flavors such as sweet chili and salt & pepper.

pumpkin-hummus-ck-xMany people love hummus and there are so many ways to serve it. Try an easy variation – warmed pumpkin hummus – just stir in ½ cup pumpkin puree into your hummus and warm it up for a few minutes and top with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Two heaping spoons of Sabra hummus a day will have you eating 1 ½ cups of beans in a week, increasing your fiber intake, plus boosting the veggies you eat – not to mention when you serve Sabra hummus as part of your veggie platter it can serve as your “scoop vehicle” for the hummus. It’s a win-win.

What to Serve to Drinkpom spritzer

Serve up a festive cocktails and mocktails using pomegranate juice. POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice contains the juice from two whole pomegranates, and nothing more. I love using this for holiday beverages – like Spiced POM Cider, or try mixing with sparkling wine or sparkling water at your holiday table.

 Everything but Turkey – Colorful and Creative Sides

For the holiday table – we all know we’ll be enjoying some mashed potatoes – one of my family’s favorites. Add a “secret ingredient” to your spuds by using hummus instead of butter and cream, which cuts about 15 mash spudsgrams of fat per serving and adds a zesty flavor and creamy texture that your guests will find delightful.pom brussle

As you plan your holiday menu, think color! Pomegranate arils offer a delicious flavor and a perfect festive color for your side dishes like these Roasted Pomegranate Brussels Sprouts. You can buy Wonderful Pomegranates whole, or try POM POMs, a convenient package of ready to eat arils.

What to Eat for Energy

Be the host with the most, but don’t get stuck ravenous. Stay on top of hunger and keep up your energy up between meals with nutritious snacks.Kind bar

KIND bars are smart snacks, made with real, wholesome ingredients and use 50% less sugar compared to the average snack bar, only 5-6g per bar. Pair them with yogurt or cheese for added protein to keep you powering through your to-do lists, or enjoy them with a piece of fresh fruit for some quick energy while on the go.

If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth while still snacking healthy try KIND Nuts & Spices. Nuts and Spices come in a variety of delicious flavors, including Maple Caramel Sea Salt, Madagascar Vanilla Almond, Dark Chocolate Mocha.

Hear it From You

Let us know! What festive Thanksgiving dishes will you be serving up? Please share below or tweet to @ScritchfieldRD! We’d love to hear them!

Find out more about these products and topics through Twitter at @POMWonderful, @getcrackin, @Sabra and @KINDSnacks!

Tasty and nutritious, add some of these festive ideas to your Thanksgiving menu and you’ll be sure to add some health as well!

Disclosures: I was compensated by Sabra, KIND snacks, and Wonderful (pomegranate and pistachio) for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.

Give the Greater Gift of Gratitude

Disclosure: Post Foods compensated me to write this blog post. Opinions are my own.


Whom are You Grateful For?

November is a perfect time to express gratitude. It is the giving of thanks. As we enter this season of busy-ness and plans, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed like there is never enough time to get work done and family needs met, let alone fun.

But the reality is, there are many gifts all around us that we don’t stop and notice because we’re just too busy.

Push pause on your life and reflect on how much you value your relationships.Then take a moment to show someone special you care.

Simple Gifts

Giving gifts are about nurturing your most treasured relationships.We all have those people in our lives that make life so much better. Even the smallest of gestures can bring an emotional boost, giving both the giver and receiver a nice “boost” of oxytocin (a.k.a. the happy hormone, the love hormone).

It doesn’t have to be a special occasion to express words of gratitude. It’s as simple as thanking your husband for helping with the dishes or taking a minute to call your friend you’ve been thinking about, but haven’t talked to in months. A few simple words can mean so much.

Think Outside the Bowl with Great Grains Cereal handmade

Edible gifts make for heartwarming presents that won’t sit around collecting dust. Set aside an afternoon to make up a big batch of whatever you’re preparing – even get the kids involved, too.

If you have a friend who loves to be active or your mail carrier who’s always on-the-go, these Chewy Cherry-Nut Bars will win them over. Packed with nuts and flaxseeds, and sweetened with dried cherries, orange zest, and agave syrup, these bars are a wholesome, energizing snack that’s a good source of fiber. Plus they look adorable in little parchment packages.


Have a co-worker or neighbor who love their coffee or tea? Nothing beats a loaf of Banana Nut Shortbread wrapped up in a tea towel for homeyness. They’re easy to make with 5 simple ingredients including Great Grains Banana Nut Crunch, which has 40g of whole grains per serving. This is an irresistible, great-tasting gift you can feel great about giving. (Hopefully, they’ll share!)

Crafting Gratitude

I have an entire wall in my house dedicated to my girls’ toddler artistic masterpieces. When I look at the wall of art it reminds me of quiet afternoons cozied up together with a box of crayons and coloring books, seeing their personalities expressed in scribbles and squiggles of colors– a simple moment I cherish that makes my heart smile.

Imagine how surprised and delighted someone would be to receive a card in the mail amongst the pile of junk mail or find a hand written note on their desk in the mist of busy work week. (Yes, a quick gratitude on a sticky note counts.)

Or maybe it’s sending out hand-crafted holiday cards. Even if you think your crafting skills are limited, it’s your effort that is so meaningful to the receiver. Here are 49 awesome ideas for hand crafted cards courtesy of Buzzfeed.

How Do You Send Big Love?

What small gestures are you doing to swell the hearts of others? I’d love to hear by sharing a comment below. Still hungry for more ideas? Check out Post Foods for a great round-up of cereal recipes for everyday deliciousness.

Disclosure: Post Foods compensated me to write this blog post. Opinions are my own.