Archive by Author | Jav Girl

Tusan Bean Soup


Some nice hearty soup to warm you up on a cold day like today!


Tuscan Bean Soup

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time : 25 minutes


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil , (approx)1 1tbsp tbsp(15 mL) (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil, (approx)
  • 1 large leek , (white and light green parts only), diced1 1large leekleeks, (white and light green parts only), diced
  • 1 potato , peeled and diced1 1potatopotatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic , sliced2 2cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth 4 4cups cups(1 L) (1 L) vegetable broth
  • 3 cups shredded Savoy cabbage 3 3cups cups(750 mL) (750 mL) shredded Savoy cabbage
  • 1 can (14 oz/398 mL) white kidney beans , drained1 1can (14 oz/398 mL) can (14 oz/398 mL)white kidney beanwhite kidney beans or mixed beans, drained
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh oregano , (approx)1 1tbsp tbsp(15 mL) (15 mL) minced fresh oregano or fresh parsley, (approx)
  • 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 1/4tsp tsp(1 mL) (1 mL) salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper 1/4 1/4tsp tsp(1 mL) (1 mL) pepper
  • Grated parmesan cheese Grated parmesan cheese
  • Garlic Toasts:
  • 1/2 baguette 1/2 1/2baguettebaguettes
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 2 2tbsp tbsp(25 mL) (25 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic , halved1 1large clove garliccloves of garlic, halved


In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat; sauté leek, potato and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add broth and 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) water; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in cabbage, beans, oregano, salt and pepper; cook for 10 minutes. Transfer 1 cup (250 mL) to blender and purée; return to pot and heat through. Serve sprinkled with more of the olive oil and oregano, and Parmesan cheese.

Garlic Toasts: Meanwhile, cut baguette into 12 slices; brush with oil. Broil until golden. Rub with garlic.

Source : Canadian Living Magazine: April 2010

On the Twelfth day of Well-Mas, Santa gave to me Twelve Tokens of Thanks.

 Thank you         Everyone likes being recognized and appreciated for the hard work they do. Try to let people know more often that you value their time and effort. A simple “thank you” can really brighten someone’s day! If a person knows that what they are doing is appreciated they are more likely to try their best and enjoy doing it!

                Research has shown that lack of recognition is second to unmanageable workload as the biggest cause of psychological distress in the workplace. Workplace recognition promotes good mental health by giving meaning to employee’s work and increasing their self-esteem, motivation and job satisfaction. There are limitless ways to show your recognition of others, but most importantly be considerate and respectful of your co-workers feelings and express your gratitude towards them whenever you get the chance. This will contribute to a happier and healthier workplace!

                If you want to show your appreciation for your colleagues check out the Human Resources Department’s “You Make a Difference! Recognition Program” on the UHN corporate intranet! You can send an e-card to the person you want to recognize or share a story of a job well done that can be featured on the website. You can also find more information on “You’re a Star to Us”, Random acts of kindness, and Recognition in action.   

Benefits of Employee Recognition

  • Improves productivity and quality of work
  • Increases motivation
  • Helps build a supportive work environment
  • Improves employee retention
  • Increases loyalty to their employer
  • Employees feel more satisfied with their work
  • Reduces staff turnover

On the Eleventh Day of Well-Mas, Santa gave to me Eleven Winter Activities to Enjoy!

Winter SlidingWinter is here and it’s time to unpack your snowsuit so you can get outside and take advantage of the things that can only be done this time of year! I know that the outdoors may not seem so inviting when you’re inside wrapped up in a blanket, but just think about all the fun sports and activities you can do in the snow! (Once it arrives!) So dress warm and plan things you can do with family or friends like tobogganing, skating or going skiing. All of these things are great ways to get some physical activity this holiday season while still having fun and spending time with the people you care about. It doesn’t have to be an expensive ski trip either; you can build a snowman or have a snowball fight right in your own backyard!

            Don’t shy away from the cold, embrace it! Instead of sitting there wishing you lived somewhere much closer to the equator, think about those who may never see snow in their lifetime and how lucky you are that you get to experience both summer and winter!

       Ontario’s largest ski resort, Blue Mountain, is only a two hour drive from Toronto and there are also a few smaller resorts that are only about an hour away. You don’t even have to leave the city if you don’t want to, Earl Bales Park has a ski lift and is just south of Sheppard! There are also many ravines in Toronto that are great for tobogganing – there’s probably even one close to you!

On the Tenth Day of Well-Mas, Santa gave to me Ten Fruits and Veggies.

There are several benefits to adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Here are ten reasons why you should eat more fruits and vegetables!

  1. They’re delicious and nutritious!
  2. They’re an easy snack to grab on the go.Fruit and veggies
  3. There are hundreds to choose from!
  4. Most fruits and veggies are low in calories
  5. They can lower your risk for some diseases.
  6. They’re a great source of fibre.
  7. They help you maintain a healthy weight.
  8. Fruits and veggies add colour and texture to your plate.
  9. They’re rich in vitamins in minerals.
  10. You will feel more energized.

Below are a list of ten amazing, nutrient-packed fruits and vegetables!

  1. Avocados are packed with nutrients, including carotenoids, manganese, phosphorous, iron, potassium, folic acid and vitamins B, C and E. One cup of avocado provides almost a quarter of your recommended daily intake of folate and increases the absorption of fat soluble carotenoids by 200-400%. Some people may steer clear of the avocado because of its high fat content, but these are actually “good” fats like oleic acid and omega-3 fatty acid that can help lower cholesterol levels and improve levels of inflammatory risk factors.
  2. Blueberries ­­are among the highest antioxidant value fruits and are very rich in Anthocyanin, which has been shown to slow the loss memory and motor function. They are also good source of Dietary Fiber, and a very good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese, as well as B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper, selenium, zinc, and iron.
  3. Watercress is an excellent addition to most salads and soups and is very nutritious! It is a great source vitamins A, C and K as well as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and folate. Numerous studies have been conducted that show that watercress can contribute to the prevention of many cancers and heart disease.
  4. Sweet Potatoes are available year round and can be found in many different colours such as pink, yellow, green and purple. The purple variety contains a pigment called anthocyanin which is under investigation for its antioxidant properties and has been shown to prevent inflammation processes in animals. Orange sweet potatoes have a high concentration of the carotenoid pigment beta-carotene which, in the body, is converted into vitamin A, important for both cardiovascular and eye health. As well this vegetable contains many minerals and vitamins such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and vitamins A, B, C and K.  It is also a great source of complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber.
  5. Chickpeas are one of the earliest cultivated foods and are still very important in the Middle East. These legumes are great for weight control because of their high fiber and protein content paired with their low fat concentration. This versatile vegetable includes many important vitamins and minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, vitamins A, B, C, E and K. As well, chickpeas are great sources of healthy fatty acids.
  6. Kiwis are native to Southern China and are a delicious addition to your everyday choice of an apple or orange. They are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), potassium and copper, and a very good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin K. They are also very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. As well, it contains antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin which work hand in hand, contributing to eye health.
  7. Pumpkins orange colour are a dead giveaway that they are loaded with antioxidant, beta-carotene. It also contains other important antioxidants, such as lutein and xanthin. This fall favourite is loaded with vitamin A and is a good source of vitamins , C, K, and E, and lots of minerals, including magnesium, potassium, and iron.
  8. Pomegranates, along with some of the other foods listed are often called “super foods”. This low-calorie fruit also contains no cholesterol or saturated fats. It is a rich source of soluble and insoluble dietary fibers and has been suggested to boost immunity, improve circulation, and protect from cancers. Pomegranates contain an abundance of antioxidants, as well as many vital B-complex groups of vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), folates, pyridoxine and vitamin K, and minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, and manganese.
  9. Apples! An apple a day really does keep the doctor away! Apples are a great fiber source and fill you up without tons of calories. The skin contains quercetin, an antioxidant with antihistamine and anti-inflammatory power, and therefore may help protect you from heart disease. They have also been shown to stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, reducing tooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria. They’ve also been known to help prevent diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and some cancers.
  10. Kale is loaded with many essential vitamins and  minerals including vitamins A, C and especially K as well as manganese, fiber, copper, calcium, vitamin B6, potassium and iron. When cooked, kale has cholesterol-lowering benefits because of its fiber-related components. Researchers can now identify over 45 different flavonoids in kale including kaempferol and quercetin. Kale’s flavonoids combined with their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits gives kale a leading dietary role with respect to avoidance of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.

On the Ninth Day of Well-Mas, Santa gave to me Nine Peaceful Yogis.

Yoga PosesYoga is aimed to unite the body, mind and spirit, and there’s a reason why it has been practiced and studied for over 5,000 years! It explores the view that the body and mind are one, and given the right tools and taken to the right environment, it can find harmony and heal itself. Therefore yoga is considered therapeutic.  Not only does yoga improve your flexibility and reduce stress, it has many other health benefits too, most of which fall into three categories – physiological, psychological and biochemical effects. Here are lists of some of these benefits that I’ve taken from various websites; you may even find some surprising!

Physiological Benefits

  • Pulse rate decreases
  • Respiratory rate decreases
  • Blood pressure decreases
  • Gastrointestinal and endocrine functions normalize
  • Musculoskeletal flexibility and joint range of motion increase
  • Eye-hand coordination improves
  • Dexterity skills improve
  • Reaction time improves
  • Posture improves
  • Energy level increases
  • Sleep improves
  • Balance improves


Psychological Benefits

  • Hostility decreases
  • Concentration improves
  • Memory improves
  • Attention improves
  • Mood improves
  • Somatic and kinesthetic awareness increase
  • Self-acceptance increases
  • Learning efficiency improves
  • Depth perception improves


Biochemical Benefits

  • Glucose decreases
  • Sodium decreases
  • Total cholesterol decreases
  • HDL cholesterol increases
  • LDL cholesterol decreases
  • Hematocrit increases
  • Hemoglobin increases
  • Thyroxin increases
  • Lymphocyte count increases