Frozen Yogurt Covered Strawberries

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Warning: These are addicting! They are cold and sweet and refreshing and just delightful to pop in your mouth on a hot summer day! Try them…they’re so easy to make!

Frozen Yogurt Covered Strawberries

1 container Vanilla Yogurt (Use Greek Yogurt because it’s thicker)
Fresh ripe strawberries

Slice strawberries in half. Spoon Greek yogurt onto a shallow dish and dip the strawberries in the yogurt. Place dipped strawberries in a plastic container lined with parchment paper and freeze.

For Us Zucchini Lovers

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Crusty Parmesan-Herb Zucchini Bites

Ingredients 4 medium, fresh zucchini, sliced in half 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated 1-2 tablespoons fresh rosemary & thyme, minced smidge of olive oil salt & pepper to taste Directions Pre-heat oven to 350F, lightly brush both sizes of the zucchini with olive oil and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Mix cheese and herbs together in a small bowl and sprinkle over the zucchini along with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 15 minutes and place under the broiler for the last 3-5 minutes until cheese is crispy and browned.

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OVEN BAKED ZUCCHINI FRIES

YOU WILL NEED:
1 large zucchini, peeled
1 tbs olive oil
3/4 cup plain bread crumbs (you could use seasoned for extra flavor)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp kosher salt

DIRECTIONS:
1. Line a baking sheet with foil (you can spray it lightly with cooking spray) and preheat your oven to 425 deg F. Peel your zucchini, cut off the ends and cut it into “fries”. Toss with the olive oil, making sure that every piece is well coated.

2. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and salt. Cover the olive oil coated zucchini pieces with the bread crumb mixture (shake off excess breadcrumbs), then place them on your baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, until the zucchini looks crispy and golden, and is soft when pricked with a fork. Serve warm!

 

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Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

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1 lb. zucchini or squash (about 2 medium-sized)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan (heaping)
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs (heaping)
… 1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with foil and spray lightly with vegetable spray.

Slice zucchini or squash into 1/4 inch-thick rounds. Toss rounds with oil, coating well.
In a wide bowl or plate, combine breadcrumbs, parmesan, salt and pepper.
Place rounds in parmesan-breadcrumb mixture, coating both sides of each round, pressing to adhere. The mixture will not completely cover each round, but provides a light coating on each side.

Place rounds in a single layer on baking sheets. Sprinkle any remaining breadcrumb mixture over the rounds.

Bake for about 22 to 27 minutes, until golden brown. (There is no need to flip them during baking — they crisp up on both sides as is.)

 

Crisp Cucumber Salsa

 

Crisp Cucumber Salsa:

Note: 1/4 cup is only 16 calories! YES!!!

2 cups finely chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup finely chopped seeded tomato
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and chopped
4-1/2 tsp minced fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/4 c reduced-fat sour cream
1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
1-1/2 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
Tortilla chips

In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In another bowl, combine the sour cream, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin and seasoned salt. Pour over cucumber mixture and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately with chips.

Still I Rise

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Still I Rise

Maya Angelou, 1928
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Banana Kiwi Smoothie

 

 

 

Banana Kiwi Love

2 bananas, sliced

1 kiwi, peeled and sliced

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

1/2 cup nondairy yogurt

2 cups nondairy milk

2 teaspoons sweetener (optional)

1/2 cup ice (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and run it on high speed for 60 to 90 seconds or until the drink is smooth. Add more nondairy milk if a thinner drink is desired. Add more banana or a pinch of cinnamon if you want a little extra flavor.

The flaxseeds are a nice addition because they blend beautifully in smoothies and create a very nice, thick consistency.

Most importantly flaxseeds provide omega-3 fatty acids, that are essential for heart and hormonal health!

Watermelon does a body good!

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Watermelon is an excellent fruit that effectively hydrates, detoxifies, and cleanses the entire body on a cellular level. It is rich in vitamins A and C as well as lycopene, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin which are excellent for providing protection from lung, mouth, pancreatic, breast, prostate, endometrial, and colon cancer. Watermelon is also known to significantly reduce inflammation, help flush out edema, aid in weight loss, and alleviate depression. Watermelon can also boost the immune system as well as strengthen vision. Watermelon is not nearly as high in sugar as most people think as it has half the sugar than an apple. Watermelon is loaded with antioxidants that have the ability to neutralize free radical molecules and aid in the prevention of chronic illnesses. The rind of the watermelon is equally beneficial as it is one of the highest organic sodium foods in nature and one of the best sources of chlorophyll and can be juiced for a delicious and healing drink. And, if you are lucky enough to get a watermelon with black seeds, even better! Crunch those seeds up too, they have an amazing effect on the nervous system, aiding in relaxing the body and lowering blood pressure and contain helpful amounts of iron, zinc, and protein. On a hot summer’s day nothing is more refreshing and cooling than a glorious piece of watermelon. During the summer, look for locally grown watermelon at your farmer’s market for the most nutrient dense, healing fruits available. Enjoy, your body will thank you.

 

Unlikely Roadmaps to CEO Success

CEO

Many people associate c-level execs with lives of privilege and luxury. While this may be the case for some (and although privilege and luxury are definitely byproducts of success), the truth is that many CEOs and business founders have overcome obstacles during their youth and early stages of their careers. But while others often see these obstacles as disadvantages in business, many believe they directly contribute to the success of top executives.

From poor readers to dropouts, these unlikely leaders used their perceived deficiencies as assets to rise to the top of their industries. Let’s see if we can glean some inspiration from their pathways to success.

Learning Disabilities as Business Assets

CEOs are often viewed as visionaries with a particular genius for business. While that’s definitely the case, many CEOs have had to learn to cope with learning disabilities throughout their lives, and this coping is often the foundation on which their success is built.

For example, studies show that CEOs suffer from dyslexia at a much higher rate than the rest of the general population. A survey conducted by the Cass Business School in London found that 35% of U.S. CEOs say they show signs of dyslexia. In comparison, only about 1% of managers and 10% of the general population are dyslexics. Famous business dyslexics include Apple’s Steve Jobs, Cisco’s John Chambers and Virgin Group’s Richard Branson.

Many believe that their dyslexia is a foundation for these prominent businessmen’s rise to power. Yale University professor Dr. Sally Shaywitz argues that dyslexia is a business asset, rather than a handicap. Their necessity to cope with the learning disability set them up for future success in the business world. According to Dr. Shaywitz, their affliction has made them comfortable with failure, and while failure is never good in business, the ability to dust oneself off and try again after failure is a characteristic of a great businessperson.

Dyslexics’ slow reading speeds have also helped them avoid distraction: it forces them to focus only on the essential information, and this ability to extract vital information in a world filled with distraction is an attribute that allows them to focus on growing their business. On top of that, their struggles with schooling forced them to reach out to others for help. This fosters trust in others to get things done, and this penchant for delegation is an essential attribute for those who run successful companies.

Many people also believe that attention-deficit disorder (ADD) can be an asset for business leaders. Those with ADD have trouble focusing and get bored easily, and this motivates them to search for different and more engaging ways to deal with issues. These habits are attributed to creativity, and many believe that creativity is the most important characteristic of a great CEO.

Likewise, qualities of Asperger’s syndrome have been found to be beneficial for computer programmers, a class of worker that has steadily risen to c-level ranks in the tech industry. A Business Insider column written by contributors for The Economist found that programmers’ interest in narrow subjects, their passion for numbers and patterns, and their penchant for repetitive tasks makes them great at what they do. And the greater they are, the more likely they’ll become successful tech execs. This, however, isn’t limited to the tech space. As quants take over suits in the world of finance, these high-functioning autistic traits have become a commodity in the industry.

Rising From Rags to Riches

It’s no question that CEOs rake in tons of dough, but what many fail to realize is that a number of business magnates have impoverished origins. Proving that you don’t need an affluent background to become a force in business, many prominent business founders and CEOs have fought their way up from the dregs of society to become successful titans of industry.

A great example of this is John Mitchell Systems’ John Paul DeJoria. DeJoria was born of German and Italian immigrants. By the time he was 9, he already had a job selling Christmas cards to support his family, and shortly thereafter, he was sent to live in a foster home in East Los Angeles. He joined a street gang before spending two years in the Navy, and when he returned from service, he lived in his car and banged around in odd jobs before finally getting into the hair-care industry. It wasn’t until 1980, when his friend John Mitchell suggested they start a business, did his career really take off. With the help of a $700 loan, he and Mitchell began selling shampoo and conditioner out of their cars. DeJoria now has a reported net worth of $4 billion.

While DeJoria’s story certainly isn’t the norm, it isn’t exactly a rarity, either. Many prominent businesspeople have made a rise similar to DeJoria’s, including Xerox’s Ursula Burns, Starbucks’ Howard Schultz and Luxottica’s Leonardo Del Vecchio. And like those highlighted above with learning disabilities, these trailblazers used what others see as a deterrent as a foundation for business success.

Psychology Today featured a Harvard University Press study that compared 60 “pathmakers” (i.e. those who overcame socioeconomic disadvantages and forged accomplished careers) with 40 similar people from privileged backgrounds. The study found that those with rougher backgrounds were more self-motivated and open to assistance, assets for business that are similar to those with learning disabilities. They were also found to be more likely to take advantage of career opportunities, meaning they were more open to leave jobs for better offers and to create jobs in order to build a niche for themselves. On top of that, like their dyslexic counterparts, they were familiar with failure and were better at transforming those failures into positive experiences. Overall, they were found to be altruistic, and this selflessness made them great business leaders.

Similar to these unlikely stories of success, many prominent CEOs and entrepreneurs reached the top of their industries without the benefit of a college education; in fact, some were high school dropouts or didn’t even get a chance to finish elementary school. A 2012 study by the McCombs School of Business found that about 30% of all U.S. CEOs at the time did not have a college degree. We’ve all heard the stories of dropouts like Steve Wozniak, Richard Branson and Ray Kroc, and these teach us of the importance of being able to forge our own paths to accomplishment.

Climbing the Corporate Ladder

Today’s instant-gratification society has seemingly made corporate loyalty a thing of the past. While it used to be relatively common for a worker to stay with a single employer throughout his or her entire career, the accepted career path of today seems to be bouncing around from job to job in hopes of career progress. But there are some present-day CEOs that prove corporate loyalty does pay.

One such example is the aforementioned Ursula Burns. Born of Panamanian immigrants, Burns was raised in a New York City housing project. After earning a degree in engineering, her first gig out of college was an internship at Xerox, where she gained permanent employment a year later. In 10 years, she had worked her way up to Executive Assistant, and 9 years later, she was named VP of Global Manufacturing. In 2009, she was named the CEO of Xerox, becoming the first African-American woman to lead a Fortune 500 company.

While they’re hard to find, these stories abound in the business world. Roger Goodell of the NFL, Rob Cavallo of Warner Bros. Records and Daniel Hesse, former head of AT&T, all started their careers as interns with their respective companies. In fact, a recent CEO.com study found that 32% of Fortune 500 and 21% of S&P 500 CEOs rose to the top within a single company, proving that both perseverance and loyalty actually do pay off in business.

As these stories highlight, the best path to success is one dictated by yourself, not society. So stop reading about famous CEOs and start blazing your own trail to business eminence. See More

Top 5 Tips for Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur

1. Take risks.Life is too short to spend your time avoiding failure.In 1981, at the age of 39, I was fired from the only full-time job I’d ever had – a job I loved.But I never let myself look back, and the very next day I took a big risk and began my own company based on an unproven idea that nearly everyone thought would fail: making financial information available to people, right on their desktops. Remember, this was before people had desktops.In 2001, when I was debating whether to run for mayor, most people advised me against it. They all were afraid I’d fail. But one person said: “If you can picture yourself giving a concession speech, then why not go for it?” That was the best advice I received – and I followed it.

In order to succeed, you must first be willing to fail – and you must have the courage to go for it anyway.

2. Make your own luck.

Luck plays a part in success, but the harder you work, the luckier you get.

Whatever you choose to do, even if it’s not the job of your dreams, always work hard at it. Be the first person at work in the morning and the last to leave at night. Hard work creates opportunities where your resume cannot.

3. Be persistent.

Persistence really does pay off.

When starting my company, I would go downtown and buy cups of coffee. Then I’d take the coffee up to Merrill Lynch – our target audience – and walk the hallways.

“Hi,” I would say. “I’m Mike Bloomberg and I brought you a cup of coffee. Can I talk to you?”

Even if people were wondering who I was or where I came from, they still took the coffee.

And I kept coming back, day after day, working to build relationships with potential customers. I learned about the audience for our product and what they could really use.

Three years after starting Bloomberg LP, Merrill Lynch purchased 20 terminals and became our first customer.

4. Never stop learning.

The most powerful word in the English language is “Why.” There is nothing so powerful as an open, inquiring mind. Whatever field you choose for starting a business – be a lifelong student.

The world is full of people who have stopped learning and who think they’ve got it all figured out. You’ve no doubt met some of them already – and you’ll meet plenty more.

Their favorite word is “No.” They will give you a million reasons why something can’t be done or shouldn’t be done.

Don’t listen to them, don’t be deterred by them, and don’t become one of them. Not if you want to fulfill your potential – and not if you want to change the world for the better.

5. Give back.

You are ultimately responsible for your success and failure, but you only succeed if you share the reward with others.

At the end of the day, ask yourself: “Am I making a difference in the lives of others?”

My first charitable donation was a $5 check to my alma mater, Johns Hopkins, not long after I graduated. I was just scraping by back then, but I continued to give. And while the checks may be bigger today, they come with the same spirit. You don’t have to be wealthy to give back. You can give back by getting involved and giving your time and talents. You just have to be committed to opening doors for others.