New Year's Day Recipe - Pork and Sauerkraut

By Robyn Keller 

With the New Year coming rapidly, I thought it would be nice to share my traditional New Year’s Day recipe.  I know from talking to many people that different regions have their own traditional New Year’s recipes, but one similarity they do have, is the foods consumed on January 1st are supposed to bring you good fortune. Greens, such as cabbage, collards, kale and chard are consumed because their green leaves resemble folded money; and are thus symbolic of economic fortune.  
My Sister-in-Law, Shelly, is from the south, and she always makes Black-eyed peas. There are even those who believe in eating one pea for every day in the New Year.  This all traces back to the legend that during the Civil War, the town of Vicksburg, Mississippi, ran out of food while under attack. The residents fortunately discovered black-eyed peas and the legumes were thereafter considered lucky. 
In Italy and the United States, the custom of eating pork on New Year’s is because the rich fat content signifies wealth and prosperity.  So in keeping with some of these traditions, I’m sharing my mobileFRIENDLY recipe, Pork and Sauerkraut. It's easy because you prepare the meat, stick in a pan and voila! ENJOY!

Holiday Windows - "Because Who is Perfect? Get Closer"

By Wendy Crawford

One of my favorite activities this time of year, is visiting New York City to see the incredible holiday windows! They are truly spectacular works of art and trust me, they have to be for me to want to traipse around for hours in the cold! In fact, I love window shopping any time of the year. In that small little cubicle of space, life is perfect, magical and beautiful. The mannequins' hair, make up and clothing are flawless, as they pose in their ideal surroundings with their supermodel "Barbie doll" proportions.

Recently, a  Swiss based not-for-profit organization, Pro Infirmis decided to redefine this unattainable esthetic by creating mannequins with real life physical disabilities. On December 3, the mannequins were actually placed in store windows on a main street in Zurich, Bahnofstrasse, in honor of International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The awareness project called "Because Who is Perfect? Get Closer" was captured in a short film by Alain Gsponer, and has gone viral on the internet with almost nine million page views, demonstrating that people with disabilities can also be fashion forward!

So while you are admiring the holiday windows or window shopping this upcoming year, keep your eyes open. With this incredible number of views, you never know, we may be seeing more of the new found beauty that we know has existed all along.


Have Your Genache and Eat It, Too! A Renal-Friendly Tip-Sheet for The Holidays

By Bethany A. Hoppe 

mobileWOMAN, Bethany Hoppe
‘Tis the season to be Jolly…and totally jinx your well-executed healthy lifestyle you’ve created for the last year, in just four easy weeks!  Renal-friendly diet or not, I can promise you I generally do not turn down every single Christmas cookie that looks my direction, or deny myself a taste of the latest Holiday Cocktail. 

So, how does a girl preserve herself without pickling herself throughout the celebrations?  We all know that your co-workers at the office are not going to forego the salt, and to ask family members in all directions to cook renal-friendly is going to be akin to suggesting Tofurky instead of the real bird back on the farm.  Actually – you might get a bird – only it might not be the one you anticipated. 

No worries – here are some quick tips to stay as renal-friendly as possible during all of the festivities without upsetting the fruit cake, Great-Aunt Biddy, or your Holiday Spirit.

Sugar Plum Dream Cocktail
Drinks All Around:  It would be a huge stretch of the imagination if you found yourself to be the only single solitary person at the party who turns down alcohol.  Not to be snide, but in nearly all social settings there will be those who do not imbibe for religious, addictive, or other health reasons.  So, while some of your cronies may be tipping back the Christmas Punch more than others, you are not alone in your choice to mix up your own non-alcoholic drinks that look and taste as great as the available cocktails, without the kick to the kidney. 

If, however, you are in a place where a glass of wine or spiked punch isn’t a health hazard, be sure to drink twice as much water as either an alcoholic or highly caffeinated drink.   A quick rule of thumb from the article “How to Take Care of Your Kidney Health,” drink one and a half to two liters of water a day, and drink only moderate amounts of tea, coffee and cola because they contain caffeine. This, like alcohol, is a diuretic - which means that it dehydrates the body.  So – for every Sugar Plum Dream cocktail – drink twice the amount of fluid in pure clean water…something sure to be at most dinner parties. 

Holiday Decorating Made Easy with Gadget Girly

By Julia Dorsett
mobileWOMEN contributor, Julia Dorsett
Where did the year go? It is true what your parents said to you as a bored child, "Wait until you get older and time will fly."  It is so funny, but yes, they were right!  So as I prepare for the holidays, I am constantly reminded how much longer it takes to do everything as a wheelchair user.  I'm not complaining, I enjoy doing all that I can by myself, so yes it may take longer, but the immense sense of accomplishment I feel when it is finished is so worth the struggle.  As a single gal, I don't have the luxury to ask for help when it comes to my household duties, including managing my holiday decor. That is why I'm always looking for gadgets to help me splash the Christmas spirit throughout my house with less complication.  

My latest discoveries are flameless candles. I am obsessed, to the point where a friend compared my house to a funeral parlor.  Okay, well that wasn't very nice and I have to admit I do have a lot of them scattered throughout my house, but I think they look beautiful.  If you are not familiar with these fantastic little accents, let me enlighten you.

There are several options out there.  I prefer the candles that have short black wicks that look more realistic when not on.  Then there are the ones that have clear flames that actually move when on, creating a flicker effect, but look less real when not on.  All of them are covered with real wax and look like a real flame candle.  When on, they emulate a lit candle by realistically flickering as a wick would.  The best feature of the these candles, aside from the safely aspect, is the timer.  Each candle comes with a built-in timer that allows the user to pick the time when the candle goes on, by merely pressing a button on the bottom of the candle.  The candle will then come on at the same time every night and "burn" for 5 hours.  This is a great help when the candle may be in a hard-to-reach spot or you have so many of them that it's nice to have to not worry about "lighting" them all, each snowy night.