smarty pants cheese, please

Raise your hand if you have ever stood in a grocery store and cried.

I have.

When you have to give up meat (yes that means chicken, too), sugar, dairy and gluten it can and does seem slightly overwhelming.

20180207_173730-1_resizedToday’s topic is  PIZZA.  yum.  Ooey, gooey, stringy, flavorful pizza.  Caramelized onions, mushrooms galore, hot out of the oven, dripping with goodness.  A bit salty, a hint of sweet, that robust sauce….. overwhelmingly one of the top comfort foods around.

When that age-old question pops up, as it inevitably does, “What’s for dinner?”  you don’t have to do much to sell the suggestion of pizza.

To begin with, let’s talk a tiny bit about dairy first.

It doesn’t matter if you are giving up dairy products for the upcoming season of Lent, cannot tolerate lactose, are vegan or because you have educated yourself and know that dairy promotes cancer…….giving up the satisfying comfort of cheese is tricky.

(Side note here:  We all know any human over five years of age has no lactase in their body.  Lactase is the enzyme necessary to digest dairy products.)

Hang on one minute, yes, I promise to get to the good stuff……pizza.

First, please indulge me to give one quick homeschool lesson?    We all know Dr. Neal Barnard is one smart cookie.  I will be brief and with his help,  remind you why it is so DANG hard to give up dairy.

Skip reading the next paragraph if you are already a smarty pants and don’t need to be reminded of this stuff.

Cheese has casein as an unusual protein.  Casein fragments are called casomorphins – that is casein derived morphine-like compounds.  And they attach to the same brain receptors that heroin and other narcotics attach to.  In other words, dairy protein has opiate molecules built right in.

Light bulb moment coming up…………………………………………………………………………..

SO THAT’S WHY I WAS CRYING IN THE GROCERY STORE!  I was addicted to cheese/dairy products.

If you are a smart cookie and want to be even smarter, may I gently suggest to head over and do a little reading on what Dr. Barnard has to say about cheese?

20180207_180019-1_resizedToday, I am writing this with one person in mind.  She doesn’t need to give up dairy for any reason other than she chooses to.  She is an intelligent, talented, athletic and beautiful, vegan teenager.  Her hard-working, creative, beautiful mother and I have been friends since we were teenagers.

Over the last five years, I have spent a lot of money, time and effort trying and taste testing products, recipes etc.  I have thrown away more than I care to remember.  So, when a recipe or product turns out to be heaven-sent and amazing…………….instead of just sharing with people who laugh at me, roll their eyes, make fun of me, or stare at me with disbelief,  I decided to share with someone who would jump up and down and use jazz hands to share her happiness.  (sometimes, you just gotta play to the right audience)

Who knows?  Maybe this talented, budding rock star will one day write and sing about dairy-free pizza?20180207_180019-1_resized

I think we all agree teenagers are hard to impress.  I have made it my mission to secretly, share recipes, restaurants and ideas with my friend.  The mission is simple.  Help my friend win “Mom of the year” award.

Frankly, I shared my faux bacon recipe and she could quite honestly skate through the year with that one delicious recipe alone.  I know this pizza/cheese brilliant recipe secret will just add extra credit.

Tap, Tap, Tap…….can I have your attention, please?  Please join me in saluting this one brilliant, beautiful vegan teenager!  I raise my slice of pizza in your honor!  You, my dear, have figured out this healthy “thang” way before many adults.  Rock on future clean plate club member! 20180207_182008-1_resized

Okay, here is the secret.  Go buy Fuss-Free Vegan by Sam Turnbull.  Just do it.  I am so fuss free vegangrateful that Santa was smart enough to give this to me.  This one book will make your life so much tastier, your teenagers will vote you Mom of the year and your guests will thank you a million times over.  She has an amazing recipe for “Life Changing Mozzarella”.  I stuck 5 gold stars on that one page alone!  Gather your ingredients:  tapioca starch, green olive juice, nutritional yeast, cashews, salt and water and let’s make a pizza.

If you don’t have a teenager to impress, I gotta say, Mr. Right gave it two thumbs up, with his mouth full and we were both clean plate club members.  So get out there and find someone to share a pizza with.

Pizza equals HAPPY!

May you make, serve, share and devour the best dairy-free pizza of your life!!!!

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.




if you were given 5 years

If you were given 5 years…wish 2

If you were given a gift of 5 years, 5 years you thought you didn’t have, what would you do?  How would you spend them?  Would you do the things you always wished you could do but for whatever reason you haven’t?  Would you make sure that the people you love know you love them?  Would you buy the extra good foods, go on great adventures?  Would you run yourself ragged trying to make every minute of every day meaningful?

Daleen decided that she would be grateful for each day and would use every day by embracing something that would help her on her journey.  She decided to learn everything about healing cancer naturally.  She’s become an expert at clean living and is a virtual encyclopedia of knowledge on the subject.  She was determined to travel even though it tired her out so much.  After all, there’s a big world out there waiting to be discovered by each of us.  And so, we’ve been to virtually the four corners of these great United States and many places in between.  She dedicated herself to her handiwork and has produced one beautiful piece after another.

We haven’t done it alone though and so we are grateful we have a supportive family and some supportive friends.  Though they don’t all agree we chose wisely, they all have been squarely behind Daleen – who could ask for more?  From phone calls to emails to wee gifts in the mail, everyone has been a positive part of her wellness.

Sweet Liberty, a Golden Retriever of distinction, has done her share.  She’s made sure there was dog hair to pick up, meals for Daleen to prepare for her and toys to pick up.  She’s also caught more than a few tears in her luxurious golden coat and offers nothing in return but love.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; were that humans could be so unabashedly loving and accepting as dogs.

In that bleak January 5 years ago, she would ask me “do you think I’ll be around at Christmas?” and then slowly the question became “do you think I’ll be around to see (fill in the blank)?  There was always the nagging thought that no matter what she did, it wouldn’t make a difference.  She would eat healthily, exercise, get a lot of sunshine, take vitamins and everything wouldn’t matter.

At some point, she quit asking.  She accepted the fact that she was living, she was living well and that was enough.  Next, she started planning ahead – a huge change!  Finally, questioning her life stopped being the predominant thought of her every waking moment.  In short, she learned how to live again and live she has; this Sunday is 1,826 days of wellness.healing-comes-from-gathering-wisdom-from-past-actions-and-letting-go-of-the-pain-that-the-

That dear friend is what cancer does to you.  It robs you of the luxury of not thinking about death.  Sure, there are many other things it does, but the pervasive, all-encompassing thoughts revolve around death for longer than we thought possible.  To be honest, they are never that far away and it’s a constant struggle to keep them where they belong – in the distance.   What cancer can also do is tie you even closer together.  We’d been married for a while when the dreaded diagnosis was given and I thought I knew my blushing bride of 30 years.  Turns out, I only knew part of her.  I have now come to know the amazing strength that is her, and of course, I see more clearly the quiet beauty and the grace that is her.  Along the way, she’s taught me more about living and life than I thought possible and I’m ever so grateful.

We have a few posters and sayings in our home about gratitude and grace.  Ok, a first-time visitor to our home might say many.   They serve as continual reminders.  She is grateful because she was given these last five years when she was convinced she wouldn’t have them.  She is grateful for so many things and so many people I could fill many pages listing them all.  She has the quiet grace that goes with confidence and the inner grace that radiates outward.  When you are with her, you know you are with someone who understands the value of each and every day.  She’s confident that although the future is (and always has been) uncertain, she’s been blessed with these last five years and has tried to embrace each and every day as the gift it is.

Along the way, we’ve learned so much about living well.  We recognize all the positives in our life, and there are so very many, and we’re eliminating the negatives.  We used to struggle over this, now we’ve learned to simply accept it.

I started this writing by asking you what you would do with a gift of time.  Dear friends, you have the gift of time, and more time after that and so on.  That time is yours to do with as you please.  What will you do with your time?  We hope you make the most of it, that you embrace your time and use it wisely.  In short, we hope you live!

Wishing you health and wellness.



This New Years’ Eve was happily no different from the last 3 decades and then some. We spent the evening doing a puzzle (and eating tasty snacks, of course). 20180101_112026-1_resized

Heck, I recently came across a picture of us during the dating years.  We are both leaning over a table in my parent’s house, yes, doing a jigsaw puzzle. Certainly a piece of our story.

If you know us, you know we look for a puzzle and save it for December 31st.  Our kids and friends, inevitably ask what puzzle we have chosen.

Some years the chosen puzzle is a snap. Time zooms by as we wait for the hands of the clock to strike midnight.   This year’s choice took 3 hours in the evening, then 2 more hours the following day.  It was a challenge and boy howdy did we feel a sense of accomplishment when that last piece (which was on the floor, duh) was put into place.

(side note)  Mr. Right was a marriage counselor for several years, more times than I can count, people ask, what’s the secret?  How do we keep our relationship working smoothly & thriving, vital, happy etc?  One answer I want to give is jigsaw puzzles, haha. Every now and then, spend five hours sitting next to someone, with a common goal and you get lots of communicating done.  

Once we get all the pieces turned over, the music is on, somehow the evening holds its own magic and the ideas come tumbling out.   On the cusp of the new year, we talk about wishes, goals, resolutions.  We say them aloud to the universe.

In that exact moment when the clock strikes midnight, we honor the moment……..we dare to hope. fireworks, space needle

Above the neighborhood fireworks, the mad dash to brush our teeth before the midnight smooch, there is an electric feeling in the air.  A feeling of possibility & hope for the new year.

This year, I have chosen the word Honor.

I will slip it into my pocket and carry it with me the entire year ahead. pocket

When looking up the word Honor you will find descriptive words:

  dignify, exalt, adore, keep, respect

I intend to honor the health choices that have brought me to this moment.  I want to be brave enough to talk about how, for five years, I have healed by following a path less traveled.

I intend to honor my body with continued excellent food, sunshine, movement and fresh air.

I intend to honor our home.  I make an effort every day and will continue to create a sanctuary of beauty and peace.  A beautiful place to thrive, rest & renew.

I intend to honor my craft.  I will create and share with my family, works of art from my hands. This is the year, I intend to have pictures taken of my hands creating beautiful pieces that will be given to our children and grands.  To me, this is much more than a hobby.  These are pieces of my heart and soul that I am choosing to honor my family with.

I will, with intention,  honor my husband.  I will no longer, leave out glowing comments about the man I spend my days with.  I will try my very best to soften the edges as to not sound boastful.  With the intent of not bragging, I have found myself, not exalting how fortunate I am.

It is my goal to remember to say aloud and thank him on a daily basis for guiding our family, taking the reins, mapping our course, lifting me up, making me feel like a giddy school girl who is loved and adored.

It is my job to honor him.  I am very good at my job.  I am going to try to be a bit better.

Not because he saved my life.

Not because I promised years ago to honor and cherish him.

Not because he leaves me a handwritten letter every single morning that he leaves for work.

No, not because he brings me fresh flowers every single Sunday.  Yes, every single Sunday.

GOOD GRAVY,  I love that man and I want to intentionally honor him through my actions & words20171211_132241_resized_1 on a daily basis.   He deserves to hear how much he is respected, adored, loved and honored every day.

Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill. Buddha

I would love for you to share the word you have chosen to slip into your pocket for 2018.  Maybe we can lift each other up?  By sharing our words, intentions, and wishes just maybe, we will each be stronger and more successful in attaining our goals?

Happy New Year!

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.












tip the balance

Pair of scales is made of stones on the cliff

I am having one lou lou of a time finding balance.  While I recover from being extremely ill, I still have to go about my daily life.  It’s really a dance.  It is two days forward and one step back.


As a matter of fact, just yesterday, my eyes filled with tears as I learned about yet another favorite food I have to say good-bye to.

While I am grateful, truly grateful for another day, in my mind sometimes, it seems I should be glowing with gratitude and grace, moving gently about, pleased with everything and everyone. Yet, there are days, I am still a normal girl who wants to complain about her hair style, fuss about paint color, and whine about what to make for supper.

I am supremely grateful for walking a path of healing and yet, I somehow find the energy to grumble under my breath about having my medicine in place of lunch daily.  Yes, I know how lucky I am to have the money to pay for the protocol.   The stubborn 4th grade girl in me, still complains now and then.  It’s not pretty, it’s just the truth.

How do I tip the balance?    I am feeling so lucky and happily teeter tottering one moment and then bam, my fanny hits the ground and I need to re-group and gather some strength to push-off with my feet to send myself back up into the clouds.

There is nothing lofty about cleaning under the kitchen sink nor scrubbing the bath tub grout.  I still need to vacuum out the car and feed the chickens. I need to grocery shop weekly and purchase or make gifts for others.  I cannot sit each day, all day long, with my hands folded in prayer of thanksgiving.  I need my hands to pull on work gloves and work.  Hey, that garden hose, isn’t going to roll itself up.

I am healing every single day however,  I don’t live on a movie set where I am dressed in a beautiful, embroidered gown and float among everyone being happy and serene and grateful.  I still get ticked off by some folks.  I still burn food.  I still cuss now and then.  Occasionally, I still act like a spoiled child when the “want” platform outweighs the “give” platform.

This excerpt from,  The Year of Pleasure by Elizabeth Berg,  has help nudge me in the right direction.

“…I know you are hurting!  But what if you determined to find one thing every day that you-“

“I know. Count your blessings.  Remind yourself every night of every good thing that happened to you that day.”

“No, I’m not talking about things that happen to you.  I’m talking about things you make happen.  I’m talking about purposefully doing one thing that brings you happiness every single day, in a very conscious way.  It builds up the arsenal, Betta.  It tips the balance.” 

It tips the balance.

I like that way of thinking.

Instead of feeling sorry for myself, (which, honestly does happen), I look for ways to build up the arsenal.  I look for one thing that brings me happiness each day.

Somehow, one day has turned into the next and those days turned into a couple of months and somehow, every now and then, I forget to count the exact days on the calendar.

teeter-totterThat jolt of the teeter totter slamming down?  That happens when I panic and fret about a sore thumb or small bruise on my toe.  ( Um, no, you are not sick again, maybe it is just a hang nail?  Maybe it is just a bruise from stubbing your toe?)  I spend way too much time each day wondering if I will get sick again.

I want to spend my time, building up the arsenal of happiness so that I tip the balance.  I want to spend more time looking for happy than worrying about the bad that may come.

I look for leaves.

I look for a recipe to try.

I buy two new dresses for  the sweet grandgirlies in my life.

I buy socks for Mr. Right.  Somehow, seeing a man well dressed in “go to work” clothes and then knowing he has on goofy socks, makes me chortle.  thanksgiving-socks

For me, wrapping them in gift wrap with a pretty bow adds to the humor.  Just out of the blue on a Monday night, he comes across a gift tucked into the utensil drawer or set on his desk.  chess-socks

A couple of weeks ago, before his chess lesson, he unwrapped chess socks.  This week, because he loves pumpkin pie………Thanksgiving socks of course.


Just for happiness, every Saturday, I trade pictures of eating a banana with grand #3.  We each eat a banana then trade pictures.  This is HAPPINESS pure and simple folks.  Makes me happy to see his picture and he gets to yell, “NANA” when he sees my picture.  haha

While on a walk , I found this ginormous leaf and it made me happy.  I had to share it with the grands. Golly Wally, a leaf is as big as my head?  That’s happy, pure and simple.  20161112_125639_resized


With my heart and soul I am going to continue to look for happy. Even on the crummy days, I will continue to search.

On my search, I have stumbled upon…….ginormous leaves, shared bananas, sweet dresses and goofy socks.

It all balances out.

Chat tomorrow.





pink, pink you stink

Imagine if you will, being so sick you couldn’t even think straight.

After a few years and buckets of hard work, and a thousand glasses of green juice, bit by bit you began to heal.

Then year after year, October after October you are SMACKED in the face to relive and remember.


It’s the pits. It is awful.  It is crappy.  You get the picture.

3+ years ago, I chose the path less traveled.  I chose not to “join” the wear pink club.  Instead of joining and being encouraged and supported by friends and family wearing pink boas and pink tutus……….I went a different direction that was right for me.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I used to love pink.  It was one of my top 3 or 4 color choices.

However, I can clearly remember “the” closet day.    I went to my closet and started ripping down anything I saw that was pink.

Pink t-shirt, pink fleece jacket, pink Oxford shirt, pale pink tank top, pink glittery tank, pink long granny gown hanging up.

Next, I stepped over to my dresser.  I tossed into the pile: a pink slip, a pale pink lovely piece of lingerie and some pink panties.

I didn’t even donate them.  I threw them in the trash can for pick up the next day.

Done.  Moving on.  Brushed my hands of that.

Flipping through catalogs, I was drawn to the pink, but chose gray or taupe instead.

Imagine being so broken that for a time, I couldn’t even read, bake, write,  cook or sew.  It was a huge accomplishment when I made our bed or fed and watered the chickens by myself.

Slowly, ever so slowly with fierceness, determination, encouragement & support of Mr. Right & my family,  I started to heal.

Trying to fill up that sick, painful, time and memories with new, good, healthy positive things was/is slow going and tricky.  Bit by bit.

Then I would catch sight of a pink bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken,  pink Jello, pink diet soda, pink gummy vitamins, pink garbage bags(?), pink cake mix, professional football players wearing pink shoes or socks or the referee using a pink whistle, pink menu card in the airline seat pocket and on the ridiculous list goes.  Not one of those things would help me heal.  While the chemicals, sugar, colorings would only add gasoline to the fire, the stupidity of pink garbage bags or pink furnace filters is an assault on my intelligence.

While the pink does uplift some, brings others hope and they find comfort in the meaning, I do not.

Pink, pink you stink.  Seeing that color is a huge road block for me.  I am working to get around it. I try all the tricks the mental health field has to offer.  I continue to work on it almost daily.  It is tough, really tough to gracefully deal with it, process it and skirt around it if I am not strong enough that particular day.

Every single week, Mr. Right brings me flowers.   However,about 3+ years ago,  he considerately stopped bringing pink flowers.

As a matter of fact, for date night last night, he gave me the most beautiful burnt orangey, salmoney, fall color saturated roses I have ever seen.

In the name of healing & progress, I decided to type this.

Last night for date night.  I wore a brand new, very cute black and white pencil skirt. An adorable smokey gray (encrusted with jewels) sweater tied causally around my shoulders that was over a brand new stunning, color saturated pink blouse.  I paired it with a stunning pair of antique earrings.  20161013_104318_resized

Doesn’t seem like a huge deal to most.  I talked about it way, way too many times with Mr. Right.  However, once I decided to wear it, I was done talking about the color.  As always, he complimented me several times.  Not one person pointed or even noticed, no other human being in the restaurant even gave it a second thought.

It was a humongous step for me.

20161012_175949_resizedRight in the middle of a beautiful, lovely, middle of the week, awesome-sauce date night at the Space Needle, I quietly, without fanfare, took one more healing step. 20161012_191956-1_resized

As the sun set, the skyline was a light with sky scrapers. Several of those buildings have pink twinkle lights lining the rooftops.

I am not completely happy and comfortable with being constantly reminded with pink for many reasons, choices and the seriousness of this topic……… least I didn’t dissolve into a puddle of tears as I have in the past.

Girlfriend to girlfriend, I actually sort of forgot about it.  It sort of faded into the background.

I was thinking more about:  the view, the food, the piano music, how Mr. Right still does it for me,  the dessert choices, my manicure, the card he gave me, how tight my Spanks were (I was just seeing if you were paying attention), how I love tasting his food and sharing mine,  how cute & remarkably comfortable my peep toe shoes are, my pedicure, how much I enjoyed the after dinner coffee, the bracelet I wore,  how much I enjoyed the conversation, how much I enjoy spying Mr. Right politely and smoothly tipping the young valet, how nice the car drive home was…….and on the list goes.  Yeah, I sort of forgot to fuss and fret over wearing pink.

I am making a tiny bit of progress.  Maybe my heart is starting to heal?  Maybe I am finding my own way?  Maybe, just maybe I am making my way back to liking the color pink again?sometimes-the-smallest-step-in-the-right-direction-ends-up-being-the-biggest-step-of-your-life

Pink, pink you are just sort of smelly.


angel among us

This US Army family celebrated a retired Air Force Colonel on the Fourth of July.

Saturday, July 4th, as our American flag gloriously swayed in the breeze , our yard edged and mowed, the beautiful bunting was hanging proudly with the anticipation of a bar-b-que, blackberry pie and a huge fireworks display to come, we remembered a man.

Bill Henderson

My husband wrote these words about him:

“Today the world said goodbye to Bill Henderson.  If you don’t know who Bill was then you’ve never fought cancer naturally.  Bill offered us hope when we had none and literally saved Mrs. Right’s life.  Though we never had the honor of meeting Bill, he had a profound and deep impact on our lives.  Sometimes there are angels among us, and now he is home.  You literally saved thousands of lives Bill and we all benefited from your calm wisdom and your generous spirit.  Rest in Peace.” 

Some of you know my story, some may not.

January 2013 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  (No, I did not forget to capitalize those letters.)  I can assure you that I know exactly, the number of days it has been.  For the sake of story telling, let’s just say, 3.5 years since I heard those words?  Lots of words, lots and lots of words, buckets of panic, fear and pressure. I cannot put into words the urgency in which the doctor laced the words “you have probably one year”.

The neighbor man said, “don’t worry, you might have 3 good months left”.  “Friends” were afraid and jumped ship quickly. People I did tell, did not know what to say, so they didn’t say anything to me.  They asked Mr. Right questions…..what stage is it?, where is it located?, how long does she have?, when does treatment start?……………………..They all assured him they needed to know these things so they could pray for me.  What?

In the first year, other than my family, 2 people stopped by to say hello.  Don’t misunderstand, people cared.  They sent cards and some emails.

cancer scares the HELL out of people and they didn’t want to be around it.  Once a medical person put on gloves to come in and do paperwork!  I even was brave enough to ask her if she thought she would catch what I have.  She didn’t answer.  sigh.

Fear is a heavy, heavy blanket.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I know exactly where I am going when I am finished with this life.  I am counting on it!  I am trying to live a life with that destination in mind.

I just had this feeling that I had some life left to live.  I have a husband to adore, love & take care of, children to bother and grands to fuss over and smoother with hugs & kisses and presents and homemade treats and…  I just had an inkling that I wasn’t quite through with my mission.

I was afraid of the medical procedures.  Not just the pain and humiliation.   I was raised with some radically different religious beliefs, so the medical procedures were not something I was gung-ho about. I did not want to be poisoned to achieve healing.

Shaken to my core and on my knees, I made the decision to say no thank you.  No thank you to chemotherapy and radiation.            I learned that chemotherapy and radiation have a 97.4 % chance of NOT working with breast cancer, not healing, not helping.   I didn’t know what the heck I was going to do.

While I can tell you exactly where I was standing, what I was wearing and what I was doing when I made those choices, in no way did I feel fierce or brave or courageous.

I felt beaten. I had no hope.


Enter Bill Henderson.

FB_IMG_1467780683045 (1)He was the first person to offer me hope.


Hope is a mighty powerful gift. 

Yes,  always  Mr. Right, some of my family and a couple of friends believed in my decision……..everyone else was extremely polite, friendly, fake supportive, yet thought I was crazy ( and most likely still do)  CooCoo for Cocoa Puffs crazy for choosing the path less traveled. Many prayed for me to “see the light” and just get the treatment, just take the pill.

Bill offered up solutions, many, many solutions.  He offered up education, research,  ideas, kindness, quiet strength, vision, a road map to health & wellness and most of all he offered the golden ticket, HOPE.  He believed in my decision. He said, sure you can do this, come on, I’ll show you.

Ty Bollinger wrote a powerful tribute to Bill.  You can read it here:

I am healing.  Each day, I get a bit stronger.  Every once in a while, I have set backs.  Yeah, they knock the wind out of me.  I am not yet ready to shake the world by the tail and scream at the top of my lungs, look at me.

What I am ready to do is offer HOPE.

Bill Henderson gave it to me.  Free.  No strings attached.  If you ever, ever, ever need a person to offer up hope, call me.  I will be there if I can or at least talk your ear off on the phone or make you ask the question, “how many words can one person type while texting?”……No matter what the trouble, diagnosis, issue……..I am your person.  I will offer hope.  Yes, even when everyone else has let you down, I won’t.

The biggest lesson of my life so far. Offering another human being, Hope.

I was thrown a life line.  I grasped it.  It kept my head above water.

Bill Henderson saved my life.

I am grateful.  I will live a life of gratitude for all the days of my life.

In my heart I KNOW, Bill heard the words that he so deserved:

Well Done Thou Good and Faithful Servant.










my golden ticket

Everyday for oh, say, 30 some years, I would have an afternoon coffee and a little cookie, a piece of biscotti, an almond thin,  just a little something, something to go with my coffee.

I had to give that all up.  Yes, including how I made my coffee.  Good bye daily lattes.  I gave away 17 bottles of coffee syrups.   The daily cookie had to be deleted as well.   Somehow during all those years, the tiny piece of cookie was mixed up in my brain as comfort food.

3.3 years ago, in every part of my life I had to give up something.

I think I had oatmeal almost every morning of my life for about 45 years.   I have even ordered oatmeal at  3 different Four Season Restaurants.  I have ordered it in more states than I can remember.  I have eaten it with every topping imaginable.  My favorite.  Goodbye.

To say that I had an anger issue about all this would be an understatement.

Thankfully, I got my brain working again and figured out how to have my coffee once again.  (thank heavens for coconut cream).  Yesterday, I had a Butterscotch latte  (think butter and maple syrup and espresso).   I even have learned how to have an iced caramel latte.

20160426_171527Treats have been a bit tricky.  I used to bake batch after batch of Biscotti.  I wrapped it beautifully and gave it as gifts.  I gave it away to co-workers.  I gave it to neighbors.  I even sold some to a coffee stand for a while.  I loved Biscotti so much, I wanted to marry it.  Really!

Once I figured out, it wasn’t the chocolate bits that I liked or the drizzled frosting on top or the poppy seeds…..I adored the cookie part.  Just a crisp piece of cookie that I could dip now and then.   I knew I could figure this out.

So here I am 7 or 8 batches later…….remember my rules,  I can’t use sugar or dairy & it has to be gluten free. 20160426_164248-1

I tried “Swerve”.  No thank you.  I tried maple syrup, nope that wasn’t it.  I tried coconut sugar, again, not what I was looking for.  I tried Wax Orchard’s fruit sweet (I love this product, it just didn’t work in the biscotti).  I tried agave nectar, nope not the golden ticket.   I don’t use any artificial sweeteners of any kind.

Wait did I just type golden????

Honey.  I have fallen in love with Raw Honey and it has been my saving grace. Raw Honey has helped me heal and quite honestly saved my sanity.  My Golden Ticket!!

Daily medicine more manageable with a 1/2 teaspoon of raw honey.   Making my own Almond Milk, yes, you guessed it with raw honey.  Salad Dressing and treats, coffee drinks and the list goes on and on.

So here you go.  I am sharing my recipe.  By all means make it your own.

Here’s to comfort food that brings no guilt.

Here’s to our good health!

In this together, friend. 20160427_093752-1

Honey Almond Biscotti

1/2 cup butter (I used Earth Balance) 

3/4 cup raw honey

2 fresh eggs

1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon real almond extract

3.5 cups flour ( I used Better Batter Flour) 

1/2 teaspoon baking powder (no aluminum) 

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda 

3/4 cup raw sliced almonds

(You can add up to 1 cup of dried fruit or other goodies if you want)

Beat the butter until light.  Gradually add raw honey, eggs, vanilla and almond extract.  Beat until smooth.  Combine flour, baking power, baking soda and salt.  Add to honey mixture.  Stir in almonds. 

Shape dough into two 10X13X1 inch logs and place on a silpat covered cookie sheet.  Bake at 350* for 25 minutes. Remove, cool 5 minutes.  Reduce heat in oven to 275* 

Cut each log into 1/2 inch slices and arrange on baking sheet.  Bake 20 minutes or until crisp.  Cool on a wire rack.  Store in a air tight container. 

Make coffee (or tea).  Sit down, feet up and enjoy a piece.  Pure comfort.  (and no guilt for me)