What do you eat?

20190514_181701“What do you eat”?  Oh yes, I get that question a LOT.

We eat plant rich, nutrient-dense food.  Yes, that does mean, on occasion, we will eat fish.

I got the feeling that our friend didn’t want all the details.  She needed and wanted help fast.

Our friend was panicked.  Their granddaughter was coming to visit and their beautiful, intelligent teenager has bravely announced to the world that she has decided to be a vegetarian.

What do we feed her?

My answer:  food

Seriously, what do you eat?

So, I offered a few suggestions and good news, the granddaughter came to visit, brought some of her own food and everyone lived to tell the tale.

I decided for a week or two, I would share what we eat.  I would send my friend pictures, offer recipes if she asked.  I didn’t go into too much detail.  I wanted her to know that we eat pretty much what she eats minus the grilled steaks.

One time years ago we hosted a graduation party.  At the time, our youngest son was a vegan.  I made myself crazy by making vegan gravy and non-vegan gravy.  I made vegan dishes and non-vegan dishes.  I made vegan desserts and non-vegan…you get the idea.  I put pretty little signs in all the dishes to designate which was which. 

Stick a Fork in Me.

I was D-U-N.  Done!

Like NASA has a mission statement?  I needed a mission statement.    While cleaning up and doing twice as many dishes, I decided to make some changes.   My new mission statement:

  Make/bake excellent quality food with exceptional taste. 

I want my food to be so good that I don’t have to qualify what it is.  I don’t have to say: this is dairy free or gluten-free or sugar-free.  I don’t have to say, these crab cakes are made with Jack Fruit.  I don’t have to say this is vegan.  I decided to make and serve exceptional food.

When you come to my house and enjoy a Chocolate Chip Cookie, I won’t have to explain that they are dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan…blah, blah, blah .   If you try my chicken nuggets, I won’t have to tell you there is no chicken involved.  Nor will I have to explain that my donuts are non-dairy, non-gluten, etc.

 

 

I will only have to answer you when you ask if there is more.

YES, THAT GOOD!

 

Homemade pasta and sauce so savory and filled with flavor (and blended veggies) that you will ask for seconds.

 

Stuffed shells worthy of a birthday dinner!  Oh, did I mention homemade ricotta “cheese” made from almonds?

 

We eat “Crab Cakes” with or without sauce.  These beauties are perfect small appetizers or larger for part of a meal.  Did I mention they are made with Jack Fruit?

 

Falafel & Hummus so good, so full of rich, bold flavors you will for sure be a clean plate club member.

What should you feed your granddaughter?  Excellent food.

In this together,

Chat soon

August toss

A wise person I met in a wellness group, offered up a quick read.  The title is, “There is actually a link between Depression and Clutter”.

Next, I stumbled upon a quote by Joshua Becker, a blogger.  https://www.becomingminimalist.com/about-us/

“The first step in crafting the life you want is to get rid of everything you don’t.”

See where I am going with this? keep toss

Join me, won’t you?

Yes, Marie Kondo’s book is really wonderful and encouraging.  It is just a big bite to take.

Let’s go simple.?  Let’s really accomplish this.

Every single day in August, I am going to toss one thing from my life.

20180630_084740-1_resized_1Similar to my walking calendar for the month of June… I am going to reward myself with a butterfly sticker each day that I toss something.  By the end of the month, I will have 31 stickers on my calendar and at least 31 fewer things cluttering my life.

You can certainly toss or give away more than one thing a day, however, the goal is at least one thing EACH day.  Having a big ol fashioned yard sale and selling 31 items will only “count” for one day.  Yes, it will feel great, however, this is also about learning a process.  A small success EACH day.

After walking every single day in June, it has become a habit.  I continue to lace up my sneakers and get out there. Maybe, by tossing (or donating) one item each day for the month, it will become a habit I seek out?

Today, as I flipped open a cookbook, I found 4 loose papers stuck in between two random pages.   I gave a quick look and decided to toss.  Who among us doesn’t have one catalog or magazine on our coffee table that is 4 months old?  Why do I have two vegetable peelers?  Why am I keeping a pair of new shoelaces that don’t fit any shoes we own?

See this is going to be a snap!

For the month of August, I am going to seek out things I no longer need, use or want.  Heck, I could go 4 or 5 days tossing something daily from my make up bag alone!  Don’t get me started on the junk drawer ( we all have one, we all need to clean it out so the drawer will close with ease).  Our garden shed has plenty of cracked plastic plant containers, that alone will keep me on track for a week.

So, come along, please join me.  Just think, by the end of 31 days, we will be lighter in spirit and there will be less clutter around us.

First thing I am tossing?  My grater.  It has a couple of rust spots and I keep meaning to replace that thing.  This is the month!

In this together, friends,

Here’s to a healthier and happier spirit!

declutter your life

 

 

 

 

 

Who’s with me?????

Chat soon.

 

smooth Friday

Hello and Happy Friday!

I wanted to share a helpful, easy, “you will thank me by next Thursday” tip.

20180212_135712_resizedWhen you fill up your refrigerators and freezers this weekend, might I gently suggest you make 7 or 8 smoothie packets at the same time?

Super easy.

A beautiful way to bathe yourself in Grace and Wellness.

Bring home your greens and wash.  (Yes, even the greens in the bags.)  I wash with vinegar then rinse with water. Then I dry/spin the whole bunch in a salad spinner.  You could easily use paper towels or a clean cotton towel.   Vinegar is inexpensive and best part ….. it really works.20180212_135312_resized

We froze oodles and oodles of berries last year, so I am still working off of those.  Or you can purchase frozen berries.

Now, get out 7 or more zip freezer bags.  Roll down the tops.  Set up an assembly line of sorts.

(I use these amounts for one smoothie, you can certainly double or so forth the recipe for more.)

20180212_135415-1_resizedAdd one cup of clean, dry spinach or Swiss chard or bok choy or kale or a combination of greens to each zippy bag.  Then I add one cup of a variety of berries.  Sometimes, I toss in half a banana.  Add anything else you want.   The sky is the limit.  Toss in a handful of chopped up peaches or apricots!   (some weeks I do a tropical take on the smoothie….pineapple, mango, strawberry, lime) 20180212_135719-1_resized_1

Actually, next time you are at your specialty health food store and you “treat” yourself to a $6.00 smoothie, jot down the ingredients that you fancy in your favorite option.  Then re-create in your homemade freezer packs.

The idea is to create these helpful, beautiful packets that will help you make a smoothie quick and easy and almost effortless.20180212_135305-1_resized

That way, you can add your liquid, fresh coconut pulp, ground flax seeds, etc. and toss in your bag of frozen goodness.  40 seconds of blending later, you are enjoying a great smoothie.  Little effort to create something wonderful.  Fast and hits the spot.

Refreshing.

Perfect to drink on the way to work.   Perfect to drink on the way to take care of your grand for the day.  Perfect to drink while you decide if you want something more for lunch.

Just think of all the good you will be doing to your body?  One cup of berries a day times five days a week times each month.   Woah, Nelly!  That is a bucket full of antioxidants!  

Berries are some of the most powerful (and delicious) disease-fighting foods available. Color pigments in berries that are powerful antioxidants. Blue, purple, and red color have been associated with a lower risk of certain cancers, urinary tract health, memory function, and healthy aging.

20180209_132104-1_resized_3In this together, friends.

(next Thursday, when you take out a frozen zippy bag and make an amazing smoothie, send me an email.  I promise you, you will be so happy that you took the time to make something good for you!)

Here’s to our wellness and good health!

Cheers!

 

I forgot angels baked cookies

Yesterday, 4 years and 11 months, ago I was diagnosed with cancer.

I was told that I had one year to live if I didn’t do as they told me.   big sigh.

I did not forget the day, nor have I been able to go a day and not know what the tally is.

I have dabbled, sharing my story here and there over the almost five years.

20151206_182052_resizedFor some reason, yesterday, was a tough day. Then I put on a cute & sassy pair of big girl panties, extra jewelry, beautiful lipstick, kick-ass red cowgirl boots, asked Alexa to turn on some music and just like that, the day, as well as my outlook, changed dramatically.

Sometimes I can be a dunderhead and forget to put “it” out there for the universe to handle.

I can sum up the last few years with one sentence.

I chose the road less traveled.

I made the choice to respectfully and quietly decline the offer of chemotherapy and radiation.

(very important side note:  those souls who choose chemotherapy & radiation and live, are amazing.  When 97.3% of the time, it doesn’t work, those folks walking among us are astonishing.  Tip your hat to them for what they have endured.  They are living miracles.)

Having cancer is tricky, harsh, brutal, crappy, awful, LOUD, difficult, lonely and surprisingly, takes away your breath, some of your courage and brave people skills.

Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. Robert Frostroad-less-travelled-lg

The thing about Robert Frost’s quote is that while being true words, he doesn’t mention how dark, scary, lonely, quiet, and not fancy that road is.

On one hand, frightening and unknown, pink ribbons, goodie bags of spirit-lifting lipstick, pink boas, friends rallying around, pins, hats, walk-a-thons, embroidered vests, support groups, a very clear, mapped out route awaits.

The other choice was an equally frightening unknown, however dimly lit path, with Mr. Right and I holding neon yellow high lighter pens for research & studying and gallons of green juice with a couple of folks in your corner.  Sort of a bizarre version of a sad, dull, blush colored lipstick, sad face “before” picture you see in fashion magazine layouts.

I get it.  It is scary.

In the beginning of the journey, I was heartbroken when “friends” jumped ship. Others politely & quietly moved to the other side, no big break-up, just quietly faded out of the picture.   I was crushed when some relatives thought my choices were ridiculous & uninformed and chatted behind my back.   I won’t even go into the mean & hateful things some of my doctors & medical staff said to us. Certainly not worth my breath to repeat.

While trying to re-build my broken immune system (yes, every single person with disease has a broken, damaged immune system) for quite some time I stayed away from groups of germs people.   Extremely limiting gatherings, extracurricular groups, church, outings, movie theaters, planes, etc.  Lonely during the days until Mr. Right came home from work.

Enter social media and technology.  Figuring out a way to make new friends through the world-wide webs.

Holy Toledo, because of this blog, I met a new friend and have what is shaping up to be a forever friendship. I’ve reconnected with friends from elementary school.  I even put on my brave lion mask and wrote to folks in an online counted cross stitch group.

A couple of months ago, while sounding rather juvenile, I excitedly told Mr. Right, I met a new friend.

For some unexplained reason, I jumped in with both feet. I felt brave and saucy.  I can’t explain the bravery.  Maybe an angel was nudging me in that direction?

I forgot.

I forgot how lovely it feels to have someone visit and talk and not feel sorry for you.  I forgot how wonderful it feels to relax and just write for fun.  I forgot how it feels to be curious about another person and ask questions and listen for answers.  I forgot how much fun it is to plot and figure out a surprise gift to give to someone else.  I forgot how satisfying it feels to make something for someone who understands handmade presents.

I also forgot how gobsmacked it feels to get an unexpected box of pure HAPPY in the 20171221_153135-1_resizedmail!  I forgot how flabbergasted I am when someone makes me something.  Believe it or not, it left me speechless (for a moment).  Cookies and treats and stitchy stuff (HUGE shock, no one has ever bought me stitchy stuff) and paper and ribbon and a hilarious card…. oh Lordy, get out the smelling salts.  

I had completely forgotten that when some folks jump ship, it just leaves room for new friends to jump aboard.

angel wingsI am here to tell you that angels walk among us. When you least expect it and need it most.

Fierce angels wearing bad-ass, fancy, insanely large, Victoria’s’ Secret kind of over the top wings.  They bravely wear juicy, saturated intense color lipstick, bake cookies20171222_114143-1_resized and wear glorious shoes we all drool for.

My fierce angel has glorious dark curly hair, wears amazing lipstick and has red pointy toe shoes with glorious big bows on them that I covet. However, in my mind, even to work, she wears fancy aqua colored wings.

In an effort to help me sleep through the night,  I began writing this blog 1,152 posts ago.

This installment will most assuredly help me sleep through tonight.   Lots of good, some bad all removed from my shoulders and put here for safe keeping.

Thanks oodles for listening to me, holding my hand, keeping me company, leaving kind & uplifting comments.  Such sweetness pushes my swing.

Today, I am mighty grateful that angels do indeed bake cookies. Delicious & beautiful cookies.

Here’s hoping that you are happily and surprisingly gobsmacked by a fierce and amazing angel in your corner. One that bakes cookies.   Once you catch your breath and stop feeling light-headed, it is a rather lovely feeling.

In this together, friends,

Chat soon

 

 

 

 

 

life of the party, hello parsley

Parsley.

Yesterday, I shared a picture of one of my herb gardens.  A friend asked, “what on earth are you going to do with all that Parsley?  I answered, ” We are going to eat it.

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You know, that itty bitty piece of sad green on your dinner plate?  That’s parsley.

Hello!  Nice to meet you.

When you went to aGerman Schnitzel with garnish restaurant in the 90’s more often than not you got your meal presented with a flourish.  As a last minute garnish, one cherry tomato or slice of lemon was getting friendly with the 1 inch or smaller piece of limp looking parsley.

Last night, I took a picture of just how much parsley I eat every single day.  I put a pen in the picture for scale.   We pick it fresh and it is put into my daily juice routine.  Beyond daily juice, I also pick and cook with as much as I can.

20170808_190235-1_resized

The under celebrated herb called Parsley (Latin:  Petroselinum) is filled to overflowing with beneficial nutrients, essential oils, and antioxidants – to the point that it’s often called a superfood.  Along side freshening both you and your dogs’ breath, parsley helps with inflammation, acid reflux & arthritis, this marvelous herb can clean out your liver, kidneys, and gallbladder.

Popeye would have been twice as strong had he known that Parsley has TWICE the iron as Spinach!

Dr. Mercola gently reminds us, eating parsley is an excellent way to detoxify our systems of harmful compounds like mercury.

Do you want strong bones?  If you want to be impressed by parsley, take a look at its vitamin K content – a whopping 574% of the daily recommended value.  This is BIG news, friends!

Parley’s vitamin C content is 3 times more than in oranges, and the vitamin A augments the carotenes lutein and zeaxanthin, helping to prevent eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration.

Dr. Axe is a smarty pants and here is what he has to say about parsley and the “c” word:

Parsley contains unique elements in its oil known as volatile oil components — myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene. These powerful oil components benefit the body’s immune system and help fight cancer-formation, in particular, slowing tumor growth, neutralizing oxidative stress and fighting off carcinogens from harming the body. (7)

Parsley is sometimes called a “chemoprotective” plant because it helps protect DNA from damage, stops cell mutation and helps induce apoptosis, or the death of harmful cells. One of Parsley’s beneficial compounds called apigenin has been found to “inhibit progestin-dependent synthesis of human breast cancer cells, significantly delaying the development of, and decreasing the incidence and multiplicity of mammary tumors”, according to research done in 2013 by the American Association of Cancer. 

There are several good sources (those sources are at your finger tips, people) to learn oodles and oodles more about the glorious plant called Parsley.

Time to add some life to your party!   Tonight when you cook those stunning fresh green beans, toss in a handful of parsley.  Tomorrow when you make a gorgeous vegetable soup, again, toss in some beautiful green.  That Shrimp & Grits you are going to serve?  Freshly chopped parsley will add a little somethin’ somethin’.  That ice cream sundae?  Just toss on…….ha, I was just checking to see if you were paying attention.

Here’s to our health and wellness!

ps.  The home school mom came out in me today. haha  Now,  I want us all to do a watercolor painting or chalk drawings of parsley.  I want my chef helper to pick, wash & chop parsley for dinner tonight.  Let’s use parsley in a sentence……

In this together, friends.

Chat soon.

 

bad ass juicer or 209 Karat necklace

I could not decided on a title.  I chose two.

Most of the time I write to share a story.

This particular post is like a journal entry for me.  It’s to remind myself about stuff.  I am writing so I can sleep through the night and not wake up fretting.

Today, I write to boost my own spirit.  Why yes, my spirit does need boosting.

As you already know, I was diagnosed with cancer January 2013.  One doctor told Mr. Right that I had a year to live.  Feels weird to even type that.

Heads up….That was a mean, nasty thing to tell anyone.  You have absolutely NO right to give someone an expiration date. The person can’t get it out of their mind. They will remember it always.  Yes, you feel powerful for a moment in time.  Powerful at another human’s expense.  In saying that, you also took away their hope. What an awful thing to say.  Shame on you.   I hope your mother is disappointed in your behavior.  I know I sure am.

There is something beautiful and elegant in the art of giving someone hope.

Moving on….  I promise this is a really GOOD post.  I just needed to get that ugly out-of-the-way.

I chose a path less traveled.  Not a cool “travelling pants” sort of path.  A tough, rocky, weed infested, up hill, no insurance coverage kind of creature crawling path.   Sure if you agree to chemotherapy, radiation and pills, health insurance is right there, albeit through mounds and mounds of paper work, they help pay the bills. If like me, you choose not to do those things and you choose a path of healing that is not traditional………even though you pay the premiums and have excellent “health” insurance, you pay for every single thing yourself.

carrots-bunchLike carrots.  How much could one carrot cost? Seriously, I am asking you.  How much does it cost to buy one carrot?  Take a guess.

How much do 10,450 carrots cost?  

$969.76

How on earth do I know that?

Because Mr. Right keeps count.  He keeps the ring off of each 10 pound bag of carrots he juices.  He and his trusty Champion juicer get a daily work out.  Yes, that juicer has flames tattooed in all the right places.  20170508_201017-1_resizedHe makes juice for both of us.  I drink 64 ounces of fresh juice daily.  In addition to lots ofcarrots greens and fruits, every single day I drink carrots. Bunches and Bunches of carrots.

With each glass of goodness, each 10 pound bag of carrots he is simultaneously creating a beautiful necklace. That’s 209 rings, one ring each off of 10 pound bags of carrots!  That equals 10,450 CARROTS of goodness!

That’s 2,090 pounds of carrots!  Can’t imagine it?  Picture in your mind a full-grown Polar polar bearBear.  A big, strong, tough, fierce, stop at nothing bear.  That is 2,000 pounds or one TON.

Carrots contain falcarinol, a natural toxin that protects carrots against fungal disease. It’s thought that this compound may stimulate cancer-fighting mechanisms in the body, as it’s been shown to cut the risk of tumor development in rats.

We have no idea if carrots alone have healed me.  Heck, I don’t know if I am healed or carrots-800x600not.  I do know that along with mushrooms and rebounding, exercise, sunshine and vitamins/supplements, Turmeric and laughing and baking soda and magnesium, juicing, Budwig protocol, giving up & changing over 100 things and books and research….. and a list a mile long of other things that  “health” insurance does not cover…. I am still here to type this blog post.

I am one lucky girl.  I honestly don’t care if I ever win on a scratch ticket again, I got lucky where it really counts.  Mr. Right loves me and I know it.  I hope every single human on earth has another human that cares about them as much as I am cared for.  He holds one of my hands while offering me a glass of hope with the other.

20170508_201017-2_resizedI secretly love the bad-ass flames on his juicer.  Sort of rough and tumble.  That’s the sort of thing you need when you are trying to heal.  Someone, tough and fierce, someone that will stop at nothing…. on your side, that is willing to keep track of all the good we are doing.

The good has got to outweigh the bad, right?

The heft of that necklace reminds me of all the good we are doing.

In this together,

Here’s to health and wellness,  cheers!

the need to knead

Some weeks just feel out of sorts.

Emotional or stressful, whatever the heck you want to call it……it sort of hangs in the air.

Like when you accidentally burn beautiful little orange pieces of carrots for fried rice.  Then you have to stop and toss and take out the garbage and scrub & clean the pan five times.  Then you start over, and yet somehow that smell of burnt carrots is still lingering, hanging in the air, for quite some time.  Come back into the kitchen, windows open, 3 hours later, yep, it is still faintly floating in the air.

This past week, some of us have dealt with wedding stress, the stress of being unwell, injury, memories of the past, poor sleep, missed talking to grands, stubbed our little toe on our right foot,   however, I can safely say, we all have felt the punch of our election.  Boy Howdy, did we all feel the stress.  yikes.

No matter what side you were on or if you were balanced precariously on the fence……..political stress packs a wallop.  (I won’t mention the poor behavior of talking badly about others.  They all better be on their knees thanking the Good Lord, that I am not their mother.  My kitchen floor would be spotless!  If you have time and energy to talk bad about others, then I guess you have time to scrub my floor or rake my leaves, or wash my windows?)  If you would like, you can certainly ask our grown boys how I feel about talking poorly about others.  I am quite sure they will fill you in.

The stress is still lingering, floating all around us.

Back to basics my friend.

When I can’t seem to move gracefully forward, I notice that I stop and stay put.  I do things that I can control.  I take extra time to wash dishes, by hand.  I don’t grumble about folding laundry, I just find the calm in the process.  I don’t mind plucking weeds or raking leaves.  I can see the results of my efforts.  I send cards.  I write actual letters & walk to the mailbox and send.

I bake.

I measure and stir and use a whisk.

Oh sure, I have a great machine with a wonderful dough hook.  I didn’t use it.

I used my hands.  I needed to knead dough.  I wanted to work with my hands.  I was making something to give.  Not to sound to “Medusa Mom crazy”….. however…………..I needed to feel connected to it.

20161111_142418_resized_2All with the idea, there is no way, we could ever eat all this food before it spoils.

So instead of fretting and fussing over things I couldn’t/can’t control , I decided to bake rolls for some neighbors.   No other reason than just to share with our neighbors.

To remember and to remind myself that we belong to each other.  Not what the news reporters tell me nor what I see on face book.

Plain and simple:  We belong to each other. 

rumi