A child of the 1980s and 1990s, I was a huge Laura Ingalls Wilder fan. I read all the “Little House” books and caught every episode of the simple life of living on the prairie in the late 1800’s. The idea of working in the kitchen or fields during the day and singing by the fireplace at night warmed my heart. By no means, can I now compare a pioneer life without electricity to our techno-centric world with “social distancing” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, somehow I’ve found a calm in preparing simple foods in the kitchen, like the Ingalls’, for our family dinner around the table. We don’t have a garden and we’re hibernating due to my compromised immunity, so our grocery deliveries are minimal. I’ve had to focus on a few simple foods and ingredients that I have in bulk and here is how I’m doing it.
As a two-time breast cancer survivor, I’ve learned a few things about being a good patient and advocating for myself. It really starts with asking solid questions, so I wanted to share my comprehensive list of questions to ask doctors when evaluating treatments. I created this list initially when I was first diagnosed and added to it throughout the years. It’s also one of the resources in my book, Happiness through Hardship: A Guide for Cancer Patients, Their Caregivers and Friends During an Initial Cancer Diagnosis.
I love smoothies and parties. You can often see me dancing and singing in my kitchen with an avocado in hand. Sometimes I have an audience, other times, it’s just me in my smoothie lab. I love playing around with different ingredients from frozen veggies to colorful superfoods. Want to create your own party with some plants? (You can thank Talia for the play on words or listen to her awesome podcast – Party in my Plants.) All you need are a few ingredients, an awesome high speed blender and family that’s open to trying new flavors. Here are a few of our recent favorites: Catch Me Mint and Mango Infusion Smoothies. Check out the recipes below and our healthy living page for more.
We all have vices. Mine used to be sugar…and cheese…and diet soda…and creamy alcoholic drinks and the list continued on and on. However, when I first started researching healing and disease prevention modalities, I quit eating ALL this crud and haven’t looked back. I also prioritized fitness or simply being active and played with mindfulness techniques. The one area, call it my vice, that I have not given up has been drinking wine.
If I could have one wish, outside of winning the lottery and maintaining good health for my family, I would ask a genie in a bottle to grant me a cleaning lady daily. I feel calmer when my house is organized, free of dust bunnies and relatively clean. Since I haven’t seen the big check yet, I’m still looking for ways to keep my house presentable. Now that I embrace a clean lifestyle, it’s not just about eating wholesome foods, keeping active and wearing mineral makeup, it’s also about using non-toxic cleaning products within the home. Many conventional cleaning products have chemicals and other ingredients that are potentially harmful for our health.
When I was a little girl I used to garden aka pick weeds out of our vegetable patch. The constant swarming of mosquitos around my head on humid days in the garden made me less than a fan. It took years for me to ever consider growing my own plants, let alone food. Almost three years ago, I started researching the role nutrition plays in healing and preventing disease and found that my clean eating role models all garden. I wanted to try it again. However, I knew I needed to figure out growing food on my terms. My goal was to make it fun and not time-consuming so that my son would be inspired to eat more vegetables.