Creamy Sage Dressing

A long, fun day away from home calls for a simple dinner upon return…and an equally simple blog post. I enjoyed a chopped salad last week, made from fresh veggies. Tonight, creating another colorful chopped veggie salad seemed ideal. And, I had a new salad dressing recipe I wanted to try. 

Creamy Sage Dressing
The thing that most appealed to me tonight, creating this summer fresh salad, was that I already had all the ingredients at home. No trip to the market was required. Any on hand veggies can go into this simple meal. Tonight my salad included chopped peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, red onion, carrots, celery and avocado. I also included pinto beans. 

I like making a big bowl of salad and having it in the fridge, ready for a quick meal. The flavor improves as the various veggies blend together overnight. 

Creamy Sage Dressing
Last week I tried a yummy homemade honey mustard dressing. This evening I was excited to try a new recipe, saved from Anthony William’s Facebook page. The ingredients for this dressing are simple and healthy. And it includes fresh sage which intrigued me. I grow sage in my herb garden. 

Creamy Sage Dressing
I soaked the cashews for an hour, then combined  all of the ingredients in my blender and blended on high until creamy. I added a little sea salt and black pepper, to taste. 

This was a delicious dressing, light, creamy and flavorful. I loved plucking a couple of leaves from my sage plant and including them in the mixture. I am compiling healthy salad dressing recipes that I can make at home. This sage dressing makes the list!

Such simple homey pleasures, chopping veggies, and puttering in the kitchen.  I like taking care of myself in this way, at a level that nourishes my body deeply and nourishes my soul as well. 

Bon appétit! 

Creamy Sage Dressing

Apricot Bars: Healthy 4 Ingredient Treat

I am enjoying trying out the healthy, plant based recipes in Anthony William’s book, Life Changing Foods. For each of the 50 life changing foods that Anthony writes about, he includes a wealth of information plus a mouth watering recipe. Tonight I sampled the Apricot Bars.

Apricot Bars: Healthy 4 Ingredient Treat
This simple recipe has only four ingredients and using a food processor made preparation quick and easy.

Apricot Bars

1 cup apricots, sulfur-free

1/2 cup dates, pitted

1/2 cup almonds

1/4 cup shredded unsweeted coconut

Combine ingredients in processor and process until well blended. Line cookie sheet eith parchment paper and press mixture into a large flat rectangle, approximately 1/2 inch thick. Chill in freezer for 30 minutes. Cut into bars and store in refrigerator for up to a week. Makes 4 servings.

Apricot Bars: Healthy 4 Ingredient Treat

Apricot Bars: Healthy 4 Ingredient Treat
This recipe was so simple to make, and took less than 5 minutes to prepare. I used organic, sulfur-free apricots. Dampening my hands with water made shaping the mixture easier as it didn’t stick to my fingers.

After chilling, the mixture cut readily into bars. I tried one immediately. Naturally sweet and chewy, these bars are the perfect treat. I’ve grabbed Lara bars in the past, treats made with a few wholesome ingredients and sold in grocery stored. These apricot bars are even better and I can make them myself.

Apricot Bars: Healthy 4 Ingredient Treat
Apricots are high in amino acids and minerals. They help cleanse the digestive tract and lower the risk for many types of cancer. In addition, this fruit stabilizes energy, boosts the growth of red blood cells, strengthens the heart and nourishes the brain. Those are powerful benefits in a small package. And sulfer-free dried apricots tend to hold all of their beneficial qualities.

I love having a healthy option if I feel like a treat,  And I like knowing I am contributing to my healing rather than than feeding disease with sugar laden desserts. I’m looking forward to sampling each of the recipes in the Life Changing Foods books. It is creative, and delicious, play with long term benefits that go way beyond having something good to eat.

I am inspired to create lasting health.

Apricot Bars: Healthy 4 Ingredient Treat
Check out Life Changing Foods for info about 50 amazing foods and delicious recipes for each one.

I am an Amazon Affiliate and may earn a commission on purchases, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for considering making a purchase of this product, or any other items, through my Amazon link! 

Homemade Veggie Pizza

Inspiration led me into the kitchen this evening, where I made my first veggie pizza. The recipe came from Anthony Willam, the Medical Medium. When I saw his post on Facebook, I knew I wanted to try this healthy version of a favorite comfort food. 

My mom, and stepdad Max, owned and operated a pizza restaurant for years. I know pizza. Mom created a wonderful dough recipe and perfected a variety of mouth watering pizzas that they sold in their successful restaurant. I have made pizza at home many times, using the family recipe. 

Traditional pizza is off the menu now, and my old recipes are tucked away, so I was excited to create a veggie pizza that is in alignment with my diet. This version is dairy free, and the crust is gluten and dairy free. 

I couldn’t locate a gluten free, ready made crust. However, I found a great mix at my local   market that is gluten and dairy free. I prepared the dough, according to the package directions, and had enough dough to make two  10 inch pizzas. 

I baked the pizza crusts for about 8 minutes while the sliced and chopped veggies sautéed. After the crusts were lightly browned, I used my own homemade marinara sauce as the base. The cooked veggies were divided between the two crusts, sliced black olives added, and the pizzas were returned to the oven for 10 more minutes. 

Ready to go back into the oven for a few minutes. 

Ready to eat!

In a short time, I had a fresh from the oven pizza, ready to sample. It was delicious! I felt like I had a special treat, without any accompanying guilt. And I didn’t miss the cheese. 

In fact, my body thanked me for this yummy pizza, loaded with fresh vegetables. In the last decade, a slice of pizza, while tasting great, instantly brought on a bout of indigestion. Reacting to the gluten and cheese, my body tried to let me know pizza wasn’t comfort food at all. It caused great discomfort. I ate it anyway, which shows the extent of my unhealthy relationship with food. 

Tonight, I savored each delectable bite, knowing there was nothing there to harm me or feed viruses and inflammation in my body. This was food that was good for me, on many levels. 

I love these cooking adventures and trying new recipes. Preparing healthy meals in creative ways is a deep level of self care. I am nurturing myself while listening to and honoring my body. 

And in addition to all the benefits of creating healthy, plant based meals that contribute to my healing and well being, cooking creatively is fun, and feeds my soul as well as my body. This takes bon appétit to a whole new level. 

Winning Against Seasonal Allergies

It is December 1, and I am ready to announce a victory. Every year, from September through the end of November, I fight seasonal allergies. Fall is much worse for me than spring. My sinuses and ears clog up. I have drainage that turns into congestion in my chest, creating a persistent cough and a scratchy throat. And my eyes get so irritated that by Thanksgiving, I often can’t wear my contact lenses and have to use eyedrops to clear them up. 

All my adult life, I have been miserable this time of year, until a hard freeze kills off whatever it is that attacks me. I’ve consumed countless over the counter drugs such as Mucinex and Benadryl and I’ve had to carry bags of cough drops in my purse, to help ward off coughing fits. 

Keeping score looked like this:

Fall Allergies – 37    Cindy – 0

Until this year. 

I am so excited to report that this fall, I have not experienced seasonal allergies. I’ve not had congestion or a cough, watery, irritated eyes, sinus trouble, headaches, nor have I lost my voice. 

What shifted for me was two fold. 

First, I changed my diet. By eliminating wheat and grains, dairy, eggs, canola oil, soy, corn and MSG, I took away the food source for the strep virus I have carried in my body since childhood. The foods listed above feed the virus, which tends to invade the sinuses, ears and respiratory system, creating inflammation. When fall allergens attacked my body, my weakened immune system couldn’t handle the overload. I got sick. Every time. 

And secondly, switching to a plant based diet not only fought the strep virus, but strengthened my immune system. Foods like wild blueberries, oranges, celery juice, cranberries and sweet potatoes provide powerful antiviral protection. As September approached, I made sure I ate at least two of these foods a day. My body is detoxing and clearing from the viruses. As it clears, my body has become less reactive to pollens, mold and ragweed, eliminating my symptoms.  

I increased my body’s ability to heal and resist allergens by adding the supplements turmeric, elderberry and Ester C, a potent vitamin C compound. Raw, locally produced honey has been another excellent source of protection. I take a tablespoon once or twice a day. 

In the evenings, I often finish my day with a cup of hot nettle leaf tea, a soothing drink with powerful anti inflammatory properties. 

After so many years of losing these seasonal battles, it feels so incredibly good to know that I have finally won a round, without the use of drugs. Food was my medicine. And I am the victor. 

Fall Allergies – 37     Cindy – 1 … and counting

My First Cranberry Relish & Plant Based Pumpkin Pie

With Thanksgiving almost upon us, tonight I began prepping food to contribute to the family dinner on Thursday. I am very determined to adhere to my plant based diet during the holidays. And yes, I’ve heard it all from well meaning people…from “it’s just one day of eating whatever you want” (two really, counting Christmas) to “a little turkey and dessert never hurt anybody” to “you can get right back on track after the holidays”. 

I realize that what people are really saying is, they don’t want me to miss out. I appreciate their concern. And trust me, I don’t feel that I am missing anything…except pain, a body thrown out of whack and unwanted holiday weight gain! 

With my resolve firm, I greatly enjoyed puttering in the kitchen this evening, creating my first raw cranberry relish, and my first totally plant based pumpkin pie. Both recipes are from Anthony William. The cranberry relish is from his new book, Life Changing Foods. And the pumpkin pie recipe is from his Holiday Pies printout. 

Having never made cranberry relish, I was very surprised to find that other people apparently know something about the goodness of fresh cranberries that I don’t! I had to visit four grocery stores before I could locate a bag of these bright red berries. They were sold out all over Joplin. Thankfully, Aldi’s still had a few bags. 

This recipe was super easy. Using my new food processor, I combined 1 cup of fresh cranberries, 2 cups of coarsely chopped apples, 1/2 cup of orange segments, 1/4 teaspoon of orange zest and 4 tablespoons of raw organic honey and pulsed until roughly combined. The relish can be garnished with chopped mint before serving. 

I sampled a bite of the relish as I popped it into the fridge to chill. It was delicious, with just the right blend of sweet and tart flavors, and quite a contrast to the super syrupy cranberry sauce from a can. 

The pumpkin pie was just as easy and full of healthy goodness as well. The crust was made by processing 1 cup of raw organic almonds, 1 cup of raw organic pecans, 3 cups of dates, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean powder (I located this at my local health food store, Fox Farm Foods), and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. 

After pressing firmly into a pie dish, I let the crust chill in the freezer for 30 minutes. For the filling, I used my blender to combine 1 cup of dates, 2 bananas, 1 cup canned pumpkin, 1/4 cup heavy coconut milk, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean powder and 1 1/2 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice. When the mixture was smooth I poured it into the crust and placed the pie back into the freezer for 30 minutes, before transferring to the fridge. 

I tried a bite of the crust and a dab of pumpkin pie filling. Oh my. Both were excellent…tasty, not too sweet, and perfectly seasoned with spice. 

Tomorrow evening I will attempt making coconut whipped cream, using heavy coconut milk, lemon juice, honey and vanilla bean powder.I’ll let you know how that turns out. With or without whipped topping, this pie is amazing…and absolutely good for me. 

I’m looking forward to cutting into it Thanksgiving day!

Cinnamon Baked Pears & Apples

With Thanksgiving coming up next week, I’ve been considering what to prepare. My son Nate and his wife Megan are graciously hosting Thanksgiving this year in their home. It’s been fun participating in group texts as everyone chimes in to say what dish he or she will contribute to the big family meal. 

Even though I won’t be eating a traditional Thanksgiving dinner this year, I look forward to gathering with family and expressing gratitude for my many blessing, including a healthier me! And I will contribute several plant based sides. 

Tonight I tried another recipe from Life Changing Foods by Anthony William. This was a trial run, to see if this simple dish was Thanksgiving worthy!

I used pears and apples, both of which I keep on hand. I sliced two pears and two apples in half, scooped out the seeds, and placed them cut side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I drizzled each piece of fruit with locally produced raw honey, making sure to pool honey in the hollowed out center, and then topped with chopped walnuts. After sprinkling liberally with cinnamon, I popped the pears and apples into a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. 

This easy dessert smelled wonderful as it baked. The aroma of cinnamon evoked warm memories of the holidays and family time and yummy treats. And yet these treats are healthy without added sugar, dairy products or gluten. 

Pears are amazing in aiding the digestive system, from cleansing the liver to soothing the lining of the stomach to helping to prevent pancreatic cancer. They relieve a host of disorders including acid reflux, high cholesterol and intestinal inflammation. 

Anthony shares that the pear, gentle, unassuming and quietly beautiful, teaches us that we don’t have to cry out for attention or hold onto resentment if we are not noticed. We, too, can be our true selves and fully own our power without any need for show. 

At last I removed the baking sheet from the oven, inhaling deeply. And the verdict? 

These baked pears and apples were amazing…fragrant, naturally sweet, with a crunch of toasted walnuts. I had half a pear and half an apple, fresh from the oven. I savored them, appreciating both of these homey fruits that offer so many health benefits, and the warm, rich flavor. 

Oh yes, this dish is worthy. I’ll be taking baked apples and pears to Thanksgiving dinner next week!

Life Changing Foods

I was excited to receive a new book in the mail yesterday, and spend time reading in it today. Life Changing Foods is the second book by Anthony William, also known as the Medical Medium. With Anthony’s help through his first book, Medical Medium, I have switched to a plant based diet and taken charge of my health and well being. 

I’ll give a full review after I’ve read the whole book. I am loving this new information already and wanted to share a bit about it. 

The subtitle of the book hints at what’s inside: Save Yourself and the Ones You Love with the Hidden Healing Powers of Fruits and Vegetables. The book contains important information about what’s behind the rise in mystery illnesses and autoimmune disorders and showcases 50 foods that can repair DNA, boost the immune system and heal the body. 

I began reading in Part I today, about the increase in disorders and diseases that doctors have grouped together under the term “mystery illnesses”. Many of these illnesses are labeled as autoimmune diseases, indicating that the body is attacking itself. These disorders include fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, thyroid disease and a host of other illnesses, such as chronic pain.

I have embraced Anthony’s belief that our bodies are not attacking themselves, but doing their best to help us heal. Viruses such as Epstein Barr and shingles are attacking our bodies and creating inflammation, pain and debilitating sickness. 

I have experienced the incredible healing power of fruits and vegetables. If you’ve been following my healing journey, you’ve read about the amazing improvements I’ve made and the relief I am finding from years of chronic pain. 

The heart of Life Changing Foods is Part II, titled The Holy Four. This section is broken into four sections: Fruits Vegetables Herbs & Spices Wild Foods. Here is found information about 50 of the most powerful and beneficial foods on the planet. 

For each food there is a description about the health benefits, a section about what conditions and symptoms are helped by eating that food, what emotional support is given and the spiritual significance associated with it. There are tips included for selecting the best produce and a recipe for trying out the food in a fresh, new way. 

Tonight, as I sliced up an apple to eat as a snack, I read about the power of this fruit. Apples are anti inflammatory and a great cleanser of the organs, lymphatic system and the colon. They help with a host of disorders including arthritis, thyroid disease and Lyme disease. Symptoms that would warrant eating more apples include neuropathy, dizziness and brain fog. 

Tips include choosing red-skinned apples for the most benefits. And…I love this section…the spiritual lesson from this fruit is to heed the apple’s ability to protect itself with its frost-resistant skin. I can draw a protective shield around myself when someone is cold or indifferent toward me. 

That’s just a peek at the information that is available, on one super food. There is so much more to explore and learn. This book resonates with me already. I’m excited to work with my body and the Divine in restoring my health and being the best me possible. I feel empowered, knowing that the food I choose to eat has the ability to transform my health. 

Anthony says at the end of his introduction, “I hope you’ll come to see that all along a divine, benevolent force has been looking out for you, leading you to this time in your life–this time when you could finally climb onto the back of that white horse and let it take you farther than you imagined possible.” 

I do feel I’ve been led to this time of healing in my life, and down a path of restoration and deeper awareness of my body. I’m ready to see just how far I can go! 

Check out Life Changing Foods HERE  

The Health Benefits of Oregano 

It’s been a long day. When I finally settled in at home, a cup of hot herbal tea appealed to me, as the perfect wind down drink before bed. I’ve been drinking elderberry and nettle tea, in part to help prevent seasonal allergies. That strategy has proved successful. It’s the end of October and I am still allergy free. 

Tonight I wanted to try something new. Remembering a post on Anthony’s Instagram page about the health benefits of oregano, I chose to sip on oregano tea for the first time this evening. Flashlight in hand, I strolled through my darkened garden, in search of oregano. My garden is thriving, due to unusually warm temperatures this month. I found tender young plants pushing through the mulch in the oregano patch. 

I reread Anthony’s article about the benefits of oregano while my tea steeped. 

Oregano is an ancient medical and culinary herb that is very high in antioxidants. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, K and B-complex, along with potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium. Oregano is powerfully antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal, and it is highly beneficial in the treatment of colds, flu, viral infections, respiratory ailments, indigestion and digestive disorders. 

Oregano is known to remove poisons from the body and detox the entire lymphatic system. It also balances metabolism and strengthens the core organs of the body. This herb’s powerful antiviral abilities have been shown in the laboratory to produce a 99% kill rate of the streptococcus virus, which is the cause of many lung and throat infections. 

Wow. And I thought oregano was simply a fragrant herb that seasoned Italian foods and sauces. When I planted my herb garden three years ago, I had no idea that I was growing such powerful health boosters. I even referred to that part of my yard as the Apothecary Garden, as a nod to the early use of herbs as medicine, but I didn’t realize how true that term was. As so often happens in my life, I am guided down a certain path and the reason why is revealed later. I am so grateful that I have all of these beneficial herbs growing right outside my back door. 

The tea was amazingly fragrant. I cupped the steaming mug and inhaled deeply before I took a sip. The tea was rich with flavor. Within moments my nasal passages and sinuses felt open and tingly, and I wasn’t even stuffy. 

As a child I had many bouts of strep throat and related ear infections. Anthony teaches that this virus is not easily eradicated from the body, even with the use of antibiotics. Symptoms such as infections clear up temporarily, but the virus continues to attack the body, burrowing deeply into organs and tissues. This virus, like shingles and Epstein Barr, wreaks havoc on the body causing inflammation and a host of health issues. 

I have taken charge of my health and well being. I am following Anthony’s protocols to rid my body of these viruses that I have carried since childhood. The plant based diet I consume, the supplements I take and the fresh herbal teas I sip at night are all helping me to become virus and symptom free. 

It is a journey I am willing to take. It is a battle I am willing to fight. And, I am winning. 

Lavender Tea

After traveling today to be with family, and a long afternoon spent awaiting good news, which we joyfully received, it was good to get home and consider which herbal tea to sip on this evening. I have been sampling different teas, brewed from herbs grown in my garden. I had one herb left to try. I brewed a cup of lavender tea. 

I only have a few blooms left on the lavender plants in the garden, so I opted to use dried flowers that I saved from last fall. There is still beauty in this preserved lavender, and a rich scent. I used a couple of stems with flowers attached and a tablespoon of dried petals to create my tea. 

As the tea steeped, I looked up the health benefits of lavender tea. I’ve used this aromatic herb for years in homemade skin products and in my own potpourri, plus I keep a bottle of lavender oil on hand. This was my first time to use the herb in a tea. 

Health benefits include:

  • Relieves headaches, including migraines
  • Aids relaxtion & helps induce sleep
  • Reduces anxiety & depression
  • Aids digestion
  • Anti-inflammatory 
  • Diuretic
  • Antiseptic
  • Anti-viral
  • Improves heart health
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces symptoms from asthma, colds, flu & fever
  • Alleviates dizziness

I appreciate the versatility of this easy to grow, fragrant plant. I have several varieties thriving in my garden and I enjoy brushing against the herb and catching a whiff of the distinctive scent. 

I let the herb steep in very hot water for about 12 minutes. The tea was a light golden brown in color. And the aroma was amazing as I sipped the delicately flavored tea. What a deliciously satisfying drink to finish out my day. 

I have no more herbs growing in my garden to try. I’ve enjoyed using each plant to create a flavorful, healthy tea. I’ll experiment now with different combinations, like mint/Rosemary and lemon balm/lavendar or sage/bee balm. The possibilities…and benefits…are endless!


Calendula Tea

Today was the complete opposite of yesterday, and just as enjoyable. While yesterday was a go with the flow kind of day where I was drawn to different events throughout the day, today could most accurately be described as a do nothing day. As my favorite Pooh Bear says, “Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing”!

There was great value, and restoration, in doing a lot of nothing today. At the end of my day of resting and reading, playing and watching videos on Amazon Prime, and my one foray into the world…dinner out…I brewed a new-to-me kind of herbal tea. 

I have greatly enjoyed creating teas from the herbs growing in my garden. So far I’ve sipped on teas crafted from thyme, mint, lemon balm, lemon grass, bee balm, and rosemary, all plucked fresh from my backyard. 

This week I read a post from Anthony William about the many health benefits of calendula tea. I was excited about the info. I’ve grown calendula in my garden for three years. That’s it in the picture above, slightly to the right of center. I have the yellow flowers planted in the big black kettle that I have plus more growing this year in a tall metal bucket. I collect seeds from the plants in the fall and sow them every spring. 

I use calendula and calendula oil in skin products that I make. I was delighted to learn from Anthony that drinking tea made from the dried flower petals is so beneficial. I have a container of dried blooms. Tonight presented the perfect opportunity to brew calendula tea. 

Calendula is classified as a medicinal flower. Consumed as a tea, it is highly beneficial and soothing for ulcers, indigestion, colitis, heartburn, gall bladder and liver problems, and inflammation. Calendula is antiviral, making it excellent in supporting the lymphatic and immune systems. 

The flower has anticancer properties and it is known to combat a variety of cancers. It contains carotenoids that reduce the signs of aging by decreasing wrinkles and nourishing the skin. At a cellular level, calendula has the ability to provide healing from the effects of radiation and chemotherapy. 

This is a powerful little flower! 

I added a heaping teaspoon of the dried petals to a cup of very hot water, using my little mesh strainer to hold the herb. After covering the mug, I let the tea steep for ten minutes. 

The tea was aromatic as I brought the steaming cup to my nose. I’ve been sipping on it as I type my blog post. The tea is flavorful, without being heavy, with a hint of earthiness. Although the dried petals have lost their bright yellow color, the tea is a light golden brown…sunshine in a cup. 

I love trying different herbal teas. Each has important health benefits. Most of all, I love that I am growing these hebs and flowers in my backyard garden. I feel like I am actively participating in my health by growing plants that can nurture and enhance my healing. 

And that is the best feeling of all.