Rx in the Park

What an incredibly beautiful day to be outside, and what better place to experience nature this afternoon than at George Washington Carver National Park, in Diamond, Missouri. I was excited to attend their Rx in the Park Day for the first time. Daughter Elissa accompanied Greg and me on this fun outing.

Rx in the Park

The free Prescription Park Program is designed in collaboration among public land agencies, healthcare providers, and community partners to encourage people to utilize parks, trails, and open spaces for the purpose of improving individual and community health. It has been many years since I walked at George Washington Carver Park, named for the botanist and inventor who, among other major achievements, discovered many uses for peanuts and sweet potatoes. He was born in Diamond in the 1860s.

On the agenda today were three health related activities.

1) Walk the trails with a doctor.

Rx in the Park

Our group walked the trail that winds through the woods, criss-crossing over creeks and looping around the pond on the property. We were led by Randall, the park ranger, and accompanied by a doctor from Freeman Health Systems.

We paused often to admire the natural beauty that surrounded us and ask the doctor health related questions. Randall also told us stories about George Washington Carver, who was born into slavery. He and his older brother James were raised by Moses and Susan Carver, as their own children, after slavery was abolished in 1865. The park was once their homestead.

Rx in the Park

2) Yoga in the park.

Rx in the Park

Sandy, from FourStates Yoga in downtown Joplin, gathered us onto the lawn near the park’s community building, for an hour of gentle yoga. I have never practiced yoga outside before. How amazing to feel the grass covered ground beneath my mat, and gaze up through the tree overhead, to the bright blue sky above.

Yoga is something I practice sporadically. I enjoy it when I do, especially when it becomes a part of my daily routine. However, I too easily allow other activities to crowd yoga out of my day. As I moved, and held poses, and breathed mindfully this afternoon, I realized how important it is to incorporate yoga back into my life. I loved having Elissa beside me, on her mat, and being part of this special group activity.

Rx in the Park

3) Nutrition Class with Chef Robin Jeep

Rx in the Park

After yoga the group moved indoors, into the large community building, for a cooking demonstration by plant based chef, Robin Jeep. I so appreciate Robin. She shared her wealth of knowledge about the healing benefits of a plant based diet, while preparing a mouth watering meal for us to sample.

In honor of George Washington Carver, her recipes featured peanuts and sweet potatoes. On the menu today were freshly chopped veggies, greens and beans, prepared as a one dish meal in an electric skillet, a chopped salad served with Thai style peanut sauce, and sweet potato-chocolate chip-peanut mighty muffins. Sweet potatoes were included in the veggie dish and the chopped salad.

Robin demonstrated how easy it is to prepare wholesome, nutritious, antioxidant rich meals without meat, dairy, eggs, oil or sugar. I am always inspired by her classes. Elissa and I left excited to try the recipes we learned today.

Rx in the Park

Rx in the Park was an amazing experience and I’m grateful to all those who contributed. I am thrilled about all of the activities in my area that are promoting a healthier lifestyle. This is what it takes to create change, people who care about making life better…people who offer their gifts and knowledge to others.

I left George Washington Carver Park feeling refreshed and cared for and full of good health.

Rx in the Park

An Edible Vignette

Tonight I finally completed the last of five vignettes that I set the intention for doing, back in early January. As part of the Love Your Life in 30 Days course, by Mike Dooley, I selected five areas of my life that I am experiencing growth and shifts in. I chose Blogging/Writing, Abundance, Travel, Creativity and Health. I have enjoyed creating these 3D vision boards for each area in my life.

The final category was health…and I’ve struggled a bit creating this vignette. I came up with ideas for items I could use to represent health. Fresh fruits and veggies seemed a natural inclusion for this vignette, although one of the challenges I had was not eating my vignette before I assembled it! The kitchen was the ideal location for a health vignette, even though I am limited on surface space there.

This evening I decided to go for it. I stocked up on fruits and vegetables and began creating. My other ideas included a tea pot, lots of containers of herbal teas and dried foods, a mortar and pestle, a framed quote and a sunflower, which represents good health.

As I worked, the vignette ultimately became very simple. Food is what keeps me healthy…fruits, vegetables, herbs, legumes, brown rice and a variety of supplements and teas. I used a rustic wooden box that Greg made for me as a veggie crate. It is full of organic potatoes, regular and sweet, onions and cherry tomatoes.

A black wire basket holds a variety of organic fruits…lemons, limes, oranges, bananas, apples and avocados. I added several mason jars containing dry lentils, brown rice, a mix of 13 beans and a small jar of licorice root for tea. There wasn’t space for my tea pot, so I included a small white tea cup and saucer instead. And because I wanted each vignette to have a light source, I fit in a small vintage Bell mason jar with a tea light tucked inside. As an afterthought almost, I hand wrote part of Hippocrates’ quote…Let food be your medicine…and popped it into a tiny frame. The vignette rests on a vibrant antique linen.

It isn’t fancy, but I like how this last vignette turned out. It’s colorful. It’s inspiring. It’s wholesome, real food which is at the core of my health practices. It reminds me of how much my life shifted when I set off down this healing path, and how I continue to become stronger, healthier and more fit.

Five life categories…five vignettes. This last one differs from the others, and that’s okay. It will continue to shift and change because…I will eat that food!

Store Review: Natural Grocers

I have looked forward to this day since I first learned Joplin was getting a full service health-centric grocery store. I’ve watched with keen anticipation as the building went up, at the busy corner of 7th and Range Line.

This morning, Natural Grocers opened its doors in Joplin, launching the store with a day full of activities designed to draw the curious and the excited within. I inhabited both categories! I grabbed a shopping cart and wheeled through the store late this afternoon.

I went to their website to research this company, with 143 stores currently in its corporation, and I was impressed and inspired. Margaret and Philip Isely started Natural Grocers with $200 that they borrowed, and the earnest desire that everyone should be able to afford a healthy lifestyle and be empowered to take control of their health.

They began by going door to door in Golden, Colorado, lending out books on nutrition, talking to people about their health, and giving samples of whole grain bread. They would return after a couple of weeks to answer questions and take orders for the bread, nutritional supplements and natural, nourishing foods.

During a time when TV dinners and convenience foods were enjoying their heyday, the Iseleys bucked convention and taught that nutrition was the foundation of a healthy life. Margaret had personally experienced that change in lifestyle. After the birth of her second child, she became chronically ill. When traditional medicine did not help or heal her, she turned to eating nutrient dense, natural foods and taking dietary supplements. Margaret healed herself and that became the impetus for what she would offer to others.

In 1989 the Iseleys switched to a store format, incorporating an organic produce section. The following year they removed all partially hydrogenated oil products from their shelves, a move that was years ahead of the times. In 1995 they formalized their nutrition education programs, creating a Nutritional Health Coach position. Every store offers classes on health and nutrition. A few years later the stores went bag free, creating a huge impact on the health of the environment. And in 2014 the company rolled out their pasture-based dairy standards and began the process of removing products that came from confinement dairies from their shelves.

The Iseley’s story resonates with me and endears me to their story even more. I can identify with Margaret and her decision to reclaim her health. I believe there is currently another major shift taking place, led by people like Anthony William, as people become more and more sick. Facing diagnoses of mystery illnesses and autoimmune disorders, and finding marginal relief of symptoms with very few cures, people with chronic pain and illnesses are discovering the amazing healing properties of natural, nutritious food. I am among those taking back their health. And Natural Grocers desires to support and help me, and others, with that process.

Natural Grocers was a joy to be in today. The parking lot was full, as was the clean, well lit store. The staff was cheerful and helpful, in spite of being busy restocking shelves. For people weren’t just looking. They were shopping. They were asking questions and reading labels and dropping items into their carts.

I loved the store. One hundred percent of the produce is organic. The canned goods and frozen foods are organic and non GMO. There are shelves of bulk items such as raw nuts, dry legumes and rices, spices and seasonings and grains. I found non dairy products such a yogurt, made from almond and coconut milk, unsulphured dried apricots and a huge gluten free section.

In addition to an incredible array of nutritional foods, Natural Grocers sells healthy pet products, vitamins and supplements, environmentally friendly paper goods and body care products. I was delighted to see that I can pick up chemical and dye free hair and shower products, as well as hand soaps and cleaning products. One of my goals for 2018 is to eliminate chemicals from all of the products that I use in my home and on my body. I will be looking to Young Living Essential Oils for help in this area. However, it is great to know this grocery store supports my decision as well.

I was extremely impressed with Natural Grocers today. I love that they offer health and nutrition classes. I appreciate their ongoing mission and the passion this family owned company has for supporting people in their health journeys. I was wowed by their product selection and their competitive pricing.

This store became my primary grocery store this afternoon. I look forward to getting to know the product and attending classes and exploring new foods and ideas. As they support my healing journey, I will support them by showing up and making purchases and recommending their services and wares to others. Well done, Iseley Family. Let’s journey together.

30 Day Walking Challenge

Inspired by my recent trips, during which I toured towns and villages primarily on foot, and the nature walk I took yesterday, I have set a challenge for myself. It is called, appropriately, the 30 Day Walking Challenge.

My intention is to walk every day for the next 30 days. Fourteen months ago, I did a 28 day cleanse, in which I ate only fruits and vegetables. At the end of those four weeks I saw such improvements in my health and well being, that I chose to embrace a plant based lifestyle as a result.

My desire is to experience this challenge in an open, committed and yet playful way, and see what the resulting changes are. I am curious to see what impact a daily walk has on my life.

Because creative play is so important to me, as is cultivating new experiences, I’ve added elements of both to this challenge. The rules of this game are simple.

• Walk every day, preferably outdoors. Fall is actually an ideal time to begin a walking challenge, with its cooler temps. Rain or sunshine, cool or warm, I intend to walk outside and dress for the weather. In the case of thunderstorms or torrential rain, I can walk at the mall or find another indoor location.

• Walk in a new location every day. This is the new experiences part, the fun part. I can get easily bored, and boredom can kill exercise for me, no matter how beneficial it is. Changing the location for my walk daily keeps me challenged mentally as well as physically.

Nature is a great place to walk, and there are many walking paths through woods and along rivers in my area. I’m excited to visit some of these hiking trails for the first time. And, one of the things I love about travel is exploring new cities and villages on foot. I intend to do the same in my own community and the surrounding areas. There are places in Joplin that I have not explored, and I live, conveniently, in an area where four states converge. There are endless towns to explore within two hours of me.

Today, on Day 2 of my 30 Day Walking Challenge, I explored the Joplin High School Campus on foot. I drive by this impressive new complex, built after the 2011 Joplin tornado, and live just two blocks from it. And yet, I have never walked the grounds.

I peeked inside the on site greenhouse…

…and appreciated the colorful tennis courts…

…and paused for a few minutes to watch a high school soccer match.

The campus is large, and beautiful, with nature areas alongside manicured lawns, buildings and sports fields. Because there is an abundance of underground springs and water in this area, there are carefully designed ravines to carry off excess water and ponds for collection. In the middle of the city, in the middle of this school campus, there are wild places for flowers and ornamental grasses to grow.

I enjoyed my walk around the high school campus. As I walked home, through neighborhoods that are new since 2011 and still under construction, I mulled over possibilities for future walks.

I intend to take solitary treks. And walk with others as well, family members and friends, companions on journeys of exploration, self discoveries and good health. I’m excited to walk with each of my children, along with their spouses and children and pets, in their neighborhoods. I’ll travel to Columbia to walk with my grandson Dayan. I can walk to my sister’s house, to the library and in downtown Joplin. My mom and I can link arms and take a stroll in her neighborhood, and when I visit my other sister next month in Broken Arrow, for the family Halloween party, we can traipse through her subdivision, in costume or not!

I know from past experiences that when I play such an expansive game, the Divine plays along with me, opening doors and bringing opportunities I could not have imagined. I’m in a state of high anticipation. Join me on my journeys, literally if you want to extend an invitation to walk. Greg has already invited me to walk a golf course with him, while he plays. His desire to walk more has been part of the inspiration for my own walking challenge.

Where will my walks lead me? And how will my body, heart and soul respond to these daily excursions? I’m excited to find out.

Heavy Metals Detox Smoothie

I woke up this morning, craving this nutrient rich detox smoothie. After a year of following a plant based lifestyle, one of the many benefits is that I am very aware of my body’s needs. When I crave something, it is because my body needs it. When I am repulsed by something or I feel “off” about a food or drink, it is because my body doesn’t want it or need it.

I follow the Medical Medium health protocols, established by Anthony William. So I am well educated on the problems caused by heavy metals in the body. Most of us, if not all of us, have too many metals in our bodies, and we experience poor health as a result.

Anthony shares that toxic heavy metals…aluminum, mercury, lead, nickel, cadmium and copper…accumulate in our bodies and settle deep into our organs and tissues. We are exposed to these metals by daily contact with aluminum cans and foil, batteries, metal cooking pans, old paint and the food we eat. Herbicides and pesticides used on fruits and vegetables are a common source of heavy metals. As a result, we carry these toxic substances throughout our lives, and they build up.

It’s the metals we’ve had in our bodies the longest that pose the greatest health risk. Over time, the metals oxidize, damaging surrounding tissue and causing inflammation. Every system and organ in the body can be affected, including the brain and nervous system, the digestive system, and the immune system.

A unique characteristic of the heavy metals is that they form a neurotoxin. This poison is disruptive to the brain and nervous system, causing brain fog, memory loss, fatigue and depression. In the digestive tract, heavy metals create inflammation and serve as a food source for viruses, bacteria, parasites and pathogens, often resulting in a condition called Small Intestine Bacterial Overload, or SIBO. SIBO is characterized by bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea and/or constipation and nutrient deficiencies.

When viruses such as shingles and Epstein Barr feed off of the metals, this can produce symptoms such as tingling, numbness, fatigue, anxiety, ringing in the ears, heart palpitations and dizziness, as well as knee pain, nerve pain, neck pain, foot pain and headaches in the back of the head.

I have dealt with many of these symptoms. I was tested for heavy metals years ago, and told that I did have them, but I was never told how to clear them from my body. Thankfully, it is relatively easy to pull the metals out of the tissues and organs with this simple to make detox smoothie.

Heavy Metals Detox Smoothie by Anthony William

Hawaiian spirulina draws heavy metals out of the brain and nervous system. Atlantic dulse binds to all of the metals deep in the intestines and doesn’t release them, removing them from the body. Cilantro is great for removing old metals that have been in the body for years. Wild blueberries draw metals from the brain, healing and repairing any damage caused by oxidation. Barley grass juice powder soaks up mercury drawn from the spleen, intestinal tract, pancreas, thyroid and reproductive system.

These products are available at your local health food store, or through Amazon. (Links below). Wild blueberries are in the frozen food section at the grocery store. Make sure the package says Wild Blueberries, as they are more powerful.

The recipe makes 32 ounces of health boosting goodness. I enjoy the taste. If you don’t care for cilantro, it will take getting used to, although the taste of this pungent herb is not overwhelming, combined with everything else. I have felt a huge difference this past year, since adding the foods listed above to my diet. Aches and pains have disappeared. My digestive system has healed.

However, for me to wake up craving this detox smoothie meant my body needed to get rid of more heavy metals.

On the recent long plane flights to and from Italy, I experienced mild restless legs. I used to suffer greatly from this irritating disorder. Restless legs syndrome can be caused by several things, including heavy metals in the body. I have not had problems with it for months, until the long flights.

With another overseas trip coming up in a month, perhaps my body is getting ready by alerting me to what it needs to do well. I am grateful for my built in guidance system and very grateful for Anthony and a way to continue detoxing my body.

For the next 30 days, I’ll be drinking a heavy metals detox smoothie daily. I intend to feel my very best as I head off to explore Ireland, Scotland and England. I owe it to myself to pay attention and practice such diligent self care.

Links below for Anthony’s books and products mentioned in the post:

 

I am an Amazon Affiliate and may make a commission on purchases made through my links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for considering making a purchase of these items, or any other items, by using my links. 

The Difference a Year Makes

One year ago today, I embarked on a journey that has totally changed my life. After suffering in pain for 21 years after a car accident, and finding no relief through conventional medicine, I sought alternative methods. I asked the Divine for help. I was using a cane and a wheelchair seemed to be in my near future. I knew I had a trip to Italy coming up in 11-12 months. Something had to shift.

I asked to be shown how I could take back responsibility for my health and improve. I asked…and an answer was given.

The Difference a Year Makes

I had already connected with Anthony William through his Facebook page. Called the Medical Medium, Anthony discerns medical information and the sources for illness and diseases through Spirit. I had already adopted the practice of drinking celery juice, as he suggested. The day after I asked for Divine guidance, a post appeared in my newsfeed. Anthony’s article discussed the pain that can linger for years after a traumatic event, such as a car accident, and what the underlying causes were. Reading his words, I recognized myself and my chronic condition. Best of all, Anthony offered a way to heal.

The Difference a Year Makes
I ordered Anthony’s first book, Medical Medium, and later his second one, Life Changing Foods. These two books have been my roadmap back to health and wellbeing. I discovered that the severe inflammation in my sciatic nerves was caused by the shingles virus. Other health issues I was having were the result of the strep and Epstein Barr viruses, and my body’s weakened immune system brought about by years of eating a poor diet.

At last, I had hope…and a plan. It was two fold: eliminate the viruses from my body, and support my body’s immune system so the inflammation could be reduced, allowing healing to occur.

On July 1, 2016, I began a 28 day healing cleanse. I eliminated the foods that feed viruses and inflammation: meat, dairy, eggs, gluten, sugar, corn and soy (because of GMO), and canola oil. During that first month I only ate fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. I immediately experienced a lessening of pain and inflammation. A host of other disorders began to clear up as well. I parked my cane in the bedroom corner, where it has remained, unused. At the end of the 28 days, my simple wholesome plant based diet became a simple wholesome plant based lifestyle. I continued eating raw and cooked veggies and fruits, and included brown rice, legumes, nuts and non GMO products such as organic tortilla chips.

The Difference a Year Makes Me in October 2015.  The cane was a necessity, not a costume prop. Looking at the photo, I can tell that I was in pain by the stiffness in my body and the positioning of my legs and feet. This pic makes tears come to my eyes. 

The Difference a Year Makes And this pic makes me smile. It was taken recently, almost a year after I embraced a plant based lifestyle. I can climb trees again! 

These are the amazing changes that have occurred in the past year, as I continue eating a nutrient dense plant based diet, and continue to avoid the foods on my “No” list.

• The inflammation is gone from my sciatic nerves, allowing me to walk and move and sit without pain. Inflammation is gone as well from my joints, spine and neck, easing stiffness and pain in those places as well.

• Headaches, seasonal allergies and skin rashes and hives are gone. My skin is clear and vibrant. I’ve learned that healthy skin, nails and hair begins inside, with a healthy liver.

• My digestive problems have cleared up. I suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, gall bladder problems, stomach pain, an overly sensitive intestinal tract and severe acid reflux. I used  to keep antacids on hand always. I never take one now.

• My energy is high, meaning my vibrational frequency is high as well. The higher my vibrational frequency is, the less likely I am to develop serious diseases, which thrive when my body is weakened and in a low vibrational state.

• My sleep disorders are gone. I sleep without taking aids and wake up refreshed.

• I have clarity of thought and an incredibly positive attitude. I feel euphoric most of the time. I laugh more, and feel expansive at a soul level.

• I have become more lean, strong and fit, losing more than 60 pounds in 12 months. I am continuing to slowly lose weight. I trust my body to find its ideal level of health and wellness, and that includes weight. I want to emphasize that I maintain a plant based lifestyle for my health. The weight loss has been an additional result and not the reason for going plant based.

• I am very attuned to my body and its needs. When I crave a food, such as dark green leafy veggies, I eat them. It is my body’s way of letting me know what I need. Now that I no longer have food addictions, I can trust my cravings. Recently, my body developed an abhorrence toward certain kinds of teas. I no longer drink them. I love having this built in guidance system.

• I am continuing to improve, health wise. I still have some muscle tightness around my knees, after years of inflammation. It used to take me up to an hour to straighten out my legs if they were bent for too long. Now it takes me about 10 seconds. I am using Young Living Essential Oils on the muscles around my knees at night, with great results. I have also just noticed a loosening of my sacroiliac joint in my low back, which has been frozen for 22 years.

The Difference a Year Makes
A year ago, I had no idea that all of these changes would take place. I only knew I had to walk a different path, or I wouldn’t be walking at all. I am deeply grateful to Anthony William for showing me another way to heal. I don’t share my story to convince anyone that this is what she or he must do. I share my story for those who, like me, are asking questions and looking for help. Hope, and help, are available. I am proof of that.

Health and wellness begins within the body, at a cellular level. What I consume, whether it is a good diet or a poor one, is all that my body has to create with it. I am responsible for what I choose to eat and drink. And I am responsible for the consequences. I fully accept that responsibility.

My healing journey continues. A year ago, I read the quote, Do something today that your future self will thank you for. I made a choice that day. I would be living the next days, weeks and months anyway. I chose to live them with a focus on shifting my health through a plant based lifestyle.

I am my future self today, one year later. And I am grateful. Thank you, Cindy-in-my-past, for believing there was something better ahead and making that crucial decision. Thank you for staying with it and making choices every day that have resulted in a healthier existence.

What will my future self thank me for, one year from today? I’m excited to find out…

The Difference a Year Makes

Pick up your copies of Anthony’s books below:

 

I am an Amazon Affiliate, and may make a commission on products purchased through my links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for considering making a purchase of these items, or any other items, through my Amazon links.

Jasper’s Juicery

I was excited today to try out a new café that opened recently in downtown Joplin. Located at 122 S Main Street, Jasper’s Juicery features freshly prepared juices and smoothies and an assortment of delicious meals. I stopped in to sample a juice. 

Jasper's Juicery
The cute café has a long counter for ordering and pulling up a stool. And there are tables and chairs in the front section of the restaurant with more seating available in a back room. I browsed the menu while a customer ahead of me placed her order. 

Jasper's Juicery
Jasper's Juicery
I knew I wanted fresh juice, however looking over the menu I was impressed that Jasper’s Juicery uses locally provided ingredients, as much as possible, and that the smoothies are created with almond and coconut milk. I decided on the Turn the Beet Around juice blend, with beets, carrots, celery and apples. 

Jasper's Juicery
I watched as my juice was prepared. The staff was friendly and helpful. The young woman taking my order expressed excitement about my selection, telling me it was her favorite juice. In moments my drink was ready. 

Jasper's Juicery
I took a sip while still in the café and gave a thumbs up to the staff. The juice was delicious, with a slightly sweet taste, due to the apple. I like beets, so the flavor was mild to me. I took my drink with me to my mom’s, where family members were gathered before a birthday celebration. Everyone bravely tried a sip. Beets are not everyone’s favorite vegetable, to eat or drink, however the consensus was that this was very good! 

I love that Joplin has restaurants and grocery stores that offer healthy meal choices. I’m looking forward to trying other juices, and all of the smoothies, at Jasper’s Juicery. Five stars for this great little health conscious café. 

Jasper's Juicery

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!

Easy Vegan Chili

Autumn is still a few days away, but tonight I tried a simple recipe for vegan chili. It doesn’t have to be cold outside for me to enjoy soup. I eat it year around. I’ve wanted to sample my first vegan chili for days now. A full schedule has kept me from cooking. Today’s schedule was just as full, but I was more determined. I started the chili at about 10:30 tonight. 


Easy Vegan Chili

This was indeed a simple recipe, and fun to put together. The aroma was wonderful as I sautéed vegetables and added the spices. I chose to use navy, kidney, pinto and lima beans, however the combination could be changed easily for variety. 

My soup is simmering away as I type the blog post, filling the house with spicy goodness. I’ll add the beans, snap the last photo and call it a night soon. 

I can’t wait to have a bowl of vegan chili, topped with avocado, for dinner tomorrow night!