Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Process

I've poured my heart and soul into creating Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box. I've spent months and months researching recipes, writing recipes, and creating an appealing layout and design for the cookbook. Once the book was written along with three others (two from Clark College's health department) we went through it one recipe at a time, page-by-page to check for inconsistencies, errors, etc. The book was looking good and all set to go...

Then a big hiccup, for a myriad of reasons late in the process of editing I decided to change printing companies. At that point there were only three weeks left to print and deliver the books to Clark College bookstore. Heavy sigh. After a search, I decided to print with Minuteman Press of Vancouver, WA and they have enthusiastically been able to meet my needs and timeline. Although changing printers late production was stressful. I am so happy that I made the change. I'm sure that I'm getting a much better final product - the cover design is amazing and the small details inside like the colored box page numbers. Oh yeah!

Super-excited...We are in full production folks! Books will be finished printing by tomorrow, Friday, August 24th. Earlier this week, I went to take a behind-the-scenes peek. Here's what I found:


This has been quite a process but not in vain. I'm so very proud to present my labor of love to you. Click here to pre-order YOUR copy. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Recipe Wednesday: Kale Chips

Snacking can be good for you -- as long as your smart about it. Our bodies need to refuel every few hours. This week's recipe is from the Snacks section. By baking your own kale chips at home you take the guesswork out of reading packaged labels. What's more... these thin, crispy chips are simple to make and delicious! Go ahead make a batch. You'll be so happy you did!

Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box

60 simple, delicious, healthy recipes

Reconnect with your food and take control of your health in your very own kitchen using this collection of simple recipes focusing on whole, natural foods.


Kale chips rule! 

SERVES 2 - 4


1 bunch kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner or use a clean dry dishtowel. Lay chips on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and salt. Bake until the edges brown a bit but are not burnt, 20 - 25 minutes.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Busy living

White Water Rafting fun!
In 2009, when I set off on this journey it was about losing weight, all about losing weight. It's still about losing weight, but there is so much more.  This is a journey of self-discovery, love, passion, experience, and living life to the fullest.

Yesterday, I spent my 40th birthday paddling down the White Salmon River. It was my first experience White Water Rafting and what a spectacular experience it was! It was one of those experiences that made me glad to be alive. Traveling down the sometimes calm, but turbulent river, sun gently kissing my skin, and surrounded by nature. Awesome. Simply awesome.

My 19-year old daughter, Jasmyn joined in on the adventurous fun. Jr. was our guide for the day and two fabulous ladies, Susy and Leigh, all the way from Amsterdam were also in our group. The five of us had a blast -- talking, laughing, sharing stories as we paddled our way down the beautiful river. It was so cool! The water would be relatively calm and then all the sudden we'd hit a rapid -- the raft would move erratically and then a big burst of cold water would come splashing in. Aaaaaa...

I'm always blogging in my mind. Subjects are everywhere. So as I was paddling down the river taking in the beauty, the splendor. I was thinking of how I could share this experience with you. What I wanted to write, to convey how special, truly special this experience was.  This quote from the movie "The Shawshank Redemption" came to mind: "Get busy living or get busy dying."  It was an aha moment! That's what this is all about folks! I'm so busy living that I don't particularly obsess over the scale, how I look, or every bite I put into my mouth anymore. Sure, I still work out, want to achieve a certain goal weight, build strength, and eat healthy (most of the time), but now I realize there's so much more to it. This journey isn't about what I've lost, but rather it's about what I've gained.  My life isn't defined by moments. It's the sum of the moments that matter -- the days, weeks, months, experiences. Surely, I will continue to set goals as they keep me focused, grounded, but ultimately I'll stay busy living and the rest will follow.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Recipe Wednesday: Caprese Salad

I'm a fan of simple food. This week's recipe from the Soup & Salad section fits the bill.  Doesn't get simpler or more delicious than this. Bonus: It's the height of tomato season.

Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box

60 simple, delicious, healthy recipes

Reconnect with your food and take control of your health in your very own kitchen using this collection of simple recipes focusing on whole, natural foods. 


Simple, fresh Italian classic.



3 whole ripe tomatoes, sliced thick
12 ounces, mozzarella cheese, sliced thick                        
Fresh basil leaves
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Arrange tomato and mozzarella slices on a platter. Arrange basil leaves between the slices. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the salad, getting a little bit on each slice. End with a sprinkling of kosher salt and black pepper. Serve.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Farewell Letter

One week from today, I'll turn I reflect this letter I wrote e a while ago seems fitting for today. 

Dear Obesity,

We’ve had some good times, or so at the time I thought they were good. Mainly most of my memories of you are not so fond. Truthfully, I’d rather have never met you. I’m writing this letter to tell you straight up our very unhealthy relationship has come to an END. I must admit after 38 years, I really can’t imagine life without you. After all, you are all that I know. I’m willing and ready, however, to find out what life is like without you around.

For my entire life, you’ve defined who I am, but no more. As I approach 40, I've decided it’s about time I find someone else to spend my time with. You just weren’t that cool to hang out with anyway. I always get funny stares when I'm with you and your name alone carries such a negative connotation. In retrospect, I’m not sure why I’ve been hanging with you as long as I have, it's clear you never had my best interest in mind. I guess sometimes when you're really close to someone or something it’s just hard to let go. I'm proud to say, however, I've finally come to the end of the road with you. This surely will be a painful journey to rid myself completely of you, but let's make sure I'm clear, I never, ever want to see you again. For once and for all, Farewell Fatso!



P.S. I've found someone new –- me and healthy living are doing swell.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Recipe Wednesday: Cool Fruit Soup

Cool Fruit Soup
With pit fruit in peak season and in the midst of hot summer days, this week's recipe from the Soup & Salad section is sure to please.  

Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box

60 simple, delicious, healthy recipes

Reconnect with your food and take control of your health in your very own kitchen using this collection of simple recipes focusing on whole, natural foods.


A cool and healthy way to enjoy fruit.



1 cup peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
1 cup nectarines, peeled, pitted, and sliced
1 cup apricots, peeled, pitted, and sliced
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons non-fat plain yogurt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon


Place all ingredients excluding water in a food processor or blender, puree until smooth. Adjust the thickness with more or less water. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld. Pour the soup into chilled soup bowls. Serve immediately.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Clark College: Outside of the Box

Several months ago, Veronica Brock, health instructor from Clark College contacted me asking about ways to incorporate recipes ideas into the curriculum. Our little phone conversation has led to me authoring my second cookbook. 

I am proud and honored to announce Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box was written for the Health and Physical Education department of Clark College. Beginning Fall quarter 2012, Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box will be a REQUIRED textbook for ALL students enrolled in Health 100: "Food and Your Health".  The books will hit the shelves Monday, August 27th at the Clark College Bookstore.

Clark College Penguins get ready! It's time for you to -- Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box.

More about Shop, Cook, Eat Outside of the Box:
  • 60 simple, delicious, healthy recipes
  • A grocery shopping and planning section
  • Convenient size for easy travel, 8.5 x 5.5
  • Coil bound -- lays flat for easier reference
  • 135 color pages
  • Foreword by Sherri McMillan, Owner of NW Personal Training
Outside of the Box recipes:
  • Go Green Drink
  • Zucchini & Mushroom Tacos
  • Santa Fe Chicken Wraps
  • Roasted Peppers
  • Wheat Berry Spinach Salad
  • Open-Faced Egg Tomato Sandwich
  • Cool Fruit Soup
  • Greek Quinoa Bowl
  • Frozen Chocolate Dipped Banana Bites   

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Recipe Wednesday: Greek Quinoa Bowl

Greek goodness in a bowl
Woo hoo! On August 27th my second cookbook will hit the shelves. I'd rather not celebrate alone, so for the month of August together let's celebrate the release of Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box. Every Wednesday this month I'll feature a recipe from the book. 

This week's recipe from the Make It Fast section, Greek Quinoa Bowl -- perfect for summertime. It's light, fresh, and bursting with Greek flavor.

Shop, Cook, Eat: Outside of the Box

60 simple, delicious, healthy recipes

Reconnect with your food and take control of your health in your very own kitchen using this collection of simple recipes focusing on whole, natural foods.


Greek goodness in a bowl.



2 cups quinoa, cooked
1 red onion, diced
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
½ cup Kalamata olives, halved
½ cup artichoke hearts, chopped
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Lemon Vinaigrette 

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, gently toss the quinoa together with the ingredients. Add
salt and pepper to taste.

For vinaigrette: In salad dressing shaker bottle add lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Shake until ingredients are mixed. Or whisk ingredients together in bowl.

For bowls: Divide quinoa mixture evenly among individual bowls. Drizzle with lemon vinaigrette. Serve.

More about Quinoa (from the Grains section of the cookbook):  Often referred to as the supergrain, quinoa (KEEN-wah) is high in fiber and is a plant-based source of protein. In fact, it contains more protein than any other grain while also packing in iron and potassium. One half cup of quinoa has 14 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber. This superfood is classified as a whole grain and is naturally gluten-free. Quinoa is a tiny grain that cooks up like rice and has a mild, nutty flavor and a light, fluffy texture similar to couscous. You can find it next to other grains in the grocery store or market.

The Obesity Epidemic is REAL!

The evidence of an epidemic is everywhere.

· Two-thirds, more than 190 million Americans are
overweight or obese.

· Obesity-related diseases are a $147 billion dollar
medical burden every year.

· Childhood obesity has tripled in the last thirty years

Source: CBS News