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Glad you stopped by!

me-gazeboI am deeply grateful for the web and my ability to connect with people even when I am often unable to be out and about in the world at large.

I have long carried a conversation about my Zen practice and life with a chronic illness on my dharma blog. And more recently joined my husband in a discussion of sustainability.

But I am probably best known by my 2007 YouTube video — How to Toilet Train Your Cat.  With more than 100,000 views I continue to hear feedback from pet owners around the world.

Yet anyone who has sat at my dinner table knows that I am most passionate about food! I hope you join in our conversation about mindful eating and home cooked memories.  From time to time, I will be sharing recipes, including meals that are gluten free, minimal sugar or featuring alternative grains and other foods that may be new to your pantry.  Have I sparked your interest?  I hope so!  I look forward to sharing this culinary adventure with you.

From the first page of The 30-Day Vegetarian:

My decision to become a vegetarian

“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” (Hippocrates)

I first became interested in the connection between diet and wellness when I learned about Christina Pirello, author of Cooking the Whole Foods Way. In 1983, Pirello was diagnosed with an acute form of leukemia. At a time when the medical profession offered her no hope of recovery, Christina made a decision to radically change to a whole foods diet and within 18 months had regained her health. “I am convinced that for us to create the life we want we must begin to see food and cooking in a new light.”, Cook Your Way to the Life You Want.

Over the years I learned more about diet and health, reading everything I could get my hands on from Dr. Andrew Weil author of Spontaneous Healing, Eight Weeks to Optimum Health and others. Then as my own healing journey become more complicated my doctor and I explored systemic candida, hidden food allergies and a rotation diet.

Through significant dietary changes and challenges I learned that a revolving diet, which eliminated certain foods, could dramatically improve my negative chronic health symptoms. (The Yeast Connection, by William G. Crook.) Small wonder! Back then, my weekly food plan consisted of only a handful of ingredients with wheat and dairy at the top of the list. I rediscovered the ancient grains such as Spelt and Kamut and found my system could more easily tolerate some of these non-GMO strains of wheat. I also expanded my repertoire of complex carbs to include amaranth, barley, buckwheat and a wide variety of grains and grasses, pulses and beans that were new to me and my family.

My own healing journey continues to provide reason to remain ever vigilant in my research into diet and wellness. More recently, I have learned about hidden sources of MSG and the possible implications for those of us with sensitivities. See http://msgmyth.com and the work of Debby Anglesey, a true food pioneer!

However strong the connection between what we eat and how we feel, my decision to become a vegetarian was made not on the basis of health or my own wellness. I actually had not given much thought to the issue of cruelty-free eating, until I read a book by James Redfield called The Secret of Shambala. For me the choice to eat a plant based diet was as much a spiritual practice as my daily meditation.

In my home, being a vegetarian is a single thread in an overall commitment to “live simply so that others may simply live” (Gandhi.)

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