4 Roots of Optimum Wellness

There are four essential parts to being healthy: Diet, Exercise, Sleep & Attitude.

Vitae Elixxir Healing Herbs

A proprietary combination of ten disease-fighting herbs used for more than 40 years and helping thousands of people with serious health issues.

Books by Author & Health Coach Chris Pedersen

In a world of adventure and imagination, kids’ books in print and digital that encourage a healthy lifestyle.

6 Tips to Lose Weight

Don’t count calories—take a serious look at the food you want to eat, then ask, ”Is this something that will give my body good health?”

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Crash ~ A Cautionary Medical Tale

My torso is scattered with small red spots. It may look like chicken pox, but it's far more sinister.

It all started the day of my writers' group Christmas brunch on December 11 at a local cafe. The telltale sign of something not perfectly right. A trip to the restroom before everyone arrived and the urge to go again before leaving.

As evening approached, the issue, an obvious urinary tract infection (UTI), roared it's ugly head. It became so painful I thought I'd have to go to the hospital emergency. The pain felt like an intense burning in my lower abdomen. It miraculously settled down enough for me to sleep, but not without numerous painful trips to the toilet during the night.

Mistake #1

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wisdom Wednesday

Bleach your teeth and kill the bugs———two health tips in one:
Make a 3% hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) solution from 35% food-grade H2O2 purchased from the health food store. Mix 11 oz. of distilled water with 1 oz. of the H2O2 to make a solution safe for your mouth. Take about 1/2 tsp. in your mouth and hold it there for about 5 - 10 minutes. It will foam and grow. After you spit it out, your mouth will be clean and your teeth white.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

For the holidays, I wanted to make a healthy, no-bake pumpkin pie, but instead came across some recipes for pumpkin cheesecake that inspired me. Heather at Sweetly Raw inspired the pumpkin filling and crust. Jen at Jen's Natural Kitchen inspired the coconut cream topping. This is a very easy recipe to put together and the finished product is delicious and beautiful. I made some adjustments and changes to the recipes to make it all work.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

For some Christmas holiday cheer, replace your pumpkin spice latte with this yummy smoothie and you'll never go back.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wisdom Wednesday

Here's a great site for delicious Indian vegan recipes: 21-Day Vegan Kickstart India. Deeeelicious!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Thanksgiving Meal Plan

Garlic & Lemon Bean Dip
This year we're having Thanksgiving dinner at our house with our son and my husband's parents. I don't eat turkey and the rest don't care so we'll be having a Turkey-less stuffed roast from Trader Joe's as our "meat."

For starters, we'll enjoy this wonderful garlic and lemon bean dip served with cut-up veggies and crackers. The accompaniment for the non-turkey includes Roasted Butternut Squash, Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes and Green Beans with Tahini-Lemon Sauce from Kalyn's Kitchen.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Vegetarian Hot & Sour Soup

vegetarian hot & sour soup
I love hot and sour soup, but don't eat it because it has pork. So I made a vegetarian version. It turned out delicious.

Since I live in a semi-rural area of suburbia, trying to find an obscure Asian food ingredient is a wild goose chase. One weekend while visiting our son in the Bay Area (San Francisco), I went shopping at an Asian market. This place was not your little shop in a strip mall. It was the anchor store (99 Ranch Market), super market size, in a strip mall. This store had everything for any style Asian cooking... and several brands of everything to choose from. I counted four brands of tiger lily bulbs. How do I choose?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wisdom Wednesday

iPhone tip
iPhone mirrorTip:
Stuck at a meal function and wondering, Do I have spinach in my teeth? Another reason to own an iPhone. Use your Apple mirror to check your teeth.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Healthy Halloween Treats

Healthy Halloween Treats
I love the dress-up part of Halloween. When our son was young, I enjoyed coming up with fun costumes. One year I made a tyrannosaurus rex costume and my husband and I dressed as cave man and woman. We won best group costume at our community Halloween Festival as the Prehistoric Family.
Halloween Costume
What I don't like is all the candy.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Parsnip, Broccoli & Blackeyed Pea Soup

I don't know what I like best, the advent of fall with soup cooking on the stove or spring when we can enjoy fresh crisp salads. The cool fresh air of fall encourages me to pull out the soup recipes. Here's a great soup recipe that you'll lovea hearty veggie soup with broccoli and parsnips that's easy and quick to make. Parsnips add a sweetness to the soup that will convert any skeptics.

Families love this soup originally posted in January 2011.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Natural Skin Care From the Kitchen

Have you spent a small fortune on skin care and don't seem to get the results you hoped for? I'm always looking for inexpensive, natural and effective ways to have nice skin. Here are a few quick and easy solutions to great skin.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall Harvest Tomato Salad

We seem to have shorter growing seasons for tomatoes lately. My tomato plants just got started going in August and now the plants are loaded with green beauties that may not ripen. Today we had no sun all day today with the threat of rain.

Did you know you can keep the tomato harvest going through the fall and winter. Yup! Once the weather cools off and before a frost, pull up the tomato plant, brush the dirt from the roots and take it a shed or garage. Hang it upside down in the corner away from direct light allowing for air circulation. Harvest tomatoes as they ripen. Enjoy garden ripe tomatoes longer.

Here's a simple recipe I threw together with my garden harvest of orange and red tomatoes with a green tomato variety added from a neighbor's garden.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Kids' Health

For ideas on getting your kids to eat healthy, check out my guest post on Dandelion Moms.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Tuna & Tomato Salad With Sunflower Seeds

My garden is slowing down. September marks the time to clean-up the garden and get ready to setup the fall/winter garden. I'm planting beets, carrots, radishes, spinach and chard from seed this weekend. Next week I'll pick up some broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce starts to plant in the garden.

Meanwhile I'm still harvesting yummy cherry tomatoes. And they're available from the farmer's markets and grocery stores. Besides popping those beauties right in your mouth, save a few for this easy recipe. It includes ingredients you likely have on hand.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mercury-Free Dentistry Awareness Week, August 19 - 25, 2012

Great info-graphic to bring attention to the dangers of mercury dental fillings courtesy of Mercola.com.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sleep! Can't Live Without It

Sleep like a baby
Photo credit: wallpaperfreehd.com
We live in a fast-paced world, filled with technology that consumes us and projects that drive us. Our desire to get the most out of every day pushes us to compromise on a very important aspect of health—sleep.

Thinking you can get by on a few hours of sleep, you push ahead and grab the coffee or energy drink to prop yourself up. It becomes such an ingrained pattern, you fool yourself into thinking you can do this. Who needs sleep?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Three Bean Salad

Three Bean Salad
My green beans are producing enough for a meal every day. Unfortunately those lengthy legumes are hard to spot amongst like-colored foliage. Plus foraging through the greenery, my arms get a bit chafed from the leaves. Lots of veggies have nasty little prickles on them that can scratch and poke at you.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

How to Live a Healthy Life Podcast

Achieving health interview
A few months ago I was interviewed by Kamala Appel for her Reasons for Being Healthy project. The project seeks to find and tell the story of everyday folks achieving extraordinary results in their health.

Ms. Appel's interview covers the roots of my passion for health, my challenge with the discovery of genetic colon cancer and my extraordinary results with a cancer-fighting diet.

What motivates me to be healthy:
  • Staying alive
  • Family support system
  • Taking measures that fit my capacity
I think you'll find this a valuable 20-minute listen:

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sweet Cucumber & Feta Salad

Cucumber & Feta Salad
Don't you just love summertime? The weather is warm (although maybe too hot in some places) and it's good to sit outside in the late afternoon, download your week with your favorite listener and enjoy something light to eat. There's nothing better than a cool, crisp salad to nourish the body and revitalize the soul.

I love cucumbers, their crunch and delicate flavor take on the delicious essence of a tangy dressing. Balsamic. lemon. Lime.

Some people don't like cucumbers. Too bitter. Some even have issues with the green, tubular powerhouse of nutrients.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wisdom Wednesday

Wisdom Wednesday
Take a hiatus from Social Media. Life is more important. Sunshine is good. Touching friends lives in the flesh is better.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wisdom Wednesday

Tip of the Week
Suppress your appetite with an alkalizing drink of water with fresh lemon juice before your meal. You'll eat less.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Summer Squash & Quinoa Salad

Summer Squash & Quinoa Salad
There I was faced with the dilemma of preparing something to take to our monthly neighborhood potluck and wine tasting. Of course, I don't drink any alcohol, but I always want to bring something healthy to add to the food table.

Zucchini and saucer squash and sweet cucumber (l - r)
I decided to make something up using the beautiful squash and cucumber I'm harvesting from the garden. If it turned out good, I'd share it with you. After putting the salad together, I took pictures and figured there would be some left over from the get together and I could take one more picture that showed more of the squash, cucumber and quinoa. Well... everyone loved it and ate it all up. So what you see is what you get for photos.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Draw the Carrot ~ Chance to Win iTunes Card

Purple Carrot
Calling all kids! Draw your best picture of the Super Duper Purple Carrot for a chance to win an iTunes Gift Card. Send your drawing to chris@purplecarrotbooks.com

The Prisoner of Carrot Castle

And that's not all! From now through the 4th of July you can get The Prisoner of Carrot Castle for the iPad for $.99. Kids love the action adventure with Aiden in his imaginary world. This five-star interactive picture book is becoming a classic.

Dress a Knight of Carrot CastlePlus, Dress a Knight of Carrot Castle for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad is always FREE! Kids love the dress-up game for all languages. For giggles and smiles, download Dress a Knight.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bounty From The Garden Salad

Bounty From the Garden Salad

Purple Carrot
I just put together a wonderfully delicious salad made from my morning harvest. I'm crunching on it while typing this post.

I'll tell you what's in the salad, but first, take a look at my first carrot from the garden. Of course I had to grow purple carrots. But I've never seen one like this. I feel it's a metaphor for the many things I have my fingers into right now. The vibrant greens depict a bounty of health. What do you think? Give me your best metaphorical interpretation.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Blueberry & Cucumber Salad with Feta

Blueberry & Cucumber Salad with Feta
Blueberries are approaching their peak right now and cucumbers, lettuce, mint and green onions are being harvested from the garden. This salad is a refreshing crunch with a panoply of tastes. The mild flavor of blueberries mellows that of the salty feta and sharp-tasting mint.

The blueberries add a generous portion of antioxidants to the nutritional benefits of this salad. If you want to maximize the antioxidants make sure you purchase organic blueberries.

In addition, blueberries have a low glycemic index meaning they have a lower influence on sugar levels than many fruits. Also freezing blueberries does not damage or lower their antioxidant levels.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Best Guacamole Recipe Encore

I first posted this recipe last August, but needed to bring it up for you again since everybody loooooves guacamole! It's very easy to make... yes, it is. I typically whip up a batch several times a week and so can you. Here is my secret, easy and delicious recipe for making The Best Guacamole.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Hungry For Change Review

Need a bit of motivation to make some changes in your diet that at least will make you feel better and at most save your life? From the creators of the best-selling documentary Food Matters comes another hard-hitting film certain to rock your world. Hungry For Change includes interviews with health professionals and medical doctors telling you why you are what you eat and how eating the right foods can be a life-changing experience. The movie (released spring 2012) offers striking testimonials by people who were very sick, then made changes in their diets that brought permanent weight loss and rid them of many disease issues.

If you need some inspiration to kick-start a diet change, I recommend seeing Hungry For Change. You can purchase the DVD and the recipe book (only $74.95) to help you begin your journey to optimum health at the Hungry for Change website. I get nothing by recommending these products. I just know you will get a dose of reality about the food you eat.

Fans of Healthy Journey Cafe have read much of what the movie exposes, such as the truth about diet programs, and fat-free and sugar-free food.

Watch the first 20 minutes of the movie and you'll be hooked. If you think it's too late for you, think again. People make life-altering changes that are 180 degrees from their current path... and so can you.

What's keeping you from getting healthy?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Tomato & Cucumber Salad

Getting ready for a bountiful harvest from your garden suggests the need for a list of salad recipes to have on hand. Here's one recipe you'll want to add to your list.

I threw this together with ingredients I had on hand. It's easy and takes very little time to make. Plus it tastes great. Of course it managed to show up when I made dinner for friends we had over a few weeks ago. It was enjoyed by all.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Last night we enjoyed the first salad from our garden. Two kinds of lettuce, two kinds of kale, radishes and chard. I added a pear cut into pieces and tossed it with a splash of balsamic vinegar and two tablespoons of homemade vinaigrette. It was delicious and very healthy!

The garden is loosely based on Mel Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening technique. We bought a raised bed cedar kit from Craig's List, which came pre-drilled with all the necessary hardware. After choosing an appropriate location, we set-up the structure and filled it with custom mixed soil: equal parts of compost, peat moss and vermiculite (key to keeping moisture in the soil).

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Restaurant Review: Flora's Field Kitchen

Flora's Field Kitchen, Cabo, Mexico
A trip to Los Cabos Mexico means a perfect get-away during the cold and rainy Northern California winter (and spring this year... okay, I admit we don't know what cold is in California). Exploring new beaches, side roads and taco joints is a favorite pastime while we warm-up in the sunshine of Mexico. On our most recent trip to Cabo, we discovered a wonderful place to eat outside of San Jose Del Cabo called Flora Farms. The organic working farm provides food for the restaurant Flora's Field Kitchen and a small farmer's market setup next to the al fresco dining area.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sweet Apple Yellow Curry Soup

Sweet Apple Yellow Curry Soup
Who doesn't love yellow curry anything. Recently I enjoyed a yellow curry soup at Sprouts Natural Foods Cafe a block from the beach in South Lake Tahoe on Hwy 50. I loved it so much I used my napkin to write down all the ingredients in it, telling my lunch mates I would be recreating this delicious soup.

So here it is! Simple and full of flavor.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Living Life With Regrets?

Dying without regrets
Have you ever listened to Tim McGraw's song Live Like You Were Dyin' and wondered what it meant to you? McGraw's song speaks of skydiving, mechanical bull riding and dispensing forgiveness previously denied. Living a life of optimum wellness encompasses living a life with no regrets.

Bronnie Ware, a hospice nurse for many years, discovered that people faced with death experienced many emotions, but eventually came to an acceptance and peace. When asked if there were regrets or things they would do differently, she found five common themes.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Strawberry Pecan Oven-Baked French Toast

Here is a delicious recipe you might want to add to your Easter brunch tradition. Plan ahead for this one. You need to soak the sandwiches overnight in the egg batter before baking.

First, slice the bread

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wisdom Wednesday

Take vitamin D3 (an essential vitamin) to stay healthy and avoid sickness especially in the cold months. Lack of vitamin D3 may lead to weakened immune systems accounting for more sickness in the colder months.