Living Life on My Own Terms

Finding Soul Cycle & Partnering with an ND

I struggle sometimes to put pen to paper so to speak.  Not because I don’t have something to say but because I don’t believe I’m much of a writer.

But today I wondered what does it matter if I can’t write?  Does that mean I shouldn’t?  Jeff Goins said the way to know if you are a writer is to write.  So rather than tell myself I’m not a writer, I’m choosing to tell my story instead.  Whatever that story is.  I will continue to share my life experiences as I first intended when I started blogging.

The first thing I want to share is that I had my first Soul Cycle class this past week. It was very scary and exciting at the same time.  I always tell myself that I would try anything once. I hadn’t been on a bicycle for well over 30 years.  Being on one —  even one that doesn’t move while still going a mile a minute scared the living daylights out of me.

I expected to be intimidated by the more experienced participants, but I wasn’t.  Instead, I admired those in the class who seem like they were doing this their whole life.  Also, the young male instructor was a delight to watch.  He moved with grace and skill. Yet he was very encouraging and made me feel like I was the only one in the class. He made everyone feel that way it seems.  Needless to say I will be going back.

The second thing I want to share is that I finally connected with a Naturopathic Doctor.  For years I had wanted to ditch my regular doctor who appear more interested in writing prescriptions than he was in my overall health.  Finding Dr. Dana Cohen was a Godsend at a time when I was at my wits end concerning my health.

It has been over 18 years since I was diagnosed with hypertension. And even though my doctor had me on three different medications, I was not getting any better and my blood pressure readings were getting higher and higher. I was so distraught that I had made up my mind to stop taking the meds.  I decided that even if I had a stroke that’s just the way it was going to be. But I didn’t want to live the rest of my life poisoning my kidneys with an increasing amount of chemicals that didn’t seem to be doing anything but make me pee often, gave me headaches and saddled me with embarrassing coughs at the most inconvenient times.  And those are only the side effects I know about.

Dr. Cohen has given me renewed hope in the medical profession. She made me feel that she was interested in me being healthy.  My insurance won’t pay her for being a good doctor but that’s OK.  This is my way of life now and it’s good to have someone I can partner with to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Talk soon. JRF

Healthy on a Budget: Sprouting

Eating healthy on a budget is not impossible.  However, it does take some thought and planning.

One way to supercharge your mealtimes for pennies on the dollar is by sprouting.  Sprouts are both delicious and nutritious.  Some of the more common foods you can sprout are peas, sunflower seeds, and broccoli.  Though there are many more.  Most sprouts are very high in Vitamin C and plant protein.20150305_075408

Why Sprout?  Sprouting is an easy way to eat high nutrient content foods at a very reasonable cost. To give you an example, organic pea and sunflower sprouts cost $5 per pound at my local farmers market.  However, growing your own sprouts take time.  But they pack a nutritional punch and are lower in cost.  Still, they are really worth the effort.

For instance, I purchased one pound of organic sunflower seeds for around $6.  That pound of seeds have produced several trays of sprouts like the one pictured below.

In addition, according to Dr. Axe sprouting enhance the nutritional content of your food.

My first experience sprouting was with sunflower seeds purchased from  The photos shows different stages of the process for me as well as one of the ways I used it in my home made vegan sushi.

Sprouts are not only cheap to grow and nutritious, they are also very delicious in salads, smoothies, wraps and sandwiches.

Start with sunflower seeds and let me know how it went.  Also, feel free to ask me a question on my experience.


Today I’m Thankful Because…I’m Able To See…

  • colors

  • the smile on my son’s face

  • the sun as it sits on the horizon

  • children playing in the park

  • the lingering gaze of a husband in love

I am truly thankful and grateful that I can see.


91% of consumers agree: If it’s GMO, they have a right to know

It's time for mandatory GMO labeling


According to a recent poll conducted by The Mellman Group, 9 out of 10 (or 91 percent of) Americans support mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms — “Frankenfoods,” as some people in the food revolution movement often call them.

This preference for GMO labeling has been supported by eight other polls, according to the Center for Food Safety. On top of that public demand, a group of CEOs from 127 food companies wrote to President Obama, urging him to support labeling of GMO foods. Most recently, in response to the FDA’s approval of GMO salmon for human consumption, a New York Times editorial called for mandatory GMO labeling.

Click to read more…

My 6 Favorite Kitchen Tools

Great little helpers for preparing Holiday foods

If you already love cooking and preparing delicious dishes, then great kitchen tools can make your work even more fun and exciting.

I love to cook and experiment in the kitchen.  But having useful tools that save time and energy as well as enhance my cooking experience are worth their weight in gold.  During the holidays, the first five tools below make food preparation and cooking a more interesting experience.

I do love the yogurt maker and think it’s a useful addition to any kitchen.

1. Kuving’s Whole Slow JuicerKuvings

I love this juicer because I juice a lot. It took me a while to purchase it because I didn’t like the idea of spending hours making my juice in the mornings.  But to my surprise, the “slow” is only in the way it chews the foods to make juice.  It is by no means a con for me.  I also own the Breville Juice Fountain Elite but use the Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer 90% of the time.  It comes with a 3″ wide feeding tube so you don’t have to cut up your food in tiny pieces.  Yet it’s slow enough so you can start juicing while you are still preparing your foods.  This is what’s called a masticating juicer.

This juicer comes with lots of useful attachments such as a basket cleaner and two brushes that works very well.  But it’s not hard to put together and cleans up easily.

Why I love it:  Produce lots of juice and just a small amount of very dry pulp. Not nearly as slow as it’s supposed to be and that’s just fine with me.  Great for leafy vegetables and herbs.  And excellent for juicing wheatgrass.Kuvings wheat grass juice

What I could do without: Sometimes the bowl gets stuck to the base after my juicing session.  It’s all I can do not to throw it out the window.

Well worth it: $449 with the smoothie strainer

Try: My go-to juice recipe

2. Cusinart Spice and Nut Grinder

Coffee beans, nuts, cinnamon stick and whole nutmeg.  I grind these all in the Cusinart food grinder.  It’s quick. It’s easy to use. And clean up is a breeze.   I even use it for quick homemade salad dressings.  Also, it cracks black pepper open in no time. Cusinart nut grinder2

Why I love it: Quick and easy.  Great for small jobs.   Wet or dry ingredients.

What I could do without: Certainly not this amazing tool.

Well worth it: $30-40

Try: Quick & Easy Salad Dressing –  2-3 tbsp olive oil; 1 tsp dijon mustard; pinch black pepper; pinch sea salt; juice of 1/2 small lemon.  Cover and press/pulse for 20 seconds.

3. Vitamix 750 Blender

Vitamix blenderA lot has been written about Vitamix.  What more can you say about a blender that can lasts for 25 years. Yet, I have something to say.  I have own a lot of blenders and products that call themselves blenders.  But none can hold a candle to Vitamix. The 750 model comes with a 64 ounce jar.  You can also purchase a smaller jar for dry ingredients.  This unit is fast and not very loud.  Also, you can use it to grind nuts, make salad dressing and mix pancake batter, especially when you need a large amount.

Why I love it: I can blend frozen fruits and nuts for creamy ice cream.Vitamix smoothie  Great for making a big batch of smoothies at once.

What I could do without: The long cord should be a pro for me but it just gets in the way and always seems to be under the base.

Well worth it: $329-590
Try: To-Die-For Ice Cream: Frozen berries, mangoes, pineapple, banana; homemade sheep milk yogurt; coconut palm sugar; cinnamon; and vanilla powder.  Blend on low using the tamper to keep ingredients near the blade.
Scrape into a bowl (using a plastic spatula). Sprinkle with ground nuts or raw cacao nibs/scrapes.

4. Spiralizer Ultimate Vegetable Spiral Slicer

Vegetable spaghetti (zucchini, radish), curly fries – when you have time to play with your food this spiralizer makes it fun and interesting.  My sons love it for curly fries.  I love it to make vegetable spaghetti.  It comes with three blades, two of which can be hidden away in a storage area in the unit itself.  Quite genius!spiralizer

Why I love it:  Easy to use and clean.  The parts come apart easily for washing with soap and warm water.  The feet with suction cups keep the unit from moving around.

What I could do without: This could use a vegetable catcher/bowl.  The unit is square and does not allow a round bowl to be placed close enough to catch food.  Takes all the fun out of the process when you have to stop often to catch the food from falling.  This can be helped by putting a piece of paper on the counter to catch food instead of using a bowl.  Which adds an extra step.  Of course using a square baking dish works perfectly.

Well worth it: $29.95

Try: Sweet potato curly fries: (feeds one) wash 1 medium sweet potato (can be peeled or unpeeled – your preference); cut off ends so you have a flat surface; place potato between (blade) and handle; place a square bowl or a large piece of wax paper  under the blade end and turn the handle until all the potato is curled.  add 2 tsp of coconut oil, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and salt and dried parsley to the bowl. Shake until pieces are coated.  Place in on an ungreased baking sheet or glass tray into a preheated oven and bake until brown and crispy minutes.  Turn “fries” about halfway through for even cooking.  Enjoy while still warm alone or with ketchup.  Can be cooked with coconut oil and cinnamon instead of salt, parsley and black pepper.

5.  Excalibur Food Dehydratordehydrator

Sun dried tomatoes.  Granola. Plantain chips. Dried pineapple.  These are just some of the delicious, healthy foods you can make in a dehydrator.  The Excalibur is the crown prince of dehydrators.  My model comes in stainless steel with stainless steel trays.  I also use the (purchased separately) silicone sheets which make using the unit so must easier.  Kale chips and chia crackers are also popular healthy foods you can make using a dehydrator.

Why I love it: It’s easy to use. Comes with a large recipe book. Very quiet.

What I could do without: It is very big. And I only bought the 5 tray unit.  I live in a tiny apartment  and it is obviously too big but it’s staying.

Well worth it: $99-495

Try: Granola – mix together rolled oats, ground nuts, chopped raisins, coconut palm sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, shredded coconut and coconut oil.  Spread on baking sheet and bake at 52 degrees for about 12 hours or until dry.

6.   Euro-Cuisine Yogurt Maker

With seven 6-oz jars, the Euro-Cuisine Yogurt Maker allows you to make a whole week’s supply of delicious, healthy homemade yogurt.  I use raw, sheep milk which makes really creamy yogurt. yogurt maker

Why I love it:  Great way to make yogurt at home. Another simple to use, very low cost tool.

What I could do without: n/a

Well worth it: $29.99

Try: Yogurt.  Warm milk. Add kefir/yogurt starter or culture. Pour into glass jars and set to 9 hours overnight.  Cool. Screw on covers. Refrigerate.

These are just some of the kitchen tools I enjoy using while preparing healthy homemade foods.  One I didn’t feature that is worth mentioning is the Cusinart 9-cup Food Processor.  Great for making cultured veggies, a large salad or coleslaw.  Also excellent for making sauces and salad dressings.

What is your favorite kitchen tool? Please share.

This post contains affiliate links that makes purchasing of these items easy for you.

5 Reasons to Get Juiced

Get Juiced

I love to juice and there are many reasons to get juiced.

One reason is to give myself the opportunity to consume a large amount of vegetables and to a lesser extent, fruits as part of my daily diet.  But apart from this, what are the reasons or benefits for juicing?

Below are my top 5 reasons to juice daily:

  1.  It is the quickest way to get nutrients to your body’s 37 trillion cells.
  2. Juicing organic, clean vegetables promotes cellular health and clear skin
  3. When you drink fresh organic vegetable juices, you get approximately 95% of the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
  4. Juicing promotes weight loss, boost immunity and increase energy (Juicing: How Healthy is It?).
  5. If you do not like eating fresh vegetables and fruits, juicing is a way for you to get a high amount of quality phytonutrients into your body. Click To Tweet

There is an ongoing debate about juicing. What to juice. What not to juice. Who should drink fresh, organic, live vegetable juice and who shouldn’t.  Regardless of arguments, it is clear that juicing is the fastest way to get lots and lots of fresh foods into our systems.

Last year, I did the Super JuiceMe plan for 28 days. The experience was awesome and I felt amazing.

So what are you waiting for. Go get juiced!

Quick Juice Recipe

1 large green apple (preferably granny smith)

4 celery stalks

4 kale leaves (or 2 handfuls of spinach or mixed greens containing all or some of – arugula, broccoli rabe, sunflower sprouts, dandelion green, butter lettuce, etc.)

1/2 lemon (rind on if organic) or 1 inch piece of raw ginger (preferably organic. otherwise peel)

1 organic cucumber skin on (peel if not organic)

Wash all vegetables (use a vegetable wash or Bronner’s Sal Sud) if not using filtered water.  I use Whole Foods Organic White Vinegar to wash all my vegetables.

Place through a juicer (example: Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer, Breville Juice Fountain or similar).

Drink immediately.

Minimum Nutrients – Source: USDA National Nutrient Database:

Green Apple: Vitamins A, C,

Celery: Sodium, Vitamins A, C, Calcium, Iron

Green leafy vegetables: Spinach – Vitamins K, Omega-3 fatty acids; kale: protein, Potassium, Vitamins A, Thaimin, K

Lemon: potassium, Vitamins C, K


Jason Vale’s SuperJuice Me!

Joe Cross’ Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead


Note: I’m not a medical doctor nor a nutritionist. I write about foods I eat and healthy habits I practice.  If you choose to follow any ideas on this site, please check with your doctor first.  The above post is for entertainment purposes only.  This post contains affiliate links.

Delicious Homemade Sun Dried Tomatoes in 5 Easy Steps
November 2, 2015

I love tomatoes — fresh in a salad, as a sauce or even tomato juice.

However, one of my favorite ways to eat them is sun-dried. When I first discovered sun-dried tomatoes, I wondered how I could get tomatoes dried in the sun when I lived in New York City.

Bad news: it takes a long time.

Good news:

your food tastes delicious
you save money by preserving in season foods
food retains more nutrients
it’s perfect for adding more nutrient dense foods to your family’s diet.

To continue reading please check out my article 5 Easy Steps to Delicious Sun Dried Tomatoes

Debt: 3 Reasons to Get Out Now

get out of debt

Are you in debt?  

So many of us are.  Getting out now should be priority one.

While there is no shame in borrowing to live, debt can weigh you down like an anchor on a sinking ship.  And trust me. You will sink if you cannot get out of or at least control debt.

Although I’m tempted to think that trying to control debt is like having a pet tiger. Sooner or later it's going to bite you where it hurts. Click To Tweet

Here are my 3 reasons for wanting to get out of and stay out of debt.

  1. Freedom From Many Masters.

Proverbs 22:7 says: the rich rule over the poor and the borrower is slave to the lender.   (more…)