Quinoa Treasures Bowl

Yum. The delicious goodness of quinoa. This grain-like food is energy building and contains high amounts of calcium, protein, fiber, and vitamins. It is also quick and easy to prepare, delicious, and an immune-boosting whole food. So, what do you do with it? Personally, I love to eat it cooked, just with a little earth balance (vegan non-hydrogenated margarine) and sea salt for total comfort food. Otherwise, if you want to jazz it up a bit, there are yummy recipes like "Moroccan Quinoa" from my book, or this one--inspired by an idea from Mike Lieberman, green living expert from the Examiner. I hope you enjoy this concoction, and please feel free as a bird to experiment! I've only made this once (unlike the recipes in my book that have been perfected to death), but I really enjoyed it. In fact, I woke up this morning craving it! But unlike unhealthy cravings, this was my body saying "Gimme some more of the good stuff! I want to thrive!"

Hope you enjoy, and keep the great ideas coming! I always welcome your feedback and suggestions.

Quinoa Treasures Bowl


1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed and drained

2 cups water, preferably filtered


The segments and minced zest of 1 organic orange

2 tablespoons each: raisins and sliced kalamata olives

3-4 tablespoons thinly sliced and chopped red onion

1 teaspoon each: fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Optional flair:

a few random pistachios, shelled

1. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a covered pot. Reduce heat to low and simmer (partially covered) until all of the water has been absorbed—this will usually take about 20-30 minutes.

2. Toss the quinoa with all of the treasures and stir well to combine.

3. If desired, top with some pistachios. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to two days.

SF (soy-free)/GF (gluten-free)

This recipe is coded “Green” according to the guidelines in Radiant Health, Inner Wealth.

Healthify Your Cravings!

Cravings. We all have them. Many of us, however, either try to deny them or use them as an excuse to eat just about whatever, whenever. Are either of these options really serving our greater interests? I say, not so much. What then is the alternative? You got it! Healthify your Cravings.

Here are 3 simple ways you can begin to healthify your cravings today:

1. Don't neglect to reflect.
The next time you are craving something, take a moment--doesn't have to be long, either--to reflect. Ask yourself what your craving is comprised of. For example, there is a certain time of the month (sorry, guys) when I sometimes crave carbohydrates. I could eat a whole loaf of crusty white artisan bread from the bakery. And, yes, I have at certain times in my life! But, I've found that if I reflect a bit before I drive to the bakery like a maniac, I'll find out more. What is the essence of my craving? In this instance, it's carbs. Is there a way to satisfy that craving in a healthy way? Yes, there is. If I eat a slice or two of sprouted, whole grain bread, I usually find that I no longer want the refined, nutrient-poor kind. My body has what it wants and I am free from the annoying, non-health supportive craving. So, the next time you're craving something, ask yourself these two questions: "What is the essence of this craving?" AND "What is the healthiest way I can satisfy this craving?" Even just this small act will be a powerful catalyst to your greater health!
2. Eat a healthy diet that emphasizes whole foods & lots of veggies!
I have also found from much personal experience that my cravings change immensely when my body is being nourished properly. Again, using the example from above (this is the last time, guys, I swear), I notice a huge difference in certain months. When I've been eating really well (home-cooked meals with lots of veggies and whole foods), my cravings are pretty much non-existent. But, if I've been traveling and eating out, I always notice a desire for certain foods. And they aren't the best ones for my bod either. So, short story long, the point is to eat really well. Let your food be your medicine, as Hippocrates said. Your body will re-tune itself to only craving healthy foods.
3. Add lots of superfoods to your diet!
O.K., you got me. This one is a lot like tip two. But, it is SO important to put the good stuff into your body that I just can't emphasize it enough. When you eat things that make your body sing with joy because it's just so nourished, you'll forget all about the stuff that doesn't serve you. You won't even want chocolate. Don't believe me? Try it for two weeks! Eat a diet that emphasizes whole, plant-based foods and make sure to get lots and lots of veggies in there. Other superfoods that will nourish you immensely include: berries, amaranth, garlic, ginger, fresh lemon, greens (especially kale), and pretty much anything that looks vibrant in the produce section. And for those of you with a copy of Radiant Health, Inner Wealth, you can use the Two-Week Radiant Health Plan to carry out this experiment. Try emphasizing "green" recipes for even a week and your body will be re-tuned to healthy cravings for sure. I promise.

I hope these tips help! You CAN healthify your cravings by eating a healthy diet and listening to your body. It's just that simple. And, on a final note, I should mention that not all cravings are bad! Sometimes they're clues as to what our bodies need--like right now, I'm craving chili peppers. Must comply....

What do I do with tofu?

This is a question I've been asked for years. And, as some of you know, I've recently been asking what YOU would like to see on this blog. One request I received was for a simple, baked tofu recipe. So, here's an old favorite of mine that didn't end up in Radiant Health, Inner Wealth. However, I've long since enjoyed the simplicity and yummy flavor of this easy dish. I hope you enjoy, too, and that this will give you at least one idea that answers the question: "What do I do with tofu?"!

For a complete Tofu 101, the 2nd edition of Radiant Health, Inner Wealth is full of tofu recipes as well as a complete guide to buying, storing, and preparing tofu.

Oven Glazed Tofu


1 tablespoon oil (sesame, non-virgin olive, or sunflower)

1 teaspoon toasted (dark) sesame oil

2 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup

2 tablespoons each: tamari and cooking sherry or wine

Soy Important:

1 lb. extra firm (or firm) tofu

1. Slice the tofu into ¼-inch slabs. You should have about 6-8 slabs o tofu.

2. Press the tofu by laying it out in a single layer over paper towels. Place more paper towels on top and place a cutting board (or cookie sheet) over the top of it all. Next, place weights on the cutting board. You can use cans of beans, a gallon of water, a calm child, or a sleeping cat.
3. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
4. Mix all of the marinade ingredients in a large baking dish. Place the pressed tofu into the pan a single layer and coat all sides of the tofu with the marinade.
5. Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes. Remove and turn the slabs over. Using a spoon (or tofurky) baster, cover the tofu with any loose sauce hanging out in the pan.
6. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until the tofu is gorgeously well-browned and gooey looking.
7. These will store, once cooled, in a covered container in the fridge for about 5 days. I think. I’ve never tested this theory, as they’re just too yummy to have around that long in our house!
This would be a BLUE recipe according to the color-coded system in Radiant Health, Inner Wealth. It is also gluten-free. Makes about 4 servings.

Mastering Anger

Well, I'll start today's blog with a confession. Six and a half years ago I thought I had become master of anger. I really did. Nothing could ruffle my peaceful little feathers. And then....I had a child. A child of "triple fire" as one rather psychic friend told me! And hoo, boy. Did things ever change! As any mom knows (at least those of us not in total denial), our kids will push us to the absolute outer limits. But what I also know--for a fact--is that our experiences are great opportunities and teachers if we look at them in the right light (whether you're a mom yourself or the farthest thing from it). So, now I don't say that I'm master of anything...because I know that if I do, I'll get tested on it as sure as the sun rises (and probably as soon as the sun rises)! Instead, I choose to feel immense gratitude that my experiences have brought me to a state where I can usually stay calm and centered no matter what....usually.

So here are 3 tips for Mastering Anger...or at least getting it under control in a big, big way!

1. Take responsiblity. No one can make you mad. I don't care what they did. That story doesn't work here. This is all about you and what you can do to become master of your own emotions and being. Here's something interesting (and perhaps a little woo-woo to some of you): Anger (as well as other emotions) correlate to energy centers (also called chakras) in the body. Our bodies are designed with immense intelligence, and each center must be cleansed and cleared in order to further our evolution. So how would something like anger be cleared, say, in someone who thought they had it totally mastered? With tests. Oh, yes. That jerk at the grocery store? He's a gift from the Universe, giving us the chance to see everything as an opportunity to change our own consciousness. 
2. So, if the opportunity to master anger is a gift from the Universe, then we should say "Thank You!" right? Yup, that's step number two. Say THANK YOU. It's o.k. if you don't mean it. Just say it anyway! No matter what is happening or who it's happening with, if you can have the consciousness to be grateful for the experience, things will shift...almost miraculously! Gratitude has some pretty good juju going on, and for whatever reason it's just immensely powerful. So, try saying thank you the next time you're angry. Just try it. And the more you do that, the more you'll begin to see why you're having your experiences. Which will in turn create understanding, true gratitude, and peace of mind.
3. Make a counter-offer. Tell yourself that you have some options here. You could choose anger. OR, you could choose forgiveness. Of course, this may not happen immediately, even for advanced anger management practitioners. But, if you can reflect on your experiences, say at the end of each day, you can change the way you see things. You can even choose to see the person who "made" you angry as an agent of the Universe. As being temporarily possessed, per say, in order to give you an experience that will help you evolve and become more peaceful and happy. So, cultivate forgiveness. Give it a special little garden in your heart. Water it with attention and give it sunshine by using it more often.

And, finally, I'd like to remind you that mastering anger is a big job, but it CAN be done. Even though it takes a lot of practice, you will begin seeing rewards immediately if you apply even one of these principles--I guarantee it! And I also guarantee that it's worth it. No amount of self-pity and anger can feel as good as it does to take responsibility, feel gratitude, and choose forgiveness. Because the more you make these changes, the more free, peaceful, joyful, and successful you will be.

3 Simple Steps To a Killer Immune System!

Want to have an immune system that kicks booty and takes names? Well, the good news is that you CAN. No matter what your past has been, this is a present and future possibility--and probability--if you work at it. The bad news is...well, there is no bad news. It's all good! And delicious too when you know how to make health-supporting foods taste great. Oh, and by the way, by "killer" immune system, I mean just that--but in a nice way. Your immune system can fend off (or "kill") absolutely anything when it's functioning at its peak. But the great news is that it won't "kill" in the same way as prescription drugs would. Staying healthy naturally means that none of the good things (like beneficial bacteria in the stomach, for example) get killed off, and instead are there in even greater force to keep you happy, healthy, and up for anything...at any time.

So here are today's tips for making your immune system the bomb.
1. Emphasize the good stuff. This is a concept from my book Radiant Health, Inner Wealth and is really important. Rather than focusing on what you shouldn't be eating, put more energy into the goodness. Ask yourself this question: "What foods do I love that really love me back?" And remember too--there may be lots of healthy foods & dishes that you have yet to discover! Add delicious superfoods (such as kale, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, ginger, chilis, berries, and amaranth) into your diet and watch the magic unfold.
2. Don't stress. I will share a private little secret with you: The only time I get sick these days is when I'm not taking the time to de-stress. For me--and so many others--stress is a top cause of illness. So, make sure that you add a few relaxation exercises into your day. What? You don't have time? Nonsense. Don't tell me you don't have five minutes in the course of a 24-hour day, because I won't belive you. Just take a minute here and a minute there (unless you can scrounge up even more time, which is even better!). Do some deep breathing, affirmations, or meditation techniques (one of which is detailed on this blog...scroll down to the bottom of this page to see it).
3. Have some FUN, for the love of all that is good and holy! We are not meant to live joyless, overworked lives--I don't care who says so! We are all given a sense of humor at birth and I personally intend to take full advantage of it. Taking time to laugh and play every day recharges our systems and makes us happy...or at the very least, happier. In turn, this boosts up our immunity and spreads joy to others as well. So, laugh, dammit!
Ah, tough love can be so hard sometimes....

I'd also like to add that The Kathleen Show has launched a program called "Prevention Not Prescriptions" aimed at keeping our bodies healthy and less reliant on prescription medicine. It's a wonderful program and more information can be found at:
Prevention not Prescriptions at the Kathleen Show

Magic Beans: Three Tips for a Perfect State of Bean

Yes, beans are magic! What do I mean by this bold statement? Well, I have long adored and been amazed by the humble yet fabulous bean. For one thing, beans are one of the main reasons I was able to lose over 40 lbs. nine years ago. Their high fiber and low fat and calorie content make them the ideal trimming food. Not only that, they're crazy high in iron, vitamins, and other nutrients. Plus, when prepared correctly, they are absolutely delish!

Beany Tips, Baby:
1. Kombu makes all the difference! Be sure to add this nutrient-rich sea veggie to every pot of beans you cook. It adds minerals and enhances the flavor of beans--in fact, it's what msg was derived from (but of course, kombu is the natural, healthy, totally non-creepy form). Plus, it helps your system digest them much more easily.
2. Soaking makes all the difference! For me, soaking is a must when using dried beans. If I don't take the time to soak them, well, you know the rest. Especially if you were on that trip to New Mexico that one time. Personally, I like to begin soaking them beans in the morning so that they'll be ready for dinner that same day. Simply put plenty of water over dried beans and let them hang out amongst themselves for at least 6-8 hours.
3. Seasonings make all the difference! Beans are delicious when flavored well. Try Mexican, Indian, Italian, Greek, or eclectic flavorings...just to start with! In Radiant Health, Inner Wealth, there are all kinds of bean recipes in each of those categories. Plus, a perennial favorite, "Black-eyed Peas with Kale" that is lowfat and really yummy. Try using bold flavors with your beans such as fresh lemon and lime juice, chopped garlic, and other zippy seasonings to really bring out the flavors.

I hope this edition of the Radiant Health, Inner Wealth blog has inspired you in some small way to bean it up. Because beans truly are one of Nature's perfect foods!

Simple, Soothing Tomato Soup

As I plan to head out of town for the weekend, I'm noticing those lovely robust tomatoes on my counter that I bought at the local organic farm market recently. As this lovely fruit (often mistaken for a vegetable) gives us its last hurrah this season, I'd like to share with you this simple recipe for healthy, lowfat tomato soup. It's not as "zingy" as most of my normal recipes, but that's the way I like my tomato soup--just simple, soothing comfort food.

I won't be back, blogging it up again, until I return early next week, but if you check out some of the past entries on this blog, it should give you way more busy work than you really need. I hope you have a wonderful, rejuvenating weekend and I'll look forward to reconnecting soon. LOVE, Tess

Simple & Soothing Tomato Soup

¼ cup each: diced celery and diced onion (white or yellow)
2 teaspoons oil (coconut, olive, or sunflower)

15 oz. can tomato sauce (with salt)
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes (no salt added)
3 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced
¾ cup water
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
1 tablespoon each: nutritional yeast powder and organic sugar

1. Sauté the celery and onion in the oil in a medium soup pot for about 3-5 minutes over medium heat, or until the onion just begins to brown. Remove from heat.
2. Place the celery-onion mixture in a blender along with all of the remaining ingredients. Blend until as smooth as possible.
3. Place the blended mixture back in the soup pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for about 10-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and serve.

Serves about 4 peeps
Gluten-free/Soy-free/Green (as coded in Radiant Health, Inner Wealth)

Keeping Kids Healthy at School

Well, we're over a month into the school season and it's starting again...everyone I know has sick kids. Is this an inevitable part of growing up, or is there more we can do to make sure we keep them healthy? Well, I would argue for the latter. Although it's true that children do need to build up their immune systems (partly by learning how to overcome sickness), it IS possible to avoid most of the bugs that get passed around, just by making some positive changes. What might some of those positive changes be? Well, I've got lots of ideas. Too many ideas. But what I'd ask from you is to use the ones that work for you and don't get too overwhelmed trying to change 100% overnight (hi, me). Because the changes that are lasting (and fun!) are the kind that build up and gather momentum over time. Plus, if you make positive changes fun for your kids, you will empower them and make them more likely to want to stick with them long term!
So, here are a few suggestions that work for myself and my 6-yr-old tootsie boots:
1. Ask her teacher if she can have a water bottle at her desk. The teacher should say yes, and then you can make sure your child always has purified water to keep her hydrated throughout the day. Very important.
2. Sneak some goodness into his "water" bottle. In fact, I had a few moms last week thank me for the suggestion of giving their children a healthy smoothie, as they were frustrated at how hungry their kids were during the day. If your bottle isn't see-through, no one will even have to know. Make that smoothie really healthy too by using only pure fruit juice and fruits.
3. Pack your child's lunch. OK, for most of you reading this, you do this already. But I'm surprised at how many kids eat that horrifying school lunch they serve in the cafeteria. Unless you go to an amazing, progressive school, your kid's cafeteria food will likely consist mainly of refined starches, non-organic animal products, and processed junk. Do I sound a little harsh? I'm actually restraining myself. Don't get me started on cafeteria food....
4. Make sure she has a healthy snack that you provide if there is a snack time at school. I am sad to say that I'm pretty much the only parent in my daughter's class that provides a truly healthy snack when it's my turn. Mostly, the snacks consist of cheeze-its, cookies, and other creepy "foods" that are chock-full of hydrogenated oils and artificial ingredients. And, although a snack time might seem like no big deal, remember that she's eating it over 20 times a month. That's way too much junk to try to counteract with an otherwise healthy diet. Oh, and if you make her snack fun & yummy, she'll be happy to have her own and not eat what the other kids eat.....if you.....
5. Educate your children on a healthy diet. Empower them to make informed, healthy choices. Really let them know why they don't want to put junky oils or chemicals in their systems. Get graphic. But not too graphic. You know where to draw the line! Then, tell them about all of the benefits of fruits and veggies. Write down all of their favorite fruits, veggies, and other healthy foods and incorporate them into your weekly meals. Give them the gift of making the best choices for life, as these are the habits they will most likely carry on with...and pass on to your grandkids (gulp).
6. The basics: Make sure they're washing their hands well and always before they eat. When other kids are coming down with something, go into full-on defense mode. Start by pumping their little bodies with a good immune boosting tincture (such as Kid's Immunity--available through my good friend and herbalist, Jennie Blechman). Next, make sure their diet is filled with lots of fruits, veggies, whole foods, and other immune-boosters like miso, kale, and garlic. If you have my book Radiant Health, Inner Wealth, check out the menu suggestions toward the back, as I've actually listed many kid-friendly immune-boosting menu and food suggestions.
7. Have fun and be happy. Laugh. Have a tickle party and/or a dance party with loud, funky music. This one is just as important as everything else, as being joyful and high-spirited will work wonders for you and your child's health.

I hope you enjoyed these tips and will find at least one suggestion useful. Remember, slow and steady wins the race! Just keep doing a little more here and a little more there and you will notice positive changes in all aspects of your life.

I'd also like to add that The Kathleen Show has launched a program called "Prevention Not Prescriptions" aimed at keeping our bodies healthy and less reliant on prescription medicine. It's a wonderful program and more info can be found at: http://www.thekathleenshow.com/Health/PreventionnotPrescriptions/tabid/115/Default.aspx

Rosemary-Pumpkin Biscuits

These easy, fun-shaped quick breads are one of my 6-yr-old's absolute favorite things to eat. I like making them because, well, they're really fun. But also because they're a great way to get her to eat healthy, beta-carotene rich pumpkin on a regular basis! Hope you enjoy.
Rosemary-Pumpkin Biscuits
Dry Ingredients:
1 ¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour
¼ cup cornmeal
½ teaspoon each: sea salt and rosemary leaf
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon organic sugar
Wet Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup cooked pumpkin
Optional: additional rosemary leaf

1-Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2-Combine the dry ingredients very well in a medium bowl.
3-Stir the oil and pumpkin into the dry mixture.
4-Knead the dough for about one minute and form it into a ball. Or other circular-type object.
5-Place the ball on waxed paper. Cover with another sheet of waxed paper. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to about ½-inch thickness. Cut into fun (and/or serious) shapes and place on a cookie sheet (ungreased). If desired, top with some additional rosemary leaf.
6-Bake until lightly browned all over and nicely browned on the bottom. This should take about 10-20 minutes or so. Serve warm or hot with a little non-hydrogenated vegan margarine. Yum!

Makes about a dozen biscuits


The following is an excerpt from the "Inner Wealth" portion of Radiant Health, Inner Wealth. Enjoy!

For many people these days, stress has become a way of life. It has become second nature to rush from one activity to the next without much of a break. Often, the only hope for relief in this kind of fast paced existence is the thought of a vacation. However, despite the release and enjoyment a vacation provides, it
is still only a temporary solution. Once the party is over, we return to our regularly scheduled lives and continue our old habits. Now don’t get me wrong—I have absolutely nothing against vacations and wouldn’t mind taking one myself! However, I would rather be rejuvenated on a daily basis as well. And the easiest, most effective method of revitalization I have found is through meditation. Now, if this conjures up images in your mind of sitting on a hard floor, painfully stuck in a yoga pose, then you are in for a pleasant surprise. You can actually sit just as uncomfortably on a carpeted floor and get the same results! Just kidding. You don’t have to be uncomfortable at all. In fact, if you feel relaxed and physically comfortable, you will be able to focus more easily and get the most out of your time.
Here is just one of the meditation techniques from my book--it's a very easy, powerful exercise that can be mastered in a fairly short amount of time.

Observational Meditation: This is similar to a practice that is referred to as transcendental meditation. Begin by allowing your body to relax. Next, imagine that you are sitting inside of your forehead, back toward the pineal gland. You are now an observer, viewing the activity of your mind. As if you were watching a movie, simply view your thoughts and mental images as if they were on a screen. Don’t judge yourself or the images—just be aware of them. Get familiar with what is going on in your consciousness. Once you master this practice, it can be used at any time (and before longer meditations) to instantly produce clarity and understanding. Yes, it really is that magical!

Vegan Flax-Yogurt Superfood Pancakes (yum)

YUM. I thought I was totally set for life with pancake recipes, as I have two in my book, Radiant Health, Inner Wealth. However, just this month, I've developed a new, yummy, simple recipe that I absolutely love. Why the enthusiasm over a mere pile of pancakes? Well, for starters, they're vegan, which means that they contain no cholesterol and are higher in iron. I also love that they are so rich in fiber, Omega 3s, and contain all the tummy-loving benefits of fresh yogurt (I like to buy Nancy's plain soy yogurt by the case from my local health food store). Plus, they come together very quickly and are really satisfying. And, yes, yummmmmy.
Vegan Flax-Yogurt Superfood Pancakes

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal
3 tablespoons boiling water
1/2 cup vegan yogurt, plain or vanilla
1 cup each: almond milk and whole wheat pastry flour
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon each: baking soda and vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1. Place the flaxseed meal in a medium mixing bowl & pour the boiling water over it. Stir and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes, or until gooey. Real gooey.
2. Stir in the yogurt and milk until well combined.
3. Stir in the flour and salt until well combined.
4. Stir in the remaining ingredients until, yes, well combined.
5. Heat a large skillet (I use iron) over medium-high heat and spray or coat with a little oil (I use non-virgin olive or coconut).
6. Once the skillet is hot, pour out a little of the batter onto it, in shapes that resemble pancakes. Or little bunny heads.
7. Flip each pancake over when the underside is brown (it will be a little dry around the edges & bubbly on top). When both sides are gorgeously golden-browned, remove to a plate.
8. Serve with pure maple syrup or fresh berry syrup (if you have Radiant Health, Inner Wealth, these are great with some of the Blueberry Citrus Sauce). Enjoy!!
I truly hope you enjoy this recipe--it's all part of my philosophy that food should be both nutritious and delicious!

Lovely Liquids!

Often people ask me what they should be drinking for the best nutritional benefits. This is a subject that I'm oddly enthused about, so thus is born another inspired day of blogging!

So, today I'm going to stay on the up and up and only mention the beverages I DO like to consume. However, you can assume that if they're not on this list, then I don't drink them. Yet another smear campaign innocently avoided...

1. Water! And make it clean (reverse osmosis or spring water that you trust). Enough said.

2. Tea (please see above photo for handy visual reference). I do the non-caffeinated kind and try to incorporate superfoods like nettles, alfalfa, blueberry, and green tea.

3. In the morning, I'm all about the liquids. Get that body going in a gentle yet powerful way with lemon water, green drink, and maybe a power shake or smoothie! Which leads me to...

4. Power shakes and smoothies! The mere thought of these makes me feel like doing high-fives and jumping jacks. But I'll restrain myself and answer this question instead: What do I recommend putting in them? Try to find a pre-mixed powder containing as many soy isolates and technical-sounding ingredients as possible--and don't forget the corn syrup powder. Wait! Stop writing this down, cuz I'm totally kidding. When it comes to shakes & smoothies, it's all about the 100% natural. So, here's the skinny on...

5. Shakes: Shakes, at least in my world, are milk-based. Vegan milk-based that is! What kind of milk do I recommend? Aside from making it yourself (which is ideal & what I actually do), you can buy almond, soy, rice, or hemp milk. Personally, I like to make a mixture of soy and almond. From there, all you really need are some frozen naners and there you have it. A simple, whole-food, real-food power drink! If you want to jazz it up, though, add any combination of the following: fresh or frozen fruits, carob, soaked dates, almond butter, hemp protein powder (the ONLY protein powder or drink mix I recommend, as it's the only one I know of that doesn't contain junk of any kind--plus it's way high in chlorophyll and fiber!), and vanilla.

6. Smoothies: These delish nutrish drinks are juice-based...and in my little happy bubble that means o.j. or mango. Many folks prefer apple, but I love the feeling of a vitamin-C rush. From there, I like to toss in frozen fruits like bananas, mango, pineapple, berries, acai, and flaxseed.

7. Healthy indulgences: For me, this means a bottle of GT's kombucha (I love grape and strawberry the best) or a can of stevia-sweetened Zevia (the first non-junky diet soda ever--woot!). And no, these companies don't pay me. Although Zevia does appreciate me and often sends me coupons!

8. The occasional fresh veggie juice for a real immune tonic. I love to use lots of kale or parsley for maximum nutrition punch! And some organic lemon, rind and all, makes it taste really refreshing.

Hope this edition of the daily Radiant Health, Inner Wealth blog went down smooth-n-easy, like a nice warm cup of peppermint tea. Here's to your ultimate wellness!

Vegan Nutrition Tips!

Hi there, fabulous person! Welcome to today's edition of the Radiant Health, Inner Wealth blog. Inspired today by a woman who was blown away yesterday when I gave her a few facts on vegan nutrition! She was under the impression that we needed cow's milk for strong bones, having been raised with a real fear of osteoporosis. However, when I shared a few facts with her, she was really excited to start replacing harmful animal-based sources of calcium with clean plant sources. Like the lovely, alkalinizing almond. Did you know that almond milk is a snap to make and very high in nutrients, calcium, and iron?
Here's an excerpt from the nutrition chapter of Radiant Health, Inner Wealth:

"How will I get enough calcium if I don’t eat dairy products? Why would all of those celebrities sport a milk moustache if it didn’t reflect the truth?"
It’s interesting to note that the societies who have the highest rates of osteoporosis are those who consume the most animal products. In societies that consume little or no dairy products, this disease (wrongly linked to inadequate calcium intake) is practically unheard of. Dr. John McDougall states, "Osteoporosis is not a disease that results from too little calcium, but rather primarily from too much animal protein animal food derived acids that rob the body of calcium and structural materials, and thus weaken bones." In other words, the less animal protein we consume, the less calcium we need. The Dairy Council is one of the largest businesses in the United States, with quite the budget for advertising. Again, before you take something as a fact, make sure it is not funded by a special interest business.

It should also be noted that many plant foods contain loads of calcium. Sesame, tofu, kale, and other greens are just a few examples of foods that contain very high levels of calcium. Plus, this kind can be properly absorbed, unlike dairy products that can rob the body of calcium (because of their high levels of animal protein) while they supply it.

Finally, consider this: If you believe that we live in an intelligently designed universe, how would cow’s milk originally have been intended? Perhaps to feed a baby cow? Mother’s milk is as natural as it gets, and contains the ideal amount of nutrients, fat, calories, and protein for the nursing mother’s growing child. Milk is absolutely the perfect food, but it is intended for the baby of that mother’s species. Cow’s milk is perfect for baby cows, just as human mother’s milk is perfect for human babies.

Immune Power!

Good morning, lovely humans. And welcome to another day of blogging about stuff I'm a little too passionate about. I've been asking folks what they'd like to see me blog about and I'm so grateful for all of the feedback! If you have ideas, feel free to friend me on Facebook and join the discussion (FB link is on this page)--or simply jot it down as a comment to this post.

Anyhoo...today I'm inspired to go with my soul sister and cousin Stacey's idea of immune boosters. This is so important this time of year--and especially this year with all of the swine flu hysteria. Now I'm not a doctor, but I do know that you can have a mighty fine shield of armor that will keep you healthy no matter what loopy germs you're exposed to. Of course, I'm not saying it's impossible to get sick if you're really healthy. But I know for a fact that if you keep your immune system functioning at its highest level, you'll be amazed at how vital, healthy and, well, immune you are.
So here are some happy tips that will give you the superpowers:
1. In my book Radiant Health, Inner Wealth I really encourage people to make doable steps. Don't expect yourself to change 100% overnight. So, keep that in mind and don't stress if you're not perfect....cuz stress will make you sick anyway!
2. How to fight stress then, you ask? Well, don't fight it. Raise the white peace flag with some relaxation and meditation. Breathe deeply. Relax and have trust that everything will work out. It always does anyway, one way or another. Slow down and enjoy the little things. Take some time for yourself. You deserve it, sweetie! (and yes, I know you're sweet if you're reading this.)
3. Emphasize immune-boosting foods like kale, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, miso, ginger, vegetables and fruits, fresh lemon and lime juice, and organic plant-based foods. They're all friggin delicious when prepared well anyway, so this one is lots of fun!
4. Make some crazy superpowered immune-boosting miso soup. Use dark miso, kale, shiitakes, garlic, and sea veggies (if you like) and make sure not to overheat the soup as it can kill the nutrients (especially the miso).
5. Drink lots of healthy liquids. Cut out or reduce the drinks that don't serve your best interests (alcohol, sugary soda, diet soda, etc.). I love to drink a tea made with nettles--they're an amazingly nourishing superfood--and they're cheap! You can find them dried in most health food stores.
6. Reduce or eliminate the foods that don't serve you...such as: animal products, hydrogenated oils, aspartame (and other fake sweeteners), and artificially colored/flavored foods. But don't worry...if you eliminate these so-called foods for a while, you will naturally stop craving them and actually find them distasteful. Distasteful, disrespectful, and disturbing. I promise.
Good luck, and remember...You are strong. You are capable. And you are SO worth it!

Startin' the Day off Fabulously!

People often ask me what they should eat and drink in the morning for maximum nutritional benefits and health. And so I've decided to use those questions as inspiration for today's blog. As you can see from the picture on the left, I am a big fan of lemons. Lemons in the morning, lemons at night. Lemons in your soup, them lemons be all right! Lemons are alkalanizing, chock-full of vitamin C, and the absolute perfect way to greet your system every morning.
So here are my tips for ways to set a healthy, rejuvenating tone every morning:
1. Squeezing a half (or whole) lemon's juice into some water will cleanse your system and make your liver want to send you a thank-you card. I like those old-fashioned hand citrus juicers the best. You know, the ones you place over a cup and the lemon juice goes right in (while the seeds are retained in the juicer).
2. I usually chase the lemon water with some of my beloved green drink. I like to buy it locally from my good friend Jennie Blechman. She's an amazing herbalist who uses local, organic ingredients like nettles. If you'd like to try her concoction, she can be reached at artemisiabotanicals@hotmail.com. Otherwise, look for a brand that uses organic ingredients and quality superfoods like spirulena, wheat grass, and barley grass.
3. After the first two items, I really recommend getting on the fruit scene. Ideally, a fruit salad with some antioxidant-rich berries for maximum whole-food and fiber punch. However, a pure-fruit smoothie (without sweeteners or other unnecessary junk) is also really refreshing and rejuvenating. I always keep frozen bananas on hand, and love using orange juice as the base. From there, you can add acai, berries, peaches, mango, or any other fruit that works.
I hope these tips serve as inspiration for setting the right tone in your kitchen every morning. Of course, if you need a more substantial, caloric breakfast, you can always add in a whole grain or clean, vegan, protein-based item that will keep you going longer. Just do what works perfectly for you! But no matter what you end up choosing, a healthy start to the day will help you stay fit and keep your immune system and energy levels at their highest. The other benefit is that your taste buds and cravings change for the better as you develop healthy habits. Bonus!

Eggplant Yumminess!

After a very long weekend, here I sit at the home of my friends Chuck and Amy. The most amazing thing here (aside from their unceasing hospitality) is their backyard.

Once a useless wasteland of green grass and concrete, it's now absolute utopia. They had it completely redone, permaculture-style, and now it contains everything from peach trees to kale to boysenberries to eggplant.

And it's just so....pretty. This is quite a feat, considering the Colorado growing season is so short!

So in celebration of their garden, I'd like to draw the focus to just one of their crops--the eggplant. Here's one recipe that is quick, insanely delish, and nutritious. It's taken from the 2nd edition of Radiant Health, Inner Wealth with permission from the author (yes, me). Enjoy!

Easy and Addictive Eggplant "Chips"

It is slightly disturbing how this dish can make it possible—even likely—for an entire eggplant to be consumed by one person (that would be me) in one sitting. These "chips" are one of my standby favorites as they are delicious and require a prep time of only five minutes. It should be noted, however, that these are soft and gooey, rather than crispy. With that said, I hope you enjoy this healthy, unusual snack!

One 1 lb. eggplant, sliced in ¼-inch thick rounds
4 tablespoons each: olive oil and liquid broth (vegetable or "chicken" broth, page 194)

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons tamari, shoyu, or soy sauce
2 teaspoons dried garlic granules
1 teaspoon organic sugar or sucanat

1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Place the eggplant rounds in a single layer on a large cookie sheet. Whisk together all of the other items and pour over the eggplant. Turn the slices over so that the marinade can soak into the other side of the eggplant as well.*
2. Allow the eggplant to marinate briefly while the oven is preheating. Turn the slices over again, keeping them in a single layer. Bake them for about 10-15 minutes, or until the underside is very nicely browned.
3. Flip the slices over with a spatula and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until the eggplant is very tender and looks caramelized (gooey and well browned) on both sides. Serve immediately.
Serves 2-3; 30 minutes or under! GF/Blue
*You will have some sauce that doesn’t quite absorb into the eggplant. It will bake onto the pan, but if you soak the pan for at least 10 minutes, it will wash off easily.

Eating Well on a Budget

Well, I'll come right out and say it...I'm a little pressed for time this morning since I've got a very (too) busy weekend ahead of me with book signings in Salida and Denver. But, I did promise (as part of a vegan mofo pledge) to blog every single day this month...and a promise IS a promise!
So I's is gonna cheat...just a little. Someone e-mailed me yesterday and bravely poured her soul out to me. She said she really wants to eat better but is struggling, due to current lack of funds. She asked me for some tips on eating well on a tight budget. After having given a workshop to Head Start parents on this not too long ago, I had a few ideas.

So, here's what I wrote:

1. Have you tried sprouting at home? It's crazy cheap and one of the best, most vital things we can eat.

2. Along the same lines as sprouting, growing your own food is the way to go for nutrition and cheapness combined. I would recommend setting up a spot where you can perhaps grow some greens so that you can have an organic salad every day.

3. Beans! Do you have access to a pressure cooker? Dried beans are cheap and incredible, nutrition-wise. And they're awesome in a pressure cooker.

4. Buy in quantity from the cheapest health food store--get a big bag of whole wheat flour, beans, rice, whatever whole foods staple that would work for you. And try to make it organic if you can. If a big bag of organic whole wheat flour can be purchased, you will have fresh, homemade, whole grain bread and/or tortillas. It can be made in large batches and frozen for convenience.
5. I personally try to score on cheap organic bananas...and usually succeed. How? When I see over-ripe (read: perfect) bananas in the store, they are usually at least 50% off. They are also just right for wrapping and freezing for future smoothies. Plus, I take this one step further. The perfect morning shake also involves homemade vegan milk (I make soy-almond) which is only pennies per serving. My daughter's favorite shake is made simply with nondairy milk, frozen bananas, and a little carob or vanilla. So simple, so good, so nourishing!
I hope this helps inspire you to eat well...it CAN be done on a budget and will save you money in the long run! For more tips, my book Radiant Health, Inner Wealth contains a complete sprouting guide as well as many bean, bread, and breakfast shake recipes. With LOVE and highest intent, Tess

Healthy Kids!

Today was my turn to bring in snacks for my daughter's 1st grade class. Plus, I volunteered this morning, so what's coming to mind today is the subject of healthy kids! Some of you may have seen my facebook post yesterday. But for those of you who didn't, it went like this:
It's my turn to provide the snack for Alethea's 1st grade class tomorrow. Her teacher said: "You'd be amazed at what happens when there are fruits & veggies available. Kids almost always go for them first...I don't think many of them usually get the chance!" So, I think it will be carrots, cinnamon apples, & veggie booty. This just affirms to me that we are born with a natural tendency to want to eat healthy foods...
So, in the spirit of celebrating our natural state of health, what are some tips that ensure that healthy children stay healthy?
1. Pack their lunches--I know it's easy (and cheap) for many folks to let their kids eat the school lunch, but have you seen what's in them? Our school has one of the healthiest lunches around according to many people's standards...yet I found very little nutritional value in them, aside from the paltry gram of fiber that was to be found in the iceberg lettuce and little bit of vitamin C in one orange wedge.
2. Make exercising a fun part of every day! We often do "dance parties" at night after dinnertime. It's incredible exercise, provides great bonding, and is lots of fun. And, no, you don't have to re-wire your disco ball. All it requires is some jivin' music and a willingness to shake your veggie booty.
3. Give them the option of eating fruits and veggies daily. In fact, trick them if necessary. For example, last night I didn't say "Do you want some veggies?" I said: "Would you rather have a salad or some raw veggies?" She didn't think about it much, but devoured the carrot and celery sticks and was probably glad she got to choose (since she's been complaining about being burned out on salads lately).
4. There are tons of other tips and recipes in my book Radiant Health, Inner Wealth, but I'll leave you with a short list of snacks that kids seem to love (many of which are also great in lunches):
-nori strips ("spicy nori strips" are found pre-packaged in most health food stores and kids flip over them)
-soy yogurt (I love Nancy's brand--it feels so fresh and nourishing to me, unlike many other brands of soy yogurt)...I also make it fun by drizzling some natural food color over the top (especially yellow, as it's made from antioxidant-rich turmeric)
-apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon and drizzled with agave nectar
-nuts--even picky eaters like my kiddo like pistachios and tamari almonds
-ants on a log (celery sticks filled with peanut butter and dotted with raisins--or dried cranberries or cherries)
-fresh spring rolls (rice paper filled with carrots, lettuce, cilantro, tofu, and rice noodles) dipped in peanut sauce
-nori rolls (nori filled with rice, sesame seeds, carrots, and anything else that's healthy and kid-edible)
-whole-grain muffins (these can be jam-packed with good things like flax, fruit, ground nuts, and even finely grated veggies)
Good luck and remember--kids are developing habits for life. Let's keep assisting them to make healthy, informed choices so that they can enjoy radiant health for years to come!


Yay! It's the first day of October and, food nerd that I am, this makes me think of pumpkins. Every year, we head down to the local organic pumpkin patch (that's Chimney Rock for you Four Corners readers) and have some good old fun. As in hay rides (that involve no hay) and deliberating a little too much over the perfect pumpkins. We buy two: one for eating and one for carving. What do we do with them? Well, hang onto your scarecrow, this is gonna be exciting:
1. The eating pumpkin...Recently my 6-yr-old said: "You know why that pumpkin pie last year was so good? Because I was treating that little pumpkin like my specialist little baby. It probably felt so good inside."
Before you run to the bathroom in an attempt to purge from the excessive cuteness...let's talk about what we use the eating pumpkin for. We actually pick out a "pumpkin pie pumpkin" (that's really what it's called) to make, yes, pumpkin pies. Using home-cooked pumpkin really does give a bright, fresh flavor to pies. Any leftovers will then be frozen and used in soups and biscuits (we make rosemary-pumpkin biscuits). It's actually surprising how long pumpkin will stay good in the freezer. I just made those biscuits last week, in fact, with some pumpkin from last October. And, yes, they were still delicious!
2. The carving pumpkin...This must be, well, big. Big and orange. And, to be fair, we don't just carve it. We do eat the seeds. After scooping out the seeds (for me, this is conjuring up images of little arms, all coated in orange goop), we like to place them in a strainer. From there, we rinse them and separate the seeds from the pulp. And, boy am I glad my daughter likes this job! When all of the seeds are clean, I then toss them with a little oil (such as sunflower or non-virgin olive), seasoned salt, and garlic granules. Next, place them on a cookie sheet in a single layer and bake at 350F, turning every 10 minutes, until nicely browned. When they're done, you'll have one of nature's perfect treats. Full of zinc, omega 3s, and fiber, pumpkin seeds are one delish snack that will love you back!