Thursday, October 6, 2011

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

"There is a GARDEN of information available about early breast cancer detection. GROW your knowledge!"
These days, I have been feeling super crafty. Creativity helps me unwind after a day at work. I've been teaching myself to knit, and am now a whiz with papier maché. When the The Retreat's 4th Annual Decorated Bra Event made the call for entries, I leaped at the opportunity. The contest raises money for HeartStrings Sisters, a volunteer organization sponsored by IU Health Goshen and The Retreat, that provides information, free mammograms, and emotional support to women diagnosed with breast cancer. Votes are donations, and the winning bra is the one that raises the most money.

I wanted to create something beautiful, inspired by my patients. As I am a naturopathic doctor, I also wanted to make something "nature-y." A friend provided the sprig of artificial flowers, and my glue gun and I went to work. I used a foundation of burlap (a tote bag I bought earlier this summer at Target), lining the bra in striped fabric, and using green on the outside. I left the edges rough, to resemble growing grass. I then covered the burlap in flowers, leaves, and ivy.

My favorite detail is the small cluster of "baby's breath" hiding the clasp in the back.

Please visit the contest website and vote for your favorite. Vote for more than one, all of the proceeds go to HeartStrings Sisters.

For more information and to vote, go to or vote in person at The Retreat in Goshen. The bras will be on display at First Friday, November 4, 2011, at Bryan Chris Photography.

Thank you, Steve.

"...believing that the dots will connect down the road, will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path..."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

iced green tea with strawberry lemonade

not exactly an Arnold Palmer, but definitely refreshing. any ideas for a name?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Heat wave

Growing up mostly on the East Coast, I know heat and humidity, but those six years in Portland really spoiled me. Sure, we would get a week of 90° plus weather with a bit of humidity and I would complain with the rest of them. But I'm here in the Midwest, now, and do they know how to do summer heat. The heat wave hit my town on Sunday. I felt it Saturday, when I was in Chicago. But that was nothing. It is now 8:30 pm, and the temperature outside is 91°, but the Accuweather RealFeel® is 105°. I live in an apartment without air conditioning and with the magic of fans and closed windows, I have managed to keep my place a "refreshing" 78°. It's a bit muggy indoors, but not as steamy as it is out there.

I decided to dig up some past postings about beating the heat, staying hydrated, and knowing your water quality. (Sorry about any broken links!)

Keep cool! Ideas on staying comfortable when it's anything but outside.

Water. Helpful hints on hydration. I made the comment about drinking half your body weight in water, and this thought is very controversial. I'm a proponent of taking in enough to replace what you output, which for the average healthy person under every day circumstances is about 8 cups a day. And this is not just water, but soups, juices and herbal teas. Special situations call for more or less hydration.

Classic Summertime Gazpacho. Soup in the summer? You know it! And I'm not just talking about cool, delicious gazpacho, as featured in this post. When I was in Chicago, I had lunch at XOCO, a fantastic café featuring Mexican street food. The spicy and filling Carnitas Caldo was the perfect meal on a warm Chicago afternoon. I mean, just look at this soup!

What's in YOUR water?
It's all about quality in this post about Environmental Working Group's 2009 article about the pollutants that exist in our water supply. Enter in your zip code and find out what's in your local water.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Quick and Easy Pan Chili

Sunday is when I make lunches for the week, typically something I can portion into individual glass containers, refrigerate, and grab on my way out the door in the morning. A few weeks ago when I was using my stock pot for one thing, my slow cooker for another, I came up with this easy, quick way to make chili in a covered sauté pan.

Quick and Easy Pan Chili
(All organic ingredients were used in the making of this recipe)

One medium onion, diced
Two large carrots, diced
One pound ground turkey, buffalo, or grass-fed beef (optional)
Two 15 oz cans of beans, drained & rinsed, any variety (Eden Farms makes BPA-free cans)
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Cumin, approximately 1/2 teaspoon, or to taste
Jar of marinara sauce
Olive oil
Garnishes (grated cheese, plain yogurt, diced onion)
  • Cook onions and carrots in small amount of olive oil, in a deep sauté pan with a lid, over low to medium heat until soft.
  • Turn up the heat, add ground meat and brown, turning often.
  • Season with spices.
  • Stir in beans, then add marinara sauce.
  • Cover and simmer until heated thoroughly and meat is cooked.
  • Garnish and serve over brown rice, polenta, and kale or other hearty greens.
I don't add a lot of seasoning because the marinara sauce has plenty of flavor. I just "de-Italian" the chili by adding the cumin and cayenne. Sometimes, I add frozen mixed veggies for more "greens." Clean up is super quick, just the skillet, cutting board, and any utensils used for stirring (or sampling).

The chili can be made without ground meat, just add more beans or even more veggies (peppers, celery, sweet potatoes, or squash). The beans don't have to be canned; if there is time, rehydrate dried beans. It's less expensive and there is less risk of BPA or other contaminants from cans.

Related Information
BPA in Cans | Organic Grace
Two Cents for Safer Cans