Originally designed for health and nutrition my blog is taking a turn.  Although fully vested in health and nutrition, there is more.  I hope there is more.

This time I will not define my destination but will keep an open mind and enjoy the journey.

Happy trails,


Life after 60!

Employment after age sixty is challenging and hard not to believe discrimination is a factor, but today I got confirmation it is alive and well. I attended a required Maryland seminar; not attending threatened certain denial of unemployment benefits. I prepared my forms and documented my job search as instructed and went to the address provided. It was the wrong address, leaving 10-20 people nervously clamoring to get to the correct location. After paying for parking at one location I had problems with the magnetic strip on my debit card and could not pay again and towing was enforced. Good Samaritans pooled dimes and quarters and paid my due just in time for me to sit in on the first half required lecture. During the break, staff asked if anyone was over sixty, which I am. I took my two inches of documentation, Excel spreadsheet, and colorful printouts to the messenger where I was given a waiver. If one is over sixty the state of Maryland does not require job search to collect UI benefits. I can only assume the state knows discrimination is real, laws cannot protect seniors, and we are too old to hire. So what is the use of trying? Until now I never felt old and in our society I wonder if it is downhill from here. So, I am going to cry a few tears of indignation and when I come back, burn that damn waiver!


Exploring food prep ways and whys proved challenging during the past six months, however a theory emerged. There seems to be four ways to prepare plant based foods: raw, juiced, blended, and cooked.

Raw foods are not heated over 115 degrees, are often shaped into familiar foods like cheese, meats,  pies, and cookies. Raw foods (other than salads or fresh from the garden) are prepared in processors, blenders, and dehydrators;  the latter can take up to twenty four hours prep time.  Dried fruits and veggies make a great snack when eating fresh off the vine is not practical. Chewing and digestion is harder than juicing or blending. My favorite raw preparation is trail mixes, otherwise, I have an Excalibur sitting idle.

Maybe I will use my Excalibur during the winter months when keeping my house cool is not such an issue.  Otherwise, as I mentioned in earlier posts, eating look-alike and taste-alike cheeses and meats is not appealing to me.

Juicing requires fresh everything and when buying in large quantities and freezing what cannot be used, juicing is not possible.  It takes a special masticating juicer to get kale to give up her juice; I had a Breville but hated loosing the benefits of seeded fruit; the seeds in strawberries time-releases sugar preventing a blood sugar spike. However, I am convinced juicing is the best, purest, and fastest way to get nutrients to the body and the digestive system loves juice! Light, no bloating, easy in and easy out!  Best ever for illness and ailments.

Blending with a good blender is the easiest way to get fiber and mix liquids into one’s drink. Bloating can be a side effect and taking MAG07 and probiotics was essential for me.

I found cooking is best for veggies like sweet potatoes, whole grains, and legumes but in general, cooking reduces nutrients and cooked foods are harder to digest.

I incorporate  combination of all methods throughout the day:  Juice in order to keep digestion light in the morning, saving energy for all we do (  Blend at lunch.  Eat raw and cook at night and enjoy a juice with dinner.

May our journey make yours a little easier,


Transitioning to Plant Based Diet

Cutting dairy and animal protein, exploring vegan, and experimenting with raw led to frenzy-research, buying, and preparing. Vitamix and Excalibur joined the appliance family overpowering Kitchen Aid mixer and barely nodding to coffee pot.

Twenty-two jars, four bowls, a fifty-five gallon Coleman, and countless green storage bags joined two four feet industrial shelves.

Five new cookbooks, a cookbook holder, Pinterest, and a blog gave me unlimited learning opportunities and hours and hours of study. What did I learn?

Less is best. Simple is underrated. Eating a raw plant based diet eliminates cravings, therefore learning to make nuts into cheeses and fruit into ice cream, and nuts and soy into meat proved unnecessary. We no longer crave meat, want cheese, or need dessert. If I want a nut, I eat a nut and it does not have to taste like anything but a nut. Really!

I appreciate all the wonderful chefs and cooks who pour heart and soul into new ways to make old recipes, but for me, for now, I will keep it simple.

To your health,



I am.

As I struggled through my first lap Monday, I asked myself why. Surprisingly, I answered myself without hesitation. Because you said I am tired, I am out of breath, I am bored, so the body followed. After changing my conversation to positive I ams, I swam on, playing like an otter, then beaver, then the Phelps!

Whether from biblical accounts of God speaking to Moses, “I am that I am”, Unity’s 70’s movement, or Tom Shadyac’s documentary, I am is powerful. Use wisely and selectively.

“You are” is strong if internalized and translated to I am, so let’s be careful who we listen to and what we listen to.

RAW Veggie Chips-Kale

Overwhelmed and intimidated first month in my new plant based world, I spent hours looking at recipes created by some of the best cooks and chefs. Often thoughts of defeat plagued me; after fifty years of cooking, I was a stranger in my kitchen.

Gradually that changed, one meal at a time, thanks to tenacity, experience, and the wonderful world of cyberspace chefs! I now have a recipe to share with you.

The challenge was every recipe I found for kale chips simply involved trimming kale leaves from stem, placing on dehydrator tray and waiting:  this yielded flaky leaves, but not what I thought of as a chip.

I want chips that look like corn chips. Maryland’s Whole Foods offers small $8 bags of the perfect RAW-well formed chips, not flaky leaves, so why can’t I do it?

Thanks to hubby’s logic and suggestion,
welcome to the debut of

Claudia’s Kale Chips!

1 bunch of elephant kale leaves, washed and broken for blender
1 large onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic or 2 tsp. garlic puree
2 peeled lemons
1 cored apple
about 1/8 – 1/4 cup olive oil
about 1 cup filtered water, more as needed
1 tsp paprika

sea salt to taste

Ground Cayenne pepper to taste

Blend water and kale, add oil and other ingredients.  Blend until smooth, adding more water or oil if needed. Mixture should be puree-texture, similar to fruit roll-ups.

Pour and spread on dehydrator sheets, leave edges about 1/4 inch thick. Dehydrate at 145 degrees for about an hour and reduce for 12-18 hours to 115 degrees.

Once crispy, remove, score, and eat!

I plan on adding beets, carrots, nutritional yeast, and other goodies to future recipes, but for now, this is my basic . I think this is also a good foundation for carrot chips, onion chips, beet chips, etc.

I use a Vitamix blender and Excalibur dehydrator; without comparable equipment, this recipe probably cannot be replicated.

Please suggest variations!

To your health,


Off track

Recently experiencing TMD which is what I attribute to de-stresing and detoxing.  Cause listed on are:

What Causes TMD?

The cause of TMD is not clear, but dentists believe that symptoms arise from problems with the muscles of the jaw or with the parts of the joint itself.

Injury to the jaw, temporomandibular joint, or muscles of the head and neck – such as from a heavy blow or whiplash – can cause TMD. Other possible causes include:

  • Grinding or clenching the teeth, which puts a lot of pressure on the TMJ
  • Dislocation of the soft cushion or disc between the ball and socket
  • Presence of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the TMJ
  • Stress, which can cause a person to tighten facial and jaw muscles or clench the teeth

I am clenching!

Okay.  So I have to take pain killers to get through the day and often the pain shoots through the best beta blockers and pain of a thousand needles pierce my teeth.  In four seconds, it dulls and I am left dreading the next one and wiped out, miserable for being miserable at the best time of my life!

The dentist and MD and specialist all say it is TMD and I need YOGA!  Unfortunately, I am loopy with pain killers (okay, it is just Advil, but I have not taken pills for several months, consequently, my stomach is upset and I am sleepy).  I have a bite guard.   I use warm moist heat.  Still, I am just getting through the day.

So, I am determined to fix this my way!  Food and holistic remedies!  Any ideas out there?


Oz-Approved 7-Day Crash Diet | The Dr. Oz Show

Oz-Approved 7-Day Crash Diet | The Dr. Oz Show.


I do not diet and I think putting this information in a 7-day Crash Diet format is a grave injustice to Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live.  However, this introduces a path to long lasting health and fitness.

Notice eating berries is acceptable at dinner, which is not commonly supported because fruit has much sugar, however, berries with seeds regulate the release of sugar.

Finally, a ah-ha moment reminds me to eat.  I rarely get hungry and I forget to eat.  You gotta eat to live . . .