Memorial Day is a beautiful day to reflect on the strong, courageous, and dedicated men and women who have put themselves in harm’s way in order to serve this amazing country. I found this Memorial Day infographic on the The Huffington Post and had to share it with you because it is not only informative, but also powerful…well, at least I think so.

Please, take a break from barbecuing at 3:00 p.m. for a national moment of remembrance and to reflect on the real reasons behind the holiday and to remember those who have served so bravely.


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Want a better breakfast? Try this yumalicious raspberry smoothie bowl. Yep, it’s a smoothie that you eat with a spoon, yet thick enough for toppings! And it’s a heck of a way to brighten up a gray rainy morning.



1 large banana, sliced

¾ cup frozen raspberries

½ cup almond milk

2 tsp. honey

1.4 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Pinch ground cinnamon




1 kiwi or banana, sliced

2 tbsp. chopped roasted almonds or walnuts

1 tsp. flaxseed or chia seeds

2 tbsp. puffed rice cereal or granola


Place the banana, raspberries, almond milk, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon in a blender.  Blend until smooth and frothy. Pour the smoothie into a bowl. Top with the kiwi or banana. Almonds, flaxseed, and cereal.


Pile on the toppings~. There’s no wrong way to top a smoothie bowl.  Any kind of ripe fruit, a toasted grain, nut, or seed, or even your favorite cereal will add texture and help fill you up.


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My Philosophy



Many things have transpired since my breast cancer diagnosis a few years ago.  One of which is a newfound love of apricots. Yup. I can’t get enough of them. Anyhoo, another is a new found love of poetry. Both are equally shocking to me. Prior to breast cancer, I didn’t like either (apricots even less than poetry). Now, I love BOTH.  What wonderful Shining Moments!

Another change that has come from breast cancer is a more focused understanding of my life philosophy.  I have always thought of myself as generally a happy person (nauseatingly so, I’ve been told).  However, all of those hours laying in my bed drooling really made me think about and clarify my personal philosophy of happiness.

Well, leave it to a poem to perfectly describe my thoughts and feelings (Shining Moment).


To be without desire is to be content.

But contentment is not happiness.

And in contentment there is no progress.

Happiness is to desire something, to work for it, and to obtain at least a part of it.

In the pursuit of beloved labor the busy days pass cheerfully employed, and still nights in peaceful sleep.

For labor born of desire is not drudgery, but manly play.

Success brings hope, hope inspires fresh desire, and desire gives zest to life and joy to labor.

This is true whether your days be spent in the palaces of the powerful or in some little green by-way of the world.

Therefore, while yet you have the strength, cherish a desire to do some useful work in your little corner of the world, and have the steadfastness to labor.

For this is the way to the happy life; with health and endearing ties, it is the way to the glorious life.

– Max Ehrmann




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Ruth Reichl is quite a storyteller. The former Editor in Chief of Gourmet magazine and recipient of six James Beard Awards for food writing tells her story about her evolution as a food critic in New York, specifically at the New Your Times in her book, Garlic and Sapphires. She had to literally become a different person, Molly Hollis, when she went to restaurants so that the proprietors and chefs did not recognize her (and therefore roll out the red carpet in order to get a good review in the New York Times).

One of her first critiques at the NYT was of famed Le Cirque. She described two of her visits there, once as Molly Hollis and once as herself, Ruth Reichl: The New York Times Food Critic.

When she went as Molly Hollis (with a friend), she felt as though the maitre d’ was disappointed to have her as a guest (her disguise transformed her from a chic New York urbanite to a 30-lb heavier retired English teacher from Birmingham, Michigan who wore a used beige Armani suit and a short, straight ash brown wig). She commented to her friend that she was “going to learn a lot from being someone else.”

As Molly, she was treated poorly at Le Cirque. VERY poorly. For example, she had to wait an inordinate amount of time for a table despite having a reservation. She was seated in the smoking section (when they still had smoking sections) despite requesting the non-smoking section. The waiter neglected to offer the special seasonal menu offered to the man sitting next to them. Additionally, having only read only 3 pages of the wine list, it was snatched from her and given to a man three tables down from hers.

Ruth wondered if their atrocious treatment was because they were two women or whether they were tourists. Regardless of the reason, at the end of her night as Molly, Ruth felt “frumpy, powerless and humiliated.”

When she was recognized as Ruth Reichl: The New York Times Food Critic, however, it was as if the seas parted, she said.  This time, the maitre d’ said, “the King of Spain is waiting for a table, but for you, the table is ready.” Oh, and this is arriving nearly an hour early for her reservation.  She went on to say, “When I was discovered, the change was startling. Everything improved: the seating, the service, the size of the portions.” Quite shocking. And (sadly) not.

You need to purchase her book for more juicy details about her secret life of a critic in disguise (including her NYT Review of Le Cirque).



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Only in America can we find a way to scare the bejesus out of a woman with normal breasts and a normal mammogram. But that’s exactly what breast density notification laws in about half the states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey, are doing.

I know this all too well because I receive the letter telling me: “Your mammogram shows that your breast tissue is dense.  Dense breast tissue is very common and is not abnormal…but can make it harder to find cancer on a mammogram and may also be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.  Talk to your doctor about your own risks for breast cancer.” Geez!!!!

The information mandated by the law is just enough to scare any women who happens to have dense breasts, but not enough to help her understand what this really means.

If you’ve gotten such a letter, don’t be afraid.  Having dense breasts is normal, especially if you are under age 60.  Here’s what you need to know according to Margaret Polaneczky, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Weill Cornell Medical College and N.Y. Presbyterian Hospital. She recently wrote for the Diagnosis: Cancer blog at I found her information to be sooooooooooooo helpful.

Breast density is a technical term, not an abnormal diagnosis. It describes how well X-rays pass through breast tissue.  It is a surrogate for how much of the breast is fatty and how much is glandular.

Breast density is subjective. Different radiologists may assign the same mammogram different density ratings.

Breast density can vary across a woman’s menstrual cycle and over her lifetime. That means that the same woman, scanned at a different time in her cycle or at a later year, may or may not be told she has dense breasts.

Increased breast density may be a risk factor for getting breast cancer. The mechanism is unknown, but it could be that breast density is just the end result of other factors that increase breast cell proliferation and activity factors such as genetics and postmenopausal hormone use.

We really have no way to translate individual breast density into individual breast cancer risk.  But the biggest problem with considering breast density as a risk factor for breast cancer is that most women at some point in their lives have dense breasts.

Dense breasts can obscure a cancer on mammogram. Overall, about 10 percent of breast cancers are missed by mammograms. (Mine was missed. I pleaded for an ultrasound…sorry, I digress). That percentage may be higher if a woman has dense breasts. (Umm…hello). The exact miss rate depends on her risk to start with, which depends on age and other risk factors.

Additional screening beyond mammography is recommended only for women at highest risk for breast cancer. Even in this group, declines in mortality with additional screening have not yet been shown, and the rate of false alarms with this additional testing is extremely high. (My opinion…you know your body, get a second, third or fourth opinion. I got five. Just sayin’).

What should you do if you’ve been told your breasts are dense on mammography? If you are at increased risk for breast cancer due to personal or family history, you may want to consider adding ultrasound or MRI screening. (Yes!!!!)!

If you are not at increased risk for breast cancer and have dense breasts, there is no recommendation that you do anything other than continue screening at whatever interval you and your doctor have decided is right for you.  If you decide you nonetheless want an ultrasound, understand that you will need to accept the additional false positives and biopsies that may result and that the additional screening has not been shown to decrease deaths from breast cancer in women at average risk. (On the other hand, getting more than one or two opinions may be very beneficial…just say’n….again).

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“Life is a process.  Improve the quality of the process and you improve the quality of life itself.” ~ Moishe Feldenkrais

#life #lifeisaprocess #improveyourqualityoflife #improveyourself

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Image and source: GlitterGuide

Think pizza can’t be healthy? Think again! Below, I have a yumma-licious recipe for Arugula Berry Spring Pizza with Cauliflower Crust, perfect for those looking to indulge in a delicious pizza pie loaded with veggies and fruits!

Seriously, who doesn’t love pizza? I frequently make it at home using fresh, whole food ingredients with lots of veggies. So, I would say that pizza can, in fact, be a healthy food that is also delicious!

Cauliflower crust is the hot, new thing in the health and cooking world. Well, not really a new thing, but it has become increasingly popular lately. I received many emails from readers asking for more recipes with cauliflower crust so I decided to try my hand at coming up with a simple recipe for this veggie-based crust, and it turned out great!

Not only does this crust make this pizza gluten-free and grain-free, the abundance of cauliflower provides vitamins C and K, fiber, folate, potassium, beta-carotene, choline and more. Wowza!

With the addition of the flaxseed in the crust, as well as fresh basil pesto ingredients, plus arugula and berries, this spring pizza proves to be a great source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats and protein. It’s not only healthy, it’s also delicious and easier to make than you may think!


Crust Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cauliflower rice (you can find at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 free-range egg
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed

Basil Pesto Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon raw pine nuts

Fresh Pizza Toppings:

  • Arugula
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Raw pine nuts
  • Optional: slices of Parmesan cheese

*Opt for organic ingredients when possible.


  1. Heat cauliflower rice in a frying pan over medium to medium-high heat for approximately 6-to-10 minutes. This will soften the cauliflower. Let cool for five minutes.
  2. Whisk egg in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add Parmesan cheese, flaxseed and softened cauliflower into mixing bowl and mix together well.
  4. Place parchment paper on pizza pan (or cookie sheet if you don’t have a pizza pan) and transfer dough onto pan.
  5. Pat dough into the shape of a pizza pie, making it approximately ¼-inch thick.
  6. Bake crust at 400 F for 20 minutes.
  7. While the crust is in the oven, make your pesto sauce by blending almond milk, basil, garlic, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese in a high-powered blender.
  8. Remove crust from oven and let cool.
  9. Spread pesto sauce evenly on crust and top with arugula, blackberries, raspberries, pine nuts and additional slices of Parmesan cheese if you’d like.
  10. Note: You can either eat it as is without warming up the toppings or you can place back in the oven for about 5-to-10 more minutes. Either option tastes great! The uncooked toppings give it a crisp, fresh taste, and the melted cheese and warm berries give it more of a comfort food taste (the warm berries remind me of a warm berry pie!). Totally your preference or you can’t go wrong trying both ways!
  11. Serve with your favorite sparkling white wine and enjoy!


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Oh gosh. At least ten times a week, I get an email informing me of the (wretched!) news that yet another person has been diagnosed with f-bomb cancer. Not just breast cancer. Any kind of cancer. All kinds of cancer. The theme always remains the same. Time and time again, people ask:

What can I say?

What can I do?

What ‘should’ I not do?

Well, I thought I’d (re)share with you the ideas that I’ve had as a patient going through the experience. Here are the “instead of” questions/comments (you know…the ones that leave room for improvement) and the more pleasing (as a patient, anyway!) “say instead” Shining Moment things to say.

Speaking on behalf of patients everywhere (if I may), the majority of us know that you all try your best. We really do. Here are just a few better options to express what you are feeling. Thank you in advance for helping to take care of us!

Instead of:

  • What can I do for you?

Say Instead:

  • I’m going to drop dinner over for you and your family. What time works for you?


Instead of:

  • Did you get my email? I haven’t heard back from you.

Say Instead:

  • Please know that I am thinking about you. Do not feel any obligation to write back.


Instead of:

  • You have breast cancer? I had it too. My aunt and sister died of it.

Say Instead:

  • I have also had breast cancer and wish you the very best in your treatment and recovery.


Instead of:

  • Silence (as in no communication).

Say Instead:

  • I’m sad to hear the news about your diagnosis. I’ll be here for you if you need me.


Instead of:

  • At least they caught it early.

Say Instead:

  • This must be hard for you. I’m here for you whenever you would like to talk about it.


Instead of:

  • You “only” have two more chemo treatments left.

Say Instead:

  • It’s great news that you are nearing the end of your chemo.


Instead of:

  • You are going to be just fine.

Say Instead:

  • I’ll be here to support you during your treatment.


Instead of:

  • After your double mastectomy and reconstruction, at least you will have two perky boobs when you are 85.

Say Instead:

  • How do you feel about your upcoming surgery?


Instead of:

  • You get to take a few months off of work.

Say Instead:

  • We will miss you at the office and look forward to your return.








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I love lemons. In fact, I can’t get enough lemon in my water and most recipes, too. I follow lemony foods on Pinterest, love the color yellow because it makes me happy, and am always perusing blogs with lemons. Call me crazy, but it’s one of my idiosyncrasies. When I came across the Love and Lemons blog, I knew I came across something B.I.G.


The Love and Lemons blog has taken the internet foodie world by storm with its standout design and delicious recipes, attracting buzz from everyone from Ottolenghi to Saveur. Now, in her highly anticipated debut cookbook, Jeanine Donofrio celebrates seasonal and impromptu cooking with 100 all-new delicious vegetarian recipes.
Donofrio’s cooking philosophy is that simple combinations can make exceptionally delicious meals that are easy to put together. I hear ya, sister. Organized by ingredient, The Love and Lemons Cookbook will teach you to make masterpieces with what you have on hand, whether it’s three armfuls of farmers’ market arugula or two pounds of CSA radishes.
With vibrant, fresh food photography, artful graphic elements, and exceptionally stylish layouts, The Love and Lemons Cookbook caters to today’s image-orientated readers. Stunningly designed and efficiently organized, this will be both a beautiful book and a workhorse kitchen bible that you’ll find yourself using again and again.


I especially love the apple-zucchini celebration of impromptu cooking. If you are looking for a gift, check it out.

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“Better keep yourself clean and bright. You are the window through which you must see the world. ~ George Bernard Shaw

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