Watermelon with Mint and Lime

Nothing signals the arrival of the warm summer months, for me, like the abundance of watermelons available for purchase. I love watermelon and a bowlful of the sweet succulent fruit makes a satisfying meal for me.

For Try This Tuesday, I was delighted to sample a simple recipe for a watermelon salad, created by Anthony William, and shared in his book, Life Changing Foods.

Watermelon with Mint and Lime

Here’s the easy, three ingredient recipe:

Watermelon with Mint and Lime

8 cups of diced watermelon

Lime juice from 2 limes

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves

Place watermelon in a serving bowl. Squeeze lime juice generously over the top. Sprinkle with finely chopped mint leaves and serve. Makes 2 servings.

Watermelon with Mint and Lime

This time of year I keep watermelon cut up and chilling in the fridge. I have one watermelon vine growing in the backyard, another volunteer plant that makes me think my gardener grandfather, Pop, who passed away years ago, is tucking magical seeds in the ground. I harvested several melons from last year’s surprise vine, so I’m hopeful! I can always purchase watermelons from the farmer’s market or grocery store as well.

I grow mint in my herb garden and enjoyed snipping a few sprigs for this salad. And I’ve learned the value of keeping lemons and limes on hand. I make pitchers of lemon/lime water to sip on during the day, and use the juice from both frequently as I cook. Having everything readily available, this salad came together in a snap.

It was delicious too! I loved the unique combination of sweet melon with the tang of lime juice and the pop of freshly picked mint, leaves warm from the sunshine.

Watermelon with lime and mint will become a favorite meal this summer! For more information on the powerful healing benefits of melons, watch for Friday’s post.

Watermelon with Mint and Lime

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Lobelia Herb

As a gardener, I have been familiar with a variety of the lobelia plant, known for its tiny attractive purplish blue or white flowers. I’ve planted it in containers in the backyard garden. When I read the chapter on the shingles virus, in Medical Medium by Anthony William, I learned that the plant, which is technically an herb, has health benefits as well. Anthony listed lobelia as a supplement to include, to fight the shingles virus. I ordered it immediately.

Lobelia Herb

Lobelia inflata, also called Indian tobacco, was originally used, many years ago, by people suffering from nicotine withdrawal. The herb’s health benefits include stimulating the respiratory system, relaxing and opening the lungs, and easing allergy and asthma symptoms and congestion. Lobelia has expectorant properties, making it useful as well for bronchitis.

As a diaphoretic, lobelia promotes perspiration, which may not sound like a benefit, but it helps to relieve fevers by cooling the skin and rids the body of toxins, while contributing to healthy blood circulation. Diaphoretics are useful in treating diarrhea, and liver and kidney disorders.

Lobelia Herb

Lobelia is also a powerful relaxant for smooth muscles and the nervous system, providing pain relief and easing spasms, especially in the respiratory system. And as I learned in the Medical Medium book, lobelia kills the shingles virus.

I was suffering greatly from severe sciatica when I began taking lobelia. The shingles virus had kept the nerves in both legs inflamed for years. I had tried everything to ease my discomfort. So there was no hesitation on my part in eliminating certain foods from my diet, and incorporating more fruits, veggies and supplements that targeted the virus, in an attempt to heal. I began feeling a difference in my legs in the first seven days. Within a few months the pain and inflammation had disappeared.

Lobelia is available in several forms, including capsule, tincture, dried loose leaf tea and powders. It’s also found in many over the counter cold remedies. I currently take it in capsule form, but I’d love to try it dried as a tea.

Steeping a small amount of lobelia leaves with sage, chamomile and peppermint would create a soothing and relaxing hot tea. And that would provide the perfect end to a busy day.

Lobelia Herb

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Sweet Potatoes

Until recently, I associated today’s featured food with the holidays. Sweet potatoes were served at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, covered in butter and brown sugar and topped with marshmallows. Honestly, they were more of a dessert than a side dish.

Even before switching to plant based, I discovered that sweet potatoes could be enjoyed year around, baked like a regular potato and served with butter, salt and pepper. That was a step in the right direction. Lately, sweet potatoes have been my go to food. They are incredibly versatile and full of health benefits.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are wonderful for the digestive system. They promote productive bacteria in the stomach, small intestine and colon, while starving out unproductive bacteria and mold. They enhance the body’s production of B12. And they help to prevent megacolon, an expansion of the large intestine due to bacteria, and alleviate narrowing of the intestinal tract due to chronic inflammation.

Sweet potatoes have an abundance of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Their orange flesh is packed with carotenoids. Those phytochemicals are powerful, drawing radiation from the body and protecting against skin, breast, reproductive, stomach, intestinal, esophageal and rectal cancers.

Sweet Potatoes A sweet potato is always the start of something good.

In addition, sweet potatoes rid the body of unstable, destructive, cancer causing estrogen that interferes with the body’s hormone function. These estrogens come from plastics, pharmaceuticals and environmental toxins. And for those struggling with insomnia, sweet potatoes provide a critical form of glucose that stimulates the development of neurotransmitters, which aid in sleeping soundly. (Info from Life Changing Foods by Anthony William.)

When I first changed my diet, plain baked sweet potatoes became a frequent meal, as they were easy to prepare and eat. I simply added a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. I’ve since built up quite a collection of recipes that include sweet potatoes as an ingredient. I enjoy them raw in salads, as a base for sauces, chopped up in soups and spicy curries, and they are even a main ingredient in a healthy sugar and gluten free muffin.

Sweet Potatoes

I’ve enjoyed roasted sweet potato fries and combining roasted cubes with other veggies. Lately one of my favorite things is to dice sweet potatoes and steam them, along with an assortment of other fresh vegetables, for a colorful and nutritious dinner bowl.

Sweet potatoes are a wonderful comfort food. Anthony writes, in Life Changing Foods, that this super veggie has properties that give the sensation that the world has shut down. It’s an important function that makes me feel safe and soothed, like I’ve received a hug. I love that. And I love my sweet potatoes. No sugar or marshmallows needed or wanted.

Sweet Potatoes

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Roasted Sweet Potato, Chickpeas and Kale Bowl

I was excited to try out this recipe that I found in the latest issue of Thrive Magazine. I’m enjoying my subscription to this plant based publication, and find much inspiration within the glossy pages.

Dinner tonight, for Try This Tuesday, was Roasted Sweet Potato, Chickpeas and Kale Bowls.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Chickpeas and Kale Bowl

This recipe comes from Sapana Chandra. Sapana is a holistic health coach, wellness blogger, food stylist and photographer, and a plant based professional chef. Visit her website HERE.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Chickpeas and Kale Bowl

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Chickpeas and Kale Bowl

Roasted Sweet Potato, Chickpeas & Kale Bowl

Assemble ingredients in this order:

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 tablespoon olive oil

Sea salt & black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl combine cubed sweet potatoes, olive oil and salt & pepper. Toss until sweet potatoes are well coated. Arrange in a single layer on parchment covered baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway.

Spicy Chickpeas

1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Sea salt & black pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan pan, warm oil on medium heat. Add chickpeas, cumin, turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper. Toss until chickpeas are well coated. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, cover to keep warm.

Additional ingredients

4 cups kale, spinach or other greens, washed and chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped

1/4 pomegranate seeds -when in season

Massage kale with olive oil. Or if using other greens, chop. Chop tomatoes.

Lemon Tahini Dressing

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

1/2 teaspoon maple syrup or organic honey

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Dash of cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk until smooth and creamy.

Assemble the bowls. Divide the roasted sweet potatoes, chickpeas, greens and tomatoes between the two bowls. Drizzle with lemon tahini dressing.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Chickpeas and Kale Bowl

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Chickpeas and Kale Bowl

Creating this recipe is a simple step by step process. As the sweet potatoes roasted in the oven, I prepared the chickpeas and allowed them to simmer. I whisked together the dressing ingredients next and popped the bowl into the fridge to chill and thicken slightly.

Before I chopped the greens…I used a mix of spinach and baby kale…and the tomatoes, I turned off the oven and removed the chickpeas from heat and kept covered.

I assembled two bowls and Greg and I sampled this new recipe. It was so savory. The mix of roasted sweet potatoes and spicy chickpeas was a delectable combo. And the lemon tahini dressing lent a complementary tartness.

I am enjoying this health journey. Greg pointed out this evening that when I first switched to plant based, I mostly prepared simple salads or baked potatoes. As I’ve become healthier I’ve turned my focus to preparing wholesome, delicious meals that often combine a variety of veggies, fruits, textures and flavors. And sauces. I’ve discovered that healthy sauces add a nice kick of extra flavor.

I also reminded Greg that this is Tuesday. And what do I do on Tuesdays? I try new things. Sampling or creating new recipes has become a weekly Try This Tuesday tradition. I love it.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes Chickpeas and Kale Bowl

Vitamin D3

Even though I am a firm believer in the importance of supplements, and committed to taking them to support my health, that wasn’t always true for me. In fact, I disliked taking supplements, primarily because there were so many options out there and I never knew what I should be taking. And, most multi-vitamins are created in a such a way that they do the body little good, passing through without even dissolving.

I am grateful for helpful information about supplements in my Medical Medium books. They provide detailed lists about what’s beneficial and why. My desire, in sharing the Sunday Supplement posts, is to help inform others so that they too can decide which herbs and capsules would most benefit them.

Vitamin D3 is one of those supplements I was unsure about, and only recently began taking. Vitamin D is important for bone health. However, taking too much D isn’t helpful because the body discards most of it, deeming it toxic at high levels. Therefore, I’ve always preferred to soak up my D from sunlight and skip the capsules altogether. And then a funny thing happened.

Vitamin D3

When the new Natural Grocers store opened in Joplin, they celebrated their grand opening with give aways. The first time I visited I received, among other goodies, a bottle of Vitamin D3. I stuck it up in the cabinet and didn’t think much about it…until I started the 90 Day Thyroid Cleanse in the Thyroid Healing book.

As I made notes about what foods, herbs and supplements to include during the cleanse, I saw D3 listed as one to add. Anthony William writes, “Supplementing with this vitamin helps stabilize the immune system and prevent it from overreacting to invaders such as EBV (Epstein Barr Virus). Don’t overdo it though…megadoses of vitamin D are not productive.”

Vitamin D3

I retrieved that bottle of D3 and began taking it on Day 1 of the Thyroid Healing Cleanse and have continued to take one capsule a day.

Other benefits of vitamin D3, besides immune support, are: healthy bones and teeth, improved brain health, supports the nervous system, improves lung function and heart health, decreases risk of flu, and regulates insulin levels.

The important thing is not to increase the dosage, thinking more is better. It’s not. D deficiency can result in conditions such as osteoporosis, however, there are other nutrients to be more aware of. Severe deficiencies in B12 and zinc can be much more damaging and gravely affect the quality of life. Read about B12 HERE and Zinc HERE.

For the greatest health benefits, take one capsule of D3 5,000 IU a day…and get out into the fresh air and sunshine for a few minutes every day!

Vitamin D3

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The cucumber was best known to me, pre-plant based lifestyle, as a pickle that had not undergone its transformation yet. I rarely ate fresh raw cucumbers as they tended to upset my sensitive digestive system, giving me indigestion.

Oh, how things have changed.


Cucumbers are wonderfully hydrating. Most people have chronic dehydration, and don’t realize it. They attempt to quench their thirst with sodas or sweet tea, which only worsens the dehydration. In addition, being chronically dehydrated has a negative effect on health.

Cucumbers have the power to hydrate the body, at a cellular level. They have cooling properties as well, making them excellent at rejuvenating a hot, stagnant liver. In fact, Anthony William writes, in Life Changing Foods, that when eaten on a daily basis, cucumbers can reverse liver damage, dialing back 10 to 15 years of toxic exposure to heavy metals, pesticides and a poor diet.


Fresh cucumber juice is the most rejuvenating drink in the world. Its electrolyte compounds nourish and cool down overtaxed adrenal glands and overheated kidneys that are struggling with filtering out toxic debris. Drinking cucumber juice also helps to reduce fevers in adults and children.

Cucumbers provide vitamins A, B and C, traces of amino acids glycine and glutamine, highly active enzymes and coenzymes, and more than 50 trace minerals. They soothe anxiety and neurological conditions and support the digestive system. Cucumbers flush Epstein Barr virus neurotoxins out of the bloodstream, hydrate the lymphatic system, and cleanse the thyroid.


As someone who used to only eat cucumbers in pickle form, I have greatly expanded my appreciation for this veggie, that’s actually a fruit. I’ve included them in my diet in multiple ways this week. I created a cucumber, tomato, onion and dill salad that I’ve enjoyed all week. I included chopped cucumber in a veggie bowl, topped with a homemade sauce.

And thinly sliced cucumber graced a glass of water. This evening I juiced a couple of cucumbers and carried my glass out into the garden to sip on as I water container plants. I purchase organic cucumber, and leave them unpeeled. If purchasing regular cucumbers, peel them before using.


Which reminds me, I have cucumber plants growing in my raised bed vegetable garden. This is my second summer to grow them. The plants are prolific and will produce an abundance of cucumbers. I will add those cucumbers to salads and veggie bowls, and make raw noodles, flavored water and juice, hydrating and rejuvenating my body, without any digestive distress. My body has healed.

Not one of those cucumbers will become a pickle!


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4 Egg Substitutes for Baking

One of the foods on my “no” list that I no longer eat is eggs. Long considered the perfect food, eggs were once necessary for survival in areas where there were few other food options at certain times of the year. That changed at the beginning of the 20th century, when auto-immune, viral, bacterial and cancer epidemics began.

Eggs are no longer good for us, even if they are pasture-raised or free-range eggs. They feed the viruses that contribute to auto-immune disorders. Eggs are a primary food source for cancer and cysts, fibroids, tumors and nodules. If you are fighting an illness, or any type of cancer, eggs make it difficult to heal.

4 Egg Substitutes for Baking

Eliminating eggs from my diet has boosted the healing in my body. My philosophy is to starve the Epstein Barr, shingles and strep viruses in my body, by taking away their food sources, and support my immune system by feeding my body healthy plants. It’s working.

Occasionally I adapt a recipe by swapping out unhealthy ingredients for healthy ones. I use oat or chickpea flour for wheat flour, raw honey or coconut sugar for refined white sugar, almond milk for dairy. What about eggs though?

No problem!

Here are four easy substitutes for eggs, in baking:

4 Egg Substitutes for Baking

1. 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce = 1 egg.

Unsweetened, unflavored organic applesauce serves as a binder and adds moisture.

2. 1 tablespoon chia or flax seeds + 3 tablespoons water = 1 egg.

Mix 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let set for 5 minutes. The mixture has the consistency of an egg and makes a great, nutritious substitute. Some vegan recipes list a “chia egg” in the ingredients. Now you know how to make one.

4 Egg Substitutes for Baking

3. 1/4 cup mashed banana = 1 egg.

Other puréed fruit, such as pumpkin, may be used. Fruits add moisture and a touch of sweetness.

4. 1 teaspoon baking soda + 1 tablespoon white vinegar + 1 tablespoon water = 1 egg.

This mixture is best used to create fluffiness in baked treats.

My favorite substitutes are applesauce and chia eggs. I keep the 4 ounce organic unsweetened applesauce cups on hand, and I always have a bag of chia seeds. Both work extremely well.

Don’t use commercial egg substitutes. They often contain egg whites. Early in my plant based journey, I tried an omelette made of egg substitute. My body immediately rejected it and I threw up. I received that as a strong message to avoid eggs and products containing eggs.

I don’t often need to replace an egg in a recipe, as I primarily eat whole foods. It’s nice to have a alternative though for an occasional healthy treat.

4 Egg Substitutes for Baking

Star Anise

Today’s featured supplement is actually a aromatic spice, used for centuries in China, India and parts of Vietnam to add flavor to meals. It grows on a type of evergreen tree native to these countries. The tree produces the star anise fruit, which is green and then turns brown and woody as it ripens. The star shaped fruits are picked before they fully ripen and dried in the sun to harden.

Star Anise

Valued for its sweet, licorice like flavor, star anise also has important health benefits.

Star anise is rich in vitamin C, calcium and iron. It has powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, making star anise great for treating the flu. In fact, this spice contains a compound called shikimic acid that is the main ingredient in the anti-viral drug Tamiflu.

Star anise has strong expectorant properties that help to clear up mucus and congestion in the body. It is used as a digestive aid to relieve gas, bloating, constipation, cramping, heartburn and indigestion. Star anise is also beneficial in treating asthma, bronchitis, rheumatism, back pain, shingles, herpes and sinus infections.

Star Anise

In addition, star anise has sedative properties that ensure a good night’s sleep. And it supports female reproductive health and helps to increase the flow of milk in lactating mothers.

As a tea, which is how I primarily use this spice, star anise significantly boosts the immune system and wards off colds and flus. It can be purchased as a capsule or in dried or powder form. As a cream it helps to treat skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis.

Star Anise I’m down to pieces of star anise in the bag, instead of the pretty star shaped dried whole flowers. No matter. The tea tastes the same.

I initially purchased dried star anise because of its fragrant, spicy scent. I included it in homemade potpourri. Then I discovered its amazing health benefits. No more letting this valuable spice go up in smoke. I add two teaspoons of the dried fruit, which looks like star shaped pods, to my tea infuser basket, pour boiling water into the cup and cover, letting the tea steep for 15 minutes.

The tea has a delicate and mild licorice flavor with hints of cinnamon and cloves. I’m sipping on a cup now as I write this post, and thinking I need to enjoy star anise tea more often. The dried flowers are also a wonderful addition to hot spiced apple cider in the winter.

I think I might go prepare a second cup of star anise tea!

Star Anise


Today’s featured food is considered one of the most powerful, health changing foods available to us. It’s interesting because until I connected with Anthony William, the Medical Medium, I paid little attention to celery, which is actually an herb. As a child, the only way I would eat celery was as sticks filled with cheese spread or peanut butter. Later in life I definitely associated it with health but in a somewhat negative way. Celery was low calorie diet food. Fairly tasteless. Bland. Unappealing.

Wow, have my feelings about celery changed!


And here’s why. One of the first changes I made to my diet, even before reading the book Medical Medium and switching to a plant based lifestyle, was to drink celery juice on an empty stomach each morning. I read an article Anthony had posted on Facebook about the many health benefits of drinking 16 ounces of celery juice daily and I was eager to experience those benefits.

Celery is a powerful anti-inflammatory that starves out unproductive bacteria, yeast, mold, fungus and viruses that are present in the body and flushes the toxins and debris out of the liver and intestinal tract. At the same time celery helps good bacteria to thrive.

Celery alkalizes the gut. It contains more than 60 varieties of sodium and trace minerals that work together to raise the body’s pH level while getting rid of toxic acids. At the same time, celery has enzymes that raise hydrochloric acid in the stomach helping food to digest better and preventing ammonia in the gut, which is the cause for “leaky gut” syndrome and acid reflux.


In addition to restoring the entire digestive system, celery improves kidney function, feeds and supports electrical impulse activity and neuron function in the brain, hydrates the body at a cellular level, offers stress assistance, repairs DNA and rejuvenates the skin.

Anthony recently listed celery, in the form of celery juice, as the #1 health food and the greatest healing tonic of all time.

Celery juice is easy to prepare. Trim one large bunch of celery and run the stalks through a juicer. One large bunch typically creates about 16 ounces of juice. Don’t add anything else to the morning celery juice and drink it freshly juiced, on an empty stomach, for the greatest benefit. Later in the day enjoy another juice, if desired, combining celery with other fruits or veggies.

So, what difference has celery juice made in my life?

Drinking celery juice daily has restored my digestive system. I’ve struggled with digestive issues since childhood, suffering from stomach aches and pains, a sensitive intestinal tract, irritable bowel syndrome, gall bladder pain and severe acid reflux. My indigestion was so bad that I kept bottles of anti-acids in the car, next to my chair in the living room and on my bedside table. All of those disorders have cleared up.

In addition, celery juice keeps me hydrated, gives my skin an incredible glow, and eases inflammation in my joints and throughout my body. It is, truly, a magical elixir. People ask me what it tastes like. Celery juice tastes like celery. Depending on the celery…I buy organic…it can be very mild or have a slightly bitter taste. If you don’t care for the taste, start with 2 ounces of celery juice or 4, and work up to more. It’s that important. Don’t let taste keep you from reaping the restorative health benefits of this amazing drink.

I confess that a couple of times, in the past 22 months, I’ve gotten lazy about juicing first thing in the day, and stopped the celery juice. I’ve regretted it. I can feel the changes in my digestive system and see the difference in my skin, when I don’t drink celery juice. I “got over” the perceived inconvenience of juicing by timing how long it took me to clean up the juicer afterward, because that was what I disliked. It takes me one minute to clean up. Sixty seconds is not too great a price to pay for the MANY health benefits I receive from juicing celery.

Just do it, I tell myself every morning. I don’t pause to think about it. I just do it. I’m suggesting the same thing to you. Celery juice…life altering, health changing, inflammation busting celery juice. Just. Do. It.


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Black Bean & Sweet Potato Stew

This healthy and delicious recipe comes from one of my vegan pressure cooking cookbooks. I am using my pressure pot more and more, to prepare quick, nutritious meals. I recently tried steaming veggies in it and I’m hooked on how easy the process is. In minutes I have perfectly steamed potatoes, asparagus or a variety of veggies prepared together for a simple bowl meal.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew

This colorful and tasty soup was ready in under 30 minutes and while this recipe makes use of a pressure pot, the soup can be prepared traditionally on the stove top.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew

I used organic produce and in place of two fresh tomatoes, I substituted one can of organic diced tomatoes.

If cooking in a soup pot on the stove, follow directions, substituting one can of organic black beans for dried, or cook beans separately and add the last few minutes of cooking time. Simmer the rest of the ingredients until sweet potatoes are tender.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew

This was a sweet and savory soup. The black beans are rich in protein, calcium, potassium and magnesium. The sweet potatoes supply beta-carotene, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that promote digestive health and provide anti-cancer phytochemicals. They also provide a critical form of glucose that aids in the ability to sleep soundly.

I’ll be making this soup often!

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew

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