How ‘Bout Them Apples

Hi Friends,

I’m reaching out with a bonus today, inspired by the most sweet, delectable apple I had the pleasure of eating this morning. I need more of this in my life thought I, and I want the same for you dear readers!  With that…

Apple Cranberry Kale Salad bowl with dry cranberries, almonds and pumpkin seeds.

12 Ways to Eat More Apple this Fall

  1. Bake chopped apple with cinnamon, nutmeg, and a splash of maple for breakfast, a snack, or dessert
  2. Make applesauce by cooking down in a covered pot with water, raw apple cider vinegar, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Bonus tip: use applesauce in place of, or in addition to gravy with your Thanksgiving turkey.
  3. Dice and toss in salads for crunch
  4. Slice and wrap them up with your favorite sandwich fixings in a collard green leaf or cabbage leaf
  5. Caramelize an onion; in the same pan, sauté sliced apple for a sweet side dish
  6. Make a salsa with jalapeno, onion, cilantro, ginger, and a squeeze of lime
  7. Grill them
  8. Roast chopped apple with chopped cauliflower and a splash of olive oil
  9. Make apple chips by slicing into ¼ inch rings, sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 250° F for 50 minutes; flip and bake for another 50 minutes.
  10. Add them to your omelet with cheddar cheese, mushrooms, and fresh thyme
  11. Slice thick horizontal slices and spread with your favorite nut butter for an apple “sandwich”
  12. Toss thickly sliced apple in a roasting pan with pork tenderloin and sprinkle with sliced onion, fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme. Drizzle with honey or maple syrup and roast.

An apple a day may or may not keep the doctor away, but it’s sure to keep a smile on your face. Enjoy.

Something to Chew On: Winter Kale Salad

Dear Friends,

How is it already mid-November?! The holidays are fast approaching and soon we’ll be inundated with advice for avoiding the inevitable overindulgence of food and drink.

Today I’ll tackle it from a different angle – the very important task of chewing your food. Stick with me, because this information is so important you’ll want to practice it year-round.

Small girl having fun while about to bite a roasted turkey on Thanksgiving.

Ever think about what’s happening in your mouth as you savor every juicy bite of that turkey? Or maybe you’ve forgotten what it feels like to savor food because life is hectic and you can’t slow down? Perhaps a better question, do you experience bloating and indigestion from eating on the run or from eating mindlessly?

Let’s break it down. Digestion uses more energy than any other involuntary function your body performs. It starts in your mouth, through chemical and mechanical means. The mechanical process is the physical breakdown of food, which starts when you chew. Chemical breakdown also begins as you chew, when your salivary glands secrete enzymes, hormones, and gastric fluid that help to separate food into little pieces, making it ready for digestion and ultimately nutrient absorption. The more you chew, the more you jumpstart digestion before ever swallowing your food. Because of this chemical process even foods that are more soft and liquid in nature like smoothies, yogurt or soup need to be chewed well. To quote Paul Bragg, known as the father of the health movement in America, and developer of products like Bragg’s apple cider vinegar: “Drink your solids and chew your liquids”!

The conclusion, the longer you chew your food, the easier digestion will be on the rest of your body. And when digestion requires less energy, there is more energy to go around elsewhere. Because after all, digestion requires more energy than any other involuntary function of your body. Bottom line: chew your food well for increased energy.

Back to tips for avoiding overindulgence, chewing well slows you down. You taste and savor your food as you chew mindfully, but also become more aware of how satisfied you are before taking a second helping.

How much should you chew your food? There is no tried and true formula, but the goal is to change the texture. If you’re a rule follower aim for

  • 32 Times for softer foods
  • Up to 60 times for denser foods like animal protein and fibrous veggies

It’s also important to avoid taking large bites by not overloading your fork or spoon with food. Go for one small bite at a time.

Experiment for yourself, but most importantly be patient and focus on enjoying the flavors.

With that I leave you with a lovely recipe to chew on, my favorite winter kale salad. This salad is a festive accompaniment for a holiday meal or a satisfying meal on it’s own. And it’s highly antioxidant to boot!

Massaged Winter Kale Salad
vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free
Serves 4


  • 1 bunch curly kale
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 1 apple, chopped into ¼” pieces, skin on
  • Seeds from ½ of a pomegranate
  • ½ medium sized beet, shredded with a micro plane or a fine cheese grater
  • Toasted walnuts, roughly chopped*

Thoroughly rinse kale under cool running water and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel, or rinse and spin in a salad spinner. Remove stems by gently pinching the sides of the thick end of the stem and running your thumb and forefinger upward along the stem. Discard stems. Roll kale leaves into a cigar shape and roughly chop, first width-wise, then lengthwise. Place chopped kale in a bowl, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt and massage with your hands for a few minutes. Toss with chopped apple, pomegranate seeds and shredded beet, then toss lightly with orange ginger dressing. Let salad sit for 10 minutes, top with crushed toasted walnuts and serve.

Orange Ginger Dressing

  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice (juice of 1 orange)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice (juice of ½ lemon)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh, chopped ginger
  • Raw honey, to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Combine orange juice, lemon juice, honey, chopped ginger and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Slowly combine olive oil in a thin drizzle while whisking continuously. Juice to oil ratio should be approx. 1 to 3, and finished dressing should coat the back of a spoon.

*To toast walnuts: Bake in an oven preheated to 375° F for five minutes, stirring halfway through.


Meet Your Kitchen

A modern kitchen complete with cooking utensils

Dear Friends,

I’ve listened to countless confessions from people feeling totally overwhelmed in the kitchen. For others the kitchen is their comfort zone, their weekend refuge. Wherever you fall on that spectrum all of us need to eat, and to eat, we need to do at least some food preparation. One of my greatest joys is inspiring people to cook, and to cook it certainly helps to be comfortable in your kitchen. Think of it this way. We all need to sleep, and in order to get our best sleep we make efforts to create the right environment – a comfortable bed, room temperature, level of light or darkness. Your best sleep environment is different than mine; so it is with our kitchens.

Let’s create your most comfortable kitchen in four easy steps.

Step one, familiarize yourself. Peruse your cabinets, refrigerator, freezer. Look at your oven, stove, microwave, grill, toaster, slow cooker, blender, food processor, pots, pans, and any other equipment you use to prepare food. What do you love? What do you rely on most? What’s never been used? What would you like to learn? What are you lacking? What needs replaced? What needs to be cleaned? What needs pitched?

Step two, take mental note of the items you’re most comfortable with. Make sure they’re clean and easily accessible. (Do jot down the equipment and food items you’d like to learn how to use. We’ll touch on this in a later blog.)

Step three, consider how you can make the rest of your kitchen more user-friendly and do it. What needs rearranged? Can you store your knives and cutting board closer together? Make space by keeping the toaster on a shelf instead of the counter? Organize your utensils? Perhaps most importantly clean out your pantry, fridge and freezer. Toss anything out of date, or that even with the best intentions you know you’ll never use. Play around with this step. Rearrange your kitchen and test it out for a day, then rearrange again if you need to. Your spice rack doesn’t need to be arranged in alphabetical order…unless that’s what works best for you. If you share your kitchen with others, seek their input.

Step four I will pose as a question: what food prep task do you dread, and how can you make it easier? Drying rinsed greens with a paper towel? Get a salad spinner! Do you curse that dull veggie peeler or can opener every time you use it? Replace it! Hands down, the single most coveted piece of equipment for me is my knife, and nothing is more important than keeping it sharp. The easiest way to do that is to regularly hone it with a steel, which you can pick up at your local home goods store. Or treat yourself to a sharpening from a local professional, which generally costs around $1 per inch.

A cautionary reminder, this is not a kitchen remodel. Set yourself a reasonable budget and a timeline for replacing what you need. Don’t pitch everything! Donate used equipment and utensils that still have some life to The Salvation Army or your local second-hand store. While there, check out the selection of cookware. Some brands like Pyrex last for years.

Creating your most functional kitchen environment sets the stage for finding your comfort. I want to know how you did! Give me a shout and share what makes your kitchen the best.

In Love and Good Health,






Love Bugs

Large Intestine Problem

Dear Friends,

Last year I had the privilege of studying under Andrea Nakayama, a functional nutritionist whom I greatly respect. In my training I learned in great detail how every system in our bodies is affected by the health of our gut. Perhaps you’ve heard rumblings about gut health, (pun intended) but what exactly does it mean?

First of all, what do we mean by the gut? In terms of digestion, your gut is your entire digestive tract, starting at your mouth and ending at your anus. 70% Of your immune system resides in your gut in the form of good bacteria…millions and trillions of bugs called flora. Think of your immune system on a grand scale. I’m not just talking your ability to fight off a cold, but anything that your body may face, from the threat of cancer to autoimmune disease, infectious disease, and depression

 All health starts in your gut.

I talk a lot about food, but to quote my mentor Andrea Nakayama, “You are not what you eat, but what your body can do with what you eat. In other words, you are what your body can break down and absorb”

In order to maximize your body’s ability to breakdown and absorb nutrients, your gut health needs to be in order.

And let me tell you about the brain gut connection. As an embryo, your brain and digestive tract are developed as one system. As they develop, they are forever connected by the largest nerve in your body, the vagus nerve. So connected are these two that the gut has been called the second brain by professionals in functional medicine. It’s easy to understand the connection. When you feel excited, you have butterflies in your stomach. When you feel stressed, your stomach is upset. To quote another medical professional whom I deeply respect: “The only difference between the brain and the gut is that the gut has not yet evolved to the state of self-doubt.” – Deepak Chopra.

Some symptoms of an unhealthy gut include:

  • Chronic loose bowels
  • Cramping, discomfort in the abdomen
  • Gas and bloating
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Anxiety/depression (brain/gut connection!)
  • Food allergies or intolerances
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Skin disorders
  • Poor sleep
  • Autoimmune disease

How to take good care of your gut? None of us are the same, and our unique gut makeup isn’t either, but as a general rule for fostering gut health:

  • Avoid sugar, refined carbs and all processed foods.
  • Fill up on fiber with a rainbow of fruit and veggies.
  • Load up on probiotic food and drink: fermented veggies like Kim chi and sauerkraut, and beverages like kombucha and kefir.
  • Eat your prebiotics – food for gut flora like apples, asparagus, onion, garlic, and leeks.
  • Be cognizant of over-the-counter and prescription drug use as they alter your natural gut flora, especially antibiotics.
  • Practice a healthy lifestyle: sleep, hydrate and manage stress.

This is the tip of the iceberg my friends. Stick with me for recipes, tips and more info on creating your best gut health.

In Love and Good Health,


*Disclaimer: This content is accurate and true to my knowledge. I am a professional on this topic, but I am not a doctor or medical professional, and this content is for informational purposes only.  Please check with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.  

Good to Be Back

Dear friends,

I come to you full of gratitude after a long break, and I’ve missed you! The past 22 months have been perhaps the hardest – and most growing of my life. I’ve taken time to reflect and heal, and while certain pain never fully goes away, within time this experience has made me stronger. I am so ready to share positive energy with others who may not be feeling so strong.

Woman's feet dangle from wooden wharf, above lake

Here’s what happened.

My Mother, whom I dearly love, had been battling ovarian cancer with the courage of a lioness. My Dad, her husband of 52 years, whom I also dearly love, was her rock. One day he fell sick, landed in the ER and remained hospitalized for the next six months, in and out of ICU the entire time. He was catatonic much of that time. They both showed amazing courage, but the parents who have propped me up my entire life were both too weak to fight alone.

My sisters, our husbands, and I took turns being with them…a logistical challenge as we all live in different states. My Mom remained strong under the most painful, difficult circumstances, holding onto the belief that Dad would come home and that life would return to normal, albeit a new normal. She worked tirelessly to get him there and Dad did pull through. The heart-wrenching end to the story is that my Mom breathed her last breaths just days after he made it home.

We lost my Mom on September 19, 2018. My sisters and I have lived like deer in headlights. We’ve focused our energy on Dad, who despite a recent Alzheimer’s diagnosis, has made an incredible recovery, thanks in large part to the caregivers that my Mother hand-picked. I continue to spend a lot of time with him, flying from Boston to Knoxville, TN every month or so, and finally, after seeing that he’d settled into a comfortable routine, took some time to mourn my Mom.

When not with my Dad, I’ve been quietly working as a personal chef, writing recipes, and getting certified in functional nutrition specializing in digestive health. Of course, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting over the course of this past year. I have always valued good health, but because of this experience, my approach has changed. The revelation: there is no better formula for health than joy, and to make space in your life for joy, you must practice acceptance.

My parents followed all the rules: regular exercise, regular doctor visits, a low-fat Mediterranean diet (outdated thinking I believe, but these were the marching orders of the their time), no smoking; drinking in moderation…however they both very quickly fell very ill in their 70’s. As deeply as I love my Mom and Dad, stress management was not a strength for either of them. And sadly, stress leads to disease. Now to my parent’s defense, they devoted their entire lives to building a happy, healthy, financially stable household and they wanted the same for us as we built our own households. They worried when any of that felt shaky. They worried because they couldn’t bear to see any of us living with distress, pain, or fear, and no doubt it came from a place of unconditional love. Trust me, for that I am eternally grateful.

In no way am I advising that you make efforts to separate your emotions from the lives of your loved ones. The key here is acceptance. Acceptance for the things we cannot control. Acceptance that there is a greater plan for all of us. When you find acceptance, you make space in your life for joy.

Over the past year I’ve had to find acceptance for the heart-breaking loss of my Mother. Perhaps even more difficult, I had to accept the fact that though I came to her cancer battle armed with holistic knowledge that I know would have helped her, her faith was in the oncologist, and she was interested only in spending time with me. So I stopped trying to change her diet, stopped trying to convince her to practice yoga and eat less sugar. I had to let go of the professional me, and just be a daughter. That, my friends, is acceptance. Quite frankly, spending time with my Mom just being her daughter brought me joy.

Where can you practice acceptance in your life? Maybe it’s acceptance as you watch your child make the same mistakes you did in your youth and the knowledge that you cannot make decisions for them. Maybe it’s acceptance of inevitable change, like a restructure at work. Maybe it’s as simple as accepting a rainy day when you had planned a sunny hike. Acceptance is acknowledging your experience…acknowledging it but not judging it as good or bad, just something that is.

The message here is not to take things, or yourself too seriously. Remember, joy is at the root of good health, and, by accepting what you cannot change, you create space for joy.

Now that I’ve made peace and space in my life, you’ll be hearing from me frequently with tidbits that I cannot wait to share on gut health, lifestyle habits, and lessons from the kitchen. Stay tuned and keep an eye on my social media channels and for this newsletter in your inbox. It’s good to be back.

With love, Teri