Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Duncan the dachshund is with me, always.  Or he'd like to be!  He lays at my feet while I'm working at home, occasionally poking me in the leg when I've been sitting too long.  He sits at the edge of the kitchen while I'm recipe testing.  He gets underfoot while I move photography lights and snap photos.  He goes grocery shopping with me, even though he can't go into the store and but is a hit everywhere else we go: the hardware store, the bookstore, the coffee shop, even the emissions testing center.  Sadly for him he doesn't come with me to see patients because he thinks he's the center of attention and I like to give my energy to my clients, so he sits forlornly at home.  Duncan is curled beside me now as I sit on the couch and type this post, quietly waiting for his walk and constantly reminding me that however busy, tired, elated, stressed, bemused and overwhelmed I am, real life is waiting for me when I choose to look up from my computer.

I've been looking at my little neglected blog and I'm reminded of Julia Child saying "Never apologize."  I know there's more to that quote but I'm going to truncate it because it fits my needs.  Life is busy at FoodWise Nutrition and I'm doing exactly how much I can and want to do but I'm thinking I need to make a bit more time for writing in this space.

I've started another business.  I hate to tease you with this because we aren't quite ready to announce but I'm so excited I can't keep it in a second longer.  It's going to involve a guidebook written with my business partner and myself and recipe book, written and photographed by yours truly.  I'll tell you more in the next few months but know that all the fabulous recipes that aren't appearing on this site are going into a cookbook!!

I've also written a weight loss starter guide and I'm working on the art assets.  Whenever I get those done it will be self-published in e-book form but everything takes three times longer than you think it should, especially when the process is new.

Amongst all this writing and recipe testing and photography I'm still teaching at Bastyr University and FoodWise is flourishing.  I introduced Mediator Release Testing, a food intolerance test into my practice last summer and it's really taken off!  I'm so excited to be able to offer this service to clients and it's making a huge impact on patients lives to be able finally identify why the have diarrhea/constipation/heartburn/chronic headaches/nausea/etc.  If you have IBS, call me because chances are, we can get rid of most of your symptoms by eliminating problem foods!

In thinking about all these projects, it's easy to get overwhelmed but I'm remembering to do one thing at a time and then the next thing and then the next.  Google calendar had been a savior throughout this process.  I don't make New Year's resolutions but I do make one word themes for the year and this year's theme is PRODUCE, as in write like a wild woman and get these projects done!  So, happy belated New Year to you all.  2013 is going to be amazing.

Monday, January 7, 2013


I was supposed to make cassoulet.

After a long day at work I came home, took care of the animals, had a cup of peach tea and read Saveur, then generally bitched about dinner to myself.  Should we order in?  Thai sounded good.  What about the Thai food was appealing?  Well, I didn't have to cook it, but beyond that it sounded fresh somehow, light and full of veggies.  We'd been eating beef bourguignon for a few days and it was delectable, full of layers of butter just like Julia makes it.  But cassoulet on top of beef bourguignon?  It was too much heavy stew, even in these dark Seattle days of grey and cold.

Mark Bittman wrote a piece about cooking with what you have, and one quote rang out to me: "I'd choose what seemed most appealing and figure out what to do with it when we got to the kitchen."  This is how I love to cook--to create.

Don't get me wrong, having a meal plan is sensible.  It allows us to plan for the week ahead and have all the ingredients we need.  We have a weekly meal plan.  Sometime I even follow it.

But more often than not, I use it as a guideline to create new dishes, some of which work and some of which flop horrendously.  I cook nearly all our meals, but I don't want to be bored by it.  I want to be inspired!

Just thinking about making something other than my lovely cassoulet got me moving.  What's in the fridge?  Vegetables were calling to me, fennel and zucchini and green beans.  We ran out of vegetables the week before so I over-bought to compensate, and I could really cook as many as I wanted!

I started with honey sesame roasted green beans: a little honey mixed with sesame oil, tamari, and chili flakes baked at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes and garnished with sesame seeds.  What's next?  Chopped zucchini and fennel in a bit of olive oil and sel gris, roasted for 15 minutes at the same temperature.

Now I needed a protein source.  Eggs were the obvious choice because the rest of our meat was frozen, and since I had the oven on I went with a modified version of Herb Baked Eggs by the lovely Ina Garten.  Dried basil and oregano, fresh garlic and parmesan.  Soy creamer and real butter.  Two eggs instead of three.  I over-cooked the dish, but I learned my lesson and will make it properly next time.  I rounded out the meal with a freshly sliced Asian pear that has been hanging out on our front porch in a box of apples we brought home from Eastern Washington.

I don't have pictures of this meal.  We ate at 8 o'clock at night by candle light, chatting and laughing about our long days.  I wasn't thinking about working or blogging.  I was eating spontaneously prepared, slightly over-cooked eggs and loving every minute of it.

Oh, I will make the cassoulet.  Nothing goes to waste here.  But this night, I got to create, and those are the meals I remember.