Friday, June 27, 2008


hi guys-

so sorry to be absent yet again, but it has been a week...i wrote this great blog about what it means to be well...a real tearing rant, but the karma of the universe (coupled with my lame computer skills) conspired to lose, it was not meant to be.

it's one of those hot and sticky days typical of summer and i was wondering what to write about when an email came through that solved my problem. see? karma, again.

a friend sent me a link to where i found an article about a 45-year-old art teacher in illinois who was fired from his job for promoting veganism to the kids in his class. i thought...they're kidding, right? fired for promoting veganism?

apparently it all began with marshmallow peeps (you know, those candy chicks that we all got in our easter baskets as kids)...this teacher had kids treat them as pets and from there it morphed into the little chicks being cages and in frying pans as a way to show kids how cruelly we treat animals. well, the mistreatment of these marshmallow figures was just too much for the school board who said that the teacher's 'PETA' agenda was subversive and had no place in school.

enter t. colin campbell, author of 'the china study' to testify on the teacher's behalf and speak to the 'cruelty' of killing animals to feed our children diets that are making them fat and killing them. with milk poster plastered all over the cafeteria and the school unable to qualify for national school lunch subsidies without adhering to their guidelines, which include the very foods that are stealing the health of our children, is it any wonder that the battle continues and this teacher remains without work.

it seems to me that any teacher who is committed to compassion and to the health of our kids is to be lauded. how ever will they know about animal cruelty and what it takes to create the meat they eat if they are not educated? with a shortage of teachers, can we really afford to lose one just because he teaches kids about alternatives to meat?

heaven forbid they become fit and healthy! what would the pharmaceutical companies do if we did not need to medicate our children? they could lose an entire demographic of consumers.

what is this world coming to?


hi guys-

well, it's a hot and humid monday and i am just coming off teaching my 3-day hands on intensive cooking seminar at drexel u. it was an amazing group; most were real beginners to a natural way of cooking and living, some with health concerns, some just curious. that was totally inspiring for me. to watch them interact with each other, exchanging ideas, creating support and offering advice was a very cool experience. i have the best job in the world, teaching people to cook and live more healthfully. i will admit that i am beat today...i had to have been 100o in that kitchen, but you know what they say...if you can't stand the heat...

the weekend got me to thinking, too...about wellness and what it means to people in their lives. for some, it's enough to be happy. they may not eat the healthiest diet, but they are fun to be with and simply love their lives and are well for the sheer joy of living. for others, it's service. the more they do for others, the more vital they feel. for others, it's their life mission. the harder they work toward their goal, the more they experience wellness.

then there are the holier-than-thou, preachy types who grimly endure life, eating only the purest of foods, cooked in the purest way. They frown their way through their days depressing everyone they meet with their finger-pointing and condescending attitudes. it's hard for me to believe that can be healthy over the long term. the grimness alone would kill me.

and finally, (for me anyway) there are those who eat well and stay fit in a relaxed and playful manner, doing the best they can to be healthy and leave a lighter footprint on the planet. they are the future of the world.

even if the most dire of diseases is what brings you to the point in life that you must change what you eat...radically or kiss this life goodbye, it's important to approach each and every moment with gratitude and joy. i saw that in this group of students at my intensive. the heat in the sixth floor kitchen was stifling; everyone glistened with sweat, but there was more laughter, more sharing, more chatter...more life in that kitchen than many will experience in all their days.

wellness is personal as well as obvious. certainly wellness means robust health and vital well-being and fitness. but wellness is so much more. it means that you are having a love affair with life itself, with all its ups and downs, all the joy and the pain, illness and health. with wellness, you have the strength to embrace it all.

i want to dedicate this blog to my students from this weekend...from the professional clowns (i kid you not...) to the future teachers of natural living and all the people in between, i thank you.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Back Home Again

ciao kids!

sorry to be off the blog for so long. while we had web access in Italy, well, let's just say it was spotty on a good day.

i have to say this and i promise not to 'sell.' if you have the chance, you absolutely must join us in Italy one day. it will rock your world. our 13 guests had the greatest experience of la dolce vita; saw all the great sights in Tuscany; sampled great local, organic wine; were left breathless by the David...and yes, enjoyed the very cool food my crew and i cooked.

but i am back home and working hard. it's about 100o here in the northeast part of the country and the days are sizzling. my little city garden is frying in the sun, but the shade of my gorgeously lush magnolia, holly tree and wisteria provide welcome shade to the little nasturtium blossoms everywhere.

as much as i love to cook, i will admit that it's a challenge in this weather. chocolate dipped strawberries are all i really want, but Robert seems to need real food...imagine that! so last night, i stuffed perfect artichokes with breadcrumbs and tomato pesto and steamed them for an hour. easy, sexy and yummy. with a chilled crisp salad, we were in heaven.

tomorrow, i will be working at my favorite charity...the kids in the culinary program at one of our inner city high schools. we have created raised beds to grow veggies and herbs and tomorrow we celebrate the first harvest of the season (and the last before school ends) with a lunch that we will all cook together from what we grew. it should be a blast, so i will fill you in when i get home.

until tomorrow! for now, i am off to boot camp!