Is it starve a fever, feed a cold or the opposite?


Yes sireee, Chicken soup is dinner.  Why do I know this other than from Grandma? I read up on an article in Prevention by Pam Peeke, MD. Turns out, it’s neither. Chances are you’ll catch at least a sniffle this cold and flu season, but it’s not how much you eat, but rather what you eat that can help soothe your stuffy head and aches and pains. “The right nutrients can help your body fight off an illness, Peek says. She came up with two simple eating plans to shake the symptoms, fortify your immune system and speed recovery. Today I’m focusing on the cold diet.

Peeke recommends an omelet with salsa for breakfast . Eggs are rich in zinc, an immune system booster.  Yogurt is your go-to snack, reducing the body’s inflammatory response. Drink decaf green tea with lemon.  For lunch, red pepper slices and broccoli with hummus.  Vitamin C is important for immune health.  Eat an orange. Hummus gives us protein to help fight disease-fighting antibodies.  Snack on sweet potato slices for vitamin A. You know what’s for dinner!

Green Tea!

Today I repotted rootbound plants!

It’s bad business to buy a rootbound plant.  In my case the plants in the atrium of the house we bought two years ago were in need of transplanting.  I didn’t realize it until the leaves were turning yellow. Trouble would happen soon because rootbound plants are dehydrated. The soil is hard and water repellent.

I chose pots slightly bigger than the ball of the root and made sure the drains on the bottoms were open.

Doing one at a time, I padded the pot with fresh potting soil, trimmed yellowing leaves, placed the plant in its new pot, added more soil, and give it a good soaking.


Release day for Deadly Alliance!

Deadly Alliance, a romantic suspense, is first a love story about Amy Kintyre, an ordinary woman who just wants a 9-to-5 job so that she can get her sportswear design business back on track.  In the village of Lake Arrowhead, California, there aren’t many jobs available, and she applies at her late boyfriend’s company.  His partner, Finn Donahue, wanted to kill the slime if he weren’t already dead.  Finn is missing cash and hires Amy, thinking she know something about it. Below are snippets from three reviewers.

Marisa Slusarcyk, Goodreads says, “Deadly Alliance touches on a lot of hot topics in the world right now and the author creates an intricately wonderful story that covers many genres. It has gangs and fights, faked deaths and so much more. A great book all around.”

Teresa Jensen, Netgalley says, “Finbar Donahue, former Army Ranger, is figuring out why his company is missing cash monthly.  This began after his former partner, Les, was shot in a drive-by shooting but has now passed away.  Amy Kintyre, Les’s caretaker, applies for a job with Finn.  She uncovers a secret bank account belonging to Les, and risks her new employment opportunity when she brings it to Finn’s attention… add in a mob, domestic terrorism, Les’s death by mistaken identity… the book really heats up.  Rowland ties everything into a nice bow…great plot to follow and great romance.”

Meg Heenan, Netgalley says, “Such a good romance, I thoroughly enjoyed Deadly Alliance.”


Tonight we’re having stuffed shells

Part-skim ricotta keeps calories at bay; spinach and bulgur deliver antioxidants and fiber. The complex carbs in pasta boost serotonin, the mood-stabilizing neurochemical.  There’s something romantic about pasta, and it’s delicious with a field greens salad with grapes.

stuffed shells


  • 1 28-oz. can whole tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup bulgur
  • 25 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 pound bunch spinach, stems removed
  • 1 15-oz. container part-skim ricotta
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan



  1. Pulse tomatoes and their juices in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Heat oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until tender, about 7 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool.
  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pour boiling water over bulgur, cover, and let stand until soft and water is absorbed, 30 minutes.
  4. Cook shells in a large pot of salted boiling water. Drain and let cool.
  5. Steam spinach, covered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tender. Squeeze out excess moisture, coarsely chop, and add to bulgur. Stir in ricotta. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in egg.
  6. Coat bottom of a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish with 1 cup sauce. Spoon filling into shells and arrange in pan. Add remaining sauce, cover with foil, and bake until bubbling, about 40 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan before serving.

You know you’re an IOWAN if…

You know you’re an Iowan if…

you’re stuck behind a tractor on the highway and have an excuse for being late,

being “Iowa nice” is your way of life,

going on vacation means to go to Arnolds Park, Lake Okoboji,

you’ve played the yard game, cornhole,

your go-to foods are Maid-rite sandwiches and tenderloins,

you’re skilled at dodging a deer;

you cheer for the Hawkeyes and Cyclones even if you don’t follow sports,

you’ve met the presidential candidates,

you shop at Hy-Vee, have breakfast at Hy-Vee, have worked at Hy-Vee,

your wedding reception was held in your church basement,

your road trips begin on I-80,

you measure distance in time, not miles. “Be there in 5.”

you may have moved from Iowa, but still think it’s one of the best places to live,

admire the massive 220-pound bird flying inside the Des Moines Airport. “True work of art.”


Defend against depression with canned tuna

Short days and long nights– it’s no wonder some 10 million of us find our mood falling with the thermometer. The culprit is lack of sunlight which triggers a drop in the happiness hormone serotonin. There are ways to reverse season affective disorder (SAD). Studies show deficiencies of omega-3 fatty acids lead to depression. The journal Psychiatry Research advises raising levels with canned tuna.  It only takes ten minutes to make a California style tuna roll-up. Ingredients below go into a tortilla.

California style tuna roll-ups


    • 1 can (6 ounces) light tuna fish, preferably packed in water, drained and flaked
    • 3 tablespoons lite mayonnaise
    • 1/4 teaspoon wasabi paste or freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • Two 10-inch flour tortillas
    • 2 medium leaves Boston lettuce
    • 1 Kirby cucumber, peeled and coarsely shredded lengthwise (without seeds)
    • 1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely shredded
    • 1/2 of a ripe avocado: peeled, pitted, and sliced 1/2-inch thick


  1. Combine the tuna, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, and wasabi paste in a small bowl and mix until blended.
  2. Lay the tortillas on a work surface. Spread 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise on each tortilla and arrange the lettuce on top of both; arrange cucumber, carrot, and avocado lengthwise in rows near one edge. Spoon the tuna in a line next to the vegetables (away from the edge). Roll each tortilla up snugly into a cylinder. Cut crosswise in half.


Promote normal cells with bok choy, broccoli and their vegetable cousins!

Friends, what we eat is important.  Great news– cervical cancer is now one of the most preventable cancers around, reveals exciting research.  Eating cabbage, bok choy, broccoli isn’t hard, and it cuts the risk of cervical cancer as much as 50% says Lourisiana State scientists.  Thanks goes to indole-3-carbinol, a natural compound that nourishes cervical cells and helps them grow normally, explains Joel Fuhrman, M.D.  Last night I made a Tofu and Bok Choy Stir Fry and served it over quinoa.  Brown rice is good with this also– the microwavable packages are handy.

Tofu bok choy stir fry


  • 1 lb. of super-firm tofu (pressed)
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3 heads of baby bok choy, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 5-6 Tablespoons low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons braggs liquid aminos or low-sodium tamari
  • 1-2 teaspoons Sambal Oelek, or similar chili sauce
  • 1 green onion/scallion, chopped
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • Instructions
  1. Pat pressed tofu dry with paper towels, and cut into small bite-size pieces, about ½ inch thick.
  2. Heat coconut oil on medium in a large skillet. Add tofu and stir-fry until lightly colored. About 5-6 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and bok choy to the skillet. Stir-fry for about 1-2 minutes, until the bok choy begins to wilt. The skillet will start to dry out a bit, when this happens, you’ll want to add the vegetable broth as well as all the remaining ingredients (maple syrup, liquid aminos, Sambal Oelek, scallion and ginger). Keep stir-frying the mixture until all ingredients are well coated and most of the liquid evaporates, about 5-6 minutes.
  4. Serve over quinoa or brown rice. Enjoy!

Fast relief for tired feet

Did you have a go-go day?  Do your feet feel extra tired and sore? Take off those pretty shoes and lace your fingers between the toes of the opposite foot as if you’re “shaking hands” with your foot.  Hold for a minutes, slowly pulling your toes back and forth, then repeat on the other foot.  This move stretches the muscles between the long bones of the feet, which get cramped from activity or wearing high heels.  Ahh… better?

tired feet