Category Archives: Self-Health Survival Guides

Give the Gift of Your Stories This Year

We all have stories to tell, and the holidays are the perfect time of year to share them. While there is always bustle and chaos preparing for the festivities, there’s also time for connecting and relaxing. These pockets of time cry out for reminiscence and nostalgia—storytelling. Storytelling is a gift for you and others. As […]

Quick Spinach-Mushroom Lasagna: Alternatives for Vegetarians

Ask Chef Phyllis At Christmastime, I make a huge three-cheese, three-meat lasagna. I admit that it’s a lot of work to prepare, but when all done, it’s done. Put it in the oven, relax with my guests and family, and pour a glass of wine is all I want to do. An antipasto is an […]

Whipped Feta Crostini with Avocado, Pomegranate, and Pistachios

A Moroccan-inspired holiday hors d’oeuvre The final month of the year has arrived, and with it an abundance of fresh, vibrant energy and seasonal cheer! I love so many things about this time of year. As a mother, it is fun to see the joy and awe in my daughter’s eyes when we decorate the […]

Kickstart Someone’s Self-Health Lifestyle This Year

If you celebrate Christmas, you have exactly three weeks to finish your gift buying. If you are feeling at a loss for some special person on your list, one of the methods I use to pick out the perfect item is to pay close attention during our conversations. When I do, they tell me, unwittingly, […]

Funeral Potatoes: The Next Chapter in My Life, Widowhood

The description of a new TV show says, “Friendship isn’t a big thing, it’s a million little things.” Well…yes. You can say the same thing about a life, and a marriage. But I wish to mention here that there’s so little information about the third stage of a girl’s life, widowhood, that I decided to […]

20-Minute Skillet Lemon-Rosemary Chicken

Fool-proof tricks for juicy chicken breast, every time I sure am enjoying the slow-down of the season this year. Last fall, I barely had a chance to breathe in that sliver of time between the bustle of summer and holiday preparations. I had a lot going on then—family obligations, unexpected traveling, tons of gardening—and simply […]

Get Up and Move to Shift Your Mood

The other day I was feeling out of sorts. Every misstep—big or small—placed a weight on my psyche that I wasn’t able to shake off. I hadn’t slept well for a couple of nights. I found out I didn’t get yet another job since we relocated. And I didn’t have a plan for dinner (seemed […]

Turkey-Corn Chowder – Manhattan Style

Repurposing leftovers from the holiday meal that keeps on giving… I love celebrating Thanksgiving for many reasons: Savoring a wonderful meal in thanks to the harvest: Check! Spending a relaxing day off in the company of people I love: Check! Pie: Check! But one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is that it usually comes […]

Happy Thanksgiving! Ready to Get Your Tryptophan On?

You know what they say every Thanksgiving: that plateful of turkey tryptophan will surely send you to the couch for a snooze like no other. While I’m often up for a quick afternoon nap to recharge the batteries, I’m trying to remember a Thanksgiving when it was impossible to stay awake after eating. I suppose, […]

Arugula-Pear Salad with Hazelnuts and Parmigiano Reggiano: Simple, Elegant Fall Flavors

I’ll never forget the first Thanksgiving I spent in the United States, away from my Canadian family. Though we feasted for the Canadian celebration each year (about a month earlier), nothing prepared me for the smorgasbord of food at my first Thanksgiving with a family of mid-westerners. It was a huge affair, upwards of two […]

Does Caffeine Have the Same Effect on Everyone?

Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of people say, “Caffeine doesn’t affect me,” which confused me.  It has always been my understanding that caffeine is a stimulant and should be likely to affect one person the same as any other. Right? I mean, a stimulant is a stimulant. It triggers the brain and central nervous […]

Perfect Pumpkin Pie: A Healthier Version of a Thanksgiving Classic

I’ve been writing this blog for years now, and it recently dawned on me that I’ve never shared my recipe for one of the most quintessential dishes of Thanksgiving: pumpkin pie.  Maybe I wanted to be unique and opt for more exotic desserts (Chocolate, Pumpkin, and Peanut Butter Cheesecake, I’m looking at you). Or maybe […]

The Beauty of Raw Honey

The last time my hubby and I stopped by our local fresh fruit and veggie market, I was mesmerized by the beautiful rows of honey-filled glass jars. It was almost as if they were glowing, luring each shopper hither. Sirens of the condiment world, but without the danger. I’d already confirmed that honey is a […]

Creamed Corn with Bacon and Sage

An upscaled version of a familiar classic, perfect for your holiday table. Once Halloween passes and we hit that first week in November, my mind shifts gears from fall wind-down to fall ramp-up as I contemplate the holiday season ahead. Thus starts a series of delicious holiday-themed recipes to share with you all. These last […]

The Scary Truth (and Some Good News) About Your Hysterectomy

I remember a woman telling me years ago that she couldn’t wait to have a hysterectomy. She explained that she was tired of monthly menstruation and was “done with those parts anyway.” This was before my self-health days, but it still didn’t sit right with me. I wondered if we should really be willing to […]

Do You Know Who the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Really Feed?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I’ve never paid much attention to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. Rather, when it comes to myself and my family, I rely on my self-health education, gathering information from reliable sources, paying attention, asking questions about what we need at any given time, and adjusting as […]

Creamy Spiced Brown Rice Pudding: A Warming Autumnal Treat

Rice pudding will always hold a special place in my heart. I loved to prepare it as a child. I’d always ask my mum to make extra basmati rice for dinner just so I could make dessert with the leftovers. The creamy, custard-like texture, the aroma of the spices and vanilla, and the chew of […]

Picadillo: Ultimate Cuban Comfort Food

Last week, I was seeking inspiration for dinner. The weather had changed a bit. After months of hot and dry days, it was crisp and cool, and I couldn’t shake the yearning for a pot of stew or chili. Browsing through some of my old favorites, I remembered a dish I’d always loved but hadn’t […]

Vaccination and Immunization: Are They the Same Thing?

I often hear people using the words vaccination and immunization as if they were interchangeable. Plucking one of them out of a sentence and plopping the other in its place. But is it that simple? Are they the same thing? Don’t worry, I’m not about to dive into the debate of childhood vaccinations. I avoid […]

Blackened Steak Bites with Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dip: Healthy Snacking with a Probiotic Punch

Now that the equinox has passed, fall is officially in full swing. And with that, so is football season. I’ve never been much of a sport spectator, and I don’t really understood the intense passion that people have for football. There, I said it. Sorry, guys. But! I do get the camaraderie of sitting around […]