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I have a new love, a new desire, another passion.

I look forward to it, revel in it and speak highly of it to others.  It’s hard, but it makes me stronger.

It pushes me but it makes me stretch. It sounds so easy until you actually do it- this thing called yoga.


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When a friend is recovery from surgery, your husband has a sore throat or one of your away-at-college son’s has mononucleosis – what’s a mom to do?  Make homemade chicken noodle soup!

Yes, unfortunately it’s true, we recently found out our oldest son has mono, so we are headed down to see him and our youngest son at school at Biola University this weekend.  I’ve already sent him a list of vitamins (C!) , supplements (Echinacea) and whole foods (blueberries)  to buy at the store and  mailed a package with cell building protein powder and other awesome antioxidant-rich supplements like Graviola and green tea capsules, but I will also personally deliver  stock of more of the same.  And frozen Get-Well Chicken Noodle soup.  I’m so glad that this is one of his favorite meals that I make.

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I have a confession to make.  I’m really not much of a “stick to the recipe” kind of person.  Once I’ve made something from a recipe, the next time I make the dish I usually go from memory and based on what’s in my refrig and pantry.  Or after being the fortunate recipient of a lovely meal at someone’s home or one brought to us as I was recovering from surgeries or chemotherapy, I would ask a bit about their recipe and then wing it from there.

So I admit it’s a bit difficult for me to share recipes, since I don’t have many written down.  And another confession – I’m also not much of a “tablespoon of this, cup of that” person either- I just make stuff putting ingredients together- especially when it comes to making soup!

IMG 5404 300x224 12 Months of Healthy Soup Recipes: January  Minestrone Soup with Tortellini

January's Healthy Soup Recipe: Minestrone with Tortellini

When I set out the other evening to “remake” a hearty and yummy Italian Sausage Tortellini soup that some long-time and dear friends made for our family several times over the past several years, I didn’t go from a written down recipe.   I remembered and was thinking about the wonderful tortellini soup and the soup I made with the special bean soup mix I was given just recently for my birthday from a special heart-sister of mine. I decided to combine the two and off to the grocery store I went.

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Choose Hope Chai Latte

If you enjoy the sweet and spicy flavor of a chai latte and are looking for some excellent health benefits at the same time,

I believe you will enjoy what I am calling the “I Choose Hope Chai Latte” recipe below.

IMG 5007 224x300 Healthy Turmeric Rich Chai Tea Latte  Recipe

Spicy, Sweet and Creamy

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Vitamin D3 is widely talked about by the medical community and breast cancer survivor community as a supplement to consider to stave off breast cancer.

vitamins gels 300x199 Supplements I take and Why: Vitamin D3

Easy to swallow gel capsules

According to breastcancer.org:

“Research suggests that women with low levels of vitamin D have a higher risk of breast cancer. Vitamin D may play a role in controlling normal breast cell growth and may be able to stop breast cancer cells from growing.”

Before you begin taking vitamin D3 it’s suggested that you have your Vitamin D serum level tests first.  This can be done with a simple blood test.  Again, according to breastcancer.org,

“Before you adjust your vitamin D intake, it’s important to know your vitamin D serum level. This is done with a simple blood test that your doctor can order for you when you’re in for a routine physical. Vitamin D researchers recommend a serum level of 40-60 ng/ml (nanograms/milliliter).”

I’m not certain at what point along my three year journey with breast cancer that my Vitamin D level entered  my radar,  but I did ask to have it checked in August 2010, which was a month after my bilateral mastectomy and several months post chemotherapy.  At that point my serum level was 33, which is within the “normal” range (18-72), however was definitely lower than the suggested serum level for breast health, according to the research done on the subject.  At that point, with my oncologists approval,  I began taking a Vitamin D3 supplement of 1000 mg a day.  I was surprised to see that I didn’t have my level checked again until March 2011, at which point it had only gone up to 36.  I believe I then began taking 2000 mg a day.   The last time I had my levels checked on February 2012 my level had jumped to 54.

I’m much more comfortable with this level and continue to take 2000 mg of Vitamin D3 daily.

vitd e1356072838256 224x300 Supplements I take and Why: Vitamin D3

An inexpensive, essential supplement

Knowing  your Vitamin D serum level and making sure it’s between 40 and 60, is a simple life style addition all women can make to add to other “healthy breast habits”.

Ladies, along with getting your mammogram every year (EVERY year starting at 35 if you have a strong family history -mother, sister or daughter with breast cancer – or starting at 40)          will you please ask to have your Vitamin D level evaluated and take a daily supplement if your Vitamin D Serum Level is under 40?

(Eating Vitamin D rich foods and sun exposure can also increase your serum levels- read about it on breastcancer.org

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