About me, and why I started this (almost always) vegan food blog.
Let me introduce myself to you…
I’m Clio, and very pleased to meet you. Actually since you’re reading this vegan food blog, I’m stoked to meet you and really excited to share this journey through my kitchen, my pantry, my library and sometimes even, my closet.
I’ve asked myself what my goal is for this site, CookingforYouMyLove.com? Well, I have a vision of you sitting in your favorite spot, reading my latest installment every Friday, and escaping with me for a few minutes to get inspired. I’ll cut to the chase. What’s up with the title, Cooking for You My Love? And, why an “almost always” vegan food blog (more on “almost always” later)?
But first, let’s have a cup of tea
I’ve been thinking about what I’d offer to all of you after your gift to me, of having read my blog. We have a reciprocal relationship; me the writer, you the reader, an interchange of favors. So, if you were sitting here with me, I would offer you a cup of tea. There’s a long story to how this tea came about. I’ll save it for another time. But, I will give you a little gift, the recipe.
Rick & Clio’s Comfort Tea:
Comfort Tea Ingredients
Comfort Tea Recipe
- You can buy all of the above at most health food stores in bulk section. Find a favorite tea tin and pour in herbs, and shake well.
- Heat tea pot with hot water and set aside.
- Bring water not quite to boil, just where bubbles are forming at bottom, or as the Japanese say, ‘fish eyes’.
- Pour water from now heated teapot. Spoon in two heaping tablespoons your herbs. Pour water over and steep 5-7 min.
- I also heat teacups, especially if they are old and precious.
- Use tea strainer and pour into to cups
We are those crazy people you might see along the side of the road, Rick calls it foraging (I call it scrounging). Kitchen scissors in hand, I follow Rick as he pulls down branches, so I can cut the blossoms from the elderberry trees which grow wild in Northern California. We have found late April and May is when the flowers are at their best. After we throw the bags in the back, Rick always hits the gas, and our car with the innocent elderberry blossoms inside, roars into traffic. And every time, I like to ask, “Are you sure this isn’t against the law?”
Ok, back to why I started this blog… tea in hand.
It all started with my husband Rick
After falling down trail running, being forced by me to go to the doctor, and subsequently finding out he’s broken his nose, and has prostate cancer. The “good kind of cancer,” his oncologist told us. By the way, the doctor had wiped out mountain biking the day before the appointment. He came in with one side of his face a big scab, missing an arm off of his glasses and wearing mismatched very loud socks… so, there was an immediate connection between Rick and him, “He’s the bomb, I know that trail.” Rick said. I was happy for Rick and scared shitless for me.
As in all the challenges seemingly coming almost quarterly these days; we took all of our questions to the Internet. Rick has, slow growing prostate cancer, his PSA was 5.8 (number that is calculated to determine what Stage the cancer is.) He has Stage 1. His PSA was 2.8 two years before. Dr. N. told us, this would not kill him. He would probably die of old age, unless of course he hung out with this guy, I was thinking. And, as Rick read his way through that first night, any and everything about prostate cancer, I researched diet and nutrition.
Being the cook, I felt it was my duty.
First thing the next morning, I emailed Dr. N. and told him I had narrowed our choices down to either; 1) do the Keto Diet, or 2) get serious by becoming Vegans.
Also, we came to the conclusion to remove any processed sugar from our diet. This was huge!
“I’d do Vegan, if I had to choose,” Dr. N. replied almost instantly.
Adding to our journey into this new reality of biopsies, blood tests every three months, and a pending MRI, we’ve walked away from meat, dairy, eggs and sugar. My ever expanding mission in the kitchen has taken a hard jog to the left, where I have had a blast investigating new to me vegan cookbooks. One of which, I will mention here, because it’s become my bible at the moment.
Veganomicon, The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook, by Isa Chandra and Terry Hope Romero. These chefs have got it going on! Not only are the recipe’s killer good, it’s a fun read.
New to vegan… a learning curve
During the first month of our new veganism, I noticed in our pantry, a case of our beloved Wild Planet (sustainably caught) Wild White Anchovies in Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Damn! Does this mean we can’t enjoy our Friday evenings of anchovies on Wasa Rye Crackers, smeared with Dijon Mustard, lovingly sprinkled with capers, diced green peppers, and topped with a sprinkle of lemon juice? We had $40 bucks invested in this preciously packed fish from Morocco. The voice in my head, said, “Clio go ahead, Rick needs the 16 oz. of protein.” So, the hard turn to the left, took a short curve back to the middle of the dietary road.
That being said, except for very occasional fish, we adhere to a vegan diet (hence the almost entirely vegan food blog). It’s all flow baby…
And life goes on.
We still have to eat, still have to take a morning walk, still have to see what garage sales are calling to us, (or to me), still cruise through Netflix and find something fun or interesting to watch, and most importantly, we still have to breath; deep into the stomach, where so much of life is lived, and like the ocean hitting the shore, letting it all out, and letting it all go.
But still, why a vegan food blog?
Here is the back back story, so indulge me for a minute…
I’ve just finished a 6 month Positivity Weekly Workshop, after having lost my darling younger brother, who laid down on his couch after a tennis match and never woke up. The shock of it all, this precious person in my life gone forever, rocked my world out of its orbit. I walked in a gray sad fog. Going to bed bereft in grief, and immediately reminded he was gone upon awakening. I am by nature an almost pathological optimist. Seeing life through a positive lens; my mantra, there is always a solution. But in this loss I found no answers.
Yoga wasn’t the complete answer
Month after month, twelve to be exact, I slogged on. I joined a yoga group, thinking if I could get the Endorphin kick from an hour of stretching my body beyond the ball it was curled in; I would feel like me.
One day after class, a woman who knew nothing about what I was going through, invited me to join a group, where the focus was retraining the neuroplasticity of the brain – from being stuck in trauma, grief, disease, depression, even loneliness – to learning a new way of breathing, and subsequently getting control of the compulsive loop thinking of the brain. I was game; always on the hunt for pearls of wisdom, and tools to help cope. I did breathing exercises 10 times a day. Breathing in, visualizing the word, gratitude, three times. Followed by the words; joy, love, hope and peace. After around three months, of religiously following this practice, I emerged out of the fugue state of profound grief to a different me. And then Rick went for a run.
But, its crazy!!!
I am filled with joy, and full of hope, because no matter what, we can always grab some air. I know there are people like the two of us wanting to do something other than wring their hands. Or if you’re at a crossroads with your own life choices regarding your diet, finding yourself needing some new and good ideas for living beautifully whatever is happening – this is the blog for you. Join me on my journey where I will share with you wonderful products, inspiring cookbooks. some good reads, and some really great buys at Zara’s.
Welcome into our kitchen and our lives, and hopefully adding more abundance to yours. Welcome to CookingforYouMyLove.com! …my mostly vegan food blog.
Andrew, you’re proof that love doesn’t end, and can transcend time.