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A Cup of Tea

About me, and why I started this (almost always) vegan food blog.

Let me introduce myself to you…

Clio Muir - About Me pictureI’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 and Clio's Comfort Tea Ingredients

Rick & Clio’s Comfort Tea:

Comfort Tea Ingredients

  • Elder Flower
  • Chamomile
  • Peppermint
  • Linden (I ordered on Amazon

 

Comfort Tea Recipe

  1. 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. 
  1. Heat tea pot with hot water and set aside.
  1. Bring water not quite to boil, just where bubbles are forming at bottom, or as the Japanese say, ‘fish eyes’.
  1. Pour water from now heated teapot. Spoon in two heaping tablespoons your herbs. Pour water over and steep 5-7 min.
  1. I also heat teacups, especially if they are old and precious.
  1. Use tea strainer and pour into to cups
  1. Enjoy!!

 

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.

Clio Muir and Rick Muir
That’s me and my man… Rick Muir!

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.

Painting of Rick Muir drinking tea
My brother Greg the Artist painted this wonderful painting; Rick w/ his dragon teacup.

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…

Growing the Positive Mind
Growing the Positive Mind by Dr. William K. Larkin

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; joylove, 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.

My little bro Andrew!
My little bro Andrew… here’s to you!

 

 

39 Comments
  1. Clio, what a terrific idea!
    You own blog
    What a unique way to establish yourself as a writer.
    Looking forward to more posts.
    Great job!
    Love from Steve and Lynda

  2. Awesome Clio…love your world and words!…while I will probably remain a crazy carnivore …I’ll look forward to your next installment and maybe munch a shaved Brussels sprouts salad!!!

  3. Awesome Clio….love your world and your words!….while I will probably remain a crazy carnivore…I’ll look forward to your next installment…might even munch on a shaved Brussels Sprout salad in your honor!

  4. This is great! I’m traveling similar roads to steer my diet towards 90% plant based or “flexiterian”. Eager to try that tea and learn more recipes.

  5. Oh Clio,, I love it !!!! I love you!!!!! You are you—so amazing—with such a special take on life—I’m blessed to know you. And what a perfect time to launch your blog—when it feels like the world is really falling apart this time😜😜 And I’m so excited that Pete designed your website!!! I love it!!!! You’ve made my morning!🤗😘🥰😊

  6. Yahoooo!!! So excited to read your brilliant, comical, and heart felt words Clio! Looking forward to next weeks post! Love you mucho xx, Ash

  7. Wonderful, Clio! Love your style and the topic is timely for me as I process childhood trauma death and too many other things to list. You are an amazing force. Can’t wait to see more.
    Xo

  8. Your blog is so upbeat and inspirational! Thank you for sharing fun and meaningful information, and for reminding me to fill my lungs with gratitude, joy, kindness and peace. I’ll be happily tuning in every Friday to be uplifted and to get more ideas on how to live beautifully.

  9. Thank you for sharing your story Clio! I really enjoy reading about your love for your family and how it channels into food. Pete and I also forage elderflowers, they’re amazing!

  10. Hello Clio,

    Wow, I just realized how much I miss you! When can we meet for brunch? Or, do you ever come down here to the big city?

    Although we’re not vegan, King and I stopped eating meat in 2017. (We do enjoy fish and dairy). We both feel way healthier and I think the good diet helped King through recovery from quadruple bypass surgery in July 2018.

    We were inspired by my younger brother who had 3 heart attacks in 4 years. He is an avid skier and hiker and is now healthier than ever due to his diet. He is now completely off meds and doing great! He describes his diet as vegan 80% whole food. For example, he eats olives, but not olive oil.

    Good wishes to you in this new adventure!

    Love to you and Rick from this old(er) newly wed couple,
    Marcia & King

  11. Talked to JoAnn yesterday and she told me about your new endeavor – Such fun!

    My sister died of cancer when she was 49 so I can understand what you are going through. I could say you get “over it” but I think you just learn to live with it – Anyway I’ll be thinking of you and looking forward to your next blog. Love, Julie

  12. Thank you dear Clio! Your words touched my my heart and my feelings. Andrew will always be with us ! And he ist watching gut for me. Love your Ingrid

    1. Thank you Cathy, Did you used to work with our Casey? Funny, you’re the second person to use the word, “soothing.” Thats what we all need, actually one of my goals.
      See ya next week 🙂

  13. I recently signed up for your blog, and the first recipe I received was “Fennel Fish Stew”. Being vegan myself, I assumed it would be a faux fish using fennel so I was intrigued. Then I saw cod listed in the ingredients so I came to your home page to investigate what I thought would be a vegan recipe blog, but now understand is “mostly vegan”. I’m glad I took the time to read your story – very inspiring! I’ve been vegan 3 years (vegetarian 7 years prior). My husband is omni but is happy eating what I make or cooking for himself occasionally. I’m looking forward to trying some of your vegan recipes, they look and sound great!

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a nice message. It’s funny, just yesterday I was thinking about interjecting more about the “almost vegan” in the blog
      for next week. We’re on the same page…Thanks again…is an “omni” a person who eats everything?

  14. Clio, this is so awesome. My boyfriend was diagnosed with colon and lung cancer. Both early stage and treatment is over. But I am here in Chico with him during this quarantine time and actively changing his diet which he is enjoying. Not quite vegan yet. I look forward to checking out more of your blogs

    1. Cristi, Oh my gosh, this is the weirdest thing, I was just thinking of you a couple days ago… thank you… hey, this weeks blog I give an update on Rick, who is doing fab..
      but I site a research article from Harvard Medical, google; diet for prostate cancer by Dean Ornish MD. We completely cut out meat, dairy eggs and sugar. But, we do occasionally eat fish,
      occasionally.. Rick has slow growing prostate cancer, and Cristi, his numbers have gone down! I think it’s the no sugar, but the research supports, that having no fat in the diet is huge.
      Thank God your boyfriend has you, I can’t imagine going through what he is going through alone.
      Have fun with, cookingforyoumylove.com …I am so glad you reached out…

  15. Hi Clio. Congrats on your blog. It’s beautiful. Michael and I went vegan, except for the occasional fish, about two years ago and Veganomicon has been my favorite book since then. We have started to eat the odd egg or two during the shutdown. Not sure why but they do taste good right now. We have not cut sugar out though but keep talking about doing so! Keep on keeping on. You both look great. Kaz

    1. Thank you Kaz! Every once in awhile I find myself craving an egg, but that’s about the only food I miss. Well, I do miss making a soufle…
      Thank you for your kind words…We’re missing JoAnn’s parties
      🙂

  16. Clio, Reading your story made me cry….partly for what your year has been, some for how much I have missed seeing you, tears of joy for you and this yummy blog. Reading along is just like being in your company and of course, I’ll try the recipes. What a wonderful new adventure this is for you….you’re MADE FOR IT!!!! Have fun. Love.

    1. Thank you thank you Susan! Having your support means so much especially since I’m sitting here right now, staring at my computer; blank tape…. 🙂

  17. Hi Clio! Nancy Peters Kunau here!!! Came across your blog on Facebook! I tell you! Just at the right time! Larry has done a 360 on me and has decided to go Vegan. My family and I are ecstatic about this, but shocked!!!! Long story. Anywho, will join your blog if you will have us!! Look forward to recipes!!!

    1. Nancy!!! Love hearing from you..and yes, that is big news about Larry! Get, Veganomicon Cookbook.
      It’s been a godsend for me… And you’ll be amazed at the product available now..I’d love to get together w/ you and recently found myself thinking a lot about the girls..Next time I’m headed up, I’ll give you a shout. 🙂

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