Plant Based Living

Plant Based Living

 A plant based diet comes with a multitude of flavorful health benefits and little to worry about.

Food For Thought? Nutrition for mental health…

Think of food as the foundation to getting us back to where our mind and body naturally wants to be. I like to call it good mood food…  

It wasn’t that long ago, if someone dared to share that what we eat connects to how we feel, we might have been labeled one of those new age people. A new field of psychiatry is showing some exciting links between what we eat and our mental health. Thank goodness science has caught up with the divine wisdom of nature.

Did you know that eating certain foods like refined processed carbohydrates such as white bread and sugary foods can zap your energy and give you brain fog? 

~  In addition to adding on some extra pounds.

Let’s clear up the carb confusion. Some trends suggest that carbs are the enemy. I disagree, at least a little. I admit I do pay attention to my carb intake. However, If you are eating whole foods, picked at the right time, grown in a healthy environment, you don’t have to obsess about it. For example: complex carbs like whole starchy vegetables, and grains are a healthy source of carbohydrates, and gut loving fiber, and have a host of health promoting nutrients for the mind. 

I can not hide how happy it makes me to cook and eat with the seasons, knowing my body is getting exactly what it needs, and when it needs it. The biggest joy for me is to explore and share the delicious pairings of seasonal ingredients with friends and folks like you. 

Oftentimes, there are very small windows to create with a seasonal ingredient.  Asparagus and English peas come to mind. Which has me thinking of one of those perfect pairs to cook a delicious Spring Minestrone. 

So Go Cook!  Make something that nurtures you and the people around you, with the intent to inspire and nourish your soul.  Explore, laugh, daydream, visualize a beautiful day, and remember to take notes… Journaling is a wonderful way to inspire new ideas, especially when the fog is lifted.

The key thing to remember when embarking on a health journey is to be patient with yourself, as your body needs time to physically adjust to the changes in your diet as well as maintain this new healthy habit.

To get you started, here are some perfect pairings that will decongest the body, balance the gut flora, and feed it delectable important nutrients that increase energy, therefore increasing the quality of your life. Who doesn’t want that?

Foods to boost daily energy ~

Grilled Radishes with Herbed Yogurt (a beneficial probiotic for the gut)

Steamed Salmon over English Pea Puree, with Tarragon Lemon Clarified Butter 

Market Minestrone

To your good health ~ If you are a curious cook, join me on my Podcast  ~ A taste for All Seasons ~

It is a cooking, cultural, and inspirational way for us to explore the world of food. And… as always, l will share a seasonal recipe, cooking tips, and kitchen essentials that will inspire you in the kitchen.  All recipes at

You can listen to all the shows, on Spotify, Apple Podcast, and Google Podcast.  We talk to local farmers, and wellness experts, where you can learn how to cook your way through the seasons. 

Laurie Richardone is a seasonal gluten free chef and certified health coach.  

To work with Laurie, visit

Superfood Green Smoothie

Superfood Green Smoothie

Start the day with a nourishing nutrient rich green drink. Add a banana for a kid friendly smoothie.

Serves 2

2 cups organic spinach, or kale

1-2  cups nut milk or coconut milk, recipe for nut milk below

1 tsp. grated turmeric

1 tsp. grated ginger

pinch of black pepper

2 tbsp. hemp seeds, or chia seeds

1/2 tsp. cinnamon,or cardamom

2 medjool dates, pitted, or fresh berries

1 granny smith apple, cut into pieces (to replace other fruit, this is lower in sugar)

1 cup hot filtered water, in cooler weather for blanching greens

Add On ~ For gut health, add 1/2 cup goat yogurt

1 tbsp.raw cacao nibs, optional

Optional: Pour hot water just before boiling over spinach or kale. It is good for digestion.

Add to a high powered blender with all the other ingredients. Blend well. 

Homemade nut milk:  1 cup of raw nuts such as almonds, cashews,or  macadamia nuts, soaked overnight in filtered water. Drain. Add soaked nuts to a high power blender with four cups of fresh water. Add a pinch of sea salt, and a dash of vanilla. Blend well. Keep refrigerated for up to 5 days. If nuts are not your thing, make hemp milk. (1 cup organic hemp seeds, 4 cups filtered water, pinch of salt, ½ tsp. Vanilla) Blend very well.

For Almond milk, you might want to pour it through a cheesecloth or sieve, for creamy milk. Press down with a wooden spoon. Discard remaining pulp. If using a Vitamix, omit
this step.

Spring Clean Your Health

Spring Clean Your Health

As we contemplate the arrival of Spring with childlike anticipation, there are many reasons to love this time of the year.

It’s the season of possibility…

We have long awaited entry into more daylight, and this is a boost to our mental health:

Schedule in some time to walk around the neighborhood and take in the greenery, and bursts of color, that start to blanket the city. This will surely lift the spirits, in addition to lowering cortisol levels, the stress hormone.

Spring is a favorable time to rethink our diet with lighter seasonal ingredients.

Rest assured, There is no “right” way there is only what works for you.

Go on an internal quest, with a hint of curiosity, and an intrepid explorer. It will reveal what your body is asking for.

Checking in with yourself with a quiet mind is a wonderful way to cultivate intuition, and is a beneficial practice for your wellbeing: as it opens the doors to clear decisions.

Once we know what is best to feed our body each season, It does take a bit of discipline to shift what we normally eat.

After a long winter, there’s nothing more welcome than celebrating spring with the sight and flavor of new colorful, tasty ingredients: arugula, mustard greens, asparagus, and peas are all starting to come available at the farmers markets. 

The good news is:  By eating with the seasons it will create a reset both in the mind and body. This way of feeding ourselves adds to better digestion, which all supports an uplifted frame of mind.

Tips for Success

One thing that helped me was to keep a journal of everything I ate in the day.

Also, noting what is going on when I crave certain foods?

If I am feeling stressed or sad, I lean into unfavorable choices.

We all do this to some extent. Be gentle with yourself! We can always start anew.

It’s helpful to have someone hold you accountable, like a good buddy or a health coach.  Personally, When I have someone that I am accountable to, I am more likely to be set up for success.

It doesn’t have to be a daunting task to make a shift in your health, you can start by incorporating one small thing at
a time.

What if? It is as simple as having a twelve ounce glass of fresh lemon water upon waking, before that yummy cup of coffee, or tea touches your lips.

I love starting the day with an energizing green smoothie: made with plant based protein, such as hemp or chia seeds, a bunch of leafy greens, and a couple of nutritious Medjool dates, or a handful of berries. It’s more delicious than you might think.

During this wonderful time of renewal, allow fresh Spring ingredients to clean out the habits of winter.

To your good health ~

 If you are a curious cook, join me on my Podcast  
~  A taste for All Seasons ~

It is a cooking, cultural, and inspirational way for us to explore the world of food. And… as always, l will  share a seasonal recipe, cooking tips, and kitchen essentials that will inspire you in the kitchen.

You can listen to all the shows, on Spotify, Apple Podcast, and Google Podcast.  We talk to local farmers, and wellness experts, where you can learn how to cook your way through the seasons.

Laurie Richardone is a seasonal gluten free chef and certified health coach. 

To work with Laurie, visit 

Check Your Skin, Save Your Life – 6 simple steps to perform a skin self-exam

Check Your Skin, Save Your Life – 6 simple steps to perform a skin self-exam

While it might not be the first thing on your to-do list, prioritizing regular skin checks could save your life.

Though a trip to the gym wasn’t uncommon for John Ahern, the bruising he noticed after a particularly strenuous workout was unusual. Ahern’s board-certified dermatologist, Lindsay S. Ackerman, MD, FAAD, made a life-saving observation: the bruises indicated a severe blood issue. After testing, Ahern was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia.

Ahern’s story offers an important reminder to pay attention to the body’s largest organ and is one of many examples that show how the skin is a window to overall health.

“While bruising can be common, when it appears in unusual areas or in the absence of trauma, it can represent problems with other organ systems,” Ackerman said.

Performing regular self-exams can familiarize people with their skin and help identify areas of concern. For example, Yvonne Basil noticed changes to a mole on her toe and quickly scheduled an appointment with her board-certified dermatologist. After a same-day surgical biopsy, Basil’s dermatologist, Dr. Seemal R. Desai, MD, FAAD, confirmed it was melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Because of the early diagnosis and treatment, doctors stopped the spread and Basil is now cancer-free.

“While Yvonne’s melanoma was very serious, it could have been much worse had she not found the mole and quickly made an appointment with a board-certified
dermatologist,” Desai said.

Regularly checking your skin from head to toe can help catch skin cancer and other conditions early when they are most treatable. These simple steps recommended by the experts at the American Academy of Dermatology to perform a skin exam could help you detect a condition early:

Examine your body in a full-length mirror

Look at your underarms, forearms and palms

Look at your legs and soles of your feet and between your toes

Use a hand mirror to examine your neck and scalp

Use a hand mirror to check your back and buttocks

Take note of all the spots on your body, including moles, freckles and age spots

People of all skin tones should perform skin self-checks. When skin cancer develops in people of color, it is often diagnosed in its later stages, making it more difficult to treat. If you notice any new or suspicious spots on your skin, or any spots that are changing, itching or bleeding, make an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist.

To learn more, visit

ABCDEs of Melanoma

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. However, when detected early, it is highly treatable. These warning signs can help you identify melanoma:

Asymmetry: One half of the spot is unlike the other half.

Border: The spot has an irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border.

Color: The spot has varying colors from one area to the next.

Diameter: While melanomas are usually greater than 6 millimeters, or about the size of a pencil eraser, when diagnosed, they can be smaller.

Evolving: The spot looks different from the rest or changes in size, shape or color.

Did You Know?

Dermatologists are trained to diagnose, treat and manage more than 3,000 conditions of the skin, hair and nails. 

Shifting Wellness Attitudes Shape 2022 Fitness Trends

Shifting Wellness Attitudes Shape 2022 Fitness Trends

In adjusting to the constraints of the pandemic, many Americans had to improvise where and how they work out. After months of adapting to a “gym anywhere” mentality and learning to accommodate more flexible workout schedules, this new fitness mindset is inspiring some larger trends for healthier living.

“We’ve learned that wellness is not one-size fits all, and that it’s achieved by small habits like regular hydration that can really impact how you feel throughout the day,” said celebrity fitness trainer Harley Pasternak, MsC. “Collectively, nourishing both body and mind together as one makes holistic health a sustainable lifestyle.”

Pasternak and the experts at Propel Fitness Water are forecasting five fitness and wellness trends to watch for in 2022:

Accountability Buddies

When gym closures ran rampant, folks leaned on others for inspiration to get moving, so it’s no surprise working out in pairs (or more) is a continued way to focus on fitness. Feelings of burnout may be common heading into 2022, so having a partner who gives you a healthy sense of camaraderie and competition can help push you to show up on days when you’d rather rest and stay committed to your goals. It also provides a sounding board when you need suggestions for nutritious recipes or fresh at-home cardio ideas.

Versatility in Gym Spaces and Schedules

When a large segment of the workforce started working from home, the rituals of before- and after-work gym visits fell by the wayside. People grew more accustomed to improvising where they work out, whether it was their neighbor’s garage, their living room or a running path in the city. As exercisers are less beholden to studio or gym schedules, the “gym anywhere” mentality is a level of flexibility many are holding on to, even as they ease back into more normal work routines.

Health in Small, Achievable Doses

This trend is all about recognizing health transformations don’t happen overnight, and even modest steps can make a big difference in how you feel throughout the day. One example is paying more attention to your hydration. If you aren’t properly hydrated, few other things tend to go right either. Small habits like throwing Propel Powder Packs into your gym, work or school bag can make a difference. Filled with enough electrolytes to replace what is lost in sweat, they are handy for on-the-go hydration and are easy to add to a water bottle.

Wellness Goals vs. Fitness

Committing to overall wellness is more about lifestyle changes than numbers like weight loss or muscle mass. People embracing this trend are forgoing numeric goals based on performance in the gym or on the scale and instead emphasizing outcomes that affect life, nourishing both body and mind together as one. Fitness goals are an essential component, but so is supporting your mental health as well as being cognizant of what you’re putting into your body. When each piece is well taken care of, your body is better able to work like a well-oiled machine.

Low-Impact Workouts

This year, walking treadmill challenges gained virality on social media, marking the increasing popularity of workouts that are low impact yet effective. Getting moving is the key, even if it means taking your tempo down. You don’t need to do hours of HIIT every day to see results. In fact, less time- and energy-intensive workouts are easier to sustain and can often yield the same, or better, results.

Find more hydration options and wellness tips at

The Gift of Self Love

The Gift of Self Love

According to myth, Cupid was the winged messenger of the gods, and Venus, the goddess of love. Cupid encourages us to give gifts to those we love. Does this include giving a gift of love to ourselves?

Could loving yourself be the path to receive the fruitful relationships that we all desire, and deserve, along with a true sense of well being.? Loving thy self pushes us to take care of our own needs, as well as the needs of the people in our life that we care about.

In a world where we’ve been raised to put others first, self-love can often feel selfish. Setting aside time for ourselves can cause feelings of guilt, and we can struggle to maintain a dedicated self-love practice. Intellectually, we know we need to love ourselves, yet oftentimes, we have difficulty giving ourselves permission to experience it. This could simply be a 20 minute yoga class of gentle stretching to get you ready for the day; Or even a beneficial way to end the day. Personally, I have incorporated this practice into my mornings, which has opened the doors to a more rewarding day.

Many of us have learned the importance of success. We learned how to work hard and the importance of making money; Not to say these lessons can’t support us, they do indeed. However, many of us didn’t learn how to keep ourselves feeling fueled for this exciting journey called life.  

Fortunately, we’re living in an era where the self-love revolution is gaining momentum, yet we often have trouble doing the work. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were taught self love and self esteem in elementary school? There are so many opportunities to practice this nurturing essential skill, no matter what our age is. This will support us to move forward in
our life authentically, therefore attracting healthy nourishing relationships.

Let’s find our own inner happiness, so we can give love without feeling depleted, and gain a genuine sense of self.

Shall we bring a bit of self love into the kitchen.?  Why not?  It could be making a special dinner for yourself, perhaps a beautiful savory soup, or a healthy sweet, to then share with a friend.

For what better gift than the gift of food…

However you go about this, like any other skill we want to master, takes practice, practice, and practice.

To your good health, 

If you are a curious cook, join me on my Podcast ~ A taste for All Seasons ~

It is a cooking, cultural, and inspirational way for us to explore the world of food. And… as always, l will  share a seasonal recipe, cooking tips, and kitchen essentials that will make your life easier in the kitchen. 

You can now listen to all the shows, on Spotify, Apple Podcast, and Google Podcast.  We talk to local farmers, where you can learn how to cook your way through the seasons. 

Laurie Richardone is a seasonal gluten free chef and certified health coach.  

To work with Laurie, visit