Family Update

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It’s been over a year since I’ve been actively blogging or creating recipes. As you may know, my son was diagnosed with leukemia in February 2018 after months of unexplained medical issues that no one could diagnose.

Steven the Brave

Steven the Brave Dec 2018 after getting home from 11 day hospital stay.

Leukemia is not caused by lifestyle choices. It was not caused by anything we did and nothing could have been done to prevent it. There are different types of leukemia and the type our son has, has a 90% survival rate with traditional treatment.

Steven the Brave

Steven back in the hospital. This was after a week in the ICU. He spent another two weeks in the hospital on this visit.

Steven the Brave with Nurse Kate

Steven would help his nurses draw labs.

Cancer Treatment

Over the last year, he has handled his treatment really well. There have been ups and downs, with many complications. We’ve lost track of how many hospital stays he has had, almost always for over a week, sometimes almost a month.

He is in remission but has 3 years of chemo to go. Since leukemia is a blood cancer, treatment lasts for years. He takes daily oral chemo and monthly IV chemo.

Chemo is brutal. He still deals with nausea, fatigue, neuropathy, dizziness and pain. More than that, it takes a toll on the whole family. It’s the hardest thing we’ve ever faced and it’s not over.

We tried to keep everyone up to date at Steven the Brave’s Facebook page.

Steven the Brave with pup

Steven loved visiting with Therapy Dogs at the hospital. It was always a highlight.

New Normal

We are slowly trying to find a semblance of “normal” life. It’s a new normal, nothing like the life we lived before but we choose to move forward.

Our son is allowed to go back to school and is no longer confined to our home, doctors offices and the hospital. He can walk again! No need for a wheelchair or a walker. Our work schedules have mostly gone back to normal.

My hope is that I can pick up where I left off blogging; creating new recipes and helpful tips that new and established plant-based eaters will love. I had also been working on several projects that I hope to finish up soon.

Steven the Brave

What are your Plant-Based Needs

As I get started again, I really want to hear from you! What can I do to help you be more successful with plant-based eating? Do you need quick recipes, family-friendly recipes, meal plans, snacks, or something else entirely? 


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  1. Thank you for this email. I didn’t realize that you were going through such difficult times. It sounds as if you and your family are continuing to live plant-based, and that is such good news. My prayers and thoughts are with you! Whatever recipes you provide will be greatly appreciated.

  2. smassena2014 says:

    I’m so sorry you’ve been going through this. You have my prayers

  3. phyllisbeede6402 says:

    Wonderful to see a blog from you and look forward to hearing great progress for your son.

    My struggles with meals are finding quick, nutritious, SIMPLE ingredient recipes. Usually I find that there is at least one ingredient that isn’t no in my pantry.

  4. Thoughts and prayers for the positive progress and for continual healing.

    I need super high protein options .I cannot seem to get enough protein when I am working out daily and have been having troubles balancing this.

  5. Prayers for you and your son. I know how cancer can disrupt your life but hopefully the worst is over.

    My challenge is also high protein but also gluten and sugar free.

  6. Martina Byrd says:

    Prayers for you, your son and your family. Cancer is a beast. I would like fast and easy recipes.

  7. Holly, your son is so beautiful! He radiates light…..I’m sorry he has to go through this, but with you there to guide him, he’ll make a full recovery I’m sure.💜😊🙏. My issue with my plant based journey is “salad dressing”….. I’m so sick of vinegar things, so many of the dressing recipes out there just taste awful to me, I usually have to go back to my mayo based dressings that taste amazing. So, anything you can suggest for a good savory dressing will be greatly appreciated. Blessings to you and your family.

  8. We are so sorry you’ve been going through this. Your family is in out prayers .

    I’d love to see you get back to basics and let’s revisit and if needed up date or refresh your old recipes . Some of our favorites are your dips, hummus, and your dry veggie broth .

    • Thank you for your kind words Mark! AND for sharing your favorites! I have converted some of my old recipes to Instant Pot versions and hope to share them soon. I haven’t created any new dip recipes in a while but I should give it a try.

  9. Welcome back, Holly! To see Steven’s smiling face is a blessing! Prayers are being answered, and for that we are grateful.

    Easy, simple recipes are always welcome.

  10. So sorry you have been going through this. I look forward to hearing more positive progress in the future.

    My family is slowly transitioning to plant-based and my struggle is getting a two year old to eat anything. What i need is quick dinner ideas with simple ingredients. I don’t like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen after work.

    • Hi Karen,
      Feeding a 2 year old can be tricky! I work full time and some days I just can bring myself to cook anything so I completely understand. I plant to focus on new quick and easy recipes that even a toddler will love!

  11. I’m delighted you’re back. My prayers are with y’all. I would like to see some new meal plans and kid friendly + budget friendly recipes.

  12. Sending lots of love. Your son is truly such a legend <3 Wishing all the best for you all.
    I'm not really looking for any recipes in particular, I feel like I have what I eat very much figured out. That said, I'm one of those people who can never get enough new recipes, I really enjoy trying new things out, so anything and everything that you would want to make would inspire me 🙂

  13. Sending you lots of love and good thoughts! My challenge is making quick meals at the end of the work day.

  14. Absolutely grateful that your son and family are on their way to recovery. Make sure to take care of yourself too!

    I see people requesting quick, I’d say maybe pressure cooker recipes would fit that well. Also, I am in search of adequate protein, because I am allergic to beans. I like limited ingredients that I’m likely to have on hand. If you haven’t already done this on your site, maybe a pantry list and some basic beginner, or diet transition advice.

  15. Carla Jilek says:

    Congrats that he is in remission. I have a special needs kiddo with food challenges. He and I are plant based . So would appreciate kid recipes. He is allergic to soy and doesn’t tolerate gluten and caisen. Thanks

    • Thank you Carla! My son, Steven, used to have a bunch of food allergies. Thankfully, he was one of the rare one’s to out grow them. I think you’ve inspired me to share a “kids favorite” meal plan! I’ll put it on my to do list. I try to make plenty of gluten-free recipe and never include casein. I don’t typically avoid soy but will keep that in mind for you. I do have some tofu posts coming up because my boys love tofu but there will be plenty of other without soy too.

  16. Hi Holly, I am so glad to hear from you! I thought of you just two weeks ago and looked on your site for any updates (I’m not on FB). I’m thrilled to hear he is doing well. Praise to God! I cannot imagine what all you have all been through. ~~~ I fell off the plant based wagon just over a year ago and gained a lot of weight back. I’ve been researching plant based more lately, and I get overwhelmed with recipes that I cannot even pronounce, ingredients I don’t even know about, or a meal that would take an hour to complete one dish. I get frustrated and throw my hands up and go back to SAD, which I know is not best. I’d love *simple*, *fast*, easy, ***not*** always beans, more potatoes. My kids got so tired of **always** beans. Did I mention simple and fast?! Maybe more instant pot recipes or even an air fryer?! I don’t have an air fryer, but it looks intriguing to be able to do french fries without the oil. ~~ Thanks again for ALL you do even in the midst of everything going on in your life. 🙂

    • Thank you Kim! It’s so sweet that you check on us. We haven’t been good with updating people but it takes so much time and energy to care for him. It’s the hardest thing we’ve ever gone through.

      I wrote down your request and will keep them in mind. I’m the same way! I don’t have time for long, drawn out meals. These days, complicated means it’s not gonna happen.

  17. So glad to hear that your son is doing well again. God bless you and your family

  18. I’m very happy things are going well for your kid. God bless you all!

  19. Martha Lawson says:

    I am so glad to hear that Steven is well and that you are able to get back in to a routine! I fell off the plant based wagon and have been eating SAD. Maybe I’ll get back on track and revisit some of your recipes. We still make the chickpea noodle recipe a lot! One of the things that I like about your recipes is that they are simple, nourishing and taste good. Your recipes seem simpler than most other bloggers and I like that. I am not looking for anything new, just glad that you are back!

  20. So sorry that your son has cancer. It is horrible. Too many people get it. I HATE CANCER. I would like no oil and no processed sugars if that is possible.

  21. Me again. I see that you already do oil free. Thank you. Also I am not worried about gluten so maybe adding notes on how to convert recipes if we can eat gluten. Thank you

  22. Margaret E Clegg says:

    So happy to see you post again. Love following Steven The Brave. You and your family are nothing short of amazing. Praising God for Steven’s healing and future progress. Please let us know if there are continued ways we can support you. <3

  23. I just need a starting point. There is so much information.

  24. Holly. I am thrilled to hear about your son’s progress. Thank God you all made it through the last 12 months. What Joy it gives me to see Steven standing again!!!
    I enjoy your blog a lot, especially your meal plans! Welcome back.

  25. It’s wonderful to hear about Steven’s progress! What a blessing that he can walk again and go back to school.

  26. I remember some time ago, reading your post saying that your son was in a wheelchair, but no one knew why. I’m glad you got a diagnosis, and that the doctors are giving him the needed treatment. But, so sorry to hear that it’s such a difficult road for all of you to walk. Prayers here.

    • Thank you Anna! It has been extremely difficult and it still is but we have a new sense of normalcy that include oncologists, physical therapist and more medications that we could ever imagine. Thank you for praying for us!

  27. Shantel Henke Jones says:

    I am glad things are calming down for your family! I have loved your recipes because so far all my kids like them, which isn’t always the case for plant based recipes. The only thing I would like is for you to continue what you were doing before, good family recipes that adults, and kids like :0)

    • Thank you Shantel! You are so kind!
      My kids are have completely different preferences so what one likes, the other doesn’t. I’m thrilled that your kids enjoy the recipes!

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