Family Update

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? 


Herb Gardening with Kids

Herb gardening with kids is a great way to introduce your children to a new hobby. They love playing in the dirt already, why not make it even more fun by letting them grow their own plants? Not only is herb gardening entertaining for kids, but it can be full of educational moments and character building opportunities too!

7 Tips to Herb Gardening with Kids

7 Tips for Herb Gardening with Kids

Start small

You don’t want to overwhelm your child (or yourself) with a large herb garden right off the bat. Stick with 3-5 herbs for this first time gardening. If it’s too time consuming, he may feel like it’s a chore and quickly become disinterested in caring for the plants.

Choose easy to grow herbs

Kids shouldn’t have to work too hard on their herb garden. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun hobby! You can begin with a “pizza garden,” which consists of the herbs that are typically used when making pizza. This includes oregano, basil, and parsley.

What better way to celebrate your child’s gardening success than with a pizza using his own herbs?!

Purchase gardening tools for kids

Don’t just hand over the gardening tools you have used for years. Get the kids excited by giving them their own trowel, watering can, and hand rake. Teach them how to use the tools correctly to take proper care of his herb garden.

Get them to use all five senses

As they tend to the herb garden, let them really explore the plants (and dirt). As they sprout, kids can smell the herb and see if he can tell the difference between each. If you grow spearmint, your child can even chew the leaves for a minty taste!

Let it be fun, while educational

While herb gardening is definitely a learning experience, you want the kids to have fun too. The key is for the garden to be full of teaching moments. Teachable moments when herb gardening include looking up different herbs to learn how to properly care for them and comparing two or more herbs. Don’t forget learning about bugs!

Praise hard work

As your kids continue to grow their own herbs, be sure to show how proud you are of their commitment to the garden. Their self-esteem will be boosted when they realize the plants are actually growing successfully.

Let the child be in charge

It can be easy for parents to take over a project such as herb gardening (as I raise my hand), especially when the child starts to slack on watering and other tasks. However, gardening can teach your children responsibility and the need to nurture and take care of plants. Letting them see the effects of any neglect, including the herbs starting to wilt or die, is a great moment for teaching responsibility.

I hope you are encouraged to try herb gardening with your kids. Besides, it’s easier than getting a pet and a great family project that will test all of your patience.

If it’s not an option you can at least enjoy these fun little Dirt Cups on Instagram!

2 Ingredient Fruit Dip

Our family LOVES fruit! We eat between 15-20 pounds of apples each week, if that tells you anything. We don’t just eat apples, we eat bananas, blueberries, strawberries — basically whatever is in season.

I have readers tell me their kids won’t eat fruit. Although that isn’t something I deal with I have an easy solution, ready for this. Add a dip.

Kids will eat almost anything with a dip.

You may be thinking, I want my kids to be healthy, how is adding a fruit dip going to help? You can use a healthy dip and I’ve got a super easy dip recipe for you. It’s only 2 ingredients so even your kids can “help” you make it.

Chocolate Fruit Dip

Chocolate Fruit Dip


  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 6 oz Vanilla So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk  (non-dairy yogurt)


No steps required, just stir the cocoa powder into the non-dairy yogurt. DONE.

This makes an incredible fruit dip to dip for cookies or graham crackers. I haven’t tried it yet on a fruit pizza but I really want to. One day I’ll try it as a frosting or filling for cupcakes but I don’t know how well it will work. It makes a pretty fabulous parfait as well.

Chocolate  Fruit Dip

I chose this type of yogurt because it’s made from coconut milk and safe for people with dairy, soy and tree nut allergies.

My boys loved it and they are picky about their yogurt.

On a side note, So Delicious just calls this cultured coconut milk, they don’t use the word yogurt because technically it isn’t. I use it because we always buy non-dairy versions of yogurt and it is just the word we are used to using.

You can make this with other flavors. Our store only carries plain, vanilla and blueberry but raspberry would be delightful.

If your kids get used to eating fruit with dip they will be more likely to eat it without dip too.

For us, this dip is like a special dessert treat. I don’t make it all the time but they love it. It also works great in a lunch box.

Snackable-Recipe-Contest-BadgeThis recipe is an entry in the So Delicious and Go Dairy Free Snackable Recipe Contest.

You can connect with So Delicious on their Facebook page.

Gluten Free Quaker Popped

I love trying new products. I’m always looking for the next great thing. When I find a product that is safe for my son (who is gluten-free) and delicious I jump on it.

quaker popped

Both of my boys take their lunch and a snack to school each day. I like to provide them at least one thing with a little crunch to it.

Quaker Popped 1

Quaker Popped

I recently went to Walmart and they were having a gluten-free event. Most of the time when stores have an event with samples I have to avoid it because my little guy will want to try foods that aren’t safe for him. This time I discovered Quaker Popped. We chose the Apple Cinnamon flavor because it was also dairy-free. They are little rice cakes that fit into little hands without a big mess.

quaker popped

My boys were thrilled with these crunchy little treats. I bought the big bag for less than $3!

To find some of the other great gluten-free brands at Walmart visit the Gluten-Free for Less page.

Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Walmart, AMP, and Sverve. All opinions are my own.

Leading by Example

Today’s post was written by my husband, Jim. You can read his last post When the “Vegan” Husband is Tempted or his Weight Loss Story for a little more background. Today he shares the importance of Leading by Example. 
Leading by Example Advice from a plant-based dad

OK so at home, we’ve got little guys, a 3 year old and a 5 year old. For many meals, all the boys want to eat is fruit or cereal.

So what does a good dad\parent do? – Lead by example

Well obviously a good dad\parent has to be patient, consistent, loving and lead by example. Your kids will listen to your actions much more than your words. If your kids are anything like mine, they love to “share with Daddy”. If Daddy is eating corn chips with salsa, that’s what they’ll want. If Daddy is eating an apple and a pear and a peach… that’s what they’ll want. If Daddy is eating spinach, broccoli, sliced apples and blueberries, that’s what they’ll want. OK, so it’s not as linear as I’d like for it to be but, the more they see you eating it, the more they’ll eat it too.

It’s like teaching them to drive – except this is for their health

Have you ever noticed your children doing something that you do while you’re driving… that makes your cringe? I know I have. The sounds of “race ’em Daddy, race ’em”, still make me shake my head. So, as a parent, I want my kids to be good drivers, heck, even great drivers. How much more important is it then, that they have good healthy food habits as they grow up that they learn at home. Once our kids leave our nest, they’ll go off and make their own choices that they will need to live with.

Childhood Obesity

According to the CDC, childhood obesity statistics from 1980 to 2012:
Obesity in children aged from 6 – 11, increased from 7% to 18%
Obesity in children aged from 12 – 19, increased from 5% to 21%
Obesity in children increases many risk factors

Your kids will listen to your actions.

Although I struggle at times with eating a great diet, these statistics are hard to turn away from. Lead by example, eat your fresh vegetables and fruits in front of your kids and with them. They will listen to your actions.

Surely leading by example is one of the most important parts of getting your family to eat healthy. For more tips to get your kids eating healthy check out these popular posts.

My Kids Won’t Eat That! 5 tips for introducing new (healthy) foods.

5 Simple Tricks to Get Your Kids to Eat Their Veggies

Plant-Based Kids