What are you?

2014-04-10 07.25.00Hello Darlings,

LaDiva here.

At a dinner for a civic group, of which I am on the board, I met someone new.  Instead of introducing myself, a colleague introduced me as a dietitian and plant-based.

Now the fun begins.

The new friend begins to tell me that they don’t eat that much meat.  I am now trying not to look bored and interested in their meal choices.

Here’s the scoop:

I am a vegan2013-07-30 13.43.39
I am a woman
I am a mother
I am a gardener
I am a business owner2013-02-02 14.18.55
I am a cook
I am a skier
I am a film professional
I am a car driver
I have traveled around the world
I am a liberal with a libertarian streak
I am an actress
I am a home owner


I am a wife
I am a guitarist
I am a teacher
I am a sister
I am low maintenance
I am an author
I am a backpacker
I am a companion pet to my cats

All of these things are a part of me.  They all define a part of myself.  None of is all of me.  When we meet, let’s not start with one that makes you feel uncomfortable.  When we meet, give me your list and I promise to discuss whichever one you want.



. . . and now about the rest of us

Folks at my local farmers market

Folks at my local farmers market

Hello Darlings,

LaDiva here.

Okay, do you live next to one of those “Every ingredient in the World” grocery stores?  Or the “Everything organic and overpriced” joints?  Well, I don’t.  In fact, a lot of people don’t.  I live an hour from anything remotely resembling this.  How about the “Whole Paycheck” market?  Or perhaps the local, “No one that buys here wears anything by organic cotton” store?  Not me.


Encore! Eggplant Cutlets with a local marinara

When you view, and I hope cook along with, one of my video recipes you will notice that I have boring basic ingredients you can find at most grocery stores in the US.  There are a couple of spices or items that are a little exotic, but 1] I point them out and 2] they are rare.  

I cannot stand the game many folks who want to be earth-friendly play that I call, “How Vegan are You?”  


Lean Bean Sandwich Machine

Have you ever been in a conversation with intelligent, nice people, and then someone says, “I had those new black bean burgers at a barbecue last week.”  Then someone else says, “That company is owned by ConAgra.”  Then some other brilliant conversationalist chimes in with, “Well, actually the original owners sold out to ConAgra to start an animal sanctuary in Tahiti when feral snakes are being rounded up for boots made by exploited child workers in Asia.”  And finally, this gal pipes up with a piece of info she has been trying to inject into a chatter of healthy, holistic, horse manure for a month, “Yes, but the owners are cutting down palm trees to make way for the animal sanctuary and displacing the local farmers creating an economic crisis for most of the surrounding island population.  Didn’t you get the email and sign the petition?”

Now the guy that mentioned the new burgers decided to try something other than the planet-killing, artery clogging death slabs or so called by his veggie-fascist sister-in-law who will only graze on his lawn for “real foods” at family get-togethers.  So, do you think he is ever going to mention or try anything remotely like that again?

Look kids, you may eat chia seeds for your health, but the carbon footprint on them is enormous if you live on the eastern seaboard.  Same goes for agave nectar.  Where I live maple syrup is made a couple of miles away.  That’s what I buy.  Okay, that is not all I buy, but it is the major sweetener in my foods.  The people who process the sap have never sang Kumbaya and do not dye their own t-shirts.  I shop at the local grocery store which has an organic section and some other organic products.  My priority is to tell them that my dollars will support local farmers and local produce.  Please bring me more so I can purchase more here in town.


Insta Party Bean Dip on Pepper with Olives

Most of the folks who live around me do not make 6-figure incomes.  And they are the ones using much of our healthcare dollars because they do not understand what foods are readily available, healthy, cheap and easy to make.  And they don’t have a personal chef to do it for them.  Until recently, insurance coverage did not include nutrition counseling.  Now it does, at least a few times a year with a registered dietitian.  These low 5-figure folks were my target audience when I started making my videos and teaching cooking classes.  There are lots of customers at the “Wholier than thou” shopping extravaganzas, but I am looking for volume to change our national health needs.  That’s who will tip the balance of power in the food processing and marketing sector.


Our local flower girl

So, I lift my cheap, non-snazzy can of seltzer to all the ShopRite, Aldi, Piggly Wiggly, Hy-Vee, Food Lion, Food Chopper, Kroger, Albertson, Fred Meyer, Meijer, Tom Thumb, Sav-a-Lot folks who just need to know bean burgers are a great first step.  Feel free to contact me when you’re ready for the next one.  I’ll be grazing on the free organic stuff in your lawn.

Click here to subscribe to LaDiva Dietitian’s monthly video recipes.

One step back, two steps forward

LaDiva outside cooking demo Sanctuary

I’m coming to an event near you!


My writing space is about 80% together.  However, I had a huge cooking demo and had to stop and prepare.  On the other hand, what I have done is so comforting and truly me that I have no problem putting off finishing into the summer.

Monetizing my business has been a mental struggle.  That is one reason I am writing the book, You’re Not Dead, Yet – Nutrition for the over 50 crowd.  People ask me for a book at every cooking demo or presentation.  Right now, the project is in the hands of a publisher.  In the meantime, I am re-shooting and shooting anew video recipes to accompany the Ebook.  You should be able to click on links to bring you to recipes that reflect the nutrition info you have been reading in each chapter.

But that Ebook is at least a few months away and I need to make you, other blog readers and YouTube viewers happy with content that will better your lives, increase cash-flow and create my long term goals of creating a more compassionate world through parties, food and fun.

Well, my time banging out walls and designing a closet formulated a clear plan.

To better your lives through content, I am starting a subscriber service via theScreen Shot 2014-05-21 at 8.59.25 PM YouTube Channel.  Folks have written that they had to wander around on the channel to find what they wanted and they wanted PDFs of the recipes.  A subscription service means I can spend time sending off PDFs and answering emails like, “What is that eggplant tomato recipe?”  I can take the 10 minutes to sift through and send all the videos with eggplant and tomatoes.  Also, I will be able to create a series of basic cooking/shopping techniques.  Helping newbies in the kitchen is why I teach teens cooking, seasoning and knife skills.

For creating a more compassionate world through fun, this summer I am conducting cooking demos almost every weekend.  [Check out my Facebook page for details.]   In the fall, I will have my Cooking Club.  A small group of 10 will learn to prepare dishes to keep their girl/boy-ish figures once a week for 4 weeks.  I am also looking at having a weekend intensive next spring.

But farmers markets aren’t the only place to have cooking craziness.  The BIG cooking demonstration I spoke of in the beginning of this was my second at a state conference.  What a hoot!  Party and event planners, take note.  What  is the best way to end a day of sitting on your rear watching slide presentations for 8 hours than to crack up with a LaDiva Girl-ish Figure Gastronomy?  Yes, there will be the Diva-ette Dancers!

So, my “step backward” writing break that seemed incredibly decadent and merely work-aversion actually gave me a new plan . . . with twice as much work to do.  And I have to get back to it.

Taking a Break can Give a Boom

Hello Darlings,

LaDiva here.

LUV my men.

LUV my men.

Of course, I am writing this for shameless self promotion.  I am also writing to, hopefully, inspire myself and you to fulfill goals.  So, I have to confess.

My videos on my YouTube Channel have been regurgitated for a year.  Now my excuse is producing a film, writing a book, being out of town for weeks and producing an animated DVD.  However, I didn’t keep up on them.  And I think I’m okay with that.

Last week I went back into the kitchen and shot 5 videos in one day.  They all went up on YouTube within 48 hours.  It felt good.  I made the recipes simple and man-friendly for Father’s day.  The point of easy recipes was to get out and DO something rather than spend the day in the kitchen cooking for your FAV guy. There wasn’t one with the kids.  You may know that every month I have kids make a video.  Since I was getting my feet back into the shallow end of the pool, I thought keep it simple.  Additionally, I needed to think about what I want to do going forward with these 100 videos.

While patting myself on the back during the YouTube uploads, I was completely rejected

CocoBanana Man Smoothie w/cinnamon garnish

CocoBanana Man Smoothie w/cinnamon garnish

from a conference I really like.  It brought me back to living in hallways as an actor.  You wait for auditions in chairs in countless hallways.  Then, you hope bearing you soul will garner a paycheck.  Acting is nothing more than a sales job.  What I was selling, they weren’t buying. That included this conference.  I wanted to let go of who and what they are and my ego attachment to them.  But, I’m not that evolved, well at least for the first 15 minutes.

I took a lunch break to lick my wounded pride.  While munching, I listened to a public speaker expert who said, anyone can look up the information you present.  What people come for is to connect with you, your take, your experience that creates a reality for them to use your information.   How I can better connect to audiences?

Basic Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Basic Roasted Sweet Potatoes

This changed my home healthcare worker presentation, to be given in the next 3 hours, from focusing on what to feed the elderly to why home healthcare workers are a key member of the healthcare team.  Their work maintains  dignity for those needing care and keeps folks in their homes.  Staying home is such a critical aspect of someone who has lost loved ones, health and abilities to own their lives.

By changing the focus from information to inspiration, they were psyched when I was

Sweet Sauer Sausage w/Sauerkraut

Sweet Sauer Sausage w/Sauerkraut

done.  I was psyched that I made them feel empowered.  My next presentations will be focused on how whatever information I am spouting can empower the audience to feel their full self-worth.

So, the schedule I made in the winter is back on.  I feel refreshed in approaching the book writing.  I feel that I got the right tools to make the gardening easier and quicker.  I’m reading books to feed my soul.  And more than

Cheap Trick - Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Cheap Trick – Chocolate Covered Strawberries

anything, I’m making sure I get up early to enjoy the mornings.  Take a break to admire the sunsets.  Jump back into the deep end of the pool.

LaDiva Coming to a Kitchen near You . . . Yours, Actually

You and me, Darling.  Cooking together at last.

You and me, Darling. Cooking together at last.

Very exciting news I’ve been waiting to share like a kitten wrapped in a box for Christmas.

So many people have asked me to teach them to cook or run a cooking class.  But, after trying to figure out the place and time, I threw up my hands in frustration.  Then, I thought why am I going to travel all over, schlep food and equipment, clean up after 20 people taste recipes and have folks go home and try to re-create it in their own kitchen with who-knows-what equipment?

The best place for them to learn – is in their own kitchen.  And you know what?  This is 2013 not 1913.  We have video chats all the time on a myriad of devices.  Why not cook the same way?

So I am.  Here’s video to introduce the idea.  That’s right.  I am having a video chat cooking class.  The class meets once a week for 10 weeks.  There are 4 different days and times to accommodate your schedule.  You will see me cook and I will see you.  We can chat and I can answer any of your questions right then and there.  No typing questions, no time lag.  It is interactive.  With a traditional cooking class it would be you and 20 more people very little hands-on.  But, with a video chat we cook together.  Here’s the catch -there is only room for you and 7 other members for each class period.  So, it is a very exclusive and limited class size.

We will be cooking with me, and LEARNING about the week’s recipes from my BFF, Marty Davey, MS, RD, LDN.  I will explain the How and Marty will pop in with a video explaining the Why.

Walnut Pecan Pesto with raw collards

Walnut Pecan Pesto with raw collards

The recipes include Nutty Thai Stir Fry, Apple Date Salad, Pear Stuffed Crepes, BBQ Tempeh Bacon Wraps, Girl-ish Figure White Bean Pockets, Raw Walnut Pate, Nepalese Dal, Morning Scramble Rancheros, Corny Bean Salad, and Chocolate Ice Creme Sandwich Cake and more.

We’ll cover how to use a knife, time a meal, read a nutrition label in 30 seconds, and substitutes for fats, eggs and dairy.  Marty will look at the food connections to cancer, heart disease, diabetes as well as what are antioxidants and probiotics.

I will have a demonstration class to check your connection and answer any other questions you have.  You just need your laptop or other device that can work with “Skype” type programs.  If you have any questions, contact me and we will walk you through it.  We set it up in about 10 minutes and I am NOT a tech wizard.

Writing the list of equipment and ingredients

Writing the list of equipment and ingredients for the first class

There’s a 20% discount for registration before January 10th and I can only teach 8 participants in a class period.  So, space is limited!

I am so looking forward to working with you to create de-lish dishes that, oops, happen to be healthy.

Oh, and you may even learn why LaDiva LUVS her immersion blender.

That’s the CRAZY beverage?

You keep your milk, I’ll keep mine.

Last week I ranted about a NEW beverage that was going to be ok’d by the FDA and USDA.  Well, it actually is already served with every school lunch, school breakfast, recommended to poor women and served to all elderly at congregate meals funded by the USDA.

It’s cow milk.  That’s right.  Cow milk is connected to all those health issues, but it still is everywhere in the American diet.

Okay, I did pull the wool over, or maybe just was udderly tacky.

[I heard you moan.]


Flours Bloom in May

Hello Darlings,

LaDiva here.  Just a few days before my marathon.  I ran 3.5 miles in the rain, but it actually turned into a sprinkle.

Making Head Piece

Putting up the May videos.  Here’s the intro for this month, LaDiva’s Flour Power.  You won’t want to miss the flower getting watered.  Trust me on this one, kids.

Speaking of kids, the Camera, Kids . . . Cook It! crew head outside to help you identify some wild edible mustards that perk up your salads.  Also, you can use them for greens, although put them in at the very end of cooking.  Seamus spreads his wings in the film business as the director of photography on the shoot.

Yellow Mustard Plant

The video should be here by the end of the day.

Fab Falafel Patties

Now for using some gluten-free flours, I baked up some FAB Falafel patties and make Indian Griddle Chapatis with chick pea and rice flours.  I know falafel balls are usually fried, but really I just LUV them broken up in my 6-8 cup lunch salad.  I add a little Creamy Cashew Dressing and still have a high nutrient, low fat lunch.  Again, video up later today.

One of my FAV breakfast foods is scones.  These are not GF, but have a great texture due to the oatmeal.  Just a little sweetness is enhanced by the dates.  YUM!

Cutting scones with glass

Finally, since so many of my viewers don’t cook, I have made a short video – The Skinny on Fats. Then, I show you how to sub out those fats in your baking.

May is just Yum and Fun.