How to Have a Healthy Vacation

How to have a healthy vacation

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

A naturopath and a nutritionist go on vacation together… sounds like the start of a joke, right?

Last year, I went on vacation with Patty and Francie to Hilton Head Island. Our goal was to have a “clean” vacation – so we found a rental with a good kitchen, did some major grocery shopping, and cooked really healthy stuff all week. Well, Patty did most of the cooking.

Patty and Francie are on Hilton Head again this year, and they’re still keeping it healthy.  Last I heard from them, they had just finished their shopping at the local Harris Teeter.


Follow the upcoming How to Have a Healthy Vacation posts as they report back on what they’re cooking up this time!

Posted by Brad Bartlett – content editor for Leaves of Life

How We Recharge, Patty's Retreat

And yet, I garden…

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Garden and greehouse

 My sleepy spring garden, and the greenhouse built last year that I’ve not yet started using…  

Come to find out, in Ohio, a greenhouse without a heat source  is not warm enough at night for seedlings until about the time that it’s warm enough to plant them in the ground.  And during the day, it gets much too hot without ventilation.  

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Such potential!

Every time I think I’m going to start saving money gardening, I can’t help remembering the book “The $64 Tomato”.  

And yet, I garden.  

I garden because sometimes it helps me empty my mind and feel connected to something much larger than my everyday stressors. I garden because I love to feel connected to the food I eat, and to know, without a doubt, that it is organic, and that the soil my food grows in has been properly cared for and nourished, so it may, in turn, nourish the plants that nourish my food, that nourish me and those I share it with.

Read more on Patty’s Retreat.

Read more on How We Recharge.

Posted by Patty Shipley.

Dairy-Free, Detox, Elimination Diet, Grain-Free, Paleo, Recipes

Cauliflower Hummus

cauli hummus
Photo courtesy of Leaves of Life.  Recipe adapted from Everyday Paleo

Ever versatile cauliflower replaces chick peas in this new take on hummus!


  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp ground cumin seed
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup sesame tahini
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced


  1. Toss cauliflower w/2 tbsp oil, cumin and salt and roast at 500 for 30 minutes on a pan lined with parchment paper.
  2. Transfer to food processor and add 2 tbsp olive oil, tahini, lemon juice and garlic.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Top with remaining olive oil.
How We Recharge, Patty's Retreat

Frog Friend

tree frog
Tree frog

Lying on the back deck during one of our warm spells this spring (making vitamin D), I heard a tree frog start up a melodious mating call.  And it sounded close.  

Real close.  Like by my head.  

So I rolled over and looked between the vertical board that wraps around the deck surface and saw a little face peering up at me.  

He (most frog calls are made by males) immediately quieted, but began again when I returned to my previous position.  

I hear him now on most warm days. 

Read more on Patty’s Retreat.

Read more on How We Recharge.

Posted by Patty Shipley.

Dairy-Free, Elimination Diet, Fat Free Vegan Low Sugar, Gluten Free, Grain-Free, Low Fat Low Sugar, Paleo, Recipes

Sugar-Free Herb Lemonade

Recipe courtesy of Leaves of Life

This recipe is easy to make in big batches for a summer crowd. Serve it from a clear drink dispenser to show off the beautiful herbs and keep the stems out of your guests glasses.


  • 1/2  gallon filtered water
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Stevia to taste
  • Herbs of choice : suggestions include lavender, dill, rosemary, basil and mint


  1. Add  herbs and a small portion of stevia to a clear drink dispenser.
  2. Add lemon juice and water.
  3. Test for desired balance of sweet, tart, and herbs. Adjust ingredients as necessary.


  • Start with a small amount of stevia (either powder or drops)… you can always add more as you go.
  • If using leafy herbs such as mint or basil, add them to your container first and crush the leaves a bit with a muddler. This releases the oils and flavors the lemonade more quickly.
  • If using more delicately sized herbs such as lavender or rosemary, leave the herbs intact on their stem.
How We Recharge, Patty's Retreat

Geraniums Gone Wild!

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Wild geranium – a new favorite!

Introducing a new favorite of mine – wild geranium or geranium maculatum. Thank you, Linda Johnson from Scioto Gardens for helping me put a name to this little woodland face!

I actually purchased this plant at Scioto Gardens AND dug it up from a spot in the woods when I was out for a hike. I never realized they were the same plant until they were both blooming together this spring!

Read more on Patty’s Retreat.

Read more on How We Recharge.

Posted by Patty Shipley.

How We Recharge, Patty's Retreat

Fantastic Seedlings

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This year’s seedlings

My seedlings this year are the best I’ve ever conjured. Every year, I save seeds from my favorite tomatoes and peppers and start them indoors in mid-April.  I have a nice seedling cart for this purpose that has adjustable hanging lights and a nice zippered plastic covering that holds the heat and moisture in and speeds plant growth.  

What has always happened until this year is that the plants get very leggy and weak as they grow toward the light.  I’ve tried putting the light practically on top of the plants in case their stretch to reach the light is the cause.  Thinking they lacked nutrients, I’ve tried compost tea, worm castings, watering with water left in the bottom of my vegetable steamer, more water, less water (I refuse to use Miracle Grow).  

Despite all of my best efforts, they never looked anywhere near as healthy and sturdy as the ones at the local nursery (though once planted in the ground, they grew and produced well).  This year as I
was standing in the greenhouse at Miller’s Country Store, I noticed they had a fan blowing a gentle breeze over their plants and I remembered having read somewhere that it’s good to brush your hands back and forth over your plants to stimulate stronger stem growth.  This advice suddenly made sense – clearly no one at the nursery was doing this (which was why I had originally rejected this notion), but the fan was providing the same type of stimulation for the plants to stabilize themselves.  

That very day I began a regular regimen of brushing my hands back and forth over the seedlings once daily or every other day at least.

That was the missing piece! 

This year, my plants are strong and sturdy and I’m not embarrassed to pass along the extras to friends and family.

Is there a lesson in here somewhere?  Do our own challenges and hardships stimulate stronger growth? 

Read more on Patty’s Retreat.

Read more on How We Recharge.

Posted by Patty Shipley.

Dairy-Free, Detox, Elimination Diet, Gluten Free, Grain-Free, Paleo, Recipes

Avocado Mayonnaise

Photo and recipe courtesy of Nourishing Meals


  • 1 to 2 small avocados
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water
  • Sea salt or Herbamare, to taste


Place all ingredients into a bowl or large mug and blend with an immersion blender (hand held blender).


For this quantity of avocado mayo, using a hand blender vs a food processor or stand blender makes clean up much easier.

Dairy-Free, Detox, Elimination Diet, Gluten Free, Grain-Free, Low Fat Low Sugar, Paleo, Recipes

Spicy Avocado Sauce

Photo and recipe courtesy of Nourishing Meals


  • 2 medium, ripe avocados
  • 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded
  • Large handful of fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 small lime
  • 1/4 cup water (or more for a thinner sauce)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp sea salt


  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add more water for a thinner sauce.
  3. Taste and add more salt if necessary.


Store extra sauce in a small glass container with a squeeze of lime over the top to prevent browning.

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