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Healthy Living goes healthier

Overall, I am a healthy eater except for the small addiction to black licorice that I can't seem to kick. However, this past few months I have decided that I need to pay more attention to healthy eating, avoiding any processed foods and moving from wheat based foods to gluten free and dairy to almond milk. Oh, and did I say -- avoid the sugar too! (Stevia is the only nonsweetener allowed).

I wish to say that I was so courageous to do this myself, but with a push from a "health scare" I have been working with a Naturopathic to ensure healthy cell growth, prevent cancer, and live a long and healthy life. 

The good news is that we now live in a time of gluten free products and even Starbucks has "Coconut milk," although a Coconut Milk Latte is not quite the same as my old Skinny Vanilla Latte Standby. 

My journey is taking me into cooking more and looking at quinoa as a major alternative. 

Recently, I came across a Quinoa pasta with Avocado and Basil dressing. It was almost like Guacamole on your pasta -- who would think? My shopping includes half a dozen eggplants in which I make Baba Ganoush which everyone loves and so easy to make. (Why I never did it before, I don't know). If you are interested check out  the site  The women who writes for it has amazing recipes for using quinoa. 

Speaking of Organic. I have always vacillated between buying expensive organic and saving money. Now I have a quick list of the dirty and clean fruits and vegetables to guide me. 

Enjoy and More to healthy living!



I am going to hike the Dipsea

All last year I wanted to hike the famous Dipsea hike from Mill Valley over Mt. Tamalpais to Stinson Beach. It includes. The description on the Dipsea site describes it in the following way 

I am on my way and have been practicing with my friend and coach, Darcey. 

The scheduled hike is Memorial Day weekend!

It begins in downtown Mill Valley with a sprint down Throckmorton to the Old Mill Park, then up three flights of stairs as tall as a fifty-story building, and up some more through an old horse ranch to Windy Gap. Then it plunges down into Muir Woods across Redwood Creek and begins a tough grind up through the trees over trails named "Dynamite" and "Cardiac." At the top of Cardiac, the course levels out before it plunges down through the "Swoop", over the rocks and roots of "Steep Ravine" and the discouragingly steep climb up "Insult Hill." Finally, as the course follows the relatively gentle slope of The Moors toward the ocean, Stinson Beach is in sight a mile ahead.


Now for many people they run the Dipsea run and also the double dipsea. For me, to hike it is a major goal as my asthma has always made it more challenging than for the normal person. No excuses, I say, slow and steady.  About a year ago, I used the goal in a Leadership class of how to solve the problem of me being afraid I wouldn't be able to keep up with friends, be the last one on the hike, and maybe take forever until the sun goes down (should be about 4 hours). In the class I used a variety of problem solving techniques, but it never kicked in until this past December when a friend said, "I'll coach you." A friend, I thought -- perfect. Someone to motivate, break it into parts, cheer me on, and provide a good training program. 

Each month we will do a part of the Dipsea to get used to the terrain and build up strength and take away fear of what is to come. Each week I have to hike the torturous steps to Panoramic Highway about 1.5 miles up hill. A doable weekly adventure in which my lungs scream after the second set of steps and my heart soars that I am doing it. 


Keep tuned to more on the training.  The goal is sometime in June!

First practice

Practice Week 2 with family!


Word of the Year

This year instead of having specific goals (although I have those too) I have chosen to pick a WORD to guide me. I shared this with friends and family and the discussions, laughter, and joking "Oh yes, that is you!" made it even more fun. Two weeks of deliberating, thinking about it, trying it on, and then deciding was difficult itself, but finally landing on the word for the year - it felt right. 

My husband and daughter also came up with their word and we have a family word. We painted signs, put them up, remind each other, and celebrate when it made a difference. 

So if you are having a hard time holding on to goals, try a WORD for the year and look at how it can guide you in so many ways. 

Drum roll please.... here is my word and all its applications!


A Perfect Holiday Gift -- Courage and Croissants, Inspiring Joyful Living

A perfect Holiday gift.. -- Courage and Croissants Lives on. 

As time has passed, we continue to revisit what we have learned and how we can employ the joys of Living in everyday events. A great gift for anyone who is looking for inspiration, a reminder, or a great read. 

This year, I have taken out the paint brushes and making time to enjoy the right side of my brain. Coming soon, a collection of my paintings over time. 

Below is the book trailer on video



Creating and Admiring Beautiful Art

 told me the other day that instead of waiting for when he has time to enjoy his hobbies he was going to make sure he incorporated them into his life. Easier said than done I thought. But then I realized it was just a matter of making it happen. Throughout the years I have dabbled in pottery, sculpture, and painting. I let it go because of work, but realize that I am making too big of a deal and too many excuses and can find time to paint 30 minutes that leads to an hour or two on a Saturday afternoon. A simple canvas, my box of paints, and a standing easel are now my best friends. What I realize (once again) is that even though I love my work, it is not everything and I need to give myself permission to do something that isn't "productive" but just creative. 

Given that, I was with my good friend, Darcy Sears, a world famous sculpture who I have taken lessons from time to time. She has built her passion around the arts and has the most senuous sculptures to offer. What I love about her work is that she touches the feminine side of life and ignites in me an urge to create myself and to spend time admiring the beautiful art we have surrounding us.

Below is one of her angel statues that I think you will love and if you want to see her in full blown life, her next Winter Open Studios is December 6-7 at the ICB Studio in Sausalito. If you can't attend, visit her website at

Enjoy and find time to be creative!


A reminder of the French Farmer's Marche!

A few beautiful photos of the fruits and vegetables in the French Farmer's Market




You can't beat SF on a beautiful day!





Amazing Oxacan Mexican Restaurant San Francisco

If you are like me (at least if you live in California) Mexican food is plentiful and a staple diet. It has broadened from tacos and burritos to Salad bowls, Chipotle, and taco trucks. This past week, however, our daughter found this restaurant listed on the top 10 restaurants to visit in San Francisco. It was 4:30 on a Saturday afternoon when we picked her up from a Practice SAT test and headed on over a few blocks away. A great time to dine as there are empty tables and the staff are extra friendly. The restaurant, Nopalito is located at 1224 9th ave, San Francisco.  We started out with an amazing dish of fresh tortillos with a chili sauce, oaxacan cheese and cilantro, followed by a sampling of small plates.  Definitely a restaurant to go visit for a different taste!

Followed by selected dishes such as blue corn tortillo with beans, cheese, onions, and a secret sauce

Sample size tamale

An awesome fish taco


The essence of France - Food

One of the ways I become inspired is by the presentation of food in France. It doesn't matter how simple the meal is, served in a gourmet restaurant, a brasserie, or on the beach, it always looks like an edible painting. Like an good artist, I then copy and "try" to create the same with my own hands. 


Cafe Gourmand served on the beach -- a decadent day!

Melon with salad, mozarrella, jambon sec, and tomatoes inside. the original Melon was piled high like a bowl.