Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Celebratory Bowl of KALE!


Sitting here, eating more kale, exactly as my new favorite Made in Vermont shirt is inscribed. I just spoke at Beth Israel and my husband just walked in to tell me "Congratulations on being done with your big project--what you need is a celebratory bowl of KALE!"

I was very honored to be able to speak at Beth Israel Medical Center's tonight with Geri Brewster, a nutritionist who "is known to change lives, not just diets." Dr. Asma Sadiq, a developmental pediatrician, with an interest in holistic treatment of children with developmental issues, also spoke briefly to welcome everyone. Geri's high tech Prezi-tation on "How Food Influences Behavior in Children; Keeping Your Child's Immune System Strong" is now on her updated website geribrewster.com. On Prezi, you have to keep clicking the play button to change slides--and there is even a funny youtube video. (an aside...We are all quite impressed with the transformation of your website, Geri, the makeover is quite a dramatic shift from the picture of the office waiting room that is imprinted in my mind.)

The same friend who gave me my favorite Eat More Kale shirt was there, which was a super nice show of support, and we were discussing how you always learn something even when you are hearing a lecture on something you already know. Here is what I learned:

If your kids won't eat something, try pairing it with something they like quite a lot. For instance, if they won't eat eggs, but they LOVE cinnamon sugar, try offering them some cinnamon sugar on their eggs. Or if they hate carrots but they love honey, try offering them a little honey to sweeten up their not so exciting carrots.

Also, if your child has an allergy to Latex they might also be sensitive to: avocados, bananas, chestnuts, plums, pencils, berries, potatoes and kiwi because the proteins are similar.

On my way out to speak to speak about nutrition, I left my kids with some gluten free Applegate Farms chicken nuggets and a snack tray filled with cucumbers, carrots and dehydrated strawberries. Apparently, it was quite a hit with the kids. I had included the snack tray idea in my lecture so I was inspired to make it after dragging the picture into my power point presentation. The babysitter said she had never seen my son eat so much. And then he went on to eat raspberries after the snack tray. I felt a little guilty not providing a homemade dinner. It's not that they never eat this type of food. It just seemed a little ironic to be too busy speaking about the importance of nutrition for children to actually feed them a nutritious dinner.

Anyway, if you have to serve your kids chicken nuggets and don't have time for a home cooked dinner, try the snack tray as a way to offset the processed food. The funny thing is my son has never actually liked chicken. Usually he runs screaming from the table if chicken is anywhere near. Which makes me wonder what is in their secret recipe. Of course, I am always suspicious if I see "Spices" and "Spice Extractives" which both scream MSG or "we are hiding something." It sounds like he ate enough chicken nuggets to make it an official "chicken nugget challenge" so I will wait and see if there is any fallout from the mystery "spices." Well, if it is MSG, it is one more thing my son is not reacting to, which is a real cause for celebration--time for another bowl of KALE!

Related posts:
The Dangers of Processed Food
Pasta with Kale, Raisins and Toasted Pine Nuts

What To Pack For Lunch

Truthfully, I haven't found an easy way to pack a healthy lunch. Like many parents who pack a gluten free/dairy free lunch for their kids each day, I struggle each day to figure out what I can pack for everyone that will be similar to most kids eat so that my kids don't feel different, but something they might actually eat that will provide some nourishment. My kids prefer to eat typical kid food at lunch, although they each have certain things they will eat at home that make them slightly more adventurous eaters. (They both eat pad thai and my son will eat a salad or spring rolls and my daughter likes lobster. They weren't always like this, but years of eating gluten free has gotten them both to expand beyond what the typical kid eats.)

Still, when it comes to lunch at school only standard fare will do. They both want to feel normal and the same as everyone else--and I can't really blame them. I try to send something fresh with lunch and something fresh with snack--even if it is just a piece of carrot or a piece of apple. Also, I have found if I just send in three things (main course, fresh fruit or vegetable and dessert) plus water they actually eat lunch. If I send in four things or make it too complicated or too healthy it can really backfire and they end up eating nothing. I also have learned to take the focus off of lunch. If they don't eat lunch, they can eat a meal when they get home from school. If they don't touch ANYTHING in their lunchbox and I have been told that they had a difficult day, I have informed the teacher that they didn't eat a thing from their lunchbox and maybe someone could make sure they eat something. Also, I am honestly not trying to be too healthy or too creative with these packed lunches. I am really trying to just get my kids to eat some of what I send.

Also, The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen has a great post on Packing a Healthy School Lunch and one on Ideas for Packing a Healthy School Lunch that have some suggestions that might be of interest.

Main courses:
  • peanut butter and jelly on Udi's gluten free bread
  • cold cuts on Udi's gluten free bread
  • homemade chicken soup with Tinkyada organic brown rice pasta
  • egg salad sandwich on Udi's bread
  • handful of almonds
  • spring rolls
  • Applegate Farms pepperoni on corn cakes

with fresh fruit or vegetable:
  • a carrot
  • apple slices
  • grapes

and a treat:
  • Glow Gluten Free cookie
  • homemade cookie made with nutritious flour or nuts
  • Kinnickinnick oreos (well, that is what other kids are eating so I go along sometimes so no one feels deprived!)

____________________________________________________________________

For snack:
  • pretzels
  • corn chips
  • popcorn
  • rice chex cereal with some dehydrated strawberries

with:
  • nectarine
  • apple
  • grapes
  • carrots

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Great Gift: Recycled Soda Can Tab Shoulder Bag



















Mommy Wommy, gave me this recycled soda can tab shoulder bag for my birthday. I can't tell you the number of compliments I get when I wear it. So many, that I had to post on my blog for friends who kept on asking me where they could buy it. I love that the bag looks stylish and casual at the same time. Not only is it lightweight but any crumbs you might have from carrying your kid's food around with you day in and day out just fall through the crumb size holes in the bag. And it doesn't get dirty--a real plus.

They have a coupon for free shipping if you click on the FREE SHIPPING banner at the top of the perpetualkid.com site. The code is FS25.

Friday, September 24, 2010

How Food Influences Behavior in Children at Beth Israel Medical Center

I am speaking with nutritionist Geri Brewster this Thursday, September 30 from 6:30-8:30 pm at Beth Israel Medical Center on:

"How Food Influences Behavior in Children and How to Keep Your Child's Immune System Strong"

with Geri Brewster RD MPH CDN and Kirstin Boncher

A special collaboration with Beth Israel Medical Center's Department of Developmental Pediatrics and the National Autism Association New York Chapter

Geri and Kirstin will address how a specific diet may be able improve your child's health and reduce behavioral symptoms such as stimming, night waking, and tantrums while improving eye contact and language development as well as influence immunity. The panelists will offer tips, case studies and references to recent literature.

Refreshments will be served. There is no fee for the workshop

Please RSVP to Stacey Purro, LCSW at 212-844-8431 or email at spurro@chpnet.org

Beth Israel Medical Center
10 Union Square East
New York, NY 10003
2nd Floor Conference Center

If you would like more information on this event go to NAA-NYC for more information.

Gluten Free at Cosco in NYC

One of the things I love about my New York life is the small town feel I have when shopping. I know the butcher at Holland Court Meat Market and John, who owns Food Liberation, as well as Mary who does the food ordering at East Side Health Food. Without large food stores, the Upper East Side has an old fashioned European feel when you are food shopping. Still, I was pretty excited that Cosco and Target have opened a store on 116th Street--making organic, bulk food much more affordable and convenient for people who live on the Upper East Side. The truth is, as fun as it is to go to several different stores to hunt down this and that gluten free item, it's a ton of work and quite inefficient--as well as expensive. It's nice to have some more options.

There are a number of of gluten free and organic options to be found at the Cosco. I purchased organic lettuce, organic apples, organic agave, a twelve pound bag of organic short grain brown rice, avocados, eggs and splurged on some andouille sausage which were labeled gluten free. Cosco was also serving free samples of cashew brittle that was labeled gluten free --but I guessed my kids wouldn't eat it.

When I returned home to find out I needed sugar, I was very sorry that I passed up the enormous bag of organic sugar that seemed to big to purchase when I was shopping. Friends tell me that the they organic roaster chickens that are 2 or 3 in a pack are not bad, either. I was a little disappointed they didn't have any organic turkey, since it is a staple of my cat's diet, but all in all I was pretty happy with my purchases. And it's nice to know that people who live in the middle of nowhere who don't have access to or can't afford health food stores like Whole Foods can have access to some organic produce and products.

I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical about Cosco's arrival. But, if you go there and shop carefully, there are some products that are good. My Dad, who loves Cosco, will be very happy to know that it is only a ten minute drive from my apartment. But, if you do shop at Cosco, it's best to stay away from the processed food. See my post on Goldfish, Allergies and Reading Labels for more information of the processed food you should not buy at Cosco. If you are tempted to buy this bulk, processed food you really shouldn't go to Cosco.

Cosco
517 E 117th St
(at Pleasant Ave)
New York, NY 10035
Neighborhood: East Harlem
(212) 896-5873


Peanut Butter Cups by Mindy's Meals on Heels














This old fashioned peanut butter cup recipe by Mindy's Meals on Heels is a new favorite of mine. The chocolate cups garnished with almonds are a naturally gluten free treat to take with you when you need to bring something to a party. Not only are all the ingredients relatively easy to find, but the old fashioned peanut butter cups are actually quite elegant once they are taken out of the paper liners. With natural peanut butter, I recommend decreasing the amount of sugar a little because my peanut mixture was a little too crumbly.

To make Mindy's recipe gluten and dairy free, I would use:
Click here to go to Mindy's website and see the full directions and the original ingredients.

The first time I made these, I wanted to have chocolate on the bottom as well as the top, but actually they taste better if you just put a spoonful of the peanut butter with chocolate on top, as directed in the original recipe. Once they firm up in the refrigerator, you don't notice that there isn't chocolate on the bottom, because they are so rich and satisfying. With chocolate on the bottom, they are too sweet.

Mindy's Meals on Heels is a great website full of inspiring recipes. Check out her seasonal fall recipes--especially the Thanksgiving Feast. I plan on trying out gluten free, dairy free versions of these recipes in the coming weeks in preparation for Thanksgiving. I had the pleasure of meeting Mindy while planning an upcoming event for Harvest Home Farmer's Market. She brought samples of her old fashioned peanut butter cups and they were a huge hit.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Easy Squash Soup















This squash soup is a simple, easy to prepare fall soup that you can make with whatever squash you have on hand. I used two Delicata Winter Squash that I had gotten in my CSA farm share. Each week, I try to eat up all the veggies that I have gotten in share of fruits and veggies. It's kind of interesting to have such an abundance of food and to be preparing food based on the food I have been given--not on food I have chosen. Often, the simple flavors of the vegetables are incredibly satisfying because they are fresh from the farm.

2 small squash or 1 large
1 onion
3 cups chicken stock
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

optional toppings:
chives-chopped finely
cilantro leaves
drizzle of olive oil

  • Cut off rind of squash and cut in half. Scrape out seeds and cut into large chunks (about 1 inch square pieces.)
  • Chop onion in half and into half inch slices.
  • Steam squash and onion in covered pan for 15-20 minutes. The squash is done when it is soft enough that when you prick it with fork it goes in without any resistance.
  • Put all ingredients in a blender and puree mixture until it is smooth. (Or you can use an immersion blender and do this in a pot.
  • Heat soup and season to taste with chives, cilantro and olive oil.
  • Serves 4-6 people.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Basil Chicken (Gai Pad Krapow)

I was delighted to see some Thai basil in the stash of vegetables I got from my CSA this week which inspired me to make one of my favorite Thai dishes. My kids didn't eat the spicy Basil Chicken, I made them popcorn chicken, as a special treat since they don't like spicy food and my daughter has watched her bunk mates at camp eat popcorn chicken all summer while she had grilled chicken.

1 pound of chicken breasts
2 tablespoons of corn or potato starch
2 tablespoons oil
2 cloves garlic
3 shallots
2 small hot peppers or chilies
1 green pepper
1 Tablespoon of fish sauce
1 teaspoon gluten free soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
pinch of white pepper
1 bunch of thai basil

Slice chicken breasts into slivers about 1/4 inch thick, dust with starch and place in refrigerator for 1/2 hour to tenderize.
Finely slice shallots into rounds.
Cut pepper into quarters, then chop each quarter into slices.
Crush or chop garlic.
In small bowl combine: fish sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and pepper.
Wash and pick thai basil leaves.
Heat oil in wok or large frying pan.
Add shallots and garlic to wok and cook until soften and a little caramelized.
Add peppers and cook until soft and slightly cooked.


Add chicken and cook until no longer pink.
Season with fish sauce mixture.
Stir in basil leaves and cook 1-2 minutes more.

Popcorn Chicken Recipe (Gluten Free)

I am always asking parents what they make for dinner. This recipe came to me from Lisa Rudley on the bus coming back from the Green Our Vaccines rally as I picked her brain about motherhood. The recipe is actually pretty simple and it is one of my kids favorites--probably because I don't make it that often for them because it is fried. Usually, I make popcorn chicken for my kids when I make a stir fry chicken dish for dinner that would be too spicy for them. That way everyone is eating something similar, even though their dish is more kid friendly.

POPCORN CHICKEN

2 chicken breasts
3 tablespoons potato starch or corn starch. I use Ener-G Brand Potato Starch
oil for pan frying

Salt and pepper chicken breasts then dust them in 2 tablespoons of starch and let tenderize in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Slice chicken in 1/4 inch slices. Then cut the slices into sticks and finely into small cubes. Really you don't have to be methodical about it. Just chop the chicken into smallish pieces the size of a pea.

Dust the chicken pieces with the remaining 1 tablespoon potato starch. Make sure you have enough so the smallish chicken pieces are dry and not wet. Use your hands to toss the chicken pieces lightly in the air to cover all the pieces with flour.

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.About 1/2 cup oil of choice-- coconut oil or peanut oil or whatever you like to fry in.) Toss 1/3 of the chicken into the hot oil and cook until crispy. Toss the chicken when it is getting a little color. The pieces remain pretty white even when they are cooked. When they get enough color and are crispy remove from the pan and drain over paper towels.

Serve plain or with lemon wedges.

Monday, September 13, 2010

FEEDING INTERVENTION FOR PICKY EATING

written in September 2010 by a parent:

I wanted to let you know about my experience with my daughter's eating problems just in case my experience can help another family that you are helping.

Like her older brother, my daughter was a terrible eater. At 11 months she only ate really thin oatmeal cereal and YoBaby yogurts. I did a swallow study at 12 months which revelead nothing. After that she started speech therapy and began to eat more solid foods (bananas, rice and ground beef, pancakes) so I thought everything would be okay. Just before 16 months I realized that her eye contact was waning, she had poor imitation skills and wasn't picking up any language from the speech therapist. I was told by everyone, including my pediatrician and ST, that everything was okay. My gut told me something was wrong, so I took it upon myself to schedule an autism screening through Early Intervention (which she passed), and a hearing test - which she failed completely the very next day. In the next 18 days, I scheduled sedated hearing test (ABR) which proved she could hear, an appointment with the Developmental Pediatrician who told me that she was severely autistic, and was less than 1% for every measure (cognitive, speech, fine motor) at 17 months of age.

I then did a LOT of research and contacted several rescue angels because I knew nothing about autism. Withing 24 hours my daughter and I (since I was nursing) switched cold turkey to a GFCF diet. Within the next 2 weeks, I got her into an intensive ABA program, scheduled private speech therapy and aqua therapy on top of what EI provided. I also went to see a DAN doctor Dr. Compain in Rhinebeck, NY). Before completing the bloodwork, she started B12 injections, probiotics, Transfer Factor, Calcium, Nystatin and Valtrax. I was told to phase everything in slowly, but true to my personality type, I just started everything at once. Within a month her eye contact was re-established and all her stimming behaviours (head banging, hand-flapping, spinning) were all gone.

Over the next few months, I added more supplements (e.g. Vit A to E, Zinc, CoQ10, gluthatione, NAC). She continued to improve in all areas except for eating. By her second birthday all she ate was Stage 1 rice cereal and goat yogurt (she stopped eating the coconut milk yogurt so I had to switch). Even though she attended an autism program, her therapist could also not get her to eat and chew. At this point, even with the yogurt and supplements she would still throw up 4 times a day. I even tried prevacid but that did nothing.

I contacted CARD (http://www.centerforautism.com/) and they sent me a feeding specialist to my home just after she turned 26 months. She spent all day Saturday, Sunday and Monday at my house teaching my daughter how to eat solids using ABA principals. She worked with her on Saturday and by Sunday, I joined in and practiced the technique with her. By Sunday night, she was eating chicken, strawberries, bananas, fish sticks, chicken nuggets etc! It was truly amazing to see. On Monday she shared the technique with her therapists so there would be consistency.

For the first time in my life, I'm able to sit down at the kitchen table and have a meal with all my kids, instead of carting food up to my bedroom, plonking them in front of the tv, and poking cheeks! YAY! I highly recommend CARD's service. It's very pricey (app. $3500) but if you know someone who can afford it, it's well worth it! It's been 3 months since the feeding intervention and she's still eating with relatively no problems.

In addition to all the supplements I've been going to my DAN doctor for weekly IVs (gluthathione). The IVs feel like magic to me. At first I did them once a month and would always notice something amazing happen afterwards (e.g. she recognized her father again after many months, started to read books instead of page turning, said "Mama" etc.) Now that I am going for IVs ("PK Flush") weekly, I've witnessed a dramatic improvement in her behaviour and speech. Just this past week, 10 months after receiving her initial diagnosis, she had another ADOS test. The Developmental Pediatriation told me that your daughter "no longer meets any criteria that would place her on the Autism Spectrum." I was thrilled!!! Nonetheless, I am still strictly continuing with the diet, the supplements and the weekly IVs.

She still has speech delay and hypotonia, but at least now I have hope that she will be able to interact with her family, siblings and in society as she gets older. I hope another parent finds this information helpful towards helping their child recover.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Homemade Gluten Free Onion Ring Recipe from Life, Gluten Free













Tomorrow everyone is back in school and I am excited to FINALLY have more than a three hour stretch to myself now that both my kids will be in elementary school. I haven't even finished unpacking from my summer vacation--but I have a pot of chicken stock on the stove because homemade chicken soup is my daughters favorite lunch to take. After dinner, we had the crazy idea to make gluten free onion rings even though it was the totally wrong time to make or eat onion rings. My daughter, who had never actually eaten onion rings, was curious what all the fuss was about after she watching her friends eat them all summer at camp. She found a recipe online for gluten free onion rings at Life, Gluten Free and we couldn't resist trying the recipe out in between dinnertime and bathtime.

"By the way, Mom, artificial Christmas trees pose a health hazard because they contain lead!" she yelled to me as she got deeper and deeper into reading Life, Gluten Free. I waited for the onion ring edges to be golden before flipping them and then we tried them. "Mom, these are GREAT!" she declared with a big smile after trying a sizzling, golden ring. "They taste kind of like donuts."

I based the recipe on Life, Gluten Free's recipe but because I didn't have a few of the ingredients my recipe is completely different and a little bit of a work in progress. Please check out Life, Gluten Free's original onion rings recipe because it is probably better and if I had had sorghum flour or vegenaise (or any mayo) on hand I would have used the original which is gluten free, dairy free, egg free and nut free!

The recipe was actually quite easy to make and in less than an hour we had a nice plate of onion rings for everyone to enjoy. I froze a bunch of them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and then transferred them to a glass container so we now have some frozen, homemade onion rings in the freezer. Then, I put grapeseed oil on my list of things to buy because I really didn't have the right oil--I used olive oil with some spectrum organic shortening.

I am adding Life, Gluten Free to my blog roll as we speak, so enamored, we are of all Life, Gluten Free has to offer the gluten free world. Here is my take on the onion rings...

GLUTEN FREE ONION RINGS

1/2 cup gluten free flour (I used chestnut flour--but don't rush out for chestnut flour--use what you have on hand or go with sorghum which is used in the original recipe.
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup potato starch

3/4 teaspoon onion salt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 whole egg
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup water plus 2-4 tablespoons water so that the batter has the consistency of pancake batter. Depending on the gluten free flour you use, you will need more or less water.

1-2 onions
1/4 inch of oil in pan


  • Mix all dry ingredients together and whisk together in bowl.
  • Add wet ingredients and stir to make batter.
  • Cut onion rings into 1/4 inch rounds and separate into individual circles.
  • Heat 1/4 inch oil in large pan over medium-high heat. Make sure oil is hot-- but not smoking hot.
  • Dip several onion rounds into batter until covered.
  • Place battered rounds in pan in a single layer and cook until the edges are golden brown.
  • Turn over and cook on the other side.
  • Place sizzling, golden onion rings onto a plate covered with paper towels until they drain.

Serve immediately.

Freeze extra onion rings on a baking sheet in a single layer and then transfer frozen onion rings to a container.
Heat in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Our Gluten Free Family on Vacation: Bald Head Island, North Carolina


Not only were we not hit Hurricane Earl on our week long vacation to Bald Head Island, North Carolina--but the shells that were lined up on the fence leading to the house all remained untouched despite the Weather Channels warning. The island is actually 5 hours south of the Outer Banks, nestled off the coast of Southport. There are only golf carts and bicycles on the island which is less than half the size of Martha's Vineyard and accessible only by a passenger ferry in Southport. Leaving your car behind and checking your luggage in makes it a very special vacation destination.

At the end of August, with school in session for the Southerners who usually vacation on the Bald Head Island, it feels magically deserted. You arrive to a little port with a few shops where you claim your luggage and board a "tram" which is an enclosed cart that looks like a long golf cart. Driving in the cart to your house all you see are beaches and houses. The usual commercial fare is happily absent from the landscape.

There are two clubs on the Island which visitors to the island can join for the day or the week. Bald Head Island Club has golf and tennis and a pool with a slid for kids and The Shoals Club has a beach and a pool. We mostly barbecued--inspired by our fascination with Man versus Food where the narrator eats conspicuous amounts of road food. One night we went out to Eb and Flo's for some lobster, steak, corn and potatoes. Eb and Flo's was able to prepare us very plain, uninspiring gluten free food. The good news is they totally got "gluten free." The bad news was because they got gluten free they totally served us the plainest, simplest food imaginable.

I read a book called Will Eat for Food about food writing and started reading Julie and Julia. At one point, there were more flies on the beach than people and we all enjoyed a sparkling swim in the clear sea where we saw some skate a few feet away.

Tonight Bald Head Island is going to be the vacation spot for Kate Plus 8 on TLC if anyone wants to see Bald Head Island in action, although I imagine our trip was very different from the one depicted in the show. Huffington Post also has a write up of the Kate Plus 8 visit to Bald Head Island.

____________________________
random trip details...
We found our rental through Vacation Rental By Owner. Driving down to Bald Head Island we stopped at Chipolte's and Five Guys Burger and Fries for some gluten free road food. We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Emporia on our drive down and the Omni Hotel in Richmond, Virginia on our way down.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Body Bio Minerals





This rainbow of liquid minerals by BodyBio is great if you have been prescribed minerals but don't want to take capsules. They are in a form that can be absorbed and they also have a testing procedure to see if you are low in the minerals. For kids, the liquid drops can easily be placed in any drink according to the dosage recommended by your practitioner. You can order them as a set or individually as needed. Because our soil and water are depleted of minerals, many people are low in minerals and require supplementation. I actually haven't used them for my kids, who take a multivitamin with minerals, but I use them for myself. They were recommended to me by Dr. Niloo Dardashti who does extensive nutritional testing.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Gone Fishing...Clear Strategies Coaching August Newsletter

I am away for a week on a family trip and decided to leave behind my laptop and my blog to spend time with my family. I was inspired by my friend, Claire, a life coach and friend, who has an expertise coaching women and mothers to find happiness in their lives and pursue their dreams. You can read more about Claire and read her newsletter on her website: Clear Strategy Coaching

Here is an excerpt from Claire's August Newsletter that prompted me to leave behind the my computer and cell phone and be with my children for a week at the beach:

"Here’s my challenge...the end of summer is near. How about spending the last two weeks totally disconnecting? Not possible? What WILL you do? Disconnect for a few days? Not check email at home? Make up your own version and do it."

Thank you for Claire for the inspiration to live a more present life while on vacation. Off to Bald Head Island, North Carolina to relax and be with my family.

PS I did some posts in advance so I won't be reachable or posting but some posts will be appearing magically.