diet, Food

Bright Line Diet Week 1 – 2: Like a Prison, but a posh one

Bright Line Diet, Week 1 – 2: Like a Prison, but a posh one

My daughter has a favorite show – the cartoon series Avatar. In one episode a character, Boomie, was encased in a metal container, much like a casket – only his head stuck out.

The Bright Line Eating diet was much like that.

I thought I was tough – now I know better.

It started out okay, but got worse each day.  Day 5-14 completely sucked.

My long term aspiration has been to work up to eating at least half my food as vegetables/fruits.  I think it’s a great thing to aspire to.  Most people would get adjusted to this much fodder over time. Not me, I become progressively less able to tolerate fiber. With eating only at 3 meal times per day, a proscribed amount, dictated by the ounce of protein, veggies, grains, or fat, there is no leeway in this plan.

My long term aspiration has been to work up to eating at least half my food as vegetables/fruits.  I think it’s a great thing to aspire to.  Most people would get adjusted to this much fodder over time. Not me, I become progressively less able to tolerate fiber.  However, my first problem with this diet was that I cannot eat that much vegetable matter without severe GI repercussions. If you’ve followed me through this blog, you know that I have a GI  issues; I love veggies, but I can’t tolerate them.  That is a problem.

On this diet, we are meant to eat 20 ounces of vegetables a day – including a half pound of salad. In addition, we are supposed to eat 12 ounces of fruit. That is 32 ounces of “vegetable matter” a day – Two pounds! Everyday.

I tried a half pound salad. I was trying to be a good girl. Do you know how much a half pound of salad is? They sell those bags of salad in the grocery stores …. and they are only 5 oz.  Eight ounces fills a huge bowl.  It’s what I would make for dinner for a family of 4.  It’s a ridiculous amount. Needless to say  – I spent the next 3 days regretting this venture into ‘rule following.’

In the past, I ate a salad every day for years – but no longer! I just can’t do it.  I am irrevocably persistent, however:  I tried having a small salad, about 1 1/2 – 2 cups, but doing so every other day. The first salad day was okay. The second lead to 3 days of cramping and regret. So – no salads every other day!   Unless you spend $600 for the ‘boot camp,’ there is no way to get further advice.

I traded the ½ pound daily dinner salad for a 4 oz portion of whole grains. My intestines thanked me.

The second, and more disturbing problem was the 3 o’clock craving.  I started out not hunger at all, but over the first 5 days, those overly large meals weren’t sticking to me – I was getting hungry.  I started having to eat right on time! Starting on Day 5, however, my body seemed to completely betray me.  Each subsequent day, at 3 o’clock, I would get severely hungry, until I felt crazy man, crazy!  On Day 5 through 9, I would have done just about anything for a snack – a healthy snack. An apple.

We traveled on Day 10. That’s when the sugar cravings hit.  It felt like an addict without their drug. I went in to a gas station to use the restroom, but rushed out, because all the food displays were making me crazy.  While my family got Subway  – I sat in the car and fantasized about what I could sell, or do, to get sugar.  I wanted sugar more than anything in the world.  It would just make me feel normal again. Instead, I felt jumpy and itchy and crazy in the head. I was grumpy, too. My breath smelled and I had no patience or resiliency.

A family with 3 kids got out of a nearby mini-van.  The boy hit the girl, pretending to be a ninja….. I thought to myself – I could teach one of the kids how to really hit …. for a bag of M&M…..Even a small bag….

There was some part of me that realized my cravings, and the actions I was willing to at least consider, were totally crazy, and that it was fortunate that I was still sane. However, I felt would have done almost anything to relieve my cravings. Fortunately that was not true. There is a difference between “doing almost anything” and “doing anything” to relieve your addiction.  I felt like I could really empathize with addicts. It’s likely a short walk between one and the other. And hell – this was food! We are supposed to eat food!

I decided to give myself an optional healthy snack, if I was hungry at 3 pm: an apple or 2  rice cakes. It really helped!

Things got better suddenly on Day 13. I no longer felt like a junkie.  The sugar cravings had only lasted a few days.  I had altered the diet to include a 100 calorie, healthy, 3 o’clock snack (an apple or a rice cake and a cutie), but only if needed.  Suddenly, I did not need them. I wasn’t hungry between meals. All was well.  This is how the diet is described. However, the reality of how intense the simple hunger, much less the sugar cravings would become – that was definitely not mentioned!

The calm didn’t last. Every week or so, I go through a few days of intense 3 o’clock  cravings. Then it gets better for a few days. Then worse.

I know it’s not awful, but…. It is sometimes awful. The fact that there is no leeway on “what” you eat  (ex. 6 ounces of vegetables at lunch and dinner), makes me call it a prison.  It’s posh, because there is actually a wide range of fruits, veggies and proteins you can eat.  While I get enough to eat, (Posh – I guess),  there are no snacks (prison). The meals are so huge (posh) and there is supposed to be no eating except at meals (prison).

I understand the reasons for all these rules. However, I have rarely done anything as hard in my life.  This is noteable, because I do a lot of really hard things. I would say, this diet is not for the faint of heart. As things ease up, I am curious about what the future holds. So – onward I go!


by Tama Cathers – Learning all the time. Sometimes it hurts.

Photo Credit: I cannot give a photo credit, but wish I could. 

Food, Health, Self Image

The “I Feel Pretty” movie by Amy Schumer and “The Diet”

The “I Feel Pretty” movie by Amy Schumer and “The Diet”

I recently went to see Amy Schumer’s movie “I Feel Pretty. “  While it got horrid ratings, it was a fabulous movie. I was rolling on the floor, shooting soda out my nose, laughing so hard. Plus, it had a great message, one applicable to most ‘average girls,” as the movie calls women.  The messages “Believe in yourself as you are right now,” was delivered in a  consumable, take-home way.

After the movie, I was able to change the way I thought about myself.  I was able to change each negative thought about my body into a positive one. If I saw my curvy belly and thought “Oh Gag,!” I was immediately able to replace the thought with “awesome and amazing” thoughts. By now, most of us have heard that we should do this.  However, it was only until after this movie that I gained the tools to do so.

That was FABUOLOUS! The pieces of my body I thought were okay, I was able to reaffirm. The parts I might not be so happy with – I was finally able to give some love.

Two weeks later, a friend of mine told me she had read Brightline Eating Book– on my recommendation – and was thinking of trying it.  I had touted it as a great work of writing on the science of habit and eating.  The psychology and science in this easy to read book was solid.  While I doubt anyone currently has The Answer, I think Susan Peirce Johnson is able to explain much of what we know – at least about some aspects of food, eating, habit, and addiction.

Since reading this book I have been fabulously overeating!


Because I knew that someday I would likely try this diet – and I wasn’t looking forward to it! Just the idea was triggering all my atavistic scarcity programs.  I recognized this from past experience.

Once I was in Australia hunting freshwater crocodiles…No, really – I was.  We were going in a large group for 2-3 weeks into the outback. We had one big shopping trip, and were constantly told to enjoy the fresh milk, fruit, veggies, etc while we could, because once they were gone, they were all gone.  All of us started eating tons more than we needed. In addition, we started not sharing and even hording.  I remember the awful feeling of scarcity, and the embarrassment that I was unwilling to share my last bar of chocolate, while I hid in my tent and ate it all in one fell swoop. I did not even enjoy it.  I felt guilty AND I did not actually enjoy that much chocolate! It was really awful. I was actually relieved when we ran out of fresh supplies. I found the shelf stable products were fine for a week or so, while camping.

The idea of the scarcity triggered the scarcity, not the actual reality of scarcity. The same thing was happening in face of the perceived looming scarcity of Bright Line Eating.

When my friend said she was starting the diet, I decided it would be better to jump in than wait – and overeat any longer.  I signed up to join her and be support buddies.   I ate anything I wanted to that evening, without actually over filling my stomach. For example – I went home and ate a Pop tart…with butter – not something on my usual list of items. And a small bowl of ice-cream. After a full dinner. Okay, those are really the only things I can remember.

I started the diet on a Thursday, and the next two days I walked around feeling enormous.  I felt bloated and edematous. By the end of the day, I realized I felt two to three times the size I felt the day before.  Every time I looked at my body, I was disgusted. Even the areas I think are pretty good now were unacceptable.  To be honest, I am not an overweight person. I generally linger at or within pounds of my upper ‘healthy” body weight and BMI.  Comparatively, I am in great shape! However, now I felt like an elephant.

The thing is – I knew I wasn’t. It was really interesting to watch my body image change, while knowing my reality had not changed.  It gives me a real concrete idea of how warped our body image is.

I want you to know – your body image is really warped!  It is!

I also have been completely unable to hold onto positively affirming my body when I see it – or even think about it!

That too is fascinating!

There are two ways of being, which I have just experienced in the last two weeks. One is supportive, loving, flexible, healing – all without being Woo-woo or New Age-y.

The other one is clearly  in line with “the American Way”: discipline your self, get tough, weigh and measure your food, be strict, draw firm lines. Just do it. Just say no!  It is Freaking strict, harsh, hard, and un-lovely.

It is an unkind way to treat yourself!


by Tama Cathers – my body is my lab, ever adventurous,  even when it hurts.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Burnout and Stress, Food, Personal Wisdom

Thoughts on the Habit, Addiction, Diets and the Books – Essentialism, Bright Line Eating, the Power of Habit  

Thoughts on the Habit, Addiction, Diets and the Books – Essentialism, Bright Line Eating, the Power of Habit  

My husband and I were having a conversation tying together our current research into habits and addiction, our life experience, our previous Shadow Work, and the books and resources discussed below.  Specifically, we were talking about how these apply to addiction.

While often presented with information that there are 2 parts to addiction and recovery, we believe that there are 3 parts.

1) The physical dependence – which can often be broken in days or weeks.  He deals with this every shift, as an ER/ICU nurse; patients come in and have to detox from their particular physical dependence. It’s usually a harsh detox by fire, i.e. a cold turkey kind of thing, done in the hospital. It doesn’t take long to end the physical dependence.  It’s the other parts of the dependence that stay active.

2) The habit – this is complex and has a multitude of factors and parts. I am not qualified to speak on it, having not been educated in this area, but I can speak from an experiential way, as I have had ‘small’ addictions (cigarettes as a teen, running, and ….cookies, to name a few).

The habit is the dickens to resolve!  Why – because they are habits! Unconscious patterns that take over. That is what they are designed to do – to keep us doing the same things. This is where Bright Line Eating, by Susan Peirce Thompson, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown, and The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg, excel.  The authors give a thorough grounding in the background of why habits work – and how to start to think about undoing them.

The third part is often not mentioned:

3) The Shadow behind the behaviour – i.e. the underlying cause, or in yogic terms, the Samskara.  My discussion below of the author of Bright Line Eating is hinting at this. There are many ways to describe this, but simply put, until the underlying cause, the deep issue is addressed, the addiction is only a behavior away.

There are several resources to look into Shadow Work®.  The originators are Cliff and Alyce Barry.  There are related work, such as Integrated Family Systems, by Richard C Schwartz and Parts Work, by Tom Holmes.  The Mankind Project, serves as a great place for men to practice similar work, in a safe supportive group. There are chapters across the country and overseas.  For women, there are unfortunately fewer resources. There is Women in Power, a women’s retreat lead by ALisa Starkweather, and there are certified Shadow Work® facilitators and workshops.


We both like the sound psychology in these books. They dovetail well, with lots of information regarding making new habits (and breaking old ones.)  It also fits well with Chad Hinkle’s Program on Resilients, and building resiliency, in which he specializes.

We have ongoing conversations about addiction and recovery, habits, and shadows.  The subjects come up around gardening, mental patterns, eating cookies or having a ½ beer when the day has been upsetting.  It comes up around bad relationships, good sex, and marriage.  It comes up around our studies in sex coaching, and the concepts of compulsion vs. addiction.  Mostly it comes up around alcohol; his quitting all alcohol, my struggle with wine-and-cookies. i.e. I rarely drink, but if I have red wine, it’s hard to drink 1 glass, not 2, and then I consistently end up hitting the cookies!  No these aren’t life decimating addictions. They are touch points to look at all our compulsions, inspect our minds, and how our minds work. THAT is the stuff we love.


I first saw a video promotion on Bright Line Eating. I am not sure why I stopped to listen to it – however – the science got me.  I love knowing not just that something works, but why it works.  What I heard, dovetailed the science I already knew.  What fascinated me however, was its relevance to addiction and recovery.  The psychology is the more interesting part of the book. This is where it dovetails well with other resources. I like Bright Line Eating as a text book on changing habits – of any type – because it is clearly and simply written.  Again – I have lived these processes in my own life and body. The psychology make sense, the research supports it, and it works.

The author; she has quite a story – a dramatic fall, a long struggle, followed by a tremendous recovery.  However, what I noticed was that she is still intensely caught up with food.  This is at odds with her statements that this diet allowed her to live without constantly thinking of food. She is clearly constantly thinking of food – in a way that is very helpful to others, in a way that is not clearly damaging. However, after there are clues that not everything is resolved on a deeper level.

I stopped following her vlog about ‘slowing down,’ where tells a story, of which the details are now thankfully fuzzy, where her daughter asks if the mom will stop working to come visit the girl in the hospital.  Wait – this is a vlog about slowing down, right?  My heart bled, and I couldn’t watch anymore vlogs.  I did get the book Essentialism…..And the book Bright Line Eating.

I read Essentialism. I put Bright Line Eating on the bookshelf.

However, I got it back out.  The physiology is backed up by research. I like that.  (We all like to be correct.)  Physiology that makes sense, and is even backed by research. It’s clearly not the whole answer, however.  Look at my previous foray into Lectin-free Diets.  Bright Line eating, however, it also correlates with my experience – I like that even better. I was willing to start thinking it – but not ready to do a diet.


by Tama Cathers  – self- explorer and introspective woman, full of personal opinion and thought.

Disclaimer: We totally do not have the training to advise, direct or otherwise speak anything other than our own opinions on the topics above.  Thus – the information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only.

Tama Cathers, David Sink, The Empowerment Center or any associated members makes no representation and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information contained on or available through this web site, and such information is subject to change without notice. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.  Tama Cathers, David Sink, The Empowerment Center or any associated members do not recommend, endorse or make any representation about the efficacy, appropriateness or suitability of any specific tests, products, procedures, treatments, services, opinions, health care providers or other information that may be contained on or available through this web site. TAMA CATHERS, DAVID SINK, THE EMPOWERMENT CENTER OR ANY ASSOCIATED MEMBERSIS NOT RESPONSIBLE NOR LIABLE FOR ANY ADVICE, COURSE OF TREATMENT, DIAGNOSIS OR ANY OTHER INFORMATION, SERVICES OR PRODUCTS THAT YOU OBTAIN THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.



Food, Food Medicine, Health, Herbal Medicine, Travel

Time for Food Blogging – Jackfruit

Time for Jackfruit

Jackfruit is like some weird alien, put on the earth to confound people, and to get your hands sticky. I am still waiting for one to possibly hatch. I don’t let that stop me – it’s really tasty!   It is this a humongous, amazing, weird, tasty fruit, which you’ve probably never seen. Unless you went to an Asian market…or apparently you local Meijer’s Store.

Used to be, we had to drive an hour and a half to Grand Rapids to find a jackfruit. Finding them was spotty, and still is.  However, my husband brought home a large jackfruit from our local Meijer’s store! This is a large box/grocery store chain in Michigan.

The fruit looks similar to a Durian, another fruit you are unlikely to see, unless you frequent Asian stores, which I admit to doing, obviously!  The durian’s outside is very sharp and very spiky. To be honest, I was rather intimidated by the durian’s sharp pokey outside. I would not want to have to pick one up – an obstacle for me trying them.  Since I’ve never eaten at durian, I can’t compare the taste of the two. However, one author called durian, ”the stinkiest, spikiest, weirdest fruit of them all” and said durian smell is like ”sweaty socks sitting in sewer water near a fishery,” and tasted like “a sweet almondine onion-sherry chocolate mousse with hints of garlic and farts. Delightful! And completely incomparable to jackfruit.”   Thank goodness!  Durian are seemingly easier to come by and crowd out our Asian markets for shelf space. Not sure why. Maybe as weapons of war! You’d understand if you’d seen those thorns!

But we are here to talk about Jackfruit: Jackfruit looks similar, but the scaly bits are soft, making it look like an alien egg pod, coated in dinosaur skin. Green, a foot and a half tall by 8+ inches wide, with a reptilian skin, it does look out of this world. Inside the outer dinosaur skin, are yellow-orange pods of delicious fruit, each with a large seed in the center. A bunch of latex fingers and tongues hold them securely in place. Our job is to wrestle these pods-of-goodness out of the latex alien egg, without getting stuck to the thing. Don’t despair – it’s a battle worth fighting!

I followed the directions taped onto the fruit – they were useless. The best way I‘ve found to get to the good fruit is to put on clean rubber dish gloves, cut the fruit in half, and go to it, grabbing the pods and twisting. They twist out readily.

The fruit that you’ll receive is sweet. I (force-fed) it to friends, who (still liked me afterwards, and) described as a cross between cantaloupe and pear, or a cross between bananas and mangoes. It does have a slightly musky odor, no one else mentioned it, but it tastes great.

Jackfruit is supposed to be good for your energy, and libido. I have to be honest and say I have never noticed any affect on my energy or libido. We like it because it’s weird! Also because it’s tastes wonderful.

We are an adventurous bunch of eaters.

I hope you are too.


Jackfruit Information

Jackfruit is related to mulberries – something I did not know, and never would have guessed. They grow on the trunks of trees rather than a fruit from the branch – a popular choice in the tropics. They’re used for juice and jams, fresh edibles, and it is gaining popularity as a meat substitute. Yes, a meat substitute. Weird. Love it! Unripe jackfruit, when cooked, makes a product resembling pulled pork. I’d even heard of this, although I didn’t put the two together – my luscious orange gigantic fruit, and a vegan meat substitute.

Once harvested the fruit only lasts a number of weeks, so has to be processed and eaten fairly quickly. The trees grow in tropical and subtropical in tropical areas. In many parts of the world they’re considered trash trees, and trash food that would “only be eaten by the poor.” Similar to another of my favorites – mulberries. This bias keeps large populations from utilizing this fruit, which grows naturally everywhere within its region, and has many benefits. It could provide much needed nutrition in areas where grows naturally.

The orange bark from the tree can be used to make a dye, the color of the traditional orange robes of monks in Asia. The latex can be used as a glue – no surprise. Wood is a very hard, suitable for many items, including musical instrument. Plus the wood has a neat yellow color.

Skins have medicinal qualities – including reducing the heavy metal cadmium which damages are DNA and is a common heavy metal contaminant. The seeds are also edible, can be roasted with a little salt, and eaten. I will have to try that next time. Apparently the seeds are high enough in protein to “replace lentils in the diet.” Roasted seeds can also be ground and made into a gluten-free flour.

The jackfruit is high in antioxidants, phyto-nutrients, and vitamins including the vitamins and vitamin C. The fruit has a low glycemic index fruit, giving a slow releasing glucose – that would be a good option for diabetics. It’s also very high in fiber and helpful pre-biotic for our pro-biotics.

When jackfruit is cooked, the water is traditionally used as well. It’s particularly high in potassium and Omega-3 fatty acid’s.

In addition it’s high and all the trace minerals and vitamins, and almost anything else you think of. It is supposed to be soothing the G.I. tract, and good for G.I. ulcers.

It’s high in magnesium and so helps with insomnia.

Below are some internet references to studies, showing that Jackfruit may e helpful in people with cancer. I have yet to look up the original studies. However, in one study, women who a jackfruit regularly had reductions in multiple types of cancer, including endometrial cancer. It’s also under research or has been researched for colorectal cancer.


Website on Durian

Cover Photo by Chasmac on, other photos by Tama’s Kitchen3 (3)2 (4)1 (16)

Food, Food Medicine, Recipes

Elimination Diet: Dessert – Vegan Carrot Halva (Halwa)

Elimination Diet: Dessert – Vegan Carrot Halva (Halwa)  


2 1/2 cups grated or shredded carrots (I am lazy and I just chopped them and it turned out okay.)

2 T olive oil,  (can substitute butter, ghee  or other oils)

1 1/4 cup rice milk (substitute coconut milk or other)

2 T  honey

1 tablespoon olive oil, vegan butter or safflower oil

Pinch of salt

1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder



Place  carrots and oil/ butter in a skillet and cook for 20 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  I like mine a bit browned, as the canalization tastes good to me.  Once soften, consider mashing a bit, especially if you were lazy, like me, and chopped rather than grated the carrots.

Add rice milk and mix well. It is optional to add 1/4 cup cooked rice at this point.  Reduce heat to low-medium. Cook for 15-20 minutes.  Add honey, oil/vegan butter, salt, and cardamom. Mix and cook until all the rice milk has been absorbed, time will vary. Stir occasionally.

Taste and adjust sweeness. Cook to a consistency and color you like. Serve warm.

Usually this dish has chopped nuts, nut flour, raisins, butter or ghee. Sounds fabulous! None of it is on my diet of chicken, rice, papaya carrots (and salt, pepper and honey). So I adapted this dish from a vegan site (link below).


by – Tama Cathers, lover of warmed honeyed carrots, and other sweet things.



Credits: The original inspiration for this dish came from the website below, and has been altered to suit my purposes:

Photo by Nisha Ramesh on Unsplash

Food, Health, Recipes

The Elimination Diet Recipes – Second Edition: Dinner, Dessert, Snack, and Gingerbread Cookies

The Elimination Diet Recipes – Second Edition

So, if you thought the last set of recipes were good – GREAT!  Here are more!          Cookies! (I love cookies!)

If you thought the last set of recipes were bland; good news – sweets and dinner. Bad news – same ingredients! Chicken, Rice, Carrots, Papaya, Honey, Olive Oil, Cinnamon.  What do you expect!?!  (Okay, Maybe a few extra spices for the cookies.) You try eating the same thing for more than 2 days – then you will think I am a genius!

I have to admit the dinner, crackers and dessert were my husband’s creation (genius). After I saw how he made pizza dough, I created the gingerbread cookies with my daughter. I do love cookies!


Elimination Diet: Lunch/Dinner – Grilled Chicken, Rice Noodles, Maple Carrots


1 chicken breast per person, cut horizontally in half so to be half as thick

salt and pepper to taste

Maple syrup

Baby carrots

Rice Noodles


Olive Oil

Sal and Pepper to Taste


Salt and pepper chicken breasts. Grill chicken breasts on high for ~ 3 minutes each side. This seals in the moisture, allowing for a more tender cut of meat. Cook on Medium low for an additional 10 – 15 minutes or until done, cooked all the way through, or registering 180 degrees internally with a meat thermometer.


Add 1/3 cup of baby carrots per person and 1 teaspoon maple syrup per person to a small amount of water in a sauce pan. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until tender.

Rice noodles are cooked in boiling water as package label instructs. Drain and serve with a pair of scissors to ease serving. Kids love cutting their portion of noodles. Top with a sprits of oil and season to taste with chicken broth from the chicken plate, salt and pepper.



Elimination Diet: Snack – Rice Crackers


3 cups cooked white rice

1/3 c rice flour

Water as needed to blend

Honey, salt and pepper, or sea salt for topping


Very heavily oil a sheet of aluminum foil, and turn the dough out on this. Top with plastic wrap. Roll dough out to 1/8th inch thickness with a rolling pin, or spread with hands, on top of plastic wrap.

For savory version – sprinkle salt or salt and pepper.

For sweet version – drizzle lightly with honey, and cut cooking time by 5-10 minutes. Watch closely as the sugar in the honey tends to caramelize quickly and then move on to becoming burned.

Cook at 350 for 10 – 15 minutes.



Elimination Diet: Dessert – Fried Carrots with honey


1 carrot per person, sliced on the diagonal

Olive oil


1-2 t Honey

Fry carrots in olive oil until mildly caramelized. They will be browned in some spots. Transfer to a bowl. Add honey and cinnamon. Serve hot.



Elimination Diet: Dessert – Rice Based Gingerbread Cookies

Okay – So the Picture above does NOT represent the gingerbread cookies we made. I just have to fess up. These are pictures of regular old flour based gingerbread.  But ours were DARNED good! So good, we ate them all up without one picture!


3 cups cooked white rice (Bo-Tan)

¼ cup olive oil

½ cup honey

¼ cup molasses

1 T Baking Powder

1 t Salt

1 t cinnamon

2 t+ ginger

2 T minced candied ginger (optional)

½ t nutmeg

6 T rice flour

rice flour as needed for cookie dough consistency

rice milk as needed for cookie dough consistency


Beat Cooked Rice for 5 – 10 minutes until most of rice is broken, and a doughy consistency is formed. A hand mixer works, but a stand mixer would be better. Mix dry ingredients together: the salt, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and 6 tablespoons of rice flour. Add this mixture while stirring well. Add molasses. Add candied ginger.

Add rice milk or rice flour as needed to form a cookie dough consistency; dry enough to pull away from walls of mixing dough, but not so firm it cannot be worked.

Oil a sheet of aluminum foil very heavily, and place the dough on this. Top with plastic wrap. Roll dough out to ¼ inch thickness with a rolling pin. Using cookie cutters, cut out cookie shapes, transfer to a well oiled cookie sheet or silicone baking liner.

Cook at 350 for 12 – 17 minutes.


(Cooling the dough is an additional option that will make working with the dough easier. The key is to get it the right consistency. If you can’t cut a cookie shape out – it’s not right.)

Top with frosting if allowed on diet. Two sites list vegan royal frosting. They both use chickpea juice and sugar. Neither are on my diet, but maybe in the future.





Food, Food Medicine, Herbal Medicine, Recipes

A Recipe for Winter: Oh, So Easy Bone Broth


I have a recipe for you.: Bone Broth. Its all the rage, right now. Despite that, I love it!  Very soothing. Endlessly useful. Highly adaptable. Good for you. The most impressive thing is how easy it is. What I can’t believe is that my mother, and my grandmother never seemed to do this. It seems like a no brainer!

In the past I made broths, by cooking the leftover meat usually on the bones, for a few hours. It was invariably disappointing – weak, and not worth the effort. This is officially called a ‘Broth.” I then read about making bone broth. It is really considered a ‘Stock’, in cooking terms. This is much more worthwhile! So much more flavorful!

Research shows that chicken bone broth actually does help you heal when you are sick. Researcher at Nebraska Medical Center found that chicken soup made the traditional manner decreases the symptoms of upper respiratory infections. Low calorie soup also has been found to reduce calorie intake.

I felt great getting to use my herbs at the end of their season. I did have to dig under the leaves to find the oregano, and though my pineapple sage had died with the first frost, the leaves were still fragrant. Our whole house smelled delicious for 3 days!

Plus, my daughter loves to say vegetable butts! These ‘waste’ pieces no longer feed my compost, instead they flavor my stock! We keep them in a collecting can in the freezer. Adding vegetables enhances the flavor and reduces the need for salt to taste.  The vinegar helps the bone release their calcium into the broth, just like that old rubber chicken bone trick!


Bone Broth Recipe


Meat bones

Vegetable butts

Herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley


1/4 cup vinegar


Place bones in a large stock pot. Add vinegar, vegetable butts, and herbs. Cover generously with water. Bring to a boil, turn heat down and simmer on low heat. Cook poultry bones for 24 hours. Cook pork or beef for 72 hours (3 days). Keep solids covered with water.

Cool. Drain liquid and discard solid remains. Refrigerate. Consider skimming the fat off once cooled, for lower calorie broth. Use within 48 hours or freeze for later use.

Happy cooking and Happy Holidays!

-by Tama Cathers, BS, MS, DVM, SC (sometimes cook), SG (sometimes gardener), SA (sometimes asleep), SN (sometimes not).


Chicken soup

Soup and calorie intake

 Cover Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


Forewarning: These pictures turned out a little gory!