An Unexpected Blessing

As we embrace a new season, I want to share some personal encouragement with you. The Lord revitalized me at the beginning of 2024 with this verse,

Forget  the former  things; do  not  dwell  on  the  past, 

Isaiah 43:18

I was reminded of that wisdom during a recent doctor’s visit. In addition to the usual annual checkup, I had some bloodwork done. I must confess I was nervous about what my doctor might find in the wake of an incredibly stressful year, as well as standing on the cusp of celebrating my 50th birthday (our numbers tend to creep up as we age.)

To my surprise and delight, the results were not only good, but pretty great! So many of my numbers improved. It was an unexpected blessing for sure, but as I reflected on the tumultuous year of 2023, I realized I hadn’t wavered from taking care of myself. I fought off the stress primarily through prayer and purposeful time in the Lord’s Word, but also in taking care of my nervous system. I made myself move and get outside, taking in natural sunshine and walking in nature. I did not retreat, but rather stayed in fellowship with others. I practiced deep abdominal breathing, used an infrared sauna, and got an occasional massage.

It was such confirmation to me that when we do what we know to do, the Lord does the rest. We all go through challenging seasons, but for those who put their faith and trust in Jesus, we never walk alone. God is always working in ways we cannot see.

Discipline and consistency are required to produce the fruit of whatever the Lord is doing in our lives, be it physically or spiritually. Often, we don’t see the fruit right away because I believe God wants us to focus entirely on Him and not on our efforts. 

As warmer weather approaches, let’s:

  • move our bodies more and eat raw, living fruits and vegetables from nature’s pantry.
  • not be hoodwinked into unrealistic diet fads. If we can’t eat it for the rest of our lives, run in the opposite direction. Find the balance.
  • flood our bodies with essential fatty acids and more leafy greens/green foods. Green foods are some of the most powerful healers, cleansers, detoxifiers, and nourishers of the human blood.

For 27 years I’ve been drinking the concentrated juice powder of barley grass. AIM Barley Life, a concentrated whole food, delivers 2-3 times more nutrients per serving than found in a typical serving of green vegetables. Find AIM Barley Life at:

It’s the little things we do every day that can have a profound impact on our lives.


Colorful Slaw


  • 1 large handful of finely sliced green cabbage
  • 1 large handful of finely sliced purple cabbage
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, grated
  • 3 large radishes, Julienned
  • 3 mandarins or 1 navel orange, peeled and sliced
  • 5 spring onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fennel, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
  • Edible flowers to garnish

Salad Dressing:

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon freshly zested ginger
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix all the salad ingredients together (except for the pumpkin seeds and edible flowers).
  2. Add the salad dressing ingredients to a glass jar, screw on lid and shake well.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad, mix well and spoon onto a platter.
  4. Garnish with the pumpkin seeds and edible flowers and serve.

The orange can be swapped out for a ripe, juicy mango.
Want more dressing? Double the recipe.



Pearled Couscous Veggie Salad


  • 2 Tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 cup pearled couscous
  • 1 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 lb. asparagus or green beans
  • 1/2 cup feta or goats’ cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup black olives
  • a large handful or baby spinach or arugula
  • 1 cup baby tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 small red onion, peeled, finely diced

Salad Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1/4 cup raw apple cider or red wine vinegar
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herbs
  • A pinch of salt and a few cracks of black pepper

Add all the dressing ingredients into an empty glass bottle, seal with lid and shake until it’s well mixed or blend in a small blender until smooth. Set aside.


  1. Add the 2 Tablespoons of avocado oil into a pot or pan. Heat the oil over medium heat, then add the pearl couscous and toast, stirring every now and again until the couscous is golden brown in color.

  2. Add the water or vegetable broth and salt to the pearled couscous.  Turn down the heat to low-medium, cover with lid and cook for about 12-15 minutes until the couscous is tender. Watch that it does not burn, add a little more liquid if you need to.

  3. Remove from heat.

  4. Immediately add half the salad dressing to the warm, cooked couscous and set aside to cool.

  5. Blanch the asparagus or green beans in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, then remove the green beans or asparagus from the boiling water and add into ice water to stop the cooking process.

  6. Strain and dry with a paper towel and cut them into 1-inch pieces.

  7. Mix the couscous with green beans or asparagus, add the rest of the salad ingredients and pour the remaining dressing on top.

  8. Garnish with edible flowers like pansies or nasturtiums.

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