3 Favorite Food & Nutrition Podcasts

Last year I hurt my lower back — mulching.

At first, I thought: Wow, here’s a chance to binge-watch all my favorite shows and movies while laying on my back with a heating pad. Cool. But then I received orders from my physical therapist to move — two times a day. Movement helps keep the blood flowing which helps heal the body. Who knew?

I walked like a 95-year-old at first; snail-like and utterly self-conscious but I was determined to feel better. So every morning and every evening I went for a walk no matter if I only got half a block away from my house.

(Note: My back pain became chronic and took one full year to heal.)

Perhaps I’m weird but I don’t keep music on my iPhone. So, I decided to listen to podcasts. At first, I listened to marketing, design and business podcasts but I quickly got annoyed. They made me frustrated. I wasn’t sure why at the time but now I’m thinking it was because I was on a path toward something new.

Hmm … something to mull over for another post but let’s move on to my favorite three podcasts, shall we?


Insatiable Podcast LogoMy friend Reese Spykerman (a stellar designer, btw) indirectly introduced me to Insatiable. One of her posts came up in my Facebook feed and there Ali Shapiro and I struck up a brief conversation about Dr. Kelly Brogan. Me being the curious cat, I went to her FB profile, checked out her website and voila — became an Insatiable listener. What I love about Insatiable and really, Ali and Juliet, is that they. are. real. I love their no-bs talk about how they think and feel about life, food, fitness and well, a slew of health-related topics. They share personal, intimate stories about themselves and get people to share their stories; some which have made me cry! Both are downright hilarious at times; their laughter so infectious I’ve found myself laughing out loud during my walks (thankfully no one has been around — crazy Asian lady!) Anyway, the more I listen, the more I get encouraged to live whole and eat whole; not obsessively. OK, that last bit … it’s a work in progress but they are on my team even if they don’t know it.

Listen to Insatiable by Ali Shapiro and Juliet Burgh

Splendid Table

Splendid Table Podcast LogoThis podcast is new to me. I discovered it on NPR on my drive home from Wegmans. I had no idea listening to people talk about food (no pictures — hello) would be incredibly engrossing and how is it possible I had never heard of it until now?! Hosted by Lynne Rossetto Kasper, Splendid Table takes me into peoples’ lives, kitchens, farms, and pantries; restaurants, markets, gardens and more. I love the depth and richness of the interviews because they make me think about my relationship with food as well as food as community, business and well, identity. Physically I was in my neighborhood walking the familiar everyday route but my mind, heart, and stomach were taking a journey across the country and the oceans. Yum …

Listen to the Splendid Table podcast

FoodBlogger Pro

Food Blogger Pro Podcast LogoI’m not sure if food blogging is something I want to do as I navigate this career shift toward becoming a holistic nutritional consultant and coach but after listening to episode after episode I realized how much we self-employed people have in common. No matter our niche, running a business — individual or a small team — is a TON of work. I’ve learned a shit ton about what goes on behind the scenes for food bloggers, and the interviews opened my eyes to the dark side of blogging: trolls and well, mean people. But the yummy side? The episodes are full of techno-weenie goodies (Yay — I can be such a geek!) mixed with business strategy, productivity tips and plenty of great stories: how people got started, their struggles, their fears, successes, etc. Bjork does an incredible job with follow-up questions and the results are helpful, useful episodes with plenty of humor and just enough tangents to keep it real. Thank you, Bjork and Lindsay Ostrom (Pinch of Yum).

View the latest episodes and listen via iTunes or Stitcher (app)

Voila. I hope you’ll check them out and if you have a podcast you love and would like to share, I’m all ears (tee-hee). Let me know in the comments below.

Always, in health,




This is the beginning of many hopes and goals as I begin another shift in my life.

A wee bit of background: I’m in my mid-forties. Right now I make a living as a creative partner for photographers designing websites, books, and marketing pieces mainly. I’m an educator, a speaker, and I’m also writing a book. The working title: Web Design Principles for Photographers.

So, Why The Lovely Ferns?

The Lovely Ferns is a chance to write about my personal health journey and my experiences as I begin classes this Fall at the Maryland University for Integrative Health. In two years I hope to graduate with an M.S. in Nutrition & Integrative Health, qualify for the CNS exam and then work with people in a wellness practice, wellness spa or perhaps at a company or organizations who value a holistic and integrative approach.

What Will I Write About?

OK, so I don’t have this all figured out but one of my dear friends, Leslie, keeps saying, “Just start!”. So on my list so far: personal experiences, recipes, fitness, school and perhaps some travel or techie content. Really, I just want to write and share things that help with feeling healthy in mind, body and spirit. I want to share what feels like a mash-up of my current professional life and what is coming down the pike.


One of my primary goals is to connect with other holistic health practitioners, coaches, and well anyone committed and passionate about helping people heal. Through the years I’ve learned that relationships are key. Connection is important especially now that I’m making what feels like a huge transition. I’m starting over. And, I’m in need of geeking out with others who share my love of food and helping others feel empowered as they journey toward health. Plus, I want to learn from people who are more experienced than I and I want to hear about different ways to approach healing and overall wellness.

So … there it is; my first step!


My (Our) Dream Home

I found our dream home. Someday …


Note: I originally wrote this for my short-lived blog, Miles of Blue. February 17, 2015.

Blu homes exterior

This is my dream home.

We live in a 1928 Tudor and while it is beautiful, my dream is to live in a smaller, functional and modern home or condo.

The photos are of a model prefab home designed by Blu Homes. This particular style is The Element and the image below is the base foundation for the house.

It is a great use of space and they offer quite a bit of customization options for up to three bedrooms and add-ons such as a garage (also with options).  The builders also put some nice “green” features such as LED lights and radiant floors. Yes, radiant floors — yum. And, there is a slew of “smart technology” and energy efficient features. What is not to like?

Interior space design

So while we love all those features, what I love most is that the size is perfect. You see, a big home isn’t us. Size just doesn’t mean much. But the excellent use of space and proportion along with just the right attention to details such as window placement, movement, privacy, location and quality of materials? Those matter.

15-foot ceilings and large windows add the feeling of volume and space making 1202 square feet feel more than enough. This home is simply well designed.

Blu Homes Layout

I read somewhere that when it comes to finances and budgeting it helps to picture long term every time you are tempted to purchase something short term you think you may need but really don’t need.

Element is my picture. This is what we are saving for.

I’ll be keeping an eye on land for sale in the Pacific Northwest.

If you’re curious about Blu Homes, visit their website and you can learn more about the Element style, too!

4 a.m.

4 a.m. has become my secret space in time.

Note: I originally wrote this for my short-lived blog, Miles of Blue. January 10, 2015.

4 a.m. has become my secret space in time.

Our cat Blu sounds the alarm with his cries to make sure I’m not late.

I don’t particularly love being awakened by kitty but I’ve come to enjoy these wee hours of the day.

snowy early morning

Everything is so still. It’s beautiful and haunting all at once.

And other than the furnace cranking to its limits because it’s so cold outside, it is delightfully quiet.

I’ve trained myself to not open email or start working. I’ve discovered there are no expectations, no responsibilities. I have permission to read, write and let my mind wander.

There are no “shoulds”.

So even though I crave a full eight glorious hours of uninterrupted sleep — heaven — I’m thinking 4 a.m. is pretty sweet.

Looking Back, Looking Forward

I can hardly believe it. It’s 2015.

I’ve given all that’s happened in 2014 a lot of thought and it’s just now that I feel like I can breathe. It felt like a really rough year but as the new year approached, it felt so good to think about and plan for the new things I want to accomplish and everything I want to keep doing in 2015. My list ended up being a bunch of single words that keep cropping up this year and here they are:

Note: I originally wrote this for my short-lived blog, Miles of Blue, January 3. 2015. Looking back, this is probably when I intuitively knew it was time to make a drastic change but I was not ready.

I can hardly believe it. It’s 2015.

I’ve given all that’s happened in 2014 a lot of thought and it’s just now that I feel like I can breathe. It felt like a really rough year but as the new year approached, it felt so good to think about and plan for the new things I want to accomplish and everything I want to keep doing in 2015. My list ended up being a bunch of single words that kept cropping up this year:


Life, it really is short. I don’t know how else to say it. We’ve lost friends and family this year and I cannot tell you how important it feels to me to just. do. it. For 2015, I’m making a commitment to do rather than just think, think, think. I’ve learned that making a list of concrete actions can help to reach the next step and the next step and the next step. When the task seems insurmountable or the goal so far away, it is so easy to get overwhelmed and feel paralyzed. So here’s to specific actions that take us one step closer to “that thing” you want to do.

And on that note, Miles of Blue is one of my “dos”. I’ve been talking about it and thinking about; stuck with ideas about how there will be the perfect time to [fill-in-the-blank].

I still don’t know exactly what or how it’ll shape up but *I’m just doing it*. And that brings me to …


Phew, this word can paralyze the best of us. It’s tough to overcome and in the last few years I feel like I’ve been making huge efforts to overcome many. Standing in front of 40 students and speaking to so many more professionals about marketing and branding scared me to death. I mean, I hardly could eat! But it feels so natural now (Ok, may not in front of hundreds) so I know I can overcome fears and not allow them to stop me from doing something new.

But, over the last several months I’ve been struggling with the fear of change and the unknown. Last spring, I made the difficult decision to step down as Assistant Professor at Newhouse which also led to pulling myself out of consideration for a full-time job at a magazine. There was too much going on. Real or imagined, could I handle the change again? I felt I had to do something and to push away opportunities and move off a track that pulled us out of Oregon? It was crazy scary.

Since then I’ve been floating about and so this year, I hope to find clarity.


I read this book a couple of months ago and read an interesting take on work and in life; that it isn’t about being the best but about making a commitment to getter better everyday. Progress each day, each week over the course of say a year, is the goal.

Doing good work is important to me. I love to learn and through practice I hope to improve on my design skills, my writing skills and really being a better person which I think helps with all the other stuff! It makes sense, doesn’t it? By making a commitment to improve, we make a commitment to do good work(s).


I’m getting better at shutting down my computer and shutting off my smartphone. Thankfully, I don’t feel the need to answer every text or email or phone call right away. (Did you know that even the thought of email stresses people out? Another reason snail mail needs to stay!) I personally don’t have the expectation that anyone I send an email to needs to reply toute suite either.

Unplug equals time to read, take a walk, see, listen and feel. Turning off the screen means I have time to quiet my mind to give random ideas and thoughts the space to enter and mingle.

Quiet seems so precious these days …


My parents talked a lot about money and I think it gave us a healthy relationship with money. I remember several times being utterly grateful I knew about investments and heck, how to balance a checkbook!

But, I’m also a bit of a shopper. I admit it. I like beautiful, high-quality things.

I’ve become a better saver but I need to do better. So, my vow is to think for a week or more before I buy anything or sign up for yet one more service or get all spontaneous and buy tickets for a tour around Europe. Because I have a long-term dream and that requires putting off immediate gratification to realize it. Every time I think I need to spend money, I have to “Oregon”.

It’s time to play catch up and try what one friend who shared her admiration for a couple who “lived well below their means” and were able to retire early and travel the world. Hello!


I enjoy my family and I feel so lucky that we like spending time together but I wish we could gather more often. Someday it would be nice to just walk or drive to my brother’s house and share a meal or watch a movie.

And, as I get older and with each passing of a loved one, seeing and being with family means the world to me. We lost our great uncle (we called him grandfather) this fall and I felt so much sadness because he took on the role of being our grandfather when tragedy struck my father’s home. It was comforting knowing that I had someone to call “grandpa”.

When a friend shared that when her mom passed away a few years ago, she said goodbye with no regrets and therefore no feelings of guilt I felt her peace. She made the time to visit with her a lot for everyday moments. Yes, the every day is more meaningful and I’ve taken her story to heart.


Relationships are gold in my mind and 2014 felt like I had found a lot of great support from this incredible woman and this fantastic group of designers. I mentioned before that I’ve been floating about and my closest friends, family and without question, my husband have helped carry me through some rough patches and major decisions this year.

Many of my friends live far away so 2014 was a great year for making local friends and getting to know them better (thank you, HarrietJoanna, and Jennifer). Every time we share more and get that much closer. Respect, trust … “being real” … Finding your people is greater than gold.

I hope this year, those friendships will grow even deeper roots.


I’ve read here and there that gratitude is the key to happiness. It makes sense. When you are grateful you recognize the good in life. It helps lessen the ick of the hardships and challenges one has faced or may continue to face.

I’ve found this to be generally true; that if I stop, slow down and take a moment to reflect on the wonderful people in my life and the experiences I’ve had, my outlook changes for the better.

But it dawned on me recently that this feeling of thanks tends to come after something has happened. You know, after someone gives you something or you survived a scary moment or during the holidays when you look back at all the events — good and bad — in your life.

What if it was daily practice? What if I followed what Leo Babuta suggests and “… [start] a habit of gratitude“?  What if it were a mindset?

This year is the year to practice gratitude every day.


Back in June, I started to take my health more seriously. That’s when I discovered Paleo and bodyweight lifting because I was determined to rid myself of body image issues just like this person. (It’s not easy).

To get started, I first went through Whole30 and discovered a whole new world of cooking — dairy free, grain free and as little sugar as possible. I’m not quite sure it is working at times but I think it also takes some patience. (I’m working on the definition of working 😉

But what I am most proud of? I can do 30 damn pushups in a set! I could barely do 10 in late May. And, in a few weeks, I’ll take up yoga classes — s t r e t c h !

So, to be able to move and do is a gift I’ve taken for granted. Being a woman in my forties, I’m much more conscious about what is happening with my mind, body and spirit. Taking care of myself is, as Kathleen Shannon has stated, a “non-negotiable”. Without good health, it’ll be way more challenging to practice all the above.