Home Cooking: Sometimes you need a friend’s help when getting healthy | SummitDaily.com

Home Cooking: Sometimes you need a friend’s help when getting healthy

Suzanne Anderson and Tara Baroody
Home Cooking

After my annual physical last month, my doctor suggested I have a blood test to check my sugar levels. I discovered I’m on the upper range of normal, not quite prediabetes but too close for comfort.

Since my father and grandmother had diabetes, this is a wake-up call for me to lose the extra weight I’ve blithely become accustomed to. It’s time to make better food choices. I’ve always thought of myself as a whole-foods cook. However, my love of fudge-covered Oreos and bread of any variety counteracted my best clean-eating efforts.

So this week, I’ve called in my childhood friend Tara Baroody. Throughout high school, we swam on the same team in Fort Lauderdale. Tara now lives in Boulder. She’s a phenomenal cook and a vegan. Her recipes will inspire you and me to reset our diets and discover how delicious real food can be.

Take it away, Tara!

Every year, it’s the same thing. I gain a few pounds for the winter. Yes, I eat richer, fattier foods, but I live in a cold climate and need a little more on my bones. Otherwise, I freeze for the winter. By the first light of spring, I want to take it off. So, I go through what has now become a routine, spring cleanse. It’s simple, easy to follow and just cleaning eating.

Chances are at least part of the lifestyle will stick with you. Unlike a lot of the diets and cleanses out there, this is a lifestyle that can be sustainable with very little effort.

Here is the basic outline:

Eat fruits and vegetables. Eat as many colorful foods as possible. That’s it.

Everything else is an additional side. You have free reign to create any kind of meal you want with your box of “paints,” with a few guidelines:

● Daily handful of nuts or seeds, or scoop of nut butter or coconut butter

● Tea and coffee

● Mineral-rich salt (Celtic or Himalayan pink salt are my preferences)

● Plant-based protein powder for morning smoothies

● Water

● Only fresh-pressed juice

● Only Stevia as a sweetener

● Limit alcohol

● Limit oils to extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil for cooking

● No dairy

Ideal meals include salads or rice with steamed, lightly sautéed or roasted vegetables.

Try eating like this for two weeks. Guaranteed you will have a little glow in your skin and pep in your stride. You might lose a few pounds. You definitely will feel better.

Watermelon avocado salad




Squeeze of a lime

Cilantro to taste

Directions: Cut and mix together. Serve.

Green salad with hemp-seed dressing


1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1 small clove garlic

Celtic salt to taste

Directions: Blend until smooth. Store in refrigerator. (Make in small batches because seeds go rancid quickly.)

Fresh-pressed juice

Equipment: You’ll need a good blender, nut milk bag and wide-mouth container (I use a big glass measuring cup).


1/2 lemon, peeled

1/2 green apple, chopped

1 cucumber, chopped

1 cup stalks and greens (kale, broccoli, cilantro, etc.)

2 celery stalks, chopped

Thumb of ginger

Directions: Add a half cup of water and blend. Pour into nut bag and squeeze out juice. Transfer to container and store in refrigerator.

Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson’s column “Home Cooking” publishes biweekly on Thursdays in the Summit Daily News. Anderson taught herself to cook after college when she discovered dinner parties were a cure for loneliness. Her latest cookbook is “A Year in the Mountains Cookbook.” She has lived in Breckenridge since 2016. Contact her at suzanne@suzanneelizabeths.com.

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