As I’ve gotten older I’m much more mindful of what I put into (and onto) my body. In addition to trying to cut back drastically on sugar, my husband and I have scaled back on eating red meat and dairy. We’ve also eliminated white flour and a lot of grains, too. Our diet consists of as much organic and non-GMO fruits, veggies and ethically-sourced natural foods as we can get our hands upon. I guess healthy eating has become our religion in a way. Suffice to say the more time I spend learning about and preparing simple wholesome recipes, the more grounded and happy I feel.

Healthy eating is a no-brainer…

Particularly when I can go out into my mom’s backyard garden and pick a bowl of just-ripened blueberries right off the bush!

Healthy eating at its best - picking just-ripened blueberries in my mother's NH garden

(Even better is having a friendly blue-eyed assistant who acts as my Quality Control Engineer!)


Freshness is key in healthy eating…

So I baked my just-picked blueberries today into…

Grain-free, almond flour, blueberry coconut muffins.


The baking fun didn’t stop there…

Since I decided to whip up this Paleo ginger chocolate pecan pie, too.

(By the way, aside from the dark chocolate, the only sweetener is 2 tablespoons of raw honey in the almond flour crust and pureed dates in the filling.)

Healthy Eating recipe remake - Photo-of-chocolate-ginger-pecan-pie

Good nutrition provides an energy boost…

And I called on that energy when I dusted off my jewelry-making chops on a project for my mother. The project? Creating a bow and arrow “accessory” for a clay sculpture she is making. My mom’s sculpture is a small-scale replica of the Diana statue by Augustus Saint Gaudens; and it’s scheduled to be the centerpiece at an upcoming book club meeting.

By the way, spending time in the woods of New Hampshire has taught me that necessity IS the mother of invention. With only a claw hammer and one industrial-sized file at my disposal, I did my metal forming on a large boulder outside.


But my mom and I were pleased with the result!

Healthy eating goes hand-in-hand with exercise…

And this summer I’ve discovered that I love paddle boarding! Fortunately, one of our neighbors has generously let me borrow her paddle board.

(Life jackets are optional when you’re posing for your photo op.)

Needless to say, after a day filled with the berry picking, baking, crafting, cartooning, swimming and paddle-boarding, I generally feel ready to take a cue from little Puck…




  1. Stefanie says:

    if you might be up for sharing that pie recipe, it looks and sounds amazing!!

    • Joana says:

      Hi Stefanie,

      Last night when I wrote my post I couldn’t find a link to the tart recipe. But after doing a little digging today I was able to locate it. It’s really divine (I’ve made it twice for my mom and Andy this vacation!) Here’s the link:

      In the interest of health, I made a few tweaks. Instead of the confectioner’s sugar in the crust I substituted 2 Tablespoons of raw honey. I also used a shortening blend of 3 Tablespoons coconut oil + 3 Tablespoons of unsalted butter instead of the 6 Tbspoons of butter.

      In the filling I took out the Agave and other sugar and just used about a 1/3 cup of pulverized pitted dates (best to soak them first in a bit of hot water and microwave them a little to soften before you put them in the food processor. Also nice is to substitute Triple Sec or Grand Marnier for the vanilla. Either way tastes great. Happy baking!

      I hope you and Scott are having a great summer!

      Sending a big hug your way –

      • Stefanie says:

        OMG, it sounds amazing–thank you!!! Hugs to you both!!

        • Joana says:

          I hope you make it (and enjoy it!) It’s a divine pie. 🙂

          xox – Joana

  2. Mehmeh says:

    Whoa, that’s a year full blog! Now I get to EAT the muffins. (The pie was fabulous!)

    • Joana says:

      Still to come, chickpea crackers with Za’tar…

      xox – J

  3. Allen Won says:

    How fun and wonderful! Glad you all are having a great time.

    • Joana says:

      Hi Allen,

      So nice to hear from you! Yes, we are enjoying our down time in NH. I’m really going to miss my daily swims (and the great food, laughs with my mom, walks with little Puck…the list goes on.) If we can, we’ll see if we can make a return visit after Labor Day. I hope all is well with you and your family! Any upcoming trips to Hawaii?

      Hope to see you again soon!
      🙂 Joana

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