Cousins Eat Salad and Other Launch Day Happenings

Life does not slow down, not even for a book launch day. The last three months have been extra-ordinarily full for our family. Not in an overly stressful way (amazingly), just full-of-life living. Summer is the time for this kind of activity - for travel and high output. At least my seasonal rhythm seems to go this way.

I have a lot of energy in summer, which is good because this summer I have needed it. It’s been pretty much non-stop activity for our family for the last three months. The wonderful, whirlwind month of May (Céline’s birthday trip was the highlight for me), followed by June in Montréal.

July has been about finishing this e-book, settling into our new, not-quite-finished home, and now more travel. All of this on top of usual 24/7 creating, learning, living and growing together. I feel so incredibly blessed.

Sunday night we arrived in Nova Scotia for a two week visit. Yesterday, I released my second e-book (sales have been fabulous - thank you so very much) and very early this morning I drove Damien to the airport for his trip to Outdoor Retailer in Utah.

We timed our visit to NS to coincide Damien’s trip to OR (for both the easy access here to an international airport and having fun while Daddy is away) and also to see my brother and his family, who are spending the summer in Nova Scotia with my parents. We don’t get to visit our siblings and their kids nearly enough so this was is a rare treat - to be all together as a family for a couple weeks.

It’s a cousin fest around here I tell you. And it’s a little crazy. By 2pm yesterday afternoon at least four of the six children had injured themselves in some way and I sliced my finger while chopping greens for lunch! First aid kits come in handy with this many active kids all together, hyped up on cousin energy.

‘Cause it sure ain’t sugar they’re hyped on.

One of the things I love about visiting with my brother’s family is learning from my sister-in-law who has tweaked and majorly modified her family’s diet over the years to treat and heal disease. My brother too deserves a lot of credit for dietary change in their home.

After years of informal study, research and “practicing” on her family, Dawna is getting serious about continuing her education and taking the same course my mom took a couple years ago. (I love Dawna's take on how to get your child to eat healthy. You can see why we get along so well!) Nutrition is Dawna's passion and it’s so much fun to hang with her and learn from her.

I love hanging out with family where kids are served huge, heaping salads for lunch - the kind I talk about in my book. It’s nice to know we’re not the only ones who feed our kids lots of vegetables. We weren’t always this way but over the years our dietary journeys have taken us deeper into plant-based nutrition.

In case you’re wondering that’s an avocado dressing Dawna prepared for her family’s sprouted salad. My book has step by step directions, thanks to Jennifer Sanders, for sprouting beans if you’re interested.

Dawna’s family is aiming for the Hippocrates diet which is raw vegan (that’s the short version, read more here). We are plant-based eaters (both cooked and raw), not completely vegan. And my mom is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and knows a lot about nutrition, health and well being also. My mom’s kitchen is an especially busy and “green” space right now. So much fun.

Yesterday after we all ate big salads for lunch we headed to a nearby beach. And what a gorgeous afternoon it was! And amazingly, no first aid was needed.

I enjoyed the rush of a book launch and a small measure of relief at releasing this book. There are still little things I have to finish - affiliate and download FAQs, marketing graphics, etc, but you know what? I have a life to live also. A really good life.

A life where I cook and eat healthy, hang out with my nephews and niece (and administer first aid as needed) and go to the beach with my kids.

It’s going to be a good week.

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  • Angelia

    Angelia on July 31, 2012, 5:28 p.m.

    I didn't see a way to leave a comment on your previous post about your new ebook so I thought I would comment here:) I am looking forward to diving into it this evening and I love that you include more than one format. Enjoy your day.....Thanks!


  • Wendy

    Wendy on July 31, 2012, 5:55 p.m.

    Congrats on the book! I have a kind of silly question about your e-book just to clarify something . . . the description says "9 total with 6 whole food dressing recipes". Does that mean 9 salad recipes plus 6 dressing recipes, or 3 salad recipes and 6 dressing recipes. Thanks in advance!


    • renee

      renee on July 31, 2012, 8:04 p.m.

      The book does not have "salad" recipes. I teach the technique I use to build plant-based meal sized salads. You can see that laid out in the Table of Contents. The book includes 6 dressing recipes and three other related recipes. I actually don't follow or use salad recipes. I create new salads all the time, or we eat favorites over and over, from the strategy in the book. The only time I use a recipe is preparing dressings, which I have shared in this book.


  • Patraq

    Patraq on July 31, 2012, 6:33 p.m.

    I got the salad ebook yesterday, and it was just in time for meal planning for the week. We're going to have two dinners be big salads, and we'll also be utilizing your dressing recipes. I am so excited, especially since the temps here are going to be well into the 100's. I also appreciated your tips for beans, advice for kids, and glimpses into your eating style.

    Your whole family is so inspirational. Keep it coming!


  • Ashley

    Ashley on July 31, 2012, 9:19 p.m.

    Was thrilled to download your new e-book yesterday and immediately made a huge salad with the tangy mustard dressing as a topping. Even with a half cup of nutritional yeast (about which I was a smidge nervous), my kids scarfed down a huge bowl of my salad. Made me so happy to see them consuming such a healthy meal - and even more, to hear them tell me what makes eating this way so good for them! I have already recommended your book to several friends and will continue to do so! Thanks for your commitment to eating healthy and plant-based nutrition and this project! Yay! Enjoy your time with lovely people at a lovely place. Sounds divine.


  • Patraq

    Patraq on Aug. 1, 2012, 11:40 a.m.

    As I see the pics of kids eating salads, I'm feeling more nervous about getting mine to do so. Is it realistic to expect my 3 and 4-year old to join us for salad? They eat it as a side dish. But we've never tried a main-meal salad for them.


    • renee

      renee on Aug. 1, 2012, 12:17 p.m.

      It's absolutely realistic but it may take time (smile), like all change does. 


    • Jennifer @ kidoing!

      Jennifer @ kidoing! on Aug. 1, 2012, 12:34 p.m.

      If I may, I wanted to offer some additional support to Patraq.

      My son is 3 and he eats meal salads all the time. He loves them. So much of it has to do with the toppings (although this kid happens to love salad greens, which may be a little out of the ordinary). The dressings (especially avocado-based ones like the salad pictured above) really help. I also make a taco salad that is fabulous and the kids can't get enough.

      Also, if we are serving a salad for dinner - that's just what they get! It's what's for dinner. :)

      Try it and let us know how it goes!


  • Jennifer @ kidoing!

    Jennifer @ kidoing! on Aug. 1, 2012, 12:27 p.m.

    That beach is gorgeous (very different from the masses of people we see at the Jersey Shore)!

    The sprout salad looks delicious. I really love it when we're around families who feed their children the same way we do. It feels so good.

    Thank you for linking to that post about our philosophy on feeding our kids. I took a quick look yesterday and realized that I really need to update it! In the past year+, I've learned more, changed more and made further conclusions.


  • Barbara

    Barbara on Aug. 1, 2012, 6:07 p.m.

    Renee, is that avocado dressing in the book? It looks so delicious!!!


    • renee

      renee on Aug. 1, 2012, 6:10 p.m.

      Nope, not in the book. My sis-in-law made that up on the spot. I don't make avocado dressings, two of my kids don't really like avocado (except in chocolate pudding!) so I serve it on the side. 


  • Carolyn

    Carolyn on Aug. 2, 2012, 12:20 a.m.

    OMG that beach looks gorgeous - but how cold is the water? Isn't that the north Atlantic? I love your blog, our lives are very different but I'm trying to use some of your tips, and working on downsizing! And I love your photos!


    • renee

      renee on Aug. 2, 2012, 12:27 a.m.

      Oh yes, the water is cold. The kids don't seem to mind though. But the beaches here are beautiful and never crowded. 


  • Tasha hess

    Tasha hess on Aug. 8, 2012, 3:39 p.m.

    Can you please tell me where that beach is in Nova Scotia? It is so beautiful. Looks like a beach we went to in Mexico( guaranteed its colder though).


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