My Salad e-book Coming Soon. Really.

This has been a hard e-book to finish. But it's coming. Soon. 

Maybe it's because (I'm sure this has something to do with it!) I've lived in three different homes over the past three months. We had an incredibly intense, fun filled May and June. Not to mention I've had to deal with packing, unpacking and the inevitabe life disruption that moving brings. It's been a lot.

My best intentions to "sit down and finish this project" have been interrupted by this thing called living. 

I've struggled with the content a bit. I'm not writing for a mass audience. I feel the market is somewhat narrow.


What if not that many people are interested in eating salads? What if they don't like my recipes? What if our family's taste buds are just all screwed up and what my family gobbles down others would turn their nose up at?

I feel vulnerable.

But since I've told you all that I'm writing this e-book I've had a lot of encouragement and people looking forward to reading it so I try to remember those words when I feel worried that no one will like the recipes. 

And then there was the surprise earlier this spring.

In some e-mail correspondence with my friend Heather from Beauty That Moves I found out that she was writing a book about the same topic!

It was a classic "great minds think alike" moment. And truthfully, a little deflating for me. I esteem Heather immensely and to find out she was writing an e-book about the very same subject discouraged me a bit. (And because she's a course instructor her book would obviously be better than mine, right? Don't answer that! I'm just sharing my private fears and thoughts.) 

I got over that. Mostly. I think our respective books will complement each other really well actually since we are covering different aspects of the same subject. And the fact that both of us are writing about it just goes to show how important and helpful we believe salads are to healthy living. 

However, both of us have been busy living our lives to the fullest so the salad e-books are taking a little longer than planned. I can't speak for Heather but I hope to have mine published by the end of July. Really hope to have it published. Because I am so done with this baby.

I want to move onto other projects. Like ramping up my homeschooling support and coaching in time for a new school year. 

Homeschool Coaching

Quick question: Is group coaching something any of you are interested in? A one hour group coaching session for say $10 around specific themes or tailored to specific ages? 

I love one on one coaching. I love supporting families with strategies specific to their situation and needs but I also realize $50 is a financial stretch for some homeschooling families. I'm sensitive to this and get so much personal satisfaction in helping others homeschool in joy and freedom. So, I'm cooking up some ideas to make coaching accessible to more people, if people are interested.

Back to salads... these last stages of a project, any project, are always the worst. You've lost the initial flush of enthusiasm. You've read your own words so many times they make you want to gag. And in the struggle you start to second guess every decision you've ever made. I exaggerate a bit, but you get the idea. I'm ready to move on. 

Are you working on any projects these days you would like to just finish already? Can we encourage each other to stay the course?
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  • Tonya

    Tonya on July 11, 2012, 1:25 p.m.

    Oh, I think the fee structure for a group talk would be great. I am really looking forward to your ebook - as I could use some inspiration right about now as I keep going to the same old - lettuce, eggs, and feta, grated carrot, salads - ready for something new! I have a temporary project in the works - all of the details involved in our oldest son's graduation celebration this Saturday. My husband and I and our family are dreaming up some really big plans for the future - so much fun!


  • Amy

    Amy on July 11, 2012, 1:43 p.m.

    Keep going! You can do it! Salad season may have slowed down in the midst of this summer heat, but it will reappear again in just a few short weeks. People are always looking for creative ways to eat healthier meals.


    • renee

      renee on July 11, 2012, 3:55 p.m.

      We're just getting our lettuce now from our northern climate farm share. Our family eats salads all year round but there is nothing like fresh from the garden lettuce!


  • Shelley

    Shelley on July 11, 2012, 1:54 p.m.

    I love eating salads for meals and am so thrilled that you will be selling your e-book soon! I could certainly use some fresh recipes as I've been in a bit of a salad rut. Keep at it!


  • heather

    heather on July 11, 2012, 3:02 p.m.

    it's going to be awesome renee, just like all you do. i'm also shooting for end of july... but life is jammin'! (so we'll see.) salads have been written about before, and they'll be written about again - let's both rock this thing and share our veggie love with the world. xo


  • Nicole

    Nicole on July 11, 2012, 3:14 p.m.

    I have tried many of your recipes, and your Mom's, too, and have enjoyed most of them, and we are not vegan or even vegetarian. We took the peanut butter "cookies" on our last backpack trip and they were a hit with the other family we went with as well! Are you doing pictures with your ebook? One of the things I love about your blog, besides your honesty and depth, is the gorgeous photos of real life. So I'm imagining photos like the ones above that will make my mouth water :)

    As for my unfinished projects, there are many, and a few I've had to give myself permission to not finish, like a sweater I tried to knit a few years back (I will finish it someday!) Then there's our yard, and house stuff, but as time has passed our priorities have changed, so some of the unfinished stuff is just a sign that we are working on different things at this time. Hubby is trying to start a mountain sports retail store in our town and that is of course taking up a ton of his time, and I am trying to offer some support in that area as well, so previous projects got put on hold. I am coming to peace with that. Trying to offer myself grace. I am reading a great book right now with some other women called A Beautiful Mess by Kristin Ritzau that is really having me reflect on this and many other great things that seem so timely in my life right now.


    • renee

      renee on July 11, 2012, 3:53 p.m.

      Nicole, what you say is so true. Sometimes we don't finish projects because our priorities have shifted. I know this is true in our own life. While living in Maine, while we owned our home there, we underwent a shift in our housing priorities. Working on a house, having a perfectly "done" house, etc. was not our goal - getting outdoors together was. A shift occurred in our time and finances.  I find it's hard to let go of projects that are just not going to get done (I have such strong perfectionist tendencies) but easier to let them go when there is something else you are grabbing on to.  I'm not sure if it's a north american cultural thing or what - this project compulsion. I haven't seen enough of the world to know how people do things in other places. But I want to learn more fluidity in this area. To hold on to those things that matter and must be completed and to let go of the rest.  The biggest place in my life I've had to learn this is in homeschooling. What do we "finish" and what do we just let go? What do we teach our children in either scenario? How do we know when stay the course and teach self discipline and hard work? And when to just move on because what we're doing doesn't line up with our priorities anymore? Good food for thought. And what I want for all of it is grace and freedom, for myself and others. 


    • renee

      renee on July 11, 2012, 11:18 p.m.

      I also wanted to add, yes there will be photos! Unlike my first book. Food needs photos!


  • Emily

    Emily on July 11, 2012, 3:37 p.m.

    I am terrified of salads. And afraid of lots of vegetables. The salads I grew up with with were potato, pasta, or lettuce/tomato/cucumber.

    But I trust you. And I like you. And I WANT to not be afraid of salads and vegetables. For myself and my family.

    Every time I have picked up a book about salads and such - it's just so 'other universe' to me.

    I can't wait to have you as a teacher in my kitchen. You are gentle, kind, and honest.

    I'm cheering for you (and your family) in all the changes, transitions, and leaps of faith you are making! YAY yay yay! YES!


  • Teresa

    Teresa on July 11, 2012, 4:43 p.m.

    Good grief, do I know about unfinished projects! I'm working on The Book That Never Ends--seriously, it's been in progress for 2 years now, while I wrote three other books!--and then there's that baby blanket I really need to finish because the baby is due any day now. Sometimes life really does get in the way. That happens with TBTNE and obviously with your salad book, with all the moving. Just keep plugging along--or take a break, if you need time to settle in your lovely (also unfinished) new home. Trust your creative spirit to let you know what it needs.

    Looking forward to the ebook. We're far from vegans, but I'd like to start making more of our salad dressing and could use some inspiration for making more interesting salads. Too often, they end up as "lettuce and spinach in a bowl," which, while healthy enough, gets boring.


  • Kika

    Kika on July 11, 2012, 6:05 p.m.

    I have recently been thinking about the difference between "being a quitter" and trying things but letting them go when you realize they aren't working for you. I think this is an important distinction to make. There is value in pushing through to the end on some (many) life goals/projects - absolutely.

    And yet I wonder if we are afraid to take risks sometimes (or put this fear into our kids) b/c once we leap we feel like there is no way out. But what is wrong, really, with trying something and then part way down the road realizing, "this isn't what I thought" or "I don't like this as much as I thought I might" or whatever. I know as an adult I'm working through this. I want to explore, try things, but if it means I can never back out then why bother. I don't want a life commitment but an opportunity to continue testing the waters of life and figuring out where I fit or what fits well with my priorities/giftings etc. And I realize my kids, too, need to know I give them this freedom. As my son approaches the end stretch of his "childhood" years at home with us he has some stress about needing to figure out what comes next. I want him to just jump in and try something he things he'd love - not worrying so much about whether it is "the perfect fit" or not. Just start, you know?

    Anyways, looking forward to your ebook and the inspiration/encouragement it'll bring to many of us.


  • Christine

    Christine on July 11, 2012, 6:08 p.m.

    I am anxiously awaiting your salad ebook. I have dove into veganism in the last few months and look forward to something to liven up my "go-to" salads. As I am constantly being reminded also, let go of the perfectionism and insecurity. We will love and be grateful for your gift. And me oh my you have been on quite the adventure lately- I'm amazed you could produce anything outside of keeping your sanity!


  • karenh

    karenh on July 11, 2012, 6:22 p.m.

    I'm looking forward to all the salad books. Can you get more healthier than that? I think not! I also think that if you write from your heart and speak your truth, you can't ever go wrong (as long as it doesn't hurt others of course) whether other people "get" it or not! For you it's all good. So, in other words -- 'Do Your Thing' and give it to the world; without fear, hesitation or second thoughts. But you know this already! :) Can't wait for your e-book!


  • Teri

    Teri on July 11, 2012, 10:49 p.m.

    Oh Renee, I for one (make that many) simply cannot wait for the release of your salad e-book. I've been a participant in Heather's whole foods and 30 day vegan workshops - got to know you through those - and have just now begun my plant based diet journey (started July 4th!) So while embarking on this new way of cooking and menu planning, i find myself really really looking forward to help from you. I will of course be purchasing Heather's salad book also, but it appears to me from Heather's descriptions that your two books will really complement each other - just like you two wonderful, inspirational women do in other aspects. It's simply a miracle to me how you have managed to work on this with everything else going on the Tougas household, but I am so glad you have the will to go on! We NEED you, Renee!


    • renee

      renee on July 11, 2012, 11:16 p.m.

      Thank you Teri. In terms of working on this while living a busy life... I've waited many years to have the freedom to pursue these creative income earning opportunities. Both in terms of the ages of my children and our immigration status in the US. Last summer I decided to just go for it, to not wait for the stars to align to prioritize my writing, in spite of a crazy life (my life has been fairly crazy for well over one year now). At that time I decided to write two hours a day. My first e-book grew out of that post actually.  I go crazy if I don't write, but finishing projects is always hard. I've reached the "just push through stage".


  • shelli

    shelli on July 11, 2012, 11:20 p.m.

    Really looking forward to your salad e-book!! I think it's pretty cool you and Heather are doing a similar e-book! Maybe you gals can write one together in the future around vegan/vegetarian eating. I would be interested in the group coaching! Exciting times!


  • Casey

    Casey on July 12, 2012, 12:33 a.m.

    Your last question just made me giggle. I am four days overdue with our third and I would like to get this pregnancy finished!

    I think a salad ebook is great! We eat salad almost every night but I know I often fall back on the same old combinations.


  • Patraq

    Patraq on July 12, 2012, 1:39 a.m.

    I want to eat more salads! And I'm looking forward to your ebook to encourage me to do so! Get crackin'! ;-)


  • Carol in NM

    Carol in NM on July 12, 2012, 2:25 a.m.

    I'm very excited about your salad e-book! I'm trying to feed my family more wholesome foods and I feel like I'm stuck in a rut. Your salad book will give me inspiration and ideas and the encouragement to make one meal each day a salad. Thanks for all your hard work! As for unfinished projects...I've been working on a screenplay for about 3 years! Lol!


  • Sue

    Sue on July 12, 2012, 2:53 a.m.


    So looking forward to your new ebook. We are eating organic salads from our garden right now... would love to stray from the usual... Love your site as well as your mom's. You both are amazing!

    Be well, Sue~


  • Theresa

    Theresa on July 12, 2012, 2:54 a.m.

    As everyone has exclaimed, I am also very excited for your e-book. Also, being new to homeschooling- the reduced price for Homeschool Coaching would be much appreciated. Thanks for all you do!


  • Jacinda

    Jacinda on July 12, 2012, 10:23 a.m.

    I too am really looking forward to getting your e-book. We have been slowing shifting away from so much bread to more meal-sized salads and have been going strong even through the winter. cabbage, beetroot, carrot and kale rule here. And I'm ready for more ideas and inspiration and encouragement to keep going. it sure feels great.


  • Nicki

    Nicki on July 12, 2012, 12:35 p.m.

    Renee, I don't really know you but feel I just want to give you a big hug! It sounds like you are suffering from similar self doubts that have plagued me all my life. The difference is you are going ahead and doing it any way and I really admire you for that. I am really excited about your e-book, I'm so bored with sandwiches and love interesting salads, can't wait :o)


  • Analicia

    Analicia on July 12, 2012, 12:40 p.m.

    I can't wait to read your Eat This ebook! thanks to your posts and praise of joel fuhrman, i've read three of his books and listened to his podcasts. making salads is new to me and i hope to make them part of our daily meals. do continue putting yourSelf out there because we very much appreciate your time, energy and passion. smiles.


    • renee

      renee on July 12, 2012, 11:23 p.m.

      Analicia, if you are Dr. Fuhrman fan you're going to LOVE these recipes. They are all fuhrman friendly (probably a bit more sodium than he recommends but no oil - but still very tasty). Thanks for the encouragement!  


  • Mama

    Mama on July 13, 2012, 2:43 a.m.

    I totally know how you feel Renee! I second guess myself on writing projects all the time. Many times it's the feeling at the end of a long day of being SO ready to be done. But it's the other moments, when fresh inspiration or a mini goal accomplished helps me to remember why I write, and I believe it is the same for you? Thank goodness for those moments!


  • Ashley

    Ashley on July 13, 2012, 3:51 a.m.

    Rene, I keep checking your website hoping that e-book is ready, so I'm happy to hear you're getting close! As you know, my family jumped on the nutritarian train this past spring and it can be a challenge to get creative with meals, even when there is an abundance of produce. Sometimes I just lack abundant ideas. I even had a girlfriend just call me yesterday all fired up with enthusiasm because she just read several of Fuhrman's books and was wondering how to craft a menu based on the principals she learned. I will be pointing her to your site for sure.

    Also, wanted to share that I recently read your e-book on Nurturing Creativity. It spoke to me in so many ways. I just did a post on my blog today about the process my husband and I went through the past several months to define our "Family Values" and Creativity is one of our values. Reading your book re-affirmed to me our decision as well as the importance of seeking my own creative outlets (not making it just about my kids or my husband's creative needs).

    I know you must be struggling to keep things all together as your life moves through various stages of transition, but your continued, optimistic, honest voice is such an encouragement to me and so many other women. Please soak up the collective voices of those who think of you as a kindred spirit and let us re-charge you! Thank you thank you!

    Oh, and I'd also be interested in the group home school option...


    • renee

      renee on July 13, 2012, 11:58 a.m.

      Oh, thank you Ashley. I am so, so happy to help your family on your healthy eating and creative living journey. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Hugs. 


  • Joy

    Joy on July 13, 2012, 10:44 a.m.

    A) I'm looking forward to your salad e-book; your unique take on ALL things will I'm sure show itself in this book and what's been written about before will take on new life under your (figurative) pen :)

    B) I'd LOVE the group homeschool coaching option! Even though we're entering our 3rd year (my oldest will turn 8 in Sept.) I still feel like a newbie so often. Bless you and all your endeavours!


  • Lisa

    Lisa on July 13, 2012, 5:18 p.m.

    I think the group rate would be great. I would be interested in guidance with reading difficulties. Thanks


    • renee

      renee on July 13, 2012, 9:49 p.m.

      Lisa, I'm not a reading expert (at all) but I do have two posts coming about reading difficulties, specifically dyslexia. So stay tuned. 


  • Sharon

    Sharon on July 16, 2012, 5:40 a.m.

    Oh, Renee, I cannot wait for your book to be available, and plan to purchase both yours and Heather's. I loved your additions to her recent 30-Day vegan course and welcome your perspective on the topic you are both covering. If you both deem it worthy of a more in depth look, then it must be so!

    Sending you blessings and peace. (For me? I am just wishing for patience for this e-book!)



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