For my local Peeps! How-to Eat with L.O.V.E.

Today I had the honor of speaking at the Mundelein Rotary Club.  I’m sure I’m getting the name wrong but what really matters is the women and men were so welcoming to me!  This post is the hand out that I gave them after my talk.  Many of my readers know that I spent the last weekend at the Engine 2 Retreats.  I had an amazing time learning, sharing, meeting new friends and being immersed in the science of nutrition, cancer research  and preventing and reversing heart disease with a plant based diet.  

I went to college to be a biology textbook author.  That didn’t happen but my love for science stayed with me . . . I then began working at the Cancer Center at the University of Michigan having a blast learning from the absolute best in the world, which lead to working in the lab . . . such a long winding road of interesting opportunities that I embraced 110%!  My resume is a crazy mix of science, research, food service, and early childhood development.  I know, right!  So much to learn, so little time.

My dad died at 49.  I was 7 years old.  My mom died after a long battle with heart disease which included a heart transplant!  I don’t want to die like them.  The reasons I have chosen a plant based diet are numerous and I’m currently writing them all down in an e-book “47 Reasons I don’t eat meat”.  My Mom and Dad are both in the book.  If they knew what I know–they hopefully would have made a different choice.  When I look into the eyes of my amazing kids–I eat plants for them.  I want to see my grand babies.  I know I may not–but I’d rather say I did everything in my power than to have one speck of regret.  Some days I’m more successful than others–but each day I wake up with the intention to be the love and light, while I eat plants.  Will you join me?

Eat with L.O.V.E.


(Local, Organic, Veggies, Everyday)


Grocery Stores:

Trader Joe’s




Farmer’s Markets:


Mundelein–Friday 3-7 pm at the new Village Hall 300 Plaza Circle in downtown Mundelein

Libertyville–Thursday morning 7 am-1pm through October 16, located next to the library 

Radical Root Farm–Saturday morning 8 am-1 pm, 31330 N. Milwaukee Ave, Libertyville


Local CSA’s (community supported agriculture)


My favorite is Tomato Mountain Farms.  They deliver directly to my house!  I can pick and choose the season and the size of the share.  The website is  Tomato Mountain also has an online store with items being delivered with you box–I have eggs delivered each week and maple syrup on occasion.  All of the products are local.  

If you have no idea how to pick a CSA–read this!

I’m new this year to Sandhill Farms.  They have a meat share, dairy share, egg share, vegetable share and fruit share.  This farm is located in the Praire Crossing community.  You can find out more at their website

Radical Root Farm is a CSA as well as having a Farmer’s Market. I love the idea that a young family are also pursuing a career in organic farming!  This CSA has some added benefits such as 20% off the farm stand produce, rescheduling for vacations AND a CSA menu planning tips and meal ideas with the produce in your box.  Very handy!




  • Set your intention.
  • Drink more water.  (yeah, water isn’t exactly a plant but . . . ) Water cleans out your system, gets things moving, and cleans your palate allowing your taste buds to experience the new foods that you might be trying.
  • Buy plants!  Kale, Swiss Chard, spinach, collard greens–they need to be in your fridge!
  • Figure out how to cook them!  I have several videos on the website that show how to prepare greens for cooking.
  • Start small.  A green smoothie in the morning.  My favorite is so simple–1/2 banana, splash of juice and a handful of spinach.  Blend it up.  (I have graduated to adding a little kale, swiss chard and other mixed greens, but it took a long time!)
  • If you don’t want to cut, dice, slice and prep a variety of veggies–Sunset has a great salad bar that has cut up veggies.  Make it easy on yourself.
  • Organic vs. Conventional–doesn’t matter!  Research has shown that eating plants reduces the chances of developing heart disease, diabetes, and dementia. 
  • Eat a fistful of greens 4 times a day.
  • Prepare your veggies on Sunday night–or another time where you can devote 2 hours.
  • Health care is self-care.  A plant based diet gets your blood flowing in ALL areas of your body!  
  • Create a schedule of meals.  Each morning have oatmeal with fruit, at lunch have a salad loaded with veggies and just a balsamic vinegar salad dressing (ditch the processed dressings!) and for dinner . . . kale with salsa, beans and rice loaded with peppers, onions, jicama.  Or a simple veggie soup/chili/chowder.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Make one change at a time.
  • Try one new green at a time.


Share and Enjoy

  • RSS
  • Email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
chipolte dip close up

I’m a Spicy Vegan!

Spicy Goodness!

I have tons and tons of spices.  I recently had the opportunity to go to Whole Foods.  When we lived in Ann Arbor–I had two!  two! that I passed by each day.  Now–going to Whole Foods is very much a plan ahead–not only is it far away but I take the opportunity to stock up on my favorites like this soup base.  Sorry for the rant . . . I still miss home!

CRAVINGSchipolte dip close up

As a vegan I still have cravings.  Crunchy, salty and creamy are my dietary Achilles heel!  Yes, I believe that my mother must have dipped me in a vat of chip dip when I was a small child.  I love chips and dip.  Chips and guacamole.  

I developed this recipe to cure my cravings AND keep me true to the desire to eat without harm.  This recipe does both!

Sweet Potato Chips

I found these yummy sweet potato chips at Target.  I know, I know.  I never, ever thought that Target would be my go to place for food.  (As I write this I’m actually back home in Ann Arbor!  soaking up all the culinary delights!  These chips aren’t exactly health food but they do have a lot of vitamin A!  

 dip on tray

[yumprint-recipe id='13'] Are you going to make this?  If you do–send me a photo and I’ll add it onto my Pinterest page or send me a link!  I want Renee’s Kitchen to be an incredible resource for plant-based meals!





Share and Enjoy

  • RSS
  • Email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Cowboy Beans (non-vegan)

Hubs Favoritecowboybeans

My husband and I don’t really agree on food.  We both love food but as the years have passed . . . I eat fruits and veggies and he tries to avoid them.  So what’s a girl to do?

Make the Best Choice

The hardest part of being a vegan mom is cooking for those that I love.  They don’t embrace my compassionate eating style.  I’m ok with that.  I am respectful of the choices that they make BUT I still need to reconcile the fact that I buy meat and cook it for them.  

Cowboy Beans

Cowboy beans are one of my husbands favorite meals.  It isn’t really a meal in my opinion but his Mom made this recipe and it serves as his own kind of comfort food.  I indulge.  I buy organic ingredients.  I cringe.  But above all else, I make it with love. 


It is his meal not mine.  It is his comfort food not mine.  It reminds him of his Mom.  I can’t possibly take that away from him.  I took a vow of honor and that extends to food.  

[yumprint-recipe id='12'] For this recipe I used organic celery, organic onions and local ground beef.  I may not save the world with this recipe but some days you just need to do your best and call it a good day!cowboybeanrecipe

Eat L.O.V.E.,


Share and Enjoy

  • RSS
  • Email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn