Two days before the Marvelous! 5th Anniversary Party, I was in the emergency room with four of the symptoms women experience when having a heart attack—pressure in my chest, a pounding pulse and palpitations, shortness of breath, and fatigue. I didn’t have a heart attack, but I did have a wake-up call. We don’t know yet what is wrong with me, but while we are figuring it out, I am using all of the tools available to me to take responsibility for my health—scheduling medical tests, eating a primarily plant-based diet, seeing Erik Hardin for acupuncture and herbs, recording my blood pressure, and educating myself about what I ingest and what my body does with it.
Our Marvelous! Woman in this issue, Amanda Thornton, has dedicated her life to encouraging women to take control of their own health. She puts her whole heart into everything she does. I hope she inspires you to be brave about your own health.
It’s so easy to let things go when we feel good, to convince ourselves we deserve a load of sugar after a hard day, and then something happens. Don’t wait. Listen to Amanda. Ask questions. Pay attention to what you put in your body and understand what it turns into. There is a shocking amount of sugar in almost every processed food. Eat whole foods. There are so many documentaries available now about the dangers of sugar and the scientifically proven benefits of eating whole foods. I guarantee these programs will raise your eyebrows in addition to your awareness, and help you change your habits.
Our home story involves a woman who has been a vegetarian for decades. Heather Marsalis and her husband, David, brought David’s mother, Willene, home to live with them when it was time for her to give up her own home. Heather is a great cook. Willene has never tasted many of the dishes Heather makes, but thankfully, she’s thrilled with the culinary adventure. Bringing a parent home is a common discussion here in the Twin Lakes Area, one of the top retirement communities in the country. I hope Willene’s story will give you something to talk about.
If you need a little help in the kitchen, you might think about the girlfriend getaway Joyce Cameron takes us on in this issue. She and a whole bunch of girlfriends celebrated Shana Hopper’s birthday at The Viking Cooking School in Greenwood, Mississippi. It’s surprisingly close, and there’s a fabulous spa at the hotel next door.
Of course, Estella Tullgren, who writes Bella’s Table, our most popular feature, never disappoints with the recipes she offers. Enjoy!
Our April/May theme is home and garden. You’ll love the tiny railroad community Marilyn Allen and her husband, Fred, have created in their garden. It’s filled with tiny, adorable scenes, and it’s such a spectacularly unique garden feature, with an actual operating train!
If you’re a gardener, you’re probably familiar with Vicki Garner’s garden show on KTLO. She shares with us in the Marvelous! Voices essay the inspiration she still feels from having grown up in her grandparents’ gardens.
Here’s to a healthy, happy Spring filled with flowers and vegetables! M! April/Mary 2016
Love and peace,