The Kitchen Chemist: How I Became a Food Scientist So My Kids Could Thrive with Anaphylactic Allergies

For the past several months, I’ve been involved in an excellent collaboration with author Frances Castelli, whose compelling real-life story will offer hope and information to concerned parents. If you’re navigating the complexities of broad-spectrum anaphlyactic food allergies in your children, this book is for you. Featuring input from family and friends, including husband Ralph and children Anthony, Hope, and Natale, The Kitchen Chemist will offer practical guidance, based on the author’s personal experience, on how to accommodate your children’s allergies and help them develop into thriving, productive, and happy adults — even if they never outgrow them.

The second half of The Kitchen Chemist will be devoted to 30 mouth-watering, yet allergy-safe recipes created by the author herself. Having had the pleasure of getting to know Frances as we bring the book to fruition, she is one of the strongest, most inspiring people I have ever met. Thanks to her unrelenting pursuit of knowledge, her commitment to her kids’ well-being, and her ability to alter and create savory recipes, all three — now young adults — are fully equipped to take care of themselves and handle every situation with ease and wisdom.

It’s been a joy to discover the Castelli family’s story and interview everyone involved, especially Ralph, Anthony, Hope, and Natale, who bring their own unique perspectives to The Kitchen Chemist.

From the book description:

It is said that children don’t come with an instruction manual. Imagine standing by helplessly as your baby gasps for air and clutches her throat on the floor, unable to communicate, or breaks out in hives when a relative gives him a hug and a kiss at a holiday gathering. While most parents juggle school and work schedules, quality family time, and extracurricular activities, feeding their children is rarely a matter of life or death.

For Frances Castelli, such traumatic events were common; the adage took on an entirely new meaning when she discovered all three of her children had multiple anaphylactic food allergies.

In the Castelli household, even food we consider “healthy” could be fatal.

What would you do?

In The Kitchen Chemist, author Frances Castelli recounts her unanticipated journey into the world of broad spectrum anaphylactic allergies with humor, grace, and honesty. From consultations with endless medical specialists to in-depth research into the composition and interaction of food, you’ll discover how this devoted mother transformed from distraught parent to confident kitchen chemist. She debunks the myths, offers practical advice for parents and kids, and shares 30 safe, delicious, and easy-to-prepare recipes (yes, even desserts!). Now grown-ups with lives of their own, her children, Anthony, Hope, and Nat prove that life with food allergies can be full and enjoyable, even if they never go away. They are passionately living their dreams and want others to know they can too.

Stay tuned for updates on the 2018 release. Follow @KitchnChemistBK on Twitter and like The Kitchen Chemist Facebook Page.

Thank you, Frances, for entrusting your incredible story to me.



Ima Sumac Watkins Offering a Meditation and Intuition Tele-class

Ima Sumac Watkins Offering a Meditation and Intuition Tele-class

Having experienced Ima’s insights, talents, and counseling one-on-one, I’m looking forward to participating in this course. If you missed my interview with Ima Sumac Watkins on The Writestream, click below to listen and learn more about this fabulous woman and her life-changing services.

As noted in the interview, lately I’ve been studying the works of Florence Scovel Shinn. I’d heard of her years ago through my attendance at Unity Church in Delray Beach, where Reverend Nancy Norman often referenced her in sermons. Last year, I found her books on audio on You Tube and started listening repeatedly. Recently, I ordered her complete works in paperback and have been actively reading and taking notes every day.

Due to Shinn’s conversational writing style and ability to explain these concepts in a down-to-earth, humorous way, her books and affirmations resonate with me unlike any previously. There have been many worthy teachers (in the form of real people and books) along the way, so I’m not diminishing anyone else. I’ve learned and continue to gain lessons from all of them. It’s just that at this time, Florence Scovel Shinn seems to speak to me like no other. I highly recommend reading and studying her complete works.

And, if you, like me, also wish to talk with a contemporary practitioner, give Ima a call to register for her tele-class. Learn more about Ima Sumac Watkins at www.About.Me/iwatkins.



Review – Leslie Sansone: Walk It Off in 30 Days

When I purchased Leslie Sansone’s You Can Do Yoga, I also got Leslie Sansone: Walk It Off in 30 Days as part of my effort to mix strength training in with cardio and stretching. I’d resisted (so to speak) the idea of getting back into resistance training, but thanks to my participation in a group comprised of motivated, health-minded women, I felt inspired to give it a go.

Leslie does not disappoint in this DVD, which alternates aerobic days (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) with toning days (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday). It’s both a departure from and an extension of her previous efforts, featuring familiar moves like skater, double side step, knee lifts, and cha-cha on the “burn” track. However, she and her team of walkers also use 3-pound wrist weights to enhance the workout as they switch back and forth from brisk walking to “boosted” walking. In a few places along the way, they also “bounce” to increase heart rate.

If you’re into squats, you’ll love the toning track of this DVD. Leslie spends most of the workout on variations of squats while using weights (right now I’m using 5-pounders) to execute moves including single and double-arm rows, chest press, and bicep curls. For those who are new to squats, she talks you through the entire segment, making it easy to modify and build up your strength as you go. It definitely takes your workout to a much deeper and more difficult level, but even after just two weeks, I’ve noticed significant progress. Overall, I feel stronger and have observed muscle definition in the legs, arms, and abs (thanks to a grueling, final sequence of curls, crunches and even a Pilates move). She follows up the ab workout with a tabletop stretch — a nice move where you extend one leg back and the opposite arm straight out in front, then switch, while on hands and knees.  The toning workout ends with an wonderful stretch where you lie on your back with arms out over your head, and legs slightly apart with feet flexed — the perfect reward for hanging in and getting it done.

When my schedule allows, I workout once in the morning and once in the afternoon, alternating Walk It Off with You Can Do Yoga, since each session is only 30 minutes. But Leslie sure knows how to make every minute count! If you want to kick up your exercise regimen a notch, I highly recommend Leslie Sansone: Walk It Off in 30 Days.