Knowing Thy Self


By Chef Deborah Lieder

The beauty of the human race is that no two individuals are alike. It allows us the opportunity to explore a variety of ways of life, especially when it comes to food. No two bodies are alike and therefore, no two diets will be the same. One body needs more protein, the other more iron, one is prone to heart issues, and the other autoimmune; the combinations and lists are endless.

It gives us a platform to know what works for the general public and from there we build to what our own individual needs are. We receive help and insight from those who have traveled that road before and then we make it our own, tailored to fit our unique, beautiful, individual selves.

The basis for healthy eating comes with a few rules of thumb. It is important to eat lots of vegetables of variety and color, drink lots of water, and don’t overdo the meat. We need small amounts of quality mineral-containing salts, and consuming healthy fats is important for our organ and brain wellness. Plus, using sugar from natural sources is best!

From there, it is we who have to sense, how does dairy fair for my body? Does it like gluten? How do I feel after I consume these foods? Merely stopping for a moment to pay attention to what our body is telling us after we eat, and adjusting our diet accordingly, does us a world of good in the health and longevity department.

Part of being our best sense of self, looking our best, feeling our best, is to feed our body the best nutrients. We can receive a large portion of that from the food we eat and how we treat our bodies. The benefit is that it becomes part of what makes us special and unique individuals.

Use fresh, peak-season ingredients; try from your local farmers market for the best flavors!

Sweet Potato Salad

3 lb. Sweet Potato, peeled and diced
2 c. Corn
4 ea. Table Carrots, peeled and diced
5 oz. Spring Mix
3 ea. Tomato, diced
4 ea. Avocado, diced
1 c. Pumpkin Seeds, toasted, some reserved for topping
½ c. White Vinegar
½ c. Olive Oil – plus extra for roasted vegetables
2 T. Oregano
2 t. Fire Spice Blend by Spice Girl
Salt and Pepper to taste


In a medium saucepan, boil sweet potato until tender; do not overcook or the salad becomes mushy. Heat oven to 400, place corn on a sheet pan and dress with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Toss carrots with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on sheet pan and roast for 35 minutes. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together, top with toasted pumpkin seeds. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 15-20.


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