Thursday, 14 August 2014

Thank You, Dr. Colin Campbell For Opening My Eyes!

Hello Everyone,

Hope you have enjoyed your summer. Despite the weather, this summer has been a summer full of memorable moments with family and friends, a summer full of collages made by my son Joseph capturing each special moment, and a summer of enlightenment, of me having a "lightbulb" moment that will affect me from this moment on...

Thank you, Dr. Colin Campbell for opening my eyes! Thank you once again to my husband for introducing me to such a remarkable man! I want you to know right now that I am not a medical professional, nor am I someone like, "Denise Minger", I'm a private school teacher who has always taught her students to be  "the best possible person they can be!" I've taught them many important life skills, one being, making them aware of the importance of proper nutrition!

I first learned about Dr. Campbell while watching the documentary, "Forks over Knives." At first I was close minded like most people are, but as I watched other interviews from Dr. Campbell, and other doctors such as Dr. Furhman, Dr. McDougall, Dr. Esselstyn, and many others, it became clear to me and made sense what all these doctors were saying, "That animal products cause diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and autoimmune diseases!"

Did I jump in right away? Hell no! I'm Italian! I like homemade sausage, meatballs, cured meats....

I fought my husband every step of the way, telling him I'm not a restaurant! I'm not going to make different meals for our family...

But then something happened...

My husband starting losing weight and I wasn't! That made me mad! So I thought I will try this whole food plant-based diet and see...

Guess what? I started to lose weight and effortlessly! I was still eating meat and dairy products but in smaller portions until 3 days ago when I decided to try it cold my parents' home up North!

My dad's garden!
Judging from this garden, do you think I would have any trouble finding anything plant-based here? No GMO food in this garden! My challenge was not outside but family! Remember...I'm Italian! I've been told at the dinner table that if I talk anymore about the benefits of eating whole and plant-based foods and why animal products are bad for us, I will be force fed chicken!

Not kidding! They have realized now that I am serious about this lifestyle change!

Listen, who am I to tell you what to do? I'm not a doctor, but these guys are! Dr. Colin Campbell has dedicated over 40 years researching how food affects the human body!

Don't take my word for it! Go on the internet, search the above-named doctors, and watch the movie!

What do you have to lose? Except the excess weight you've been trying to lose for a long time and failed!

What do you have to gain? Optimal health, improve your quality of life, live disease free and maybe out live most of your friends and family...

I plan to...

And so should you!

I plan to spread the word and educate those who will listen, beginning with my family! My kids already eat a variety of plant-based foods. I've given them the facts to decide for themselves one day!

In the meantime, I will do what I love most...cook! I decide what goes in their mouth for now...
Gluten free veggie lasagna. Kids loved it!
Brown rice, chick pea, and cabbage pilaf!

Stuffed zucchini from my dad's garden, no meat!

Choose a fork over a knife and feel better!

God Bless,

Sandra Perri

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

I'll Love You Forever!

Hello, everyone
"I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my babies you'll be." (Robert Munsch)
Don't you love this book? 13 years ago today, my life changed forever, for the better! Two angels were sent to me from above! Happy 13th birthday, Michael & Joseph! Where has the time gone? It feels like only yesterday when we were celebrating your 1st birthday!
The boys at 1 yrs. old

You are teenagers now! You are on your way to adulthood and it's my job to prepare you for this journey!
Here is my advice:
1. Remember to always strive to be the best possible person you can be even when others don't think you can!
2. Live life to the fullest everyday as if it were your last!
3. Don't sweat the small stuff!
4. Remove things and people who bring the worst out in you and make your life toxic!
5. Surround yourself with things that bring out the best in you!
6. Remember, Family is everything!
7. Be passionate in all you do!
and finally...
Live every moment, Laugh every day, and Love beyond words!

Today, you were surrounded by family and friends, and thanks to Skype, we were able to all sing Happy Birthday to you, even while on vacation! The pizza was burnt (not my best, but good) Right, Joseph? Your birthday cake was perfect, until the top layer slid off the plate...Never make a three-layer cake with whipping cream as the filling in a hot climate!

Make a wish
Checkerboard cake! Not bad, for my first attempt!
Special family moments!

I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always (well, most of the time), as long as I'm living my babies you'll be...

I love you no matter what...

Never forget that!

Love you, 

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Anyone Can Bake!

Hello everyone,

Summer vacation is here! I have 8 weeks of focusing on my new found passion...BAKING! Yes, it's true...anyone can bake! I've been asked by many people to teach them how to bake. My response, "Can you read? Then you can bake." It's that simple. Until recently...

Recently, my husband has opened my eyes to food. He has me on this plant-based diet which requires me to eliminate all animal products! He is convinced this will help me with all my recent medical issues. I'm on board, the only problem is that I'm finding it difficult to bake with all these restrictions! Check out the documentary: website: (youtube 8 minute video) and decide for yourself!

I've been on vacation for 3 days and I've done nothing but bake, bake, bake...for the kids, of course...
Did I mention that I love to bake? Especially for others. This is my special way of showing the ones I hold so close and dear to me just how much they mean to me.

Cranberry Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies
Anyone can bake, I mean it! You need the bare essentials: a stand mixer (my best Mother's Day gift), measuring cups and spoons, preferably stainless steel (another gift from my family), and patience!

Strawberry Banana Muffins
Patience looking for the best recipes, and boy there are plenty! The trick is to search for recipes from bloggers who are very detailed. Many of them display step by step pics of recipes that make baking very easy! The other trick I learned to to scroll down to the comments and see what people are saying about the recipe. I've learned many good baking techniques this way!

Pumpkin Chocolate chip cookies

Other than that, you need one last ingredient...PASSION! Baking should never feel like housework...

It's an art form, a reflection and an extension of oneself, a way to express one's creative side...

What's stopping you, then?

Roll up your sleeves, dust off your mixer and get baking!

Bon Appetit!


Monday, 16 June 2014

Happy Birthday, Lil' Man!

Hello everyone!

Eleven years ago today, the sun shone brighter than usual, the birds sang more beautifully than any other day, because a sweet angel was born! His name is Edmundo Eugenio and today is his birthday! This post is dedicated to you, lil' man!
Edmundo at 18 months old!

Edmundo is a miniature version of his great-grandfather! He has the wisdom of a man who has lived more than 80 years, just in a boy's body. He is often called an "old soul" by his mom and I. Sometimes, he teaches us life lessons!
Me & my Lil' Man!

Happy 11th Birthday Edmundo!

All the family singing Happy Birthday after Italy wins!

Zebra Cake, Edmundo style!

Edmundo, I just want you to know how proud I am of you. You are one of the sweetest, kind-hearted, respectful, courageous, and loving kids I know! I am privileged to call you my nephew! You are the mediator when Joseph and Michael don't get along and you seem to always find a way to resolves their issues. You are patient and caring towards your little brother, even when he drives you crazy! You are helpful and take the initiative when you see your mom is stressed!

Never change! Even when others change, even when others disappoint you, never let life's hardships take away your innocence, your passion, and your love of life.

You are destined for greatness! Follow your dreams and aim for the stars...

The sky's the limit...You only need to believe in yourself!

Love you,

Zizi Sandra

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Happy Birthday Lil' Sis!

Hello Everyone,

This post is dedicated to my little sister! She is a loving, dedicated, selfless sister, mother, daughter, and nurse, who has over the years proven what many believed was impossible...not for her! If someone said, "You can never do that", her response would be, "Just watch me!" and she always proved them wrong!

I wish I had her strength and courage!
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Lemon Depression Cake

Me and my lil' sis' on my wedding day!

Happy Birthday Cathy! 
The best way I can show you that I love you other than telling you and being there for you in good times and bad is...BAKE FOR YOU!

Baking is my way to create something for the ones I love and boy, I must love you soooo much since your first cake was a disaster! Did I give up? Of course not! Us Perri sisters persevere, no matter what the odds are!

I want to thank Pinterest again for posting a recipe that is eggless, nut-free and now gluten-free (

My nephew is allergic to eggs and nuts and my other little sister is allergic to gluten! I was determined to bake a cake that satisfied all their restrictions, but it was not meant to be...

My first attempt at an eggless, nut and gluten-free carrot cake looked and tasted like rubber! My kids thought it tasted good, but found it hard to cut the cake, so I suggested they tear it apart!

As you tasted your birthday cake today, I saw the smile on your face. It was priceless and locked in my memory forever!

Lil' sis, I just want you to know how much you are loved by your family and friends! You were surrounded by many of those people today and received many messages from many more who were too far to celebrate with you, but were there in spirit!

If Nanna and Paparanni were here today, they would be smiling from ear to ear, proud to have raised you from childbirth and proud to say that you are their granddaughter! They helped to shape you into the woman you are today! A woman with strong family values, a woman who despite the many downs in her life, always manages to "see the cup as half full!"

You are the wind beneath my wings when times are tough and I want to give up, you are my hope and faith when I lose it, you are...

My hero, my lil' sis for life!

Love you, Cati!

We are blessed,


Sunday, 13 April 2014

Live Everyday Like it's Your Last!

Hello everyone,

The last few months have been bitter cold and even though Spring is finally here, I am still not able to fight any illness around me! Yes, I practise regular hand washing, but to no avail! Hopefully, the sunnier and warmer weather will combat these lurking germs and I can get  back to writing this blog on a weekly basis!
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Life brings ups and downs, cherished moments with the ones you hold closest to your heart, heartache and disappointment with the ones you hold closet to your heart...

Live life to the fullest! How many times have you heard this expression? Live everyday like it's your last! How many of us do this daily? I know I don't.

We only start living once we've been through a life altering untimely death of a loved one, a health scare, or like in my case,when the child becomes the adult and teaches the mom a life lesson!

He sent me this while I was writing this post and I was left speechless...

Confirmation once again that all the preaching and teaching I've been doing is paying off and that I'm not the horrible parent I thought I was.

I think I will start living everyday like it's my last because one day it will be and I won't even know it!

I tell my kids to never go to bed upset with someone because you don't want those words to be the last ones you say to someone you love or care about!

Let go of the toxic people in your life and hold on to the people who bring out the best in you...

Keep calm and everything will be fine...

Words to live by everyday...

Especially during your darkest moments...

Eventually things work out for the best!

God Bless and Happy Easter

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Happy Saint Joseph's Day!

Hello Everyone,

Today is a special day: Saint Joseph's Day! This post is dedicated to my wonderful son, Joseph!

I've been busy looking for the perfect recipe for zeppole! Zeppole are a yummy pastry made traditionally on Saint Joseph's Day by Italians! For those of you who are not familiar with the story behind this wonderful holiday, here is the short version..."Some say that the tradition of St. Joseph’s Day began in Sicily, during the Middle Ages. There was a severe drought. The people prayed for St. Joseph, their patron saint, to intervene. They promised him that, if he answered their prayers and brought rain, they would prepare a big feast in his honor. Their prayers were answered and the rains came! The people of Sicily prepared a feast for their patron Saint and zepolle were the desert made on this day!"

Thank you once again Pinterest for a great recipe! I used both sites to make my version of zeppole to suit my Joseph's needs! ( and

Thank you, Michael for measuring and cutting 3' squares of parchment paper for me! I know, I will dedicate a post for you on St. Michael's Day, though I am not sure there is a traditional desert made on that day! You can pick from the many delicious deserts we have already made together!

Joseph is named after his wonderful grandfather, Giuseppe! Everyday that passes I discover something new I love about him! His kind and generous heart, his ability to create interesting dragons out of clay, his infectious laugh, and most of all , his old soul! I see bits of his great grandparents and grandparents in him, and maybe a little bit of me too!

The first batch of zeppole didn't turn out as I hoped, so I made a second batch and they were perfect! I like both recipes, though I prefer the traditional zeppole with custard or whip cream! Joseph enjoyed his chocolate zeppole and already requested zeppole for next year!

Baking for the ones I love puts a smile on their faces and leaves them begging me for more! This makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

Baking is an art, a creation from the heart, that is shared and enjoyed by family and friends!

Baking is my new found love...

What is yours?

God Bless,