Articles and Interviews | The Best Books to Give and Receive This Season | EAT CLEAN LIVE WELL

Jessica Murnane | | December 2, 2015

I went to a Catholic grade school. Which meant when second grade rolled around I donned a fancy white dress and did the First Communion thing. To celebrate the occasion, my dad said I could get ANYTHING I wanted. We weren’t balling out, but this was a big event and he told me to really think about something special. But the choice for me was easy and either I was really naive about what “ANYTHING” meant or I was a complete nerd…because I chose a book. A SINGLE book. A The Babysitter’s Club book to be exact. Two years later when my younger sister celebrated her first communion and got the same offer. She asked for a hot air balloon ride. And got it.

Even today my favorite present to give/get is a really great book. A healthy cookbook for someone trying to change their diet. A self-helpy one for someone that needs a little boost. Or just a straight-up pretty book that will make someone feel cooler displaying it on their coffee table.


For real, I use this book A LOT.

This year for my holiday roundup I decided to share my picks for what I know best…all things books. None are very pricey, but all are really special…so they’d be great for your office Secret Santa or someone very, very special. Buy one and wrap it up pretty or choose a theme and bundle a whole bunch of them together. And don’t forget to write a little something on the inside cover.

Oh, and Dad if you’re reading this and I get a do-over on the gift thing …I’ve got my eye on this and this. I mean, you did say ANYTHING.




COOKBOOKS [v=vegetarian, vg = vegan, gf= gluten-free]

Eat Clean Live Well by Terry Walters (v, gf)
The latest installment by my favorite plant-based author.

My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life by Ruth Reichl
I love this book for 136 reasons and it’s not just for the recipes.

The Year Of Cozy by Adrianna Adarme
This book makes you want to do, live, and love more.

Two Moms In The Raw by Shari Koolik Leidich (gf)
An inspiring story + full of recipes to prove how good food can heal.

Crossroads by Tal Ronnen (vg)
Advanced plant-based cooking at it’s finest.

Not new this year, but you can’t go wrong with…
Clean Food by Terry Walters (vg, gf)
Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz (vg)
Afro-Vegan by Bryant Terry (vg)
YumUniverse by Heather Crosby (vg, gf)


EATING CLEAN TO LIVE WELL | Guest Blog on | November 23, 2015

Sarah-Brassard-Logo2 | November 23, 2015
This guest blog post comes from Terry Walters, best-selling cookbook author. I have been a long-time fan of Terry’s, and I am incredibly honored to share the second of two guests posts written by her for It’s Occurred to Me in honor of Thanksgiving. I hope these thoughts change the way you think about food. Terry’s latest book, Eat Clean Live Well, is available now.


Kale is not the answer…but it certainly reflects the question I get asked the most. “What is the best thing I can include in my diet to be healthy?” If only it were that easy.

With so many advances and so much knowledge in the realm of food and nutrition, it feels like we should “get it” already. The perfect diet should be easy to figure out. Good health…guaranteed! And yet, sometimes it feels like the more we know, the further we move from the truth.

The components of “clean” are well known and supported – eat all of the colors of the rainbow and all five tastes, know the source of your food and buy local (or grow your own) when possible, and eat a variety of foods and not too much of any one. But for all that we know and do, we are no healthier for it.

What have we forgotten along the way? For the answer, I turn to my mother’s kitchen. There I can remember anxiously anticipating dinner, feeling my mouth water and my stomach grumble, the ritual of setting the table, the coming together of my whole family to share the meal, and the connection and conversation that we all craved at the end of the day. The food was the vehicle that brought us together, but the nourishment came from so much more than the meal.

For all of the diets and trends that elevate some foods to super-food status and relegate whole food groups to the equivalent of evil, we continue to miss the point. Good health does not come from the foods alone, but from the habits around the foods as well. We can certainly create imbalance by eating poorly, but that same imbalance is fueled by how we eat as much as by what we eat. I would argue that the one most important piece missing from our diets and keeping us from achieving good health and balance is time.

Time to learn about the different foods available, time to prepare healthy food, time to sit and eat our meals without distraction, to chew, to digest, to appreciate, to savor, to enjoy, to connect, to listen… There are no short cuts to good health, and there is no new approach that can compensate for all that is lost when we sacrifice nutrition for convenience. With so much stress and so much rushing from one thing to the next, we could improve our health without even changing what we eat if we only just slowed down and took the time to breathe, make healthy choices, and nourish ourselves. That is my secret ingredient, and I suspect if we all embraced it just a little more, if we slowed down long enough to breathe deeply and lock in our positive intentions, than we could better embrace our clean food diet and the good health and wellness that it manifests.

Eat clean live well,



EDIBLE ALLEGHENY | 7 Hot Reads That’ll Make Summer Cooking A Breeze

Edible Allegheny | May 21, 2015 | by Andrea Bosco  | Photograph by Michael Fornataro

“My family thought I was crazy when I threw avocado halves on the grill, until I filled them with this salsa,” writes Terry Walters. “One taste and they were hooked on eating avocados out of the shells, too.” Walters’ recipe for Grilled Avocado with Tomato Peach Salsa is just one of many, sectioned by season, to inspire your journey to better health. Accompanying her easy instructions are personal stories, traditions, and annual approaches to clean food cooking and healthy living. Walters shows us the way to keep our bodies in balance with the cycles of the seasons.