Both published authors, sisters Christine (Stewart, Tabori, & Chang) and Stephanie (Thriving You, Thriving Life) have had divergent, but culminating paths. Extraordinary women, both Filardi sisters were deeply impacted by the unexpected death of their father in 2007. Rising from tragedy, Christine and Stephanie both started on their respective journeys towards self-acceptance and self-sacrifice for the well-being of others. Excerpts from their books are accompanied by artwork that expands upon the Filardi sisters’ messages of optimism through diligence.
From "Home Cooking for your Dog"
by Christine M. Filardi
One of the most essential things about feeding your dog a homemade diet, or any diet for that matter, is varying your dog’s meals. No one food can provide all of the macronutrients and micornutrients needed for a healthy, balanced diet. Feeding your pet one type of food over and over again can also lead to food allergies, and variety is essential to prevent nutritional deficiencies and hypersensitivities. I like to vary my dogs’ meals every other day or every three days. And if I feed them chicken for a few days in a row, for instance, I try to feed them different carbs, fats, and vegetables each day.
...On your dedicated cooking days, chop and/or puree all the vegetables you’ll need for that part of the week and store them in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. These can be used for three days. You can also freeze them and defrost them as needed throughout the week…
Two important things to remember about feeding a homemade diet: it’s not all or nothing, and variation is key…dogs are natural scavengers and in the wild, they do not get the same meal every day or even all the nutrients they need every day, but instead over the course of short amount of time they consume all the nutrients they require. This leads to the next point: Don’t get too hung up on giving your dog everything every day. In my recipes, I suggest adding things like yogurt, wheat germ, parsley, and organ meat, but these don’t need to be added to every recipe and can be given a few times a week instead. Some dogs may not tolerate vegetables at every meal, but you can include them once a day or every other day.
Just remember not to take an all or nothing approach. You and your dog are learning a new routine...
CARROT CAKE [FOR DOGS]
2 cups chopped carrots ½ cup sunflower seed oil
2 large eggs ½ cup warm water
2 cups whole wheat flour 2 cups low-fat cream cheese
1 cup (8 ounces) canned sardines, drained
1. Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Coat an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray
2. Puree carrots in a food processor. You should have about 2 cups of carrot puree.
3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add carrot puree, flour, sardines, oil, and water. Mix well.
4. Pour batter into the prepared pan and distribute evenly. Bake for 35 minutes.
5. Allow cake to cool for 30 minutes. Ice top with cream cheese
***Can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen up to 3 months***
Excerpts from Reclaiming Joy: Your 4-Step Guide to Happy, Healthy, & Free
by Stephanie Filardi
…I drove myself hard at work, unable to disconnect even when I wasn’t working. Since I prided myself on being busy all the time, if I wasn’t working, I was exercising. I drove myself hard at the gym, as well, often working out with trainers until ten o’clock at night. I valued getting things done and wasn’t happy unless every moment was booked. I was on the hamster wheel, fueled by those stress hormones I spoke of earlier.
I was doing all these things I thought would and should make me happy, but I wasn’t happy. I was doing to avoid feeling. I was doing to fill the void.
…As traumatic experience often does, my father’s sudden death forced me to look at something very precious---the reality of time. I realized we have no guarantees as to how long we have here in the flesh…What if I worked myself so hard, I ended up sick and unable to enjoy the fruits of my labor? Or worse, what if I died young? When I turned thirty, I began to believe I wouldn’t make it past forty…
…On the path to reclaiming joy, taking inspired action requires our deep commitment. As I’ve mentioned previously, when we fully commit, the universe conspires on our behalf. In addition to receiving support from the universe, we will be shown the areas where we are resisting commitment (our shadows), so that we can work through them…
…I remember a handful of clients who told me they had no time to exercise and that was why they weren’t losing weight. It was hard for me to understand not having enough time for something that seemed pretty darn important to them. After some digging, it became clear they didn’t like exercising. In fact, some of them would tell me they hated it. The idea of going to the gym was torture…Nothing I suggested worked. Then it hit me. Rather than trying to change their mind by reiterating the benefits of exercise and weight loss (which most of them already knew) I decided to accept this and use a different approach. Enter self-discipline.
On the path to reclaiming joy, there will be things we need to do in pursuit of our larger vision that we don’t feel like doing…they need to choose some form of movement and do it, whether they like it or not…We all have twenty-four hours in a day. My day is different than yours in how I choose to “invest” those hours. I prefer the word invest to spend…If I am making choices that aren’t an investment, chances are I will feel drained. My energy leaks because I am not honoring myself, and I will feel there isn’t enough time…