Annie started swaying and moving to the groove of Simphiwe Dana’s Let’s Go Dancing as she walked through the door of Ruby’s Café with LJ.

“Do you realize you are dancing, “smiled LJ.

Annie nodded laughingly, “This is our first combined book club meeting of the year, and I am so excited. We’ve all read “The Way of Integrity: Finding the Path To Your True Self”  by Martha Beck, and to come together to discuss it and enjoy one another’s company is something I’ve looked forward to since our last combined meeting. We should have them more than four times a year.” She stopped to take off her coat and hug Ruby, who was happily greeting other patrons.

“I’m so happy to see you two beautiful people,” said Ruby as she hugged Annie and LJ, “Thanks again for hosting your book club meeting here. The private dining room is ready. Enjoy your evening, and I will stop by to make sure you have everything you need.”

As they walked into the warm and engaging atmosphere in the dining room, they saw their friends chatting happily around a beautiful charcuterie board.

Paula waved at Annie, “just in time, Sis, and you’re going to be very happy when you see Ruby’s delicious appetizers; everything is organic and fresh. Look at the colors of these beautiful fruits, veggies, olives, and roasted chickpeas. She also included homemade hummus to go with the whole wheat crackers and sourdough baguette rounds.”

Annie nodded approvingly, “what I’m also noticing is what Ruby did not include. There are no processed meats or cheese, which is good since processed foods are energy-dense. They are high in saturated fats and calories with little to no nutritional value compared to whole nutrient-dense food high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. There’s no red meat either, which contains haem, a compound that promotes the formation of a potentially carcinogenic environment in the gut.”

LJ joined their conversation, “considering March is colorectal awareness month, this charcuterie spread is timely. There are no packaged crackers or white bread; both have refined starches, saturated fats added sugar and salt with less dietary fiber, few minerals, and vitamins.”

“Here’s Ruby’s healthy and yummy menu for our meeting,” said Paula.

“I hope you like it,” said Ruby as she checked the charcuterie spread. I wanted to make sure the menu was substantial and delicious.”

“I’m pretty sure we’re going to enjoy it just like always,” said Annie. “ I mentioned to Paula you have not included any inflammatory foods, soda, and other sweet drinks. The amount of sugar in those drinks makes you thirsty, so you keep drinking them, and that leads to overeating.”

Ruby nodded, “thanks for noticing. I am committed to providing food that does not harm. If I can help my customers shift their relationship with food to see it as a nutritional resource for good health, I will have accomplished my real goal in opening my restaurant. Of course, deliciousness is also a goal but healthy first. I’m serving my popular nightcap Cherry Smoothie, so you bookworms can go home ready for a good night’s sleep. Its ingredients are calming and relaxing, especially the cherries which are also known to inhibit and decrease inflammation.”

“I know I speak for all of us when I say thank you for providing these delicious meals that are healthy and healing, “said LJ. There are a few other tips to share when it comes to colon health:

  • Only eat whole food
  • Exercise daily
  • Drink lots of water daily
  • Limit alcohol
  • Avoid coffee creamers that are made with oil and corn fructose
  • Maintain a healthy weight; obesity increases the risk of colon cancer
  • Get regular colon cancer screenings beginning at age 45
  • Stop smoking


Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.



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