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Sunshine Pancakes Recipe and Karen’s Story

Posted May 12 2011 9:35pm

Hello Sunshine!

Oh, did you think I was talking to you? I mean, err I was, but I was also talking to these…

pancakes 1

My beautiful ‘Sunshine Pancakes’. They are my newest breakfast creation made with my favorite Trader Joe’s mix . It’s super simple – the directions call for 1 cup dry mix, a generous 1/2 cup milk of choice, and 1 egg. I simply replaced 1/4 cup of the milk with fresh squeezed orange juice.



The O.J. imparts a bright, fresh flavor and just a hint of additional sweetness. The pancakes are light, fluffy, and perfect for warm spring morning.

I could go on and on about how good they taste, but I would really rather you find out for yourself…

pancakes 4

Is it time for breakfast yet? ;)

In addition to this easy and scrumptious breakfast recipe, I have the honor and privilege of sharing the inspirational story of a reader’s journey toward a healthier self. Without further ado, here’s Karen…

Karen’s Story

Over the last few years, my story has been one of periods of what felt like peak health and fitness, weight loss of more than 20 kilos, and total change in my diet to one of primarily raw foods.

While I was focusing my energy on eating healthily and as much of a high raw diet as I could manage – which included 6 months around 95% raw (if it is possible to really work that as a percentage), other things in my life were also changing dramatically.

My husband and I separated when I was about three months into my raw lifestyle – and no, I don’t think me going raw was the reason he moved out after 20 + years together.

Later that year my father died, and around the same time I began a 2 and a half year relationship with a new partner (who I met via an online dating site).

Throughout that time, I have no doubt that eating high raw helped my emotions stay on an even keel. Mentally I was clear and focused, my energy levels were high and my need for sleep was less than it had been.

One of the key things I found interesting during the 6 months of high raw was that I lost the 20kgs of weight with no exercise other than what I did normally every day – which mostly involved walking round the house, to and from the car, round the supermarket, and up and down from my desk at work. As the weight dropped off, I did go on a few more adventures, including the 1 hour walk up to a cave high in the hills overlooking the sea near my home.

Barnett Park cave

The first time I walked this track with a group of female friends, I had to stop frequently for breaks – although admittedly we walked it at dusk, after a day I had spent in a seminar with no chance to eat.

final stairs

Next time I made the trip on my own, with so much more energy – no doubt helped by the fact I was noticeably lighter on my feet – with less to push up the hill.

view from cave

In relation to my health, there are a few other factors in play which have affected my levels of physical activity over the years to some extent. Don’t get me wrong, I have done good stretches of regular gym attendance and followed Bill Phillips Body for Life programme for a year or more, so I was no stranger to workout programs and resistance training. I must say though – resistance to doing any training is probably my natural state.

But I digress. When I was about nine, I was diagnosed as having lymphedema in my right leg – a shortage of lymph nodes that means each day my leg swells during the day with fluid and goes down at night. The longer I am on my feet – or the more vigorous upright activity I do, the more the swelling increases.

Over the last year or so, my eating patterns have moved towards being less and less raw, for various reasons. And perhaps inevitably, some of the weight has come back on.

At the same time, my energy levels have dropped, and the wonderful mental clarity I was enjoying is not quite there in the same way. And more worryingly, I have started experiencing something that my research suggests may be related to diabetic neuropathy.

In that same right leg, from time to time I get a sensation of heat flooding through my foot, which can’t be felt on the outside. Weird sensation, not painful, but not nice. Yes, definitely time to get it checked out by a professional, rather than waiting for diabetic foot pain symptoms to show up!

I am really hoping that this is a case of a mistaken self-diagnosis and that something completely different is going on, but in the meantime, it is time to get my health back on track.

So I am starting over. I am back into my morning green smoothies – fresh leafy greens, fruit and water, blended into a beautiful green breakfast and lunch. It may be too much information, but I will be booking in for some colon therapy in the next week or so to get things all cleaned out, oh and – I’m getting married in two weeks, so that will be the biggest change of all!

karen at the cave

I am looking forward to the increased energy, dropping some kilos again and feeling more on top of everything – so perhaps I can drop you another line in a few months and keep you updated!

Karen Brown

Christchurch, New Zealand


Karen, I so appreciate you sharing your story. I love that you are trying to listen to your body to identify the best foods and lifestyle choices that will help you reach your healthiest and happiest self. I do hope that you will continue to keep us updated on your progress, congratulations and best wishes for your upcoming wedding!

Share your thoughts and words of encouragement for Karen!

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