Before we jump into this easy peasy almond and cranberry salad, I found this quote and I wanted to share it with all of you.

“Success depends on getting good at saying no without feeling guilty. You cannot get ahead with your own goals if you are always saying yes to someone else’s projects. You can only get ahead with your desired lifestyle if you are focused on the things that will produce that lifestyle.”

Jack Canfield, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul.


Why did I want to share it?

Well, I guess I just thought that it was pretty. And true. And really made me take a step back and re-read it a few times.

The past six years I’ve been to over 300 doctors, I’ve had two bone marrow biopsies, thousands of needles and test tubes of blood drawn, countless MRI’s, CT Scans, X-Rays, Diagnoses, etc… the list goes on. And I sometimes wonder how I have made it this far. I do.

I honestly do.

Sometimes I sit in my apartment at midnight and listen to this song (which I love) and look back at pictures on my cork board of when I was 25 and healthy before any of this nonsense started. And it’s just crazy, right?


Do you ever do that? Look back at pictures and think about those days… long ago.

Anyway, back to the point I’m trying to make…

This quote was interesting to me because 6 years ago, 4 years ago, etc. success meant something far beyond what it means to me now.

What is success?

I don’t really know. I’m actually not even sure anymore.

When I was in corporate America working at VOGUE, I thought it meant to have a fancy work title and fancy clothes and to make a lotta money.

But that’s not it.

I used to think it was being on TV and being on the NY Times best seller list.

But that’s not it either.


I used to think it was finding a husband, getting married, having babies, painting a white picket fence around a cute little house in Nantucket and baking cookies all day.

Well, that’s not quite it either.

Honestly, these past few months have been rough with this Lyme Disease treatment. I’m not gunna lie.

It’s been pretty painful. And difficult. But I’m staying strong and fighting.

And ya know what?

I think that’s success.

Actually. I KNOW it is.

Yes, to me success it owning my body and helping myself detox from all the toxins I’ve accumulated over the past 30 years. Where did they all come from? When did I get bit by a tick? When did all of this happen?

I dunno.

I honestly don’t.


But I’m not going to sit here and sulk and ask ‘Why Me?’ because gosh darn it someone is doing this for a reason.

And guess what?

Success is me fighting this.

And winning (and eating this delicious almond and cranberry salad).

And I’m gunna do it.

I know it.

And I think you do, too.

Thank you all for your emails, your comments, your support, your love.

You mean so much to me and sometimes I wonder what I’d do without all of you in my life. Even though I don’t know you personally… I feel like I do.

And it’s kinda fun.

And you know what?

That’s success too.

Because throughout all of this, I’ve made true friends and found love and friendship and that my friends…




Happy Labor Day!! Get munching on this almond cranberry salad.


Cranberry, Swiss Chard & Almond Salad
Serves: 4
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian and Soy-Free
Author: Amie Valpone
Recipe type: Entree


  • 4 oz. mixed salad greens
  • 1 head Swiss chard finely chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. dried cranberries
  • 3 Tbsp. whole raw almonds
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper


  1. In a large bowl, combine mixed greens, Swiss chard, cranberries, almonds and lemon zest; set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, sea salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle lemon juice mixture over the salad ingredients in the large bowl; gently toss to combine.
  4. Serve.
Nutrition Facts
Cranberry, Swiss Chard & Almond Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 234 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 289mg13%
Potassium 411mg12%
Carbohydrates 20g7%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 4909IU98%
Vitamin C 31mg38%
Calcium 71mg7%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



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  1. So looking forward to having my freshly grown greens & chard! This will be a great way to incorporate both into a great salad! Think I’d probably add a side of either quinoa or some lentils, or maybe even brown rice, in off season, when it is cool outside, but fresh from the garden on a summer’s day…

  2. This looks delicious, just subscribed to your page on feedly. Also commenting to enter the giveaway (mentioned on facebook) of the copy of Ricki Heller’s “Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free”. 🙂

  3. I love this post. Mostly because I so agree with your definition of success and I am trying to live & breathe that very definition in my own life – though it can be so hard!

    I also think this salad looks downright amazing. I’ve never thought to eat chard raw but I’m going to try.

    I am SO HAPPY we are friends!!!!!!!

  4. 4 stars
    Thanks for the inspiring post Amie. I’ve been feeling somewhat in control of all my food allergies the past few months even though the list continues to grow. Last week I found out I have toxic levels of Mercury in my tissue, which is scary knowing I want to have kids soon. Im having such a hard time eating out these days or going to family parties/holidays. My options were limited already (no dairy, eggs, gluten) and now I need to really watch fish intake. Seems like i need to bring my own food everywhere. I can relate to your post a lot and appreciate the extra support! If you can do it, so can I.