Update from Diane…

Hi Everyone!

I hope this post finds you all well. I have missed posting and missed all of my members.

It’s been seven weeks since my heart transplant operation and I am so grateful for the gift of life.

I just want to say on a personal note how much I appreciate all the e-mails and comments regarding my medical condition. I appreciate your kind words, care, love and concern. I am getting stronger each day, although some days are harder than others.

I feel that all my members have become my extended family and I can’t wait to get back to writing the blog on a regular basis again. I might even come up with a few new recipes for organ recipients like myself that have a restricted diet.

Thank you once again for all of your love, I LOVE you all!

Although I am still too weak to start lifting dishes to set a tablescape or get back in the kitchen to cook, I wanted to share a few tips that I have learned in the hospital that I think would be good for all my members to follow.

Since the new “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” lists came out this week listing all the foods that have the most & least pesticides, and the recalls for listeria and E-coli; I have to share this with you.

EWG’s Clean Fifteen 2019                   

  1. Avocados     *unfortunately, this week avocados have been recalled
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Sweet Peas Frozen
  5. Onions
  6. Papayas
  7. Eggplants
  8. Asparagus
  9. Kiwis
  10. Cabbage
  11. Cauliflower
  12. Cantaloupes
  13. Broccoli
  14. Mushrooms
  15. Honeydew Melons

EWG’s Dirty Dozen 2019

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes

As you can imagine, not only do I have a lot of food restrictions post op, but I have to try and remain as healthy as possible and clean all my food thoroughly since I no longer have an immune system to rely on.

Rinsing fruits and vegetables in a colander under water is just not enough, washing with organic dish detergent is not enough and produce sprays that you can buy in a grocery store are basically citrus extracts that aren’t strong enough to clean the pesticides. In addition, most of the produce sprays contain grapefruit extract which interferes with some medications, especially cardiac medication.

So what can you do? After many studies, it turns out that the best pesticide cleaner is good old baking soda. In a bowl of water add a tbsp. of baking soda and soak your fruits and vegetables for 10-15 minutes. Remove the food from the bowl and into a colander to rinse by using tongs or a glove. DO NOT pour the water from the bowl directly in the colander or you will be pouring the pesticide sediment back on to your food. Rinse with water and then cook. I could definitely feel the difference with the fruits and vegetables once washed this way.

Tip # 2

Many of the doctor’s were very concerned about the proper temperature of the food once cooked. Every oven is calibrated differently and sometimes looks alone can’t determine if the food is cooked to the proper temperature. 

  • chicken and turkey- 165 degrees
  • fish – 145 degrees
  • beef, roasts – rare (130 degrees) & well done (155 degrees)
  • pork, veal, fresh ham -rare ( 130 degrees) & well done (155 degrees)
  • pre cooked ham, hot dogs, sausages -140 degrees

To solve the mystery, Bob and I bought an instant read meat thermometer. I bought a separate thermometer for my hand bag for when we are allowed to eat in a restaurant again (which won’t be after a year of healing for me, but I am prepared). The thermometer is instant read and lifetime warranty. We purchased it on Amazon for $18.95 and it gives me peace of mind to know the food is cooked properly.


I hope you try at least one of these tips and find it helpful. Food safety is so important for all of us.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,


Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emailsI Love hearing from you.


15 thoughts on “Update from Diane…

  1. Eleanora Galizia

    So Happy to see your post today Diane! I have started to clean my veggies with the baking soda and can’t believe the difference! Thanks for sharing with us! Prayers for you as your Journey to a complete recovery continues!


  2. Rosemarie Esposito-Pica

    This is great information. Thank you for taking the time to research and share with us! My Portuguese mother taught me to use vinegar to wash fruits and vegetables. Wondering if you read anything about vinegar?
    Glad you are getting better!


  3. Susan Cassano

    We’ve missed you Diane! So happy you are getting better and stronger. In oue Italian Men & Women Who Cook group, we are all praying for you, and every day someone always asks for an update on how you are doing. Continue on your journey to good health! Blessed be, Susan


  4. Lmanddlink

    Hi Diane,So happy to hear you are doing so well. I have been keeping up with the posts that Bobsent to Elayne via facebook. I hope your recovery goes smoothly and look forward togetting together this summer when Elayne comes for a visit. Sending you lots of love and prayers. Love, Merrill  


  5. Patricia

    Hi. My prayers are with you for a speeding recovery. Missing your beautiful table scapes and can’t wait for your full return to your blog. Thanks for many great recipes. Will be following your progress. Emilie Chapin

    Sent from my iPad



  6. Denise

    Very happy to see you posting. I’m not on fb too much lately , so I’m glad to see your progress. Thanks for the good tips. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Sent from my iPhone



  7. Carol Mastrostefano

    So glad to see that you are feeling well enough to post. I am happy to know that your recovery is progressing well. You are a strong woman to be able to endure all that you have been through. I wish you only the best.


  8. Linda

    Welcome back Diane! I really missed Bob’s daily updates about your progress. I knew you would come up with ideas about your restricted diet. I love that you posted Clean 15 2019 and Dirty Dozen 2019. I really missed your blog! Keep up the good work!😘


  9. Chris Perocchi

    Hi and welcome back! I got excited when i saw your emaiil pop up. Glad to hear you are on the mend. Thanks for the tips and know that we are thinking of you always. Take good care.cchr


  10. Helena Baskwell

    So nice to see your post ! I am glad you are
    doing well and hope that you are able to
    get outside and enjoy the beautiful Spring
    weather. Happy Easter to you and your
    family !🐣🐰



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