Category Archives: About L&L

The Accidental Advocate

It was three years ago, on November 14th. My life was insane. I was struggling to care for my two-and-a-half year old toddler as well as for my mother who was battling terminal cancer. I was feeling overwhelmed and tired and reached out to my oldest and dearest friend, Sara. She had lost her own mother recently and always seemed to know just what to say to me so I wouldn’t feel so alone.

Life had gotten so busy once we had kids that Sara and I were accustomed to phone calls going unreturned for days. However, whenever we texted each other that something was going on, we usually got back to each other pretty quickly. That day, when she didn’t return several of my texts, at first I felt a bit frustrated. But by nightfall, I started to worry.

Finally, I received a text from her and this is what it read:

“Amy, I can’t talk right now. I’m at Children’s Hospital with Allie Lou.”

“Oh my God,” I thought. Had there been an accident? Did she hit her head? Did she have an allergic reaction to something? I couldn’t imagine what was happening. Then my head went to an unthinkable place…could Allie Lou have Leukemia or some terrible illness?

We waited and waited for news. Finally I got another text from Sara:
Continue reading

Family Food Kitchen

This week our very own Sara Williams Curran was interviewed on the weekly live radio show Family Food Kitchen on the award winning RadioMD. A big shout out and thank you to Ellen Briggs & Carolina Lima Jantac, MS, RD, LD. Listen to the 10 minute audio recording below!

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Podcast Title/Description: How Leaf & Love Turned Diabetes Diagnoses Around
At latest count, 29.1 million Americans have diabetes; that’s almost one in ten. However, an additional 89 million are pre-diabetic. Children are included in these stats, too. And, sadly, these numbers continue to rise. When guest Sara Williams Curren, co-founder of Leaf and Love, learned that her toddler daughter had type-1 Diabetes, her world was rocked. She joins hosts Carolina and Ellen to share her story, along with solutions she has found so anyone with either kind of diabetes can enjoy a normal “sweet” lifestyle. Find out how she is living the quote, “When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade!”

Guest Bio: Sara Williams-Curran
Prior to becoming a mom and the co-founder of Leaf & Love® Organic Lemonade, Sara Williams-Curran was a dedicated educator for over 15 years. She worked as a classroom teacher, reading specialist and Vice Principal. Sara received the distinguished honor of District-Wide Teacher of the Year in 2004.

Sara’s work in the public school system exposed her to the challenges in providing healthy and appealing nutrition for youngsters. This experience, coupled with her daughter’s diagnosis of type-1 diabetes, ultimately inspired her new journey as co-creator of the Leaf & Love® brand. Sara’s quest for wholesome and delicious nutrition was the seed that sprouted the company’s vision.

Sara holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership.

Guest Website: Leaf and Love Organics
Guest Facebook Account: Facebook.com/leafandlove
Guest Twitter Account: @leafandlove

RadioMD Interview

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family-food-kitchen-hostStay tuned… This coming Thursday, October 29th, at 11am EST (8am PST), our very own Sara Williams Curran will be interviewed on the weekly live radio show Family Food Kitchen on the award winning RadioMD.

To listen LIVE, go to: http://radiomd.com/show/family-food-kitchen.

TWEET TWEET: Tweet your questions via twitter to be answered live on air, by tagging: @yourradiomd @carolinajantac @famfoodexperts @leafandlove

Can’t make it? If you can’t make it to listen live, the audio recording will be available shortly after air time at the link above.

More about the Family Food Kitchen Radio Show:
​A home’s kitchen always has and always will be Grand Central for family activity, especially now that it is coupled with “family room.” What better place to huddle to inspire and teach families to serve and enjoy healthier foods in order to turn the tide of disease among children and adults. Hosts Ellen and Carolina are passionate about providing you nutrition education and healthy food solutions your whole family will enjoy. They have fun sharing easy practical, budget/time-sensitive ways to shop, prepare and serve healthy meals, ones even kids will be begging for seconds!

That’s why they interview expert guests such as Joy Bauer (Best-selling author, NBC Today) about Nourishing Snacks and Chef Ann Cooper (Renegade Lunch Lady), as well as chosen mom bloggers who share wonderful healthy family recipes. Ellen and Carolina also host their own segments featuring Food in The News such as “FDA Comes Out of the Chicken Closet.” Plus they showcase themed recipes. For example, after listening to “Discover Eggplant” when you see one in a produce section, you’ll grab it and simply prepare highly nutritious recipes that will have your family asking for more.

Research confirms when families cook, eat and clean up together, they enjoy better health and improved mental and physical performance. Ellen and Carolina are determined to convince busy families, you can do it! The more you engage your family in the heathy delicious kitchen experience, the less likely your family will experience eating disorders, be overweight, and spend their life struggling with chronic diseases.

For this win/win Family Food Kitchen be healthier with every bite recipe, tune in weekly: Thursdays, 11am ET on RadioMD

More about RadioMD:
RadioMD’s listenable audio content, featuring some of the nation’s top medical, health and wellness organizations, helps you focus on staying healthy – staying strong – living a more happy and healthful life – to be and feel your best. And you can listen on-the-go. Listen to what you want – when you want – where you want – on the device of your choice. You can listen to or download short 10-minute audio interview segments from the huge on-demand Audio Library on just about every health & wellness or diet & fitness subject there is.

If I could do it again

It’s that time again. Classrooms around the country are filled with excitement and anticipation for what the year will bring. Teachers dressed in crisp outfits present to eager parents and we all feel the excitement in the air. I’m talking about Back-to-School night.

Sara and louAt our big night, after our lovely new teacher spoke to the attentive parents, she turned to me and asked me to give a brief explanation of my daughter’s circumstances to the group. You see, my daughter has Type 1 diabetes. I had already come in earlier that day to explain her disease and devices to her first grade class. I talked in simple terms about checking blood sugar, needles, and the devices she wears on her body. The children were amazingly receptive and calm during the presentation. So was I.

But here I was, suddenly tongue-tied to share a few sentences about Type 1 diabetes to a group of adults. It seems silly that I would be paralyzed by talking to parents. I had been a teacher and school administrator for years before becoming a mom. I always loved speaking to hundreds of parents and felt very comfortable in the role. But last night felt different. I barely remember what I said. It was something short and upbeat like, “My daughter has Type 1 diabetes. You will see her pump and her continuous glucose monitor inserted on different parts of her body and she has a 1:1 aide with her at all times.” Parents nodded and smiled. That was it. In retrospect, I’m not really sure how or why I kept it short, sweet and free of emotion. I think it’s partly because I never want to be seen as a complainer or a drama queen. It is also likely that I didn’t want to melt into a pool of blubbering tears in front of everyone on their own child’s Back-to-School Night!

If I could do it again, and there were no time constraints, this is what I would have said. Continue reading

Why I Took a Risk

Recently a few people have asked me why we started Leaf & Love. Not just, “why did you come up with the idea?” Instead the question was: “People have great ideas all the time, but they rarely act on them. What inspired you to turn this great idea into an actual business? Have you always wanted to own a beverage company?” The truth is, no. Starting a beverage company has never been on my radar. I have ideas all the time too, and this was never one of them. I actually knew very little about this industry. So what made me take the leap? When I took the time to think it through, I found the answer. Here is my story.

As a kid, I was not a big fan of change. Most of my friends couldn’t wait to grow up, pile on mascara, get a driver’s license and have all the freedoms in the world. I, on the other hand, cried to my mother on the eve of my tenth birthday because I was forever leaving behind my “single digit” years. I made her crawl into my twin bed with me and wrap me in her arms all night. This pattern repeated itself any time I faced a big milestone.

So, on the eve of my 18th birthday, my mom was prepared. I was leaving for college soon, and I should have been thrilled. But I was terrified. To me, it felt like I was letting go of something and I just wasn’t ready. Once again, she crawled into that old twin bed with me and gently said, “I know you wish you could stay here forever. But if I don’t make you go out there into the world, I wouldn’t be a very good mom.” So, she sent me on my way, with the promise that she would leave my childhood bedroom untouched and waiting for my visits. She kept that promise, and as our lives carried on, the room remained frozen in time.

amy-1Unlike me, my mother was not a homebody. She loved adventure. After being a dedicated teacher for over 40 years, she decided to retire and did not look back. She kept busy volunteering, studying, and working to make a difference in the world and in her community. Her calendar was booked months in advance with trips all over the world. Thank goodness for cellphones and international calling plans, because it kept the umbilical cord between us quite sturdy. I could definitely wake her up in Poland if it was super important.

Then, one day, my cellphone buzzed. It was my mother calling me and her words changed my life forever. Continue reading