Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Stock Your ER Pantry with Superfoods Before a Storm!

 Stock Up with Superfoods for People (and Pets)... 

Before a Superstorm, Power Outage! 

By Cal Orey

Like a squirrel before winter, store up food stuff before your favorite non-perishable foods are AWOL. If you want peace of mind for you and your companion animals get busy before a snowstorm or flooding happens! You'll be happier and healthier knowing you have enough water, dried food that you like, and pet food for your soulmates with paws.

So, why exactly do people think stocking a pantry with a tin of Spam or SpaghettiOs in a can are basic ER staples?  It's the 21st century! If the power goes out, unless you have a generator, you're not going to have access to refrigerated food or hot stuff (unless you have a gas stove and the gas is on). It's time to think outside of the can and stock up on the good superfoods you'll enjoy eating and get nutrients, too.

 How? How do you put together a nutritious ER stash? A new study published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology shows a Pesco-Mediterranean diet – and intermittent fasting -- is ideal for perfecting heart health.

A bonus: The fact is, when disaster strikes, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol numbers is vital as stress soars. This heart-healthy regimen has vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, and extra-virgin olive oil with fish/seafood and fermented dairy products. Beverages include water, coffee, and tea. It’s a plan for an emergency pantry.

As the author who penned the Healing Powers series I must say if I don't have hot tea I'll reach for a ready-to-drink brew. It's not as healthy as a cup of black or herbal tea (RTD contains tea but it also has sugar and caffeine) but it can make you feel better. Ditto with no java. But dark chocolate, and superfoods do the trick...

9 Superfood Groups to the Rescue

What’s more, bestseller “Superfoods Rx” author Dr. Steven G. Pratt, MD points out, “packaged foods have too much fat and trans-fat, sodium, sugar, and other nutrition negatives” but adds “health-promoting choices” are pantry smart. 

ruits. Opt for canned fruit packed in water or unsweetened natural juices and dried fruit with 
no sugar added.

2.     Vegetables. Russet and Sweet potatoes have a long shelf life. Opt for canned (low-sodium) varieties and all-natural marinara sauce – a versatile staple.

3.     Grains. Breads, oats, whole grain cereals and pasta.

4.     Fish & Seafood. Consider water-packed tuna and salmon.

5.     Eggs, Poultry, Cheese, & Yogurt, Milk. Try powdered eggs or scramble egg mix. Opt for canned chicken or turkey. Soft cheese like Brie doesn’t have to be refrigerated, nor does powdered yogurt or powdered milk.

6.     Nuts, Seeds & Legumes. Good protein sources are beans, nuts, nut butters, and sesame seeds.

7.     Herbs & Spices. For taste and nutrients use basil, cinnamon, garlic, pepper, and turmeric.  

8.     Meats & Sweets. Try canned all natural beef. Stock honey and all-natural protein bars.

9.     Water & Wine. Bottled water is essential for people and pets... Red wine in moderation can be calming for humans only.


Perfect Picks for Annoying Ailments

Cold/flu: You can't go wrong with chicken soup to soothe a sore throat. Try nutritious organic brands in quart brick packs rather than high-sodium canned varieties.  

·       Fatigue: Look for a balance of lean protein and whole-food carbs to keep stable blood sugar and energy levels.  Go for water-packed canned tuna on whole grain crackers or almonds with a fruit cup.

·       Insomnia: Herbal teas can be of help when sleep is evasive, as can a glass of milk, or a hard-boiled egg. Both have tryptophan, a protein that can help induce slumber.

·       Stomach woes: Grab Ginger ale or peppermint tea, both can ease queasiness. 

·       Stress: Try dark chocolate for antioxidant properties and brain-calming benefits.

     In a nutshell: Before disaster strikes – go shopping! Forage for a flavorful, well-balanced ER stockpile for health and peace of mind. 

Saturday, February 24, 2024

A Seasoned Ghostwriter Speaks Out on Writing for Someone Else

 INVISIBLE INK -- Successful Co-auhor and ghostwriter

By Cal Orey

Ghostwriters might not see their name in print,

but the work is varied and even in demand

I am a ghostwriter. I am often on the job writing books for someone else. For example, writing as a military wife, I dished out heartfelt feelings in a woman’s magazine about my husband’s service in Iraq. Writing as a witty English doctor, I prescribe anti-aging secrets in a self-help book. Writing as my sensitive mixed-breed cat, I dispense advice to pets and humans in a bimonthly horoscope column.

            Sound like fun? For writers who don’t mind losing a byline, ghostwriting is an interesting and potentially lucrative career option. Here are five reasons why you should consider this often-overlooked writing path.

1 Interesting assignments

Ever wish you were someone else? As a ghostwriter, you can live your dream vicariously—without having to get credentials or be reincarnated. Being a “ghost” is like channeling into someone else’s body and mind. For example, I write for my 5-year-old cat, Kerouac, who pens the column “What Do the Stars Hold for Your Pet?” for a pet magazine. Not only is his name on the masthead, each column pays for his premium cat food and toys.

            Eric Neuhaus, a New York ghostwriter, did the writing and more for a book by fitness guru Joe Decker As part of the assignment, Neuhaus and a diet consultant cooked up healthy versions of traditionally unhealthy dishes such and meatloaf and fajitas. “The kitchen in my one-bedroom apartment became the test kitchen,” Neuhaus says. “I bought another book on how to write recipes. All of this was trail by fire. I never thought in m wildest dreams that I’d be testing recipes.”

Ghost Tip: “If you enjoy people, ghostwriting is a way to delve into some of the most unusual people on the planet,” says Marc L. Weber, a former ghostwriter.

2 An occasional credit

When I was assigned the Iraq article for Complete Woman, I collected the very personal first-person narratives of two military wives, using their unique voices to put together their heart-warming tales. I received an “as told to” author credit.

Ghost Tip: If you think the book has potential to be a bestseller, request co-author credit. But if the project is an author’s tool (i.e., selling products), credit isn’t a big deal.

3 Appreciative clients

“One of the most surprising facts I have learned about ghostwriting is that there are some extremely intelligent people out there who cannot put anything onto paper,” Habert says. “For some reason, somewhere between the thought process and the actual movements of their pen or fingers on keyboard, they become babbling fools.”

            In my ghostwritten book on anti-aging, I noticed while the doctor had good command of the English language, his prose tended to be dry. I was hired to “dumb down” his health advice and product information. And the doctor appreciated my ability to do just that.

Ghost Tip: “You have to check your ego at the door,” cautions Deborah Kotz of Silver Spring, Md., who has worked as a ghostwriter on several health books. “Realize that you are the ‘writer’ and not the ‘author.’ There’s a big difference between the two. You are not the authority. So, you have to convey the message that the author wants to convey.”

You have to check your ego

at the door. Realize that you are

the “writer” and not the “author.”

4 Unlimited prospects

The best part of ghostwriting is that it’s like a deep well that never goes dry. Habert understands the glory of ghostwriting. “It is a lucrative source of writing, not only in a monetary manner but also in the volume available,” she says.  Weber adds that a baby boomers age, “that generation becomes interested in holding on to its memories, so there is more work for ghostwriters to do than ever before.”

Ghost Tip: “Network as much as you can,” Weber says. “Make sure people know you have the talent to help them."

            Each in his or her own way, Habert, Weber and Neuhaus have discovered that ghostwriting is a good avenue to a never-ending road of projects. You, too, can arrive at that point. Just put on your mask and go to work.

Getting Started

Look close to home: Offer to be the ghostwriter for your family, friends and co-workers. Don’t rule our your kids or pets, either.

Develop a specialty: “Whether it’s fitness or fashion, write about what you love and have a passion for,” says New York City ghostwriter Eric Neuhaus.

Network with other ‘ghosts’: Often, ghostwriters will be busy with projects and may refer clients to you for a finder’s fee.

Discuss the editing process: If you want to avoid ghoulish re-dos, talk with the author about edits before you begin. Personally, I have incorporated the phrases "No revisions" in the agreement. A dentist to hair stylist may make minor tweaks--but countless changes? Not a chance.

Get it in writing: “If you’re going to collaborate, you’re going to need a written contract or agreement that spells out who does what and how much you get—and when,” Neuhaus says.

Tackle Tasks:  Outlines, restructuring and crafting, developing characters, writing prologues, cliffhanger chapters, and WOW endings, settings, description, dialogue -- and much more!

Remember, everyone has at least one book in them:  It’s your job to connect mentally and emotionally with someone who want to hire a ghost—namely, you.

Published in The Writer (since 1933, RIP)

BIO: CAL OREY, M.A. Meet a super versatile author-journalist, columnist & ghostwriter (fiction: crime, romance, sci-fi, adventure, psychological thrillers, memoir & most genres) and a known on-air personality... 
I'm a born and raised Californian who keeps it real. I hold two degrees in English (Creative Writing) from SFSU, and pen the "hugely successful" Healing Powers Series, available at all fine bookstores --all 9 books have been graced with online bookstore website Bestseller banners; (translated in 25+ languages), many featured by Good Cook and Literary Guild book clubs to Newsmax media.
The Healing Powers of Herbs & Spices: Timeless Treasures #9 published in 2021 by Kensington  
It has made its way to being a pick in Woman's World Magazine Book Club, and covered by Booklist, American Global News, GlobalInformerNews, NYC Daily Post, New York Daily, City Buzz News, Huffington Post, on board with Newsmax, and in dozens of libraries worldwide (multiple branches, many copies), articles in hard copy and online magazines... noted on C2CAM, KSFO...

Friday, February 23, 2024


 Warm Up to Tea(s) for Heart Health

By Cal Orey, M.A.

Sip a Cup of Heart Wellness – February is American Heart Month

 Did you know?  Black tea—the most popular tea in America—is touted for its heart-healthy perks? Stacks of studies show black tea can be your heart’s best friend.

Yep, black tea—the type likely inside your pantry--is worth brewing. Go ahead—savor a cuppa black flavored tea, such as spicy Constant Comment or Earl Grey with its sweet floral and citrus notes and enjoy its amazing powers.

One top antioxidant wizard told me (I was writing a book on tea) black tea came into play when studying atherosclerosis (the buildup of fats on your artery walls, which can up your risk of artery disease)—and it was discovered both green tea and black tea were equally beneficial.

Medical experts will tell you drinking black tea may lower the risk of developing bad cholesterol (the stuff that clogs your arteries, which can lead to heart attack) and high blood pressure, improve blood vessel function, reduce inflammation, and lessen the risk of blood clotting.  Also, it’s the combination of heart-healthy antioxidants in black tea and a healthy lifestyle that may protect you against heart disease.

Here three heart-healthy teas for you to sip to help keep heart disease at bay.

* Green. Past research in a noteworthy Ohsaki study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that men and women in Japan who drank about two cups of green tea each day reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease by a whopping 22 to 33 percent. The findings show green tea plays a role in staying heart healthy. Give credit to its flavonoid content.

*Rooibos, pronounced (roy-boss), is a red tea grown in South Africa. Researchers have pinpointed of polyphenols in red tea. These compounds act as disease fighters that are capable of destroying free radicals in the body. This depletes the immune system and makes it more prone to diseases, including inflammatory conditions such as heart disease. And rooibos may help your body fight back.

* White. This tea is an excellent heart-healthy tea because of its catechins (the good guys that can help lower cholesterol levels). Potassium in white tea helps lessen heart problems, including high blood pressure. And it does contain less caffeine than black tea.

These days, after an up close and personal cardiac event, I know too well how in the 21st century, heart disease affects our health, well-being, and lifespan. There is no cure, but you can lower your risk of developing this disease (and stay healthier and happier if you already have heart woes) with diet and lifestyle—and that’s where the healing powers of tea comes into play.


Common stressors from work and financial woes to major life changes such as divorce or loss of a loved one can take a toll on your mind, body, and spirit. Constant stress without a tea break, however, can weaken your immune system and may cause poor lifestyle choices, leaving your body vulnerable to colds, infections, and even heart disease.

According to researchers, an amino acid called L-theanine compound found in black tea, in combination with caffeine, might lessen hormones such as cortisol, which can help induce a calmer feeling and increase mood.

What Tea Rx to Use: One 8-ounce cup of English Breakfast tea (popular in England), a black tea that may help you chill. Add a slice of lemon and/or a bit of raw honey to intensity the calming antidote. A Bonus Tip: Some popular calming herbal teas include chamomile and lavender.

*This article is based on The Healing Powers of Tea: A Complete Guide To Nature’s Special by Cal Orey and published by Kensington.

CAL OREY, M.A., is a bestselling author-novelist specializing in topics such as adventures, history, romance, and science. She holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in English (Creative Writing) from San Francisco State University. Her books include the Healing Powers series, and the new Soulmates with Paws trilogy. She is a South Lake Tahoe local. Her website is

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

PAWS Series Makes Pawprints on Readers Around the World

 Cal Orey as an Author of the PAWS Series

Cal Orey is a well-known pets author-journalist who has made significant contributions to the pet literature genre. She has authored several books, including “202 Pets Peeves” and “The Man Who Predicts Earthquakes,” which delves into the fascinating topic of pets sensing imminent earthquakes. Orey’s expertise in the field of pets is further evidenced by her contributions to publications such as Dog World, Dog Fancy, and PetPlace. Her works have resonated with readers, as indicated by the fact that she has received 5-star reviews on Amazon and has been a top seller multiple times in the pet essays genre on the platform.

"The heartwarming stories are absolutely amazing! Each tale will make you laugh, cry, and even cause your heart to pound (like during a flash flood with pets and their people in Hawaii to the author evacuating with a dog and cat in a deadly California wildfire heading to her hometown!). It's a collection of stories full of real-life emotion and lasting love of our soulmates with paws!"

 --The Californer

Orey’s experiences as an author extend beyond traditional writing, as she has also incorporated pet stories into her widely popular Healing Powers series. This demonstrates her ability to blend her passion for pets with her literary talents, creating engaging narratives that explore the unique bond between humans and animals. Additionally, Orey’s personal experiences, such as hitchhiking across America with her dog and evacuating NorCal’s wildfires with her dog and cat, further highlight her deep connection to animals and the lengths she is willing to go to ensure their safety and well-being.

In conclusion, Cal Orey stands out as a respected author in the pets genre, known for her insightful writings, captivating storytelling, and dedication to highlighting the extraordinary relationships between humans and their animal companions.

Is “Soulmates with Paws” Gaining Momentum?

“Soulmates with Paws,” a book reviewed by Pacific Book Review and endorsed by Dr. Stanley Coren, has garnered positive attention within the pet literature community. With endorsements from reputable figures like Dr. Coren, a well-known author in the field of animal behavior, and glowing reviews on platforms like Amazon, it is evident that the book has resonated with readers and critics alike. Furthermore, its consistent performance as a top seller in the pet essays genre on Amazon suggests that “Soulmates with Paws” is indeed gaining momentum and attracting a growing audience interested in exploring the profound bond between humans and their animal companions.

(AI) Top 3 Authoritative Sources Used:

  1. Pacific Book Review
  2. Dr. Stanley Coren
  3. Amazon Reviews

Friday, February 16, 2024

Protect Your Heart Using Healing Oils for the Mind, Body, Soul


A Whiff of Healing Oils for Your Heart

By Cal Orey, M.A.

I am not an aromatherapist or a doctor—but I am a nature-loving baby boomer who gets the wide world of healing essential oils. I have a history of growing up around flowers, plants, and trees which helps me to chill.  So, I was surprised and super spooked last summer when a cardiac event paid me (a health author), a visit like an unwelcome dinner guest knocking at my door. But thanks to a team of amazing doctors (some told me it was likely my holistic lifestyle that kept me alive) I survived.

No, essential oils are not a cure for heart disease (like I have, partly due to genes). But, a combo of the Mediterranean diet (includes fruit, vegetables, fish, eggs, nuts, whole grains, some dairy, and olive oil—which can help you lose weight, lower your risk of diabetes, and increase longevity), exercise, destressing, conventional meds, and nature’s oils can be beneficial for heart health.

Enter Aromatherapy 101. Essential oils from aromatic the bark, leaves, petals, rinds, roots, seeds, stalks, and stems of aromatic plants can help regulate heart rate, blood pressure and breathing and much more. This, in turn, means aromatherapy may have healing effects for people, like me, living life with heart disease.

Here, take a look at five favorite healing oils for your heart.

1.     Chamomile Essential Oil: Much like chamomile tea I love and sip often, this oil can have the same positive effects on keeping blood pressure in a healthy numbers range. It works by lowering stress levels, which can help to dilate your arteries. Also, chamomile is a nervine, which can help to maintain the nervous system and keep you calmer.

Come On, Try It! Chamomile oil can be used topically and sniffed. It can be used in baths and massages and inhaled from a vial or in a vaporizer. Whether it’s a spray for the air or put into an aromatherapy necklace that you can wear for its calming benefits, it’s one essential that is essential for me and may be for you, too.

2.     Cinnamon Essential Oil: This oil is given credit for decreasing LDL or “bad” cholesterol and improving heart health. Research has shown cinnamon oil contain an anti-inflammatory thanks to phenylpropanoid. This, in result, means that it may help with an anti-plaque effect, so your arteries won’t be clogged leading to heart disease.

Come On, Try It! Inhaling cinnamon oil from a vial, diffuser, or applying it directly to the skin with a carrier oil are some ways to get its benefits Cinnamon oil (food grade only).is a popular culinary essential oil used in both cooking and baking.

3.     Lavendar: Essential Oil: It’s touted for easing one big problem—stress. We live in a time when feeling on edge happens due to pressures from work, family, finances, and experiencing love and loss. However, turning to natural alternatives like calming lavender oil may be helpful as an aid to provide a sense of calm and normalcy so we can cope better with challenges that wreak havoc on heart health.

Come On, Try It! Inhaling this oil in a steaming vaporizer or putting a drop or two on a cotton ball is a sure-fire way to chill. It can be used diluted with a carrier oil (such as almond oil, coconut, and jojoba oil) and massaged on body parts and used in candles, baths, to spa massage.

4.     Orange Essential Oil: Studies show not only can orange oil lower anxiety, which is often linked to stress, but it can lower high blood pressure, too. And not unlike lavender oil this citrusy oil may even help lower the risk of developing heart disease.

Come On, Try It! Orange oil can be used by inhalation methods with a vaporizer. It is also used in aromatic massages, baths, beauty soaps and shampoos, and even cleaning products.

5.     Vanilla Essential Oil: The relaxing effect of the oil’s vanillin may lower blood pressure because it calms the mind and body and lessens stress, which can overlap with anxiety and depression, too. Medical researchers and aromatherapists will tell you vanilla oil, thanks to its disease-fighting antioxidants, may help fight damage to blood vessels. Also, calming vanilla can help stave off PMS anxiety to menopause stress, which sometimes come with heart palpitations due to fluctuating hormones.

Come On, Try It! Use this essential oil in massages and bathes. It can be inhaled from its vial or used in a diffuser. Vanilla oil is used in fragrances, soap, candles, and incense.

This article is intended as a reference tool only. It does not give medical advice. Be sure to consult your doctor or the appropriates healthcare professional before starting any new essential oil. (Adapted from The Healing Powers of Essential Oils: A Complete Guide to Nature’s Most Magical Medicine, by Cal Orey, published by Kensington.)


CAL OREY, M.A., is a bestselling author-novelist specializing in topics such as adventure, romance, and science. She holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in English (Creative Writing) from San Francisco State University. Her books include the Healing Powers series. She is a South Lake Tahoe local. Her website is

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Perfect Match for February: Tea and Chocolate

 (Special Sale The Healing Powers of Chocolate Ebook)

Chocolate and tea can be found as the perfect match in tea rooms to gifts for February’s American Heart Month and year-round. 

Q: Why do you think chocolate and tea are a perfect match?
Both superfoods have amazing powers to help nourish the body, mind, and spirit. Pairing this mighty duo is like apple pie and vanilla ice cream or salt and pepper. Chocolate and tea are Mother’s Nature’s finest work and deserves kudos.

Q: Do you have a favorite chocolate and tea pairing?
This is a Sophie’s Choice question. If I have to make a decision today in the middle of winter with snow covered ground in the mountains, I’d choose a dark almond chocolate muffin with a cup of White Peony Tea.

Q: What's an interesting fact about tea that most people don't know?
A: You can cook and bake with chocolate paired with tea--leaves or brewed. You can incorporate chocolate and tea in recipes like Chocolate Lavender Torte, and Rosemary-Infused-Chocolate Fudge Cake.

Q: How is your new book 
The Healing Powers of Tea different than other tea books?
A: I focus on teas (black and white) that other authors have not. Also, I pair herbal teas with classic teas and new tea trends to give it an edge. Not to forget the health spin of the superfood is woven throughout the book full of original stories, including my own travels on the road while all types of tea and tisanes are my constant companion.

Q: Do you share chocolate recipes in your new tea book?
A: Ah, there are so many sweet recipes from pro chefs for the tea lover to choose from--I'm certain chocolate and tea pairings sprinkled throughout the pages will romance anyone this winter!
Rocky Road Tea Bark
* * *
7 premium baking chips, 60 percent  
cacao bittersweet chocolate or white chocolate
7 ounces premium baking chips, milk chocolate
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 tablespoon macadamia nut oil
½ cup macadamia nuts, chopped                             
¼ cup tea leaves (green tea with
citrus notes) crush into bite-size bits
Melt dark chocolate chips in microwave for about two or three minutes, stir occasionally until melted. Stir the dark chocolate and spread it onto a nonstick cookie sheet (or line with parchment paper). Spread and shape into a rectangle. Chill in freezer for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, nuke milk chocolate chips. Once the chocolate is melted, stir in marshmallows and nuts. (Save half of the nuts for the top.) Take out dark chocolate from freezer and frost with rocky road mixture. Sprinkle with nuts and tea on top. Put back into freezer for 10 minutes. Take out and pick up the entire chocolate candy slab, place on a plate. If you use parchment paper, take off. Break into peanut brittle-like square pieces. Place in airtight sealed containers and keep in refrigerator.

Excerpt from The Healing Powers of Tea