Monday, September 20, 2021

Eat Like an Author: Trish McDonald

 When most people get bored, they eat. When I get bored, I brainstorm new series and features for the blog, and THEN eat. And not too long ago, as I was brainstorming and contemplating what I wanted to eat, I thought how cool it would be to have a mini-foodie series where authors share the things they like to eat. Photos and recipes and all. And so I asked them, and amazingly they responded, and I dubbed it EAT LIKE AN AUTHOR. 

Today, Trish McDonald joins us to talk about changing lifestyles...

How I got the “guts” to write a debut novel at the age of seventy-seven.


Dinner Omelet with Pickled Vegetables

In 2015, I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol—the dreaded combination known as metabolic disease. On the plus side, I’m a nutritionist, so I know how important food is when you have to change your lifestyle.

The Probiotics: Kefir, Yogurt, Fermented Veggies, Flavored Kombucha 

 With that in mind, I lowered sugary carbs, increased fiber, and started a regular exercise routine. I also learned about “prebiotics”—onions, plant fiber, seeds, nuts—and “probiotics”—kefir, yogurt, kombucha, and fermented veggies which I started making in my kitchen. Every morning I drink 2-3 oz. of kefir with 2 tsp. hemp seeds & 1 tsp. ground flaxseed stirred in.

 The key to gut health is combining both the prebiotics and the probiotics in one meal or recipe. In six months, I lost weight, balanced my microbiome, and my doctor took me off all the meds. Now I needed to help the members in my community get healthy too. 

Kombucha Brewing 

 One morning, after I had been teaching The Gut Class for a few weeks, my beau came out to say good morning, and he commented, “I don’t know if you’re aware or not, but even your voice has changed since you’ve been running this course.”

I knew instinctively it was true, so I started to research what could be going on inside of me that would bring about these changes. When I found out about the connection between the gut and the brain, I knew I was on to something. Of course, I didn’t know then about the book, Paper Bags, I was destined to write, or the stamina and courage it would take to create a debut novel at the age of seventy-seven. When I queried an agent and the response was, “Everything has an expiration date”—I vowed my marketing brand would be—“No Expiration on Dreams!”


Trish McDonald, according to her DNA profile, is 86% Irish. For a storyteller, this “blarney” heritage comes in handy when writing about issues of childhood trauma. With a background in nutrition education, McDonald combines fiction and self-help in powerful scenes using science-based methods of body work: a yoga class, cranial sacral therapy session, reiki, music, and dancing. It is, however, the healing power of love and intimacy where her protagonist’s journey leads to self-discovery and acceptance. An education writer, McDonald’s credits include national publications, Family Circle President’s Award for nutrition programs, and various academic journal articles. An avid camper, McDonald lives in a RV park in Southwest Florida. Paper Bags is her first novel.


Tonight, she’s a stalker. In the dark woods, with the rain lashing the windshield and the ground fern crushed beneath the wheels of her car, she hides and waits and contemplates her options: The Boy? Me? Love? Sanity? How far will she have to go to find love and feel safe? As she slouches down behind the steering wheel, the back seat filled with her paper bags and her yellow Labrador Retriever, she questions this decision to chase after him. Little does she know that this deviant behavior will set off a stunning revelation rocking her to the core. Will she run away as fast as she can, or will her curiosity entice her to embark on a journey of self-discovery and sexual awakening?

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