About GoodKarme

One year ago, I created this name/blog (GoodKarme) due to the firm nudging of my brother and his amazing partner, Tasha. Since its creation, I haven't added anything to it. My intent is to provide recipes, nutritional science information, and other ramblings... For now, I'll just post recipes to Ty's blog (GoTeamTyler), and then when I get my blog up-and-running, I'll just link recipes to it. Let me try to explain the name and the purpose... Karme: goddess of the harvest GoodKarme: A commitment to the earth through honoring the land that provides our nourishment and contributes to our being. By respecting and replenishing the land we reap what we sew... GoodKarme. I have come to accept the fact that I was born to be a nutritionist: my father lives with an apron hanging from his neck, my mother lives in the garden, my uncle John authored the 'Wagner Family Cookbook', I played every sport under the sun (and cared about what I fueled my body with), I have a soft spot for The Nature :), and my most recent interest is fueled by my brother's recent diagnosis with non-hodgkins lymphoma... thus, I have a commitment to help him heal with food. I'm Leigh. I am an Integrative Nutritionist and registered dietitian at the University of Kansas Medical Center - KU Integrative Medicine. I have become an avid Kansas Citian, and I continue to be in awe of this gem of a city. Please enjoy this assortment of recipes, links, information... Please forgive me, I love emoticons. :)

Treatment Update 160

Tyler spiked a fever early this morning, and he’s now back in 3 West at the UCSD Hospital. After an x-ray this morning, they determined the pneumonia has worsened in his right lung. His medical team says it’s likely that the pseudomonas (the pneumonia bug) is resistant to the antibiotics, so they are switching him to an antibiotic that can be inhaled; the idea being that it will directly target the lung tissue. Apparently, this isn’t something new to the team, and there are other medications that can be used.

I’m glad that both our parents are out there with Tyler… Tasha continues to amaze me with her grace, love and uplifting spirit.

As always, positive thoughts, prayers, energy, and uplifting messages are warmly welcomed.

Love from Kansas City,


A Daddy Wags-approved update

I realize that there are other “Daddy Wags” out there reading, but I’m referring to my dad, Jimbo “Daddy Wags” Wagner. He prefers things short, sweet (this term being used loosely) and to-the-point…

I was reminded this week that silence on the GoTeamTyler blogosphere leaves one to wonder if Tyler is doing ok or not… often leading one to the “worst-case-scenario” if you don’t have direct contact with the Moshirians or the Wagners. Thus, I thought a concise, bulleted (Jim Wagner-style) update would be appropriate. (The comments in parens are added Leigh-esque touches… I can’t resist):

  • Tyler and Natasha rode 70 miles yesterday. (seriously?! yes, seriously. Tasha is getting ready for a century ride to raise money for Diabetes & Lymphoma research)
  • Ty is in between A and B cycles. (He’ll start his “B-sandwich” next week… he has 2 B’s and 1 A cycle yet to go).
  • Per Ty, Tuesday was one of the best days he’s felt since starting treatment (WooHoo!)
  • Ty and Tasha will spend Easter with Tasha’s family out in SD. (My parents and I are back in “The Good Life” (Nebraska) for the holiday).
  • Murt (my mother) will head out to SD for his next round on Monday.

My dad would think anything over 5 bullet points is overkill… 😉

Happy Easter, all! Lots of love,


Day 36 Update

Tyler is still hanging tough in room 366 of the Thorton Hospital at UCSD. Kristin, the current nurse, summed it up best saying, “You’re the mystery man right now.” The medical team can’t exactly figure out where the infection is coming from, and we’re still waiting for some blood results to return. Tyler continues with spiking fevers, unidentified infection(s), and an upset gut.

In order to calm down his digestive tract, they put him on nutrition administered into his veins. The IV nutrition will allow his digestive tract to settle down, and eventually we will slowly and steadily introduce normal foods. He’s been on the IV nutrition for about 32 hours now, and we’re hoping that it will calm down soon.

Since he did have another fever, they did a CT scan to determine any other potential causes for infection or see anything significant that may have changed.

The doctor rounded yesterday, and we were able to bring to light some of his nutritional deficiencies and imbalances: low vitamin D, low vitamin A (retinol), and high copper (which, in my clinic, we often see in people fighting cancer). The doctor was open to supplementation, as we emphasized that this is a critical period for Tyler to swing his internal environment to inhibit cancer progression. I have a food/nutrition post coming here in the next few days… so I can expand on that later.

Ty remains strong and determined. Thanks for all the love and support.

Lean into It

I’ve been thinking about drafting this post for a while now. Today seemed to be the most appropriate day for several reasons… I love lists 🙂

#1 I love Tyler and I know his love for sports, athletics, and general butt-kicking. #2 Tyler is in serious battle mode. He needs a pump-up/half-time talk, like whoa. His meals have become his workouts. I can see it on his face: he leans forward, grabs his fork or smoothie or whatever and demolishes the meal/snack because he knows he has to (to him, it all tastes like cardboard). #3 I love the #33. Today is treatment day 33 (or yesterday was), and I feel good about this.  #4 I adore analogies. #5 Motivating/inspiring people is fascinating. Tyler has an incredible ability to do this, and I’m a sucker for anything related to leadership (anything cheesy and motivational… e.g. the Covey family inspires me without even being annoying…(?!) that’s the level I’m talking about). #6 I went on a great interval run today, and I’m on a runners high… here goes… Continue reading

Chicken Salad Collard Wraps

I made these wraps the day before I left SD after Christmas. After leaving, Ty sent me a “Wraps are great!” text, so I thought I’d post them since they made Tyler’s flavor-cut.

Recipe: Chicken Salad Collard Wraps

The photos and recipe will be equally helpful for executing this unique recipe. This wrap recipe was inspired by a post on the nourishingmeals.com blog: “Collard Wraps with Raw Sunflower Pate” (nourishingmeals.com has some delicious, real-food recipes).

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Moose Turd Pie

Since it’s only the 3rd day of Christmas, I thought we’d continue the ‘holiday cheer’…

Dick Railsback is a living legend for many reasons: world record-holding pole vaulter, Swedish chef,story teller… some might say he’s the ‘master of the groaner’ – I say that in the MOST ENDEARING way.

The ‘Moose Turd Pie’ story is told annually, generally after we’ve finished our 3rd plate of food and before the Akvavit toast (“skol”) at Swedish Christmas dinner… and it’s always per the suggestion of our favorite, T-Wags.

Dick contributed his written version of this infamous story:

Hi Wagners……..Sure do miss you.  We are expecting you all to join us for Christmas Dinner next year!!!!  We miss you all so much.

I hope a few pictures make you feel in our hearts………and of course I had to tell one story for Tyler….attached!

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Warm Winter Lunch from KU Med Folks

My friends, Kristina and Brandon shared a lunch this weekend… As K says below, they saved some for me, and it was delicious!

This isn't actually from Brandon and K's lunch, but it's a photo of K and a visual of where they shared the meal 🙂

Turmeric (a major ingredient and color-contributing spice in curry powder) is one of the best-studied spices, to-date, that is cancer-fighting/anti-cancer. Tyler has been eating enough turmeric over the past couple weeks, I think he’s going to taste “cancer” whenever he comes across it in the future.

Here’s a message and their warm, winter lunch creation:

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Knowing What you Need

If you don’t know me well, allow me to introduce you to Tyler’s sister. If you should know one thing about me that shoots straight to the core it’s that I’m an over-analyzer (if that’s a noun). I could over-analyze Mary having a little lamb: why is her fleece so white? Do you think the lamb followed Mary all over the place because she was insecure about something? Should I ask Mary how she feels about all this…? Ugh.

One thing I’ve learned this week is the importance of knowing what you need; something Tyler knows without even trying. Monday, on my long trip home (an unexpected 7 hour delay in Salt Lake City… I know that wasn’t time-wasted, as I directed some Mormon prayers out to San Diego 😉 kidding… I was wondering what I might say to Tyler right before chemo: Should I make a joke? Should I tell him about the overly-eager-to-engage-in-conversation, overwhelming salesman I sat next to on the plane? I know, I’ll tell him about all of the older, frailer people I work with who go through chemotherapy and who are now living vibrant lives! Continue reading