Dawn Fuemmeler has four main passions in life: faith, family, dancing and promoting healthy living. She is also an accomplished actress, as well as dancer and singer and was the lead actress in the local productions of “South Pacific” and supporting actress in “Annie Get Your Gun” performed a few years back at Long Hall.
She describes her tenet for a healthy life this way: “Food has power, power to prevent and reverse disease. Don’t make healthy eating hard, just eat ‘REAL’ food that God intended for our bodies. If it comes from a plant, made by God, or eats plants (as in animal, fish or fowl), eat it if you’re not vegetarian. If it comes from a manufacturing plant, a building, is made by humans (most processed foods), avoid it as much as possible.”
Dawn has not always followed the life style she now embraces. She grew up in the small community of Keytesville near Moberly, Missouri. Her parents, Richard and Susan Shaffmaster, were a farmer and a stay-at-home mom. Since cattle were the main crop of the farm, beef was a staple on their dinner table.
“My mom cooked the way most women did at that time,” she said, “nothing fancy, just plain simple meals, with meat as the main dish accompanied by side dishes that mostly consisted of vegetables raised in our own gardens. There was one thing different at our home though: Mom did not bake. Therefore, if I wanted cupcakes or cookies, I had to make them without assistance from her.”
Dance was always an important part of Dawn’s life. She started dancing in the fifth grade and opened her own dance school while in high school. She also received a dance scholarship to Missouri Western State College.
There, she continued to dance while majoring in accounting. Mitch Fuemmeler, who she had been dating since high school, also attended Western State. Dawn and Mitch had similar backgrounds, as he was raised in Salisbury, Missouri, a nearby community to her hometown.
The couple married in 1986 following their graduations. Mitch got a job with the Social Security Office in Kansas, and Dawn worked as an accountant. Eventually, Mitch was offered a position at the Park Hills Social Security office. The couple happily accepted the opportunity and moved to Farmington.
They have four children. Morgan, the oldest, now works for Carondelet Leadership Academy. The three boys came next – Eric, Drew and Ryan.
Eric graduates this May with his PhD in Materials Chemistry and has been offered a post-doctorate research position at Cornell. Drew has a dual Masters Degree in MBA and Sports Management. He is a data analytics person for Olympia Entertainment.
Ryan is a sophomore at Farmington High School and is interested in movie production. He won an award at the Faultline Film Festival in Cape Girardeau this past year for his short film, “A Ligneous Voice,” in which his mother was his only actress in the 5-7 minutes film.
“It was a short role,” said Dawn, “but a strenuous one, as Ryan is a perfectionist.”
Today, Mitch is the manager at the Park Hills Social Security office. Dawn keeps a busy schedule as she teaches dance at Ballet Arts Center, substitute teaches at Farmington High School and manages her Juice Plus business.
Dawn became an advocate for healthy eating when Mitch was diagnosed with high blood pressure. She found an online message stating that the author of the message had achieved good results in reducing their blood pressure by simply eating two sticks of celery a day and drinking lots of water. Mitch tried this and in about four to five weeks his blood pressure was low enough that he was taken off his medication.
Soon after that she was introduced to Juice Plus by her friends, Julie Powers and Cindy Sebastian. She became a representative for the company and its Healthy Living Revolution program. Dawn said the program is designed to educate people on the Core 4 facets of health: whole food nutrition, proper hydration, exercise and sleep/stress management.
“The Juice Plus Company is more than just about their product,” she said, “they truly want to help people have a more healthy and energetic life.
“Mitch and I did what was then called a Complete Transformation (now Shred10), which was a six-week program focusing on eating whole foods and eliminating processed foods. This program has now been shortened to a 10 day, very focused approach to shredding unhealthy habits and replacing them with good ones,” Dawn explained.
Her mother also had a good experience with Juice Plus. As Dawn related, “My mom had a first been a skeptic about Juice Plus but started on them when her liver enzymes became elevated. She did that and drank more water and the enzyme level came down in about six weeks. She made no other changes.”
The couple and their son Ryan continue the regime today of eating “real” whole foods, while eliminating processed ones.
“We always had a traditional garden before,” Dawn said, “but now I garden year-round with my Tower Garden, which is an aeroponic system where I can grow vegetables and herbs, inside or out, without dirt. Mitch continues to do traditional gardening while I take the easy route by walking out to my Tower Garden, wherever it is – my basement, dining room, garage or patio – and pick produce that waters itself and doesn’t need to be weeded. Mitch also recently planted blackberry bushes on our land. He does start seeds for local people who use the Tower Garden, so we usually have something under the grow lights in our front room at all times.”
Dawn herself serves as an exemplary model for making exercise, proper eating, and a positive outlook a way of life. Her message to people is very simple: “Good health is 80 percent diet and 20 percent exercise. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. We must each take personal responsibility for our health and making positive changes in our lifestyles.”
Following are some of Dawn’s own favorite healthy recipes, that also will make both your taste-buds and your body happy. You can also find more on her Facebook group, “Dawn’s Real Foods” or by going to Pinterest where she also posts, and says has found some of her best recipes.
1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well) (250g after draining)
2 tbsp cocoa powder- Dutch or regular (10g) (add a little extra if desired)
1/2 cup quick oats (40g)
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave (Honey will work, but not for strict vegans.) (75g)
2 Nunaturals stevia packs or 2 tbsp sugar (or omit and increase maple syrup to 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil (40g)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips (115-140g) (Not optional. Omit at your own risk.)
optional: more chips, for presentation
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Really blend well. (A blender can work if you absolutely must, but the texture—and even the taste—will be much better in a food processor.) Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top. Cook the black bean brownies 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. Makes 9-12 brownies.
Here’s the frosting Dawn sometimes puts on the brownies.
Salted Caramel Frosting
8 Mejool dates, (available at Aldi in the produce section)
3 Tbsp oil (I used avocado oil)
3 Tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
rock sea salt for garnish
Put all (except salt) in a blender until smooth.
(Note: don’t add the salt until you’re ready to serve as it will draw the moisture out of your frosting and make it disappear.)
2 cups whole Mejool dates(unsweetened) Aldi now carries these.
1 cup dry roasted, unsalted nuts
1 scoop of Dutch Chocolate Juice Plus Complete plant-based protein. This is approximately $2 a serving and can be purchased from a Juice Plus rep. I’m sure they would give you a sample if you asked.
Blend until it clumps, roll into balls and refrigerate.
(Can be made in a crock pot or regular heavy pot. Add cooking time)
Peel and chop apples, add about 1/2 cup of water and cinnamon to taste
Place in Instant Pot and cook on manual for three minutes. You can quick release or allow pressure to decrease on its own. Open InstaPot and mash apples with a potato masher. Remove apples with slotted spoon to remove liquid. You can serve topped with homemade granola or eat plain.
4 cups gluten free old-fashioned oatmeal
Nuts and chia seeds, optional
3 T. (1/4 cup) peanut butter (no sugar added)
2 t. Vanilla
6 T. honey-I use raw, organic
6 T. coconut oil
Melt coconut oil, honey and peanut butter in microwave or on the stove to make it easier to mix into the dry ingredients. Combine wet and dry items, spread on a cookie sheet and place in a 300-degree oven for 26-30 minutes, stirring once during the cooking process.
(Available at Aldi with a green lid, or Earth Mother Health Foods)
Made in an InstaPot or just steam in a steamer pot or put it in a double boiler and cover.
1 bag of Superblend shredded veggies* or something similar like coleslaw mix. (The one I used had brussels sprouts, cabbage, kohlrabi, broccoli, carrots and kale shredded together)
1 lb. ground beef or soy crumbles if making this recipe vegan
1 T. fresh grated ginger or 1 t. Powdered ginger
1 medium onion, chopped
1 t. Minced garlic
2 T. white wine or rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce or coconut aminos (gluten free)
Brown rice, cooked or cauliflower rice, steamed
Turn Instant Pot to saute, add a tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, brown hamburger with chopped onion and garlic. If using soy crumbles, just brown onion and garlic and add crumbles when they are cooked.
Add the ginger, vinegar, soy sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
Remove from IP and mix with shredded veggies, put in an IP steamer container or a glass or metal bowl that will fit inside the IP.
Add 1 cup of water into the bottom of the IP, put a trivet in the bottom and set the bowl of egg roll ingredients on top of the trivet.
Turn IP to manual cook for one minute. Quick release when finished.
Serve on top of rice, add more soy sauce if desired.
(*Superblend brand available at WalMart)
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 t. Smoked paprika
1 T. chopped parsley
4 boneless white fish fillets (I’ve used various type of white-fleshed fish. I don’t use tilapia as they tend to be very contaminated.)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a shallow dish combine the cheese with the paprika and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle fish with olive oil and evenly place the cheese mixture on top of each fillet. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until the fish is opaque. This all depends on how thick your fillets are, usually 10 minutes. Don’t overcook fish or it will be dry.
5 medium carrots, tops cut off and scrubbed clean (no need to peel)
1 cup walnut pieces
1 cup whole almonds
1 cup whole pitted dates, packed
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats, packed
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried pineapple pieces (use more raisins if you don’t have these)
1/8 cup+1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Using the fine shredding attachment on your food processor, shred the carrots. Then put in the S-blade in the processor and add the walnuts, almonds, and dates, to the carrots. Process until everything is broken down and you have a crumbly mixture. Add the oats, raisins, pineapple, maple syrup, and spices and pulse until everything is well mixed.
Makes 30 small bars (less if you cut them larger)
8 ounces cold cream cheese
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
20-30 drops of liquid Stevia
1 lb. fresh broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 small red onion, diced finely
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup sunflower seed kernels
1 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup Truvia Baking Blend (or 1/2 cup sugar)
2 tsp. white vinegar
Toss broccoli with bacon, onion, cranberries and sunflower kernels.
Whisk together mayo, sugar and vinegar. Toss dressing in with broccoli salad an hour or two before serving. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir before serving. Enjoy!
“Food has power, power to prevent and reverse disease.” Dawn Fuemmeler, on the importance of a healthy diet