Interested in a free one-on-one Health Coaching Consultation?
Email me at , and together we will work to create your happiest, healthiest life!

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Successful, Healthy, and Happy Thanksgiving (recipes included!!)

I hope that everyone had a healthy and happy Thanksgiving!

I know that the holidays can be very stressful, and often times that stress is exasperated when you have food allergies, and/or eat a non-traditional diet, like myself.  With practice and patience, in time the holidays do become easier.  One thing I did this year was order food from one of my favorite vegan eateries-- this way no one had to worry about making food a particular way for me, and I did not have to ask a million questions about what is in every item of food :)

So, I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my future in-laws at my fiancĂ©'s  father's house, where we all contributed some delicious cuisine! 

Our first course was my fiancé's (now famous) Butternut Squash and Apple Soup (which he made vegan for me :)

3 lbs. Butternut Squash
1 lbs. Sweet Potato
2 Granny Smith Apples
2 Sweet Onions
4 large carrots
4oz. Butter (Earth Balance Vegan Butter)
1/2 c. coconut milk
6 pints of vegetable broth
2 tsp. ginger
2 tsp, nutmeg
2 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Dice and toss apples, potatoes, carrots, squash, garlic and ginger.
Roast in the oven at 400 degrees, for about 45-50 minutes or until tender.
Remove from the oven and puree squash mixture with broth and 1 c. of water.
Transfer to a medium sauce pan or crock pot and simmer over medium heat.

Next, we had a Beet, Fennel, and Fig Salad with Cranberry-Sage dressing- contributed by yours truly :)
Beet, Fennel, and Fig Salad:
(found in Shape Magazine, November 2011 issue)

For the Dressing:
4 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 c. finely chopped shallots
1 c. fresh cranberries
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp. fresh sage
1/3 c. water
1 tbs. pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp. salt

For the Salad:
1 lb. beets
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and halved
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 c. raw pecans
8 oz. baby arugula
6 fresh figs, cut into wedges
And then of course, turkey and stuffing galore! 
For the main course, I ordered food to save myself time and stress, from Good Karma Cafe in Red Bank.  For just $40 I got a huge stuffed acorn squash- which was out of this world! And three sides: Sweet potatoes, Mashed potatoes, and mixed vegetables. The best part: I have leftovers!! 

For dessert, my future sister in law made Vegan Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream and Coconut Whip Cream.  I also had a slice of Vegan and Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie from Good Karma.

Vegan Pumpkin Ice Cream:
14 oz. can + 1 c. coconut milk
2 tbs. arrowroot powder
1 can pumpkin puree
2tbs. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 c. brown sugar (or agave)
1 tbs. vanilla extract

In a small bowl, whisk arrowroot with 1/2 c. milk and set aside.
In a small sauce pan over low heat mix milk, pumpkin, spice, and sugar.
Put the heat on medium and cook  until just about to boil.
Remove from heat and add arrowroot mix and vanilla.
Chill for a couple of hours and put in ice cream machine.
Serve with Coconut Whip Cream (see below)

Vegan Coconut Whipped Cream:

1 can of full fat Coconut milk in the fridge over night-- do not shake can!
Scoop out the top half, it is a white solid
Add confectioner sugar and vanilla and whip

*The bottom half of the can is fat free coconut milk (can be used for ice cream)
And of course, the Little Princess, Avery, had her Thanksgiving Dinner:
Wild Rice
Steamed String Beans
Mashed butternut squash
and a tiny treat of Turkey :)
= One happy Maltese!

Enjoy the long weekend, and take time for some self care to escape the chaos!

With Gratitude, Love, and Health <3

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My thanksgiving is perpetual...

Hello little Turkeys,

I have some BIG news...

My formally known as "boyfriend" of 7 1/2 years, proposed to me last Friday on 11/11/11!!
 When I was a little girl I told my best friend, Erica, that I would get married on Novermber 11, 2011 simply because, 11 is MY number :) Well, my predictions were not exact, but darn close! My thanksgiving is truly perpetual, and after over a week I still cannot contain my smile-- my cheekbones are hurting from smiling so darn much!

I know that many people out there could not find the significance in 11/11/11, and you may be one of those skeptics. So, I want to explain to you why this day and it's synchronicity is so special (and not just because I got engaged :) When repeated numbers appear (11 11 11),  many believe that this is divine guidance.  I am sure you have caught yourself making a wish when you catch the clock at 11:11... I sure have!

And like Gabrielle Bernstein's said in her article here featured on, "when I believe in divine guidance, the more miracles I experience"... So, here is my story about believing:

Twelve years ago at the age of 12, I met my first, and last love. 

We met at a local park, and at such a young age, we both felt it. That weird sensation in your heart that makes you feel like it might explode out of your chest. The butterflies in your stomach that make you feel like you are going to be sick if you move. That knot in your throat that makes it impossible for you to say a coherent sentence... and that "head in the cloud" feeling in your brain, that keeps you from thinking logically.

We felt love.  
Twelve years later, this same boy brought me back to that same place, and made me his fiance.  

No, he and I did not date for 12 years.  In fact, we dated for one magical, fairy tale-like year in grammar school, and then broke up.  Throughout the five years that we were not together, we still had a strong connection. I for one, dreamt about  him almost every single night. When I would see him (we went to the same high school), my heart would thump so hard that I swore it was going to jump out of my chest! I even played this game, where I would say to myself, "I am going to see John when I turn this corner..." and surely enough, I would turn the corner, and he and I were the only other two people in the hallway. Every. single. time. And then, I would drop my head and hurry off as quickly as possible :)

John was a year older than me, and when the end of his senior year approached, I knew I had to do something drastic.  I could not let him leave my life.  Every cell in my body told me that I needed him, and I knew that he felt the same way. So, after five years, we began dating again.... and 7 1/2 years later, we are planning a wedding!

I may not go to church every Sunday, but I am a believer.  I believe that we are all put on this earth for a reason.  I believe that people come in and out of our lives, and certain things happen, both good and bad, in order to help us fulfill our purpose. I believe that omens lie in plain sight, but you have to be open and believe in order to understand them.  Every time I need a wish, I catch the clock at 11:11.  My wish has always been to have love, health, and happiness with John, ever since I was 12-years-old.

Maybe you think I am crazy... but what does it hurt by believing? 

I challenge you to write down your dreams, your wishes, and to make it an obligation to think about these dreams every single day.  Meditate on them, if that is your thing.  Envision them while washing the dishes (which I know we all will be doing a lot of this week!) And most importantly, give thanks for what you have today.  Show the Universe that you are grateful for what it has given you so far, and that you are open for more greatness!

Make a wish, dream, believe. What's stopping you?

I want to leave you with a quote by Henry David Thoreau, that has so much meaning to me right now, and just in time for the Holidays. I hope it can give you meaning as well...

"I am grateful for what I am and have. 
My thanksgiving is perpetual... 
O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. 
No run on my bank can drain it 
for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment."

Have a wonderful, relaxing Thanksgiving.  Give thanks for all of the blessings in life, and believe in all the goodness to come....

With Love and Gratitude <3

Friday, November 11, 2011

Good Health is Gorgeous

I am honored to share with you, My Story!
Thank you to my friend, Maria, for giving me this amazing opportunity to reflect on my journey to wellness through writing my story for her campaign "Good Health is Gorgeous".

Read my story here: 

The Long, Courageous Road to Feeling Gorgeous


Thursday, November 10, 2011


Hello all of your BEAUTIFUL people,

I have a confession to make.  Things are going really well in my life.  I am enjoying my job as a preschool teacher.  My boyfriend and I are so over the top in love (after 7 1/2 years).  He just passed the first part of his CPA exam (whew!). My nutrition program at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition is just invigorating.  And, I just discovered that a local college (Georgian Court University) has a Masters program for Holistic Health (woo hoo!!).

The one problem... all of this celebrating is putting a toll on my ass.

We have all been there, most of us are there at any given minute-- having a low self esteem. Being your worst enemy.  Everything in my life is so wonderful right now, but the one thing that keeps brings me down and keeps me from enjoying this wonderful time of my life is, my stupid insecurity.

My friend Maria, the creator of  Going Down Swinging: A RSD/CRPS Blog recently asked me to write a post for her campaign titled "Good Health is Gorgeous".  After Maria asked me, it took about two weeks for the inspiration to put my story, so to say "on paper" (or on the internet for the world to see).  I know I say this so often, but EVERYTHING happens for a reason.  Maria asked me to write for her right when I was beginning to feel down about my recent weight gain.  While writing my story (which I will repost when available) I was given the opportunity to analyze my past harsh decisions that did harm to my body.  I looked at my story and I thought to myself, "wow, I have come a long way".  Today, I am the healthiest I have ever been.  I eat foods for their nutrients, and I feel amazing.  I no longer have IBS, Acid Reflux, asthma or allergies.  I can easily run 6-miles in the woods, no inhaler or medication necessary. And I can make a delicious vegan meal that will wow the sox off of any herbivore.

Just last night I was feeling down on myself. This morning, I listened to my lecture for the week for IIN.  What, you might ask, is this lecture about? Well of course, you sneaky Universe: Body image. As Harville Hendrix said, negativity is a toxin, just as much of a toxin as fertilizer and pesticides. We absorb negativity from other people (and we feed other people our negativity). Release yourself from negativity and fill your self with something that is so simple... GRATITUDE. Your body will thank you, your health with improve, your relationships will be better, you will experience joy and vitality. Look at life as GRACE! 
A little piece of Heaven... 

Give thanks for that beautiful body you were blessed with! 

Both my lecture and my friend Maria brought an important fact to my attention: as women we are CONSTANTLY bombarded with the unrealistic idealism of the media. The two clips below are a must watch for women of all ages.... (please send these videos along to all of the woman you know).

So, the next time you are feeling down about your body-- turn your negativity around with gratitude. At first, it takes some practice, but the more gratitude you fill yourself with, the less room there will be for negativity, and therefore the HAPPIER you will become. 

You are GORGEOUS. Never, ever doubt that.

With love! Xoxo

*Stay tuned for my story which I will share with you when available on Maria's campaign