Saturday, May 31, 2008


When I went to the grocery store this week I was shocked that I spent nearly $30.00 more than the week before. And I basically bought all the same items! Economists predict that the cost of groceries is expected to rise throughout 2008. Don't let the current economy rock your world and erode your sense of inner peace! Hugo and I found some simple ways to save big on groceries and other expenses that we would like to share with you. Check out the following sites to trim your food budget.

Having less money to spend can be a stressful experience. When I feel discouarged about money issues, I donate a few bucks to a charitable organization to instantly give my spirits a boost. The money that I would have spent on a latte or a useless convenience item is much better put to use by a reputable non-profit. I used to splurge on shoes and handbags to get a temporary "happiness fix." But over time, I discovered that giving to another person or organization is much more satisfying.(Not to mention allows me more closet space and a less cluttered home) I firmly believe that what you give away comes back to you tenfold. I have witnessed this universal law in action in my own life and the lives of others numerous times. Money is simply an energy. How are you flowing yours?

If you feel inspired to donate a few bucks to charity, here is a great non-profit that could use some money to build a much needed children's playground. Brandywine Counseling is an excellent non -profit substance abuse treatment agency that is based in WIlmington, Delaware. I used to work here and saw first hand the tremendous amount of good this agency does for the clients and the community. Brandywine Counseling recently opened Delaware's first residential treatment program for women and their children. This program is really needs money to help purchase things for the babies and children that reside there. Click here to donate now through JustGive

Friday, May 30, 2008


I just spent a peaceful afternoon at Longwood Gardens with my mom and daughter. If you are planning to visit to the Brandywine Valley/Philadelphia region anytime soon, I strongly recommend a trip to Longwood. This place is like heaven on earth. Everywhere you look, you are greeted by beautiful flowers, fountains, water gardens and happy people. I feel very fortunate that this world renowned resort is only minutes from my house. It's a great place to reconnect with nature and find inner peace.

On a totally unrelated note, I have a bowlful of overly ripened bananas sitting on my kitchen table. It seems like all of the bananas I buy go from bright green to yellowish black in nanoseconds. Does this happen to you, too? Hugo developed a creative, delicious recipe to put these kinds of bananas to good use.

Whipped Banana "Ice Cream"

1. Peel ripened bananas and place them in the freezer. Allow bananas to remain in freezer for at least three hours.

2. Cut frozen bananas into 3 inch chunks. Place banana chunks in food processor or blender. Process chunks on high speed for 3 to 5 minutes until the are the consistency of whipped cream or soft serve ice cream

3. Serve immediately. Drizzle with organic honey or chocolate sauce. We also love to top our whipped banana "ice cream" with fresh fruit, nuts, sunflower seeds, granola and wheat germ. Try this simple and heavenly dessert this weekend (or whenever you happen to have ripe bananas laying around). You will not be disappointed!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


TGIF! Is Friday night pizza night in your house? For many families across America, pizza is the standard fare to kick start the weekend. We wanted to share our healthy pizza recipe with you. It's nutritious, delicious and we think it tastes better than takeout. Best of all, you can bake it faster than most delivery services can get to your door on busy Friday evenings. Enjoy!

Better Than Delivery Pizza Bake

Serves 6
1 large can refrigerated biscuits (like Pillsbury Grands or whole wheat alternative)
1 pound lean ground turkey or vegetarian "veggie crumbles'
1 large can pizza sauce, low sodium
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 large Vidalia or Spanish onion, chopped
1/2 cup black olives, pitted
2 cups part skim milk mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In large skillet over medium high heat, brown ground turkey or cook veggie crumbles according to package directions. Drain off fat. Add pizza sauce, peppers and onions to skillet cook for additional five minutes.

3. Spray of bottom of 13 X 9 glass or Pyrex baking dish with vegetable oil spray. Press refrigerator biscuits into bottom of baking dish.

4. Spread ground turkey/veggie crumble and pepper onion mixture on top of refrigerated biscuits. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes

5. Remove dish from oven. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for additional five minutes or until cheese melts. Serve

Hint: Toss in some more veggies to boost this dish's nutritional value. We recommend adding corn, peas, artichoke hearts, asparagus, tomatoes or even diced sweet potatoes. Yum!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


While hanging out at the pool with friends, I noticed the conversation kept shifting toward the economy and an overall sense of lack. On a daily basis, the media reminds us about the high price of gas, sky-rocketing food costs and the dismal housing market. No matter what the economists proclaim, I firmly believe that we can all manifest abundance and learn to prosper during hard times. When I experience feelings of lack and fear, I find that reaching for gratitude almost always help me realign with a sense of abundance and prosperity.

Here's a great exercise to help you manifest what you want in life:

Each night before going to sleep, make a list of all the things that you are grateful for in your life. Learning to appreciate the things that you already have creates a tremendous sense of joy. Gratitude and appreciation align all seven of your major chakras and bring a sense of eternal peace to everyday living. As you author your nightly gratitude list, review your day and feel thankful for all the positive things that happened to you and helpful people that crossed your path. Some people find it useful to analyze the events of the day in sequential or reverse-chronological order. Remember that there is nothing too small or trivial to feel grateful about. Examples of items of on a gratitude list include “I am grateful for my daughter’s beautiful smile.” “I am so thankful for this bed I sleep in." or “I feel so grateful for the new toothbrush I used today.” As you write your gratitude list, focus on the positive emotion that feeling thankful evokes within you. You will be amazed at how this simple exercise will shift your focus from one of impoverhment to abundance.

Here's a delicious recipe from Chef Hugo that is easy on the wallet but packed with nutrients and flavor.

Bountiful Black Bean Casserole
Serves 6

1 16 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup whole kernel corn, frozen
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup Vidalia onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
2 large carrot, sliced thin
1/2 cup low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a 2 quart casserole dish combine black beans, corn, water, salt. pepper, cilantro, garlic powder, onion and tomatoes..

2. Cover dish tightly with lid or foil. Bake for 30 minutes

3. Remove dish from oven and add carrots to dish. Stir well to combine.

4. Cover and bake for additional 30 minutes. Remove from oven.

5. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake uncovered for 5 additional minutes or until cheese melts. Serve warm

Per Serving: 181 Calories; 1g Fat (4.0% calories from fat); 12g Protein; 34g Carbohydrate; 14g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 236mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fat.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I caught the last 15 minutes of The Ellen DeGeneres Show today and was thrilled to see Dr. Wayne Dyer back on the show. Dr. Dyer and Ellen conducted an awesome social experiment. They invited the audience to commit random acts of kindness and share their experiences with everyone a month later. Here are some simple yet profound ways you can change your life by practicing kindness every day. As an added bonus, we've also included a brand new recipe called Pineapple Banana Blast. Chef Hugo just created this icy treat and it will definately keep you cool and satisfied on this blissfully hot day.

Recipes for Acts of Love and Kindness

Today, experience true love and compassion by serving others. When you are trying to lose weight and become a healthier person it is easy to become self-focused and self involved. Vow to do something kind for someone else this week and expect nothing in return. It is one of life’s greatest paradoxes in that giving things away that we receive the greatest rewards. Open your heart chakra by extending acts of loving kindness to your family, friends, and neighbors.

Bake Some Goodies and Give Them Away

If you enjoy baking and gorging on goodies, this week try baking and giving the treats away. Whip up batch of healthy organic cupcakes and take them to your local Ronald McDonald House, where families of sick children are starving for some homemade treats and a few comforting words. Or clear your pantry of excess canned goods and deliver them to your local homeless shelter.

Give Your Time Away

Instead of watching television, spend your free time serving someone in need. Volunteer to baby-sit for a single mom who desperately needs some time alone. Or spend an afternoon visiting with your lonely, elderly neighbor. Go to a local nursing home and see if it is possible to spend time with a resident who rarely gets visitors. Figure out how you can mentor a disadvantaged child in your community.

Give Your Talents Away

We all have special talents that we can offer the world. This week find a way to offer someone one of your unique skills. If you are an attorney, help a struggling friend prepare his will. If you are a nurse, assist a confused neighbor navigate their health insurance plan. Are you great at helping people market and promote themselves? Help a friend re-write her resume and land the job of her dreams. Find a way to serve others by doing something that comes easily to you.

Let Go of Some Loose Change

This week, donate money to your favorite charity or cause. If you are short on cash, find a small way to make a big difference. For example, you could anonymously feed a parking meter about to expire or pay the toll for the car behind you. Even writing a ten-dollar check to a struggling non- profit agency is a great way to make a contribution that matters.

Give Away Your Clutter

Did you know that the items that collect dust in your basement could bring sheer joy to a needy family? This week, consider giving away some of your gently used items to charitable organizations. Used toys, book, clothing, eyeglasses and cars are all great items to donate. Lighten your load ad someone else’s this week.

Bury the Hatchet

Forgiveness is an act of love that will open your heart center and allow compassion to flow back into your life. This week, forgive someone who has wronged you. Just because you decide to forgive someone does not mean that you condone his or her behavior. Let go of any resentment you feel toward them. Know that the negative feelings you harbor undermine your own health and well being and rarely affect the other person. You may choose to let this person know that you forgive them or forgive them silently from a distance. Above all, forgive yourself for anything that you have been beating yourself up about.

Pineapple Banana Blast

7 large bananas, ripe and mashed
3 tablespoons sugar (optional)
20 ounces canned crushed pineapple, undrained
6 ounces fresh orange juice, concentrate thawed
1 cup pineapple, sliced
1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
3 cups water, hot

1. In a large bowl, combine banana, sugar, crushed pineapple. orange juice and hot water. Stir well.

2. Pour mixture into 9 X 13 chilled metal pan. Freeze overnight.

3. Remove from pan at least 30 minutes prior to serving. Spoon into desired serving dishes. Garnish with pineapple slices and strawberries. Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 servings

Per Serving : 270 Calories; 1g Fat (2.3% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 48g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 7mg Sodium. Exchanges: 3 ½ Fruit; 2 Other Carbohydrates.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Happy Memorial Day! We had an amazing weekend hanging out with family and friends at parties and poolside. On this special day, we remember our veterans and feel grateful for all of the wonderful people in our lives. For us, summer is all about relaxing and enjoying good company. Below is a healthy, custard like recipe Chef Hugo created. This summertime treat is a nutritious dessert option for barbeques and beach parties. Enjoy!
Summer Berry Clafoutis

Yield: 8 servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serving size: 1 slice

Each serving has:

115 calories

24 g carbohydrates

1 g fat

1 g fiber

3 g protein

6 eggs

1 1/4 cups skim milk, warmed

6 tablespoons sugar

1 cup strawberries, halved

1 cup blueberries

3/4 cup unbleached flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

dash confectioner's sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease a 9 inch round baking pan.

2. Combine eggs, milk, sugar, and salt in food processor on low speed. Add in flour and blend well.

3. Lightly dust strawberries and blueberries with flour and place fruit in round baking dish.

4. Pour egg mixture over cherries.

5. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of clafoutis comes out clean. Lightly dust with confectioner's sugar and serve warm.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Paradoxically, while we were writing The Inner Peace Diet, we experienced the most stressful period in our lives to date. My dad was diagnosed with a malignant, inoperable brain tumor, our two year old was hospitalized due to bowel issues and we faced unforeseen financial difficulties related to the dissolution of our family's restaurant business. To complicate matters,I almost burnt down our house in an attempt to ensure a recipe was technically accurate (I got sidetracked by a hot game of hide and seek and forgot all about the pot on the stove) It was as if the universe was playing a cruel trick on us. The exercises in our book were being put to the test on a daily basis. Does The Inner Peace Diet really work? Is it actually possible to maintain a sense of inner peace during life's most challenging days?

We are very proud to say the exercises and eating plans in our book really do work. In more ways that one, this book was a lifesaver. Nearly every day, I was forced to put into practice each personal growth exercise I wrote. Although the outer circumstances of my life seemed difficult, I was able to tap into the vast sense of inner peace that is available to all of us, in every moment. For me, the quickest and simplest way to access inner peace is through my breathing.

Here are some suggestions on how to achieve inner peace through breathing:

Breathing is of one of the most grounding and calming experiences we can have in the physical form. Does it seem silly to you read instructions about a concept as fundamental as breathing? Breath is something that most of us take for granted. It is an involuntary response that we rarely think about. Air is one of our basic survival needs. Food and water compromise a mere ten percent of the human body’s daily requirements. An alarming, ninety percent of our body's daily requirement is oxygen. Perhaps many people overeat in an effort to nourish their oxygen-starved body! Without breath, human beings can only survive a maximum of ten minutes. Most of us do not breathe properly and deprive ourselves of the vital energy we need to prosper. By training our lungs to effectively take in and dispel air we can literally transform our lives and our entire chakra system.

The first step to inner peace through breathing is to simply notice your own breathing patterns. Sit quietly in a space where you will not be disturbed. Take a moment to close your eyes. Become aware of your body drawing in air. Do not attempt to change or alter anything. Simply notice your own unique and conditioned way of inhaling. Gently observe how you exhale. Do you empty your lungs completely? Or do you hold your breath? Is your breathing rapid and shallow? Does your chest expand when you take in oxygen? Do you fill your belly with air or simply just inflate your upper lungs? Is your breath even or is it jerky? Sit and notice your breath for ten minutes. Our breath is often an accurate reflection of how we live our lives. For example, does your rapid, uneven breathing mirror your chaotic and fast-paced lifestyle? In your journal, write any thoughts feeling and behaviors that this exercise stirred within you.

Yoga teacher Dawn Mehan teaches that there are five qualities to good breath. Life sustaining breath is deep, smooth, even, without sound and without pause. Does your breath embody these qualities? The following exercises are designed to help you attain healthy breathing patterns that will ground and support your root chakra center. Experiment with all four of these breathing exercises this week.

Breathing from your belly

Gently close your eyes. Place your right hand over your heart center and your left hand over your belly. Placing your hand over your heart is an act of self-love that provides an instant sense of tranquility. By placing your hand over your belly you will be able to sense your deep breaths and learn how to breathe more effectively. Allow yourself to breathe normally for three complete breaths. When you are ready, gently inhale. Fill you belly with a long cleansing breath. Sense this breath with your left hand. First fill your belly with air, then fill your lower lungs with air and finally fill your upper lungs with air. Imagine that you are filling a glass of clean, refreshing water. Pour the water from the bottom of your belly to top of your lungs. As you exhale, imagine that you are emptying the same glass of water. First empty the air from your upper lungs, then your lower lungs and finally empty your belly. Practice this breath for ten minutes. In order to enhance belly breathing, you may wish to visualize your belly as a large red balloon that expands during inhalation and deflates during exhalation.

Relaxing Breath

Close your eyes. Sit in a comfortable position. Make sure that you are seated in a posture that you do not have to struggle to maintain. Allow yourself to sink into your chair or the floor. Relax your body and clear your mind of any thoughts or worries. Feel how totally and completely you are supported in this moment. Slowly inhale as you count to three. Without pausing between breaths immediately exhale as you silently count to five. This simple exercise virtually guarantees relaxation. As you inhale, you are stimulating your sympathetic nervous system. Your sympathetic nervous system mediates your body’s natural responses to stress and physical activity, by increasing your heart rate, your blood pressure and your muscle tone. As you exhale, you are engaging your parasympathetic nervous system. Responsible for rest, sleep and digestion, the parasympathetic nervous system decreases your heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tone. This simple breathing exercise lowers your heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tone by drawing on the wisdom of your own body.

Healing Breath

Gently close your eyes. Lie down on the floor or in your bed. Practice breathing naturally for a few moments. Either silently or aloud ask yourself what part of your body most needs healing in this moment. Place the hand you use to write with over the area of your body that feels like it needs healing. This area may feel hurt, tense or simply just calls out for your attention. Place your other hand on your abdomen. Slowly inhale. As you inhale, visualize a healing energy flowing into your hand. Picture this energy as loving white light that heals every cell it touches. With each inhalation, imagine this healing light purifying your body and making it new and healthy. As you exhale, imagine the pain and negativity washing out of your body and your life. Continue breathing deeply and visualizing the healing, white light for ten minutes.


Although the Inner Peace Diet will help you lose pounds quickly and effortlessly, it is not a fad diet. Rather, it is a lifelong plan that encourages you to eat healthy foods and to feed your mind and soul with joyful thoughts. In order to attain permanent weight loss you must change your eating habits in conjunction with your thoughts and behavior.

The book is divided into nine easy-to-read chapters. The first chapter is an introduction which tells you exactly how to use the book for maximum results. The next seven chapters focus on each of the major chakra systems in the body, chakras one through seven respectively. The final chapter focuses on combining healthy foods representing all of the chakras and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and weight throughout your time on Earth. Each chapter contains three breakfast recipes, three lunch recipes, four dinner recipes, two dessert recipes and a host of healthy snacks. A comprehensive list of chakra-enhancing foods and spices is included in each chapter. In addition to the easy-to-follow eating plan, each chapter features exercises that focus on psychological and emotional healing. These exercises are designed to help you achieve a sense of self mastery, fulfillment and inner peace and can readily be incorporated into a busy, fast-paced lifestyle. Created by a licensed psychotherapist who has helped many people lose weight, these techniques will help you attain a level of happiness greater than you ever imagined. These proven self help methods combine cognitive behavioral therapy, self hypnosis and Gestalt therapy with ancient spiritual traditions. Concluding each chapter is a meditation that can be used to reinforce new eating behaviors. The book is appropriate for people of all religious backgrounds and traditions and encourages people to be who they are.


Are you looking for way to lose weight and eliminate stress from your life? You have found the answer you have been seeking. The Inner Peace Diet is revolutionary book that will help you lose weight and live the life of your dreams. This book differs from other diet and self help books on the shelf because it is not strictly about theory. It is about honoring yourself. This extraordinary diet was created by a registered nurse, licensed psychotherapist and acclaimed master chef. By implementing this innovative seven-week plan, you will shed unwanted pounds and gain a sense of eternal serenity. The Inner Peace Diet will transform your body and mind so that you can attain the permanent joy and tranquility you are in search of. Through following the guidelines in this unique book, you will obtain not only your ideal body but your ideal life. This blog contains many tips that will enhance your journey to inner peace.

The Inner Peace Diet uses the body’s chakra system in order to achieve permanent weight loss and bliss. In the human body there are seven main chakras, or energy points, arranged vertically from the base of the groin to the top of the skull. As of this publication their is no diagnostic test that can assess if a chakra is functioning properly. However, human beings must have balanced, healthy chakras in order to thrive and prosper. For over five thousand years, many Eastern cultures have acknowleged the role of the chakras in restoring health and vitality. Although the chakra system may seem farfetched, it is a valid concept that is increasingly being researched and gaining popularity in the United States and the larger Western world. Bestselling author and physician Deepak Chopra stresses the importance of a healthy chakra system in his books and workshops. The ancient science of yoga is focused entirely on balancing the chakra system and is currently practiced by thirty million people worldwide. The holistic Indian practice of Ayurveda has been practiced for five thousand years and centers on the chakras. Lisa Oz, wife of Mehment Oz, M.D. and co-author of the bestselling “YOU on a Diet” series, concentrates on the importance of the chakra system in her life’s work as a Reiki Master, author and speaker.

Each chakra represents a spectrum of vibrating electrical energy through which we process life experiences and emotions. Ideally all seven chakras will emit the same amount of energy. When functioning properly, the chakras spin like pinwheels in a clockwise direction as they regulate our energies, emotions and health. If this energy is blocked, physical and or psychiatric illness will manifest. The lowest chakra corresponds to our fundamental survival needs such as food and shelter. As the chakras move up the body, they relate to our higher level needs such as communication and spirituality. The first chakra is located in the genitals and called the root chakra. This energy center is associated with the color red and the adrenal glands. The second chakra is known as the sacral chakra and is located in the uterus in women and the spleen in men. This chakra is represented by the color orange. The third chakra is called the solar plexus and is located near the lower ribs and associated with the color yellow. Diseases associated with an unbalanced solar plexus include alcoholism, eating disorders and digestive problems. Above the solar plexus is the fourth chakra, otherwise known as the heart chakra. The heart chakra is behind the sternum and physically associated with the thymus gland and the heart. The fifth, throat chakra is located at the base of the neck and associated with the color blue. The throat chakra is associated with the thyroid and parathyroid glands, and creativity and emotions are expressed through this energy center. The sixth chakra is known as the brow or third eye chakra and is located above and between the eyes. Associated with the pituitary gland, this chakra is also known as an individual’s intuition center and is often paired with the colors indigo and violet. The final and seventh chakra is the crown chakra, located at the top of the head behind the skull. This chakra is physically associated with the pineal gland and represents a person’s connection with their spirituality and with the universe. The crown chakra is usually represented by the colors violet and white. . The chakra system is best described as an inner rainbow through which we can access inner peace and attain our greatest desires.

The most common symptoms of unbalanced and blocked chakras are weight gain and obesity. . This book is designed to balance the chakras, promote weight loss, and create a sense of lasting peace and contentment. The Inner Peace Diet is a seven-week eating plan featuring easy-to-prepare delicious recipes created by a master chef. All the ingredients can be purchased at your local grocery store and most of the entrees can be prepared in less than thirty minutes. Each week focuses on specific foods that will enhance that chakra’s optimal functioning. The book encourages eating fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. Research has consistently shown that eating a variety of rainbow-colored vegetables containing phytonutrients promotes longevity and wards off cancer and heart disease. We look forward to giving you some tips on how you can enhance your chakra system and live a blissful life!