Monday, June 30, 2008


I am thrilled and honored that Dr. Molly Roberts, MD, MS and Dr. Bruce Roberts, MD offered to be guests on The Inner Peace Diet blog today. Dr. Molly Roberts is a holistic physician, the Co-Director of LightHearted Medicine ( and a physician at Canyon Ranch Health Resort in Tucson. She is triply Board Certified in Family Medicine, Holistic Medicine and Nutrition. Dr. Roberts is also a psychotherapist and an ordained Shamanic Minister. She has written two books, one on Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the other on Nutrition. Her specialty is Mind/Body/Spirit Medicine. Her husband, Bruce Roberts, MD is triply Board Certified in Family Medicine, Psychiatry and Holistic Medicine and is also an ordained Shamanic Minister. He does a lot of Nutritional Medicine work as well, particularly related to mental health issues. He is a Co-Director at LightHearted Medicine and is also a physician at Canyon Ranch.

I asked Dr. Roberts the following three questions and received three very informative. powerful answers.

What advice do you offer patients who are beginning their journey to weight loss?

My first suggestion to anyone starting on a weight loss regimen is to take some time to smile at themselves in the mirror. This sounds like a simple thing, but it's actually fairly difficult for those who have diligently avoided looking at themselves in the mirror for several years. It's very hard to lose weight if you are doing it as a punishment for "bad behavior" in the past. It is much easier to lose weight when you are doing it as a way to show love to yourself and to honor your body, and looking in the mirror is the first step to changing this mindset. At first, the person looking in the mirror will hear all those little "demon voices" that we all have in our heads, telling them how horrible they look, how they aren't worth it, how large their thighs are, etc. It is important to make those voices conscious so that their iron control can be loosened. Smiling at this point will feel forced and fake, but I tell them to do it anyway. The person is instructed to keep on looking at themselves, to look in their own eyes, and to keep smiling at themselves. If they do this diligently, every time they pass a mirror, the smile will start to win out over the voices, and a new voice will start to take hold. The new voice will be saying, "Actually, I'm OK! No matter what my weight is, no matter what else is going on for me, whether or not I ever get thin thighs, I'm OK!" There is literally a reorganization of the brain's chemistry at this point, and the person will feel more self-acceptance and hope. Once this shift happens, I see a shift in the person's reason for losing weight as well. They will start to say, "If I do this weight loss thing, I'm going to do it just for me and my own health." It is then that the weight loss plan has the best chance of succeeding. I have suggested this not only for weight loss but for depression and anxiety as well for the last 25 years or so with great results. Just last year, I was pleased to see a research study indicating that smiling in the mirror was more effective than an antidepressant for treating depressive symptoms. Not bad!

What is the best way to tap into your body's innate healing power?

The best way is whatever fits for the person, and the key is to find the method that best helps you to hear your own inner wisdom speaking to you. For years, my husband and I have run Mind/Body Skills Groups, teaching people multiple methods for tapping into their own intuition about what they need for healing. What we love about these groups is that it really is a matter of "different strokes for different folks." The idea is not that you will walk away from this group doing all the many techniques you learned. Instead, the goal is for each person to find those one or two methods that really "ring their chimes," that most resonate with them and help them to hear their own wisdom. When you discover your unique power to tap in, your healing potential comes to the forefront, and it is a wonder to behold!

What are the most important factors in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and spiritual health?
This is a particularly large question, one that I could write a book about (and I am!). If I were to choose one thing, though, I would say that it is important to continually ask the question, "Am I treating my body and myself with reverance?" That concept of reverance takes the concept of a healthy lifestyle out of the realm of the material (such as calorie-counting or getting exactly twenty minutes a day of meditating) and takes it into a recognition that our bodies are the repository of our souls and should be honored and respected as such. When you are treating yourself with reverance, then every act, every thought is spiritual, and you end up living every moment of your life in a much more meaningful way
Take some time today to check our Drs. Roberts awesome website. It is chock full of inspiring and educational infomation.
Thanks, Drs. Roberts!

Sunday, June 29, 2008


"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I . . . I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."
— Robert Frost"

The dangers of life are infinite, and among them is safety."
— Goethe"

"Do you want to be safe and good, or do you want to take a chance and be great?"

— Jimmy Johnson Dallas Cowboys Coach

Writing the book The Inner Peace Diet was a huge risk for us. Will people like our book? Will they actually buy it? Sharing some long held secret restaurant recipes was especially difficult for Chef Hugo. You can live your entire life following the path of least resistance. A life full of minimal risk, little unknowns, and no discomfort offers us an illusion of great safety. By following the herd and conforming to societal standards we often are rewarded with great praise. By following our heart's desires and dreams we are often met with massive criticism. However, most people often find inner peace in precisely this way. What risk would you take right now if you had the nerve?

Saturday, June 28, 2008


“Sometimes it's important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it's essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.”“ Douglas Pagels

It's so important to learn how to relax and just hang out in today's fast paced world. Hugo and I just got home from a relaxing dinner date. It's not always easy to carve out time in our busy schedules for relaxation, but we feel it is crucial. Tonight we went to the Blue Parrot, a swanky little grill in Wilmington, Delaware that features traditional New Orleans cuisine and music. If you are ever in the Wilmington area, we highly recommend this restaurant. Check out their menu online for a l little inspiration or a taste of the Delta.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother. ~Kahlil Gibran

Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. And lo, no one was there. ~Author Unknown

These quotes give me great comfort today. We've talked to a few of the world's finest neurosurgeons and it looks as if my beloved father will be having surgery to remove part of his brain tumor sometime in the near future. A part of me is scared and doubtful, but a larger part of me has complete faith and trusts that everything is unfolding in perfect order. During times of darkness and uncertainty, I remind myself and others about all of the wonderful things that exist that we cannot see with our eyes. For example, I cannot see the electricity flowing through my home, but I faithfully pay my utility bills each month. Even though I can't see the radio waves, I trust that when I push a certain button in in my car, the music will start. What helps you to have faith and trust in the universe?

Speaking of comfort, here is one of Chef Hugo's healthier comfort food alternatives for you.

Super Skinny Sweet Potato Pie

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup organic honey
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
dash allspice
3 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup evaporated skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups sweet potato, cooked, skin removed and mashed

1. In medium bowl, combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Gradually add skim milk and oil to mixture.

2. Stir until well blended. Form pastry into smooth ball.

3. Roll pastry roll between 2 12 inch squares of waxed paper using short quick strokes until pastry is completely flattened over wax paper.

4. Peel off top layer of wax paper and invert crust into pie plate. Preheat oven to 350F.

5. To make filling:

6. Combine honey and dark brown sugar in large bowl.

7. Gradually add evaporated skim milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and vanilla. Stir well.

8. Add sweet potatoes. Thoroughly combine.

9. Pour mixture into pie shell.

10. Bake pie for 55 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Serve.

Yield: 16 servings

Per Serving : 118 Calories; 3g Fat (21.7%calories from fat); 3g Protein; 20g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 40mg Cholesterol; 92mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates

Thursday, June 26, 2008


I am thrilled to have Jennifer Melnick Carota, MS, LPC as a guest this evening on our blog. Jennifer is a licensed professional counselor and sought after motivational speaker. She is known as the Rachel Ray of shopping in many circles. She has great energy and is clearly going places!

This week, I interviewed Jennifer and she gave me the following responses. This is wonderful expert advice. Thanks for the gift of your wisdom, Jennifer!

How can giving to others give a person an increased sense of inner peace and contentment?

I have always considered giving as a natural expression of our love for one another. When we give freely without an expectation of return we free ourselves to give more abundantly and joyfully. What brings me inner peace is focusing on the “intent” in which I “choose” to give. As long as I am giving out of love rather than a sense of obligation I find myself more generous, thoughtful and full of life
What are you favorite gifts to offer to loved ones and why? I would like to consider myself as both a thoughtful and sentimental gift giver, therefore, I try to customize or personalize gifts as much as possible. I love to give gifts that bring back memories of happy times, funny moments, or emotional milestones in our relationships with one another. For example, my husband is a huge Batman fanatic and on our first date we went to the drive in to see “Batman Returns.” On our first year anniversary I bought him an authentically autographed and framed “Batman Returns” movie poster…He loved it! But I must add that I also wrote a sentimental note in the card just in case he didn’t make the connection.
As a licensed mental health counselor, what tips would you offer for managing stress and living a healthier lifestyle? Thank you for asking this question! As a therapist and mentor I have worked with many young girls who struggle with significant stress and anxiety in their adolescent lives. I feel it is necessary for us as mentors and role models to lead by example and make our joy and peace contagious! How do I do this? One of my favorite ways to start and end the day is with gratitude. I encourage everyone to keep a “Joy Journal” daily. Start and end the day by briefly listing the big and small things that you are grateful for. Do your favorite jeans fit comfortably? Write it down! Send that positive energy out into the universe! Do this for at least thirty days and I promise you will find yourself living a more calm, peaceful and healthful lifestyle…and a magnet for great Karma!

Do you have a favorite healthy recipe to share?
One of my favorite no-guild summer desserts:
Stuffed Angel Food Surprise

1 Pre-made angel food cake·

½ cup of shredded coconut (toasted or untoasted) or sliced almonds·

1 pint strawberries – sliced·

2 medium bananas-sliced in rounds·

1 can unsweetened crushed pineapple- drained·

1 container Light Cool Whip (thawed)

Cut angel food cake horizontally into two layers. With a medium spatula, spread the bottom layer of the sliced cake with thawed cool whip. Arrange sliced fruits alternately on top of the cool whip. Sprinkle with coconut or slice almonds. Add another layer of cool whip and put top layer back onto the cake. Press down gently. Chill or freeze until firm. Drizzle with powdered sugar, reserved pineapple juice or honey if desired before serving. Store any leftovers in refrigerator or freezer. Enjoy! *Be creative and substitute fresh fruits of your choice, i.e. fresh peaches, kiwi, mango, or mandarin oranges!

Please visit Jennifer’s website for more free tips, tricks, and strategies guaranteed to make your gift giving easier and fun this year Want to give the gift of giving? Purchase Jennifer’s Book “Shop Smart GIVE MORE” by visiting her store at

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best. ~Henry van Dyke

When you aim for perfection, you discover it's a moving target. ~George Fisher

These quotes really speak to me today."It's perfect!" My two year old daughter exclaimed today after studying a drawing she created in art class. A part of me delighted in her present-centered joy and self -esteem. Another part of me cringed as I wondered if she knows the meaning of the word "perfect" at such a tender age. For many of us , perfectionism is a tool we use to postpone our dreams and procrastinate. Many people I talk to are waiting for those "perfect" conditions to start a diet, find a mate or change careers. Time and experience have taught me that conditions are rarely perfect for beginning any endeavor. As a working mom, I have no desire or time for the old perfectionism that I used to embrace. Sometimes I overcook dinner, don chipped nail polish or leave the house with my hair disheveled. My new goal is to see the perfection in every day, instead of trying to make every day perfect.

How do you define perfect?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


"Change always comes bearing gifts. "~Price Pritchett

"The only difference between a rut and a grave is their dimensions." Ellen Glasgow

I love these two quotes about the concept of change. The following statement has been said a million times before in various ways but I will say it again. Change is inevitable. It is a healthy part of life that helps us grow and expand.

We are enduring some tiny yet dramatic changes in our house today. Our two year old daughter has simultaneously given up her nap and her voracious appetite for vegetables. Friends and family have told us these things would happen eventually. On a scale of life's major events, these milestones are small and innocuous . However, they remind us of how important it is to be flexible and open minded to the changing tides, no matter how big the waves. Here is a delicious recipe for Pink Princess Slaw. It is a delicious side dish sure to be devoured by princesses (and princes ) everywhere, even though it is comprised mainly of cabbage!

Pink Princess Slaw (Magic Wand Optional)

Serves about 5

2 tablespoons fat free sour cream

2 tablespoons lowfat buttermilk

2 tablespoons fat free mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 tablespoon organic honey

dash sea salt

2 tablespoons scallion -- minced

5 cups red cabbage, shredded

In a large bowl. combine sour cream, buttermilk, mayo,Dijon,vinegar,honey, sea salt and scallions. Mix well.

Add red cabbage to bowl. Toss well. Cover and refrigerate for three hours or overnight. Serve to your royal subjects with pride.

Per Serving : 70 Calories; 3g Fat (36.2% caloriesfrom fat); 2g Protein; 11g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 1mgCholesterol; 50mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Non-FatMilk; 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Blueberries are considered one of the super foods. A fruit that is rich in anti-oxidants, blueberries are thought to help prevent cancer and ward off premature aging.
Here is a delicious Blueberry Quesadilla recipe for you. This is a healthy dessert or can also be paired with some protein for breakfast. Our two year old daughter loves these and would eat them for breakfast. lunch and dinner if she could. Enjoy!
Blueberry Quesadillas

Serves 2

¼ cup Nuefatchel or nonfat cream cheese, softened or whipped
1 tablespoon organic honey
2 whole wheat tortillas
¼ cup blueberries

In small bowl, beat together cream cheese and honey. Carefully spread ½ cream cheese mixture on each tortilla. Place blueberries on top of cream cheese. Fold tortilla in half. If desired, lightly toast for five minutes or place in microwave for 30 seconds. It is also delicious if served cold. Cut in half or fourths and serve.

If you don’t have blueberries lying around try adding strawberries or bananas to your quesadilla instead. Yum!

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Recently, I had the privilege of being a guest blogger on an awesome website and blog If you are a mama and/or write professionally or for pleasure you will love this site.

Here is my post.

I just HAD to post this tonight. Tonight we have a guest post from Aileen McCabe-Maucher (plus more letters! RN, MSW, LCSW). She is a a licensed psychotherapist, registered nurse and author of the forthcoming book, The Inner Peace Diet that will be published by Penguin in December 2008. And, she's a mom to a two-year-old girl.When I read Aileen's bio, I had one huge question:"How can I be ambitious AND have inner peace? I’m an ambitious person by nature… but I want to find that peace. How can I do it?"

Here's what she had to say:

When I think of maintaining both a sense of inner peace and personal ambition the following quote by Lao Tzu comes to mind "By doing nothing one could accomplish everything.'"
As a busy mom, writer and psychotherapist, I rarely have time to "do nothing." As I type this entry after midnight, I have two loads of laundry in progress, a feverish child in my bed, and a desk piled high with work. A part of me thrives on burning the candle at both ends and having multiple projects in the works. However, a larger part of me, simply just wants to be relaxed and enjoy exactly where I am in this moment. For me, inner peace is simply about being in the present and knowing that everything will be okay, regardless of how crazy it seems now. Meditation is a great way to infuse your day with inner peace. I try to set aside ten minutes each morning to simply sit and breathe. During meditation, I slowly breathe in and out through my nostrils and gently let go of any thoughts or worries. I allow everything to be as it is. Having thoughts occur during meditation is as natural as breathing. I welcome the thoughts and then quietly let them go as I surrender to silence. At first, I found meditation challenging. I ,too, am ambitious. It was hard for me to sit still and I was eager to get started with the next item on my list. However, after a lot of practice meditation is now my favorite part of the day.
Paradoxically, I find that after this ten minutes of "doing nothing" but meditating, I am most productive. Some of my best ideas and freshest writing come to me after meditation. In a sense, meditation fuels my ambition yet also sustains my sense of inner peace.

That really spoke to me. I am a pretty driven person. I'm a check-it-off-move-to-the-next-thing type of gal. But lately I've been thinking about how to find a peacefulness inside. A small part of my brain wonders what other women do who are stay-at-home-moms... and who don't drive themselves batty trying to write until midnight each night, get workouts in every day, work a full time job ... and expect that they won't lose their temper or snap at their kids.Surely they have some kind of peace. I'm considering taking a few weeks off from any writing whatsoever, maybe even a computer break for two WEEKS this summer, after my book deadline of course. But maybe I can work a little harder at getting that "everyday peace" that Aileen is talking about.Thank you Aileen!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.” Peace Pilgrim

I love this quote by Peace Pilgrim. Self love and acceptance are the building blocks to inner peace. Pay attention to the running dialogue in your head this weekend. Are you speaking kindly to yourself? Would you dare speak to a loved one or a stranger the way you talk to yourself? Are the thoughts you think consistent with the words you speak? When stressful or negative thoughts enter your mind, try letting them go and replacing them with thoughts that make you feel happy and peaceful.

For more information about Peace Pilgrim and The Intergenerational Walk for Peace please visit

Friday, June 20, 2008


Happy Friday! Did you know that having strong social ties is linked with better health and wellness. Research shows that people who have intact support system live happier, healthier lifestyles. With that in mind, Hugo and I would like to share our favorite crab dip recipe with you. This dip is best when shared with friends and a nice way to keep entertaining simple. It's a healthy version of what Hugo used to serve at Hugo's Inn. It's a real crowd pleaser.

So go ahead and invite some friends over this weekend. Don't wait until you replace the carpet or clean the upholstery. True friends don't care about that stuff. Life is too short. Be in the moment and live for today!

Hugo's Healthy Crab Dip

Serves 8

8 ounces of fat free cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons of skim milk or soy milk

1 cup pasteurized jumbo lump crab meat (or use imitation krab)

2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions

2 teaspoons cream style horseradish

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup finely chopped walnuts

1. In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and milk. Gradually add crab, scallions, horseradish, and 1/2 cup walnuts.

2. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and place dip in baking dish.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup walnuts on top of dip.

3. Bake for 20 minutes or until crab dip is hearted through. Serve immediately with veggies strips and whole wheat crackers.


Thursday, June 19, 2008


I am honored that Cheryl Forberg, RD, a registered dietitian and professional chef on NBC 's hit show The Biggest Loser wanted to be a guest here on our blog today. Cheryl is also an extremely talented author who has penned numerous books on nutrition and healthy cooking. Her latest book, Positively Ageless, is a must-read.

I asked Cheryl the following questions and she gave us some great expert advice.

How do you help participants in the NBC's Biggest Loser TV achieve and maintain their weight loss?

As the Nutritionist for the show, I meet with each contestant individually when they arrive in LA at the beginning of the season. I give them an overview of the BL eating plan as well as instructions on food journaling. Throughout the season, each contestant sends me their food journals every single day. I analyze them, provide feedback as needed and share my results with the trainers and the Medical Expert team.We are trying to implement a program to follow the contestants after the show to help them maintain their loss and their success

What are the biggest obstacles to keeping the weight off?

This varies greatly but many times it's the hectic pace of everyday life. We are all so busy, and sometimes tired. It's a challenge to make time to include exercise in our daily routines but it's a mandatory part of a successful weight loss and for optimal health. The other challenge with a busy schedule is making time to plan ahead for shopping, food preparation, regular meal times and snacks. All of this is often times boils down to reprioritizing. I usually find that the contestants have had a long pattern of prioritizing their spouses/partners/children/job and/or school over their own health and well-being. It's time to put their health first or they may not be able to take care of anyone/anything else.

What are the most important factors in maintaining a healthy lifestyle?

I wrote about this in Positively Ageless. We are empowered to achieve a very healthy lifestyle by making some really small changes in our everyday decisions. embracing an exercise routine; finding activities that we enjoy and will look forward to doing, including - cardio and weight resistance to promote strong bones and muscles and keep our metabolism revved choosing the right foods; focusing on the quality of our calories as much as the quantity of them; nothing artificial or processed getting plenty of rest minimizing stress drinking lots of water having fun

I highly recommend Cheryl latest book Positively Ageless, which is available on Get your copy here

Thanks, Cheryl!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Are tomatoes safe to eat now? Chef Hugo has been hearing this question alot lately and has been working with several sources to get the most accurate answers. The recent salmonella outbreak linked to tomatoes has many consumers and health officials concerned. Chef Hugo states that there are 3 ways to avoid the salmonella outbreak.

1. Avoid tomatoes altogether.

2. Eat only home grown tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes or tomatoes attached to the vine, which have not been linked to this outbreak.

3. Ask the management at your local grocery store or restaurant where they purchased their tomatoes and if they are deemed safe by health officials.

Keep in mind that you should always thoroughly wash and scrub all of your produce to keep yourself and your family safe in every season.

Here's a delicious salsa salad recipe Chef Hugo created. It does contain tomatoes but you can substitute with red pepper if you are leery of the tomatoes available in your area. It's a delicious and healthy summer salad! Enjoy!

Hugo's Salsa Salad Solace

8 ounces whole kernel corn
1/4 cup cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup tomato, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon jalapeno chili pepper, seeded and minced
2 teaspoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced

1. In large bowl, combine corn, cucumber, tomatoes, green onions and jalapeno.

2. In small bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, cumin and cilantro/

3. Pour lime juice mixture over corn mixture. Toss well. Cover and chill for at least three hours. Serve.

Yield: 2 servings

Per Serving : 124 Calories; 2g Fat (13.8%calories from fat); 4g Protein; 27g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 0mgCholesterol; 9mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 0 Fat.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Eating seafood is a simple way that most of us can help improve our diets as well as our overall health. Many types of fish are rich in omega 3 fatty acid which is linked with many health benefits. Most of the studies about beneficial omega-3 fatty acids focus on fish as the primary source. The American Heart Association, The American Dietetic Association and many doctors recommend that you eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids twice a week in order to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. Fish high in omega three fatty acids include salmon, albacore tuna, sardines, halibut, herring and trout. Scientific research suggests that eating foods rich in omega three fatty acids can reduce your risk of coronary disease and chances of sudden death related to a heart attack.

Many people I talk to don't eat fish simply because they are unsure how to prepare it. Here is a simple and delicious fish recipe by Chef Hugo that is sure to delight your whole family.

Luscious Lemon Fish
Serves 4

2 large red bell peppers, seeeded and sliced
1 large lemon, seeded and sliced
2 large Vidalia onion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
dash sea salt
2 cod fillets or salmon fillets
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon
3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Spray baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray

3. Arrange the sliced lemons and sliced onions on bottom on baking dish.

4. Layer sliced red bell peppers on top of onions. Sprinkle tarragon over the tomatoes.

5. In small bowl, mix the turmeric, paprika, curry, cinnamon, and sea salt. Rub spice mixture on both sides of cod fillets.

6. Place seasoned cod fillets in baking dish on top of onions, tomatoes and tarragon.

7. Drizzle lemon juice on top of fish.

8. Bake the dish for 35 minutes or until fish is opaque in the center and thoroughly cooked.

Per Serving : 224 Calories; 11g Fat (45.0%calories from fat); 22g Protein; 9g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 50mg Cholesterol; 305mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 3 Lean Meat; 1 ½ Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 2 Fat.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Each day, I get lots of requests to help people with various social and medical problems. Here is a resource guide that I compiled for our readers in the hope it would help you on your path to wellness. Currently, I am not available to practice traditional psychotherapy or provide social services via the Internet. However, it is my intention to point you in the direction of the help you are seeking. If you are reading this post and are currently experiencing a life threatening psychiatric or medical emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. If you are experiencing a non-emergent psychiatric or medical problem, your family doctor or health care provider is a great person to ask for help. Here is list of resources that may be able to help you on your journey to overcome your struggles and live a peaceful and healthy life. If you find any non-working or wrong numbers here, please let me know so I can correct them.

ADOPTION: National Adoption Center 800-862-3678

AGING: National Council on Aging 800-424-9046

AIDS: Clinical Trial Information Services 800-TRIALS-A

ALCOHOL: Alcohol Hotline 800-252-6465

ALZHEIMERS: Alzheimer's Helpline 800-228-8738

ALZHEIMERS: Alzheimer's Hotline 800-621-0379

AUTISM: Autism Society of America 800-3AUTISM

BRAIN: National Brain Tumor Foundation 800-934-CURE CANCER:

American Cancer Society 800-ACS-2345

CANCER: National Breast Cancer Organization 800-221-2141

CHILDREN: Child Find of America 800-426-5678

DEPRESSION: Depression Hotline 800-551-0008

DIABETES: American Diabetes Association 800-232-3472

DIABETES: International Juvenile Diabetes Foundation 800-223-1138

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE: National hotline 1-800-799-7233

DRUGS ABUSE: Just Say No 800-258-2766

DYSLEXIA: Orton Dyslexia Society 800-ABCD-123

EPILEPSY: Epilepsy Foundation of America 800-EFA-1000

FAMILIES: Parents Helpline 800-345-5044

FIBROMYALGIA: Fibromyalgia Network 800-853-2929

GAMBLING: National Council on Problem Gambling 800-522-4700

GRIEF: Grief Recovery Hotline 800-445-4808

HEADACHES: National Headache Foundation 800-843-2256

HEART: American Heart Association 800-242-8721

HEPATITIS: Hepatitis Foundation International 800-891-0707

HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE: Huntington's Disease Foundation 800-345-4372

IMMUNE DEFICIENCIES: Immune Deficiency foundation 800-296-4433

LYMES DISEASE: Lymes Disease Foundation 800-886-5963

MEDICARE: Medicare Hotline 800-medicare


MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS: National Center for Multiple Sclerosis Society 800-344-4867

PREGNANCY: Maternity care 800-592-4357

RAPE: Rape/Sex Abuse Hotline 800-551-0008

SAFETY: Workplace safety and health 800-321-OSHA

SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE: National Sexually Transmitted Disease Hotline 800-227-8922

SOCIAL SECURITY: Social Security Administration 800-772-1213

SPINAL CORD: National Spinal Cord Injury Association 800-962-9629

SUICIDE: National 24/7 hotline 1-800-SUICIDE

STUTTERING: National Center for Stuttering 800-221-2483


"It's in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped." Anthony Robbins

It seems like everyone I encounter today is facing major decisions. My dad's brain tumor is growing and he needs to make a choice on how he wishes to proceed. A client can't decide if she wants to put a prestigious career on hold to stay at home and raise children full time. Decisions can be anxiety producing and paralyzing when they are approached with fear. However, decisions can also be an empowering gateway to your true self.

Many people are seeking my input and advice regarding important decisions lately. I wish I had all the answers for you. I truly believe that we are all our own gurus and that the answers to our most burning questions lie within us. We just need to get quiet and open enough to listen to our own inner wisdom. Of course this is easy for me to say, because I am not facing a major decision in this moment. Whatever decision you make today, I encourage you to stay open, keep breathing and keep moving with the flow of life. Trust that you will be provided with exactly what you need on your journey. And please remember ask for help when you need it.

A happy and peaceful life is created one decision at a time. You can choose to watch tv or go out for a walk. To order a hamburger or a salad.

What decisions are you making today?

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Happy Father's Day to you! I am so grateful that my dad is here with me on Father's Day. And I am incredibly grateful that Hugo is such a great dad to our two year old daughter. Mere words can't express the appreciation I have for these two men. We had a fun morning eating pancakes and opening gifts. Here is a delicious strawberry pancake recipe for you to enjoy. Yes, as you can tell, it is still strawberry season here in Delaware and our fridge is still overflowing with berries.

Whole Wheat Strawberry Pancakes

Serves 6

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup skim milk or soymilk (try carob or choclate flavored soymilk if you are feeling adventerous)
1/2 cup strawberries, hulled and diced

1. Mix whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda together in a large bowl.

2. Gradually stir on milk and strawberries.

3. Spoon 1/2 cup batter into non-stick griddle for two minutes or until pnackes is bubbly and golden. Flip pancake and cook for additional minute or until done. Serve warm with additional strawberries as garnish.
Per Serving : 94 Calories; 1g Fat (7.5% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 20g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 0mgCholesterol; 227mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1/2Fruit; 0 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


"You have the power to create the naturally stress-free and tranquil life you desire: You can either activate thoughts that produce stress within you, or activate thoughts that make stress impossible. It’s your choice." Wayne Dyer

I love this quote by Wayne Dyer. Today I woke feeling antsy and running a to do list a mile long in my head. Luckily, I was able to catch myself in the act and take a few deep breaths to get centered. I believe we have the power to instantly transform our thoughts and manifest the life we desire one, thought form and feeling at a time.

What thoughts are you activating today?

Friday, June 13, 2008


I am in awe of the sheer amount of strawberries in our refrigerator right now. Talk about abundance! Here's a succulent strawberry soup recipe that Chef Hugo designed. This dish is a tasty appetizer that can also be served as a dessert. What fruits and vegetables are in season in your neck of the woods?

Hugo's Berry Soup

4 cups fresh strawberries
2 cups fresh raspberries
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups cranberry juice or cranberry-raspberry juice blend
1/3 cup sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups plain or vanilla organic low fat yogurt

Place the strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and juice in a large blender and process until smooth. For best results, do this step in batches. When finished, strain the berry mixture through a sieve into a medium non reactive, stainless saucepan. Gently mix in the sugar and cinnamon. Bring mixture. to a boil over medium heat. Remove immediately and place in a large bowl; cover and chill overnight (or at least 3 hours) Stir in the yogurt. Serve.

If desired, garnish with fresh mint leaves or a dollop of organic yogurt. ENJOY!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love this quote by Emerson. I once read that one of the quickest ways to become enlightened and conscious of your truest desires is to buy a daily flip calendar. At the end of each day, rip that day's page off of the calendar and say out loud "There goes another day of my life, never to return again." This is a very powerful exercise and I hope it helps you on your journey to inner peace. Good night!


I went grocery shopping this afternoon and discovered a yummy new snack. It's called a Larabar and it is a natural and nutritious option that almost tastes too good to be healthy. I tried the banana cookie flavor and was amazed that there were only three ingredients listed on the package! The three ingredient are: unsweetened bananas, dates and nuts. Larabars are all vegan and made from raw fruits and vegetables. In addition, they are kosher certified, and are wheat-free, gluten-free, soy-free and dairy -free. They do not contain any sugar or corn syrup, either. I am going to go check out what other varieties are available. Yummy!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


In November 2007, the New Oxford American Dictionary
proclaimed that the annual "word of the year" was LOCAVORE. Eating locally and organically grown food is a great way to save the environment and put money back into your own community. Purchasing foods grown near your home helps everyone save on fuel costs, cuts down on environmental pollution and also gives a boost to your local economy. Although the term LOCAVORE was coined only last year, most chefs have been buying and preparing locally grown food for years. Chef Hugo loves to scour the local markets for creative inspiration and to find the freshest foods. Check out this cool website to find local farms near you (in the United States)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


After our Mommy and Me art class, my daughter and I went to a local southwestern restaurant for lunch with some friends. Due to the current salmonella outbreak, the restaurant removed all tomatoes from their menu. Better safe than sorry. But who eats chips without salsa? My 2 year old daughter was very disappointed. Thankfully I was able to distract her by offering some yummy guacamole.

Chef Hugo dreamed up a DELICIOUS recipe for Strawberry Salsa. It's strawberry season here in Delaware and our refrigerator is packed with the sweet red fruit. Although this recipe may sound unusual, give it a try. I promise that you will not be disappointed. It is so wonderful that you won't even miss the tomatoes!

Hugo's Strawberry Salsa

1 1/4 pints fresh strawberries -- hulled and sliced
3 sweet red peppers -- medium-sized, seeded, diced
2 green bell peppers -- medium-sized, seeded, diced
1 jalapeno pepper -- large-sized, seeded, chopped
1 cucumber -- diced
1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon crushed dried red chili pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients; stir well. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors
to blend.

Serve over grilled chicken or fish. Or you can serve this salsa as a dip for carrot sticks, celery sticks, red pepper strips or whole wheat crackers.

For an added punch of protein ,add a 1/2 cup of canned black beans to your salsa.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Wow, it sure is hot again today. Staying well-hydrated during a heat wave is essential. In order for our bodies to function properly, most doctors advise that we drink between 8 to 12 glasses of water per day. However, on days like this you may need to increase your water intake depending your activity level and the humidity level. Young children and the elderly are especially prone to heat exhaustion and dehydration so make some time today to check on loved ones and neighbors. Although these recommendations may seem tired and overstated, drinking plenty of water is crucial, especially on days like these.

If you don't like the taste of plain water, try adding some lemon, lime or orange slices to your water (Watch out for the seeds!). Or add a splash of fruit juice to give your H2O some pizazz. Crushed blueberries, fresh ginger, lemongrass, and mint leaves are also great ways to make water more palatable. Or drop some cucumber slices into your water bottle for an extra dose of refreshment.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Hugo and I are reading this awesome book right now. Well, actually we are listening to it on CD. The Key was written by Dr. Joe Vitale, a prolific and talented author who was featured in the movie The Secret. This book has numerous concrete strategies that you can use to manifest anything you desire, including a healthy lifestyle and permanent weight loss. If you're in the mood for some inspiration check our Dr. Vitale's website at
What's on your nightstand? (or in your ipod?)

Friday, June 6, 2008


I saw this adorable bag today. It is available at Target. I am going to buy a few this weekend and stash them in the trunk of my car. Bringing your own reusable tote bags to the grocery store is a great way to avoid using that wasteful paper and plastic. Knowing that I am doing my part to protect the environment for the next generation brings me inner peace today.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


I am recovering from a minor gastrointestinal virus and I am grateful to be feeling better and walking upright! I believe that illness is a sign that I am not allowing peace and well being to flow into my life. I rarely get sick and when I become ill, I know I need to take more time to pay attention to my thoughts, feelings, and actions. The following is a beautifully written piece that Steve Goodier of gave us permission to reprint here. Wishing you good health and many symptoms of inner peace!

THE SYMPTOMS OF INNER PEACE (TM)by Saskia Davis, reprinted with permission of the author

(A note from the author follows today’s reading.)

Be on the lookout for symptoms of inner peace. The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to inner peace and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions.This could pose a serious threat to what has, up to now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.

Some signs and symptoms of inner peace:
* A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears basedon past experiences.
* An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
* A loss of interest in judging other people.
* A loss of interest in judging self.
* A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.
* A loss of interest in conflict.
* A loss of the ability to worry. (This is a very serious symptom.)
* Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
* Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.
* Frequent attacks of smiling.
* An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make themhappen.
* An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as wellas the uncontrollable urge to extend it.

WARNING: If you have some or all of the above symptoms, please be advised that your condition of inner peace may be so far advanced asto not be curable. If you are exposed to anyone exhibiting any of these symptoms, remain exposed only at your own risk.

© 1984 Saskia Davis———— –A note from the author:

SYMPTOMS OF INNER PEACE was written from the state of being that itdescribes. In fact, when I wrote it, I was high on Love. Not romanticlove, but the kind that confirms to us that we are connected to andsupported by the Universe. It had been eight years since I had takenstock of my unsatisfying life and had committed myself to changing itfrom the inside - out. This had meant giving up “image-management- for-the-sake-of- social-acceptance” in favor of choices and relationshipsthat were based on my real thoughts, feelings and desires as well asgiving up fear-based choices in favor of faith and love-based choices.

The result was a passionate and satisfying life grounded in deep innerpeace, the state from which SYMPTOMS OF INNER PEACE was written.
Since “SYMPTOMS” first was published, it has taken on a life of itsown, making its way around the world via friends, newsletters,bulletin boards, books, radio, church groups, and, now, the internetwhere it can be found on hundreds, possibly thousands of sites whichseem to be multiplying exponentially: a totally grassroots peacemovement! Wow! What a rush!

-- Steve Goodier Source:

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Living a healthy lifestyle demonstrates to yourself and the world that you love and respect your mind, body, and spirit. Losing weight and altering life-long food habits can be a challenging experience. It is especially important to nurture and support yourself on your journey to optimal health. Here is one simple way that you can pamper yourself using ingredients you probably already have on hand.

Homemade Hair Masque

2 egg yolks

1 cup plain yogurt

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 drops lavender oil (optional)

Combine all above ingredients in blender for 2-3 minutes. Apply masque to wet hair. Gently comb through. Allow masque to remain on hair for 30 minutes. Rinse well.

What is your favorite way to pamper yourself?


It's a hot and steamy day here in Delaware. Some thunderstorms are passing through as I type this blog entry. The rain is giving all of the beautiful flowers an extra dose of water today. Chef Hugo recently designed this heavenly recipe that is both nourishing and refreshing. If you prefer a vegan entree, simply omit the turkey. Try it out and let us know what you think.

Revitalizing Rice Salad

10 ounces vegetable stock
1 cup water
1 cup brown rice, long-grain, uncooked
1 cup fresh tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup carrot, chopped fine
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/3 cup green onions, chopped
1/3 cup fresh parsley
3/4 cup turkey, cooked

1. In large saucepan over medium high heat, combine vegetable stock and water. Bring to a boil. Add brown rice and carrot. Stir well.

2. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender and most of water is absorbed.

3. Gradually add lemon juice and olive oil to mixture. Mix well. Add cheese, tomato, green onion, parsley and turkey. Toss well.

4. Transfer mixture to bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least three hours. Serve.

Yield: 6 servings

Per Serving : 249 Calories; 8g Fat (28.4%calories from fat); 12g Protein; 33g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 22mg Cholesterol; 464mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1/2Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 Fat.

Monday, June 2, 2008


A reader challenged me to photograph the inside of our refrigerator and post it on this blog. So here you have it. The inside of our refrigerator on a moment's notice. It could use some cleaning and a new filter, but it is chocked full of healthy foods. Many of the items pictured here are great ways to eat nutritious meals and snacks on the go. Having healthy food ready to take and toss in your bag makes life much simpler and peaceful. I've listed some of my favorite staple refrigerator items here.
1. organic milk
2. organic yogurt
2. organic part skim mozzarella string cheese
3. Tribe roasted red pepper hummus
4. organic baby carrots
5. Smart Dogs soy protein "hot dogs"
6. Veggie meatballs
7. bagged spinach
8. organic cottage cheese
9. whole wheat tortillas
10. "veggie" cheese slices
11. organic cage free eggs
12. bagged iceberg lettuce
13. strawberries or other in season fruit washed,sliced and ready to go
14. fresh blueberries
15. kiwifruit
16. organic cucumbers
I am glad I took this picture. I almost forgot about that delicious watermelon that is taking up our entire third shelf!
What's in your fridge?

Sunday, June 1, 2008


NO is the word of the day in our house. Our two year old daughter tosses this word around freely and loves being contrary lately. She started the whole"No! thing when she was about eighteen months old. Thankfully, she has become much more agreeable and sweet-natured over the past few months. We thought that she outgrew the "NO!" phase for the most part. But lately the word NO! has reared its ugly head again (and again). Only this time she expounds upon it. "No, I am not doing that!" or my personal favorite "No , mommy. YOU do it. I'm busy." It is all about feeling in control and powerful. Yes, I know that it's completely normal behavior for this age. Usually, we find these dramatic protests quite comical. We have to turn our heads or cover our mouths so she that doesn't see us laughing. However, this weekend we are weary and taking turns dealing with the mayhem. I mean,really, who turns down a trip to Sesame Place, Rita's water ice, and a dip in the pool??

I believe that how we perceive the outer world is a reflection of what is going on inside of us. What we see in others often mirrors our own issues right back to us. So I am compelled to ask myself the question. What am I saying no to? In the past twenty four hours, I have politely declined the following, two play date requests, an invitation to a beach weekend, gratis babysitting services, a lunch date, countless offers to advertise on this blog, and a free Sesame Place Season Passport. Not to mention the small part of me that is resisting my daughter's negativism and wanting her behavior to be different.
I know that everything shows up in our lives for a reason. For me, it is important to be open to the many possibilities each day presents. Now I am not suggesting that you need to say yes to every request that you receive. It is healthy and necessary to decline invitations that do not serve your current goals or preferences. But I encourage you to pay attention what you are refusing today. Perhaps you are resisting starting that exercise regimen or preparing health foods. What emotions lie just beneath your resistance? Remember that is takes more energy to resist feelings that it does to simply allow them to be. Your own body language will give you to clues to what you are not allowing. Closed fists and crossed arms signal mental resistance louder than a resounding NO! Find a way to to "yes" to something today or at the very least simply allow it to be.
Photography Source: