December 20, 2011

Two Holiday Season Takeaways

It's that time of year.

The time when we get ready to close down 2011 and reflect on what made it awesome, and what needs work for 2012.

And we also find ourselves choosing between the obligatory family gathering or staying home in our pajamas. For some of us, it's not a choice at all.

December 19, 2011

Two-For Recipe Awesomeness -PART II Vegetable Biryani

Is this a holiday-themed recipe?

No.

It's the second installment of a two-recipe post I started earlier this month. Yeah, it's the week before Christmas. That doesn't mean I can't finish my previous post. Why? Because I give myself that permission. ;) Besides, who says you can't make this for the holidays? Live outside the lines for more health and happiness.

December 14, 2011

Natural Moisturizers for Winter Skin

Winter is here!


We all know how that bitter winter wind dries our skin out. Naturally, we slather on facial moisturizer and body lotions, most of which contain any number of toxic chemicals and additives. Our skin in our largest organ. Check the labels on your products. Can you pronounce them? Do you know what they are? If not, rethink where those chemicals are going and what they may be doing on the inside, once they are absorbed.

December 9, 2011

Are You Ready?

15 Days of Fearless Living: free program starts February 1, 2012



video



15 Days of Fearless Living
Start date: February 1st
Cost: Free
Location: Virtual (as long as you have email)


What are you afraid of?


Heights?
Change?
Being loved?
Leaving a "secure job" to pursue your dreams?
Taking the Leap?

Fear is a universal human experience—it is something we can all relate to, no matter who we are. In the past few years, I’ve overcome many fears including addressing truths about my identity and how I show up in the world. I was also afraid to start my own business, I thought that keeping my feet on the ground and "being realistic" somehow meant I couldn't pursue my dreams and be successful doing it.

I was wrong.

We are all afraid but living without fear is our greatest goal as human beings. 

We actualize our potential when we cast aside our fears and limiting beliefs and do the thing we think we cannot do. Or should not do. Or wouldn’t do--without someone in our corner. I’m in your corner. Let’s see what you’re made of.
“Do something everyday that scares you.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor was ambitious. How about starting with 15 days of Fearless Living?
Join me for this 15-day program to get the encouragement, the support and kick in the BUTT you need to live your life fearlessly.


Each day for 15 days you'll receive readings and challenges via email to inspire you to overcome your blocks to see what you can accomplish when you step outside your comfort zone(s). 


Here are just a few of the challenges you can expect:

1) cook a new food
2) eat no refined sugar for one day
3) describe 15 qualities your ideal partner would possess. If you're already partnered, read that list aloud to him/her/per

Yep. You'll be challenged where it counts in life.

In addition to getting inspiration from me to do all this good courageous work, you’ll have the support of many other people who have taken on this challenge of 15 Days of Fearless Living, just like you--WINNERS in this game called life. Join the online support forum I've created to chat with folks about their fears and the steps they are taking to grab life where it counts—to make the most of the precious moments we are given.

from previous clients:
Dillan is amazing--a great cheerleader to have in your corner. I was trying to lose weight and making healthier life-long eating choices; I ended up getting a totally different result. I learned that food affects so much more than my waistline. My mood was completely elevated during our time together. Dillan helped me realize challenges I was unknowingly dealing with and we worked through them together. I plan to work with Dillan again in the coming months. -C.S.
My new job is treating me well--my coworkers like that I'm independent enough to work on my own. It's also great that I'm on a regular eating pattern now so there's no stress about fitting in healthy meals. I miss our Saturday sessions [since my 6-month program ended] but since I saw Dillan several months ago, I've lost over 8lbs! -S.P.

This group is open to anyone on the LGBTQ spectrum including the hetero allies who support us each day in big and small ways. We'll be addressing the issues that we face as we search for solutions to live out, proud and FEARLESSLY. xo, Dillan


December 5, 2011

Two-For Recipe Awesomeness - Indian Chickpeas (from Kripalu!)

That's right, my dears!

Two recipes split into two blog posts--you will have to stay tuned for PART II.

I am posting these together because, quite frankly, they go really well together. Biryani is a delicious spin on plain old rice and chickpeas with spices in coconut milk? Heck, yeah!

An Open Letter to Myself circa 2006 -- "Being Transgender is a Process, Not a Finish Line"

Hey there.
I am writing this because you will get it. You will understand now. Because you're older and wiser and your Buddhist practice has helped you come to fully understand the concept of karma. Many people understand/misinterpret it as "punishment" but you get it is more how energy sent is energy returned.

November 27, 2011

A Very Special Thanksgiving-With Our Family of Intention

For many, Thanksgiving is a time of year where people head to the homes of their childhoods and celebrate with their families of origin. Turkey, sweet potatoes and stuffing await. And, of course, leftovers.

For many people, this simply isn't their reality. Or if it is, it certainly isn't the experience depicted in the famous Norman Rockwell painting.


For many folks, especially those in the LGBTQ community, the holidays are a time when they gather a family of intention around them--because they aren't welcome at "home" due to their sexual or gender orientation or because of the way they live their lives. Political, religious and lifestyle habits can make family gatherings difficult at best, so many folks choose to avoid the situation entirely, and the discomfort that can come with it. Endless years of being singled-out as the lone vegetarian at the table (despite the fact that the only thing I wasn't eating was the turkey, itself) or chastised because I was the lone liberal-minded queer convinced me that making the long trek home wasn't worth the hassle. Forget about asking if the turkey was grass-fed and organic.

Then there are folks who can't afford to fly long-distances several times in a couple of months to celebrate the holidays with their loved ones or aren't able to for job-related reasons. Where are those folks supposed to go? What are folks to do when faced with the reality of an orphan holiday?

JOIN FORCES, OF COURSE!

This Thanksgiving, I found myself seated around a table enjoying one of the best meals I've ever eaten. Why? Because it was food that I felt 100% good about and I was sharing it with people I felt 100% comfortable to be around. My partner and I shopped for ingredients that were either locally-sourced or organic (ok, except for the marshmallows) and we prepared meals based on these values. We knew our guests share our intentionality when it comes to food (and most other things), so we prepared ourselves for their incredible contributions!

Canned cranberry sauce (jellied?) that is about 76% sugar? Why not spread cranberry jelly on your turkey?

Stuffing made with bread that only makes you feel stuffed from all the wheat flour halfway through your meal? No thanks. We made ours with quinoa, mushrooms, diced apricots, apples and herbs!

What about greens? How many American households had a homemade green salad made with shredded Brussels sprouts and red kale? Not too many, we're pretty sure. ;)




And our friends. We invited some hetero folks who recently moved to Boston and weren't able to fly to the Midwest for the holidays this year. What a bummer! Imagine moving to a new city and having no one to chill with for Thanksgiving?! No way! We scooped up those pals as well as another friend who wasn't flying to the West coast for the holiday and we all successfully made our way through 6 bottles of wine.

Talk about holiday cheer!

If we said it once, we said it 1,000 times---"this is the best Thanksgiving I've ever had--the food is so good for us, tastes amazing, and you can't beat the company". It was unanimous. We were truly so very grateful to be fed by a dinner of natural foods and surrounded by kindred company and conversation.

We felt blessed and grateful that we broke the mold and created a very special Thanksgiving--with a new family of intention.

PS if you want any of these recipes--hit me up! You can rock out next year! ;)

November 21, 2011

Sweet Squash Soup*

Serve this sucker at Thanksgiving on Thursday.

It's:

1) easy
2) seasonal
3) delicious


That's what I always promise, yes?  ;)





SWEET SQUASH SOUP*

November 19, 2011

Gaying it Up at the Rainbow Center at UCONN

On Wednesday, November 16th, I drove myself and my Lesley University interns--Emily and Jillian--to UCONN to speak at the Rainbow Center.

Big thanks to Fleurette King, Director of the Rainbow Center, for inviting me to speak at the Out To Lunch lecture series.



Taking The Leap

So, last month I clicked on a craigslist ad (no, not that kind) and found myself applying for an audition for a brand-new-to-Boston improv troupe coming this Spring.


Got a warm, welcoming reply to apply from the creater/founder and then what did I do?


I froze. Paralyzed by limiting beliefs.

"I have no improv experience"
"I have no time"
"I won't get chosen"
"I haven't been on stage since I was 17 years old"
"They won't create space for LGBTQ advocacy"

For about 2 weeks, I sat with these thoughts and didn't apply.

And then, I decided to take a step forward, realizing that nothing ventured equals nothing gained.

November 7, 2011

Which Wolf Do You Feed?

If this blog is all about eating---let's talk about feeding feelings.


There's a story attributed to the Cherokee (but I don't know it actually came from that tribe*) that goes something like this:


A Cherokee Legend
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."


Super true. I have read this story many times during the past few years, but it really hit home last week. 

Update from Emily and Jillian, Lesley University Rockstar Interns!

Emily Scolaro:

My update: the only word that can I use to describe this experience this far is unreal.  I choose unreal because it is exactly that.  How many people get the opportunity to intern and learn from such an amazing person in their undergrad?  Not many!

Throughout this journey I have learned skills and gained knowledge that I could not have gotten from just reading a book, or going to a class.  Working with Dillan on a weekly basis has opened my eyes to a variety of opportunities. Engaging in a professional environment has made me become more self-aware.  I have learned how to place limits in certain aspects of my life, which has helped with my overall health; mentally, emotionally, and physically. The constant feedback of positive affirmation and constructive criticism from Dillan has driven me to be more passionate about everything I’m learning.   I can see my future more clearly now and I’m hoping that one day I will be in a job where I feel so inspired and self motivated.


Dillan encouraged Jillian and I to attend a talk that was held by the Integrative Health Collaborative of Boston. They were hosting “an evening of networking with integrative health colleagues and a presentation from Dr. Darshan Mehta.” He talked about mindfulness as a tool for healing and staying healthy and how practitioners at the Benson-Henry Institute use and teach mindfulness as a treatment strategy.  After seeing his presentation I was in awe, mostly because I could not understand a good portion of the words he was saying.  Aside from that, the networking and knowledge I gained was amazing.  Jillian and I were probably the youngest people there, but we were treated as if we were just as equal as everyone else (whether one was a doctor, medical student, pharmacist, cook, health coach, etc.).  I felt honored to be at this amazing place, with a breathtaking view of Boston, and have remarkable people with common interests around me.  The networking aspect of the whole journey was probably the most beneficial.  I saw how Dillan advocated for herself and for her business, listened to others and what they had to offer, and could gage where to place her energy and focused attention.  This is one of the moments that I will look back at this internship and remember the impact it had on me.

I plan on continuing my internship in the spring so that we can proceed with some amazing ideas that we are developing. 


Jillian Clarke:


Holistic psychology has always been a passion of mine, even before I knew it actually had a name. As a sophomore I have dove deeper into the field of holistic psychology and holistic living has become such an important part of my life.  Interning with Dillan has been one of the major catalysts for this love and passion.  This semester with Dillan has not only been an amazing work experience, but has also been changing my life for the better.

Working with Dillan has most definitely added to the primary foods of my life, particularly in the aspects of my career, relationships and spirituality.  Each week that we meet I have learned more and more about myself (I feel blessed to be able to do be able to do so much self-care at an internship!).  One of the experiences with Savor Your Existence that has helped my self-care progression was teaching a class at Lesley College with Dillan and Emily.  I spoke about the daily hardship of cravings and the correlation to primary food.  Being able to share my personal experiences with my peers was such a liberating feeling for me.  I was able to share my hardships and teach my peers how to cope with theirs as well.  I learned a lot about myself that day; the most important lesson was that I learned how well I was actually doing in my own life.   Learning about issues such as cravings, holistically, has strengthened my self-awareness and mindfulness.

I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity to work with Dillan this semester.  I am planning to keep working with this extraordinary person and keep broadening my horizons.



November 2, 2011

Sweet Potato, Broccoli and Cabbage Stir-Fry

It's Sunday night--maybe 4:45pm.

You had a busy weekend, you're tired, you're hungry.

"What's for dinner?"

Take-out options: sushi, pizza, thai, Italian.

Meh.

It's moments like this where I fully realize and appreciate how different my life is, from just a few years ago.

Now, instead of calling and ordering take-out, I stand up from the table, rummage around my kitchen and make things like this instead:


Why spend my hard-earned money on dishes made by other people when I have the ingredients and know-how?

Why not take time out from working and rushing around and spend an hour preparing a wholesome meal for myself and my partner?

This is how I think now, as a health coach.

loved this comment from a pal the other day, "making this tonight, thanks for the inspiration."

SWEET POTATO, BROCCOLI & CABBAGE STIR-FRY

you need:

  • two large sweet potatoes, sliced or diced. Your choice.
  • four crowns of broccoli, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 cups cabbage, shredded or finely chopped
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs sesame oil
  • 2 cups quinoa or brown rice, cooked
  • powdered ginger, dash of cinnamon, soy sauce, rice vinegar to taste


 do this:
  • in a pan, add the oil and onions. Cook them down over med. heat until they begin to soften
  • add the sweet potatoes and broccoli. Dense veggies need more time to cook, so add them first, then the cabbage. Stir over medium heat.
  • when the veggies are softened to your liking, add the garlic and seasonings. Toss and serve over rice or quinoa.
EASY!!!!

Even better?

Storing leftovers in glass containers in the fridge and adding these simple ingredients to stretch them out and change them up a bit a few days later:
  • 1 1/2 cups tofu, diced 
  • 1 package frozen mixed veggies



October 25, 2011

Killer Cravings!!!!

Yes. It's the obligatory Halloween post from the health coach. Monsters, ghouls, demons---how about KILLER CRAVINGS!!! 

cue scary laughter:




Seriously though, you've got to read this one.

The negative side-effects of too much processed sugar is an issue I am super serious about.

October 23, 2011

Miso Soup & Honeyed Toast

For this recipe think: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup----only, healthier.


Grilled cheese and tomato soup is a delicious, comforting quick dinner but it's also packed with calories, saturated fat and not ideal nutrition. That last part is what I care about most.


As a nutritarian, my biggest concern is "how many vitamins and minerals does my meal have?" Saturated fat, in modest amounts, is ok. Calories? We need them for energy. My goal is to make and consume meals that have as much nutrition as possible--so I can get the most nutrition mileage for my buck.


I came home the other night and it was chilly, a gorgeous fall evening here in Boston. It had been a long, tiring day and I was craving something hot, soothing--comforting. Since tomatoes prove to be way too acidic for my belly and I'm not the biggest fan of grilled cheese once it cools a bit (ick), I decided to make a healthier alternative and see how it turned out.

The result was not only simple--it was hella good (for my body and my soul).



This ain't your Mom's Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup


Keep these on hand for those nights when you're exhausted but 
don't want a growling belly at bedtime:

MISO: Go on out and get yourself some Miso paste. It's fermented soybean paste in a glass jar and it keeps for a loooooooooooooong time in the fridge. You can add it to a pot of hot water to make a simple broth or to sautes and sauces to add some probiotic power to whatever meal you're making. It's very awesome, very convenient and very delicious.






SEAWEED: Wakame is awesome. Nori--wonderful. Dulse--delicious. All these seaweeds pack powerful essential mineral content to whatever you're eating. Soups, salads or stir-fry. Amp up the nutrient-factor by shaking some of these onto your meal.


VEGGIES: Frozen in packages or pre-prepped by you and stored in the fridge: just add a cup of them to a pot of boiling water and 2 tablespoons of Miso and you've got yourself a homemade soup that beats Campbell's by a mile.


*******

Miso Soup & Honeyed Toast


buy this:
  • miso paste
  • frozen or fresh chopped veggies and/or finely chopped kale or chard
  • finely diced seaweed of choice (these are sold in packages or in bulk in many natural food stores)
  • whole grain (preferably sprouted) bread; if gluten is an issue, many gluten-free breads are available
  • raw honey (from local, independent merchants is best--it keeps your money in your community)
  • butter (organic is ideal--I liked salted)

do this:
  • heat 2 cups of water in a pot on the stove
  • put the bread in the toaster oven
  • add 2 tablespoons of miso paste to the pot of water over medium heat. You don't want your miso to come to a boil, just get warmed nicely
  • when steam is rising from the pot, toss in your favorite veggies and finely diced seaweed. Tofu is ok, too
  • let the soup simmer for 5 minutes then transfer to your favorite soup bowl
  • add some butter and honey to your toast

Sit back, relax and enjoy your extremely fast and nutritious dinner. Save the more adventurous meals for another night...

October 20, 2011

Easy Veggie Curry with Shrimp!

When it comes to cooking, my clients know I am all about making it easy. No cooking challenges or competitions here.


I recently took a recipe I've posted before and amended it. Why? Because I didn't have everything I needed in the house and rather than order a pizza, I would just do the best I could with what I had.


What a great way to live life, eh?


Ok, so here it is. The blog and the message for today:

October 19, 2011

For Jamie--15, Commits Suicide After Bullying

Several days ago, a 15-year-old boy named Jamie Hubley from Ottawa, Canada committed suicide. A quote from his blog post: 


'I just want to feel special to someone'






I was almost named Jamie.


My parents chose a different name. And it wasn't Dillan.

October 11, 2011

National Coming Out Day--Two People, One Irony, One Incredible Experience in Charleston

This past weekend, I attended a wedding in Charleston, South Carolina.

It couldn't have been a more lovely experience--most importantly because of how I received as one of the only LGBTQ people in attendance (or so I saw and knew about).


I had a lot of trepidation prior to attending this wedding--it isn't easy to don a suit and tie in some areas of my own neighborhood of Arlington, MA so I was preparing myself for the stares and sideways glances in one of the most conservative areas of our country.

Boy, was I wrong.

October 5, 2011

Sidelined By Stress

 Stress.

We all know the word--but do we really see it when it's actually happening--or not until it's too late? How many of us deal with innumerable stressors day in and day out but don't take the measures needed to combat the damage being done to our bodies?

Last month was intense, dude. Really intense. If you read my post about Getting Unstuck, I made a big decision to leave a situation that wasn't a good fit. Sounds easy, it wasn't. It took alot of courage, a lot of discernment and alot of sleepless nights spent trying to figure out the right solution.

All those sleepless nights took a toll on my immune system.

All the thinking and rethinking triggered my adrenal glands 24/7 and then this is what happens:

October 3, 2011

Dare to Be Different--Be Yourself.

While running the other day, I saw this leaf.


There it was, greeting the imminent shift of the season. Just being red and brave and standing out like a champ. 

I thought, "wow. If we could all greet change that way--expecting it, welcoming it and THRIVING when it came---what lives we would live."

Change happens. Summer is changing to Fall. Fall will turn to Winter. 

These things happen every year without fail and yet we rally against and often really struggle with acceptance when we experience this same kind of change in our lives. We can greet it with the BOLDNESS of this leaf.

What's more--we're afraid to be so freaking beautiful and stand out from the crowd. The thing that caught my attention was the color RED---the opposite of green on the color wheel. Being the opposite color of the others was what made it so gorgeous! How fun!

Try this in your life. Be different on purpose. Be yourself. Greet change with open arms and shine so intensely that someone has no choice but to stop and take your picture.

Mighty-fine Homemade Mocha

Ok. I'm going to let you in on a little secret here: I love mochas.

I like cooking. I like running. I like reading.


I LOVE mochas. 


Something about the coffee and chocolate combo just makes me happy all over. It's my one vice in a life filled with mindful eating and lifestyle habits.


Lately, however, I've run into some issues with my mocha love-affair. 

September 22, 2011

Getting Unstuck

A couple of weeks ago, I made a really good decision.


I quit a very decent and good job recently---simply because it wasn't the right fit for me.


While that may not sound very profound, it was for me. It has not been a pattern for me to make this type of decision in my life. It is completely unfamiliar and it was very uncomfortable, actually.


But you know what? It wasn't so bad compared to the months of agony I spent trying to release myself from something that wasn't working for me. 

The debating, deliberating, hypothesizing, theorizing, justifying, rationalizing----now THOSE were torture.

September 14, 2011

A Drink of Water Before Bed

When I first saw this ad, I did a double take. And then I took a picture of it, because if it captured my interest, I thought it would make a great blog post.


Dream Water.



As in, water with sleep aids added to help you sleep. 


Really? REALLY?!


I checked out the website for this product and it's fairly typical marketing--the problem (you can't sleep, in fact 50-70 million Americans share the same problem!) and the way this product will work to help with this problem.


Here's my take: this water won't work for me simply because I'll have to pee during the night from drinking it before bed! 

The ingredients are "natural" and not horrible: GABA helps you relax, Melatonin helps induce sleep and 5 HTP promotes sleep and relaxation --per the SleepWater website


I, however, am not a fan of relying on anything on a consistent basis to help remedy anything that ails me. I am a complex human being and no single issue in my life is caused by one single thing nor solved by any one magic solution.


So, I take my own advice and deconstruct the issue. Disturbed, interrupted sleep. What are the causes? What are my stressors? What are my coping skills? Which are working? Which aren't?


I can say beyond the shadow of a doubt that one of the reasons my sleep is interrupted is from drinking water too late at night. I'll scratch that habit, and prospects of buying this product, off my to-do list.

Salty Sweet Breakfast Quinoa

Some folks love salty.

Some like sweet.

Combined? Magical.

The salted pumpkin seeds and sweet maple syrup make this a breakfast to savor! It's my take on my Oh-So-Easy-Oatmeal recipe using quinoa instead. You might have heard about this grain-like wonder (pronounced KEEN-WAH) that has an amazing array of amino acids and no wheat-like properties for those with Celiac's disease or wheat-intolerance and sensitivities. 

Don't know if wheat is a sworn enemy of your gut?







September 6, 2011

Dillan's Kick-Butt Kale Salad

It's totally true that I took most of this recipe from the Whole Earth Center's Kale Salad but I added some of my own touches to it. If you're ever in Princeton, NJ--get your butt over to the Whole Earth Center and eat yourself some of the original raw salad that inspired my creation!

Like good health coaches, we brought some "healthy" along with us to our pond-side vacation this past weekend in Lincolnville, ME. The best way to enjoy any party is to make sure you bring something healthy to contribute to whatever the other guests provide--that way, no matter what else is there, you know you are getting your veggies in. It felt so good to give the folks in attendance some nutrient-packed goodness to wash down the homemade magaritas, hearty laughs and soothing sun rays.

Here was our contribution:




Standing Too Long in One Place?

Don't be like these guys:

Mushrooms love to stand still.

Mushrooms tout tremendous health benefits (folic acid, potassium, riboflavin, niacin and selenium, to name a bunch) so they are obviously good things to eat.

Emulating them? Not so much.

Mushrooms need to stay put in order to grow all their delicious nutrients but you? You need to MOVE to GROW!

I recently spent a lot of time and energy trying to get my feet unrooted and moving forward in an area of my life. After giving it lots of thought and doing my best to walk my talk as a good health coach, I made a great move and was handsomely rewarded with tons of support from the Universe. The very next day on my run, I saw these mushrooms and thought, "wow. That was me, dude. I was stuck too long in one place."


Are you feeling stagnant? Frustrated? Depressed? Anxious?

You might be standing or staying too long in one place. 
The wrong place.

August 30, 2011

When Your Kitchen Becomes a Lab

Last week I had some spare time on my hands. What better way to use this time, I thought, than to cook?!

I had no idea what I was going to do so I turned it into an experiment! I wanted to see what I could make, using the skills and ingredients I had right in front of me, that would be fast, delicious and nutritious. 

What is the best YOU can do, without planning ahead or preparing a big-deal recipe? 

What confidence do you have in your own ability to make something that tastes good and is good for you--using what you have around you and these basic parameters:

1) lots of veggies
2) healthy fats
3) protein
4) whole foods
5) cooks fast
6) will last for several meals (leftovers)


This is the result of my experiment:

Messy Bed, Messy Head

I can't take credit for the title. I learned it from my ex-girlfriend who used to say it to me every morning when she took the 10 seconds needed to make her bed.

For her, this ritual helped her get off on the right foot for her day. She felt like she couldn't concentrate on anything if her bed wasn't made, first thing in the morning.

Did I agree? Nah! That was back when I didn't appreciate how small things like that can add up to help a person feel clear, confident and balanced. I may have even scoffed. Who cares?!

Lost and Found: Gaycation take-aways




Our gaycation to Star Island. Three days. 10 miles off the coast of New Hampshire. With my mindfulness practice and experience as a holistic health coach, what can I see and learn in 72 hours?

~~*~~

THE SHORT FERRY RIDE of 45 minutes is smooth and wonderful. Salty sea air, light breeze, perfect sunny day. As we get farther into the 10 mile trip away from the mainland I can literally feel months of stress melt away. I am going to enjoy 3 days on 1 square mile of land where all my basic needs will be taken care of and I can just read and rock in rocking chairs. And play tennis.


[upon landing at the dock] I unzip my bag and realize I don't have my iPhone.


August 26, 2011

Get Your Focus ON!!

8-week Fall Program
Do you want or need more help getting focused?





As summer folds its arms across its chest, smiling and thinking about retirement for another year, are you  thinking: I have some things I need to make happen---NOW.
I'm right there with you.

Summer has been wonderful. I set it as an intention to rest, relax and take things a bit slower so I could focus and feel better. I've done just that and it feels so good, I want to keep doing it MORE! I realized that the secret to getting and staying focused is identifying my goals, practicing healthy habits and relishing in my accomplishments. Would you like to experience some of this yourself?


The Fall is the perfect time to develop and hone lifestyle habits to make you more successful at work, at play, at love and at life. Whether or not you're in school, work for one or have absolutely no affiliation with the institution of education whatsoever--many of us stay in tune to the old school calendar and September means one thing: vacation is over, time to get down to business! Most people use this time of year to take some serious action to make some serious progress.


So tell me:

Do you have goals, both short and long-term, but feel yourself running in circles?

Do you feel like something needs to change, but need and want support to help make it happen?

Have you identified key blocks in your life, nutritionally, habitually, mentally or emotionally and want to overcome them?

Are you thinking that this year would be the year to cruise through the holidays relaxed and happy instead of stressed and stuffed?

Do you want more clarity so you can live the life you want to live--NOW?!

If you are motivated and ready to take action in your life---
NOW IS THE TIME.


I invite you to join my GET FOCUSED: FEEL FABULOUS 8-week Program

As a member of this program, you will:
  • identify 3 goals you have for your life right now
  • find where you need to get more balance to make progress with those goals
  • discover the role that sugar plays in your life and why it might be sabotaging your best efforts
  • learn to prepare quick and delicious meals for a healthy mind & body
  • focus on finding the job/career that matches your PASSION!
  • effectively prepare for a happier holiday season
  • overcome insomnia and fatigue with improved sleep quality every night!

GET FOCUSED: FEEL FABULOUS  
8-week Fall Program


Meets:
September 27
October 11+25
November 8+21*
6:30-8:00pm
Right in my comfy, cozy office in the heart of Davis Square 
Cost:         
$397 -- includes all program materials, five 90-minute group sessions and email support from me between in-person sessions.
                                             
REGISTER via the EVENTS tab of this website :)

*for ease of traveling for Thanksgiving Week


Get Focused ------> Practice Healthy Habits ------> FEEL FABULOUS!!!


August 24, 2011

GUEST BLOGGER- Andrea Dierna ;)


YEE-HAWWWW!!

There's only one thing I love more than cooking and eating healthy food and that's meeting OTHER people who love cooking and eating healthy food! Andrea is a local Somerville, MA resident. A neighbor. A colleague. She's fun, she loves talking about eating healthy food and she told me that she enjoys reading my blog too.  Sweet!

She wanted to share one of her awesome locally-inspired recipes with my loyal readers and I was elated to have her provide a guest post.


Leave her a comment and tell her I sent ya'! ;)

August 23, 2011

Gender Through a Child's Eyes



Aside from the respite my gaycation provided, (no, I didn't spell it incorrectly--we are gay so we took a GAYcation) it also was chock-full of life lessons and insights.

Here's one: a child's perception of gender--when do they start reading and interpreting social cues?

I didn't get a picture of these kids--three gorgeous children of German parents who live a couple of towns away from us here in Massachusetts. We met while vacationing for the same exact amount of time on Star Island, a wee island about 10 miles off the coast of NH and Maine. We took the same ferry out. And were booked for the same ferry back. Odds of this? Pretty darn slim.

We spent alot of time with the little'uns. I was a little nervous at first when I saw little Pauline walking along the railing of this gazebo all by herself. But these kids are strong, inside and out, and after getting to know their parents, I understood why Pauline thought it was a great idea to walk along that railing, with her perfectly strong little 4-year-old legs.



Pauline's role model is Pippi Longstocking. At 4, she emulates Pippi's carefree confidence and can-do, "where's the nearest thing I can climb?" attitude. Her brother, Basille, is similar. It might be less of a big deal that he climbed fearlessly and ran on rocks near the water's edge because boys are expected to do those things.

Here's the interesting take-away from spending time with these fearless munchkins: how they perceived Brenda and I with the social cues they were given.



the usual sundress, gold hoops and of course--gold sandals
Here's how Brenda was dressed for our weekend away:




















and here's me:
 
pants, shirt, hoodie, short hair, glowing energy from inner peace.

At some point, both Basille and Pauline decided I was a man and Brenda was my child. Pauline said to Brenda: "where's your Daddy? He's such a silly boy." And Basille said to me, several times, "Hey Mister!" He was almost asking, "did I get that right?" I nodded. Sure.

Not once did their very amazing parents ever correct them and say, "no, no, no. Dillan is a girl." They just left it up to me to either correct them or not. Which I didn't. 

It begged the question: what was their cue to determine my gender and my sex? was it my hair? My mannerisms? What were the cues happening that had them both decide (at 4 and 5 years old, respectively) that I was not a woman? Why didn't they make the assumption, as most people do, with those ever-present boobs of mine? As far as Brenda being my child...that we weren't too sure about. ;) 

Cooler than the kids calling me my preferred identity (not female) were the parents. These people just live and let live, man. The kids climbed, the kids ate healthy foods (they chose kiwi over cookies at ever meal) and the kids asked questions or made decisions and all was well. If they did go a little over the top they were pulled into their parents lap or arms and gently corrected in a low voice...with eye contact.

I want to be this kind of parent. I want to raise these kinds of kids.

Free Scholarship to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition

My tuition to attend the Institute for Integrative Nutrition Professional Training Program wasn't free but, as with most things in my life, it is worth every penny I spent.

When I enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in August of 2008, I never would have imagined my life becoming what it is today. I thought, at best, I would make some nice side cash.

Three years later, I have my own office in the heart of Somerville, MA--I have the partner of my dreams, a gorgeous apartment and...I paid off every penny of that tuition (and all my past credit card debt) with the profits of my business.

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If you think IIN might be that opportunity for you--the one you've been waiting for--enter their contest to win FREE tuition to their integrative health coaching program. Click on this link to submit your information right now: FREE IIN tuition scholarship.

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August 15, 2011

Simple Summer Salad

Nope! You didn't miss it! The newsletter didn't come out last week because I was having a stay-cation at home with my friend, Kristy. We hadn't seen each other in over 12 years!! Can you believe?!

We connected on facebook maybe a year ago and she came all the way up here from NJ to visit me and another pal in the area last week. I am so lucky. ;)

As we sat around talking, hypothesizing and philosophizing around life, love and the meaning of things we got hungry. We might have had a donut from Gail Ann Bake Shoppe in Arlington that morning...so we were looking for something nice and light for lunch. Something to clean out our insides. I opened the fridge and pulled together this Simple Summer Salad in about 5 minutes. The trick to this being a success is to keep your fridge stocked with simple items that can stand alone or be mixed with other things. OH! And be creative. Of course, cauliflower and blueberries go together!! 



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