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---

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!

8-week Fall Program

September 27
October 11+25
November 8+21*
Right in my comfy, cozy office in the heart of Davis Square 
$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 ;)


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.

Want a shot at shifting your life like this? What is possible---and what could you make happen--with the right opportunity? What if that opportunity was free?

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.

You have until AUGUST 31st.

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 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!! 

August 7, 2011

Ask For What You Need

I've experienced many people who live their lives sort of half-assed. They spend alot of time walking around making life really comfortable for other people and neglecting some basic needs (or some amazing extras like unexpected days off, free products, extra hugs, etc.)

Want to know one of those people? You're reading about one.

August 3, 2011

Oh So Easy Oatmeal

I hear this alot, "I don't eat breakfast."

My response, "Why not?"

These are the answers I get:

"I want to sleep in"

"I don't like eating when I wake up"

"I'm not sure what to eat"

"I don't have time to eat anything"

"Breakfast takes too long to make"

I have several solutions to all of the above, but for today I'll tackle "breakfast takes too long to make". If you didn't see the Easiest Breakfast in the Freakin' World*, then go now. And make that deliciousness tomorrow!  *you can substitute almond butter, peanut butter or just plain ol' butter for the Coconut Manna. Coconut oil is an incredible fat with the medium-chain wonders it works on the metabolism, but do what you can.

When you've had that and posted about it (please! your comments are like food for my wee soul) try this one on for size.

Picture this: the convenience of packaged instant oatmeal without the many grams of sugar, salt and gosh knows what else happening in hold the cards with this one. What's going in that body of yours? YOU TELL ME!!

An Attitude of Gratitude

Want to hear my best antidote for being in a funk?


I learned this lesson a while ago but, like all the good ones, it keeps coming around because I still have more work to do on it.

Whenever life gets you down and you feel bummed, confused, perplexed---you know, all those fun experiences that make you ask the really big questions about life---try this simple exercise.

Sit yourself down, get out some paper and a pen (markers, crayons, and colored pencils work well too) and make a list. Make this list all the way down the paper, like they used to have us do in school for spelling tests. I love spelling tests! I went to the state finals when I was in 8th grade but was eliminated on the word VESTIGE. Who the heck knows that word in 8th grade?


Make that list. Numbers down the margin. And beside each number, name something your grateful for.
Like this,

1. My girlfriend
2. My strong body
3. My education
4. My friends
5. Diesel cafe mochas
6. My iPhone

Wow! That was awesome!

This really works best when you're feeling like crap. Total and complete utter crap. When you feel like nothing is going right and you can't win and you want to throw in the towel and give up the ship and join Cap'n Jack Sparrow's crew.

Those days.

Get the HECK outta that negative space with this simple exercise. Notice how your perspective changes when you realize how much abundance you have in your life.

Want to know the best part? You can do this as many times as you want. As often as you need to get out of a funk. A life well-lived is not easy. There seems to be no limit to the challenges and problems we come up against. It's easy to lose perspective and feel pessimistic, frustrated and discouraged. I feel this way often because I'm going for the Gold in my own life---and that comes with alot of moments when I feel scared, incompetent and intimidated. Did you catch my thoughts about discouragement?

No matter what's going on, no matter the uphill climb, the annoying people, the mixed messages and miscommunication, restlessness and big questions of life, you can find comfort in this:

an attitude of gratitude is always here, waiting for you----a constant reminder that you can come back to your breath and remember: "oh yes, I am blessed."

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