Pumpkin Spice Latte or Turmeric/Ginger Latte?

I don’t know about you, but I have learned to appreciate the change in weather. Doesn’t it just warm you up and make you feel all tingly inside to see the beautiful red, yellow and orange leaves? Not to mention—how much I love  all the warm seasonal foods at the local market.

And the Pumpkin Spice Latte—oh the PSL…the beverage that marks the beginning of fall for most people…

Me? I prefer to skip the PSL and you may want to as well. Especially when you consider that it contains caramel coloring, no real pumpkin, loads of sugar, preservatives and sulfites. Click here to read more about the ingredients in a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Instead, I prefer to warm up a big mug of Golden Milk (hint—it’s NOT milk at all)  or what I call Turmeric/Ginger Latte to show my immune system as well as my root and solar plexus some good old-fashioned lovin’. Trust me, once you taste the frothy spiciness of this warm-your-belly herbal remedy…it’s sure to become your new fall staple.

This is just one of the delicious chakra nourishing fall recipes from my Autumn detox program. This upcoming detox program is going to be the best thing that’s happened to you in a long time (it involves releasing weight, letting go of foods, lifestyle habits and thoughts that no longer serve you and bringing in colorful vibrancy and energy to all areas of your life). For more information about the detox program click here.

Below is the recipe
Turmeric/Ginger Latte


1 cup of unsweetened coconut milk

½ cup water

1 Tbs coconut oil

1 tsp powdered turmeric

1 tsp powdered ginger

2 tsp of cacao (optional)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Raw Local honey to taste or Stevia

1 dash of cinnamon

1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut milk


Directions: Place first seven ingredients in a small pot. Warm on medium heat until hot. Put in blender or nutribullet (my favorite type of blender). Add honey and 1/4 cup of cold coconut milk. Blend for about 20 secs. Pour in your favorite cup and add a dash of cinnamon. Enjoy!

The key to making this drink is blending all of the ingredients in a blender. This gives the drink a creamy, frothy like consistency. All I can say is delicious! I can’t seem to get enough.

Here are the benefits of this tea along with what chakras the ingredients nourish.

Coconut milk – contains minerals like, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and zinc. It also contains lauric acid, which has been found to exhibit antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Nourishes the sacral and crown chakra

Coconut Oil –contains healthy antiviral, antifungal and antimicrobial saturated fats. Contains lauric acid. Has immune system –enhancing properties. Is a antioxidant. Helps regulate blood sugar. Nourishes the sacral and crown chakra

Turmeric – anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and is liver detoxifier. Nourishes the root, solar plexus and third eye chakra.

Ginger – anti-inflammatory, improves immune system. It also improves the absorption and stimulation of essential nutrients in the body, by stimulating gastric and pancreatic enzyme secretion. Nourishes the root, solar plexus and third eye chakra.

Cacao – contains minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese .Essential vitamins such as: A, B1, B2, B3, C, E and Pantothenic acid. Is a antioxidant. Cacao can also increase the levels of serotonin, which help improve your mood. Nourishes the third eye chakra

Cinnamon – contains mineral like manganese, iron and calcium. Has anti-bacterial and antimicrobial properties. Is a antioxidant and also helps regulate blood sugar. Nourishes the solar plexus and third eye chakra.

Stevia and honey – nourishes the solar plexus chakra



Embrace the Yin of the Year with Power-Packed Autumn Veggies

Cooler mornings, chillier nights, and blessedly balmy days, ah, autumn! We turned the seasonal corner just last week on September 22….can you feel the shift in energy?

I was noticing the beginnings of the shift at the end of August: leaves were starting to fall and the heat of summer was waning. Now that we’ve reached the end of September, I can really see the change. The leaves are turning colors, the weather is brisk, the days are shorter and energetically I am slowing down.

I wasn’t always so tuned in to the season’s slowdown. In fact, as a Real-Life Superwoman I’ve spent many years resisting autumn’s shorter days and darker nights, because they meant that winter was on the way.

Why should that matter? At the time – like many Superwomen – I didn’t even realize that I was in conflict with the energetic flow of the year…but I was, and it was taking its toll.

In traditional Chinese medicine, autumn is the start of the Yin time of year: a time to slow down, reflect, and replenish your body, mind and soul. Time to sleep more, meditate, and eat foods that are grounding.

Problem is – when you’re enmeshed in this Yang culture, you aren’t willing to surrender to this kind of slowdown; you want to keep charging full speed ahead!

So this Busy Professional Woman spent years fighting the Yin energy of autumn and winter…and as a result, often felt depressed, had a compromised immune system from constant activity, and was more vulnerable to colds and flu as a result.

Now, however, I have learned to appreciate the autumn season. I love the vibrant, warm colors of fall foliage and the vegetables that ripen at this time of year – winter squash, pumpkins, beets and other root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, turnips and parsnips. Not to mention the warm fragrance and flavor of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg…

Feeling hungry yet (smile)?

So today I want to share a couple of my favorite autumn foods and how they nourish your health, well-being and chakras.

Beets – From their gloriously red root to their leafy top, these veggies offer a ferocious number of benefits. According to Mercola.com , beets help to lower blood pressure, boost stamina, fight inflammation, support detoxification, improve nerve and muscle function, boost bone strength, stimulate the production of antibodies and white blood cells, and ward off cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. They’re packed with fiber to keep our digestive track healthy and nutrients – vitamin C, potassium, manganese, and folate. On an energetic level, as a deep-crimson root vegetable they help to ground us by nourishing the root chakra.

Butternut squash – With its hard shell and firm flesh, this is an easy food for long-term storage, providing our ancestors with a stable source of carbohydrates and fiber when fresh veges were scarce. Today, these winter squashes do more than their share in boosting your health: according to WholeLiving.com , it’s loaded with potassium, B6, folate, and carotenoids – essential for the functioning of your skeletal, cardiovascular, nervous and immune systems. Its high antioxidant levels help to reduce risk of rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and other inflammatory disorders. With its high level of beta-carotene, butternut squash can help to protect against breast, colon, and prostate cancer and macular degeneration…as well as supporting fetal and newborn lung development. Its high levels of Vitamins A and C help to support the production of collagen, essential for healthy hair and skin. Finally, as a bright-orange food, it helps to nourish the sacral chakra, which helps keep us in the flow and connected with our creativity.

Sweet potato – This is my all-time favorite autumn food…in fact I could eat this delicious vegetable any time of the year! And sweet potatoes are another nutrient-packed autumn veg: in fact, according to Mercola.com, they hold the record in their levels of Vitamin A – at 769% of the recommended daily value, only beef liver provides more. They’re also loaded with beta-carotene, Vitamins C and B6, and the antioxidant enzymes copper/zinc superoxide dismutase and catalase – boosting your immune system and all-over physical functioning and helping to fight cancer – as well as the protein adiponectin, which helps to regulate your body’s insulin production. As root vegetables, with their deep orange color, sweet potatoes support both the root and sacral chakras.

Do you want to know more about how certain foods help nourish the chakras and as a result improve your health and well-being? If yes, I invite you to join my free 7 Day Autumn Chakra Smoothie Challenge, starting Oct 3!

Tweet: Need ease and flow? Eat butternut squash Tweet: Need ease and flow? Eat butternut squash.@zestandharmony


Got the Munchies?

We’ve all done it – had the Midnight Munchies, the 2:00 p.m. Crash, and the 4:30 Grumpies…. gone rummaging through the pantry or perusing the canteen machines, and come away with a sugar or salt fix that jump-started our energy or calmed our craving, only to leave us hungry again an hour or so later..

Sure, you may be saying, I’m not proud of it, but when I’m lying awake obsessing over tomorrow’s presentation, falling asleep at my desk, or ready to snap at my coworker if she looks at me crosseyed, what’s the alternative? And whoever heard of going to the movies without popcorn, or Netflix without a snack and drink nearby?

I hear you! There are a hundred and one reasons for snacking, and most of them revolve in some way around keeping our mood and energy stable. The reality is – snacking can be a form of self-medication, an attempt to supply a genuine physical need….and it can actually be a self-defeating solution, as an National Institutes of Health study  indicated that more calories, saturated fat, and sodium you eat, the more likely you are to suffer a bad mood two days down the road.

So the Busy Professional, Real Life Superwoman’s key to healthy snacking is to find what your body is really looking for in the foods you crave, and then to satisfy that craving with the actual nutrients you need.

Instead of digging into your “stash,” try tuning in to your body and emotions to ask:

Am I craving sweets to fill an emotional need, or numbing out a painful thought or feeling?

A landmark study by Judith and Richard Wurtman established that many people crave sweets and carbs at such times because these foods boost production of the “feel-good” hormone, serotonin.  And according to biologist/author Deane Alban , your blues may actually be due to a serotonin deficiency. You can correct this with high-nutrient foods rich in calcium, chromium, folate, iron, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D and zinc, which support the production and regulation of serotonin.  Or you can add foods rich in tryptophan, which is an amino acid that is a precursor for  serotonin. A few foods rich in trypotophan are : eggs, poultry, beans, lentils and seeds.

According to my mentor, Dr. Deanna Minich’s Whole Detox Program , you may also be seeking to satisfy other emotional needs with sweets and carbs: for example, many women turn to dairy treats for a sense of nurturance and comfort. Seeking out processed carbs with white flour may be a red flag indicating  tension, a need for love, or putting out more energy than is coming in. And – not surprisingly! – chocolate may indicate a craving for love.

But the “food of the gods” can be good for so much more…in fact,  dark chocolate is high in many of those serotonin-boosting vitamins and minerals (not to mention a host of other nutrients!), and the high-cacao/low sugar organic, fair-trade varieties can relieve your craving with just a square or two. The sweet-sweet milky varieties that you’ll see in the grocery store checkout aisle, however, may contain a raft of toxins, such as fat, fructose (the new name for high fructose corn syrup), and pesticide residues ….all factors that can prolong, rather than cure, a low mood.

Am I craving salty foods to boost my energy?

Bizarre as it may sound – who hasn’t heard horror stories of the high-sodium American diet and its impact on health? – many Americans are actually sodium-deficient! How is that possible? Well, according to the Body Ecology nutritional consulting firm, the salt that’s so liberally added to just about every processed food on the shelf is not the kind our bodies need and crave, but a nutritionally-deficient and physically damaging substitute. So to satisfy your body’s genuine demand for salty foods, they say, you should stay away from the refined salt on chips, fries, and nuts, and go instead for genuine sea salt, which can “nourish your thyroid and adrenal glands, keep your blood alkaline and even increase the healing powers of other foods. “

Very often salty foods are also crunchy (pretzels or popcorn, anyone?) which helps to relieve stress or anger by literally giving you “something to dig your teeth into.” Fortunately this is an easy need to satisfy – just chop up fresh organic veggies and sprinkle them with  a little  genuine sea salt.

Am I craving spicy foods to dull pain or to fight boredom and apathy?

Very often apathy is a symptom for something going on at a deeper level – depression, perhaps, or even an unrecognized illness. Spicy foods offer a long list of health benefits: for example, clinical nutritionist Dr. Josh Axe  writes that cayenne can help relieve cardiovascular conditions, digestive issues, and chronic pain diseases such as fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. And of course we all know garlic, with its long list of immune-boosting properties, and ginger, renowned for reducing nausea, pain, and inflammation.

The Indian Ayurvedic tradition is built around managing health through foods, and particularly spices…a worthwhile area to explore when you’re craving rich flavor.

The Three Rules of Snacking

As I tell my clients – it’s all about transforming reflexive habits into conscious decisions….

  1. Slow down, tune into your cravings and see what you really want.
  2. Make your snacking choices consciously, with nutrient-rich whole foods
  3. Choose a variety of colorful foods which will nourish your chakras
  4. Enjoy them slowly and mindfully.

If you need some On The Go Snack ideas,  I have included a free gift with recipes below…and if you’re looking to learn more about the nutrients you really want based on the foods you crave, here’s a helpful chart to print out and post on your refrigerator.

Boost Your Late-Summer Diet with Powerhouse Veggies!

If you’ve been wandering through the Farmer’s Markets lately (as you know, my favorite activity!), you’ve probably been seeing the explosion of colors as we move deeper into harvest time. Between the red grapes, tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, blueberries, and eggplant – just for starters –  there’s something to nourish every chakra, not to mention every taste!

I was passing by a booth at the Baltimore Farmer’s Market this past Sunday (as you know, my favorite happy place!) and noticed a display of squashes….and all I could say was WOW! Did you realize there are eight varieties of summer squash? And all of them in glorious shades of green and/or yellow…

So today I want to celebrate three of my favorite summer vegetables: zucchini and yellow squash, and eggplant, and see how they can give us Busy Professional Women more Zest and Harmony.

First of all, both zucchini and yellow squash pack a multivitamin’s worth of nutrition into a slender, tasty few inches. According to the George Mateljan Foundation’s website, they’re high in carbohydrates, protein and fiber, as well as vitamins A, B1, B6, B2, and C; potassium, magnesium, manganese, folate, copper, and phosphorus; along with omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, niacin, and calcium, as well as the antioxidants alpha-carotene and beta-carotene. It would be hard to find a more nutrient-rich squash.

And that’s not all! With their high levels of magnesium and potassium, both the yellow and green summer squashes reduce high blood pressure and the risk of heart attack and stroke, while their high levels of vitamin C and beta-carotene may also help to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol which can cause atherosclerosis, and their high folate levels help to remove homocysteine, which may contribute to the factors causing heart attack and stroke.

The beta-carotene and vitamin C in summer squash have anti-inflammatory properties, helping to reduce inflammation and ease the symptoms of arthritis and asthma, while their high levels of fiber and water help to keep the gut functioning smoothly and prevent the onset of colon cancer. And diabetics get a special benefit from these powerhouse veggies: summer squash contains a unique polysaccharide structure that research demonstrates may promote better regulation of insulin and protection against diabetes.

And what about the energetic level?

Yellow squash helps to nourish the solar plexus chakra, coming into ripeness just at the turn of the seasons, when we need a strong power center at our core to help us set boundaries. How many Real-Life Superwomen I know (I used to be one!) who are giving a lot and don’t set limits to protect our energy levels! Then we wind up wondering why we’re stressed, exhausted and irritable – all symptoms of an unbalanced solar plexus chakra.

With its green color, zucchini supports your heart chakra…perfect for supporting you through the emotional challenges of season’s change, whether you’re walking your teen through the end of a first summer romance, or entering new emotional adventures of your own. That heart-chakra support can also bolster you against the stresses of work, and gives you the extra “oomph” you need to make positive changes when needed.

And then there is my other favorite summer vegetable, eggplant!

Technically, eggplant is neither a squash nor a vegetable – it actually a fruit and belongs to the nightshade family of fruits and vegetables, which also includes tomatoes, bell peppers and potatoes – but I use it in a lot of recipes with summer squashes (ah, ratatouille! Eggplant/zucchini/tomato tian! Grilled veggie kebab!). But like summer squash, eggplant packs a powerhouse of nutrients into that glossy purple or blue/black teardrop: fiber, copper, vitamins B1, B3, B6, and K, manganese, potassium, and folate, according to the George Mateljan Foundation’s website. It also contains a important phytonutrients, including phenolic compounds such as caffeic and chlorogenic acid, and flavonoids, such as nasunin.

So what does this do for you? First, some of these compounds are powerful antioxidants, protecting your cell membranes from damage by free radicals. So eggplant is a potent ally against cancer, microbial infection, “bad” cholesterol, and viruses…as well as high blood pressure! One of these phytonutrients, nasunin, also acts as an iron chelator, removing excess iron from the bloodstream, thus reducing free radical damage to joints, which can cause rheumatoid arthritis; and preventing cellular damage that could lead to cancer.

On the energetic level, since eggplant is a blue/purple color, it nourishes the third eye chakra, helping us to listen to our inner wisdom and trust the process of life…key skills which are many times forgotten or undervalued by us Real-Life Superwomen.

Below are just a few ways to incorporate these nutritional powerhouses into your diet!


  • Make a smoothie using frozen zucchini
  • Make “pasta” with zucchini and yellow squash. You can either make it with a Spiralizer or Julienne Peeler.
  • Roast these vegetables on the grill for Labor Day
  • Sauté all three vegetables or just one of them such as eggplant with onions, garlic and tomatoes.

 What is your favorite summer squash and summer squash recipe?

Get Cool with These Yin foods

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine foods that produce HEAT are considered YANG foods and foods that are COLD are YIN in nature.  The heating and cooling effect of foods refer to their capacities to generate either hot or cold sensations in the body.  Yin foods moisten the body and are generally low in calories and rich in potassium. Yang foods warm the body and can be drying. They are higher in calories and sodium.  Below are a list of cooling foods and the chakra it nourishes.

  • Root Chakra







  • Sacral Chakra






  • Solar Plexus


  • Heart


    Dark leafy greens






  • Throat Chakra

    Sea Vegetables






  • Third Eye Chakra




What are your favorite yin foods and which chakra (s) does it nourish? Share in the comment section below.

Reclaim Your Balance – and Your Power – in this Election Year!

If you, like most of us, have been watching our national political conventions, you’ve probably been cycling through a whole gamut of emotions – I know I have! And from what I’ve seen, some of the strongest emotions on display have been anger….chaos….frustration…separatism…and fear.

Let’s skip all the political reasons why voters are feeling these emotions so strongly this year…that’s a whole other discussion! What I want to look at right now is the energetic reason.

 As a nation, I feel energetically our root chakra is totally out of balance, and has been for centuries. There have been pockets of time when it seems to be more out of balance than others. Such as  the last couple of months. There has been struggles for equality, innocent people being killed, Black Lives Matter protests, the argument over gun control, terrorism….  and much more.

What are the giveaway signs of an imbalanced root chakra? You guessed it: all of the emotions we’ve been seeing – and feeling – during the the last couple of month as well as the two conventions, and the primary elections leading up to them.

In fact, the campaign talk, on one side more than the other, seems to be aimed at aggravating this imbalance, triggering deep-seated concerns about safety and survival which can show up either as excessive fear or as aggression and defensiveness.

Not pleasant feelings to experience….and they lead to unpleasant – even tragic – outcomes.

So what can we do, as Busy Professional Women, to balance our own root chakras and avoid getting caught in this chaos and election-year spin?

During chaotic times it is important to do things that nourish your root chakra and ground yourself so that you can remain rooted in the present moment. Your groundedness can have a ripple effect on your friends, family, community and the nation.

Believe me, I’m right there with you in this! My heart has been feeling tender, and I have been feeling highly sensitive….so I have been taking proactive self-care actions to remain focused, grounded and present despite the crazy energies of these times.

Every morning, I meditate and rub essential oils such as as Frankincense, Lemongrass, or Cedarwood on my hands, feet and spine. My root chakra has been calling for root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes and beets, and so I have been listening to my body and adding these to my diet. To nourish my heart chakra to withstand the ugly political talk, I have been eating more kale and spinach. Cucumbers have also been nourishing my heart and cooling my body and emotions.

Because the stress of current events can help to cause more inflammation and risk of illness and dis-“ease”, it’s particularly important to make sure our meals are filled with nutrient rich foods: these help to boost the immune system which in turn nourishes our root chakra.

Imbalance in our root chakra also throws other chakras into imbalance, and I see both my clients and myself becoming more emotional over the tension and chaos in our nation. This indicates imbalance in the sacral chakra, where emotions are held.

Because, as women, we tend to hold our emotions in our hips (which also hold the stress of long-term sitting jobs), I’ve been recommending and doing exercises that move and open the hips and release those emotions and stresses. Bellydance is a wonderful practice for this purpose, with its wealth of hip shimmies and circling. Depending on the nature and strength of the emotions you need to work out, and your own fitness level, other options can range from yoga to barre exercises to kickboxing.

Bottom line? It’s easy to feel helpless, caught up into the emotions that are sweeping the nation. But as Busy Professional Women, we have a responsibility to ourselves and others to claim our own power and autonomy and manage our emotions rather than letting them control us. Ultimately this helps us to remain clear-headed and make good, positive choices, for ourselves and for the nation!

Do you need some support in reclaiming your energy, vitality and power? If yes, allow me to support you with my 90 minute Jump Start Your Energy and Vitality Session. Click here for more information.


Sprouts – The Other Green Superfood

As spring is ramping up into summer, our commitments as Busy Professional Women are increasing…and all the while we’re anxiously preparing for the onset of Swimsuit Season!

How can you meet your body’s need for high-energy nutrition, without taking on the weight of carbs and sugars? Simple! There is a superfood I highly recommend you start adding to your meal plan during the spring and that is SPROUTS.

Sprouts have a number of benefits for us Busy Professional women. First of all, they’re a high-density food, containing a significant amount of protein and dietary fiber, as well as vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin, vitamin C, vitamin A, and riboflavin. In terms of minerals, sprouts contain manganese, copper, zinc, magnesium, iron, and calcium.

So, eating sprouts will help boost your metabolism and help you release weight.

But not only this: sprouts also help protect against the impact of stress, by nourishing the adrenals, boosting your immune system and reducing your risk of heart disease.

There’s a bigger picture here: sprouts are considered live food, which makes their nutrients more available for digestion and assimilation. According to the Nourishing Gourmet, because they are germinating from seed to plant, sprouts neutralize enzyme inhibitors and anti-nutrients such as phytic acid, which can impair your digestion, prevent your assimilation of valuable minerals, and even inhibit your own body enzymes.

On an energetic level, sprouts are a green food, nourishing the Heart Chakra. The Heart Chakra helps us to see the world as a warm and friendly place…that helps us to reach out and connect with others in friendship, compassion, and altruistic love…that makes it possible for us to meld our awareness with Divine Awareness to achieve inner peace. No matter how much pain and sorrow your heart may be carrying, the Heart Chakra carries an unbreakable connection to a limitless, infinite Love, overflowing with compassion for all beings, including yourself

As we’re stepping out into the sunshine after a long gray winter, what could be a better energy to carry into spring?

There are so many types of sprouts…from the basics like alfalfa sprouts and bean sprouts to radish, clover, almond, even sprouts of spice seeds like fenugreek or sesame. Right now, my favorites are sunflower sprouts, which I have only seen at Whole Foods. I add these to my soups, salads, wraps, smoothies and eat them plain.

For a super-nutritious do-it-yourself project, you might consider making your own sprouts fresh. Sprouting.com and SproutPeople.org  give loads of information on sources for organic grains, legumes and seeds; the best equipment, methods, and safety factors – even recipes for your finished product!

Do you like sprouts? What are your favorite type of sprouts…and what are your favorite recipes featuring this green superfood?

Want more success? Get more sleep

How many times have you done it – stayed up till the wee small hours on a must-do project, or catching up on important correspondence, then just zoning out on social media (decompressing, or catching up on news, you tell yourself)?

I don’t think there’s one of my Busy Professional, Real Life Superwomen clients who hasn’t done it at least once – twice – or maybe more in the past week. Or, when they get to bed, they can’t stop thinking and worrying, and so have difficulty relaxing enough to sleep!

March 6-13 was Sleep Awareness Week, and on Sunday March 13  we pushed our clocks forward. It got me started thinking…sleep is such an important aspect of our health and wellness, but much of the time we just don’t see it as a priority.

In our society, staying up all night to complete tasks or work on projects is celebrated. It goes back to the Puritan work ethic and the notion that busy-ness is a badge of honor. Sleep looks like a shameful waste of time that we could (and should) be putting to better use!

That was always my issue. I personally have never had problems with falling asleep. I actually love to sleep and can sleep for 12 hours at times. But I’ve always had lots of things to do and felt as though I didn’t have enough time to do it all, so I’d stay up trying to accomplish more. The less I slept, the more I could get done… but this was a very unsustainable way of living. I learned eventually that when I push myself this way, it’s only a matter of time before I get sick.

In his book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Greg Mckeown writes:

The best asset we have for making a contribution to the world is ourselves. If we underinvest in ourselves, and by that I mean our minds, our bodies, and our spirits, we damage the very tool we need to make our highest contribution.One of the the most common ways people – especially ambitious, successful people – damage this asset is through lack of sleep.

So my question for you is: how many hours did you sleep last night?

Studies have shown that the less sleep you get you are more prone to impaired thinking; major health issues such as heart attack and stroke; reduced sex drive; depression; and increased risk of fatal accidents:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that fatigue is a cause in 100,000 auto crashes and 1,550 crash-related deaths a year in the U.S. The problem is greatest among people under 25 years old.

In fact, I was surprised to find out that studies show that there is an increase in both heart attacks and road accidents in the days after clocks are set forward one hour in spring.

And it works the other way, too: just as a sleep deficit reduces your health and performance, getting seven to eight hours of sleep has shown to boost your health, youthfulness, productivity, focus, and creativity.

So what can you do to improve your sleep habits?

First of all, create a healing sleep environment:

  • Evict the Electronics

Scientists are now finding that light from electronics – televisions, laptops, tablets and smartphones, as well as energy-efficient bulbs – has the potential to disrupt sleep by slowing the release of melatonin. According to The Sleep Foundation, The circadian rhythm seems to be especially sensitive to light with short wavelengths—in particular, blue light in the 460-nanometer range of the electromagnetic spectrum.

  • Clear the Bed

I have many clients who tell me they have books and papers on one side of their bed, or on the floor next to the bed (I’m sometimes guilty of this, too). Why load your sleeping environment with the reminders of work? Instead, surround your sleeping space with pillows, sheets, blankets and comfort.

  • Indulge in a Good Mattress and Pillows

Do you have a quality mattress? Do you know what kind of mattress your body needs? Some like a soft mattress others do well with the support of a firm one. This goes the same with pillows. What does your body prefer?

  • Remove Indoor Air Pollution

Air quality can directly affect sleep. According to the Harvard School of Public Health indoor air pollution increases the risk of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea. This can also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Here are some suggestions to clear your bedroom air:

  • Get an air purifier
  • Spring clean your mattress to remove dust mites, skin cells, pet hair, and other allergens.
  • Consider hypoallergenic bedding : mattress cover, comforter, and pillows, to protect against allergens, dust mites, and bacteria.
  • Add a couple of plants to your bedroom: Boston Fern, Spider Plant, Peace Lily, Philodendron and other species thrive indoors while purifying the air
  • Inexpensive ways to improve indoor air are: Salt Lamps, Beeswax Candles, and essential oil diffuser.

Once you have created a healthy outward environment, it’s time to change your psychological environment.

  • Make your bed off-limits to anything but sleep and lovemaking. It will be easier to relax into sleep if you don’t associate your bed with other activities.
  • Shift your mindset about sleep. Every night before bed, affirm that “Sleep is an effective use of time that leads to success.”
  • Don’t eat a heavy meal or drink alcohol  or caffeine (surprise!) right before bed. Other than a small, melatonin-stimulating snack or a cup of chamomile tea, it’s best to avoid stimulating your digestive system when you’re trying to sleep.
  • Reduce Stress by creating a bedtime ritual – a shower or bath, 15 minutes with a relaxing book, a gentle yoga routine and my favorite is writing my to do list for the next day.
  • Use music to relax: Gregorian chants, New Age meditation music, Native American flute music, and other compositions are excellent for winding down.
  • Take counting sheep to the next level and practice visualizations! Record Yoga Nidra meditations and play them back as you’re settling in for sleep.
  • If you’re really stuck and can’t get to sleep, gentle, natural sleep aids can help: homeopathic tablets such as Calms ; valerian capsules, or melatonin can all help you to relax.

When you approach sleep intentionally, recognizing and taking care of your body’s need, you’ll be surprised at the ease with which you can doze off!

Onion Garlic Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms

Are you aware of the incredible benefits of mushrooms? Take a look at a few:

  • Rich in iron and vitamin C
  • Has a compound called lentinan, which boosts your immune system and protects your body against tumors. antiviral
  • Has adaptogentic properties

I’ve included a delicious Onion Garlic Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms recipe for you! Enjoy!

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms
1 cup spinach
1/4 cup chopped scallions
juice from 1/2 lemon
6 cups water or vegetable low sodium broth
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Dash of sea salt and cayenne pepper
  • Heat the oil in a 2-quart saucepan or small soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until golden.
  • Add the garlic and shitake mushrooms, continue to sauté until the garlic is brown lightly. Add water or broth.
  • Add spinach, cover and simmer gently over low heat for about 15 minutes. When done add lemon, sea salt and cayenne pepper. Top with scallions and thyme.




How to Let Go of Your “Should” List This Holiday Season

For us Real-Life Superwoman, no matter what holiday we celebrate we have a tendency to forget about the sacred energy that is abundant during this time of year. Instead we feel overwhelmed, overextended, overtired and we overspend and overeat. We are busy pleasing everyone else and doing our “should” list instead of nourishing our self and being fully present to all the joys this season bring. So I challenge you to choose a different way of being so you can enjoy your holiday season and end 2015 feeling at peace.


Click below to watch video for some helpful tips to feel peace and ease this holiday season.