I can’t believe 2016 is coming to a close in just a few days!  It’s one of my favorite times of the year!  You get to reset no matter what the past year has been like ~ of course you can do that every day but there is something special about the beginning of a brand new year!  Unfortunately, we sometimes set unrealistic goals that we never achieve!  Research shows that resolutions last but a mere few weeks.  Before you know it they all have fallen off the wayside by the second week of February if they even lasted that long.  Mostly because we start obsessing over things we can’t have, shouldn’t do, or mustn’t think about.  It’s just natural for our minds to start seeing these things as desirable. 

For the last few years, I make it a practice which intertwines both personally and professionally to make an intention list of what I want my year to be look like!  An intention is much more well… intended and in alignment with the result you are looking to achieve.  It works toward progress of achieving it instead of perfection and be let down.  Rather than drastically giving up something (unless it totally does not serve well in your life ~ ie. alcohol and sugar), try working on what would be good for me “today” and serves me well.  Possibly going for a walk just to get moving if you barely stepped foot in the gym would work better than signing up for a membership than barely getting there!   When you have big goals most times overwhelm sets in and you don’t know what to do first as well as make unrealistic ones that are hard to stick to.  Keep the intention list with you!  Keep it on your desk, fridge or wherever you will see it often – make multiple copies.  I also love to create vision boards ~ they are a great tool that keeps you focused and inspired.  Setting an intention should be attainable and something that is within your control.  For example, if health and wellbeing is on the top of your list possibly spending some alone time before your day starts.  Write in a journal or even a brain dump that you can write on a piece of paper that just gets things off your mind so you are more clear (you can even throw it away).   Meditating each morning is another great way to start your day while keeping your intentions in hand.  It tells the universe that you are looking for ways to attain them.  Mediation is a powerful tool don’t discount it!  It can help center yourself and worry less!  My list looks like above and doesn’t include drastic unrealistic ones that I know will never happen and just on a wish list!

So here’s to a fantastic 2017!!! May it bring you loads of success, joy, health & peace!  I’m really looking forward to making great things happen in 2017!! 

Please leave a comment below and tell me about how are you going to make 2017 your best year yet!

With the cold weather in full swing, this is the perfect time to make this luscious warming to your soul soup! It comes together in no time so it’s perfect for a healthy mid-week meal too. It’s full of delicious healthy fats and helps keep you satiated which is great for in-between meals to sip in a mug. It’s super creamy (with no dairy added) especially when using a Vitamix. But not necessary, I also make this at my clients’ homes that do not have a Vitamix and a regular blender works fine!

For a longest time, I didn’t like curry or at least I thought I didn’t like it. I think it was because I rarely made recipes with it or ate it out. Turns out I really love it so don’t be afraid to try it because it really does make the soup yummy. It’s one of the reasons I don’t call this soup “Curried Butternut Squash” soup for all the clients that think they don’t like curry but love this soup. It may not be an “authentic” Thai recipe by any means but it it’s my version of this delicious soup!

Thai Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 large butternut squash (about 3 lbs) (skinned and cut into chunks), look for large long neck
  2. 1 large onion, chopped
  3. 1 clove garlic (crushed)
  4. 2 pears (seeded/skinned & cut in chunks)
  5. 1 container of organic vegetable broth - 32 oz (I prefer Saffron Road or Natures Promise brand)
  6. 1 can of unsweetened Native Organic Coconut milk (mix it before using) - 13.5 oz
  7. 1 tbs madras curry powder (more or less depending on your taste)
  8. Himalayan Pink salt to taste
  9. 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
For the Spiced Pepitas
  1. 1/2 cup of pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
  2. Cayenne pepper
  3. Smoked Paprika
Instructions
  1. Heat EVOO or coconut oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, butternut squash, pears, garlic and about 3/4 of the container of vegetable broth to the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer until soft.
  2. Transfer ingredients to a high speed blender (or regular one is fine) in batches if necessary. Add pinch of pink salt, a little coconut milk as well as the curry a little at a time to your specific taste. You may use up to the full can of coconut milk for the full batch depending on size of your butternut squash and taste as well as adding more broth if necessary - for me I like to use about 3/4 of the can. Continue each batch until done and transfer to a ball jar. Or, plate it in your favorite bowl and sprinkle w/the spiced pepitas and enjoy! I love to store soups in glass ball jars in the fridge. They look enticing and keeps it in full view looking pretty in your fridge! I use the 2 quart one when I make this soup.
Spiced Pepitas
  1. Toss the seeds with a sprinkle of cayenne and smoked paprika and heat in a 400 degree oven (works great in a toaster oven if you have) spread out on a small cookie sheet until lightly toasted, about 1-2 minutes.
Stacey DiVerde http://staceydiverde.com/

’Tis the season where we are overloaded with goodies and/or alcoholic beverages.  It happens to everyone, we fall off of our healthy living habits and we over indulge more than we should or care to think about.  It starts at Thanksgiving and continues though the holiday season leaving us to forget about our health for the time being as well as all the other gatherings throughout the year.  It’s not until we start to feel fatigued, our pants a little more snug and/or brain fog sets in that we realize we are out of balance.  With so much misinformation coming at us from every angle it’s hard to figure what’s what in health and our food! 

I do believe there is a difference!  A detox is just that ridding your body of toxins.  Most likely starting from the very environment we live in.  It’s almost impossible to avoid all chemicals – its in the air we breathe.  But top that with chemicals in our food as well as heavy metals, smoking, cleaning products, makeup, hair and poor skincare products and your body gets overloaded and weighed down and just doesn’t work properly.  Sometimes a good detox in supporting specific organs is in order to help you bring your body back to it’s natural balance.

A cleanse on the other hand helps clear out your digestive system and enhances your bodies natural detoxification system.  It helps rid your body of toxic matter that is clogging your digestive system.  With so many people using them interchangeably it’s hard to decipher which one is for you and I think that’s a personal choice depending on how you are feeling.  Believe or not our bodies are meant to cleanse themselves naturally aka the skin, liver, kidneys and colon not to mention our entire lymphatic system.  Given the right foods they can work beautifully together.  Keeping them healthy and clean is key to keeping them working well.  I don’t believe you should be sitting on a toilet and afraid to leave the house!  I recommend using food as a natural detoxification even if you are “cleansing/detoxing.”  Although some good supplements or herbal teas help the detoxification process move along.  One thing you have to remember is detoxing and cleansing may have ill effects on you the first few days if you were eating poorly prior to it.  It’s important to keep that in mind and also to prepare yourself prior to do doing a cleanse so the body is eased into it.  It would be a good idea for instance to slowly take caffeine out of your diet starting several days before you start your cleanse so you don’t get that dreaded “caffeine headache”. 

Here are some signs of that your body is in need of a cleanse or detox:

  • fatigue
  • stressed
  • anxiety
  • acne
  • not losing weight when you are doing your best
  • headaches
  • allergies and/or food sensitivities
  • joint pain
  • mood swings

I hope that helps in some way but either way just ridding your body of the junk one to two times a year is a good idea!  It’s almost inevitable even if you are eating well, and not using toxic chemicals our bodies get clogged up.  They need to reboot and take a break from working so hard to keep us healthy which is truthfully it’s only goal.

’Tis the season to be merry right?  Everyone may not agree that it is a merry season!  Between the holiday parties, office sweets and baked goods coming at you at all ends, shopping and not knowing what to buy or can afford, relationship woes and toxic people showing up when it’s supposed to be a magical time of year.  Whew – that certainly adds up to an emotional mess!  Just rushing around can really drain our emotions and keep us out of balance.  Instead of just barely getting through the season and showing up in the new year exhausted and burnt.  Let’s set ourselves up to make it more enjoyable and meaningful.  Sometimes we need to draw the line to reclaim the holidays for what they are intended to be but this list is not just for the holidays it’s something we should all keep in mind throughout the year!  Here are 10 ways to help make that happen:

  1. Meditate – wake up and spend 5 minutes or more just focusing on your breath (if other thoughts come just dismiss them and refocus).
  2. Drink lots of water during the day to keep yourself hydrated, especially if you plan on attending a party and may indulge in an alcoholic beverage.
  3. Eat whole foods and don’t skip breakfast, stay away from foods that are full of sugar, they only make you crave more bad foods.  If later, you plan to attend a holiday gathering and want to enjoy a seasonal treat, go ahead, you are not going to gain 10 lbs, just be mindful.
  4. Take a walk and/or get in at least 15 minutes of exercise (preferably before you start your day).  Believe it or not, it does give you more energy and helps keep you balanced, decreases anxiety and increases sleep.
  5. Don’t buy presents you can’t afford!  Don’t set yourself up for even more financial stress when January rolls around and you have no idea how you are going to pay for all the stuff you couldn’t really afford in the first place.  There are plenty of ways you can give gifts that don’t come with a price tag.
  6. Take inventory of your desires and what you truly want from this holiday season.  If relaxation is on the top of your list you won’t be prompted overcommit.  Learn to say no at least once, if not more.  Do less and enjoy more!  Knowing and moving toward what you want is not selfish.  You will be a better person to others.
  7. Be mindful of your presence whether at a family gathering, a company party or just enjoying a game with your kids.  Take root of where are you at the moment and truly enjoy it.  And, shut your devices off!
  8. Spend time outdoors, in nature and in sunlight – it stimulates the feel good hormone serotonin.
  9. Forget perfection and stop obsessing over doing it all or finding that perfect gift!
  10. Think positive and remove yourself from stress-induced situations!  The holidays can be very emotional for some especially if you lost a loved one.  Focus on the all the goods in your life as well as the good memories and not your losses. 

Please leave a comment below and let me know how you are making them merrier!  Happiest of holidays to you and your family!