Monthly Archives: December 2011

On Integrating Inspiration…

With the new year approaching, I have been relfecting back on where I was this time least year.  It was was perhaps one of toughest spaces in my life. Life had knocked me around professionally, physically, and emotionally and I was struggling to get back on my feet and move forward with the path I knew I wanted for myself – to take my pie in the sky dream of having my own holistic health practice and bring it in to fruition.

I look back at my writings around that time and a general theme running through all of them is the importance of cultivating self compassion.  Staying committed to myself and my goals in spite of the setbacks and disappointments along the way.  Otherwise, any setback, anytime I effed up or things didn’t go my way could become a convenient excuse to unravel into self-pity and self-destruction.  In that space I would similarly encourage my readers to build that space for compassion towards themselves so they too could stay committed to their wellness goals without getting discouraged.  Slow change, I wrote, is sustainable change.  It’s that relaxed, nuturing pragmatism I believe that resonated with my readers and attracted new clients.

One year later, in this new space where I am not only back on my feet, but have slowly built a strong client base and designed a range of services to meet their needs,  I realize that what I need now is to hold myself accountable. To effectively manage my energy so I can balance business demands and still commit to my wellbeing.  And it seems now that the universe is unfolding in a way where I am attracting clients who, yes, are craving a nurturing presence in their lives that inspires healthy change, but is a force of accountability to make sure that the inspiration materializes into the shifts they are seeking.

With this intention, please enjoy the contents of this month’s newsletter, including a cozy home remedy from local acupunturist and wellness maven Nicole Mires of Pekoe Acupunture and my vegetarian rendition of Harira, Morocco’s famous tomato chickpeas stew.

Be well and and have a wonderful holiday season.

Harira: Moroccan Tomato Chickpea Stew

The inspiration for this recipe is my Dad’s wife Nadia who hails from Morocco, just outside of Casablanca. She will often describe the food of Morocco – not just the dishes, but the way of life that honors the freshness and the stories behind the food, with such poignant nostalgia. She introduced me to this fragrant, hearty, and soul satisying stew which is the national soup of Morocco and traditionally served with dates in Ramadan to break fast. My recipe is a vegetarian version in which the ghee and egg are optional and is perfect adventure for a lazy weekend at home.  Serve with lemon and whole wheat lavash. To your health! 

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 90 minutes

Serves 10-12

3 tomatoes, pureed, yielding about 3 cups or store-bought puree
2 cups of dried chick peas, soaked overnight, rinsed and strained*
1 3/4 cups of lentils, rinsed and strained
1 medium onion, finely chopped, yielding about 2 cups
4-5 stalks of celery, chopped, yielding about 1 cup
5 cups of water
1 cup of thin vermecelli egg noodles (I crushed whole wheat angel hair into 1 inch pieces)
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 egg (optional if you are keepin it vegan)
3 tbsp whole wheat flour thoroughly mixed in 1/2 cup of water without any flour pockets
2 tbsp tomato concentrate thoroughly mixed in 1/2 cup of water
1 tbsp of fresh parsely and cilantro
1 tsp saffron
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced
1 tsp of ghee or clarified butter or regular old organic butter (optional)
Fresh lemon

1) In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium hight heat, then add onion and celery. Sautee and occassionally stir over medium high heat for 3 minutes until they begin to reduce down.
2) Add chickpeas, lentils, spices, ginger, ghee, and stir, coating beans and veggies in spices. Allow to sautee for another 2-3 minutes, then add water.
3) Bring to a boil for 3 minutes, then cover, reduce to low heat and simmer for one hour.
4) Add tomato puree, tomato concentrate and water mixture, and flour and water mixture, and noodles. Allow to simmer for another 20 minutes.
5) Slowly fold in and thoroughly stir one egg into the soup. As the egg cooks, you will see pieces of the egg white solidify. (wish I could make it sound sexier). Add fresh herbs and serve!

*If using canned chickpeas, add during step 4.

Warming Sock Treatment

This month’s featured self-care tip comes from locally acclaimed acupuncturist and fellow healer woman Nicole Mires, founder of the DC-based wellness practice Pekoe Acupuncture.  For those of you who may not already know, I will soon provide BellySatva services in Pekoe’s expanded practice in the New Year!  This week I dropped by the new space in downtown DC, still in its build-out phase, and the energy and the community of health practitioners it will bring together just feels right and full of promise.  Stay tuned!



This is one of my favorite self care tips for the fall and winter months as our heads get congested, the lack of sun depletes our energy, and stress of the holidays fills our minds. The initial shock of placing cold socks on your feet is quickly replaced by a warm and fuzzy sensation over the whole body, and I always wake up the next morning feeling profoundly grounded and well rested. This information was complied with great help by Dr. Marie Rodriguez, Naturopathic Physician, a colleague and friend. For more information, you can reach Dr. Marie at

The warming socks treatment is recommended at the first sign of any congestion in the ears, eyes, sinuses, throat, and/or lungs. It is helpful in sore throats, neck pain, ear infections, headaches, migraines, upper respiratory infections, coughs, bronchitis, and sinus infections.

The warming socks also have a grounding effect by helping to draw the body’s energy down, this ensures a deeper more restorative sleep.

Warming socks treatment works best if it is repeated for three nights in a row.

You Will Need:
1 pair white cotton socks
1 pair thick wool socks
Warm bath or warm foot bath

*Warm feet first by soaking in warm water for 5-10 minutes, or by taking a warm bath or shower.
*Wet the cotton socks and wring thoroughly so that they do not drip. Place in freezer for 3-5 minutes.
*Place cold wet socks on feet, cover with thick dry wool socks. Go to bed, keep covered to avoid getting chilled.
*Keep socks on overnight, the wet cotton socks will be dry in the morning

Effects of the Warming Socks Treatment:
This treatment works to reflexively increase the circulation and decrease congestion in the upper respiratory passages, head, and throat. It has a sedating action and many patients report that they slept much better during the treatment. This treatment is also effective for pain relief and increases the healing response during acute infections.

During the colder months, be sure to listen to your body, slow down, rest, and give yourself extra time in the morning to ease into the day. By having a deep, restful sleep, the body can properly detox and regenerate during the night leaving you clear and energized by the morning.