Practice Forgiveness

If you are just tuning in, I am writing about some book marks that I made years ago and recently found. Catch up here.

Book Mark 3 – Practice Forgiveness

Wisdom from the book mark:

If you hold a grudge after a disagreement you will not feel peace inside of yourself.

If you react to the present based on things that have happened in the past, you will not feel peace inside of yourself.

If you are hard on yourself and the expectations for all that you do are so unrealistic and high, you will not feel peace inside of yourself.

peacewhiteWisdom from me (or notes to self):


~stop holding grudges.

~stop forgiving but not forgetting.

~stop reacting. period. no good ever comes of it, ever.

~stop thinking that you can always do better, feel better, look better, be better.


~ start releasing the past.

~ start living in the present moment and make it the only moment.

~start breathing, pausing, and responding.

~start loving things exactly as they are – especially yourself.

Thank goodness we are all in this together. If you have any advice in the forgiveness arena, bring it on!

Thanks and love, Anita

Rediscover Nature

In my last blog I mentioned The Peace Book. Read about it here to catch up on what is behind these book marks.

Book Mark 2 – Rediscover Nature

Let Nature Nourish You

I am eternally grateful that I live near the woods. Sometimes it feels like nothing is going right and my insides are in knots – and there is nothing that can change the energy of the day.

If I allow myself to take a few minutes to walk in the woods, I am guaranteed to emerge changed.rediscovernature

  • a spotting of a duck or great blue heron
  • a red leaf that floats down and lands at my feet
  • the sound of a deer walking nearby and the gift of looking into each others eyes

Even if you just walk around the block it is bound to change you.

  • flowers of breathtaking beauty await.
  • a tree
  • the clouds
  • a breeze that tickles your arm
  • children playing and giggling

You get the picture. Join me today. Let’s get outside!


The Peace Book

Going through my somewhat diminished library of books last weekend, I stumbled upon a book titled, The Peace Book by Louise Diamond.  A friend had given me the book and wrote underneath the title in bold letters, or HOW TO STAY CENTERED IN TIMES OF STRESS.

Inside the book I found pretty handmade paper bookmarks with all kinds of gems written on them. By who? By me. Weird.

Even more weird (or would it be weirder?)  is the fact that I have absolutely NO recognition of making these. I mean it – no recognition at all.

Instead of getting myself stuck in the whirlpool of negative thoughts that emerge from not remembering something that must have been a turning point in my (not so long ago) past, I decided to gather up the bookmarks and turn them into blog posts to help myself and my clients and friends.

(I will keep you posted if any memories surface in the process!)

Bookmark 1 – Cultivate Breathcultivatebreath

-learn how to breathe deeply

when you feel yourself zooming


yes, STOP  ( you can spare the 10 seconds)

breathe deeply from your belly at least 3-5 times.

(you will notice your muscles relaxing and your mind calming)

when you are in a situation and notice you are getting frustrated, walk away.

(leave the room and practice your deep breathing-REPEAT- as many times as necessary per situation)

I found this bookmark on page 2 of the book and here is the first paragraph:

Life is becoming faster and more stressful (this book was written in 2001 and I think even Louise Diamond would agree that it is even faster and more stressful now!) many of us are cut off from the natural world (does it count that I am writing on the computer with the back door open?), dependent on machines and complex technologies. In our rush to keep up, we forget how important the simple act of breathing can be.

Enough said. Let’s just take a deep breath together.

It’s All About Your Attitude!

“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.”

― Brian Tracy


How important is your attitude?  I know first hand how the way one person reacts to any given situation can affect how everyone else around them feels.  I just returned from a vacation in West Virginia with my husband, daughter and two nieces. It was beautiful but rainy. The last day my attitude was definitely turning sour as I faced another day of rain.  All it took was a smile from these lovely girls to help turn my attitude around.  What could have been a miserable, grumpy day, turned into a fun adventure.  Thanks girls!

Gardening – The Good vs. The Bad

Well, every year there are some things that do well in the garden and some things that just don’t! Too much sun verses too much rain verses the bugs! Who will win?

I have to often remind myself that every win is bigger than all of the losses and this year seems to be no different.

Check out my volunteer butternut squash plant … it is still growing and producing!

gardenBut then there are my yellow squashes and zucchini plants…every year I get this caterpillar like bug that eats out the stems and kills my plants or I get the fungus on the leaves which also kills the plant.  EIther way, I am lucky that I got a couple of squash off the plants before this happened.

yellowI have to try to not get too disappointed! At least I got a couple, right?  Well, I do get cheered up when I see this vine taking over…

vinesIsn’t it amazing!  The more amazing thing is look what’s growing on the vines…

hubbardIt’s a Hubbard squash!  I am just praying that this will continue to grow so that I can eat this delicious squash!  I will keep you posted!

Kitchen Experiments – Baked Eggplant

Growing up in an Italian household, there were a few things that were a given, like Sunday dinners.  Typically we ate pasta and meatballs, one of my Dad’s favorite meals, which meant Monday school lunches were meatball sandwiches. There were several Italian kids in my class and you didn’t need to look any further than their lunch box to figure out who they were! In the summer time when all of the other neighbors were spraying their lawns trying to get rid of their dandelions, we were outside digging them up for a dandelion salad!

My mom was the main cook in our house and it was not often that she asked for help, but when the electric frying pan came out, you knew that someone was going to be in the kitchen with Mom frying eggplant! It was not one of those tasks like weeding the garden that we all detested because we couldn’t wait to dig in when they were done.  It was like an assembly line – one pie plate filled with flour, one with eggs and the last with Italian breadcrumbs.  When we were young, my Mom always sliced her eggplant in rounds. When we were older, she discovered eggplant rollatini which requires the eggplant to be sliced length wise.  There is nothing as good as a big bowl of sauce with a plate of fried eggplant alongside it.  No pasta required in my mind.  The only problem is that I could eat a whole eggplant all by myself!

It has been 7 months since we started the ALCAT diet, 7 long months without eggplant!  I was moderately sensitive to eggplant which meant I had to avoid it for at least 6 months.  Now that the time was up, I could not wait to make breaded eggplant.  Of course, I had to modify it for my current diet, but that was easy.

I took out my 3 pie plates and put rice flour in the first one, eggs in the second and rice bread crumbs in the 3rd with salt, oregano and basil added to make it more “Italian”. I sliced my eggplant into rounds and then started the dredging process.  A little flour, a little egg and then the breadcrumbs.  I have not fried my eggplant since I was a child.  I place mine on a sprayed baking sheet and then spray the top again before baking them in the oven.  They are crisp and delicious and not at all greasy.

eggplantI usually bake them at 375-400 degrees and turn them at least once. They are easy and delicious to make and oh so good to eat!

eggplant2With a big bowl of homemade sauce of course! Buon appetito!

Gardening for the Soul!

52613 lady slipper

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.

Luther Burbank

It has become a birthday tradition for my sister and I to walk the Appalachian trail near her house in Delaware Water Gap in search of the lady slipper.  It is a very elusive flower that blooms sometime in May.  This is her image from this years walk to the top of the mountain.  It certainly was medicine for our souls!

Kitchen Experiments – Fish Tacos

Every night seems like an adventure in our kitchen since we started the ALCAT diet.  We are doing a 4 day rotation diet and some of the days are easier than others.  Day 3 is my least favorite and most difficult when it comes to snacking.  Day 4 has also been a bit of a challenge as well though I can always fall back on hummus and falafel.  Actually, day 4 has become easier ever since we found Humbles Hummus Chips.

humbleshumbles chipsThey are really delicious and are great dipped in hummus.  If you have not tried them yet, I strongly urge you to buy a bag and dig in.  Anyway, back to my day 4 dilemma in the kitchen.  I am always looking for something new to make.  I recently posted about the buckwheat crepes that I made. They were pretty easy and delicious.  I had eaten them stuffed with hummus and lettuce and thought there must be more that I can do with them.

When I lived in Seattle, there was this very authentic mexican restaurant that made fish burritos.  They were the best.  I decided to give it a try.  The burritos in Seattle were mainly fish and cabbage so I thought about this great summer salad that I make with cabbage, mint and lemon.

cabbage saladI embellished it a little bit with carrots but it is still a very refreshing and an “eye” appealing salad for any occasion!

Green Cabbage and Mint Salad

1 Small green cabbage, thinly sliced

1 Small carrot, grated
8 Fresh mint Leaves, chopped (dried is ok, fresh is better)
4 Tbs. lemon juice (preferably fresh squeezed but bottled is ok)
2 Tbs. Olive oil
Salt to taste

In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrot, and mint.  In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and toss.  Chill for several hours before serving.

I decided a nice light white fish would probably work best so I baked up some haddock with a little lemon and then assembled my fish taco…

fish taco

It was that simple.  You could easily substitute tofu, tempeh or even seitan for the fish and I think it would be just as delicious.  It was a nice diversion from our usual hummus and falafel.  Enjoy!