Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup (aka a few of my favorite things)

It’s November which means it’s the month of Thanksgiving and if you know me at all then you know that Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday. Ours is more of a 'Friendsgiving', although family members are allowed to attend if they behave. I start planning the menu in October - as soon as the fall magazine covers hit the grocery store checkout lines. I even have a special folder of recipes printed or torn out of magazines that have been accumulating for over a decade. 

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Sautéed red cabbage with pecans, dill and goat cheese

One of my all time favorite fall and winter side dishes is red cabbage. It’s versatile, stores for ages in the fridge, easy to whip up and it’s so dang pretty! This dish is a longstanding staple at our house and I always make enough for leftovers because it’s even yummier the next day. I honestly can’t remember where the recipe originated from as it’s scrawled on a little notecard that is stained and well worn. I’ve adapted it over the years but here it is in all it’s glory.

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The Power of a Morning Ritual

As the days get shorter and the nights get colder it can be a real challenge to get ourselves out of bed in the morning. Our beds are so cozy — especially on grey winter days! It’s much easier to roll over, take your phone off the charger and start scrolling through social media and email, all the while telling yourself that you’re only gonna take a quick look - like, just to feel caught up or only until you feel “more awake.” But then 5 minutes becomes 30 minutes or more and before you know it you’ve fallen into a hole of looking at someone else’s vacation pics, admiring your best friend’s sister’s baby or puppy, checking to see what the weather is like in NYC, vaguely planning a menu for a dinner party you haven’t even scheduled and comparing your mom life/work life/fitness life to pretty much everyone else’s (which, PS, - feels like sh*t). Add that to the stress of checking the latest news headlines, realizing that you have scores of unanswered emails plus mentally reviewing the day’s commitments and suddenly your morning vibe gets fully zapped. You feel rushed and out of alignment that is not at all how you want to start your day.

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Lately I've been thinking about what's real and what's perceived. We all know that many of the things we see on social media are chosen or curated to get the ultimate response. And while sometimes we feel inspired, connected or amused, lots of times we get triggered into "compare and despair" and end up feeling like our lives, our bodies and our selves are somehow lacking. We keep scrolling through, trying to shake off the feeling, forgetting that we're seeing only only a part of a story, not the big picture. It's not a whole truth. 

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How to make a smoothie bowl + my favorite recipe

I love smoothies but I’ve found that when I drink them the whole experience is over way more quickly than I’d like it to be. Things go down fast with a straw! Plus I‘ve been trying to eat more mindfully, i.e. sit at an actual table, focus on my food and eat with no distractions, and smoothie bowls are great for this. They are cold, creamy and the toppings add all kinds of good crunch and flavor.

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How to spice things up (for audacious aging and overall wellness)

Typically we think of herbs and spices merely as things to make our food taste better but the truth is that they are so much more than that! In addition to being bright and flavorful, they contain vitamins, antioxidants and all kinds of other health boosting benefits, making them an essential component of living and aging audaciously. Bonus: because spices can be thermogenic, they may also naturally (and slightly) increase your metabolism and even increase feelings of satiety. Here’s a short list of some of my favorite herbs and spices and how to use them…


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How to make the perfect salad

The main thing to keep in mind when you’re making a salad is that anything goes. There really isn’t a ‘wrong’ way to do it and salads can differ according to taste. I, for one, can’t stand raw onion or garlic in my salad and raw shallots are only barely acceptable. But if you like them then by all means use them! I add crunch in the form of toasted nuts and seeds instead of croutons but if you're a crouton fiend then have at it.  I typically opt for lots of avocado instead of cheese but if you can’t imagine a salad without some feta or parmesan then don’t let me stop you. Here are some of my favorite salad guidelines and suggestions, but the most important one is to have fun and feel confident that you are doing something wonderful for yourself in the name of good health!

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30+ Ways to Nourish Yourself (that have nothing to do with food)

I’ve developed a real crush on the word “nourish” over the years. Could be that whole “Jewish mother” thing but it feels deeper than that. Yes, there is something about cooking and feeding people that fills me with joy. It's become a part of my inner and outer identity that I cherish. I use the healthiest ingredients and the food I cook is nutritious, delicious and full of love. But nourishment can be about more than just the food we eat. Living a healthy lifestyle involves nourishing all your parts: body, mind and spirit.

I believe it’s important to find things that feel nourishing even if they have little or nothing at all to do with food. The more nourished we feel, the less likely it is that we’ll wander off in search of a quick distraction in the form of food that we’re often not even hungry for in the first place.

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Super Simple Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk

There was a time in my life when the idea of making my own almond milk would have been unimaginable to me. In fact the idea of almond milk in general would have made me laugh and possibly even roll my eyes. But those times are long past and now I love and appreciate almond milk and all it's "sister milk" alternatives like hemp, cashew and especially macadamia nut milk (or "mylk" for all the dairy purists out there). 

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How to Adjust to New Normals

Fact: life is constantly throwing us curveballs. There’s always gonna be something, oftentimes unexpected, that will come along and shake things up in some way. Also fact: The way we choose to deal with the curveballs is entirely up to us. Whether it’s hormonal changes like menopause or adrenal fatigue, emotional changes like a break-up or becoming an empty-nester, or physical changes like a sprained ankle, a bum knee or even an unwanted diagnosis, the more resilient we are, the easier it will be to adjust to new normals - whether they’re temporary or permanent. The more we cultivate resilience the faster we can bounce back from those inevitable curveballs and return to the business of living our lives. I’m not saying you have to like the change, but learning to acknowledge it, grieve or heal as long as is necessary and not allow it completely derail you is part of being resilient.

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Crunchy Kale Chips

Leafy greens are a panacea for lots of what ails us these days. They are anti-inflammatory, full of fiber, loaded with antioxidants (i.e. help keep cancer at bay), good for your gut, help your hormones stay balanced, support healthy aging and the list goes on. When my clients are looking for more ways to add leafy greens into their life I always include this recipe for kale chips. For people who think they don't like kale, this is the gateway into a greater appreciation and, dare I say, maybe even a love of kale.

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Summer Cherry Crumble (with adaptogens and superfoods)

I was first introduced to pie cherries by my friend Robyn who used to have a cherry tree in her backyard. She made me some cherry pie and it was better than anything I had ever tasted. I was hooked. Plus she picked the cherries herself. From a tree. In her yard. I remember her saying that she had to pick them as soon as they were ready or else the birds would feast on them. For a girl who grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and then lived in cities like NY and LA this was all revelatory and very "little house on the prairie-ish" - in a good way.

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How I remembered to trust myself

Hi, I’m Lisa, a long time collector of quotes, song lyrics, good metaphors and positively motivating phrases. I’ve always been that way - even before I became a life coach a few years ago. My old journals are crammed with inspirational snippets beginning at about age 12 up until probably yesterday. Sometimes it’s been a challenge to not fall fully down the life coach cliché rabbit hole and have an entire Instagram account full of feel-good quotes. I can’t help it! I love the positivity of it all. 

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Creamy Asparagus Soup

Nothing says "Spring is here" like seeing an abundance of asparagus in the grocery store starting around the end of March. Because I try to be a mostly seasonal eater, I go a little crazy on asparagus from March through June and then say farewell as I move on to summer produce. But when it hits the aisles in all of it's green glory, I start daydreaming about all the things I want to cook. Typically I roast it or do a quick sauté but I also love asparagus soup. This recipe is something I cooked up for my Yes, THIS! Spring Wellness Workshop. It's a breeze to make in the Instant Pot but it's also easy and doable on the stovetop. For my retreaters I sautéed some andouille sausage and shiitake mushrooms and put some at the bottom of each bowl before I ladled in the soup which added some protein and even more flavor, but it's fine without that as well.

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I love you so matcha!

For years I waxed poetic about my morning coffee. The flavor, the aroma, the ritual of it every morning. It was an anchor in my day and got my heart started in more ways than one. I made the switch to decaf a few years ago due to chronic insomnia and the fact that I am, apparently, a low caffeine metabolizer,  it was still coffee all the way.  There was enough caffeine to get me going and there was no compromise in flavor or enjoyment. Never in a million years did I think my morning obsession would have any serious competition.

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Crispy Pork Carnitas

Whether it’s in your head or written down somewhere, most of us have a list of those go-to recipes or meal ideas that are family favorites and pretty easy to put together, even at the last minute. Those meals have changed over the years to accommodate expanding palates palates and various dietary needs. Although some items will always be on the menu (like my grandmother's brisket!), now there’s a whole new crop of faves including zoodles with homemade pesto, shepherd’s pie and this recipe for crispy pork carnitas. 

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Yoga and me: a love story (part 2)

You may have heard me waxing poetic about yoga lately. That’s because me and yoga got it going on right now. After years of having a very sporadic relationship with yoga  (See “Yoga and Me: a love story (part 1) I decided to give it another concerted effort in the form of a 30-day self challenge this past January and I gotta say, me and yoga are digging each other.

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Adaptogenic Bliss Balls

Have you heard of adaptogens yet? The Wellness community has been buzzing about them for a few years now but like many things that seem "new" in health and wellness, adaptogens have been used for thousands of years by ancient healing practices like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

I'm a little bit obsessed after using them for the last year and really noticing a difference in my energy levels (up) and my stress levels (down). I started by adding them to my morning matcha and now find ways to incorporate them into my day in other ways as well. Even my husband is smitten and insists that he is more productive when he adds adaptogens to his bulletproof coffee. Our favorites are ashwaganda (for anxiety and insomnia), a blend of adaptogenic mushrooms and he shou wu (also known as Fo-Ti and translated as "Mr. He's black hair", it is  anti-aging and a blood tonifier).

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Sweet Potato Skillet Hash with Sausage and Greens

I am always on the hunt for interesting recipes. My social media feeds are littered with delicious looking meals, I read cookbooks for fun and I’m that annoying person who tears the recipes out of the magazine at the dentist’s office. The idea that you can take a bunch of simple, naked ingredients and turn them into something delicious, satisfying and nutritious still delights me now as much as it did when I first started cooking. This is one of the reasons I did a program at the Academy of Culinary Nutrition last fall. It was a 14-week training that took me deeper into my understanding of the nutritional and healing properties of food and how to help people incorporate practical and simple cooking skills into their lives to positively impact their health. 

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