The Aware Body
THE AWARE BODY NEWS                                                        July 2009top
"Nature is but another name for health" -Thoreau

 Welcome to the Second Edition of The Aware Body Newsletter.
Mary Serphos
With all the demands in our busy lives, it is not uncommon to feel "off" mentally and physically. When our health and our well being gets off-track, we often need support to help us get back in balance and to feel good again. It is possible!  The first step is to reach out for help and then begin the process of establishing reachable goals.

The Aware Body approach to wellness counseling and coaching is completely individualized and formulated to help each client achieve attainable goals focused on creating and sustaining a healthy lifestyle.  The approach emphasizes guidance, education and an increased understanding between common health concerns and the food we ingest. These concerns include headaches, depression, anxiety, weight fluctuations, low energy levels, mood swings, sleep issues and digestive concerns. 

What to Expect from The Aware Body Approach to Holistic Nutrition and Wellness Counseling and Coaching:

  • Develop an individualized nutrition and lifestyle plan. 
  • Learn ways to reconnect with your body.
  • Shed weight naturally and find solutions to integrate  sustainable and lasting change.
  • Make sense out of all the nutrition and wellness advice in the media.
  • Find out about health-promoting power foods and how they will boost your energy, mood and your health.

What makes The Aware Body Approach unique is the health-promoting and biopsychosocial formulation that is addressed during one-on-one meetings.  The term biopsychosocial literally means biology, psychology, sociology or environment, mind, body, relationships and social connections.  During meetings which are in person or over the phone, each client will receive:

  • Lifestyle coaching in order to achieve balance and optimal wellness.
  • Education about which foods will help build energy and which foods deplete energy. 
  • A detailed goal list and a plan to reference between meetings

As we look at the whole picture, including stress levels, health concerns, quality of sleep, reflections on body image, eating habits and relationships, we will collaborate to establish a self-care plan and create results to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle for mind and body.

Call to receive your Complimentary 30 Minute Consultation.


Self Care, One Step at a Time
by Mary Serphos 
When was the last time you felt deeply relaxed, ate a leisurely meal and sensed peace and stillness in your mind and body? Working long hours, taking time to care for our beloved children and tending to our partners, family, and friends often leads to self neglect. When we neglect to care for ourselves, we often feel run down, anxious and unhappy. 
FlowersThis summer, make a promise to yourself that you'ill dedicate 20 minutes two times per week to do absolutely nothing. Let go of to-do lists and worries.  Make this time a judgment-free, guilt free, partner and child-free, and TV and book-free zone just for you. Find a quiet spot in nature or in the house to reconnect with yourself.  This simple yet balancing practice will calm you and ultimately invigorate you. When you're ready to take this to the next level, take 20 minutes each day to do nothing. This very important step in your self-care routine will help your mood, your relationships and your overall productivity.  And most importantly, your body and mind will thank you.

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The Journey Back to Health: Mary's Story
by Mary Serphos
Mary Serphos

Years ago, I was over-stressed, out of balance physically and emotionally, anxious most of the time and run down.  During this time, I took my annual summer visit to NY to see family and friends and took some time to travel.  After several days, I started to feel dizzy, had non-stop low-grade fever and was filled with fear about what was happening within my body.  Despite feeling miserable and fearful, I boarded a plane for South America to explore Ecuador and Columbia.  Partway through the trip, I felt so listless and dizzy, I did whatever possible to get on the next flight to NY.   Upon my shaky arrival back to the States, I wrote a full-page list of symptoms that I took to my father's doctor.   One doctor became five, and when a slew of tests came back normal even though I knew something was going on, I started to take matters into my own hands.


After consulting holistic health and wellness literature, most notably, Dr. Ralph Golan's "Optimal Wellness" that once belonged to my grandmother, I began the journey to understanding the alternatives to Western Medicine. Over the months, I was convinced I had Lyme disease (which tests later confirmed) that had gone undetected and compromised my system to the point where it was difficult for me to walk two blocks.  When doctors confirmed my diagnosis, I refused the antibiotic treatment because I sensed that my body couldn't handle the harsh side effects. I listened to my inner wisdom and took steps to heal myself naturally using food as medicine, as well as natural supplements, acupuncture and holistic health consultations. 


I now am thankful for my health and never take it for granted! I meditate daily and keep my stress levels as low as possible to save myself from setbacks and although setbacks do happen, I now have an incredible awareness about what my body needs to heal again.  I feel great most of the time but I still need to keep up with my health and wellness goals.  I am continually challenging myself to stay on top of my self-care routine and work hard to make that part of my day non-negotiable. 


Through this life altering experience, I have gained a wealth of knowledge, skills, and insight on what it takes to heal and what it takes to prevent and tackle health concerns.  It is from this place of awareness and training that I have developed The Aware Body Approach.

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Break Up With Your Dessert & Try This! 
by Mary Serphos
Yogert Sundae
Nothing says summer like a delectable scoop of ice cream or better yet, an ice cream sundae. But next time you open your freezer and take out the gallon of joy, browse through the ingredients...what are they telling you? Quite often there are chemicals, artificial sweeteners and flavorings added, or just a ton of sugar, which does not help fuel our bodies or our minds, let alone our insulin levels or our moods! Here's a treat that will boost your mood and energy, and delight the senses... Nutritional benefits are included below.
                         Yogurt Sundae Bar
Start with plain or lightly sweetened yogurt. I love goat's milk or sheep's milk yogurt because it's easier to digest than cow's milk, and it's especially good for the little ones, although, yes, it's also more expensive than most brands of cow's milk yogurt.
Two brands that I think are great:  Redwood Hill Farms ( which makes a vanilla goat's milk yogurt that will definitely please kids since it's naturally sweet (sweetened with maple syrup).  Another one to try: a mild and a bit tangy sheep's milk yogurt from Old Chatam Sheepherding Co. in New York ( Note: if you use a sweetened yogurt, you do not need to add honey to the recipe that follows. You can also use Greek yogurt which is thick and delicious too. A popular brand sold at Trader Joe's and at Whole Foods and many small markets is called Fage (pronounced Fa-yay).  All of the yogurts mentioned above contain live and active cultures. These cultures/probiotics/"good bacteria" are excellent for our digestive systems and work hard to strengthen our immune systems as well. Please note that some farmer's markets also sell locally made yogurt- I know when I go back East for my annual summer visit and check out the Farmer's Market in Larchmont, NY, I love to try the locally produced yogurt.
Now for the delicious toppings:
Lay out several bowls/plates of the following goodies:
beach-Summer Berries- what could be better than farm fresh berries- blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries- yum! All of these berries are naturally sweet, loaded with vitamin c and antioxidants.
-Toasted pecan pieces- (Trader Joe's sells these already packaged and ready to be toasted easily on the stove.) Turn a skillet on medium high heat and let it warm up for a minute or two. Toss on the nuts and watch closely because they need a lot of stirring or shaking. Let brown for 5 minutes or so until crunchy - careful, they'll be hot!).  Pecans are an excellent source of fiber and natural energy. If you want, you can soak the nuts for 8 hours and drain, rinse, and dry before toasting. This process makes nuts easier to digest.  And if the nuts are not already crushed, you can put them in a towel or a baggie and use a hammer to crush.

-Coconut flakes- unsweetened shredded coconut or prepackaged raw shredded coconut or fresh coconut "meat." I saw pieces already cut up and packaged at Whole Foods.  If you choose fresh coconut, you will need to shred the pieces before serving since they are quite big.

-Cut up LARABARS- dice 'em up and sprinkle them on- four of my favorite flavors are:  peanut butter cookie, coconut cream pie, chocolate mint and ginger snap. Made with dried fruit, nuts, and spices only, you won't find a bit of artificial anything in these bars. I often recommend LARABARS to clients as mid-day snacks.

Honey-Honey- local honey is best especially if you want to help fight allergies! You don't need much to get the sweet benefits. Honey is easy to digest and is loaded with minerals and vitamins.

-Raw cacao nibs or cocoa powder- excellent source of iron and fiber and of course, we all know that dark chocolate uplifts mood by boosting endorphin levels.

-Cinnamon- adds a bit of bite and naturally helps us digest sugar.

-Ground flaxseed- filled with omega 3's and fiber and a slightly nutty flavor.  A natural mood booster and naturally lowers cholesterol levels.
 Here are some sample combinations to try:
  • Coconut flakes, cacao nibs, flax, and honey
  • Berries, coconut and flaxseed
  • Cinnamon, berries, honey and pecans
  • LARABARS, cinnamon, flax
  • Berries, flax, pecans, honey and coca nibs
  • Pecans, coconut, cocoa powder, honey
  • Flax, honey, coconut, pecans
  • LARABARS, coconut, cacao nibs, cinnamon
Be Creative and ENJOY!!!Enjoy
This recipe also makes a great breakfast and mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack!
If you want any further information on nutritional content and other recipe ideas please email Mary at The Aware Body - [email protected]
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Call us today to schedule your FREE 30 Minute Consultation!
We look forward to hearing from you.
Mary Serphos
The Aware Body
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In This Issue
Self Care, One Step at a Time
The Journey Back to Health: Mary's Story
Break Up with Your Dessert & Try This!
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