The Aware Body  
THE AWARE BODY NEWS                                                  Spring 2012top

"When we find our core certainty within, then we no longer look for certainty outside. The unfathomable nature of the ever-changing world ceases to be a source of anxiety and instead is a source of joy and adventure."  

~ Deepak Chopra

Welcome to the Spring 2012 edition of the Aware Body News.

The Aware Body News banner photo this month shows a glimpse of the natural beauty that characterizes much of the Southern Guanacaste coastal region of Costa Rica. Spending  time in this amazing country, specifically along the Nosara Coast, I have witnessed firsthand the transformative and healing power of nature. The power that lies in being immersed on a stretch of land that hasn't been invaded or built up. When standing at the waters edge and taking in a 360 view of the surrounding sky, ocean and mountains in their rawest form is the ultimate gift. These moments invite in the peace, silence and stillness we all crave. Given the opportunity to escape out into pure nature, away from the busyness of life, is priceless.


In this edition of The Aware Body News, I am inviting all of you join me in Costa Rica along the captivating Guanacaste coast. The Aware Body, is hosting a whole body rejuvenation retreat in Nosara this June.  Recently, the NY Times named Nosara among one of the top 45 places to visit in the world. Experience for yourself the magic within this stretch of paradise while granting your body, mind and spirit time to relax and heal. Come, drop in, and witness the beauty of this 'rich coast' and give yourself the ultimate gift of health.

Presents a Unique Retreat/Getaway Opportunity
Playa Pelada, one of the spectacular beaches in Nosara, Costa Rica
Revitalize in Nature
Nourish the body, empower the mind, and inspire the soul along the untouched beaches in Nosara, Costa Rica


Escape to Costa Rica on a 7-night retreat June 9th-16th that will focus on the theme of your choice. Reawaken your spirit and reconnect with your inner calm as you explore the vast natural beauty within your reach.  Adventure to nearby hiking trails, participate in a nutrition or meditation class, and get creative with art, writing or community service.


Delight your taste buds with delicious and healthy cuisine served at selected local restaurants. Unwind at night or go out on the town before sleeping under the stars in a peaceful villa steps from the beach.


Strolling happily along the long stretch of Guiones beach at high tide



This week is dedicated to you and your body! 

Rest, relax and renew on the beautiful pacific coast of Costa Rica where an open sky and warm ocean greet you every day.


Your three certified hosts offer different types of yoga, cooking demos, health coaching and nutrition classes, meditation and expressive arts. Again, the choice is yours: choose to attend a yoga class, cooking demo, rest in a hammock, indulge in a spa treatment, or energize with a surf lesson or a waterfall hike. One of the big draws of this retreat is the food. Your hosts have scouted the best spots to feed you and your body, nourishing, inspiring, fresh and local food. You will also have a beautiful kitchen in your villa for your own food preparation.


All details during your week will be taken care of for you, all you have to do is focus on re-energizing and recharging your batteries. You will leave fully equipped to re-enter your life!


Cost for the week including accomodations, all classes, transfer into Nosara from Liberia Costa Rica airport and daily lunch/brunch begin at  $1200 per person.  


Take advantage of our special offers. Sign up before April 30th and      





Please see our exclusive website to view early signup rates. 




For further information on pricing and retreat details contact: 


Mary Serphos 

[email protected]  

Costa Rica number 506-2682-0935. 

We welcome your questions.

Recent Client Testimonial from a Skype Client

"I was amazed that over Skype, Mary could see me and tell that I had been eating a lot fruits and vegetables lately, by the 'glow of my hair and skin', as she described it. That blew me away, that she was so in touch to be able to look at people and see where they are with their diet.  She gave me helpful ideas for healthy (and tasty!) 

Farmers Marketsnacks to bring to work, which I had been struggling with. She also gave me recipes which were fun to try. I even got a great recommendation from her for new nut butters, which were delicious and tahini, which I always wanted to try but hadn't purchased before (I now love it)!  And I love that she still said I can have chocolate, but I do try to always find the 70% or more variety that she recommended, for lower sugar content.  

She helped me to experiment more with my food choices, and eat healthy while still enjoying my food and feeling satisfied. Mary is very knowledgeable yet at the same time very intuitive -  both qualities I cherish! Thank you for sharing your wisdom and knowledge. You definitely practice what you preach and teach what you know well, enjoying food while making healthy choices. I am grateful for your assistance.

One more thing - since my sessions with Mary, I have been bringing gluten-free, organic food for my work lunches every day, and the whole year before that I bought my lunch every day in the cafeteria at work, so that was a great big change that was actually really easy to make after our 2 sessions!  Thank you!"

Plant Foods that Provide the 
Best Source of Calcium
by Mary Serphos, CHHC, LCSW

Since we all know milk is not the healthiest choice anymore- yes, even organic milk or lactose free milk, unfortunately. The pasteurization process, hormones, chemicals, living conditions and food given to the cows all add up to equal poor choices for the animals and is therefore transferred to humans too, especially little ones. Milk has been shown to be a major food allergen and even contributes to the creation of other food allergies in the body. 


For many of us, milk causes unwelcome congestion, not just in the nasal passages, but throughout the body and also contributes to elevated cholesterol. And it's not from the fat in the milk, even skim milk milk is a leading cause of major health issues- diabetes to name one.


So the question is, where do we get calcium if milk is only an occasional treat? When eaten in small amounts, organic unsweetened yogurt (yogurt has beneficial bacteria and the lactic acid versus lactose makes it less mucus forming than milk- add your own honey or maple syrup) is a great choice but plant foods are the best choices to eat in larger quantities. 


Five plant foods with a good dose of calcium are:

  • dark leafy greens
  • sesame seeds
  • chia seeds
  • seaweed
  • chickpeas (whole or ground into hummus)


Those that top the list are: collard greens (great for wraps) cabbage, mustard greens, broccoli, watercress, seaweed such as dulse, kelp and nori.



Try this calcium packed savory snack:


Wrap up a collard green, romaine leaf or kale leaf (can steam kale or collard green lightly if raw is too tough for you- or I like to rub raw kale lightly with olive oil and a bit of lemon to soften it) and add in some hummus, sprinkle with some dulse or kelp flakes (Maine Sea Vegetables sells handy shakeable containers at health food stores) and top with some thinly sliced English cucumber and sliced carrot, sprinkle on some sesame seeds before wrapping it up and munching away.


Sweet Treat for Spring: 
Kaya Sol Smoothie/Pudding
by Mary Serphos, CHHC, LCSW 

One of the restaurants down the street from my little Costa Rican bungalow, Kaya Sol, makes a smoothie similar to this without the cacao, spinach and chia seeds- I added the chia and spinach for nutritional density and the chocolate because it blisses me out...this treat is so delicious, filling and is naturally sweet! And you don't taste the greens! For the little ones or if serving for dessert after dinner, take out the coffee beans. Add water to thin it out to make it more of a drinkable smoothie versus a spoonable pudding.



  • 3 small bananas or 2 regular ones
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 Tablespoons cacao nibs or powder
  • 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 heaping tablespoons coffee beans
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (cold if possible)
  • dash of cayenne and sea salt (optional)
  • 5 leaves of spinach (optional)
  • 4 ice cubes




Add all of these to your blender/VitaMix/Blendtec, blend up and spoon in!





Have a wonderful start to Spring 2012
I hope to see you down here in Costa Rica!

Make an appointment with Certified Health Coach Mary Serphos to help you reach your goals for your body this fall. I look forward to helping you make your health goals a reality.


Mary Serphos CHHC, LCSW
The Aware Body
In This Issue
Join Us in Costa Rica!
Client Testimonial
Plant Foods and Calcium
RECIPE: Kaya Sol Smoothie/Pudding
Quick Links

Join Our Mailing List

Read our Newsletter Archives

The Aware Body

Grocery Store Tour

 was featured in 

TOP 10 
Things To Do

 in San Anselmo


Check it out!

Give the Gift of Health

An Aware Body Gift Certificate is truly the gift that keeps on giving!

       Call 415.412.5490 to order your gift of health today!

Follow Me on Twitter




Escape to Costa Rica - June 9th-16th
 Register before April 30th and 


Revitalize your body, mind and soul on a 7-day retreat that specializes in nourishing, empowering, and inspiring your whole self in a gorgeous, natural setting with the sun, sand, and sea as your backdrop. Located on the north-west coast of Costa Rica, the beaches of Nosara are known for their tropical and exquisite beauty.

Offer Expires: April 30th, 2012

Read more about this special trip and special offer!