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As the days get shorter and colder weather creeps in here on the east coast, it can be tempting to start to hole up and hunker down. It is not unusual to experience a grayer mood to match the grayer skies...and it can be tempting to indulge in habitual behaviors that may not serve our happiest, healthiest selves.

 What can you do? Well, don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with spending a little time with yourself, acknowledging feeling down and even giving that part of yourself the time and space it needs to experience the grayness, but I would encourage you to not stay there all winter!

What to do instead? Don't forget about Vitamin D and Omega-3s in your diet - they can help, keep packing your plate with fresh, seasonal veggies (dark leafy greens, squashes, apples, beets, etc.), and most importantly, move your body. Walk, jog, yoga, pilates, hockey, swim, dance, skip, ski...whatever lights your fire, make space for it in your schedule so you can move your body and keep the winter blues at bay!

Check out my upcoming events and programs for some fun opportunities to get out, socialize and move!


Here's the rundown below...visit my site to get all the good details and sign up for what you like!  


Nutrition & Wellness:   

  • November 1 - "Yes, You Can Eat That!" Supper Club, Eastern Standard, Boston, MA -  The only one this Fall! 
  • November 4-6 - Relax, Restore & Receive Retreat Weekend in the Berkshires with Deven & Marissa, Frog Lotus Yoga, North Adams, MAA truly restorative weekend of yoga, thai massage, therapeutic flying and food!  



Live abundantly!

marissa signature

Marissa Dana


I'm here to support you in the journey to your health and wellness goals, from what feeds your body, to what feeds your mind and spirit - so if you are looking for that extra push to release that something that is holding you back, call (617-680-6597) or email to set up a complimentary consult and see how I can help! 


In This Issue
Simply Inspired
Tempting Tidbits
What The...?
Simply Inspired  


"Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes." 

- Mahatma Gandhi
 How do you feel when you realize you may have made a mistake?

And when you find out that indeed you did?
At work? At home?

Do you prefer to  play it safe so you are sure to not make a mistake?

Do you beat yourself up when you realize you have made a mistake? Do you see it as a learning experience?

And who defines it as a mistake in the first place?

I have to admit, I'd like to be perfect and I often strive for this. While I believe it is great to aspire, it can be incredible stressful to be aiming for defined by...who?!? It can close you down and build walls and barriers to experiences that could be quite perfect in their own right in a given moment.

This quote reminds me to find joy in the moment, to realize that it is all about the journey, not the destination, and to recognize that the real mistake would be to never give myself the opportunity to make mistakes. And that it is of utmost importance to love and accept myself always - whether in a moment of "perfection" or "mistake"

Looking for some support in your journey and allowing your mistakes to be powerful teachers? Give me a shout - I can support you in discovering and embracing the best nourishment for you - from food to lifestyle choices.  

I'll meet you where you are and help you take manageable steps to successfully get where you want to be!

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Tempting Tidbits

This was a real winner from my sampling at American Provisions earlier this month You can use any dark leafy green you like - we used chard in this one as it was coming in fresh and local in the CSA boxes that week!

Sweet Potato, Sausage & Chard Soup
Adapted from Cooking Light

2 TBL            Olive Oil

1 large          Sweet White Onion, chopped
6 cloves        Garlic, chopped, pressed or sliced thin
1/2 tsp          Sea Salt
1/2 tsp          Crushed Red Pepper
1 lb               Sausage (I recommend smoked
                         and/or spicy)
2.25 lb           Sweet Potato, peeled and diced
4 cups           Water

4 cups           Chicken Stock
1 bunch         Fresh Chard, Kale or Collard Greens
1 can            White Cannellini Beans,
(15.5 oz)          mashed or pureed

In a large pot saute onion in oil over medium-high heat until soft and starting to brown. Add in salt, crushed red pepper and garlic and saute anothe
kale and sausage soupr minute. Add in sausage crumbed without casing if uncooked, or diced if pre-cooked. If crumbled, saute a couple of minutes until browned; if cooked, saute a minute until heated. Add in potatoes, water and broth. bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer a few minutes until potatoes are fork tender. Add in mashed or pureed beans and stir. Add in chard in handfuls and stir in, simmering until stems are tender and greens are wilted.

Does the idea of figuring out what to make with what you have leave you paralyzed before your open fridge? I can help you with that. Give me a shout and we'll make getting your meals together simple and enjoyable!

What The...?

Now we're cooking with...Oil!


I like fat. Let's be honest, it makes food taste good. And with my body constitution, I actually crave and need fat. In fact, we all need some fat in our diets, it is one of the three major nutrients  in the human diet (carbohydrates, protein and fat). Our brain is made up mostly of fats, fats make up the cell membranes that protect our cells and their structure, fats play a role in stabilizing blood sugar levels, they provide raw materials for making hormones and contributing to a healthy immune system, many vitamins are fat soluble which means our body needs some good fat along with them to maximize their use in our systems, and fat is what contributes to our body's feeling of satiety.

There are lots of directions to go on this topic of fat, in this article, I am talking about oils. There are lots of murmurs about what oils are best, and I certainly have my favorites, but as I continue to branch out and try different oils I keep hearing about, I wanted to know a little more about what they are good for and what the real scoop is about their nutritional value - in particular Coconut Oil. But first an oil overview... 


Oil 101
(this is a brief overview also edited from Whole Foods)  


Avocado Oil: Pressed from avocados; smooth & nutty; more than 50% monounsaturated, making it a heart-nourishing choice. Use it in salad dressings or to sauté fish, chicken, sweet potatoes or plantains.


Canola Oil: A cousin to cabbage and Brussels sprouts. A variety of rapeseed that's part of the mustard family, which includes those above-mentioned veggies. It's beneficial for heart health thanks to its fatty acid profile and omega-3 and low saturated fat contents and perfect for light cooking, sauces and desserts like homemade mayo or tender cakes.


Coconut Oil*: Pressed from the fruit of the coconut palm tree; ideal for light fair and subtly flavored dishes.  


Corn Oil: Most corn oil is extracted only from the germ of the corn kernel and is golden yellow in color; unrefined oil will have a darker color and richer corn taste. Use in salad dressings and dips with stronger flavors like peppers or garlic.


Grapeseed Oil: Grapeseed oil is extracted from the seeds of grapes, a byproduct of the wine-making industry. Use it on salads and raw veggies or in dips, sauces and salsas. Mix grapeseed oil with garlic and basil, then drizzle it on toasted bread.


Olive Oil: A mainstay of the Mediterranean diet and one of the oldest known culinary oils;l contains predominately heart-friendly monounsaturated fat. Extra virgin olive oil results from the first cold-pressing of olives while mild "pure" olive oil is a blend of refined olive oil and extra virgin olive oil. Drizzle over hummus or grilled vegetables.


Peanut Oil: Comes from peanuts. It's relatively high monounsaturated content makes it heart-healthy. Peanut oil is superior for frying, light sautéing and stir-fries.


Sesame Oil: The seed of the sesame plant provides sesame oil, which has a high antioxidant content. Unrefined sesame oil is great as a key flavor component in sauces or dressings. Use refined sesame oil for high heat applications like frying and toasted sesame oil for stir fries and Asian sauces and dips.


*More on Coconut Oil...
Coconut oil is very heat-stable, which makes it suited to methods of cooking at high temperatures like frying. Because of its stability, it is slow to oxidize and, thus, resistant to rancidity, lasting up to two years due to high saturated fat content.

 coconut oil

Saturated fat is what we are taught to look for as a "bad" fat. So I wondered about the conflicting information out there on the healthiness of coconut oil. Here's what I found...


All saturated fats are not created equal. Some saturated fats occur naturally, while other fats are artificially manipulated into a saturated state through the man-made process called hydrogenation.


Hydrogenation manipulates vegetable and seed oils by adding hydrogen atoms while heating the oil, producing a rancid, thickened substance that really only benefits processed food shelf life - most experts now agree, hydrogenation does nothing good for your health.


These manipulated saturated fats are also called trans-fats


Coconut has been a primary dietary staple for thousands of years in native tropical cultures without the negative health results that we associate with saturated fats. 


Apparently the naturally occurring saturated fat in coconut oil is actually good for you and provides a number of health benefits, such as:
  • Improve heart health
  • Boost thyroid
  • Increase metabolism
  • Promote a lean body and loss of weight if needed
  • Support immune system 


So, what are coconut oil's secrets to success? Nearly
50 percent of the fat in coconut oil is of a type rarely found in nature that our bodies convert into something that has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties.  
Coconut oil is a rich natural source of medium-chain fatty acids. Being smaller, these medium-chain fatty-acids are easily digested and immediately burned by your liver for energy - like carbohydrates, but without the insulin spike. They can actually boost your metabolism and help your body use fat for energy, as opposed to storing it, so it can actually help you become leaner.


Coconut oil has actually been shown to help optimize body weight, which can dramatically reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Besides loss of weight, boosting your metabolic rate will improve your energy, accelerate healing and improve your overall immune function.


In addition, it is low in omega-6 fatty acids which are a pro-inflammatory compound.


Research on coconut oil is still fairly limited. But hopefully this information gives you some more food for thought. Continue to keep your eyes open for new studies and information. I'll post on Facebook as I come across anything new to ponder on this front.


And remember (I bet some of you can predict what I will say next and beat me to the punch!) even if you learned something new and magical about fat, coconut oil or any other oil here, don't overdo it and think that more is better. Use the information wisely and always consume in moderation and balance!


Give me a call or email to set up your complimentary nutritional power session to see how I can support and guide you in finding more energy and happiness then you knew you could have! I'll help you navigate the supermarket shelves, create shopping lists that feed your body and soul, and help you find your ideal balance and learn to listen to what your body needs and how you can answer that call with solutions that fit your lifestyle.