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In this season of joy, love, celebration and reflection, how to you honor the transition into a new calendar year? Do you celebrate your accomplishments of the past year? Do you berate yourself for abandoned resolutions? Do you put pen to paper and create a new list of ways you'll do better in the new year?

Last year I celebrated New Year's with a dear friend who introduced me to a new take on resolutions. As we welcomed in 2011, we made two lists, a list of Intentions and a list of Adventures.

The Intentions list encompassed broader reflections on how we wanted to show up in the moments of the coming year (Choose compassion over judgement; Release control and stop trying so hard; Have fear and want to avoid failure, but do it anyway). I chose things that spoke to me and would continue to inspire me throughout the year.

The Adventures list was the more tangible and measurable list, (Learn harmonium; Do something every day to support the growth of my health coaching practice; AcroYoga Teacher Training). These were things I was setting my sights on accomplishing in the upcoming year.

I have to say, this was an inspiring way to start the year, and more than any other year, continued to inspire when I looked back on the list occasionally throughout the year. In fact, when we first made the list, we also set four dates throughout the year to check in with each other on how we were doing with our Intentions and Adventures. Even though we did not know what was on each others list, it was a great way to bring us back to the lists and offer support.

As I look at my 2011 lists today, I cannot cross off everything as complete, however, I can say that I have taken steps - however small in some cases - towards everything on my lists - and that is a first for me! I think this is a tradition that I will carry on into 2012!  


Go ahead, give it a try this year, the list length can be whatever feels right to you, and you can do it alone, or find a buddy to check in with throughout the year. Set aside a little time to just sit and listen to your mind and see what is most important, and potent for you as you head into 2012. Let that inspire your lists. Let these lists reflect those things that feel most important to you and that you feel you can take some steps towards.


I honor and accept you for who you are and who you are becoming. May this coming year be filled with fun, expansion and new experiences!  


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, email to set up a complimentary consult and see how I can help! 


Change Is. . .

Last night I watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead - Official Trailer
Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead - Official Trailer
(you can watch the whole film here).

I found myself sobbing for a good part of the movie. It is indeed powerful to see the determination of the two men that the film focuses on - and to experience their great success - to see how they actually cure their illnesses by making different food and lifestyle choices - and that was part of what affected me, but there was something else.  
Woven throughout the film are conversations they have with friends and family as well as random people they meet in towns across America, and it was the responses of these people that really hit me. "I could never do that," "I like food too much," "I'd rather enjoy what I want even if it is for a shorter life," "I know I am responsible for my weight/health problems," "But I'm a meat and potatoes kind of guy," ...and lots of uncomfortable, self-deprecating laughs after statements acknowledging poor choices and poor health. Not to mention lots of indignation about choice - "I have the right to eat whatever I want!" 
Why was this so hard for me to watch? Well, for one, I've said some of those things before - and have heard them from others time and again - and there is truth to these statements, change can be challenging, and we do all have the right to eat whatever we want and to make whatever lifestyle choices we want.  
But this time I heard them all very differently. It somehow became abundantly clear how challenging it can seem, and therefore be, to make changes (particular those we are unsure of, or fearful of, or feel like some kind of loss), and that each and every individual really has to make that choice for themselves. It is not possible for you to want it enough for someone else. 
I honestly felt helpless in the face of this realization. I want to help people make healthier choices, to understand that they can still be happy (maybe happier than they are now!) and can actually really enjoy foods that are more nutritious as much, if not more so, than what they may be eating now, but how?? How can you make someone see this?? 
Well, the answer is, I can't. I can't make someone understand or realize something they don't see or want to see. But, I also realized that every day people are making new choices and finding new inspiration. That we are all amazing beings living lives of incredible potential. And what I can do in this moment, is continue to talk about the work I do and want to do, walk the talk, and be available to support, encourage, and guide people when they decide they want to make changes and could use some help getting there.

Know I am here for those who can benefit from the support of a health and wellness coach whenever you decide the time is right for you. I welcome you to contact me with questions and to learn more about the work I do whenever you are called to do so.

Tempting Tidbits

Sometimes, as the weather turns cold and it the sun sets before dinner, there is just nothing that satisfies and warms you like good old comfort food. And I say go for it - dig into some of your favorites, in modest quantities and made with high quality ingredients.

One of my favorites growing up, was sharp cheddar mac and cheese. But sometimes it can leave me feeling heavy and sluggish. Too much gluten can have this effect on me (and many people have some sensitivities to gluten that manifest in their bodies and emotions in subtle ways that are hard to put your finger on until you remove it from your diet for a few days!) So, I've adapted this yummy mac & cheese recipe I grew up with (Thanks Mom!!) to add in some veggies and be gluten free. It's still got the same satisfying warm, creamy, flavorful comfort, without the gluten!

 gluten-free mac & cheese

Gluten-Free Mac & Cheese
1.5 cup      Raw brown rice pasta
1.5 Tbl       Butter
1.5 Tbl       Brown Rice Flour
1 cup         Milk
1/2 tsp       Salt
dash          Black Pepper
1 cup         Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 tsp          Dijon Mustard
1/3 cup      Almond Meal
2/3 cup      Peas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta to just under desired consistency. Drain and rinse with cold water. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Blend in flour then slowly add in milk and cook until smooth and thickened, stirring constantly (do not let it come to a boil). Add salt, pepper, mustard and  2/3 cup of cheese, stirring  gently until blended. Pour cooked pasta and peas into a greased casserole dish. Pour sauce over the top and sprinkle the remaining cheese and almond meal over the top. Cook for about 30 minutes until the top is crispy brown and sauce bubbly.

Notes: I love dijon mustard and sometimes add in a little more. Peas can be replaced with broccoli or any other vegetable that works for you, and you can play with different combinations of cheeses that you like. Choose pasta with shapes that hold onto the sauce well like elbows, spirals, etc. This makes great leftovers and freezes well - so doubling the recipe is not a bad idea!

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!

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