The Aware Body  

THE AWARE BODY NEWS                                                          Fall 2012

"Imagination is more important than knowledge"  

-Albert Einstein 

Happy Thanksgiving!  
To honor the victims who have been affected by superstorm Sandy in Mary's hometown state of New York, The Aware Body will donate 10 percent of profits from now until the holidays to the relief efforts.

By making food at home with fresh, good ingredients and getting off sugar and processed food, your quality of life will improve...


Figs and dark chocolate make a sublime combination
Figs and dark chocolate make a sublime combination

Recently, I have repeatedly heard the same concern from many of my clients and friends. "Mary help, I'm in a food rut and my family is in a food rut."  To help remedy this situation, I recently taught a class titled  "Re Ignite Your Passion For Food: Break Out of Your Cooking Routine."  During the class, I taught participants techniques on how to unleash their creativity in the kitchen and offered a wealth of specific food recommendations to amp up passion in the kitchen. It all begins with a few quality ingredients, patience, dedication and an open mind. Here are a selection of tips from the class to help you get out of the rut this fall and year-round.

1. Vow to buy and use one new ingredient each week: choose an item that you may not have used before or that you've been wanting to try but for some reason have repeatedly left behind. And then get creative. Experiment. Play. Look up a recipe or create one in your mind then test it out. Remember, as Einstein said, "imagination is more important than knowledge."


2. Don't be afraid to make a mistake: This expression holds true for the creative chef: there are no mistakes. Even if your first or second attempt at a dish doesn't come out just how you expected, eventually you will triumph, and believe me, the effort is worth it.


3. Pick a theme:  For an easy option, think of a your favorite type of cuisine such as Mexican, Japanese, Greek. For example when I want to capture the flavors of Indian Food, I use easy to find ingredients such as curry powder, coconut milk, a bit of hot sauce, cilantro and garlic. Start with your favorite grain such as brown rice and add in some shredded chicken or chick peas and some sauteed veggies and voila, your ho-hum meal has turned into a flavorful delight. I also love making veggie sushi with or without rice, using Nori sheets, avocado, carrot and cucumber strips, a bit of tamari or soy sauce, fresh ginger and white sesame seeds. Include a bit of wild smoked salmon for added protein. The rolls make a great snack that kids love.


4. Keep it simple: One way to keep it simple in the kitchen is to create a menu using only three ingredients for a dish. For example, for a perfectly balanced salad start with red leaf or romaine lettuce and add a bit of protein and healthy fat such as avocado, something with a bite, such as red onion and something with crunch, such as cucumber. You can always build on those three ingredients and add in some hard boiled egg, tuna, or a bit of fresh cheese.

Family Nutrition Program


"One of the most important facets of life is to diligently focus on what we feed ourselves and our children." 


We all are aware that what we eat strongly impacts our health, mood, energy levels and productivity at school, work and at home.  But when life is full and our schedules are packed, it's easy to cut corners on our health and  nutrition. This fall, The Aware Body has been dedicated to working with families on menu planning, nutritional support and cooking nutrient dense, crowd pleasing, budget friendly meals.


Customized Family Nutrition Plan  

For each family, The Aware Body creates a customized plan that will put food on the table fast without the additives and preservatives found in so many "fast foods"  A practical, hands-on and educational approach that addresses the most important facets of meal time roadblocks 

such as: 

  • Encouraging even the most select eaters to try new foods
  • Helping you and your family battle the sugar blues with the best alternatives to help you stay satisfied without deprivation
  • Amping up the fun and creativity of your day to day shopping and cooking and eating routine!

This program incorporates health conscious, organic oriented meals on a daily basis. I will answer all your questions and and help you make sense of all the overwhelming nutrition information out there.After you finish this program your choices will be the best possible when it comes to feeding your family.  


6 sessions Include:

  • Initial Consultation/Feeding Select (Picky) Eaters
  • Stocking a Nutrient Dense Pantry
  • Battling the Sugar Blues
  • Quick and Easy Menu Planning
  • Hands On or Video Recipe and Snack Ideas Demonstrations
  • Fast and Easy Techniques to Boost Creativity in the Kitchen


Total for 6 Sessions $585

Buy Now



The Perfect Fall Pumpkin Polenta


Good for Breakfast Lunch Dinner or an anytime Snack...on a cool fall evening enjoy this great side with some soup and sautéed greens or as an alternative to pasta or potatoes. Seasoned well but not too spicy, it's also a great side with a burger of your choice (veggie, turkey, lamb or red meat) and a salad


Adding canned pumpkin is such a simple way to make the ordinary side or breakfast bowl (polenta, oatmeal, warm rice or quinoa cereal) or snack (baked in cookies, muffins and pies or mixed into yogurt) a superb fall treat. With the added vitamin A and antioxidants as well as fiber and flavor that the pumpkin provides- you'll be a convert. To boost the flavor even more add pumpkin pie spice and some good quality honey or maple syrup to the "on the sweeter side" breakfast bowls. 


Pumpkin Polenta Ingredients:  

  • 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (I prefer low sodium free range/organic)
  • 1 cup polenta (corn grits)
  • 1 (15 ounce can) pumpkin puree
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, minced (depending on how much garlic flavor you prefer)
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons good oil- I love hemp or pumpkin seed oil for this recipe
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish (you can toast your own or buy storebought pre-toasted or raw green pumpkin seeds)



1.Bring broth to a boil in a 3-4 quart saucepan. Add polenta in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Reduce heat and cook, covered until polenta is tender, about 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

2.Stir in pumpkin, garlic, onion, cumin and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes more until polenta is very thick and creamy. Add additional broth or water if needed. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

3.Remove  from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons oil. Serve hot, drizzled with additional oil and seeds.

Recent Testimonial


"Mary is a gem of a person - insightful, a worthy observer and supportive. Whenever we meet, I cherish the time, for I walk away with good things to think about.  


I met Mary a little over a year ago, and her emotional and psychological, caring commentary helped me to make an important growth decision in my life - one that was long overdue. 


This process continued from emotional to physical health - at her suggestion I, a first-generation American of Italian heritage, stopped eating gluten - no pasta! Her suspicion was right, however - a thorough lab and genetic test indeed confirmed my sensitivity to it. I've been gluten-free for now nearly a year, and it hasn't been as hard as I once feared. 


I have been naturally migrating towards the organic "flexitarian" diet she avidly endorses. I even did my first green-juice fast, and learned from it how valuable green juice is as a full nutritional segment of my diet.  I firmly believe that Mary has enhanced my emotional and physical growth and in turn supported my spiritual path. I value her quite a lot. I highly recommend her as an advisor, guide, therapist and coach."


-Christopher M. Oakland, CA

For a unique gift this upcoming holiday season give the gift of health with an Aware Body Gift Certificate!

Mary Serphos CHHC, LCSW
The Aware Body
In This Issue
Food At Home
Family Nutrition Program
Recipe: The Perfect Fall Pumpkin Polenta
Recent Testimonial
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