Imagine this scenario: You go to the doctor for your annual physical. While at the appointment, they take a routine x-ray. The doctor finds something suspicious on the x-ray and wants you to have further tests. The tests take time to schedule and then, of course, you have to wait for your next appointment. During this period, you feel nervous and anxious. You start going down the google rabbit hole, which only ignites more anxiety. You stop sleeping well, perhaps stop eating or eating well. In short, you are a nervous wreck. You are STRESSED.

I’m bringing this up because recently, three of my clients had similar situations where something looked suspicious on an initial test. In all three cases, it turned out to be a benign incidental finding. However, regardless of the medical issue, there was a lot of stress and a lot of anxiety.

Periods of stress are corrosive to the body. This is because we are, unfortunately, still operating like cave-people. When we get stressed, our sympathetic nervous system kicks in. This system wants to give our bodies sympathy by helping us when it thinks we need to flight of flee. (The good ole, “fight or flight” response is still with us!) A plethora of physiological changes take place: stress hormones are released, heart rate and blood pressure increase, pupils dilate, breathing rate goes up, blood sugar elevates, fatty acids are released into the blood stream supplying the body with extra energy so we can fight that beast. Only there is no beast to fight. Two million years ago, when there was a beast to kill, the body would return a “normal” state after the fight, because of the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system does just the opposite of the sympathetic nervous system–it slows everything down because the threat is over. When we are constantly stressed, the threat is never over so we wind up staying in this “high-alert” state, which, as you can see, is not healthy place to be. Over time you will have an increase risk for hypertension, stroke or a heart attack.  Chronic stress contributes to an increase in inflammation especially in the arteries leading to the heart. 

Waiting for test results or getting a medical report that we can’t understand can trigger this same response. Given our current state of technology, it is not far-fetched to think that sooner or later, we will all be faced with something like this happening to us. The best advice that I can offer is to try hard to stay calm, since getting keyed up before you know the facts will not change a thing. I always tell myself that I can fully “freak the F out” when I know something is actually wrong. If it turns out to be nothing, you cannot undo the period of stress that you put yourself under.

To calm your chattering brain, consider using a meditation app, that will guide you along through relaxation. (There are so many good ones out there now! My personal favorite is headspace.) I find just listening to meditation music and breathing deeply works beautifully—especially in the middle of the night if I find myself awake and thinking about things I should not be. Deep breathing awakens your parasympathetic nervous system, which brings your body back to equilibrium.

Bottom line: Stress is not a good state to be in. Of course, we will all feel stressed from time to time but do your best to keep it at bay by staying in the present, calming your chattering mind, and breathing!



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I usually love a recipe with a short ingredient list but decided to give this one a go. It was worth it!! I LOVED the sweet and spicy combo. Plus, carrots are my favorite!!! Give this a try…..YUM!


1 lemon, plus 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, more for pot

PHOTO BY: Andrew Scrivani

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 ½ tablespoons whole grain mustard

3 tablespoons honey

1 bay leaf

½ to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

 Black pepper, to taste

1 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces

3 cups sliced carrots (1/4-inch thick)

1 onion, halved and thinly sliced

⅔ cup sliced dates

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

¼ cup chopped cilantro or parsley, for garnish

2 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish

¼ cup chopped toasted pistachio nuts, for garnish


Quarter the lemon lengthwise, removing any seeds. Thinly slice crosswise into small wedges and add to small pot of boiling, salted water. Blanch for 2 minutes and drain. Reserve slices.

In a saucepan, whisk together lemon juice, orange juice, oil, mustard, honey, salt, bay leaf, red pepper flakes and black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool.

Put chicken in a bowl and add honey mixture. Add carrots, onion, dates, thyme and blanched lemon slices. Turn mixture several times to coat. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature, but preferably overnight in the refrigerator.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Transfer all ingredients, including marinade, to a sheet pan with a rim. Chicken should be skin side up. Roast until chicken is browned and cooked through, about 20 to 30 minutes for breasts and 30 to 40 for legs and wings (remove the pieces as they are done cooking). When the chicken is done, give the carrot mixture in the pan a stir; if the pan looks dry add 2 to 3 tablespoons water. Continue roasting the carrots until they are tender, about 7 to 12 minutes longer.

Spoon carrots over chicken and top with cilantro, scallions, and pistachio nuts.

(recipe found on

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I am a huge fan of sheet pan recipes because of the simplicity. LOVED this one–especially the flavors and colors. Amazing!


12-16 ounces Smoked Turkey or Chicken Sausage about 3 cups

2 cups sweet potato diced into ½” cubes

2 cups broccoli florets

1 cup bell pepper chopped (any colors you like)

2 cloves garlic minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning or taco, Cajun of your favorite spice blend!

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper


Pre-heat oven to 400F.

Slice the sausage into 1” rounds. Dice the sweet potatoes into small ½” cubes.

Add the sausage, veggies and minced garlic to a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the Italian spices or your favorite spice blend. Seasoning with salt and pepper. Toss veggies with your hands until they are fully combined and coated with olive oil and spices.

Bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway. Enjoy with rice, quinoa, or in sandwiches.

NOTE: I cooked this a bit longer. I put the veggies in the oven first for about 10 minutes. The I added the sausages and cooked for another 20. Of course I wanted to change the title of this recipe to “Healthy 20-ISH Minute Sheet Pan Sausage and Veggies”, but I controlled myself. 🤣

(Adapted from a recipe found on

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A client of mine started using Invisalign to straighten her teeth. If you’re not familiar with this system, instead of braces, a dentist makes you a set of “aligners”, which is similar to wearing a thin, plastic mouthguard. After a few weeks, you have to change it and use another set. Over time, (at least 6 months), voilà, your teeth are straight, and your smile is perfect.  This sure beats metal brackets and wires, which irritate your mouth. At least this is what Invisalign says.

I asked her how it was going and if it was a hassle. She, very matter-of-factly, said that it was going well AND it was a hassle. It’s a hassle because it’s a process that requires her to follow a protocol. If she’s not consistent, she will have issues with her teeth and this program.

This got me thinking: Anything that is important or valuable takes a lot of work and time. Eating healthily, cooking, fitting exercise into your life, nurturing relationships, cultivating hobbies, spending time with family, and trying to balance it all is exhausting. The real challenge is never starting–it’s being consistent.

Making a true lifestyle adjustment is focusing on long-lasting behavioral changes. Since this is not a fad, a phase, or a quick fix, you must be strategic, when it comes to goal setting. I love the idea of playing a game with yourself—see if you can fool yourself. Here’s an example: You are drinking 3 glasses of water a day and know that your body needs more. Instead of trying to drink 8 glasses, start with adding just ½ glass more. It doesn’t seem like much, which is the point—you want your brain to not feel a big change. Fool yourself. Keep this up, until it feels normal. Then add another ½ of a glass and keep repeating this process. Of course, this will take longer for you to reach your goal but who cares—you are in this for the long haul. Don’t lose sight of the most important factor—consistency. 

“Fooling yourself” can be applied to exercise, tweaking your diet, reducing your alcohol intake, cooking, etc. Make TINY changes that you can barely notice. Stick with that small change until it doesn’t feel like a change at all. Tweak again. This process is basically you sculpting out a new behavior.  Keep it small so you can be consistent. Keep it small so it works.

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This is actually an old Weight Watchers recipe that I tweaked. Another great tray bake–super easy, healthy and great flavors! YUM!


8 pieces of bone-in chicken parts (breast, legs, thighs)

1 tsp salt, divided

¼ t black pepper, divided

Extra virgin olive oil

2-3 T balsamic glaze

1 T fresh thyme

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 large cauliflower, trimmed, cut into florets

12 oz baby potatoes, halved

2 medium shallots, sliced lengthwise

16 Large green olives, pitted

1 lemon, juiced and zested 

½ cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a shallow bowl, drizzle chicken with olive oil. Season with ½ tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Add balsamic glaze, thyme, and garlic, gently toss to coat and set aside.

On a large sheet pan, combine cauliflower, potatoes, and shallots. Drizzle with olive oil and remaining salt and pepper. Spread vegetables in a single layer. Place chicken parts on top. Bake for about 20  minutes. Stir vegetables. Continue baking until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender, another 20-25 minutes. Remove the chicken and bake the vegetables longer if they need more time. 

Toss in olives. Zest lemon directly over sheet pan, distributing evenly, then cut lemon in half and squeeze juice over top; sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

(Adapted from a recipe found on

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