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October 2017-The Secret to a Longer, Healthier Life

Rachel Carson-90yoBird Watcher10-3-17In keeping with the theme of Believing that Good Health is Possible, this month I wanted to share a story of a couple that I met on a nature walk I had at the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge in Maine this week.  I often go there when I am needing a space to connect with Nature and rejuvenate my spirit!   As I was walking along, I met a man and his wife who were taking the same walk along the trails with their binoculars so they could spot some favorite birds of the season.   As we got chatting, the husband said that he had just celebrated his Birthday and he wanted to know if I could guess his age?   As you look at the picture, take a guess yourself!!  He told me that he and his wife walk 4 miles a day-2 miles in the morning and 2 miles in the evening.  He does 250 push-ups a day (breaking it up into 50 pushups five times a day!) and 100+ sit ups.  His mind was really sharp and he spoke quite well.  I guessed he may have been 75!   He then told me he was 90 years old!!  I was shocked…90, what was the secret to his good health?  He told me 2 things: 1) Nutrition, he ate a Mediterranean/DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet with fresh vegetables and fruits, fish, legumes, nuts, healthy olive oil and he told me 2) Exercise!

What struck me is that this is so very, very simple!   Many researchers have found that one of the healthiest diets in the world is a Mediterranean Diet -Real Foods that you can pronounce (!!).  It consists primarily of Fresh Veggies and Fruits, grains, legumes/ beans, olive oil, fish, herbs and spices and nuts.  For those who eat meat, choose lean meats like chicken and turkey.  For more info on a Mediterranean Diet check out   The DASH Diet helps to reduce the chance of getting High Blood Pressure. For more info on the DASH Diet, go to:

Research has also found that 20-30 minutes of Exercise per day that pumps up your Heart Rate is also beneficial for life long health!  Team sports in adolescence has been found to reduce the risk of cancer throughout life and continuing with some aerobic exercise reduces morbidity and mortality.  Getting exercise can be as simple as getting a good power walk out in nature!!

Follow this man’s advice and you will be giving yourself and your kids the gift of a better chance of a Longer, Healthier and Happier Life!!  The First Step is BELIEVING THAT YOUR GOOD HEALTH AND THE LIFELONG HEALTH OF YOUR KIDS IS POSSIBLE!!! : ).  You can check out other good health ideas or research tips on my Facebook Page at

Here is to Your Good, Better, Best Life Through W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.   W.orking E.very L.iving day towards L.ove N.utrition E.xercise S.erenity and S.pirituality

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September 2017-Believing that Good Health is Possible

Kelsey-Disney Princess8-2003This is a picture of my daughter when she was 5 years old and I took her to Disneyworld where she got to be a Princess for several days and meet Mickey Mouse who spun her around before I took this picture and Mickey helped her to feel like a Real Princess!!!  It was one of my favorite memories with my daughter when she was growing up!!

It brought me back to my own childhood when I remember as a child getting so excited every Sunday evening waiting for the Walt Disney show to come on.  Tinkerbell flying across the sky and sprinkling pixie dust all around, the Disney Castle in the background and the next enchanting tale that I would be able to see that would transport me to a magical place where life was good, and wholesome and beautiful….there was always a plot, with challenges and sinister people but the outcome was always a triumph of good over evil, peace over pain, and happiness at the end of a struggle!  Deep down, for me, that show was my inspiration and guiding faith that no matter what happened in day to day life, there was always a decent outcome and the challenges were all worthwhile.

The story of Walt Disney is like that.  I was surprised  to learn, years later, that Walt Disney himself had many obstacles to overcome before becoming the successful artist and entrepreneur that he was.  He began as a starving artist.  He sought work but no one wanted to hire him; no one thought he had any talent.   He went from place to place in the Midwest looking for work.  It wasn’t until a minister with a barn in his back yard BELIEVED in Walt Disney and decided to hire him to do some art work for his church bulletin that Walt Disney had a beginning to his career.  He offered him a place to stay in the barn.  It turned out that the barn was full of mice  and Walt Disney decided to draw some of the mice that he saw running around in the barn…and one of those mice was the Birth of Mickey Mouse!!!

Our health can be like that.   As a parent, if there is one thing I know for sure in the United States, many parents work really, really hard every day to give their children a better life.  We want the best for our children and work hard to give them a better life.  Do we KNOW AND BELIEVE that we can give them a healthy life?   There are many things that we can do to help our children to stay well, grow up healthfully and have a better chance at a longer, healthier life.  The first step is BELIEVING that Good Health and a Longer, Healthier Life is Possible.  As a Nurse who cares for patients with cancer every day, if there is one thing I know for sure, what we do to help our kids to be healthy when they are young in mind, body and spirit will serve them well and give them a Better Chance of Living a Longer, Healthier and Happier Life!!  Believing, despite the challenges,  is Definitely Worth It!!!

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August 2017-Refresh, Rejuvenate, Renew

Sunrise-Lecounts8-7-17 Sunset at Cove8-6-17







August is a wonderful month to Refresh, Rejuvenate and Renew the Spirit!  It is a quieter month in the year, as many families vacation and kids have some down time before they return to the academic year.  There are actually no designated “Awareness of Cancers” for this month, which is perfect!  August is a great month to designate as “Awareness of Health”!!

If there is one thing my patients have taught me is that Our Health, Our Family and Our Friends are the most important aspects of Life!!  As parents, we put a lot of time, energy and emotional investment into helping our kids to grow into the Amazing Souls that they were born to be.  In order to sustain that level of energy and be the best parents we can be for our children, it is helpful to take a break, have fun and recharge our physical, emotional and spiritual batteries so that we can continue to be the parents our children need us to be for them.

I just returned from a wonderful vacation spent with my Mom, some cousins and some friends….it was a great way to connect with the important people in my life and Recharge my batteries!!  I made a point of experiencing the sunrises on the ocean and sunsets on the bay to connect with nature and remind myself of the simple beauty that can be found in everyday life which is available for free!  I took long runs on the ocean to let go of the stress and have a renewed sense of calm and peace within!!     How do you Recharge your batteries and make time for yourself?  Hope that you can make your health Priority #1 this August….it will be a great example for your kids to follow!!

To your Good, Better, Best Health through W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S. : )

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July 2017-Giving Kids a Fair Chance….

This month, I wanted to share with you my new favorite book by James Heckman.            Dr Heckman is a Distinguished Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, and a Nobel Prize Recipient who has devoted his career to understanding the root cause of social inequality and injustice.  Stay with me on this one…you will be surprised to try it!  It’s an easy read, great for an afternoon summer at the pool.  Great info….This is not just gloom and doom; this is a solution-oriented book!!!  He has taken insights from his work to devise strategies and solutions to address these problems to make a difference in the lives of these children born into disadvantage and in turn be of benefit to all of society!!  Being a mom, I have seen the innocence, the love, the joy of a new baby and a toddler…they all deserve our effort to help give them a chance in this life!!

I love Dr Heckman’s thinking, I love that he has so much info to share on the early life environment of kids and the research which has been shown to make a difference.  It is easy to assume that how things operate and the reality of our world is “just the way it is”.  That nothing can be done to make a difference-people are poor, some starve, some go to jail, some die and that is just the way it is.   What Dr Heckman calls us to do is to revisit this “as is” thinking to reimagine the world which is in a period of Massive Transformation and how we can make it better.  This is an opportune time to do this!!

I believe that we DO HAVE the KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, INTELLECT, KINDNESS, COMPASSION and MOTIVATION to make a difference for the next generation.    Dr Heckman works at the Roots of Social Injustice and we can work at the Roots of Health and Wellness to make a difference for our kids and ALL KIDS, one step at a time.  Moms Across America, Mothers Out Front, Savvy Women’s Alliance and Beyond Cancer Survival:  Parenting for Health are working everyday to make a difference for all of us and the next generation(s).  Moms are making a Difference; Get involved in your own way, Large or small.  To your Good, Better and Best Life through W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.


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June 2017-National Cancer Survivorship Month-Finding Purpose!


In a follow up to last months blog on Debating Chemicals in our environment, I wanted to share with you more info on that topic.  In 1995, as a Clinical Specialist for Women’s Health in Stamford, CT, one of my roles was co-leading a very active and vibrant Breast Cancer Support Group. On one particular evening, I will never forget when one of the members of the group spoke up and said, “Look at all the young faces in this room, there has got to be something in the environment”.   I wasn’t sure how to respond at the time except to say that yes, that did seem to be true.   That night however, I went home and thought a lot more about what that young woman and mother said. At the time, our Medical and Nursing backgrounds taught us that although we were not sure what caused breast cancer, that it was associated with women who got their periods earlier, went through menopause later, and had their kids later but we never spoke about the environment. It was our patients with their personal experiences who would shed greater insight into the nature of breast cancer. I thought about what she said and intuitively knew she was right.   There WAS something in the environment even if we were not sure what that was. That woman’s statement changed the direction of my career and life; I am grateful to that woman for having the courage to share her insights because even though I was the breast cancer specialist, at that time, I was not even aware of environmental factors contributing to this disease.

In the 22 years since then, what we have learned is that environment does impact breast cancer, some we have control over and some we need to be aware of.  Smoking, alcohol, ionizing radiation to the chest, DES, or workplace exposures like gasoline, petroleum products and soldering materials can impact the development of breast cancer.   So what can we do about this-be aware, avoid cancer causing environments, foods and products, set healthful standards for our families that will go a long way towards potentially improving lifelong health for ourselves and our kids, and keep up with the new info!!   Anticancer A new way of life is the resource I wanted to share with you above and I hope you have a chance to read it because it has so much valuable info for Cancer Survivors, those who are in the midst of their cancer treatments and parents who are working to give their kids a better life!!

With that in mind,  I have come to firmly believe that it is the Moms of this world who will help direct our knowledge of how our changing environment and food is impacting our health; it is the Mothers and Cancer Survivors of this world who will Lead the Movement to Change it, and who will Make a Difference. Women are the Hope and the Promise for our health, our environment, our kids health and our grandkids health.   Moms Across America, Mothers Out Front, and Savvy Woman’s Alliance are some of the other groups led by Moms who have become a collective Force for Good as we join forces to spread knowledge, resources and tips for our kids and families.  Hope you can join in to help spread the message of how important our environment is to our health now and always!  To Your Good,Better, Best Life through W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.  and of course, Happy Father’s Day to all the dads who make a difference in their kids lives!! : )

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May 2017-Debating the Chemicals in our Environment

Book-Only One ChanceThere are numerous debates going on now…some are in the halls of Congress and the Senate, some are in the media, in our state governments and in our homes.  Debates can be good opportunities to openly discuss important issues and find out how others think.

I wanted to share some information that has been debated in the last few months that is showing up on your dinner plate.  A chemical called Chlorpyrifos.  This chemical is commonly used on our fruits and vegetables even though you can’t see it and it can be having effects on your health and your children’s health.  Chlorpyrifos is a neurotoxicant.   It was scheduled to be banned on March 31, 2017 initially by the Obama Administration.  However the EPA and Current Administration reversed that decision on March 30, 2017 so Chlorpyrifos is still being used, according to the President due to a “lack of enough evidence”.  If you check out the book above, you will see that we have lots of evidence of its toxic potential, especially on our children.  Surprisingly, it is being  used on strawberries, broccoli, cauliflower and apples.  If you eat any of these foods, I highly recommend you eat the Organic variety to protect yourself and especially your children.

Chlorpyrifos is not the only neurotoxic chemical in our environment however.   There are doctors and researchers which are finding that chemicals in the environment are contributing to the increased incidence of not only cancer in children but other increasingly common diseases in children, particularly those that impact on the brain and neurobiological and neurocognitive development. In 2014, Grandjean and Landrigan of Harvard School of Public Health and Mt Sinai published an article which synthesized the known chemicals which are neurotoxicants. The first set of five were confirmed in 2006 and included lead, methylmercury, arsenic, toluene and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s).

Six more have been discovered to be neurotoxicants affecting the brain and causing neurocognitive or neurobehavioral disorders.  These additional chemicals are CHLORPYRIFOS, fluoride, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, tetrachloroethylene, manganese,and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE).   However, there are over 80,000 chemicals currently in use in the US and only a small fraction, roughly 200, have been studied and determined to be toxic to humans; some we know are also immunotoxicants which can have negative effects on the immune system.   The majority have not been studied adequately to determine their toxic potential even though they are being manufactured, distributed, bought, used and incorporated into our everyday products.   One thing that is known about these chemicals is that the developing brain, especially of the fetus, infant and young child is very sensitive to the impacts of these chemicals, even in low dose. These chemicals have a functional affect on the neurological system in about 10-15% of children at birth but the effects are not often recognized until these children are growing and developing and many of the changes have marked effects on IQ, risk of autism, ADD, ADHD, learning disabilities and behavioral issues which have lasting consequences.

I encourage you to communicate with your State and Federal Legislators both Representatives and Senators to let them know how you feel about the use of these chemicals in the environment and on our food which commonly seeps its way into our water, food, animals and children.   For further information, there are 2 good reads:

Grandjean, P (2013). Only one chance How environmental pollution impairs brain development and how to protect the brains of the next generation. Oxford: OxfordUniversity Press.

Grandjean, P & Landrigan, P (2014). Neurobehavioural effects of developmental toxicity. Lancet Neurology, 13, pp 330-338.

To your Good, Better, Best Health…Happy Mother’s Day!!

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April 2017-Springtime is here-New Life and New Beginnings!!

Seed-The Untold StoryHave you seen this movie yet?  It is one that I wanted to share with you!  The other day I was talking to one of my friends, Nina, at the barn where we board our horses.  We were discussing how to protect our kids while also protecting our horses from the bugs.  We were talking about some effective yet non-toxic natural horse sprays to keep the horses from being bitten by the flys and bugs and she was sharing with me the products that she has found helpful.  This led me to think about all the chemicals in our environment, many of which start to be sprayed during this season!

As we enter the Springtime season of the year, this is a movie I highly recommend to all in our Parenting Community, Seed: The Untold Story.   It has won numerous awards but more importantly shares information about the loss of native seeds over the past century-would you believe 94% of our native seeds no longer exist?  I did not.

As you start to organize your gardens and plant your seeds and prepare for new life and new growth, consider seeing this movie and then planting some organic and heirloom seeds to help replenish the stock!  Also consider growing your garden without pesticides which are often neurotoxic to insects, animals and humans especially our children and future grandchildren.   These chemical neurotoxins often sprayed on our food, lawns and gardens can affect our health, especially our kids and their growing bodies and brains.  Just a Thought!  As Always, To your Good, Better and Best Life through W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.!!

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March 2017-Want to guess what the key to Happiness Is?

St Paddy-FredSt Paddy-IrishBrownBreadSt Paddy-AC

Are you happy?  Do you want to be happy?  Want to know what the keys to Happiness and Life Long Health are?   I was surprised to find that a 75 year old Longitudinal Harvard Study found that the key to Happiness is Good Relationships!!  What do you do to nurture your Good Relationships?

I wanted to share one of the fun things I got to do for this St Patrick’s Day ….a fun, nutritious and joyful dinner including this beautiful Irish Soda Bread with a genuine Leprechaun!!  Here is to your Good Health and Good Relationships!!  To your Good, Better, Best Life through W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.

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February 2017-National Cancer Prevention Month


This is my daughter when she was about 12 years old! She had been learning yoga in elementary school and we would practice together with a Gaia Kids Yoga Video that I had at home.  While this brings back many happy memories with my daughter, one of the most important messages that I want to share with our parenting community is that practicing yoga, mindfulness meditation, tai chi or Qigong with our kids is one of the lifelong skills that we can share with our kids to help them to be more resilient in the face of life’s challenges… it provides a “protective coating” so to speak to help them with life long health!   Simple, easy, low cost and fun!  May you enjoy this precious National Cancer Prevention Month with your kids living the Good, Better, Best Life through W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.


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January 2017-Positive Steps Toward Healthy Eating-The Foundation of Good Health

Baby Food Bible 3Remember those days when your kids were first born and it finally hits you how tiny, vulnerable, and precious they are…I do, I remember it well and can totally relate to new parents who feel overwhelmed with the responsibilities of caring for this little baby along with the feeling that you want to do everything just right and not sure what that just right thing is!!  Just when I would figure things out, she would change and then I would be thinking OMG…now what do I do?

When it comes to feeding your kids, I know that it can often feel this way too.  So I found a wonderful book that is one of my favorite resources for feeding kids when they are young.  It is a wealth of info of how to create a healthy food palette for kids!!  I wish that this book had been available to me when my daughter was young…I had to wing it!!  As my daughter started to grow and was very interested in cooking we would go to Stonewall Kitchen in York, ME and started taking Mother-Daughter cooking classes together!  It was here that Kelsey and I first listened to Eileen Behan RD who had worked at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston as a Nutritionist and then branched out on her own to develop her own business, For the Love of Food!!  Eileen has so many great ideas of foods and tips to help kids to enjoy eating healthfully.  This is a wonderful book for any family with kids from 6 months to Preschool!! Hope you get to take cooking classes with your kids too…it was one of my favorite memories with my daughter when she was young!!!

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December-Being the Life of Good Health Champion for kids!!!

aurelie-kelsey12-14The Holiday Season is always extra busy for moms and dads.  There are special meals to plan for and make, parties to attend, gift lists to make, shopping to do, and presents to buy and wrap.  During the Holiday Season we often think of the “things” that we need to give and this can add to the stress of the season which is meant to be rich with tradition, good cheer and memory-making.  Wonder if we tweeked our concept of the Holidays to include not only what we can give materially but also what we can give Wholeheartedly, WholeMindfully and WholeSpiritually.  What I wonder in this fast paced, GMO laced, environmentally challenging world in which we live….can we give the Gift of Being a Life of Good Health Champion for our kids?

Anyone who has ever had cancer knows how hard the road can be to be diagnosed and treated for this Life-Altering disease.  It’s hard…it’s scary…it leaves most people I know feeling very vulnerable, dismayed, angry, sad and financially burdened on an emotional as well as practical level.

There is no greater gift that we could give our kids this Holiday Season than to be a “Life of Good Health Champion for our kids” of what it means to live a Bold, Broad, Wholesome Life based on the Fabulous Five by

W.orking E.very L.iving day towards L.ove N.utrition E.xercise S.erenity and S.pirituality

in other words, Living the Life of W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.!!!  That would be one of the really special gifts that we could offer our kids this Holiday Season and the best part is that it doesn’t cost anything but has a $1,000,000 Value!!  From My Heart to Your…Wishing you the very best of Holidays!

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November 2016-Giving Thanks for Caregivers!


This is a picture of my Mom and I at Indian Neck in Wellfleet.  My mom is 80 years old and is more vibrant now than ever.  She is a shining example of a Caregiver Par Excellence!!!  She was married for 58 years to my dad, having gotten married when she was 20 and moved from her parents house to being married to my dad.  The last 2-1/2 years of their marriage, my dad was on Home Hospice with Advanced Parkinson’s disease with progressive Parkinson’s dementia.  My mom took care of him gladly, giving of her time and love to a man that forgot who she was.   He stopped talking and had to be washed, fed and dressed.  He had to be reminded that she was his wife and her strength, love and dedication to giving him a good day and a comfortable existence and a loving presence never wavered.  She is a shining example of the power of caregiving.  My dad was never able to say Thank you, to let her know that he was grateful for all that she gave to him so I say it here for him.   Mom, thank you for being a Shining Example of the Power of Caregiving-giving of yourself, in service, with kindness, compassion and love!

I wondered how my mom would do when he died.  She has thrived!!  Now, she cares for many of the seniors in our town, she takes them to their doctor appointments, she drives them to Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston when they need their Chemotherapy and she does it gladly because she has a purpose for her life every day that she wakes up.  The world could not function without caregivers!  This Thanksgiving, give thanks for all the caregivers that have touched your life!  As parents, when we role model caregiving, our children are the beneficiaries of the best example of the power of purpose to make this world better!  Happy Thanksgiving!

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October-2016 Focus on Breast Cancer Survivorship

This month, we turn our attention not only to Breast Cancer Awareness Month but to all those who are surviving breast cancer, those who are newly diagnosed and those with metastatic disease.  It turns out that of all those with cancer, 18% have children under the age of 18!!  This month, I wanted to share with you two moms who are amazing role models for other women but, most importantly, their families and kids of the power of a fierce and unwavering attitude to focus on maximizing their health with breast cancer and having fun doing it!!

carol-wonder-womanCarol Chaoui is a mom of 4 and survivor of breast cancer and thyroid cancer.   What I most admire about Carol is her unwavering spirit of outdoor exercise, creative spirit, fun and team effort for all of the activities she is involved in, as you can see her here as Wonder Woman!!!  She loves to run and make it notable and fun at the same time!!  Her energy and fortitude are amazing as she has focused her efforts on organizing a running group, “Couch to 5K” which meets every friday for a run, on running the Boston Marathon several times raising money for Dana Farber and multiple other local notable races.  These “laugh out loud” activities culminate each year at Thanksgiving with the annual Turkey Trot, a 5K race and non-profit which Carol founded to raise money for breast cancer causes.    She is the one who rallies the troops to join her in the fun! Most recently, Carol received the Fitzherbert award from the Tufts 10K Women’s Race for being a Rock Star towards focusing on health, family and community, while she has been undergoing her own treatment for cancer. Go Carol!!


theresa-xrtsurv-award9-27-16Theresa Coffey Keresztes is another mom of 2 and amazing survivor of breast cancer.  She was diagnosed several years ago and also likes to run.  You can often see Carol and Theresa running together on the trails and in the local races.  What I most admire about Theresa is not only her fun with running and trying to maintain a healthy exercise routine to maximize her health after breast cancer, but Theresa has  developed a passion for helping other women with the skin reactions and sensitivities associated with radiation.  She wanted to make a difference for other women undergoing treatment, and developed My Girls Skin Cream.    Recently through her efforts, Theresa won the 2016 Survivor Circle Award at the Annual American Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology, ASTRO, in Boston.  She is also a great role model to her kids of the fun they can have by exercising …Go Theresa!!

As parents, we can also be great role models for our kids through the power of exercise!!  Here is to your Good, Better, Best Life through exercise and W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.!!!

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September 2016-Focus on Prevention-Check Out Our New eStore

Slide62“We live our life as the guardian of our genome”.                           Marcus Pembrey

Have you ever wondered if you could protect your children from ever having to experience cancer?  It is a good question…the answer is that there are things that WE CAN DO to protect our children from some cancers.   Can we guarantee that they will never get sick…the obvious answer is NO…but we can do things that can give our kids a greater chance of living a longer and healthier life.   We know enough, we have all seen family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers endure needless suffering and there are things that WE CAN DO RIGHT NOW to help.

One, one of the first things we can do is learn about what are the common illnesses in the family…both mom’s and dad’s side.  Knowing what the “family genes” are is a tremendous help and start!

Two, learn what you CAN DO TODAY to help prevent cancer in your kids throughout their lifetime.  It turns out that most adult diseases stem from factors in childhood.  To help you with this, I have put together a series of podcasts that is a compilation of what I have learned through my work as an oncology nurse as well as the research that I have done on this topic.  These podcasts can be downloaded to your computer or iPod to make it easy for you to listen on your own time while walking, driving your car or  at a time that works best for you!!  You can check it out here

Three, choose and eat Wholesome, colorful,nutritious food that is plant based as much as possible.  If you start young, your kids will naturally follow.

Four, exercise and get your kids involved in exercise or team sports.  We already know that those kids involved in team sports have lower rates of cancer over their lifetime!!

Five, Practice some form of stress management….Mindfulness Meditation, Yoga, Qigong, Prayer…invite your kids to practice these stress management techniques with you!!  They are amazingly helpful and keep the mind calm and focused!

Practice these 5 things and you are giving your kids an amazing gift towards good health!!

Living the Good, Better, Best Life Through W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.!!!!                                            W.orking E.very L.iving day towards L.ove N.utrition E.xercise S.erenity and S.pirituality

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August 2016-Achieving our Dreams and The Rio 2016 Olympics

Acadia bike ride Kels-mom

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The Olympics this year were so exciting and I was so proud of not only our US Olympic athletes but all the athletes that participated.  They always amaze me with their skill, amazing talents, perseverance, focus and positive attitude!!

One team that really impressed me was the US Women’s Gymnastics team with “Grandma Aly and Baby Simone”.  Aly is a young woman from my hometown of Needham, MA.   At 22, Aly was participating in her 2nd Olympics as Team Captain of the Women’s Gymnastics Team.  It was the Perfect Miracle as far as I could see!!  The Final Five were a diverse group that almost any girl could identify with.  Not all had a supportive or charming start to their lives but they all had someone that believed in them and helped them to pursue their dreams and they remained focused on their goal.  They all had amazing talent, a fun spirit, were focused on a common goal, were amazingly supportive of each other and led by one of the worlds greatest coaching teams, Martha and Bela Karolyi, who are also retiring!

Not all of our children will become Olympic Athletes but it is worthy to note what we can all learn from this Amazing Gold Medal Team.   Know thyself, find your passion, pursue your goals, practice/ practice/ practice, visualize, take good care of yourself and surround yourself with a  positive, supportive group and Believe!!

As Parents, we can be that Gold Medal Coaching Team for our kids with our own Practice/ Practice/ Practice!!

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July 2016-GMO’s-The Elephant in the Room

GMO Deception

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This month, the Senate passed a bill for GMO Labelling, Congress passed a bill for GMO Labelling and President Obama signed the Compromise GMO Labelling Bill into Law.  What you need to know!

In 2 years, GMO Labelling will become Mandatory across the country but that word Mandatory is very deceptive because companies have lots of leeway to determine how to do that.  They can write the words GMO ingredients on the label, they can put barcodes on the packaging that you or I would have to scan, or provide a phone number to call the company to get more information on the exact nature of the ingredients in the food product.

This is a good example of our current democracy because there is much that we all need to know about GMO’s and how the 1 billion pounds of pesticides that are sprayed across this country each year are affecting your health and mine and our kids and what your Legislators are not talking about with this legislation …

We already had a stellar GMO Labelling Bill from Vermont that had been voted in by the people of that state after much negotiation and compromise and it was a model for the rest of the country.   It allowed transparency about what was and was not in the food that we purchase and eat every day.   It gave families the choice to decide whether they wanted to eat a product with GMO’s in it or not.  It was not approved by some in other parts of the country for political, corporate and business interests.  So our current democracy has been transformed into not quite the one Of the People, By the People and For the People that Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, John Quincy Adams and Abe Lincoln had worked so hard to create but one more Of the Corporations, By the Corporations and For the Corporations that is more common today.

It will be interesting to see where this all leads us to but remember, as individual citizens, one of the greatest gifts we give our democracy is your involvement and the Power of the Collective Voice of the Grass Roots efforts of people like you and me.   As Tip O’Neill once said, “All Politics is Local”.   GMO’s are an issue that have implications for the health of our children, our families, our communities and our nation. Always Keep the Faith..

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June 2016-Father’s Day and Cancer Survivorship Month

Uncle Jack

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June is a special month first because of Father’s Day…a day to honor the important role and connection that Dad’s have  in the lives of their children and also because it is Cancer Survivorship month!!

One of the people that I most admire in this area is my Uncle Jack…he was found to have a Coarctation of the Aorta when he was 19 years old…in 1958 he had open heart surgery at Children’s Hospital in Boston.  Those were the early years of Open Heart Surgery and my Uncle was one of the fortunate ones to have such a fantastic team of doctors and nurses and an amazing spirit of survival!!

It turned out that he was allergic to the anesthesia.  He became acutely ill at the start of the surgery but was stabilized and brought back to “ward for 24 hour observation”.  There were no ICU’s in those days…just lots of open wards.  The next day he went back to surgery, had a different anesthesia and came through the surgery successfully!!  He recovered and spent the next year recuperating at home with his mom and dad and our family, because my mom (his sister) and dad and I lived with them.  We then went through a transformation in my family where we started on the “Healthy Heart Lifestyle” because of the experience with my uncles medical condition.  It was the best thing for our family to learn to eat well and go outdoors and exercise each day!

My uncle though is the real hero because he was the one with the positive attitude and gratitude spirit.  He went on to get married and become a dad of his own and had 4 beautiful children.   He has been an amazing dad to his children, who are all now grown adults.

While my uncle did not have cancer, he was a true survivor.  There are many parallels between heart disease and cancer.  Those who have survived heart disease or cancer have so much wisdom to share with us all about the strategies to help with Survival….attitude, exercise, nutrition, and making each day count!!

If there is  one secret that I have found with many survivor’s of heart disease and cancer, it is that WHAT YOU EAT, HOW YOU EXERCISE and how you STAY FOCUSED ON YOUR PURPOSE are some of the keys to survivorship.  What has helped you to stay healthy and heal or prevent future cancers?

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May 2016-Happy Mother’s Day!! Check out our new eStore!

photo 6May is a special month in the year because it is the month when we celebrate Mother’s Day!  I don’t think any of us will every forget the day our kids were born…To this day, I still consider it the Best Day of my Life!!!   So, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL THE MOM’S OUT THERE-For many moms, Every Day is Mother’s Day!!

What I often see in this world today, is that we Mom’s, both here in the US and all across the globe, work hard to give our kids a better life.   It is often said that we have Mama Bear instincts…we instinctively have a protective nature when it comes to our kids.

Today that protection comes in many forms.  When our kids are young, we try to guide them, teach them and protect them from bumped heads, scraped knees, bee stings, bicycle accidents, and bruised feelings, to name a few.    As they get older, it may be helping them to choose a safe route to school, avoid car accidents, cigarette, alcohol and drugs.    Today, it has become so much more complex, however, to know how to protect our kids with the introduction of the computer, intensive animal farming, and to one-stop-shopping grocery stores to name a few.  Some of these are beyond amazing; Some have introduced another set of challenges.

If you are like me, it has become more confusing today to know how to help our kids thrive in this evolving world and in what ways we need to help protect our kids from the many lifestyle factors which are affecting our health…from pesticides in our food supply such as the glyphosate sprayed on the GMO crops, to fossil fuel use and climate change and its impact on our future way of life, to BPA on our baby bottles or canned food liners to mercury in our fish.

dillon cousin reunionLegalSeafoodsIn response, many Mom’s are connecting and building networks to protect our kids in ways that we did not envision before.   A few of these networks that come to mind are Mothers Out Front-Mom’s organizing for a healthy climate for their kids… Moms Across America-Mom’s dedicated to building non-toxic communities and GMO free foods….and the Savvy Women’s Alliance-Mom’s connecting to build awareness of the toxins embedded in our beauty supply and home products!!

Hopefully, some of the resources on this website will help empower you to have greater awareness of what you can do to keep your kids healthy for the long term.   One way to do this is to check out our new eStore and consider purchasing the Mindful Parenting Podcast series that you can download to your computer for life with lots of helpful info and tips on ways to keep your kids healthy or consider giving one as a gift!  As Mom’s, we can Build the Good Better Best Life for our kids Through W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S. !!!


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April 2016-Boston Marathon Month-Inspiration in Survival!

Boston Marathon Med16

BostonMarathon women16April in Massachusetts is so exciting for many reasons…spring is arriving and new life is being birthed, the snow is beginning to depart, days are longer and beginning to get warmer…time to start planting the seeds for the years veggie garden!  One of the most fun and exciting events though is the annual Boston Marathon!!  This year was special because it was the 3rd Anniversary of the Marathon bombing.  The Boston Marathon typically is a race that is characterized by runners raising money for a worthwhile cause….Martin Richard Foundation, Pediatric Cancer, Caring for a Cure, Dana Farber Jimmy Fund, and Autism Research are but a few noteworthy causes.  There are so many inspiring and heartfelt causes!  What keeps many of these runners going for 26+ miles is the thought of the person who they are running for, some of whom are surviving cancer.

One day, my hope is that we can run to Prevent Cancers!!  One of the best ways I know to prevent cancer is thru good nutrition.  If you want a book to use as a resource that I Highly Recommend try the

Nutrition for Clinician bookNutrition Guide for Clinicians edited by Neal Barnard MD – A Fantastic Book packed with evidenced-based nutrition recommendations to help with many types of medical conditions including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, kidney stones, asthma, otitis media, etc.  It also has info on general good nutrition guidelines.  It is my Go-To Resource Always!!  Have Fun!


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March 2016 is National Nutrition Month

Nutrition is Key to Good Health so I wanted to share some important news happening now regarding our food…


GMO “DARK ACT” BILL  HR.1599/S.2609 did NOT pass!!  


If this is to happen, then your Senator and Congressperson needs to hear from you!!   For their Washington Phone Number go to:


March 1, HR.1599/S.2609-the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, is somewhat of a misnomer, as it is known as the DARK Act by consumers (Denying Americans the Right to Know) about the GMO ingredients in our food.

This is critical for you to know because what this bill wanted to do, if it had passed, was 3 main things:

  • this would  prevent any GMO labelling in this country,
  • make it harder for companies to voluntarily label their foods made with Genetically Modified Ingredients- as an example, Campbell’s soup recently announced that it was going to label whether their soup contained any GMO ingredients. If this bill had passed, it would have been harder for Campbell’s to do so.
  • AND NEGATE the laws that have already been passed in VT, ME, CT and others across this country.

Other important things to know about this bill:

1-The most important reason to label foods as having GMOs or not is that these seeds are produced with the ability to withstand the use of pesticides. Glyphosate is the main pesticide that is used on these GMO crops and Glyphosate has been associated with many health issues including GI dysfunction, liver and kidney dysfunction and kidney failure, neurological disorders such as autism and parkinsons disease as well as cancer.  Because the pests have become so resistant to the glyphosate, they are now using a combination pesticide that mixes glyphosate with 2,4-D which was an ingredient used in Agent Orange in Vietnam. This is concerning especially with young children and teenagers whose bodies and brains are growing and changing and the cells are dividing rapidly.  There are 5 main GMO crops in the US: Corn, Soybeans, Canola, Sugar Beets and Cottonseed. Corn and Soybean are almost ubiquitous in many of our food products today.

2-it’s ironic that this is happening in the US where we produce a lot of food because this is not something that is new or novel. There are actually 64 countries that already have Mandatory laws that require that GMO labels are put on their food products including Russia, China and most of Europe.  The European Union actually passed Mandatory GMO labeling laws in 1997…if it can be done for those countries, certainly it can be done for the citizens in the US who are requesting labelling.

3-there was a proposal that was debated about putting bar codes on the food so that consumers could scan the label with their smart phone to figure out whether they contained GMO’s,…it seems to me that companies could certainly state up front whether they have GMO ingredients in them or not especially since 90% of Americans want to know what is in their food and believe that food should have labels which state whether there are GMO ingredients in them.

4-GMO labeling has been touted as increasing the cost of food which just is not true. Companies change their labels all the time without significant increases in their cost.

Until next time, Living the Good. Better. Best. Life through W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.


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February 2016-National Cancer Prevention Month and Heart Health Month!!

With Valentine’s around the corner, February is a great month to celebrate Cancer Prevention Month and Heart Health Month, the #1 Health Issue in the US.  Many people with cancer also can develop heart disease in one form or another.   One of the best ways to keep your heart healthy and prevent cancer is through good nutrition-maintaining an “ideal body weight for you”, consistent physical activity and regular stress management.   There are several terrific resources to help you provide the right fuel for health!

For Good Nutrition, these are some of my favorite Nutrition Books for those trying to Prevent and Heal from Cancer or Heart Disease:

I love Food for Life because it provides practical information on how a plant based diet that includes the basic four food groups-whole veggies, whole fruits, nutrient rich grains and legumes help to fuel the body and keep it healthy for the long term.  In fact, the group in the US with the longest life spans live in Loma Linda, CA and are predominantly vegetarians.  They have many seniors and centenarians who live vibrant lives with fewer health problems and sharp minds.

For those who have a family history of heart disease or a personal history of heart disease, Dr Dean Ornish’s book is outstanding.  He has spent his career researching the benefits of treating even severe heart disease with lifestyle modifications including a low-fat, vegetarian, nutrient dense diet to prevent and/or reverse heart disease even in those who have severe forms. His results found that when compared to the standard treatment group, his Opening Your Heart program saw a reversal in coronary artery blockages and improved quality of life after 1 year even without the use of surgery.  The more closely individuals followed the program, the greater the results!!

For those who have a personal history of cancer, the American Cancer Society’s Nutrition book for Cancer Survivor’s is quite comprehensive and addresses the major issues of maintaining a healthy weight with changes in either weight loss or weight gain, nutrients that help with recovery, pesticides, GMO’s, food additive, and organic foods, supplements, tips during treatment, issues of fatigue, the immune system and symptom management. It is a great resource for anyone going through treatment!

In Addition, try out these great Apps which you can download to your Smart Phone:


For those trying to attempt preventing or healing from Heart Disease, Diabetes, Obesity or Cancer, I highly recommend the 21 Day Vegan Kickstart…just try it for 21 days or during the month of February and see what changes you notice…For those who are undergoing Cancer Treatment, I highly recommend the Dana Farber Nutrition App-full of helpful recipes for a variety of special diets as well as ones helpful for symptom management such as Nausea, Diarrhea, Constipation and Mouth Sores-Awesome Resource!

Until Next Time, Living the Good, Better, Best Life through W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.!!

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January 2016-Environment-using resources to Live the Good, Better, Best Life through W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.

Recently we heard in the news that the water in Flint, Michigan has been contaminated with lead due to a change in the water supply in an effort to save money.  While this is difficult to believe in the US, this is a good example of how we need to be more aware of our environment.  There are other situations out there, some as dramatic and some less dramatic.  As parents, we can use this as a teachable moment!

I wanted to share 2 fabulous Apps for Healthy living for your family as well as a Must Read Book for all parents who want to give their kids a chance at a healthier life for the long term!

Detox Me  WCPP-Smart-Scan-200x300 photo 4

1. Detox Me App gives tips on creating a green, non-toxic lifestyle at home and work. It will guide you through evidenced based strategies for assessing and modifying your lifestyle according to your goals for living an environmentally friendly lifestyle for you and your kids.  It was created by

2. WCPP Smart Scan App is a great complement to Detox Me as it will provide info about your environment- the food,beauty, cleaning or chemical products’ ingredients to list whether they are green/ safe, yellow/ caution or red/ potentially toxic. Created by Both are Free! Try them out and feel free to leave comments

3.   Book of the Month which confirms the info on the above 2 Apps is Living Downstream by Sandra Steingraber.  Sandra grew up in Illinois along a river that, unbeknownst to the community, had been a dumping ground for Dry Cleaning Chemicals.  Sandra only found this out after she was diagnosed with Bladder Cancer at age 19, when she was in college and did her own investigation into how she could have gotten this type of cancer.  It is a great read and Sandra weaves her experience and scientific knowledge into an easy to read book written in her signature poetic style…Great to read during the winter when we are often slowed down by the weather!!  Enjoy!



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December- Choosing Hope, Miracles and Light


10365819_10203259672272663_8068174143899658073_nDecember is a month when we can feel easily overwhelmed with all that has to happen for the Hanukkah and Christmas holidays…Black Friday, CyberMonday, GivingTuesday and we haven’t even tackled grocery shopping, cooking, buying presents, sending out Christmas/ Holiday cards and letters, wrapping presents, decorating the tree, work parties, going to services!!  …the list goes on and on.  These are the tasks of the season….

As parents, we can stay grounded in the wholehearted and soulful meaning of the holiday season….a season of HOPE, MIRACLES AND LIGHT!!   Hanukkah is a celebration of hope, miracles and bringing light into the world…..Christmas happens near the longest and darkest days of the year, when the birth of Jesus brings light into the world.  Jesus invited us to do unto others as we would want others to do unto us.   Similarly, in the Islamic religion, 2015 is a very significant year because this month, Mohammed’s Birthday falls on December 24, one day before Christ’s Birthday.  Mohammed is the Prophet of the Islamic religion and his main message was  Peace and Mercy for all humanity.  In fact, the word ‘Islam’ translated in Arabic means “Peace”.  So the 3 main Monotheistic religions stemming from Abraham all have significant events this month!

As parents-moms and dads, we can ask ourselves…in this holiday season, how are we bringing light, hope and peace into this dynamic and often times uncertain world?  How are we shining our light in the world?  Perhaps we need to set our own rhythm for the holidays, one that fits with our purposeful meaning of the season and for our children.

Maybe there is someone who is sick in our family, or neighborhood… Maybe we enjoy shopping but want to limit the amount per person.  Maybe we have decided that we will skip the cards this year or decide to spend one day giving back to the community by bringing a warm meal to a neighbor who is undergoing radiation or chemotherapy or by volunteering with our kids to make blankets for a homeless shelter.

Maybe we will choose to spend a day just with our kids…no errands, no presents, no chores….just spending time doing something that our kids enjoy…one on one time with mom or dad or both.   When I look back on my childhood, it was not the big moments but the little moments that meant so much to me…the time spent responding to my questions, helping me with a problem, enjoying my company and caring about the things that I was interested in…this is what children need, want and crave.  How do you navigate the holiday season as a parent….

I believe, that in this holiday season, one of the most fitting gifts that we can give our children is the gift of our unconditional Love for them and remaining grounded in the Hope for their life and this world!!


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November-Focus on Gratitude Living the Good Better Best Life Through W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.

IMG_3797 Gratitude is a key ingredient of good health. Each day we can find something to be grateful for, especially when we know all those who have significant life challenges or health challenges…each day that we can wake up, see, hear, get out of a nice warm bed and walk, breath fresh air, have a family that we love and share a good meal for breakfast is a gift.  This month of Thanksgiving, I am grateful for my daughter, and good, wholesome, nutritious food to eat.  I share this picture of today’s lunch.  A tuna fish salad sandwich.  I combined the tuna fish with cut up Gingergold apples and craisins mixed with some dijon mustard.  I spread this on a whole wheat tortilla wrap and sprinkled fresh chopped kale.  I have also found my Vitamix is a great way for bringing more wholesome, nutrient dense foods into my diet.   It is so incredibly helpful to make quick easy meals or drinks especially for busy moms.  Each morning now I put a few ounces of water into my vitamix and throw in a whole grapefruit-(I only peel the skin off) and the Vitamix blends it into delicious fresh grapefruit juice in a matter of about 30 seconds.   This one is obviously from a pink grapefruit and it was so incredibly delicious and satisfying!!  There are so many healthful recipes out there but I thought I would start November by sharing this one with you!  This will add really wonderful antioxidants and phytochemicals to your body to give it the best chance for staying healthy and well nourished for the long term…Bon Appetit!

photo 9Have you ever kept a Gratitude Journal?…it can be a Healing Tool…well this month with a Focus on Gratitude, I am starting a Mini-Gratitude Journal and I encourage you to do the same….there are so many benefits for healing and a great gift to give to our children!!  Nov 1:  I am grateful for WONDERFUL AND THOUGHTFUL COLLEAGUES who offered their support to help me with my patients especially Claire S. and John R.  Nov 2:  I am grateful for the support of my Self-Attunement Meditation Teacher who has taught me how to connect with my authentic self!!  (It has taken me years to do this!!)     Nov 3: I am grateful for the colorful foliage and the ability to see it!


Nov 4: So grateful for my wonderful mentor, Dr Howard Koh, who has been a Champion of Cancer Prevention for 30+ years and has helped guide me with his wisdom about Cancer Prevention along the way  Nov 5:  Grateful to my generous and thoughtful daughter who made me a very delicious and wholesome smoothie for breakfast this morning…she did it without even asking! Nov 6: Feeling grateful for supportive colleagues on a busy oncology inpatient unit  Nov 7: Feeling grateful for an easy commute to work                                                                                                    Nov 8: Feeling grateful for smart and dedicated colleagues who helped me with a busy assignment especially Catherine, Stephanie and Colleen!  Nov 9:  So grateful for a Magnificent poem Love After Love by Derek Wolcott Nov 10: Feeling lucky that I’m still young enough to enjoy  going out to dinner and to have fun at the Lila/Jarle Bernhoft and Allen Stone concert with a dear friend Nov 11:  Feeling Gratitude towards all the Veterans who have dedicated their lives to giving us a safer, better and more free life Nov 12: Feeling happy to know that almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, Brazil nuts, filberts [hazelnuts], macadamias,  pine nuts, and pistachios have been found to be beneficial for heart health (Del Gobbo LC, Falk MC, Feldman R, Lewis K, Mozaffarian D. Effects of tree nuts on blood lipids, apolipoproteins, and blood pressure: systematic review, meta-analysis, and dose-response of 61controlled intervention trials. Am J Clin Nutr 2015 Nov 11).   Nov 13: Sending out positive thoughts to all the first responders in Paris during the terrorist attacks there today Nov 14:  Feeling grateful that my daughter chose to be part of the Dreamfar Marathon Training Team with her high school…Go Kels!!                                                                                                                                  photo 11

Nov 15:  Grateful for a beautiful sunset to enjoy   Nov 16: Grateful to a good friend, Anne, who joined me for a Community Educ talk about how we can be a Force for Good in the world  Nov 17:  Grateful for the new movie, In Defense of Food, based on Michael Pollan’s book!  Nov 18: Feeling so fortunate that I was able to spend some time in Maine today, be outdoors and enjoy the gorgeous sunshine! Nov 19:  Blessed with hearing to enjoy the bird songs Nov 20: Sick today, but thankful it’s only the flu and not anything serious Nov 21: Enjoying Journal Club at work today Nov 22:  Remembering JFK today and Grateful to have grown up with inspiring leaders like JFK, RFK and Martin Luther King Jr. who shared their wisdom with quotes like, “Ask not what your country can do for you, Ask what you can do for your country” Nov 23:  Glad to have a day off to rest Nov 24:  Thankful for the support I receive from my community Nov 25: Feeling lucky to have time to meditate so I can rejuvenate my energy before the long work weekend        Nov 26:  Thanksgiving Day!  What a memorable Thanksgiving meal with all my co-workers..having fun while working!!  Nov 27:  Blessed to be able to walk to and from work-de-stressing before work Nov 28: Thankful for parking at work  Nov 29:  Glad to be back home again Nov 30 Grateful for a Meditation Teacher who challenges me to practice  Meditation Whole-Heartedly, Whole-Mindfully and Whole-Soulfully!

May you Each Find the Grateful Moments in Each Day

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October-Breast Cancer Awareness Month Living the Good. Better. Best. Life Through W.E.L.L.N.E.S.S.

Aurelie + KelsAs a Mom and long time Clinical Oncology Nurse/ Nurse Practitioner, one of my most passionate goals, as a parent, is to keep my daughter healthy and cancer free for the Long Term.  I know that I only have the most influence in the first 18 years of her life but I also know these are some of the THE MOST IMPORTANT TIMES FOR LONG TERM HEALTH!!  What we eat in childhood, the exercise habits that we establish and the environments that we are exposed to set many of the risks for good health or disease throughout our entire life.   I am a human parent.  I do my best. I make mistakes. I learn. I readjust.   I try to improve my parenting skills and I try to develop better habits for the benefit of my daughter as well as myself.

This month, of Breast Cancer Awareness, I am thrilled to share that there is good news in the Breast Cancer Community for all of us who are working hard, and hopefully having fun, to give our kids a better life!   Dr Susan Love (Dr Susan Love Research Foundation) and Nancy Brinker  (Susan Komen Foundation) are collaborating to raise the bar to find the cause of breast cancer in the hopes of preventing it!!! They are launching a new digital service which can distribute videos and timely information about breast cancer and its ROOT CAUSE!!   For anyone who wants to help in this effort, I highly recommend enrolling in the HOW Study…Health of Women Study…an international online research study for women and men WITH and WITHOUT breast cancer…already over 52,000 have enrolled in this study!

For those who want to PREVENT Breast Cancer as well as SURVIVE with Breast Cancer, the two best things that I can suggest is to Eat Nutrient Dense Whole Foods as well as get 20 minutes of Aerobic (pumps up the heart rate) Exercise Every Day….for Life Long Health! Recommended Reading of the Month:

It has much useful information on Nutrition and Good Health!!

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