Archive for the ‘health and medicine’ Category


Twenty years ago, I didn’t know the difference between annuals and perennials (hint: the former dies off each year, the latter returns), or how to grow vegetables. Twenty years ago, I was newly married, saving up to buy our first house, a fixer-upper that would exhaust most of our (very limited) time and money. Plaster and lathe, exposed wires, and vintage linoleum, oh my.

But the joy and wisdom that came from cultivating my own little garden? Abundant.  (more…)

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20180828_105302.jpgFor those that follow me here or on my business Facebook page, you’ve seen my postings on the therapeutic benefits of gardening. When I’m not in the office, I’m usually either working on my hobby farm, writing, or parenting. This morning, I was struck yet again regarding the parallels that run beneath these varied experiences of being human.


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Sharing-meal-eating-habits_blogCheck out the NPR podcast, the Hidden Brain, interviewing a social scientist who has spent his career investigating our relationship with food.


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Rainbow heart of fruits and vegetables


A must-read article, which explores the notion that “food, and the very rituals of eating, could also have the power to heal afflictions of the mind.” Check out the following statements by Jeffrey Zurofsky, the culinary director of a treatment center in California, who also sits on an advisory board at the Friedman School of Nutrition at Tufts:

“It’s not just that food can affect and change emotions…but that the entire act of eating, the physical process—farm to table in the most literal sense—can be analogous to the trauma healing process.

We talk about understanding of, and comprehension around, what is the true healing power of this food,” he says. “The ideas around the transformative power of not just food, but the table, and the context in which we enjoy our food, and the memories we create, and the social connections that we make in that experience—how powerful that is to heal us.”

Zurofsky even has a name for the approach: the meal as medicine.


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“We are lacking intimacy with the activity – and reactivity – of our minds…,” which can have tremendous impact on our health and well-being.

Humorous, relevant, and deeply embedded in wisdom: check out this new lecture by one of my most influential teachers of mindfulness meditation.


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As I mentioned in a recent past Facebook posting, I’ll be including the ACE’s (“adverse childhood experiences”) quiz in my standard new client packet in the New Year, so we can work together more effectively to identify all of the factors (past and present) that might be impacting your current health concerns. The good news is that with the rise of trauma-informed care, more providers – medical and behavioral health – are utilizing multi-disciplinary approaches to prevent the occurrence of problems that might arise due to a history of trauma, abuse, or neglect, and to more effectively treat any issues if they do emerge. In addition, psychologists are uniquely posed to help individuals build resilience in the face of adversity.

To obtain your ACE’s score and learn more about the ACE’s study, visit this article. I encourage you to share this information with all of your healthcare team members, as appropriate. And I should point out, while the ACE’s quiz is helpful in identifying risk factors, it does not include a review of the various positive experiences (i.e. loving and attentive family members or teachers, supportive role models) that you might have experienced as well, to offset any past negative events.

Finally, remember that it’s never too late to learn how to connect with others and to engage in more skillful, healthy self-care!

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fork and plateRonna Kabatznick, Ph.D., a Center for Mindful Eating (TCME) Board Member and an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSF, offers some advice on how to set up a daily mindful eating practice.


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