Kicked in the Pants, Part 2

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Posted by Judy Moon

A few weeks back I posted “What To Do When You Get Kicked In The Pants“, a post about a detox I discovered that was much needed after over indulging for a weekend celebrating dear friends wedding day. It was a weekend of laughing , eating amazing food and maybe indulging in one too many cocktail and slider. So I tried this secret detox drink.

Here’s what I noticed:

  • Within one day my digestion shifted.
  • I had started to feel a little “refluxey” , not sure if that’s a word, but you get the picture, and within a day, those symptoms vanished
  • Within a few days, I was used to the taste. I actually grew to like it. The stevia helped for sure!
  • I felt more energized
  • My appetite shifted- I was less hungry between meals and more satisfied when I ate.
  • I felt like I craved less junky foods and my salads started to look like old friends again.
  • I felt less bloated
  • At the end of the 2 weeks I had dropped a few pounds.

I made all three servings of the fresh lemon juice, Braggs Apple Cider, cinnamon, cayenne and a little stevia with some water in quart jar for the day each day.

I typically drink water with lemon first thing in the morning, but now I have shifted to this lovely concoction and I have to say I really love it. I love ritual in my life and there is something that feels good about starting my day this way.

I will definitely add this to my arsenal of secret weapons to reboot myself when I have a little too much fun. And with the holidays right around the corner…enough said.

Happy Detoxing!


Are You As Passionate for Pumpkin As I Am?

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Posted by Judy Moon

This is the time of year when it’s all about pumpkin. Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin latte, Great Pumpkin Smoothie, pumpkin body scrubs, pumpkin pie – you get the picture. Don’t get me wrong, this girl loves her pumpkin, as my mantle shows, but sometimes I prefer it in a more savory way.

I was super excited to find this recipe a while ago on the Food in Jars website. Marisa McClellan is a local Philly gal and makes canning seem easy and fun! I’ve done a workshop with her and consult her book Food in Jars, Preserving in Small Batches from time to time.

I LOVE this soup and it couldn’t be easier. I always have the ingredients on hand in my pantry and you can have tasty soup in a flash. True confession – I often use canned pumpkin from the grocery store and I think it works just fine when I don’t have any fresh pumpkin to play with.

Curried Pumpkin Coconut Soup


  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder (use your favorite)*
  • 2 pints pressure canned pumpkin (with their canning liquid)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • sea salt to taste

Combine onion and coconut oil in a small soup pot. Cook until onion softens and browns. Add curry powder and cook until it is fragrant.

Add pumpkin cubes, their canning liquid and the coconut milk. Stir to combine. Add up to one coconut milk can of water should it need a bit of thinning.

Bring to a bubble, reduce to a simmer and place a lid on the pot. Cook until onions are tender.

When soup is done, blitz it with an immersion blender. Taste and add salt as necessary.

Eat and enjoy.

*If you don’t have any home canned pumpkin, use 1-15 ounce can of commercial pumpkin and one can of water.

Who Doesn’t Love a Wand?

Posted by Judy Moon

Kansa wands have become one of my new favorite healing tools.

First of all, I just like saying it – Kansa Wand. It sounds magical, a little “Harry Potteresque.”

What the heck are they?

A Kansa Wand is an Ayurvedic healing tool. The end is made of an ancient blend of metals known as “healing metals”. Tools like this have been used for centuries in India to enhance health, increase energy, relieve stress promote overall wellness and longevity. The repetitive strokes pull acidity of the tissues. So the process is mildly detoxifying and rebalancing.

Other benefits include:

  • Stimulates the lymphatic system.
  • Revitalizes tired feet
  • Eases pain and tension in muscles
  • Pulls excess heat from the boduy
  • Helps induce deep relaxation and can improve the quality of sleep
  • Benefits internal organs in the same way reflexology can by stimulating the major energy nerve endings in the feet
  • Provides a gentle lift to the face
  • The electrical conductivity of the metal works on the subtle electrical system of the body that runs in the meridians and chakras, having a balancing and revitalizing effect
  • It tunes the body in a similar way to listening to gong sounds that lift the spirits

We are currently spotlighting this treatment for fall with our All About Autumn package – it’s a full body massage incorporating the Kansa Wands and ending with some refreshing apple cider and ginger snaps.

We recently had a visit from Laura from Girl Around Town for the treatment. Check out the link for the review!

Happy fall!

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What To Do When You Get Kicked In The Pants!

Posted by Judy Moon

I recently went to the most beautiful wedding. Good friends of ours got married in a park where the leaves were just starting to turn those soft beautiful shades of gold and the light from the sun peeking through the branches. They stood under an arbor that the groom made himself (it’s nice to have a handy man!), decorated with hydrangea and fall grasses and they spoke their vows to each other with all of us as witnesses. It was lovely. Not a dry eye in the crowd, not even my husband!

The reception was equally as wonderful – a brunch at Bolete restaurant,– farm to table food – chicken and biscuit sliders, halibut ceviche tacos, mushroom flatbreads, duck hash with poached eggs, butterscotch pudding, just to name a few of the highlights. The groom not only is handy, but is also a Mixologist and had a very swanky cocktail menu with catchy names.

Spending a weekend of fun, amazing food, raising your glass for many toasts is one of my favorite ways to spend time with friends, especially if you are celebrating such a special occasion. However it can also leave you feeling like you got kicked in the pants!

Luckily, I happened to see this “secret detox drink” that someone shared on Facebook. I love synchronicity – need a detox – here you go! I have done my share of cleanses, juice cleanses, etc, but I was looking for something new and not as extreme as the 21 day Clean program I usually do in January. This was appealing to me since it’s a variation on some things I am already doing daily- I already drink water with lemon and apple cider vinegar every morning, so this is just more of that with some cinnamon and some cayenne. Kind of like the Master Cleanse, but you only do this for 2 weeks and you just eat healthy meals. You just drink the secret detox drink 20 minutes before your meals. I will keep you posted on my experience and if it rejuvenated me at all!

Photo from Megan Keller Photography

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Here’s to Daydreaming!

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Posted by Gwyn MacDonald

Well, it’s finally happened. Science has proven that what I’ve been doing for most of my life is actually very important and beneficial to our brain health. I’m talking about daydreaming (Not to be confused with procrastinating, which I can take to Olympian levels, believe me!).

You know what I mean. Wandering around in the valleys and mountains of your mind. Building your dream garden or meditation space in your mind. Creating that spectacular clothing line in fabric that you designed or dyed yourself. Starring in that movie or novel you’ve been concocting for a few years now. Or just traveling around and embracing what ever shows up.

We all do it, but most of us stop ourselves and get back to being more “productive” as soon as possible. Daydreamers have gotten a bad reputation in the past but check out some of the benefits of daydreaming, excerpted from a cool article in the Huffington Post, How daydreaming can actually make you smarter:

These rewards include self- awareness, creative incubation, improvisation and evaluation, memory consolidation, autobiographical planning, goal driven thought, future planning, retrieval of deeply personal memories, reflective consideration of the meaning of events and experiences, simulating the perspective of another person, evaluating the implications of self and others’ emotional reactions, moral reasoning, and reflective compassion… From this personal perspective, it is much easier to understand why people are drawn to mind wandering and willing to invest nearly 50 percent of their waking hours engaged in it.

I say, get back to daydreaming, right away! You know you were going to….

Who Needs a Hug?

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Posted by Judy Moon

I am a hugger, I will admit it.

I was recently saying good night to my peeps after a wild and crazy night of knitting and my friend Tina went to hug me and she said “whoops, wrong way” and switched directions. She knows I like to hug “heart to heart”. My friend Melissa questioned this right side wrong side conversation and I explained that when I learned the LifeLine Technique, I was taught by someone that instead of raising you right arm and leaning in towards the left, if you do the opposite you are connecting hearts when you hug. I love that! I do my best to convert anyone I hug.

It made me think about hugging in general and it’s history.

Wikipedia states – A hug is a near universal form of physical intimacy in which two people put their arms around the neck, back, or waist of one another and hold each other closely. If more than two persons are involved, this is informally referred to as a group hug.

My research revealed that hugging seems to be a natural innate thing that we do. Our bodies are hard wired for this type of connection.

There was a very cool study in the 50’s involving baby monkeys. They created these “surrogate monkey moms” out of wire. One mom had access to a bottle so the baby could eat, the other mom was covered with a fuzzy surface that the baby could cuddle into. As the monkeys began to thrive, the ones who spent more time cuddling with fuzzy mom did better than the ones who didn’t. Way cool!

So I’ve already mentioned that I dig the heart to heart hug, which by the way, totally throws some people off. Is ii because a lot of people are right handed? Is that hugging from the heart is too intimate for some? I’m not sure.

Brain research also shows that it takes 20 seconds of connection for the hormone oxytocin to be released. This is the same powerful hormone that increases during lovemaking, child birthing, and kissing. Oxytocin acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain and increases the bond we feel with others. So whenever my husband gives me a hug, he jokingly will start counting to me.

Next time you give someone a hug, try switching it to the other side and if you are really feeling it – go for the 20 second hug- spread that oxytocin!


Tell Me You Love Me

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Posted by Gwyn MacDonald

It’s short and sweet today folks, but very, very important.

As I’ve said before, all we have are moments and before we know it many moments have passed before we realize how long it’s been since we’ve seen a dear friend or called a distant relative or thanked someone for helping us when we needed it.


Tell the people you love that you love them! Freely and Often!

And if you are with them, give them a hug too! Don’t think I need to add too much more here, do I?

With Love,



Image Map This photo shows some of my personal favorite handmade items!

Posted by Gwyn MacDonald

I am a lucky woman. Everyday (yes, everyday!) I drink out of a cup or eat from a bowl that was made by a dear friend. I wear earrings or rings or scarves and hats also made by people I love. Everyday I have these lovely people in my heart (or my ears..heehee).

Thank you! How sweet is that!

These amazing folks, aside from being my beloved friends, are fabulous professional artisans and crafts people and I am honored that they have shared their work with me. Their passion for their craft, for beauty, form and nature is present in the work and when I wear a piece or sip my tea, I feel that energy, that vibration.

Our home is filled with beautiful mementos that friends and loved ones have created for us; cards, ornaments, drawings, photos, clocks, pottery, magnets… I could go on but I think you get it! So special.

There is nothing like handmade/homemade. Whether you are talking cookies, a knit hat or an intricate wooden sculpture made by a pro, holding handmade in your hands is powerful!

To see more work from the artisans above check out their sites:
David Voll Pottery
Lisa Havelin Metals
Dana Zeck Weaving

If you’re located in Philly, check out Art Star! This excellent boutique and gallery is all about the artisan and hand crafted work. Local and national work is represented in this unique space, owned and operated by two amazing ladies – Erin Waxman and Megan Brewster – they are fabulous artists and my friends!

What are you making these days?


Celebrating Another Milestone, or Just Another Excuse for More Champagne

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Posted by Judy Moon

We recently celebrated our one year anniversary of the Wellness Seed blog. I am super excited about that and very proud of stepping our of the box and doing something that I didn’t think I could do. And I am even more excited that my Associates also wanted to contribute – go team!

I am also celebrating another one year anniversary – it has been a year since I started my Mindfulness Meditation practice. More champagne corks popping please!

I go to the beach the first week of September every year and last year I posted The Body Scan about packing my bags with Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat Zinn, the guided Mindfulness CDS for practice and acting as if I was enrolled in the eight week Mindfulness Based Meditation course. It’s all laid out in the book for you and I thought vacation would be the perfect time to kick off that 45 minute body scan daily. Daily mediation on the beach – easy peasey- NOT!

I have dabbled over the years in meditation, being very diligent for periods of time but never had a really strong dedicated practice. I clearly remember sitting in my beach chair last year hearing Jon’s soft voice in my ears saying -“let go of the tendency we all have of wanting things to be different from what they are right now and allow things to be exactly where you find them” and wanting to hunt him down and argue with him. Granted, I was stressed at the time, hence wanting to do the meditation. In my mind, the meditation was going to take me away from being stressed. However, it just ended the war. The stressful things were still there, but I could breath slower. They didn’t control me. I learned to be in JUST THIS MOMENT. I don’t have to worry about what if’s and what’s next and what I can’t control. I could choose to feel different. It’s just a breath away.

I recently went through the eight weeks again with my associate and partner in crime, Gwyn. It was good to have someone to share with, bounce things off of, and keep me accountable and laugh when we would say, “wait, which week are we in?” A client suggested we do something to celebrate together, like a full day of Mindfulness together, maybe some periods of silence, etc. We are planning it but it is also going to include a swanky lunch and a trip to the Dansko outlet – all good things should be celebrated with shoe shopping!

I am grateful for my practice and to Jon Kabat Zinn and all of his hard work and inspiration.

I have two wellness seeds to leave you with –

The first is a piece about Meditation and Children and some really amazing work that teachers are doing with their students – (have some tissues ready- I got teary!)

The second seed is just pure meditation fun- don’t forget to breathe


Here’s the Good News

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Posted by Gwyn MacDonald

Earlier in the summer I heard a great program on Radio Times, here in Philadelphia.

The topic was stress and the news and each of the guests had valuable information about how the media can affect our everyday lives and stress levels in both positive and negative ways.

As we all know, we are surrounded by media of some kind or another, and it takes a conscious effort to avoid becoming overwhelmed. The challenge is finding the balance between being informed about and engaged in our world, be it at the local or broader level, and taking control of the content that we allow in to our minds and bodies. Much of what goes on in the world is intense, violent and heartbreaking. And with an endless news cycle we are hearing and seeing these things repeatedly.

Research has shown that this inundation of stressful news events can cause as much or even MORE stress than if you were actually at the traumatic event. Let’s say that again:

Research has shown that this inundation of stressful news events can cause as much or even MORE stress than if you were actually at the traumatic event.
 Wow. That stopped me in my tracks, people.

So, what to we do with that information? 
Well first, please listen to that fantastic broadcast. Second, turn off the news today sooner than you did yesterday. Don’t read every tragic story in the newspaper. Check out the comics page first thing instead of last.

Join a group in your local community and volunteer at their next event. And check out The Good News Network.
Publisher and editor of this network, Geri Weis Corbly was one of the guests on that excellent radio show. She worked in the news industry for many years and at some point realized that while there were many wonderful things happening in the world, they weren’t grabbing the headlines like she thought they should. The Good News Network has been around for years and I’ve recently started to check it out on a regular basis. It’s very cool!
Don’t be fooled, it’s not fluff or blind to the realities of the world.
It’s just reminding us about balance. Reminding us that we have a choice in how we live our lives everyday. And of the goodness in the world and the power of the human spirit to love, support and be kind to one another, every day, over and over and over.

Now that is a cycle worth repeating!

For more on how to find balance in a stressful world, check out Voices in the Family with Dr. Dan Gottlieb. His archive is filled with some fantastic guests and conversations on this very topic.


How to Reboot Your Healthy Living Mindset

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By Judy Moon and Associates Guest Blogger: Ali M. Shapiro, MS, CHHC

“The week before my period. For. Get. It. Chips. Chocolate. Fries! Working out? Blah. I know what I should do. But I don’t do it. I have no clue why.”

This confession—delivered in a tone weighed down by shame, sadness, and frustration—comes in the early weeks of my Truce with Food program. This participant (let’s call her Andrea) has been conditioned to expect more confusing nutrition facts, a detox, or to be prescribed yet another strict diet.

But what Andrea needs is not more information, she needs more understanding.

For veteran dieters like Andrea, the fall season feels like a second New Year. Another chance to get it right. And yet, lasting results? Elusive. Willpower? Most burn through reserves in two weeks. Rinse and repeat. But why?

One culprit: The same mindset of restriction and vigilance around food (that feeds the dieting-shame cycle) persists.

A good first step in stopping this cycle is to reboot your healthy living mindset. To do this requires a multi-pronged approach.

Here is a snapshot of how I guided Andrea (and what lessons you can draw). To frame this, I’ll borrow inspiration from another client who described me as the Swiss Army knife of wellness, “You’re like a nutritionist, trainer, and psychologist in one package!”

Nutritionist: Simple Doesn’t Mean Easy.

Many women believe PMS just comes with the territory. Nope. You can drastically lessen or eliminate “symptoms” when you learn to eat and exercise with your body’s rhythms.

Andrea was diagnosed with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). What she thought she “should” eat was actually aggravating her condition.

One culprit: Luna bars. The soy protein isolate in these added excess estrogen, aggravating her PMDD. We swapped in KIND bars and homemade trail mix containing nuts. One root cause of PMDD is deregulated blood sugar; the real fat from nuts served to stabilize this.

Andrea didn’t need a complicated plan, she needed to get back to basics with real whole foods. Soon, Andrea’s symptoms and period week no longer caused her such distress and her cravings and moods improved. Because she felt these shifts internally—and wasn’t chastised by some plan or authority figure—her motivation to stick with these changes lasted.

For you: Add in more whole foods to crowd out processed ones (no packages). Eggs with the yolks. Full-fat yogurt. Vegetables. Fruits. You know, the perimeter of your grocery store. Cringed reading the words “full-fat”? You’re not alone. In my program, I dispel nutrition myths keeping you right where the food companies (and the diet industry) want you.

Trainer: Context Is Everything.

Most people hire trainers for accountability. Yet many trainers ignore context: Your body is a machine and they’re the mechanics.

Andrea traveled frequently for work. She was constantly “on.” Despite being exhausted—especially during the last two weeks of her menstrual cycle—she forced herself onto hotel gym treadmills. Physiologically, the excess cardio further aggravated her blood sugar. Psychologically, exercise became punishment for bad food choices. But then those same “bad” food choices became a (secret) reward for exercising.

For you: Are you bored? Need a new exercise routine or creative outlet? Do you need lighter workouts like yoga and walking to help your body heal? Contextualize what’s right for you at this moment.

Psychologist: I’m Not Where I Want to Be.

Diets fail for many reasons, but mainly because they don’t address the deeper beliefs guiding our behaviors.

One of the ways to delve into these beliefs is by exploring the concept of growth mindset. Coined by Dr. Carol Dweck, this strategy focuses on rewarding yourself for effort versus outcome to paradoxically exceed your goals.

With food, this means replacing judgment with curiosity. Instead of beating yourself up, you learn to ask the right questions to figure out why you did what you did. And when you succeed? You’ll know what worked.

Over time, Andrea discovered much of her secret eating during the last two weeks of her cycle came from resisting feeling “emotional.” She felt bad for feeling bad! She closed off this side of herself from the people she needed the most. The solution: She expressed her needs to her loved ones. When she needed the courage and support, she had me and the other strong women in our group on standby.

For you: Next time you self-sabotage, tell yourself you haven’t figured this out…YET! Adding “yet” shifts you onto a learning (not punishment) curve that will serve as the bridge to get you from where you are to where you want to be.

The strategies introduced in this short post are necessarily just the tip of the iceberg. If you’d like a deeper dive, click here to receive the first lesson of my Truce with Food program for FREE! You have nothing to lose (other than another season of dieting) and stand to gain more than you ever thought possible.

Ali Shapiro, MS, CHHC, is a health coach, speaker, and author. She combines her background in functional medicine, holistic health counseling, and Masters degree from the University of Pennsylvania in her Truce with Food® program. Ali is also a 22-year cancer survivor.

Ali has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo Shopping, Huffington Post, Redbook Magazine, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Magazine, and was a regular health contributor to the NBC 10! Show. She’s also appears on popular wellness sites such as KrisCarr.com, MindBodyGreen, and Tiny Buddha.


Pop the Champagne!

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Posted by Judy Moon

Happy Birthday Wellness Seeds! You are officially one year old! You might be saying to yourself… soooo????

Well, It’s a big deal for me. It took a lot of coaxing from someone very special to me and that California Girl knows who she is!

I am creative in a lot of different ways – in my garden, with cooking, I knit, I even play with colored pencils and a Mandala coloring book, I love crafts, I like to paint, – you get the picture, if there’s glitter or a glue stick involved – count me in!

But writing – that took me out of my comfort zone. It was personal, it was exposing, just to name a few of the million excuses I gave to not start a blog. Probably my biggest excuse/fear was- “Who wants to hear what I have to say? Who cares?”

Well to my surprise – people do care- who knew?!

The other big surprise – drum roll please…

I enjoy writing! Yes, I said it out loud for the whole universe to see.

So my anniversary Wellness Seed for you today is –

Step out of the box, do something new and different, something that makes you a little uncomfortable, It doesn’t have to be big. Change is the essence of our life. 

You might be surprised. It may even turn out to be something that you really enjoy and puts a smile on your face and that is good medicine in my book.