Clean Up Your Eating Plan……Get Inspired…..Nourish your WHOLE SELF!!

by Wendy Midgley, MEd, RD, LDN, CDE and Deb Brothers-Klezmer,  BSN, RN-BC, CRRN, NCTMB

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude”. -Maya Angelou

Holidays behind, mid-January is a great time to fire up those intentions, if we haven’t already.  Or kick them up a notch, if we have already started!

In Massachusetts, we recently experienced the inauguration of our new Governor and Lieutenant Governor. Regardless of which party one supports:  we are INSPIRED with their CLEAR MESSAGE of:

  1. COMMIT to the NEW
  2. Roll up your sleeves, Dig in, and do FOCUSED WORK (Take Action)! 
  3. PARTNERSHIP (Engage in meaningful work with others, as well as with your best self!)

The word inauguration typically applies to Politics. But INAUGURATE also means: “to bring about the beginning of, to dedicate ceremoniously, and to observe formally the beginning of”.

***Why not INAUGURATE OURSELVES into a NEW CHAPTER and a HIGHER ORDER…..into the best NEW YOU?***

                           What inspirations are seeking to emerge?

                           Turn these INSPIRATIONS  into INTENTIONS.

 Instead of feeling “blue” or confined this winter season, we can make small changes NOW that lead to BIG SHIFTS by Spring!

  • Write down clearly what you want and WHAT YOU INTEND.
  • 1 to 2 small steps can be enough to raise our energy and lift our spirits! 
  • Look at yourself in the mirror and declare it so!



In the NUTRITION arena:

  1. Clean up your way of eating.   Cook more home-made meals, freeze extras in individual containers. Make delicious home-made soups and stews. (A soup recipe is included at end of BLOG. SOUP RECIPE Websites are included under REFERENCES)
  2. Clean out the fridge, kitchen cabinets and cupboards, Toss out “junk food,” unhealthy processed items, old spices and condiments, as well as mystery foods in the refrigerator and freezer. OPEN SPACE for new healthy foods.
  3. Stock healthy food items such as: fresh and frozen vegetables, whole grains, fruits including frozen berries and in-season citrus fruits, local apples; organic chicken and turkey, grass-fed beef, organic eggs, organic soup stocks, nuts and nuts butters, beans and lentils, organic protein powders, low-fat dairy products,  organic coconut and almond milks, natural herbs and flavorings.
  4. Drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel as thirsty as in hot weather. Include water, herbal and decaf teas, soups, vegetable juices, low-calorie almond and coconut milks, coconut water,  yogurt and yogurt beverages. Diets high in vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables, naturally include more fluid.

***Cleaning up our food choices results in cleaning up and cleaning out our insides–which results in numerous benefits:  better energy, weight loss, clearer thinking, increased immunity, improved sleeping.  ***

FOR more CLEANING up your NUTRITION ideas, check out:

  • JJ Virgin’s website . FREE website offers. BOOKS to purchase: The Virgin Diet, Sugar Impact Diet, and The Virgin Diet Cookbook. Focus: food sensitivities, healthy diet, weight loss, recipes.
  • THINspired. Book by Maria Schiavocampo. Healthy weight loss, tips on how to stop eating the trigger foods that derail us.
  • Dr. Oz’s Total 10 Plan. Points include: smaller meals/snacks throughout day. FOOD LIST includes lots of veggies, vegetable broths, some fruits, healthy snacks like kale and zucchini chips, roasted cauliflower and chickpeas. A good protein source at each meal. Recipes provided. Elimination of sugar, dairy, alcohol, processed foods. OK 1 cup regular coffee.  Don’t eat after 8 PM.


  1. Get plenty of rest and sleep. Take “cat naps”– if that suits you and you have time.

***Give in to planned relaxation and times of “taking it easy”. Make friends with Winter and hibernate a bit like the animals and vegetation!**

2. As well as rest: Stay Active by bundling up and taking walks outdoors, or bundling up and going to the gym! OR:  Put on your favorite exercise or yoga DVD and do your physical activity at home.

3. Take a Day Trip or Mini-Vacation to a new destination.

4.  Read a good book that INSPIRES, entertains and/or fascinates you!

5.  Meditate, pray, dream, enjoy quiet times.

6.  Listen to uplifting music. Light candles or diffuse aromatherapy into your home.

7.  Volunteer at a soup kitchen, for elderly or child services or other programs.


CLEANING out Storage areas:

  1. Clean out closets, bureaus, cupboards, shelves, and cabinets of old unnecessary “stuff!”
  2. Venture into the cellar (or garage or attic, if not too cold) and assess WHAT CAN GO! 

What do you really never wear? What books will you likely never read again? Will you ever use that old exercycle again?  Do you really need all those decorations and knick-knacks?

3.  Donate items (clean and in good shape).   Most towns have DROP BOXES for CLOTHING as well as for BOOKS.   You can also donate to favorite charities. For certain items and bulk pick-ups, organizations like GOOD WILL may come to your house to take it away. Here are 3 websites for information re: pick-up services:


A yummy soup recipes for you, Bon Appetit!

Turkey Italian Sausage and Vegetable Soup

 Prep time: 30 minutes;   Total time: 1 hour and 30 minutes. Serves: 6


  • 16 oz package of Sweet Italian Sausage (can also use turkey and chicken sausage; organic best)
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 large carrots cut into ¼ “ thick half moons, ~ 1.5 cups
  • 2 medium zucchinis cut into 1/4” thick half moons, ~1.5 cups
  • 4 celery stalks cut ¼” thick, ~1.5 cups
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped medium, ~1.5 cups
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped fine
  • 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 32 oz chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 Tablespoon of thyme spice
  • ¼ cup orzo pasta (optional)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • Salt and pepper
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese for topping (optional)


  1. In a heavy bottom pot, heat 1 T. olive oil over medium high heat.  Add in the whole sausages and brown the outside ~ 5 minutes, turning every minute. Put the sausages aside on a plate.
  2. In the oil, add in the carrots, zucchini, celery and onions. Add in 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon pepper (pepper to taste) . Cook over medium heat, scraping up any brown bits from the sausage on the bottom of the pot and stirring occasionally. Cook until onions turn translucent, about 10 minutes.
  3. While vegetables are cooking, slice the sausages a little more than ¼ “ thick. It is OK if they are still pink in the middle, they will continue cooking in the soup.
  4. When the onions have turned translucent and the vegetables have cooked through, add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Then add in the can of diced tomatoes, soup stock, sliced sausages and 1 Tablespoon of thyme. Cook over low heat, uncovered for 40 minutes.
  5. After the soup has cooked for 40 minutes, add in ¼ cup of orzo (optional). Stir and continue cooking for 15 minutes, uncovered.
  6. After the orzo had cooked for 15 minutes, add in 2 big handfuls of fresh spinach, stir to combine.
  7. Taste to see if it needs more salt and pepper.   (Depending on how spicy the sausages are–you will need more or less pepper.)
  8. Take the soup off heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes. After the soup has rested for 5 minutes– serve it topped with fresh parmesan cheese.
  9. Will keep in an air-tight container for 1 week in the fridge. Can be frozen for up to 6 months.

 NOTES:   Can be cooked in a slow cooker (see website below for more details.)

For gluten-free: leave out orzo,  or use ¼ cup rice instead. For low carbs: leave out both orzo and rice, and no other types of pasta either!


6 servings:   1 serving contains: 381 calories, 23 grams of carbs, 23 grams of protein,   22 grams of fat


“Being a positive thinker is not about ignoring reality in favor of aspirational thoughts. It is more about taking a proactive approach to your life, looking for effective ways to resolve conflict and coming up with creative solutions to problems.”    from “How to Become a Positive Thinker”  –Kendra Cherry

“Just Do It!!!   –Nike–


This Winter–NOURISH your WHOLE SELF: Body, Mind,  and Spirit!

Warm wishes to everyone,

The Wellness Shifter Ladies,

 Deb and Wendy




BOOKS on Whole Foods, “Clean” Eating:

  • CLEAN:  A Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself by Alejandro Junger, MD.
  • CLEAN EATS.  Recipe book by Alejandro Junger, MD
  • Naked Calories by Mira Calton,  CN and Jayson Calton, PhD  (their focus: a whole foods diet is high in microminerals–which help promote both overall health and weight loss).
  • The Inside Tract:  Your Good Gut Guide to Great Digestive Health by Gerard Mullin, MD and Kathy Madonna Swift, RD
  • The Swift Diet:  4 Weeks to Mend the Belly, Lose the Weight and Get Rid of Bloat by Kathy Madonna Swift, RD
  • Whole:  Rethinking the Science of Nutrition by T. Colin Campbell, PhD


  • First Thing Every Morning.   a 2015 Calendar by Lewis Timberlake
  • How Rich People Think (book) by Steve Siebold   (how thoughts matter in attracting abundance)
  • Inspiration:  365 Days a Year  (book) by Zig Ziglar
  • Quote Me:  World’s Most Inspiring Words (book of inspirational quotes from famous people around the world)  by Uplifting Publications





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