Stuck Places 


      I woke today feeling sad and heavy hearted.  I was also feeling stuck like this poor little guy above.  

     My mind reminded me of a conflict  I had the night before with my husband about his charger….a CHARGED UP conflict! The problem was simple but the communication was NOT!

     You know, one of those communication patterns, we all have, where what is meant is vasty different than what is said so the message is WAY, WAY different than intended.

     What he meant to say: “Im frustrated because my charger is missing but what he said was a whole lot more.

     What I meant to say: “I’m having a hard time following your story so please tell me what you need” but what I said was a whole lot more.

     With a redo we got there, but, boy  was there a lot in between about not feeling heard and validated and feeling mistreated and misunderstood. Yep, all from a charger.

     I know this may sound silly and it is, it truly is!  What isn’t silly; however, is how we communicate our needs.  Do we speak gently and consisely or do we speak harshly and defensively? Is there a sense of understanding or a tone of anger and condescension? Are we talking to resolve an issue or win a conflict? Do we leave the dialogue with a better understanding of ourselves and our partner or more confused than when we started?   Do we realize how to communicate effectively or are we doing the same old song and dance?  I believe this is what is meant by the admonition in Epbesians to “Speak the truth in love” in Ephesians 4.15.  Speaking our truth in loving ways can save us from a whole lot of stuck places!

     So what can we do about these stuck places? How do we make sure we are speaking the truth in love?   How do we get from a charged up place to a space of grace?  WE SPEAK THE TRUTH IN LOVE!  That’s what! 

     So, we take a deep breathe, pray and try again.  We call it a do-over in our home and that’s exactly we did,, and guess what, we got unstuck and, as God would have it, we found the charger too!


***If you’d like to try something new in your marriage and start speaking your truth in love, give us a call today at Turning Leaf Wellness Center and one of our counselors will be glad to assist you. Why not call today? ***

(410 ) 360-4242 @ 





  So, not many of you know my Chef husband and I both left corporate America over the past year.  (That’s us on the left with our children and granddaughter) We tired of the rat race even though it did pay each rat almost six figures to run.  I left my job first, June 7, 2015, to be exact, and my hubby left his seven months later on January 22, 2016.
     What were two income less fools to do?   So glad you asked! We had prayed about it for some time and were feeling drawn to expand my then small, private practice into a full fledged wellness center and that’s exactly what we have done.
     Who’d have thought a chef and a counselor would be working together, side by side, after all these years of marriage; yet,  that’s exactly what has happened. We’re just getting started. We both feel this is gonna be the ride of a lifetime.
     Hold on to your hats as we begin this journey together and see where God takes us. Oh, and remind us to hold onto our purse strings for a bit, we don’t have that rat race income anymore! Here’s to running our own race!




      52 weeks, 52 opportunities, 52 steps closer to your goals. This is the simplicity behind “52 Weeks to a New You”.  Before we begin; however, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

     Where would you like to be a year from now?
     How do you plan to get there? 
    What’s the biggest hurdle to your success? 
     Who can help you achieve your goals?

     While these and other questions may be difficult to answer, the challenge itself is pretty simple. Decide what your working on and then make one change weekly towards your goals.  It’s that simple!
     Chef and I decided to work on expanding and improving our wellness in all areas and to document our progress. We will continue to post what we discover along the way including new recipes, resources, and health tips of any kind: physical, emotional, psychological, social, relational, spiritual, etc., etc.   We will post our progress also!.  Meanwhile, here’s to being WELL because your health is your W-E-A-Lth!

The Journey Continues

      As our journey continues beyond the 30 day wellness challenge, it’s safe to say Chef and I have officially become health junkies. I wouldn’t say we’re fanatics (yet, hahaha), but we’re definitely junkies. 
     How do I know that, you ask? I’m not sure. Maybe it was the moment chef said he basically uses the outside of the grocery store now or when we decided to use zucchini for pizza crust or some other pivotal turning point.  Anyhow, it’s official. We’re health junkies.

     So, from one health junkie to another, here’s a couple recipes we tried and liked today.  See for yourself what you think….

Healthy Cherry Pie Smoothie


7 ounces vanilla protein shake
1 cup cherries
1 T oats
1/2 T maple syrup
1 cup ice

Mix in blender and enjoy

Green Leaf Mixed Salad


Green Leaf Mixed Salad Recipe

Green Leaf Lettuce
Vidala Onion
Feta Cheese

Mix as much as you prefer of each item and serve with your favorite dressing (we chose Italian) amd protein (we chose crabcakes)


Zero Days, Way to Go!

     Chef and I have lots to celebrate. Not only have we lost almost 10 pounds each, we found new and healthier versions for many things loved, feel energized, and have learned so much!   Here’s a few notes to self:

1.  Just about everything we love to eat has a healthier, more nutritional version and also tastes sooooooo good

2.  It wasn’t what I’ve been eating that’s packed on the pounds as much as what I’ve been drinking… diet soda, flavored drinks, fancy cocktails, etc., that have tons of sugar in them.

3.  We’re only beginning our wellness journey with food and we’re not willing to stop!

4.  Trying to find alternative and healthy ways to cook our favorite meals is lots of fun and like a couples scavenger hunt.

5. Having each other for support has made the journey and the challenge fun and more successful.

6.  Wellness is a lifestyle, not a diet or monthly challenge.

7.  Weight comes off when your body is fueled well and sticks like glue when your body is clogged up with chemicals,  sugar, and other empty nutrients.

8.  We both agree our “why we do this” is for our grandchildren and a satisfying life in our golden years, which, by the way, are coming faster than we planned, LOL!

P.S.  To celebrate our progress (certainly not perfection) and the 4th of July here in the States, we made this tasty, divine, adorable, fruit infused, spa water.  Give it a try.



6 pieces large watermelon slices
1 cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries, sliced
3 cups ice
Fresh water


Cut watermelon into star shapes using cookie cutter

Add blueberries and strawberries

Add ice to seep flavor from fruit

Top off with water

Refrigerate for 1 hour and serve


Home Stretch Strides

     With 5 days left on the 30 day wellness challenge, here’s the results. Drum roll please: Boom, Bang, Boom! 

      Chef has lost 9, unwanted pounds and I have lost 6.  How did this happen, you ask, in a few weeks? Simply by making lifestyle changes replacing foods we love with healthier ones.

     For example, instead of snacking on high calorie, low nutritional value potato chips, chef tweaked a recipe for Zucchini Chips


     This satisfies the desire to crunch and the craving for salt without breaking the health bank.

     He also made Zucchini Parmesan Sticks as opposed to Cheesy Breads sticks. 


      And, the coolest thing by far about the wellnesss challenge, it’s  PERMANENT. Diets, on the other hand, are TEMPORARY.

     Not that we’ve arrived! We’ve been unable to fully rise to challenge as we haven’t been able to eliminate soda from our day to day diet. BOOOOOOO!   Yet, the hunt is on for a homemade healthy alternative I hope to love and share with you!

     Meanwhile, here’s the Zucchini Chips recipe for your palettes pleasure while we hunt for homemade soda:

Zucchini Chips Recipe


1 large Zucchini
1/3 C Panko
1/4 C Parmesan Cheese
1/4 t Black Pepper
1/4 t Sea Salt
1/8 t Old Bay
3 t Skim Milk


Preheat oven 425
Cut zucchini in 1/8 inch slices
Mix panko, cheese, pepper, salt, old bay
Dip zucchini in milk, the dip in mix
Place on sheet tray in single layer
Bake on 425 for 15 minutes
Turn over, bake til golden brown
Remove to cool
Chips crisp as they cool

Enjoy and wish us luck on our hunt!

Why We Eat What We Do

So, with ten days left to go on the wellness challenge, chef and I have brainstormed to create different infused waters and healthy snacks to munch on.

Today’s creations are this yummy watermelon water!




4 cups diced watermelon
6 sliced lemon wedges
4 cups cold water

Puree, chill and serve


These delicious Zucchini Cakes



1 shredded zucchini
1 egg
1/4 cup panko
1/4 t nutmeg
Salt & pepper

Beat one egg
Mix in salt, pepper, and nutmeg
Pour over zucchini
Add panko
Mix thoroughly
Sautee on each side 3 to 5 minutes

Enjoy guilt free as they are both so healthy and so darn good

12 Days to Go on the Wellness Challenge



Only 12 more days until the 30 day wellness challenge ends and chef and I have had fantastic results.  We have eliminated ALL fast, fried and processed foods from our diet as well as white flour easily as we have been doing that for a while. However, despite our rising to the challenge, we haven’t risen fully, LOL, as we have consistently had a few items containing sugar or artificial sweeteners, i.e, diet coke and a couple of items with alcohol, i.e., mixed drinks or beer.
     So, it appears, chef and I have the healthy food thing down but not the healthy drink thing. That being said, we have begun our quest for healthy, yet tasty, drinks and it hasn’t been easy so far. We have created, and haven’t liked, a number of drinks to date.  So far, however, the two most enjoyable drinks have been our homemade gingerale and infused pear water.  For those of you who want to replace soda, chemically flavored waters (read the labels), and sugar laden or calorie laden drinks with healthier options, yet, are bored with plain water, here’s an alternative we recommend.

Vanilla Bean

Place all ingredients in your pitcher of choice.
Fill with ice
Fill will fresh water
Stir and refrigerate for an hour

It can’t be much simpler than this and the water will last for up to three days. Additionally, the fruit is edible!

PS. There is no specific amount of each item so play with the ingredients until it’s the way you enjoy! Bottoms up.

Day 16 Delicacies


     So, despite a cheat meal being allowed once a week, chef and I haven’t splurged on that opportunity much until today when we allowed ourselves the enjoyment of ice cream on chocolate and nut covered waffle cones at the beach of Ocean City, Maryland where we snuck away for a few days retreat to re-group and plan for the busy week to come.


     We knew with the 6 week kids cooking camp starting next week as well as a photo and video shoot occurring, not to mention cooking classes, counseling and massage sessions scheduled at our center, we needed some time to plan and unwind.

     We awoke to a heavy rain storm and decided to take the weather as a sign for the opportunity to chill, do some menu planning and remote marketing. Then, when hunger struck, we ate tomato and cucumber sandwiches on oat bread, hold the mayo please, with one percent milk.
I never thought I’d see the day we ate tomato sandwiches without mayo, yet we sure did!

    Afterwards, chef and I went to the library to do some research and the grocery store for some goodies, then we returned home to relax for a while and have linner (lunch and dinner combined )

Subsequently, chef made a good old fashioned home cooked meal of cod, mussels, corn, salad, and whole wheat rigatoni with veggies. 


     Then, when the storm ended, we headed to Fenwick to grab our cheat, a chocolate and nut dipped waffle cone full of icecream. Chef chose sea salt caramel and I chose expresso chip and we enjoyed every last bite before hitting the movies and you guessed it, soda and popcorn!


     Speaking of the movies, we had a pleasant surprise at the movie theatre, electronic reclining leather seats! They were so comfortable, I caught chef snoring briefly, LOL.
Of course, I had to elbow him as other patrons were around. Perhaps he was snoring as this was the movie?


Oh, before you wonder how I got so lucky to have chef see this movie with me, I have the answer; I watch a lot of guy movies and occasionally in return get to see a chick flick.  Today was my occasionally. 

Half way 15 days

Yesterday marked the midpoint to our couples wellness challenge so Chef and I snuck away for a few hours at lunchtime to downtown Annapolis to enjoy some time alone in this wonderful capitol of Maryland together.


With it’s cobblestone streets,  darling shops, and peaceful waterfront cafés, charm surely awaits anytime Annapolis is the destination and yesterday was no exception.  The weather was in the mid 70’s with a slight breeze and we parked near a small roadside cafe we had wandered upon. Of course, being foodies and it being lunch, we HAD to try this quaint, roadside cafe, “Cafe and Groceries”, and, oh, we’re so glad we did. 


(Of course, we had to mind our wellness restrictions and I’m happy to say we easily did).

We shared a Greek Salad & Spicy Peruvian chicken sandwich topped with spinach, onion, tomato, and spicy mustard plus unsweetened iced tea and ice water. (Did I mention, the total bill was only
$20 bucks).

The food was fresh and delicious, the portions were fantastic, the owner Michelle was friendly, and the little table outside the cafe on the Annapolis side street we lingered at gave us plenty to observe and enjoy on these stolen moments together.

It was an altogether lovely afternoon that led to an altogether wonderful evening celebrating our baby daughters 22nd bday. For this event, chef made a whole wheat vegetable pizza for us and cheese and pepperoni pizzas for those who don’t object to white flour.  Here’s the whole wheat dough recipe for other health fans who happen to love pizza, as much as we do, yet, desire to limit white flour from their diet

4 cups of whole wheat flour
2 packets of yeast
2 T honey
1 T salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 T Olive oil

Mix all ingredients
Knead for 10 minutes
Allow to rise for one hour in cool location covered

Top as desired, cook and serve

PS. Chef made homemade pizza sauce as well and topped with many veggies, basil, and oregeno.