Vices or Virtues: Can dark chocolate, red wine, or coffee really help your brain?

One Morning, I was drinking my daily green veggie smoothie and reading a few headlines when a story boasted that eating dark chocolate could keep your brain sharp. I had come across dozens of articles stating that indulgent foods, like dark chocolate, red wine and coffee, could boost brain function and as a lover of all these things, I was conflicted after switching to a plant-based diet. This article brought all those feelings back to the surface.

I have always been skeptical about trendy type articles, but this hit home for me. Experiencing a health crisis of my own and having both parents suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, I was doing everything possible to ensure the safety of my brain’s health. So reading that the very things I love, but gave up, were actually considered healthy for your brain, confused me.

I immediately recalled my fondest childhood memories. My love for dark chocolate started as a child when I would have bonding moments with my mom over chocolate. Her and I knew there was something special about the way a delicious piece of rich chocolate could melt your cares away.

My mom and I would always snuggle up on a Friday evening and watch a movie in our black velvet lounge chair when Dad would go out bowling with his friends. Mom would put out dark chocolate candies and treats on a dish for us to share. I felt very close to my mom during those times because it was something that we both shared and enjoyed. Although this was our “little secret” she shared this with the Easter Bunny and Santa to ensure my Christmas stocking and Easter basket was always well stocked.

And back in the day, as a New Jersey child of the sixty’s, Helen Elliott was a well known confectionery store that had the most scrumptious dark chocolate marshmallows. Fortunately for me, this heavenly shop was located right outside my bus stop. As a special treat, my mom would give me twenty five cents a week to buy one for my commute home from school. I recall the soothing effects it had on my long walk home afterward, that made it all worth it.

As the years matured, my love for dark chocolate mixed well with red wine and coffee. In my opinion, the combination was pure bliss. I never viewed the rich confectionery and palatable drinks to be harmful for my brain. What I knew for the most part, was the importance of making sure I enjoyed my “love” in moderation. I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t partake in the occasional over-indulgence – sure I did – but at a cost. Too much dark chocolate upset my stomach, too much red wine gave me a hang-over, and too much coffee would give me anxiety.

When I made the decision to switch to a plant-based diet and write my book “Organically Yours; Open Yourself to a Vibrant Healthy Life Through Clean Living,” I wasn’t concerned with missing the chocolate, wine, and coffee, the indulgent treats I loved. I was satisfied with my decision because I experienced something incredible. The sensation I had from a deep rich piece of chocolate, a robust cup of coffee or an intoxicating red glass of wine, I could also achieve with dark, leafy greens and fresh, ripe fruits. And not only did they soothe me but they nourished me at the same time. With each portion, I could feel the health effects it was having on my body.

The change was gradual. Symptoms began to go away one by one until one day I said, “Wow! I feel better!” I stuck to this plant-based diet because I wanted to get really healthy. I wanted to have that one glass of wine, piece of dark chocolate, and cup of coffee without worrying about the resulting health problems from doing so. Not to mention, following this diet makes it all worth it because I learned what it really meant to have discipline and understand the definition of moderation. Before I knew it, I had developed an insatiable appetite for healthy food.

I recently read AARP’s In The News article, stating that a new study from the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) has found no evidence of dark chocolate, red wine or caffeine –rich drinks help your brain stay sharp. GCBH is an Independent collaborative sponsored by AARP and Age UK, a British charity.

The study reported that “If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation and only with meals.” The previous notion that there is beneficial effects from drinking wine, sobered me right up as the findings stated that “It is unclear if there is any beneficial level of consumption for brain health.” The report also found little support for the idea that drinking coffee was a long-term positive for your brain.

“Some research has been published about the protective benefits of the antioxidants in tea and coffee,” the report notes. “Short-term effects of caffeine consumption have been shown to increase alertness…but there is no consensus on whether the impact of tea and coffee is clearly beneficial or harmful for brain health.”

But what about the dark chocolate? Well, while there is some research that suggests high consumption of cocoa flavanols can cut memory loss, “the amount of chocolate you would need to eat to positively impact the brain could be canceled out by the number of calories and sugar you consume.”

So what did the study conclude? “A plant-based diet rich in green leafy vegetables and berries contribute to better brain health, while a diet high in red meat, saturated fats, sugar and salt can harm your brain health.”

With increasing evidence continually proving that vegetables, fruits, nuts and a healthy dose of omega-3 promotes wellness, I for one cannot entirely rule out my divine vices. Dark chocolate, wine and coffee at one time made up a good part of who I am. Although these studies coincide with my own personal research, and undoubtedly made me a believer in the benefits, there will be times when I engage. I think the key here is all about moderation no matter what popular studies challenge us.

After skimming through the article stating that dark chocolate could keep your brain sharp, I exited it out and finished my smoothie. While it would be nice if that headline were true, nothing can compare to a plant based diet that fills you and nourishes your body. I went to make myself a snack for later in the day, hummus with carrots and celery, with a smile on my face knowing that my body would thank me for what I was putting in it. As I placed it in the fridge for later, I glanced at the bottle of red wine sitting on the counter knowing that my special treat would be well deserved.

Regret, Guilt, Worry – How To Overcome Negative Emotions

Can you recall a time when something in your life didn’t go right?  Do you wish things would have turned out differently and now you have regrets over it?  You’re not alone – many people feel this way – including myself.

I have been such a planner all my life that it was difficult for me to stay in the present moment. I can recall many circumstances where I was always reaching or looking over the fence. I didn’t know how to enjoy or appreciate what was right in front of me. I know this has caused me to miss out on a lot.

So yes, I have regrets, but it’s not wise to live there. The problem is that regret is like carrying around heavy baggage – it’s a heavy load to carry.  All that heavy energy can get in the way and tangled up in other emotions of guilt and worry – not a healthy combination.

What we want is to be able to create new energy to move forward.

Here are three tips to help you let go of the past and live in the present.

Tip # 1:  Show Yourself  A Little Love

How would you show love to someone you cared for who was going through a difficult time?  Compassion and empathy are two words that pop into mind.  Try doing the same for yourself.  We’re human and we are going to make mistakes – that’s part of life.  One of the biggest gifts you can give yourself is to treat yourself kindly.  Forgiveness is another important aspect to creating new energy – we’re not perfect beings and that’s okay.  Beef up the love.

Tip #2:  Keep The Faith

We don’t always understand the “bigger” picture in life – the “grand” scheme of things.  Although we wish we had a crystal ball to see into the future – the truth is we don’t really know what tomorrow may bring.  This is why we need to keep the faith alive and trust in GOD – or in other words, the Grand Overall Design.  Knowing that in time, all things will get better.

Tip #3:  Make It A Learning Experience

It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment of what didn’t go right, that we neglect to see what else happened in that experience.  Usually there are little golden nuggets if we look close enough to learn from the situation and make us better for it.    So the question is, What can you learn from a past experience that can make you better today?

Bonus Tip:

Remember, you don’t want to pull that heavy load a minute longer – here’s how to draw the line when you’re dwelling in the past on all that negativity.  You simply need to remember to LEAVE IT IN THE PAST.  That was then, this is NOW!  Let it GO!  I mean it…really, let it go for good and free yourself.  By doing so, you will be taking a huge step to living in the PRESENT!





It’s mid January – have you resolved to reduce/eliminate the clutter in your life? If so, congratulations! If not, what is holding you back from doing so?

With the month halfway completed, February is right around the corner and before too long we will be seeing signs of spring. Do you want to go into another season with clutter hanging around?

Now I’m asking you these questions not to get you worried or anxious, but to help you see that procrastination can be your enemy, not your friend. The longer you wait the more difficult it becomes. This is true with many things, not just clutter. And by the way, just to be clear, I am referring to all types of clutter that can affect your body, mind and environment.

I would love to set up an initial conversation to discuss how I might be able to help you sort it all out. Feel free to reply with your challenges, struggles, and anything else you care to share. I will review your comments and be in touch shortly.

Remember, don’t wait…because time waits for no one.


If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that being organized breeds positive energy.

Over and over, I’ve witnessed people feel lighter, happier, clearer and more motivated once they were organized.

What keeps people from doing so, is that feeling of being weighed down from their clutter – physical and emotional.  They don’t know how or where to begin.  The thought of starting feels so overwhelming, if not, down right impossible.

But I can tell you with 100% certainty, that being organized will give you:
  • Renewed Energy
  • Clarity
  • Focus
  • Motivation
  • Restored Belief

Now that’s POWERFUL stuff!


I know what it feels like to be in a slump and not be able to get out of your own way.  I think we’ve all been there before.  But think about this…it only takes one simple step to start the process of lightening your burden, and before you know it, you’ll be on your way to being organized and feeling so much better. Don’t you want that?


I believe you do!  So that’s why I am doing something really different, so please listen up. If you would like to have a 15 minute chat with me, (totally complimentary) to see how I can help you get organized, here’s what you need to do.


1.  Pick up your phone – NOW

2.  Text me the words – GET ME ORGANIZED to 908-642-1226

3.  Be ready to receive my TEXT back with your next steps.

4.  Follow through on the NEXT STEPS I provide you with.

5.  BAM – expect your energy to change soon!


I’m excited to help you the best I can.  Let’s make 2018 your year to finally get organized!


THE WELLNESS INDUSTRY IS EXPECTING A STEADY AND HIGH GROWTH according to Euromonitor International, the global market for health and wellness.

HTI Conference 2018 will organize a special panel this year that will present the latest and most profitable trends to participants. One of the speakers at the conference in Zagreb will be Patricia Diesel, renown author, who was also among the main speakers at last year’s WMTC in Los Angeles. She will present years of work based on her own experience and insights that connect different wellness techniques in creating a balanced lifestyle that enhances own pleasure and productivity.



Well, I’m off and running again…and it’s going to be a little brrr cold, but if you like to ski and love the idea of sitting around a fireplace and reading a good book, I would like to invite you to join me at the Northshire Book Store  in Manchester, VT on Friday, January 19th @ 6:00 PM.


Then I will be making my way down to Northshire’s Saratoga Springs, NY book store for another event on Saturday, January 20th@ 7:0 PM.


My lecture series will be based on my new book, Organically Yours; Open Yourself to a Vibrant Healthy Life Through Clean Living.  If you’re up for taking a last minute get-away, then come on out and join us!

Giving “Thanks” Is Healthy

It’s that time of year again when family and friends gather to celebrate and give “Thanks” for their blessings in life.

I understand that not all holidays are easy for some of us. The festivities of the season can trigger memories that can make us feel melancholy and reflect back on a time when life may have been very different.

But consider this – If we can manage to adopt an attitude of gratitude and see things with a grateful heart, there’s something very beneficial we can experience.

Forbes magazine reports that it has been scientifically proven that giving thanks can improve your physical well-being. According to the source, a 2012 study showed that “grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and they report feeling healthier than other people.”

Also, one of the unexpected outcomes of expressing gratitude is that it boosts personal happiness.

This Thanksgiving, no matter what your circumstances, I wish you the blessings of an open heart to give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving!


We hear it all the time – “Just Let Go Man!  Let It Go”!
But for the person who is holding on for dear life, well that’s another story – because it seems impossible to do.
When we hold on for too long, sub-consciously we are saying, ‘I have a deep belief about something and I’m not letting go until, well, until it becomes the truth or something changes my mind.’
The problem is in the midst of this “bargaining” phase, we become stuck and do not allow life to carry us to new places.  Instead we push life into our own making and can miss many opportunities.
So, what is the secret to letting go?
The secret to letting go is believing that you will be okay once you do.  I understand this is easier said than done. But it’s the truth.
If you knew for certain that all would be okay if you let go, would it make a huge difference in your life?  I’m sure it would. I say this with confidence because I am living it.
In my upcoming tel-class I will be sharing with you how I got through the most difficult of times and how you can too.  I will also be inviting you to a workshop that I am hosting in January of 2018.  My goal is to prepare you now so you can schedule your plans accordingly to attend this ground-breaking event.
Please join me in this upcoming tel-class to learn more!
If you missed my prior email about this topic, you can read it on my blog.  Read it HERE!


I am super excited to share the news with you!  My article  “THE WAKE-UP CALL” which was based off  the first chapter in my new book ORGANICALLY YOURS was featured in Fitness Fashion International Magazine.  And yes, I made it on the cover too!

Deeply grateful and thankful for Fitness Fashion International Magazine’s support and dedication to wellness.