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Lentil Recipes to Overcome Depression and the Winter Blues

January 17, 2012


How are you feeling right now? Feel overwhelmed, frustrated, angry, emotional?  You might suffer from seasonal depression – sometimes called the winter blues.

To boost the levels of serotonin necessary for dealing with seasonal depression you may need more tryptophan. The legumes: peas, beans, and lentils are some foods rich in tryptophan.

So, to feel better and overcome depression and the winter blues, you may want to try one of these three lentil recipes.

French Lentil Soup for Fighting the Winter Blues


  • 1 onion, chopped 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 cups green lentils
  • 8 cups bouillon
  • 1 potato, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pinch cayenne, to taste
  • 1 pound swiss chard, chopped
  • Juice of one lemon
  • pepper and salt to taste


Bring the onion, garlic, celery, lentils and bouillon to a boil in a large pot. Add the potato and spices, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the swiss chard and cook 15 minutes more, or until the lentils are just tender, not mushy. Stir in the lemon juice and Immunity Boosting Spices. Serve with ground pepper to taste.

Overcome Depression and the Winter Blues

Healthy Lentil Pate Recipe for Seasonal Depression


  • 1 cup dry green or red lentils,
  • 2 medium carrots chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 2 tbsp/olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 tbsp tomato pasta
  • black pepper and salt to taste


To cook lentils, cover them with water and boil for 1-2 min. and then simmer for 15-20 min. (until tender). While cooking lentils, saute onion and carrots in olive oil for 7-10 min., add garlic, tomato pasta, lentils and ghee. Mix thoroughly, season with black pepper and salt. Don’t forget to add Immunity Boosting Spices. Serve warm. You can also use food processor if you want it smooth.

Tasty Pomegranate Lentil Soup to Help Overcome Depression


  • 3/4 cup lentils, picked over
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups (2 quarts) water
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice or 1/4 cup grenadine syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint or 2 teaspoons crushed dried leaf mint
  • 2 Tablespoons raisins


Add water, drained lentils, rice, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer on low about 45 minutes, until lentils and rice are tender. Add basil, green onions and pomegranate juice to the soup. Simmer an additional 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a small skillet, add mint and saute until butter turns golden. Divide soup into serving bowls. Drizzle each with the mint brown butter and sprinkle with a few raisins to serve.

Bon Appetit!


Breathe, smile and be happy.

Irina Wardas, HHC

Women’s Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach and Counselor

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Are You SAD? Try Baked Salmon and Avocado Recipes for the Winter Blues

January 8, 2012


It’s winter, it’s cold and dark outside.  Are You SAD? Many of you may be affected this time of year by the winter blues or by seasonal depression (Seasonal Affective Disorder – SAD). Studies show that people who are affected by SAD don’t have enough vitamin D and have lower level of tryptophan. For some reason more women than men suffer from this disorder.

These 2 healthy baked salmon and avocado recipes for the winter blues may help with seasonal depression since salmon, avocado, and sesame seeds are great sources of the vitamin D and tryptophan you may be lacking:

Healthy Baked Salmon Recipe with Mushrooms

Ingredients:Tasty Baked Salmon Recipe with Mushrooms

  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 4-6 pieces of salmon
  • 4 Portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill
  • one lemon
  • salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put a layer of onions (half) on the bottom of a casserole, then put fish, then put mushrooms and the rest of onions on the top. Put parsley on top, and squeeze the lemon juice over all. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, or until the fish is ready in the middle (test with a knife or fork.). Serve with lemon wedges.

Healthy Avocado Salad RecipeHealthy Avocado Salad Recipe


  • 3 avocados, diced
  • ½ cup carrots, chopped
  • ½ cup purple cabbage, diced small
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp parsley, minced
  • 1 tbsp dill chopped
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 pinch of Cayenne pepper
  • black pepper and salt to taste


Mix all ingredients in a bowl thoroughly. Enjoy with crackers, peppers, tomatoes.

P.S. You may also want to try an Ayurvedic Immunity Boosting Spice Recipe

Bon Appetit and let us be SAD smart.

Breathe, smile and be happy.

© Irina Wardas, HHC

Women’s Holistic Health, Nutrition Coach and Counselor

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Instantly Feel in a Good Mood with Healthy Dark Chocolate

January 1, 2012


Chocolate…. Mmmmm. Are you smiling already? Chocolate…

We, women, like chocolate so much because like light, exercise, laughter and sex, chocolate triggers the release of endorphins, which leave us with an instant feel good mood. In general women are more sensitive to chocolate than men, and that is why we can use chocolate can boost our serotonin level to fight our moodiness and seasonal depression.Instantly Feel in a Good Mood with Healthy Chocolate

Did you know that chocolate is better and I mean healthier than kissing? When we kiss or eat chocolate our heart rate and brain activity both increase, but with chocolate it lasts longer. We burn 34 calories in 30 min during light kissingI am wondering how many calories we burn while eating chocolate.  😆

Studies show that chocolate  the main ingredient cocoa- contains health beneficial antioxidants flavonoids. They, like in fruits and vegetables, help prevent cancer and heart disease and stroke by protecting our immune system from radical damage and fighting inflammation.

When we talk about healthy benefits of chocolate we mean healthy  dark chocolate, and the more cocoa in chocolate, the darker and healthier it is. 

Dark chocolate is very good for us, but we have to eat it in moderation because of its sugar and fat content. Even if it is made with cocoa butter and has less blood cholesterol, it still has a lot of calories, fat and refined sugar, all which can make us fat.

Good healthy quality chocolate should contain  70-75% cocoa and have cocoa butter as an ingredient. Avoid chocolate with milk solids or with any mention of alkali or Dutching / Dutching cocoa which is known to have no nutrition value.

So instantly feel in a good mood with healthy dark chocolate and a glass of red wine full of antioxidants and toast to us, ladies, while breathing, smiling and being happy!!!

© Irina Wardas, HHC

Women’s Holistic Health, Nutrition Coach and Counselor 

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Declutter Your Home to Organise Your Life

June 28, 2011


In order to reduce stress and simplify our lives, sometimes it helps to get rid of the clutter in our house, the places we work, and the relationships we are in.

Schedule some time to declutter your home and get rid of all the junk one room, or at least, one space at a time.

If you think getting rid of junk is a very boring task, consider it an exercise shortcut: find your favorite itune and de-clutter your space using dance steps, yoga stretches or tai chi moves.

De-junking / de-cluttering your home will help you get rid of extra headaches, improve your mood and act as a stress remedy to organize your life and help get your life in balance.

How To Declutter Your Home to Organise Your Life with Stress Remedies

4 Simple Tips on How to Declutter Your Home to Organise Your Life:

1. Never add to the junk, just subtract from it;

2. Ask mail-order firms to take your name off their lists;

3. Put some work into making things attractive in the first place, so it’s easier to keep them that way;

4. Gain the agreement of those you live with that you will all pull together on keeping things in order (adopted from from the book 101 Stress Free Living by Suzannah Olivier)


Breathe, smile and be happy.

© Irina Wardas, HHC

Women’s Holistic Health, Nutrition and Coach and Counselor

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Tea Time Remedies for Natural Weight Loss, Detox and Anti-Aging

March 16, 2011


We can always use some “Me” time to relax and refocus during the day. Right?

Try a short break for a cup of hot tea to slow down, get more energy and feel better?

You can call it a tea meditation or pretend that you are at a royal tea party and indulge in a piece of guilt free dessert.

Studies show that just the process of drinking tea is a powerful stress remedy technique. It will lower your blood pressure, reduce anxiety, balance hormones.


So let’s enjoy some Tea Time!

And don’t forget that each type of tea comes with its own extra benefits.

Drink up! Its Tea Time for Natural Weight Loss, Detox and Tea Time Remedies for Natural Weight Loss, Detox and Anti-AgingAnti-Aging

  • Green Tea helps us enhance our immune system and fight cancer.
  • Black Tea reduces high cholesterol levels.
  • White Tea is considered to be an anti-aging remedy.
  • Oolong Tea has fat-blocking antioxidants.
  • Herbal Teas can help us get more energy, better sleep, and be used for detox.

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.” Thich Nat Hahn

So, what will your favorite tea for your tea party?


Breathe, smile and be happy.

© Irina Wardas, HHC

Women’s Holistic Health, Nutrition Coach and Counselor

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Two Minute Excercise to Lose Weight Naturally

August 5, 2010

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Did you know that laughter can help you lose weight?  For natural weight loss we need to reduce stress, detox and exercise.  Well, laughter can trigger the release of endorphins to help us deal with moodiness and fight seasonal depression; laughter can move your lymph and increases oxygenation to help detox our body; and it can also strengthen your abs which can help your get rid of belly fat and lose weight naturally.

Watch this video and learn how you can start laughing or pretend laughing (the forced laughter can also do the trick) for at least 2 minutes two three times a day:

P.S. You might want to listen to our interview with JJ Virgin, celebrity nutritionist, on how to shape up our arms to look sexy and confident. Click to listen


Breathe, smile and be happy.

© Irina Wardas, HHC

Women’s Holistic Health, Counselor and Coach

Continue reading...
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