Hot Chocolate Smoothie Recipe

A special treat for a cold winter’s night from Sheree Clark’s That’s Forkin’ Amazing – Fork in the Road eNewsletter. Enjoy!

Yield: 1 serving
Equipment: Blender

Forget dairy hot chocolate, here’s a winter treat that’s rich in potassium, flavonoids and flavor!


1 cup hot water
2 teaspoons organic chocolate powder
1 ripe banana
small pinch grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons honey

Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and serve immediately.

© 2011 Sheree Clark | Fork in the Road |

Sheree Clark is a holistic health and nutrition counselor. Through her private practice called Fork in the Road, Sheree helps empower individuals, families and corporate groups to get the most out of life by improving their health. She offers lectures, classes, hands-on workshops, coaching and consultations in Iowa and nationwide. She is a graduate of Living Light Culinary Institute and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. An inspiring author, presenter, teacher, motivator and raw vegan chef, Sheree has written and presented on topics ranging from raw food 101 to overcoming career burnout.


21 Day Purification Program – Day 5 Update

It’s Day 5 of my 21 Day Purification Program and I am happy to report things are going well! My biggest challenge so far was kicking the coffee habit. I suspected this in advance so I spent the three days before my Purification reducing my caffeine intake. Here’s what I did:

3 days prior to Purification: 1/2 cup of coffee

2 days prior to Purification: 1 cup of black tea

1 day prior to Purification: ZERO caffeine.

In hindsight, I should have stepped down more gradually and avoided the dreaded caffeine withdrawal headache that hit Thursday night, but overall it was tolerable. I drank lots of water and went to bed early. On Day 1 of the Purification, I drank two cups of green tea but found I haven’t needed it since.

Curious if this program would not only change the way I feel but change a quantifiable value on lab work, I decided to have some comparative blood work drawn before and after my 21 Day Purification. My pre-Purification numbers looked pretty good. No major red flags in the blood sugar or cholesterol arena but I did show two slightly high values in other areas that may suggest I am not drinking enough water. Time to hydrate! I’ll share more specific details when I get the values from my post-Purification blood work.

I’ve continued to listen to my Circle + Bloom guided imagery program to support my new healthy choices and I’ve incorporated a few additional detox/purification elements. One of my favorites is the inclusion of essential oils in my bath gel. I started with a fragrance free base (Young Living has a great Bath & Shower Gel Base) and added a few drops of their Citrus Fresh essential oil blend. It’s a wonderful blend of orange, tangerine, mandarin, grapefruit, lemon, and spearmint. I opted for this blend because citrus is rich in d-limonene (an antioxidant), supports the immune system, and brings about a sense of well-being and joy. If I’m skipping coffee, I at least want a little pick-me-up fragrance in the shower to start my day!

And now it’s time for my reward at the end of a long day – a great big tasty colorful salad!

Until the next update – wishing you health & happiness,


A New Year Ritual

Tomorrow is Day 1 of my 21-day Purification Program and I wanted to catch you up on what I’ve been doing to prepare for my very own Resolution Revolution. On New Year’s Day, I practiced a lovely ritual on releasing attachment to the old and making way for the new. Here it is below:

Begin with a 15-20 minute meditation where you set your intention for the new year and release your attachment to the past.

I found a wonderful mind-body program by Circle + Bloom called Happy Mind + Healthy Body that works wonderful for this purpose. The CD is meant to be listened to for a few minutes every day for 21 days so it fits very nicely into my Purification Program schedule.


On a piece of paper, write down all of the things from 2011 that you would like to release. This can include habits, grudges, or old patterns that no longer serve your highest good. Try to make the list as detailed and complete as possible.

Burn the list. As the list burns, let go of the energies represented by the items on the list. If you don’t have an easy (or safe) way to burn the list, tear the list into small pieces.

Then, make a list of all you would like to embrace for 2012 – habits, patterns, experiences, feelings. Again, be as specific and complete as possible.

Put your list in a special or sacred place. Then take a few moments to notice how you feel once you have completed this ritual. Do you feel lighter, clearer, or more energized?

What if you didn’t do the ritual on New Year’s Day? Don’t worry. Every day is a great day to start anew. Make some time for yourself today!

Wishing you health & happiness in 2012,


Resolution Revolution: 21 Days to Purify My Body and My Mind

I am ready to change. Whatever has been holding me back physically, mentally, emotionally, I now release so that I may embrace my full potential.

2012 is not business as usual.

First, I should admit I love making resolutions and the start of a new year. I’m an organizer, a planner, and a list maker. But this year feels different. My plans and resolutions are clearer and more enticing. In fact, I’ve thought of little else as the new year approached.

It also occurred to me during my resolution making frenzy that I have learned a lot about natural health (beyond acupuncture and Oriental medicine) and experimented with quite a few healing modalities in the past twenty years and I want to share what I have learned with you.

My first resolution focuses on purifying my body. To accomplish this goal, I have chosen Standard Process’s 21-day Purification Program. And just so you don’t feel hoodwinked later on, I should make it clear – I do carry Standard Process in my practice. However, I am NOT a Standard Process sales representative or distributor.* What I am sharing here is my first hand experience with the program and how I have chosen to navigate the 21 days.

The idea of detox, cleanse, or purification often brings up a lot of questions. “Why would you do that to yourself?” I hear this question a lot. Or “aren’t you already pretty healthy?” Compared to whom? I’m shooting for my own personal best here. And that goal, I certainly have not achieved. More specifically, I would love to have more energy and to have fewer headaches. Both symptoms, I suspect are diet and lifestyle related. Purification is not about deprivation. I’m not counting calories here. I’m reintroducing myself to a variety of whole foods with all of their wonderful colors, textures, and tastes. Purification is about nourishing the body and living a fuller, healthier life.

During the program, I’ll eat whole, organic, unprocessed foods, take whole food supplements, and drink 64 ounces of spring water per day. Things I’ll be avoiding include: alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, nuts, seeds, dairy, grains (except wild/brown rice), and processed or refined foods. Don’t worry, some of these foods will be reintroduced at the conclusion of the 21 days. I won’t be saying goodbye to dairy, nuts & seeds forever.

My purification program officially starts Friday, January 6th. I’m in full on preparation mode. This week will likely be a flurry of blog posts as I fill you in on what I’ve done so far to get ready (both mentally & physically). I hope you will follow along with me over the next 3+ weeks as I prepare for and move through my very own resolution revolution to be happier and healthier in 2012.

Welcoming your comments, questions and support!


*While we carry Standard Process products, neither HealthFocus Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine nor any third party associated with, related to, or linked to HealthFocus Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine’s business or website is in any way affiliated with Standard Process Inc.® Standard Process expressly disclaims any responsibility for, and makes no representations or warranties regarding, any statement, information, materials, or content found on or included in HealthFocus Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine’s marketing materials/website, or any third party marketing materials/websites related to, associated with or linked to HealthFocus Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine’s business or website. Standard Process products are dietary supplements and not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

A Happy for No Reason Holiday Story

An excerpt from Marci Shimoff’s holiday newsletter that I hope you enjoy! ~ Diane

I was deeply touched by the following story that was told to me by a young father, one of my “Happy 100” who I interviewed for Happy for No Reason:

When my oldest daughter, Victoria, was almost three, we read Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas every night to her before the holiday.

She’d curl up beside me as I’d read: “Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot. But the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville, Did NOT!”

Victoria followed along as the Grinch unveils his plans to ruin the Christmas of the Whos. Disguising himself as Santa and his dog as a reindeer, the Grinch steals into the Whos’ homes and takes everything, leaving only the hooks and wires on the bare walls. But to his surprise, the Whos remain happy despite the loss of the presents and trees and trimmings and trappings.

He hadn’t stopped Christmas from coming; “it came just the same.”

On that Christmas morning, we woke just ahead of Victoria so that we could watch her three-year-old enthusiasm as she saw the presents under the tree. She first ran to the kitchen table where she had left a snack for Santa and his reindeer. She looked at the evidence of Santa’s visit: the cookie crumbs on the plate and the empty milk glass and the missing carrots. My wife, pregnant with our second child, and I beamed seeing our daughter so wide-eyed and excited at the thought that Santa himself had been in our home. Next, she ran into the living room and saw the presents under the tree.

We expected her to dive into them — but she didn’t. She held up her little hand and she said, “Stop. Let’s pretend. Let’s pretend the Grinch has been here and took everything and left just hooks and wires and we’d still be happy.”

So we stopped, and were happy. And like the Grinch, my heart grew three sizes that day.

I wish you great love this holiday season and every day — may you let the love in fully and allow it to grow your heart three sizes.

With love for no reason and every reason,

Marci Shimoff

Marci Shimoff is a celebrated transformational leader and #1 New York Times best-selling author. To learn more of her powerful techniques for establishing deep and authentic happiness and well-being, visit

Marci Shimoff

How Much Water Is Enough?

This post, an excerpt from Rose Cole‘s newsletter, does a great job of explaining how much water intake is ideal. Best health! ~Diane

We know how important it is to drink water, but with every “expert” telling us something different how are we supposed to know how much we’re REALLY supposed to drink every day?

Woman Drinking Water

Here’s the thing…it’s different for each individual. Some of the experts talk about eight 8 ounce glasses a day. But if you weigh 140 lbs, that isn’t quite enough.

To calculate the perfect amount of water for you, just take your body weight and divide it in half. That is the perfect amount of water (in ounces) that you should consume per day just to break even. Add in an additional 8oz for every caffeinated or alcoholic beverage you drink. If you live in a dry area, or are very physically active, you may need to consume even more water.

Example: if you weigh 140 pounds, then you would need 70 ounces of water per day, at LEAST.

HEALTH TIP: You should drink water before you ever get thirsty. If you get thirsty that means you are already dehydrated, so get into the habit of always keeping a bottle of water nearby.

Hope you’re staying cool and having a wonderful summer!


Certified Nutrition Coach, Rose Cole, publishes the “Natural Health & Nutrition Tips” online e-Letter. If you’re ready to lose the last 10-20 stubborn pounds without dieting, and increase your energy all naturally, get your free subscription at