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NEW Desert Reset retreat in Joshua Tree, CA, May 17-20, 2018!


Hi Friends!

Join me for a retreat in the mystical Mojave desert! If you have not experienced the magic and serene beauty of world-renowned Joshua Tree National Park area, this is an experience you will never forget. Desert Reset is designed to bring about total transformation of mind, body, and spirit. Group hypnotherapy (similar to guided meditation), yoga, breath work, gourmet plant-based meals, Tibetan bowl sound bath meditation, and more located on a gorgeous 2.5 acre mid-century jewel.

Visit DESERT RESET for more information.


Vegan Pesto Just in Time for Summer

Pesto is my desert island food. I eat it straight from the jar, smear it on sandwiches, and of course eat it on penne. I recently received a basil plant from my husband, and I've been making pesto about every other day. Not only is it delicious, but check out the benefits of basil (from scientific studies):

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Cancer-fighter
  • Pain-reducer (analgesic)
  • Fever-reducer (antipyretic)
  • Diabetes-preventer
  • Liver-protector (hepatoprotective)
  • Blood vessel-protector
  • Anti-stress solution
  • Immune-booster

 Basil is a wonder-plant!


If I make penne pesto, I throw in veggies, usually mushrooms sometimes broccoli, for extra nutrition. I also top it off with Kelly's Gourmet Cheeezy Parm, a delicious vegan parmesan that my friend Tracy and I found at the Scottsdale Vegetarian Festival last year. (Get her croutons too! Amazing.)

I've tried making pesto in a blender and it just doesn't work. Definitely use a food processor. I have the KitchenAid 7 Cup, it's an inexpensive great little machine! Check it out on Amazon.



Simple Vegan Pesto

Makes 1 generous cup

  • 2 cups tightly packed fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pine nuts
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  1. Place the basil, walnuts or pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor fitted with the S blade. Pulse to combine, until the mixture is coarsely ground.
  2. Turn the motor on and drizzle the olive oil in a thin stream. Add the sea salt, pepper, lemon, and nutritional yeast, and pulse a few more times to combine.

(Recipe from Food52, Gina Hamshaw)


PS. I'm not a food blogger. I literally take photos of my food as I'm eating it, thinking others might like this recipe. Forgive my last-minute, half-eaten food photos.

Enjoy! Happy Summer!

Veg Fests Make a Great Girls Weekend!

When my friend Tracy and I decided to get together this year for our girls weekend, we thought about what we both like to do: try new vegan restaurants, be outdoors, and get pampered spa-style. We looked online for a Veg Festival (either a vegetarian or vegan festival) and found one that worked with our schedules in sunny Scottsdale, AZ (Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival, Jan. 28-29, 2017).

We couldn't have chosen a better location all around. (We stayed at the wonderful Westin Kierland Resort and Spa, which has everything you need, but a close walk to a new development of shops and restaurants.) I'm a veg-fest regular (I live in Los Angeles where there are a few a year) so, honestly, I didn't know what to expect from one in Scottsdale. I am happy to report that it exceeded my expectations! The festival was well thought out, with great vendors in the perfect location that included a beautiful atmosphere: a variety of food, live music, lectures (the panel of vegan athletes, one of which was Bad Ass Vegan, was so inspiring and hilarious!), cooking demonstrations, information tables, apparel, and a kids area. I even tried a new food--hibiscuis flower tacos! 

If you live in Arizona or if you just want to plan a girls weekend next winter, I highly recommend the Westin Kierland and the Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival. (That sounded like an ad, but I promise you that no one has paid me for this post or a mention.) As a bonus, the Phoenix area has a number of awesome vegan restaurants to choose from. (Shout out to Green, which was so delicious that we ate there two days in a row. Not even LA has vegan Tsoynamis--an entire menu of vegan ice cream blizzards!)

A tipping point is occurring in LA in that it's sort of weird if you DO eat meat, not if you don't. But what I've realized is that that tipping point is happening everywhere! The vegan movement is growing stronger and expanding wider by the day. Lively community festivals like these are a sign that the times are indeed a changin'. 

On our way to the airport (Tracy was headed back to Atlanta and I was going home to LA), Tracy turned to me and said, "This was so much fun, where should we go next year?!" I'm not sure where we'll go, but I do know what we'll do. And I can't wait.

Check out this list of Veg Festivals near you.

Creamy Vegan Broccoli Soup

I've made this soup about five times in the last few weeks. It's quick, easy, nutritious, and super delicious. I eat it with toasted bread with a little vegan butter and nutritional yeast sprinkled on top. Perfect for winter!

Serves 2


Creamy Vegan Broccoli Soup

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (any neutral oil or vegan margarine will do)
  • 2½ cups broccoli, chopped
  • ⅓ cup carrots, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup celery, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1¼-1½ cup vegetable broth (I use "Better Than Bouillon" brand, my favorite)
  • 1 cup unsweetened plant milk (I use unsweetened Almond Milk)
  • ¼ cup coconut milk (or less according to taste, it can also be skipped and replaced with regular plant milk)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

Browned Broccoli "Croutons"

  • ⅔ cup broccoli florets
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • salt, to taste


Creamy Vegan Broccoli Soup

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the broccoli, carrot, celery, onion, and garlic. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt. Sauté until onion is translucent and just tender.
  2. Sprinkle vegetables with 3 tbsp flour. Stir and cook for at least 1 minute. Whisk in the vegetable broth. The soup should thicken as you stir. Whisk in the unsweetened macadamia milk, the coconut milk, and the nutritional yeast. Simmer over medium-low for at least 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Purée the soup to your liking. If you prefer a chunkier soup, lightly blend on a slow speed. I prefer to blend ½ to ⅔ of the soup until smooth and mix it with the remaining chunkier soup.

Browned Broccoli Croutons

  1. In a small, separate saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the broccoli florets and sprinkle with salt. Sauté until just nearly tender. Turn the heat up to high and continue to cook, stirring sporadically, until the broccoli has a nice brown/black edge on at least 1 side. Remove from heat and set aside.


  1. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, top with browned broccoli florets, vegan cheese shreds (optional), and cracked black pepper. Serve with bread or buns, crackers, or sandwiches. Enjoy!

Recipe from I Love Vegan.

5 Things to Do Under Tomorrow's Supermoon

PREFACE: I've been obsessed with the moon since before I knew it was written in my name. My middle name is Selene, which in Greek Mythology is the "Goddess of the Moon." Selene was also known as Cynthia, because she was born on Mount Cynthus. I don't think my dad knew this when he named me Cynthia Selene, but I'll have to check. On top of all that, the moon rules the subconscious, which I'm also obsessed with, being a hypnotherapist. So that's a long-winded way of saying here's another moon post. 

We haven't seen a Supermoon this super since 1948! Tomorrow, Monday November 14th, the moon will be the closest it's been to earth since most us have been alive. (It will be closest and fullest at 8:52 a.m. EST.) The moon has a deep subconscious effect, we can see its power in action by the powerful ocean's changing tides. This Supermoon is stirring things, and that makes it a great time to stimulate the change you desire in your own life. (We will continue to feel the moon's energy a couple of days before and a couple of days after.) Here are five Supermoon rituals to align yourself with this opportunity.

1. Meditate on Abundance

This particular Supermoon is in Taurus, which rules money. Meditate on opening yourself to receive more money. Repeat "I deserve money." Or "Money flows to me." Or "I am abundant." Just pick one and repeat it all day long. As a hypnotherapist, I prefer simple, short affirmations. If you have enough money, meditate on how you can be of service to the world with your money, or affirm, "I use my money for the good of all."

2. Release the Old

A Supermoon is the beginning of a new phase. What better way to make room for the new than to release the old? Clear out clutter; throw away or donate clothes, books, housewares you don't need; give worn sheets, towels and blankets to an animal shelter, release a friendship that doesn't serve a higher purpose for you anymore, drink more water so you pee out more toxins, you get the idea. Just clear the way!

3. Journal Your Desires

This Supermoon is coinciding with the winding down of our 2016 calendar year. Take a moment to write in your journal (or iPhone) your desires for the rest of this year. What do you want to accomplish before year's end? What do you need to do to achieve that? Who do you want to be in 2017?

4. Smudge Your Home 

I love to smudge! Smudging is the use of dried sage sticks to cleanse and clear the energy of your home/office/car/wherever. (Purchase here on Amazon, just in time for tomorrow.) I smudge about twice a year. The Supermoon is a very favorable time for smudging.

5. Moonbathe Your Crystals (and Yourself!)

Pick out your favorite quartz crystal. What? You don't have one?! Okay, I've got you covered. Go here and buy some on Amazon Prime to be delivered tomorrow (and if it's the next day, that's fine too. Moonbeams will still be in effect from the Supermoon energy). Once you have your crystal(s), run it under cold water and then set it in the moon's light overnight to be supercharged. It's kinda magical. Once charged, place it on your nightstand while you sleep or hold it as a meditation stone. I like to put them all around our house. If you prefer rose quartz, you could purchase a little pyramid like this. Or indulge in a necklace to wear. Not into crystals? No worries! Bathe yourself in moonbeams. Is it private enough and warm enough where you live to sit outside (preferably naked or semi-naked!) and soak up the moon's energy? Then that'd be amazing, and definitely what you ought to do! If not, just let the top of your head and your face soak in those good moonbeams. 


We have so much support! The universe is on your side urging you towards healing, growth, greater wellbeing and success, and Mother Nature bends to kiss your forehead, blessing you with everything she has. Spend a moment in gratitude for what you do have, and open yourself to what you could have. 

VeganEgg, an Alternative to the Gruesome Egg Industry


Eggs have been in the news this week. Most people aren't aware of the day-to-day gruesome practice that traditional egg-producing hatcheries utilize worldwide. It's called "chick culling." Each day millions of baby male chicks are literally ground-up and thrown away because they're "useless." Only egg-laying females (who also, by the way, live equally gruesome but longer lives as factory farmed commodities) are useful to the egg industry. If you're born a male chick, you are placed on a treadmill-like machine that drops you into a grinder. Hopefully you die immediately, but you may have to be re-ground because the first time only mangled you. The egg industry, like all animal products industries, is a cruel one. Thanks to undercover investigations we know this to be true.

The good news is that this horrific practice has been under attack in the last few years from animal rights activists, and egg producers are taking notice. One man, the owner of a small bucolic egg producing farm in Austin, learned of the factory farming practice and vowed to change it by seeking a way to determine the sex of the chick before he or she hatched. And it looks promising. It's only a matter of time before technology grinds up the Dark Age of chick culling. But that will only be the beginning. Then everyone will have to reevaluate how the massive egg industry treats the long-suffering and abused females.  

In the meantime, we can and must produce change in our own lives. And there's never been a better time with new forward-thinking companies pioneering egg, dairy and meat replacements. There are a couple of vegan eggs in the works, but the one that hit the market first was VeganEgg. We tried it last year at the Natural Products Expo and were blown away. Today, my husband Brad made scrambled eggs and, I remember eggs, I used to eat them, and it tasted just like eggs. Seriously. But without the cruelty and cholesterol. (An egg can pack a whopping 215 to 275 mg of cholesterol. By comparison, a Big Mac contains 75 mg of cholesterol.)

VeganEgg, made by Follow Your Heart, is


VeganEgg is shelf stable and can be found in the egg section of Whole Foods or ordered online. (Order VeganEgg on Amazon) It's great value--you get a lot of egg in a small package! This skillet used only 1/4th of the package. 


Scrambled VeganEgg this morning. Directions are to blend for fluffier eggs, but Brad just mixed it and it turned out fine!


Brad made a breakfast burrito out of VeganEgg


I had a simple plate of VeganEgg, Lightlife Vegan "Bacon" and toast with my mom's homemade strawberry/rhubarb jam. Delicious! 


I'm often asked what I use in place of eggs for baking. You can use bananas, apple cider vinegar, flax seeds, tapioca powder, apple sauce, but I will often use this product, Ener G Egg Replacer, which is highly effective. (Order on Amazon)


Vote with your fork! Choose kindness! 

Top Ten (Nonfiction) Book Recommendations

I'm often asked by clients for book recommendations, so I compiled a new list today. Looking over these books, it's so clear to me just how much they've contributed to who I am today. Some were written decades ago, but they hold up over time. In fact, many of today's contemporary spiritual books, like those of Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, and Ekhart Tolle stand on the shoulders of these giants. I hope this list inspires you to pick one up today. May we all read just a page a day!

They're listed in the order in which I read them through my life, and all linked to Amazon. Happy Reading!

On-Again Off-Again Love Affair With Baseball

I stood in the parking lot of Kaufman Stadium, circa 1978. The game had ended. I can’t remember if the Royals won or lost, but it didn’t matter. My sights were set on a bigger victory—I was determined to get a glimpse, better yet, an up close photo of a special third baser: George Brett. Other preteen girls had crushes on David Cassidy and Andy Gibb, but my young heart was set on a baseball player.


I don’t know why I was taken with baseball at that early age. My dad wasn’t a huge fan, but my older brother was a high school baseball player. I went to a few of his games growing up. My dad would pitch to him in the backyard for practice and make me field the balls, which I loathed. I didn’t want to play baseball; I wanted to watch baseball. (Many years later), I even lost my virginity to a baseball player. Sometime during my freshman year at college, his team was in town to play our local team. Details are fuzzy, but let's just say he hit more than a triple.

As I got older, baseball became less important—until a fateful day in 2006. I was living in Los Angeles and wanted to repay my friend David for looking after my dog. He wouldn’t let me pay him, so I decided to do something out of the ordinary for both of us—I bought Dodgers tickets. That Dodger game, with the smell of the stadium, the roar of the crowd, the crack of the bat, the camaraderie of singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and the zen of the game, sparked my latent passion for baseball once again. I had not owned a television in 20 years, but I immediately bought a 42-inch tv and signed up for cable, for the sole purpose of watching the Dodgers that summer. I watched every. single. game. And I’ve continued to watch almost every game since. 

Baseball became a comfort for me when I was single, when I was lonely, when I needed to decompress, when I needed to escape, when I needed to feel a part of something bigger, and when I wanted to connect to this great but often disconnected city of Los Angeles. Vin Scully became the voice of my summers. He was a much-welcomed friend that I would miss each winter and eagerly look forward to reuniting with each spring.

Eventually I married, not to a baseball fan but to a NBA fan, specifically a Spurs fan. And he hated baseball. He would say, “I don't get why anyone would watch baseball.” But he soon found out that if he wanted to spend time with me each summer, he would have to learn the Dodgers’ roster. And bless his heart, it didn’t take long. My solo baseball fandom found an adoring partner, and it’s been pure joy for both of us.

….The Royals players made their way out of the locker room and into the parking lot, and, oh my, there is UL Washington and Frank White, there’s Willie Wilson, Amos Otis and Hal McRae, and finally like a screen idol come to life, there he was, freshly showered with perfectly semi-wet hair, all dapper in his light blue, polyester, wide lapel suit, and there he went—I had been so mesmerized that when he zipped by me I fumbled for my camera too late and snapped what would turn out to be a blurry (but treasured) photo of my idol whizzing past me on his way to the next game in the next town. But that was enough. My erratic love affair with baseball was solidified. I had brushed greatness. Sort of.

I now realize that my young crush was never really about George Brett—though he was super cute!—it was more about how the great game of baseball made me feel. And that would take an entire post just to try to describe, and just for me to try to understand.  

Thank you Vin Scully for keeping me company these last ten years.


Attention Everyone on Planet Earth: Jupiter is in Libra! (September 9th.)


Happy day for everyone on planet Earth! And especially for us Libras, but all signs will benefit from this planetary movement. Jupiter, the planet of good luck, abundance, and opportunities enters Libra, the sign of peace, equality, compassion, justice, connection, and beauty in the wee morning hours of September 9th. Jupiter has been in Virgo, a sign that it jives with the least, for the last year. That's why, in part, things have felt universally and individually a bit sluggish.

Jupiter visits each sign for a year, so it takes 12 years for Jupiter to come around to your sign. And when he does, he brings gifts galore! All of us will start to feel lighter when he moves into Libra, a very simpatico sign for Jupiter, which will carry into the next year. (Libras though will feel Jupiter the most, as they take center stage.) Also, side note, 2016 is a 9 year in numerology, which, simply put, means the end of a chapter or culmination, and next year is a 1 year, the beginning of a new 10-year cycle. New beginnings and fresh starts coming soon! And we have lucky Jupiter in Libra to kick things off early. 

Think back to 2004-2005, 12 years ago (or you can go back further to 24 years ago), and you'll get a glimpse of how growth-producing, expansive Jupiter in Libra will affect you this year. What was happening in your life 12 years ago? The same area of your life will be affected this year. For me, I moved back to Los Angeles from Lawrence, Kansas. I had been flying between the two cities for years with a hypnotherapy practice in both places, but I made the leap (after a difficult decision) to be in LA full time. 

Because Libra rules relationships and peace (it is the sign of the justice scales) we can look back to other times Jupiter was in Libra and what transpired in the United States: The Peace Moratorium of 1969 occurred, that same year John Lennon (a Libra) staged his famous two-week Bed-In For Peace, and in 2004 Facebook launched--talk about relationships and connection!

It's exciting to think about what might happen this time around not only for each of us but for the world. It's a time of finding balance and releasing whatever--people, places, things, ideas, behaviors--no longer serve us. 

After reading through blogs and sites, here is my super short synopsis on which area Jupiter will shine his light onto in each sign this year. And don't forget to read your rising sign too. (Google how Jupiter in Libra affects your sign for a more in-depth analysis.)

Aries: health and image

Taurus: creative-expression and pleasure

Gemini: family and security

Cancer: community and learning

Leo: work-ideas and money

Virgo: self-growth and adventure

Libra: freedom and spirituality

Scorpio: teamwork and charity 

Sagittarius: career and recognition

Capricorn: travel and achieving

Aquarius: inheritance/investments and sex

Pisces: relationships and travel

It should be noted that I am only a fan of astrology, like as a spare-time activity. I'm not an astrologer. There is a saying that each flower has an angel above it whispering, "grow, grow." I simply find astrology beneficial to my personal growth and understanding. It reminds me that I am one with the universe.  

Here is my favorite astrology book, which combines the Sun signs with the Chinese signs. It's amazingly accurate and fun to read. Check it out on Amazon.

I also faithfully read Susan Miller's monthly horoscopes on AstrologyZone, and if you're on YouTube, check out Annabel Gat's videos called Astrology for Days. Both Susan and Annabel are spot-on and insightful.

Happy Jupiter in Libra, friends!


Super Easy Raw Chocolate Vegan Birthday Cake

It's my husband Brad's birthday today! And he loves healthy superfoods, so I concocted this raw chocolate cake this morning after perusing a few recipes (plant-based pixie, this rawsome vegan life, eating vibrantly). I took what I liked from one, and something else from another, and substituted what I had on hand, and, tada!, it surprisingly turned out great! 

If you haven't tried raw cacao (not cocoa) powder, I highly recommend it for baking and putting in smoothies for a rich, chocolatey, raw superfoods boost! I use Navitas Naturals Organic, available on Amazon



1/2 cup dates
1/2 cup walnuts
(pinch of sea salt and a dribble of coconut oil, if you like, but not necessary)

Using a food processor, blend the walnuts into a powder, then add dates and continue to blend until sticky. Firmly pat down into a 7-9" springform pan. (A round cake pan will do, but it'll be harder to cut it out.) Place in freezer.


3 ripe avocados
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup raw cacao powder
pinch of sea salt
3 - 4 tsps. agave
1/2 cup pure maple syrup

Using a food processor, blend the avocados, vanilla, and coconut oil until smooth, then add remaining ingredients. If you don't have agave, just skip it. Add more or less sweetener, depending on your preference. (And really you can add any liquid sweetener.) I added the sweetener slowly and kept tasting to my preference. 

Spatula ingredients onto crust, then freeze for a couple of hours (even overnight). Let thaw like 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.

I decorated mine with walnuts, dark chocolate pieces, and blueberries, but you can add whatever you like--coconut flakes, strawberries, bananas--that's the fun part! 

PS. For all those purists out there, it should be noted that with maple syrup and agave, and possibly the vanilla extract, this cake isn't technically totally raw, but it's like 95% raw.