All posts tagged healthy

I Survived The Master Cleanse in 2008!

Published April 7, 2022 by Maryanne
Photo swiped from Google search

On this day in 2008, I began The Master Cleanse. It’s a 10-day cleanse fast to recharge your system.

It was quite an experience and I would not recommend it prior to reading “The Master Cleanse” by Stanley Burroughs, as there is a science to doing it the correct way, as opposed to jumping in blindly.

From my diaries, I am sharing my 10 days right here! (Note, I had just left a very stressful job in journalism at The Montclair Times, where I was employed for seven years. I wrote briefly about it during the cleanse, and I left out more personal things like what my husband (then, boyfriend) and I did. He went on the cleanse with me, which was awesome!

Master Cleanse – Day 1 (a.m.)
So the preparation started last night, with a laxative tea that I’ll be drinking morning and evening to move the stuff along since I won’t be eating any food.

I’ll also be taking a parasite cleanse and enzymes.

I can still take B5 if I get caffinated tea withdrawal symptoms, but so far so good. Yesterday I got on just fine with a quarter cup of tea. I took the B5 and made it through the day with no headache. 

I was very hyper last night and had some insomnia — which never bothers me, I always embrace it. I’m pretty wrapped up in a V.C. Andrews book, “Music in the Night.” That is my night reading.

In the day, before work, I’m reading the newest Marianne Williamson book, but I’m taking a break from that to read the back issues of Pure Inspiration. 

My fortune in the laxative tea said, “YOU ARE UNLIMITED”

How appropriate for the first day of the cleanse.

I’ll finish my tea, check out some journals and start my day with some yoga and weights.

Then I’ll make my first Master Cleanse drink. 

Disclamer: Do not try this at home without taking a Master Cleanse class. These notes are just my experiences. This is an intense cleanse and can be dangerous if not done properly. If my own body tells me to stop the cleanse, I will.

Master Cleanse Day 2 (a.m.)

So I can definitely feel this working … weird things going on in my stomach. Mind you I am doing a parasite cleanse along with the Master Cleanse (yes, I am a tuff one!) 

At one point it felt like someone was writing on my stomach with a pencil. Strange sensations, but nothing painful. My stomach also bloated like a big balloon.

Until 2 p.m. when the headaches began. This is nothing new, as I’ve had a lot of migraines of late when I had all that stress at The Montclair Times. I also felt extremely tired. 

I embraced the tiredness. It reminded me of — not a stressful tired, but a tired I felt in my younger years. The kind of tired I felt when I only slept an hour because I came home so late from seeing Johnny Thunders (shows started and ended a lot later back then) … so I’d go to work anyway because I was always the go-getter, and slept in my car. THAT is the kind of tired I like! A subtle tired, something I never really felt much after the age of 25. It was always like, I was pretty spent the next day when I partied or saw a band … not like being 18 and drinking all day and night and doing it again the next day.

ANYWAY … I napped, Dennis took care of me …. then before I was ready for bed, I felt a sweet euphoria come over me. I was painless and happy. It was a comforting feeling comparable to taking herion. But it was natural and real. This is something I’d feel from time to time when I was a 100 percent raw foodist. Again, I felt like a teenager. Just lying in bed, with Dennis sleeping at my side, looking at the shelves in our bedroom … so at peace. 

This morning I was 4 pounds lighter. I had gained up to 120 pounds (three pounds in a month, due to all the delicious vegan food). This morning I was my favorite weight 116. 

I hope I don’t lose 4 pounds every night … 10 days is a long time! I’m not going to be afraid because I will gain back healthier tissues.

You can drink between 6 to 12 of the Master Cleanse concoction … I only made it to 7. You feel soooo FULL. I wasn’t hungry until 8 p.m. when I started fantasizing about spinach pasta and tomato sauce. That is the only food I am thinking about. Everything looks, smells gross to me at this point. 

I am so surprised with my fast metabolism that I didn’t drink more than 7. REALLY SURPRISED.

I have a feeling I’ll drink more today. I can feel that I’m getting hungry again, and I just had a drink a half hour ago.

Dennis is starting the Master Cleanse today. Last night he said, “Should I wait until you’re done, so I can take care of you?” I’m like, “No, let’s just do it together.” It will be easier for socializing. We have a few family obligations this weekend and it will be more supportive — to me — if we are both not eating. 

Master Cleanse — Day 3 (a.m.)
So yesterday I drank the maximum 12 drinks. I lost one extra pound, which is exactly what I wanted. Losing one pound per day will be perfect for me. I’m 115 now and 108 will be a nice summer weight.

I think I’m over the hump. No more caffeine withdrawl headaches — yay!

The eczema on my leg is drying up. 

I have a lot more energy and even the stamina for a lot of things I did yesterday: shopping twice, a long ride with Dennis, not collapsing into bed, but going at my own pace. 

I did have a bit of insomnia again, but that never bothers me, I just embrace it and read. 

I did some light yoga this morning too. The first day I exercised since being on the cleanse.

Master Cleanse Day 3 (evening)
For the first time in a long time, I look just as good as I did when I left the house in the morning — without reapplying make-up!

This can be you too! The Master Cleanse is a natural instant face-lift.

I’m all bright-eyed and soft skin (although my skin is what I get most compliments on) … but the biggest change is my hair!! It’s all soft and silky and shiny. Even the blonde highlights are brighter/blonder! I got a compliment on my hair for the first time in a long time.

I dropped five pounds and I’m down to 115.

A friend said, “You don’t look like you’re on a cleanse!” (Because most people look awful when they are detoxing).

Again I am drinking 12 “lemonades” today. The supposed maximum, but you can go over that if you are super active.

No more severe detox symptoms. I do feel a bit light-headed on occasion, but that always passes.

What I am feeling today is very similar to how I felt when I ate 100 percent raw foods … which I’d like to go back to, in a perfect world, but I just love pasta too much.

And what’s an Italian girl without pasta? I gave it up for five years, just started eating it again when I became vegan in September … wow, what I missed!!

Surprisingly that’s the only food I am thinking of. When I’m off this cleanse it’s either a macro dish of Hunan dumplings or a big bowel of spinach pasta with natural red sauce!

Master Cleanse Day 5 (a.m.) 
Well I reached the half-way point! Nothing out of the ordinary going on. My weight seems to have stabilized at 114.5. 
I am calm, peaceful, happy, energetic … Dennis and I went for a nice walk last night. New Jersey spring weather was glorious yesterday. 

Master Cleanse Day 6 (a.m.)
I dropped another pound, weighing in at 113.5, which is nice. I feel so good and slim. A friend noticed I lost weight and added, “Don’t lose too much more” with a smile 🙂

Master Cleanse Day 7 (a.m.)
Just think, next week at this time I will be munching on some nice yoga bread with Earth Balance Soy Margarine and bilberry organic all natural jelly!

I’m on my 7th day of not eating and I’ve accomplished everything I’ve set out to: 

1. I quit my caffeine (tea) addiction
2. I lost a few pounds. My weight seems to have stabilized at 113.5
3. No more headaches
4. I am more calm, peaceful, spiritual.
5. The eczema on my leg is really clearing up!
And as an added bonus, my hands are soooo soft! Just two days ago they were so chapped from the winter cold (I always forget to put gloves on) — now they feel so silky, like the nose area of a horse (I always love petting that part of a horse!) 

I feel like I’m two years younger. I feel more like 42 than 44. I have the energy and the body I did two years ago! THIS is the real me now … not being all stressed and tired. The Montclair Times did a number on me with all the stress and bullshit.

Master Cleanse — Day 8!
If someone told me, even two months ago, that I’d be going over a week without food, I would have laughed in their face! 

But here I am, on my 8th day without food. The Master Cleanse Lemon-Aide drink, which strongly resembles a Snapple, provides all the vitamins a person needs except B-12, which I started taking two days ago. I am not taking any other vitamins (or even probiotics). I am taking pills for a parasite cleanse. 

Today I feel super amazing. My weight is down to 113, making it a grand total of 7.5 pounds lost! 

Everyone is saying that I didn’t need to lose weight, but I feel much better thinner. Who doesn’t?

Thursday and Friday I can eat mangos, papaya, pineapples and oranges. 

I can’t wait to taste the sweet fruit. I remember how delightful fruit tasted when I was 100 percent raw: juicier, sweeter … each segment of an orange tasted different from the last. I look forward to that, very much. 

Saturday I can eat all other fruits. Saturday night a raw vegetable salad! 

And Sunday back to normal eating. 

I do not feel hunger pain on the Master Cleanse, but psychologically, I MISS FOOD. 

Both of our families were extremely supportive during the cleanse. My mom even said that your body only needs about a third of the food you eat. 

This is definitely a positive experience and I’m going to do it again next year (not every month like some do). 

Once a year tune-up sounds good to me. This time is perfect too: shedding your old skin for spring/summer. 

All weekend I did power yoga while on the cleanse. 

This morning I’m going to do some weights.

Master Cleanse Day 9 (a.m.)
My weight is still 113 and I’m still feeling “MARVELOUS DAHLING!”

I re-read portions of the Master Cleanse books and came to realize that if I can make it through the days coming off the Master Cleanse, eating just fruits and finally a raw vegetable salad, I may go back to eating raw all day and a cooked meal at night (with exceptions for holidays and shore trips). All vegan of course.

No one wants to hear it, but we truly are addicted to food. It’s so comforting, so social, so there for us. 

But once you break out of it, you feel incredibly liberated.

No longer am I thinking about Hunan Dumplings, but how I want to treat my body the best I can.

Without really much exercise, my body is so clean that I can see cuts in my stomach again — fab abs, some would say. Yesterday my biceps felt incredibly hard and I haven’t worked biceps in over a week. Also, as I had one foot on the tub, picking up soap, I noticed how my calf was popping out! 

When people compare the Master Cleanse to a spiritual journey, this is what comes to mind…

As a kid, I was one of the “lucky” ones who didn’t have religion forced on me. I was baptized as Catholic, but that’s as far as it went. I never had to go to church or practice anything. 

Why I put the word lucky in quotes is because sometimes I think not having religion forced on you really isn’t all that lucky. I believe discipline is healthy to an extent. 

Hearing about Lent as a pre-teen, I wanted to give it a shot and give up something I loved for Lent. Probably the first spiritual thing I ever did. 

For three weeks prior to Easter, I gave up listening to my favorite rock band, Queen. But I was mad obsessed. I had to listen to all five albums that were out during that time — every day after school — IN ORDER! If Queen was on a late night show like “Don Kirschner’s Rock Concert” or “Midnight Special” I’d take extra vitamins, thinking this will help me stay up and watch the band. I painted the fingernails on my left hand black and cut my hair like Freddie Mercury and incorporated “dears” and “darlings” into my pre-teen speech.

When Easter came and I started listening to Queen again, my love was there there, but I wasn’t as obsessed over them.

If this is what can come out of my Master Cleanse journey — having food still there, but not being obsessed over it, that can be a major breakthrough in my life. 

Although people see me as a healthy person, I don’t. I am nowhere near the caliber of Jack LaLanne, and all these folks who eat the freshest food, in simple portions.

For a small girl, I eat pasta with gusto. Even as a raw foodist, fruit, vegetables and nuts weren’t enough for me — I had to have GOURMET RAW FOODS. 

And my stomach is like a rock too. I can eat a full meal at 5 a.m. — no problem-o. 

So, let’s see if I can take it one step further. Let’s see if I can go the extra mile when it comes to health. To further detox my body. To live life in peace as it should be lived. To not let obsessions, such as food, rule the body. 

To go back to being that child who was hesitant to run to the dinner table when Mom called. 

Yes, that is the peace I know, while on the Master Cleanse! 

So, when I break this cleanse and after a three-day fruit fest, and my body is ready for “real food” again … it’s not going to be, “Hoo-Rah, let’s have macrobiotic vegan dumplings!” Yeah, I’ll definitely eat them … at the proper time, and feeling blessed for the chance to eat nurturing food.

Master Cleanse Day 10 — LAST DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

So today is my last day on the cleanse and I hope it’s a good one. Out of the nine days so far, I only felt super high energy on four of them. The other five I was really tired, but peaceful and happy.

Whoa, I dropped more weight and I’m down to 111!!! That’s nine pounds gone! I’ll probably lose even more because I won’t be really eating again until Sunday, but if I stick to high raw, I’d like to stay between 111 – 113, even down to 109/110 is good for me. 

Last night I fit into a pair of “wishing thinking” jeans that a girl gave me last fall. I wish I didn’t throw out a lot of stuff I had when I started packing on the pounds, but then again, your tastes change as you grow and change, so it’s all good. There was another pair of pants I always LOVED that I found in a thrift store in the East Village. I tried them on last night … they were still a bit snug, but I was like, “What was so great about these pants? Duh!” 

Then there’s my Tripp fashion “Johnny Rotten” plaid pants, that are only good for winter, so maybe next winter … and I have the vertical b&w striped “Steven Tyler” pants … if they fit, wow, I love those pants. I had them since the 1990s. I’ll try them on this morning. 

My stomach is flat, flat, flat as a board again! 

I’m still detoxing like crazy … I get weird aches in my body. Today it’s my back, like the pre-menstral pains I got as a young adult (that stopped after I gave up eating meat). 

Last night I tasted TOBACCO in my mouth — WTF?!?! I never smoked in my life!! I tried a few cigarettes here and there when drank, but never a steady smoker. Is this second hand smoke coming out of my body? 

So, yeah, the Master Cleanse is cleaning things I’m not even realizing. 

It was a fun trip, but I won’t be doing this again until same time next year … maybe I’ll coincide it with Lent. 

Now the next three days are about coming off the Cleanse. I can’t just dive into a dish of pasta, I have to ease in with certain fruits, then later on a raw salad, then by Sunday I can eat again. But like I said, I want to go back to more juicing, more raw, eating lighter during the day and having a vegan/macro meal at night. 

UPDATE – This was the first and ONLY time I did The Master Cleanse. It was rough going without food for 10 days, and the detox was certainly rough too. Maybe I’ll do it again in this lifetime, but I am in no hurry to do so. Note, if you do this, plan for not really eating for 15 days, as you have to ease back into food slowly. (The first day afterwards you can only eat oranges, then advance to soup, then salads, and finally regular food).

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at:

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here:

Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.

And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel:

Perfect Thyroid Health on Vegan Lifestyle

Published October 25, 2021 by Maryanne
Photo by Christopher Carson (from Unsplash)

Perfect thyroid health thanks to vegan lifestyle.

My thyroid was off earlier this past summer. I heard about others fixing their thyroid with a vegan lifestyle, and figured it can’t hurt. (But of course I was doing this for the animals, which I wrote about in previous blogs).

Just a few months of being vegan, my thyroid is excellent again!! Along with all my other bloodwork! Perfect sugar handling, perfect iron, perfect cholesterol, perfect D, etc.

I always share my age for reference to others — 58.

Fish and rennetless cheese were the last things I gave up. I haven’t had pork, veal, lamb, or conventional meat since 1986. Five years ago I started eating grass-fed beef, but quickly gave that up. Don’t remember when I last had chicken or turkey. Maybe 2017? Note, I’m also taking natural vegan supplements. You have to give yourself extra loving care with a vegan lifestyle, otherwise you’ll have deficiencies. I highly recommend hiring a health coach, like I did.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at:

She is the author of the following books:

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

Staying Healthy During COVID19 Lockdown

Published April 15, 2020 by Maryanne


One of my salad dishes with homemade dressing of raw buckwheat honey, coconut aminos, and apple cider vinegar.

When I go to my Facebook feed, I see many friends are turning to comfort foods during the COVID19 lock down; especially since many are raving that now they have more time to cook. I see types of dishes I love like pastas, pierogies, and even homemade pizzas.

But where are the greens? This is the time we should up our intake of green food to keep our immune system strong.

I get it. Sometimes there are slim pickings at the supermarkets. It seems like the produce section is usually the first to clear out. We need to get to our favorite stores as soon as  shipments come to get not only what we want, but what is fresh.

And during these unpredictable times, our moods can fluctuate from, “I got this!” to “When is it going to end?” or something in-between. One day we’re ready as warriors, able to face the world and tackle the grocery shopping. Other days staying in confinement is just fine because the outside is scary. People walking around with masks, six feet away from each other. It’s not natural. And it can be depressing.

The thing is, our diets don’t have to be depressing. Sure, indulge in a treat, but make it once a day, if that. The rest of your meals should be something that’s giving you energy and contributing to your positive attitude.

For me, I feel it’s easy to get the health stuff out of the way first thing in the morning. That’s when I like to work out, take my supplements, and make a fresh smoothie. I’ll always have frozen organic fruit in the refrigerator, for those days when I can’t get to the supermarket. Since COVID19, I’ve been trying to limit it to once a week, during a time where I see as little people as possible.

In my smoothies, I’ll add greens. It could be anything like a handful of kale, parsley, or an avocado. A great add-in is moringa. I’ve been using the powder for years! It has so many health benefits, including fighting against bacterial diseases–which is especially important during this time!

I’ve been intermittent fasting during COVID-19, so a smoothie holds me over until I have food at lunch time, which is usually a raw salad with nuts. At night I might have a pasta dish, or another salad, depending on how active I was during the day.

There are many fun recipes on line, so eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, now is the perfect time to learn something new. Perhaps you might find yourself creating some delicious dishes that are good for you? Let me know, below, if you’ve found yourself hooked on something healthy!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at:

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here:

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here:



Published July 9, 2019 by Maryanne

Facetune (4)

Photo of Dennis and Maryanne by Jayne DiGregorio (

This year is my eighth year married to my husband, and 14 years together in total.

We are still so in love; still in the honeymoon stage. This is not something I just realized, nor is it something I take for granted. It is real, and we are blessed.

As an independent woman who wasn’t in a hurry to get married, I knew from our first date my husband was “the one.” What made him different than others were three things: 1. He was supportive of my career. 2. He’s not a jealous type. 3. His love for animals and music. These were the top three things on my list for love and I wouldn’t settle for anything less.

But then, there is so much more, as we continue to live, learn, and love. I can honestly call my husband my best friend. Around him I feel safe because he loves me unconditionally. Around him I feel growth because there’s never dull conversation I’m seeking to avoid. Around him I feel entertained because together we are fun, funny, and never boring! Around him I feel happy because from day one, every single night we’ve spent together, we wake up with a smile on our faces. Around him I feel deep because our shared thoughts are always that way.

We both have incredible energy and are always up for a fun time.

We both love our kitties with all our hearts and miss them when we are far from home.

We connect on the four major levels: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

And we miss each other when we are apart, even if it’s just for a few hours.

We’re amazing people and we deserve each other. Together we attract the greatest friends too. We collect other rock ‘n’ roll couples to share the good times. Even our single friends are unique people we adore! We’re in our own little world with the select few, and we love it!

This is why I say to all people — men and women alike — do not settle. Wait for the one who is worth waiting for. I met my husband later in life and never gave up on the fact that I’d meet my special someone; my forever person.

When I was young, in my 20s, I had this theory, that whoever was in unhappy relationships (settling)… if they would just leave, that would open up the door for the right person to show up.  And that, I did!

I was told I was “fickle” and “too picky.” And the most insensitive (and WRONG) was when someone once said, “You think you are too good for anyone, that’s why you are single.” No, I was just waiting for it to be RIGHT before I got married.

Love is not something that happens on command, in your ego’s time. It happens in God’s time; or the time of the universe or a higher spirit. When you wait, you reap the all the beautiful rewards a relationship has to offer. As time goes on, your love continues to grow. It doesn’t disappear or fade, as some may suggest if you are with the right person.

There we are, the middle-aged couple happily holding hands. Someday we will be the old couple happily holding hands. And that’s all I ever wanted, someone to grow old with.

My biggest dream came true! ❤ Thank you, Dennis, my forever love!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at:

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books (in which she mentions Freddie Mercury in both, and how he inspired her as a child, teenager, and still today!):

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here:

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here:

Asparagus Christmas Tree

Published December 26, 2017 by Maryanne

DSCF1199Asparagus Christmas Tree

At our yearly Christmas party we always have “naughty” and “nice” food tables. But just because something is healthy, doesn’t mean it’s not delicious! Guests loved my asparagus Christmas tree, which was easy and incredibly tasty. I got the idea from a woman’s magazine, but their version was a bit bland, so I truly made it rock — my way!

Here’s how:

Stir fry, in olive oil, a bunch of asparagus, along with diced red peppers, shallots, and lemon pepper to taste. Cook to your liking. (I did it about 5.5 minutes, so it’s still crunchy).

Add white balsamic vinegar and chill.

One hour later, arrange asparagus and peppers to resemble tree.


(Suitable for most diets/lifestyles).

Maryanne Christiano Mistretta is an award winning journalist and has written for several health publications and had her own health column “Here’s to Your Health.” She’s available for Healthy Foodie Library Lectures. Contact at:

Soft Skin Scrub

Published September 27, 2016 by Maryanne

sam_1359Soft Skin Scrub

Winter is on it’s way and now is a great time to start prepping. You can make your skin super soft with this wonderful recipe.

Mix the following:

Two cups sea salt

10 drops Orange Young Living Oil

Base of one cup coconut oil

Rub in circular motions all over your skin. Shower.

You’ll feel super fresh, clean, and your skin will be its softest ever!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a writer and public speaker. She gives many lectures on health in libraries throughout New Jersey. She is also a Young Living distributor. Contact Maryanne at: 

UjENA Swimwear, Now and Then

Published August 7, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_0869Age 52

Several months ago I won a $100 gift certificate from UjENA:

I don’t know how this company slipped off my radar over the years, because their swimsuits are truly the best! I should know, I’ve been buying them since I was in my early 20s. And now, just 11 days short of 53-years-old, I’m still a fan!

The suit is comfortable, classy, and age-appropriate. Today at the beach my husband couldn’t keep his eyes off me. He kept saying, “That’s a great suit!”

You too can be the belle of the beach with UjENA! You deserve it! ❤

And now for a little retro action, here I am in 1986, age 22, wearing my UjENA suimsuit!

SAM_5900Age 22

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions:

Healthy Pasta Alternatives at William E. Dermody Library, Carlstadt, New Jersey

Published April 7, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_9882Cold sesame noodles made with Dreamfields pasta

Last night I had a blast presenting my lecture “Healthy Pasta Alternatives” at the William E. Dermody Library ( in Carlstadt, New Jersey.

We had a great turn out, including my sister!

The next “Healthy Pasta Alternatives” lecture will be presented Saturday, April 16, 2016, 1 p.m. at the Fairfield Library, Fairfield, New Jersey. To sign up, call 973-227-3575. The lecture is free, but you must call to sign up.

SAM_9885Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, former lead market editor DiningOut


Here is the synopsis for “Healthy Pasta Alternatives”

Pasta: A Healthy Staple Food

Pasta, a typical dish of unleavened dough of a durum wheat flour, has been a traditional Italian staple, dated back to 1154 in Sicily.

It can be presented in a variety of shapes and made with flour from cereals or grains, and eggs. It’s a simple dish that can be served hot or cold, varying in taste, color and texture.

Discover how pasta evolved and changed over time – from a small simple item to an elaborate culinary dish.

Learn about the nutritional value of pasta, which contains complex carbohydrates, essential nutrients such as iron, vitamin B and folic acid. And depending on the flour, may also be a good source of protein.

Gather information about healthy pasta options such as: brown rice noodles, soy noodles, seaweed noodles, buck wheat noodles, squash pasta, and more!

This presentation will include a cold pasta salad made with one of the healthy noodle alternatives.

For cost and availability, contact Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta at:

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the former editor of New Jersey Health & Fitness and former lead market editor of DiningOut (Bergen/Hudson County edition).

Favorite Healthy Eats in Ocean City, New Jersey

Published October 10, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_8693Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

My husband and I treated ourselves to a beautiful three-day stay in Ocean City, New Jersey. We scored a penthouse suite overlooking the ocean with a heated pool and a jacuzzi in the room (we absolutely adored the place, but I’m not saying where we stayed because we love our privacy and do plan to go back — very soon!)

So, while being vague about our actual vacation, I will give a shout out to some places that had great eats!

Crab Trap:

The Crab Trap, after a 45-minute wait for a table, was a very good time. They had live entertainment and excellent service. Standouts include the crackers and horseradish on the table (very addicting!) and the clams on a half shell.


Right on the boardwalk! The signature Original Acai bowl was to die for: pure acaí, banana, almond milk blend, topped with granola, sliced banana, and honey. This is so delicious, after the first one I went back three hours later for another — and added spirulina the second time. I’m only home one day and I am missing this already! (And again excellent service!)

Rojos Tacos:

Wanting something simple and healthy, I opted for a large serving of guacamole. Theirs was fabulous. It was made with cilantro. Another place with excellent service!

Bashful Banana:

Also on the boardwalk. I love this place because I was able to get lunch for breakfast! I had a veggie burger with hummus, salad and fresh fruit; and a kale/carrot/celery juice. Delicious, fresh food and more great service! We ate outside, but when I went inside, it was super cool to hear The Archies playing “Sugar Sugar.”

And I have to give a shout out to Pamela’s (health food) in Margate:

Pamela is a doll! I just stopped in for some zinc because I was a little under the weather. We ended up talking about cats for about 10 minutes! So I must say, they have some organic cat food I wasn’t able to find anywhere else. And you just can’t take a vacation without bringing a treat home to the little guy! ❤

Why the Word “Moderation” Has Got to Go!

Published July 19, 2015 by Maryanne

motivational-tipsKeep at it!

When it comes to health goals, the phrase “everything in moderation” has got to go. Would you tell an alcoholic to drink in moderation? Would you tell a diabetic to consumer sugar in moderation? To get from point A to point B you have to be extreme and say “no” — and sometimes for a very long time. Maybe forever. If I did things in moderation, I wouldn’t achieve such great health goals — I’ve freaked out more than one doctor in my lifetime with my health success by being an extremist.. So, don’t talk to me about “moderation.” You ain’t gonna win.

Now, this post isn’t about healthy people going on vacation and bringing food into their hotel rooms because they’re afraid to eat at a restaurant. This post is about people who have a health goal — whether it’s reversing diabetes or losing weight. If you’re serious about something, you gotta stick to it until you get to where you want to be.

As followers know, I’ve been doing the paleo diet for over a year now. For the first few months I was pretty rigid in it. During those first months, I developed fab abs (in my 50s!) and was able to raise my blood pressure to “normal.” That thrilled me because all my life my blood pressure was “too low.” Doctors said “too low” was better than “high” — but for me, I like to be perfect. I also impressed the ladies in the front office at my dentist. They thought I had my teeth whitened! No, my teeth got whiter from eating paleo!

But like anything else, when you’re feeling good and happy, you start to slack off. I’ll never forget, it was around Halloween when I had my first fun-sized bag of chips after four months of avoiding them. They just didn’t taste the same, but I ate them anyway. Then came Christmas and like everyone else, I indulged. Of course the little belly came back, but the blood pressure stayed normal because I was able to get right back into eating paleo. The paleo lifestyle is a win/win because it’s one of the few lifestyles that is so easy because you’re never hungry. The reason you’re never hungry is because you’re feeding your body with beautiful nutrients from good fats (grass-fed butter, avocado and coconut oil). So, now at this point I was eating about 80 percent paleo but also some grains.

 Now, if I didn’t know a thing or two about health/nutrition, I wouldn’t have had my own health column in The Patch online. Nor would I have had the opportunity to present lectures on the paleo diet at local libraries. (You can see this awesome article about me that ran in the Observer:

This week, I got into a sweet groove again after buying a package of paleo coconut wraps. I started making avocado/tomato sandwiches with them and also putting some extra grass-fed butter into my bulletproof coffee. Still not 100 percent paleo, but because of the extra fat — I noticed I lost about three pounds in a matter of a few days! The belly was going down again!!

My mistake was sharing this on Facebook.

Leave it to a “joy stealer” to come along and shoot me down. (NOTE: I coined the phrase “joy stealer” to define this sort of asshole: When someone is speaking positively of something they love, whether it be food, their husband, their career, etc. and another person shoots it down, it’s called “stealing joy.” And that is not a live-and-let-live mindset. If you do this, shame on you!)

A woman who drinks three yeasty beers with her lunch had the nerve to tell me “Everything in moderation. Fat is unhealthy.”

It cracks me up. People can drink like fish. Smoke a pack of cigarettes a day. Go to McDonald’s on a regular basis. Put chemicals on their hair. Avoid exercise. No one bats an eye. Then because I had an avocado in a coconut wrap — I have to hear, OH MY GOD I gotta watch my fat intake or I’m gonna die!!!

It’s pretty silly, right? I first said that back in 2004, defending my raw food diet (which is pretty close to paleo, actually … ever since I became paleo, my raw food intake increased dramatically). On day after a minor surgery, before I was self-employed and was still working in an office, I was eating a pineapple for lunch because pineapple is great for healing.

A snooty woman turned her nose up at me, scrunched her face, did the Elvis lip thing, and whined, “You’re gonna eat ALL THAT?”

But she never ever questioned the man who had three slices of pizza for lunch ever day. And she never questioned the ladies who had buckets and buckets of Chinese and Mexican take-out — not once ever making a fresh salad.

No, no, no … it’s the HEALTHY PERSON that people are skeptical of!

Thinking about all this, I came to the conclusion that people who say, “Everything in moderation” are those who feel guilty about their own shortcomings like the yeasty beer chick.

So, before you act like a JOY STEALER when you see someone eating 100 percent raw, or paleo or vegan … or doing the Master Cleanse … Don’t be an asshole and shoot down their goals with the ultra ridiculous “moderation” comment. Let people be and come to their lovely place on their own time. “Moderation” will always be around. Your health, maybe not.

SAM_7938Healthy me!

Thanks to grass-fed butter, coconut oil and avocados — consumed daily!

Maryanne Christiano Mistretta is an author and public speaker. She is available to present the lectures “Paleo for Beginners” and “Eat Well During the Holidays.” Will travel. Email Maryanne for pricing and availability:

Maryanne is also the author of “Love Cats” — a romantic/erotic fiction story that takes place in the 1980s and is definitely not for the moderation-minded! “Love Cats” is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats: