Author Archive

Unplug to Recharge: 3 Months of Just Juice

February 28th, 2016

carrot juiceThe March edition of my ezine, That’s Forkin Amazing!, is dedicated to the topic of fasting and detoxification. In putting together the stories for that issue, I found myself reflecting on the 92-day juice fast I completed in 2008. It was a positively transformative experience, and even during the most challenging times (trust me, there were some!) I was constantly learning and receiving benefits.

I did not have a specific ailment or health challenge I needed to address when I began a 92-day juice fast on December 29, 2007. I merely sought to experience some of the cleansing and detoxification I had heard others speak about. I had just passed a milestone birthday. Up to that point my lifestyle was a mixture of healthy and not-so-healthy practices. I was a budding raw vegan who got regular exercise, but I drank alcohol almost daily and my spiritual life was lacking. I worked more than 60 hours a week in the deadline driven advertising business. For 25 years I was a founder and the managing partner in a successful firm. I felt as though the time was right to unplug from the madness for a bit.

The initial days of my fast were the most challenging, simply because I was hungry. Fortunately, I had prepared ahead of time by buying an additional juicer to keep at my office. I had stocked up on produce and experimented with juice blends in the days leading up to the start of my fast.

My preparatory efforts paid off. After the first few days of settling in to a new routine, I was delighted to discover what a long vacation from food could do for me. Most days I had infinitely more energy. I required less sleep and my ability to concentrate was enhanced. I was starting to feel recharged. Additionally, I experienced several incidents of deep cleansing. For example, I had vivid recollections of a tonsillectomy I had when I was seven—down to being able to smell the ether they had given me as anesthesia. I developed a temporary black welt on my tongue that my acupuncturist interpreted—based on its location—as healing evidence from a childhood bout of pneumonia. A mildly annoying skin bump I had for over 20 years faded away eight weeks into the fast, and never returned. My fasting experience certainly made an undeniable impact on my life, but the most lasting of these impacts was not physiological.

There’s a saying that goes “When God closes a door he opens a window.” It’s one of those adages we find ourselves uttering to friends when we hear they’ve been laid off from a job, or that a meaningful relationship is coming to an end. Once in a while, we find ourselves in that moment of in-between: when we are conscious and can actually pinpoint the conclusion of one chapter and the commencement of another. Mine was brought to light by the juice fast. At the risk of sounding unhumble, my business partner and I and the firm we co-owned was quite prominent in our little corner of the advertising universe. We were successful. We “had it all.” And yet—about midway into the juice fast—I realized how miserable I had become. My break from meal preparation and the numbing effects of food and excessive drink forced me to examine what my high-stress, spiritually void and less-than-health-promoting situation was actually doing to me. In looking at the journal I kept before and during the juice fast, I see that my emotional awakenings had made it virtually impossible for me to stay in the status quo.

Not long afterward, I told my business partner that I simply needed to do something else. My “something else” became Fork in the Road. It truly is the perfect blend of all that I have done in my life so far. One of the programs I offer is an online 10-day juice fast I call Unplug & Recharge. It seems a rather fitting name.

Like this sort of thing? Subscribe to my ezine!

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Sobriety Support: It’s (Virtually) Everywhere!

January 5th, 2016

9138449It’s January, time for resolutions, fresh starts and all kinds of personal change. Maybe one of your resolutions involves drinking less (or not drinking any) alcohol. If you’ve tried to quit or cut back before, you know it’s not an easy thing to do for many people. There is social pressure to drink regardless of your age, and alcohol is simply everywhere. There are, however, a lot of places to turn and resources you can count on if you’re committed to making some changes.

In addition to live support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Secular Organizations for Sobriety, SMART Recovery and Women for Sobriety, there are virtual organizations to help those trying to manage a relationship with alcohol. Many of the groups are targeted specifically to women, and most groups include members from around the world. A few that have crossed our radar include these, but know that the list is far from exhaustive.

Hello Sunday Morning
Hello Sunday Morning (HSM) is the largest online movement for alcohol behavior change in the world. Based in Australia, the site also appears to have the most significant number of males who participate. Founded in 2009 by Chris Raine, HSM offers a community platform for people taking an alcohol break and an iPhone app for those interested in alcohol moderation. Every Sunday the community members share highlights of their hangover free day on Instagram. Support the organization in its mission to broaden its reach with a voluntary contribution.

Living Sober
Lotta Dann, who blogs from New Zealand as Mrs. D Is Going Without (also the name of her book) is the host of a free resource that bills itself as a “place of warmth, wisdom, support, encouragement and understanding.” If you register as a member, which you can do anonymously, you gain access to the Members Feed, which is a rolling communication space. As a non-member you can view the Faces of Recovery gallery, use the Sober Calculator, and utilize the information inside the Getting Help section.

Sexy Sobriety
Holistic Health Coach Rebecca Weller runs this site from Australia. The site offers free access to interviews with a variety of women in various stages of abstinence. A 90-day membership costs $197 and includes a focused coaching program and access to additional content. Weller explains that her mission is to help you feel empowered, happy and confident in your choice not to drink. She says that Sexy Sobriety provides insights that are not just lessons in sobriety, but lessons in life. She covers topics like how to find balance, how to manage emotions in a healthy way, and how to care for yourself.

Launched in 2012 in the UK, the groups’ founder Lucy Rocca has authored several books on sobriety, including Glass Half Full and How to Lead a Happier, Healthier and Alcohol-Free Life. While anyone can visit the website, the bulk of the helpful content—including the ability to comment in the online forums—is available only to paid members. A three-month membership costs about $20. Anyone interested in Soberistas is allowed 50 free page views of the website, prior to payment being required.

The Sober School
Sober since 2013, site manager Kate Bee offers a six-week online training program for women who want to examine their relationship with alcohol. The cost for the guided course is approximately $375. Whether you’re taking a short break from alcohol or giving up for good, the Sober School program offers a variety of tips and resources. A Stop Drinking Toolkit is offered free on the website, where you can also access Kate’s weekly blog posts. The Sober School is based in the UK.

Tired of Thinking About Drinking
Based in France, this support group is run by Belle Robertson, who explains that the site is 80 percent completely free content, including a 100-day sober challenge, daily emails, a blog and newsletters. The other 20 percent is fee-based, including an audio Sober Jumpstart class, customized sober jewelry, treat boxes, sober mentor calls with Belle and a podcast subscription. Visitors are encouraged to sign up for the 100-Day Sober Challenge.

Do you like to read articles like this one? Subscribe to my monthly ezine That’s Forkin’ Amazing!, by clicking here:

*For a personal account of my own “Reflections on a Year Without Alcohol” go here:

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

First Times

September 22nd, 2015

This morning there was a new girl in yoga.

Our class starts at 5:00 a.m., but you can arrive any time. The New Girl came about 5:30, and the group was already entrenched in the rhythmic breathing of our individualized practices.

Without even looking up, I could sense that she was inexperienced, just from the tentative way she unfurled her mat. She warily claimed the space next to mine, careful not to take up too much room. She began moving self-consciously, hesitatingly.

I admit that for a moment I was distracted. A flood of empathy came over me as I remembered myself being “the new girl,” not just in yoga but at so many things. New in school, at a class, in a job. New at the computer, new at being a vegan, new in a relationship. It sucks to be green at something, partly because the things we’re experienced at give us such a contrasting feeling of competence and a sense of place. There is no feeling of belonging when you first lay your yoga mat down in a new studio or when you give your initial speech.

Still thinking about the topic, when I got home from yoga I looked in my archives and I found a videotape of the first recipe demonstration I gave, back while I was in culinary school. It was filmed in March 2007, over eight years ago. I’ve given hundreds of talks since, most (tho certainly not all) of them better than my maiden voyage presentation.

I had wanted to connect with New Girl after yoga today, but the moment did not present itself; she was done and gone before my practice was complete. I wanted to tell her to hang in there, to give herself a chance. I wanted to make a sweeping gesture at my fellow yogis and say, “every one of us has felt—and still sometimes feels—like a beginner, and as though we will never truly ‘get it.’”

Because I missed that chance today, I dedicate this message to anyone reading this who is trying, or even thinking of trying, something new. Know that you are brave, bold and daring. Trust that whether anyone says it to you or not, you are respected for your courage and tenacity and pluckiness. And believe that you will only be New Girl (or New Guy) for a short while. Just keep showing up.


Recipe from video linked above:


Yield: 1 1/2 cups (6 servings)




1 1/2 cups red bell peppers, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup pine nuts soaked, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup purified water, or more as needed

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh parsley, leaves only

1/2 tablespoon paprika

1/2 tablespoon hot mustard

1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic

1/4 teaspoon solar-dried sea salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 tablespoon agave nectar, if needed

Place all of the ingredients except the agave nectar in a high-powered blender, and puree until smooth. Taste the blended mixture and add up to 1/2 tablespoon of agave nectar if it needs more sweetness. Serve over vegetable dishes. Store in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator for up to two days.


This recipe may be thinned with water and used as a salad dressing for fruit or vegetable salads.

~Adapted from a recipe by Chef Cherie Soria

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: