Saturday, December 21, 2013

Live More in 7 Steps

Wow, another year gone by. The older I get the faster the time seems to pass. Are you finding that too?  I vow to myself and to my loved ones to be grateful for every moment of precious time. That's why for me, this is a time to plan ahead for the new year AND reflect on this year soon to pass. During the last week of December, I will sit down with some good music playing, a glass of wine in hand, and my fur kids beside me to write it all down. I really look forward to this yearly ritual and I encourage you to try it. If you know me, you know I LOVE to organize, and this is a fun and useful way to kick start your dreams and goals and then next year it will be a great way to keep momentum going. When I coach you as a client, you will personalize this exercise fully in detail using all areas of life. Here's how to get it rolling using one example.

1. Just as I described my comfy space above, create your own space that's inspiring and comfortable for you. Give yourself at least a couple hours of uninterrupted time. Yes, I said two hours, you DESERVE it and you owe it to yourself and your loved ones. I mention loved ones because by reaching your goals, you are affecting others around you.  Trust me, if you don't quite get how that works now, by reflection time next year you will understand.  :)
2. Identify an area of your life that you would like to grow for the coming year. Maybe you want to get serious on your health goals this year, or you want to buckle down financially, or maybe you want to focus on a personal development goal.  Write down the area of life you chose and then rate yourself on a 0-10 scale where you are now. For example, 0 is no where near your goal, and 10 is exactly where you want to be.
3. Next describe your 10: "where you want to be." You can make it a list or a descriptive paragraph. Be specific. A good question to ask yourself to get started: "How will I know I reached my 10? Example:
Health 0-10  Current score 5
What's my 10? I will know that I reached my 10 when I...feel more energy, experience good moods on a regular basis, have lost 10 lbs. and have lowered blood pressure. Make your goals reasonable and attainable. You don't want to set yourself up for the impossible and hurt yourself trying to get there. On the other hand, don't limit yourself either! I think most of us humans way underestimate what is possible for ourselves.  So here's a test, do you know or know of anyone that has started where you are and accomplished similar results? 
4.  Once you have a narrowed down list of things you want to accomplish in the year ahead, WHY do you want that? Motivation will only go so far. Having reasons why you want what you want will pull you forward, which is much easier than using only your willpower, which is what happens when you don't identify your reasons. I suggest that you journal about your reasons. What will life be like when you reach your goal? How will it affect you and others?
5.  Get out your calendar! I still like good old pen and paper. I like the planners that show the whole month with the days of the month having large squares for lots of writing space. Set a date for your objectives and end goals. You might say, by June 15, I will have released five pounds. By December 31, all will be attained.
6. HOW will you get there? What do you need to do?  Whose support do you need? Make a list of action steps that make sense to reach your goal. 

  • Schedule a full physical in January for base line starting point. (Call for appointment Friday). 
  • Decide best form of exercise for me and schedule time in my calendar for exercise.
  • Learn and practice breathing techniques to reduce stress.
  • Monitor my blood pressure periodically (Ask Dr. how often and use blood pressure check station at drugstore)
  • Do a cleanse to learn how to eat healthy and jump start health (spring)
  • Sign up for a yoga class (Check out area class schedules today and start next week)
  • Drink more water!
I tend to be a list maker. It works for me. Don't get overwhelmed by your list! Chunk it down and give yourself "done by dates" and don't list too many things for one day. Also, I can't emphasis routine enough. Plan a routine and follow it. By 20-30 days you should be in the groove nicely. Last month I decided to drink the morning elixir that I use in my detox program on a daily basis instead of just during detox week.  It took a while to get into the morning routine, but now it's completely automatic. Anything and everything can become a routine. Repetition is key.

7. BE FLEXIBLE! You know what they say about the best laid plans... If things go off course, that is okay! There is no failure only feedback. Learn from what happened, and continue on. I think that is one of the biggest mistakes we can make; giving up too soon.

Here is an extra tip: Become aware of your self defeating thoughts that will make you want to give up (and they will show up!) I know I have had these thoughts at times: "Oh, this won't work, I've tried this before, this is too hard!  yadda yadda yadda..."  As powerful as thoughts are, they are just thoughts. You create your experience and emotional state with your thoughts.  Like in basketball, catch those thoughts and shoot them; don't hold the ball!  Remember why you want it and soon you will see your goals, the life you want, come into fruition. That is exciting and you know what comes next? You keep growing...
Now that's Living More!

Peg Haust-Arliss, LCSW-R, CHHC is a certified cognitive therapist, strategic interventionist, relationship educator, and board certified health coach.

Check out her websites and grab your free report:   
5 Mistakes You Don't Want to Make (Includes Bonus Recipes!)

Thursday, September 12, 2013


As a cognitive therapist I help my clients understand that our thoughts are directly connected to our emotions; we feel what we think.  But, it's not just our mindset or thoughts that create how we feel,  it's also the F factor: FOOD. Not just the food we feed our bodies, but also the food we feed our spirits. It's how we feed the areas in our lives that matter; areas like our relationships, our family and friends, our careers, our personal growth and contribution to others. All these areas are vitally important when it comes to the state of our emotional well being. When we neglect them we die inside, or we may feel we are just existing wondering if there is more.  But when we nourish these areas of life it feeds our hearts and minds and we thrive!

Food that we eat and food for our soul go hand in hand. Consider times when life was not going well. Did you ever use food for comfort? If you're like most of us you have. And what's "comfort food" anyway? You know, those high carb, sugary and salty goodies that we all crave now and again especially when there's excess stress in our lives. The problem is it's a perpetuating cycle. Because of today's hectic lifestyle, the stress often leads to going for the junk food that doesn't serve us and that typically leads to crashing and burning which makes us go for more junk. The ups and downs in blood sugar creates turmoil for your emotional state. This may commonly show up with intensified feelings of anger, nervous tension, frustration, which in turn creates turmoil in your relationships, your job, your motivation... Round and round we go; our nerves go up and down, and sometimes so does the scale. Sound familiar? So yes, we feel what we eat!

Hey you know what? I am certainly not perfect. Perfect is boring and stupid anyway!  Food IS meant to be enjoyed and celebrated too! But, I know that there is a food and mood connection and understanding the F Factor is vital in becoming truly emotionally fit.

Peg Haust-Arliss, LCSW-R is a certified cognitive therapist, strategic interventionist, relationship educator, board certified health coach and soon to be author. 

Check out her websites and grab your free report:   
5 Mistakes You Don't Want to Make (Includes Bonus Recipes!)


Looking for a snack that's quick and easy to make, good for your body AND good for your brain too? Here is my trail mix that will make you happy and healthy.

Here's Why: 

Research shows that nuts and seeds just might boost your brainpower and balance your moods.
According to Professor James Duke, many varieties of seeds and nuts contain tryptophan, an important amino acid that the brain converts to serotonin. Roasted pumpkin seeds and dry sunflower seeds are an excellent source of tryptophan, making them a safe, natural way to relive mild depression and insomnia. Additionally, sunflower seeds are high in thiamine, an important B vitamin for memory and cognitive function.
Coconut oil provides an alternative fuel source that the brain can use to work optimally once again.

Raw sunflower seeds
Raw pumpkin seeds
Dried cranberries
Coconut flakes (unsweetened)

Toast the raw seeds in a non stick skillet on low to med flame. Keep the pan moving and tossing; it will only take a few minutes to get them golden brown.
Mix in the dried cranberries and coconut flakes.

Peg Haust-Arliss, LCSW-R is a certified cognitive therapist, strategic interventionist, relationship educator, board certified health coach and soon to be author. 

Check out her websites and grab your free report:
 5 Mistakes You Don't Want to Make (Includes Bonus Recipes!)

Saturday, September 7, 2013


Today's Q&A is on a personal note. I get asked now and again why I decided to become a counselor, and why I specialize in anxiety?

At the risk of sounding cliche I must admit yes, counseling was my calling. Seriously, it called for me since age 17. I have a distinct memory of talking with a girl my age, an acquaintance at best, and she was sharing with me struggles and challenges she was going through.  I don't remember what I said or did, but I do remember her thanking me and saying very genuinely that I should be a counselor. That stuck with me always. So if this post should ever find you, thank you too! You affirmed for me what I only sensed was true.

I held on to that dream, but I didn't pursue it.  My story was that I had a public speaking phobia and that I was not smart enough so I couldn't possibly go to college. I did try, but was told that I didn't take the right classes; just more evidence that I was right.  Instead I went through life working various jobs. Some I loved, some not so much.  I became a hair stylist and dreamed of being a stylist to the stars! But, I didn't think I was good enough and of course, the best part was talking to the person in my chair about their life. I worked in factories, grocery stores, a vet hospital; all the while trying to find my groove.

My dream would literally not leave me. I was plagued with recurring dreams of walking down the hallways of my high school crying because I missed out on higher education.  I wanted to be a counselor for battered women and teen girls so, to compensate I became an advocate at the Victim's Resource Center. I loved it and I envied people who did this for a living! But again, always thinking: "I can't because..."  I had a million reasons.

Turning 30 was the turning point. I decided it was now or never. The pain of not pursuing my destiny was more painful than any anxiety right?  Besides, I will do what I do best, AVOID! I will avoid the classes that required public speaking, and if worse comes to worse I will have no problem accepting a zero for an assignment. As long as I get a C- that's all I need. I will figure it out like I always had since 1st grade!

So, I closed my eyes and jumped out of my comfort zone... WAY OUT!  I unexpectedly experienced anxiety that I never felt before and did not know one could feel! And THAT, my friends is why I now specialize in anxiety.
My new story today is that my anxiety challenge was a gift. Instead of it being something that happened to me, I now see it as something that happened for me. I needed to breakout of my prison cell. The prison cell that I now know that I created. Since then I have accomplished things I never would have imagined and if you personally know me I bet we can converse about 1 or 100 terrifying moments of my phobic past!  Do I ever experience anxiety today? YES of course I do!  But, now I know that anxiety is not the scary monster it wants me to think it is.

I sometimes still dream at night of walking down the halls of my high school, but now instead of crying I'm just on to my next class.

Peg Haust-Arliss, LCSW-R is a certified cognitive therapist, strategic interventionist, relationship educator, board certified health coach and soon to be author. 
Learn more about Peg and her services:

Monday, June 24, 2013

What Do You Want To Change Most?

I saw this survey in More magazine on the top 10 things people want to change. I tweeked it a little and thought it would be fun to see the results. So what do you want to change most?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tomato Mac and "Cheese"

I believe in the 90/10 rule, well okay, sometimes 80/20  for holidays and vacations :)  90% of the time eat really healthy and 10% of the time treat yourself to some of your favorites. I don't believe in deprivation and for me this recipe is one of those 10 % times!
Sunday night is pasta night at our house and I was craving some good old fashioned mac and cheese. But not just any mac and cheese, I wanted the kind that my sister used to make. She would add tomatoes and cheddar cheese soup and I loved it! I wanted to recreate that a bit more elaborately. It turned out so great!   Here's what I came up with:


1 lb Elbow Pasta  ( I used PastaJoy Brand, Brown Rice Pasta)
1/4 cup Earth Balance Butter 
1/3 cup flour
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1-2 cloves of garlic minced
S+P to taste
For the Cheese Topping: Adapted from Forks Over Knives "No Cheese Sauce" Recipe
This reflects a bit more tahini and cashews than the original recipe:
1 large onion roughly chopped
1 large red pepper roughly chopped
6 Tbs of raw cashews
2 Tbs of tahini
1 cup nutritional yeast
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350
Cook pasta according to package instructions
In a medium saucepan melt butter and add flour to make a paste
Add tomatoes and garlic and S+P. Cook for a few minutes until heated.
Drain pasta and put back in pot. Stir in tomato mixture.
Put in 9x13 casserole dish
Cheese Topping: 

Add all ingredients to high powered blender
Blend until smooth and creamy
Pour over the pasta
Sprinkle with bread crumbs if desired
Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes

I hope you like it! ENJOY!

Live More Every Day,

Peg Haust-Arliss, LCSW-R is a certified cognitive therapist, strategic interventionist, relationship educator and soon to be board certified health coach and author. 
Learn more about Peg and her services:
Connect with her:

Monday, May 27, 2013


Dear Peg,
I think my best friend's husband is abusive to her. I hate to see her go through this, but I'm afraid to say anything. What do I do?
Thanks for any guidance you can give. TM

Dear TM,
I understand your dilemma. You didn't say why you are afraid to say anything, but I imagine that you might be afraid for a couple reasons. Maybe you're afraid because you don't want her to be mad at you and you don't want to risk losing your friendship. Or, maybe you believe it's her journey and she needs to come to her own conclusions in her own time. Or, maybe you are afraid of him yourself and what he might do if he knew you said anything.

I noticed that you said "I think my friend's husband is abusive to her." If you are not sure because she hasn't shared that he is indeed abusive, and this is your intuitive feeling or you are questioning if what YOU are seeing is abuse, then a good idea in that situation may be to educate yourself on the warning signs and then ask your friend honestly and gently: "Hey, I came across this info about abusive relationships, have you ever experienced this." That opens the door to conversation about it. If she shares that she is in an abusive marriage, the best thing you can do is be supportive and non-judgmental. The last thing she needs to hear is: "Why are you putting up with this, or I would never tolerate that." She needs all the support she can get so let her know that you can be that person for her.

Safety is always first and foremost. We should never minimize the potential seriousness of these situations. Violence, once it starts, typically becomes more volatile in time.
I know you are a good friend because you took the time to write. She is lucky to have you.

Here is a great link for anyone who needs more info about domestic violence.
For local agencies contact: 

Victim Resource Center 
Wayne County
Phone: (315) 331-1171
Hotline: (866) 343-8808

Safe Harbors
                                                     YATES (315) 536–2897
                                          ENECA & ONTARIO (800) 247–7273

Cayuga County



Love sweets? ME TOO!  That's not a bad thing. In fact, it is completely natural to want them. Throughout evolution we have been programmed to crave them. It's our bodies way to tell us we need energy. However, these days, its crap we tend to reach for.  Cut the crap!  Try my recipe for decadence without the unhealthy additives and toxins.  I offered this smoothie recipe in my Spring Forward Detox online program last month. Just wait to see what's in store for the the summer program Can you say chocolate mint pattie? YUM! 

1/2 Cup to 1 Cup UNSWEETENED Almond or Coconut Milk
1 Ripe Banana
2 TBS Unsweetened Sunbutter
1 TBS Raw Honey
2 TBS Raw Cacoa

Blend and Enjoy!!  

Live More Every Day,  

Would love to hear from you! What was your favorite treat growing up? Mine was Butterfinger candy bars and Captain Crunch Cereal! Lord have mercy!  What is it now? Do you have any side effects after eating too much sugar? I get energized then I crash. :(  I'm here to help you break that cycle!