The Circle of Wellness Newsletter, 12/21
The Circle

The Circle of Wellness with Diana

Monthly Reflections

2021 is almost at its end. It feels like only yesterday we welcomed this year and had hopes that it’d be a better one than 2020 was. Whether these hopes materialised or not is a very individual opinion. No matter what’s happening outside, we’re still in charge of our life and do have choices even in situations that seem hopeless.

Have you noticed that time seems to speed up faster and faster with every year we’ve lived? I think it’s because as children, we’re much more rooted in the “now”, immediate surroundings and our very intimate sense of the world. Children spend most of their time learning about themselves, playing, creating, and building relationships with their close family members and friends. That means children spend a lot of time connecting to their senses and sensory outputs. As adults, though, we live life mostly through cognition/the Ego and mental processes that may turn faulty at times and produce a lot of emotional distress.

Questions to ponder: When was the last time you allowed your “inner child” to come out and play? How much time do you allow for creativity and spontaneity in your life? How do you connect to the world through your senses, not cognition? What are some ways you can “freeze the moment” so you can enjoy being in the “now”?

December is the holiday month so connect to the holiday spirit, no matter which holiday you celebrate, the way children do: through hope, belief in magic, all the good in the world, and feeling like you’re always on the “nice and never naughty” list.

News and Announcements

I’m currently accepting new clients for psychotherapy and Personal Development remote sessions. All current clients receive a 20% discount for Personal Development or MARI services, and newsletter subscribers receive a 10% discount as new clients.

I came across this new viral trend.
Please do not do that!!
The early years is when children develop their sense of safety, security patterns of constancy, and also patterns of emotional bonding. Inflicting trauma, especially by a primary caregiver, produces psychosomatic response that gets stored in the body and later plays out as anxiety, attachment issues, mistrust in relationships, and ultimately creates a view of the world as unsafe and unpredictable. It may seem fleeting and funny but the effects can be lifelong.

Research and Information

Here’s a very interesting study on the effects of nutrition and specific nutrients on the bipolar disorder. I think by now, it’s more of a common knowledge that what we eat is much more than just food particles to satiate and help us exist. Food is either medicine or toxin, so re-evaluating what we eat is one of the first steps in trying to achieve a healthier life.

If you or your loved ones have bipolar disorder, please read this study and look into adding adequate healthy fats and increasing omega-3 fatty acids.

Suggested Readings

This month’s suggested reading is more in tune with the popular notion of making a New Year’s resolution. If you’re determined to follow it, make it the right way. And “Clean Out Your Life Closet” by Corbie Mitleid will help you with guidance, practical suggestions, and humour to achieve your goals. Get this great book through the link.

Useful Links and Resources

I have a great suggested resource for you this month, especially considering that it’s a month of gift-giving. Radiant Sun Botanicals is a collection of all-natural, organic, and absolutely pure lines of body butters, oils, and perfumes that are actually good for you and are safe for the whole family, including children. The creator of these products, Stephanie Kraft, is a certified health coach, a hypnotherapist, yoga instructor, and a very powerful healer, so everything is infused with her healing energy and loving intentions. You will not regret trying some or all of her products as they feel and smell amazing. Get your healthy fix through the link and you’ll love it.

Recipe of the Month

The holidays are just two weeks away, and I bet you’re already planning your meals and sending out the invitations. I’m sure you have all your holiday staples you always serve at the table, but I’m encouraging you to try something new today. This recipe can be used as a nice side dish or an appetizer. It combines all the favorite winter foods in a cute individual serving setting that can satisfy a variety of dietary needs and preferences. A combination of fruits and vegetables with a splash of red wine, honey and warming spices brings this dish together as a great alternative to traditional holiday side dishes of stuffing or casseroles. But the most important thing, it just tastes delicious!

Baked Apples Stuffed with Caramelized Brussels and Cherries

  • 7-8 medium size apples cored
  • 2 cups of brussel sprouts shredded
  • 1 medium size red onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup of dried cherries
  • 1 Tbsp of butter melted, or dairy-free alternative
  • 3 Tbsps of red wine
  • 2 Tbsps of maple syrup
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 2 tsp of seasoning salt
  • 2 tsps of ginger powder
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp of nutmeg
  • olive oil for frying
  • a pinch of chili flakes
  • chopped nuts or seeds to garnish


  • Core apples and brush them inside and out with melted butter mixed with honey and a pinch of nutmeg, cardamom and nutmeg.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and bake apples for 10 minutes.
  • Set apples aside and lower the temperature to 375 degrees.
  • Heat the skillet with olive oil and stir fry onions for 1-2 minutes, add brussels and stir fry for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Then add cherries, spices, red wine and maple syrup, cook for 4-5 minutes until the mix is caramelized but not overcooked.
  • Stuff apples with brussels mix and bake for another 20-25 minutes or until apples are soft yet can still hold their shape.
  • Garnish with nuts or seeds and serve while warm.


You can use dried cranberries or any other dried berries instead of cherries and substitute with a dairy-free butter to make this dish vegan.

Homework Corner

Reminisce about your childhood and bring back memories about your favorite holiday tradition, a particular holiday season or a holiday occasion that made you feel wonderful, even if that was for just one day. What can be recreated right now for your adult self and perhaps for your whole family? Can you connect to the feelings of wonder, holiday magic and joy you felt as a child? Can you look beyond the hustle and bustle and transcend the stress of commercialisation of the holiday spirit? Can you connect to your inner child and immerse yourself in your childhood memories of whatever you felt was so wonderful, and can you bring back a little sparkle of that into your adult life?



Afina wants to remind everyone to incorporate gratitude into your daily mindfulness practices and find things to be thankful for no matter what’s happening in your life.

Happy Holidays and a wonderful
New Year!


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