A Modern Day Guide to Therapeutic Lifestyle Design and Healing Chronic Stress from the Inside Out!

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area

Christina Pandolfo, MS, OTR/L, NC


Category Archives: General

Simple Butternut Squash & Thyme Soup

One of my favorite things about fall is cooking warm and comforting recipes like this Butternut Squash and Thyme soup. This soup is incredibly easy to make – so easy in fact I was able to make it while entertaining my eight month old nephew and vivacious pup! Buying the butternut squash already cut and cubed really helped me cut down on the preparation time. Check your local grocery store, I know that Trader Joe’s has butternut squash already cut, cubed and ready to go!

Besides being simple to make, this recipe is also deeply nourishing. Butternut squash is a good source of vitamins C, B1, and B6; and also a great source of fiber, potassium, and folic acid. Adding thyme as a garnish packs in additional therapeutic benefits since it is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral…perfect for the upcoming cold season!

Simple Butternut Squash & Thyme Soup


  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (you can also use olive oil or ghee)
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 pound of cubed butternut squash
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
  • Fresh thyme for garnish


  • Using medium heat, warm the coconut oil in a stockpot
  • Add the onion and sauté until the onion is soft
  • Add the butternut squash and broth
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer
  • Keep covered for approximately 30 minutes or until the squash is soft
  • Remove from heat and add sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Use an immersion blender and blend until the soup is smooth. (You can also use a regular blender if you do not have an immersion blender – just allow the soup to cool, then blend in small amounts, and return to the stockpot).
  • Pour into soup bowl and garnish with thyme.



Nutritional References: Murray, M (2005). The Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York: Atria Books.

My New Favorite Warm Winter Green Juice

This warm winter green juice recipe is inspired by a recent trip to my Ayurveda Practitioner – who told me (based on my constitution and recent cold) ‘No cold drinks or food for the rest of winter’. We talked about some alternative ways to still drink my greens, and the result is this delicious juice/soup fusion…Continue Reading

Self-Care Throughout the Holidays and Beyond

The Holidays are here, and no matter what you celebrate, hopefully you are enjoying yourself and having a stress-free and joyful time. Unfortunately, for many people, feeling frazzled and rushing around are a part of what some people call ‘holiday madness’. It doesn’t have to be this way! I want to share some of my…Continue Reading

Toasted Nori Veggie Hand Rolls

Are you gluten-free and want another option for wraps other than using lettuce? If so, check out my current favorite snack: Toasted Nori Veggie Hand Rolls! This anti-inflammatory snack, full of micronutrients and healthy fats, is extremely nourishing for the body. The nori seaweed sheets are high in plant protein, and rich in both iron…Continue Reading

Q & A Therapeutic Thursday: Newly Gluten-Free and Having Difficulty in Social Situations

Question: After a few years of not feeling well, I found out I have several food sensitivities contributing to my health issues, including gluten. I know I’m not supposed to eat foods containing gluten, but I am really struggling with the restrictions, especially when I go out to dinner with my friends, and in social…Continue Reading

Celebrating Figs

This morning I celebrated my first figs of the season! Breakfast this sunny Sunday morning consisted of figs, unsweetened cultured coconut milk, a bit of Udi’s gluten-free granola, and a drizzle of honey. Simple, and delicious! A wonderful source of fiber, figs also contain good amounts of calcium, and potassium; and they also help to…Continue Reading

Tomato and Basil Salad

My sister and I share memories of going to our Great Uncle’s house and eating the most delicious ripened tomatoes right off the vine. It tasted like summer, and those tomatoes were the best we’ve ever tasted. These days, this Tomato and Basil Salad is my favorite way to enjoy ripe summer tomatoes. With chopped basil,…Continue Reading

Zucchini Ribbon Summer Salad

Lately, I have been having visions of hosting a summer dinner party, complete with hanging lanterns in the moonlight and a dreamy playlist of old tunes like La Vie En Rose and Stardust by Louis Armstrong, Isn’t it Romantic by Ella Fitzgerald, and Polka Dots & Moonbeams by The Four Freshman. See, I really have this…Continue Reading