The Diva Digests

an opera singer's thoughts on music, food, and the meaning of life

Reflections on an old year

2013 was an incredible year. I toured the U.S. and Canada this Spring singing Pitti-Sing in The Mikado and Edith inThe Pirates of Penzance with NYGASP. I returned to Martha’s Vineyard (twice!) for singing engagements. I celebrated the marriage of a dear friend, who did me the honor of asking me to sing at her wedding. I celebrated my own fifth wedding anniversary (time is flying — I can’t even fathom how fast). I ran two half-marathons and two 10k’s and raised thousands of dollars for blood cancer research with Team in Training and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. One of those races took me to Bermuda for the first time. I enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I sang the hardest music I’ve yet encountered on a concert celebrating American composer John Harbison’s birthday. Hubs and I spent a long weekend on Seneca Lake. We attended the baby shower of my former roommate; we spent Thanksgiving with my in-laws. I sang on my first ever improv recital. (So cool!!) I kept my job at the law firm. And I ended up with adrenal fatigue…

Not surprising, I guess. A body can only do so much, and I. did. SO. MUCH. Actually, a body can handle A LOT, with a healthy stress response. My stress response was compromised. My naturopath said that she was shocked, looking at my test results, that I wasn’t seriously depressed and/or incredibly sick. My positive outlook kept me afloat. (There are unseen advantages to being a Pollyanna after all!) It turns out that my insomniac husband was also in adrenal fatigue, so we have both been in “therapy” with our naturopath to restore our neurotransmitters. We’ve both cleaned up our diets — even my beer and cheese loving husband has cut back on both. He started baking his own bagels. He started baking me some delectable Paleo treats. The more I learned about health and nutrition at IIN, the healthier I wanted to be. And the one time this Fall that I let myself fall off the wagon, I got sick. A dozen cookies over the course of 2 days and I was sick in bed for 6 days. My poor immune system couldn’t fend off my co-workers’ viruses once handicapped by the sugar.

I’m still trying to figure out how to find balance in this crazy life in NYC. How does a person work a full-time job, pursue their life’s work in another field, go to school part-time in yet another field of interest, attend to their marriage, stay in shape, and keep the house clean???? (If you saw my apartment, you’d understand in a flash that I haven’t yet figured this out.) I have learned that good nutrition is the key. As long as I’m eating well and getting enough sleep, I stand a shot at maintaining my balance. The minute I start eating garbage, I begin a downward spiral.

The good news is that it’s easy to eat well. It isn’t always convenient to cook my own food, but I’m working increasing my home-cooked percentages. (It’s getting easier, though, now that the Hubs is cleaning up his habits as well.)

Some goals for 2014: eat more organic produce and less meat (but best quality only, when I do), cook more meals at home, meditate and practice more yoga, take more classes at the gym, drop 10 pounds, be better organized, clean my apartment, read more, spend less, go to France, and make the most of my time (MY TIME), call my friends and family more frequently, write more, keep elevating my musical pursuits and singing my heart out, and get my Health Coaching practice off the ground.

What are your goals for 2014???

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about The Diva

I’m a California native, recently returned to the L.A. area after 15 years as an opera singer in the Big Apple. Singing has always been my favorite means of communication and self-expression. I’m a self-conscious self-editor, so singing someone else’s words and music has given me the freedom over the years to express what I couldn’t figure out how to say. Well, I’m tired of editing, so here I am, writing my own words (for better or worse). Welcome to my blog! I’ll write mostly about singing and eating, and how the two have intersected in my life.


My overall health is pretty good (and it’s a lot better than it used to be). Thank God, I’ve never had major illnesses. But repeat sinus infections for an opera singer is pretty bad news. When I realized I was making myself sick with what I was eating (hello coffee, fried food, and refined sugar!), it was a huge wake-up call. I could likely have saved myself an invasive surgery if I had known that my fibroids were growing because of my highly inflammatory diet. I thought surgery was my best option, because it was what my doctor recommended! (By the way, I have kept my fibroids in check and improved my sinus health – and lost 25 pounds – by engaging in new food habits that reduce inflammation.)


We have become a magic pill culture. Sit in front of the TV for 5 minutes, and you’re bombarded by direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical marketing. “Do you suffer from heartburn so bad it makes you vomit? Never fear. Go ahead and eat that plateful of atomic buffalo wings, wash it down with a bottle of red wine, and take this little pill. You’ll be right as rain.” UGH. (I paraphrase, but you get the idea.) Actually, you’ll end up with chronic inflammation, which can lead to serious illness. (Cancer, anyone?) Have you ever considered that the bloating and discomfort you feel after a meal is NOT normal? Do you want to get off of your OTC (and possibly even your prescription) meds? Do you want to quit your daily Advil habit? You can do it by making a few, simple changes to your diet. (Countless people have even reversed their diabetes by changing what and how they eat. Diabetes!!) Food can change the world — and YOUR LIFE.


If you have struggled with sugar or other food addiction, poor sleep, intense stress, brain fog, blocked creativity, with the feeling that you haven’t reached your potential, and you are looking for an ally to help achieve your best health, unlock your super powers, and live a dynamic life, please contact me at to set up a FREE 1-hour consultation and learn more about one-on-one and group coaching options… The Diva will help you Digest, too, and live an authentic, dynamic life. ;)


Thanks for stopping by. Make today your best day yet!! Remember: Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful. (-Anonymous) It just has to be authentic. (-Me)