Dec 25, 2016

Hi {!firstname_fix},

Tonight is very quiet. It has been a lovely day. My son and I finished dinner and will sit down and watch a movie on his home movie set up. It is pretty ingenious. Comfortable couch and a projected image on a pull-down screen. A great way to *go to the movies.*
I have thought of all of you today as I have reflected on the joys in my life.

I started writing Potatoes Not Prozac here, so it touches me to be back in the land of my creativity. I have my pen and pad with me.I am sure the muse is being awakened. I will look forward to sharing with you as she speaks.

Don't forget the early bird special for the Spring Radiant Ranch here in New Mexico this May. Register by December 31 to get a $100 discount.

Upcoming Classes

These classes will begin December 28, 2016

Radiant Step  One
This is a Free class that is conducted right in the Step One Group. It will give you all the basics. Just make sure to sign up for the Group. You do not need to preregister.

Healing Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is a key component in gaining weight and being vulnerable to diabetes. I did a whole series on this a number of years ago, but continue to learn new information. I am reading original research articles and I was fascinated and thought you would LOVE hearing about this. You will learn what insulin resistance is, and very concrete specific things you can do and eat to reverse it. If weight loss or pre diabetes is a concern for you, this will be a great class.

If you are thinking you will catch this one next time around, I would do it now. This is the kind of class that maybe I would do every 2 years or so.   

I will post a schedule the classes that I will be doing for the next 3 months on the web next week.

Rather than responding to problems or roadblocks with tears, you will start anticipating and solving problems.

Testimonial of the Week
You are in the right place! I have suffered from depression in the past, the kind where you can hardly move, can't sleep, can't stay awake, can't live, and feeling like nobody loves me and nothing's worth doing. I've had anxiety that kept me housebound.

Now I am so mentally healthy I almost don't recognize myself. I wake up cheerful for no special reason. I feel like doing the things I used to enjoy. My mind is clearer. I feel more confident, even at my current weight. I don't fear social events. I don't feel as if the world has me under a microscope I feel good about the future.

When you're depressed you don't feel like anything is going to help. Just start with Step 1, eating breakfast, every morning, within an hour of getting up, with enough protein for your body, and see if you don't notice a difference the next day. Notice that the first five steps are actually adding things to your life, not taking anything away. When you're depressed you have no energy to do much of anything, so find the easy ways to do the program. People swear by George's Restore for breakfast. Make some hard-boiled eggs to keep in the fridge. Whatever works is what you do. Don't go to the next step until you love the one you're on. This is a gentle, peaceful process that will amaze you, one step at a time! And unlike most diets, this one gets easier as you go along instead of harder. Each step supports the next.

We're here for you!

Radiant Recovery Store
Here is a testimony to the impact of your input. One of our regular customers told us about a Nordic Naturals product she had tried. It is called ProDHA Eye. She said her ophthalmologist had recommended it for *dry eye* and it was having a huge impact for her. Kathleen read that email and asked me if I had sent in our Nordic order yet. I said, *No, I was doing it that afternoon.* Here is her response:

As I have gotten older, the issue of dry eye has become more of a problem. Living in New Mexico, which is DRY, DRY, makes it way worse. You know I LOVE Nordic products, let's give it a shot. I know it is a bit pricey, but when I think about how much I am spending on eye drops, this sounds way better.

Here is what Nordic Naturals says about it:

  • Added Zeaxanthin and FloraGLO Lutein for ultimate eye protection*

  • 93+% true triglyceride form for optimal absorption of essential omega-3s*

  • Promotes healthy eye moisture and tear production*

ProDHA Eye® combines concentrated omega-3 fish oil with key nutrients that have been shown to protect the eyes and support healthy vision.* The omega-3 DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is more concentrated in eye tissue than in any other part of the body, and is vital to the structure and function of healthy eyes. By supporting healthy inflammatory levels, omega-3s can also help alleviate many common symptoms of eye discomfort such as dryness, pain, and redness.* FloraGLO® Lutein with zeaxanthin has been added to further support the structures of the eye and provide protection against harmful ultraviolet blue light.* ProDHA Eye combines these key eye nutrients in one convenient formula.

Please send questions and suggestions. I love hearing from you and truly want to help you do your program better
Radiant Kitchen
Praline Sweet Potato Casserole


  • 3 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 4-oz. jar babyfood applesauce
  • 1 stick butter, divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla (I used a vanilla, butter, nut flavoring.)
  • 1/2 tsp maple flavoring
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used oat milk.)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I used spelt flour.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

Combine mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, applesauce, 1/2 stick butter, vanilla, maple flavoring and milk. Set aside in 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

Mix 1/2 stick butter, pecans, and flour. Crumble over top of casserole.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Topping should be brown.

Casserole may be assembled a day ahead, refrigerated and then baked 2 to 3 hours before serving.

Serves 8 to 10.

 For great program-friendly recipes, check out our Cookbook in the store and visit our online Radiant Recipes site.

Radiant YLD
We talked about Your Last Diet at chat and looked at how the weight loss process fits into the bigger picture of healing. If you have been buffeted by all the cultural hype of what you have to do to lose weight and you are tired, this is the place for a new look. If you read the articles just published talking about the long-term outcomes of *the Biggest Loser* and feel you are doomed to regain whatever you worked so hard to lose and feel you have to end up regaining it, then the Your Last Diet is the antidote. The rebound only happens if you haven't HEALED your body and brain. Just working with the scale will doom you to always regaining. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Your program will include:
  • People who understand and mentor you
  • A dedicated list on Yahoo with my personal participation
  • Access to a dedicated chat that I lead. It is held at 2 different times each week so it is accessible to people all over the globe
  • Access to classes specific to weight loss
If you would like to join us in YLD, come find us here
Radiant Living
Some of the old timers wanted to know where to talk about their process. They wanted to have a place to share about *refinements* and *life enhancements*. We have support for depression and cooking and fitness, but nowhere to look at *life* stuff. The logical option is Radiant Living. It is kinda the *living step 7* place.

If you would like to join us in Radiant Living, come find us here.
What is Radiance?

Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D.

I don't remember ever having Hanukkah and Christmas falling on the same day. I think it is a profound symbol of unity and hope. In all the years that I have have been writing, I have never actually written anything to define Radiance as I think of it in Radiant Recovery®.
In fact, I have never explicitly defined it for myself. Some things have happened this past month that have allowed me to experience on a cellular level what I have always held in my heart about its promise. I thought tonight would be a good time to share that with you.

I felt the promise first.

I started my business 25 years ago in Northern California. I called it Radiant Recovery. The recovery part was easy. It was about healing addiction. The radiant part felt like being filled with light although in reality that seemed a little more esoteric than what it felt to me. I had been leading the Safe Place Meditations since 1981 when we designed them for our work in the prison in Rhode Island. We worked in the segregation unit there with the guys who were separated from the general population because their crimes were so unthinkable.  The meditation taught them to imagine the light wrapping them, holding them and filling them. Those times taught me the power of safety, compassion and shining light into darkness to heal darkness. Those guys formed who I am today.

Later I worked with alcoholics. We did treatment 12-step work, nutrition and the same meditations that I had developed for the prisons. I began living the 7 steps that I wrote about in Potatoes Not Prozac. But the 7th Step was vague. Originally we called it the Getting a Life step.

We formed the Radiant Recovery Community and invited all of you to share in the process of learning how to “do the food” and change your life. Learning to do the food was pretty straightforward, although learning how to put it into practice was a little trickier. We got the logistics but struggled a bit with the joy part. We literally stumbled into joy dots by chance (sort of, LOL). I got tired of grumpiness on the Depression list and asked someone, someone who was particularly and persistently grumpy, to just try writing down 3 things that touched her during the day – just little noticings that made her heart spark a bit.

My original suggestion was not exactly a joyful option. I was just tired of the whining and being stuck energy on the list. “Just see if it makes a difference,” I said. She tried it in her next post, put three things sort of as an afterthought at the end of the post. So, I said, “Oh, be outrageous, and put them first.”  She was willing and the next post came in with three joys at the top. It stunned me. I think it stunned everyone on the list.

Others decided to play. Within a week, the whole tone of the list had shifted. And “joy dots” were born and have persisted since then. They are not affirmations, nor are they gratitude. Those both come from the front part of the brain – the thinking part. Joy dots are the heart noticing something, a feeling of lighting up, a little flicker and a feeling of warmth and enjoyment. By last year, when I redesigned the website, it had morphed into Living a Joyful Life. Joy had infused it

Many of us have intentionally embarked on a “joy dot practice” which has meant a commitment to stick with the noticing even when we feel sad or afraid or overwhelmed. And for many, the last few months have been a time of testing with lots of feelings coming up. And joy, even as a dot, seemed pretty scarce. And for a sugar sensitive, scary times generally reawaken old patterns of coping – eating foods that feel like comfort, not eating, stretching times, and going back to addictive behaviors that anesthetize us and make us forget. When we do that, we lose track of the fact that we are disconnecting from our source, however we might define that. The little Justas creep in and stack up – thinking that a bagel and cream cheese is a healthy snack or that a little 90% dark chocolate is a healthy antioxidant, or that a decaf latte is a great comfort food. Funny thing is that as the “comforts” add up, the pain seems to grow. Then there is sugar...and somehow it seems that sugar antidotes joy. Anesthesia means we cannot feel that which sparks us.

December 12th is the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. If you are not familiar with the story, you can google and read about it. She happens to be someone who has really inspired me. This year, I reconnected with her story and with her insistence of bringing a message of solace and healing to the world. I realized that my own program had been hijacked by my fear and distress about world affairs. I spent the day in reflection and realized that if I wasn’t “doing the food” then nothing would work.

It didn’t mean perfection. It simply meant remembering that I knew what I needed to do and I did it. I did it the way I had done it the very first time. All at once, back to steady state. No diddling around, just a flip in my heart, this is what you do, Kathleen. I asked Guadalupe for help. When I attended a 12-step meeting, I focused on the step that says “being willing to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as we understand him.” I admit that how I understand the divine is not at all about a “him” but the idea of calling the light to wrap me and hold me works just fine. It was as if I was willing on a soul level.

To be honest, I simply expected to feel better (after feeling a bit worse first ) and to be in a state of integrity. I had no idea of expecting anything more than that. Something very strange happened. EVERYTHING changed. It actually was kind of baffling. I reconnected with my meditation practice which includes some spiritual reading.  I opened the little book I read from and read this passage:

As soon as the presence of the soul conscious is united with aspiration, the intensity takes on quite a different character, as if it were filled with the very essence of inexpressible joy. This joy is something that seems contained in everything else. Whatever may be the outer form of the aspiration, whatever difficulties and obstacles, it may meet, the joy is there as though it filled up everything, and it carries on in spite of everything.

It seems as if living in this type of joy creates an absolute certainty that things are all right and they are being guided by a divine flow. And for me that is like a flow of light…sort of like little dots of light in a gel that moves through me and in me. Sort of like a fairy wand, I think.

Which leads me to the “what is radiance” question…when I am in the state, everything works. I am not thinking about joy dots; I am being joy. And when I am being joy, I do the food, I meet life with optimism and acceptance. I mobilize about injustice, I stand with those who are hurting without being swallowed up, and all that stuff that is important to me…but it all happens without thinking about it and trying to control it.

I do realize that this only makes it harder to explain what is it that we do here. Oh, I eat a certain way, I notice little dots and end up lit with jelly. Not exactly a sound bite. But here is the thing…when I am lit up jelly, I am so at peace.

I wish you all the blessings of this holy time, and this sacred community. You are the living reality of what it is all about. Change is coming and it will be good..
©2016 Kathleen DesMaisons. All rights reserved. You are free to use or transmit this article to your ezine or website as long as you leave the content unaltered, use this attribution: "By Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D. of Radiant Recovery®", and notify of the location. Please visit the Radiant Recovery® website at for additional resources on sugar sensitivity and healing addiction. 

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