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Brookhaven Retreat Blog
Sunday, 31 August 2014 00:00

Lentil Burgers With Lemon-Basil Mayonnaise

Burger night is not typically celebrated as a healthy dinner option, but these lentil burgers give it a whole new meaning. Lentils are easy to cook and their nutty flavor makes it a delicious ground beef substitute.

Lentils are loaded with nutrients that support physical and mental health. They are high in fiber and help regulate our blood sugar levels; when our blood sugar is well regulated our mood is more stabilized and symptoms of depression and anxiety are reduced. So this Labor Day weekend, switch out a few unhealthy burgers with this nutritious option!


  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 ounces button mushrooms (about 6) finely diced
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ cup frozen petite green peas, thawed
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans lentils, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup plus 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons egg-free mayonnaise, such as Vegenaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


  • 1 cup refrigerated egg-free mayo, such as Vegenaise
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Grated zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated
  • 2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced


  1. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat ¼ cup of the oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the shallots, ¾ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper.
  3. Cook until soft, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, mushrooms, thyme, the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt and the remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  5. Cook until the mushrooms are soft (6-8 minutes). Set aside to cool slightly.
  6. In a food processor, puree the peas and half of the lentils until smooth.
  7. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  8. Add the remaining lentils, 1/3 cup of the cornmeal, the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and the mushroom mix.
  9. Form the mixture into 6 (3 inch thick) patties.
  10. Sprinkle ¼ cup of the remaining cornmeal on a baking sheet.
  11. Put the formed patties on top of the cornmeal.
  12. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup cornmeal on top of the patties.
  13. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  14. Heat the remaining ¼ cup olive oil in the same skillet over medium heat.
  15. Add the patties and cook until they are golden brown, 4 minutes per side.

To make the lemon-basil mayonnaise, thoroughly mix all ingredients together.

Source: Giada’s Feel Good Food

Published in Brookhaven Blog
Sunday, 31 August 2014 00:00

Writing Your Autobiography

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” -Maria Robinson

Because we see ourselves every day, small changes such as weight loss or aging can seem insignificant and even go unnoticed. For example, I am sure many of us look back at old photos and see those slight changes in our facial features, body shape and hair styles that we never once noticed along the way. Of course we have grown and evolved from where we were years ago, but without the photographs and other memories to remind us, we can forget the small evolutions and life can feel stagnant.

Writing an autobiography is a unique experience that gives us a third party view of our evolution over the years and how we can get to where we want to be. It provides a better understanding of just how connected our past, present and future can be.

Past: This is an insightful activity for anyone, but for women with mental illness, this can dig deep into the root of anxieties, depression, stress and fear. Through revisiting our life moments, how we felt and the changes that resulted, we are able to acknowledge the influence these situations had on our long-term decisions, feelings and mental health.

Present: Writing an autobiography can also help you prepare for a successful future. If you aren’t satisfied with the direction your story is going, it can spark change in your life and encourage you to establish positive goals and dreams that give life meaning and boost self-value.

Future: Each day of our life is a new page in our book and when we have emotional and mental stability, we are able to direct the story that is being told.

Published in Brookhaven Blog
Saturday, 30 August 2014 00:00

4 Garden Super Foods To Enjoy Late Summer

By now, most gardens have been in full swing producing hoards of vegetables and berries, supplying us with fresh salads, healthy sides and nutritious snacks. Although most of the growing season is focused in early spring, late August and early September bring many opportunities to retreat to the serenity of your garden. These vegetables only take a month to mature and if planted between late August to mid September, will be ready for the fall harvest:

  1. Radishes: Radishes are packed with fiber, vitamin C, folate and magnesium, which makes for a delicious, low-calorie snack. Radishes help fight certain cancers, lower cholesterol, regulate blood pressure and detoxify the liver, kidneys and gallbladder. Radishes can even prevent some changes in our mood that trigger anxiety and irritability by stabilizing our blood sugar levels.
  2. Broccoli: This may not be kids’ favorite vegetable, but broccoli has tremendous health benefits that make it a garden necessity. With high amounts of vitamin C and carotenoids, broccoli is a powerful antioxidant. The omega 3 fatty acids and phytonutrient content in broccoli make it a powerful anti-inflammatory that fights depression, boosts memory and improves behavioral problems.
  3. Spinach: Magnesium helps fight insomnia, stress, anxiety and depression and spinach is rich in this essential mineral. Spinach leaves grow best when the days are a little shorter and the nights are a little cooler, making August and September ideal for this leafy green.
  4. Blueberries: Blueberries are not only the perfect pair with almost any meal or snack; they are extremely beneficial to our mental health thanks to their high flavonoid and antioxidant count.
Published in Brookhaven Blog
Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00

Vitamin E

What is vitamin E and what does it do?

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin essential to the human body. “Vitamin E” is actually a blanket term that includes eight different forms of the nutrient. The most studied is the alpha-tocopherol form, which seems to be the most utilized and beneficial form for the body, although scientists are curious about the health benefits of the other forms as well.

Vitamin E’s main function in the body is cellular function and protection. Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant, protecting cells from free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable molecules produced in the body when we metabolize food into energy. Free radicals can also come from environmental sources, such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultraviolet light from the sun. Because free radicals have an unstable amount of electrons, they bounce around the body wreaking havoc on the body’s cells in their attempt to become stable. In doing so they damage the cell’s DNA and fat-based membranes, which can lead to mutation, cancer cell growth, arterial damage and even aging. Antioxidants are the wonderful rescuer that come in and neutralize them. In fact, the aging process in chocked up the free radical damage, so consuming foods rich in antioxidants like vitamin E, C, A, and others, can help slow the aging process and improve skin health.

The body also needs vitamin E to boost its immune system so that it can fight off invading bacteria and viruses. It helps to widen blood vessels and keep blood from clotting within them. In addition, cells use vitamin E to interact with each other and to carry out many important functions.

How much vitamin E do I need?

The amount of vitamin E you need each day depends on your age. Average daily recommended intakes are listed below in milligrams (mg) and in International Units (IU). Package labels list the amount of vitamin E in foods and dietary supplements in IU.

Life Stage Recommended Amount
Birth to 6 months 4 mg (6 IU)
Infants 7–12 months 5 mg (7.5 IU)
Children 1–3 years 6 mg (9 IU)
Children 4–8 years 7 mg (10.4 IU)
Children 9–13 years 11 mg (16.4 IU)
Teens 14–18 years 15 mg (22.4 IU)
Adults 15 mg (22.4 IU)
Pregnant teens and women 15 mg (22.4 IU)
Breastfeeding teens and women 19 mg (28.4 IU)

Food Sources of Vitamin E

Five of the best food sources of vitamin E are leafy greens. Spinach, chard, turnip greens, beet greens and mustard greens are all excellent sources.

Since vitamin E is fat-soluble, foods rich in essential fatty acids like nuts and seeds and plant oils, are good sources as well: sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, avocado, olive oil.

Below is The World’s Healthiest Foods list of vitamin E rich foods:

World's Healthiest Foods ranked as quality sources of vitamin E


Serving Size


Amount (mg (ATE))

DRI/DV (%)

Nutrient Density

World's Healthiest Foods Rating

Sunflower Seeds

0.25 cup







1 cup






Swiss Chard

1 cup






Turnip Greens

1 cup







1 cup






Beet Greens

1 cup






Mustard Greens

1 cup






Chili Peppers

2 tsp







0.25 cup





very good


1 cup





very good

Bell Peppers

1 cup





very good


1 cup





very good


1 cup





very good


1 cup







0.25 cup







4 oz







1 cup






Olive Oil







Collard Greens

1 cup







1 cup







1 cup







1 2 inches







1 cup






Green Beans

1 cup







1 cup






World's Healthiest Foods Rating



DRI/DV>=75% OR Density>=7.6 AND DRI/DV>=10%

very good

DRI/DV>=50% OR Density>=3.4 AND DRI/DV>=5%


DRI/DV>=25% OR Density>=1.5 AND DRI/DV>=2.5%

What kinds of vitamin E dietary supplements are available?

Vitamin E supplements come in different amounts and forms. Several things to consider when choosing a vitamin E supplement are the source and amount of vitamin E. Vitamin E from natural (food) sources is listed as "d-alpha-tocopherol" (d) on food packaging and supplement labels. Synthetic (laboratory-made) vitamin E is listed as "dl-alpha-tocopherol" (dl). The natural form is more potent. For example, 100 IU of natural vitamin E is equal to about 150 IU of the synthetic form. Some vitamin E supplements provide other forms of the vitamin, such as gamma-tocopherol, tocotrienols, and mixed tocopherols. Scientists do not know if any of these forms are superior to alpha-tocopherol in supplements. The best bet is to get your vitamin E from food sources, as nature has an amazing way of having a perfect balance of just the right ratios of nutrients that all work synergistically in perfect harmony. Also, vitamin C can help with recycling vitamin E, so consuming them simultaneously can be beneficial.

What happens if I don't get enough vitamin E?

Vitamin E deficiency is very rare in healthy people, and is usually linked to certain diseases where fat is not properly digested or absorbed. For example, in the case of Crohn's disease, cystic fibrosis, and certain rare genetic diseases such as abetalipoproteinemia and ataxia with vitamin E deficiency (AVED), as vitamin E needs fat to be absorbed. Vitamin E deficiency can cause nerve and muscle damage that results in loss of feeling in the arms and legs, loss of body movement control, muscle weakness, and vision problems, and possibly a weakened immune system.

Five-Minute Collard Greens

Prep and Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 2


1 pound collard greens, chopped

Mediterranean Dressing:

  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 medium clove garlic, pressed or chopped
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp sunflower seeds


  • crumbled feta cheese
  • chopped olives
  • sliced almonds
  • raisins


  1. Fill bottom of steamer with 2 inches of water.
  2. While steam is building up, slice collard greens leaves into 1/2-inch slices and cut again crosswise.
  3. Cut stems into 1/4-inch slices.
  4. Let both leaves and stems sit for at least 5 minutes to enhance their health-promoting properties.
  5. Press or chop garlic and let sit for at least 5 minutes to bring out more of its health-promoting properties.
  6. Steam collard greens for no more than 5 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a bowl.
  8. For more flavor, toss collard greens with the remaining ingredients while they are still hot. (Mediterranean Dressing does not need to be made separately).
  9. Top with sunflower seeds and any/all of optional ingredients if you would like.
Published in Brookhaven Blog

August is National Coffee Month! Roughly 83 percent of Americans take pleasure in the warm aroma and bold flavor of a cup of coffee. Even if you are one of the minority of non-coffee drinkers, you can still celebrate the remaining days of National Coffee Month and nurture your emotional and mental health by adding it to your self-care routine!

  1. Hair: The texture of coffee grinds can improve your hair’s shine and remove build-up from months and even years of product buildup. This works best for dark hair, as coffee grounds may darken light hair.
  2. Exfoliation: Coffee grounds exfoliate your skin, leaving it smooth and refreshed. Mix coffee grounds with a little olive or coconut oil for an extra moisturizer.
  3. Reduces cellulite: By using the same coffee grounds and oil recipe as above, women can reduce the appearance of cellulite. Coffee is a diuretic and therefore will reduce the volume of water our fat cells store, minimizing their appearance temporarily.
  4. Beautiful skin: Caffeine has been shown to constrict blood vessels temporarily. By adding coffee grounds to your skin care routine, you can minimize your pores, reduce swelling under your eyes, and moisturize your skin without adding excess oil.

Face Mask Recipe:

  • ½ Cup ground coffee beans
  • ½ Cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp of honey


Mix coffee grounds with almond milk and stir to a paste, and then fold in lemon and honey. Apply to skin and let dry for up to 20 minutes. Wash off. The rest can be stored in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Published in Brookhaven Blog
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 00:00

4 Reasons To Give A Compliment

Think of a time where you received a compliment from someone completely unwarranted and unexpected. It probably ignited a spark of happiness inside of you and boosted your confidence for the day. It may have even completely turned a gloomy day around. Compliments are little gems in a world that can seem so preoccupied.

Not only does receiving a compliment boost your mood, but a kind word can have positive influence on the giver as well. Here are 4 reasons to share words of admiration with someone today:

  1. Compliments establish trust: Genuine compliments are the ultimate icebreaker and can bridge the gap between two strangers. Compliments are the quickest way to establish a sense of welcome and trust between people, and can open the door for a blossoming friendship.
  2. Compliments slow down your actions: As part of borderline personality disorder, anxiety and depression treatment, women are encouraged to slow their feelings, actions and decisions down and take heed of the moment. By complimenting someone, we are actively stepping back from our routine to appreciating the small things.
  3. Compliments make you happier: Feeling comfortable and confident to tell a stranger, even a friend, that you like something about them can be challenging, especially for women with social anxiety disorder. But by doing so, we feel happier with our selves as it builds our self-confidence and cultivates a sense of value and worth.
  4. Compliments encourage others to be kind: Compliments are like the gift that keeps on giving. Part of why most people have the courage to share a kind word to others is due to the fact they know how much personal joy receiving a compliment can bring. So when you give a compliment, you encourage others to continue this cycle.

It is important to keep compliments solely focused on the receiver and not accidentally (or intentionally) speak negatively of yourself. Stating comments such as “I wish my hair was as shiny as yours” or “I could never be as fast as you” not only makes it appear disingenuous, but it also deflates your self-esteem and damages your emotional and mental health.

Published in Brookhaven Blog
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 00:00

A Series of Unfortunate Events

There is the old adage, “when it rain, it pours.” Every one of us goes through those moments in life where it is one storm after another and we get our feet on the ground only to quickly get knocked down again.

Frustrations of ongoing health problems, financial pressures or relationship strains can leave us feeling as though we just can’t catch a break and can trigger increased anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, this way of thinking is an easy habit for many to fall into when we are not mindful of our thoughts and situations.

During this stormy weather, we become overwhelmed by our emotions and lump one unfortunate incident with another. We may begin to dread the future, neglect the happy times and get caught up in unrealistic thoughts and fears, creating a sense of endless stress and anxiety that triggers the thought “it’s always something.”

Mindfulness is one of the four dialectical behavior therapy skills that can help women regulate their thoughts, decisions and emotions. When we are mindful we are able to think rationally and without emotional influence or judgment. In this case, mindfulness allows us be present in the moment and view each problem separately so that we avoid drowning.

Occasionally we all have a tough season where our life starts to read like Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events novel. However, if we are aware of this habitual thinking pattern we can stop the mind from feeling overwhelmed and comparing what happened in the past to what is happening now, and instead refresh our mind and focus solely on the issue at hand with full understanding that it has to stop raining eventually.

Published in Brookhaven Blog

Delicious greens, tasty turkey and sweet grilled peaches with homemade blueberry vinaigrette; this isn’t just a simple side salad, but a meal all on its own.

It’s the perfect way to enjoy warm weather as we wind down from the summer months. This salad not only nourishes your taste buds and maintains your physical health, but it’s also provides tremendous nourishment to your mental health. The variety of mixed greens, fruit, turkey and seeds makes for a rich combination of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can fight against depression and improve our emotional wellness.


  • 4 large fresh peaches, pitted and sliced in half
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 8 to 10 cups torn mixed greens, such as bok choy, napa cabbage, Swiss chard, and kale
  • ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • 4 (6-7 ounce) turkey breasts marinated (recipe below), and sliced
  • 1 cup blueberry vinaigrette (recipe follows)


  1. Preheat the grill to medium-hot or heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Brush the peach slices with the canola oil and grill for 3 to 4 minutes, until well marked on both sides.
  3. Remove and cut into 1-inch slices.
  4. Mound the mixed greens on 4 serving plates and surround wit the peach slices.
  5. Top the greens with goat cheese and sunflower seeds and arrange the sliced turkey on top of the salad.
  6. Drizzle each salad with ¼ cup Blueberry Vinaigrette.

(Makes 4 Servings)

Turkey Marinade:

  • 1 ½ cup pineapple juice
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger (from 4-inch piece of ginger)

Directions: Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl using a wire whisk. Refrigerate in an airtight container for 3-4 weeks.

Blueberry Preserves:

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons pectin
  • 4 cups fresh blueberries (about 1 ½ pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Combine the sugar and pectin in a large bowl until thoroughly blended.
  2. Place the blueberries in a medium saucepan and stir in the sugar mixture and lemon juice.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and cook, occasionally stirring, for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
  4. Allow to cool at room temperature before serving.
  5. Store in an airtight container for up to 30 days.

Blueberry Vinaigrette:

  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons Blueberry preserves (from above recipe)
  • ½ cup sherry vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup canola oil


  1. Combine the preserves, vinegar, salt and pepper in a blender and blend on low speed until the mixture is smooth, 10 to 15 seconds.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the blender and increase the speed to medium while slowly pouring in the oil until it emulsifies.
  3. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Published in Brookhaven Blog
Sunday, 24 August 2014 00:00

Art Is Therapy

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” - Picasso

According to the Oxford Dictionary, art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination. Human beings are constantly expressing themselves and creating new things with their imaginations. As a result, art is all around us. You delight in its marvels on a daily basis whether you are conscious of it or not. There is a growing body of evidence showing the impact of one’s environment on health and wellbeing. Simple environmental interventions like visual art on the walls of a hospital or home provide visual distractions that can alleviate anxiety and agitation in patients.

Color itself is known to have an effect on all people. There is an entire science around the studies of color psychology. Many organizations concern themselves with the application of color to all elements of design in the products we encounter in our day-to-day lives. Research has shown that specific shades of the color blue can have a calming effect, which can then result in lower blood pressure, whereas the color red might have the opposite effect. Green is another color that may be used to relax people. Yellow, on the other hand, may be used to help invigorate people who might be suffering from depression. Color is often associated with a person’s emotions.

You see color all the time, but do you ever stop to think about what it is, where it comes from and its effects on your life? Color is light and energy. Color is visible because it reflects, bends, and refracts through all kinds of particles, molecules and objects. It makes sense, then, that visible light would also affect us just like the weather sometimes does. Light and color affect a person’s mood, physical and mental health.

Light and color are two important elements taken into consideration while creating artwork. One of the great things about art is that you don’t need to know a thing about it to benefit from it. Studies have shown that our brains react in a similar way when we are looking at beautiful artwork as when we are in love. The contemporary philosopher Alain de Botton and art historian John Armstrong propose that looking at familiar masterpieces can be useful, relevant, and therapeutic for viewers. Art has the power to guide us, console us, and help us to better understand ourselves as well as the world around us. Art is capable of giving people positive emotions, a sense of control while creating it and a sense of meaning when one is in proximity to it.

You can bring more art and its benefits into your life in many ways, including: by visiting your local galleries and museums, flipping through art books or keeping them on your coffee table for guests, taking an art class, and making an effort to search out ways to bring color into your life through decoration or design.

Try writing out a list of things in your life that make you feel happy or supported. Then, assign a color to yourself and each of the things on your list. Different colors will apply depending on where it resonates personally for you. Each person has their own visual language and personal associations to different colors. Take this opportunity to explore yours.

Published in Brookhaven Blog
Saturday, 23 August 2014 00:00

Waking Up Refreshed and Renewed

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” -Anonymous

The road to recovery from mental health and substance abuse issues starts anew every day. Every sunrise brings a renewal of your strength, skills, hope and courage to successfully work towards maintaining emotional and mental stability. Here are some quick tips to start your day off right:

  • Open the window: Heavy curtains and a pitch-black room are a nice sleep stimulant, but can hinder our will to get up in the morning. Sleeping with an open window helps to replenish fresh oxygen in the air and help us feel more refreshed when we wake. Before you go to bed, open your window and crack the curtains; waking up to a fresh breeze, chirping birds, and some rays of sun on our face is a much more pleasant way to start the day.
  • Stretch: A big, indulging stretch can be just what you need to get your day off right! This gets the blood circulating and improves our oxygen intake.
  • Shower: A blast of cold water in your face is sure to wake you up, so imagine how invigorated you will feel after a cool morning shower. If you don’t want to wash, blow dry and style your hair every morning use a shower cap. A morning rinse leaves us refreshed, confident, and happy as we get our day started.
  • Prepare the night before: Hair, makeup and the perfect outfit can make mornings much more difficult when you’re a woman. To avoid the stress and the mess of hurrying to figure out what to wear, lay your clothes out the night before. Doing so will instantly reduce your morning routine by at least 10 minutes. Try preparing your lunch the night before as another strategy to minimize morning stress. By reducing the time we spend on the actual act of getting ready, we can spend more time taking in the morning peacefulness.

The start of the day is inevitable and unavoidable; therefore, embracing it is the foundation of building a fulfilling, healthy existence. Mornings should leave you feeling refreshed and focused as you begin the first day of the rest of your life.

Published in Brookhaven Blog
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We are a private pay treatment center and do not accept any type of insurance. Costs associated with care are the responsibility of the client.