TOP-10 WAYS TO MINIMIZE THE TOXICITY INSIDE YOUR BODY AND YOUR LIVING ENVIRONMENT

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It’s time to get much more serious about the effects man-made chemicals are having on our bodies and on the Earth. Believe it or not, indoor living spaces are often more polluted than city air. Without proper ventilation they remain in our home in concentrated amounts and silently wreak havoc on our health. It goes without saying that the products we use inside our living space and on our bodies, cumulatively, can have detrimental side effects. In time, this toxic overload significantly alters the health and function of your immune, nervous, and respiratory system. Why do you think lung cancer is so prevalent, even in non-smokers? Or why so many people suffer from heavy metals toxicity, chronic allergies, fatigue, asthma, and headaches? Do you see where I am going?

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TOP-10 KEY WAYS TO MINIMIZE THE TOXICITY INSIDE YOUR BODY AND YOUR LIVING ENVIRONMENT:

1. PLASTICS & CANS – Eliminate and stop buying BPA-lined canned foods and plastic food containers which leak dangerous cancer causing chemicals into your food, especially when heated. The Breast Cancer Foundation clearly warns on their website about the evidence linking plastic usage to breast cancer. Discontinue any single-use products, such as individual water bottles and cups, adding styrofoam to the list. Think of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is more than 7 million square miles! And, don’t forget shower curtains. Ever get a headache from the smell of a new shower curtain or liner? Bingo!

2. COOKWARE – Cook food only in ceramic, stainless steel, or glass containers, and avoid most non-stick pans coated with Tefelon, which when heated release toxic fumes into your home. Also, “self-cleaning” modes on some oven models, emit poisonous gases that give most people headaches. It’s just best to clean the old fashioned way, so get your non-plastic gloves out and get moving!

3. MICROWAVE – Get rid of the microwave, and heat up your food without radiation! Microwaves kill most of the live nutrients in foods, by irradiating them and changing their molecular structure. I am always shocked that most people are aware of and want to avoid the effects of direct radiation, yet fail to acknowledge that the radio-magnetic fields emanating from microwaves, and the food mutation happening inside them is equally dangerous.

4. PERSONAL CARE – Purchase and use personal care products that are free of such horrible ingredients as phthalates, parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, and petroleum, and have natural oil or botanically derived non-artificial scents. Don’t forget cosmetics either. Did you know that lipsticks contain lead? What can I say, the list is long and scary. For a comprehensive listing of what chemicals to avoid in personal care products go to the Environmental Working Group website www.ewg.org, and search ‘top tips for safer products.’ Trust me, you will still smell and look good! But live longer.

5. HOUSEHOLD CLEANING – Purchase household utility cleaners that are free of synthetic toxic solvents, like the usual suspect present in most products, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). If the label reads ‘may be hazardous to humans and domestic animals,’ take the hint and toss it out. Go to www.organicconsumers.org and find out what you need to avoid.

6. AIR FLOW – First of all, never ever use commercial air fresheners or deodorants, which should be rightfully called ‘air killers.’ Fo to a natural market, or a Wholefoods and buy the natural version without aerosol. They smell better too! If you live in a warm climate, check the filter of your air conditioner often and don’t let it clog up. If you are blessed to live close to nature or in a minimally polluted area, open your windows for at least 2 hours daily and let the fresh air come it. Remember, it’s what finally eliminated the spread of The Black Plague. Oh, and let’s not forget the wonderful felines that helped too! If opening windows is definitely not feasible, invest in an Ionic Air Purifier. They start at about $75. Watch the ventilation in your laundry room, and make sure you use toxic free detergent.

7. FOOD SHOPPING – Seen or read Food INC. by any chance? We all have a choice as consumers, to either support companies that promote environmental pollution, animal cruelty, and the use of horrible lab-made synthetic foods, or choose to spend our money on companies that ought to be rewarded for supporting sustainable and organic products, small local farming communities worldwide, and fair trade. Let’s not forget about livestock and humane animal farm practices, and high quality non-GMO foods made from nature not made in labs. Among great companies to support are Trader Joes and Eden Foods. And watch out for microwaveable and BPA-lined canned foods, and ready-to-eat foods that are packaged in questionable containers.

8. PET CARE – Avoid using Pet Guard tick and flea collars or any other similar commercial brands, which are doused in heavy poisons. There are many plant derived powders, essential oils, or sprays which repel parasites. Just do the research, or go to a natural food  or pet market and ask! And don’t forget pet shampoos, if you use them. Keep them natural, so that when you snuggle with your furry friend neither you or him breathe in allergens or chemicals! Stay away from anything laden with synthetic odor-blocking perfumes, including cat litter made with clay or synthetic ‘crystals’. Go for natural pine and recycled paper versions. And finally, choose good quality, organic pet food brands without corn or soy GMO fillers and bad animal bi-products.

9. WATER FILTRATION – Most people don’t realize that when they shower, the steam that is released in the bathroom from the combined fluoride, chlorine and the pre-existing toxins and metals in the water release powerful hazardous fumes, and get breathed in and absorbed into the skin. This has been linked to the onset of Alzheimer’s and high levels of metal toxicity in the body, the first signs of which are slowed mental capacity or ‘brain fog’ and fatigue. Invest in a central water filtration system for your entire house if possible, otherwise buy sink and shower head filters which are very affordable and worth their weight in gold. I like the Aquasana AQ-4105 Showerhead Filter System, which sells on Amazon for $69.99.

10. PAINT AND FURNITURE – Did you know that there is such a thing as ‘furniture polish poisoning?’ The petroleum distillates and solvents which make up the ‘finish’ or polish of most commercial furniture are highly neurotoxic. Tempurpedic synthetic foam from body conforming mattresses and pillows emits toxic fumes while it heats up, and is especially highly toxically odorous upon purchase. Think shower curtain smell. Everyone knows about asbestos these days, and although it’s been absent or officially banned from paint in the US, there are other toxic ingredients you should worry about. If you are building a house, or consider re-painting, do some research and look at natural-based primers and paints. Now you should be able to breathe in peace!

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As a Certified Holistic Health Coach (MA-HHC), I often educate and assist individuals and families in establishing a more sustainable, toxic-free lifestyle, home and work environment. 

Please forward this article to all of your friends and loved ones. I think it can make a  huge difference in the quality of their lives.  For a Holistic Home Detox Consultation you can contact me here, or go to ClaudiaGhetuWellness.com

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The Greatest Love of All

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“There are whole parts of ourselves that are so unwanted that whenever they begin to come up we run away. Because we escape, we keep missing being right here, being right on the dot… Only to the degree that we’ve gotten to know our own personal pain, only to the degree that we’ve related to pain at all, will we be fearless enough, brave enough, and enough of a warrior to be willing to feel the pain of others.” – P. Chödrön

It is often impossible to love ourselves with the same unconditional ability and fullness of heart that we are capable of extending towards loving other people. It is equally far more difficult to forgive ourselves, by comparison to our innate ability to forgive others.  Usually the anger we feel towards other people has a beginning, middle, and end. The anger or disappointment we tend to carry towards ourselves, however, seems to fester and persist beyond chronological borders, sometimes spanning the course of a lifetime.  Indeed, beyond all the self denial and armored resistance, it may be possible that we are in fact the hardest people to love, accept, and forgive.

To fully realize and accept such a harsh universal truth, I believe we must arrive at a point of absolute stillness, a stripped-down-to-the-bone self-awareness – to the point where we can milk and digest everything that is raw and excruciatingly honest about ourselves, with a painstaking clarity that transcends ego and self-denial.  Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche asks the most poignant question of all:

‘Have we ever unmasked, stripping out of our suit of armor and our shirt and skin and flesh and veins, right down to the heart?’

And Pema Chödrön, perhaps the most outspoken writer and teacher on the topic of cultivating self-love, self-forgiveness, and self-healing, writes that this journey to face ourselves, “(as) embarrassing and painful (as it is), it is very healing to stop hiding from yourself.”  Simply put, healing comes from not hiding from oneself — from being able to face the truth about who we are, as imperfect as we may be, despite all the flaws and embarrassing mistakes we’ve swept under the rug.  Ironically, it seems that the things we elusively seek from other people are the things we are not fully capable of giving to ourselves: love, forgiveness, and acceptance.  In fact, the harder it is to love, accept and forgive others, the harder it is to turn and face the mirror and turn those sentiments towards ourselves.  How can we be loving and compassionate towards the world if we cannot overcome our punishing preoccupation with our own imperfections, self-scrutiny, and relentless self-blame?

“When we hear about compassion, it naturally brings up working with others, caring for others. The reason we’re not often there for others – whether for our child or our mother or someone who is insulting us or someone who frightens us – is that we’re not there for ourselves.” – P. Chödrön

The founding pillar of Buddhist philosophy is unconditional love, which is the natural precursor to compassion – beginning with love for the ‘self’ and extending to love for all living beings. The Dharma strongly stresses the importance of not judging ourselves too harshly, and treating ourselves with the compassion and respect that we ought to show others. The ability to maintain a ‘soft heart’ towards oneself has been translated by the venerable Chogyam Trungpa Ringpoche as ‘unconditional friendliness to oneself,’ or maitri.  It goes without saying that one can only love another insofar as one can love oneself.  Everything begins with the Self – and it is only within the self that we can begin to cultivate the greatest love of all, not only for our benefit, but also for the benefit of the greater world at large. So, during this period of renewal, on the onset of a new year pregnant with the possibility of rebirth – I invite us all to sit for a moment and reflect on everything that is good, worthy, and lovable about Our Selves. At the root of this effort lies the very seed destined to sprout the most priceless gift – a gift valuable far beyond scrutiny and doubt, a gift worth cultivating and preserving above all others.  The gift of maitri.

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 “We already have everything we need. There is no need for self-improvement.  All these trips we lay on ourselves – the heavy-duty fearing that we’re bad and hoping that we’re good, the identities that we so dearly cling to the rage, the jealousy and the addictions of all kinds – never touch our basic wealth. They are like clouds that temporarily block the sun. But all the time our warmth and brilliance are right here. This is who we really are. We are one blink of an eye away from being fully awake.” – P. Chödrön

TO CONNECT WITH ME OR SIGN UP FOR A FREE HEALTH & WELLNESS CONSULTATION (VIA SKYPE OR PHONE), PLEASE CONTACT ME VIA MY CLAUDIA GHETU WELLNESS WEBSITE.

Soul Food

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Soul Food

Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love. -Rumi

Think for a moment of a food from your past, one that makes you feel great after you eat it for no specific reason. Maybe it is macaroni and cheese, slow-simmered tomato sauce, ice cream cones or potato pancakes. Eating comfort foods (every now and then) can be incredibly healing, even though your rational brain might not consider it highly nutritious.

Food has the power to impact us on a level deeper than just our physical well-being. What we eat can reconnect us to precious memories, like childhood playtimes, first dates, holidays, our grandmother’s cooking or our country of ancestry. Our bodies remember foods from the past on an emotional and cellular level. Eating this food connects us to our roots and has nurturing effects that go far beyond the food’s biochemical make-up.

Acknowledging what different foods mean to us is an important part of cultivating a good relationship with food. This month when we celebrate lovers and relationships, it’s important to notice that we each have a relationship with food—and that this relationship is often far from loving. Many of us restrict food, attempting to control our weight. We often abuse food, substituting it for emotional well-being. Others completely ignore food, swallowing it whole before they’ve even tasted it.

What would your life be like if you treated food and your body as you would treat your beloved – with gentleness, playfulness, communication, honesty, respect and love? The next time you eat your soul food, do so with awareness and without guilt, and enjoy all the healing and nourishment it brings you.

*If any of the foods you’ve loved growing no longer suit your lifestyle or agree with your digestion, simply tweak the recipe and adapt it to fit your needs! For how to adjust a favorite recipe into a newer or healthier version, don’t hesitate to contact me at Claudia Ghetu/Integrative Health & Nutrition!

Favorite Readable & Drinkable This Summer!

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Favorite Book:

Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss

“We are simultaneously matter and spirit. In order to understand ourselves and be healthy in both body and spirit, we have to understand how matter and spirit interact, what draws the spirit or life force out of our bodies, and how we can retrieve our spirits from the false gods of fear, anger, and attachments to the past.”

This is a must-have book for anyone interested in the mind/body connection, and the actual cause behind all of our emotional, psychological and physical ailments. Did you know that people who develop varicose veins, are people who have a hard time standing up for themselves? And that chronic lower back pain is related to blame and guilt? How is it that many people who have difficulty caring for themselves and others develop chronic or acute indigestion? Are they even aware of those connections? Imagine if we were wise enough or even patient enough, to take the time to tap into our own psyches and find the means to cure ourselves of everything we have been taught is possibly only curable by medication, radiation, surgery?  When we medicate ourselves we cover up the symptoms and suppress the illness (and the emotional cause behind the illness), yet we never cure the problem. Myss fuses the wisdom of Hinduism, Christianity, and the Kabbalah to dig deep and reveal that many of the sacred teachings have always pointed to the connection between negative energy and illness; about the consequences of not honoring our spirit and being motivated by the wrong things which inevitably bring forth demise. It is the Spirit that we must protect and honor first, and the rest will follow.

Here are the ’10 Questions For Self-Examination’ you should reflect on:

( Chapter 2: The Second Chakra: The Power of Relationships)

1. How do you define creativity? Do you consider yourself a creative person? Do you follow through on your creative ideas?

2. How often do you direct your creative energies into negative paths of expression? Do you exaggerate or embellish ‘facts’ to support your point of view?

3. Are you comfortable with your sexuality? If not, are you able to work toward healing your sexual imbalances? Do you use people for sexual pleasure, or have you felt used? Are you strong enough to honor your sexual boundaries?

4. Do you keep your word? What is your personal code of honor? of ethics? Do you negotiate your ethics depending upon your circumstances?

5. Do you have an impression of God as a force that exerts justice in your life?

6. Are you a controlling person? Do you engage in power plays in your relationships? Are you able to see yourself clearly in circumstances related to power and money? 

7. Does money have authority over you? Do you make compromises that violate your inner self for the sake of financial security?

8. How often do survival fears dictate your choices?

9. Are you strong enough to master your fears concerning finances and physical survival, or do they control you and your attitudes?

10. What goals do you have for yourself that you yet to pursue? What stands in the way of your acting upon those goals?

If your interest hasn’t been piqued then you’re not being good to your Spirit. Get this book on Kindle and get ready to open a glass of my other favorite thing down below.

Visit Caroline Myss’ website for upcoming seminars, events, and other great books and DVD’s.

Favorite New Red Wine:

Primal Roots, Red Blend

“The 2010 Red Blend has aromas of mocha, vanilla, and spice that give way to a silky texture along with rich flavors of raspberries and chocolate that are truly uninhibited.” 

If you have a sophisticated wine palette but still have to adhere to a reasonable self-indulgence budget, this is one of my new favorite and deliciously perfect California red wine discoveries in a long time. I am a red wine enthusiast. Not a Pinot fan, but a Malbec aficionado. I much prefer deep, rich, and chocolatey over spicy, dry, and citrusy.  This new, hip, and rather sophisticated wine has become my new primal crave, and quite accidentally so (Thank Goodness) when the local wine shop had no Malbecs that tickled my fancy. So I hesitantly decided to be brave and try something new, which is not a frequent undertaking, and voila: best discovery since fried pickles! It is the perfect after work bottle to come running home to. Or open with a good friend before dinner, if you care to share. What makes this wine unique and exceptionally smooth and rich is the blend of Merlot, Syrah, and Zinfandel – a threesome to die for and brag to your friends about unabashedly.

I will let the guys at PrimalRootsWines.com explain better:

“Oak aging helps build the structure while introducing the underlying vanilla, cream, and mocha characteristics. The final step is blending each of these uniquely different wines in such a way that captures their wild, sweet, and intense flavors with a balanced and rich texture that makes you want to explore its many layers.”

Go explore your primal taste buds, and enjoy!

 

Domicile Style: 3 I-Dream-Of-Genie-Instant-Decorating-Tips On a Budget

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Not everybody has the time or the budget to redecorate on a whim, unless you’re living on the Main Line or in the Hamptons, and your kids are getting ready to be shipped out to camp for the summer.  For the busy bee whose life revolves around work and paying the bills on time, going out is often a necessity as it offers a reprieve from looking at the same old walls day in and day out.  Let’s face it, if you’re still renting in your 20’s and 30’s most likely you’ve inherited some of your blah furniture (hopefully not from your dorm room days), and have recycled and schlepped the same nick-knacks from one place to another.  Before getting my domicile style together, I was one of those unfortunate souls who avoided going home after work so that I wouldn’t deal with the sad reality of my lackluster abode.  How times have changed! Now I can’t wait to rush home and put my feet up in metro fabulous style.  Think chenille and mohair throws, colorful down pillows, lovely warm lighting, and the list goes on.  I can hardly wait for a long weekend, so I can invite my party reveling peeps over to my pad till the wee hours, or until the bubbly runs out. I’m an ingenious hostess – I supply the atmosphere, and they supply the bar!

No need to be green with envy – you too can have it all, starting with a pad you’re eager to return to as soon as you punch out your time card. Here are three instantly cool, affordable, simple make-overs:

  1. Think Wall Spirit. Add a unique flair and personality to your home by adorning your walls with the awesome environmentally friendly art decals and wall tattoos from wallspiritshop.com. Close your eyes for a minute, think of a dreamy theme, then choose your design(s) online – available in small or giant decals in up to 30 different colors, starting at $19.95! There is even a tutorial on the website, which gives you step-by-step tips on how to do it all by your lovely self. I would pick a large decal for the main living area, and some smaller ones for a hallway or kitchen. Keep some walls bare for contrast, for when you have the time to paint. Think bright and swanky. Voila, stylish meets practical in the blink of an eye.
  2.  Think Floor Sense. A new rug gives any space an instantly fresh face-lift. I love Dash & Albert’s collection of stylish and affordable area rugs, starting at $30. This textile company has it all: bedding, pillows, and a super huge collection of rugs to suit everyone’s state – from clean and simple, to graphic chic, to cottage charm. I love their signature style striped 2×3 cotton rugs and 5×8 runners for an instant kitchen, bathroom or hallway lift. For the living room or bedroom I would suggest the wool rugs, unless your taste tends to be more country, in which case the inexpensive cotton rugs will give you the most bang for your buck. Make sure to choose your wall decals first, and then pick the rug patterns and colors to match accordingly.
  3. Think Throw Pillows.  Now that you’ve got all your patterns and colors in place, it’s time to accessorize with an array of throw pillows.  Choose different sizes, shapes, textures, and fabrics.  To keep things affordable I would think no further than Pier 1 which will offer you a more eclectic selection, and Target or Home Goods for cleaner bolder designs or a mixed bag of styles.   Make clever use of all those stores, and peruse through their home accessories section for nicely shaped bowls or vases. Think design forward, unique, and conversation type pieces. And don’t forget to pick up some candles while you’re there.

Now get ready to hang, lay, throw, and light up your newly spruced up pad just in time for your first summer bash. And no matter where you end up years from now, if you apply these 3 I-Dream-Of-Genie-Instant-Decorating-Tips, you’ll always be one stylish home dweller.

An Aesthetician’s Best Kept Secret: How To Take 10 Years Off Your Face In Minutes!

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This is by far the most exciting ‘how to get flawless skin and look 10 years younger on a dime’ revelation for all you fabulous Indie readers out there!  It was given to me recently by an aesthetician after I confessed that God forbid I couldn’t afford to see her on a regular basis lest I sold one of my kidneys on the black market.  And lets admit it, some of us women would probably do something as outrageous as that if we were promised the key to the eternal Fountain of Youth.  All joking aside, this woman, whom I now revere as my saint and skin savior, whispered something in my ear which popped the cucumber right off my eyelids, as I laid there getting my first skin peel.  She said, “After you see the results you will be hooked.  I don’t share this with many people because I’d be out of a job, but you can actually do this treatment at home for a fraction of the cost. You don’t need me!” And boy, was she right! When I stood up and looked in the mirror my skin was as luminous as a light bulb and softer than a baby’s bum.  The thin lines around my mouth had faded.  The only teeny drawbacks (and I feel totally wimpy saying ‘drawbacks’): during the 5 minute procedure (yes, that’s how long it took!) my face had a slight burning sensation, and for a couple of hours afterwards my skin was a pale pink, as if I had gone running.  Worth it? Heck yeah!

For those of you panicking or not too familiar with a skin peel, also known as a chemical peel, I want to reassure you that there are no dangerous ‘chemicals’ present here.  The nomenclature actually refers to naturally occurring acids which have exfoliating properties. Plus, the good news is that this particular brand which I’m about to reveal is cruelty-free and paraben-free, or I wouldn’t be endorsing it.  These peels literally shed layers off your skin to reveal the tighter, glowing, and blemish free skin that you were born with, if you can remember that far back.  They also encourage cell growth and collagen regeneration, and help prevent melanoma and cancerous skin growths.  And there is a gamut of different kinds of peels or potions, as I like to call them, to choose from: Glycolic/AHA Kojic, Alpha Beta, TCA, Jessner, and Salicylic peels. I had the glycolic, which is by far the most popular one as you get to see noticeable results the first time with no peeling or recuperation time. The longer the peel is left on the skin the more visible the results and the chance for actual peeling.  Each skin type reacts differently of course – that’s why there are so many chemical peel variations. Each ‘potion’ performs slightly differently and uniquely catering to individual skin types, sensitivities, and overall rejuvenation needs.  You pick your weapon of choice. If you’re a bit of a scaredy cat or have ultra sensitive skin, you may want to start by using the Jessner. You can build the intensity of this peel slowly over time, starting with a very light exfoliation (no actual peeling or recuperation time but less dramatic results), and gradually building to a medium or maximum strength, the latter producing a heavy shedding which lasts up to 10 days but which will yield significant results.  Once my aesthetician gave me the website and the directions of how to apply the peel (it basically involves spraying a gauze pad with the potion and coating the face with it as if you were putting astringent on), I was on a mission to transform my visage from great to out-of-this-world-uber-flawless.  The glycolic was a bit modest for my skin type, and it didn’t get rid of the hyperpigmentation in one application. So I chose to go stronger and purchased the TCA peel, which is designed to erase age or sun spots off your face the first go, and even out the skin particularly in the case of sun damage.  Let me tell you that $60 later and 10 years younger, I am feeling like a million bucks. Compare spending up to $400 to get this done in a salon!

So you want to know how to use and where to purchase any of these magical potions? Sun rays bursting through the clouds, and drum roll please. Skin-Peel.com! Goodbye wrinkles, sun spots, hyperpigmentation, large pores and dull skin. You were never my friends. Hello gorgeous lady with fabulous skin staring back at me.

As always, make sure to share this exciting secret with all of your girlfriends until your mouse is exhausted and your fingers can’t click anymore. And be sure to follow the instructions on the site and in the pamphlet to a T when you are ready to rejuvenate your gorgeous self. Don’t forget to write and let us know how happy you are I’ve shared this secret with you!

SAIL AWAY WITH ME HONEY! Destination: ‘Wicked’ Beautiful Marblehead

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If you love clam chowder, have a weakness for the sea, and enjoy a very dry and ‘wicked’ sense of humor, set your sails for Maaah-buhl-head, Massachussets! We spent a whole week shooting our IndieWoman Sails Its Sails in  Marblehead Harbor’ IndieVideo, to bring you the unique flavors and sights of this marvelous place; all this while learning to sail, chatting up the locals, and meeting up with Christine Baze, our IndieModel songstress extraordinaire and founder of the The Yellow Umbrella Organization. Trust us, after reading this article and watching our video you’ll be strutting to David Gray’s hit ‘Sail Away With Me Honey’ too, while packing your bags and counting the hours to your departure! This enchanting New England seafaring town, perfectly poised on a rocky peninsula just 17 miles north from Boston, has a lot to brag about – boasting 375 years worth of history for starters. We’re talking beautiful beaches, mouthwatering local seafood, colorful local characters, sailing tournaments, legendary yacht clubs, and history galore. Many movies have been filmed here, including “The Witches of Eastwick,” starring CherSusan SarandonMichelle Pfeiffer and Jack Nicholson, “Moonlight Mile,” “The Good Son,” with Jake Gyllenhaal, and most recently “Grown Ups,” starring local New Englander Adam Sandler.  Many a New England movie accents have also been botched up here, but who cares, when you’re in Maaah-buhl-head you’ve got bigger fish to fry, literally!

Everything about this town, past and present, is rooted in the very waters caressing its famed rugged coastline.  Rumor has it that there is over a ten year waiting list to get a mooring permit for your boat in the harbor.  Since its settlement in 1629, Marblehead has been beckoning skilled sailors, fishermen, zealous patriots and libertarians alike to its shores. Not to mention a plethora of good-natured visitors, adventurers, sailing experts and afficionados in search of a slice of authentic American culture and maritime activities.  Actually, make that a slice of pie a la mode!  Marblehead dishes a rich indigenous history, like a thick slice of all American apple pie – originating with its native Naumkeags settlers of the Algonquin Nation and extending to its Revolutionary War heroes – against a dramatic backdrop of maritime history, which is the ice cream on top of the pie.

The first English settlers migrated from nearby Salem in the early 1600’s to escape the rigid Puritanical laws abounding there, and lived peacefully alongside the native Naumkeag Indians, who were eventually entirely decimated by a smallpox epidemic in 1619.  Marblehead first built an international reputation based on the abundant fishing around its coastline. This local seafood goldmine attracted hundreds of fisherman vessels from as far as Cornwall, England and the Channel Islands.  The very thing that put Marblehead on the map by virtue of its phenomenal coastal location would bring this town further international acclaim through SAILING. Marblehead boasts one of the finest displays of sailing craft anywhere. In the summertime the harbor is so packed with sailing yachts that one can literally walk from boat to boat for hours and avoid land.  Truly, there is no hotter place to be if you enjoy water sports and have a love for sailing.  This coastal gem is known worldwide for its international sailing races. It’s the starting and finishing point to such destinations as Kiel (Germany), San Sebastian (Spain), and Bermuda. A not to be missed annual race between Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Marblehead, which first began in 1905. And the yearly mid-summer Marblehead Race Week competition, which dates back to 1889, still attracts yachtsmen and expert sailors from around the world. There are countless races between April and November, so it’s best to check the Marblehead Racing Association website for everything related, including how to register to participate.

I should mention that before being dubbed the ‘Yachting Capital of the World,’ or more affectionately ‘the drinking capital with a sailing problem,’ this quaint town acquired the ‘disputed’ title of the ‘Birthplace of the American Navy.’  It was General Glover’s Marblehead Regiment, which rowed George Washington and his troops in the ‘ye navy’ vessels across the Delaware on that fateful and stormy night of December 25th, 1776.

This explains the generational patriotic zeal and national pride associated with these down-to-earth, yet wickedly high-spirited New Englanders. No wonder Marblehead has earned its mark as one of the top ten places to visit during the Fourth of July celebrations. The perimeter of the entire harbor gets lit up in red at sundown, followed by a spectacular fire works show. The boats tie up two to four next to one another, and party revelers mingle from boat to boat partying, drinking, and sharing each other’s gastronomic delights from fabulous appetizers to grilled filet mignon and burgers. This is the way to celebrate the national holiday. Visitors unlucky enough to party with the jetsetters can still watch this awesome display from the harbor.  If you’re dying to get on a boat I suggest donning some false wooden teeth and dressing up as George Washington as the fire works go off. That will give you instant acclaim with the local yacht owners, and you’ll be hopping from boat to boat in no time.

Must See Places

That brings me to all the great places you can easily discover on foot, since you probably won’t be able to make it on a boat anyway. Marblehead is by all means a walking town. And it’s a place that comes fully alive in the summer months.  There are just as many activities on land as there are on the water, if that’s possible. I suggest checking out Marblehead’s Official Tourist Site for all things related to walking maps, tours, and additional places to see, dining, and accommodations.

Visiting Old Town is usually the first pit stop on any visitor’s itinerary, unless it’s 98 degrees and you’re dying to jump in the ocean.  But there’s plenty of time for that, so be patient. This part of town has retained its original architecture dating from 17th century, and it’s the epitome of a picturesque New England town. Crocker Park, located just up on a hill from here overlooking the harbor. Sit here for a moments and enjoy spectacular views of the entire harbor. On a clear day you can see downtown Boston. The locals call this ‘a wicked good view.’ This park also hosts live concerts during the spring or summer season, and one every day during the Marblehead Arts Walk. The best way to visit Old Town is to take a tour with one of the spirited local volunteers.  There are so many hidden nooks and crannies that it would be a shame to miss out on all those hidden treasures. Call the Marblehead Chamber of Commerce and get a tour listing.

Abott Hall is definitely the most important cultural pit stop on your trip to Marblehead. It is the current town hall, and a prestigious historical museum all in one, and it is open to the public year round. Here you will find many important works of art and historical artifacts, including the deed to Marblehead from the local Native American tribe, as well as the original painting Spirit of ’76, by Archibald MacNeal Willard, which has been reproduced countless times.

The Old Town House, built in 1727, is one of the oldest town halls in America under continuous use. Many pre-revolutionary war meetings were held there.  It is often referred to as “Marblehead’s Cradle of Liberty” and certainly worth a see if you’re a history buff.  Keeping in the spirit of the American Revolution, head down to Green Street to see the unique circular brick building that is the Powder House. There are only three pre-Revolutionary powder houses in the country still standing, and this Marblehead veteran built in 1755 is one of them. It was built to store gunpowder and provide storage for muskets and ammunition.

The best way to truly enjoy this costal town is by taking in the sun at Devereux Beach, Marblehead’s premier beach and the number one hotspot in the warm months for the locals. You can’t beat the scenery for starters, and if you want to have a cocktail with your suntan head to Lime Rickey’s, a lively restaurant located right on the beach. This place offers good local fare and hosts weekly live music to serenade the bathing beauties.

After a swim or picnic on Devereux Beach, take a walk along the Causeway, which connects Devereux Beach on the mainland, to the Marblehead Neck, known locally as simply ‘the neck’. The Causeway was originally built to connect the Neck to the mainland for more practical reasons, but nowadays it offers the best scenery and people watching in town. Bring your camera because you will have fantastic views of the Atlantic Ocean and Devereux beach on one side, and the Marblehead Harbor on the other. While walking over the Causeway you may catch a view of not only sun gods and goddesses but also surfers, kite surfers, rollerbladers, cyclists, and a view of downtown Boston on a clear day. Occasionally you may see a seal pop its head up around July or August. Take a walk around the Neck to see the multi-million dollar homes owned by some very famous entrepreneurs in the entertainment, tech, biotech and finance industries.

The Landing is the place to see local fishermen bring in their daily catch. You may even be able to buy the fresh fish right off the boat if you ask. And be sure to say you love Maaah-buh-lhead, so that they understand you. This is also where locals pull up their boats to gas up or hit up one of the restaurants for lunch.

The Marblehead Light Tower located in Chandler Hovis Park sits at the end of the Neck, and over’s a spectacular vantage point to watch the sailing boats enter and exit the harbor.  You can also see races from this strategic location. The park offers swimming, pavilions, picnic tables, and ample parking.

Fort Sewall, once an armed fort used to defend against the British, is now a tranquil park with enchanting vistas of Marblehead Harbor. It still houses old bunkers and underground cells where detainees were once kept.  This is also a place where many local celebrations and parties take place. Fort Beach, located right at its entrance, offers a great view of Marblehead Neck and Chandler Hovey Park.

 Must Have Food

The Barnacle is the oldest restaurant and our favorite spot for fresh mussels and unbeatable New England Clam Chowder.  Check our IndieVideo page to feast your eyes on Claudia sampling the maaah-velous local cuisine while chatting with the owner! Food notwithstanding, its location right on the water gives this restaurant a million dollar view of the harbor without breaking the bank. 141 Front Street, Marblehead, MA 01945

Maddies Sail Loft in Old Town is a favorite spot for locals. Its one the oldest local hangouts for sailors and locals alike, and a great spot to grab yummy pub food and beer in a comfortable, unpretentious setting. During racing season it’s the popular hangout. You’ll find some of the most accomplished sailors at this bar.  15 State Street, Marblehead, MA 01945

The Landing restaurant offers more upscale fine dining, and it features a much coveted deck overlooking the central part of the harbor. You can catch all the action while enjoying fine wine and delicious food.  81 Front Street, Marblehead, MA 01945

The Driftwood is a local breakfast hot spot right next to The Landing. This place has been around since the early days of the fishing industry. On the weekends don’t be surprised to find a line out the door, so get there early. It’s simple but wholesome breakfast food, but the experience is worth every minute. 63 Front Street, Marblehead, MA 01945

Places to Stay

Harbor Light Inn4-star elegant inn hosts some very famous people during the summer months. You never know whom you may just meet in sitting at the bar. Maybe a famous sailing world champion, maybe a playwright, maybe Adam Sandler. Book far ahead to reserve a room at this stylish venue.

The Marblehead On Harbor Inn, a beautiful Victorian home built in 1881 is a gorgeous place to stay within its own private beach and stunning views of Marblehead Harbor.

27 Front Street Marblehead Summerhouse is the place to stay for an intimate experience, and for an authentic ‘days of yore’ experience. It is located in the heart of historic Old Town, and you can walk out the back gate straight into Crocker Park and the waterfront.

Mark Your Calendars

During the summer Marblehead truly shines. Overall, there are hundreds of concerts and events going on, including a greatly anticipated season of music featuring Summer Jazz and Symphony by the Sea. Maritime Week starts on August 3rd this year, and it will inaugurate with a celebrating of Marblehead’s Marine Aviation Centennial. Oh, I forgot to mention, Marblehead also calls itself “The Birthplace of Marine Aviation.” I told you this town had a lot to brag about! Check the Calendar of Events page with the Marblehead Chamber of Commerce, and remember to get the accent down before you set your sails for this wicked great destination!