DawnMarie Ferrara serves as co-executive producer, writer and star of the title role in her current project “A Life, Taken.” The script was inspired by her personal experience with child abuse. “A Life, Taken” is a short film as well as an Awareness Campaign. Its narrative is geared towards pulling the audience into the lives of both victim and victimizer, and by doing so, helping others to begin their healing. You can also follow Dawn’s blog and twitter feed.
I am a multi-hyphenate. I am an Actress/Writer/ Producer/Dancer/Painter and Blogger but it all started with a singular passion for dance. I have been a dancer ever since my mom put ballet slippers on my feet at 4 years old. One of the biggest tools for a dancer is a mirror. If not kept in its proper place, though, the mirror can become a crutch and it can also create fertile ground for critical, destructive inner dialogue.
My inner dialogue has changed over the years. In my teens and 20’s the voice was harsh and uncompromising but now in my 30’s it has taken on a more compassionate tone and it’s message is one of balance and self-love.
Being a multi-hyphenate requires being a task master, which takes focus. I have to maintain a balanced diet in order to do what I do; and I’m not only talking about the food I eat but also the “food” I feed my mind and soul. Here’s a glimpse into my diet…
For my Soul and Mind: I meditate everyday. Thirty minutes in the morning and another thirty in the evening. Also, I am a vegetarian – I made this choice over two years ago and it has been one of the most profound decisions I have ever made.
My Body: I exercise daily. Monday – Saturday (I take a break on Sundays)
Things I Drink: Before my morning coffee I have a glass of fresh squeezed Lemon water. It has many medicinal values. Lemons help to alkalize the body and control the proliferation of unhealthy bacteria. They also cleanse the Liver and help improve digestion and remove metabolic and acidic wastes from the body. (Squeeze a whole lemon into 12 – 16 ounces of filtered water and keep it at room temp for best benefits)
Coffee is my guilty pleasure; I drink a couple cups a day. Every couple weeks I take a break from coffee and switch to Green Tea.
The Food I Eat: My meals differ from day to day. I love to cook but don’t always have a lot of time so I shop accordingly. I buy ingredients for recipes that are more time-intensive and also items that can be prepared quickly like fruits, yogurt, salads and plenty of vegetables.
When I have very little time to cook dinner I’ll opt for a simple quick recipe. Here’s an example of one with whole grain quinoa. Whole grain quinoa cooks quicker than most grains and is a complete protein (you get about 11 grams of protein per cup of cooked quinoa). It’s not only amazingly healthy for you, it is a great base — you can seriously add anything to it and have an instant meal.
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/3 cup of lemon juice
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 Tomatoes – chopped
- Handful of basil leaves – chopped
- Dash of Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
Bring Two cups of water to a boil. Add the cup of Quinoa and cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
While the Quinoa is cooking whisk the garlic, lemon Juice, olive oil, Basil, garlic cloves, Sea Salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the tomatoes and then when the Quinoa is finished cooking (you can tell it’s done when all the water has been absorbed) allow it to cool slightly and then combine with the mixture and you are done. (Should take 20 minutes max).
When I do have the time, though, I go all out. Sometimes I’ll experiment in the kitchen with new recipes, but mostly I love cooking the dishes I enjoyed as a kid — which means I’m making Italian. Here’s a photo of a pot of my Vegetarian Bolognese.