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Healthy foodOur wellness and nutrition guru, Mary Kreider, has worked at CooperRiis since we opened in 2003. Today, some bestselling authors are starting to write about what she’s long been preaching.

Holistic nutrition principles can not only improve your health. They can also help improve a mood disorder.

Mary oversees our Wellness Program, which includes nutrition, whole and organic foods, exercise options, tobacco dependence treatment and personalized integrative health coaching.

The focus is not just mental health. It’s optimal health.

Mary has a Masters of Science degree in holistic nutrition, and she’s a Duke University Integrative Medicine Certified Integrative Health Coach. She’s a trained chef who launched the culinary program at CooperRiis, working with ingredients grown in our gardens. Residents work with our experienced staff, preparing healthy dishes while also building skills and confidence.

“There weren’t many books 13 years ago that focused on holistic nutrition principles, but lo and behold, the mental health literature has caught up,” Mary says. “It’s a testament to what we do at CooperRiis and how, instead of treating illness, we are built on wellness.”

Two books that validate our principles: Grain Brain, by David Perlmutter, MD and The UltraMind Solution by Mark Hyman, MD.

Hungry for some of Mary’s healthful recipes?

Bon appetit!


CooperRiis’ famous Granola


· 1C Coconut

· 7 ½ C Rolled Oats

· 2 C Almonds, sliced

· ½ C Sunflower seeds of Pumpkin seeds or mix

· ½ C Flax seeds, ground

· 1 t Cinnamon

· ½ t Nutmeg

· ½ C + 2 T Olive Oil

· 1 C Maple syrup

· 1 T Vanilla

· 3 C Mixture of Dried Raisins and Cranberries to taste.


Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Spread the coconut out evenly on a large sheet tray and toast in the oven for 5 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Set aside to cool.

Mix together the oats, almonds, sunflower and /or pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, olive oil, maple syrup and vanilla in a large 2 quart mixing bowl.

Spray 2 rimmed sheet pans with cooking spray. Spread the mixture in a thin even layer on the sheet pans. Bake for 15 minutes, then stir. Continue baking until crisp and browned, another 15-20min. Remove sheet pans from oven and place on speed rack to cool. Stir once while cooling.

Return cooled mixture to the bowl and mix in dried fruit and toasted coconut. Store in airtight container.


Quinoa Salad


· 12 cups water

· 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed

· 5 pickling cucumbers, peeled, ends trimmed, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes

· 1 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

· 1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and diced

· 1 bunch Italian parsley leaves, chopped

· 2 bunches mint leaves, chopped

· 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

· 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

· 1 lemon, juiced

· 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

· 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

· 4 heads endive, trimmed and separated into individual spears

· 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and diced, for garnish

Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the quinoa, stir once, and return to a boil. Cook uncovered, over medium heat for 12 minutes. Strain and rinse well with cold water, shaking the sieve well to remove all moisture.

When dry, transfer the quinoa to a large bowl. Add the cucumbers, onion, tomato, parsley, mint, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and toss well. Spoon onto endive spears, top with avocado, and serve.


Baked Honey Mustard Chicken


· 6 skinless, bonelss chick breast halves

· Salt and pepper to task

· ½ cup of honey

· 1./2 cup of prepared mustard

· 1 teaspoon dried basil

· 1 teaspoon paprika

· ½ teaspoon dried parsley



Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste, and place in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the honey, mustard, basil, paprika, and parsley. Mix well. Pour 1/2 of this mixture over the chicken, and brush to cover.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Turn chicken pieces over and brush with the remaining 1/2 of the honey mustard mixture. Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.


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