Saturday, December 11, 2010

Gratitude: A Circle of Joy

If you've followed my blog you know I usually write about nutrition and transitioning to a healthier lifestyle. I do this for a few reasons. One of the most important reasons is the gratitude I feel about getting my life back from Lupus thru nutrition. A nurse friend of mine clued me into the power of nutrition and supplements. Helping others like I was helped is my way to pay it forward. Gratitude is a circle of joy.

As you can tell, today I'm not writing about nutrition. As a holistic nutritionist I try to look at the whole of life and that which supports wellness. How you interact with other people and what you think and tell yourself, as well as, the ability to see and treasure the good in the bad are all important in the foundation of your happiness and wellness.

                                       It all starts with gratitude.

“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach

So I was overjoyed recently when my friend, Sue Ingebretson  told me about The Gratitude Book ProjectA book The Gratitude Book Project: Celebrating 365 Days of Gratitude (the national proceeds of which will go to four charities) comprised of an inspirational reading about gratitude for every day of the year. The co-authors of this book answered the question "What are you Grateful for?" in 200 words or less. I thought it was the coolest project ever! 

I contacted the editor Donna Kozik and jumped into the project with both feet. Let me tell you putting my feelings about gratitude in only 200 words was tough! My first draft was 1500 words. I sat at my desk straining my brain for how to condense it down to 200.

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” — Albert Schweitzer

I guess you could say Donna and Sue lit a flame within me. I'm grateful to Sue for letting me know about the project and to Donna for the opportunity. You know when you have to reach deep inside for the words to explain how you feel it's an amazing uplifting process. It wasn't easy but it was awesome!

The stories and lessons of gratitude in this book will indeed light the flame within you too. One of the coolest things about this book is the circle of joy it will ennervate. It blesses those of us who are co-authors in the project to share with you our reasons and thoughts about gratitude; blesses those who read it and feel more gratitude in their lives and lastly it will bless the four charities (ASPCA, Make-A-Wish Foundation, FeedAmerica and Women for Women) to which national sales proceeds go to. And it doesn't end there! The blessings will be paid forward to everyone all these people and organizations come in contact with.  So you see how gratitude is a circle of joy. Isn't that cool?

I believe many, many lives will be changed by this book and am so very proud to be a co-author.  In an effort to achieve Amazon Bestseller status and increase the National proceeds to the four charities we ask you to purchase this book on Wednesday, December 15th. It can be purchased here: God bless you !

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sci-Fi In The Grocery Store

Yesterday I perused the "health" food aisle at the grocery store. What an adventure! Venturing into the "health" food aisle is kind of like a sci-fi movie where nothing you see is as it appears.

First, I picked up a can of yummy looking soup. Label said "no added MSG". You would think if the label says "no added MSG" it wouldn't have MSG in it. Wouldn't you? Well, that's what they want you to think. It's a subtle lie. Read the ingredients list and many times you may find yeast extract, hydrolyzed soy protein, autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed pea protein, carrageenan or sodium caseinate; all of which are sources of MSG. So no they didn't specifically add MSG just another ingredient which is a source of MSG. I still call that lying.

Then I looked at a bag of "natural" chips. Would you believe there was yeast extract in a bag of "natural" chips? Yup, there was.

I looked to see I was for sure in the HEALTH food aisle. You know Mapquest occasionally takes you off course.  Yes, I was REALLY in the "health" food aisle.

And there was more deception to be found. How do you like "all natural" ice cream? Better read the ingredients. You just may find fake vanilla, alkalized cocoa, corn syrup, or partially hydrogenated soybean oil in your "all natural" ice cream.

Having pancakes for breakfast? Looking forward to that "Natural" maple syrup? Better read the ingredients. You just may find "artificial caramel coloring" in it. 

All set for your "natural" peanut butter and crackers snack? Read the ingredients list. The "all natural" peanut butter may have added sugar.

I found product after product deceptively labeled. I suddenly got really hot. Nope, not a hot flash. Just so ticked off at the deception of the food industry.

Ohhhhhh don't even get me started about the foods marketed to children. They are HORRENDOUS and deserve a blogpost all to themselves.

So there you have it. There's not much in the "health" food aisle which is truly healthy. If you're going to persist in eating processed foods be sure to read the ingredients list and choose as wisely as you can. Do you realize the incidence of chronic illnesses rose parallel with the rise of the processed food industry? Keep in mind the healthiest foods are whole foods; the fresh vegetables and fruits in the produce department. You hardly need venture into any other aisle in the grocery store. 

Morning With Petie

     It's another sunny but cool fall morning. Yes, a wonderful morning to have my morning green tea out by the lake. Took furkid Petie with me. He's a sedate, laidback little guy.

My Petie
He barely blinks an eye at the ducks on the lake.Isn't he cute? He has a haircut in this picture. He is actually a long-haired chihuahua. Furkid Penny on the other hand wants to play with the ducks. Not conducive to a meditative morning tea. So furkid Penny is not on this meditative walk with us.

     Sitting by the lake enjoying my tea this morning I thought to myself I am indeed blessed.  I'm fortunate to be able to help people both as a respiratory therapist at a hospital and in my business as a holistic nutritionist. One niteshift at the hospital last year I had the privilege of watching the sunrise with a cancer patient.  She was a delightful, perky lady; a truly amazing person.  The sunrise was beautiful but that isn't why I will remember it. I will remember it because this lady had such an awesome spirit. I felt so privileged to be able to share the sunrise with this beautiful person.

     Perhaps, just perhaps, cancer happening to this awesome lady didn't have to happen. According to the W.H.O. 70% of all cancer can be prevented thru proper nutrition. Perhaps, the standard american diet is what really killed her. Processed foods and fast foods are greatly lacking in the nutrients your body needs.

     Do you realize coronary heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, dental diseases, osteoporosis, gastrointentinal diseases and atherosclerosis are associated with dietary causes? What you eat truly MATTERS. Food matters. Research is showing poor lifestyle choices can turn on bad genes. By proactively choosing a healthy lifestyle you may keep bad genes from turning on.

     As I sat down to write this blog I thought of various patients, clients and friends who sporadically make attempts to eat healthier and exercise. I know it's their inconsistency which fuels their health problems. I thought about clients who only sporadically purchase vitamins for their children. They are unintentionally setting their children up to repeat their health mistakes. They are unwittingly teaching their children it's ok to put health second. What are you teaching your children by your actions?

      Your body is designed to heal itself if given the nutrients it uses to do the job. Doctors don't heal broken bones. Your body does. When you fall down your body begins healing the scrape on your knee or arm. Did you know your body stops cancer every day? It does. Unless it doesn't have the nutrients it needs to do the job.

     Health MUST be THE priority. As hard as it is to form new healthier habits; it's even harder to get well once you've fallen ill. Make your goal to be your healthiest! Wellness is the foundation of the quality of your life.  Think about it. Without wellness you lose choice. Make your best choice now. Choose to have your best life.

     How many times have you thought to yourself "gee I should eat better" or "I'll start tomorrow". You can start now! Pick one of these options to incorporate in your daily life. Then in seven days make another healthful change in your daily routine.

1. Have a green smoothie daily. (Need a recipe google one or ask me!)
2. Have a salad every day.
3. Drink 1/2 ounce water for every pound you weigh every day.
4. Eat a healthy breakfast!
5. Get the OK from your doctor and begin an exercise routine.

So what are you going to do? How are you going to feel 90 days from now? I'm hoping you're choosing to live your BEST life!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Two Furkids, A Lady and a Cat

Spent some time sitting by the lake yesterday pondering what I would write for this blogpost. I contemplated once again what I wanted to accomplish with this blog and how to better help folks with nutrition. My thoughts drifted to what an amazing journey I've had with Lupus.... and back to health. I've been in remission a little over six years. I think I can (and will) stop counting now.

I live here by the lake with two furkids and we (the furkids and I)  have a cat. The cat is not a furkid. Cats don't join things. Cats run things. The two furkids, Petey and Penny, are chihuahuas. But they don't know that. The cat has a name also, Pounder. But he doesn't answer to it.  He is however, really lovable. Well, lovable most of the time; but not when we get company. He lets company know in no uncertain terms how very unwelcome they are. Just because all they ever see are his teeth; no one believes he's lovable. Imagine that.

It's a really long story how I came to be so involved in nutrition but I'll make it shorter. I promise. You see in the middle of my journey with Lupus I met an RN who showed me how really powerful nutrition could be. When I met her I'd been dealing with Lupus for 16 years. Not one physician in all those years ever asked about my nutrition. Nutrition is what gave me my life back. That's why I went back to school and earned a Masters in Holistic Nutrition.

Well, that's part of the reason.

You see I have worked in respiratory care as a respiratory therapist for over 25 years. The really sad situations I've witnessed as a respiratory therapist and the amazing difference nutrition made in my life made me realize something very important.

We're killing ourselves. Is it to extreme to say that? Ummm.... I don't think so. The standard american lifestyle and diet are lethal. Every shift I work as a respiratory therapist this is validated to me. Our hospitals are full of people with lifestyle disorders. Disorders which didn't have to happen.

Food matters and what many, many of us are eating is seriously not healthy.

I don't know this little boy but he's right: 

It's a hard thing to transition from the standard american lifestyle and diet. But like he said you can pay the farmer or you can pay the hospital. Over the years I've seen people with multiple admissions to the hospital. They would always reach for the next best drug but they almost NEVER paid serious attention to what they ate or gave much thought to exercise.

And I can tell you from experience as hard as it is to make changes in your life; it's easier to stay well than to get well.

I wish I could wave a magic wand and everyone would be eating the appropriate amount of veggies and fruits and consistently exercising and thinking positive thoughts. Unfortunately, there is no magic wand and I can only help those who raise their hands and ask.

You can raise your hand and ask by subscribing to my newsletter Empower Wellness at .  I hope I'll be seeing you. Don't worry the cat won't hurt you.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pondering Change

Pondered a lot lately and reached a few conclusions.
Resolutions are born out of our discontent.
We WANT to change. We truly do.
We want to lose weight, be healthier, more successful, more organized, etc.

So often we profess a desire for change and then continue to do the same things over and over as if the result will be different. We are married to our habits, to convenience...... to our comfortable life. Change requires ACTION which is sometimes uncomfortable, at least, at first.

It's so much easier to stay mired in our customary everyday habitual routine which is safe and comfortable.
Let me say this about "habit". Habit may be comfortable but it takes away our power of choice almost as much as illness does. One can't both, stay mired in habit, and CHOOSE to CHANGE. Give that one some thought.

May I suggest you look at making healthful changes this way....

If you love your life, you will want to take care of your body. If you were diagnosed with a life threatening disease you would change your diet.... you might even exercise more (if you could) ... but you wouldn't be doing those things because of what the scale said or how you feel about how you look. You'd be doing those things because you love your life and didn't want it cut short.

So my question to you is: Why wait till you get sick?

As hard as change is it's much easier to stay well than get well.

Your wellness is the foundation of everything good in your life. Every good thing you do to support your wellness will pay you back in the enhancement of some aspect of your life. Think about it. Wellness  is integral to every part of your life.

You can make healthful changes, feel better, have more energy, and perhaps, decrease the amount of medication you take (with your physicians assistance). Don't attempt a lot of changes at once. Make one change at a time. When you're comfortable with that change go on to the next healthful change.

There's no time like the present to get started......

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sugar: Not Always Bad

Pick up any diet book or read almost any diet article and you will read about the evils of sugar. Millions of dollars are spent on diet products spiked with fake sweeteners in the effort to cut out sugar. We are in a frenzy to lose weight by cutting out evil sugar.

What is less known is that there are sugars which are essential to our health. They are necessary carbohydrates, sometimes called "glyconutrients", which is a neutraceutical term not a scientific one. Scientists call these sugars biological sugars, saccharides or mono-saccharides, otherwise known as plant sugars. Do NOT confuse them with the evil-labeled common table sugar!

There are eight known necessary essential sugars. They are: Glucose, Galactose, Fucose, Mannose, Glucosamine, Galactosamine, Neuraminic cid, and Xylose. All eight of them are needed for proper functioning of the body. Therir function is to enable cell to cell communication. On the surface of every cell in your body there are molecules called Glycoproteins which are made of sugars and proteins. Fat cells, or lipids, are made of sugars and fats (i.e. glycolipids).

These sugars form antenna on the outside walls of your cells. These antenna enable the cells to communicate. This is the very heart of your immune system! Without this communication your immune system would go haywire. In fact, 60+ diseases have been connected to a deficiency of one or more of these sugars.

Unfortunately, because we almost always green-harvest we aren't supplying our body with enough of these glyconutrients. Not only do we green harvest but many of us rely heavily on processed foods. Green harvesting and relying on processed foods is a double-whammy against our immune system. There are, however, various neutraceutical products which supply glyconutrients. I personally don't go a day without Limu Plus which has five of the eight known necessary glyconutrients in it. Supplements, however, are just that. Supplements. Nutritional products which supplement your already healthy food intake. They do not cure or treat any disease, nor do they make up for your nutritional sins.

Mother Nature has a plan for your health and is an awesome artist. For optimal health first start with your nutrient intake. Make your plate colorful with various fresh (or frozen) veggies and fruits. The more colorful your plate the more nutrients you are getting. Bon Appetit!

Creating a Healthy Lifestyle

Before continuing you might want to review the previous blogpost in which we discussed an 8 week plan to create a healthier lifestyle!

Considering the span of your lifetime in which you probably indulged in the standard American diet and lifestyle; eight weeks is a short period of time in which to reverse your unhealthy habits and create new healthy habits.

No doubt you probably will experience both successes and failures during the 8 weeks. Transitioning to a healthier lifestyle is a work in progress and you are taking positive actions so don`t beat yourself up over your failures. Definitely don't focus on your failures. Be proud of and concentrate on your successes and continue to build on them.

In this post we will explore further the essential components of optimal health:

1. Managing Stress
2. Exercise
3. Diet
4. Mind, Body, Spirit and Self-talk

Optimal health isn't just about "eating right". Your health is affected by how you (do or don't) manage stress in your life, how sedentary you are, what you say to yourself and your beliefs. Optimal health encompasses your whole lifestyle.


Stress is the most common cause of ill health, probably resulting in as many as 70-90% of all visits to the family physician. Stress in our lives comes from many areas; workplace and/or school, financial, relationship problems being the three top situations where stress arises.

Chronic stress may lead to such chronic illnesses as: depression, cardiac disease, ulcers, obesity, anxiety disorder, sexual dysfunction, decreased immune system health and even possibly cancer. It is imperative you learn to manage the stress in your life because it is a very real danger to your health.

So how do you manage stress? Many people use food, alcoholic drink or cigarettes to give them a short term relief from stress. However, in the end this will only result in greater stress due to their long term negative effects on health. A better way to manage stress is to examine your life and determine what is creating stress in your life. Actually write down what you feel your sources of stress are on paper. If you started a journal during the 8 weeks use your journal for this. (If not why didn't you?) Now would be a good time to start a journal. You may find you have a list of stress sources. After you have determined your stress sources write down three positive actions you might take to relieve the stress of each of these sources.

Sometimes the actions needed to resolve stress are not "quick fixes". For example you may need to see a financial expert to set up a program for reducing your debt or a relationship counselor to heal your relationships or perhaps, you may need to find a new job more in line with your passions. Those things take time.

For a temporary relief from stress you may:

1. Stretch your arms above your head. Reach for the ceiling!
2. Move your hands in a circle to relieve stress in your wrists.
3. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths in thru your nose and
slowly out thru your mouth. Count to ten slowly as you inhale and again as you exhale.
4. Take a walk around your desk, down the hall or even better, outside where you can appreciate the beauty of nature, benefit from the sunlight and breathe fresh air.
5. Have a bite of dark chocolate. I DO mean just a bite! Some chocolates are healthier than others. Be choosy!
6. Try Rescue Remedy: A Bach Flower remedy you can find in most health stores.

Keep in mind those who indulge in a daily routine of exercise and eat optimally nutritious meals find dealing with stress much easier.


A regular routine of exercise is imperative for optimal health and longevity. Exercise helps relieve stress, combats depression, increases your energy level, helps prevent osteoporosis and high blood pressure, boosts good "HDL" cholesterol, helps to maintain a normal weight, promotes better sleep and improves your sex life. Exercise is one of the keys to optimal health.

It is said the average person watches four hours of television a week. We all have time to exercise. It's a choice. There are many kinds of exercise. You can find something you enjoy doing! Take a class in ballroom dancing, or square dancing, join a gym, start walking everyday, hire a personal trainer to develop an exercise routine which accommodates your needs, the possibilities are endless! There is a form of exercise you can do no matter your age or physical ability. But check with your doctor first if you have been sedentary and/or have health issues.

If we can watch television for four hours a day we can certainly find the time to exercise for 30 minutes. If it seems overwhelming start with 10 minutes a day. Just start! Your health and quality of life depend on it!


Probably the biggest stumbling block one encounters in their journey to transitioning to a healthier lifestyle centers around food. Most people have a hard time deciding what to eat because they aren`t accustomed to having to think about what they eat. In our culture we are so used to reaching for convenience foods. It's hard to stop pulling into the local drive-up junk food place,nuking your dinner or grabbing a convenient soda when thirsty. But if you have the desire to live a life of quality with optimal health you must stop eating junk food and drinking junk drinks. You will need to develop a repertoire of nutritious recipes you enjoy. In the first eight weeks you have made an attempt at eating a salad every day and increasing your vegetable intake. That wasn't easy but it was a good first step. Hopefully, you have at least decreased your intake of junk food, if you haven't totally cut it out yet.

Your next step with food is to consider eating a percentage of the vegetables and fruits you eat raw. For instance, 60% of my nutritional intake is raw. Women should eat 7 servings and men should eat 9 servings of vegetables and fruits per day. Remember a serving is ½ cup. Why would you want to eat raw foods? Because food in it's natural state contains enzymes which are destroyed when you cook food at high temperatures. Your body needs those enzymes. Every function in the body is run by enzymes. One of the chief reasons processed food is not good for you is because enzymes are destroyed in cooking/food processing. Many illnesses can be traced to enzyme deficiencies.

Lest you think your only option for eating raw is eating salads let me tell you that is far from true! Considering you have probably spent your lifetime eating predominately cooked food this is going to take some work on your part. Obviously, you aren't just going to dive in and start eating this way. Eating a percentage of your food intake raw is something you work up to. The good news is if you're following the 8 week plan you've already started by eating a healthy salad every day! Eating raw is much more than that though! You can learn more about eating raw and how to transition to eating raw foods by reading any of these books:

1."12 Steps to Raw Foods: How to End Your Dependency on Cooked Food" by Victoria Boutenko and Gabriel Cousens
2."Raw: The Uncook Book: New Vegetarian Food for Life" by Juliano, Erika Lenkert,and Juliano Brotman
3."Living on Live Food" by Alissa Cohen
4. "Green for Life" by Victoria Boutenko

Food in it`s natural state supports our immune system. We have taken food in its natural state, and adulterated it with additives, processing, coloring etc. As a result we have many chronic diseases and acutely severe diseases such as cancer. We must return to eating foods in their natural state. Every cell in your body is created from what you eat. If you assist your immune system by giving it the nutrients it needs your immune system will assist you in combating, recovering from and even preventing chronic illness.

Mind, Body, Spirit

We are not just physical beings. We are also mental and spiritual beings and the balance between mind, body and spirit contributes to our degree of optimal health. There is so much busy-ness in life we frequently forget to care for the deeper inner us when, in fact, the spirit facet of us needs care just as our mind and body do. Whether one explores spirituality by engaging in one of the worlds many faith traditions or embarks on an independent path it is a journey vitally important to optimal health.

Our connection with spirit paves the foundation for our understanding and experience of the concepts of forgiveness and gratitude, the importance of service and compassion and the equal importance of giving and receiving. Connection with spirit helps us to choose love, make positive choices, have meaningful relationships and connect to the joy of being. These are all integral to managing stress, feeling happiness and creating optimal health in our life. In optimal health spirit uplifts the body and mind. It is important to take some time to give some thought as to what part spirituality plays in your life.

You may further explore spirituality in these books:
1. "Finding Joy: A Practical Spiritual Guide to Happiness" by Dannel Schwartz and Mark Hass
2. "There`s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem" by Wayne Dyer
3. "The Laws of Spirit: A Tale of Transformation" by Dan Millman

Self Talk

What is it you say to yourself when you're alone? Self-talk is key to mind/body interaction. What it is you say to yourself over and over colors your attitude, raises or lowers both your energy and stress levels, it may affect your relationships or finances, your emotional state and even the degree of success you have in life. Your self-talk has very real effects upon your health and life.

Negative self-talk such as "I can't", "I'm dumb", or "I'm fat" demoralizes you,lessens your self-esteem and creates a setting for depression to take hold and your immune system to be weakened. On the other hand positive self-talk such as "I'm good", "I can do it" or "I'm a beautiful person" raises self-esteem, combats depression and motivates you to take positive action. It gives you a sense of well-being,less stress and a stronger immune system.

Are you in a negative rut with your self-talk? Sometimes people fall into a habit of negative self-talk which becomes very hard to overcome and change. But you can! When you find yourself thinking something negative immediately replace the thought with a positive one. Take some time in your journal writing to make a list of your good qualities and the things and people in your life for which you feel gratitude. Focus on solutions instead of problems. Be your own best friend. Remember your body hears and reacts to what you say to yourself.

So what are your next plans in transitioning to a healthier lifestyle? Consider these suggestions:

1. If you haven't completely stopped eating fast and/or processed food resolve to do so. It's a hard habit to break, but as you incorporate more fresh vegetables and fruits into your daily nutrition regimen you will find it will become easier to say no to less healthier options.
2. Go to the library or bookstore and get a raw food book(s) and discover the amazing array of healthy gourmet options open to you. You will be pleasantly surprised! Gradually incorporate recipes and ideas from these books into your daily nutrition regimen. This will also help you to stop eating unhealthy foods.
3. Continue to journal about your successes and thoughts and feelings regarding transitioning to a healthier lifestyle. You might also write about what you feel gratitude for each day. It makes a difference to think about it and write it down!
4. Plan your meals a week at a time so that less healthier options aren't inviting.
5. Don't forget about your stress list positive actions. Go to work resolving your stress issues.
6. When you have a negative thought replace it with a positive one! Negative thoughts (and negative self-talk) are habits which can be rehabilitated! You might write a few positive affirmations on index cards and carry them with you. Read these positive affirmations several times a day.

Lastly, be proud of yourself for taking responsibility for your health. Continue to make small changes in your day to day life which enhance your new healthy lifestyle. A balanced life with optimal health is a great joy. One in which you can experience the complete fullness of life. Don't settle for anything less!

I hope you will join me at wellness

8 Weeks to a Healthier Lifestyle

Many of my clients tell me they want to live in a healthier way. They know they need to overhaul their eating, but don't know where to start and often they feel more than a little overwhelmed. Does that also describe you? Does the prospect of a major lifestyle change seem a little overwhelming to you?

Making healthy lifestyle changes does not have to be overwhelming. The key to incorporating healthy positive changes in your lifestyle is to break the changes down into do-able actions. As you gradually make positive changes in your lifestyle and consistently repeat them, they will become new healthy habits.

Before you start making changes I would suggest you keep a journal while you are instituting changes into your lifestyle. Write about how you feel about making changes, the difficulties, as well as the successes you have along the way. What changes might you make? Here's a suggested (but not all inclusive) 8 week plan to get you started on your new healthy lifestyle:

Week One: Instead of drinking soda drink, water. Drink at least 64 ounces of water per day. Does this sound like a lot to you? Get yourself a 32 ounce mug. It's much easier psychologically to drink two mugs of water rather than 8 - eight ounce glasses. I would suggest getting a good water filtration system for your home or drinking spring water which you can find in any grocery store. Do not drink tap water! You may add lemon to your water to enhance taste.

Week Two: Eat a salad every day. I would not recommend the "chemical ridden" salad dressings in your favorite grocery store. Rather, you may use a little orange or lemon juice as a dressing or a tablespoon of flaxseed oil. Olive oil makes a good salad dressing especially if you add a little minced shallot, Dijon mustard, garlic powder or minced garlic to it. You might also go to your favorite library, bookstore or online vegetarian website and look-up a recipe for healthy salad dressings. Don't use the commercial brands.

Week Three: In addition to the salad you're now eating everyday, resolve to eat five more vegetable servings per day. This isn't hard when you stop to realize a serving is only ½ cup. Be sure to eat vegetables of different colors. Make your plate colorful! The more colors in your plate of food, the more nutrients you are giving your body.

Week Four: Stop eating all fast and processed foods. Yes, it's really convenient to pull into the nearby fast food place or to nuke something in the microwave. But these foods are lacking in nutrients and are high in both calories and the wrong kind of fat. Use the rule -- 'if God didn't make it, I won't eat it'. Think of it this way: every cell in your body is made from the food you eat. If you eat less than healthy food, your body will enjoy less than optimal health.

Week Five (for coffee drinkers): Cut down on coffee! Resolve to have only one cup in the morning. If you are a heavy coffee drinker you may consider having one cup of caffeinated coffee and remaining cups 50/50 caffeinated and non-caffeinated. Gradually change over to just 50/50 and then slowly decrease the number of cups you have until you're only drinking one cup. You might even consider booting coffee out of your life. Perhaps, switch to green tea for its antioxidant qualities.

Week Five (for non-coffee drinkers): Have a cup of green tea every morning.

Week Six: Begin eating four fruits a day. If you haven't been wild about eating fruits up till now then start with eating two a day and work up to four. Oh and fruit juices don't count! Your body needs the fiber from whole fruit.

Week Seven: Incorporate some form of exercise into your daily regimen. If you have been mostly sedentary for some time, do check with your physician before starting an exercise program. Your exercise regimen could be as simple as walking. Get a pedometer and work up to 10,000 steps per day.

Week Eight (for smokers): With the issuance of the recent Surgeon General's report, don't you agree it's clear how bad smoking is for your health? Here it is if you haven't read it: ( . There are many ways to quit smoking, however, there is no one way which works for everyone. You might try hypnotism or auricular therapy. Some folks go "cold turkey" and just stop. If you are a heavy "nervous" type smoker I recommend you talking with your doctor about how to quit and be sure to look-up an area support group. You can find a smoking cessation group in your area by contacting the American Lung Association or by calling the respiratory care department of your local hospital.

Week Eight (for everyone): Go through your kitchen pantry and refrigerator and throw out anything containing high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners (i.e. aspartame, NutraSweet, Splenda). Many experts feel they both contribute to obesity and less than optimal health.

Congratulations! Be proud of yourself for taking action to create a healthier lifestyle. Give yourself a pat on the back. You have worked very hard for eight weeks. The changes you have made in your lifestyle have gotten you started on a healthier path. You may have even lost some weight during these eight weeks. Your consistency with these changes will change your life. You will find you'll have more energy, less aches and pains and a healthier frame of mind.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Getting Unstuck

When clients come to me they are many times in a state of overwhelm. They know there are many things they need to change in their lives to create a healthier lifestyle. Most of the time change became an impossible frustrating experience because they have tried to change so many things at once.

Part of the problem is folks need to just make one change at a time and when comfortable with that go on to the next one; instead of changing many things at once. But the other part of the problem is what they are thinking. They focus on their failure instead of any success they may have had.

Think about this. When you were a child learning to ride a bike you fell down. But before you fell you maybe rode two feet. You felt a taste of success during that two feet didn't you? That taste of success made you get back on that bike again and again until you rode around the block. However, what if when you fell down you focused on falling down. Would you have ever rode a bike? Would you even consider getting back on the bike?

Many people get stuck in life, in relationship problems, in weight loss problems, in financial problems because they focus on the failure and not the glimmers of success.

Focus on your moments of success and build on them! Go for it! You were meant to have an extra-ordinary life!

I hope you will join me every Monday 9am - CST at Empower Wellness Radio

Reversing Illness: Eating To Live

In the sixteen years Lupus was active in my life (and I was struggling to stay off disability) not once did a physician ever ask about my nutrition. Nor did any of the 13 drugs they prescribed create a miracle; though there was a clinical trial drug which was almost a miracle. My true miracle came with attention to nutrition and supplements. Today thanks to nutrition I have been in remission six wonderful years.

As Hippocrates said, "Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food".

Recently I went on a caribbean cruise with a group of business friends. One of the ladies had lost a remarkable amount of weight and looked so much healthier. There was an awesome change in her! In talking to her she told me her husband was 100% into the raw food lifestyle and she had been so sick she finally acquiesced and joined him. In the four months between when she had joined him in the raw food lifestyle and the cruise she lost 45 lbs, her diabetes had disappeared and she was off all diabetes medication and all problems she had been having with ulcerative colitis were also gone. All of that happened in 4 months.

I know this lady also utilizes supplements. In fact, she is a perfect example of the correct way to use supplements. Supplements are for supplementing an already healthy nutrition regimen. Why would a person need to supplement a supposed healthy nutrition regimen? Because our produce today has 5-40% less vitamins and minerals in it than it used to contain. This is why the government increased the servings on the Food Pyramid and why in the 2002 the Journal of the American Medical Association it was recommended everyone supplement.

I'm not going to tell you to go 100% raw with your nutritional intake; but I do encourage you to make a percentage of your intake raw foods. I myself eat 60% raw.

Why are raw foods so healthy? Food in its natural state contains enzymes that are destroyed when you cook food at high temperatures. Your body needs those enzymes. Every function in the body is run by enzymes. Many illnesses can be traced to enzyme deficiencies.

Every cell in your body is created from the food you take in. If you assist your immune system by giving it the nutrients it needs your immune system will assist you in combating, recovering from and even preventing illness.

I hope you will join me every Monday at 9am CST at Empower Wellness Radio

Saturday, January 2, 2010

How Much Sodium Is In Your Diet?

Welcome to the new year! I wish you a happy, healthy year! Happy New Year!

Let's start off the new year by talking about sodium. Average healthy people should have less than 2400mg (approx. 1 tsp) per day. According to the AHA people with high blood pressure should have less than 1500mg per day.

How much sodium is in YOUR diet? Do you REALLY know? Most of us have way to much sodium in our diets. (and as you will soon see that is an understatement!) Do you have high blood pressure? a hard time losing weight? Get serious about the sodium in your diet!

Take a look at the sodium contents in the entrees at these popular restaurants:





Panera Bread

Some serious sodium there, huh! Makes one think a little differently about eating out. Eating out indiscriminately is indeed not good for you. You don't have to stop eating out. Just make healthier decisions. Research your favorite restaurants. Armed with the facts you can choose what to eat more wisely.

Read labels when you grocery shop! Not only will the ingredients label tell you if there is sodium in the product; it will also tell you about sodium-containing compounds such as MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE (MSG), BAKING SODA, BAKING POWDER, DISODIUM PHOSPATE or SODIUM ALGINATE.

Don't think that taste will tell you about the sodium content of a food. A bagel certainly doesn't taste salty but some bagels have 450mg sodium! READ LABELS or ASK! Also, don't overlook the sodium in condiments.... especially ketchup and mustard!

There are a lot of very tasty spice concoctions to choose from to enhance the taste of your foods! I LOVE the spices at PENZEY'S (No, I am not connected in any way with Penzeys!) There are also a lot of good spices in your grocery store. Be sure to read the label and make sure they are salt-free.

One of the best and healthiest perks of paying attention to the sodium content of your food is you will naturally turn to whole foods! Whole foods are so much healthier than processed foods. Bon Appetit!