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Showing posts from April, 2013

The 100% "Fad-Free" Diet!

I've been learning so much from my time with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as I work through their certification program. And, it should come as no surprise that I want to share that knowledge with you.
One thing I've learned is "Fad is Bad." So, nope. No fad diets for me. Fad diets don’t work! If you’ve tried one, you know this already and probably remember feeling grouchy, starved, irritable, deprived, or just plain lousy.
Instead, my strategy is to forget the fad. I'll avoid making drastic changes and take one step at a time (like learning what proper portion sizes look like), then incorporating these steps into a regular part of my daily routine.
My tips for a well-balanced weight-loss plan include:
    Always eating breakfast, and never skip meals.     Eating a variety of lean meats, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.     Limiting the amount of sugar, refined flour, processed foods and saturated fats that I eat.     Eating small…

The Worst Day of My Life

She was just shy of her 2nd birthday and I still remember the day we lost her. Beautiful, full of smiles and the wonder that only a child can bring, she was the light of my life. But now – the light (and my life) was gone.

After living with us most of her life, our adoption hadn’t yet been finalized. Her birth mother, an addict fresh from her second stint in prison, changed her mind and refused to proceed. There was nothing we could do. No way could we protest. We could engage in a long and torturous legal battle, but in the end – we knew we would lose. And, Lexi would be the one to suffer most from the ordeal.

I still see the look on her face; the hurt in her eyes on the morning I left her in what would be her new home. It’s a deeply painful memory for me. Her soulful expression seemed to say she knew exactly what was about to happen and it is something I will never forget no matter how hard I try.

I returned home – numb, and arrived to a house that was empty and dead. If you have e…

Words You Feed Yourself

Ever swear that you would start eating better and then find yourself sitting with an empty pizza box wondering “how did I manage to eat the whole thing?!?!” I have! True confessions here; I love pizza!

While eating a whole pizza is not the healthiest choice, I’m not gonna beat myself up over it. It’s a done deal. Gone! What I can do is try to figure out why I chose that behavior, what can I do to prevent future over indulgence, and minimize the damage of my emotionally destructive self-talk.

Emotionally destructive self-talk is that little voice you hear in your head that feeds you lies and tells you you’re a failure. You’re a failure because you had one, albeit overly indulgent, meal? I don’t think so!!! Listening to that inner voice that says "you’ll never lose the weight" is as good as telling yourself to just give up. “I can’t stop eating - losing weight is too hard,” are other lies your little voice might tell you. But, it doesn't have to be this way.

I’m determine…

Flags at Half Mast... (again)

I'll admit that I don't watch news very much and sometimes that gets me in trouble. It wasn't until late Monday evening when I first heard about the Boston Marathon tragedy. My first reaction was anger. Anger over how people go out of their way to try to find new methods of creating and causing others pain. It's for this very reason that I abstain from most news networks. It seems to me, that the networks have created a blood sport of taking an already terrible event and frothing it up to heightened misery.

So, today as I drive toward my office, I see flags flying at half mast. So sad to know that just last December –only a measly four and a half months ago- they were doing the same; mourning over the murder of children in their elementary classrooms. Whether organized by terrorists, or a sole person looking for ways to express malicious intent, it seems that there has been an increase of individuals obsessed with causing pain and death.

In some regard, I even believe…

Stop Neck and Shoulder Pain

You know those annoying knots in muscles and connective tissues that can literally give you a “pain in the neck?” Those are called Myofascial trigger points, and massage can help relieve the pain. The 'myo' part of the word means muscle and 'fascial' refers to the elastic, connective tissue that runs throughout the body.

Trigger points radiate (or refer) pain from muscle or fascia in a characteristic pattern. For example, trigger points in the shoulders often send pain and tension throughout the shoulders and up into the lower neck. Likewise, trigger points in your buttocks can refer pain down the leg just as in sciatica. Deep breathing, stretching, applications of heat or cold, and massage can help.

It seems that the neck and shoulders are the areas that are most affected by trigger points. For example, the ‘levator scapula’ is a muscle that connects your shoulder blade to your neck and is responsible for your ability to shrug your shoulders. It is notoriously prone …

Identify and Let Go – Releasing Toxic People from Your Life (pt 2)

In yesterday's post I presented the first steps to ridding yourself of a toxic person in your life and understanding that not being able to change their perspective is most definitely not your fault! Don’t be bound by your own feelings of guilt for someone else’s life decisions because no one stands to gain anything by it. This person will continue to take your energy and give nothing positive (to you or the world) in return. I repeat: NO ONE benefits, and if left unchecked, there will be one more negative person in the world - you.

Believe me, I've been there. I know that coming to the realization that you can’t change a toxic person AND that you must walk away from them is an especially hard step to take. In these cases, I remind myself to let go of control. Let that person 'be' and continue on my own life journey. If confronted, always remain as calm as you’re capable of being. Reacting to a toxic person will not only bring you down to the same energetic level, but…

Identify and Let Go – Releasing Toxic People from Your Life (pt 1)

Sooner or later, each of us will come in contact with people who will leave us feeling frustrated and depleted. I call them ‘soul suckers’ because of the kind of negative inertia they evoke that can pull us down and crush our spirit before we’re even aware of what’s happening. Oftentimes, these encounters can leave us in a similar sense of negativity, too.

You may already know that much of what I write about involves proper nutrition, stress management, and physical movement. I even write about toxic foods and environmental contaminants, but the truth is that there are toxic people, and they can take just as much of a toll on our health & wellness! I’ve not been immune to these encounters myself which is why I want to teach you how to identify – and avoid – such people in your life, too.

Just so you know, interacting with a toxic person always feels like a fruitless battle. You know the type; long on problems and short on solutions (because they aren’t really looking for solution…

Do yourself a favor: Don’t diet ever again

You may remember me mentioning that I’m studying the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and getting my certification as a nutritional coach. Well, here I am at the beginning of my 2nd quarter of classes and boy-oh-boy have I learned a bunch!

While some of what I’ve learned is a little mind-bending, some of it is common knowledge that we’ve all shared, but often have failed to address. For example; in the long term, dieting to drop weight — and keep it off — rarely works. We both know that, right? Then why do we get so down on ourselves when this reality comes to fruition? Study after study supports the fact that many people eventually regain the weight they lost — and then some — once they stop their diet.

The proof is in the collective pounds Americans have gained despite the billions of dollars we dish out for diet pills and programs each year. Unfortunately, the number of obese Americans continues to rise and has now reached epidemic proportions.

So, what should you do to get to …

The Most Efficient Workout

Today's post is short and sweet. So, I want to talk about stimulating your stamina and physical strength quickly. These are two tools you cannot go without if you want to have a life of purpose and fulfillment. To begin, let's discuss the key players; your muscles.

Muscles are funny things. They respond to just about any type of training, as long as it's challenging and as long as it's not the same darn thing you've always done. That's the beauty of what's called "density training:" It's a whole lot of stuff you haven't tried yet. And best of all, you can work all your major muscles in a fraction of the time it takes to to 'traditional' weight training.

Here's how it works: Instead of counting reps and sets, you'll focus on the total amount of work you can accomplish in a fixed amount of time. For example; let's use abdominal crunches or push-ups. Instead of doing a specific number and then stopping, try doing as many a…

Want to Lose Weight? Drink More Water…

The challenge of transforming your body is not a onetime event.  It doesn't happen magically in 6 weeks or less because you chose to purchase the latest gadget you found on TV in the middle of the night.  You can't buy it in a special box of food or in a program that doesn't include the three pillars you need for success - strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and supportive nutrition.

The change comes through your constant pursuit of making yourself into a better, fitter, healthier and more balanced person every day. Each change you make, and every positive decision you choose, brings you a step closer to your goal and your vision.

Here is a great example of this universal truth...

Two recent studies published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that within 10 minutes of drinking about a pint of water, the metabolic rates of both men and women increased by as much as 24 to 30 percent.  Other drinks did not have the same effect.

Based on th…