Party time!

It’s getting hot in here!

80 degrees and some requests for a raw-themed party was all I needed to get the creative juices flowing…starting with the drinks.

The pics for the food creations will come later on. But first here are some of the ideas I put together for the drink portion of the “juicy and raw” fun.

All I needed was some Mason jars of various sizes, some eco-friendly paper straws, icing-made bees for a little decor, colorful cupcake wrappers, and a hole puncher (technical term?).

 

Mason Jar prep

 

 

Then, it was all about fun and games…the sky is the limit as to the many versions of Mason jars drinks you can create. Awesome bonus: thanks to the cupcake wrappers, no bees or other bugs in your drinks!

 

 

Mason jars party pics

 

Mason jars 2

 

Good times!

 

 

Why the French approach to weight loss works

Woman in Paris with Macaroon

The French lifestyle is not about fitting in a size zero, it is about fitting perfectly into the body you were given. It is not about counting calories but about simplifying and pleasuring up your life and your habits so you can be the person you were born to be.

 

It is not just about what you eat but how you eat. 

 

Stuffing yourself with what you can find as quickly as possible so that you can get on to the next item on your “to-do” list is enemy number one when it comes to weight, energy, and health.

 

We keep torturing and ruining our bodies with the next fad diet, whereas the French don’t “diet”. They do think and worry about their weight, as the cover of magazines in the spring can attest, but they don’t treat food as we do, as an enemy of carbs and fats that need to be defeated at all cost. They simply eat less and cut out treats and cheeses if needed. They don’t micromanage grams of anything and are too lazy to count calories.

 

Their approach to food is what keeps them lean, feisty, and healthy. It is really uncomplicated and easy to apply in your own life. Don’t over-complicate it.

There are two parts to the French approach:

  • What the French eat that keeps them healthy and lean: they eat real foods that are working with their bodies, not “faux-foods” that work against them. Instead of encouraging you to eat new man-made chemicals and food-like creations, you might want to turn to real food as a permanent weight and health strategy. Real foods have the best flavors. Once you get back to eating more of them, you realize how wonderful they taste and how chemical-ly faux foods actually taste. You don’t have to do anything incredibly heroic in the kitchen to reap the benefit…just eat real food.
  • How the French eat: this is the heart of their lifestyle and the little know secret behind the French paradox. Learning how to eat well will remove the fear of food, increase pleasure around eating, and will allow you to eat the foods you love without fear, guilt, or extra weight. Finally, you can feel satisfied after your meals, and ditch deprivation for good. I spent a good amount of my time studying the research around that principle and realized that how the French eat is not just a good idea, it is a scientifically sound approach and a trait that a lot of “skinny” people possess.

The idea that the French don’t get fat is ludicrous. They do get fat when they stray from these two principles. Master them and the results will follow. The main mistake my clients make is to discount the “how to eat” part, which is actually the most powerful part. It is, however, the most challenging for some as they are so used to a go-go-go lifestyle and feel somehow “guilty” to slow down and take some quality time for themselves.

Don’t be. As L’Oreal would say…”you’re worth it”!

Join me for The Lazy French 10-Day Reboot and get your body back with the powerful combination of raw food and French principles. We start April 24!

Master your metabolism, cravings, and weight in 10 days

You can master your metabolism, cravings, and weight, as well as increase your energy and clear your  skin in just 10 days.
 
I have been working on this baby for a while, waiting for the right time and my body’s green light to finally launch it…and here it is!!!!
 
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I have poured all of my knowledge, client feedback, and best tricks into this very affordable and potent experience.
And best of all…it is ridiculously easy, fun, and delicious. 
I am lazy by nature, and so are many of my clients, so I really wanted to create a spring reboot that would finally bring success and juiciness to all of you who sabotage yourselves regularly, have all the excuses in the world, or are just plain lazy.
 
Just to be clear though, lazy does not mean un-motivated, un-inspired, or un-willing. It just means that many diets and “must-do” items in your life threaten your need for freedom, pleasure, and fun.
I have an unbreakable desire for a healthy body and for showing up bigger in my life, but I also recognize that willpower can only get me so far, and that to reach my goals, I need to honor my natural laziness, and make the steps to success utterly irresistible and easy to implement.
That’s why I created this program, so you can drop the excuses of not having enough time, family visiting, not knowing how to cook, too hard, too depriving, not the right time, not for you, etc.
 
Do you think you don’t need a reboot in the spring? Think again.
 
We are all under chronic stress, environmental toxins overload, and damaging food choices. Most of us are addicted to something (sugar, salt, caffeine, carbs, meds), don’t sleep well, are chronically anxious or depressed, or can’t shed the weight no matter what we try.
 
After a long winter, your lymph is most likely congested, your liver exhausted, and your middle a little rounder than before. Spring gives you a chance to reboot as your body begs you to lighten up, de-clutter, and change.
 
I am making it easy, fun, and result-oriented for you. Like a “staycation”. Give yourself the gift of slowing down, eating for optimum metabolism and energy, and kicking your cravings to the curb, lazy French style!
 
The best part? Because there is no “diet”, there is no “quitting”, or “failing”…
Now you can stop blaming yourself, your genes, or the food industry, and JUST GET IT DONE!
Why the Lazy French Reboot is different from other programs:
  • You learn the critical and scientific facts behind the French’s lean physiques.
  • You benefit from the slimming and energizing properties of raw foods (even if this is NOT a raw detox).
  • You implement hands-on, easy and quick, tools to nip self-sabotage and resistance right of the bat!

Scrumptious, nutritious, and simple energy bites

I rely on energy bites for hunger pains, pre and post workouts fuel, and travel needs. You can either store them in the freezer until you need them, or dehydrate them.

Here are a couple of my favorite combinations, but get creative and start playing with flavors!

Coconut-chocolate bites:

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2/3 cup raw or roasted almonds
15 medjool dates (soak in warm water if too dry and hard)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2 T raw cacao powder
1 T melted coconut oil
2 oz raw sweet cacao nibs or chocolate chips (use vegan chips for dairy free)

Place almonds in food processor and process until ground. Add the dates and process again. Add the coconut flakes, the cacao powder and nibs, and the coconut oil and pulse until combined. Scoop small amounts and roll into a ball. Place on a plate on parchment paper and freeze. Once hard, put in freezer bag and enjoy as needed.

 

Cookie dough protein bites:

Perfect mix of protein, fiber, healthy fat and treat-like feel!

DSC_2544

15 oz cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2-3 T raw honey

1 T coconut sugar

1/8 tsp baking soda

4 T raw almond butter

2 tsp vanilla extract or powder

1 cup mini vegan chocolate chips (or real chocolate)

Combine everything but the chocolate chips in food processor until smooth. Add in the chips and mix in. Roll into small balls and freeze.

Note: if they taste too “bean-y” for you, increase the amount of almond butter and cacao chips.

 

 

 

Simplicity…The Easiest And Fastest Way To A Perfect Body

There is still way too much snow on the ground here in MA, but I can feel the subtle changes happening in my body that signal that winter is on its way out.

After months of needing to eat, eat, eat to stay warm, no desire to juice at all, a ravenous appetite for all things “stew-like” and a need to have multiple courses to feel satisfied, I suddenly lost my rabid appetite, feel much calmer, and am now craving simplicity in my meals and my life.

You see, after years of learning to tune in to my body’s rhythm and needs, I have a very keen awareness of the subtle shifts that seem to happen here and there. And it’s with relief that I welcome the end of the “blubber months”. I can’t fight my body or its need to keep me warm and healthy; in its broken and “misfiring” ways, it is doing what it is built to do: keep me alive. Winter and cold mean only one thing for it: the need to maintain adequate body temperature, which only means accumulating as much fat as possible.

This is one of the main concepts I teach clients: you cannot go against your body’s safety mechanism. But that’s a different discussion for another time. Right now, I want to touch on the need for simplicity that the upcoming of spring can trigger, and why it is your ticket to a much healthier and leaner self…and a lot less challenges and frustrations.

A common reason for failure in dieting and healthier living stems from the complicated nature of some diets/plans/protocols.When it comes to weight and health, things can get really complicated. All you have to do is turn on the TV, google anything, or pick up magazines, and you will be inundated with information that usually contradict one another, leaving you overwhelm and confused.

Take thyroid disease for example. When I was researching the disease for myself, it was mind boggling that much of the information out there was very complex and different from one source to another. Some protocols I tried even made me really sick. It took a while to get it right.

The problem is that confusion and information overload create paralysis (you don’t do anything about it) and despair (now you are really depressed and beating yourself up for your lack of action).

The answer to this problem is simplicity!

When you start craving simplicity, it is a sign that you are ready to surrender, stop endless researching (otherwise know as Google addiction), and let go of your need to make it complicated, so you can start shedding the pounds and lowering your stress levels.

With simple meals, simple steps, and a simplified life, people are more likely to get started on their goals, as well as keep up the good work in the long term, instead of ditching it because it got too complicated or too demanding.

My experience has also been that when I get into “simplify” mode, I am much calmer, feel lighter, am more focused, and am more likely to feel full faster after a meal. It is the beauty of a detox program, where all the foods are laid out simply, where you know exactly what you will eat, and where everything is so easy to assemble. Having a simple plan for a simple lifestyle for a week can do wonders to balance your hormones, lower your stress levels, and help your body release winter weight. If done right, they are like a magical reset button.

What can you simplify in your life right now? Do you need to stop analyzing everything and start living, surrendering, and lightening up?

Feel it come naturally with the energy of spring…and act on it!

Don’t.Give.Up: the crazy stuff I’ve done for health

In my neck of the wood, winter has not given up yet, which means relief from the winter pounds and blahs is not as close as I would like it to be. As I explained in the last newsletter, even if I would like to start detoxing for spring, my body has other plans and still wants to hold on to its “safety” blubber to keep me warm.

So with that in mind, I know it will have to get a lot warmer for a lot longer before I can let go of those extra pounds. You will have the opportunity to join me when I launch my brand new online group reboot this coming April. I am super excited about it as it will be quite different from the ones I have led in the past. Look for information regarding this later on!

Now on to the subject at hand…and the message I carry with me at all time:

Don’t. Give. Up.

I could have given up when my health crashed three years ago. I could have given up when no doctors was coming up with answers. I could have given up when I finally figured out what was wrong and it was overwhelming. I could have given up when I was told I could not change or “fix” myself. I could have given up when the pain was too strong or the despair too loud.

And I almost did…many times. But in the end I kept going, one step at a time, one question at a time, one answer at a time, one failure at a time.

It’s frustrating when THEY can’t fix you, when THEY let you down, when THEY don’t understand what you are going through. You can use that frustration to fuel the fire, your fire.

I have tried all sorts of “therapies” while trying to get better, from acupuncture, colonics and energy medicine, to spiritual healing and Emotional Freedom Technique, with a lot in between. All of them helped to a point, but none of them was THE solution. I still rely on some of them to get me through rough patches, but mostly they taught me one major lesson:

What if I was the only one who could truly know what my body needed?

Most people will balk at that idea, and I hear it in my practice a lot. Fix me. Tell me what’s wrong with me or what I’m doing wrong.

But it worked. I did what I was drawn to, what felt totally foreign to me yet incredibly luring: I went on a raw food diet and overhauled my lifestyle completely. And although not all health issues have successfully disappeared, two major ones (Hashimoto and thyroid disease) are no longer picked up on my regular tests.

This is NOT to say that you should jump on a raw food adventure or any other drastic “diet”. What I mean is that if you would be open and willing to drop into your body long enough to “feel” what it needs, you could be amazed at the answers you get. This is true for health and weight issues alike.
If you have struggled with resistant weight for a long time, don’t give up, you can crack the code!

Here are tools to help you out in this process:

  • Start asking questions. Your body has an awareness that is different than yours. And most of the time, you are not paying attention to vitamin deficiencies, you are only concerned with how fat you look, what others think of you, and if it is late enough in the day to start drinking! Ask your body what it wants to eat, how it wants to move, what message it is trying to convey. It can be frustrating at first but you will eventually get it.
  • Stop forcing change. How often do you see people at the gym or at a vegan cafe looking utterly miserable? If your body wants to spit out the food, this food probably has no benefits for you. If your body hates running and manifests its dislike with constant knee pain and injuries, try Zumba!
  • Stop labeling yourself. I have acid reflux. I have IBS. I have depression. Do you? Or is your body telling you that the foods you eat don’t work, that your gut needs some loving, or that it’s time to leave that job?
  • Appreciate the feedback and allow for change. Trying to see the lesson in the challenge helps take consistent action and teaches you that your needs are evolving as you age. What worked once may no longer work. Stop trying to do the same darn thing!

I really hope you will consider trying a different approach to your struggles, be it with weight or health. And yes, you still need support on this journey, but ultimately, you know best.

Bottom line: never give up…gather up your determination and keep on searching, doing, asking. The breakthrough is just on the other side!

Winter+Detox = Frustration!

This week, I want to address something that may really help you out. If you follow me, you probably have a strong interest in cleanses and detoxes, and may have already done a few of them, even some juice fasts.

I decided to tackle the issue of detoxing in the month of January, February, and even March as I have received quite a few emails and phone calls from both men and women feeling highly FRUSTRATED.

Their New Year Resolution freshly tattooed in their brain, lured by front page covers in popular magazines, and armed with as much willpower as they could muster, they bought, downloaded, or signed up for some version of a “detox”…only to end up with MORE weight than they started with, and feeling angry, frustrated, and confused.

So the conversation with me goes something like this:
” Anne, you are a strong proponent of detoxing, it is a big part of your message, well I am here to tell you that it doesn’t work. It makes things worse! (Insert belligerent tone here)”.

Me: “You are right. It does not work. BECAUSE IT IS STILL WINTER!
Hear this as it is very important: although I am a big fan and advocate of “detoxing” twice a year, I am an even bigger advocate of listening to your body and respecting its needs and biorhythm, which means that attempting to cleanse in the dead of winter if you don’t live somewhere hot and sunny is like trying to wake up a hibernating bear: not your most brilliant (or safe) idea.

Simply put, you are going AGAINST your body’s effort to keep your core body temperature where it needs to be, maintain a strong immune system against all the winter bugs, and balance your hormones to minimize winter blues. It has no time or desire to detox right now and is not thinking about how “bikini-ready” you need to be for your upcoming trip to Barbados. It is thinking the more blubber on her, the better.

Instead, here is what you can do to set you up for success when spring comes around (and you feel your body ready and willing):

  • Start removing sugar, caffeine, and processed junk from your diet and start focusing on making fresh meals.
  • Limit your alcohol intake to prepare your liver for a much needed break.
  • Add in fermented foods to start balancing good bacteria in your gut.
  • Put yourself in “chocolate jail”: if, like me, you have been overdosing on dark chocolate to fight snow-induced depression, it is time for a break. Dark chocolate is good for you…up to a point.
  • Nurture yourself. We are still in the part of the year when it is more about “hibernating” than crazy spring cleaning. Respect your body needs for sleep, naps, warm baths and introspection. You will get into spring stronger.
  • Start taking A-Game to gently but effectively nourish your cells and flush out toxins.

Bottom line: save your money for when your body gets on board with your mind. You cannot go against it; it will backfire every time !

And when you are ready for it, do it right…

Chocolate linked to lower body fat…hell yeah!

Cacao-lovers, this one’s for you: A new study has linked chocolate consumption and lower body-fat levels, a finding that goes against the conventional wisdom that chocolate is fattening. Obviously they didn’t feed their participants Hershey kisses…

Researchers at the University of Granada in Spain found that eating chocolate was associated with lower level of total fat deposits, even in cases where people were not dieting or exercising.

The researchers, whose findings were published in the journal Nutrition, speculated that the results could be due to catechins, a type of antioxidant that may positively influence cortisol production and insulin sensitivity — both factors in becoming overweight or obese.

Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, has received some good press in recent years for its antioxidant properties. Most nutrition experts agree that chocolate with 60 percent cacao or higher has the most health benefits. Still, it has never been a dieter’s darling due to its sugar, fat, cholesterol, and calorie content. And when you look at the ingredients in most chocolate brands, it looks more like candy hell than antioxidant heaven…

But hey, as a chocolate lover, I’ll take any kind of study telling me to keep eating it!

Just as with everything though, quality trumps quantity, so look for the best (at least 65% dark) chocolate you can afford, and really savor it. For me, I would not make it through another New England winter without my Alain Chartier dark chocolate bars.

A word of caution before you go and grab your favorite choco treat:

  • If you know or suspect adrenal fatigue, bypass the chocolate. I had to forgo chocolate for a year while nursing my adrenals back to health. Chocolate will not make you feel good if your adrenals are burnt out.
  • If you have trouble with falling and/or staying asleep, don’t consume dark chocolate everyday and avoid indulging past lunch time.
  • If you cannot give up your afternoon chocolate treat without becoming hysterical, then it’s time to let go sister! Addictions are never recommended.

Other than that, I say go for it! Lick it, chew it, swoon over it…it’s all good:)

Eating like the French… simplified

Sharing the research around the relationship between the French way of eating and a slim and healthy body is a big part of my work…and my passion.

The most painful and stressful habit most American women suffer from is an obsession with food. They think about food daily, agonize over “bad” foods and the fact that they shouldn’t eat them, stress over what they’ll make for diner, lust over their partner’s plates, and process complex math to count their calories.
This is total madness, slavery, and a life doomed for misery.

Not to mention that it usually backfires as a weight loss plan, and that many divorces probably were the results of the lovely wife turning into a total witch from chronic starvation and food obsession.
Are the French wives nicer you ask? No, there are not. They are demanding, sarcastic, and opinionated. But they put their energy and time towards looking good, cooking a mean and savory meal, and taking their brood on 20-mile bike rides. As a bonus, their libido does not suffer with age…nor does their waist size.
So clearly, putting a little French into your lifestyle can really pay off!
When working with clients on a long-term basis, we really dive into the depth of what that means in their daily lives and they get to implement over the course of several months, but for the sake of speed and simplicity, I have compiled 7 easy tips for you to try out.
This could transform your relationship with food (and your partner!) for the better…

  1.  Eat only at meal times, and only at the table. French women do NOT snack. They also do not eat in cars. They do not eat standing up, while watching TV, browsing the internet, checking email, or on their phones. Sit down and eat properly. Constant snacking is the ban of a healthy and lean body, despite all the conflicting information on eating multiple small meals. As a recovering snacking addict, I am a big believer of the French model of three square meals plus a “gouter” between lunch and dinner. My clients and I have seen a significant improvement in blood sugar balance once we ditched the constant eating. And unless your full attention is on your meal, the necessary body chemistry and satiety signals necessary for proper digestion and avoid over-eating.
  2. Eat real food and don’t drink your calories. Real food is what your great-grandmother would recognize as food. French women don’t sweeten things with fake sweeteners. They use real fats. They eat vegetables. They eat full fat dairy products. Real food means shopping more frequently, finding local food providers like farmer’s markets, farmers, butchers, fishmongers. It may mean (yikes!) spending more money on food. Why do we shy away from spending more money on quality food but don’t mind dropping $5 for a fancy coffee? French families eat out far less frequently than Americans do. Perhaps we should reallocate some of the eating out and Starbucks budget on real food?
  3. Get cooking! Once you clean up your body and taste buds of junk and highly processed food, you can really start tasting and appreciating fresh ingredients, which in turn sparks an interest in cooking. French households usually have two working parents, yet they manage to make home-cooked  meals every night. Success in cooking with a busy life is all about the right plan and the right strategies. The French don’t eat out as much as Americans do, favoring instead high quality ingredients.
  4. Eat mindfully and slowly. This one is probably the hardest for me. I am always the first one done with my meal when I visit my family and friends in France. However, this is the tip that can give you the most results IF you commit to work on it. Eating slowly and mindfully means better digestion, absorption, regularity, and less weight gain. This is probably the biggest gift you can give your body and yourself. You deserve it…after all, eating is not a sin, it’s a pleasure!
  5. Eat lighter at night. In France, lunchtime is the main event and generous in size, where as dinner is usually light (soups, salads, omelets, or a simple pasta dish). This makes for much better sleep, and the body can focus on repairing and regenerating instead of digesting. And as far as weight loss is concerned, just know that sumo wrestlers put on their pounds by consuming most of their calories before bed. Your body is a chemistry lab, and the strongest digestive efficiency happens around noon and is the weakest at night. Night time snacking will sabotage all efforts to lose weight.

Now you can easily benefit from putting a little French into your busy lifestyle, no trips to Paris required!

Get your superfood on! Introducing Scoop…

In my two years in practice, I have been approached relentlessly by representatives for Isagenix, BeachBody, Arbonne, and a slew of other companies I can’t even remember. It is a crazy market for “nutraceutical” products, and everyone wants a share of it.

But every time I looked into the products or company practices, I could not get on board for two different reasons: I believe that people need to stop relying on shakes and powders to sustain them (bodies need REAL food to thrive), and most of the products mentioned above have ingredients in them I would never feed my body, no matter what marketing gimmick they use to try to convince me.

Additionally, my clients rely on me to do the research for them and trust my judgement, so I never thought it was worth the couple of dollars I might make on selling these shakes and protein powders.

However, I “get” that most of you have a real need for some affordable and easy ways to get your greens and nutrients in, and that time in the kitchen can be tough with life, kids, work, or travel. With my genetic issues with nutrient absorption and poor mitochondria health, I do too.

Now the wait is over…you can now get your superfood on in one convenient and awesome product from a small company in Boulder, Colorado.

Let me introduce you to SKOOP and their amazing A-Game superfood blend!

I have been using A-Game for a few weeks now, as my incredibly sensitive and discerning body is my best lab to test out products (I can’t tell you how many protein powders have made me vomit!), and I love it, especially in this bitter winter when juicing isn’t always a good option.

Not to mention that I can get my greens, adaptogens, fiber, omega 3s, antioxidants, enzymes, and probiotics in ONE serving, instead of cluttering my counter with dozens of products. Hell yeah!

Here are the reasons I use A-Game and feel that I can endorse it:

  • It is a powerful way to put superfoods to work for you. The 41 plant-based ingredients have been thoughtfully selected to work synergistically with each other.
  • It is anti-oxidant-rich, micro and phytonutrient-dense (versus macro) to help you fight inflammation and acidic build-up while helping with energy, productivity, and resilience.
  • For those who have a hard time consuming or digesting greens, it covers your basics, as each serving has the equivalent of 10 servings of vegetables.
  • I love that this product contains adaptogens has all of us experience chronic stress and I am a big fan of adaptogen to support your nervous system and hormones.
  • Added bonus: enzymes and probiotics.
  • No fillers, gluten, dairy, corn, artificial sweeteners, colorants, or other unsavory ingredients. You still need to check the ingredients list to see if you are sensitive to some of the fruits or vegetables used.
  • It is palatable, not a chalky goo.
  • It is versatile. There are many ways to consume your A-Game. I have put it in warm water, almond milk, chia pudding, cookies, and oatmeal.

What it is NOT:

  • A-Game is NOT a protein shake (Skoop is working on a protein powder product), it is a superfood blend designed to flood your body with the nutrients, enzymes, and fiber that it needs. You can get your protein through the vehicle you use to take your A-Game, such as a nut-based smoothie or nut milk, or chia/quinoa pudding.
  • It does NOT replace a meal (enough already with the powdered meal replacements that your body CANNOT digest); it enhances and assist with digestive, cognitive, and healing functions.
  •  It is NOT an excuse to go binge on pizza ’cause you had your A-Game earlier on…

What I could do without:

  • Stevia. If you are on sugar free diet, this makes it tough for you to take A-Game, and some people react to stevia.
  • Xantham gum.

But ultimately, as powders go, this is the one for me.

Finally, to help you decide for yourself, here is a table the company put together. To their credit, they didn’t even bother with the worst offenders, such as Isagenix which contains gluten, soy, additives, and corn.

And remember that no matter which green superfood powder you introduce to your body, start with a fourth or half the single serving and monitor how your body feels. These powders are best consumed in the morning and outside of heavy meals.

Grab your own supply at a discounted price HERE!