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!

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:)

8 Easy Tips (That Work!) To Avoid Gaining Weight This Season

The holidays are in full swing. It is all white and sparkly here in New England and I can feel the cooking/baking seasonal fever taking over!

So many recipes to try, so many creations to come up with, so much chocolate to play with. I have to work at NOT hyperventilating with all the ideas and requests coming my way.

So for me, spending a lot of time in the kitchen means eating more than usual because I test-taste constantly…and it does add up. More entertaining also means more food than my body can gracefully handle. Bummer!



But it doesn’t have to get ugly. You CAN navigate the holidays with grace, a strong digestion, and a calm nervous system. Here are my best strategies that you can use right now, so you don’t have to make yet another weight loss New Year resolution, ’cause weight loss is NOT a hobby!

  • Start your day with warm water and lemon juice, using a straw to protect your teeth enamel. Glass straws make a great gift!
  • Consume a digestive helper smoothie as needed.
  • Eat when you’re hungry. This obvious but easily forgotten and replaced by “it’s lunch time” habits.
  • Eat sitting down and without distraction.
  • Eat what your body actually wants and needs, not what YOU want.
  • Eat until you are feeling satisfied but not full.
  • Think quality over quality. Swoon, hum and ah over the color, vibrancy, and freshness of your food.
  • Eat with gusto and pleasure!!!

Three Ways Gluten Free Diets Fail

A healthy diet (one that keeps your body lean, your energy high, and your brain in top shape) is one in which the food you eat is completely digested, nutrients are absorbed and utilized, and waste is excreted without raising inflammation, causing autoimmune reactions, or storing toxins in fat cells.

It is much less about the foods allowed and all about what can actually be fully digested.

The rise in popularity of the gluten-free industry is staggering, with sales of gluten-free products increasing 1,340% from 2007 to 2012.

While I strongly agree that gluten in American wheat, barley, and rye can be toxic for many, the truth of the matter is that an increasing number of people going gluten-free are still sick after adopting the diet, or don’t see the pounds budge at all.

Why?

The problems begins when this billion-dollar industry markets GF foods as “healthy” and “good for you”, prompting people to jump on the bandwagon with zero education or awareness around what are the GF products made of, or how to go about making this diet work for them.

Three ways the GF diet fails:

  • While a GF diet removes the biggest offender (gluten), it mostly replaces gluten-ladden “junk” with other “junk”. GF breads, pasta, or cookies and cakes are heavily processed, lack in nutrients, and are mostly made of white starches such as corn, rice, tapioca, or potato. This kind of product will not solve digestive issues, and in some cases can make it worse. These goodies also sit in your stomach like a ton of bricks…not at all the leaner, lighter feeling you were looking for.
  • GF products have sometimes more sugar/and/or sweeteners than their regular counterparts to make up for the lack of taste and texture in GF goods. This can create gut dysbiosis (where yeast overgrowth and other critters take over the good bacteria in the gut), and hormone and insulin problems due to the increase of sugar released in the blood stream.
  • It usually comes without ANY instructions on how to do it right. Just like with any diet, it is easy to go about it the wrong way and end up sicker (or heavier) than before you started. This comes at a high price given the fact that GF products are incredibly expensive. On top of that, gluten hides in many other foods, such as marinades, sauces, or drinks, so you might not be removing gluten from your diet when you think you are.

Having to go GF can be a jumpstart to a healthier, leaner, more energized version of yourself, or it can make you worse.

Ultimately, whether or not you need to avoid gluten, maximizing nutrients, absorption, and elimination is the key to success.

Top 5 Hormone Balancing Foods

Hormonal imbalances are one of the top reasons people are not feeling their best and lacking in the vitality department, not to mention weight issues. I’ll tell you about my top 5 foods to balance your hormones later in this post.

But first, let’s talk ass-kicking!

If you follow me on social media (and you should!), you probably have seen me post quite a bit about making the decision to take action and create change in your life…for real this time!

I participated in a 3-day workshop last week where I got my little tush seriously kicked, and my commitment levels whipped into shape. This was NOT 50 Shades Of Grey style, this was bootcamp style, highly unpleasant, and brutal. But guess what? I needed that. All of my excuses were torn to pieces, and I was forced to make a choice, commit as if my life depended on it (because it does; self-sabotaging is like a slow death). I left the event with a roaring fire in my belly, and an unwavering commitment to “shape up” and stop tolerating bad behaviors on my part, and in my immediate environment.

So I want to ask you this:

what is it going to take for you to stop tolerating the habits, actions, excuses you use everyday to avoid reaching your goal? How painful does it have to get for you to make changes? Do you avoid feeling the pain by numbing yourself with food, booze, shopping, or internet surfing?

I could tell you what to do until I am blue in the face, but if your commitment to yourself isn’t 100% there, you will fail over and over and blame it on me, life, others, etc. SHAPE UP!

On that note, if you have been on the fence about doing a VIP Day with me, this is a not-so-friendly reminder that you only have until the end of this week to grab one at 40% off. I won’t offer it again in that format and at that discount.

Are you feeling the heat yet? Speaking of heat, hormonal imbalance is not just about PMS, loss of libido, or only women issues. Adrenal, thyroid, and blood sugar imbalances are even bigger players in the quest for health. I know, I spent the last 2 years restoring mine without medication, and today they are no longer issues.

Top 5 Hormonal Balancing Foods For Optimal Weight, Energy, and Juiciness:

  • Kale: THE ultimate wonder food. Enjoy it raw, cooked, blended, or juiced!
  • Chia seeds: for omega 3 fats, endurance boost, and blood sugar balance
  • Broccoli sprouts: contains DIM (or diiindolilmethane), a powerful nutrient that assist in balancing hormones
  • Turmeric: helps balance both female and male hormones and is one of the most powerful liver cleansers.
  • Brazil nuts: contain selenium, healthy for the thyroid and to increase progesterone levels (you only need 2/day)

Just commit to adding these 5 foods into your diet every day, and go from there. Don’t know how? Ask me!

When you balance your hormones, you get to be slim, fit, turned on, and energized…well worth a try.

Your Body’s Brilliance…and why you might need a stylist!

I know this newsletter is a few days late this month, but between dealing with the passing of my father and all the various exciting projects I have coming up, the days just flew by!
But first, here’s what’s coming soon…

I am very excited to be leading my very first workshop with talented hypnotherapist Harry Kroner. This fabulous event, Passionate Healthy Living, will take place in Northboro, MA, on April 16, 2013. We will be transforming your body AND mind for ultimate results, right in time for shorts and tank tops! Early bird registration is open!

And although it might not feel like it yet, spring is around the corner…meaning it is time to shed the winter blahs and the extra weight, rejuvenate your skin, and perk up your energy. I will be offering a 21-Day body transformation at the end of April. Watch your inbox for more info.

Finally, I am very honored to be a part of business coach extraordinaire Marcie Mauro’s “6-Figure Mom Movement”. My high-energy colleague, has created more than a learning opportunity, she’s igniting A MOVEMENT that’s busting the myths of having to trade in your ideal lifestyle in order to take your business to your first (or next) 6-figures!

See what 1,000s of women are talking about – it’s called The 6-Figure Mom Movement™

and it’s a FREE virtual mentoring experience taking place

March 25th – April 11th.

Get ready to Rediscover Balance, Accelerate Your Business, and Be more BOLD!

 Join for 1 ‘just-in-time’ topic, or check out the whole series! You’ll also LOVE her free, downloadable Self-Care Success Bonus Gifts and the super-fun contests (Marcie’s got a passion for games –so she couldn’t resist…!) I just couldn’t wait to share this with you because I KNEW you’d be as excited to join The Movement as I was – all you need to do to get join us is sign up here.

Ok. Now, on to the topic of this newsletter: your body’s unique brilliance (helping YOU shed the weight), and why you might need to hire a stylist (to clean up your closet and make you look 10 pounds lighter).

With spring comes the desire to clean out all of the clutter and junk that has accumulated throughout the year, and your body is first in line with the push to recharge and renew.

Although it could very rightfully have given up on you after years of abuse, name calling, and starvation diets, your body’s unique brilliance comes forward in the spring, calling for you to clean up your act with such fervor that you simply can’t ignore the call.

Ready to clean up? Here are a few tips to get you started…

  • Start with your home and closets. If you have read Peter Walsh’s “Does this clutter make my butt look fat?”, you know that clutter has a significant impact on your weight (and sanity!). If you haven’t, go grab it! Once you let go of the old, you might be amazed at how much lighter and energized you will feel.
  • Move on to your pantry and kitchen. As a renewed and motivated sassy girl on her way to optimal weight and energy, look at everything in your pantry that would not fit the new “YOU”. Don’t focus on what is “taken away”, but rather what you will gain (a hot and sexy body…and less gas!).
  • Think toxicity. Most of us never really think of the toxic assault that our bodies have to deal with on a daily basis, but it is real and affects not only our health, but our waistline too, as most toxins will get stored in the fat cells. Look around for plastic containers past their primes, scratched teflon pans, and toxic cleaning products. Toss them!
  • Get moving! To remove toxins and shed the extra weight, you need to start sweating. Gym time is great but outdoor activities to wake up your hibernating body are even better.
  • Hire an expert. Tackling it all alone can be overwhelming and counter productive. I recently went to an event where the speaker was a stylist. Her name was Doreen Dove and she clearly knew her stuff. She demonstrated how the right clothes can make you look pounds lighter and years younger. The end result is a lighter, leaner closet, and a more body-loving, energized you. A great jumpstart to your spring cleaning efforts! For more info on Doreen’s business, The Organized Wardrobe, click here. It’s not just for celebrities!

My advice to you is to take it one step at a time, and to listen to your body for clues...it is driving you forward, pushing you to let go of the winter comfort foods and embrace natural detoxifying foods. Basically, it is doing the job for you, so take advantage of it!

Happy spring cleaning!