Tom Brady calls Cocoa Cola and Frosted Flakes “Poison”, and he’s right!

Did you hear about the Tom Brady dust up recently?  Finally!  We have a prominent professional athlete speaking out against the Giants of Big Food instead of promoting them for money.  This is awesome!  Here’s a couple quotes,

“I think we’ve been lied to by a lot of food companies over the years, by a lot of beverage companies over the years. But we still [believe] it… We believe that Frosted Flakes is a food…”

Great point.  Food is food.  Frosted flakes, ( and Captain Crunch and Froot Loops and Raisin Bran etc etc etc) are processed pieces of flour, sugar, artificial color/flavors/scents, additives, and preservatives.

Read the ingredient list for Frosted Flakes:

Milled Corn, Sugar, Malt Flavoring, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Salt, Sodium Ascorbate, Ascorbic Acid, Niacinamide, Reduced Iron, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Palmitate, Folic Acid, BHT, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D

That’s not food.  That’s crap.  In Tom Brady’s words, “And the fact that they can sell that to kids? I mean, that’s poison…”

Did you notice that Coke now sells their product in cans and bottles that have names on them??  Oh yeah.  They researched the 250 most popular TEEN names, and stuck them on their containers.  Wow.  So much for their promise not to market to kids.

Here’s the ingredient list for Coca Cola:

Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, phosphoric acid, natural flavors, and caffeine.

I’ve become used to people telling me I’m either crazy/way too out there/or over-reacting.  That our government wouldn’t ever let our food supply become saturated with ingredients that absolutely cause cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mood disorders, auto-immune, and every single other disease out there.

Well, I’m happily wearing the crazy hat, because I believe that’s exactly what’s happened.  Want proof?

Recent studies show:

– 70% of all the calories Americans consume now come from processed foods ( breads, crackers, pasta, cereals, pizza, etc)

Multiple studies confirm that processed food is just as addictive as heroin and cocaine.  Moms, this means that your skinny, active kids actually shouldn’t get a pass to eat processed foods; their life long eating patterns are being created – by you, right now.  Bad patterns will eventually come back to bite them in the butt.

Multiple studies link artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and additives to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, allergies, hyperactivity, Alzheimers, and literally every disease out there.  Not convinced?  Read here.

Let’s look at a few common ingredients.

BHA and BHT are synthetic preservatives that keep fat from going rancid. Look on cereals, breads, meats, microwave dinners, vegetables oils, margarine’s, chewing gum, any and all chips, cookies, cakes, skin lotions, face make-up,… the list is endless. Literally. If you buy and consume processed, refined foods (and lots of restaurants use processed refined foods), you’re consuming these chemicals.

Let’s follow the chem trail. In the 1970’s, the FDA reviewed BHA and BHT and gave then a “GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status, but acknowledged additional review was needed.

In 1986, they just repeated that dictum. No further review – by the FDA – has happened.

However, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Agency for Cancer Research, and The National Toxicology Program, have all declared BHA and BHT as Carcinogenic. There’s also very strong links between these products and hyperactivity in children; it’s highly suspected they cause liver damage; and it takes the average male adult TEN days to eliminate BHA from the system.

Our food system is loaded with cases like this!  Let’s look at pizza, which is pretty much a giant chemical, unless you’re making it at home (another recipe here).

The average American eats 46 slices of pizza a year. 25% of all boys ages 6 to 19 eat pizza every single day.  Our government has actually declared pizza a vegetable for school lunches, hospitals, jails, and social programs. (??)

Food Babe (an incredibly determined Activist) did a thorough investigation of the ingredient list in several pizzas, and the results were horrible. Did you know you can say “100% Real”, legally, and have it be loaded with crap??

Among the many chemicals is MSG, in all it’s FDA approved monikers. Think a little MSG can’t hurt? Oh my gosh, please think again. MSG, under ALL it’s names (yeast extract, autolyzed yeast extract,… there’s more than 40 approved names for it) is an EXCITO-TOXIN. It literally excites brain cells to death; MSG’s links to cancer and other disease states are profound. Unfortunately, like so much poison, it makes food taste good, and it has the effect of stimulating areas of the brain that make us want more. MSG is a Food Manufacturers Dream.

Take a look at some pizza ingredients that contain MSG:


YUCK!  Not. Real. Food. In Tom Brady’s words: Poison.  We have to wake-up, and unhook ourselves from the siren call of processed foods, because it’s killing us.  Slowly and quietly, but it’s killing us.

The answer?  Real Whole Foods.  Cooking at home.  Making food and meals and nutrition a priority for our health, and our kids health.  Letting go of the idea that skinny=healthy, because it doesn’t.  Healthy=Healthy.  I know lots of skinny people with cancer, heart disease, auto-immune conditions, neurological conditions, etc.

It’s the food.  Moms and dads, don’t push this advice away just because you’re overwhelmed and busy. Our kid’s futures depend on this.  We can make Real Whole Foods our norm, honest.

Want a great place to start? Read the links included in this Post.  The more you know about our food system, the easier it becomes to avoid processed foods through fear and disgust.

Don’t know how to cook/shop/prep/pack?  Get in touch with me.  It’s not hard, it’s just a skill to master; and a way of thinking.

Finally, I want to link to a great book I finished recently: French Kids Eat Everything.  This book is wonderful, and I wish I’d read it 25 years ago.  It details the differences in American and French food beliefs/culture/norms, and why and how French kids eat everything.  It’s a positive approach to food that we just don’t have here.  For example, we have “kid foods” galore in the US:  chicken nuggets, pasta, cereal, etc.  Kid foods in France are pureed vegetables and small bites of organ meats. They don’t snack, and they use utensils at 2. They really do eat everything over there, and consequently, France has the second lowest rate of heart disease in the industrial world, and no weight issues.

I hope you get 2 take-aways from today’s Post. (1) we’re literally creating and training our children for life long eating patterns and food preferences every single day we have them.  (2) We are what we eat.  We eat crap, we create a crap body.  We eat Real Whole Foods, and we give our body the nutrients it needs to rebuild, repair, and thrive.

Get in touch with me for help and changes.  We have so much potential!

Supplements for Cold and Flu Season

This Post really is about supps for colds and flu, but first, read this excerpt from an October 12, 2015, Medscape newsletter on the upcoming Gastro Conference:

“A prominent theme of the meeting — the way food affects health — will be reflected in a lecture on food allergies, sensitivities, and food-related illnesses by William Chey, MD, professor of gastroenterology at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and coeditor-in-chief of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

The association between food and gastrointestinal ailments has received renewed attention in the past 5 years; however, little credible research has supported specific dietary interventions for gut disorders, Dr Chey told Medscape Medical News.”

Wow, the Gastroenterologists are going to be considering that “food affects health and the gut”,  even though “little credible research supports dietary interventions for gut disorders”.

And this folks, is why we need to quit putting our full trust in the medical establishment, who think we’re sick from a lack of pharmaceuticals, and become very responsible for our own health.

We are, literally, made out of the food we eat ( sleep, movement, and stress management play a big role too.)  Everything we put in our mouth has an effect on us, good or bad.  Everything.

Which brings me back to Supplements:)  I got a cold about 10 days ago, darnit. My goal:  support my immune system so it’s able to overcome the virus that got me.  Here’s the routine I used to get well.

20151022_072817Fire Cider!  This is Powerful!  I’ve used a homemade version of this the past 2 winters, but since I didn’t get sick, I just used it preventively: 20151022_072834 a couple teaspoons in a big jar of water everyday, or sometimes on my salads.  This particular cold caught me off guard.  No homemade hooch so I had to buy it at my favorite health food store, Natural Market in Warrenton.  If you’re not from my area, and you don’t want to DIY, you can find the Fire Cider here.

This year, I just poured the Cider in a shot glass and downed it – WHEW.  It has a kick, and it’s effective. If you’re a wuss when it comes to food, and will only eat things that taste like pie, this could be tough.  That’s a weakness to over come though because a lot of healthy foods are bitter, sour, or hot. If I can develop my taste buds, you can you, I promise.

Next, I used oregano essential oil ( Plant Guru ), and DoTerra On Guard, which is a blend.  I also used a ton of eucalyptus oil, both Plant Guru and Arbor Oil.  I kept one in my car, and carried the other with me.  Eucalyptus is wonderful because you can rub it directly on your nose and in your nose; it opens up sinus passages fast.

Speaking of sinus passages, the Neti Pot is awesome.  Gross, but awesome.

About essential oils:  some can be rubbed directly on your skin or in your cheek, and some will burn the heck out of you if you don’t dilute them with a carrier oil like coconut oil.

I accidentally got cinnamon oil on my raw nose skin and that really stung!  There was nothing I could do, it just had to kind of “burn out”:(  I’ve also had a few minor disasters with oregano oil, and geranium oil, (I use geranium oil on my face, and I’ve learned to always put my carrier oils on first, heavily.)

I actually tried some oregano oil in my Neti Pot.  It was horrible!  I did it 4 times anyway, dumped it out, and switched back to salt water.  Much more pleasant.

I went through a whole lot of Elderberry Syrup, garlic and Manuka honey, and liquid zinc ( zinc is huge for good immune function.)  I took Biotics products “Bio-immunozyme” every morning and every night, along with A.D.P.

To sleep, I used a tonic with Valarian, Hops, Passionflower, and Skullcap, along with a Biotics Melatonin w/ B6 and Magnesium.  I slept mostly great, which is totally necessary since we repair best when we’re asleep.

I made sure to eat a huge variety of vegetables, herbs, and spices; I had liver more than normal, more lemon than usual, and more turmeric and ginger. ( I put turmeric in every single morning coffee, a habit I’m going to keep.)

20151022_082312And last, I got an ear infection, which I thought was just for kids.  I used Mullein Garlic oil: eardrum soothed, and infection gone.  Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatrics has changed their position on ear infections to “watch and wait”?  Most ear infections are viral, and most clear up – untreated – in a week.

I did a pretty good job staying away from sugar(which seriously and immediately suppresses immune function), except for a dive into Trickling Springs ice cream on Saturday night.  I was weak.  And made sure I got outside every day to move in the sunshine.  Vitamin D and fresh air – remedies for everything!

Here’s what I didn’t do:  use conventional cold meds.  Why?  One, suppressing symptoms while ruining my liver and other organs scares me now.  Besides, I used that stuff for years, and it never seemed to suppress the symptoms well anyway.

Sneezing, dripping/runny nose, watery eyes:  that’s our immune system expelling germs from the body.  Why would I get in the way of that?

Two:  take a look at these ingredient lists.

Vicks Dayquil:

Inactive Ingredients: Citric acid, FD&C yellow 6, flavor, glycerin, polyethylene glycol (aka PEG, I wrote about this in the Miralax post), propylene glycol, purified water, saccharin sodium, sodium citrate, sucrose.

Active Ingredients: Acetaminophen ( #1 cause of Liver Failure in the U.S.),Dextromethorphan HBr, and Pseudoephedrine HCl ( banned from store shelves since 2006).

Vicks Nyquil:

Inactive Ingredients: Acesulfame potassium, alcohol, citric acid, D&C Yellow No 10, FD&C Green No 3, FD&C Yellow No 6, flavor, high fructose corn syrup, polyethylene glycol, propylene glycol, saccharin sodium, sodium citrate.

Active Ingredients: 650 mgs Acetaminophenm Dextromethorphen Hbr, and Doxylamine succinate.

No wonder we’re such a sick society!

It’s the end of October, start stocking up for your family now.  Colds, flus, sore throats, ear aches,… tis the season.  Make sure you and your family are covered.

Remember, no one “gets” us sick.  We come into contact with germs every day, all the time, every where.  Our immune system is either strong or weak, and our life style determines that.  Our choices determine that.  Let’s choose to be strong, and do what’s best for our body.

Supplements Supplements Supplements!

11225426_837045249726296_7631522987210496314_oHi There!  Here’s yet another homemade photo for my blog:)  Professional photographer, I am not.  This is Mark and I SUPping ( StandUpPaddleboard) on Lake Frederick yesterday.  We’ve supped almost every weekend since July, and we’re getting really good!  Our goal is a SUP vacation next summer, and also to get to know all our Virginia Parks, Rivers, and Lakes.

Today’s Post isn’t on fun activities though, it’s on supplements, because I get asked about them all the time.

Supplements sound promising, but when faced with the options in a store, feel confusing.  That’s because they are!  We need to make sure that the supplement bottle we buy actually contains the supplement we need, and nothing else.  ( Read The Labels!  Artificial colors? Flavors? Sweeteners? Read. The. Label.)

And it matters to me that my supplements are derived from Real Whole Foods in the United States, and not Petroleum Products from China.  It’s a whole big supplement world out there, and it’s a good idea to have at least a little knowledge if you’re using them.

For the most part, I use Biotics supplements, and I recommend them to everyone I work with, and my whole family.  Here’s why:  I know my rep; I know Biotics uses real, quality ingredients; I know they produce everything in the US; I know they SUBMIT EVERYTHING TO THE FDA.

That’s super rare.  It costs a fortune, and most supp companies don’t do that step.  Studies show that 90% of ALL supplements are “made in China”, from petroleum products.  That’s disgusting.

Okay, here’s my routine, and why:

First thing in the morning on an empty stomach, I take 6 Intenzymes and 3 Bromeleins (both are systemic enzymes for inflammation and viscous blood – bc I’m often sore, and I have had 2 blood clots), 2 GTA Forte ( I tested hypothyroid a few years ago, and I like this desiccated pig thyroid product better than Armor, and wow! it works!  My eyebrows have grown back in!), and 2 L-Tyrosines – I started this 2 summers ago for energy after reading The Mood Cure by Julia Ross. I love energy!.

If I’ve injured myself, or I’m extra sore, I take more enzymes both in the morning, and throughout the day, always on an empty stomach. They work wonders, honestly.

Systemic (and Digestive) enzymes are FANTASTIC.  I think they’re the one supplement I wouldn’t give up.  If you’re curious, either meet with me, or ***learn about them.  Actually, even if you’re a client, learn about them.  It’s so important to be informed as to how our body actually works.

After breakfast, I take between 2 and 4 Omega-3 fish oils, (depends on my workouts, and my schedule.  I used to take a lot more but feel I’m more “normal” now), a Vit B with C, a Co Q 10, and from there, it varies.  This summer I flew a few times, so I took a supplement called BioProtect, which is a broad spectrum anti-oxidant.  Airports and planes pump us full of radiation; this isn’t good for anyone, but apparently 1 in 20 of us actually have genes that make us even more susceptible to radiation than others.

Last night, and for the next few days, I’m taking “A.D.P.”, which is a standardized extract of emulsified oregano because I feel a sore throat coming on.  This is a supp I recommend all the time for bacterial, viral, or fungal/candida issues.  I make sure that my kids all have A.D.P. for the winter time/cold/flu/sore throat season.  It’s powerful.  (I also did my go-to Manuka honey w/garlic last night.  I don’t wait around to see if things get worse, I act.)   And right before bed, I rubbed a little Eucalyptus Essential Oil on my tonsils, armpit, and a swipe inside my cheek (it tastes disgusting…).

If I’m tired during the afternoon, and have an appointment or training at night, I’ll take 2 more L-Tyrosine’s on an empty stomach.

If I’m super sore, I’ll add L-Glutamine in the afternoon.  (L-Glutamine’s also great for rebuilding gut lining/repairing leaky gut.)

Oh! I’ve also been taking Bio-Immunozyme (broad spectrum vitamins, minerals, enzymes, glandulars, plus herbs like echinecea) for the past few days, again, because I’ve felt a little something coming on. This is in combination with a busy week that gave me a couple late consults and early, early mornings. Recipe for a weak immune system.

I take digestive enzymes ( Hydrazyme ) and HCl (stomach acid)(Betaine + HP) if I have a big meal, or am teaching a class/training someone right after I eat.  I used to have to be religious about digestive supplements with each and every meal, for years, but not so much anymore.

I digest really well now.  Oh!  I’ve been adding Apple Cider Vinegar to 99% of all my water for about 4 years.  That’s GREAT for digestion, plus cheap and easy and delicious.  Get it “with the mother”, and make sure you shake it before you pour it.

In the evening I take 2 supplements that aren’t from Biotics, but from Dr. Carolyn Dean, who’s a big authority on Magnesium, which I believe EVERYONE should be supplementing with.  They’re called ReMag (liquid magnesium), and ReLyte (liquid multi-mineral). There’s other great magnesium’s on the market, but I like that this one is liquid.  1) Less water to swallow right before bed, and 2) more easily absorbed.

I have all my girls on Biotics magnesium, called Mg-Zyme.  It’s a great product!  I also make sure they all have the complex B with C.  Women go through a lot of B vitamins and Magnesium with their cycles.

Plus, most people are deficient in Magnesium; our body uses a LOT, and our soils – and therefore our foods – are deficient.  Actually, are soils are woefully deficient in nutrients, and getting more so.  Plants get their minerals from the soil….

Do you have gut issues?  Low stomach acid ALWAYS means low B12 absorption (long explanation, but the same cells that make stomach acid also make Intrinsic Factor, and Intrinsic Factor basically gets B12 into our cells).

Actually, gut issues mean you’re probably not absorbing several nutrients.  This is important because OUR BODY IS MADE OUT OF NUTRIENTS FROM THE FOOD WE EAT.  Gas/bloat/indigestion/UC/colitis/IBS….. 1)change your diet 2) add key supplements to heal and seal the gut.

Also, I also Love my tinctures!  I just finished 2 liver tinctures from Herb Pharm: Dandelion and Milk Thistle.  I like to nurture my liver, frequently.  I also use Herb Pharm Liver Tincture, and Biotics Beta TCP and Beta Plus, on a rotating basis.

Whew!  Seriously, that’s barely scratching the surface.  I rotate and change up my supplements throughout the year, depending on season and circumstance.  I’ve already begun accumulating supps to give my kids at Christmas, and will be making homemade Fire Cider and Elderberry syrup soon – Posts to follow:)

For now, if you want to Supplement, do your homework first.  Supps from the drugstore and Costco are probably crap.  Ask me if you need help, or go to your trusted health food store ( that’s NOT Vitamin Shop- they’ll sell you anything and everything there).   If you’re in my area, go to Natural Market, the owner, Shelley,  and the employees really, really know their stuff, plus, they sell reputable products.

It Matters A Lot!

Last words:  You can’t out-supplement a bad lifestyle.  Supplements are supplemental to Real Whole Food, adequate sleep, moving, and stress management.

They’re not magical pills or liquids that solve your problems.  They’re supplements.   Have a great day!


Do You Ride The Diet Roller Coaster, Weekend Binge, or Punishment Exercise?

Two big steps to weight loss are at the end of this Post, but I want to start with a client email.

Most important lesson I have learned is I now have a more balanced life w/ exercise and eating. Always needed to have both diet and exercise to feel good.

Now, if I don’t make the gym, I don’t feel guilty, just make sure I am eating good food. And the scale is not topsy curvy on me. So used to gaining extra weight over the weekends. Now eating mostly at home, the scale is my friend on a Monday morning. Might be up very slightly, but due to maybe eating bigger portions on Sat and Sunday nights vs weeknights. Between hearing it from you, and also reading it in more than one article, I was able to put it into practice.

Beautiful weather yesterday, skipped the gym, we went for long walk around the neighborhood, then cooked burgers and hot dogs on the grill, w/ salad and tons of veggies. A nice relaxing night before another busy weekend.

Alan’s still amazed at all the good food we are eating, not hungry and he no longer has his sugar cravings.

So glad we decided to do this w/ you, and not doing it on our own. Well worth every penny. You make it so easy.

I’m a recovered Chronic Dieter-Weekend Binger-Punishment Exerciser; that whole “so used to gaining weight on the weekends/ balancing my eating and exercising”, spoke to me.

Can you relate?  Maybe you have a touch of my old diagnosis, here’s some clues:  The scale goes up and down, a lot.  You convince yourself you “need” a treat because you’ve been so “good”/you have major craving/ or after all, it’s the weekend.

You wake up mornings determined to (1) barely consume a thing, and (2) burn thousands of calories via workouts.  You believe this will burn butt or belly fat.

You LIVE by the 80-20, rule, which only makes sense because since calories rule, and weight is a math issue; a 20% indulgence can easily be nullified by starving/excessive cardio.

I could go on and on, but you get it, right? It’s a miserable way to live, it’s ineffective – especially long term – and consuming.  Who wants to be consumed with their weight or their body?  Not me!  Thank goodness for wake up calls, of which I had many.

One of them was when Mark gave me Dr. Perricone’s book, The Wrinkle Cure, for my 40th birthday. (Don’t judge – that’s my kind of book and Mark knows it.) The book preached eating fats for good skin. That was a conundrum for me as I thought fat was the devil.  At 40, I was deep, deep into chronic dieting and excessive exercise. It seemed to be working, except for the constant bloat, stomach problems, asthma, blood clots, varicose veins, and total disgust I had with myself after the weekend binges.

Dr. Perricone had a lot of science in his book, and the whole “eat fat” message was being preached more and more.  It was getting hard to ignore.

Next wake-up: The “eat fat” paradigm was joined by the “eat Real Whole Food” paradigm.  Another shocker! And scary. I loved my Diet Foods.  I couldn’t imagine life without Diet Ice Cream, Diet Dr. Pepper, Diet Crackers, Diet Pizza, Diet Cereal, Diet Wraps, or Diet Desserts. (They’ve been gone for years now and I could care a less. Shows how wrong our thoughts can be.)

Further fueling my fire: I was a devout reader of all books and magazines Diet, like Oxygen/Muscle&Fitness Hers/Shape. All those women exercised like crazy, starved themselves for days, and had a cheat day.  They looked amazing and were definitely my role models.

I was brain washed.

I dropped all my subscriptions a few years ago. (Another thing I don’t miss – at all.)

Thank you God!

Thank You for the multiple wake up calls, because I’m someone who apparently only learns the hard way.

If you’re stuck in this vicious pattern, here’s a wake up call: Dieting doesn’t work.  Science and studies show that almost 99% of everyone who Diets gains their weight back.  99%!

Exercise – which is WONDERFUL – doesn’t take weight off.  Sucks, but true.  If it did, I’d weigh 50 pounds instead of 130.

Want to lose weight? Or at least get off the Roller Coaster of weight up and weight down?

Stop dieting, and stop the punishment exercise.  Eat Real Whole Foods, exercise smarter (not more), prioritize sleep, and put effort into managing your stress. Really.  But I said I’d give you 2 specific steps to weight loss.

1) Drop the grains.  White, whole wheat, quinoa, whatever.  If you have weight issues (and health issues) stop eating them.  You’ll live without your sandwich, your cereal, or your pasta.  Honest. I thought I’d die without those foods, but they’re not even a blip on my memory radar.  Try it for 3 weeks and see how you feel; watch your stomach flatten; access your energy levels/skin condition/immune function.

2) Quit the excessive exercise.  Studies have shown that it’s counter-productive for weight loss as excessive exercise (and punishment exercise) raises cortisol, and cortisol makes belly fat and prevents fat loss from fat cells. Besides, it’s impossible to out exercise a bad diet, impossible.

Lift, practice yoga, limit HITT workouts to a few a week, walk with a friend/dog/sister, or compete in your favorite sport because you love it.

Punishment exercise doesn’t work.

Two more tips:   Drop the unrealistic images -that we all hold- of what we should look like.  Magazines are photoshopped.  Actresses and models go through herculean efforts to be skinny because their living depends on it.  It’s not natural nor healthy.

Let’s be natural and healthy!

Finally, Action and Effort are necessary.  We’ve got to Plan, and then Stick To Our Plans.  Plan our shopping, cooking, packing, and workouts.

Got kids? Got a job?  Got a commute? Hormonal Issues?  Those are just details to be factored into your Plan, not excuses. They’re like the zombies on Walking Dead: we have to work around them.

That’s all for now.  If you want help, get in touch with me.  I LOVE this stuff!  You’re not doomed. You’re not destined to be overweight, or sick, or tired.  If you are, it’s just where you are right now, now where you have to be in a few months.

You could be a whole new you by Christmas!

Do You Let Bad Days Throw You Off Your Goals?

051215-UFC--Ronda-Rousey-Sports-Illustrated-AS-IA.vadapt.620.high.92Do you guys know who Ronda Rousey is?  She’s the #1 female athlete in the world, she’s a UFC competitor, and she’s got an awesome book out, Rousey, that’s all about being true to yourself and doing the right thing no matter what you feel like.

I’m so loving it!  Here’s a quote from the book, “My mom always says that to be the best in the world, you have to be good enough to win on a bad day because you never know if the Olympics are going to fall on a bad day.”

I’m not going to the Olympics, but I still love this quote.  For me, I just think of every day as my Olympics; I need to be my best everyday, no matter what.  I’ve got kids and a husband and clients and people who take my classes and they all expect me to bring it; and since I’m being paid (by some of them), I better!

It’s all about a mindset.  We either develop a mindset that powers us along towards our goals, or who we want to be; or we feed the mindset that says we can jump off our path every time we have a bad day, a bad moment, or a bad feeling.

Since I’m all about nutrition and wellness, let’s go there.

Our level of health, our energy, our weight, they’re (mostly) a direct reflection of our every day life style habits and actions.

If we let a bad day be an excuse to eat crap, not workout, and feed the whiny -victim part of our soul, even if it’s just a day or two a week, we’re in trouble.  A healthy, fit body means that we do the right thing on good days and bad days.

Moms and dads, isn’t this what we expect from our kids?  Or at least hope for our kids?  That they still do well on their tests, or with their friends, or in their sports, despite bad days?

We’re they’re primary role models; it’s important that we model being our best on a bad day.

What if you’ve conditioned yourself to roll with your bad days, if it’s a norm for you to allow your bad feelings to dictate your actions and choices? Don’t worry!  People change all the time, you can too.  It takes a plan and a focused effort, but if you start now, you could be a whole new you by Christmas.

Purposely fill your mind with information that reinforces 2 things,

1) The fact that our body needs to move Every. Single. Day. A lot.  We don’t have to “workout”, but we do need to move.  Sitting’s the new smoking.  Our body – and our brain – were created to be strengthened and made normal/healthy/functional through movement.  Can’t get to the gym?  Do a 15 minute yoga workout/HITT workout at home, or a cardio machine w/ plank intervals or sprint up and down your driveway/yard/street 5 times.  Walk the stairs at your office, squat for 1 minute every hour,……. do something.

Remember, the Centenarians in the Blue Zones – the longest lived people in the world – don’t “workout”, they walk, they garden, they ride bikes to work,…  they move.

I know I keep talking about my FitBit, but I’ll tell you, those things work!! I have consciously/unconsciously worked a whole bunch more steps into my every day life, usually without thinking about it.

(Oddly, the classes I teach, HITT and yoga, don’t give me many steps, darn-it!)

Sometimes I do think about it though.  Whenever I water the horses, or walk my little dog Reese, I jog in place.  If it’s getting late and I’m not to 10,000 steps, I jog in place.  But I’m having to do that less and less because I’m hitting 10,000 steps more and more often before dinner.

2) the power of Food as Medicine.  Make this belief as powerful and natural as possible so that Will Power – which is limited – isn’t necessary.

There’s a great saying, ” Food can be the most powerful form of medicine, or the slowest form of poison.”  I want you to look at healthy fats and vegetables and clean proteins and fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices and literally be excited.  And I want you to look at processed food like an old, dirty cigarette butt lying on the side walk, smushed onto a piece of old gum.  You’d NEVER put that in your mouth, it’s disgusting!

It’s all about our perspective, right?  Yesterday I was at the Natural Market to have lunch with Shelby. 20150712_101243 While I was waiting, a couple came in and looked around.  They looked in the fridge, they looked at the menu… the guy had such a sour look on his face he looked like he’d sucked on a lemon.  He made disparaging remarks about the green wraps, and how nothing looked good to him.

His wife said, “We’re only here because you said you wanted to get healthy.” And he said, “Yeah, but I didn’t want to eat this kind of stuff.”

They left.  They should have stayed!  The food there is AMAZING and delicious and Real.

Also, everything about him said “heart attack waiting to happen”, but I digress.

Here’s some ammo for the Food Is Medicine part of your brain we’re trying to grow. This is a recent article from the British Medical Journal preaching the science behind food quality when it comes to health, weight, and mortality.

Honestly, this article is fantastic.  It points to study after study proving the positive results of Real Whole Food on heart disease and diabetes.

The 3 co-authoring doctors use a lot of data – data we won’t hear from Main Stream Medicine – to tout the benefits of eating food for it’s nutrients, not it’s calorie count. The research is clear and definitive:  if we want to get healthy/be a normal weight/have less risk of dying from a disease, Real Whole Food trumps medicine and “dieting” by a long shot.

I’m attaching a link to the entire article, but in case you don’t have time to read the whole thing, here’s a few highlights:

*  An energy/calorie unrestricted diet supplemented with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and nuts achieved a 30% reduction in cardiovascular events in over 7,500 high risk individuals – within 3 months.

* In comparison with an American Heart Association “low fat” diet, a Mediterranean diet – post heart attack – is a more powerful coronary intervention tool for mortality than aspirin, statins, or stents.

* The weight loss industry makes $58 BILLION annually in the US, yet all long-term follow up studies reveal that the majority of individuals (almost 100%) regain their lost weight; about 50% gain more than they lost.

I want to end this with a word on Dieting.  Mini meals, special diet foods, diet pills, diet drinks, diet plans…. they make you CRAZY.  It seems like such a great idea:  something that makes you full, takes away your hunger, and still enables you to have your favorite foods ( processed diet food is a multi-billion dollar industry), but dieting doesn’t work in the long run; sometimes it doesn’t work in the short term either.

Weight loss happens when our body becomes NORMAL from eating Real Whole Food.  Diets are anything but Normal.  Diets are ABNORMAL.  Jump off the Diet Roller Coaster!  It’s all been a big hoax and a scheme for companies to make money off us, and it’s worked.  The more we diet, the bigger and more addicted to food we get.

Take back your life and your health and your energy.  Move, eat Real Whole Food, quit being afraid of healthy, real, fats.  Stop counting calories.  Examine the nutrients in foods and relate them to your body and how those nutrients affect you.

You can do this!  I said above, start today, and be a whole new you by Christmas.  It can happen!  If you need help, get in touch with me.  Lots of people change, you can too.

Poop’s on Beards, Computers, Desks, CounterTops..Better Build a Healthy MicroBiome!


Family get together last night:)  That’s my dad, my mom, and my Uncle Fred, my 3 sisters, 2 of my daughters, and a few nieces and nephews.

Recently, Consumer Reports came out with data that had many people scared to eat meat.  The Report found that beef does indeed contain bacteria that can become pathogenic, like e coli and salmonella.  The report also found pretty big differences in the amount of bacteria, and anti-biotic resistant bacteria, in CAFO cattle (cattle raised in feed lots), compared to cattle raised on grass;  grass fed steers had less bacteria in the finished product.

Comments at the end of articles and on social media had people claiming that this would be the end of their meat eating as obviously, meat was just crawling with germs.

Hold on.

Meat accounts for about 20% of all food borne illness;  fruit, vegetables, and nuts accounts for almost 50%.

More bad news:  beards are loaded with poop.  Actually, germs are literally everywhere: our kitchens, our phones, our toothbrushes, toys, sponges, towels..From Philip Tierno, a microbiologist at NYU, and author of The Secret Life of Germs:  “To focus on beards is to miss the point. We, as a society, are literally bathed in feces,” Tierno said. “Wherever a man touches, there are feces and fecal organisms present.” Even to focus on toilets is to sort of miss the point: One study compared surfaces in the bathrooms and kitchens of 15 homes and found that the toilet was among the least bacteria-laden places tested.

Here’s the bottom line, bacteria are EVERYWHERE.  We have a few pounds of it on ourselves, and in ourselves.  It’s time to quit being scared of germs, and instead make sure our MicroBiome is healthy and cared for.  Apparently, our personal ecosystem is like a garden, and we either feed and water it correctly and give it plenty of sunshine (yep!), so it works for us; or we ruin it with a diet of sugar, processed food chemicals, and a bad lifestyle (no sleep, no exercise, no sun) and get sick, sad, and fat.

(Scientists say our inner bacteria play a role not just in our immune system, but our personality, temperament, and mood. )

Hopefully, you’ve been convinced that we don’t need to starve ourselves in order to avoid bad bugs.

We also shouldn’t be using hand sanitizers (plain soap and water suffice), or keeping our homes too clean.

So, what can we do to strengthen our immune system?  Lots!

1) Don’t eat Sugar or Processed Foods.  Sugar suppresses white blood cell function, destroys bacterial balance in our gut and feeds both bad bugs and cancer cells.   Emulsifiers in processed foods, such as Polysorbate 80 and Carrageenan, also cause damage to our eco-system.

2) Open the windows in your home.  We’ve got bad stuff floating around, don’t keep it trapped.  Have you ever heard of the book, Slow Death By Rubber Ducky?  Scarier than than beef, I promise you.

3) Eat more plants, not just for their vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, but because they feed our good bacteria, they make them strong!

4) Eat your probiotics: kim chi, saurkraut (fermented, not vinegar), kombucha, keifer, good yogurts, fermented veggies…  these foods are loaded with beneficial bacteria.

5) Avoid antibiotics unless absolutely necessary, they wipe out everything, the good and the bad.

*******Use your common sense here.  If you have an obvious bacteria infection, they’re probably necessary.******   Overuse is famously common.

6) Consciously develop a lifestyle that’s Immune Strengthening, instead of Immune Weakening.   Get to bed at a decent time, don’t over-do alcohol, get sunshine, exercise, pray, meditate, develop and nurture relationships.

7) Eat plenty of garlic, onions, ginger, and other foods that are, literally, powerful medicine.    Real Whole Food is our life’s blood.

Want to learn more?  Read this, and this.

Back to the beef:  the boogy-man is us.  Really.  For the most part, we either make ourselves strong, and help our children develop habits and patterns that make them strong, or we make ourselves weak.  The choice is ours.

Do You Suffer With Headaches or Migraines? Here’s Some Tips:)

st thomasConfession: Headaches and Migraines aren’t an issue I’ve struggled with very much.  Until 3 years ago, I’d only had 2 migraines, and a handful of headaches.  Then Menopause hit, or rather the tail end of Peri Menopause, and wow, I got a serious taste of some serious headaches.

For me, it was a matter of getting my hormones tested, and getting on some bio-identical estrogen and progesterone for a year. The headaches stopped immediately.  After a year, I went off both because subsequent testing showed that my hormones levels had gone from way too low to way too high.  I went cold turkey on the hormones out of fear, got on some great herbs, and all was well,…for a while.  Then the headaches came back.

A hormone test (January 2015) showed that my high levels had plummeted way back down to those of old Mother Hubbard, so this time I went on a natural progesterone cream(February, 2015), and added flax (oil and seed) very consistently to my diet to up my estrogen level naturally.  I’m due for another test soon, and I’ll let you know what my results are, but I haven’t had a headache since February.

Point of my story:  my headaches were hormone related.

What causes yours and what can you do about them?  You’re gonna need to put on your detective hat, because this is a condition that has so many causes and triggers.  Drugs are a bandaid at best, as they often don’t even work well with migraines; they don’t eliminate the cause of the pain, and they come with too many side effects to ignore.

Those side effects are real and scary. It’s worth the time and effort to figure out your migraine and headache causes, and then experiment with different solutions.

You already have my hormone/headache story. If your headaches are completely centered around your cycle, no matter your age, then you can assume it has something to do with your hormones.  This doesn’t mean – at all – that you need to start taking hormones!  That’s something for you and your doctor to figure out.

There’s other responses that could be triggering the headache (and cravings and PMS too):  low B vitamins, and low magnesium.  Both of which get depleted during our period. (or I should say, your period) B6 and B12 are the most commonly sited Bs when it comes to our hormones shifting and symptoms, but I recommend a good B Complex to every woman I work with.  Magnesium too; as a matter of fact, Magnesium deficiency is very common.  Studies show that at least 56% of our population is Magnesium deficient,  but my point with Magnesium and female cycles, is that it’s easy to become deficient right before your period, even if you aren’t usually.

So B vitamins and Magnesium, recommendations 1 and 2.  (These are the 2 supplements I have my girls on.)

Next, look at your life style patterns.  Do you sleep enough?  Do you drink alcohol?  What drugs are you on? Trigger, trigger, trigger.

Here’s a biggie:  do you eat gluten, or a high refined carbohydrate diet? Both can be HUGE headache/migraine triggers. For a one stop shop on this, check out the Wheat Belly blog.

MSG, artificial colors, flavor enhancers, histamine containing foods, artificial sweeteners, these can all be triggers.

Even healthy foods can trigger headaches for certain people; foods like eggs, dairy, nuts, …..pretty common allergens, and allergens can cause headaches.

One of my favorite go-to’s is America’s Pharmacist, Suzy Cohen.  That woman’s awesome, and prolific with both her free advice and books, so let’s start there.

Resources:  Her book, called Headache Free.  A podcast where she dispenses all sorts of great advice, here.   Her response to a question about tension headaches, here.  Her blog, here. And finally, a great article kind of wrapping up a whole bunch of her advice on headaches, here.

One last trick to try when it comes to headaches, a Liver Detox.  If you work with me, you know that I believe in always “loving my liver”.  I’m constantly taking dandelion or milk thistle, or doing a Biotics liver detox or taking Herb Pharm Liver tincture.  I also make sure to eat plenty of liver loving foods every single day.

If our liver is so overwhelmed with chemicals and toxins and sludge from high fructose corn syrup or trans fats or SUGAR, then of course it’s unable to perform perfectly.  One of the results from that would be toxins circulating through our brain and causing headaches.

If you think this might be your problem, get in touch with me.

You don’t have to suffer!  What I said in the beginning is true:  become a detective.  Headache meds are band aides with side effects.  Figure out your causes, and then work on natural and healthy ways to eliminate them.

86% of our health care expenses are spent on Life Style Diseases, like headaches and migraines.  That’s actually great news, because we can fix our life style and positively effect our health.

Have a wonderful day!

5 Love Languages, Greens, Chocolate, & 10,000 Steps: The Heart Weekend!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMark and I are on a Healthy Heart Weekend:  paddle-boarding, sight seeing, and a Marriage Conference with Dr. Gary Chapman of the 5 Love Languages.  We’ve slept in 2 different hotels in 2 days, but we packed all our food, so we’ve managed to eat well, move a lot, and do some Positive Thinking.  In other words, we’re traveling healthy.  I get a lot of emails and questions about traveling, and I want to answer them with a leaning towards Heart Health.

Heart Disease is the #1 killer in America, and it’s something we should all be working to prevent.  It’s showing up in children now – moms, here’s where we step in.

Heart disease is a LIFESTYLE DISEASE.  High blood pressure, plaque, heavy-dense cholesterol, high blood sugar, hard arteries….. these are caused by the what we put in our mouth, the exercise we don’t get, and the stress we don’t manage.

No one has heart disease because they’re low in statins.

Whether we’re traveling or home, it’s important to take the steps to make our body healthy.

Let’s start with food.  Our heart primarily runs on fatty acids for fuel.  Surprising? It’s the truth, so feed your heart healthy fats!  Have you read that the new Dietary Guidelines will “un-vilify” cholesterol as a cause of heart disease?  It’s true!

“Previously the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended that cholesterol intake be limited to no more than 300 mg/day. The 2015 DGAC (Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee) will not bring forward this recommendation because available evidence shows no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol, consistent with the conclusions of the AHA/ACC (American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology report. Cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.”

What about the fact that Saturated Fat has NEVER been scientifically proven to cause heart disease?

“Saturated fat has remained the main dietary villain for heart disease for over 50 years. Last year a meta-analysis of 72 studies with more than 600,000 participants determined that there was no association between how much saturated fat people ate and their risk of having a fatal or nonfatal heart attack (Annals of Internal Medicine, March 18, 2014).”

This isn’t carte blanche to eat any thing we want.  Fats are very unique and different; some are great, some are good, and some are horrible.

Stay away from vegetable oils, margarines, and trans fats, they’re always bad, always.

Eat up grass fed butter and ghee, extra virgin olive oil, coconut butter, avocados, and nuts.  Bonus: these fats have anti-fungal/bacterial/viral properties, immune boosting properties, anti-inflammatory properties, and are even healthy for our brain.

The heart also loves amino acids/protein (it is a muscle after all, and needs to rebuild it’s cells), and vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.

You know how I always say “eat a TON of vegetables”?  Herbs and spices too;  Moms, stay strong when it comes to vegetables and picky kids.  You’ve GOT to win this battle.  Here’s why.

The heart (and the arteries in the penis, the neurotransmitters in the brain, the lining of the gut, bone remodeling, and white blood cell function) heavily depends on Nitric Oxide (NO).  NO is a vasodilator that relaxes the lining of the arteries and increases blood flow.  If there’s any damage to the arteries at all, which is where a lot of that NO is made, then there’s NO deficiency.

Here’s a list of foods high in natural nitrates ( which convert to NO):

*Black Tea
*Animal Organs
*Peanut Butter

Cool fact: chew your food well, because it’s the bacteria in our mouth that convert the nitrates to NO – who knew!!!

We want to leverage all the colors of the vegetable (and fruit) kingdom, because they have nutrients, besides their vitamins and minerals which are vital, called phytonutrients, that scientists are really just beginning to discover.  Nutrients called lycopene, lutein, alpha carotene, and beta carotene.

Studies show that bodies with higher levels of these nutrients have less stroke and heart attack.

What’d we pack to eat this weekend?  Chicken (already cooked), eggs, salad greens, zucchinis, cukes, tomatoes, onion, garlic, sea salt, EVOO and balsamic, roasted potatoes (left over from Wednesday- so I just warmed them) dates, peaches, nuts, Jay Robb protein powder, raw milk, raw cream, and kerry gold butter.  Oh, plus organic chocolate and coffee!  We stay in Residence Inns whenever we can because they have kitchens.

Exercise: almost as critical for the heart as food.  Have I told you I LOVE MY FITBIT??  Even on days like yesterday, where we were in a seminar from 9 to 3:30, we managed to get over 10,000 steps in.  We walked on each break, plus lunch, and again after dinner.  Had I not had the Fitbit, we’d never had taken that many steps. Most phones have counters on them if you don’t have a smart watch yet.  Friday we paddle boarded a few miles, and then walked a battlefield and Civil War Park.  Links are attached if you’re looking for fun in Richmond, Va.  Today:  lifting with Macy at the VCU gym!

5 Love Languages – for heart health?  YES!  Have you ever read the book, The Blue Zones?  It’s about the 4 places on earth with the largest populations of centenarians, or people who live past 100.  I’ve been obsessed with it for years, the same with any story I see of a Centenarian, or studies on Centenarians.

What do these people have in common, is it Kale Smoothies or Cross Fit or Veganism?  NOPE!  The biggest common link is community, usefulness, and purpose.  In other words, they’re fulfilled and happy. They have love in their life.

That’s where the 5 Love Languages comes in.  Mark and I are regular pursuers of both Happy Marriage and Happy Minds.  I say “pursuer” because happiness doesn’t just drop on our heads, it’s something we have to focus on and work for.  That’s really what “stress management” is about, right?  It’s how we handle life that matters, and the 5 Love Languages has great advice for communicating and getting along.

On that note, our heart apparently THRIVES on happy hormones and chemicals, and can be destroyed by destructive hormones (cortisol and insulin) and chemicals.  This is a big deal, and an area of growing research.

Meditation is part of progressive heart disease reversal programs because it’s been proven again and again to work.  There’s too much evidence to ignore: if leading with our negative emotions is our normal go-to, then all the good food and exercise in the world could be negated when it comes to heart health.

I’m leaving you with a few really great heart health resources, please check them out.  What we hear in our doctors offices often doesn’t correlate with the latest in the scientific research.

Most research on reversing heart disease, (not merely managing symptoms) is based on Life Style answers, like food, exercise, stress management, and sleep.

NO ONE’S MAKING MONEY OFF THOSE REMEDIES; the likely hood of a stress management rep, or a Real Whole Food rep, walking into our doctors office to sell him/her on the latest and greatest reasons to use these tools isn’t going to happen.

We’re going to have to do this on our own.

Dr. Mercola/fats/heart health.

Dr. Davis/fats/heart health.

Dr. Wortman/fats/heart health.

Podcast/Dr. Kahn/heart health and testing – FASCINATING & INFORMATIVE.

I LOVE Essential Oils! From Skin Care to Fighting Virus and Bacteria, They’re Fantastic.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe’re living in a world of rampant illness; 70% of us are are both overweight, and on at least one medication.  70%.  The good news: 86% of those meds (and the money spent on them), are for Life Style Conditions.  That means we could reverse or at least lessen the condition through Life Style.

Because we can control our life style; we have tremendous power to improve our immunity, our mood, our energy, and our weight with the steps we take to be healthy every single day.

Here’s the thing:  good health isn’t going to fall on our heads like rain, we have to pursue it.  Essential oils (EOs) are a great tool in that pursuit.  Here’s how my family and I use EOs.

Mea Culpa: a couple of years ago, way after I was deeply into real whole foods, stress management, and using herbs and supplements instead of drugs, I was a total skeptic when it came to essential oils.  I knew nothing about them – I’M STILL LEARNING/NOT AN EXPERT AT ALL.

I’m not a doctor, and I’m not pretending to be one.  My General Practitioner probably wouldn’t use an Essential Oil if you paid him.  But I do.

And I love them! EO’s are amazing!!  The more I read and learn and use them, the more convinced I am that we sure veered off track when somehow we believed that pharmaceutical medications, with all their side effects and placebo effects and risks, were the only way to treat our ills.

They’re not, much of the world uses essential oils, and has for thousands of years.  The Magi brought frankincense and myrrh to baby Jesus.  How exceptional is that?

Is there research on them? Oh yeah!  More and more regular MDs are promoting and using them; here’s both examples and resources for you to use if you’re interested in EO’s for your health.

Wintergreen Oil for pain relief: why?  wintergreen oil contains compounds called “methyl salicylate”; menthyl salicylate is an integral ingredient of nearly every anti-arthritic and analgesic balm for muscle and joint pain that is currently available on the market.

From a Dr. Jon Barron newsletter: One reason for wintergreen oil’s analgesic effect is because the methyl salicylate found in the herb is a substance that is similar to aspirin. Did you know that one teaspoon (5 mL) of wintergreen oil is equivalent to approximately 7000 mg of salicylate or 21.5 adult aspirin tablets? That just might explain why it is used in high concentrations in deep liniments such as Bengay to help treat joint and muscular pain. Studies have shown, however, that it is more effective for acute rather than chronic pain.

Here’s a study from Pub Med showing methyl salicylate’s incredibly similar effects to aspirin in an anti-platelet (blood thinning) study for heart disease sufferers. Wow!  Aspirin’s really rough on the stomach, how wonderful to have an alternative that’s not.

Oregano Oil: anti-bacterial/fungal/viral/parasitic.  This one’s a powerhouse.  From Dr. Mercola:

Carvacol and thymol, two phytochemicals in oregano, are powerful antimicrobials. Research has shown essential oils from oregano may kill the foodborne pathogen Listeria4 and the superbug MRSA (making it a useful addition to hand soaps and disinfectants).5 According to one of the researchers involved in the MRSA study:6

“We have done a few preliminary tests and have found that the essential oil from the oregano kills MRSA at a dilution 1 to 1,000. The tests show that the oil kills MRSA both as a liquid and as a vapor and its antimicrobial activity is not diminished by heating in boiling water.”

Studies have also found essential oils of oregano to be useful against certain Candida species.7

Yesterday morning I sliced my hands in 2 places cutting peaches.  We were planning on spending the whole afternoon in the Shenandoah River, paddle boarding. I applied oregano oil before we left to each cut, and brought it with me in a cooler with an ice pack, so I could apply it again after we got out.  The river’s full of bacteria, so I protected myself.

For more science on Oregano oil, go here, and here.  That second link is to 33 Pub Med studies on Oregano oil and it’s effectiveness on everything from bacteria to candida to encouraging liver regeneration after hepatitis.  Seriously!

Cinnamon oil Ginger oil, and Peppermint Oil,  have huge anti-inflammatory and pro-digestion properties.

Shelby tends to get stomach aches and nausea; ginger oil has become our #1 go to for it.  We dose it 2 ways:  rubbing some on her stomach, or putting a little swipe of the oil on the inside of her cheek.  It’s fast and it works.  Ginger chews and real ginger are fantastic also, but when you’re nauseous, it can be hard to get that stuff down.

Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatrics has changed their stance on ear infections?   That’s because most ear infections are viral, not bacterial.

Girlfriends, if your mom argues with you about this, tell her the rules have changed since her kids were young.

Anyway, what to do when your child has an ear ache?  Garlic oil and tea tree oil.  We used these last year on Shelby and they worked FAST.  Check out Dr. Axe’s protocol here.

Hopefully I’ve piqued your interest, and if you’ve clicked on any of the links, you’ll see that Essential Oils aren’t woo-woo, at all.  I really really encourage you to learn as much as possible about them, because I’m barely scratching the surface in this Post.

Let me wrap it up with my Skin Care Routine, which is ALL about the essential oils and other fats.

I’m 50, I went through Menopause about a year and a half ago; I spend a lot of time outside.  Preface: I’m not saying this because I’m proud, I’m saying this because I’m pleased:  my skin looks pretty good.  I think it’s because I quit using soap and all conventional products years ago, and just started washing my face with an organic scrub once a day, and using only organic lotions.  I think not slathering chemicals on my skin was a good start. But two winters ago, I began getting little lines on my lips and checks; panic sunk in.  I quit the organic lotions and started using homemade coconut oil/shea butter/cocoa butter/olive oil and Essential Oils.

(Read the ingredients in Clinique Dramatic Difference Moisturizer here.  It’s gross.)

The lines REVERSED.  REALLY!!  I’m not saying I have the skin of a 20 something ( I live with three 20-somethings, they have a freshness…) but I don’t have (big/many) wrinkles yet!  ( I also added way more fat to my diet, and gelatin/collagen – critical to skin formation.)

What I use after my homemade lotion:  Rose Hip Serum, Clary Sage, Geranium Oil, and Frankincense.  I use the serum every night, but the oils I rotate nightly. I’ve also used Carrot oil, and Myrrh.  I’ll probably change this up as I continue to age, and learn more.  But right now, it’s totally working for me.  If you want to read more about skin and EO’s, check here, and here, and here.

Again, I want to say I’m just scratching the surface, but Essential Oils are so fun and effective and – for myself and my girls – addicting!  I’ve made sure all my daughters have their own Essential Oil stockpiles for both home, school, and travel, and that they know how to use them.  The more we learn and use them, the more we want to learn and use them.

What brand do I recommend?  A bunch.  I started with DoTerra, which along with Young Living are the two biggest names in EO’s.  However, they’re not the only names.  I buy from my local health food store, Natural Market, whom I trust to examine their vendors authenticity; but I have other brands I trust also.  Right now, Plant Guru is one of my favs.

If you’re interested, learn more! I am.  There was an Essential Oil Summit earlier this summer, you can find access to it here.  Order some books; look at all the links I provided in this Post.

Take your health into your own hands!  We spend more money on our health through medications and doctors and surgery’s and procedures THAN ANY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, AND YET WE’RE THE SICKEST AND THE FATTEST – IN. THE. WORLD.

To me, that means it’s time for a change.  Besides, who doesn’t want to look and feel better?

Will Crunches Give You A Six Pack?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m away at my annual fitness convention, the DCAC, So Fun! I’m here with my sister Christy, who’s a trainer and pilates instructor; and my daughter Macy, – I love it!  Macy plans on becoming a yoga teacher after graduation, and this place is a great intro to the industry.

I’ve been in this business for 28 years.  Things have changed!  We’re having a greater awareness of why we need to exercise, which I’ve written about in a few recents Posts, here, and here.  We all know we’re in a stressed filled environment, and that exercise helps that, tremendously.

(Stressing about our body fat can make us fatter!)

Why do so many still pursue the 6 Pack? Why is weight loss still the number one goal of new gym members?  Smart marketing; promising weight loss hooks people.

It’s a lie, trust me, because weight loss and 6 packs come from the kitchen, not the gym.  It’s FOOD!  Food is so important!  Not just for losing weight or getting lean, but for how we feel day to day.

You know my mantra:  eat clean proteins, good fats, a TON of vegetables, some fruit, some nuts, some beans, good dairy if you tolerate it, and stay far away from flours, sugar, chemicals, and hydrogenated fats.

But about that 6 Pack, and weight loss: what negative goals, honestly!  Exercising to pursue those intents is just so…….. gloomy, and stressful! Delete!  Exercise for your mind. Exercise for your mood.  Exercise for your longevity and immune system and hormones.

It’s the same with eating well; eat Real Whole Foods because you’ll feel so darned good afterwards!

Guess what happens if we eat well and exercise every day? We lose weight. We become healthier, we feel more energetic, we’re happier, we cope with stress better, and we sleep better.  Why would we NOT eat right and exercise everyday?  It’s the consistency of our good habits, the repetition, that make us who we are.

Back to my conference:)  Have any of you ever taken Piloxing Barre?  O.M.G! What fun!