Archive for Mind/Body

Holiday Eating Gone Bad? 8 Facts To Scare You Straight.

me:girlsIt’s the holiday season, you’re busy, you’re struggling, you want motivation, so I’ll be fast and effective.

I’ve had several emails and comments in the past two weeks full of regret and remorse over Eating Gone Bad.  There’s definitely the sense of, ” I couldn’t help myself because…”

A client friend said to me yesterday, ” I want to become scared of flour and sugar, like you are.”  I want ALL OF YOU TO BECOME SCARED OF FLOUR AND SUGAR, like I am!  Let me scare you straight, quickly.

Simple carbs from Grains and Sugar cause high levels of sugar and insulin in your blood/arteries/veins. The negative health effects from this are PROFOUND:

1) Excess blood sugar ( from sugar and grains) is converted to Triglycerides and stored in our fat cells.

2) Excess blood sugar “GLYCATES” proteins and lipids in our blood and body.  EXAMPLES OF GLYCATION ARE WRINKLES, AGE SPOTS, AND IMPOTENCE.   Alzheimer’s is being called Diabetes Type 3 because of the plaques/glycation of the brain, which is composed of fats and proteins.

3) Alzheimer’s, Migraines, Dementia, and all sorts of Neurological Conditions, including ADD and Mood Disorders, are highly associated with high blood sugar and insulin.

4) Cancer cells are covered with Insulin Receptors.  Cancer cells eat SUGAR.  The insulin receptors that cover cancer cells make sure those cells get all the sugar they want and need to grow and thrive.   APPLY THAT THOUGHT TO YOUR KIDS THE NEXT TIME YOU FEED THEM MAC N CHEESE WITH A SIDE OF BREAD.  Seriously.  That stuff is poison!

5) Heart disease is caused by several conditions initiated by sugar and insulin:  excess sugar thickens the blood; excess sugar robs the heart of it’s favorite mineral – Magnesium, and it’s favorite vitamin – the Bs ( that’s because digesting/metabolizing sugar requires an enormous amount of Magnesium and B vitamins ); and excess sugar and insulin severely damage artery walls, in several ways.

6) Damage to the artery walls ( whether those arteries are near your heart, in your neck, or MEN:  IN YOUR FAVORITE ORGAN THAT FILLS WITH BLOOD!!) means they need to be “fixed”.  In an effort to mitigate the damage we do, the liver puts together PLAQUE patches, and sends them to the sites of the damage.  This keeps us alive for years, but eventually, the high blood pressure, the thick blood, the extra stress on the heart, comes back to Bite Us In The Butt.

7) Excess sugars can completely change the Bacterial Composition of your entire gut: from the stomach, which needs to have just a tiny bit of H-Pylori and a TON of acid to be optimal, to the small intestine, which should be intact but more often then not is “LEAKY” or plagued with SIBO ( small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.  If you bloat badly, ask me about this.),  to the large intestine, which should house at least a few POUNDS of beneficial bacteria that perform literally THOUSANDS of jobs for our bodies.  Constipation, Bloat, Reflux, Diarrhea: NOT NORMAL!  It means you’re not breaking down and absorbing your nutrients which sets the stage for all sorts of disease and dysfunctions.

8) Excess sugar and insulin suppress your immune system, IMMEDIATELY, for up to 24 hours.  This means if you let your kid eat a breakfast of pop tarts or crappy cereal, and then send them to school to sit by someone on the bus or in the classroom who’s coughing or sneezing, they’re an EASY TARGET for the germs to set up house and proliferate. Same for you: a quick muffin or sugar/chemical drink at Starbucks, then off to an office/gym filled with bad germs?  You’re a sitting duck!

I could go on and on, but say this to yourself:  Food Is Medicine, or Food Is Poison; for me, and for my kids.

Then, delete the ancient notion that eating well means Dieting; eating low fat/no fat chicken and steamed broccoli is a recipe for a Rebound Binge.

That’s why I love the Paleo Diet:  Real Whole Food with plenty of good FAT, good meats and proteins, TONS of vegetables, some fruit, some nuts and seeds, and GOOD dairy if you can tolerate it.  The Paleo Diet even includes Real Whole Food DESSERTS, what’s not to like?  ( Christmas Paleo Party at my house, 12/12/14, from 12 -2. Everyone’s invited, and you’ll get to see just how good Real Whole Food is!)

If Food Addiction is your struggle, then all the common sense/information in the world doesn’t help too much.  Read my last post.   If you have trouble staying away from grains and sugar, know that they contain compounds that trigger addiction centers in your brain, and your child’s brain.  That doesn’t happen with Real Whole Food. 

Finally, in this stressful, busy season of the year, acknowledge that “eating for stress relief” doesn’t actually Relieve Your Stress, it makes you MORE STRESSED afterwards.  Just the opposite of sitting down to a Real Whole Food meal, which actually satiates your mind and body.

Change today.  Don’t wait til the season is over.  We’re talking about your health, your mind, and the example you’re instilling in your kids.  The food you put in your mouth matters.  I’ll say it again:  Food is Medicine, or Food is Poison.

Hate Your Thighs, Stomach, and Butt? What’s Changed in 2014; Holiday Recipes

thanksgiving2014Last November (2013), I had a theme running called Change Your Brain, Change Your Body.  Here’s the premise:  our every word and action is precipitated by our thoughts, and our thoughts make habit patterns in our brain.  These “habits” are chemical and structural in nature; they’re as real and concrete as a tree or a rug or a skin cell.

If you have Bad Habits that have led to you being overweight or sick ( such as the habit of eating every time you’re lonely or stressed, eating sugar/grain flour, or binging on the weekend); then the simple desire to change, or the feeling of hating body parts, won’t make a dent in the brain patterns you’ve nurtured and developed.  Those things are like steel train tracks, and getting rid of them requires a solid plan that focuses on getting rid of destructive old thought patterns and replacing them with productive new thought patterns.

When I work with a client who needs to lose weight or change eating habits that have led to poor health, I have them work just as much – or more – on their Brain Plan as I do on their Food Plan.

Here’s a quote from a Nov. 2013 post:

It’s been over a week now that I’ve challenged you to Change your Thinking if you want to Change Your Body; and I’m specifically talking about those negative thought patterns that I’ve heard so many people express: I hate my thighs, if only they were thinner; I hate my stomach; I hate my butt; I want to lose weight; If only I could lose 10 pounds…. etc etc etc. Ask yourself how long you’ve been spinning on these exact same thoughts and how well they’ve allowed you to change. How long?

Change doesn’t happen when you keep doing the “same old same old”; negative thought patterns NEVER produce positive results.  Stop thinking about what you don’t like on your body, and start focusing on improving your mind. Focus on being kinder, more loving, more productive, healthier, more energetic – anything other than weight and calorie counts. Use Mantras, Meditation, and Prayer; write positive or meaningful quotes on 10 or 20 sticky’s and post them all over: your mirrors, wallet, fridge, doors, car. PRACTICE changing your thoughts. 

I asked some questions at the end of 2013, and I’ve been thinking about them for the past few weeks:

What did I manifest this year?  What did I change?  What’s stayed the same? What will I work on?

Don’t let 2015 be more of what bugs you about yourself, be different!  Get in touch with me and we’ll develop a plan to free you from destructive habits.    If those destructive habits include food addiction, it’s going to take awhile.  If it’s just a matter of information… not so long.

On to something more fun: Thanksgiving Recipes, and a Paleo Party Invite.

If you’re in my area ( Northern Virginia ), I’m hosting a Paleo Christmas Party on Friday, December 12, from 12-2.  Everyone is invited!  Bring – or don’t! – a Grain Free, Sugar Free, Real Whole Food appetizer, dessert, or main dish.  If you aren’t on the Evite list, send me your email so I can put you on it 🙂

Last, a few recipes we made for Thanksgiving:

Low Carb Green Bean Casserole – this was EXCELLENT!  A few changes:  1. I didn’t use Avocado oil, too expensive and I love the taste of butter.   2.  I added a quarter cup of raw yogurt, it acts like sour cream.  This dish is going to be a tradition at our house.

* My sister wrapped medium sized sweet potato chunks in bacon  and then roasted them- EXCELLENT!

*  Low Carb Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake – OMG Delicious:

1 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp aluminum free baking powder
1 cup coconut oil or butter
3/4 cup Swerve (or erythritol and 2 tsp stevia glycerite)
1 tsp Celtic sea salt
1 egg

3 8-ounce packages Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup Swerve (or erythritol and 1 tsp stevia glycerite)
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 dash ground cloves

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
CRUST: In a medium sized bowl combine all the ingredients. Press onto bottom of 9 inch springform pan.

FILLING: Beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup of the Swerve and vanilla with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Remove 1 cup plain batter; place in small bowl. Stir remaining 1/4 cup Swerve, pumpkin and spices into remaining batter. Spoon pumpkin batter into crust; top with spoonfuls of reserved plain batter. Cut through batters with knife several times for marble effect.

If using a springform pan, wrap the outside of it with tin foil so any oils don’t leak out into oven. Bake 55 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Cut into 12 slices. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator. Serves 12

Want To Gain Weight? Go On A Diet, It’s a Sure Bet.

mark tmNOTHING guarantees weight gain better than Diets. Nothing. The studies show that if you go on a diet, there’s a 95 – 99% chance you’ll gain back all the weight you lost, and for many, a few pounds extra.  Unfortunately, the belief that dieting can make you skinny is so engrained in the psyche, that it’s a hard concept to set aside. Low calorie, low fat foods just sound like they should make us thin, right?  Wrong, wrong wrong wrong.

( PS – that pic on the left – that’s my husband Mark, who’s 50, after he finished a Tough Mudder two days ago.  Here’s a link to his Man Post. )

Interesting facts:

1) Small portions and diet sized meals leave you hungry; hunger always leads to overeating. We’re NOT designed to enjoy or tolerate hunger, it goes against our normal survival instinct and our brain won’t allow it. Unfortunately, since the Diet Industry was born, and people dove right into mini meals of processed diet food with maybe a boring side of steamed broccoli, people can’t quit eating. A whole slew of hormones and chemicals that drive us to literally seek out food are coursing through our bodies.

2) Wheat is an Opiate;  there’s a protein in wheat called GLIADIN; gliadin binds to the opiate receptors of the brain, but it doesn’t make us high. It makes us hungry.  Has wheat always had this effect?  No.  Just since the 1970s when geneticists created modern Semi-Dwarf, high yield wheat. Now, it’s the only wheat available.  So those low calorie, low fat crackers/pretzels/tortillas that are touted as a safe snack because they’re low in fat and calories??  They just send your blood sugar and insulin way up (inflammation and belly fat), and trigger addiction in the brain. They don’t make you thin.

2) Gluten-Free food products are made with High Glycemic flours from GRAINS which convert to blood sugar and send your insulin skyrocketing.  Excess blood sugar is EASILY and quickly converted to Body Fat (triglycerides).  Drop the idea the “Gluten-Free” products = healthy and skinny.  They don’t.

4) People who eat Low Fat Dairy weigh more and are sicker than people who eat Full Fat Dairy.  This has been proven in study after study after study.  The reasons are profuse; but know that there are crucial fatty acids in dairy that inhibit cancer, insulin resistance, weight gain and more.  Quit feeding the skim to your kids, and don’t delude yourself into thinking diet ice cream or low fat cheese will take off the pounds.  Read this link for more information.

5) There’s actually Crucial Nutrients in ALL Real Whole Food that our cells use to be healthy and functioning and normal.  Diet foods loaded with carbs, artificial sugars, chemicals and bad fats RUIN OUR CELLS.  The cells don’t form correctly, they don’t function correctly, they don’t communicate correctly when they don’t have their necessary nutrients.

There’s been so much bad information in the past 50 years and all we have to do is look around and use common sense to see that Main Stream Diet Dogma is a complete failure.  The Diet Industry is a Business; it’s out to make money by promising us Magic that will help us lose weight.  The reality is that dieting has made us bigger than ever, and very sick:

Heart Disease, Cancer, and Diabetes numbers are out of control;  livers have become fatty and dysfunctional due to constant high blood sugars and chemicals; thyroid function has decreased from yo-yo diets; sex hormones are totally askew thanks to chemicals and sugar that create an Estrogen Dominant environment in both men and women; muscle tissue is regularly consumed for energy slowing down metabolism even more; neurotransmitter balance in our gut and brain is totally out out of whack; and we have more people burning predominantly SUGAR for fuel as opposed to FAT for fuel than ever.  (That’s why so many people work out for HOURS and can’t lose weight, they never tap into their fat stores!)

What’s the Solution?

Real Whole Foods.  Too simple?  It is. Sleep, movement, and stress management are just as important.  But we’re talking about food here.

For our body to hum, we need NORMAL cells, that have NORMAL function and NORMAL communication.  We’re a Chemistry Set, not a Math Equation.   Food is medicine, or food is poison, honest.  Sugar, grains, and chemicals are toxic for our body, even when they’re packaged in “diet food”.

Good fats (from CLEAN animal sources, butter, coconut oil, olive oil, pastured dairy, avocado oil) are GOOD for us:  every cell in our body incorporates fats and cholesterol into it’s membrane so that it’s function and communication can be NORMAL.  Fats comprise our sex hormones, and anti-inflammatory hormones; cholesterol is an anti-oxidant and healing molecule.  Our brain is 60-70% fat and cholesterol!!

One of the best things about fat, other than it tastes delicious and keeps us full, is that there NO INSULIN RESPONSE. None.

Insulin drives disease and inflammation, we need a tiny bit released from the pancreas to be healthy, but American’s ( and now much of the world) don’t have a tiny bit coursing through their body;  they have way too much.  Inflammatory conditions are RAMPANT, even in our children.

Good fats, clean proteins, and TONS of vegetables need to be the bulk of our diet.  Some fruit, some nuts and seeds, and some good whole fat dairy if you tolerate that.  Eat 3 meals a day and quit snacking.  Snacking is horrible for blood sugar, which drives insulin, which drives inflammation.

This is the Magic Formula, honest.

After saying all this, I want to acknowledge how difficult it is to rid the mind of deeply entrenched beliefs ( low fat/ low cal foods are good for me ) that have now led to physical addictions   (grains, sugars, and chemicals are absolutely addictive).

This is why you have to work on your Mind if you want to change you Body.  The Mind has to come first, because you’re controlled by your subconscious thoughts.   What to do?

(1) Fill your mind with current science:






2) Focus on implanting New Thoughts, which are productive and positive, into your brain.  Most of us run on Auto-Pilot, ….Stop!  Auto-Pilot’s a terrible way to go through life;  look at the results you’ve been getting from your habits and patterns and beliefs so far.  Evaluate.  There’s ALWAYS room for improvement and change, we’re never finished ( til we’re actually “finished”).

Read my last two  Posts;  there’s links to books and You Tubes on creating new thoughts and patterns.  And remember my new favorite phrase:  You can’t have a “10” body without a “10” mind. 



Our Weight and Health are Ruled by our Thoughts

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn my last Post, I said you can’t have a “10” life/body without having a “10” mind.  Not my quote, but I LOVE it!

What would make a mind a 10?

– That you’ve PRACTICED right thinking so diligently, that there’s very little stress involved in making healthy choices.

– That most of your CHOSEN thoughts lead to Positive Long Term Benefits.

– That instant gratification is NOT a practice you engage in, or even think about very often.

– That you’re able to “capture” any thoughts that are unproductive, or contrary to our health or normal weight, and reword them so that they are productive.


Not a week goes by that I don’t get an email detailing someone’s weight or health issues, and often it includes statements like, ” I know I shouldn’t eat _____, but sometimes I can’t help it.” Or, “I know I should not snack/get to bed earlier/not drink so much/remember to take my supplements/etc”

I’ve been there.  I struggled for decades with issues I KNEW could be resolved if I gave up grains, sugar, and artificial sweeteners, but honestly, I seriously couldn’t imagine a life without them. One part of my brain understood all the reasons they’re not good for me, but another part of my brain was aghast, sad, depressed, and pretty determined to get what it wanted. That part of the brain was the winner for years.

“How do you live without grains or sugar?”  “How do you not snack?”  I’ve heard these questions a million times, 500,000 times from MYSELF to Myself. For a long time, I thought Will Power was the answer.  It’s not.  All of us have a very tiny, finite supply of Will Power; and if you DO successfully muster some up, there’s usually a “rebound effect”.  That’s best illustrated by the Diet example:  try to eat Low Cal/Low Fat for a few days, and you’ll rebound with a Binge.

That’s why statistically, almost 100% of EVERYONE who goes on a diet gains their weight back. It’s the same for people with health issues who try to muscle their way through food cravings that impact their heart/headaches/joints/bloat/blood sugar etc:  the rebound effect happens, even when the health issue is serious and advanced.

Rebound even happens when you can’t stand yourself for giving in over and over.

What’s the answer?  You’ve Got To Work On Your Mind, because your thoughts control your actions.

Remember that podcast by Hal Elrod I mentioned the other day? Listen to it.  He gives great advice on training your mind to work for you, and not against you. He quotes Jim Rohn:  “Your level of success will NOT exceed your level of personal development.”

Have you given much thought to your thoughts?  Because most people haven’t.  Most people don’t even realize their thoughts are a choice. If your thoughts are statements about what you could never do ( I could NEVER give up sugar/wine/pasta/cereal/bread/diet coke…I could NEVER take that class, ..I HATE cooking, .. I’m TOO busy to pack…), then your thinking has doomed you when it comes to your Health and your Weight.

What if every time a counter productive thought popped in our head, we captured it, and changed it?  We HAVE to do that, because our thoughts become actions, always.

Real Health only happens with CONSISTENT productive habits.  Not most of the time, not 80/20, not weekdays or when we have time.  Losing weight, sleeping well, great energy, lowering blood sugar, ridding our arteries of plaque, supplying our skin with the nutrients it needs to look good, …… happens when we so firmly wrap our mind around the ACTION STEPS necessary that consistency is second nature, instead of an enormous effort.

If you haven’t listened to Hal Elrod yet, please do!

Here’s another amazing source:  Dr. Caroline Leaf.  Dr. Leaf is a cognitive neuroscientist with a PhD in Communication Pathology specializing in Neuropsychology.   HOLY COW IS THIS WOMAN AN AMAZING SPEAKER.  She’s all about the SCIENCE of Quantum Physics, which is the SCIENCE of how our Thoughts Control Our Brain on a PHYSICAL LEVEL.  Thanks to MRIs, and new blood tests that look at different neurotransmitters, and more, scientists have so much insight into how the brain actually works.  Hint:  it never stops changing; and we have power over those changes.

If you’ve been trying for years to diet or exercise and had no lasting results, open your eyes.  It’s your Brain you need to change.  Invest time and energy on your THOUGHTS, and you will FINALLY have the body and health that you want.

Critical Resources:

YouTube – this is LIFE CHANGING:

Book:,   by Dr. Leaf

Book:,  by Steven Fogel


A “10” Life and A “10” Body Happen When You Have A “10” Mind

Read this great quote from Facebook:

changeThat’s good, isn’t it.  I work with a lot of people who desperately want to change their weight or their health.  They want to look good and feel good, and they’re sick and tired of being sick and tired.  Maybe that’s how you feel.  Well, you CAN lose weight and you CAN get healthy, but you are where you are because of the habits and life style you’ve developed and nurtured.

A “different” you is going to take a Plan, and then the Mindset to follow through with that Plan for the rest of your life.

This week I’ve been able to listen to a podcast that might be the most inspiring talk I’ve ever heard when it comes to creating change in your life, it’s by Hal Elrod.

He said something that really stuck me:  If you want to have a life that’s a “10”, you have to have a mind that’s a “10”.  He said you have to work on your mind every single day, or your dream life ( or dream body) won’t happen.

WOW!  He’s so right!  Most of us just float through life trying to keep up with our busy schedules and before you know it, we’re older, sick, on meds, and weigh more than we’d like. Depression, anxiety, worry, and stress are part and parcel of the package; so common they seem normal.  What happened?  Who Cares!!  Dwelling on what you don’t like will just get you more of the same.  That’s what’s happened so far, right?

If you want to Change, today’s your day, not tomorrow or the 1st or Monday; those are excuses, and they’re self-defeating.  Quit waiting for the Right Time because your life is not going to get easier, or slower, or more manageable until you MAKE it the Right Time.  We’re not Jelly Fish;  God gave us a brain and choices.  Our current life is the result of our choices.  Our FUTURE life will be the result of our choices.  If you want your future to be BETTER than today, MAKE BETTER CHOICES. 

Too tired, too beat, too busy?  Then get ready for a life of steady weight gain, accumulating chronic diseases with their side-effect laden meds, and growing unhappiness.  Oh, and you’re TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN BY YOUR EXAMPLE.

Ready to rise above the fatigue and the schedules?  Good!  Other people have!  You can too!  TODAY start a running grocery list; TODAY pack your lunch, TODAY get your rear to the gym, TODAY make a plan for eating Real Whole Food for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, TODAY determine that you’re not going to “de-stress” with bad food and alcohol, TODAY take your supplements; TODAY make a plan that has you in bed at a decent time; TODAY talk to God;  TODAY focus on positive thoughts about yourself; TODAY determine that your “unavoidable triggers” don’t have magic power over you; TODAY decide that your health and your weight and your attitude are from your actions.

I’m closing with Hal’s “5-Minute Rule”:  if something makes you mad or sad, go ahead and brood about it for 5 Minutes.  Set a timer.  After that, move on.  Ruminating about your situation does NOTHING to remedy it, it only makes it worse. If your health and weight have you feeling sad/mad/depressed/upset, stop ruminating, make a plan for change and then focus on your plan.

I love to tell my clients that they can be a whole new person in a year, or they can be exactly the same or worse.  It depends on the choices and action steps we make.

Listen to that podcast!!


Who Can Start A Ketogenic Diet? Will It Raise Cholesterol? How I’ve Adapted. A Recipe.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve had two good questions this week.  One, from a new client, “Can I start the Ketogenic Diet ASAP, because I need to lose a lot of weight.”, and Two, from a reader, ” I have high cholesterol, so this diet can’t be good for me, right?”

Let me answer both of these questions.

“Can I start the Ketogenic Diet ASAP, because I need to lose a lot of weight.”  No, I don’t want anyone I’m working with to jump into a Ketogenic Diet without (1) knowing exactly what it means, and (2) getting a really good handle on organizing/planning/shopping/cooking/and packing; and (3) eliminating snacking.

It’s hard enough to just eat well without giving in to cravings and triggers and habits.  Eating a Ketogenic Diet is really particular, and it requires Practice at Discipline.  It also needs to be implemented after we’ve wrapped our heads around the health benefits and the how-to’s, because honestly, weight loss is never enough reason to stick to any food or diet plan forever.  That’s why almost 100% of everyone who loses weight gains it back.  Any motivation to stick to a diet plan just to lose weight is a very temporary feeling.

I want my clients to experience success and actual brain-change, for example:

The longer I immerse myself in the science of what happens to my body in response to certain foods, the easier it is to eat only foods that are good for me.  I look at cheetos, frozen waffles, and processed foods as Cancer Fertilizer, and they scare me.  Gluten scares me!

I don’t snack anymore, neither does Mark.  We know that we need those hours between meals for the right HORMONES to happen so that our bodies can actually burn fat instead of glucose.  That fact is a fore-thought, not an after thought; because of that, the snack voice rarely calls to us anymore.

I’ve become so good at remembering how I feel after a binge, that I NEVER binge anymore.  It’s NORMAL for me now to do what it takes to feel good, clear headed, positive, energetic, and lean.   It took a while for me to reach this point, but I’m there.  You can be too!

My goal for my clients:  (1) to become great planners and organizers;  to take control of their life/eating/habits without stress  (2) for “long-term-consequence-thinking” to become their norm.  

Seat-of-pants-spontaneous-eating…..doesn’t work for anyone.  Unfortunately, spontaneous eating is more normal than not.

Bad habits, old habits, compulsions,… they’re STRONG.  You’ll need New Brain Patterns to overcome them.  Remember the Brain Rule:  our brain wants to do what’s COMFORTABLE, not what’s best for us.  An “uncomfortable” brain can shout very loudly, right?  “Eat it! Drink it! It’ll feel so good, and you can always Diet tomorrow/Monday/the 1st.”

I set my clients up for Success by taking it one step at a time.  We focus on saturating the mind with information that rewires the bad habits.  It’s a one step at a time approach, because really, that’s all the brain will allow. Brains don’t like change.  Almost 100% of everyone who “diets” gains the weight back.  Half of all those people gain back more than they lost.  Just changing your food for a week or a month or even a few months isn’t a long term health and weight loss solution.

That said, weaning off the trigger foods ( they’re always grains and carbs), identifying trigger people/places/things, making a written plan, and practicing cooking and packing, are crucial.  So is learning about habit change/habit breaking/ building new habits.

Next Question:  Will a Ketogenic Diet Raise Cholesterol?

NO!  Bad cholesterol rises in response to excess carbs, particularly sugars and grains.  When the blood sugar gets above “normal”, which is 100mg/dl, much of the excess is remade into fat ( triglycerides).  The liver has to make Small, Dense, LDL ( the BAD cholesterol) to transport that new fat to it’s new home:  the fat cells in your abdominal area.  

Not all cholesterol is bad, much of it is good! Cholesterol is such a NECESSARY element in our body that God made Every Single One Of Our Cells capable of manufacturing it.  The liver produces boatloads;  and it produces even more if we’re sick, injured, or stressed, because cholesterol is a necessary component of the hormones and immune system that deals with those issues.

Want some references to ease your mind?  Read these posts:

One,  Two, Three.  If you’re accepting information from your doctor that’s based on 1980 science, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

I’m wrapping up with a Recipe:  Chicken, Butter, and Vegetablesdinner

In a pan, I melted 6 tablespoons of Kerrygold butter and a 1/4 of water.  I added meat from 2 big chicken breasts, 2 endives slices in half, a whole onion, a bunch of cauliflower, 2 yellow zucchini, a bunch of chives, and Salt and Pepper.  Before I served it ( forgot to photo this), I added a bunch of feta cheese, and a tablespoon of butter to each bowl.  Delicious!



Still Afraid of Fat? Time to Rethink that.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHas anyone read The Big Fat Surprise, by Nina Teicholz? It’s getting a lot of press because it’s a great book!  She goes through step by step details of how meat, full fat dairy, eggs, cholesterol, and saturated fats came to be demonized in America.  What happened?  Let’s just say it’s Big Phuvernment in full swing.

You all, we’ve been duped.  Yep.  There’s ZERO scientific research that CONCLUSIVELY links eating fat and cholesterol with heart disease, yet that connection is accepted as gospel.  Study after study demonstrates no correlation between our level of blood cholesterol and any degree of atherosclerosis.  Study after study shows no link between lowering our cholesterol through diet or drugs, and avoiding heart disease. We wouldn’t know this from talking to our doctor or watching TV commercials.  It’s time to rethink how we make decisions about our own health.

Here’s a few lines on the results of a UCLA School of Medicine study which looked at 136,900 patients in 2009:

A nationwide study conducted by UCLA School of Medicine found that 75 percent of patients hospitalized for a heart attack had LDL cholesterol within the so called safe range – below 130 mg/dl. (21 percent of the patients were taking a statin cholesterol-lowering drug.) Even more astounding, 50 percent of patients had LDL less than 100 mg/dL – considered optimal levels! The mean LDL cholesterol among the hospitalized patients was 104.9 mg/dL.

Read that again! Seriously!

Study after study has shown that lowering cholesterol doesn’t make us live longer or better or have less heart disease. Actually, there are several studies showing that really low cholesterol is linked with more infections ( cholesterol is vital to our immune system), a lack of sex hormones ( all steroid hormones are derived from cholesterol), and associations with aggressive behavior and suicides.  Low cholesterol can be bad for our health – ever heard your doctor say that?

If you’re looking for an interesting non-fiction read, this is it.  It’s time that everyone discovers that  (1) Fat’s not bad for us, and (2), fat is actually GOOD for us. Here’s a few of the many benefits of fats;  read and consider how DECADES of low-fat advice has impacted our health:

Every singe cell in our entire body has a membrane that’s partially composed of saturated fats and cholesterol.  They provide a support structure that allows nutrients in, trash out, and information to be passed cell to cell properly.  That’s important.

Our brain matter is about 60% fat and cholesterol.  ( If you haven’t read Grain Brain yet, you should! )  Fat has many functions up there;  one of them is making memories. Our memories come from our synapses, and synapse formation is almost entirely dependent on cholesterol.  Our brain’s own cells produce a lot of the cholesterol needed for this.  Statin drugs, which shut down our own natural cholesterol production, are famous for interfering with memory.

What about LDL, surely that’s definitely bad, right? It depends.  There’s several types of LDL; one type bind directly to dangerous bacterial toxins and inactivates them, preventing them from doing any damage in the body. We need that particular LDL!   A diet rich in cholesterol has been demonstrated to improve recovery from acute or chronic infections, so the next time you get sick, focus on healthy fatty foods:  eggs, liver, butter, and fatty broth.

There is an LDL that’s small, dense, and prone to damaging arteries, it’s called VLDL, and our body makes that in response to high amounts of carbohydrates in the diet.  (Triglycerides, a fat that’s highly correlated with heart disease, also rises in response to high amounts of carbs.)

Maybe you believe that eating fat doesn’t cause heart attacks, but can you believe that eating fat doesn’t necessarily make you fat?  Notice I say “necessarily”.  A diet full of processed foods, crappy carbs, hydrogenated fats, old polyunsaturated fats left in a deep fryer for days, and a pile of chemicals that create smells, flavors, textures, and colors – just like real food – will make anyone fat as a tick. And sick too. ( This includes our children. )

A diet full of healthy animal fats, coconut oil, olive oil, butter, and cream, along with copious amounts of vegetables, good proteins, some fruit, some nuts and seeds, and some full fat dairy ( if you can tolerate that), will absolutely NOT make you fat.  The opposite will happen, I promise! How?  You’d be feeding your body what it needs to make new cells, repair cells, and function correctly.  When your body has what it needs to build and repair, it runs smoothly. Your weight normalizes, you have energy, your immune system is strong, and you think better!

Bonus?  Fat satiates.  The food cravings that drive constant eating or binges?  Gone on a high fat diet. That’s because a high carb, high crap diet leaves your brain searching for nutrients.  You won’t be able to ignore the messages demanding that you eat now if you’re not feeding your body the nutrients it needs to be normal and healthy.

Confused, dubious, but hopeful that fat could actually be good for you?  If you’re in the mood for a Big Read, buy The Big Fat Secret.  If you need something quicker, easier to read, and much more direct about fat and cholesterol’s relationship to heart disease, and the dangerous side effects of statin drugs, buy Cholesterol Clarity.   I recommend this to clients, family and friends all the time, it’s excellent.

Want to implement a high fat diet, but you’re not sure how?  Get in touch with me. If you’ve been on a low fat/high carb bandwagon, you’re going to need help making the switch, mentally and physically ( in your kitchen ).  If you’ve been struggling with your weight and your health, this is the answer you’ve been looking for, honest.  Real Whole Food, with plenty fats.  Honestly, try it for a month.  See the difference it can make in your mood, your thinking, and your life – it’s profound.

The Big Take Away:  We all need to be our own best health care provider.  To truly be healthy, fit, and full of energy, it’s up to us to read, to learn, and to question the main stream establishment.  Big Phuvernment stands for the union of Big Government, Big Business, and Big Pharma.  Medicine today is very drug and money oriented.  As a matter of fact, the US spends more on health care than any country in the world, with horrible results.  It’s time for us to stop following blindly, and start taking control of our own health.

Diets Cause Rebound Binges and Slow Metabolisms, and We’re In The Huff Post!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAExciting! Mark and I have been published in the Huff Post! Check out our article and click us a “like” and a “share”:) We’ve been invited to be Regular Bloggers, and asked to write from the perspective of normal working parents who’ve stayed fit and healthy at 49 and 50. We can do that!

Moving on, I’ve got a series of emails, from one reader, who actually answers her own question about Dieting. When I say Dieting, I mean: counting calories, caloric restriction, and using computer programs to determine protein/carb/fat ratios. Even writing that sentence causes me Stress, as it did during all my years of Restricting/Binge Eating.

That’s because Diets Do Cause Stress, in many different ways. One, it’s such an unnatural way to eat, that our body and mind rebels; which is stressful. Two, hunger and deprivation always cause stress. ( Have you heard the saying, “sorry for what I said when I was hungry.”?) Three, plugging numbers into a program to figure out the ratios/percentages/amounts of our protein, carbs, fats, and/or total calories, is a pain in the butt, that’s stressful. Four, caloric restriction slows down our thyroid, which means our cell turnover, cell “house-keeping”, and cell communication is IMPEDED; our metabolism slows down, that’s stressful.  That also guarantees future weight gain.

Diets don’t work long term. Well, maybe for about 1 – 4% of everyone who loses weight. That’s a horrible “success” rate.

Ask yourself, with such an abysmal track record, why is it so easy to be lured back, time after time, for another Diet attempt?

Here’s the email chain I received, I love her reasoning development!  (When she refers to IIFYM, that’s a Diet Program that induces Caloric Deficits by counting your grams and percentages of Fat, Protein, and Carbs and Total Calories.  You can eat ANYTHING YOU WANT, as long as you stay within your numbers.)

Hi Debbie!

I was just wondering what your thoughts are on the IIFYM ( if it fits your macro diet). I was wondering if I could count macros while also eliminating grains/processed food? I just like the structure of IIFYM. Does that make sense?

I only had time for a quick response, here it is:  “Short answer: diets that let you eat crap ( which the IIFYM diet does as long as you stay “in the macro ratios”) keep you craving junk. Period. Always. It’s enough right now to start weaning yourself off grains and processed foods. Just focus on eating Real Whole Foods!!”

Why do I say it’s enough to just wean off the grains and processed foods for now?  Because for most people in 2014, eating Real Whole Foods is so far removed from their Norm, that it’s almost incomprehensible.  I get asked, ALL THE TIME, what I eat if I don’t eat grains.  Pasta, frozen foods, fast foods, and restaurant foods have become so ingrained into the American Culture as NORMAL, that eating Real Whole Foods, feeding the family Real Whole Foods, and sticking to that belief system when traveling and eating out, seems incredibly hard.

Eating Real Whole Foods isn’t a Diet Program (although you will lose weight when you quit eating Sugar, Grains, and processed chemical foods, and quit the snacking); it’s eating 3 decent sized meals a day full of the nutrients our body needs to build, repair, and run (metabolize) well.  When we run well, we get lean and healthy, when we diet, we don’t – again, statistics. Unfortunately, the Diet Industry is a Billion Dollar industry with an amazing Marketing Machine that successfully convinces us, over and over, to give it another try.

Switching from a Diet Mentality after a lifetime of eating Sugar, Grains, and Processed/Chemical Foods, to eating Real Whole Foods every day, takes effort, and a plan.  There’s 2 addictions that have to be overcome to be successful.

One, the addiction to sugar, grains, and chemicals – it’s powerful.  You know what I’m talking about.  It’s well researched.

Two, the addiction to the ease of eating sugar, grains, and chemicals – there’s no effort involved with stopping at McDonalds; picking up a pizza; or boiling water for pasta.  However, this ease of eating pure crap HAS LED TO 70% OVERWEIGHT AND SICK, WITH NUMBERS EXPECTED TO CLIMB.  There’s a common sense element I’m talking about here, right?

Here’s the next email this reader sent me:  “ I have done IIFYM with good weight loss results while eating junk! What I am wondering is if it would be good to do the same macros but not eat the junk and grains.”

No!  That’s just counting calories and percentages, hoping for the magic weight loss formula.  I’m telling you, ditching grains, sugars, and chemical processed foods will take off your weight without the stress of dieting.  As a matter of fact, you can ADD MORE FAT, feel genuinely full, become healthier, and LOOSE WEIGHT.

Here’s her last email ****** LOVE IT!! ******: “Also, just wanted to mention that the reason I stopped doing iifym despite some weight loss was because it was taking up too much space in my head to count macros. I guess I don’t really want to do it again when I think about why I stopped!” 

Exactly!  Diets Make You Crazy and Obsessed and Compulsive about food, eating, restricting, and compensating; and it’s disturbingly Self Perpetuating.  The Diet Craziness just begets more Diet Craziness. Eating Real Whole Food ELIMINATES THAT.

I’m living proof, my husband is living proof, my kids are living proof, there’s so many examples in the Real Whole Food/Paleo/Primal Community who are living proof that this way of life makes you lean and healthy, without the Diet Craziness.

The best part?  You can start today, because this starts with your Mind.  Honest.  The Food isn’t nearly as big a problem as your Mind is.  Remember that the Brain wants to avoid stress, it wants what’s comfortable and familiar.  The Brain doesn’t guide us according to what’s best for us long term.

Thank Goodness the Brain can be Changed.  Your thought patterns, your habits, your “familiars”, they can be changed.  I thought I was so addicted to pizza, ice cream, and protein bars that I would NEVER be able to live without them.  Now, I don’t even eat the “paleo versions” anymore.  I’m OVER IT.  You Can Be Too.

Focus on becoming a Normal, Healthy, Real Whole Food Eater.  Not a Dieter.  Not someone hoping for a gimmick that takes off 10 pounds in 10 days.  Use your common sense; or use Google!  Google: Diets Don’t Work, or Weight Regain After A Diet.  You’ll get MILLIONS and MILLIONS of studies, articles, and posts substantiating those facts.

If you struggle with how to begin, how to change, how to have a life that involves cooking and packing w/o stress, get in touch with me.  It’s all about planning, and sticking to the plan.  Pretty soon, there’s no effort, instead, it’s a habit.  When our life is about habits, stress is gone.  Eating Real Whole Foods means hunger is gone too.

No Stress, No Hunger, a body you’ve always wanted, being a Normal Eater, doesn’t this sound good?

My Exercise Week, and Food Pics

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI get a lot of questions about what I eat, and what my favorite workouts are, so here’s my 2 cents.

I really, truly do stick to a Real Whole Food plan that completely eliminates breads, pastas, crackers, cookies, chips and anything else that’s made with grains, sugar, and chemicals.  That means all grains, including “healthy whole grains”, which I think is a contradiction in terms.  I don’t believe any “whole grains” are healthy for most Americans at this point.  We’re all too metabolically damaged.

I’ve been on this path/journey for years now, and have pretty successfully converted my kids and husband over from the Dark Side.  My youngest (17) is still slightly resistant, but…. she’s been drinking Green Smoothies with basil and lemon balm from my garden most mornings for the past couple weeks, she eats more vegetables than ever, and she’s made some great comments about the SAD (standard american diet) diets that she’s seen some little kids eating lately- and it causes her concern! Yes!  I do eventually get in their heads.

Moms, quiet persistence and consistent role modeling wins every time.  Stay strong.

I’ve been a Packer for all my life, and I’ve trained my kids to be Packers, of both our food and drinks.  Have you ever noticed that stopping at a a gas station/convenience store for a drink can lead to impulsively bad food choices?  Set yourself up to succeed, bring your drinks with you when you’re on the road.

Here’s a couple of recent meals:

eggsThis is eggs, avocados, spinach, and leeks cooked in probably 4 tablespoons of good butter.  I’ve been using a LOT more fat since I got back from the Low Carb Cruise, a lot more.  The more I learn about fat, the more I realize how critical it is to our optimal functioning and health.  FAT DOESN’T MAKE US FAT – GRAINS, SUGARS, AND CHEMICALS DO.  I haven’t gained a pound with all the extra butter, coconut oil/butter, and olive oil I’ve been adding either.

This next picture is my new OBSESSION:  slowchickenskin cooked Chicken Fat.  OMG.  This is honestly one of the most delicious foods I’ve ever eaten.  In. My. Life.  Here’s what I do:  I only buy chicken with bone-in, skin-on ( the minerals and nutrients from the bones and joints leach into the meat, and the skin, which has serious anti-microbial properties, keeps the chicken super moist).  After it’s baked, I remove the fat, eat the chicken, and then put the fat back in the oven at 170 for 24 hours.  If you try this, prepare to cry.  Honestly, I’ve never tasted anything so delicious.  And it’s HEALTHY because fat is healthy; make sure you salt and pepper it before the slow cook.

lunchmondayLast, here’s a packed lunch:  chicken ( always cook extra!)  avocado, and Annie’s seaweed snacks ( it’s just dried seaweed – salty and delicious and full of Iodine).  I always pack my lunches when I’m cleaning up after dinner.

Next, the exercise question.  In addition to being a Nutritional Therapist, I’m a Group Ex Instructor and Personal Trainer.   I work out – a lot.  I always have.  I’m fit, I’m very used to a high level of performance and exertion, and it’s very normal and stress relieving for me.  I taught and trained through 4 pregnancies, 4 babies, 4 teenagers ( that was the hardest), and all the ups and downs of life.  I rarely ever take more than one day off a week.   That said, if EXERCISE IS STRESSFUL FOR YOU, FOR WHATEVER REASON,  you’ll need to approach it differently than I do. Walking and yoga are more than enough exercise to stay healthy.  What’s my normal week look like?  I teach a couple Boot Camp classes, and a couple yoga classes; I take Bikram once a week; I lift 4 times a week, heavy and/or hard; I walk and do yoga with a couple PT clients and friends and I do at least one plain old cardio session each week on a machine (reading time).  I’ve really cut back in the past few years the hours that I exercise per week.  One, I’m doing more nutrition counseling and less personal training, and two, I’ve become convinced that overtraining leads to inflammation, no matter how fit you are.

I use a lot of supplements too, but that’s a whole different Post:)

So that’s me!  I’m always on the look out for information and motivation to stick to the Path and improve the Path.  If I were to describe my diet for the past 27 years of adulthood, I’d be describing pretty different eating patterns every year as I’ve morphed from “Healthy Means Skinny”,  to “Healthy Means Great Cell Repair and Turnover, and Low Levels of Inflammation”.    The more I learn, the more I learn I have a lot to learn!  Who knows what I’ll be eating 5 years from now.  I never thought I’d be loving liver, chicken fat,  and green smoothies, but I do.

Our health, our energy, it’s really truly in Our Hands.  Everything we eat has either a negative or positive consequence.  Make the time to invest in your health, and the health of your family.  What’s that old saying?  You can either invest in your Health NOW, or you’ll be investing in your Illness LATER.


Reader Question, and What Causes Food Addiction


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Mark and I had some pictures done, and we got Air-Brushed!  I LOVE being airbrushed!  Can it follow me around everywhere?

I’ve got a great Reader Question here that I think many people will relate too.  She wants a plan to “get her back on track”  ( I’ve cut and pasted so we can just get to the meat of the matter).

Hi Debbie,

I’ve been reading your blog and have learned so much from you.  I’m trying to cut out the sugar, and cut back on what you call “the grains” too.  It’s hard.  I run, and on my running days I do better when I have some healthy cereal, like Kashi.  But I’ve realized my running days are also my hungriest days, and I eat things I shouldn’t.  My husband thinks I need to eat more carbs like whole wheat spaghetti, and that I’m starving myself.  After reading what you say, I’m not sure if he’s right or not.  

More than anything, I want to lose 20 pounds.  I’m a good runner, I usually place in my age group, but I don’t look like a runner at all.  Now it’s summer, and I’m still in the same place I was when I started reading your blog and following your advice.  I think I need a food plan to get me on track. Can you help me?

I really appreciate this lady’s honesty, because I know she speaks for many.  Yes, I can help, but when there’s an addiction, and there often is with processed carbohydrates, it really comes down to us HAVING A REASON TO STOP, THEN MAKING A PLAN, AND STICKING TO THE PLAN BECAUSE YOU BELIEVE IN THE REASONS.

Our actions stem from our beliefs.

I know I’ve written about this before, but do you all remember me telling you that several years ago, in the midst of my Carb Addiction and Binges, I joined an on-line Binge Eating group?  I was only on it ONCE.  When I read comments from women in their 60s and 70s who have been in full blown binge/purge modes for decades…… that had a HUGE effect on me.  I decided right then and there, that wasn’t going to be me. I wasn’t going to waste any more years of my life eating crap and then regretting it.  What a waste of mental space and precious time; and the physical damage that happens from those binges is dangerous.  What happens when you try to restrict your sugars and grains to just once or twice a day?   Just like with drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes, you can’t “limit” your processed carbs; it won’t work.  You have to “eliminate” them to break the addiction.  And going “gluten free” and eating “gluten free carb products” doesn’t work either.  Those addictions centers are still being triggered.  It’s sad, I know.

Let me tackle a few more issues in this email.  One, “I’m a runner, so I need cereal.” No. You. Don’t.  You don’t.  I’m living proof that anyone who works out – a lot – doesn’t need sugar and grains to fuel their workouts, or build and maintain muscle, for that matter.  Do you need carbs in the form of vegetables and some fruits, for energy?  Yes, but if you need to lose weight, you’re going to need to watch the fruits, and make sure that heavy, starchy vegetables, like potatoes, are used WISELY.  That would be individual, and she and I will talk about that.  There’s a method…

Besides, processed carbs – and yes, Kashi is a processed carb, 100%, – break down so quickly, compared to protein and fat, that you’re hungry again very quickly!!  Why? Processed carbs from grains and sugar SPIKE HUNGER;  they don’t quench hunger, it’s a hormone thing.  Sugar and wheat trigger opioid, or pleasure centers, in the brain.  The Gliadin Proteins in wheat specifically stimulate appetite, always.  Insulin resistance, Leptin resistance, the natural controls put in place to regulate our appetite?  Ruined by processed carbs. That’s why it’s so easy to over eat them.  When was the last time you overate beef or chicken?

Next, of course her running days are her hungry days; long endurance workouts always make you hungry. That’s one of the reasons why short “burst” workouts are better for you.

Let’s talk about running.

Many people run because they absolutely Love Love Love to run, they get a high from it, they use it to clear their head, it makes them feel great.   Many other people run to lose weight, or to try and keep weight off.  That’s very different from the first reason, there’s a lot of cortisol and stress associated with running as a weight loss tool.  Let me be real clear:  neither running, nor ANY exercise, helps you lose weight or keep weight off.  I’ve worked in a gym for 27 years, there’s plenty of overweight members who exercise regularly.  I’ve done at least 100 races in my life.  Seven of those races were half-marathons; have you ever been to one?  In the front holding pens, you’ll see all the sleek, skinny, super fast runners; in the hind pens, you’ll see the un-sleek, un-skinny runners, and there’s plenty.  A lot of them are fast too!  ( I was always in a way way back rear pen – I’m not super sleek or fast! I’m just consistent.)

My point: you don’t have to be skinny to be a good runner, and conversely, running doesn’t make you skinny.  Our body is meant to move and exert energy.  If people from my classes are reading this, what’s one of my favorite lines at the end of a class?

YOU DON’T DESERVE A TREAT AFTER THIS.  IT’S JUST EXERCISE.  WE’RE SUPPOSED TO DO IT.  Somehow, completing an exercise session has become another reason to celebrate ourselves.

Last, I want to address the “get back on track” thinking.  If I had a dime for every time I heard this, I’d be rich.

If you fell off track in the first place, that’s proof that you eat according to calories, not health.  As long as you believe Calories In/Calories Out, you’re doomed to “falling off track”.  One, those carbs stimulate and trigger appetites and hormones so strongly, that as long as you’re putting them in your mouth, the addiction continues.  Two, if you fall off track, and eat the grains and sugars with the thought that you’ll redeem yourself starting tomorrow/Sunday/the 1st, you’re just perpetuating the cycle in the deepest neural habit centers of your brain.

Remember a while ago I went to that Behavior lecture, and learned that the Brain Doesn’t Want To Do What’s Best For Us, THE BRAIN WANTS US TO DO WHAT’S EASIEST FOR US.   

If we want to be successful, we have to Set Ourselves Up For Success.  This means we have to have a REASON for sticking to our plans!  My reasons?  I think sugars and grains are killers!  Honestly!  I think Fats and Proteins and tons of Vegetables make my cells healthy, make my skin good, give me great energy, and keep my immune system strong.  I believe this stuff, because I’ve invested time and effort learning it and drilling it into my brain.

If you’re struggling, you need that brain drilling too.  Build a little time into every day to either read a book or listen to a podcast that helps solidify healthy thinking and healthy behaviors.  It’s always about our day to day actions, right?  Our actions stem from our beliefs.  Create a belief system that allows you to feel and look at great as possible, and never stop working on it!

Here’s a few suggestions:  my blog:);  the podcasts at www.livinlavidalowcarb, and the podcasts at www.undergroundwellness.  Want a great book suggestion?  Read Wheat Belly.  He lays out the science against grains that’s impossible to argue with.    And as always, eat Real Whole Food.