Archive for Uncategorized

Does a Fast Food Meal Here and There Hurt? Habits Are Everything!

Yea!  It appears my blog is fixed!  Thank you so much Sarah Albright of Web Designs by Sarah Albright:) She figured out a pretty big problem for me and I really, really appreciate it!

I’ve had some great questions this week from busy people about eating on the run.  (really, who’s not busy??)  I relate to this.  Work, kids, driving, that’s Real Life, right?   This is an area of stress and anxiety that Big Food has (successfully) spent a lot of time and money on.  Some of the messages:  ” If it looks real, it’s good for you.”  and   “A fast food meal or two during this busy time can be incredibly time saving and helpful. No harm done and your kids will LOVE you for this! “.  It’s an incredibly effective strategy because the message LET’S YOU OFF THE HOOK FOR COOKING.  This has made us sick and fat, and created a generation of kids who take more medications than anyone could have ever imagined.

So how do we manage to eat Real Whole Food when we’ve got work/kids/clubs/appointments/traffic/pets/etc?  We Plan Plan Plan Plan, and then Plan; stick to the plan, and make the smartest choices possible when we HAVE to eat on the run.  Here’s some solutions, but first, please take a look at the ingredient lists for 2 of the most popular fast food items IN THE WORLD.   Look at those ingredients and ask yourself,  “how could this NOT cause harm??”


There’s 7 oils, all of which are either hydrogenated or Omega 6 (cancer/disease/inflammation), artificial color, preservatives, and ANTI-FOAMING AGENT ( what the heck?);  here’s the ingredients in the SALT:  silicoaluminate( also called ALUMINUM SODIUM), dextrose ( SUGAR), and potassium iodide .  Umm.  That’s not really salt.

KFC boneless




Extra Crispy™ Boneless Chicken – White Meat
Skinless White Chicken Pieces, Potassium and Sodium Phosphates, Salt, Seasoning (Potassium Chloride, Rice Flour), Monosodium
Glutamate. Breaded With: Wheat Flour, Salt, Spices, Monosodium Glutamate, Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate), Garlic Powder,
Natural Flavorings, Citric Acid, Maltodextrin, Sugar, Corn Syrup Solids, With Not More Than 2% Calcium Silicate Added as an Anti
Caking Agent.
Contains Wheat.

Gross.  Two sources of MSG, sugar, phosphates (good bye bone and kidneys), and “anti-caking agents”.  Don’t let yourself be fooled into thinking that a little bit of this can’t cause damage, because it can.

Want a Plan?  Sit down on Sunday with your schedule in front of you, note everything that both you and your kids have to do.  Plan accordingly.  When can you power cook batches of food?  When can you shop/chop/prep/baggy and freeze?  When do you need to pack for yourself, and your kids?  What needs to go on the grocery list so that happens? Are there evenings with multiple practices in a row that necessitate you stopping somewhere?  At least make it one of the less offensive Fast Foods, like Chipolte or Panera.  These meals aren’t even close to making Real Whole Food at home;  there’s always going to be a degree of Chemicals, Flour and Sugar that are unavoidable when eating out.  So just think of these as Emergency Options.  ( Kind of like my “Emergency Bras“, which is when I forget to pack a bra for after my gym shower, and need to immediately consult or train someone.  When this happens, I head to Walmart for a $10.00 Emergency Bra and put it on in the car.) ( I just realized I’m much more likely to forget to pack a bra or underwear than to ever forget to pack a lunch and water bottles!)

About the Emergency Options:  emergency’s don’t happen every day.  Things that happen every day are HABITS.  There really aren’t that many emergency’s in most of our lives, percentage-wise.  Really, there’s very few surprises day to day, and I’m a working mom of 4, one of whom’s an Epileptic who surprised us a few times a month:  “Surprise, I’m about to have a seizure.  The day needs to change right now.”    95% of our days STILL aren’t a surprise with even that scenario.  *** ( to my friends whose children have issues much, much, worse than mine, your days do contain more surprises; focus on your health and energy as much as you can.)

Worried because living life by the seat of your pants is your norm?  You were brought up that way or have nurtured those habits for years?  Just because you’re an adult and haven’t established these Planning Habits yet, doesn’t mean you can’t.  You can.  Everyone can Create and Establish Good Habits.  Initially, this’ll cause some stress, because we’re forcing ourselves to take actions that are better for us in the LONG TERM than the SHORT TERM.  The other day I was at a lecture called “Solutions for The Overactive Brain”, the neurologist giving the talk said that our BRAIN DOESN’T WANT TO DO WHAT’S BEST FOR US, IT WANTS TO DO WHAT’S EASIEST FOR US.  Wow.  I can’t stop thinking about that.

The stress we feel when we commit to living our life according to what’s best LONG TERM depends on HOW MUCH PRACTICE WE’VE HAD DOING THAT.  Parents!!  It’s really important that we teach our kids boundaries and self control. Apparently, those skills are muscles in the brain, and they’re stronger with use.  However, just like any muscle, they can be built any time with focus and effort.

One last tip for eating on the run:  it doesn’t have to be special or delicious, it just needs to supply nutrients.  Turkey/cheese roll ups, bags of nuts, fruit and nut butters, hard boiled eggs, chunks of cheese and fruit, celery and pb and raisins, leftovers in a tupperware, heat up a good sausage or one of the new hotdogs that aren’t full of disgusting ingredients.  Tell your kids that you’re packing because eating out is too expensive.  When I said, ” We don’t have the money to eat out”  that was rarely met with resistance.  If I  said “pack your dinner for after soccer because after that so and so has gymnastics and we’re not stopping at McDonalds because it’s gross”, now that was met with resistance (whining, begging, arguing).   (ps – Macy, you’re not really just “so and so ” to me, you’re much more than that honey.)

A long term result?  I have 4 kids who hate fast food, and are great about throwing little baggies in their back packs for long days.  They also pack their own water bottles.  It’s a habit they were trained in, and it’s never too late to develop habits.

What have I been eating lately?  Here’s a smoothie, a lunch salad, and a dinner:

Smoothie: Raw Keifer/blueberries/carob/stevia/avocado/spinach/raw egg/cinnamon/ginger/rose hips/hemp seeds, topped with coconut

breakfast smoothie and waters






Packed Salad for Car Lunch:  greens/broccoli sprouts/whole shredded beet and carrot/salmon/gouda/walnut oil and balsamic

salmon salad






Dinner:  brussels/onion/leeks/garlic/cabbage/bacon/lots of butter, herbs, and salt – this freezes and re-heats GREAT, and tastes good cold!

brussels bacon






I get asked for recipes often.  I NEVER use a recipe.  Half the time I use my hand to measure the spices and herbs.  Real Whole Food tastes delicious so you can’t go wrong with it.  If cooking is stressful, start with recipe books or sites, build up your skills and confidence, and go from there.  Start simple!  Don’t make recipes with 17 ingredients because your stress ( and cortisol) will go through the roof ( hello belly fat!).  Set up a podcast, or TV, or talk on the phone with an ear piece (not wireless – those EMFs are horrible for us!), because multi-tasking does work sometimes:)  You can do this! You can become healthier, thinner, and more energetic, and you can instill good habits in your kids.  We have Power, we just need to use it!


Food: The Good (my Green Smoothie), The Bad(Balance Bar), and The Ugly(Quaker Oats Bar)

I met with a nutrition client this week and our main discussion was gut issues, as in, she has Major Bloat every day, has for years, and it’s affecting her life.  Not a surprise, Bloat is epidemic;  these outward symptoms ( bloat, skin problems, heart burn, allergies, etc) are SIGNALS from our body that “all is not well” inside.  Everyone, listen to your body when it talks to you – seriously, it’s important.

The average disease, from cancer to diabetes to heart disease to an auto-immune condition, takes about 20 years to manifest.  Usually, those 20 years are spent taking either OTC medications to suppress the symptoms, or prescribed medications to suppress the symptoms.  Taking medications for your symptoms allows the REASON for the symptoms to continue on quietly, plus, you get to accumulate all those medication side effects ( for example, Tylenol – #1 cause of liver failure in the US)  Don’t let that be you; the temptation to quickly suppress symptoms so you can continue unbothered is very strong, but the end result of that is never good.

Back to Tina.  This case was easy, she’s a new client, just diving into Real Whole Foods, and she eats a lot of “bars”.  Oh, the lure of the Bar…..  I’ve been there.  Sometimes I still miss my bars…. even though they made my stomach bloat to about a 5 / 6 month pregnant roundness every afternoon.  Actually, that was the bars plus the whole box of Kashi I used to eat in 2 days.  In addition to the Bloat, was excessive farting – which never happens any more Thank God!  ( my family Thanks God too.)

I keep digressing, bars bars bars.  Bars have an undeserved healthy reputation, after all, the weight lifting/fitness industry created them.  Zero Carbs, or Zero Fat, Tastes Like A Snickers!!!!  What’s not to love?  The ingredients – pure poison!

Here’s some of the ingredients for a Carmel Nut Blast Balance Bar: soy protein isolate, fructose, glucose syrup, sugar,fractionated palm kernel oil, maltodextrin, soy lecithin, carrageenan,  artificial colors, artificial flavors, glycerine, soybean oil, and dextrose.  After that there’s a whole slew of synthetic vitamins made in China.  Sound like a solid food for building a healthy body? Not.  Something to pack in your kid’s lunch box so that their brain will focus well?  This is “anti-brain function” food!

What about the Doctors Carb Rite Bar, it has the word Doctors in it, so maybe it’s good?  Nope.  Here’s some of the ingredients:  isolated soy protein, maltitol ( several times), sugar free white coating, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, maltitol syrup, polydextrose, lecithin, natural flavors, and glycerine.  Bring on the Bloat.

Let me finish with Quaker Oats Granola Bites, Chocolate Flavor: WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS, WHOLE GRAIN PUFFED CEREAL (WHOLE GRAIN WHITE CORN, WHOLE GRAIN OAT FLOUR, WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, WHOLE GRAIN BROWN RICE FLOUR, SUGAR, CALCIUM CARBONATE, SALT, BHT [A PRESERVATIVE]), SUGAR, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED PALM KERNEL AND PALM OIL*, NONFAT DRY MILK, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, POLYDEXTROSE, SOYBEAN OIL, DRIED WHOLE MILK, SOY LECITHIN, COCOA, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, MOLASSES, HONEY, SODIUM BICARBONATE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS.   This is gross, just like the first two.  They’re all candy bars loaded with artificial and real sugars, grains, and chemicals.  I made this the “ugly” bar because it’s so obviously marketed to kids, so this isn’t just a “diet” gimmick, this bar is supposed to make you believe it tastes like candy but actually has health benefits for your child; in other words, feel good about letting them eat this.  Oh please.

They’re all created in labs by brilliant food scientists who want to addict us, and advertised by brilliant marketing executives who know how to appeal to us.  These fake foods will always cause harm and disease for our body, always.

What to do?  Eat Real Whole Foods.  Need something fast for your kids?  Buy nuts, dried fruit, and dark chocolate chips in the bulk bins and throw together your own mixes.  Make a big batch of homemade cookies or bars, cut up, baggy up, and freeze. Fruit/celery and nut butters; meat and cheese. ( It’s not complicated, just a different way of thinking.) Are there any good bars on the shelves?  Oh yeah! Read the labels and find ingredient lists that contain ONLY Real Whole Foods, like nuts and seeds. If there’s words you can’t pronounce, don’t buy it.  Plan, shop, cook, and pack.  You can do this, honest.

smoothie411On a different note, I get asked about my morning smoothies a lot, so I’m going to post them for the next couple of weeks.  Here’s this mornings:   Raw Milk Keifer, chia seeds, frozen avocado, frozen banana, frozen chard/dandelion greens, carob powder, raw egg, gelatin ( Great Lakes brand), spirulina, ginger, nutmeg, and coconut flakes, and *** something new I just learned last night is great for the liver:  carrot seed oil!!   Have I told you I’m really into Essential Oils?  I’ve been using the Carrot Seed Oil ( along with several others) on my face…wrinkle prevention.  This morning, it’s in our smoothies.

Hey, don’t forget, guest post by Mark coming this Sunday.  He’s turning 50 on Saturday, and he’s promised me he’d write a post on how to stay fit, energetic, and full of Testosterone despite 80 hour work weeks and long commutes.  And being old enough to get an AARP card!

Success Story: Conquer Your Blood Sugar and Your Food Addictions

dominos energy liftYou’re going to love today’s Success Story.  Aida has been working with me since last Fall, and so far, she’s lost more than 30 pounds ( so has her husband ). She’s also reduced and eliminated several medications, become a regular “packer” and
“cooker”, and broken her food addiction.  Really broken, as in, it’s amazing.  Thank goodness she listened to her “fear”.  Too many people AREN’T afraid of the state of their health, they think their prescription drugs actually make them well.  They don’t.

If you’re on meds, say like, BP pills, statins, mood meds, migraine/headache pills, pain pills, stomach pills, etc, you’re got  problems.  These medications aren’t making you better, they’re suppressing and managing your symptoms;  the CAUSE of the symptoms is still there and still doing damage. If you want to get healthy, you have to (1) eat for health (2) figure out the root cause of the symptoms and address that (lifestyle changes).

Aida’s a Type 2 Diabetic; diabetes 2 is a LIFESTYLE disease.  It can be reversed lucky strikethrough lifestyle changes.  Insulin and blood sugar rise and fall according to our food choices, exercise/activity, and stress management. No One has diabetes because they’re deficient in diabetes drugs.  Did you know that by 2020, the CDC predicts that 50% of the US will be diabetic, and that it will cost 3.35 TRILLION dollars to “manage” it.  Not CURE it, or REVERSE it, but MANAGE it.  No health care system EVER could afford that.  EVER.

What about Food Addiction, because this is HUGE.  I know I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: if you’re trying to get healthy/lose weight with Low Fat, No Fat foods, or Diet Processed Foods, you’re just feeding and nurturing your addiction and furthering your inflammatory state.   You’ve got to ditch Grains, Sugar, Chemicals, and Hydrogenated Oils, and you’ve got to focus on a diet full of healthy fats, good proteins, TONS of vegetables, some fruits, some nuts and seeds, some dairy if you can tolerate it.  Grains, sugars, and chemicals stimulate the Addictive Areas of Your Brain.  Always.

Think you can’t live without your Cereal, your Bread, Your Beer or Wine (liquid donuts)?  You can.  Lot’s of people break their addictions, why couldn’t you?

7UPMoms and Dads, are you raising future Diabetics, or future Food Addicts? If you’re raising your kids on a diet of pop tarts, cereals, sandwiches, pizza, and junk food, rest assured, you are.  And it will happen to them far quicker than it happened to your generation.  No One can eat those foods without accumulating damage.  No One.

Take control of your thoughts, instead of nurturing your addictions, nurture positive habits and attitudes about food, yourself, and exercising. Forget everything Big Food, Big Pharma, and our government has told you about Healthy Whole Grains.  All carbohydrates are broken down to single cell sugars in our gut; that means ALL CARBS BECOME EITHER GLUCOSE OR FRUCTOSE.  ALL OF THEM. High blood glucose and fructose levels and high insulin create an inflammatory state, and inflammation’s the cause of EVERY DISEASE OUT THERE.  You can change yourself.  Honest.  You can be an inspiration and example for your children.  You can feel energetic and well; you can be a healthy weight, start with Real Whole Food.

Here’s Aida’s story:

Last fall, I was scared. I was tired. I was frustrated.

I had let my health go unchecked, even though I knew better, and was on a lot of medications.  I had let my appetites go unchecked, knowing that it was hurting my body, but I was addicted.  Now, my doctors were getting really serious with me, and it made me scared. They kept adding more and more medications.  I had to do something, but I felt as if I had tried everything before and failed. Why try it again to just fail again?  When I tried to do what the doctors told me to do, it seemed as if I never improved, and sometimes got worse.  I was also seeing my husband’s health getting worse as well.  We didn’t want to do another weight loss diet. We needed to get healthy.  We wanted to get healthy.

Someone suggested I look at this website, and enter Debbie! Debbie sat us down together and began teaching us.  This is the first time I had heard most of the information she was sharing.  Her plan for us began with just eat real whole foods!  Our health would begin with what we put in our mouths, and our attitudes towards our foods.  Stop wheat and other grains – which we had done before and were somewhat successful with.  We knew we could do that.  Stop sugars, including most artificial sweeteners,  which would be tougher, because I was addicted.

We listened to what she had to say and began implementing this new approach and were shocked that almost immediately we saw improvement in our health.  Hunger went away.  Cravings went away.   For me, my blood sugars normalized within days!  I began to look forward to my next round of doctors, just to make sure that this new way of life was really working.  And it was!  All my “numbers” showed improvement within a couple of months, and have continued to improve with each doctor visit.  I have been taken off some of the medications.

Through monthly meetings and daily emails, Debbie has continued to teach and encourage.  She has helped me understand what makes me personally healthy. She has helped me with my food addictions. My husband’s health also reflects the changes we have made.

Now, I am looking forward to this spring, with clarity, with energy, and healthier (and lighter) than I have been in over 30 years!

Aida M. Kling



Want To Lose Weight? It’s Simple, Honest. & Another Success Story – Use It For Inspiration.

jigglemacineI was checking out at the grocery store the other night and the lady behind me, who had a few pounds to lose, was unloading her items onto the conveyor belt.  She had a cart full of Diet Products: diet bread, diet soda, diet ice cream, diet frozen meals, diet cookies, diet cheese.  She looked at me and said,” time to do this again because I’ve gained so much weight with this snowy winter”.  I wish I could have said something, but that would have been rude.  She was a stranger. I save unsolicited advice for my kids and husband, (who appreciate it tons and hang on my every word).

Just an hour earlier, I’d wrapped up a nutritional consult with someone who’s under a tremendous amount of stress (seriously, if there were a competition, she’d win.  I don’t know how she does it.)  She comes from a heritage and country where rice and noodles are common and normal. (sounds like America, but it’s not.) She’s lived here several years and feeds her family traditionally.  She and I have met before about her weight and her willpower, and my advice is the same now as it was then.

To both ladies, and everyone out there trying to lose weight:  Traditional dieting,fat banished w tapeworms where you cut calories and fat, and maybe use Diet Products, is PROVEN to MAKE YOU GAIN WEIGHT.  PROVEN, in study after study.  You might lose a few pounds or several initially, but if you lost the weight DIETING, you’ll gain it back.  Unfortunately, the havoc you wreck with your hormones (thyroid, estrogen, neurotransmitters, insulin, cortisol) and your liver, will slow your metabolism and create signals in your brain that are focused on GAINING weight in case the starvation situation happens again.  

Let me repeat:  If you’re eating products like pasta and bread, or any sort of Diet Product, you’re putting substances in your body that make you GAIN WEIGHT and cause disease.  Also, those foods are addictive.  “Moderation” doesn’t work with these foods.  As long as you’re eating flours, sugars, and chemicals, you’re nurturing the addictive areas of your brain.  If you want to lose weight you’ll have to Ditch Those Foods Forever.  Scary?  I know.  And sad too.  Trust me though, once you’re free, you’re FREE. You won’t miss them once the addiction is gone; as a matter of fact, fake foods and processed foods will taste horrible once you switch to Real Whole Foods.

Here’s the amazing thing:  we’re all smart people.  In most of life, if we try something and it doesn’t work, we move on.  That’s normal.   That doesn’t happen with Dieting.  It’s NEVER worked. Ever. In all these years.   I’ve counseled people now who’ve literally done more than 20 attempts at losing weight through several different and some repeat Diet Methods.  There’s some initial weight loss, regain, additional gain, and eventually, NO WEIGHT LOSS AT ALL using methods that previously worked.  And yet, there’s this odd willingness to keep trying the same old thing over and over and over.  What’s the definition of Insanity?  Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Listen to what your body is telling you:  Flour, Sugar, and Diet Products make your mind and body sick.  You’ll never lose weight permanently, feel energetic, and be healthy as long as that’s your paradigm.  Ever.  If you read this and you think, “no way can I give up my cereal/crackers/wine/girlscoutcookies etc, know this: your addiction centers are calling your shots.

You can quit, you can change, you can lose weight and feel great, but ONLY on Real Whole Foods.  Really, google “keep weight off after dieting” and read the depressing headlines that pop up.  If you’re struggling, get in touch with me.  People with the same addictions to food that you have have successfully changed their life because they developed HABITS and ATTITUDES about their health and their food that makes their body happy and calm, as opposed to the stress and anxiety of Dieting.

Here’s that Success Story, use it for strength.  Cindi is a single mom with a more-than-full-time job and 2 boys who play lacrosse every day up and down the East Coast.  She’s busy, and she’s managed to make Real Whole Food work for her and her sons.  ( No, she doesn’t have a cook.)  It’s just an attitude, a lifestyle pattern, remember that other quote I love: It’s just an effort until it’s a habit.

I am a 54 year old mother of two teenage, very active boys.  I am the Program Execution Director for a large business unit of a major defense contractor.  I commute roughly four hours each day and have a demanding job while at work.   I am active and energetic and am used to feeling good most of the time.  I have suffered from periodic migraines for many years along with annual bouts with colds, bronchitis and allergies.  Overall, I felt pretty healthy and other than my migraines, I viewed the colds, etc as somewhat routine.  I love to cook and make many of our meals but we eat out often or I turned to convenient meal options at home (tacos with taco seasoning mix, recipes including packaged ingredients, lunch meats) due to my hectic work and my boys’ hectic lacrosse schedules with year round games and tournaments.  Over the last year or so, I began feeling increasingly achy, particularly in my knees and joints.  I also was unable to shed the extra 10 pounds that I had gained over the last couple of years despite following multiple regimens (very, very frustrating and demoralizing!).  I was tested for arthritis and went to the orthopedist as well for a knee check…..nothing abnormal.  I continued to exercise regularly by walking, lifting weights, doing yoga and ballet barre work but always felt very stiff even after yoga stretching and ballet.  Given that there are so many variables to how a person feels, along with the marching of time, I just assumed I felt bad because I was getting older and had a stressful life.

I have known Debbie Abbott for over 9 years and have trained with her regularly throughout this period.  She is extraordinarily positive, compassionate, educated, and interested in learning and teaching friends and clients about nutrition and health in a non-judgmental, kind manner.    I value immensely my time with Debbie as I always feel good after being with her.  I mentioned how I was feeling to Debbie during a training session and she suggested I do a nutritional analysis.  I completed the paperwork.  Debbie also suggested a simple 10 day detox that consisted of organ supportive supplements and easy-on-the-liver-and-organs organic whole foods such as a fruits and vegetables, homemade broth, lean protein AND NO CARBS other than those from fruits and vegetables.  Debbie was very supportive leading up to and during my detox, offering to gather the foods that I needed and bringing over homemade bone broth to kick start the process.   I have to admit that I did not have very high expectations for this 10 day period as it just didn’t seem like I was doing that much that was different from my regular eating routine.  Boy, was I wrong.  I got on the scale routinely during the 10 day period and the number was going down almost every day.  At the end of the detox period, my weight had dropped almost 10 pounds and my general feeling of achiness was subsiding.  I did another 10 day detox.  After the 20-day period, I had dropped 14 pounds and my knees and joints felt much, much better.  It was as though my system had been clogged and my revised diet and supplement regimen had freed the clog to enable my body to function normally again!  I went through the detailed nutritional analysis with Debbie after the detox and she recommended specific supplements and enzymes for me to correct what appeared to be a general inflammatory condition that had probably developed over years.  I have now been taking the supplements and eating (for the most part) a sensible whole foods diet with very few carbs for over 15 months.  I do not place limits on any real foods, including the use of butter and nuts.  My weight has remained stable within a pound or two over the 15 months and overall I feel very good.  I have not had a migraine in 15 months which is remarkable as I was having one almost every month prior!  I have not had a cold or any digestive upsets in 15 months.  As a matter of fact, this is the first 15-month period since I was in middle school that I have not gotten bronchitis and had to go on antibiotics!  I am mindful of the things that I buy and eat by asking myself if the food will do anything for me and my boys nutritionally……..sounds like a little thing, but over time it works.

I am thrilled that I now have a sensible diet that is flexible with few restrictions.  I eat well and feel good almost every day.  I am thoroughly convinced that the marching of time is not a leading indicator for feeling bad and that what we eat is hugely important!  I am very grateful to Debbie for her insight, support, and nutritional guidance.  If you have the opportunity to work with her or interact with her, seize it!  You will be rewarded in many, many ways.  – Cindi Shelburne

Vitamin D affects Breast Cancer, Depression, and Immunity

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, that means it can’t be absorbed without adequate in the waterfat present.  It also can’t be absorbed well if you’ve got stomach troubles, you know, bloat, indigestion, excessive burping, trapped gas, etc.  (Stomach problems aren’t normal, no matter how much the Antacid Companies try to convince us otherwise; and antacids used more than 2 weeks do more harm than good.  But that’s a different post.)

Actually, Vitamin D is more Hormone than Vitamin, and it affects at least 3000 of our genes.  There’s a worldwide deficiency of Vitamin D, and despite supplementation, levels aren’t improving.  The best, most absorbable Vitamin D is made on your skin, from the interaction of Cholesterol and UVB sun rays.  During these winter months, when UVB rays are in short supply, and we’re not out very long anyway, it’s even more important to make the effort to get your D.

Here’s Dr. Mercola’s latest post, which also includes a link to the Vitamin D project, which I’m signing up for.

Take your health into your own hands. No one cares as much as you do, and no one else knows you as well as you do: your history, your stress levels, your habits, your life.  No one is sick because they’ve got a deficiency in a pharmaceutical, no one.   Just like no one is overweight because they’ve got a deficiency in a diet drug.  Read Dr. Mercola and let me know if you join the Project too!

Holiday Post from Culebra!

We’ve traveled to Culebra, Puerto Rico, to spend the holidays with our daughter Megan.  We’re having a great time, and doing our best to stay healthy:)  Here’s some pics and the story to go with them:

mark and milk


Mark brought our Raw Milk along!

We get to see our daughter Megan!

me and 3

Lunch on the beach:  coconut water, and then they bust them/machete them, and we eat the meat, and MOFONGO!!! OMG I’m in LOVE with Mofongo!  It’s mashed fried plaintains, salt, crispy pork rind, and tons of garlic mashed into a pestle and baked. Delicious.lunch on beach


chickens at restaurantThere’s chickens in the outdoor restaurants, and every where else on this island.  Including our porch. There’s a rooster that wakes us up every morning at 4 – and it’s pitch dark!

snorkelingGreat snorkeling!  The coral reefs come right up to the shore line.

dingydockDinner out at the Dingy Dock:  great fish and plantains:)

curry3We cooked two dinners so far, this one is a coconut milk curry – delicious!!  Our breakfasts are here too:  eggs, fruit, nuts, avocados.

surf at flamencoThe beaches are just beautiful!

Workouts:  hill runs, walking lunges, push-ups, long walks, and snorkeling!








What I Eat

debbie (22)I get asked – often – what I eat; I have a What I Eat Page, but I guess it’s not enough!  Here’s what I’ve eaten this week:

Smoothies every morning, since Monday.  You could call my smoothies, “Kitchen Sink Smoothies”, because I throw just about everything and anything in there.  My goal:  to get as many nutrients as possible.  I want the immune protection, the gut healing, the energy, the good skin, the satiety, muscle tissue repair, etc,  and I know all that comes from Food.  My gut breaks food down to it’s barest nutrients, which my body uses to remake every single cell.  Did you know that the average cell turnover in your body is 50 times????  Every cell in your body will die and reproduce a “daughter” cell an average of 50 times!  That’s a LOT of opportunity to improve your health, isn’t it.

I make sure to use a variety of vegetables, fruits, spices, and supplements in my smoothies everyday.  I also alternate my bases back and forth between Kombucha (fermented tea), Keifer, or Plain Old Soured Raw Milk or Raw Cream ( how do you think they made that stuff in the olden days before isolating fermenting bacteria?), and every now and then, plain water.  I want that good bacteria though and 90% of the time, that’s what I use as a base.  Fermented foods/beverages have TRILLIONSnancys yogurt more beneficial bacteria than pills.  They’re easy to make or easy to buy – sugary yogurts don’t count.   They’re not cultured very long, they have too many additives, and too much sugar.  It’s also almost impossible to find Full Fat – which is the ONLY dairy product you should consume.  Honestly.

I’m NOT a recipe girl.  I’m a: throw everything in the blender or the pot and see how it comes out girl.  (This doesn’t apply to baking, just cooking or smoothies.  Baking requires precision.)  If I like it, it goes in, if I don’t like it but I know it’s good for me, it goes in.  I’ve trained myself to not just eat palate pleasing foods.   Amazingly, my palate has adjusted to several of those foods and I’ve now come to LOVE :  liver, onions, garlic, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, avocados, really sour keifer, yogurt, and milk(you can ONLY do that with RAW),  brussels, blue cheese, and many other foods I didn’t grow up on.  It really doesn’t take long to “develop” a taste for something, it just takes effort and practice.

Here’s some common smoothie ingredients for me, I pick a few or several of these at a time:  kombucha/keifer/sour milk or cream (RAW ONLY !- pasteurized milk rots and would make you sick), a couple times a week protein powder, raw eggs, collagen, molassas, blueberries, cranberries, bananas, blackberries, strawberries, peaches/pears in season, avocados, coconut butter, coconut oil, coconut flakes, cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, stevia if using cocoa powder, frozen spinach, frozen kale, powdered greens, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger (powdered and whole form), and fish oil.    I rotate ingredients every day and mentally keep track of what I use.

nuts and seedsI ALWAYS have a smallish lunch:  leftover meat or fish, a fruit or vegetable; sometimes nuts and seeds; sometimes a coconut-chocolate mix, or a store bought dark chocolate piece.

Dinner’s usually on the big side for me:  meat and vegetables, sometimes cheese. I’m simple with dinner though:  baked chicken breast (bone in, skin on), baked fish, sausage (we make our own, half venison, half pork, almost 200 pounds every December!), burgers or meatballs(no buns!),  slow cooked/pulled roasts:   ANY/ALL vegetables (corn, potatoes, peas ,broccoli, brussels, squashes, eggplant, greens, – I don’t care if they’re starchy or not), and I LOVE “mixes”.  I use a lot of sea salt, pepper, and herbs/spices.  Two nights ago my dinner was brussels, roasted tomatoes, onions, and sausage in broth, with a big side of sweet potato cut up, coated in butter, and roasted.  Last night my dinner was a left over spaghetti squash with left over homemade roasted vegetable soup, and two paleo cookies my youngest made last weekend and I’d thrown in the freezer.  Sometimes I make paleo biscuits or muffins (they’re great to freeze and pull out for breakfast – which is my youngest daughter’s favorite thing).

Does this help?  Breakfast doesn’t have to be cereal and toast, lunch doesn’t have to be sandwiches, and dinner doesn’t have to be pasta/pizza/chicken nuggets.   It doesn’t have to be what I eat either!    Leftovers, eggs, sausage, bacon, soup, vegetables, nuts and seeds, they can all be breakfast and lunch foods.  If you’re really struggling with what to eat, try to focus on Real Whole Foods with fat and protein that keeps you full for hours.   Frozen waffles, bagels, english muffins,… they’re just drilled into your head fromthinking outside box years of commercials and advertising.  Change the way you think about food from a calorie/fat perspective to a nutrient perspective.  What are the foods you put into your mouth going to do for your cells?  your organs?  your brain? Or your kids cells, organs, and brain?

Real change, about anything, begins in the mind.  Make a plan.  Stick to the plan.  You can do this

Hop off the Diet Roller Coaster

debbie (43)I don’t know when you’ll be reading this, but I’m writing and posting it right before the weekend hits; it’s supposed to be Weekend Ammunition to Avoid Splurging/Bingeing/Blowing It.  I get a lot of emails about this, but I pull most of my understanding from my own years of weekend-blowing-it experience.  I’d plan my shopping and grocery list to include friday and saturday night treats, and day time treats; I couldn’t wait!  After a whole week of “dieting” / “being good”, I was starving!  Plus, it was a pattern I’d thoroughly established, and nurtured.

Now it’s different.  Now, I just eat well every single day.  My fairly high-fat, high-protein meals have definitely changed the way my brain works.  At 48, I have MORE energy, I’m LESS prone to food whims, and my recovery from workouts kind of amazes me; it’s fast. ( I’ve also added Systemic Enzymes to my supplement routine, which helps a lot.)

I’m finally feeding my body the nutrients it needs to build, repair, and thrive.  Those same nutrients allow my brain to focus on life instead of the next meal.  That’s the opposite of when I lived on high fiber cereal, skim milk, fat free yogurt and bagels, Diet Products, and salads.  Those are the food of death.  (dramatic I know,  but seriously, they’re processed foods loaded with simple carbohydrates, trans fats, and chemicals: the foods of death).

One of the questions I had this week in my Metabolism Class was “can I really lose weight eating high fat foods?”.  My answer:  YES.  Oh My Gosh Yes.  Foods that contain Real, Traditional Fats, i.e clean meats, coconut oils, butter from grass fed cows (Kerry Gold), olive oil, avocados, macadamia nut oil, etc, contain a ZILLION nutrients that make your body and brain run well.  Remember, our brain is 60% fat, our hormones are made from fat and cholesterol, the membrane of EVERY SINGLE CELL IN OUR BODY is made from fat and cholesterol, our bile acids are made from cholesterol, our immune system, our ability to absorb nutrients, these depend on fat and cholesterol.  Deprive your body of fat and cholesterol and see your health, mental and physical, take a nose dive.

Losing weight, feeling good; it’s not a matter of “low cal/low fat/exercise a ton”, it’s a matter of eat Real Whole Foods loaded with Nutrients, get your sleep, and handle your stress.  Hormones Rule; our hormones determine our weight, our moods, our health.  Diet lifestyles make for a horrible hormonal environment loaded with inflammation and one health problem after another.  Besides that, Diets Don’t Work:  studies show that almost 100% of EVERYONE who loses weight by dieting GAINS IT BACK.   Almost 100%.

I’ve got plenty of meals posted on my What I Eat page, but I still get asked about what I eat or why I eat certain foods.  Here’s yesterday’s meals:

Paul Newman Organic Vanilla Coffee w Raw Cream:  cream is LOADED with vit A/D/K, and healthy fats, and I think organic coffee’s a health food:)

B – Smoothie: chocolate whey protein (amino acids)/beets (good for my liver)/kale(loaded with nutrients)/cultured cream (beneficial bacteria plus more A/D/K, good fats like CLA)/blueberries(antioxidants)cinnamon/ginger(loaded with nutrients) water(can’t get enough) fish oil(Omega 3s-can’t taste this), collagen/gelatin (loaded with amino acids, glucosamine, chondroitin, msm: it’s from bones and joints/good stuff)

L- cod (left over from the night before, probably 4 oz, cooked in butter topped with rosemary, S&P),  coconut oil mixed with a little cocoa and stevia, and then frozen (the fats here are great for my brain and metabolism) All my lunches M-F I pack and eat in the car.

D – Mix: venison sausage/tomatoes/shitake mushrooms/onion/basil;  roasted sweet potatoes w/ butter, S&P

I alternate the whey in my morning smoothie with raw eggs (2) and cocoa/stevia.  Eggs are Nutrient Bombs, which when blended into a smoothie, raw, leaves all the nutrients in perfect condition;  you can’t taste the raw egg (you know, raw eggs are added to most homemade ice cream recipes, it just makes the mix “richer”). (ps: I get my eggs from a farm, not the store. I wouldn’t eat raw commercial eggs.)  I go back and forth between spinach and kale, and have even used  “green powders”.  I make sure I use one or two different spices and alternate between cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. When I’m on my period, I add Blackstrap Molassas for the Iron and minerals.   And of course, I use several different fruits, all frozen:  banana, blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, or strawberries. Sometimes I use Kombucha (fermented tea) or Keifer (cultured milk) instead of water – you can never get enough good bacteria!

So, after years of riding the Diet Crazy Train, I’ve hopped off.  Now I never count calories, or weigh my food;  I’m rarely EVER hungry between meals ( I love that!), I make Paleo treats and eat them without worrying.  I test my blood sugar to make sure it’s low/healthy, and I plan, shop, cook, and pack.  My stomach’s pretty flat, I don’t PMS, and I don’t castigate myself (anymore) for weekend binges that take 2 or 3 days to undue, because I don’t have weekend binges.  You can feel good too!  You can get off the diet roller coaster, be at a healthy weight, lower inflammation, strengthen your immune system, and have more level moods – HONEST.  Just eat Real Whole Foods: plenty of good fats and proteins, tons of vegetables, some fruit, some nuts and seeds, some whole dairy (if your stomach likes that).  You can change your health and your weight permanently.  I promise.

Salmonella, the Government Shut Down, and why You need MORE STOMACH ACID, not less.

debbie (44)Did anyone hear that’s there’s been a Salmonella outbreak since the Shut Down began?  Someone sent me an article that blamed it on a lack of inspections.  I’m placing the blame on Insufficient Stomach Acid. Let me explain, and bear with me.  Who reading this suffers with gas, bloat, stomach pain, reflux, and/or indigestion?  It’s pretty common.  Go to your doctor about it, or follow TV/Magazine Advertisement Advice, and you’ll likely think that an Antacid is your answer. After all, that pain must be from too much acid, right?  WRONG.  It’s most likely from NOT ENOUGH ACID.  If there were sufficient amounts of stomach acid, your food would digest quickly, like it’s supposed too, and move on.  If there’s insufficient acid, your food doesn’t digest quickly; instead, it’s lingers in the stomach rotting and fermenting and generally making you feel awful.

Acid suppressing drugs are Big Business, and doctors hand them out like candy, but trust me, they’re ruining your health.  Here’s why:

Our stomach should optimally be full of acid, ( HydraChloric Acid / HCl) .  If we were to measure that acid on a pH scale, it should be very, very acidic, somewhere in the range of 1.5 – 3.5.  That’s strong.  That would eat a hole in the floor, seriously.  God made us that way, and it’s actually a very clever design:  the high acid triggers all the rest of the digestive enzymes and hormones and processes that are needed to break your food down to the smallest little molecules possible.  Your carbs break down to glucose and fructose, your proteins break down to amino acids, and your fats break down to fatty acids.  If there’s sufficient HCl, enzymes, and digestive hormones, then all the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients are cleaved off and along with the carbs, proteins, and fats, are absorbed in the small intestine, and then passed through to the blood stream.  That’s as descriptive as I’ll get via Blog.  Via Skype/One on One/Group Talks, I can explain much more in-depth.

Inhibit stomach acid with either drugs (NSAIDS, antibiotics,  etc), foods (sugars and flours), stress/cortisol, or phosphates (in sodas, drinks, and processed foods), and Bad Stuff Happens:  B vitamins aren’t absorbed; minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, and  magnesium aren’t absorbed (more than 100% increase in hip fractures for antacid users), proteins and fats aren’t broken down and available to our bones, brains, or organs;  vitamin A isn’t absorbed,  and so on and so on.  In other words, suppress stomach acids and Serious Nutritional Deficiencies Occur.  Guarantee.  That’s why ALL acid suppressing drugs have warnings on them advising that usage doesn’t exceed 14 DAYS and never more than 8 weeks.  Hmmmmm.

So how does this relate to Salmonella?  That’s a pathogenic / bad bacteria; in the presence of5 second rule sufficient stomach acid, Salmonella would be KILLED BY THE ACID.  Our stomach acid is actually a line of defense in our immune system. Most bacteria and virus (and fungus and parasites) can’t live more than 15 minutes in a properly acidic stomach.

Ask yourself this, why do some people fall victim to food poisoning, and others ( who ate the same food), don’t.  The body’s immune system either takes care of the Invaders, or it doesn’t. Again, strong stomach acid is part of our Immune system and we don’t want to do anything that would compromise it.

That said, what do you do if you have Reflux, Gerd, gas, bloat, and indigestion?  What if you’re already on antacid medicine?  Heal and seal the gut, change your diet, and examine the meds you take.  Our body wants to be well and is honestly HIGHLY capable of healing itself.  Often times, just removing “offenders” is good enough.  If it’s not, try adding Apple Cider Vinegar (Bragg’s is a good brand), Aloe, green juices or green powders; if that’s not enough, you may need supplemental digestive enzymes or HCl; or some gut healing supplements.  Also, always consider a good probiotic, which replenishes good bacteria; and probiotic foods ( NOT sugary commercial yogurts – their sugar content’s are way too high) like keifer or saurkraut.

pyramid paleoOur health, physical and mental, is from the foods we eat, how we manage our stress, and our lifestyle choices.  No one is deficient in a pharmaceutical drug.  No one.

Focus on a diet full of Healthy Fats, Healthy Proteins, Tons of Vegetables, some fruits, some nuts and seeds, some dairy (if you stomach likes that), and see giant improvements in your health, and weight loss if you need it.  Eat for health, and weight loss is side effect.   Now go take a spoon full of coconut butter and call me in the morning:)


Weight Loss Classes; Hate to Cook; and Self-Sabotaging

kitchen nightmareI’ve had several emails and conversations about cooking; actually, they’re about the dislike of cooking:(  Planning/shopping/prepping/cooking/packing,… the whole thing can be pretty time consuming and if you’re not used to it, very daunting.  The option of NOT cooking, just buying premade foods, going out to eat frequently, or serving pasta every night, is a really easy road to go down.  Like I always say, Big Food’s done a great job convincing us – for decades – that we don’t really need to cook because they’ve got our back.  Their stuff’s pretty much better than homemade, right? And we deserve it, right?  And the kids are super happy, right?

If you’re reading my Blog, then you know none of these assertions are right, they’re all wrong.  Big Food, premades, restaurant meals, simple pasta dinners – “for the kids” – they’ve made 70% of America overweight, and created disease and poor health like never before in history.  The health predictions for our children are absolutely disastrous.

Big Food is in BUSINESS to make money, and to be effective,  they use the best MENTALvitamin donuts strategies money can buy. (Beautiful, fit, healthy people chowing down on their foods; fun people happy with their food, etc…)  Now YOU’VE got to use YOUR best mental strategies to resist their hypnotic pull and get healthy.  You can do this, I swear.

Our daily habits and thoughts are patterns we’ve WORKED on for years.  Your cravings? Your attitudes? Your likes and dislikes?  You’ve pampered and nurtured them for quite a while. They seem real and solid, right?  Here’s what I’m talking about:  You’re tired at the end of the week, so you don’t feel like cooking.  You go out to a restaurant (because it is Friday after all), and completely indulge (because it is Friday, and you had a long week…).  The Super Hyper Palatable food stimulates pleasure receptors in your brain, and you feel Super Great while eating it.  Relieved, happy, satiated.  For a while.  If you over-indulged in carby, trans fatty, chemicalized foods, pretty soon the positive feelings are replaced with horrible feelings: uncomfortable fullness, indigestion, negative thoughts about yourself, and big plans to start all over tomorrow with a great diet plan.  Sounds like Addiction, right?  The Desire, the Action, the bad physical feelings, and then the assertion with yourself to Change The Behavior soon (again).  This is what I refer to as the Diet Ferris Wheel or Diet Roller Coaster.

The problem is, each time you repeat this pattern, or any pattern – good or bad, parts of your brain lay down “paths” (neurons) that will bring you back to this action over and over and over.  You can’t change your patterns without a solid plan to change your thoughts (where everything begins) and your attitudes ( how you feel, what you like..).  The good news?  This is Totally Possible!

Let’s take the one example of hating to cook: what if you meditated on “I love to make healthy, delicious, meals for my family”,  or “I can’t wait to Power Cook so I can watch my favorite show while I’m doing it”, or “Cooking relaxes me”? Whether these statements are true or not doesn’t matter.  What we say, what we focus on, it becomes real. (Think of your response to a nightmare, or some of your fears: heights, flying, strangers, … ) Another strategy:   What if you planned and made  a precooked meal for at least one of your weekend nights?  That way, when you’re legitimately tired at the end of the week, there’s very little effort required on your part.  What if you wrote notes of your goals? Or a list of habits and thoughts to work on?  There’s so many actions you could take to change your behaviors.

Honestly, getting healthy and/or losing weight is about the Food, but it’s really about your Mind.  No plan will work if you can’t stick to it, and really bad, ingrained habits make plans impossible to stick to.

That said, I’m going to be booking some dates later this month and into the next, afternoon and evening, to hold a Weight Loss Strategies Class.  I’ll be going over a little bit of Digestion and Blood Sugar Biology (because you need a “Why”!) and then Mental Tricks, Kitchen Tricks, and Cooking Tricks.  These classes will be about:  The Foods, The Reasons, The Mind, and The How-To of Losing Weight and Keeping It Off.   I’m going to hold 6, but really it will be just 3 different talks/subjects; I’m trying to cover the day and the evening people.  Come to each of the sessions to make some Real Changes in the way you view food, cooking, your health, and your weight.  All the details by the end of the week.

If you aren’t local and can’t join a class, please check out my Services page.  I do this all the time One-On-One via Phone or Skype.  It’s fun and it’s effective and it can be very personally tailored.  In the meantime, eat Real Whole Food!