Category Archives: How to

 

No hating if you use this:

https://i0.wp.com/ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41fPeoxeDjL._SY300_.jpg

But I’ve yet to meet a person on whom this is an effective means of taming body odor. Or wetness. (I just cringed as I wrote that). In college, if a girlfriend insisted on wearing Tom’s, I just wouldn’t let her borrow my clothes. Ever.

Smelling good is important to me, but lately I’ve been a bit worried about the aluminum in mainstream brands and their affect on the lady hormones. I’ve been dealing with some hormonally triggered acne lately, and I just want to make sure I’m doing all I can to help my body heal itself.

So I stumbled upon this while online shopping at Sephora.

https://i2.wp.com/mummysproductreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/lavanila-deodorant.jpg

 

I’ve tried the body butter and the perfume from this brand, and kind of enjoy the vanilla thing, so I figured I’d go for it.

It’s been three days, and I think I’ll keep it around. It isn’t an anti-perspirant, and it’s like, the dead of winter over here, so I’m not sure if this will be the top choice in say, August, but for now, I think it’s nice. It doesn’t leave a sticky feeling, smells pleasant, and I would say that it protects against odor for 12-18 hours at a time. Not bad for a natural product. Mind you, it’s not as natural as Tom’s, but it’s got a rating of 8/10 from Cancer Schmancer so that’s pretty decent.

So if you’re looking, give it a shot I would say.

I’m also intrigued about this crystal thing. But also a little scared. Anyone use that?

Advertisements

 

First of all, so sorry that I disappeared. You know what it is? I’m trying to keep my kitchen super clean, and it’s literally taking up all my time. I’m doing it though. And it’s so clean. Like, come over, any time. Well, not at nap time. Or right after I cook. But any other time. It’s gonna be clean. I swear!

 

Anyway. I get a lot of questions around this time of the year about how to prevent the holiday weight gain. I have to be honest, the only way to not gain weight is to not eat the crap that makes you gain weight. There’s no secret formula.

Boo!

I know. I’m like the killjoy fairy.

When you’re hosting a holiday though, you have control over what you cook. A prime example, is my friend Melina over at Live Whole. She’s hosting and making a feast that will keep your blood sugar level, your belly happy, and your pants buttoned. Check it out. 

But if you’re not hosting, your control kind of goes out the window. Especially if you’re traveling a long distance, like we are this Thanksgiving. Unless you’re allergic to things like eggs, nuts, or gluten, I feel it’s kind of rude to bring your food to someone else’s table. Unless they want you to. And you’re close. And you know it’s cool. You know what I mean.

We are going to Hubs’ family down in Atlanta for this holiday, and it will be a feast of classic Thanksgiving eats. Stovetop stuffing, Stouffers Mac n’ Cheese, greens simmered in good stuff, cranberry jelly (can shaped, which is the best kind!), etc. All that stuff that packs on the chunks.

But I’m not planning to gain weight while we are away, because I’m over that. So here’s my game plan, and hopefully it will help you out too.

The key is to keep control.

You can’t go berserk if you never lost control.

It’s a big thing.

  1. Pick your poison(s). I love the sides. I can’t stand turkey. So on Thursday (not Weds and certainly not Friday), I plan to pile a plate or two with stuffing, cranberry jelly, macaroni, greens, etc. And I’m going to eat it. Happily. It’s going to be delicious.
  2. Know what you’re going to forgo. For me, that’s the desserts. Sugar is just a bad idea for everyone, but realize that all of that food I’m piling my plate with – the stuffing, cranberry, mac’n cheese, etc., – is laden with sugar as well. Just because it tastes savory, means nothing. If it’s processed, it’s got sugar. And a crapload of salt. Adding dessert on top of that just isn’t fair to your body. So I’ll be finishing off my meal with a cup of coffee.
  3. Have your eats ready for Friday. Leftovers are going to be there, right? So most of the time, the holiday festivities continue the next day. Instead of doing that, on Friday, I’ll get back to normal. Eggs, sprouted grain toast, lots of water. That’s easy enough. Just try to minimize your salt and sugar intake and flush your system with water in between the booze.

The biggest factor in all of this though, lies in your head. Relax. It’s the holidays. So what if you splurge and gain five pounds? You know how to reign it back in, right? Enjoy yourself. Enjoy your family. Drink water. Stress makes you fat, you know. And it also makes you a poor companion! 🙂

 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


For me, a rut is when you get shoved out of what you want to be doing into what you don’t want to be doing, but it’s easier to wallow in the rut for a while than to actually take the effort to climb out and get yourself back on track. This used to happen to me on a weekly basis.

I believe, when it comes to “dieting” getting yourself stuck in a rut is to be expected, because most likely, you’re feeling left out, deprived, unsatisfied, and maybe even flat out hungry. You tell yourself that you’re dieting for a reason, that the “pain” is necessary for the gain; but there’s a part of your brain that feels like this is just wrong and cruel and it wants you to break free. It wants you to reach for that phone and call Dominoes, or make that late night run to McDonald’s. I think in its own way, a rut is your body telling you that what you’re doing is not really working and it’s time for a reassessment.

But what do you do then? Chances are, you’re trying to lose weight, so giving in to your cravings of obvious bad food choices is probably not going to help anything.

So, here are some tips for you.

  • Examine your craving. Truly break it down. If it’s pizza you think you want, what is it about the pizza that appeals to you? Is it the actual food, the carbs, the cheese, the tomato sauce? Or does it go deeper, perhaps. Are you feeling emotionally strained and is pizza something that in the past you have associated with being happy or carefree? It may seem silly at first, but food can hold a very strong emotional place in our lives, as it tangles up two very big senses: taste and smell. Understanding that you may not actually want this food, but rather the feelings and memories it brings back to you, is a huge thing and can be empowering.
  • What are you eating these days? If you are following a severely restricted eating plan, you may need to reevaluate this. Your body could be needing something essential that it’s not getting. Are you craving carbs? Sugar? Salt? Fat? Pay attention. Your body knows what it needs, though it doesn’t always communicate it in the most straight forward of ways. If you are having a craving, there’s a pretty good chance you need to make a small adjustment and make sure your body is fueled properly.
  • Do it. This is something that I sometimes do myself and recommend to some of my clients. Go ahead and eat whatever it is you want. But do it scientifically. Do it in a way that doesn’t allow you to wallow and luxuriate in it. For example, after a very long time of not having any processed food or fast food at all, I found myself wanting a Subway sandwich. Badly. So I went for it. But I weighed myself before I ate it and thirty minutes after. Guess what? I had bloated up an entire four pounds. And my belly was huge. Then I weighed myself again the next morning and I was a solid two and a half pounds heavier (not permanently, but still!). This showed me that the taste of the Subway sandwich wasn’t worth the distress on my body. Do you hate bloating up four pounds after eating? Then trust me, your body hates it even more.

Now, clearly exercise is a good way to distract yourself from eating poorly, but I’m not putting distractors in here because I don’t want you to distract yourself from your craving – rather, try to understand it, break it down, and fix it.

 

I hope you guys find that helpful!

So you know, I’m starting to take on clients at a discounted rate now. I can work you with via phone, skype, or in person if you’re in the MD/DC/VA area. 

 


Hi!

A warm, smooshy welcome back to these guys:

 

Coconut milk in coffee works. It really does. But I missed my creamer.

And butter.

Oh, butter.

Ghee is not butter.

So, we survived. Actually, we did more than survive, we thrived on the Whole30 plan. For me personally:

  • Digestion improved seriously. My tummy was never really bloated.
  • I felt “lighter” somehow. Never bogged down after eating.
  • Throughout the entire 30 days I did have moments of lightheadedness. They passed quickly.
  • My appetite reduced a bit; I was never hungry in between meals.
  • Not sure that my sweet tooth really went away. I will say that my cravings for sweets stopped raging, but I did miss my chocolate.
  • No cravings for things like bread and pasta at all.

In terms of results, I lost 6 lbs. Mind you, I had gained 5 lbs over the course of our Sonoma vacation and the days after it, where we continued to be little piggies. So number wise, this puts me about where I was before.

However, I lost 2 inches from my belly and 1 inch from my waist. I can definitely see my love handle area has smoothed out and I’m loose in my pants. So my pants are a loose 6 now, but I’m not quite ready to squeeze into 4s.

I sucked it up and here is a picture. I know I love before and afters.

 

The thing about my body now, is my belly is such a bowl of jelly. That’s what happens when you grow an 8 lb baby in there, gain 60 lbs and then lose it all in a relatively short period of time. It’s just sadness sometimes. But, it’s progressively getting better. And that’s something to be happy about!

Was it hard?

It wasn’t hard. The biggest challenge for me was the fact that we couldn’t drink. In social situations, I suck at sipping on club soda. That’s just how it is! But I stayed strong and I’m glad for it.

Cooking increased quite a bit for me, as I am now making meals for myself, Eli and Hubs, in addition to lunches for hubs to take to work. Mostly. This simply takes a little planning and some momentum. In the swing of things, it’s no big deal. A couple days away, and it’s a small mountain climb up, but I get there eventually.

In the past, I’ve always preferred eating out to eating in. That’s changed in a big way for me. I love preparing our meals, knowing exactly what’s going into them, and seeing the results that simple, real, nourishing food gives you.

Hubs

Hubs did great. I was really impressed with him, especially because he had to travel a lot and go to functions where there was free wine. He really stuck to his guns and it paid off! As of this morning, he’s down 9 lbs in those 30 days. His pants are super loose. He’s happy!

Now what? 

Well, clearly, butter and cream are back for me.

Both of us are bringing back wine, but not spirits, and we aren’t going to be knocking back a bottle every night either. I think Hubs has some thing going on where he’s only going to let himself have a glass or two if he’s worked out that day. For me, I’ll just try to be moderate. Like, no day drinking. 🙂 Just kidding. Sort of.

I’ll continue to make our meals at home using the Whole30 guidelines for the most part. It’s healthy and after 30 days, I’ve got it down pat. This way, 90% if not more of our food will be awesome; that allows for the occasional not so great thing.

As far as sugar goes, I’m not going to be putting sweetened condensed milk back into the rotation, I promise you! Just the thought sounds kind of gross now. I am liking Coconut crystals, as they are not highly processed and contain a good amount of vitamins and minerals – and taste good. I think I’ll be sticking with that and Stevia, when needed.

And so

In conclusion, this was a great 30 days for us. I could see doing this annually as a way to “reset” yourself and clean out any bad habits that have built up over the year.

We’ll be continuing as I said, with the few modifications. Hubs still has about 20 lbs he’d like to shed, and like I’ve said before, I’d love to lose about 7-8 lbs myself. Not a huge rush though.

If you have any questions about the Whole30 program or weightloss in general, throw ’em at me!

We’re leaving town again this weekend to visit family in CT. So, you know how it goes with me, traveling and blogging… 🙂

 

A post will be coming at you with a FABULOUS recipe though. Tomorrow morning!

 


 

So, what is a superfood?

Basically, anyone anywhere can call anything a superfood. Really. There’s no law against it. Nor is there a solid definition. However, within the health community in general, a superfood is basically a naturally occurring food that has a large concentration of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals. Basically, something that gives you a huge nutritional bang for your buck.

But there are subcategories within superfoods, and what I’m focusing on in this post are those exotic supplements that are sometimes found in powder form. Things like Camu, Maca, Spirulina, Goji berries, etc. Regular fruits and vegetables are superfoods too. Don’t forget that!

Take me with a grain or two of salt, obviously, but I’ve never ridden the superfood bandwagon, and I’ll break down the why for you. And then after I do that, I’ll contradict myself and give you a recipe for a smoothie that contains not one, but TWO superfoods.

Here’s my deal.

If you label something as a superfood, it automatically increases exponentially in price. The exception of that is something like kale. Which is totally a superfood. But not found in the high plains of the Himalayas. Would I recommend to a client who is currently on a diet of processed food, little to no veggies, and looking to lose some weight and eat healthier, to go out and spend $200 on superfoods? NO. It’s completely insane. Why spend all that money on Goji berries and Reishi mushrooms when simple and basic fruits and veggies will nourish your body, help heal you, and make you feel awesome? It’s just not logical.

Also, I am a believer that people need to eat local more often. Your diet really should reflect your climate, altitude, and your energy level -as much as possible. The fruits and veggies that grow and thrive where you live, are the same fruits and veggies that can fortify YOU to grow and thrive where you live. If you’re eating a bunch of products from the Amazon and the Himalayas, you’re missing that point.

Superfoods, to me, seem at times to be one of those road blocks for people. A turn-off, if you will, to a healthier lifestyle. If you believe that you need to buy these products to live healthy, perhaps you’ll decide to just wait. Because living healthy is too expensive, and your Dollar menu diet is much cheaper. It doesn’t have to be that way!

Having said all that, I do think that some superfoods can be a great addition to an already healthy diet. I think of them as “boosters” if you will, to elevate and help support different functions that need supporting.

Currently, I’ve got these superfoods hanging around:

 

The goji berries were an impulse buy. I truly admit it. And I don’t even care to eat them if they aren’t covered in chocolate. So, lesson learned.

The Raw Cacao powder is pretty much a staple in this house. We don’t buy regular coco anymore. This stuff is delicious and packed with lots of goodness. Flavanols, polyphenols, antioxidants – Oh, and it’s chocolate. Hi. I absolutely put it in everything.

The Maca is more of a luxury buy. It’s an adaptogen, which means it contains things that can help your body adapt to different situations and stressors. It’s also purported to support your “frisky” behavior and help correct hormonal imbalances. The taste is kind of caramel-like to me. Nutty and caramel. If you’re going to drop some $$ on a superfood powder, I’d give this a vote.

The coconut butter is also a luxury buy. But since my desert choices are limited right now on the Whole30, this coconut butter melted with some cacao and maca = heaven.

So that’s my thought on the superfood supplement situation. What do you think? I’d love to hear from you and perhaps also hear what your faves are 🙂

And now, to the smoothie.

As you know, I opened a can of pumpkin.

So, you know. It’s ON.

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

Note: If you don’t put the spinach in this smoothie, it will 100% taste like pumpkin pie. Obviously, my version is green and you can still taste a bit of the spinach. But I just can’t make a smoothie without putting some spinach in it, if I have it. Just can’t! 

2 handfuls baby spinach

2 heaping tbsp canned pumpkin

1 heaping tbsp nut butter (I used cashew. I’m rolling like that these days)

1 tsp Maca powder

1 tsp cacao powder (optional, but why not?)

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

8-10 oz water or liquid of choice (a nut milk would do nicely! I used water though)

 

Pop it all in the blender and let it do its thing. You can add sweetener if you like. Once I can use sweetener again I’ll probably make this with Maple syrup or Stevia. We’ll see.

Add a little ice to cool it off, blend some more.

Enjoy!


Oh, hello!

This weather is THE BEST. I love it. Love it loveit. Eli and I have been on at least three walks a day.

The best thing about the Fall though, of course, are lattes flavored according to the season. And perhaps with chocolate too. I definitely used to be a Starbucks girl when it comes to Lattes, and I actually blame them for craving Pumpkin Spice lattes once the little nip gets into the air. That’s some excellent marketing.

However, even if I were not doing with dairy or sugar currently, I would not be indulging in a Starbucks latte for two reasons:

  1. $$$$ ?!
  2. It’s so easy to make at home and so much better for you.

So, I’m posting this recipe as I made it this morning, which is completely Whole30 compliant. If you don’t have any dietary restrictions, I’ve put notes in there for ya.

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Latte

Serves 1

Note: You can make this with regular coffee too. No problem. Brew it strong!

  • 1 serving espresso
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (you can use any milk you like, but the creamier the better!)
  • 1 heaping TSP canned pumpkin
  • Dash of Pumpkin Spice (if you don’t have it, mix cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice together in a little bowl, then add a dash of THAT)
  • 1 TSP coco powder, unsweetened (optional, if you don’t want a chocolate pumpkin spice latte, just omit)
  • Sweetener of choice (or no sweetener at all)

 

Start with your espresso, or coffee. Put it in a blender. ANY blender. I’m serious.

Add:

 

 

Your pumpkin..

Chocolate

Spices

Coconut milk (or whatever milk)

Sweetener if you’re using it

 

Whir whir

 

Take a little sip. Is it perfection? If not, add more something, like milk or sweetener or pumpkin or spice. Whir whir again.

In all likelihood, your latte is now cold. You can nuke it or warm it up on the stove top. You can just guess which one I did.

You probably guessed right.

 

And voila! Delish!

Now, you probably noticed that I threw all the ingredients into the Magic Bullet and called it a latte. If that offends you, I totally understand. 10.5 months ago it would have offended me as well. But I’ve seen some things, man.

Anyway.

I use my Magic Bullet pretty much only for coffee these days. That’s really all it’s good for. If you’re interested in making a more traditional latte, here’s the method I use when I have more than 3 minutes to spare.

Heat up your milk of choice, VERY hot. 

Make your espresso or coffee. 

Put your milk and seasonings in your blender. If you’re making the above latte, that would be your pumpkin, spice, chocolate, and sweetener. Blend it up A LOT. It’ll get foamy. 

Gently pour the mixture into your espresso or coffee. This will be perfect, trust me. 

 

I hope you enjoy!

Sorry Starbucks!

 

🙂


 

Today is day 10 of the Whole30 Challenge, and I can’t even believe 10 days have gone by! We’re still going strong, drinking our green juice, and going to bed early. 🙂

I’m starting to feel great though. There’s a lightness in my body and mind that is very peaceful and nice. I can’t tell you when I last had a full blown craving (OK, just kidding, it was like, 6 days ago. HA). But the point is, I can feel the difference and it’s nice.

However, this leads me to think about one of the hot topics in weight-loss today, which is the all mighty calorie.

Have you ever done something like this?

 

I have. Many times over.

Is it fun? NO.

Does it work? To a certain extent, yes.

Think about it. If you go from eating a high calorie diet that consists of tons of processed food and sugar, and then suddenly cut your calories down by nearly half, logic tells you that your body is going to release some weight.

But take a look at the food listed on the spreadsheet. Cookies. Fat free, sugar free yogurt. Skim milk. Fruit. That’s ALL sugar. At some point, eating like that is going to catch up with you, and it’s not going to be a joyful reunion. Not only that, but eating a diet that is so severely restricted in fat is incredibly bad for your metabolism and your essential bodily functions. It turns out we NEED fat in order to run our bodies correctly. A layer of fat around our cells is what keeps them healthy and alive!

So what’s this whole thing about a calorie is a calorie? Have you heard this? I have heard it a lot. Basically, a calorie from an apple is the same as a calorie from a Snickers bar. Honestly, this logic is coming from the same people who put up the commercial telling you that your body can’t tell the difference between High Fructose Corn Syrup and other types of sugars – you know, the one where they are all eating in a corn field? It defies all logic and reasoning to say that your body isn’t sophisticated enough to realize that an apple is not the same as a Snickers bar.

But they say it, don’t they? And plenty of people eat a snack-sized Snickers bar instead of an apple. I know this, I used to be one of them!

Let’s go back to the whole calorie counting thing though. Is there a more miserable way to live your life? Is there a more surefire way to turn a teenage girl into an anorexic or bulimic with horrible self image?

Here’s my message to you: A calorie is NOT a calorie.

I know this for a fact. I’m currently stuffing so much delicious fat into my face these days, that my Weight Watchers points tracker would probably malfunction. Even on this Whole30 plan, which is seen by everyone I know as severely restrictive, doesn’t leave me feeling hungry or dissatisfied ever. I am NEVER hungry. Why? Because when I am hungry, I eat.

The burn of a rumbling, empty tummy is no longer a “sign that the fat is leaving the body.”

It just means I’m flippin’ hungry.

And this is why I’m a Health Coach. I discovered this amazing reality for myself, and I want to share it with EVERYONE. ANYONE. Anyone who has tracked every morsel that went into their mouth. Went through dress rehearsals in their heads about dinners out with their loved ones (Ok, I can have ONE bread stick or a glass of wine, NOT both!), binged on vacation because they couldn’t take it anymore and then came home and HATED their lack of willpower and self-confidence.

It’s all OK. Deep breaths.

Here’s my two cents for you.

Cent 1: If you can’t figure out how it was made, don’t put it in your mouth.

Cent 2: Eat your fat. Avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, butter, ghee, nuts, seeds.

 

That’s my rant for today. 🙂