holistic health – mind. body. soul.

We’ve all been there.  Going from one diet to the next trying to lose weight or trying to get healthy as certain diets might promise.

Following a specific diet might help you lose weight temporarily or even get you a bit healthier for a while. What you don’t realize that almost anything will work initially if your diet is pretty crummy.

There are a lot of popular diets circulating around but what works for one for one person does not mean its good for your own body. There are a lot of factors that come into play when it comes to your diet and health. There are plenty of women out there that might look like they are healthy because they have been blessed with “I can eat anything I want and not gain weight”.  Their diet might include lots of coffee, bagels and pizza!  There is no nutrients in this type of  diet and eventually this will catch up with them in some form or another.  Usually looks like catching colds often, viruses, hormonal issues, lethargy, hair loss, autoimmune issues, or something worse.

Everyone needs a good mix of nutrients that will help your body thrive. Mixing up your meals from week to week is a good way to get in as many nutrients as possible instead of relying on isolated supplements to make up the difference.  Your body just doesn’t work that way.  It often needs another nutrient or fat to absorb it.

Next time you are meal planning.  Think of your plate as “how much energy and nutrients am I getting from this meal”. When you sit down to a eat plate of pasta with meatballs feels a lot different than sitting down to meatballs on top of a bed of zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.

There are three macronutrients required by humans: carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Each of these macronutrients provides energy in the form of calories.  From there it’s micronutrients which are vitamins and minerals.

The quality of each of these is important. Eating grass-fed meat is much healthier than eating conventional raised meat.  Eating healthy fats such as an avocado, coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil is much different than eating unhealthy chemically processed oils such as canola and soybean oil (aka vegetable oil).  Many people assume because it says “vegetable” oil it’s good, it’s not – almost all soybean crops in the US are GMO. The nutrition make up is totally different.  The amount of omega 3’s to 6’s are the perfect ratio in grass-fed meat.  In conventional raised meat it’s about 1-20 ratio of omega 3’s to 6’s which is off balanced.  We do need omega-6’s in our diet but too much causes inflammation in our body leading to high blood pressure and clots.

If you are counting calories then you have to remember not all calories are the same. And, calories in, calories out is an outdated method of losing weight nor is it effective. Or, is it useful when it comes to your health. Eating a 100 calorie snack pack is definitely not the same as eating a 100 calorie apple. The nutrition, vitamins and minerals that in an apple plus the fiber your body needs to move your waste along does not even closely compare to the 100 calorie snack pack. Plus it isn’t even real food so your body doesn’t even know how to process it.  And, please don’t fall in the trap of using a “low calorie” flavored creamer in your coffee. It’s filled with junk and preservatives and sometimes chemicals that is not good for your body.

When you eat a nutrient dense diet that is unique to you, you naturally lose weight. And, you will naturally boost your health because your body is getting the nutrition it needs to thrive.

It may not happen overnight as say a 500 calorie deprivation diet that is for sure to set yourself up for failure. But giving your body the nutrition it needs is sustainable long term where you never have to diet. You lose your cravings because your body is getting exactly what it needs.

Many times cravings are just your body begging for the void nutrients. Like when you find yourself reaching for chocolate possibly your body is just lacking some magnesium.

What about sugar cravings? Certainly, sugar is not good for us right.

Every cell in your body actually needs glucose and often times these sugar cravings are a sign that we are deficient in certain trace minerals like chromium, magnesium, vanadium and zinc from a poor diet. But if you are eating a lot of refined sugar then you will certainly be craving more sugar. The easiest way to stop that refined sugar craving is cold turkey. Try eating sweet vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes or fruit. Do not replace sugar with artificial sweeteners. They are not good for you at all!

Our food is meant to be diverse in nutrients and taking one supplement for a specific mineral if you are deficient is not the same.

Your body is designed to work perfectly given the right nutrients and environment.

Everyone is unique.

Everyone needs to eat according to them not what everybody else is doing.

A varied nutrient dense diet will bring you more vitality than following a diet that will leave you void of certain nutrients. Your body becomes imbalanced and often leads to sickness when it doesn’t have proper nutrients.

Most times we are eating for the wrong reasons ~ namely stress, avoidance or just numbing out what we do not want to feel or deal with at the moment. We use food for comfort whether you realize it or not.

Diets are directly setting your body up for deprivation.  This usually backfires because it usually leads to massive cravings, binging and overeating which will sabotage your attempts in the first place. And, you set your brain up for feelings of guilt, unworthiness, undeserving, etc.

When you figure out what works best for your body is where you feel your best. You don’t get sick as often. You have sustained energy all day. You aren’t craving foods left and right.

You don’t have to eat perfect and there really is no perfect anyhow. Forget all those crazy diets out there!  Just start eating a variety of food and nutrients that your body is craving and needs to thrive.

You don’t have to eat less you just have to eat right.

If we learn to manage our emotions, instead of avoiding them, we could literally change any area of our lives we wanted to.

Can you imagine life with:

  • sustainable weight loss
  • not overspending when your don’t have money to spend
  • not using alcohol as a buffer to avoid an emotion (do you even realize you may be doing that?) Does 7 pm Friday night cocktail ring a bell?
  • not eating sugar
  • not procrastinating
  • fill in the blank of what is not serving your well-being!

It sounds pretty amazing if we could just master this one life hack of managing your emotions.

Is it hard?

Well it is, if your brain is telling you it is.

Will there be resistance?

Of course!

Our brains have not evolved in a way that truly serves us. It is still in survival mode from thousands of years ago when we had to survive the dinosaurs and lions, tigers & bears, oh my! The brain’s job is to keep you safe. Even if in today’s world we do not have to survive those treacherous animals. It will try it’s best to keep you safe and comfortable even if that does not serve you.

The brain is basically in fear and survival mode at all times. The brain is really good at what it does. The brain is constantly looking to be right and also seek pleasure.

When you learn how to manage your mind and sit and feel an emotion you normally avoid, your entire life can change – really it can!

You will start showing up for yourself, your well-being, you become authentically who you were meant to be, you learn to love yourself, you can start that business and take action instead of procrastinating and making excuses!

And…drum roll…you can have sustainable weight-loss. Yes, you can stop going from diet to diet your entire life only to gain the weight back.

What do you want to do? What is it that you want in your life?

There are basically 60,000 thoughts per day. Your brain is designed to avoid pain and seek pleasure. When you avoid an emotion, you basically are getting a feel good dopamine hit in your brain. Once it learns something and does it over and over, it doesn’t take any energy to do it. It just becomes a routine. It becomes unconscious so you may not even be aware you are doing it.

The problem with that is it’s temporary and it’s also artificial.

Did you ever notice after you eat the food you didn’t want to eat, you feel bad and it only causes more negative emotion. It becomes habit and a vicious cycle. Your brain is trying to avoid an emotion so you feel good (temporarily). You may not even be aware of it. It could be an unconscious thought and it creates a feeling which is driving your actions and ultimately your results.

It’s okay to feel bad. It’s okay not feel good 100% of the time. Without contrast, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy life because everything would be the same. Life is not meant to be happy 100% of the time. To be truly authentic in our lives, it requires us to feel negative emotions 50% of the time just as much as it does positive ones. Otherwise, we are not really showing up authentically, are we? We just cover up our emotions.

We really have not been shown how to deal with our emotions. It would of been wonderful if we were taught this in school or even from our parents.
Instead we were taught to hide our emotions as a kid. Things like don’t cry, don’t feel bad, don’t worry, don’t be angry, don’t tell anyone, etc. It truly has made a mess in our society if you think about it. Nobody knows how to deal with life. We wind up with anxiety, 50 lbs overweight, drinking, clutter, shame, worry, stressed, fill in your vice, or truly not showing up for yourself. It will keep you stuck, not taking action and making every excuse in the book! You may “feel” justified but it has everything to do with your brain avoiding pain and seeking pleasure.

The question you might be asking is.

How do I fix this?

I have to let you in on a secret. It doesn’t go away (I mean the feeling of wanting to avoid the pain and seeking pleasure).

However, when you learn to manage your feelings and emotions and ultimately manage your mind – whoa – it’s like you are awakened!

You can seek and create any emotion you want to feel.

You get to choose.

Your emotions are just an indicator of what thoughts you are thinking and what’s going on with you.

Step 1: Become aware of your emotion you are wanting to avoid at any giving moment. When you become aware, you can look it from outside your mind. You become the observer.

It’s powerful when you realize you are not your thoughts.

Sit with that emotion for a moment without anything other than just feeling it. What does it feel like in your body? Be okay with it. It’s okay to feel this emotion. It’s not going harm you.

Let it go.

It will leave you. The urge will go away.

Talk to it and just say thank you but I’m choosing a new thought. Embrace it with purpose!

Step 2: generate a new emotion you want to feel.

What thoughts you will have to think? What does that feel like in your body? How can you feel this emotion today?

Tony Robbins says we attach meaning to everything. Those meanings turn into emotions, and ultimately, those emotions frame the life we live.

Step 3: journal. Write down what you are thinking or feeling. When you can see your thoughts on paper, you can tell what your mind is thinking. You have the ability to change the thoughts. Practice this everyday. I like to do this in the morning, some like to do this at night so they can release all their thoughts before they go to bed. It really doesn’t matter as long as you get in the practice of seeing what you are thinking you can slowly start to shift.

I invite you to try this on and see how it feels. Be curious, be fascinated. Become aware! When you give up the false pleasures, you can live a life of total well-being.

 

How many times have you changed your “mindset” about something only to find yourself right back in your old habits in days or weeks? Sort of like when your New Year Eve’s resolutions went out the window by the second week of February!

Habits are just that – habits!  They are not really connected to anything.  It’s something that we do subconsciously without even thinking about it.  Like brushing your teeth or getting dressed.

We actually have the power to change anything in a heartbeat as Tony Robbins would say.  I know that’s hard to believe when you’ve tried everything in order to quit smoking, stop drinking, quit junk food, change your eating habits, start exercising, save money or whatever it is that you want to change but keep resorting back to your old habits.

We associate change with being hard, don’t we.

As humans, we ultimately work from what is called the primal brain or the reptilian part of the brain.

Those are where your habits come from.

We think we just need to think our way through it or reframe your mindset (the prefrontal cortex part of our brain). It’s much deeper than that.  Habit’s come from the survival part of the brain or reptilian/primal part of your brain.

It’s where your beliefs are about yourself.

Your identity (who we are at an unconscious level).

So if you don’t think very highly of yourself for whatever reason at the core level/identity level (primal brain) it will be a constant conflict with your thinking part of your mind (prefrontal cortex).

You can’t be anything other than what you believe about yourself is.  Your thoughts and energy create your reality.

Your thinking part of the brain/prefrontal cortex is your “wants” part of your brain. Example:  I want to quit stop drinking – that’s your prefrontal cortex speaking. But the habits come from the reptilian part of the brain…the part that says you have to have a drink in order to survive.

Guess who wins?  The reptilian part!

The reptilian part believes that whatever habit we have is necessary for survival. Even if it’s not in our best interest or even what we want.

We tend to work from the outside in when we want change.  You get the healthy food, leave your running shoes where you can see them, join a gym, replace chewing gum with cigarettes, etc. Changing your environment or behavior only gets you so far for so long. You need to change from the inside out for lasting change.

We do what we are.

Now that I’ve explained a little how habits come from the primal brain and the prefrontal cortex is our thinking part. The part that wants us to change but primal brain always wins.

How do we actually make lasting change?

Especially if who we identify with is not who or what we want to be.

I’m going to use a client setting a goal to lose 25 lbs but doesn’t follow through to eating in a healthy manner.

In order to reach your ideal weight or whatever goal you have set (financial, health, business, whatever)…

Focus on what you want! Not on what you don’t want.  

Energy flows where your attention goes.

This is where we usually focus on what we can’t have and feel deprived – but we are focusing on the problem.

We need to see ourselves as the person that is 25 lbs lighter – all day, everyday.  We need to see ourselves as healthy and fit.

Seeing ourselves as what we want to become will help us to make the right choices.

This is more than visualization.  The brain learns from repetition and the reptilian brain does not know truth from a lie.

We need to write it down, look at it, hear it, feel it, emotionalize with seeing ourselves as the healthy fit person.  Look at ourself in the mirror and love what you see – even if you don’t believe it! Continue to tell yourself you do.

What does that feel like?

What do you see?

If negative self-talk comes in, just know it’s just a thought, take a few deep breaths in through your nose, hold it for a few seconds and out through your mouth and just be.  Love yourself.  The thought can be dismissed and replaced if you choose.  Let it go and replace it with a good thought.

Repetition and more repetition will slowly start to reprogram your brain.  Doing this over and over you start changing little by little, doing different things. You start to love the changes you are seeing.

You notice you are focusing more on the energy you want to create vs the energy you don’t because it feels better. Slowly it becomes a habit. Your reptilian brain realizes “hey she’s not taking the urge I’m giving her to go for the food you shouldn’t be eating” and slowly your new healthy option becomes the habit. You start to change the person at the identity subconscious level.

Habits can be changed and change doesn’t have to be hard.

You have to become (relentlessly) the person you want to become now.  In your thinking, not just your doing.  The doing will come naturally when you change your thoughts about who you believe yourself to be.

Start by declaring the change you want to see.  Write it down.  Look at it several times a day. Get immersed in it. Write as if it already IS.

Become who you want to be now as if it is true.  Ask yourself what would that person be thinking and doing.

Don’t use words like can’t choose words like don’t.  For example, I don’t eat chocolate cake rather than I can’t eat chocolate cake. It can make a world of difference when you are around friends and family.  And, you don’t have to say it to anyone but yourself.  No explanation is needed.

It’s not just about what you are eating, it’s about why you are eating it (without blame please).

Ask yourself “who was I being that created the person 25 lbs heavier than I am now”.  If self-worth is low on the list.  Start by writing “I am worthy.”

Remember one thing:  You have the power to change your beliefs no matter what they are!

Above all, the most important thing is to love and have confidence in yourself no matter where you are on your health journey every step of the way.

namaste.

Today is the second day of my whole food spring cleanse!  Of course my go-getter, all-in clients out did me and started theirs last Saturday!   Awesome – love their enthusiasm!!   Who knew breakfast could be so creamy but delicious, healthy and satisfying!

When you are eating healthy for your individual body you feel better, think better, move better and your body runs better!  Doing a cleanse also helps you see what foods are not truly serving your body besides giving it a rest.   Sometimes eliminating foods seems like a daunting task.  

However, being without sugar for a week can truly be a game changer in managing your future cravings (that is if there are any after!).  

Even if you are not eating donuts, foods like pasta is ultimately turn into sugar in your body.  You will also see that coffee doesn’t have a hold on you like you thought!   It truly can be a vicious cycle that you may not even be aware that you are on.

Same goes for alcohol/beer/wine – it can truly mess up not only how you feel the next day but your food choices aren’t usually the best.  Alcohol is diuretic depleting you of nutrients and making your body work that much harder.   Making healthier choices and/or cleansing does not mean you need to deprive yourself from delicious food nor do you need a toilet near by.   A natural cleansing diet helps to relieve the burden on the body’s detoxification systems and by allowing the body’s natural mechanisms to work more efficiently on clearing accumulated toxins.  Natural food such as cilantro, parsley, dandelion, celery, asparagus, artichokes, carrots, daikon radish,  just to name a few, are all very powerful cleansing herbs and vegetables.

Your liver naturally cleanses after winter stagnation and does a “spring cleaning” but with so environmental toxins we are faced in our homes, workplace and in our food supply it’s a good practice to give your body a break at least two times a year.  . every single day to help rid your body of toxins.  We live in a world of keeping you “tuned up” so to speak cleansing will lift that burden especially after winter when our bodies become stagnated and clogged and may cause all kinds of symptoms such as:

  • achy joints
  • exhaustion
  • irritability  
  • bloated
  • extra weight gain
  • unfocused and blah 

Once you clean out the old and put in nourishing nutrition you can function better, it also mentally lifts your spirits.  Add in additional mindset work and you have a match made in heaven.  You continue the momentum because your mindset has shifted to your “new being” and while you are not on a permanent cleanse you are mindful of your choices.  You respect yourself so the food going into your body is serving you not sabatoging you.  You plan ahead and mostly have your own back int the process.  You are ready to continue the healthy lifestyle. 

If you would like to join me on the next cleanse, please head on over for a free consult or shoot me an email to see how you can join me on the next cleanse!  Cleansing your mind, body and soul is a must at least 2x a year!  

Just what is the microbiome?

It’s actually the epicenter of your health.

“All disease begins in the gut”

~ Hippocrates

Not until recent years have we realized just how powerful our microbiome. Your gut microbiome is made up of trillions of bacteria, fungi and other microbes. The amount of bacterial cells within the human gastrointestinal tract outnumber the host’s cells 10x. The genes encoded by the bacteria resident within the GIT outnumber their host’s genes by more than 100 times. Wow, that’s a pretty impressive comparison when you think about it. These microbes have tremendous potential to impact our physiology both in health and disease. They protect against pathogens. They contribute to metabolic function which in turn affect our physiological functions both directly and indirectly.

These microbes affect our hormones way more than we think.

It controls how we digest our food, absorb our nutrients and directly affects our immunity.  If you are eating healthy but are not absorbing your food, you will become nutrient deficient which is the bigger part of the puzzle.  The villi in the small intestine is responsible for absorbing the nutrients and which then seeps into the bloodstream so our body can use these nutrients for energy.

When dysbiosis (an imbalance of good vs. bad bacteria) occurs it can cause all sorts of havoc. Including IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), IBM (inflammatory bowel disease), gas, bloating, pain, diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, nutrition malabsorption, skin issues, etc. Recently evidence indicates that the gut bacteria can alter the way we store fat, balance our blood sugar, respond to hormones and atopy (genetic tendency to develop allergic diseases).  Therefore, affecting wider systemic diseases such as obesity and diabetes 2. It also affects your brain and mental health as there is a direct connection between them.

If you want to avoid your yearly bout with the common cold, I might suggest starting with cleaning up your gut.

It’s where your entire immune system lives and boosting your gut health will greatly improve your ability to fight off common viruses, improve your brain health and help you fight off other more serious health conditions such as cancer.

What I found is that the gut is the driving force of our health in every way.

It was the culprit of many of my own health conditions such as cystic acne, eczema, psoarsis, graves disease, etc. However, at the time, I literally had no idea and still if I were to mention this to my endocrinologist today he’d most likely roll his eyes.  Thankfully, I am a multi-passionate woman and nutrition and holistic methods were my love next to cooking.

Research after research pointed me to what you were eating or not eating that is greatly affecting our guts much more than we even realize.

There are a lot of factors that can disrupt your gut flora as well as cause inflammation.

Namely,

  • Sugar
  • Processed foods/fast food
  • Unhealthy fats and oils
  • Dairy
  • Gluten
  • Not eating a diverse diet
  • Stress
  • Lack of prebiotics (non-digestible parts of food)
  • Lack of probiotics
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Antibiotics
  • Medications
  • Heavy metals
  • Lack of sleep (your gut follows a circadian rhythm)
  • Smoking
  • Taking over the counter medicines such as acid blockers, nsaids (pain killers, aspirin, ibuprofen such as tylenol and aleve, advil and such)
  • Not enough exercise

All these things can have a serious impact on your gut health. It’s not only about the imbalance of bacteria but over time you can develop intestinal permeability aka leaky gut.  This occurs when damage to the small intestine causes bacteria, waste and particles to escape from your intestine and into your bloodstream. Your body goes into an autoimmune response because these particles do not belong there so it can cause so many different type of symptoms. It can range from a headache, digestive upset, skin issues, joint issues, and so much more. It honestly can be different from one person to the next so it’s very important to listen to your own body and what it is telling you.

Often we put band-aid approaches to symptoms that we need to pay attention to.  And, it’s also disheartening to go to the doctors only to be told there is nothing wrong with you or that these symptoms are normal.

Never underestimate the knowledge you have about your body and how you are feeling.

Listen to your “gut” literally!!!

Scientific fun fact:  The gut also has its own nervous system and does not have the ability to “doubt” like your central nervous system does.  So – always go with your “gut”, it’s never wrong ~ is really true and can serve you much more than you think!

Some foods naturally improve and “seed” the microbiome such as:

  • Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, tempeh & miso
  • Starch resistent foods such as bananas
  • Prebiotic foods such as broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, onions, leafy greens and avocado
  • Blueberries
  • High fiber fruit & veggies
  • Diverse range of foods
  • Raw apple cider vinegar

Stress also plays a critical role in how your gut functions as well as your brain health.  Having a meditation practice in place helps reduce stress and boost your beneficial bacteria while stress kills it. An imbalanced microbiome can cause brain fog as well.

And, of course taking a high quality probiotic supplement is beneficial to your digestive health and gut flora.

Do you have digestive issues or other symptoms that might indicate that your gut is out of balance?  Please tell me in the comments.

Sigmund Freud did not invent the concept of the three levels of consciousness but he brought it to the forefront of science.  It’s mind boggling when you think about it being the era that this came to life. Sort of when you think about how a cellphone came in our day!  What’s next?

Whatever the mind can think and see – it is!!

What I want to convey is how much of your very own unconscious thoughts are running and possibly maybe even ruining your life? And, you thought bad luck had something to do with it!  Or, that you don’t have control of what your mind thinks!

You do!!!

The mind is nothing but an energy field on the quantum level. Our entire body is truly just ball of energy not matter. The mind sits outside our body as a swirl of energy attracting like energy.

What’s truly fascinating is that 90-95% of your brains activity is beyond our conscious awareness and resides in the unconscious mind.  And, 5-10% of our cognitive activity resides in the conscious mind.   When I was researching, there were conflicting percentages but for the sake of this post I’m leaving it to two.  I honestly don’t remember learning this in school but this would be a great lesson to learn!  And, as much as I’ve been learning about this for the last 15+ years it’s not that easy to truly change our subconscious beliefs and thoughts – but it is possible!

This is where Sigmund Freud’s “Tip of the Iceberg” analogy comes in.  The vast majority of our lives is being driven by our unconscious minds where we are totally unaware or even know that we are thinking these thoughts – and my gosh in massive state.  Just look at the picture!  You can clearly see that the most important part of that iceberg is underneath where you can’t see, just like your unconscious.

This isn’t hokey pokey stuff – this is learning how to direct your life in the way that serves you best.

Don’t you want to be in the drivers seat of your life from now on!  You may think you are but most of your actions are on autopilot driven from the thoughts you are thinking subconsciously.

Whether you want to believe your unconscious mind is directing your life or not – it is!  It’s the law of the universe.  The entire universe is governed by the mind – the Law of Attraction. Everyone and everything on this earth is energy!

Now to put this to use for your life:  Let’s use an example such as “You may want to make more money!”  If your subconscious mind is telling you (conscious mind) that more money isn’t good, is hard to come by, or has you believing you are not worth that much money – you will never attract it no matter how much you want it.  Or, you may make good money especially if you are inspired and driven but somehow you always make it disappear.  Or, I’m sure you read stories where people that won the lottery and are broke in two years! Your car breaks down, you have unexpected expenses, you give it all away as soon as you get it, even worse repel it by being totally careless with your money.  Money is just an exchange of energy.

If your thoughts about money are any of those I mention above, money wouldn’t spend that much time around you.  It would go looking for someone with beliefs of respect, worthiness, deserving, helping others, etc.

Same goes for overeating or eating unhealthy on purpose.  You can say you don’t want to overeat and you want to lose weight. You even get all excited about the new you that you are creating!!  But little by little you find yourself overeating, you are eating things that are not healthy and you don’t even know why.  You drive yourself bonkers with cravings then you beat yourself up for overeating and wonder what’s wrong with you and you give up.  Well, nothing is wrong with you!

Most people are not even aware of the thoughts they are keeping that are leaving you in the dark your entire life.  And, year after year you try, try and try again but you don’t really succeed to the level you wish.  Or, things are good for a little while but you wind up going back to your old ways.

Living with regret and mediocrity.

We are all born with a blank slate.

It’s through our parents, caregivers, family members, mentors, teachers, friends, environment, etc that help form the beliefs that are so locked up in our unconscious minds.  As children, we are like magnets just taking in all this information.  But as a child we don’t have the analytical skills to really figure right or wrong – we just absorb this information and store it in our subconscious and unconscious mind.

We become ashamed, resentful, anxious, fearful, scared, embarrassed to name a few. Maybe not at that given time because we don’t even know any better – we just take it in.  Just remember it’s not your parents fault – they are just doing the best they can/did given how they grew up.

There is no blame.

Now you know this – you can change your thoughts so you can have the life you truly desire.

Your mind’s job is to keep you safe and out of danger.  This is how the subconscious/unconscious works.  It is constantly trying to keep you safe – even if at this present time that isn’t serving you or complete opposite of what you want to do.  It’s just doing it’s job.

Does this sound familiar?  “Hello!  I’m ready to jump into a new business but I’m scared of  “fill in the blank” so I never really do what I need to do. Keeping myself comfortable and in the right lane of life – just plugging by, making excuse after excuse as to why you can’t do what your true dream is.  Sound familiar?

So what’s next?

Once you understand how your actions are created from the above diagram you can truly create anything you desire.  I’m not going to pretend it’s easy especially if you’ve been believing a certain thought your entire life.  But – if you want to change what you are doing or not doing you have to change your thoughts! Your thoughts are causing you to feel a certain way which in turn is causing your actions or in action.

This isn’t going to require hours of therapy, dragging up the past, beating yourself up or hours of soul searching.  You can start right here – right where you are – now!

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. How am I feeling upon doing or not doing a specific action? i.e. overeating, drinking, taking action on business goals or sabotage
    • anxious, stressed, disgusted, annoyed, etc ?
  2. How and why do you feel this way?  If you say, you don’t want to feel this way but you are still doing it…
  3. What’s causing it?
  4. What thoughts are creating this feeling?
  5. Where are these thoughts coming from?  Your childhood?  Your parents, teacher, friend, etc?

Just understanding and being aware these thoughts, feelings and where and why you have this belief will help you move forward.  You also need to have compassion for yourself and not beat yourself up.  If you skip this step, you will land right back in the road to nowhere!

Write this down.  Do not spend hours, days, weeks, years doing this exercise.  Just think where these thoughts could be coming from.

Everything in your life right now is a reflection of your thoughts.

Remember, you are exactly where you need to be.  Once you understand why or what this thought that you are having is making you feel a certain way, it triggers a certain action or in action.  You can change your thought pattern (even if you don’t believe it to be true!).  Your unconscious mind does not know truth from lie.

  1. Rewrite your new beliefs and truths that will create your desired results.
    • ie.  I am worthy.  I am enough.  I am important.  Money supports my happiness., whatever is true for you, etc.
  2. Keep these new beliefs with you, in the forefront of your mind, read them, morning, noon and night and more!  Write them on your bathroom mirror.  Say them aloud and have some emotion around it.
  3. Visualize your new self, your new manifestations as if they already are here. Close your eyes and just feel the emotion around it.  See it as real, even if it has not happened yet.
  4. Use Mel Robbins 5 second rule to stop yourself and interrupt your thought pattern (if you don’t know Mel Robbin’s 5 second rule – google it.) if you still are having old self-destructing thoughts or not doing what you desire.  Ready – 5 4 3 2 1 – bam!

We all live by our feelings.  We go through life wanting to feel a certain way at any given moment. It’s why we do the things we do.

If you try to go about it just like 95% of the world does.  Such as…

I want to go on a diet —> You go on a diet —> You start out great —> lose 30 lbs  —> little by little you are back into your old habits and 10 lbs heavier than when you started.

It’s because you haven’t changed your beliefs.

Or, possibly you only got to day 3 and you are raiding the cookies because some how you think you can live on lettuce alone.  Weight-loss has nothing to do with willpower!  Your brain will always win! Stop beating yourself up!

It’s your subconscious/unconscious mind that keeps us stuck in our old patterns. It keeps you comfortable.  You might be saying well I’m not comfortable being 40 lbs overweight.  If you think about where your thoughts are around food or the feelings that is driving that behavior that is causing you to eat something that you know  you shouldn’t or don’t really want to eat can really help put a stop to it.  Think about your childhood where is coming from?  Do you use food to comfort yourself because to you food creates a feeling of comfort.  These are just examples to help you do a little investigating as to how you came to believe these thoughts.  And, they are not right or wrong – they are just thoughts and they are not serving you in your adult life anymore.

I want you to succeed to your highest self no matter what that looks like for you.

No matter where your thoughts are today we can change our thoughts and beliefs so that we can live a life that we truly are meant to live.

It’s available to us right now if we choose it to be!

There are so many toxic chemicals we use on our skin, mouth and in our daily household cleaning regimen that IS making you and those you love sick! Your body is meant to naturally detox.

But, we are overloaded with harmful chemicals that are wreaking havoc on your health. These toxins also travel through our blood stream directly absorbed from our skin. It might not be apparent in your everyday life that they are making you sick until something goes wrong. Hello breast cancer! Hello depression! Hello weight gain! Hello hormonal disruption! Hello infertility! Hello thyroid condition! Hello liver & kidney damage! Hello skin rash! Hello brain & gut disfunction! Hello allergies! Hello developmental delay! You get the picture ~ it IS affecting your health every single day in every single way!

The US is about the only country that allows all these harmful chemicals in our products. Most of these chemicals are banned from other countries. Would you believe the US only bans 11 toxic chemicals but Europe has 1,300 on their list of banned chemicals? What? This is crazy!

It’s really up to us – the consumer – to stop buying and using these products that are killing us and our children. Apparently, children absorb 40-50% more than adults making them at higher risk for disease.  Not to mention the rate of children with learning disabilities, ADD, ADHD, autism, depression, mood disorders and allergies has skyrocketed the last 50 years!! This is just sad but often ignored as a trigger!

There are so many people still using harmful chemicals on their bodies and household cleaning. These chemicals have direct impact to how well our endocrine and neurological system is working especially your Thyroid! Once absorbed they produce systemic damage to internal organs.

13 Toxic Chemicals You Need to Avoid:

1. BPA – (bisphenol-A) is a chemical that is added to many commercial products. Most widely used in the lining of cans, plastic food containers, bottles as well as hygiene products. The reason why they use it in the lining of cans is to keep metal from corroding. It is also found in CDs/DVDs, thermal receipts, plastic containers and bottles, toiletries, feminine hygiene products, eyeglass lenses to name  few. Because BPA is estrogenic (mimicking estrogen properties), it has the potential to affect hormone-mediated neurologic and behavioral development in early life(1) and is recognized as an endocrine-disrupting chemical as well as linked to breast cancer. It can bind to estrogen receptors which can influence growth, cell repair, fetal development, energy level and reproduction. It also can alter the function of your thyroid and your entire endocrine system.  Unfortunately, recent research is showing BPA has been replaced by bisphenol-S (BPS) or bisphenol-F (BPF) which may also disrupt the function of your cells similar to BPA(2). Using glass whenever possible is best for food storage and avoiding plastic overall when possible to avoid these harmful chemicals.

2. Plastic – Use glass whenever possible especially heating your food (not that microwaving your food is good either). Toxic chemicals leach out of plastic and are found in the blood and tissue of nearly all of us. Exposure to them is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and other ailments.

3. Parabens –Parabens are widely used preservatives that prevent the growth of bacteria, mold and yeast in cosmetic products. While that might sound good, parabens possess estrogen-mimicking properties and are linked to breast cancer and are found in biopsies of breast tumors. The skin is one of the largest organs and it’s directly absorbed into your body. Parabens can be found in makeup, lipsticks, body washes, deodorants, shampoos, conditioners and facial cleansers, lotions and creams, etc.(3)(4)(5)

4. Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea – These are the most commonly used preservatives after the parabens. According to the American Academy of Dermatology they are the primary cause of contact dermatitis.

5. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – is used as a sudsing and foaming agent which penetrates the skin. Harmful effects include reproductive and developmental toxicity, tissue damage that could result in chronic liver, brain, heart, lung damage and may include cancer. SLS has been found in the tissue of these organs so it accumulates in the body. It is found to be a contributor to acne, eczema and other dermititis skin irritations.  It also disrupts your skin’s natural oil balance because of its harsh agents.(6) 

6. Tricolsan and Tribclocarban – found in toothpaste, deodorant and antibacterial soaps and   handsanitizers. We have become so obsessed with germs that it is actually causing bacterial resistance which is opposite of what we want. We need microbes in our gut to keep us healthy. It also disrupts our endocrine system, impairs muscle and immune function and allergies.

7. Benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride, and chloroxylenol – these are the chemicals that have been replaced in some antibacterial products and are showing just as harmful affects as Tricolsan and Tribclocarban (7).

8. Phthalates – a group of chemicals used in products to increase the flexibility and softness of plastics. It is used in cosmetics and personal care products such as nail polish, perfumes, moisturizers, deodorants, and hair spray.  They are endocrine disruptors and have been linked to breast cancer as well. Unfortunately, companies are not obligated to disclose their secret formula of fragrance which is a major flaw in the law.

9. Polyethylene/PEGs – PEG, which is the abbreviation of polyethylene glycol.  It’s most common form is plastic and when combined with glycol, it becomes a thick and sticky liquid. It’s found in cosmetics as emollients which help soften and lubricate the skin, it’s also an emulsifier and it helps deliver other ingredients deeper in the skin (ugh!!!). They are used in cosmetics for scrubs and exfoliants as well as body wash. These PEGs wind up traveling through our waterways and collecting more pollutants along the way ultimately being consumed by fish and other marine mammals.

10. Dibutyl phthalate, toluene – linked to endocrine disruption, respiratory issues, birth defects and headaches.  They are found in nail polish and nail products and other cosmetics.

11. BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) – synthetic antioxidants used as preservatives in lipsticks and moisturizers, among other cosmetics. They are also widely used as food preservatives such as some potato chips, cereals as well as oils. They are beneficial because they help prolong the shelf life of certain items. This doesn’t mean it’s safe.  Though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has determined that BHA is “generally recognized as safe,” The Department of Health and Human Services, however, cautions humans to avoid BHA because certain studies show it is linked to cancer. It also can accumulate in the body and can be considered a human carcinogen.   Evidence shows high doses of BHT may mimic estrogen resulting in hormone disruption.

12. Formaldehyde – Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and poses significant danger to human health (it has been linked to nasal squamous cell cancer(8).  It is also skin irritant that can cause allergy-like reactions including watery, burning eyes and throats, stuffy noses, and skin rashes. It is mainly used in the production of industrial resins such as particle board.  It also can be found in furniture, permanent press clothing, draperies, glues, adhesives, cleaning, beauty products and in some brands of baby wipes(9).

13. Mercury – Exposure to mercury impairs neurological development, and recent research has linked high levels of mercury to ADHD. Because neural development happens rapidly in pregnancy and early childhood, it is important to eliminate exposure where possible(10) (11)   Oxidative stress is associated with the cause of neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease(12)(13). Mercury enters the environment through air pollution and industrial waste. When mercury enters water, fish absorb it through their gills. The primary exposure to mercury is from consuming large, older, and predatory fish (ahi tuna, swordfish, shark, orange roughy, mackerel,  yellowfin tuna, sea bass, blue fish, grouper). Here’s a list of the levels of mercury found in fish/seafoodfrom the U.S. Food and Drug Administration so you can decide which seafood is best for you to consume.

As you can see every single one of these chemicals are an endocrine & neurological function disruptors.  They are linked to many cancers and diseases.

Now, if you think I’m being overly cautious, I’m not. It’s up to us to start making these changes for our health and our children’s health. I don’t even like the fake and strong smells from the cleaners that are on the market. If you think Mr. Clean, 409, Fantastic, Gain, Palmolive or Dawn dish detergent is safe to use they are not. Once you switch to a healthier cleaning regimen and skin care you will notice the difference. I know it has made a difference in my own thyroid function and that is coming from someone that no longer even has a thyroid.

One of the most popular laundry detergents on the market – Tide –  is loaded with toxins for example.  I’ve ditched Tide about 20 years ago!  There are many natural detergents that are on the market today that work well!  You can also make a homemade natural detergent too using simple ingredients like borax, washing soda and natural soap such as Dr. Bronner’s.

Companies are tricky in making you think something is natural and safe – like Tide Free and Gentle is not “free and clear” of all chemicals!!  Thankfully, in a 2013 press release noted on EWG’s website, Procter & Gamble has agreed to reformulate Tide and other popular laundry detergents to reduce contamination with 1,4 dioxane, defined as a carcinogen by California consumer product safeguards known as Proposition 65. The giant multinational’s action came in response to a lawsuit filed by an Oakland-based nonprofit called As You Sow. My understanding is as of today, 1,4 dioxane has been taken out of Tide Free and Gentle, however, EWG.org website still rates this product an “F”. I would stay away from all conventional detergents that are in the market despite Tide being the most popular laundry detergent. Read your labels – natural or free doesn’t mean that it is non-toxic and chemical free. I try my best not to use harmful chemicals on my skin or in my home. The chemicals that are in your products have a direct connection to how your hormones work (both in women and men!) as well as can cause many different cancers. We must all be conscious consumers and realize that these very products are making us sick in more ways than we care to believe.

Unfortunately, the cosmetic industry is also unregulated and the FDA doesn’t require them to make safety assessments on their products.  There are tons of products on the market starting from the conventional deodorant that has been linked to breast cancer to the foundation make-up that is loaded with chemicals that are being absorbed through our skin. Harmful ingredients are often masked with the label of “fragrance” or sometimes they are labeled with the actual chemical but are not required to inform the consumer of its harmful affects on our health. Wouldn’t it be nice to know if the products you use everyday are harming your health?

Check out how your product rates.

Check out The Environmental Working Group (EWG) website which was developed in 1992.  Although some ratings may not seem totally fair, they are based the available data and still a good resource to see where your product rates.

I know I was very disappointed to see method brand products not rate well.  I really liked them. I have since switched to greener products or usually make my own. While method products are definitely “greener” than conventional products apparently they are using ingredients that are still considered unsafe.  Since there is no regulation, I’d rather be safe than sorry. Not all the method products are rated poorly but a lot of them are. As consumers it’s extremely important to read labels because many of these products are misleading making you think they are perfectly safe and natural.

Please tell me some of your favorite products that you love down in the comments!

These toxic chemicals are a huge factor in so many diseases that we are an aware of.  The first place we need to clean up is our skin care and cleaning products.  Many chemicals cross the skin barrier and are absorbed directly into your blood stream.  Once absorbed they produce systemic damage to internal organs.

Click Here to download a FREE guide to safe and natural products I love and use.

Additional References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3554682

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4702494/

While we sometimes do need a prescription for certain ailments or life threatening situations true health arises when we balance our mind, body and spirit.  We need to look to ourselves for the answers.

What Does a Balanced Healthy Life Really Look Like?

Getting there doesn’t happen overnight and it’s not really a destination!  Good health nourishes you from inside out.  Starting with the how we talk to ourselves – self love. Our bodies are meant to work like a well-oiled machine and in perfect harmony.  It’s truly miraculous!  When given the right ingredients your body can heal itself but you need to be aware of what’s going on and do not ignore the symptoms it gives you.  A healthy balanced life doesn’t have debilitating side effects like some prescriptions do especially if taken long term for a chronic issue.  Especially most of them weren’t even designed to be taken that long (ie. acid reflux medicine!!).

It probably doesn’t look like the super-model on the cover of Vogue either!  Get comfortable in your own skin!

Balance isn’t Perfect Everyday!

Balance isn’t perfect everyday but a practice over time to what feels good for you. Listen to your body and look to your higher self for the answers, it knows intuitively what it needs as well as has all the answers it needs. Symptoms pop up to tell us “hey, something is off, come look a bit deeper to finding the root cause”.  Try to get out of the habit for looking for the quick fix or pop a pill to put a band-aid approach to a bigger issue.  Question your health care professional, seek a second opinion, don’t believe everything you read, what is good for one might be poison to another.

Stress can Wreak Havoc on Our Bodies

Stress is also a huge factor in our lives today especially with all the technology that is literally coming at us every minute of the day.

Stress comes in many levels. For example, your body can be stressed internally from a simple sugar overload which is difficult for you organs and blood to process.  Or you may be eating a food that you don’t even realize you are sensitive too which is causing digestive distress.  Top that with stress from business or job, financial pressures, family, relationships, etc.  You could be eating all the super-foods in the world and if you have a lot of stress in your life you can kiss your health good-bye.  On the flip-side, some small level of stress, helps keep us motivated and strive for something better so that’s where balance is key.  Do what feels good and practice what keeps you peaceful!

12 Steps to balance your life for better health:

  1. Take 6-8 deep belly breaths, breathe in through your nose while your belly expands (not your chest) and hold for 5 then out through your mouth slowly for 6-8 when you first wake up or anytime you want to recenter yourself.  This helps trigger your parasympathetic nervous system and awaken more happiness, peace as well as productiveness in your life!
  2. Get a morning daily ritual that includes some self-care.  Meditation, reading, journaling are all great to include.  Time to reflect and appreciate the day that is coming.  Also a gratitude journal is also a great way to start your day.  Gratitude truly can be a game changer!
  3. Just eat whole foods (forget food with labels and boxes, fast food and it would be a good idea to try to eat home as much as you can).  Restaurants are known for using bad oils and unhealthy ingredients.  However if the restaurant you frequent is using healthy ingredients and preparation  than go for it!  And, please share in the comments who they are!  Even Whole Foods is using canola oil in preparation of their already prepared food station — canola oil is not a healthy oil!
  4. Drink more water!  When you urinate your urine should be light not yellow and dark (although if you are taking supplements they do cause yellow urine).
  5. Exercise!  Find what works for you but get moving to create oxygen and move stagnant energy that might be stuck in your body!! It doesn’t have to be hard core as a matter of fact over exercising is not good either!  Walking or stretching is great way to start!
  6. Body Tapping! Your body is energy! If you’ve been sitting for a long time or when you first wake up you want to wake up your organs and get the blood and energy moving and release stagnant energy in your body.  This helps to release toxins as well.  First rub your hands together in quick motion creating energy or even clapping is great.  Start with your ankles and move all the way up the back of your legs, arms (each one), neck/sternum, chest, back and kidney area.  The whole idea is to move the energy in your meridian lines in your body and helps balance your chakras (your energetic/emotional body).
  7. Eat more vegetables! I don’t subscribe to one style of eating but everyone, everyone could benefit from eating more vegetables!  They are nutrient dense and help with so many ailments.  Please note eating cold salads everyday doesn’t necessarily mean that they are good for you if they cause bloat and gas.  This typically means that you may not be digesting them and cooking them would be ideal for you.
  8. Sleep! You should shoot for 7-9 hours of sleep a night.  For some that might seem like a dream but if you are not sleeping, your health will deteriorate in some form or another.  You need to restore and rejuvenate, to grow muscle, repair tissue, and synthesize hormones.  It all happens when we sleep.
  9. Dump the chemicals you are using in your home, on your skin and in your food!  Nowadays it is easy to find natural products in regular stores as well as online.  Chemicals disrupt hormones, cause cancer, breathing/lung issues, asthma, brain fog, ADD, ADHD, contributing to you not losing the weight you want to lose, inflammation, organs not working optimally…just to name a few!
  10. Prepare and plan!  Food, schedules, life needs to organized not wake up and figure it out in a scattered mindless way. You set your day up for failure that way.  Focus and allow yourself enough time to plan your week and day.  Everyone has a different system but find one that works for you.  If you are running late all the time for appointments, going through the drive through or just plain exhausted you need a better plan!  We all get 24 hours in a day – it is a choice on how we choose to use it ~ no excuses!
  11. Eat mindfully.  Sit down and really enjoy your food and praise it.  Take time to really appreciate it.  You might think this is something you can skip but digestion starts the minute you look at your food.  Digestive enzymes are start to churn in your mouth the minute you look at your plate!  Take time to chew your food that is half the battle of helping it to digest!
  12. Feed your mind with good thoughts!  Your beliefs DO rule your life.  It’s good practice to continue to feed your mind with positive thoughts several times a day if you tend to have negative self talk.  Just be aware of the thought and then send it on it’s way then replace it with something positive even if it’s not really true.  Believe first, then see!!! Not see and believe!

This has been a long time favorite soup of mine for years despite that it may not look that appetizing in color.  The best part is it’s so simple to make.  I often leave out the asparagus tips and just puree the entire soup.  Mainly because I love to sip this in a mug as a mid-day snack or with my lunch.    

I’ve been cleansing for a few weeks and this is the perfect soup for it! Did you know that asparagus is a vegetable that is a great cleanser for your body naturally? Yes it is! It is a great diuretic, helping in the cleansing process and lifting the detox load of the liver and kidneys.

Here’s some great health benefits from this beautiful spring vegetable:

  • It’s a rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers.
  • Helps slow down the aging process due to it’s high antioxidant properties and neutralizing cell-damaging radicals.
  • It contains the amino acid asparagine which is a natural diuretic, and increased urination not only releases fluid but helps rid the body of excess salts.  Good for edema and high blood pressure!
  • It contains vitamins A, C, E and K as well as has lots of fiber, folate and chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells. 

Asparagus contains asparagusic acid, among other compounds, that gives urine that unique odor.  Have you ever noticed it?  It literally can happen within 15 minutes of eating it. Its compounds are volatile and released as a vapor through the urine. However, apparently not everyone can smell it and that is because everyones sense of smell is unique to themselves as well as the ability to produce the odor. Interesting!!  

Okay, enough about asparagus pee ~ eat asparagus because it so good for you!

Creamy Asparagus Soup

2 lbs of asparagus (trim tough ends, cut in 2” pieces) (extra if you want to add some asparagus tips at the end)
4 cups organic vegetable stock (32 oz con’t – such as Saffron Road or Nature’s Promise)
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced.
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Himalayan pink salt
fresh cracked pepper

Sauté onion in extra virgin olive oil, add garlic & asparagus and add vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer until soft.
Take asparagus out with a slotted spoon and add stock (a little at a time) to blend in high speed blender or regular blender until smooth and creamy (you may not need all the stock depending on the consistency you prefer (reserve juice and drink it up in a mug if you want). Add Himilayan pink salt (about 1+ tsp) and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Enjoy!

If you are adding asparagus tips to your soup, blanch them for just about 30 seconds (add to already boiling water, than in ice cold water to retain color, remove with slotted spoon). Add them to your soup before eating.

If you tolerate dairy, you may add a dollup of organic plain yogurt to the mix while blending for added flavor but it is perfect the way it is.

This has been my go-to breakfast lately!   Who knew breakfast could be so creamy but delicious, healthy and satisfying while being dairy-free!  I have been really enjoying this!  It all started when I was cleansing a few weeks ago and decided to have this over a smoothie.  Smoothies in the morning are great especially on the days I chef.  However, I become “smoothied-out” sometimes especially after years of drinking smoothies.   Plus there is something to be said about chewing your food.   Digestion starts in the mouth when you chew your food.  The enzymes amylase and lipase are released which starts the digestion process.

When you are eating healthy you just feel better, think better, move better and your body runs better!   Try this delicious and satisfying breakfast it’s so light and refreshing as well as gluten-free and dairy-free!  Berries are packed with antioxidants and lower on the Glycemic Index!  Ideally fruit should be eaten alone so another plus to have this first thing in the morning.

Mixed Berries with Sweet Cashew Cream

2+ cups of berries (strawberries, black berries, blue berries)
1 ripe banana (divided)
1/2 cup raw cashews (soaked in hot water for 1/2 hour or more)
1/2 cup+ coconut milk or almond milk (no carrageenan) (add more depending on consistency)
1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
handful slivered almonds
chia seed (optional)
cinnamon (optional)

Place mixed berries in a bowl and slice up 1/2 of banana. Blend the other 1/2 banana, coconut milk or almond milk, vanilla extract and cashews together until creamy smooth.

Pour cream over fruit and top with slivered almonds. Add cinnamon and chia seeds if desired.