Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

My Weakness: Portion Control

and coleslaw with plain Greek yogurt and spice dressing

Like many, I love food. I eat and crave healthy food [most of the time], I don’t eat processed food and I rarely ever eat junk food.

I usually have good self-control but sometimes I find myself going back for seconds simply because it tastes so good! That is a poor excuse for overeating especially when my stomach has been satisfied the first time around. This doesn’t happen every day, and when it does, I know I need to go inside myself and re-assess my emotions.

When I go inside myself emotionally, I ask: do I want seconds because it indeed does taste so good that one serving isn’t possibly enough or is there something missing in my life? If it’s the latter, what is missing? What is it that food is satisfying for me? Why does food make it somehow a little better?

Do you find yourself going in for more than you need? Do you feel uncomfortably full sometimes after you eat? Do you sometimes feel frustrated about where you are in your life, or about not being able to reach your goals as easily or quickly as you wish, do you feel like something is missing or off? The we you feel is often the reason we eat more than we should, or why we eat sugar, carbs, crunchy, chewy, gooey things, or soft, cold, or warming foods and drinks.

Assessing your feelings, writing them in a journal and getting in touch with your innermost feelings will help you to move forward. If you don’t quite know where to start, as a health coach, I work with individuals with exactly this type of behavior, help is always available and affordable. You are worth feeling good, looking good and being healthy.

Gaining control over what and how we eat is something we need to accomplish. When we accomplish that goal first, it makes our big goal easier to reach and new goals more exciting to set….and reach!

Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat


What is cholesterol?

It is a type of fat made in the liver to help bile production. Your body makes some cholesterol on its own and is needed to help digest food, make vitamin D and hormones; sex hormones to be precise. Your liver will produce more cholesterol when you eat trans-fats and saturated fats; if these are part of your regular diet, it will lead to unhealthy cholesterol levels.

What are the dangers of high cholesterol or high LDL?

LDL is low-density-lipoprotein and you want to keep this number low; HDL is high-density-lipoprotein and this level is best when kept high.

Three common risks of high cholesterol levels are heart attack, stroke and insulin resistance which can, and usually does, lead to diabetes if healthy changes are not made.

Without throwing out all the numbers, here are some ways to keep your cholesterol at a healthy level and/or get your cholesterol back to a healthy level.

  • Eat less/no bad fats: red meat, fatty meat, fried foods including everyone’s favorite, French fries. Sorry, your life is worth more than a few fries!
  • Quit smoking if you smoke.
  • Consume less alcohol if you drink more than 1-2 per day.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight but even if you’re thin, you can have high cholesterol; know your numbers.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables, soluble fiber: oats, oat bran, beans, lentils, peas.
  • Exercise: it reduces the absorption of cholesterol. Get active 30 minutes/day at least 5 days a week. If you can’t find time, break it up in 10-15-minute intervals a few times a day. Walk, run, bike, swim, dance, jumping jacks, jump rope, roller blade. Just get active!

By eating a diet higher in vegetables, fruit, healthy fiber and healthy whole grains, eating smaller portion sizes, drinking plenty of water every day along with physical activity, you can have and maintain healthy cholesterol levels. In adopting these habits, you will likely have healthy blood pressure and sugar levels as well.

Eat, drink & play the healthy way!

Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Support Your Thyroid Naturally

Your thyroid’s function is to control how quickly the body uses energy, makes proteins, and controls how sensitive the body is to its other hormones.

Your thyroid might be challenged if you’ve been feeling tired, anxious or jittery/fidgety, depressed, in a brain fog, low sex drive, increased or decreased appetite, dry skin, low or excessive sweating, bowel issues, irregular cycles, brittle nails with ridges, pain or numbness in arms, legs, feet and hands, heart flutters, taste/smell is gone, feeling cold or hot, too sleepy/can’t sleep, thinning hair, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, weight gain and/or trouble losing despite exercise and diet control; this is a long but general list and if you feel these symptoms are moderate to severe, your best option is to see your doctor.

Some causes of thyroid dysfunction are from chlorine, fluoride and bromine. Chlorine and fluoride is in much of our drinking water unless you drink well water. Bromine comes from flours used in breads, breakfast foods, cakes & pastries, batter for fried foods and the like – especially processed foods. Too much soy foods can also suppress the thyroid gland function.

Here are a few simple ways to keep your thyroid functioning on a healthy level by using foods and lifestyle improvements. Iodine is an important mineral for thyroid function and should be consumed through whole foods that are iodine rich as consuming too much iodine (through the use of supplements) can be dangerous.

Some simple ways to balance your thyroid function include:

  • Eating an alkaline based diet – Alkaline Foods Chart click and download/print for shopping list reference
  • Regular exercise
  • Increasing chlorophyll through leafy green vegetables and supplements
  • Eat pears and apples regularly
  • Zinc and selenium rich foods, Brazil nuts have both, and/or through supplements
  • Coconut oil – 1 teaspoon daily – use organic, cold-pressed
  • Fish, (except bottom feeders such as shellfish, crabs, lobster, shrimp & krill)

Foods to eliminate include:

  • Fluoride & chlorine
  • All processed foods – artificial coloring and flavorings, preservatives, white flour, white sugar, hydrogenated oils, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), and canola oil

These are some basic steps you can take to help your thyroid function at its best. Again, if you feel symptoms are bad enough, see your doctor to get your thyroid tested.

Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Chewing: Do you truly taste what you eat?


You’ve probably heard it before, chewing is important. Do you know why you should chew your food well? There are several reasons so let’s get right to it.

1 – Chewing is your first step in proper digestion.

2 – Proper digestion breaks down your food so that your body can absorb as many nutrients as possible.

3 – Tasting your food and giving your brain time to realize that you’re feeding your body which in turn controls overeating.

4 – Chewing your food well gives you much needed moments in your day to s l o w down.

5 – Eating slowly and chewing helps your mind reset itself, it creates awareness and a conscious effort to control how much you eat and eventually what you eat when you make chewing a habit.

Next time you sit down to a meal, pause before you begin, breathe in fully and exhale, set your pace to “slow and easy”, take your first bite and really taste your food. Allow your mind to appreciate that you are eating and what you’re eating. Allow yourself time to enjoy nourishment. Allow yourself to slow down, take your necessary breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack break. Your mind, body and spirit will thank you!

Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Maintaining Healthy Blood Pressure


Whether you want to lower your blood pressure or maintain a good blood pressure, a few simple changes can help.

What causes your blood pressure to be too high? Being overweight, smoking, alcohol, stress, salt, caffeine, sleep apnea & other sleeping disorders such as insomnia, thyroid disorders, inactivity & family history.

You can lower your blood pressure by trimming down just 5-10% of your body weight.

Salt stiffens your arteries which limits how much they can expand and contract which in turn affects the flow of blood through them. Blood carries oxygen throughout the body.

What you eat and don’t eat matters

  • Eat less saturated fats, (i.e. meats, butter, cheese, palm oil & ghee) and more of the healthy fats such as nut oils, raw, extra virgin olive oil, fish and fish oils. These oils help keep the arteries softer and pliable. If you don’t typically eat a lot of fish, use a daily fish oil supplement; learn how to choose the right fish oil supplements here.
  • Soy beans, soy nuts and tofu are rich in phytochemicals that are thought to protect the blood vessels from damage.
  • Black tea increases nitric oxide which helps the arteries to relax.
  • Fruit and vegetables contain potassium which helps balance excess salt in the body.
  • Citrus improves blood flow to the heart.
  • Regular physical activity strengthens your heart; a stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort. Just 30 minutes of exercise per day can strengthen your heart and by choosing more rigorous exercises you increase your chances of having a healthy heart & blood pressure.

Sum it up:

  1. Limit alcohol, caffeine & salt
  2. Quit smoking
  3. Increase fruits & vegetables, healthy oils, soy & black tea, citrus and exercise.
  4. Get help with sleep disorders

A healthy diet equals a healthy heart and more chance of a healthy, happy and long life.






Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Food, Mood & Lifestyle Happiness

I don’t remember where but I once read this line, “Your relationship to food mirrors your relationship to your life” and as I pondered it, I realized that it’s a pretty accurate statement.

What does this statement actually mean? Well, I took it apart in ways that I personally had felt about the types food I was eating. It looked like this:

Food to me had been:

unsatisfying                             lacks quality                      rushed

not enough                               disconnected                     comforting

boring                                        stringent                             over-indulgent

uninspired                                too serious                          an emotional ‘safe-place’

Then I took a look at how my personal life felt at the time and it matched my connection to the food!

What does that tell me? Plain and simple, I needed to make changes.

How do you relate the foods you eat to the way you feel about them? How does the food taste, satisfy, fill the void and fuel your body? When you eat, do you feel that the particular food you ate wasn’t the one that you wanted so you forage through the kitchen for something else? When you eat, do you enjoy the taste and the full mealtime experience? Do you feel satisfied and fulfilled with your life as it is on a daily basis? Do you feel good about your routine and free time? If not, it’s time for you to make changes too.

When you live your life fully and in the moment, you make better choices overall. You feel more confident and satisfied in your daily routine and major choices as they come along. When you free yourself from being “stuck” you free yourself of feelings of being left out, missing out and trying so hard to “fit in”.

Begin to free yourself; realize your “reflection connection” and start making changes.

Want help getting started? Contact me Together we will get you on your path to food & lifestyle happiness.

Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Simple Habits for a Healthy Heart

I want to talk about a healthy heart..again – it’s that important! 20151028_193432

High blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease (common cause is plaque buildup that can’t be cured, only treated), peripheral artery disease (calcium and fat buildup on artery walls) are common heart issues, followed by other heart issues not caused by dietary and lifestyle habits.

Today, I will focus on how to make healthier food choices that will love your heart as much as you do. We are all guilty of splurging and losing sight of our goals from time-to-time and that’s alright provided you get back on track.

As you repeatedly hear [and read], you should eat more vegetables and fruit – daily. Why? For many reasons but for heart health the reason being higher potassium intake helps your heart muscle maintain strength. It’s important to eat potassium rich foods instead of taking a supplement, unless instructed by your doctor, since too high potassium levels can be dangerous as well as too low levels. Aim for at the very least 3-5 servings of vegetables daily; the average American eats less than one serving per day and that needs to change. Your body is worth the time, effort, taste and the switch to more vegetables and fruit every day. Basically, the more natural potassium in your diet, the less chance of cardio vascular disease.

Both high blood pressure and high cholesterol have no symptoms until there is a serious problem and of course a diagnosis through medical maintenance care. In the case of a hypertensive crisis you may experience symptoms of severe headache, severe, anxiety, nosebleed and shortness of breath.

A high salt diet can lead to heart issues as well as other physical ailments. Salt also increases calcium loss through urine so even if you have not been advised by your doctor, it’s a good habit to adapt to for your overall health.

  • A quick list of high sodium content in common foods include: [mg/serving] frozen dinners = 1000 +, average cereals = 300 +, canned vegetables & beans 400-700+, canned/bottled vegetable juice 500+, deli meat 360+/2 slices, canned soup 740+, sauces/marinades 690-1050+, chips/pretzels/cheese curls/ketchup/relish/pickles etc. 136-400+

Heart disease isn’t limited to salt intake; the foods you choose and the way they’re prepared is a big factor as well. Instead of fries, choose a salad for heart healthy leafy greens and other veggies, choose a baked white or sweet potato or brown rice. Use lemon juice, vinegar and spices in place of salt and other condiments. Eat less red meat, which is associated with stomach cancer, and more lean chicken, fish and beans for lean protein.

Become a label reader and choose the lowest to zero sodium, sugar and saturated fat options. Your heart is the center of life.

Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Diet & Disease

Diet is whatever you eat, it’s not something that you go on and go off of, it’s not cheating, it’s not depriving, diet is food. The foods you choose to eat can help keep you healthy or make you sick. Not all food causes disease and not all food stops disease. Food choices play a large role in your overall health. Food fuels our cells, it either helps to generate healthy cells to feed the body or degenerate cells to harm the body. The general health of your body depends on the way you choose to eat.

Disease is illness within your body that causes your body to lack ease. Dis-ease can range from a mild cough or cold to a full-blown illness in which your body needs treatment in order to fight off whatever is attacking it. The foods we eat and the environment we live in can greatly increase the negative effects of disease or greatly improve our body’s ability to fight disease.

It’s not that cut and dry but the basics are that if we eat well and live a clean life, we can expect better overall health than if we simply ate and breathed without care and quality.

The foods we choose to eat, when choices are healthy, whole foods, will help regenerate healthy, strong cells which in turn will help us fight off simple cold and flu symptoms and help us stay stronger during major illness. Foods that contain chemical additives and preservatives clog up our cells, gunk up our blood and intestinal tract and weaken our immune system among many other things. When our body is fed a chemical wild-storm, it cannot fight intrusion as easily as it was made to do. We become sluggish, stressed, moody, our sleep is interrupted, our digestion is off, and we have cravings that we can’t seem to satisfy. All this and more is your body begging for nutrition. We are an overfed, under-nourished nation; all because of our food choices.

Eating to nourish isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Eating whole natural foods without the addition of processed, boxed, frozen and canned convenience foods is fast and easy and a whole lot more beneficial. Start slowly by ditching one item a week or a month – replace that item with one (or more) healthy food choices. Baby-step your way to limiting take-out, candy/junk food binges, and unhealthy lunches and over-sized portions.

When you learn how to eat healthy and to fuel your cells properly, you don’t ever have to diet. You don’t have to deprive yourself of self-indulgences, you won’t feel guilty or cheating. Balance is key.

Learn what true whole foods are, learn what works best for your body instead of the latest diet trend and learn why you have cravings and how to combat them.

Here’s to your happy, healthy year ahead! Contact me if you would like help getting yourself on track and into a new healthy relationship with food and good eating and living habits.

Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Carb Wars

Carbohydrates are the enemy–quality and quantity is the enemy. Fast food, donut shops, cupcake bakeries, Frozen, boxed convenience foods found in the freezer aisle of your local grocery store, and boxed/canned dry convenience foods found in the middle aisles of your grocery store and chemicals disguised to look like food that’s the real enemy. We have become a society where more is better and where quality suffers because quantity matters.

I feel my best when I follow a more Mediterranean based diet than I do following the latest health food trend diets where carbs are nixed, where fats are nixed and where sugar is craved but not welcome in the diet. Carbs, fats and sugar has become the evil past love while animal proteins and complicated drinks have become their “bully”. I don’t disagree with a lower fat, low sugar diet, I simply believe that when you eat to fuel and workout regularly, there’s no need to eliminate such things from your diet altogether. When you eat a balanced diet and get regular exercise, many of today’s illness and disease such as Type II diabetes and heart disease, often are not present. A tremendous number of studies have proven that artificial sweeteners are far more hazardous to your health than plain, simple sugar. I’m not suggesting that you start eating all kinds of sugary snacks like you might have done when you were a child, I’m simply suggesting that it’s okay to eat desserts once in a while; homemade desserts is the better option because the ingredients are controlled. Our diet needs to consist of a good balance of all food – unless of course you have allergies to a particular food.

Try several ways of eating and determine which way makes you feel your best. Not every-body can run smoothly on a low-carb, high-protein diet just as not every-body can run on vegetables and fruit alone. We are all individual and what fits one, doesn’t always fit you – and it shouldn’t; you’re unique, embrace it.

When you focus so intently on the types of food you eat more than the quality and proper quantity of food, you miss the whole point of eating. You set yourself up for binges and self-judgement. You sabotage your efforts and the meaning of your meals. You end up missing out on the big and small moments of life; you forget to enjoy it.

Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Low-fat & Chemical Free Meal Cleansing

blog post 12-4-17

The holiday season can pack on the pounds if you’re not careful of what and how much you eat. Not only that but being on the go day and night to get everything ready for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwaanza…etc. & New Year’s Eve & Day can cause your body fatigue and exhaustion which is breeding ground for colds and flu. Don’t let the hustle & bustle of the season catch up with you or get you down.

A few small things you can do to help keep your spirit alive and well involve eating whole, natural foods without added sugars, salt, preservatives and other chemicals.

  • When dining out choose main course salad with lots of fresh greens, assorted vegetables and healthy proteins.
  • At parties choose vegetable dishes and appetizers instead of deep fried, cheesy, greasy choices. Keep dessert eating under control; have some but take small portions. Drink water between mixed drinks, beer and wine.
  • Eat slowly and always practice portion control. Don’t attend any event hungry – satiate your appetite beforehand with healthy choices to help you control famished bingeing.

Relax a little and enjoy your quiet time. Take time to breathe throughout the day and though the weather is cooler, stay hydrated with water.

Fat flushing foods – Detox Soup, Detox water, Detox Main Dish

Detox Soup

  • 6 cups vegetable or homemade (or low-fat, low-sodium, organic) Chicken broth
  • 6-8 cups of chunky cut vegetables
  • **Carrots, celery, onion, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, turnip, kale, spinach, chard, arugula, peas, okra, peppers, tomatoes, etc. anything green, red, white, orange, yellow, purple
  • 1 cup beans- rinsed & drained (kidney, cannellini, black, garbanzo, navy, any of your choice)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1-2 cups water if needed
  • Parsley, cilantro, basil, mint, oregano, rosemary – use one or several mixed

Heat broth, add heavier veggies such as cabbage, kale, carrots, Brussels sprouts, turnip and cook for about 15 minutes on a gentle simmer. Add any remaining veggies, beans and garlic and simmer another 10 minutes. Add herbs (parsley, basil, etc.) – serve & enjoy.

Detox Water

  • 1-quart warm water,
  • lemon juice about 2 Tablespoons,
  • 1-2 teaspoon ACV (apple cider vinegar)
  • ½ teaspoon honey optional

Drink throughout the day.
Detox Baked-Stuffed Winter Squash

Choose Acorn, pumpkin, butternut or buttercup squash

  • 1 cup Brussels sprouts cleaned and cut into quarters (use frozen if fresh isn’t available)
  • 1 cup mushrooms (optional) sliced
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 large clove garlic –chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Seeds- sesame, sunflower, poppy, ground flax, pumpkin
  • 1 small apple – diced small
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Cut squash in half, oil cut side, sprinkle with salt and lay cut side down on baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 45 -60 minutes until knife goes in easily. Remove from oven.

While squash is baking, sauté Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, onion & garlic for about 20 minutes.

Place each squash half on dinner plate and spoon sautéed mixture into each half – sprinkle with seeds and apple. Season with salt & pepper and serve.

*Optional: sprinkle with nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor.

Weekday Detoxing

Don’t wait for the new year to begin getting your health back. Start today by taking small steps toward better health.

When you enjoy your weekends and holiday parties, take advantage of the weekday back to work schedule to detox your body. By eating detoxifying, clean, whole foods you can expect to clean your blood, your intestines, and flush fat.

Eating healthy is simple when you have the right foods on hand. Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated, sauté, bake, steam or raw is fast, easy and healthy. All you need to do is have a few good things on hand to throw together a weeknight meal in no time flat. Remember, we eat to fuel out body. Meals don’t have to be heavy, fatty or fancy to satisfy us.

The following is a quick list of things to keep on hand each week.

  • Leafy greens – help clean our blood and flush fat cells
  • Kale, spinach, arugula, chard, Brussels sprouts, cabbage (red & green), broccoli,
  • Cauliflower, celery, carrots, snap peas, green beans, cherry tomatoes, peppers, (all great for snacking on throughout the day)
  • Mushrooms, onions, garlic
  • Winter squash – orange fleshed and spaghetti squash – can cut each one in half and bake it for simplicity
  • Variety of beans – canned or dried – remember to always rinse canned beans well
  • Herbs – parsley, cilantro, basil
  • Fruit – Apples, bananas, pears, grapes
  • Wild caught fish, lean meat/chicken, turkey, pork, beef (pork & beef should be on occasion)

With a combination of these foods you will be able to build or create a meal in minutes. Use various spices, seeds, nuts, oils and vinegar for flavoring.

Make enough dinner meals to take a small portion of leftovers for lunch the next day.
Drink plenty of water and herbal & green tea throughout each day.

Eat well, feel well, feel alive!