Week of Wellness Newsletter – Introduction Edition

Misfits!

Can you believe it’s March, already?

Weren’t we just wearing goofy glasses, sipping champagne, and freezing out in Times Square?

While some of us just celebrated Chinese New Year and are getting settled into the Year of the Sheep/Goat, for most of us, the end of this month will bring with it the end of the first quarter of yet another year that is going by far faster than anyone can comprehend…

Except those precarious hours of 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday. Those, weirdly, still last forever.

I want to send a special note out to all of my clients – you all have been kicking butt and making incredible strides towards your goals for this year. I could not be more proud to be in your lives and honored to cheer on your progress.

With that being said, I have always told you that I really do listen when you talk. In the interest of transparency and diligence – I want to share with you, Readers, that I have received some feedback from my constituents that sometimes my Postings [while full of information and laughs] are a bit too lengthy for everyone’s busy lives and I have received several requests over the last few months for a shorter, more focused, and regular newsletter style of information sharing.

NO brainer!

Of course I can!

After all, my job [literally] is to mold and shape this business into an entity that is success-driven and client-centered.
And so with that, I am piloting the Week of Wellness [WOW] newsletter.

WOW will operate on a Monday through Sunday schedule. Since it is only Saturday [or Sunday depending on your time zone], I wanted to take the opportunity to share the format with you so that you could know what to expect and what to get excited for!

WOW will be posted the second week of each month. Statistically, the second week of the month has the least number of deadlines due in ANY industry nationwide.

Without further Ado, here is the format:

“Make it Happen Monday” 03/09/15   c/o on the spot studioc/o on the spot studio

“Make it Happen” – Start off the business week with positive reinforcements, tips and tricks for bringing yourself success in your work, your wellness, and your wealth.

“Trending Tuesday”  03/10/15

“Trending” – Every time we turn around there is some other diet that will give us our dream body, some food we simply MUST avoid, or some piece of equipment we MUST buy… stay on top of what’s trending and get tips for thinking critically about marketing ploys.

“Work it Out” Wednesday 03/11/15

“Work it Out” – Get over that mid-week hump with the added gusto of a new work out move. Some moves may be borrowed from the Kama Sutra. Possibly.

 “Therapeutic” Thursday  03/12/15

“Therapeutic” – Gain insight into your Actions [sometimes called ‘behaviors’] and how they may be functioning as a direct result of Thoughts and Feelings

Fun-Fact” Friday  03/13/15    c/o intermm.comc/o intermm.com

“Fun Fact” – Self-explanatory…

“Seasonal” Saturday 03/14/15 c/o paststat.comc/o paststat.com

“Seasonal” – Take a look at how to stay active and make delicious food choices no matter what the temperature is outside

 “Sunny” Sunday 03/15/15 

“Sunny” – What would a Health Blog be without some uplifting, inspirational anecdotes and mantras?

AS always,

Stay Well,

MissFit

alpha-OMEGAs

December 31st.

courtesy of onsip.com

courtesy of onsip.com

The last day of the present year and the first day before the New Year. I cannot think of a more perfect day to discuss the alpha-OMEGA of fatty acids – Omega-3 essential fatty acids that is.

I’m sure you have heard or read something about Omega-3 some point in between Acai juice, pomegranate seeds, Goji berries, Chia seeds, and Kombucha as a “must have” Super Food.

Truth be told, unlike the those vibrating weights, there is A LOT of research to support the health promoting claims of Omega-3 fatty acids. As such, I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to share a bit more about these little guys: where you might find them, why exactly they are so good for your insides, and a few recipe ideas for actually incorporating them into your meals.

Before I go on I also want to mention that I had a brilliant request from a Reader asking if I would be so kind as to calculate the nutritional and cost breakdown per serving of the recipes I post. Well, Reader, I think that is a fantastic idea, and as the Southern Belle I claim to be, I do declare…I’d be mighty obliged.

After all, without my Readers, I’m just a cooky lady typing away on laptop to herself because I rent my house and won’t get my Safety Deposit back if I scribble these musings on my [padded?] walls…
Two points for a tangent, and we’re back!

WHO?
Everyone can benefit, but those with cardiovascular concerns and depression are likely to notice the most benefit from Omega-3

WHAT?
Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid – or more simply put, a fat that the body requires for certain functions but cannot self-produce and must be consumed through food.

WHEN?
There is never a bad time for Omega-3 ingestion. No need to set your alarm and consume in the middle of the night; waking hours will be just fine. As mentioned above, if you are feeling depressed or being told you have cardiovascular concerns – no time like the present!

WHERE?
Omega-3 fatty acids are found most abundantly in
Fish: highest amounts in Anchovies, Tuna, and Salmon
• Avocados
Nuts: highest levels in walnuts
Oils: highest levels in Olive and Canola
Seeds: highest levels in Flaxseeds

WHY?

Lowers triglycerides in the blood [useful because high levels of triglycerides cause plaque buildup in the arteries and ultimately lead to high blood pressure and increased risk of heart attack and stroke as the arteries become increasingly narrow]
Decreases irregular rhythms and stabilizes heartbeat [useful for folks diagnosed with Arrhythmia a.k.a. Cardiac Dysrhythmia or simply “Heart Palpitations”]
Reduces “stickiness” of blood platelets [related to the plaque mentioned above; sticky platelets are a major contributor to blood clots *note* a blood clot in the brain is essentially a stroke]. Keep in mind – what is bad for your heart is most always bad for your brain as well because the brain is fed from major arteries and Omega-3s keep ALL arteries clear, not just the ones directly around the heart
Reduces depression by altering neurotransmitters without the use of prescription medications
Increases lubrication for joints so you have less friction and grinding doing regular or extensive activities, which ultimately leads to less pain
Reduces inflammation in already inflamed joints [some studies even support Omega-3 ability to help regenerate the meniscus (knee cap) membrane]
Decreases chances of Macular Degeneration [blindness] as deficiency in Omega-3 has been shown to delay the ocular system that helps convert energy from neurons that travel to the retina of the eye and over time vision suffers and the eye does not receive the nutrients it needs and becomes compromised.

HOW?

• Time to cook! Now before we get started, I want to say, please have an open mind – this first recipe is actually a “first” for me as well. I have horrible memories of anchovies – hairy little greasy nonsense on Caesar salad that my Italian mother used to rave about. However, since I’m asking my clients to be vulnerable here with me and step outside their comfort zone, I decided I would be remiss if I did not go outside mine. Alas, I’ve lived to tell this tale; all is not lost.

 Recipe #1 Alpha Omega Anchovy Salad

  •   One can of white anchovies [ I purchased a 4.375 oz can from Wild Planet ® that is sustainably sourced in the Pacific Ocean and packed in water without extra ingredients * note* like any canned food, it’s sodium content is higher than fresh foods, just shoot for less than 300 mg. The protein, calcium, and iron benefits of these little guys outweighs any negative backlash from the extra sodium]
  •   2.5 cups of rinsed fresh kale [I purchase organic and rinse with a bit of salt and lemon juice]
  •   ¼ cup shaved or grated Parmesan cheese
  •   Onion/garlic *optional
  •   First, open the anchovy can. Take necessary time for dry heaving, gagging, laughing, eye rolling, etc. Ludicrous! Anchovies are absolutely ludicrous looking. Completely unappealing to the eye. Moving right along…
  • Drain the water out and place the anchovies single file on a cutting board
  •  Gentle lift up each anchovy [one at a time] and use a sharp knife to cut the anchovy open long ways. Once again…Take necessary time for dry heaving, gagging, laughing, eye rolling, etc. I completely sympathize. I almost gave up here. Now, remove the spine. It will come out with shocking ease… so much so that I wonder if anchovies were somewhat of a “tweener” in the vertebrate/invertebrate categories… with such a weak spine, why even have one, I mean really?
  •  Anywho… continue removing said spine until you have paralyzed all anchovies
  •  Now rinse off your hands as they may appear sparkly from the scales
  •  If you are an onion/garlic fan chop up a half cup and one clove [respectively] and sauté in a skillet with a bit of olive oil and cracked pepper; if you despise onion and garlic skip this step. If you aren’t sold on the health benefits of onions and garlic Click Here
  •  Next rinse off kale as mentioned above and tear into small pieces [never cut lettuce, etc it bruises the leaves, always better to tear your greens];place in clean bowl large enough to fit it, put in microwave for about 45 seconds to slightly wilt it [this will remove some of its inherent bitterness]
  •  Toss anchovies into skillet with onion/garlic. They are already cooked, so just mix them around gently for 60 seconds or so
  •  Sprinkle with Parmesan to taste [ I used the ¼ cup for the cost/nutritional breakdown I’m providing]
  • Transfer skillet mix to bed of kale

Enjoy with baked sweet potato chips [roughly 14 per serving]

Makes one serving; adjust accordingly to make enough for that special someone in your life…nothing says I love you like Anchovy breath. Especially with the garlic and onions. Yum.
If the taste was only so-so at least know that you only cost yourself roughly $3.76 and 390 cals
While you gained 770 mg of Omega-3s, 21 g of protein, 40% of your daily calcium intake, and 11% of your daily iron intake; 6 g of Total fat [no trans fat]; 4g fiber; 18 g carbs [only from the chips, sans chips you are looking at less than 1 g].

Recipe #2 Alpha Omega Apples

No anchovies required!

  • Simply slice up 1 lb of apples [4 or 5 small to medium sized apples]; leave skins on, that’s where all the nutrients are!!!]
  • Place in skillet on stove; heat Medium
  • Add a cup of water
  • Mix in approx. ¼ cup of flaxseed oil [available at generic stores now-a-days]
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • Cinnamon to taste helps stabilize blood sugar
  • Mix around ensuring the apples get coated with some oil and cinnamon
  • Let simmer until apples are soft
  • Enjoy by itself or mix into oatmeal, Greek yogurt, or even frozen yogurt!

Makes two servings

Cost per serving $ 1.78
Nutrition highlights [of just the apples]:
225 cals
3,700 mg Omega-3
12g fiber
215 mg potassium

CHEERS to a New Year and a New You

There is a Time for Everything & a Season for Every Activity Under the Sun…

strawberry alarmOh the ongoing battle with all the literature out there sending conflicting messages about Timing of our food intake…
If we don’t eat breakfast, are we doomed?
If we eat less than 3 hrs before bed, are we destined for obesity?
What about working out – will you have insomnia if you work out within 2 hrs of going to bed? Will you crash before mid-morning if you wake up early to get your calisthenics in?
It seems like the infamous “darned if you do, darned if you don’t” conundrum but alas there is hope.
I’m going to share with you the short-hand science behind these various arguments to help you decide which lifestyle is best for you and your unique circumstance.

Most Important Meal – or Snooze Button Steal?

Breakfast. The word is actually a compound word made from “break” and “fast”; it is thus named because, theoretically, you should be sleeping 8 hrs a night and eating every 4 hrs or so during the day therefore making your sleeping hrs the longest period of time you go without food; an intentional period of time without food is often referred to as a “fast” so the first meal after you wake you are in essence “breaking” said fast.
Herein lies the science behind the claim that Breakfast is the most important meal of the day: When your body is at rest your metabolism is going at a slower rate than when you are awake and active. Food, or more importantly the calories in food, is the catalyst your body needs to rev up your metabolism. If you wait until lunchtime to eat your body has stayed in a low metabolic phase for upwards of 14 hrs and [depending on other factors like age and gender] it may go into Starvation Mode* – meaning an even slower metabolic rate because it is not sure when or if it is getting food. Once a body in Starvation Mode gets food, it does not necessarily kick that metabolism up a notch, more frequently, it grabs those calories and stores them for energy during the next starvation period [which we have now told our bodies is possible because it just had one].
The short-hand science, then, is that skipping Breakfast is a bad idea because over time it can cause very irregular metabolic rates for people and make it much more challenging to lose weight and keep it off.

Wake and Break [a sweat] ?

I am a big proponent of both breakfast and morning workouts and make the following recommendation to my clients: I mentioned above in the science behind Breakfast that the main tenant of the argument is revving up your metabolic rate.
Now, there is something else other than food that is capable of elevating metabolic rate and that is exercise – it doesn’t have to be running or other intense cardio [more power to you if you can go from Dreamland to Gym Rat in 10 mins but it is not necessary for improving efficiency of metabolism], it can be basically anything that gets your heart rate increased above resting rate for about 25 sustained mins. Instead of spending 25 mins hitting snooze, stalking people on Social Media, and calling your morning coffee “breakfast”, I propose that you wake up and use that 25 mins to do some yoga or pilates, go for a walk [take a small flashlight if its dark], do some jumping jacks and pushups, or even get the sweeping and vacuuming done [yes, household chores burn calories].
Once you have completed activity of choice, have a breakfast of about 300 or 400 calories. Make sure to include a Simple carb for immediate energy, a Complex carb for sustained energy, Fiber for fullness, and Protein for muscle repair. This sounds much more difficult than it is. For instance, a breakfast that meets all those components could be a quick smoothie with 1 cup skim milk/yogurt, some ice, and a fruit of your choice – bananas are great because they are a perfect combination of simple carb, complex carb, and fiber.
Not a smoothie or a fruit-in-the-morning fan? Not a problem. Have two eggs anyway you like them and get your simple and complex carb along with your fiber from a piece of whole wheat or gluten free toast with natural preserve or a half cup of oatmeal with 2 tsps honey or agave syrup [Stevia ® or the like if you are Diabetic.]
Eating within 30 mins of your workout will not only get metabolism revved up but will keep it elevated for up to 2 hrs afterwards as you have just given your body an additional task to now digest food and it must keep chugging along in order to do so.

Second Wind – or Zen Killer ?

Now, let’s address night time. I’ve long been a proponent of working out any time of day versus none at all – however, if you do struggle with extreme Insomnia, elevating heart rate within 60 mins of going to bed could be detrimental to helping your body achieve the relaxation it needs to fall asleep quickly.
However, for most everyone else, occasional Insomnia strugglers included, participating in exercise at any time of day wears your body out [think of the age-old tactic of taking the kids to the park and letting them run around so they sleep like babies at night – believe it or not, same tactic works for adults.
Bottom line, unless you struggle with chronic, relentless insomnia and have seriously examined all other potential contributing factors [i.e. medication dependence, consumption of nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, anxiety, extraneous stimuli from use of technological devices in bedroom] or you are doing an intense aerobics class then coming home and jumping right in bed and wondering why it takes your body a while to fall asleep, exercising in the evening time is not a threat to sleep and has more evidence behind it to support that it helps facilitate good sleep and even reduce anxiety by offering an outlet after you get off from work – i.e. sweating your day out – so that you can relax and allow your Body and Mind to refresh itself for a new day.

Night Cap – or Belt Buster?

As far as eating after dinner goes, this is a VERY complex situation that involves a series of X factors and needs to be evaluated on a case-by-case level where the individuals’ preference and goals are taken into consideration.
However, for the purpose of this article, I merely want to explore with you some of those factors and the short-hand science behind certain reasoning. The reason that many weight loss gurus argue against eating later at night is because, as mentioned in the Breakfast section, the body in resting mode has a slow metabolic rate and will not burn off access calories, but will instead store them, making it a challenge to lose weight. This is still true – however it doesn’t account for the fact that sleep is also the time when the body seeks to repair itself most extensively [i.e. cells breakdown and regenerate, muscle fibers and tissues connect and rewire all based on the day’s activities]. In order for efficient repair, the body needs an active energy supply [about 250 calories of sustainable energy] and this is most readily produced by having a snack before bed that is part Complex carb and part easily digestible Protein. Prime examples could include: an apple with a spoonful of peanut butter, veggies and hummus, or Greek yogurt with a handful of raw nuts.
Now, if your ultimate goal is to lose as much weight as fast as possible and you don’t care about preserving lean muscle [NEVER my recommendation, but I promised I would educate, not judge…] feel free to stop eating 5 or 6 hrs before bed but you are doing your body a disservice and raising the risk that you will eat mindlessly in the middle of the night. It is important to give your body what it needs to build the body you want.
A few more points of consideration on this topic:
Ideally you should eat every four hours – so, if you eat dinner and are up for 4+ hrs, then yes I do recommend to my clients that they have a snack like listed above.
If, however, you struggle with compulsive or overeating issues, and feel you could not limit yourself to 250 calories and it is easier to just go to bed, please contact myself or other mental health professional to talk through that emotional piece.
If you are in the habit of eating dinner late and usually go to bed within 2-3 hrs of dinner, make sure your dinner is appropriate based on your activity level during the day. For example, if you were mostly sedentary aim for a dinner around the 450 calorie mark and make sure the food is lower in carbs. Smart choices here can include a single starch such as a half cup of roast potatoes [skins cleaned and left on, olive or flaxseed oil and spices for flavoring] with a lean meat or fish, 2 cups of veggies, and a glass of red wine to assist in digestion. If you were moderately to very active, feel free to aim as high as 650 calories. I recommend the same meal components as listed for the 450 calories meal but perhaps give license for additional starch serving, extra condiments or sauces on the meat, or even a second glass of wine.
For those completely adverse to calorie counting, reach out to me and I can give you a few tricks of the trade to help figure out how many calories are in your current meals.

* While I understand we are not culturally prone to famines, it must be understood that biologically, our bodies have not caught up to this fact. Therefore Starvation Mode as far as our bodies understand it is a period of time, typically anything over 12 hrs where no calories [the energy molecules in food] are consumed.

Reward Yourself the Right Way

Reward Yourself the Right Way

What’s that saying? “The only things for certain in Life are Death and Taxes?”

Ugh. Not exactly a pep talk.

Who do I talk to about that…?

Well, regardless, let’s be honest…there is a third certainty in Life [some of us may like to tip our hats to Adam and Eve for this one]: Work.

I mean there’s that Monday through Friday work we do that we “sort” of get paid for – enough to prevent another serf uprising [although there are days…]

And then there’s the work that you don’t get paid to do – *cue the never ending Chore List complete with the items that you absolutely have to get accomplished [no, you cannot save that for little Timmy’s school project – the Science Fair is still a solid 5 months away]…

Let’s not forget the…um… how do you say, JOYS of marriage, parenthood and general interpersonal relationships. Those all require time, attention, and energy that you may or may not feel you have left after all that work we just mentioned.

With our reserves so spent – how could be possibly have enough energy left to devote to the willpower one must have to say, “No” to those two fine men in our lives, Ben and Jerry…?

Ice cream. Just one of the many “food rewards” media and culture has sensationalized as an item “you’ve earned.” Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with ice cream – did you look at that nutrition label [hopefully…] only like 150 cals! Hey! That’s not bad! Did you check the serving size though? A half cup. A half cup! I honest to god believe it takes more will power to only eat a half cup than to just not buy it altogether… Plus, might I add that the sugar rush you get from indulging in sweet food rewards [similar to the carb coma you get from starchy food rewards and the sluggish-I-want-to-nap-now effect from high fat food rewards] leaves you with LESS energy than before you “treated” yourself.

Cue Epic Fail.

You do work hard – and so does your body. You both deserve to be rewarded for said hard work.

Depending on your unique set of circumstances, there are some rewards that make more sense than others. Feel free to reach out to me and I would be happy to provide some recommendations for you!

In case you need a general yardstick… it’s very, very, difficult to go wrong with a nice warm bath [complete with lavender oil and Epsom salts to relax muscles that hopefully you have exercised today…], some candles for ambiance [whether you are solo or not…], and a nice red wine [complete with Resveratrol, known for its ability to block lipid accumulation in fat cells and activate the breakdown of already present fat cells – um YES PLEASE]. And, guys, don’t hate on the bath. Be comfortable in your masculinity to bathe in bubbles. It’s actually dead sexy.

Your Sixth Sense may actually be your Second Brain?

happybelly

Any of the following lines sounds familiar?

  • “My Gut Instinct says I should definitely not go over there…”
  • “My Gut Reaction was to scream and run away”
  • It’s a hard decision for sure, maybe just Go with your Gut”
  • “I don’t know guys, I just feel it in my Gut, you know?”

OK, so what do all these sayings have in common? [Aside from the speaker obviously leading a challenging, confusing, and indecisive life]

They all lend to the idea that, some way, some how, in our culture we have linked the gut/stomach with our intuition about feelings, and even decision making[ !].
Intuition is commonly regarded as our “Sixth Sense” and feelings and decision making are commonly regarded as functions of the ever powerful maestro that conducts from his lectern above our necks AKA The brain. Hence the title of this article was born.

In doing research for a client recently, I came across a field of research known as Neurogastroenterology which studies the Enteric Nervous System [ENS]. Evidently the ENS has more neurons than the spinal cord and covers a surface area 100x greater than that of our skin. Lastly, and most importantly, Neurogastroenterology is investigating how the ENS can [and does!] operate independently of brain input. Infact, studies so far are showing that the ENS actually sends input TO the brain in regards to stress, sadness, memory, learning, and even decision-making.

First and foremost, thanks to Jennovafoodblog for her recent most about the importance of keeping your Gut happy.

Amp up your intake of cultured and fermented foods to help balance flora.

Amp up your intake of cultured and fermented foods to help balance flora.

It’s awesome how the world wide web connects us all. Having just come across this notion of Neurogastroenterology, I was just going to write a very similar article. She summed everything up so well, please check out her blog and learn more than you ever thought you could about what’s really going on inside that stomach of yours and how you can keep it functioning at tip-top shape. After all… if it’s going to be impacting our emotions and behaviors in ways we never before that, it would behoove of us to take good care of it.

I don’t know about you, but I certainly wouldn’t want a surgeon or financial planner to be conducting her business with a full-blown head trauma – – but what if they have all their gut flora all out of whack? Should we be equally as concerned?

According to Canadian Neuro-scientist Jane Foster, “The gut biome is actually an interface between your diet and your genetics. The human diet powerfully influences the makeup of the gut flora, and the gut flora in turn influence our makeup.”  Foster goes on to say, “Our genetics determine our predispositions [to food and otherwise] but the gut biome influences how those predispositions function on a day to day basis”.

In Foster’s  experiments she has found that essentially from birth on there is constant cross-talk between gut bacteria and the brain. In those early stages, that communication has been shown to play a significant role in shaping how the brain is wired and influencing items such as anxiety, fear, memory, learning, and possibly even autistic traits. Foster sums it up well stating, “The important take home message [is] these are not two separate systems, they are two parts of a single system”.

probiotics

 

HOT POTATO

Another Weekly Writing Challenge I Could’t Resist

I dedicate this post to a great friend of mine who, like the very challenge suggests we ought, taught me to see things as more than they appear to be…

hot potao man

Hot Potato

We’ve all been kids; all played the Game

Had lots of Fun

Getting your chance to have the Spud, give it a Go, give it a Run…

Yes we’ve all been kids; all played the game

But what would you do if it was your name?

Hot Potato Man

Passed around from hand to hand

Giving hours of entertainment to everyone in the land

“But what of me”?

He would say, choking back his dry spud tears with raspy pleads…

“What about what I need”?

The others never get there though; never stopped to think,

Just what becomes of those cuts, bruises, and nicks

Hot Potato Man

Passed around from hand to hand

Giving hours of entertainment to everyone in the land

But, the Game, its precept – did you ever consider –

Just how he could possibly be anything but angry and bitter?

Knowing that the Loser is whoever holds him in the end

Is it really that surprising he has trouble making a friend?

Knowing that as soon as someone feels the uncomfortable burn

They send him along – someone else’s turn.

Yes, I am the Hot Potato Man

Who, after years and years of being passed around from hand to hand

Happened upon a grain of Sand

The grain stuck to my skin with all its might

And after just a little time and some sunlight

Well that grain of sand became a small shimmer of glass

And suddenly the Hot Potato Man realized

Something new had come to pass

Now when he was shuffled from hand to hand

He had a distinguishing mark – this shimmering grain of sand.

While most remained subtly, subliminally entertained

There were a select few that saw this spud had undergone a Change.

Yes, a select few in this superficial land

That realized this was not a Hot Potato

But a Man.

The Case for Carbonation

BAMFIZZ          POP
Such wonderful onomatopoeias [yes, it’s a word…] come to mind with the word Carbonation.
But is it all fun, games, and Batman comic books?

I bring you the Case for Carbonation
POW
If you’ve ever read a beauty magazine around bathing suit season [which here in AZ is all year round] I’m sure you have seen the recommendation of “foods to avoid for that rockin’ beach ‘bod” and “carbonated beverages” is always on that list.
But why?
Is it warranted?
What did those poor little rounds orbs of fizz do to get blacklisted…?

Ladies and Gentleman, the Jury finds the Fizz Guilty by Association with Possibility of Parole on Good Behavior.

Allow me to explain.

Fizz Guilty by Association

The first three carbonated beverages that come to mind:
[1] Sodas
[2] Beer
[3] Champagne

All of which are BANG high in calories, simple carbs in the form of sugar, and virtually ZAP zilch on nutrition – making them troublesome even if you let them go flat. So it’s not really the carbonation causing the trouble. But like the kid who ruins recess for everyone, it gets a bar wrap.

Because these beverages are so high in sugar they actually require a lot of water from your body to process and digest – so much in fact, that simply drinking it causes you to become dehydrated [making it extra dangerous in a beach/hot temperature setting where the warm temperatures cause you to perspire and you lose even more hydration through sweat].
To add salt to the wound, alcohol and soda intake actually has a favorite spot for where it stores the extra energy created by all those sugars – the abdominal area! CHEER [NOT]
There are several physiological reasons for this [I can go into more detail individually if you have ever wanted to know about the infamous Beer Gut].

Possibility of Parole on Good Behavior

Quick science lesson:

Ok so, what is carbonation?

It is essentially the state of a beverage that exists after a liquid has been pressurized with carbon dioxide gas and partially dissolved.

As you know, carbon dioxide is the air that you breathe out BREATHE It is in that sense a gas. Therefore, we can say that you when you consume a carbonated beverage, you are taking in [inhaling, if you will] a gas that the body, in normal states of functioning, is trying to expel/exhale.
This being said, it makes sense that, should the body find itself with an Outside Gas suddenly Inside, it is going to try to put it back in its natural habitat any way that it can – but most commonly out of the same orifice it entered – the mouth. Hence, the Burp.

SO why does carbonation on good behavior deserve parole? When Carbonation pairs up with its Calorie-free friend SPLASH Water, it doesn’t carry any of those extra calories mentioned above and the belching those glorious bubble induce actually helps stimulate the release of pressure from gas buildup in the stomach; making it more effective than tap water in easing symptoms of indigestion.

Case Closed.

In Case You Thought I Was Blowing Smoke…

Well Folks, if you don’t believe the writing at least remember that a picture speaks a thousands words…And excuse the cheezy, cliché photo but it has not been airbrushed or enhanced. My roommate just snapped it this evening.

In 20 months…following the regiment I share with my clients,
I lost 26 lbs…
I lost 41 inches…
I went down 5 sizes…
My body fat went from 26% to 19%…

And I GAINED more happiness and self-worth than I could ever quantify.
If you have ever tried to get control of your weight but feel you have failed, I urge you to reach out. Connect with me. I will teach you how to construct a plan that works for YOU.
Remember, As long as you are not working against your goal, it’s progress.

Be A-Ware

sand timeAccording to Merriam-Webster, contemporary synonyms for “aware” include alive, cognizant, mindful, sensible, alert, and observant; the archaic meaning was more akin to being “wary” or “vigilant”
As a noun a “ware” is defined as a thing made from a certain material or that is designed for a particular use.
Now, as an adjective or a noun, that doesn’t sound so bad right? As a matter of fact, if someone called me an Aware Ware, I may just have to blush and curtsy…

After all, they did just refer to me as a sensible, observant thing designed for a particular use, no?
I suppose it beats “Hey, you”…

Why am I encouraging such a ridiculous name? Where is this particularly odd musing coming from?

The dregs of my conscious, that’s where… I recently spent A LOT of time with my brain.

Allow me to explain.
Just last week I spent 76 hrs and 14 mins without my cell phone.
No cell phone…
No mobile telephone…
No handheld computer that connects me to the globe…
No Facebook at my fingertips…
Imagine such a thing…
The only Tweets heard were those echoing from the actual vocal chords of a flying creature… The only way to get help if I got lost driving would be to pull over and talk to a fellow human being… The only music I could stream was from that magic knob in my car that somehow signals to an antennae for radio waves AND I had to suffer through periodic interludes of advertisements that I was unable to skip or fast-forward through…

TRAGEDY

Imagine, 40 waking hours of not knowing if someone was trying to share a link, post a video, or got-forbid just check in with me…

CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT

The first 15 minutes were the worst.
It was remarkable how little it took for me to suddenly feel so unnatural…so foreign… so…alone.
It’s terrifying how much safety we have made ourselves believe our phones offer.
Not only was I Linus without his blanket, but Work…was…looooooooooooooooooong.
Any idea how often you look at your personal cell phone during work?
I promise whatever number you are thinking is a gross underestimation.
I must have looked for it a dozen or more times even though I know I didn’t have it.
I had no idea how dependent I had become on my phone to fill up those tiny little blips of time…no idea that at some point we must have decided as a culture that every millisecond needed to be accounted for… a sound byte for every miniscule moment of silence between the chaos; every brief mental mind gap filled.
Being the salmon-swimming rebel that I am, I was annoyed with myself… I found that, despite certain efforts, I was among this culture; I too had forgotten gaps in structured thought could be so plentiful, and so necessary…
Part of the philosophy behind what I teach my clients is the importance of Awareness.
Whether you are trying to lose weight, manage allergies, fight cancer, get a promotion at work, raise out of an episode of depression, or any other goal related to your Self, you have to be in tune with said Self; You must constantly take inventory of both internal and external stimuli and then analyze and categorize it.*
You must take time to ask self-reflective questions like: How does a certain thing, person, or event make me feel emotionally? Physically? Spiritually?
What then do you do with the answers you have given yourself?
How do you start to effect change for the negative elements discovered?
How do you surround yourself with more of the positive elements you uncovered?
Notice I said above – “You must take time”. I did not say “make time” or “find time”.
Yes…Time is yours to take, and do with what you please.
But, Beware, Time is what it is – constant, unchanging. It’s the one thing you cannot buy more of no matter how rich you are. You cannot find it, because it cannot be lost; what you perceive as lost time is merely time you took and used in an unproductive way.

Do not spend your Time; Invest it.

Be Aware of those idle moments…
Use them wisely, for they are the Wares from which you create change.

*I explain more about this tailored awareness process in my private sessions; if interested, please reach out I would be happy to connect with you on this.

New Year’s Re-Solution

2014

Well, the calendar doesn’t lie…another year has truly come and gone and come again.

And, most likely, so have your Resolutions… What is a resolution anyways? Linguistically, it is related to the concept of resolve… ironically… we often lack the resolve we need for our resolutions.

For the purpose of this article, let’s expand our semantic minds and breakdown the term into its prefix and its core: “Re” and “Solve”/“Solution” – essentially “to solve again”.

Operating under this notion, I want to offer up a different kind of Resolution to my Readers.

I want to challenge my Readers to “re-solve” some of the issues in their lives in a way other than the standard “I will do this”, “I won’t do that” mantra that most Resolutions are born from.

The first step is still going to be to Identify Issues.  When meeting with clients I always recommend achieving issue identification through a “funnel” method – simply meaning to start with broad, general realms of your life and work into more specific, singular items.  This method is helpful because normally, when asked about what they feel needs improving in their lives, my clients will laughingly say, “Everything!”  While they may be chuckling as they say it, they are actually serious and the truth of their response is what overwhelms and prevents them from taking necessary action steps to begin with [think of how when you have a big project and so many things need done you just don’t know where to start…same concept].

Example [using funnel method]:

My Health

Chronic diseases/disorders

Lifestyle/ Habits

My Weight

Self Esteem

Obstacles

Fears

SO the root of all evil is not Money, but Fear.

Fear, is, more specifically, simply Fear of the Unknown.

What is the best way to combat the Unknown?

Simple.

Remove the “Un” part.

This year, instead of vowing to do or not do something, vow to educate yourself on a piece of the ultimate goal and be amazed [and celebrate!] the results that will follow.

For instance, instead of having a New Year’s Resolution of “I will Lose 20 lbs before Swim Suit Season” – tweak [not twerk] that resolution to say “I will educate myself on food labels”. Or “I will learn more about classes my gym offers”. The action step is in knowledge building [which WE ALL can do]; rather than in the end result [which WE ALL can talk ourselves out of believing is possible].

Let’s look at one more example. Instead of having a New Year’s Resolution to “Pay off my Student Loans by 2016”, re-solve the issue by deciding to learn more about re-payment options, to understand your interest rates, or to learn about loan consolidation.

By reframing the resolution to emphasize the “Means” over the “End” you reduce your chances of “failing” to achieve your resolution because your focus is on the [seemingly] lesser building blocks to the ultimate goal – thus keeping daily success realistic and tangible. Additionally, by educating yourself on contributing factors of a particular issue, you are equipping yourself with issue-specific know-how and consequently heightening your confidence in your ability to actually make progress towards said goal. And therein lies the key to actually achieving something – believing you can.

**note** You can start with any troubled category of your life and the lowest common denominator will always be fear. I haven’t been given a category yet that I could not trace back to fear in one form or another….I would love to hear from all my Miss and Mister Fits out there; contact me today!