Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread So I have been struggling with gluten-free baking because honestly -- I've never been good at baking!!  Then when I try to modify recipes using flours I'm not familiar with, it just makes  a perfect storm of Read more

When Should I Take My Supplements?

If you are like me -- you are just starting to realize why it is important to add supplements to your diet.  Even if we are eating a clean, healthy and unprocessed diet;  the mineral content of the soil Read more

Magnesium-the unloved mineral

Do you remember watching Wild Kingdom as a kid?  Did you happen to notice that the animals attacking their prey would immediately eat the organ meats.  I never really thought about why until I listened to Morley Robbins explain the Read more

More Homemade Salad Dressings

Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp local honey 1/3 cup blackberries   Process all the ingredients together in a blender and then season with ground pepper and sea salt The beauty of this recipe Read more

Healthy Mayo and Ranch Dressing

This stuff is a must -- If you read labels these days you will be hard pressed to find a mayonnaise or salad dressing that doesn't contain some type of vegetable oil.  Even the commercial mayos that advertise to Read more

Sherry's Story

Sherry has a great story.  She has been diabetic for years and she has made some massive changes!   "I have been on a lifestyle change. It has been a year following a ketogenic food plan.  When I started this journey Read more

Tara's Story

Tara's Story When I turned 30 years old I weighed in at 348lbs; clothes were getting harder to find and more expensive, and my life was getting difficult to manage. When going out to eat we had to have a Read more

Pharmacy to Farmacy

Many of you may know Erin-- the fabulous Pharm D that worked in our office a few years back.  Erin is a phenomenal gal and we embarked on the journey  into natural medicine around the same time.  As we both Read more

Body

“Fat, sick, and nearly dead”

 

Watch this trailer, It really defines what is causing disease in our country.  If you get inspired to start juicing, there is a great website that gives you some of the basics on buying a juicer and how to start combining and flavoring fruits and vegetables.  You can purchase your own copy of Joe Cross’s documentary HERE

You can also pick up an excellent Juicer Buying Guide HERE

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Exercise, Nutrition, Whole Food 4 Comments

Chasing the Moon

Around 5am September 1st, 2013–the Aurigids will be entering the meteor stream in the last hour before dawn.  So it’s a perfect way to start Sunday by checking out the shower around 5am.  It is extra special because the Moon enters a new phase on September 5th and will be located near the Sun.  You will be able to find a crescent moon in the early morning and approximately 14-20 meteor showers before dawn.  With a bonus attraction, the Moon passed Jupiter today the 31st and will still be visible in the am along with Mars.  13aug31_4302

I’m not usually an astrology freak, but researching the correlation of  the mind, body, and spirit has helped me be grateful for all the intricate connections between the Earth and how our bodies function.  It really does make me feel more complete when I pay attention to how I blend with the Universe.  Best wishes for a wonderful holiday weekend!!!  Enjoy!

Posted on by Angela in Mind, Spirit 2 Comments

Wall Yoga-This week’s epic fail!

So the last few months, I have felt completely stressed out with my kids on summer break, my menopausal hormone imbalance, and trying to sell our house.  I don’t know how many of you can relate but the showings seem to come at the most unfortunate times.  Last week, they called at noon for a showing at 4 when I was knee-deep at work.  The beds were unmade, the dishes were in the sink, and the children that I enlisted to power clean— were at the pool relaxing!  ” Really Mom, It’s summer break!”

I decided I needed to practice some mindfulness in order to settle my erratic brain.  Because I don’t know how to meditate, I thought of adding Yoga to my usual routine of running and Zumba.   The first few weeks went well.  I seemed to develop a groove after week #2;  realizing that I’m not nearly as limber as I thought.   Week #3 brought the reality that I was elderly and not that nimble 20 yo ballet dancer anymore. Week #4  –well, I can still cross my legs, but my splits look more like Gumby trying to morph into Stretch Armstrong than Natalie Portman in “The Black Swan”.

But here is the kicker!   I walked into class to find all my cronies facing flat against the wall in some awkward squat position.  I slowly and quietly turned to leave deciding I had entered the wrong class only to be called out by the Yoga instructor (damn, why did I try to befriend her?) saying—” Don’t worry-come in because we are trying something different tonight. NO JUDGEMENT in our practice.  NAMASTE”

Much to my dismay, she was teaching Wall Yoga.  I suffered through the difficult positions with my muscles quivering and sweat dripping onto my newly purchased chic pink Target brand Yoga mat.  I drove home thinking that I must be the only person going to Yoga that doesn’t toke up before class.   I then came home and googled (officially a verb now) Wall Yoga.  OOPS–I’m the jerk! I proceeded to find extraordinary information on Wall Yoga’s amazing health benefits.  Likewise,  I was apparently incredibly fortunate to have found an experienced teacher here in the Midwest.

My ignorance has prompted me to enlist some exercise and Yoga experts to write some guest blogs for you all.  After all–we are in this together and you certainly can’t trust my views on exercise.  Jeez  —I thank the Universe because usually I take my 19 yo daughter with me to class.  I’m sure she would have posted a You Tube viral sensation of me trying to do these moves.

 namaste

 I’d like to introduce KATHY—our Yoga expert!!!

Aloha!  I am a guest writer for Angela M.D.’s lovely blog.  Because of her new-found enjoyment in the practice, Angela has asked me to write a post about the benefits of yoga.

But, before I get started, let me share a little bit about me.  In 2012 I graduated from Carthage College with a degree in Exercise Physiology.  Although I love the human body and all the amazing physical things it can do, I decided to go right back to school to finish a licensing program at Dominican University to become a Registered Dietitian.  I am currently in my second (and final) year and will be looking for internships this spring.  Upon this road of health, I discovered yoga.  My passion for feeding the body and moving my muscles naturally moved towards yoga due to its holistic practices.  After 3 years of practicing (during college), I decided that I wanted to share this wonderful lifestyle with the world!  Ok, well maybe my friends and colleagues first…So, I became a registered yoga teacher (RYT 200) through Essencia Yoga in Wheaton IL.  I love teaching and sharing my experiences with students of all capabilities and lifestyles, so I hope you enjoy this article and maybe visit me at the studio one day!

Ok, enough about me…let’s talk yoga!

Benefit #1:  Relaxing

In this modern world we live in, every day is a day to do more, learn more, and simply accomplish more.  We are taught from birth to be the best at whatever we put our minds to.  While this is great and all, it is really good for us to slow down every now and then to assess our progress and reevaluate the route we are taking.  Yoga helps your body to do that.  By focusing on your breath, connecting it with the body, and feeling the sensations in each posture, you become more aware of not only your surroundings, but who you are as a person.  After practicing for awhile, you might even begin to notice that the little things that used to bother you so much seem like just a cool breeze that you can handle much better.

Benefit #2:  Strength

If you have taken just one yoga class, you will more than likely know what I am talking about here.  In yoga, you use your body as the machine to move into postures and facilitate healing throughout.  You build muscles you never knew you even had.  As a matter of fact, I practiced for 3 years on my own before actually taking a yoga class and I was actually sore after the class!  Having been an athlete my whole life, I was shocked that yoga could make me sore.  It is important to note here that not all yoga is for building muscles, but the majority of the types do have some sort of asana (posture) attached, so a physical benefit will happen along the way.

Benefit #3:  Strong Heart

Along with strength, yoga can increase your heart rate during class through flowing motions.  Building a strong heart allows for the heart muscles to grow stronger.  A stronger heart means a lower overall heart rate and is therefore a more healthy heart.  Like any form of exercise, it is important to get that heart rate up just a bit so it can become stronger over time.

Benefit #4:  Spirituality

By focusing on the breath, body, and mind, you may naturally become a more spiritual person.  Being ”spiritual” can mean so many different things, depending on who you are and your current level of spirituality.

Benefit #5:  Healthy Eating

Becoming more in tune with your body will not only strengthen and stretch your muscles on a deeper level, it will also create a mind-body connection that might possibly lead to choosing healthier foods.  When we show care to our bodies, our mind wants to keep up that kindness; which is when we start reaching for more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

As you can see, yoga is so much more than just a physical practice, but the practice is usually where it all begins.  Everyone is a beginner in yoga, your mat is your sacred space and no one will judge you (not even you!).  

Thank you Angela, for the opportunity to write about a major passion of mine and I hope that all who read this may consider trying just one yoga class.  Whether you want to grow stronger, more flexible, or find a place of peace to yourself for an hour, give it a try; I’m sure you’ll love it.

Namaste. (“salutations to you”)

Kathy

www.luanaolaenjoylife.com

 

Thanks to Kathy for her contribution and check out her site above or on the link to the right!!!

Posted on by Angela in Body, Exercise, Guest Blog, Mind, Spirit 2 Comments

Wholistic!

My sentiments exactly!  Thanks for the share Dee–check out her blog at http://www.gettingthebestoffood.com

You may remember that I started this blog because I am an overweight diet authority. Oxymoronic, I know. But food and health have always fascinated me so I’ve been watching shows and reading books and learning about wellness for as long as I can remember. The sad thing is, that until I am able to successfully make my outside form match my inside genius, no one will (or should) believe that I know what I’m talking about.
Part of what I set out to prove to myself and everyone around me is that I am just an average person with a job and family and food cravings and an extra 40 pounds. People who have never been challenged with weight issues, really can’t coach from the same perspective as people who have overcome the challenge. They still have powerful advice to offer on the benefits of exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Wholistic medicine is particularly fascinating. I read this today and wanted to share with you what Plato had to say about overall health: “the greatest mistake that physicians make is that they attempt to cure the body without attempting to cure the mind; yet the mind and body are one and should not be treated separately.”

 

Posted on by Angela in Body, Guest Blog, Mind, Spirit Leave a comment

Alexander and the terrible,horrible,no good,really bad day!

So I had a bad day!  The chips are open in the break room and the drug rep just brought frozen yogurt—-I want to eat all of it!  Then, I want to go to Taco Bell on the way home and get nachos; topping it off with a candy bar.  My salad with garbanzo beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives just doesn’t cut it!  I’m sitting here thinking this when it dawned on me—I’m not hungry!  I don’t want to eat, I want to cry!  I am making a catastrophe out of all the things in my life that I have no control over.   I’ve taken one small piece of bad news and turned into the apocalypse within minutes.  The downward spiral of thoughts in my head has overwhelmed the senses of my body.  There are things in my life and world that are out of my control:  they make me anxious and paranoid.  I can’t accept these things I cannot change.  But, do I have a choice?  Not really.  I can accept them or abuse my body pretending that I can change things.  Ultimately, the only thing I change is myself for the worse if I make that choice.  How self-defeating is that?  So I’m going to turn on some sad music –CRY– and then take a deep breath and make the most of what I’m grateful for today.  Today has been awful, but tomorrow will be better!   If Alexander moves to Australia—I’m going with him.

Posted on by Angela in Body, Call to action, Family, Spirit 2 Comments

Toxic Relationships and Superheros

Maybe we should all read that book, “Women who love too much”–If you find yourself drained, not fulfilled, and not being pampered by your loved one; are you really living the life you were meant to live?  I think not!  That bad boy relationship that seemed so inviting and exciting, will only leave you spent and tired.  Yes, those men are fun and full of passion, but it only lasts for a moment.  Remember what you are worth and how much you have to offer in this world.  Don’t sell yourself short girl–This too shall pass.  It’s ok to be different!  It’s ok to be you–that makes you different-not wrong!

I write these words of encouragement for many female patients whom neglect themselves and their own needs in order to be superwoman only projecting  the image of perfection as wives and mothers!  I am certainly the pot calling the kettle black with this one since I have to remind myself daily that I don’t have to solve every problem or issue that comes up in our household.  It’s a narcissistic martyr role that I take when I try to do everything for everyone in my family.  I think I am doing it out of kindness when I am actually doing it to prove to myself that I can.  Then I resent everyone else for allowing me to do everything!  When we make life too easy for our families and children–we disable them and neglect ourselves.  I really don’t want my girls to fall into a pattern of overextending and resenting so I have vowed to try to lead by example and make the change for the better.

Luckily, my bad boy is actually a good one and he has been more than understanding and encouraging in my new “setting limits”  mode.  Fortunately, he wears his cape with less martyrdom than I ever did.

Posted on by Angela in Body, Call to action, Family, Humor, Mind, Spirit Leave a comment

“When I let go of who I am, I become who I will be”—Day #1

“I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed.” -Lloyd Dobler (Say Anything)

When I was a little girl–the words “become a professional and don’t expect someone else to take care of you” were gently and repetitively etched into my head.  I think that is why I aspired to become a doctor.  I didn’t want to do law, I have no passion for rules.  A business owner seemed too processed for me.  I wanted to help people.

When I was in college after already committing my life to become a doctor, I became terribly ill and landed a spot in the hospital.  My doctor at the time told me “You are not going to die”  That phrase I will never forget because at that moment–I felt like I might.  I was then forever indebted to becoming that person who would reassure a patient that their darkest hours were not at hand.   I studied hard and abstained from activities my peers were engaged in only to persue my dream.  Eleven years ago my dream came true and I was finally the doctor starting practice and ready to change the lives of many.  I was trained to treat every disease with the best of medicines and could conquer any patient’s complaint.  Unfortunately, those concepts drastically changed as I continued to evolve as a person and was touched by each patient that I met.  After ten years of medicine I could feel myself beginning to change but I wasn’t quite sure just what the change was.  Then the day Susan came in I began to have a greater focus.

A few years ago, Susan, a popular vet in the local community with 4 boys, came to me tearstricken and upset.  She had developed an autoimmune disease seven years before that had debilitated her to the point that she was unable to function as the woman, mother, and wife that she had once been.  Tears welled in my eyes during that annual visit as I noted her spirit and life’s luster being eroded by the burden of her disease.  I told her … “I am no superwoman, I have no answers for you.”  We could only pray together that things would change.

The following monday morning she called and said  “My pastor pulled me aside after church on Sunday and told me he had dreamt I got a second opinion and was healed.”  I immediately called a physician who I had not seen since residency.  He was leaving for a mission trip to Haiti the next day and the only way he could see her was if she could be there in thirty minutes.  Ironically, she had no patients scheduled that day, had a babysitter for her kids, and was already having lunch in the area.  He told her that it wasn’t a disease, it was an allergy.  He hadn’t a clue as to what she might be ingesting that would cause this severe reaction. Eventually, she discovered that she had to eliminate red dye # 40 from her diet and she is 100% healthy now.

I have spent countless hours walking in the woods and enjoying my own family.   Yet, I continue to watch many other patients struggle with their inability to share the same pleasures in life.  I have now realized that I have been on the wrong track.  We dont need to cure and treat disease–we need to prevent it!
All the years of training to to heal people have proven that I have been coexisting with them.  I must shift my role to help them before the diseases takes hold.  I must help my patients change themselves.  I realize that the best way to change the world is to change yourself.

Thus—I will simply become who I am by letting go of what I thought I was and hope to do the same for those who come to me for help.

Posted on by Angela in Diet, Family, Humor, Mind, Nutrition, Spirit, Whole Food Leave a comment

How to argue with a vegetarian

I’m constantly asked, “What diet are you endorsing?  Vegan, Vegetarian, Adkins, Southbeach, Paleo etc”  I’m not actually endorsing any one diet per say.  My philosophy includes eating more whole foods!  It’s not actually any specific diet.  As we know, the whole dieting paradigm is flawed.  We have to make lifestyle changes in order to get healthy in the mind, body, and spirit realm.  Although, all the different types of diet schemes have their benefits.  I believe that we make choices every time we put something into our bodies, including food, drink, products and especially thoughts.  When we think negatively, our minds allow us to make poor choices.  The main take away point at this part of my nutrition learning curve is to cut out processed foods.  Eat clean and pure.  But also, think clean and pure.  Eliminate toxic people and emotions from your life.  To quote Wiz Khalifa “If you believe you can do it, then you can do it.  I don’t follow no cliché, I live to be that way.  I don’t try to be different, I try to be me and people think that’s different.”  Denise Minger sums up a big difference between the Paleo diet and the Vegan/Vegetarian diet differences in this excerpt from the Real Food Summit this last week.  It may help explain some differences of thought.  Just more food for thought.

See her site at http://rawfoodsos.com

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Mind, Nutrition, Organic, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

The Celebration Diet

Our friend Kate Chaplin has a charming book entitled “The Celebration Diet” that is a welcome addition to any plan to get healthy.  This blog embraces the mind, spirit, and body.  After all, how can your body be healthy when your mind is cluttered by stress and you start losing faith and spirit?  Kate offers some great ideas on how to center your mind to help improve your overall health!  You can purchase a copy at http://katechaplin.wordpress.com/  Here is an excerpt worth reading.  Thanks Kate for making a difference!

 

 

 

 

“Every January, I make a resolution to lose weight. The year starts with great progress; I am eating healthy and exercising. There are a few holidays and birthdays of long distance friends and relatives, but no parties or triple-layered chocolate cakes to dodge. Then BAMB! We are in February through June, otherwise known as my “weight gaining season”.

Valentine’s Day is the warm up. Some flowers and a few chocolates but I am still on track. What I do not realize is that the Ides of March are fast approaching. In which lies my father’s birthday and my birthday. Somewhere in March, there will be cake and ice cream. I think to myself, “It’s my birthday, I deserve a treat.”

No sooner do I reward myself than my anniversary approaches. “We have to celebrate our anniversary at a nice restaurant” I say. A few glasses of wine later the power to resist the sweets, fats and carbs are fading away.

May comes along with my husband, daughter, and brother’s birthday and they will definitely want cake and why not they each weigh a buck-twenty. Soon Mother’s Day approaches which inevitably will be a repeat of Valentine’s Day filled with flowers and candy. Before I know it, swimsuit season is upon us and I have gained at least ten pounds. It’s the celebrations that kill me. I knew I had discovered my Achilles heel and I had to come up with a way to celebrate without food”

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Exercise, Green Living, Guest Blog, Humor, Nutrition, Uncategorized, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

It’s all about the color

Here are two simple tricks to determining whether or not the foods you are putting in your body are good for you. 1) how close to it’s original state is the food? 2) what color is it? In fruits and vegetables, their original state of raw is the state in which you capture all of the nutrients the produce has to offer. Steam it, and you retain a lot of the benefit. If you over-boil it or cook it out of a can…not so much. And pay attention to color. A general rule is that the more colorful the food, the healthier it is (usually). For example, dark lettuce varieties are healthier than light green iceburg. Many eating plans talk about avoiding the white stuff (sugar, white bread, salt, white rice, white pasta). Switching to other alternatives is definitely a plus. We will talk about this later when we discuss food absorption, but here are your better options:  whole grain bread, brown rice, whole grain pasta and as little sugar as possible.

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Green Living, Guest Blog, Nutrition, Organic, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment