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

Mind

Victims of Distraction

So recently I have been feeling overwhelmed.  With the kid’s school activities, a full-time job, and simply keeping up with laundry and housework;  I have found myself screensucking!  This video posted by one of my favorite people, Marie Forleo, gives some helpful hints to how to refocus and get out of the ADD mode and actually accomplish something.  We are all victims of this technology run world.  Marie quotes the amazing amount of time in each hour that we deal with distractions.  I particularly like the idea of setting 3 goals for each day, week, month, and year.  Hopefully, you will find these strategies helpful as well.

Posted on by Angela in Mind Leave a comment

Ways to Self Sabotage

10 Ways We Sabotage our own Health and Weight Loss

1.  Skipping breakfast

2. Eating too little

3.  Lack of sleep

4.  Dehydration

5.  Lack of protein

6.  Pharmaceuticals

7.  Toxins in processed foods

8.  Eating inconsistantly

9.  Pestacides on foods

10.  Not believing in ourselves

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10 Ways we can break the cycle

1.  Eat something when we wake up

2.  Add 1 fresh veggie a day (free calories essentially)

3.  Go to bed 10 minutes earlier than usual

4.  Drink 1 glass of water (or extra glass) daily

5.  Add protein between meals (i.e./ a handful of nuts or seeds)

6.  Eliminate any drug that is unessential

7.  Eat 1 less processed food daily

8.  Eat 3 times a day for 3 days straight

9.  Wash all veggies and eat fresh or frozen and not canned

10.  Affirmations–start each day by saying in the mirror “I love you ______!”

BABY STEPS!!!!  They still count and will get you walking strong eventually!

Posted on by Angela in Body, Call to action, Diet, Spirit Leave a comment

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

The New Normal – A Modern Family

Let’s face it.  We aren’t living in a “Leave it to Beaver” world anymore.  That’s why I relate to Claire from Modern Family a little better than June Cleaver.  Do I have dinner on the table at 5 pm nightly?  Of course not.  I work and don’t even get home by five.    Do I like texting my daughter at college rather than calling her to see how her day was?  Heck no!   Unfortunately, calling her would leave me hanging for days.  Sensibly,  I text her and she responds in nanoseconds.  These days we are forced to ask ourselves, how can we connect without relying on the reality of what we were raised to believe was normal?  I think Theresa Mazza does a great job with this post. We adapt and reconsider what we value daily–it may not be “normal” for us, but it just may be what we do to stand for what we think is right.  Change is hard in the dance of  life.  Occasionally, we take a leap of faith.

 

 

Here is Theresa’s recent post–be sure to visit her blog at http://www.theresamazza.com

Cultural and societal norms seem to move as fast as the white waters of the Colorado River. The recent NBC series, The New Normal, highlights this reality. Every day it seems like there’s a new normal. What was normal 90 days ago is old school, out-dated, and irrelevant. Remember when paying for your flight included your luggage? That was then; now it’s normal to pay additional fees for each piece you check. Or remember when Christmas shopping meant fighting crowds and shopping till you literally dropped? But what normal person would put themselves through all that when you can shop for just about everything online and have it delivered right to your front steps?

The biggest question is, who decides what’s normal? The truth is, what’s normal for society doesn’t always become the norm in our personal lives. It’s normal for mothers to dress like their daughters these days, but maybe you can’t imagine adopting that as a personal norm. It’s more normal than ever to get a tattoo but, although I think tattoos are cool, I admit I’m all talk when it comes to getting one.

So what are we to do when we just can’t adopt the new norms that surround us? Do we picket and boycott, give in, do nothing, flounder in between, or do we resolve to continue loving people and allow Christ to shape our normal rather than society? “That’s normal” should never be the reason we accept something as a norm. Normal for the believer must come out of a relationship with our Creator.

In Genesis normal shifted as fast as it’s shifting now. It was normal for Adam to hang out in the Garden, walking and talking with God. It was normal for Adam and Eve to walk around naked. It was also normal for people and God to be so connected that God always knew where they were. But then, normal changed.

What happened?

Adam and Eve decided to adopt norms that were not in the interest of each other or their relationship with God, but self-interested. They left God out. This decision changed normal for them. In this Genesis story we see fear of God becoming normal over connection with God, we see blame becoming normal over caring for one another, we see a God who was normally delighted in his creation experience disappointment, we see a God who was able to give, now having to take away. It wasn’t just the first sin; it was the first time humans adopted a new normal outside of the normal God had established for them.

Self interest and the desire to know more and experience more allows normal to define us. Interest in others before ourselves and a desire to know God allows us to define normal. When our relationship with God is the deciding factor of the normal in our life we can influence normal instead of normal influencing us.

When we embrace God’s idea of normal, we can be a part of positive shifts in the society and culture we live in.

A “me” society can become a “we” society.
A violent people can become a peaceful people.
An exclusive local church can become an inclusive local church.
Global awareness can become global impact.
Followers can become leaders.

I recently spoke to group of teenagers about normal and left them with these two things:
Desire God first, and influence normal instead of letting normal influence you.

Where do we start? In the beginning…where God desired to walk with us, talk with us, share everything with us, create with us, and love us. Pursue God. Choose and live by his idea of normal for you. Then embrace and glorify him in your normal everyday life.

Romans 12 from the Message Bible says…

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Family, Guest Blog, Humor, Mind, Spirit 2 Comments

“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

Olympic Superteens 2012

Thank you to Theresa Mazza for yet another inspiring post!

Theresa writes:

The London Olympic games have given the world an excuse to pay close attention to some very exceptional teens! As we cheer on our spectacular teen athletes, you can almost feel the hope and inspiration radiating from the television screen. It has been a refreshing pause reminding us of the potential that lies within every teen.

As I’ve watched the games and read the stories of these athletes, I can’t help but wonder, what is it about these particular teens that gives them the capability of competing and representing their country on the world’s biggest platform?

We might be tempted to answer with the obvious things – talent, opportunity, and discipline. But what if, what if the combination of things that make these teens exceptional is not only about what they have, but also what they lack…

__excessive social lives. “Missy [Franklin] will still have a curfew and still have to do her homework,” her mother reported. – The Boston Globe

__a me, me, me attitude. Gabby Douglas, who left her family in Virginia Beach when she was 14 to train in Iowa, said she wants to be a role model for minorities. – New York Times

__time to obsess about the opposite sex. Several proposals for dates have come in, but Douglas never has had a boyfriend and Hawkins wants to keep it that way for now. –New York Times

__unhealthy desire for attention. Newspapers report that when Gabby Douglas’s car was run down by a fan wanting her autograph, it took her by surprise. She didn’t know what was happening or why, then she thought, Oh that’s right, I’m a gold medalist. – New York Times

___entitlement.These hard working champions put their pants on one leg at a time, except once their pants are on, they win gold medals. 15 yr old gold medalist Katie Ledecky’s is quoted as saying, “I didn’t really expect gold, but I’ll take it” – Sports Illustrated

__uninvolved parents. Missy Franklin’s parents go everywhere with her. The clips of Missy as a young child that have been played during the broadcast of the Olympic games reveal very involved parenting. They were celebrating their daughter long before these Olympic games.

As people committed to loving teens, we may never play a part in training an Olympic gold medalist, but we certainly can help raise teens who lack in all the right places.

I’d love to read your comments and don’t forget to subscribe via RSS or email!

http://www.theresamazza.com
Posted on by Angela in Exercise, Nutrition Leave a comment