My Truth About Sugar…


My uncle died when he was 52. He had severe diabetes and his pancreas was totally exhausted. In the end he was blind, had heart issues and was clinically obese. Before he took ill, there was a little joke in my family “he’s an eater!” They would say. He loved his desserts.

 I watched my grandmother check her sugar every morning and then take insulin shots- she looked like a junkie with her arm stretched out, I saw it so often it was the norm. She adored blueberry pie among other sweet things.

Sweets have had their pull on me too, at the height of my sugar addiction I was eating 5 candy bars a day, I was 11 years old. I was often alone and those candy bars were everything to me.




 Now at 41 my relationship is different. It is a balanced and healthy relationship, but it took a lot of work to get to this place.





I see the other part of the sugar story – there is so much love there. I asked my husband what he wanted for his birthday last week and he said, with a huge smile “a chocolate cake and some cookies… can you make me those?” “Of course” I said with enthusiasm.



As I mixed the batter, I remembered a love of baking, I remembered being 4 years old, before my father and mother divorced, before the fighting and turmoil, Mom and I would bake cupcakes. Just Mom and I, my brother was at school, my father at work, there just us two alone in the bright blue kitchen. We focused on nothing else but each other and baking… cracking eggs, creaming sugar with butter, looking at the clock for the big hand to move to the 3. We giggled, I got chocolate all over myself as I liked the wooden spoon and she adored how cute I was. There was so much love. 





So, as I mixed batter, cracked eggs and creamed sugar with butter for his cake and cookies, I thought about how much I love my husband. I thought about the joy in his eyes as he saw my finished sweets, I imagined him slumping back in his chair overcome with pleasure from my efforts. There I poured my love. And when the time came, after I lit the last candle … it was just as I envisioned, a huge response full of joy and mouth watering. I made him happy with sugar.



Sugar is like anything, some sugar is ok, too much can kill you. Some water is good for you, but too much water is called drowning. Sunshine is good for you, but have too much and you get hurt. One glass of red wine is great for your heart, but too much will reek havoc on your liver.

I know from years of study and a life of eating just how hard it is to navigate sugar. I know more than most just what it takes to actually have a safe and healthy relationship with sugar.



If you’d like to know more about how you too can develop a healthy relationship with sugar, and how to find some healthier versions of the sweets that have a hold on you now, I can help you. Join me August 21st at 6:30pm for my SUGAR WORKSHOP and learn everything you ever wanted to know about sugar and some things you didn’t even know existed in the world of sweets. You’ll also learn how to side-step diabetes & manage it if you are in the throes of it. You will learn the truth about why you can’t shed those extra 10lbs, you will learn why your skin acts up and why you have mood swings, also, why you are so tired all the time.




Here is my recipe for the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever made:

4 ounces (115g) organic / pastured sea salted butter, at room temperature2/3 cup packed (110g) organic brown sugar1/2 cup (100g) date sugar1 large egg, at room temperature1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract1 1/3 cup (180g) oat flour1/2 teaspoon natural baking soda1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt or kosher salt1 1/3 cups (200g) coarsely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate1 cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped or ground up 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or by hand, beat the butter, brown sugar, and date sugar just until smooth and creamy.
2. Beat in the egg and the vanilla.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the oat flour, baking soda, and salt.
4. Stir the flour mixture into the beaten butter until combined, then mix in the chopped chocolate (including any chocolate dust) and the chopped nuts.
5. Cover and chill the batter until firm. (It’s preferable to let it rest overnight.)
6. To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
7. Form the cookie dough into rounds about the size of a golf ball Place the mounds evenly spaced apart on the baking sheets, and press down the tops to flatten them so they are no longer domed and the dough is even.
8. Bake the cookies for ten minutes, rotating the baking sheet midway during baking, until the cookies look about set, but are not browned.
9. Remove from the oven and quickly tap the top of each with a spatula, then return to the oven for two to five more minutes, until the tops of the cookies are light golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cookies cool.
Storage: The cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to five days in an airtight container. The dough can be refrigerated for up to one week or frozen for one or two months.    

 

The Scary Truth About Toxins (and How to Avoid Them!)

toxic-beauty-products

I always say if you can’t eat it, it has no business going on your skin, hair, nails or in your home environment. Playing detective with people’s health has been my job for the past eight years. People don’t just “get sick.” Illness is created, slowly. Illness is cumulative.

I have found that toxicity is one of the main contributors to disease. Sure, toxins are in the food we eat and switching to organic, chemical-free options is a no-brainer, but it goes so much deeper than that. When we look at ingesting toxins, the body’s inner wisdom protects us. For example, in the intestine, predigested food moves over the villi (little finger-like receptors) and these villi decide if the nutrition will move to the blood stream to become the body, to the bowel as waste, or to the fat cells as toxins, where they stay safe until the fat cells become so engorged with toxins that the toxicity gets released into the blood stream , causing illness. Or, the toxins stay there until the fat cells get so full of fat that the fat pushes the toxins out into the body. Either way, it’s not so great.

Still, there is an even worse fate! That is if the toxicity gets absorbed right away through inhalation. This can happen via “off-gassing” from furniture, flame retardant-treated rugs, paint, household cleaning supplies, hair spray etc., and absorbs directly through the skin, as in the case of personal care items (makeup, body products, deodorant, hair products, etc.).

PRODUCT SWAP

What can you do to stop toxins from coming in? Do a swap-out! Simply choose healthier versions of items you already use. Green Beauty Team is a wonderful resource for discovering great makeup and self-care items to replace the toxic ones. It is a process that took me about two years. When transitioning to greener products, you may find some don’t work as well. It’s all about trial-and-error.

For me, finding non-toxic nail polish that wore well through cooking and dish washing was a challenge. During a visit to a nail salon, the technician used Barielle — a non-toxic polish in punchy, fun colors — and I was hooked.

chemical-free-nail-polish-barielle

Don’t stop at makeup and skincare!

Household cleaners are filled with harsh chemicals. Baking soda works in lieu of chemical-ridden scrubs, but my all-time favorite discovery has been essential oils, such as lavender, lemongrass, sweet orange, peppermint, cedar wood and ylang-ylang, which I put a few drops of in hot water and scrub surfaces and floors. The smell is amazing and I know I’m not going to die.

These are very simple changes that will truly keep you safe. It might take some time to transition, but I feel confident that you can find items that are just as good, if not better than, the commercial ones.

Feature image by mihhailov/Flickr

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Bringing in BIG Love

I just got engaged, it was a bazaar and wonderfully quick turn of events. We met at a spiritual workshop and merged at hyper-speed. Everyone thought we were nuts, until they sat down with us. One by one we have met with family members on both sides and one by one they all have the same reaction… “I totally get it!” “He is great!” “She is lovely!” “Seeing you two together makes sense.” 
This seemingly quick union was a long time coming for both of us. We are both on “the path”, I started way back when I was about 22 with workshops and meditation and he has been entrenched in a thick love of all things spiritual – culminating in 2 years at seminary.
He is deep and I am deep.
I am 41 years old, I have almost been married 4 times, each time I just knew that the person sitting across from me, however awesome, fun and attractive they were… they were not “my person” my “orb of light” to travel this life with. And so, I let go of them in search of my true life-partner. Friends and loved ones would shake their heads at me “your too picky!” I would talk with my mother after dates “what’s wrong with this one?” she would ask, nearly fed up with the endless sea of suitors. Heck, I even went on a VH1 dating reality show, but, no matter what came up, how exhausted and depleted I got from the arduous task of finding “Him” I stayed the course. I knew that God/ The Universe (or whatever you find comforting as that energy) had a better plan for me, bigger and more fun then the one that lived in my head. I knew in my body and my bones that if I listened to others thoughts on my love life, I’d be in big trouble.
I did the work, attending workshops on finding love, creating the environment for love to come in, re-vamping my apartment with feng shui experts, if there was a book on love or a work book on bringing love into your life, I read it, I did it. Seemingly whacky rituals, became a part of my weekly practice, healers, clairvoyants and mediums, yes, I sought them out too.
Then finally, after yet another unsatisfying relationship and breakup, I gave up. That is not to say that I gave up on the hope that my partner was out there, I gave up on doing it alone. That is when I started my daily conversations with God.  The conversation started as a crying fit that left my eyes red and gave me the hiccups, there I was on my big white rug, on my hands and knees, and I just surrendered. With my face wet with tears I looked up at my ceiling… “I cannot do this alone anymore, I need you God, I need your help” then I got very still and what came out of my mouth surprised me, it was such a strong and powerful voice, a voice with such knowing – it was coming from me, but I was not talking, I was being spoken. This is what the voice said through me:
“God, I know that I am born for one man and I know God that you have born a man just for me, I know God that you are bringing us together now and when we do meet it will be fast and fun and full of wonder, I know that he will respect me and I will respect him, he is kind and thoughtful, we have abundance and great laughter, ours is a limitless love, we are both attracted to each other with such passion, he makes me smile, we create a life that is full of family and babies and health and joy! I thank you God for this and all you have given me already.”
I said some version of this every morning right about the time I started an intense daily yoga practice, mid-July. My morning prayers, my “talk with God” out loud in my tiny apartment, on my hands and knees. The conversation covered many issues, my deep gratitude for EVERYTHING, every stick of furniture, every item of clothing, each friend, every loved one, every client, the sunshine, the earth, clean water and a bounty of delicious food, I acknowledged it all even the bad dates that I had, focusing on how much fun it was to get dolled up and have men buy me dinner, I was grateful for their masculine energy, for the moments that I was not alone on a Saturday night. I approached my morning prayer with thanks and deep knowing that he was on his way, envisioning a life with him, breathing into it with security that it was already here, that I had already stepped into my life.
And then he showed up. Just like that.
Pretty soon into our relationship I let him know about my morning “conversations with God” I trusted him with my story of what I had been asking for. His smile widened as he shared with me that at around the same time (mid-July) he did the same thing – giving up, and seeing it and asking for God’s help.
We all have the ability to manifest great love, it is not just for some of us, it is for us all. My mother always said “God wouldn’t bring you all this way to leave you all alone!” so, I believed her and I believe in my power to manifest.
Now I sit here in this new apartment that I am slowly bringing my belongings into as we plan our wedding. I’ve kept my yoga practice and each day I have my conversation with God. It takes only a few minutes but it sets everything in motion for the day.
What can you do?

          1) Start with gratitude – give thanks for all that you have and everything that is on its way

          2)   Bless the planet and your loved ones – each morning I send love to my mom in Florida, I send love to the ancestors who have passed on, I ask God to watch over family and friends

         3)    Focus on abundance and career with gratitude and knowing that more great things are on their way

         4) Get in y
our body, take some long deep breaths to center yourself for the day

        5) Ask for God’s energy where you need it – If I have an intense cooking job I usually ask God to have my grandmother work through my hands to make sure everything is delicious
        6) share with God what you long for in a partner (some version of what I have written above) as you share, feel the feeling of him/ her already in your life, visualize waking up next to them, sitting to eat with them, walking with them etc. express gratitude for them in present time. Feel the feelings of love and joy, then, breathe them in.

        7) Imagine your future as if it’s happening in real time, where you live, who is in your house, your health, your job, your finances… this should be fun and only takes a few minutes

       8)  Give thanks one more time to seal your practice
I feel confident that with these tools you are now manifesting your partner!
With love,
Donna

My Momma said "CHILL!!!"




My Mom always says that God/ The Universe has three possible answers for you when you come for guidance
                            1)   YES
                                    2)   NO
                                        And…
                                                  3)   WAIT

                                                         
The third one can be maddening. As we sit and wait for… fill in the blank____________ it can seem like an eternity. I have a best girlfriend -best selling self help book author Karen Salmansohn  I love her. She likes to think that what you are bringing towards you is on the way, however, it’s simply “stuck in traffic”
We never know why things take longer than we think they should take. Mom also said “things happen in God’s time, not your time, so relax!”
My mother has lived a long life filled with disappointment at one end of the spectrum and big, wondrous surprises on the other. She has had both failed marriages and great loves, she has experienced huge abundance followed by tearful poverty only to find herself flush with money again. She understands the flow of the universe. She knows when to tell her daughter to chill. I haven’t always listened to her.
 I remember one very painful conversation after a breakup. She got very soft with me and said simply
 “ I wish I had a time machine, I wish you could sit down with your future self, the one who already has all of the stuff that you want in life, the partner, the babies, the house, the great career… I wish that you could sit down with her so she could spread her arms open wide and say it’s all here for you, just relax and be patient… it’s on its way!”
 Or as Karen would say “Relax, it’s just stuck in traffic”
Can you be patient? Can you allow the universe the time to “cook” what you need in the oven of possibility, cook it until it is done to perfection and just as you ordered it?
Esther and Jerry Hicks’s Abrahamtalk about “allowing” can you take the white-knuckle grip off of your idea of how things are supposed to be and open your hands to how the universe will prepare them? Most often times they are even better and more fun that what is in your head, so why not?
I know how challenging this can be but what if they really are on their way?
 Of course you do all you can do, you visualize, you make sure that your language is in alignment with your idea for the future, you learn all you need to, write in your  journal, meditate etc. but then there comes a point when you just need to chill, relax and allow.
What can you do?
                 1)   Get still


                2)   Take 5 deep breathes inhaling for a count of four, holding for a count of four, exhaling for a count of four


                3)   Imagine yourself in a tranquil white room, a room full of light, a very cheerful room



                4)   Now imagine that you are sitting in a chair and there is another chair, empty right across from you



                5)   Imagine now that your future self comes to sit with you, take her/ him in… how does he/she look? What do they tell you? Let it be light and fun.



                6)   Write anything down that you have learned from this conversation



              7)   Chill, relax, and allow




 I have every confidence that we are all experts at the art of manifesting – all you are right now is a result of all you have done so far. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other. 

with love and light!

Donna 

My Momma said "CHILL!!!"





My Mom always says that God/ The Universe has three possible answers for you when you come for guidance

                            1)   YES
                                    2)   NO
                                        And…
                                                  3)   WAIT

                                                         

The third one can be maddening. As we sit and wait for… fill in the blank____________ it can seem like an eternity. I have a best girlfriend -best selling self help book author Karen Salmansohn  I love her. She likes to think that what you are bringing towards you is on the way, however, it’s simply “stuck in traffic”

We never know why things take longer than we think they should take. Mom also said “things happen in God’s time, not your time, so relax!”

My mother has lived a long life filled with disappointment at one end of the spectrum and big, wondrous surprises on the other. She has had both failed marriages and great loves, she has experienced huge abundance followed by tearful poverty only to find herself flush with money again. She understands the flow of the universe. She knows when to tell her daughter to chill. I haven’t always listened to her.

 I remember one very painful conversation after a breakup. She got very soft with me and said simply

 “ I wish I had a time machine, I wish you could sit down with your future self, the one who already has all of the stuff that you want in life, the partner, the babies, the house, the great career… I wish that you could sit down with her so she could spread her arms open wide and say it’s all here for you, just relax and be patient… it’s on its way!”

 Or as Karen would say “Relax, it’s just stuck in traffic”

Can you be patient? Can you allow the universe the time to “cook” what you need in the oven of possibility, cook it until it is done to perfection and just as you ordered it?

Esther and Jerry Hicks’s Abrahamtalk about “allowing” can you take the white-knuckle grip off of your idea of how things are supposed to be and open your hands to how the universe will prepare them? Most often times they are even better and more fun that what is in your head, so why not?

I know how challenging this can be but what if they really are on their way?

 Of course you do all you can do, you visualize, you make sure that your language is in alignment with your idea for the future, you learn all you need to, write in your  journal, meditate etc. but then there comes a point when you just need to chill, relax and allow.

What can you do?

                 1)   Get still


                2)   Take 5 deep breathes inhaling for a count of four, holding for a count of four, exhaling for a count of four


                3)   Imagine yourself in a tranquil white room, a room full of light, a very cheerful room



                4)   Now imagine that you are sitting in a chair and there is another chair, empty right across from you



                5)   Imagine now that your future self comes to sit with you, take her/ him in… how does he/she look? What do they tell you? Let it be light and fun.



                6)   Write anything down that you have learned from this conversation



              7)   Chill, relax, and allow




 I have every confidence that we are all experts at the art of manifesting - all you are right now is a result of all you have done so far. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other. 

with love and light!

Donna 








Bringing in BIG Love



I just got engaged, it was a bazaar and wonderfully quick turn of events. We met at a spiritual workshop and merged at hyper-speed. Everyone thought we were nuts, until they sat down with us. One by one we have met with family members on both sides and one by one they all have the same reaction... "I totally get it!" "He is great!" "She is lovely!" "Seeing you two together makes sense." 

This seemingly quick union was a long time coming for both of us. We are both on “the path”, I started way back when I was about 22 with workshops and meditation and he has been entrenched in a thick love of all things spiritual – culminating in 2 years at seminary.

He is deep and I am deep.

I am 41 years old, I have almost been married 4 times, each time I just knew that the person sitting across from me, however awesome, fun and attractive they were… they were not “my person” my “orb of light” to travel this life with. And so, I let go of them in search of my true life-partner. Friends and loved ones would shake their heads at me “your too picky!” I would talk with my mother after dates “what’s wrong with this one?” she would ask, nearly fed up with the endless sea of suitors. Heck, I even went on a VH1 dating reality show, but, no matter what came up, how exhausted and depleted I got from the arduous task of finding “Him” I stayed the course. I knew that God/ The Universe (or whatever you find comforting as that energy) had a better plan for me, bigger and more fun then the one that lived in my head. I knew in my body and my bones that if I listened to others thoughts on my love life, I’d be in big trouble.

I did the work, attending workshops on finding love, creating the environment for love to come in, re-vamping my apartment with feng shui experts, if there was a book on love or a work book on bringing love into your life, I read it, I did it. Seemingly whacky rituals, became a part of my weekly practice, healers, clairvoyants and mediums, yes, I sought them out too.

Then finally, after yet another unsatisfying relationship and breakup, I gave up. That is not to say that I gave up on the hope that my partner was out there, I gave up on doing it alone. That is when I started my daily conversations with God.  The conversation started as a crying fit that left my eyes red and gave me the hiccups, there I was on my big white rug, on my hands and knees, and I just surrendered. With my face wet with tears I looked up at my ceiling… “I cannot do this alone anymore, I need you God, I need your help” then I got very still and what came out of my mouth surprised me, it was such a strong and powerful voice, a voice with such knowing – it was coming from me, but I was not talking, I was being spoken. This is what the voice said through me:

“God, I know that I am born for one man and I know God that you have born a man just for me, I know God that you are bringing us together now and when we do meet it will be fast and fun and full of wonder, I know that he will respect me and I will respect him, he is kind and thoughtful, we have abundance and great laughter, ours is a limitless love, we are both attracted to each other with such passion, he makes me smile, we create a life that is full of family and babies and health and joy! I thank you God for this and all you have given me already.”

I said some version of this every morning right about the time I started an intense daily yoga practice, mid-July. My morning prayers, my “talk with God” out loud in my tiny apartment, on my hands and knees. The conversation covered many issues, my deep gratitude for EVERYTHING, every stick of furniture, every item of clothing, each friend, every loved one, every client, the sunshine, the earth, clean water and a bounty of delicious food, I acknowledged it all even the bad dates that I had, focusing on how much fun it was to get dolled up and have men buy me dinner, I was grateful for their masculine energy, for the moments that I was not alone on a Saturday night. I approached my morning prayer with thanks and deep knowing that he was on his way, envisioning a life with him, breathing into it with security that it was already here, that I had already stepped into my life.

And then he showed up. Just like that.

Pretty soon into our relationship I let him know about my morning “conversations with God” I trusted him with my story of what I had been asking for. His smile widened as he shared with me that at around the same time (mid-July) he did the same thing – giving up, and seeing it and asking for God's help.

We all have the ability to manifest great love, it is not just for some of us, it is for us all. My mother always said “God wouldn’t bring you all this way to leave you all alone!” so, I believed her and I believe in my power to manifest.


Now I sit here in this new apartment that I am slowly bringing my belongings into as we plan our wedding. I’ve kept my yoga practice and each day I have my conversation with God. It takes only a few minutes but it sets everything in motion for the day.

What can you do?


          1) Start with gratitude – give thanks for all that you have and everything that is on its way

          2)   Bless the planet and your loved ones – each morning I send love to my mom in Florida, I send love to the ancestors who have passed on, I ask God to watch over family and friends

         3)    Focus on abundance and career with gratitude and knowing that more great things are on their way

         4) Get in your body, take some long deep breaths to center yourself for the day

        5) Ask for God's energy where you need it – If I have an intense cooking job I usually ask God to have my grandmother work through my hands to make sure everything is delicious

        6) share with God what you long for in a partner (some version of what I have written above) as you share, feel the feeling of him/ her already in your life, visualize waking up next to them, sitting to eat with them, walking with them etc. express gratitude for them in present time. Feel the feelings of love and joy, then, breathe them in.

        7) Imagine your future as if it’s happening in real time, where you live, who is in your house, your health, your job, your finances… this should be fun and only takes a few minutes

       8)  Give thanks one more time to seal your practice



I feel confident that with these tools you are now manifesting your partner!

With love,
Donna


The Secrets to a Beautiful and Healthy Life

People always ask me for advice. I am an expert after all and have been helping people get healthier for years now. In this fast paced-media-snippet-sound-bite world we live in, most people want it short and sweet. People don’t want to have to think too much. Here are some guidelines that are pretty easy to follow. They are my basic thoughts on how to be healthy and peaceful, also on what the body needs. When clients and friends follow these simple ideas, the body goes to a place of balance, peace and most importantly, wellness.

Here goes:

Respect the wisdom of the body. The body is always looking to be healthy and is searching for optimal wellness. All you need do is create an environment where it can do what it does best.

Eat real/whole food — foods that are what they say they are. An egg is an egg, brown rice is brown rice, an apple is an apple and so on. Chew your food thoroughly and when you chew, keep your mouth closed!

Avoid sugar, alcohol, chemicals and processed foods, including processed salt (choose Celtic sea salt or Real salt brands).

Buy local and organic and naturally raised when possible.

Eat foods in harmony with nature.

Winter calls for more soups and stews, less cold salads, more cooked pears and apples. No tropical raw fruits or enjoy them sparingly as they affect your body’s ability to process much-needed vitamin D, contain large amounts of potassium, and the body thinks it is getting plenty of sun so it gets lazy and the production of vitamin D dissipates.

>> >> For more information on dairy, see Dairy: Silent Killer or Delicious, Creamy Treat?

Drink good quality water; this means water that is from a spring or has been aggressively filtered (I own a Kangen sytem and feel it is the best on the market). You can also buy spring water in glass as plastic leaks into the water and creates a large amount of toxins (I think Mountain Valley Spring water is the best). Avoid caffeine as it completely taxes the adrenals. Enjoying it as a fun treat is okay once a week or so, but not every day. Limit dairy. Fermented/full fat dairy is okay in small amounts (check out my other article ).

Have some sea vegetables, they are loaded with minerals and iodine (Maine coast are an OK brand). Include some algae as it is a super food that is fully packed with nutrients (chorella/ spirulina).

Get rid of your microwave and heat your food up on the stove or in the oven.

Make sleep very important. Figure out how much your body needs and do your best to get that amount.

Do something physical each day go for a walk, a run, do yoga or dance in your underwear.

If you are in a relationship, make love as much as possible.

Respect the body’s need for being in nature and make time to be near the ocean or the woods.

Take sun responsibly and avoid chemical sunscreens.

If you use self-care items and makeup, peruse this site for smarter/ healthier options.

Surround yourself with kind/loving people who build you up and love you. Set boundaries and command respect. Cut out toxic people.

Unplug from electronics at times.

Meditate, write in a journal, pray and honor something bigger than yourself, whatever that means to you.

Love yourself deeply and fully. Practice self-acceptance by loving the parts of you that you have the most trouble loving.

Practice forgiveness when you can.

Floss your teeth, brush them and scrape your tongue (watch my video on oral hygiene for tips). 

Be polite. Hold doors for people and if you see someone who is elderly or a parent with a stroller/pregnant woman on the subway, offer up our seat. Treat others as you wish to be treated.

When ending a relationship, imagine how the other person feels and have compassion. After a break-up, call  your most supportive and loving friend, express your feelings fully, move through any  disappointment and

Ask yourself, ’What have I learned from this? How can I use this information for my next big romance?’  Then, take care of yourself like Charlize Theron the week before the Academy Awards!

Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want.

Flirt with handsome men or beautiful women who lock eyes with you on the street.

Throw out all of your underwear and buy all new underwear when you feel it is time to do so.

Try a media fast by not watching the news or reading the paper for a while.
If something really important happens, you will hear about it from your friends.

If a compliment pops into your head, don’t hesitate to share it.

Smile at old people and children.

Laugh like you mean it!

Always remember that life is a gift, life is good, enjoy it!

Feature photo courtesy of the National Media Museum. Photo of Donna by Amy Fletcher 

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Eating Sugar the Healthy Way

Sugar cane is a lush green tropical plant/grass. In its untouched form it is full of vitamins and minerals the body actually needs, including, iron and the B vitamins, especially niacin and B-6; calcium, magnesium and phosphorus for strong bones and potassium.

Unfortunately, that’s not what ends up in our food, drinks, baby food and pasta sauce – yes, some baby food and pasta sauce are actually loaded with sugar!

When sugar is processed, the vitamins, minerals and fiber become a thick blackish-brown syrup- product called blackstrap molasses, which is separated out.  Then everything else that’s left from the sugar cane gets bleached to remove impurities that would keep it from looking snowy white.  What’s left over is refined, white sugar and this is what I am talking about – this is the “white devil.”

Illness loves sugar

Americans consume on average 142 lbs. of sugar a year per person.  In 1699 colonists consumed about 4lbs of sugar per person a year. Diabetes is at an all time high and diseases related to sugar intake are on the rise. It’s pretty clear that the sweeter we get the worse off we are. 

When a client comes to me with any kind of illness from a common cold to acne to HIV to depression – the first thing I ask them to do is reevaluate their relationship with sugar.

What type of sugar do you consume?

Contrary to what most trainers and registered dietitians think, not all sugar is ‘bad’ sugar.  I was giving a lecture on sugar a few years back and this woman exclaimed, “ I cannot have carrots.  My trainer said they are ALL sugar!”  My reply was simple, “Yes, he is right. They do have sugar, but they also have fiber and nutrients.”  That is, unless you juice them….

The last time I had a carrot juice, I literally couldn’t get up off of the couch afterwards– I might has well have had a jelly donut! 

It’s the fiber and nutrients along with fat that slow down the insulin spike which causes fatigue, among a variety of other issues.  If sugar comes in a form that’s been untouched from its original state, it has probably the fiber, nutrients and hopefully fat along with it too.  

That said, I still tend to avoid or eat in moderation very concentrated natural sugar sources, like dried fruits.  The fact remains that no one I know has ever gotten fat, or sick from eating carrots, apples and blueberries.

How overloading on sugar leads to diabetes

When you have too much sugar (about 8 grams or so) at once, the brain sends a signal to the pancreas that there is too much sugar in the blood. So the pancreas releases the hormone insulin to go into the blood stream and opens up the protein molecules– like Pac-Man – to gobble up the sugar and keep things balanced. After a while, if the person consumes processed white sugar in a way that is rough for the body (meaning no fiber and nutrients in the stomach), the pancreas gets exhausted and ‘gives up’….and this is called diabetes.

Where is it hiding in your diet?

Start to gage the amount of refined sugar by being aware of what you eat.  This includes all refined carbohydrates like white pasta, white rice and (dun dun dun!) bread.  Most obviously desserts are loaded with refined sugar – and sorry to break the news – but booze is high up on the sugar scale. No matter how many antioxidants red wine has, it also has a lot of sugar.  

Yes, there’s a time for chocolate!

I love Ayervedic medicine (ancient Indian wellness).  They actually have a time for chocolate!  It is right after lunch in the afternoon. The understanding is that once the stomach is full of nutrient-dense, real food (like protein, fat, and vitamins) then it creates the cushion of fiber and nutrients, that we talked about earlier, to absorb the added sugar into the system.

What’s going on with you when you are reaching for the sugar?

There is a strong correlation between emotions and sugar because it can give us a ‘lift’. We literally get a bit of a ‘high’ or a ‘rush’ because of the sugar alcohol in sugar. It really does act like a drug in the body.  Notice if you reach for sugar when you feel blue, tired or if you are a social/peer-pressure sugar ‘user.’

What you can do to make your sugar intake healthier

1) Choose to sweeten with only unrefined sugar such as: honey, maple syrup, molasses and date sugar.  Yes, it’s still all sugar but these unrefined forms have some trace minerals (in the case of blackstrap molasses or date sugar) and vitamins too. 

2) Timing is everything – consume sugar after you have eaten other nutrient-dense foods containing fiber and fat.

3) Open your eyes to your overall emotional state when reaching for the stuff! Are you tired? Bored? Upset? Lonesome? Heartbroken? 

4) Please ‘heart’ your pancreas. Treat this sweet potato-shaped organ lovingly and with respect. Remember all of the hard work it does to keep you healthy and don’t stress it out by overdosing on sugar.

Chances are you are sweet enough without the sugar, so find other ways to sweeten up life if you need a pick-me-up.  Puppies always do the trick for me, but don’t eat them, that would be really wrong. 

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Super- popped corn

1 tablespoon organic coconut  oil – whole / unrefined (you may also choose to use pastured unsalted butter)

1/4 cup organic -non GMO popping corn

1 teaspoon spirulina powder

1 tablespoon – 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (as desired)

sea salt -to taste

using a heavy stainless pot with a lid ,coat the bottom of pot with oil – heat (on high)  until ribbons form (just under smoke point) place kernels in and shake pot to coat with oil, place lid on firmly, reduce heat to medium high- now listen- as the popping gets furious, adjust the temperature lower – you can also raise the pot off the flame – while still over the flame, when the popping slows down shut flame off – keeping lid on until completely quiet, toss popped corn in a bowl (not plastic) and sprinkle with the rest of ingredients list.

enjoy!

 

Super- Iced Tea

1 – 12 ounce bottle organic black unsweetened iced tea in a glass bottle – or make your own using  12 ounces of hot water and two organic black tea bags(let cool and then chill)

12 ounces of filtered cold water

2 droppers full “Chi-Tea”brand Ultimate  (caffeine-free) Green Tea concentrate

1 teaspoon “nutra-fruit” (or any organic brand) black raspberry powder

1 tablespoon organic maple syrup

juice of 1 organic lemon

lemon slice (for garnish )

mix all ingredients in a glass mason jar, seal tight and shake, place in fridge until chilled serve with lemon slice