The need to chew…

the-need-to-chewWe all have it, whether we choose to admit it or not, and some of us have it worse than others. I would put myself in the top percentile of the world of needing to chew. Chewing is great when you are eating, but if you need to chew between meals that either means you have to eat when you really shouldn’t, OR you have to find something to chew on…such as gum or hard candies. So let’s start with gum. Many people chew sugarless or sugarfree gum so the caloric value is of no importance. HOWEVER, with Sorbitol being the number one ingredient in sugarless or sugarfree gum…I’m forced to chew the REAL thing because I cannot digest Sorbitol AT ALL. But enough about me. The other danger in chewing gum is that our body was not designed to be constantly chewing. Dr. Mercola states that chewing requires sophisticated neurological mechanisms. For example, the brain sends a signal to your stomach to start producing digestive elements like acid and other digestive enzymes preparing the body for what it thinks is food get ready to come down the pipes. The more gym you chew, the more acid your body generates and thus you have an imbalance in acidity and the chance things like acid reflux to develop.

Ok, I had to get a little sidetracked so I could explain why a little stick of gum is more than just a pacifier. But there are many OTHER things we chew on all day long that we don’t include in our daily calories. I would bet that you don’t include gum (I know I neglect this). We rarely include anything that we munch on in between meals. Especially if it is a “bite of” someone elses snack, or a “handful” of someone elses chips. We don’t include things we eat while standing, or the food we graze while we are actually making our meal. (I’m the BIGGEST culprit here — snacking on things while making dinner because I have let myself become too hungry between meals). We don’t include the 5 or 10 calorie “diet” drinks we drink by the gallon or the little creamers we put into our coffee. We don’t include the mint that we have to have to freshen our breath or the cough drop we need to clear our throat.

So we have an excess of chewing going on which results in a whole lot of extra calories that we would swear we aren’t taking in…it must be our metabolism that has slowed down. The goal today is to EITHER right down all of the things you chew when you aren’t eating OR to go for an hour at a time without chewing anything at all. I will abide by the same rules and if anyone has any helpful hints to help create a chewless environment for us…PLEASE share!!

Good Luck!!

The 5 worst foods…and what we can eat instead!

I love Dr. Mercola’s website because it is always filled with insightful, truthful and helpful knowledge that I actually learn from on a daily basis. He mentions the 5 worst foods. And I couldn’t agree more with him. So I thought I would mention the foods he has listed and come up with some suggestions to have in place of these not so nutritional foods that we ALL crave at one time or another.

Assorted Donuts on white1. Doughnuts – This one tops the list. Oh, how we can count the ways of non-nutritional value…let’s see, they are fried, made of white processed sugar and white processed flour and 40% of that ONE doughnut is nothing but trans fat. Now, I will fess up – I think I crave doughnuts as much or more as the rest of the Krispy Kreme supporters…it’s the sweet smell of dough that draws me in. When I have one of my “doughnut” cravings, I resort to Beverly International or Jay Robb’s protein powder mixed with water, to a pudding consistency. If you take 1 scoop of Chocolate protein powder and mix with water, microwave for 1 minute…you get a wonderful tasting brownie with none of the unwanted calories or trans fat!! Also, Matisse and Jack make a great, preservative free Trail Mix that you only have to add unsweetened applesauce to and bake. I add a scoop of all natural peanut butter or soynut butter to give it even more flavor. You can also use Agave Nectar to sweeten things up if it’s the sugar that you want. And lastly, Parillo makes a great protein pancake/muffin mix that tastes SO GOOD and for me…tastes as sweet as a doughnut but with healthy benefits! They have Maple and Banana flavored and I use my Agave Nectar and Extra Virgin Coconut Oil to top it off.

2. Soda. We all know that regular soda it just carbonated sugar with some benzene. No nutritional value. But let’s speak of Diet Soda. That’s just carbonated sugar alcohol with some benzene. I used to drink a 6-pack (at least) of diet soda a day. So believe me, I understand. Sometimes you just want that “kick” that you get from soda…even diet soda. When I quit drinking diet soda, my cravings for sugar and bready things quit ruling my life. It was a never-ending cycle. Drink a diet soda, eat pretzels, drink a diet soda, eat candy, drink a diet soda, eat crackers. All just wasted calories. But believe me…I understand how hard it is to quit. No pressure. But here are some alternatives. Decaf Iced Green tea, use lemon to sweeten or any other of your favorite fruits. I use Pineapple, Grapefruit and even Strawberries! Often times I’ll do 3 parts decaffeinated iced tea and 1 part fresh fruit juice. Then you have a taste that satisfies your sweet cravings and one that isn’t just plain water. Believe me…I know that plain old water can get very boring!

3. French Fries. Let’s see, the white potato – a simple carbohydrate, and then you fry it, salt it and eat it. There has to be a better way. First of all, if you can…try to stick with sweet potatoes. My guess is that if you are craving french fries you want something crunchy, hot and salty. You can slice your own potatoes and bake them in the oven, using sea salt or your favorite seasonings! Try this link for a great “oven french fries” recipe.SONY DSC

4. Chips. We all love chips to snack on. Of course I’m going to say that if it’s crunchy things you crave you can always chew on some fresh carrots or other raw veggies. But, again, I completely understand. When you want a chip…you want a chip. So try to find chips that are made from Spelt flour or Rice flour instead of “enriched flour”. Other great options are Pita Chips, Roasted Soy Beans, and homemade popcorn!! Here are some options that you can find at any health food store or the organic section of your local grocer and and my ALL-TIME favorite chip to snack.

5. Fried Non-Fish Seafood – this is last on Dr. Mercola’s list. The problem with foods like fried shrimp, clams, oysters or lobsters is that these foods give you a quadruple dose of toxins — trans fat, mercury and parasites with every single bite. Seafood is fantastic, I LOVE IT – just try to refrain from the fried – fast food kind. When I have to have something that tastes salty and fried I go straight for Quorn products.

I hope some or any of this was helpful. If you have any cravings (because believe me, I have craved everything under the sun and have had to develop creative ways to rid myself of my bad habits) or wish for some additional information, please email me.


Quick and Simple Steps to Detoxing Your Body

detox-your-body-to-get-healthyThere are so many ways to detox according to the many books, websites and programs dedicated solely to getting rid of toxins that accumulate in the body over time. For some reason, detox seems to be taboo to some people. It’s like religion, it’s personal and not everyone is on the same page. The word “Detox” tends to strike some of the same personal chords within people. However, “to each his own” and wherever you stand with your body – I’m sure you will take the proper steps accordingly.

I have yet to try fasting, or liquid diets or any thing that I consider to be too restrictive. I do, however, try go keep my diet filled with only fresh, raw, natural and preservative free items. I can’t argue that the polluted air I breath and the preservatives that do slip through into my body undoubtedly collect and have no choice but to eventually bring down the same body I try so hard to keep up. Along with exercise, healthy food choices, community and spirit there are things that we can do to aid in ridding ourselves of things it doesn’t need (toxins).

The body works so hard trying to cipher through the crap we fill it with so that it can squeeze out the actual vitamins, minerals and nutrients that it needs to keep living. When we fill it with more crap than nutrients…over time…we become malnourished. That has nothing to do with our weight, it just means that we lack the nourishment the body needs to function at full capacity. It’s like filling your gas tank with a whole bunch of car candy fuel and even though you filled the tank, and you spent $50 doing so….you car only got 30miles out of the whole tank, because the fuel that could be squeezed out of the car candy was minimal. If you did that again, and again, and again…your car would start to fall apart. Well, that’s exactly what happens to us.

Ok…but there are some things that you can do that don’t require you to give up eating completely.

1. Drink plenty of water. (I can’t say that enough)

2. Each plenty of fresh fruits and fresh vegetable. (go for organic, but if that’s not available, just stay with the fresh produce and avoid the frozen or canned if possible)

3. Avoid Caffeine

4. Avoid boxed/canned/frozen foods that contain ingredients that you foreign to you. And the more ingredients that it takes to make that “chip” , the better of you are staying away from it.

5. Avoid sugar.

6. Drink hot tea.

7. Don’t eat at least 2 hours before you go to bed.

8. Exfoliate your skin. Your skin is the organ that shows many of your health’s imperfections. You will need to keep your skin fresh and exfoliated so you can rid toxins through natural means (sweat).

9. Take a great multivitamin (with minerals), fresh fish oil, flax seed, a good pro-biotic and a digestive aid (see your doctor to know what vitamins are appropriate for your body)


Be careful taking DETOX pills, powders or drinks without any doctor consultation. My opinion is that you can “spring clean” without the aid of magic potions. But that is my opinion only.

I do recommend Detox Foot Pads to aid in your detoxification process, but you can research them to decide if they’re actually something you want to try! They are harmless and help to support the cleansing process. Please read and decide for yourself.

These are some very simple ways to get your body operating at full capacity. Here’s to a great Spring and an even better Summer!!

Work can make you sick

work-can-make-you-sickAccording to the Washington Post, the prospect of losing your job can damage your mental and physical health.  Having chronic job insecurity — or you, as an employee, constantly thinking they are out to get you or that at any moment you may lost your job — is more strongly linked to poor health and depression than is ACTUAL job loss (ie, getting fired), or a brush with life threatening illness.  I will attest to this with every consonant, vowel, period I can find.  I have been there before…but I always thought I was just being “paranoid.”  And maybe I was.  However, I was sick to my stomach.  Not to mention walking on thin ice and egg shells make you quite tired.

What causes the physical (and mental) damage is the unrelenting nature of the stress.  If you are fired, you are more likely to “go into action” and are forced to cope.  But if you are just walking around work in “insecure mode”, you can’t cope because you are in constant response.  You go over the problem in your head again, and again, and again, and again, and again, there is no relief.  That sends your blood pressure through the roof and the actual chemistry of your body and brain changes.  The physical and mental problems can include sleeplessness which leads to a weakened immune system which leads to illness and physical ailments.  And that’s just the beginning.

My suggestion is to not put all of your eggs into one basket.  Don’t give everything you have to your career…it can turn around and spank your bottom without any warning.  Focus on “life” outside of work.  Church, friends, community, family….this is where you will grow on the inside and this will lead to many helping hands when life gets rough.  Not to mention, it’s a great way to network.  Then, if a job loss occurs, or you feel one is coming, you won’t feel like you are stuck in a sink hole.

My good friend Steph always says “Let go, Let God”…which means, we are not in control of everything that happens — we can’t pretend to be.  The things that burden us or consume our thoughts and take away from our actual living…those things we need to let go and hand over to God…he will worry about those so we can tend to life.

‘Lumbersexual’ this generation’s ‘metrosexual’

lumbersexuals are the latest trendThe term ‘lumbersexual’ is one of the hottest trends taking over the internet, and if you have been checking out any of the major blogs like Huffington Post, or Gawker, then you know exactly what we’re talking about! One of the key features of the lumbersexual is a beard – doesn’t matter if it’s groomed or long and scruffy, they just have to have a beard. It’s usually going to be on the longer side though, and not a weird chin strap beard like you might remember the Backstreet Boys rocking back in the day.

Another key stable for any lumber-like dude is the plaid shirt. Yes, this retro wear is making a huge comeback, and if it’s flannel, even better! It doesn’t really matter the color, it just has to be plaid, and if you have some suspenders to throw in, then even better!

Tight jeans are a must for any self aware lumbersexual as well, and you’re usually going to want to go with a piece of well-worn denim. Cuffs rolled up at the bottom? Yes! These are going to help cover your sweet logging boots that you scored at H & M or the like.

The typical lumbersexual isn’t brawny or tough like an actual lumberjack, and in most cases are nothing more than a hipster poser, dressed in “tough” looking garb. Either way though, it’s a pretty cool look!

Some seem to think that this newest woodsy looks is due to the rising trend in environmentalism:

Puzak suggests that perhaps this business is all about a renewed interest in environmentalism, or indicative of the shift away from the traditional 9-to-5 office gig. Also, that there is a “beginner’s end” on the Lumbersexual spectrum that might be represented by, say, Ryan Gosling in RedWing work boots carrying a leather Jansport Pleastanton backpack, like so. (from Jezebel)


Either way, if we thing this look is pretty dang awesome, and we hope that it’s hear to stay! Let us know YOUR thoughts in the comments!

Here’s a pretty sweet video explaining this latest trend…