Category Archives: Weight and Health Tips

Get Your Patriotic On!


Fourth of July means friends, fun, food and fireworks. It can also mean fat increase if you are not careful.

Here are some healthy tips to keep you enjoying the holiday without penalizing your waistline.

1. Continue to practice your healthy eating habits on the picnic day. Do not skip meals or save calories for the “big meal”. That sets you up to overeat!!!

2. If going to a party or picnic, offer to bring an appetizer and side dish. That way you can guarantee there will be healthy choices for you.

3. Be watchful of your portions and choose NOT to have the dessert!! Instead, maybe bring a box of sugar free popcicles to share with the crowd or have a cup of coffee instead!

4. Make sure that you do not slack off from your daily exercise routine the day of the picnic. Try adding 10 or 15-minute brisk walks twice that day with available family members or the partygoers. Plan active activities such as croquet, bike riding, or taking a hike instead of sitting around and talking or watching TV.

5. If you are throwing the party, have lots of vegetables available, instead of chips only. Prepare lower fat dips and offer salsa. Explain to your guests in advance your determination to make this a healthier holiday celebration, and ask them to keep this in mind when preparing any dish they may be bringing.

6. Stay away from high calorie beverages such as sodas, juices, smoothies, and blended coffee drinks. There are nearly 150 calories in one 12-ounce can of soda or juice. Smoothies and coffee drinks are often 250-500 calories, excluding the whipped cream. Alcohol is packed full of calories and carbs. It can also cause you to let down your defenses and overeat or make poor food choices. All of these indulgences will kick you out of fat burning stage and you’ll have to start over (in a sense).

7 Make sure to have a healthy meal before going to the picnic. That way you won’t be tempted to overeat because you’ll have already fueled your body… ALWAYS plan ahead.

8. At the picnic, choose healthy foods and fill a 9 inch or salad plate. Stay away from the chips and bread and corn and don’t go back for seconds.

9. If the holiday party is at your house, send some of the left-overs home with your guests, especially the desserts!!

10. Remember to eat slowly, which will help you to eat less and feel full and satisfied.

11. During holiday weekends, make your goal to maintain your weight and not to gain any!

12. Be positive. Don’t let your weight and cravings take control of you.

13. Holiday traveling… don’t forget to pack your convenient healthy meals! Put small meals in zip lock bags and use them to cushion around items in your suitcase. Also bring a cooler full of fresh vegetables and water.

14. Remember the reason for the season and focus on ‘fellowship’ and not on ‘food’!

15. Habits are habit forming… People form habits but habits transform people! Let’s Take Shape for Life! Let’s transform our thinking to become choosy about what we eat. Let’s make it a habit to select healthy foods and plan to integrate healthy foods as part of our ‘prescription for life’!

Have a Happy and Healthy Summer Picnic Season!!!!


Important Habits of Happy, Healthy, and Successful Individuals

Why are some people better at life than others? they seem to have it all, wealth, healthy, and a bounty of other blessings.  What’s their secret?
It’s no secret. These individuals simply follow a set of habits that positively affect their lives in all areas.   Want to know what those habits are?
Happy, Healthy, Successful people:
1. Don’t hold grudges.
2. Think outside of the box.
3. Go by a routine and make exercise a part of it. It takes practice to develop healthy habits and stick with them. Once you do, your internal foundation will be strong.
4. Have a support system, thereby not wasting time with negative or toxic people.
5. Don’t care about what other people think. Does a tiger lose sleep over the opinion of sheep?
6. Don’t people please.
7. See difficult and challenging situations as opportunities for personal growth.
8. Consider handling rejection a skill and are resilient.
9. Make time for themselves. Whether it’s getting eight hours of sleep every night, finding 15 minutes to read the newspaper in peace or an hour to go to the gym, they make it a priority — just like everything else. When you take care of yourself, you have a bigger impact on others.
10. Are spiritual. They set aside time each day for reflection through yoga or meditation.
11. Practice deep breathing.
12. Know there isn’t such a thing as “having it all,” and they’re happy about that. Wouldn’t the world be a boring place for them otherwise?
13. Don’t permit Fear to hold them back. They’re ready to take risks.
14. Know how to say “NO,” and don’t hold back. These people have learned to set boundaries. Plenty of them.
15. Learned a great deal from other people whom they admire. Either they had a great mentor, or they took note of how those they aspired to be like handled various situations.
16. Follow their inner guidance. Not only do they have a vision, but they follow it.
17. Give without expecting anything in return.
18. Aren’t pretentious or conceited.
19. Authentically believe in what they’re doing. Passion is what drives them.
20. Don’t complain.
21. Live by their core values in both their professional and personal lives.
22. Are happy to swim against the tide.
23. Finish what they start.
24. Don’t compare themselves to other people.
25. Make health a priority. This includes physical, mental, emotional health and how they treat their bodies.
26. Advocate for their own health.
27. Put God or a higher power first in their lives.
28. Focus on relationships. If you aren’t right with those you love and who love you, then nothing else will compensate for that lack.
29. Spend time enjoying nature.
30. Want everyone to succeed, too.


Kickstart Your Cleanse


There are so many different cleanses out there. Before making your choices be aware of these 3 factors.

1. Is the cleanse requiring you to eliminate beneficial things from your diet, i.e. lemonade, grapefruit, juice cleanses that all require that you consume nothing else? You are not doing a healthy cleanse in this manner. You are, instead, starving your body of vital nutrients and minerals.

2. Is the cleanse time specific? The 48 hour, 72 hour, or week long cleanse is a fallacy.  A true cleansing is not time specific.  You want to create an ongoing cleanse of any toxins that slip unaware into your body, not just a short term “scrub” to get them out for a little while.

3. Is the cleanse target specific? The colon cleanse and other such organ specific cleanses don’t focus on the overall body.  Toxins get stored all over the body, not just in one specific location.  Don’t let the fads deceive you.

The healthiest cleanse is one that cleanses your entire body of toxins permanently over a long span of time.  It increases your metabolism, changes your habits, and improves your overall health.

My personal preference is Take Shape for Life™ for food-borne toxin cleansing.  It provides the daily requirement of vitamins and nutrients, fuels the body, and encourages the flushing of fat and toxins. It can be used as long as needed and the program instructs and teaches healthy lifestyle habits for the long term. You can learn more here.

For all other toxin cleansing, I prefer essential oils and megavitamins. These encourage cellular cleansing and repair and toxin flushing at the cellular level (another place insidious toxins can reside and most cleanses do not address). Here is more information.

Educate yourself.  Avoid the fads. They are all hype, want your hard earned cash, and give you nothing in return. Do your research. You can create the healthy lifestyle you want and live a life free from toxin based illnesses.

Creating a Healthy Body


We go out of our way to put garbage in our bodies.  We eat things that our bodies can’t use like preservatives and chemical dyes. We wash our clothes and clean our homes with substances that are full of toxic chemicals that seep into our skin and food. We even breathe in toxic chemicals in our offices, in our homes, and outside if we are city dwellers (just think of all those chemical room sprays we use). To top it off, we apply chemicals to our skin and seem surprised when we feel sick later. Those chemicals can’t be used by our bodies so they are hoarded… stored away. These stores cause just one thing: ILLNESS.

In order to create a Non-Sick lifestyle, you have to begin by cleaning up your current reality. In other words, it’s time to detoxify.

Where to begin?

You can start with what you put in your body voluntarily… food!

Eliminate alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined sugars and saturated fats, all of which act as toxins in the body and are obstacles to your healing process.  Where possible, go organic and above all, READ LABELS.  If you can’t pronounce an ingredient and don’t know what it is, then you shouldn’t eat or drink it.

Be aware of what goes into your body involuntarily!

Look at your cleaners.  These are just as dangerous to your health as toxic foods since chemicals can seep through your skin.  An easy rule of thumb: if it’s chemical based, it’s not good for your body.  Avoid things that contain ethylene-based glycol, terpenes, hypochlorite or sodium hypochlorite, butyl cellosolve, and crystalline silica. All of these are known carcinogens and have been shown to cause cancers and breathing illnesses.

Be aware of your hygiene items as well.  Many of them contain the chemicals listed above.  Go for natural alternatives instead. You’ll get the added bonus of saving a TON of money.

Once you’ve cleaned up your personal “environment”, add in these three toxic cleansing activities.

1. Adequate sleep! Sleep is when the body does most of it’s self-cleansing.  Get enough sleep to allow your body to perform a full cleanse cycle.  That means a minimum of 6 hours a night if you are an adult.

2. DRINK a minimum of 80 oz of water a day! The body flushes toxins better when there’s a solvent involved.  Water not only aids in cleansing the body but it keeps your body hydrated, helps eliminate cravings (for those toxic substances), and decreases your hunger. Trying to use coffee, tea, juices, or soda as a solvent, just won’t  work. Water is the only thing the body recognizes as a solvent for cleansing and besides, all soda and many coffees, teas, and juices contain chemicals you shouldn’t be putting in your body.

3. Exercise properly! There are specific exercises that promote detoxifying and they are great for increasing mental health,overall flexibility, and enhanced mood. Make use of them to help the body cleanse itself of residual toxins.

You’ll find that cleaning up your “personal environment” will give you more energy, improve your health, and will actually save you money.  A win/win, don’t you think?



Oils and Addiction


While essential oils can’t “cure” addictions, they can certainly help combat addictive symptoms and minimize or even eliminate mild to persistent cravings.  This week, as I focus on addiction, I thought it would be helpful to offer some essential oils information for treating addiction/cravings.

Below are the various essential oils and the addictions they assist in managing (this list is by no means comprehensive):

1. Clove

Aids in combating nicotine/tobacco addiction.  Apply one drop under tongue. 

2. Grapefruit

Aids in combating drug cravings and addiction. Apply one drop to top of tongue and under nose.

3. Rosemary

Aids in combating alcohol addiction. Apply one drop on top of tongue.

4. Helichrysum

Aids in combating alcohol addiction. Apply one drop on top of tongue.

5. Orange

Aids in combating alcohol addiction. Apply one drop on top of tongue.

6. Lavender

Aids in combating alcohol addiction. Apply one drop on top of tongue and under nose.  Aids in combating drug cravings and addiction. Apply one drop to top of tongue and under nose.

7. Basil

Aids in combating drug cravings and addiction. Apply one drop to top of tongue.

8. Eucalyptus

Aids in combating drug cravings and addiction. Apply one drop to top of tongue and under nose.

9. Marjoram

Aids in combating drug cravings and addiction. Apply one drop to top of tongue.



Locked in Chains


Addiction is just as restrictive as any man-made prison or religious concept of hell.  We all have our own addictions; i.e. nicotine, alcohol, control, retreat, food, shopping, I could list hundreds.

What causes us to get addicted to a substance or behavior? Simple. At some or several points in our life, we felt the need to develop a coping mechanism. From the need to cope, we fell into patterns of behavior that quickly became an addiction.

My personal addiction is food. I built up habits that allowed me to control what I ate when I couldn’t control my life.  However, finding comfort in food meant that I eventually became unhealthy and overweight.

How do we get out of those behavior patterns? Not so easy as determining how we became addicted in the first place, BUT there is light at the end of the tunnel. Addictions can be overcome. To do this, specific tools are needed.

First, SUPPORT is key to overcoming any addiction. Even food addictions. Knowing you are not alone, not in the battle by yourself, is a big shot in the arm when trying to break any addiction.

But like any warrior, you need tools.



The ability to build better coping habits,

Recognizing the basis or fears that caused our addictions in the first place,

these are our basic tools.

Before you can really use these tools though, you have to know what you are using them against. So what are your deepest fears? What is it you are trying to hide from via your addiction?

E=mc² : the Health Equation


We all know the formula E=mc².  Did you know it applies to your success at losing weight, gaining muscle, and reshaping your body?


Let’s break it down.

m= Manipulation of muscle, or exercise, is great but it can’t stand alone as a means to reshape the body.  Muscles need food to grow, stretch, and define.  Not just any food either. It has to be the RIGHT food building blocks, particularly lean proteins.  Carbs won’t do it, fats certainly won’t do it, and sugars…well, we all know that those are useless for anything other than a quick energy burst followed closely by a dramatic plunge in your blood sugar levels and a drop in your energy reserves. No, muscles NEED lean proteins and they need them immediately BEFORE you tax those muscles in order for the protein to be put to optimal use. Additionally, your muscles need fuel RIGHT AFTER you tax them.  They will use the protein you consume to get through a tough workout or labor intense job, but once the work is over, those muscles need MORE food.  To keep those muscles working long after you have actively stressed them, they require fiber, at least 1 1/2 cups of healthy fiber. The fiber feeds your muscles and continues to fuel them as they recover from the workout you’ve given them.

Here’s what happens inside that muscle you are working so strenuously.


You need protein to provide energy to the muscles as you tear them apart in exercise and fiber to fuel them as they begin the repair process.  ** Not only does fueling immediately before and right after a workout aid your muscles during exercise but it keeps your muscles from pulling vital resources from other parts of your body like your internal organs or brain.

c²= Consumption squared is the foundation of a healthy body. What goes in should be sufficient to effectively feed and fuel your brain, your blood, your muscles, your bones, and your internal and external organs. Yes, you need to feed your skin (the largest organ of the body). That being said, quality and quantity are important in this equation. Foods high in sugar, fat, and simple carb construction are not good for your body as a fuel source.  They burn off too quickly and the body only manages to use a small portion of them before they are expended. Foods low on the GI (Glycemic index), i.e. lean protein, dark green veggies, complex carbs, high fibers, are great for the body as they pack a whole lot of fuel and energy into a small package. These foods also take longer to get through the body, thus allowing the body to use the majority of these fuel sources to build muscle, repair the body, and strengthen organs. A diet high in low GI foods produces much less waste (urine and feces) than a diet high in simple carbs, sugars, and fats. But you can go overboard here as well.  The body is only capable of extracting a certain percentage of what it needs from what it is fed at any one time.  Eating too much of a good thing (low GI foods) results in the body having to store what it can’t use right away.  That means the fat cells and the liver (the body’s storage units) receive the excess. When you are trying to lose weight, feeding your fat cells is the LAST thing you want to do. So watch those serving sizes!

Let’s end our equation and talk about the results of Manipulation of muscle PLUS Consumption squared.  The result is…

E= ENERGY. Sufficient energy to build muscle, trim your waistline, strengthen bones, and increase mental acuity. The result is not just sufficient energy but an excess of energy which increases “m” exponentially. You will feel better, move more, be capable of achieving more physically and mentally, when you apply the principle of E=mc² to your health.