Category Archives: Health

3 Ways to Cleanse with Us

… Even if you’re not cleansing with us

If you didn’t join our group cleanse this spring, we want you to know that we’re still thinking about you and want to support you from afar! Spring is the time when your body really wants to cleanse. It’s truly is primed and ready to release anything unneeded, like toxins, extra adipose, water retention, and the like. To feel truly vibrant, help that precious body along!

  1. Drink lots of water. Start your day with one or two big glasses of water with fresh lemon in it, and then sip water all day long between meals (not with meals).
  2. Sweat that out with exercise, an IR Sauna, and/or a hot Epsom salt bath.  
  3. Go light on the fat and sugar, and hit the greens hard… lots of leafy greens – arugula, parsley, cilantro, baby spinach, kale, microgreens. Be sure they’re organic and chew them well to extract as much nutrition from as possible!

And if you still feel like you need some extra support, we have another smaller group beginning their cleanse on May 12th. Stay tuned!

Image credit: Speleolog

Where our Goals Intersect

I hope you’re crushing those New Year’s Resolutions! Or moving towards your dreams in a way that makes you feel hopeful and happy. Progress, no matter how tentative, builds momentum and life force energy. There’s so much reward even in taking just one step forward.    

If you’re looking for a little activation energy to get started on your wellness plan, this is where our goals intersect.    

I LOVE helping people transform their health the natural and lasting way. I’ve dedicated decades of my life to learning how to do that through many disciplines, including traditional nutrition, holistic health coaching, functional medicine coaching, yoga, and yoga’s sister science Ayurveda. Then I poured the best combination of that knowledge and experience into The Ultimate Rejuvenation Cleanse.     

It is a cleanse, and so much more. In this 28-day program, you’ll cleanse out toxins, sugar addiction, and inflammation. You’ll also infuse yourself with deeply nourishing foods, habits, self care, and perspective shifts. You’ll learn experientially which foods serve your unique body and which ones don’t.   

All these gains will stick around, and propel you towards your goals even after the cleanse is done. This is not one of those one-dimensional, deprivation diets where you drop some pounds and gain it right back plus a few more. The goal of this program is multifaceted nourishment so your body heals, rejuvenates, and you reach your ideal weight almost as a side benefit.    

Additionally, you’ll cultivate fantastic energy, glowing skin, mental clarity, and profound wellness. You’ll learn a lot, get excited and inspired, discover great new things, and have expert support.     

The program follows a gentle, luxurious pace. Slow and steady wins the race! In the first seven days, we build a strong self care foundation before we make a single change to our diets. During the second week, we start to make a few dietary shifts towards whole, unprocessed food. The third week is the official full cleanse week, with plenty of delicious food and self care the whole time. Finally, the fourth week is when we test for food sensitivities. Often it’s those hidden sensitivities that cause pesky health issues like low energy, weight gain, brain fog, sinus and skin issues, digestive woes, etc. This is a major key to well-being that most people miss.

You’ll get a content rich, inspiring email every morning, a 200+ page eBook with everything you need to know about the cleanse plus lots of bonuses, 150+ delicious cleanse friendly recipes, a Quick Start Guide that cuts to the chase, a private Facebook group to chat with me and other cleansers, a few optional live events including 2 conference calls, a shopping trip, and celebration dinner (if you’re local).

If this sounds like the perfect program for you right now, let’s take that step forward together –  join the cleanse today! We can also stay connected on Facebook.

Image credit: Al1974ex

I bet you never heard THIS productivity secret!

There’s so much excellent wisdom about increasing productivity that you could get seriously behind in your work researching the many ways to be productive. The books, blog posts, and TED Talks are shiny objects that I cannot resist. However, despite all the time I’ve spent unlocking the secrets to my productivity, I can’t say any of of the techniques became my permanent M.O. I suspect I’m not alone in that.

I do however have a pretty awesome productivity secret of my own that my clients and I have discovered along the way. It’s a little different because it’s not about setting up systems, planning, or scheduling. It’s more about removing what is blocking your mental clarity, energy, and motivation. From your dinner plate.

It’s gluten.

Surprised? If I had a dime for every client that has been truly astounded at how much more mental clarity and energy they gained by removing gluten from their diet, I’d be able to make a long distance call from a payphone. If I could find one. Here’s what one client said after being gluten free for about a month, “I got done in one hour what used to take me all day. The mental fog is totally gone.” Other clients (myself included) noticed how much less we procrastinate. Getting things done doesn’t feel like such a slog. There is more ease and less resistance. So your work gets done more efficiently, and more effectively as well.

I can’t help thinking… if going gluten free can make that much of a difference in productivity for one person, imagine if a whole company did it? Whoa.

Millions of us suffer from what is called “non-Celiac gluten sensitivity”. That’s when the proteins in gluten don’t necessarily cause digestive distress, but they do make you physically fatigued, mentally lethargic, and struggling with motivation. There is a whole spectrum of other conditions that glutlen sensitivity can lead to as well, from annoying to debilitating.

If you’re suffering from low energy and mental fog, try removing gluten from your diet for a few weeks and see what happens. Odds are you’re going to start feeling a lot better and getting your work done like a boss. Without blood, sweat, or even coffee.

Going gluten free might seem daunting at first because gluten is omnipresent in our diets. But it’s really not that difficult once you learn a few tricks. Restaurants are getting on the bandwagon and offering more and more gluten free options.

Do yourself a favor by doing it the right way. Swap all that bread and pasta for nutrient dense whole grains like quinoa, brown or black rice, and other whole food starches like sweet potatoes, not highly processed gluten free white bread and pasta. We want you to get healthier too, not just more productive.

And now a word from our sponsor… In my cleanse, I can show you how to go gluten free (and test for other common food sensitivities), significantly upgrade your nutrition, and get you taking better care of yourself than ever before. When you do that, your vitality, mood, and productivity skyrockets!

Now back to work!

Image credit: Alper Kutay Erke

Can we talk about Weight Loss?

In the relentless pressure to be thin, many men and women turn to programs and products that promise rapid weight loss. Even though by now, we all know that the process will not be pleasant, it may not be healthy, and any weight loss will probably be temporary.

But this will be the LAST TIME, right?

After years and years, and millions of confirmations of this truth, maybe we should stop the pushing that boulder up the mountain over and over again (unless it’s part of our workout), and take a more permanent approach. To be effective, we need to get to the root cause of the weight issues, not just put a temporary Band Aid on it, like we so often do in our society.

When we have been struggling for so long, trying a million things, reading a million blogs and books, we can lose our ability to see clearly and start focusing on wacky things.

  • Maybe it’s not those red apples or bananas, but the late night choco-thon, as my friend Rona realized in one aha moment.
  • Possibly you don’t need to add yet another punishing workout to your schedule, but learn to relax more. Cortisol throws a huge monkey wrench in our weight loss efforts.
  • Perhaps more than WHAT you’re eating, WHY you’re eating is the real problem. Stress, procrastination, boredom? We need to learn better ways of dealing with those things.

Of course, most of us could stand to clean up our diets a bit – eat more veggies, drink more water, have less sugar, gluten, and simple carbs, chew better, eat in a more relaxed way, spend a few hours not eating between meals, detox, … etc. All of that makes a big difference, especially when addressed in conjunction with lifestyle choices.  That’s exactly what we do in our cleanse. We shine a light on all of these aspects, so they work synergistically to give you better, healthier, and more long term results than just starving yourself and doing P90X three times a day. Which, incidentally, can stress out your body and make it even harder to lose weight.

In the functional medicine world, we flip the usual viewpoint upside down. Instead of focusing solely on weight loss, we see weight loss as a natural side benefit of getting healthier. Maybe this is the year to get off that torturous, ineffective hamster wheel and focus on the best way to nourish, care for, and love ourselves, and find our ideal weight the real way. The more pleasant way. The permanent way. Try our cleanse this year… you’ll be so glad you did. Wishing you so much amazingness in 2019!

Image credit: All Fitness

Common Causes of Constipation

In our quest for health and vitality, we focus so much on the “input” that we forget the importance of the “output”. We can eat this, not eat that, take all these supplements, and stay hydrated, but if we’re not pooping regularly, we’re not going to achieve the wellness we are seeking.

Picture your fridge… you put all sorts of fresh veggies in the produce drawer. But if you don’t move them through there quickly enough, it’s all going to rot, make a mess and stink up the fridge, and you’re not going to benefit from all the nutrients the veggies contained.

Same with your digestive system… you eat all these luscious fruits and veggies, clean protein, fiber, healthy fats, etc. If you don’t digest them well and efficiently, they will in essence rot in your gut, and all the toxins and junk your body wanted to expel will get reabsorbed into your blood stream, causing a vicious cycle of toxicity and impaired function. There’s a reason you feel a little polluted when you’re constipated.

Health coaches will often ask their clients if they’re regular, and the client says oh yes, I go #2 regularly. Only later to find out that regular for that client meant once a week. No bueno! Some people have been irregular for so long they think it’s normal.

To be clear – regularity is a nice, easy, complete bowel movement every morning. There may be a sense of lightness, emptiness, and energy when you’re done. It’s okay and good to have another one later in the day too (which can happen if you’re really hydrated). Interestingly, how your poo looks can even reveal a lot about your health. Check out this handy, dandy doody chart!

If you’re not achieving nirvana on the throne, the top three common drivers of constipation include:

  1. Low magnesium status. Magnesium is important for muscle contraction and relaxation, both of which are vital for good bowel movements. Low magnesium is unfortunately becoming more and more common as our soils are depleted of nutrients. Different forms of magnesium are helpful for different issues. Magnesium citrate is especially good for constipation (and can cause loose stools when taken in excess of your needs).
  2. Low stomach acid. This is also very common (and in a bizarre twist of fate, can be the cause of acid reflux). One of the best ways to increase your stomach acid and improve digestion/elimination is to slow down, relax while you eat, and chew your food very well. If that doesn’t do the trick, try sipping apple cider vinegar during your meal or taking betaine HCl. (Best done under the guidance of an experienced health coach specializing in a functional medicine approach.)
  3. Dehydration. Almost no one drinks enough water. The best way to stay hydrated is to drink a couple large glasses of room temperature water upon waking. Then sip water every half hour throughout the day. Try not to drink a lot immediately before or right after meals, so that you don’t dilute your precious digestive juices.

If you fully implement these three strategies and still suffer, you may wish to schedule a consultation with Charlotte Ott, our resident constipation expert. She loves talking about poopin’!

Image credit: everydaynewinfo on flickr.com

The Many Benefits of Daily Body Oiling

Abhyanga is an Ayurvedic practice that involves massaging good quality oil into your skin every day. It’s the perfect remedy for the cold, dry, winter air! Most obviously, daily oiling helps your skin retain its hydration and luster. When you oil your skin in the morning, you feel warm and cozy all day, as if you were wearing silk long underwear. Oiling your feet at night helps you to get more restorative sleep. The physical action of massaging oil into your skin and joints helps to relieve stiffness and improves circulation, giving your whole body a nice glow and boosting energy and overall health. Since there is so little circulation in the joints, they can really benefit from the extra attention. You can even put a little oil in your nostrils to help keep the sinuses moist, which helps you to avoid colds and sinus infections.

The benefits of abhyanga don’t end with the physical. According to Ayurveda, the cold winter air can also impact the mind, causing us to feel jittery, scattered, and exhausted. Regular application of oil infuses your body-mind with a grounding energy that soothes any winter-induced anxiety or forgetfulness. All of these symptoms (cold, dry, stiff, anxious, scattered, tired) that we can relieve with abhyanga are often associated with aging. This is why abhyanga is considered one of Ayurveda’s top anti-aging strategies!

How to oil

  1. Since your skin absorbs whatever you put on it, use the highest quality oil you can find – organic, cold-pressed, and in a glass bottle when possible. Jojoba, sesame, and coconut are great choices. Most of these are available at the grocery store. However, you can also purchase wonderful oils infused with herbs or essential oils (we especially love Sarada’s Woman Power oil!). Natural, cold-pressed oils contain fatty acids, vitamin E, and other antioxidants that promote healthy skin. Sure, lotions often add vitamin E, but not the whole vitamin E complex, like natural oils have.
  2. Before your shower, rub the oil into your skin, using long strokes on the long bones, and circular motions around the joints. Be sure to pay attention to your toes and feet, fingers, and neck too. Enjoy it!
  3. You don’t need to use a lot of oil.
  4. If you like, you can rub some into your scalp. This helps keep your hair healthy and conditioned. (When doing the hair, it’s great to let it soak in for 10-15 minutes if possible.)
  5. Using your pinky finger, you can apply a bit of oil to your nostrils as well. “Nasya” oil was created for this purpose, and is usually infused with sinus opening herbs like eucalyptus. But of course regular oil also works well.
  6. When you shower, the warm water will help the oil to sink in. Be sure you don’t use soap on the arms and legs. You may need to shampoo twice if used a lot of oil in your hair. Blot your skin dry after the shower.
  7. An alternative option is to apply the oil after your shower. Just use less oil, and give it a few minutes to sink in before getting dressed.
  8. When you’re cooking, rub extra olive, sesame, or coconut oil into your hands!
  9. Ayurveda is pretty obsessed with oiling. They even put drops in eyes, ears, other places :-0 and swish with oil like mouthwash. It’s really good for dental health. Swishing with coconut oil actually whitens your teeth while improving dental health! If you decide to try this, swish for about 10 minutes as you do your morning routine, and spit the oil out in the trash, not the sink (because it can clog the sink over time).

Image credit: Lisa Mair

Why + How to Avoid Glyphosate


For a long time, Monsanto’s weedkiller glyphosate (the main component of Roundup) appeared to be nontoxic to humans. Consequently, farmers began using it liberally on their fields and crops, which rapidly increased residues in our food and water supply (especially on wheat). Unfortunately, a large and growing body of evidence suggests that glyphosate is causing a variety of serious chronic conditions, even at the “safe” levels we are all being exposed to.

Far from being an innocuous herbicide, glyphosate:

This isn’t one of those cases where negative effects are only seen at unrealistically high intakes. A review published in 2016 in Environmental Health points out that there is “…evidence of heightened cancer risk in human populations at levels of exposure actually experienced in human populations” and that kidney and liver damage occurs “in the range of what are now generally considered ‘safe’ for humans”.

Conventional wheat is especially noxious because it is routinely doused with glyphosate at least three times during cultivation, with a heavy dose right before harvest. This final dose dramatically increases glyphosate residues in foods made with wheat.

Due to this cumulative data, at least 13 countries have banned or severely limited the use of glyphosate. The US is not one of them. Not only that, but the acceptable daily intake (ADI) for glyphosate in the US is almost six times higher than in the EU (1.75 vs 0.3 mg/kg body weight/day).

To avoid glyphosate-related health issues, especially if you already suffer from hormone imbalance, kidney impairment, fatty liver, digestive woes including Celiac, or food sensitivities, it would be wise to:

  • When eating wheat, always be sure it’s organic.
  • Minimize or eliminate wheat in general.
  • Choose organic produce as much as possible.
  • Avoid using the weedkiller Roundup in your yard or garden. You can absorb it through your skin and lungs.
In our next post, we’ll share some great alternatives to wheat!
Image credit: Chafer Machinery

What’s your Smoking?

I have a friend who smokes. Not all the time, but maybe a little more than “just when she’s out drinking”. She is polite about it, and doesn’t expose us to her second hand smoke. The rest of my friends don’t smoke, and as a whole, are vigorously and vocally anti-smoking. So as you might suspect, my smoking friend periodically gets a little well-intentioned flack from my anti-smoking friends.

At one point, she asked why it’s okay for all of us to get on her case about her occasional smoking, when it would be politically incorrect, mean, and hurtful for her to get on anyone else’s case for their unhealthy daily habits, like eating too much sugar, eating too much in general, not exercising, drinking too much alcohol, not prioritizing sleep, etc? You know, the kind of stuff we all do a little too much, a little too often. Are these things not as dangerous as cigarette smoke?

Well, dang. She had a point.

Dr David Katz, founding director of the Yale-Griffith Prevention Research center, said, “Children today will experience more chronic degenerative disease as a result of their poor eating habits than from cigarettes, alcohol and drugs combined.” Although he was talking about kids, research suggests that this probably applies to adults too. Quitting smoking is certainly low hanging fruit for improving health. But so is quitting sugar, and the like.

This conversation reminded me of the biblical quote about removing the log from your own eye before trying to remove the speck from someone else’s. So my take home message was this – when I find myself getting judgmental about my friend smoking, instead of getting on her case, telling her what she already knows, I’m going to ask myself, What’s MY “smoking” and what am I going to do about that?

What are your thoughts about this topic? Comment below!

Update: The friend mentioned in this post quit!!!

Image credit: KsushPush