That’s Lettuce?! – A Different, Kinder Veggie Tale

Earlier this week, I stopped into a make-your-own burrito place for lunch. The lunch rush was building, the line was growing longer, but the space was small enough that you could interact with (and hear) those around you.

Even with a slew of burrito lovers, I could clearly hear the orders for the couple of those a few places after me in line.

It’s probably a good time to fess up at this point and tell you I’m a people watcher. I LOVE how we interact with each other, how we experience seemingly inconsequential moments and make sense of our world. (Because of this, I think I may be more attuned to what goes on around me. Although most days I wish I didn’t hear the conversations of others in restaurants when the conditions were like these, that day, I was humbled and happy that I did.)

Two women – perhaps colleagues, or maybe just friends meeting for lunch – followed me in line.

Their camaraderie and a sense of ease in the friendship was clear by how they engaged with one another. The first – let’s call her Ana – had never been to a lunch spot like this before, and the second – let’s call her Becky – was coaching her through the phases of building a burrito bowl.

With confidence, Ana selected her protein, rice and beans – the first phase of building a burrito; she was confident at the beginning of phase two, selecting pico de gallo (salsa fresca) and corn salsa, but then she was caught VERY off-guard.

“That’s LETTUCE?” she exclaimed. She could hardly believe it!

Romaine lettuce, which you or I may consider as a staple, was completely unfamiliar to her!

I could not believe it. In truth, my immediate internal reaction without any pause or conscious policing was totally judgmental, “this woman doesn’t know what lettuce is…”

But then, I checked myself, paused, and thought, wow. I live in a country where people aren’t familiar with easily accessible vegetables. There are people in our offices, communities, or friend groups who wouldn’t recognize romaine lettuce. (Not to mention people who don’t have easy access to lettuce at all!)

Becky, aka woman #2, did not judge, nor give her a hard time; neither did the employee. The women moved through the line without further ado and then sat down, proceeding to take pictures of their food and enjoy their time together.

What an unexpected gift Becky gave to Ana, most likely without either of them realizing it.

In my head, here’s how it went: The ladies decided to do lunch. Becky offered up the burrito place; Ana had not been before and agreed to try something new.

A commonplace, almost boring scenario, right?

Here’s the Aha!

As a result, Ana stepped outside of her comfort zone, got exposed to healthier options, was able to speak up about not knowing and was still treated lovingly.

And all of this happened over lunch!?

My take-away was that it really is the simplest of actions and moments that build our friendships and our health, and in every relationship – or interaction – we have an opportunity to cultivate curiosity and turn away from judgment.

In any given moment, we could be either Ana or Becky in this scenario.

We could be the friend opening up another’s eyes to something different, encouraging another to explore, and, in the process, sparking a healthier lifestyle for her.

Or we could be the friend who is outside her comfort zone, hoping no one judges, feeling unsure and as though we may not belong, then surprised to find we’re surrounded by loving kindness.

Whether you’re Ana or Becky, you can show people what you like, who you are, and what you value while also holding space to explore their view is where true change can start.

It may only take one small step to spark a larger change in our health, our homes, our hearts and our communities. Ana and Becky offered it to each other, and those around them are better for it.

What small change can you make today and who can you share that with?

If you can relate to this post, share your thoughts below, and, if you have any friends who might find this article helpful, please be sure to forward along!





Savor the Super Bowl Party with Smarter Snacking

Who’s ready for some Football?! And beer! And cocktails! And snacks! (and the inevitable hangover… no?)

Parties are one of the biggest potholes on the road to sticking to healthy habits, especially Super Bowl parties.

The rich noshes, flowing booze, and partying late into the evening often brings a blurry, foggy, sluggish Monday morning. (We’d love to say it’s because we danced so hard during the half-time show, but let’s be real. It was the salt, snacks, scotch and sleeplessness. The bloated, thick-tongued, puffy-eyed version in the mirror probably agrees it wasn’t your breaking it down to Justin Timberlake that left you in this condition 😉 )

Without giving up any street cred or socializing time, use our favorite healthy tricks to indulge and enjoy and still feel good on Monday morning!

Healthy Tricks for Super Bowl Soirees

Our favorite spread – all the colors of the rainbow, filling and delicious!

1. Eat before you go. Curb your appetite for fried foods and rich dips with greens, protein and healthy carbs. Try a salad with protein, loaded sweet potatoes, or hummus with veggies and a hardboiled egg.

2. Bring the snacks you want to eat. Lighter fare and lighter mixers (see #5) offer you options that suit your needs and helps others have alternatives, too. Have you heard a hostess turn down more food that s/he doesn’t have to prepare?

3. Choose dishes with the fewest boxed or bagged ingredients and go easy on breaded or battered hors d’oeuvres in favor of baked, steamed, raw, etc.

4. Have smaller portions of richer menu items and heavier cocktails and beers.

5. Go easy on sugar and sweets, including desserts and cocktail mixers. Try water or club soda instead of regular soda, juices, etc.

6. Alternate a glass of water with each cocktail and know your limit. Call an Uber or a friend to drive you home, if you’re over served.

7. Stop eating at half-time. Give your body a break from food before bedtime to allow for better quality sleep, which staves off a hangover and also prevents sluggishness (and cravings for sugar, caffeine and snacks) tomorrow.

8. Set your intention and expectation to get back into the healthier swing of things.  Give yourself a break on Monday, eat as clean as you can, drink plenty of water (non-sugary coffee drinks if you need a boost) and go to bed early. You’ll be back slaying workouts and the world’s problems by Tuesday, no doubt!

We’d love to hear your go-to Super Bowl party tricks in the comments below, and share these Super Bowl (and anytime) party tips with like-minded friends who could use them by forwarding this link!

Cheers to your indulgence, health & happiness!

The Beauty of “UNSUBSCRIBE” in Email and in Life

It has come to my attention that I get too. much. email.

Not the onslaught of work-related messages – those require a whole other coping strategy to be covered in a separate blog post for some of you.

Let’s talk about the barrage of promotional or informational emails I willingly subscribed to over the years that are (I believe) multiplying amongst themselves the longer I leave them unopened.

Too. Much.

My intentions were good, thinking, “I will give you my email address, and you shall give me a grand promotion and delightful inspirations with your beautiful informative or motivational emails!”

Sounds like a win-win. Until I did the same with an inordinate amount of individuals and institutions.

Eek! I did what any rational human would do in those conditions, I either stopped reading personal emails (sorry, friends!) or I mass deleted. I didn’t actually want to take the time to fix the problem by unsubscribing.


Until I had a few minutes of clarity and calm last week when it occurred to me that I could unsubscribe to just a few here and there and eventually cull my inbox down to a manageable amount of email that I wanted to read AND I decided I would be more selective about giving out the keys to my electronic mail kingdom. Let’s not repeat this nonsense in another five years, right?

And then, as I tend to do, I got to thinking.

Consider this tale of reaching email overload and the unsubscribe. Could it be a metaphor? You betcha!

How many times have we signed up or opted in for a conversation, friendship or even a relationship that we thought was mutually beneficial – it was so alluring at the get-go – to realize later that the fit just wasn’t right after a time.

Maybe you bought-in because you felt you belonged, or it provided validation, fun or connection.

Whatever your intention, it was real, and it is valid.

You felt you needed whatever you signed up for because you believed it would help you feel better, inspired, loved. Not a bad motivation, right?

We get stuck when the message is no longer suiting where we are, yet we continue to subscribe.

Perhaps the conversation is stale, or the values fueling the friendship no longer resonate with us. Perhaps that Facebook group doesn’t leave you feeling inspired, but deflated or tired.

We all grow and evolve at different rates. We change. Others change. When those rates of change aren’t the same, we’re no longer in sync. The benefit isn’t the same, or just isn’t there.

That’s OK.

Once you realize there might be a dynamic off-kilter, it’s time to do something about it. You’re worth it.

If you have a sense you may want to unsubscribe to a few outdated conversations or groups, here are a few tips to get you started.

  1. Practice awareness and mindfulness.

    This means to simply take stock of how you feel when you’re a part of conversations, spending time with individuals and groups and engaging online. Do you feel uplifted, energized at your core? Inspired and at peace? Part of something that makes your soul come alive or at least helps you breathe easier?

  2. Take note of how you feel.

    Make it a point to spend time with those who lift you up into a higher, more fulfilling place. Those who don’t, well, see #3.

  3. Unsubscribe.

    If you feel slimed, depressed or angry, pause. Realize how you’re feeling, accept that this environment or individual may not be a good fit. Then, minimize exposure to those conversations, groups or people. You can even mentally unsubscribe while in the middle of the conversation as you figure out a graceful, respectful exit.

You alone control how you spend your energy. Even if you have a full-time job, are retired or a student living at home, you still have the ability to control your thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and actions.

Your mental and emotional energy is within your scope of influence and you can choose where to invest. I give you the permission to take control of how you devote your unique skills, talents and mental and emotional energy to making you feel healthy, happy and fulfilled.

Within you is where the magic happens. Where change occurs. If you want to see change in your life, your body, your job, your family, start with you. Thoughts. Beliefs. Attitudes. Actions.

Unsubscribe is a beautiful technique! I encourage you to unsubscribe to outdated ideas, conversations or friendships! The beauty, too, is you can always opt back in if the message or material becomes relevant again.

Share this message with any friend who might need help “Unsubscribing.” If you’re looking for help “Unsubscribing” in your life and not sure where to start, send us a message at Have it figured out? Share your tips with our community below! We grow stronger together!

Wishing you love, health and peace, my friends!





Winter Skin Care Tips for Beautiful Skin this Season

As the weather changes, changes in the texture and appearance of your skin are inevitable, signaling you to change up your skincare tools and techniques – no matter the season! With winter coming – and in some cases, here already! – your skin may have already presented different needs, and you may not know where to start!

In today’s post, we offer not only skin care, but also DIY and diet tips that you can use to reveal your inner radiance with an outer glow this season!

As we mentioned in this springtime post, what happens on your skin, happens within, so let’s start with diet.

Eating + Drinking for Sensational Skin

Winter means drier conditions. Walk outside, and you immediately feel moisture evaporate from your skin; re-enter the home and office, and you’ll likely sense drier interiors from the increased use of heat.

Get plenty of water and non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated, non-sugary sources of hydration to naturally hydrate you from within. For every hot toddy or cup of joe, drink a glass of water to replenish from the effects of those delicious, but dehydrating, bevvies!

Omega-3’s and Vitamin E nourish and moisturize from within, so don’t skimp on healthy fats this season! Nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil and coconut oil offer plenty of health benefits and yummy flavors to your day (with the added benefit of keeping you fuller longer, stoking metabolic fire and fueling your brain, too!).

Eat whole foods and shy away from processed boxes, bagged and bottled noms to nourish your body far more than the quick snacks and meals. The extra anti-inflammatory, pH-balancing and blood-sugar stabilizing benefits of a diet free from these items also reduce redness, acne, and degradation of cells for longer-lasting health benefits overall.

Skin Care Products + Practices

Although nourishing your skin from within is a must-do, better products and practices offer quicker results and relief. Added bonus? You don’t have to break the bank with these!

First, let’s talk skin dryness. Winter brings redness, flakiness, dullness and even cracking to the point of bleeding on hands, legs, lips and even the face, itself. When I was a kid, my mom would slather Crisco on me immediately after a bath because it was the only thing that would treat the itching, cracking and dryness! (Skin issues often accompany auto-immune issues, like asthma, so my mom had her work cut out for her, but that’s another blog post. #thanksMom 🙂 )

As a result of encountering this myriad of skin woes over the years, I’ve experimented with, created and reviewed numerous products and rituals. Here are my favorite products, tips and tricks!


Gentle cleansers are always my favorite, even in the summer, but definitely in the winter! In fact, regardless of the season, I only cleanse underarms and “nooks and crannies,” and I only wash my face at night to remove make-up and anything else that may have settled while I was out and about during the day. In the morning, I may rinse again, using only water, particularly on my face.

Science has shown that the natural oils of our skin moisturize and condition as nature intended and excessive scrubbing or washing disrupts the balance, so why overdo! “Less is More” and “Keep It Simple, Sweetie” are my mottos; besides, overwashing and overscrubbing not only zaps the moisture from the skin, but can also create breakouts. Eek!

Products to consider: Cerave Hydrating Cleanser, Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, any others provided by your dermatologist 🙂

Another step of the cleansing phase that I enjoy like a kid in new snow is making my own face masque! It’s like a smoothie for your face!

A Delightful DIY Masque for Brightening & Toning

  • 1 tsp kaolin clay
  • 1 tsp cacao powder
  • 1 tsp matcha powder
  • ½ tsp maca powder
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • Combine and apply for 5-10 minutes after cleansing; rinse. Proceed with regular skin care rituals.


Exfoliating helps remove dead skin cells that create a barrier to absorption of your skin care products. However, many products in this category can be painful and excessive, even if effective.

Because of the controversial nature of the barrage of info on exfoliants, let me start by saying, if you’re already using a doctor-prescribed product, keep with it, noticing if your skin responds differently this time of year. If you have an inkling that it might be too strong or not the right fit for you, stop using it or use it less frequently.

No treatment should leave you uncomfortable for a prolonged period of time, and you are the expert in your health and what is right for YOU, including skin care. So many of my clients have wanted to try out trending products, even under a doctor’s care, and have suffered through it. Listen to what your skin is telling you and adjust as needed!

If you’re looking for a gentle way to exfoliate, mix a tsp or so of baking soda into your cleanser and gently scrub, avoiding the eye area and the delicate skin in that area. There are also topical products that will remove dead skin, such as Koh Gen Do Soft Gommage Spa Gel, which take a few minutes to apply and remove and can be done as part of a DIY facial!


During winter months, Nivea and Cetaphil are my go-to’s for full-body moisturizing. They’re fast-absorbing, very rich and leave skin radiant. If your skin type doesn’t need a heavy cream to retain oil and feel supple, go for what works for you! Lotions are just as decadent as the rich creams if your skin tells you so!

CAVEAT: Nivea & Cetaphil are do contain some chemicals, but with my allergies and skin care needs, these products are preferable for me during serious dryness. Sometimes, it’s a trade-off. If you’re into only all-natural, use a blend of coconut oil mixed with essential oils. It’s fun and fulfilling to create signature scents while getting the benefits of an all-natural, no-unprounceable-ingredients product!

For both body and face, oils are very effective, too! Many clients use coconut oil directly on the face. For me, Sea Buckthorn Oil (like this) has become a staple. I have a bar I use to cleanse a few days a week, and my daily routine includes Sea Buckthorn in the am and pm. I layer it on top of other products and underneath my sunscreen – another daily must-have, even in winter! EltaMD has a great product line that offers lasting sun protection without toxic additives. Their Clear Broad-Spectrum is a non-negotiable in my morning routine.

The Biggest Bang for Your Buck: Moisturize within 30-60 seconds of drying off to maximize the moisture retained in the skin and effectiveness of whatever product you choose.

Products to Avoid or Use Less Frequently

This time of year, go easier on scrubs (use exfoliants as needed, but pay attention to how your skin handles it and adjust the frequency). Retinols can still be used, but try to apply every other day or every couple of days if you are concerned about increased dryness, flakiness and peeling in the winter, and remember your sunscreen!

If your skin hurts, stings, burns or reacts severely with any product – whether discussed here or prescribed – discontinue use and follow-up with a dermatologist, if needed.

The Bottom Line

Even if the weather calls for gray days or dry flakes, your skin doesn’t have to follow suit! Try out these tips and let us know what works for you!

As always, we love hearing your feedback and seeing your generous shares of these posts! If you or a friend want some help adjusting diet and lifestyle for better skin health – or better health in any way – drop us a line below!

Cheers to your health!

How To Enjoy Health & Holiday Spirit This Season

Ah, the holidays! Trimming trees, decking the halls, shopping ’til you drop and traveling home for Christmas. With social engagements and soirees galore, time flies during the holiday season – a mere four to six weeks depending on how you slice it – and there’s never enough time to get it all done, let alone take care of yourself, so you can be your merriest! Sleep, exercise and eating healthy take a backseat like your narcoleptic uncle at the kids’ Holiday nativity play.

What if you could stay on-track this holiday, enjoy without going off the rails, and skip the crash dieting come January 1st?

Try a few of these hacks to keep your health and your holiday spirit intact this season!

Holiday Health Hacks

Eat before you go out.

Think about what happens when you arrive in front of food when you’re famished.

You eat everything.

You naturally gravitate towards the most satisfying. It’s biology; your brain seeks out the fastest energy, which likely equates to the most calorie-dense, least nutritious options. Pies, cookies and casseroles are way too enticing to pass up at that point. Now consider that it takes your brain about 20 minutes to recognize you’re full (even longer if you’re at all sleep deficient). By that time, you’ve had a second plate and are feeling pangs of guilt and acid reflux!

To prevent overindulging, have a snack or light meal before you show up. Keep snacks at work or in your car to ensure you have options available.

Bring your own healthy snacks, sides, desserts and cocktails with you when you can. 

Arriving with gluten free goods, colorful steamed veggies, a bottle of champagne or your favorite salad in tow ensures a few healthy options that you’ll enjoy are among those available at the party.

What host or hostess ever turned down contributions to the tablescape?

Eat your last meal three hours before bedtime. 

Giving your body time to digest and burn through that last meal aids in sleep, cellular repair and weight management. If your body’s resources are devoted to digesting your food, you miss out on the other important functions that take place during this critical time, like removal of waste in the brain, storing of memories and information and detoxification.

Get enough sleep!

During the holidays (or any peak season), you’re managing more responsibilities, expectations, demands on your time and energy, let alone traveling. You’re going to be stretched more thinly and more depleted.

Be sure to get enough sleep! Listen to your body for signs you need more Zzzz’s, like sugar cravings, lower tolerances for annoyances and stress, munchies, reduced control of your emotions (quicker to yell or cry than normal).

Take care of yourself! If you have any questions on how to navigate healthy habits this Holiday, drop us a line below, and feel free to share this article with your friends and family who need helpful hints, too!

Cheers to your health and happiness this Holiday and all year!

Three Healthy Holiday Tips You Can Start Doing Today

Healthy Holiday tips and tricks, healthier habits, health, lifestyle healthy lifestyle

We are now embarking on Holiday Season! Thanksgiving is next week! It feels like this year has flown by, doesn’t it?

From family gatherings to office parties to shorter days and cold weather comfort foods, temptation abounds, and we can easily lose sight of our healthy intentions amidst all the excitement and expectation of the season!

Not to worry! We’ve got a few tips to help you stay on top of your health this holiday, starting today!

Tip #1: Set Your Intentions with Healthy Holiday Goals

As you go through your day, take note of how you want to feel this holiday season. How do you want to describe the last few months of 2017 when you look back on it next year or years after? Is it saying no to foods you don’t really enjoy so that you can prevent weight gain? Is it spending more time with close family and friends? Or taking more pictures to document the memories? Whatever your heart’s desire for this holiday, set the intention today.

Why this works?

You get clear and convicted before the hubbub distracts you and pulls away mental resources. The act of simply setting a goal makes you more likely to achieve it, and writing it down increases your likelihood of success by 42%!

Consider your intention like a compass for how you can stay healthy this holiday season.

Tip #2: Eat Cleaner Now

Any of the intentions you set above will be more successful if you’re feeling well, have energy and are clear headed. Your food choices make a huge difference in mental clarity and physical energy.

Why this works?

The brain gets wired by food additives, emotional eating patterns and biology to crave certain foods. The best way to crave something tomorrow is by eating it today.

Begin reprogramming your brain and your biology before you hit a time of heightened stress. When you are in those more stressful scenarios, your brain doesn’t have the capacity to be as effective in forming different habits. Laying the groundwork before you hit holiday peak time sets you up for success!

Tip #3: Establish Exercise Routine Today

Much like food and drinks play a part in keeping your stress managed, your brain firing on all cylinders and your body fueled for fun and frivolity, so does exercise! Find a few pockets of twenty minutes throughout the week when you can be more active.

Why this works?

Twenty minutes a few times a week catalyzes weight management, overall physical health, stress management and mental well-being. Start today! Whether before work, during a daily conference call or after dinner, seize the opportunity to be more active. Walking counts! So does holiday shopping, washing the car or even vacuuming.

Do the best you can to make the most of the time you have and start now by making small shifts that lead to long-lasting benefits!

Up next…

We’ll share healthy holiday tips for the kitchen, holiday parties and even managing family dynamics and social pressures! As always, we love to hear from you – what are your favorite tips and tricks to stay healthy and happy during the holidays?


The Simplest Test of Good Health & You Can Take It At Home!

Stress, inflammation and chemical imbalance throw the body into dis-ease, which, when measured and monitored early, can lead to prevention! It’s all about body chemistry, pH actually. If your body chemistry (pH levels) is conducive to health, your mind is clearer, your body moves freely and easily, and you feel great! By doing things to keep your body in that happy pH place, you also get more oxygen to your cells, reduce systemic inflammation and prevent acute and chronic illness.

What is the pH happy place?

Let’s take a quick trip back to middle school chemistry. Remember the pH scale that ranged from 0-14 with 0-7 being acidic and 7-14 being basic? It’s the same principle!

Put simply, if the pH of your body is too acidic, there is not enough oxygen and other good stuff flowing, which creates an environment that is welcoming to bacteria, yeast, and viruses. This chemistry also allows inflammation and weakens the immune system along with other systems in your body.

However, when the body is more alkaline or above 7.0 on the pH scale, you know you’re in healthy territory, starving the colds and viruses and feeding the cells that fight off disease and inflammation. Lucky 7 keeps you feeling your best! Ideally, a pH of 7.2 on the pH scale is healthiest for all your systems and cells.

How do I know my pH?

You can measure it at home for almost pennies! Using pH paper, like this one, you can test your pH by placing it under your tongue for a few seconds or in your urine stream to get a read.

if you’re around 7.2, you’re on a roll!

If you’re below 7.2, that’s ok! It’s temporary and within your control to change!

pH-Balanced Best Practices

  • Choose foods, drinks and lifestyle habits that reduce the acidity in your body
  • Reduce coffee, soda, alcohol, sugar, dairy, processed foods
  • Invest in organic fruits and veggies, particularly those on the Dirty Dozen
  • Choose organic, free-range and cage-free chicken, eggs, and red meat
  • Opt for sustainably farmed fish and organic dairy
  • Drink more water!
  • Mind your mental garden (more on this coming soon!) by being intentional and mindful of where your energies are spent
  • Spend time exercising, like walking, jogging, playing tennis or doing yoga
  • Set aside 15 minutes a day (or however much you can) for quiet reflection time
  • Many individuals reap significant benefits from meditating, journaling, developing an affirmation practice or taking a quiet walk in the woods in as little time as a few weeks!

Your pH is information that you can use to know when and how to adjust your lifestyle towards healthier habits.

Your pH is not the be-all-end-all metric for your health, and of course, it is no substitute for blood work and other labs that are crucial in the management of your health, particularly if you are managing a chronic disease.

The Best Practices we discuss above provide a myriad of benefits that reduce stress, aid in weight loss and weight management, prevent disease, manage chronic pain and bolster mental health.

Adopt just a few and see what a difference they make in your health by simply measuring your pH!

Do you already manage your health by your pH? Share your best practices with us below!

Upgrade the Candy Bowl with Healthier Halloween Treats

bowl of halloween candy, healthier halloween, halloween candy

Halloween marks the beginning of the Holidays! Sure, Thanksgiving is the heavier kick-off to the Season, but Halloween marks the beginning of the teeter-totter of balancing your health goals with the onslaught of temptation of sweet treats, shorter days, sleepier bodies and sluggish feelings.

Want to keep your health goals in check, and maybe uplevel the neighborhood Trick-or-Treating? Try these healthy swaps!

Instead of candy, try…

  • Small boxes of raisins
  • Individually-packaged dried cranberries
  • Fruit strips, like these
  • Mandarin oranges, like Halos or Clementines
  • Packages of pretzels
  • Granola bar bites
  • Mini bottles of water
  • Plastic rings in the shape of spiders, skeletons and the like!
  • We had one client who passed out quarters, half-dollars and rolls of pennies instead of candy!

To mitigate the possibility of higher costs for these healthier options, shop sales and bulk stores, like Costco and BJ’s. It’s well worth it to share healthier options and you certainly won’t feel as guilty when you sneak some treats from the pile 🙂

How do you make Halloween healthier? We’d love to know! Share your ideas with us below!

Three Quick (& Healthy) Weight Loss Tips You Haven’t Tried

Looking to slim down, drop weight or lose inches? Our three healthy weight loss tips will help you kick-start or rev up your weight loss efforts.  No powders, pills, or starvation necessary. You’ll use your body’s natural science to boost your metabolism, tone up and slim down.

Tip #1: Kick all processed carbs to the curb.

Get rid of boxes, bags, and bottles. Bottled, store-bought juices and smoothies (particularly those in the grocery store aisles), breads, pastas, cookies, crackers, low fat snacks and whole grain snacks contain a lot of sugar and starch that slow down weight loss, particularly for those with food sensitivities.

Kick them to the curb!

Need some ideas on better snacks, here are a few, along with some other no-effort ways to clean up your diet.

Tip #2: No carbs after 4PM.

Say no to any and all carbs after 4PM, including fruit, popcorn, chips (corn, potato, beet, apple, etc.), rice, pasta, potatoes, sugar, and … wine and beer.

Choose dark leafy greens (which not only help with weight loss, but provide vital nutrients that ramp up your overall health, complexion, detox and vitality!) and the best quality protein you can find. Use the Monterrey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch app for the safest, sustainable seafood options in season, and shop your local farmers’ market or meat section at the grocery store for the best grass fed, organic beef!

Tip #3: Finish your last meal three hours before you fall asleep.

Eating in advance of sleep allows your body to digest your food without hampering the natural detox & healing processes that take place during sleep. An added bonus, it also helps you shed those unwanted pounds. If your schedule doesn’t allow for this one, aim for breakfast 12 hours after you ate dinner to help the blood sugar and metabolism reset.

We love to hear your health tips, weight loss secrets and delicious recipes! Share with us on social media or leave a comment below.

To your health!

What the Health and the Keto Controversy

What the Health and the Keto Controversy - making sense of two very different lifestyles and how to make better diet and lifestyle choices

With the recent release of What the Health, aka “The Health Film That Health Organizations Don’t Want You To See,” healthy eating by way of veganism has experienced a rise in attention, specifically within certain social circles and demographics (Netflix is the primary viewing venue).

Friend groups and communities are atwitter over the science and positions explored in the film, and the conversations have incensed many due to the data revealed and what it means to their lifestyle choices or because of the confusion and frustration generated by trying to apply yet another batch of science and expert opinions to an already mixed bag of seemingly conflicting information in the world of health and wellness.

In this post, we explore two primary at-odds lifestyles and offer perspectives and guidance to empower you to follow the path that best suits you. 

First, What The Health!? and Veganism

Veganism, or the practice of eating only non-animal products, has, for years, been touted as a surefire way to lose weight, lower cholesterol and slow aging. In the Middle and Far East, for centuries, practicing veganism is common due to the moral, ethical, and spiritual pillar of the regions to “do no harm.”

Domestically, many celebrities, doctors and industrial leaders have emerged as vegans, and we, the viewing public, have observed the benefits of the vegan lifestyle as they unfolded in that individual’s life as documented through the lens of the camera, social media, USA Today, etc..

All indications point to veganism is The Way!

Here’s where it gets controversial.

Despite these incredible success stories that we’ve seen with our own eyes and the scientific findings cited by vocal vegans and What The Health, arguments that favor the veganism movement can be disproven by other science, research, medical and scientific journals and health experts.

Case in point, the ketogenic lifestyle.


As we discussed earlier this month, is a diet globally recognized for centuries for its anti-aging, disease reversing, cancer preventing benefits (among other heroics). The foundation of the keto lifestyle includes a certain cadence of eating, which simulates fasting and subsequent benefits,  and a diet comprised of a high ratio of protein and fats and lower percentage of calories from carbohydrates than the Standard American Diet (SAD, an acronym that is both entertaining and accurate).

Modified keto, for example, may include a diet of 60-70% of calories derived from protein and fats (including saturated and unsaturated) with only 30% or less of calories derived from complex carbohydrates (i.e nothing processed and no sugar). Some keto’ers also shy away from grains, beans, soy, corn, etc., due to the high carbohydrate content and effect on blood sugar, which throws the individual out of a ketosis state, thus undoing the chemistry that yields the incredible benefits.

Protein and fat sources for many followers of the keto diet include animal products, yet, due to the individual’s unique metabolic make-up and how the individual metabolizes carbohydrates using insulin, many keto’ers base a large portion of the diet on plant-based eating, i.e. vegetable-heavy.

It’s Getting Hot in Here.

The conundrum we face are two very different diets, both of which tout health benefits. One is entirely animal-product free, and the other – in many cases – promotes the consumption of high-quality animal products.

You can see how these two dynamics are at odds with one another, and how the confusion and overwhelm accompanying the effort to make sense of them as a consumer can be significant!

Layer on top of any confusion the emotional charge we inject into our relationship with food and the deep ties to our identity that develop in relation to our food choices, lifestyle and the ethics, beliefs and mores therein, and you’ve got a hot button topic that triggers some internal moral dilemmas and very passionate discussions.

What’s Our Take?

As far as we’re concerned, any catalyst, be it a conversation, documentary, book, article, Ted Talk, etc. that activates an authentic, respectful conversation among communities and an inward assessment of one’s health, lifestyle and holistic wellness is a good thing.

Any proponent of a whole food, clean-eating, know-where-your-food-comes-from way of life? Also, a good thing.

Any wake-up call to ask deeper questions, fuel optimal wellness and make intentional, mindful choices? DEFINITELY a GREAT thing.

If you find yourself curious, or even enraged, by What The Health or Keto, and the science, ethics, or the arguments of each, then consider it your wake-up call.

Lean into this conversation vs. throwing in the towel. Casually explore various diets and lifestyles, and shift your mindset into thinking of it as a fun exploration. How you’ve eaten in the past may not be where you want to go in the future, and that doesn’t mean you’ve been fooled or failed! It means you now have different information you’re using to perhaps make different choices.

How to truly know what is best for YOU?

Some people’s constitution and metabolisms need higher levels of protein and fat and opt to include animal products as a manner to supplement those needs. Others have food allergies that preclude them from going all-in on a certain way of eating. Other people’s ethical beliefs trump all else, and they opt to forgo animal products or other food groups.

Every body is different, and therefore, every diet must be different, even if slightly, and that’s OK.

Select one of the diets or lifestyles that have caught your attention or that most closely aligns with you, and test it out for three to six months. Changes take time. Observe your energy levels, food cravings, blood work numbers, fit of your clothes, joint flexibility, mental clarity, emotional resilience and tolerance as indications that you’re on the right track or need to adjust your approach.

The Bottom Line

There is no one diet that – when followed identically across a population without some level of modification – is right for everyone.

Do what is best for you! Take what you can from the diets and lifestyles that you explore, apply them to yourself, observe the results over time and modify where needed. Speak kindly to yourself as you explore a new way of eating. Stay open to the experience and share what you observe with your friends and family; get them in on it, and support one another on your unique journeys to your best selves!

As always, we love hearing from you! Drop us a line to let us know which diet or lifestyle impassions you, how you found your way to better health and we’ll cheer you on! A rising tide lifts all ships, and our community is on the rise with you!

Wishing you a life of greens and grace and all the goodness!