How Not to Feel Like Crap by New Year’s

to-do-list-smallHow’s your stress level these days?

Are you obsessing over the busy-ness of the holiday season? With gifts to purchase (and wrap), parties to plan (and attend), and guests to entertain it’s no wonder that for many of us the holidays are the most stressful time of the year.

And that doesn’t even cover the food !

Tables laden with holidays feasts, and endless gluten-filled, sugary treats – how will you survive?

It’s a common refrain from many of my clients – along with saying this:

“I don’t want to feel like crap by January 1!”

Are you wondering how you can rein in your appetite when so many temptations abound? No question, the holidays are stressful, with so much to do and so little time.

Even more worrisome, is that stress plays a HUGE compounding role for just about any health concern you might have – especially your digestive health!

With that in mind, here are my 3 favorite tips for managing your stress during the holiday season, so you don’t feel like crap come New Year’s!

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Is It Time For You to H.A.L.T.?

Frustrated woman waiting for a phone call in Christmas kitchenThe holidays are upon us, and for many it’s the most challenging time of the year.

The heavy emphasis on love and joy, family togetherness and endless festivities can easily take you down, special diet or not.

Worse still, what if the holidays find you alone?

What if you’re dealing with a recent break-up, an illness, or worse still – a death in the family?

Can you relate?

While there’s no question these things are difficult any time of the year, the pain and heartache increases ten-fold during the month of December.

Yet the bigger issue is this: when you’re up against life’s challenges, do you still find time to take proper care of yourself?

How do you deal with those typical stressors we call ‘Life’, that will inevitably come your way?

This is where some mental gymnastics come into play – in the form of a self-coaching technique known as H.A.L.T.

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The Myth of Weight Gain & What To Do About It

Calories LetterpressAre you swept up in the first-of-the-year weight-loss battle?

As we’ve established, it’s not uncommon post holidays to be 5-10 pounds heavier than you were two weeks ago and frustrated (yet again) that yet another year has passed where you ate all this junky food and are feeling like crap from all the over-indulgence. Chances are you’re likely thinking about what to do to start losing that weight. (It’s why Gym memberships EXPLODE during January.) You’re going to start seeing all these Detox and Cleanse programs – with the emphasis on exercising more and reducing calories.

While that’s all well & good, there’s also an elephant in the room!

What if I told you that your struggles to lose weight aren’t so much about how much you’re eating, but rather WHAT you’re eating? And that the chemicals and other irritants in your environment can also have an enormous impact on your weight!

What’s toxic to your body?

For starters, it’s all those additives and preservatives in the “fake” food you’ve been eating.

Add to this a simmering cocktail of chemicals like the BPA found in plastic storage containers, water bottles, and store receipts! (you’ve likely read about this offender in the news)

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How To Find Your Path & Stick With It

Tree blocking the roadHave you stepped on the scale this week?

Post holidays, it’s not uncommon to be 5-10 pounds heavier than you were two weeks ago.

And frustrated (yet again) that another year has passed where you ate all this junky food and are feeling like crap from all the over-indulgence – too much pies and cakes and pastries at holiday parties (or too many cookies, in my case).

And now you’re regretting it!

Chances are your digestive system is also out of whack because you’ve been eating things you normally don’t eat. And you’re paying for it now with daily heartburn & indigestion – along with those extra 10 pounds.

It’s also the time of year when (after the wave of regret passes) you’re likely thinking about what to do to start losing that weight. (It’s why Gym memberships EXPLODE during January.)

You’re going to start seeing all these Detox and Cleanse programs – with the emphasis on exercising more and reducing calories.

And yet, you already know doesn’t work!

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Is ‘Gluten-Free’ the Key to Weight Loss?

CautionlIt seems that, every year – when January 1 rolls around – a lot of folks jump on the weight loss bandwagon.

Maybe you’ve done this yourself, vowing that this is the year you will finally lose those stubborn last pounds.

In some circles, we’re told the only sure-fire way to lose weight is to stop eating gluten

This might come as a surprise to those of us who are already gluten-free, especially if we’ve made this choice for medical reasons such as Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity.

(Often referred to as Non-Celiac Gluten-Sensitivity, or NCGS).

In other words, weight loss was likely the furthest thing from your mind when you first received a diagnosis that explained the myriad of health woes that had plagued you for years.

(There could even be one or two among you who were anxious to gain weight!)

So this whole thing about removing gluten from the diet in order to lose weight has me puzzled – in part because it has the unfortunate outcome of turning a serious medical condition – one that requires a special diet – into a fad.

Is losing weight really that simple?

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Healthy Breakfast Ideas to Kickstart the New Year

Avocado smoothieWelcome to 2014!

Over the past few days, it occurred to me that the start of a New Year isn’t all that different from how one starts a new day.

In both cases, it often seems that the day – or the year before you – is an open slate.

Anything could happen, right?

(And often it does.)

How you begin your day sets you up for everything you will encounter by days’ end – including how you will handle the stresses that will inevitably come your way.

Hence the question:

What do you eat for breakfast?

Do you grab a bowl from the cupboard, snatch a bag of cereal, and call that a meal?

If you’ve included some fruit – such as fresh, organic berries – that’s terrific.

Truth is, you’re doing exactly what most Americans do, starting the day with a bowl of cereal and fruit.

(And while that’s OK, it’s not ideal – I’ll tell you why in a moment).

Breakfast is often one of the most challenging meals once you switch to a gluten-free diet.

At first, it might seem easy – all you need to do is trade your favorite breakfast cereal for a gluten-free substitute.

And that works just fine, until you hop on a plane and travel to a strange city.

Now what do you do?

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Is Detox a 4-Letter Word?

Bathroom ScaleAs the New Year approaches, hardly a day goes by that I don’t see an email or Facebook post advocating a full body detox.

The general idea is to undo the damage from all the holiday indulgence.

(I even offer a Kitchen Detox Makeover; it’s not quite the same thing, but a detox just the same.)

And of course, with New Year’s Eve just five days away, the holiday celebrations aren’t even over yet.

So, what’s the point of a Detox, anyway?

Is this just some “new agey” thing?

Why would the human body even need to detox? And what exactly are you detoxing from?

Well, I admit, I’ve been among those to roll their eyes in the past, at the slightest mention of the word.

Maybe other people embraced the idea, but I sure didn’t

But then I realized a few things.

And the most eye-opening realization was this:  my body is detoxing all the time, anyway, every single day.

It’s doing this all on it’s own, with absolutely no prompting from me.

In a nutshell, this is how your body is always detoxing:


Your Skin

You know how great you feel after a work out, especially if you’ve worked up a good sweat?

Well, guess what?

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Recently, I wrote about the giving of gifts, and my fascination with the Japanese scroll.

The Japanese scroll, as you may recall, reveals itself just like a gift when removed from the custom box it has been stored in.

A home can reveal itself in very much the same way.

If you think about it, just the act of entering someone’s home can feel like a ceremony.

As you move from room to room the house will continue to reveal itself.

There could be a pleasant surprise around any corner, maybe even the kind that takes your breath away.

“Oh, what a beautiful room!” we’ve all been known to say at one time or another.

This is one reason why both designers and architects will typically hold back with their design.

We don’t want to overpower your senses all at once.

We want you to take things in a little bit at a time, and take a moment to savor the design before revealing the next surprise.

So take a moment to to ask yourself  – what is the first impression visitors have when they enter your home?

Let’s start with the Entry.

The main entrance to your abode should always say something about the person who lives there, i.e. YOU, so the question is – what do you want your entry to say about you?

You can emphasize either your decorating style, or your personal interests, thus setting the tone for the rest of your home.

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