David Letterman Style: 10 Reasons to Hire a Certified Holistic Health Coach

Sustainable Health is a process – an on-going process. But, we live in a quick fix culture and sustainable health is not achieved that way.  Sustainable means “able to be maintained at a certain level; able to be upheld; able to be enduring; able to be used without being completely used up… .”  I especially like this last definition. Our bodies and our beings are in a constant state of use. Even when we’re sleeping, our bodies are in a state of repair, rest and detox.

Sustainable Health is a way of living in balance with yourself and your environment. And many times, we need support to do that.

So, I offer you:

10 Reasons to Hire a Certified Holistic Health Coach:

  1. Because our behavior contributes as much or more to our healing as interventional medicine.
  2. Because for all the decades we’ve been told to eat low-fat, or low-carb diets, we’ve been getting fatter and fatter, until now, a full 1/3 of us is officially obese. (Clue: It’s not good fats and complex carbs making us fat. It’s refined carbs, sugar and bad fats.)
  3. Because the numbers of people with cardiovascular disease and diabetes is trending upward, and both are preventable, lifestyle-related diseases.nutrigenomics
  4. Because new fields, like epigenetics and nutrigenomics, are promising breakthroughs in health and healing, using nutrient-dense foods.  Nutrition. Nutrition. Nutrition. We are what we eat.
  5. Because pharmaceuticals, even plain aspirin, deplete important nutrients from your body, like vitamins B2, B6, C, D, Iron, Potassium and Folic Acid; if we can stay healthy without pharmaceuticals, all the better for us.
  6. Because it’s easier to make lifestyle changes with a coach as your partner than alone.
  7. Because there’s not a one-size fits-all way to eat, and you can discover and learn what’s good for your body that’s unique to your body, (your bio-individuality™) with a Certified Holistic Health Coach.
  8. Because a bigger challenge than not knowing how to create a healthy lifestyle, is knowing, but not doing what we know is best for our bodies and souls.

  9. Because the future of medicine is food.

    10.  Because together, we will succeed! And it’s way more fun!Fun on beach susnset


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8 Tips for Healthy, Abundant and Wise Holidays

Healthy Holiday Indulgence is not an Oxymoron!hdwallpaperandroid 

Thanksgiving kicks off a holiday season of many potential indulgences. When we’ve eaten a healthy diet throughout the year, sometimes during this time, we eat foods we’d never eat the rest of the year – namely, refined sugars, refined carbs, white stuff of all kinds, and bad fats.

Along the way, we succumb to the latest cold going around the office, put on more pounds than we would like, eat more than we think we should, or eat many foods outside of our normal diet. After all, when Aunt Sophie’s wheat bread stuffing and your BFF’s sugary pumpkin pie seem to present themselves only once a year, we want to make the most of them!

Actually, you can end the season without a cold, without those extra pounds, and feel as if you’ve indulged as well. Here’s how.


If 80% of the time, you eat in a way that you enjoy and you know supports your optimal, sustainable health, allow yourself to indulge the other 20%. And if you can – without sacrifice, without food addictions kicking back in, and with positive motivation from how good you feel – boost that ratio to 90%/10%, congratulations!  You may even live to 104!

Tip #2: EAT AS MANY WHOLE FOODS AS YOU CAN.  Apples Ben Garney Flickr

Eat foods in as close to their natural state as possible. You’ll get the most nutrients and eliminate added sugars, salt, bad oils and food additives. An apple is a whole food. A butternut squash is a whole food even though you cook it to eat it. Applesauce from the jar is not a whole food, nor is store-bought pumpkin pie. How long is that ingredient list? What’s its shelf life? The longer the ingredient list and longer the shelf life, the more processed the product is. Avoid those. Holiday meals can contain mostly whole foods, especially if you cook them yourself or with family and friends.


Cooking brings people together. There’s no better way to connect with people you haven’t seen for a while, or enjoy the people you see all the time, then to spend some time in the kitchen. Not only are relationships nurtured, but your bodies are as well. You know exactly what organic ingredients you’re putting into that stuffing, that soup, that salad, that pie. How about some walnut-pecan brownies with fair-trade, raw cacao powder, sweetened with dates? Raw cacao has magnesium, antioxidants, and stimulates the same parts of our brain as when we’re excited, happy, or sexually aroused. Now that I have your attention – Put on some great music and have some fun!


Look for the USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified labels.  In some circles, the verdict is still out on the hazards of eating GMO’s. In other circles, the verdict is in – GMO’s are bad for the planet and bad for our health. And Environmental Working Group can inform you about the produce to always eat organically – or subject yourself and your families to extreme chemical hazards.


Avoid the temptation of potato chips, fast foods, and other truck-stop, strip mall temptations by bringing your own delicious snacks. Apples, pears, even some persimmons travel well. Buy a variety of nuts and seeds, some goji berries, huckleberries, or raisins, and make your own trail mix.  Cut up some carrots and cucumbers and bring along some hummus.  Stuff celery sticks with some yummy peanut or almond butter. Forget the Cinnabons and Mickey D’s!


When doing holiday shopping, park as far away from the store as possible to add some steps to your day. Rather than buying a present for someone, give them the gift of taking them on a hike to a new place, or a great bike ride, or a winter snow shoe adventure.  When given the choice between stairs or elevator, take the stairs – and take them two at a time! If you do that every time you see stairs, you’ll be amazed at how easy it becomes in no time.  Burn those extra bites of stuffing!


apple cider, cinnamon stick, appleOkay – so some red wine, champagne or organic egg nog might tickle your holiday spirit. But what if you don’t want to drink alcohol? And what do you give your kids to drink that will be festive?  Try your hand at making organic, homemade apple cider. All you need is a juicer, food processor, or a blender. To separate he juice form the skins, use a cheesecloth or fine sieve. Forget the sugar. Just add some blood-sugar-stabilizing cinnamon and cloves, heat it up slightly, and your home will smell like the holidays. Let your kids join in the fun. Or, how about some homemade ginger beer, root beer, holiday green tea with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg?


Fully partake in the fun of the holidays! Be creative! Make gifts! Hand-write cards and letters to loved ones. If you live in the city, take your kids to a local farm or small dairy so they can see where their food comes from. Step outside your comfort zone! Enjoy the satisfaction of knowing you can wildly celebrate while deeply nourishing yourself and your loved ones. Allow yourself to discover a deeper sense of appreciation and gratitude for all the great-tasting, whole foods the earth provides.

And with each bite, you may discover a greater connectedness to all life. And, after all, isn’t that what the holidays are all about?


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Sugar, A Toxin?

Candy BarSugar is as American as apple pie.

What would a birthday be without a sugary birthday cake? Being raised in the culture of sugar, we give our kids cupcakes to share in school. We grab a cookie, candy bar or soda for that 3PM energy boost at work. Sugar is just empty calories, right? It’s not as toxic as cigarettes or alcohol.  Sugar doesn’t kill you, right? Well, maybe.

Even as I write this, I almost feel blasphemous about what I’m about to say – but after reading much literature on the subject, I have to agree with Robert Lustig.  He says, “It’s not about the calories. It has nothing to do with calories. [Sugar is] a poison by itself.” Continue Reading →

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What is Secondary Food?

Adapted from IIN’s Approach to Secondary Food.

Secondary Foods are what we eat.

secondary-foodsThey include what modern nutrition considers carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Many experts will tell you to eat low-carbs/high protein, while others recommend eating higher carbs/low protein. Some say eat raw, others say cooked is the only way to go. And fats continue to be the way marketers get you to buy their product (by calling it “low-fat”), while actually providing you with no nutrition, and usually high sugar content.

Nutrition is a fledgling science and, as such, we can find many conflicting and competing theories for the “best” way we should eat – all of which have mounds of research backing them up. Nonetheless, all dietary regimes contain some version, in varying quantities, of proteins, carbohydrates and fats – our Secondary Foods. The keys to “good” nutrition include understanding your Bio-Individuality, and including enough whole foods (unprocessed, unrefined, not in a box) in your Secondary Foods, to provide high quality nutrition.

We use Secondary Food as a way to alleviate or suppress biological hunger. While Secondary Food is a form of nourishment, it does not account for the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual nourishment that we receive from primary food. Continue Reading →

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What’s in my favorite morning smoothie?

Here’s why I use my favorite ingredients in my smoothie recipe


I love blueberries – fresh when they’re in season, and even frozen when they’re not. The nutrition goes down ever so slightly when they’re frozen – and it’s still great. Get them anyway you can. Blueberries are known as superfoods, loaded with antioxidants known as anthocyanins, vitamins and manganese. Anthocyanins seem to protect the cardiovascular system, inhibit growth of cancerous tumors, prevent diabetes and enhance neurological functions like memory. Continue Reading →

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Recipe: My favorite morning smoothie

got-smoothieI’m one of those people who doesn’t prefer a heavy breakfast. Yet, I know I need to eat something nourishing in the morning to get my metabolism going strong and to energize me for my morning’s work.

Here’s what I’ve discovered works for my body – a smoothie made with whole, organic fruit, homemade almond milk, organic coconut water, nutritional yeast, organic raw cacoa, organic maca, organic hemp protein, organic chia seeds, and organic, raw kale leaves. Continue Reading →

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Food Label Claims

Many food labels can be confusing, so knowing what a food claim truly means is a great way to educate yourself about where your food comes from and how it has been produced.

There’s a great web site for navigating all issues about sustainability and our food, water and more: sustainabletable.org. The following information has been adapted from their site. I highly recommend spending some time getting to know what resources they make available. Educating ourselves about sustainability is an on-going process.

Whether appearing on a package of eggs in your grocery store or listed on a menu in your favorite restaurant, words like “free-range,” “grass-fed,” “natural,” and “organic” are everywhere these days.

Below is a list of some common food claims. New food label claims arise regularly, so if you come across a new phrase, be sure to take some time to do your own research and learn what it really means. Continue Reading →

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The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen

It’s no secret that the benefits of buying organic produce are immense. However, an exclusively organic shopping list can be expensive, especially if you are shopping for your entire family. Luckily, some inorganic produce is still safe to eat. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has recently updated their Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists, both are handy guides to navigating the produce section of your local grocery store.

I encourage you go to their web site to find out more. I print the list out and give it to friends. I suggest having the lists with you when you shop. Makes life a lot easier, safer, and is kinder on your budget.

Dirty Dozen (plus two!)

These items have the highest exposure to potentially harmful pesticides, and should be bought organic whenever possible. Continue Reading →

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Both the nutrition school I attended, Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), and Hawthorn University, where I began a doctorate in Holistic Nutrition Education, used a term that is critical to understanding what’s best for YOUR body – BIO-INDIVIDUALITY™.  Bio-Individuality™ is such an important concept in current nutrition theory, IIN even trademarked the term.

There’s no one-size-fits-all diet – each person is a unique individual with highly individualized nutritional requirements. Personal differences in anatomy, metabolism, body composition and cell structure all influence your overall health and the foods that make you feel your best. That’s why no single way of eating works for everyone. The food that is perfect for your unique body, age, and lifestyle may make another person gain weight and feel lethargic.

Men eat differently than women, children eat differently than adults, and we all have very different preferences. Our personal tastes and inclinations, natural shapes and sizes, blood types, metabolic rates and genetic backgrounds influence what foods will and won’t nourish us. Continue Reading →

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What is Primary Food?

This is adapted from IIN’s Approach to Primary Food.

Food is more than what you find on your plate.

Healthy relationships, regular physical activity, a fulfilling career and a spiritual practice can fill your soul and satisfy your hunger for life. When primary food is balanced and satiated, your life feeds you, making what you eat secondary.

Remember when, as a child, you were playing outside, having fun? Suddenly your mother announced dinner was ready, but you were not hungry at all. The passion of play took all your attention. Or think back to a time when you were passionately in love. Everything was exciting. Colors were vibrant. Intimacy was magical. Your feelings of exhilaration sustained you. You forgot about food and were high on life. Continue Reading →

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