by Francesca-Admin | Jan 31, 2017 | Wellness
It’s the end of January. This month has gone by so fast… I cannot believe I am only now posting this. I wonder how many of you have made New Year’s resolutions. If previous years prove to be an indication of what to expect this year, many of the goals set on January 1st have already slipped away as quietly and predictably as the snow blanketing part of the county.
We’ve seen it time and time again. The gym fills to the brim on the first day of January, only to be slimmed down by the fifth. The newest trending fad diet book graces everyone’s reading list only to accumulate dust on the shelf mere months later.
We could spend time talking about how to set proper goals. There are countless gurus and experts who will emphasize the key elements, such as being measurable, having a time frame and being achievable. Instead, I want to talk about taking a different approach to your health goals this year. You’ll hear the standard resolution, “I want to lose weight.” Perhaps that’s even what is driving you to this blog post. While I support that goal, since it is something you can measure and set a timeframe for, I want you to dig deeper. Go beyond the goal that lasts mere moments at the start of the year.
Embark on a journey of powerful and sustainable change. Aim for sustainably improving your overall health.
Weight is just the tip of the iceberg. When people reach unhealthy weights, or even just put on a few extra pounds, it’s a sign of imbalance in the body. Weight issues prove to be complex challenges, often going beyond a simple solution of “eat less calories.” If it were that simple, more people would eat fewer calories and lose countless pounds, right?
Instead, losing weight means navigating an intricate web of metabolism regulating hormones, sex hormones, hydration, electrolytes, blood sugar, imbalances and more. It comes as no surprise that the human body, which can accomplish incredible feats, is truly complex.
There are also those who may even reach a “healthy” weight, but still fall short of optimal full body health. From easily catching the cold that’s going around the office to getting frequent headaches to having trouble sleeping to feeling run-down all the time, there are other signs of unhealthiness other than weight.
Which is why focusing on reaching true full body health is the best resolution for 2020.
Benefits of the Holistic Approach
When we narrow our focus to one area, such as weight, we limit the potential of achieving full body health. Focusing on weight skims the surface, setting you up for unmaintainable results. It’s common to cut calories or ramp up exercise to see results only to slowly slip back into your old habits, often times putting on more than you lost.
A single-faced approach doesn’t change the core of the problem, making it unsustainable.
Starting from a holistic approach changes your basic health fundamentals. Your overall health is influenced by multiple factors, including diet, exercise, sleeping patterns, emotions, stress, water intake and others. The body is a complex machine where everything works in unison together. When one part, such as sleep or eating too much junk food, goes out of alignment, other areas of your life health start to react.
On the other side, when you embrace full body health, the transformation transcends expectations. In addition to finding extra wiggle room in your current wardrobe, your skin starts to glow. When three o’clock rolls around, you won’t find yourself reaching for a candy bar to boost your energy. Winding down in the evening will become easier, followed by a restful night of sleep.
The difference when you approach holistic health is you get full body results.
Many individuals today find that they need to be retaught about health. With the influx of fads and constant stream of “miracle cures” hitting the mainstream markets, the world is filled with an endless supply of misinformation. What we thought was healthy three years ago suddenly loses their fifteen minutes of fame for the most recent super food hitting the stores.
Rather than following fad to fad, I invite you to focus on education. Learn the truth behind what is healthy, and listen to how your body responds to different food groups. Each of us is different, which means that we respond to products differently. You can learn more about that here.
In just 30 days you can realign your health. Yes, all of your health. Instead of quickly losing a few pounds just to begrudgingly watch their return, dedicate 2020 to the year you achieved and maintained a healthy lifestyle.
Less sick days.
Ultimate harmony with your body.
For motivated individuals who can follow a detailed plan step by step, I recommend the Beautiful Body Cleanse. This 30-day course blends education, habit-forming routines and guided exercises to put you on the best track for your health. We’re talking about a complete look at everything that factors into your overall health. From navigating the grocery store, to meal prep, to exercise, to exploring digestion and emotions, you’ll walk through every aspect of what defines our health.
When you finish the course, not only will you be healthier, but you will also have the skills, education and habits to continue toward making this year the healthiest you’ve ever been. By pairing education with habit-forming routine, you’ll cut to the core of the specific health challenges currently holding you back from feeling and looking great. It even taps into natural secrets for whitening your teeth.
Some of my clients have lost up to 8lbs the first week, and others have shed as much as 25lbs in a month. More importantly, they developed the habits to maintain these healthy habits for life. They also experienced all the wonderful side effects of full body health, such as better sleep and feeling more energized.
To experience your more radiant state of high vibrational living, check out the Beautiful Body Course today.
If you’re unsure about whether this course is right for you, or even how to define your specific health goals, set up a free 15-minute consultation with me today. Together, we can ensure that 2020 is your healthiest year yet.
by Francesca-Admin | Dec 23, 2016 | Wellness
The holiday season can be a difficult time for those who want to maintain a healthful lifestyle. Numerous parties, bountiful feasts, so many well-deserved celebrations, each of these can also an opportunity to overindulge. Food plays such a large part in our festivities that it can be easy to lose your intention amidst the chocolate and cakes and schnapps. There are a few simple recommendations, however, that can help keep the holidays healthy without sacrificing the yumminess!
This is perhaps my favorite recommendation. Are you ready?
Eat pumpkin pie for breakfast.
Yes, you read that correctly! It’s your childhood dream come true. Limit your selection to one to two slices, remembering that portion sizes matter. At the end of the article, you’ll find my personal Paleo pie recipe, showcasing the same decadent flavor you crave with healthier ingredients.
Lunch is the meal most often missed during this time of year. It’s easy to justify midday fasting to overindulge later in the day. Skipping meals often leads to binging later. It can be as simple as starting to eat while cooking, grabbing a few cookies to get you through the afternoon, or loading up that dinner plate with enough food for a small country. All those little actions snowball into a large helping of regret the next morning.
Instead, opt for a light lunch. Consider a cup of soup with a salad or perhaps olives with raw cheese to comfortably tide you over until dinner.
This brings us to the main feast: Christmas dinner. Next to Thanksgiving, this is perhaps the most iconic meal we have in America. From The Grinch to The Christmas Story, countless characters line up to admire the final fixings and drool over the beast they cooked for the final meal of the day.
Fatty organic prime rib, especially marbled with juicy fat layers, actually jam packs the meal with nutrients and makes for an iconic centerpiece at the final meal. If turkey finishes off your day instead, you’ll be loading up on quality protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Make sure to pack your plate full of your low-glycemic vegetables, such as green beans, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, and chard. Rich in phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals, not to mention much needed fiber, these colorful additions to your meal help with digestion and give you that full feeling. For a fun healthy twist on salad dressing, check out my recipe below.
Don’t deprive yourself of some of the holiday favorites, including the classic mashed potatoes. Pair moderate portions with slow, thoughtful chewing to savor the mashed potato flavor without overdoing it.
If you’re looking to switch up from regular potatoes, squash soup is a great start to a formal meal, or roasted root vegetables can hit the spot. Whichever starches you decide to include, make sure that they play a minor role in your overall meals.
Even though you started the morning off with dessert, it’s tempting to finish with the same sugar rush. Wait two hours after eating for your stomach to empty. You may also forget that last slice, at least until tomorrow morning!
After enjoying the morning festivities with the family, build in a physical activity to the celebration. From taking a stroll at the beach to tidying up the living room to throwing around the football at the park, turn the TV off and get the blood pumping.
Whatever you do, encourage your family to remain active throughout the day. Not only does it help create those cherished memories, you’ll be burning off some of that extra sugar you’ve enjoyed.
Jump Start Your New Year Goals
From tackling residual health issues to knocking off that excess winter weight, the New Year always brings about a great opportunity to kick your health goals into gear. As we all know, commitment to our January regimen comes and goes as easily as sneaking a few cookies.
If you’re looking to make a commitment that sticks, accountability plays a big role in overall success. To tackle overall wellness, and achieve your goals this year, consider starting off the year with one of my wellness nutrition packages. Together, we will customize a unique nutrition plan and give you the tools you need to make this the most healthful year yet.
Contact me today to set up your free 15-minute appointment.
Pumpkin Pie Recipe
This recipe is adapted from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
- 1 gluten-free pie shell
- 2 cups cooked pumpkin, or 1 can pumpkin
- 3 eggs
- 1/3-1/2 cups honey, or other natural sweetener; to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 tablespoon freshly grated
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup coconut milk, full fat, use homemade for GAPS
- Line a 9-inch pie pan with your choice of gluten-free crust. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat well. Add the rest of the ingredients until thoroughly combined. Pour batter into piecrust.
- To avoid the crust getting burned, cover edges of pie pan with strips of aluminum foil until they just cover the edges of the crust.
- For almond piecrust, bake at 350 degrees F. for about 35-45 minutes or until firm. Or for coconut crust, bake at 325 degrees F. for 50-60 minutes or until firm.
- Allow cooling for several hours or overnight in the fridge. It will become firmer as it cools. If you are using the coconut crust, the crust will also firm up overnight in the fridge.
- 1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Generous pinch of sea salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh herbs or 2 teaspoons dried (basil, oregano, chives, and thyme are all nice)
- 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
- Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a jar. Stir well with a fork.
- Add olive oil, cover tightly, and shake well until combined. You can also use a blender and drizzle the oil in slowly while it is running.
- Serve over your basic green salad with added chopped vegetables.
by Francesca-Admin | Jul 26, 2016 | Nutrition 101
No two individuals are the same. Each of us has our own unique genetic code. While we have known this for years as it applies to specific conditions, genetic testing is now the key for obtaining and maintaining optimal weight and establishing a healthy relationship with food and exercise once and for all.
Sally endorses the Atkins diet. Melissa advocates for early morning running. Sam swears off carbs completely, convinced each time she looks at a baguette she gains five pounds. Then there’s Jen who seems to only eat carbs while maintaining her perfect figure. A quick jaunt down the diet section of the bookstore produces at least a dozen more methodologies, all with stunning reviews.
Whereas you’ve tried them all, and you’re constantly losing and gaining the same 15 pounds with each trend that hits the market.
Bottom line: people respond differently to various foods and types of exercise.
The difference today is that we have breakthroughs in DNA testing that go beyond stating the obvious fact that we are all different. Now we have unique insights to build customized diets that actually achieve sustainable results.
If you feel that there’s a missing piece in your quest to reach and maintain a healthy weight, then genetic testing is for you. By pinpointing how our genetic makeup influences nutrient utilization and responds to exercise, we can alter our habits to match what we were genetically preconditioned for.
No more fad diets. Now you can design a plan specifically equipped to maximize your body’s genetic makeup.
Now Offering Genetic Testing for Weight Loss
I am thrilled to be partnering with Genetic Direction to add genetic testing to my tool kit. This will help countless individuals currently feeling stuck with their health breakthrough to achieving real results.
My enthusiasm doesn’t stop with clients. I jumped right in, taking the test a few weeks ago. I look forward to sharing my personal findings next month.
If you’re ready to take the plunge to a more comprehensive view of your unique health, schedule an appointment today.
What is Genetic Testing?
If you haven’t heard about genetic testing, don’t worry. Until recently, the application has been primarily directed at identifying medical conditions and
diseases. In a nutshell, genetic testing is analyzing a person’s genes to determine a spectrum of different information, including:
- Response to medicine;
- Disease diagnosis;
- Marker genes;
- Fat, protein, carbohydrate, and nutrient utilization;
- And more.
The insights have been profound, drastically improving our approach to health, nutrition, and medicine. Realizing the incredible opportunity for working toward preventative health and optimal wellbeing, genetic testing has recently been making its debut in the mainstream health arena. By analyzing how the genes influence nutrient assimilation, dictate the body’s utilization of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates and the body’s response to specific types of exercise, we can now put together comprehensive nutritional and exercise plans tailored for each individual.
While the technology is very robust, the process is very simple. You make an appointment to get a cheek swab. I send off the sample to the lab. Here’s where it all begins. Genetic Direction analyzes your DNA giving you a detailed custom report.
By working with me, you get a unique experience. I will help you understand the report and explain to you how to work with your genes and not against them. The importance of working with a nutritionist like myself is that I take into account pre-existing conditions (for example diabetes, high cholesterol, gluten intolerance, etc.) and diet history. The genetic testing is an important piece of the puzzle, you current state of health is another one, your medical history is yet another piece. When you work with me, I put them all together to create a comprehensive plan for you.
Losing weight isn’t complicated. Almost anyone will see initial results with a calorie restrictive diet. This fact helps fuel the consistent publishing of fad diet books. Regardless of ideology, people lose weight when they cut calories.
The real challenge is maintaining your desired weight. It’s why many struggle with yo-yo dieting.
Aligning your health practices with your genetic makeup will create results that are sustainable in the long run. Once you know how you body responds to cardiovascular exercise, for example, you will be able to maximize your time at the gym. You might be spending most of your time on the elliptical when your body is designed to lose weight in response to strength training.
You’re going to learn how your body utilizes fats, proteins and carbohydrates. You will also learn if you have a genetic tendency towards needing more of certain specific vitamins.
Genetic testing truly is the answer to never dieting again.
Recipe for Ultimate Health
Capturing the true essence of health goes beyond “weight loss.” It’s a balance between maintaining a healthy weight, exercise, rest, and nourishing the body. When you take this comprehensive approach to your wellbeing, you fuel your ability to achieve optimal health.
At the end of the day, that is the most important element to strive for.
While maintaining a healthy weight is important, a broader approach to wellness leads to higher quality of life, longevity, stronger immune system, and higher energy levels. Genetic testing is one key element to building your customized approach to optimal health.
If you’re ready to unlock the health secrets in your genes, contact me today! Together we can get you on the road to losing weight, increasing your energy, and improving your quality of life.
by Francesca-Admin | May 24, 2016 | Babies & Bumps
This is part one of a two-part series.
Some people might find the term “natural pregnancy” perplexing. Perhaps you are asking, “Aren’t all pregnancies natural?”
You are right. Pregnancy is a natural process. Yet, many things have changed since that very first woman brought a baby to her arms centuries ago. While we’ve enjoyed countless advancements in medicine, many modern practices for monitoring a pregnancy have veered from a natural path, becoming unnecessary and or even invasive.
For expectant moms who want to preserve the beauty of a more natural pregnancy and birth, there are many different routes. It starts with educating yourself on the options you have as well as choosing providers who prioritize a more natural approach to medicine. Knowing more about your options and leveraging the power of a healthy diet lessens the need for unnecessary medical intervention.
As you are charting your journey to motherhood, here are the main areas to focus on:
Choosing Your Medical Providers
As with any service providers, you will encounter medical providers who align closer with your values. If your goal is to have a pregnancy less dependent on medical intervention, then it’s important to choose providers who operate a more naturally inclined practice.
In America, we have a much higher rate of C-sections than other countries. While there are times that this procedure is warranted, too many providers default to a cesarean birth out of convenience or due to a hospital policy that favors intervention. In 1965, the US had a 4.5% rate of cesarean birth. Fast-forward to today and that rate is closer to 32%. Bottom line: healthy, low-risk pregnancies are ending in unnecessary surgery. While hospitals are becoming more tolerant of surgeries, it’s an incredibly invasive procedure that should not be taken lightly.
When choosing your maternity ward, evaluate their practices around birth, labor, and postnatal intervention. Choosing a hospital with a lower incidence of intervention will give you a better chance at a traditional delivery.
Ultrasounds and Scans
Expecting parents eagerly anticipate the day they can see their little one on screen. We’ve grown to expect a snapshot of the moment shared on social media shortly after the pregnancy announcement.
While this moment truly captures parents’ hearts, what is going on behind the scenes?
The short answer is heat and sound. The technology behind the ultrasound sends in sound waves through the placenta to capture the image of the growing fetus. These waves have been shown to increase the temperature surrounding the baby. Increased temperature can lead to neurodevelopmental defects. Some studies suggest the possibility of birth defects related to the rise in temperature. That’s why the FDA and professional medical associations strongly advise against ultrasounds for creating keepsakes.
The ultimate goal of the ultrasound is to monitor the baby’s progress. Luckily, there are additional ways to accomplish this. In fact, many healthy women only have two scans throughout their entire term. These screening tests help identify any genetic abnormalities or conditions that parents should be concerned about.
For healthy women, I recommend two scans:
NT Nuchal Translucency Scan:
Done between 11 and 14 weeks, this test assesses the likelihood of the baby having Down syndrome. This test is performed using standard ultrasound equipment. During the test, the sonographer will also measure your baby to date your pregnancy.
This blood test screens for Down’s syndrome as well as chromosome abnormalities and sex chromosome abnormalities. It is done between weeks 10 and 14. The results from this non-invasive screening are 99% accurate for detecting Down’s syndrome and a 91% accuracy for detecting the other abnormalities. False positives are less than 1%.
Scans to Be Aware Of
Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis are two dangerous tests that some professionals still use today. Each test gives a more accurate assessment on the baby’s likelihood of Down syndrome, yet can cause a miscarriage.
Note: There are times and situations that merit the need for several ultrasounds and other scans throughout the pregnancy. Mothers who are suffering from placenta previa, have gestational diabetes, have an autoimmune disease, or have other characteristics of a high-risk pregnancy will need more in depth monitoring.
Conceiving Later in Life
Having a child later in life does not necessarily mean that you are at higher risk. I have worked with women in their 20s who are far less healthy than women conceiving in their 30s.
Yet traditional hospitals and providers typically label women over 35 as geriatric, which means that they adopt several high-risk practices throughout the pregnancy regardless of health. Higher risk approaches involver higher levels of intervention.
More scans. More tests. Less natural.
Particularly if you are conceiving later in life, I recommend working with a qualified midwife. A midwife will evaluate your health and that of your growing baby when approaching your care and advise you on your options throughout the process. Rather than turning to consistent scans, a midwife will monitor the baby’s health by checking the heart rate with an external fetal heart rate monitor.
Continuing the Conversation
This is part one of a two-part, in-depth look at adopting a more natural pregnancy. Join me next month as I continue the conversation with inoculating the birth canal, gestational diabetes, and important measures to take at home.
For action items to implement now check out my recent post, “Expecting? Lifestyle Changes You Need to Make Today.”
In today’s society, it can be overwhelming to make all the necessary changes to enjoy a natural and nourishing pregnancy. From the medical world pursuing invasive methods to toxins being introduced to our food, it is a lot to try and tackle all at once.
If you are looking for support throughout the journey, schedule a free fifteen-minute consultation today. Together, we can review different steps you can start now toward ensuring you have the healthiest pregnancy possible.