Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Nutritionist's List for Santa

Dear Santa,

Before you look over my very big list, let's establish my inherent goodness and behavior this past year. I have been faithfully eating my greens, avoiding processed foods, helping others achieve a higher level of health, yoga-ing myself into a variety of contortionist postures meant to facilitate my spiritual growth, and I've been giving out a lot of free hugs this year. Please keep this all in mind as you read through my wish list for Christmas 2014

1. The complete disappearance of foods made with trans-fat, HFCS, and GMO corn syrup from the shelves of the grocery store. I'd love to see whole, unprocessed foods in their place.

2. Convince companies to not use lead in making lipsticks. I'd like to use Burt's Bees colors again.

3. Corn and soy should not be GMO or subsidized

4. Wine should be pure, no sulfites

5. I'd like a nice co-operative housing situation on the west coast, with an organic farm in the backyard, chickens & bunnies, and an herb garden; it may double as a yoga retreat

6. Monsanto should 'disappear' or become bankrupt because people & the government have stopped buying their poison seeds and chemicals

7. Dietitians should be covered by insurance (if they want to); for those of us who want to tell the truth without playing their game and having to share sensitive client information with the insurance company, we will continue in this matter

8. Change government subsidies. I'd like you to have a nice long chat with the USDA Secretary of Agriculture, Tommy Vilsack, to ensure that wheat, corn, soy, and sugar will no longer be subsidized; instead kale, cauliflower, lentils, walnuts, and organic meats will be :)

9. Cooking classes should be required coursework in the educational system. If people are going to feed themselves (and others) in a healthy manner 3x a day, this needs to start early. It's truly a shame that most elementary school kids cannot identify fruits and vegetables.

10. I would love to have non-dairy, magical no-calorie :D Jeni's ice cream on occasion

And also, please help the delicious dinner and desserts I plan to eat on Christmas not go directly to my mid-section. Thank you!

Your faithful dietitian,



Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Mindful Eating for You AND Your Children

Let's face it - most of us finish our 'meals' (sometimes loosely defined as fast-food or snack packs) in the span of 5-15 minutes...whether we are in the car, at the computer, or in front of the television. Meal-time is seen as a cause for whining or suffering, both with meal preparation and with actually taking the time to do it the slower, more mindful way. "Ain't nobody got time for that," you might say. And so it continues, 3 meals a day (or more), down the hatch and often in such quantities as to cause discomfort about 20 minutes later when we realize we ate too much. Rarely do we realize we are often also eating out of stress and emotions we don't want to deal with.

Then guess what? Your children, who are always observing and learning from you, start picking up the same habits.

Mindfulness starts now. Here's how to get started:

1. Eat your meals together - not only will this help create and maintain and cohesive family life but it gets you and the children away from the phones, computer, and television while you eat. Mindfulness means bringing attention to the sight, textures, and taste of food as well as thinking of how you feel while you are eating.

2. Check in with yourself & your child before you serve a meal. Ask about his/her hunger level on a scale of 0 (not hungry at all) to 5 (might eat everything that's not nailed down). Let your child serve him/herself how much food needed to balance out. This will teach children to connect with their bodies and associate serving sizes with satiety levels.

3. Little actions can reduce temptation to over-eat. Serving meals in the kitchen, rather than keeping bowls and platters of food on the table, can help prevent over-eating. Try not to keep many leftovers as that can be a temptation for distracted eating later on in the day. Mindfulness techniques, over time, will help you and your children establish emotional hunger and true hunger. Children may also discover food intolerances and allergies by becoming more aware of how food makes them feel. You can do the same.

4. Bust the food police. Children have to learn, for themselves, how much food makes him/her full. It can be difficult not to try to control, especially when trying to 'help' the child stay thin or healthy. Often, when mealtimes and amounts are controlled, the child may resort to sneaking food. Establish some food-free time with your child to see how he/she feels and what is needed.

5. Ask yourself some important questions. Do you only eat healthy when trying to lose weight? Do you make comments about your body that your children hear? Do you feel ashamed when you choose certain foods or eat too much? Tackle these problems honestly by yourself or with a support person so you can prevent passing on these issues to your children.

We all just want to be comfortable in our own skin. Be compassionate towards yourself with the quality and quantity of foods you eat, as well as the motivation behind eating.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Stay fit and trim for baby

Image: rodalenews.com

 Here's extra incentive to shed those few pounds the first pregnancy put on - you can reduce the risk of complications in the second pregnancy.

A study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that mothers who gained weight between pregnancies face a much greater risk of complications the second time around. The study of 150,000 Swedish women found that those who gained 3 or more units of body mass index (BMI) - compared to those who gained 1 or less - had a 78% greater chance of pre-eclampsia, 76% greater chance of gestational hypertension, and a bit more than twice the chance of gestational diabetes. Odds for Caesarean delivery and stillbirth were significantly greater.

Let's break it down a bit - to increase her BMI by 3 units, a 5-foot-5-inch woman weighing 125 lbs (BMI = 20.8) would need to gain 18 pounds. She would still fall within normal range, but would have much higher risk of complications with the second pregnancy.

Even modest increases in BMI before pregnancy could result in complications, even without the woman becoming overweight.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

4 Ways to Build Healthy Bones

Women should be getting the nutrients they need from their diet, but many do not, due to a variety of reasons. A study from the University of Michigan School of Nursing found that reduced estrogen levels preceding menopause can impair vitamin K's ability to bind calcium to bone. Women can lose bone mass and density due to the acidity of the standard American diet.

Image: medimanage.com

1. Consider supplements. Research from Switzerland showed that potassium citrate improved the bones in post-menopausal women with low bone mass.
2. Choose a more alkaline diet rich in plant-foods.
3. Stop drinking soda - all of them. Regular, diet, or decaffeinated. Women 60 and older who drink soda had lower bone mass than those who didn't and loss increased with each drink, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
4. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. Chronic inflammation can weaken bones by forcing the osteoclasts (which break down bone) into over-drive...and can cause the minerals stored in the bones to be broken down. A study on conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) at the University of Texas showed that the compound slowed down the work of the osteoclasts and the loss of bone and muscle mass.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Cinnamon - the Spice of Life

Even if most of us aren't curators of spices and herbs, there's generally one in everyone's spice shelf - cinnamon! Used in everything from Cinnabun to my old favorite - Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea by Harney & Sons - we rarely think of how this wonderful spice's scent and taste are impacting our health.

According to a a study presented at the American College of Nutrition's annual meeting, cinnamon could be a key player on the battlefield of metabolic syndrome (think obesity, high blood pressure, and insulin-resistance). An estimated 25-32% of Americans have this condition.

The study found that cinnamon increases antioxidant levels in the blood and decreases oxidative stress. Other research shows the spice reduces blood glucose levels and blood pressure.
Image: jcrowsmarketplace.com

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October is not about pink ribbons. It's a time to remember how diet has an impact.

1. Broccoli for Healthy Breasts 
Research from the University of Leicester suggests that a specific compound in cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, etc.) may assist in inhibiting breast cancer development. Earlier studies have shown that foods rich in indole-3-carbinol (I3C) may destroy cancer cells be reducing the expression of the 'epidermal growth factor receptor', which protects cancer cells. This study found that indole-3-carbinol helped reduce these receptors in 3 of 4 different types of breast cancer cells. Consider consuming more cruciferous vegetables for breast health.  

Reference: Carcinogenesis, February 2007
Image: livelovefruit.com

2. Pay Attention to Protein
A study found that elevated insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels were positively correlated with the consumption of protein - mainly from animal proteins - including milk. Inverse associations were found between IGF-1 levels and the intake of vegetables and beta-carotene (think orange-colored fruits and vegetables, as well as leafy greens). Previous studies have shown elevated IGF-1 levels are associated with various cancers including prostate, colorectal, and pre-menopausal breast cancer.

Reference: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2007

Image: poorexcuses.com

3. Fiber Lowers Breast Cancer Risk
A U.K. Women's Cohort Study involving over 35,000 women found that pre-menopausal women who consumed 30 grams of fiber a day had HALF the risk of breast cancer compared to those who ate less than 20 grams per day. Researchers suggest that, because estrogen levels are higher in pre-menopausal women, dietary fiber intake earlier in life may be important in regulating hormones and lowering the risk for breast cancer. Fiber's role in the body includes removing excess hormones, carcinogens, and cholesterol. Foods with higher fiber include whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruit.

 Image: hsph.harvard.edu

Bonus: Additional study findings showed that high protein consumption and low vitamin C intake were associated with increased risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer.

Reference: Epidemiology, January 2007

Learn more at The Cancer Project.org

Monday, June 16, 2014

Bach's Rescue Remedy

Dr. Edward Bach was an English physician who created the Bach Flower Remedies - an organization of 38 flower remedies that correct emotional imbalances.

I found out about Rescue Remedy in my early twenties and, when I remembered to use it, I found it very beneficial. Often I would joke with friends after exams, "I'm not sure if it's the flower essences or the 3 drops of alcohol, but it helped calm me down." Now, even though I'm (generally) more peaceful, I carry Rescue Remedy with me everyday as a tool in case of traffic jams, for presentations, or even for clients who show up and are stressed out.

The Bach Flower Remedies is a uncomplicated way to help your body heal and can be used by safely by almost everyone - including pregnant women, the elderly, and pets.

Whatever the situation - acute or chronic - Rescue Remedy can assist in "taking the edge off" (<-- this is how most of my clients and friends describe it), without numbing you. The product is naturally made and contains five of the 38 Bach Flower Essences: Rock Rose for terror and panic, Impatiens for irritation and impatience, Clematis for inattentiveness, Star of Bethlehem for shock and Cherry Plum for irrational thoughts. This blend is aimed at reducing stress, anxiety, and panic attacks, especially in emergencies. Along with journaling, soothing music, and meditation, this is an excellent tool for one's toolbox :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I'm Berry Glad to Know you

Image: health.com

Beautiful, bountiful berries - how vibrant and fragrant! During this season's warming up, consider these vitamin C, antioxidant, and fiber-packed berries:

Image: en.wikipedia.org

Boysenberry - slightly sweeter than blackberries

Raspberry - claim to fame - 8 grams of fiber per cup!

Image: www.muffintinmania.com
<--- Currant

Strawberry - peak of season is in May! These are technically not in the berry family but the Rosaceae family (I'm going to take a guess that this is where the medical term for the skin disease rosacea comes from)

Image: beenutfree.com
<--- Goji berry - otherwise known as Lycium, a great addition to trail mix, excellent as a tea

Blueberry - contain anthocyanins, resveratrol, and alpha-tocopherol

Lingonberry - (my first thought of was IKEA food items, turns out...) this is a Scandinavian berry that can be eaten fresh or used in jams, juice and more. Visit your local IKEA dreamland for more food items

Image: savingdinner.com
<--- Gooseberry - what pretty striped fruit! Native in Europe and parts of Africa and Asia

Cranberry - a true friend in times of wanting to prevent UTIs (cranberries can play a role in preventing bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall)! Granted, the best is fresh, unsweetened (no Ocean Spray!) but I've found a number of good juices. Cooked cranberries have a nice, full flavor when cooked and are great for autumnal dishes.

What to look for in the store: Plump, firm berries without bruises or wrinkles (except for dried goji berries, of course). Because berries mold oh-so-easily, make sure you choose a carton that has dry, unbroken ones. To help preserve shelf-life, wash them just before eating and freeze any you don't plan to use within 3-6 days.

Why berries Rock my Socks (and should yours too!) They are generally lower on the glycemic index, making it easier for those with blood sugar handling issues, i.e. diabetes, to enjoy. They have high water and antioxidant content, vitamins and minerals.
We can put berries in desserts, breakfast dishes, smoothies, yogurt, salads, and eat as snacks.

For portion-control, remember 1/2 cup of dried fruit & 1 cup of fresh fruit = 1 serving

Monday, May 5, 2014

Just about flipped my lid

Do you want non-rusting, BPA-free mason jar lids? I just bought some on Amazon and am anxiously awaiting their arrival!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The One Bite Wellness version of Larabar

For the record, I've been loving on Larabar since 2006 when I was traveling back and forth from Manhattan to attend a nutrition and health coaching school. They traveled well and, even when they were squished in my bag, it never affected their taste. My favorite Larabar flavors are Cashew Cookie, Chocolate Coconut Chew, Coconut Cream Pie, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. I have always had a box of them in my refrigerator and a couple in my purse or work-bag as insurance against getting hungry enough to start thinking that fast food would ever be a good choice.

That being said, my DIY self has known for quite a long time that I am perfectly capable of making my own delicious (raw, gluten-free, and organic) bars...or at least it thinks so. Let's give it a try....

Coconut, cacao, vanilla, cocoa powder, almonds, and dates
I took about 1/2 pound of dates, soaked them overnight, and removed the pits before throwing them in my high-powered blender. I added in cacao nibs, 3/4 cup of almonds, 1/2 cup coconut, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, and 1/3 cup of cocoa powder. The blender didn't like all these dry, sticky ingredients so the end product has large pieces of almonds and such. Next time, I will create more work for myself by using the wet container for dates and the dry container for the rest of it. Really looking forward to that :p. Anyway, it worked pretty well and here is the 8x8 pan of chocolate nut date bars which are 'resting' in the fridge before I cut them into sections and wrap them individually.
Bars-to-be! First, refrigeration.

So let's talk benefits:
1. fresh ingredients
2. <15 minutes from start to finish
3. save money
4. not support General Mills
5.  fun and creative ingredients

In the meantime, a spot of tea and bit of the bar are the perfect way to unwind from a busy day :).

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Holy Sh*t! Overcoming fear...or outright terror

I wouldn't say that I was the bravest kid on any of the blocks I've lived on, but my curiosity often won out over my initial trepidation and I'd eventually pick up worms, jump off the top of the playground, hang upside down, and set up bike tricks with over-turned trash cans and boards of wood. My siblings and I even created 'taxis' with our bikes and would tie a jump rope to the back and have someone on roller-blades flying along behind. Adolescence and young adulthood brought more adventures. I'm here to tell these stories, which is fairly amazing as I reflect back. I'm sure most of you can relate :)

So, to put it bluntly - what the fuck happened? A quick parade through recent phone calls, lunches out, and Facebook posts seems to point to a lot of us feeling that 4-letter word (which I consider worse than the one I just used above)....fear. The sick brick of gooey black feeling sitting in the stomach, raising the heart rate, and then, the jittery nerves that make you want to do something, Anything but you don't know where to start. The two travel together it seems. Fear + Anxiety = 4-ever, carved into a tree somewhere.

What's the deal? When did we start worrying about jobs and/or living our dreams? When did start settling for less because we were AFRAID of asking and acting as though we wanted more?

I think we shut down more of our true selves, our core...and we let ego, the maniac it is, take the driver's seat. It's time for a Chinese fire drill - kick the ego out from behind the wheel and let the soul out of the passenger's seat.

A recent ski trip was the catalyst behind this writing. I hadn't been on skis in over two years and I started with the bunny slope. A bit of nervousness there as I practiced making it down the hill without smashing over little kids. Then I was coaxed over to the ski lift for the beginner's area. The first time I finished, I thought "I survived!" followed by "let's do it again!" and after a few times of enjoying the hills and gaining a bit more control, I heard a small voice saying, "hmm, I wonder what the black diamond slope is like"...

It doesn't look like much until you get up there...

Here are some tips that have helped me:

  1. Breathing
  2. Remembering the acronym: F.E.A.R. is False Evidence Appearing Real
  3. Assess the True risk and take precautions - check your safety equipment before you mountain bike, zip-line, ride a rollercoaster, or ski down a mountain
  4. Trust that the universe is conspiring to help you with your job, relationship, or whatever is getting you down
  5. When you make the leap and take action, remember what it feels like when you've accomplished what moments before seemed impossible.
Sunset over the black diamond's steep slope

I felt equal amounts excitement and certainty of my impending death as I got into line for the ski lift to the top of the mountain (okay, a very large hill). Holding onto the rail and not looking down was key. Next was getting off the ski lift and looking over what I was just about to do...drops, bumps, ice. For some reason, all I could think about was how Cher's husband, Sonny Bono, was in the news years ago for dying while skiing. I looked at my ski partner-in-crime and almost said the words "I can't do this," as the kids and teenagers were racing past me to embark on the downward plane. The skyline was beautiful and I coached myself to think about the way down in terms of sections and decided not to look too far ahead - to just focus on the 20-30 feet ahead. I did well and was flying down the mountain (partly because I wasn't good at stopping/slowing down and partly a desire to get to the bottom and feel safer a.s.a.p.). In the end, I skied the slope three times and each subsequent time was only 10% less terrifying than the first, but I did it. I felt the fear and did it anyway. I was proud of myself and realized that most of my fears are only in my mind and that, if I had listened to the ego's convincing voice, I never would have left the bunny slope.

Next time, I'll get a helmet. You never know what crazies are out there :)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

For the love of CHOCOLATE & Cacao

Milk chocolate bars and all their fancy nut and fruit versions used to be just delightful. As I learned that dark chocolate was better for health, I made the mistake of jumping from the low percentages up to 80%...and that was a bitter mistake I didn't repeat again. I used a version of the 'step-down' method, which was 'stepping-up' the percentages of cacao in my chocolates slowly.
Then, in a lecture with one of my teachers, the amazing David Wolfe, raw foods enthusiast, I learned Waaay more than I ever knew before about this...could it be true?....health food. Chocolate IS a health food, but only as you get close to the very source, the cacao bean.
Do you want a treat that will provide you with vitamins, minerals, and even FIBER? Holy crap (literally), it is way better tasting than the 'fiber alternatives' (think Metamucil).

Or, you could go crazy and get the 10 pound bag I do every year :)

But I would say that THIS option will provide you with enough as you get comfortable with trying more cacao in your foods during the next few months:

So how do you use it? Some quick ways are in oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, baking, and trail mix are good places to start. More cacao recipes are on their way!
It's also Portlandia's 'safe word'

Monday, March 3, 2014


I discovered a new service that helps you find local providers - everything from lawn care, salons, babysitting services, and more. Even though I've just started using the site to look around and to offer my One Bite Wellness services, I'm excited to see how this will grow. Check Thumbtack.com out and connect with local resources!

Friday, February 28, 2014

If you could be any Superhero, who would you be and why?

This superhero question was posed to me today and I decided to have some fun with it. Most people usually would choose an established character - 'The Hulk' or 'Superwoman' - but they really don't have the abilities Green Supreme has. You see, Green Supreme has dedicated her life to personally achieving a high level of fitness and vitality. Her enjoyment and drive during this endeavor have influenced her to drop the snappy business suit and to champion for better health - for everyone. She flies from city to city and teaches people how to include more greens in their diets, how to live in an environmentally-friendly way, and how to detox their hygiene products. Green Supreme has been planting organic fields of foods OTHER THAN CORN, (a nice surprise for us all) nationwide and is persuading the USDA to change it's subsidies and ties to Monsanto. She brings kale and bok choy to the masses and shows them how to blend, steam, and saute these nutrient powerhouses so that everyone can be a little more green supreme.

Create your own superhero here.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Spicy Beef Chili

Spicy Beef Chili
My mouth is watering as I gaze upon this colorful, almost festive dish about to be cooked in the crockpot. The snowy, slushy, freezing temperatures of yesterday's living in a Midwest Paradise just made this the perfect meal to have waiting at home after teaching classes and meeting clients. I'm not much of a 'measurements' cook (only really do I do that for baking), but here it is - the glorious recipe that will help you replicate this dish in your own homes.

Spicy Beef Chili

6oz of beef steak, cubed (I really recommend grass-fed- it's super tender and nutritious)
3, 15 oz cans of tomatoes (fire roasted and stewed)
1 medium red onion, diced
2 cups of spinach, washed and chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 jar of Drew's Fire-roasted Salsa
Olive oil to coat pans
Balsamic vinaigrette for deglazing the pan with beef
Salt & pepper to taste (I estimate using 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper)
Frank's Hot Sauce (about 2 tsp)
Cayenne pepper (1/2 tsp, I'm a glutton for punishment, apparently)
an ENTIRE bulb of garlic, minced *cue evil laughter*

Set up the crockpot so that all you have to do is make deposits of food into them. You'll need two pans - one for your meat and another for your veg. Use olive oil in each pan to coat it (about 1 tsp per pan). After cubing your steak, cook for about 4 minutes on medium heat. Turn your attention onto getting the onions and garlic into the other pan on low-medium heat and let the onions 'sweat' before adding carrots and celery. Stir with wooden spoon frequently.

Go back to the steak and flip each piece over with a fork, proceed to cook for about 4 more minutes but now with balsamic vinaigrette doused into the pan (I probably used 2-3 teaspoons) to deglaze it. Move the meat around to make sure it cooks evenly.

Pour the cans of tomatoes and salsa into the crockpot. Add the chopped spinach and then the contents of your veg pan followed by the contents of your beef pan.  Set to time it appropriately for your day; I chose the 8 hr medium heat option.

Voila! Serve with organic blue corn chips or organic cornbread (for the love of all things non-GMO, do it! :D)

My results: whoa Nellie, it packs a spicy KICK - I could have done without either the cayenne pepper or Frank's Hot Sauce. The meat held onto some of the balsamic flavor and was super-tender.

Who says you can't eat & blog at the same time? ;-)

Nutrition & Macular Degeneration - Each Bite Matters!

There is a tremendous connection between the activity most of us partake in at least three, maybe more, times a day. Eating is one of the most intimate actions we take because when we choose a certain food and begin the process of digestion, those food molecules become our cells, tissues, and organs. Some foods are anti-inflammatory, others are inflammatory. Based on your unique genetics and any food sensitivities you may have, you may find that otherwise 'healthy' foods may not be something that is good for You. In general, the best foods for helping to prevent or ameliorate Macular Degeneration are high in vitamins (particularly A, E, and C), minerals (zinc being an important one), antioxidants, and fiber; they are low in sugar, empty carbohydrates, and deleterious fat sources. Greens are one food source that is important in Macular Degeneration - see the kale chips recipe (below) to make this tasty treat!

Macular Degeneration is linked to free radicals and homocysteine levels. My passionate work revolves around assisting clients with creating a customized nutrition plan, including more antioxidants and regulating homocysteine levels, and deep-cleaning their diets in a delicious and sustainable manner.

Adrienne Raimo is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist and a Columbia-University Certified Health & Wellness Coach who provides customized nutrition support designed to empower her clients to achieve a higher level of health, energy, and vitality! She works with clients nationwide to eat nutritiously and live whole, healthy lives. Contact her through OneBiteWellness.com or via phone at 614-596-7795.

The Macular Degeneration Association has provided countless individuals, both those with this condition and their loved ones, with cutting-edge information in their seminars. From the latest medical discoveries in surgery or medications to how nutrition can impact Macular Degeneration, they are giving people hope and inspiration through information. I feel honored to have worked with this  wonderful team of people who are truly dedicated to bringing awareness and education about Macular Degeneration to the public.

Image: doitdelicious.com
Kale Chips

1 bunch of kale
about 2 tbsp of olive oil
sea salt
parchment paper

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees; put parchment on baking pan. De-rib the   kale and tear them to chip-sized pieces. Lightly dip them into a bowl with the olive oil and sea salt. Massage the oil and salt into the leaves so that there is a thin layer on both sides. Bake kale pieces for about 5 minutes, then turn over and bake another 5 minutes. It will take about 8-10 minutes total and the pieces should be crispy, not burnt...so keep your eyes on them :). Enjoy!

Courtesy of Adrienne Raimo
© One Bite Wellness 2009

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

How to Naturally Increase your Vitamin L

A little known or researched vitamin of tremendous importance is...Vitamin L, otherwise known as Vitamin Love.

Nutrition covers so many dietary theories, calories, macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients relating to food, but having a truly Nourished life involves soul-food. I do not mean, down-home, creole food; instead soul-food is not actually food at all.

Naturally increasing your Vitamin L could involve anything that completely absorbs you in the activity: a conversation with a loved one, building something out of your own creation, painting by yourself or in a group, running, taking time for yourself, or pursuing meaningful work - this. is. Soul-food. And, goodness, there is plenty of Vitamin L(ove) in it.

Another example could be hosting an event. This one was Lovely Ladies Potluck Brunch & Valentine's Card-making. A fabulous time with french toast, berries, chocolate-covered strawberries, banana bread, homemade tacos, and Caprese salad. After the brunch, we commenced on card-making...

 the calm before the feast of food and friendship time

 Card #1:

Card #2:

I can't even pretend all of mine were like this. Quite a few were of second-grader level, Lisa Frank-stickered quality :D. All of us were quite prolific in our card-making and shared stories about love, break-ups, Valentine's Day horror and success stories, friend-love, and more. Quite sweet.

Sweeter than this 85% cacao chocolate bar, even ;-).

We'll do a brunch again, along with a ladies bike ride. Because we all know the value of sunshine and smiles. Vitamin D and Vitamin L :)

TOP NUTRITION SECRET: The only way to get more Vitamin L(ove) is to give it. Let someone know how much you appreciate them. Send a cute package. Give a hug.

And share more ideas in the comments below, if you'd like :)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

I have discovered that all human evil comes from this:

man's being unable to sit still in a room - Blaise Pascal

Just stop.

From the moment we awake until we crawl into bed, exhausted, at night - we're always Doing something. Although we try to run faster and be more efficient, it usually feels as though we're falling further behind. Information overwhelm, expectations, and rarely a moment to ourselves can cause a negative impact on our health.

Can you relate? If so, don't just do something - sit there! :)

Image: health.howstuffworks.com

Meditation is used with sports professionals to develop focus. Hospitals often offer classes to help deal with pain and to lower blood pressure.

Make this a powerful way of recharging your mental, emotional, and physical batteries a part of your daily routine. You'll be able to increase your efficiency, expand your capacity to enjoy life, and reduce job stress and tension by taking a few minutes each day to meditate. Begin now.

Image: awakenlight.org

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I survived the hunger and blood-letting....

of the Genetic & Food Sensitivity Testing done this lovely wintery morning.

Let me first say that it's my personal philosophy to try - within reason- every diet, remedy, lifestyle suggestion, and test that I would ever suggest to my clients, friends, and family. What better way to empathize with a person on a candida cleanse? Or for the newly diagnosed celiac or gluten-intolerant person who is literally breaking down into tears over the thought of never being able to eat bread again? Sometimes what people really want to know most is that you've been where they are and have come out of it a better, healthier person.

I've recently embarked upon a journey to find out more than what I learned in high school biology about genetics, including Punnett squares (which, true to my curious personality, was tremendously fun to me - I even would use it to figure out the probability of having blue-eyed, red or dark-haired babies based on my genes and those of the person I was dating or currently crushing over, unbeknowst to them :D). Even though chemistry was like kryptonite to me and was one of the only subjects I actually had to focus on and study, I LOVED stoichiometry. Probably because it was math. (Nerd points scored by the end of this paragraph: 756).

But, getting back to the point: today I looked over the prettily packaged genetic kit (black box) and food sensitivity kit (red box) and decided that today is the day that I would gather my courage and forge into the unknown world of epigenetics and nutrigenomics ahead.  

Because I couldn't eat or drink for at least an hour beforehand, I did my oil pulling when I first woke up and the started knitting and reading to pass the time. 10:45am rolled around and my alarm beeped so I followed the instructions for the food sensitivity test first. Wash hands vigorously in hot water for a few minutes, shake them, stand while doing blood draw, have a rubberband on arm to act as tourniquet, wipe finger with alcohol....breathe...and prick your chosen finger with the enclosed lancet - I did it all. As I stood there 'milking' my finger to get the blood into the first circle, I thought to myself "this isn't so bad, I'll be done in no time"...but two circles in, with a sore ring finger, I started to question why I was doing this. Suddenly, it didn't seem so important to find out if dairy, grapefruit, soy, or nearly another hundred foods were my friend or my foe. But then I thought of my clients who are excited to see my results and try for themselves....I thought of my future health being better once I could determine if there were underlying intolerances....so I put on my big girl pants and pricked another finger. I was damn well going to find out if my favorite foods were poisoning me or not. What seemed like an impossible task to start became a challenge. And, I filled them all. The blood-letting was done!

One small blood draw from woman, one giant leap for humankind.

Yes!! I could stand and not faint at the sight of my own blood. I Could squeeze 12 precious drops of my life force in to the 5 circles and fill them up. Yeehaw!

I was a hero in my own mind. The invisible stadium full of fans cheered for minutes as I held my newly bandaged fingers up in the victory sign.

Ah, but there is one more test standing between me and my breakfast.....

The cheek-swabbing! Thank goodness we were on to more humane methods of testing. With two cheek scrapers and two test tubes, I was off on a minute-long scraping mission on each cheek, with the scraper ends deposited into the test tubes. This is the genetic testing part. All I had to do now was stick everything into the postage-paid envelopes and deposit them in the mailbox. And eat....

 The wait time is about 4-6 weeks for results. Stay tuned....

Interested in doing this yourself? Check OneBiteWellness.com under Rates & Services or contact me.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Ten Rules for Being Human

Rule One - You will receive a body.
You may love it or hate it, but it will be yours for the duration of your life on Earth.

Rule Two - You will be presented with lessons.
You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called "life". Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or hate them, but you have designed them as part of your curriculum.

Rule Three - There are no mistakes, only lessons.
Growth is a process of experimentation, a series of trials, errors and occasional victories. The failed experiments are as much as a part of the process as the experiments that work.

Rule Four - The lesson is repeated until learned.
Lessons will be repeated to you in various forms until you have learned them. When you have learned them, you can go on to the next lesson.

Rule Five - Learning does not end.
There is no part of life that does not contain lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.

Rule Six - "There" is no better than "here".
When your "there" has become "here" you will simply obtain another "there" that will look better to you than your present "here".

Rule Seven - Others are only mirrors of you.
You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself.

Rule Eight - What you make of your life is up to you.
You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you.

Rule Nine - Your answers lie inside of you.
All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.

Rule Ten - You will forget all this at birth.
You can remember it if you want by unraveling the double helix of inner-knowing.