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Archive for December, 2008

How Oprah gained her weight back and
how she’s publicly taking it on (or off?).

In the last few weeks, I’ve participated in and overheard numerous conversations about …politics? The economy? Human rights??

Nope. Oprah’s current size. Everything from empathy (this is a hard battle for her) to disstaste (with all her resources she should be able to handle it), from co-dependency (I’ve gained 40 too) to self-bravado (I hit the gym 2 hours a day, I find time!).

Let’s be clear. I have NO insider knowledge on this one. Yet, as she promises to publicly take on the issue in ’09 a few things come to mind.

Oprah is a) an image b) a robot c) a superhero or d) a person. Perhaps e) all of the above as she helps all of us help ourselves and does so selflessly and effectively. that said, when it comes to her health and her weight let’s go with D) as the final answer. Oprah is a person.
I work with a lot of “persons,” some of them famous publicly, others famous to their families, friends and colleagues. Yet, when it comes to the media I’m most frequently asked about the plans of my publicly famous clients. (more…)

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This past week the FDA approved stevia — a natural sweetener from a leaf of a plant originally native to South America – for use. This is a big change as stevia was previously relegated to the supplement section forcing places such as Whole Foods and coffee shops to be unable to serve it along with other sweeteners such as sugar, xylitol, agave nectar and the chemical options like Splenda and Equal etc.

I’m excited by this news as it means we have more natural options for sweeteners. Despite having no calories, stevia’s sweetness is still about 200-300 times that of regular sugar. Many will say it has a more tart taste. It doesn’t dissolve well in cold water so I always recommend dissolving it in hot beverages or a little hot water before adding it to iced tea etc. I also recommend using it in place of sugar in recipes such as a cinnamon toast (put some almond butter on toast and sprinkle your cinnamon /stevia combo right over it — yum!) Or how about adding rice milk and stevia to your favorite rooibos or black tea for a sweet latte. Also there are products such as Ultima Replenisher which hydrate and contains stevia as its sweetener as well as several of the Yogi Teas that have stevia as one of its ingredients. There are even diet sodas with stevia as well.

For sweetness, I still recommend getting it naturally from foods but having stevia approved offers a great, non-chemical option.

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We spend a lot of time – rightfully so – identifying the smartest food and beverage choices for our bodies on a daily basis. But for our hair, skin, and nails? Yesterday, on recommendation from Terry at thenatureofbeauty.com and make-up artist extraordinaire (the only one using all natural products to my knowledge) Christy Coleman, I tried my first wash and condition, leave-in detangler and hair spray from Intelligent Nutrients…and fell hard core in love! Aromatherapy came to life – I couldn’t stop myself with every massage of the scalp (and later brush of my hair) new scents released that lingered even until this morning (in a good way). The product delivered as my hair feels sensational, has bounce and sheen, and for a curly-haired gal the highest praise I can offer – its completely tangle-free! What’s more, reading the label reminds me of my spice and oil cupboards.

Move over Hair-care for dummies, Intelligent nutrients have arrived!

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We hear it all the time. Cooking at home is better for you than eating out. Food quality, portion sizes, too much salt etc. All reasons a home-cooked meal is better for us than one eaten out. Well, I live in LA and NYC, as well as travel around quite a bit and the new news is that chefs, restaurateurs, cafes and to-go spots are helping us by making great options available when we can’t or just don’t want to cook.

I wanted to say a personal and a professional thank you for raising the bar to where it should be for food eaten outside the home. Download their menus to see what I mean and by all means stop in when you are in the area – just make sure to leave a seat for me!

Axe – my neighborhood gem! I could have the farmers market plate wed-sunday and be all the healthier for it. How long it seems from Sunday to Tuesday. Even vegetable non-lovers agree, its where nutritious meets delicious.

(more…)

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It seems to happen every year – a holiday hangover. Not just any old hangover (the result of too much or a bad mix of booze), what I’m talking about is the Holiday Hangover- that which results from the accumulation of holiday indulgences or abruptions in routine.

The Holiday Hangover occurs when we wake up in ’09 with weight gain, fatigue, so-called “winter blues”, headaches, digestive upset, perhaps even the flu. What a way to ring in the new year!

The culprits aren’t individually that challening to the body; however, add up all their combined efforts and they mount a super challenging assault on your body’s health and well-being. Extra booze, extra food, lack of sleep, extra sweets, and lack of exercise leave every system in the body wondering which way is up (and that’s pretty important if you think about it!).

Good news, it isn’t
A) Fun holidays = Holiday Hangover or B) No Holiday Hangover = No Holiday Fun.

The Plan:
A) Immune Support: take care of your immune system early: think probiotics (read separate blog); Shroom! Yep, adding mushrooms such as shitakes to your meals boosts the immune system, considering taking a high quality mixed mushroom supplement (more…)

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I’ve talked about hydration in other blogs – the role of minerals, the fact that hydration isn’t just about water, and sources of hydrating nutrients.

In the media, hydration is often a summer story. Its hot, we’re sweating more, remember to hydrate. However, I think there’s a much bigger story: dehydration – how the winter presents increased risks for it resulting in increased risk for immune challenges. (more…)

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I can’t believe you are drinking that (or giving it to your kids). Why what’s wrong with corn? Or with fruit?

And so go the ads for high fructose corn syrup (by the Corn Refiners Association) featuring situations meant to pull at the intellectual and emotional strings – a geeky guy asking the hot chick, one mom against another at the soccer field. I had a full spectrum of reactions when I first saw these ads. I was angry, I was impressed, and I was pleased.

Anger because there’s research and anecdotal evidence, pointing to the potential for this substance (note: I did not use the word food, its chemical bonds are worked on in ye old food science lab) to play games in our bodies.

Impressed, as any ex-ad executive would be when they saw a spot (that’s what we call commercials) guaranteed to challenge and persuade.

And pleased. That members of the Corn Refiners Association need to spend their dollars in support of a sweetener trying tells me that’s sales must be down, folks must be learning about the negatives of HFCS and making different purchasing choices. Yippppeeee!

Want to decide for yourself? Check out these perspectives:
Dr. Weil’s Q & A: High Fructose Corn Syrup: Too Sweet to Eat?

Life Extension Magazine: Metabolic Danger of High-Fructose Corn Syrup

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