Do You Skip Meals?

May 13, 2008

Skipping meals is probably one of the WORST things you could do to your body in terms of metabolism and weight loss. At least half of the people I have talked to recently when interviewing a company on their fitness and health confessed to skipping breakfast or lunch if they were too busy. Most of these people find it hard to lose weight. AND ITS BECAUSE THEY ARE SKIPPING MEALS AND KILLING THEIR METABOLISM. Read on….

What is your Metabolism?

1. Nervous System:

The nervous system needs energy depending on the brain power and frequency at which it is used. Type A people who talk fast, walk fast and do things fast would need more energy than the stereotypical surfer dude who talks slow, moves slow and is relaxed a lot. This is why fat burning pills work. But I am NOT supporting them- I recommend that you do NOT use them! The reason they work is they put your nervous system into overdrive and therefore you burn more calories. A lot of shake and supplement companies add extra caffeine and caffeine type herbs to their products to help you burn those extra calories and give you extra energy. The problem is that there is a price to be paid. Depending on your current health conditions, fat burners and extra caffeine can have negative affects on your heart, brain, hormones, and moods. Rather than manipulating your nervous system, I would recommend focusing on the muscular system.

2. Muscular System:

Muscles are active tissue- they need energy. Fat is not active and needs nothing! The more active tissue you have, the energy (calories) you need. It’s quite simple. As we age or become less active, we often lose muscle which decreases our resting metabolic rate. Women especially are often stumped when they gain weight over a period of time and are shocked because nothing has really changed about their diet or exercise—they have lost muscle over time. The good news is you can get it back and more!

How do you decrease your metabolism?

1. Starvation:

One other thing I need to point out about metabolism and how people decrease theirs without even realizing it is starvation diets or repeated long durations of time with no food. When you past the 5 hour mark of being without food or you skip breakfast and eat your first meal 5-6 hours after you wake up, you are slowly decreasing you metabolism everyday. Your body needs fuel- you don’t give it any so it has to take from within. The body will break down your own muscle and convert it into energy thus taking it away from you and decreasing your total amount of active tissue!

2. Toxicity:

If you eat or drink a lot of fake sugars, eat a lot of fish and canned tuna or live and breathe any chemicals in your home or environment, you may be toxic. You may be toxic if you have a lot of mercury in your mouth-fillings. Toxins get stored in fat tissue and the liver and can cause weight loss resistance. Doing a detox 2-3 times a year is beneficial to all for cleaning out the system.

3. Acid-Stress:

Not getting enough sleep causes elevated cortisol levels. Eating processed foods, too much meat, drinking coffee and alcohol all make your bodies’ ph more acidic. These factors can dehydrate you and imbalance your hormones making it very difficult for the body to use fat as energy and to excrete it from your system.

4.Aging- Decreased Activity

Aging as we already talked about decreases your hormones- which also decreases your muscle and therefore metabolism. Not doing resistance training or building muscle will result in a lower metabolism every year because of aging.

How do you increase your metabolism?

1. Eat more Protein at every meal esp breakfast!

For most women and men this would contain about 10-20 grams of protein in the meal. For example, 2 egg veggie omelette..or a smoothie made with one scoop of egg white or protein powder…or ½-1 cup of Cottage cheese or plain yogurt, ½ C. frozen berries with 1-2 Tbsp flax seed meal or walnuts would do the trick.

2. Supplement your fats!

Essential fats are also known as omega 3 and 6 polyunsaturated fats.They work in tandem with L carnitine and CLA as a trio essential for helping your body mobilize your fat stores to be used as an energy source by the mitochondria, particularly during a workout. Quality varies tremendously. Try to use some that are pharmaceutical grade.

3. Control Cravings and Appetite with Ideal Food Choices

The first key is to understand how your brain, gut and fat cells communicate with each other through hormones and brain messenger chemicals to tell you whether or not you need food and compel you to eat. When they are working properly, they are an elegant machine pinpointing when you need energy and asking you to consume calories to obtain that energy. When they go haywire-and there are many ways for them to go haywire in our current eating climate-they cause you to eat when you don’t need to, contributing to metabolic issues and weight gain.

4. Manage Stress

Another key is to understand how stress makes you fat and how to overcome its effects. Under any physical or psychological stress, the body is designed to protect itself. It stores calories and conserves weight (you might need that energy reserve to run from a predator). It pumps hormones into your system that increase blood fats, sugar and insulin and cortisol to prepare you for fight or flight. Without eating more or exercising less, stress alone will cause weight gain.

5. Detox!

Detoxifying your liver will help it properly metabolize sugars and fats. Toxins from within our bodies and toxins from our environment both contribute to obesity. Getting rid of toxins and boosting your natural detoxification system is an essential component of healthy metabolism and hormonal health for healthy aging.

6. Exercise Efficiently and add Resistance Training

Most people don’t exercise at all but if you do, you will need to create a plan and have some tools. With cardio, a heart rate monitor and pedometer will help track your calories burned and the efficiency of your session. But you still need to add active muscle to increase your metabolism-add resistance training! You can work out at home, on the road, at the gym , office or outside. There are several exercises you can do to stimulate muscle growth without equipment.

Another few tips……

Stay away from ‘whites’. White bread, white rice, white flour, white pasta and white (animal) fats. The good stuff is ‘refined’ out of them.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. The goal is not just to drink liquids but to get water inside cells. Best water to drink is mineral water. Best choices are Whole Foods flavored Mineral waters from Italy in flavors like strawberry kiwi and raspberry lime, Pelligrino or Fuji water for their purity and mineral content.

Become Accountable-if you fall off track often or you are used to yo-yo dieting and exercise, hire a trainer or a coach. Get involved in a group. Commit yourself to someone so they can help you commit yourself to YOU.

If you need some help getting started, sign in at http://www.invisiblefitness.com or call us at 1 800 571 5722

This was written by J.J. Flizanes, Director of Invisible Fitness

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Love Your Body

April 18, 2008

On Sunday March 23rd there was an article printed in the LA Times called “Suit Up, Spa
Fans”.  I don’t know if you know this about me, but I love the spa.  I love what the spa represents- freedom. What came over me when I read this was first fear and then anger. Decisions about whether to mandate the use of swimsuits to cover up are being made by spa managers that have their own issues with
their bodies and those of women they know.

One of the managers uses intergenerational as a reason to not want to see her grandmother naked.  I think that’s just an excuse for poor self esteem, judgment and denial.  She calls it awkward-and for her it may be.  I took my mother to a spa recently where I encouraged her to be naked.  Knowing that my mother doesn’t love the way she looks and has been more than slightly disconnected from her femininity and sexuality for a long time, I wanted her to enjoy the freedom of expression that we can only get at a spa
these days.

Not only did I have no problem with it, I encouraged it.  She felt like a young girl in
the hot tub with us as she found her freedom of non judgment and love-she got to just “be”.

The author, who by the way is not in favor of this movement as she explained to me when we exchanged emails, also sites bridal parties, business meetings, and family parties as another reason why they encourage us to suit up.

I guess because people feel they can do business on the golf course and in a lunch meeting, why not the spa? Why shouldn’t women and men everywhere be made to feel inappropriate and uncomfortable about their bodies and cover up to make it socially acceptable? Since when did the spa translate into business meetings?

As a business owner, what has happened to me over the last 8 years is a transformation from 85% feminine energy to 50% or less. I have decided to play ball with the men and focus. I own and run a business, I do my own marketing and selling, I hire staff and support to build my foundation and I do it very well. But these are all traits of men. Back in the caveman years, men were the hunters and women were the gatherers. Genetically we are different—yet in today’s world we often act as if we are the same.

I am not supporting the idea that women should stay home and only have babies. But we are genetically built differently and therefore need different things. In the age of the internet, we have also lost touch with visiting each other. How much human contact and interaction has been lost because we can all talk to each other faster and more efficiently over the internet? Again, I love the internet but what has it cost us? Human contact.

In the rat race of getting ahead, women practicing being men more than they practice enhancing their femininity, where finding a suitable mate has become harder and harder- what is out there to support women? The spa.

The spa has been the sanctuary where nothing matters. Relaxation, openness, celebration of the body you were born naked with is what the spa is about.

The first time I saw many women in the spa with bathing suits, the first thing that popped into my mind is the fact that they are ashamed. Ashamed of how they look and what they don’t look like. And by them wearing suits it sent the message that it’s not ok to love yourself the way you are. In order to be naked, you must fit a certain mold of “perfect”.

I thought we should outlaw suits in the spa altogether since it sends a negative vibe to everyone in my opinion.

I work with women everyday who do not love and accept their bodies. I fully support the use of spas regularly for women to get in touch with who they are and to accept themselves just the way they are. Women on the path of wanting change first need to acknowledge what they do have before a permanent change can occur.

Below was my email response to the author who did write back and hoped it may have gotten printed.  I don’t read the paper regularly so if anyone saw it, please let me know!

“Hi Valli

I read your spa article and have to say I am outraged!  This is truly a movement going in the opposite direction of what it is we SAY we want.  Women want to love their bodies, not compare them to supermodels.  I work with hundreds of women of all shapes and sizes and the one thing that is missing from their lives ( and most who struggle with body and self esteem issues) is that they don’t love and accept WHO THEY ARE.

Putting swimsuits on at a spa defeats the whole purpose of the spa!  It’s like taking your Satan worshipping friends to church- THEY DON’T GO.

Where else can women go in a safe, socially acceptable place and JUST BE THEMSELVES?  If you want to put a swimsuit on, go to a public pool.  If you want to have a business meeting, have it at a restaurant or conference room.  If you want a massage, get your massage and leave.  The spa part of the day spa is to relax.  By enhancing the fact that ” you should cover up” sends negative body messages and creates and environment that SUPPORTS ANOREXIA.

Don’t ruin the one place women can be free of judgment and practice loving and accepting themselves as they are in the moment. The US is already screwed up with the views we have of beauty- don’t make it worse.  Keep the spa a spa.  Encourage love not shame.”


I have found the fountain of youth!

January 4, 2008

Dear JJ,

I want to share a conversation I had last week with a new acquaintance. I said my workouts with you had helped change my life! She could only say, ‘”I can’t afford her”; I have no time I am so busy building my business. I just can’t spend this money right now.”

I said, “Are you thinking that JJ’s workout is about just moving your muscles?” For me personally, I experience JJ as a life coach. She shows you how to heal yourself. She shows you how to get stronger. These workouts have changed my workouts from pain to healing. Through these exercises, JJ explains how and why you’re doing every movement a certain way.

JJ is love. She is very dedicated to helping you. I am learning how to eat and make better choices. I feel like I am learning HOW to take care of myself, since I started working with JJ. It has been a better way to take care of myself because she has given me tools to work with like my heart monitor, proper form, and tips for preparing to walk to avoid my reoccurring shin splints!

You get into work you didn’t even know you were capable of! The instruction becomes so fluid your brain / body connection starts cooperating!

But I didn’t realize all this at once. It was my friends and family who started asking me what was I doing differently. I was changing right before their eyes and my attitude and moods had improved so much even my boss took me aside to ask what I was doing. I really was taken off guard. All I could do was smile and tell them about JJ.

She is a very loving and gentle person. JJ makes me feel she cares and she is full of good information. She understands women’s bodies. She understands nutrition. JJ is a good listener. JJ and Jeanne Peters work together and I was fortunate to find them both.

I was 60 when we started working out this past year. My first fear was that I was too old to get results. Every workout for me ended in pain. My knee and hip joints hurt most of all before I started working with JJ.

JJ knows the mind body spirit connection and that is way true healing can take place. And you know the law of attraction and that we are all one. It is great to have a person like this in your corner. We all need a coach to put it all together.

The most frequent comment I hear is that I now look younger. Did I find the fountain of youth? I believe I did.

Sharon Gelafio

sharongelafio@mac.com


Why you should NOT make a New Year’s resolution for fitness!

January 4, 2008

How many times have you said “My resolution for this year is to lose weight?” Or “eat better” Or any one of the many ways you could frame taking better care of your fitness or health?

 

And how many people KEEP that? The fitness and diet industry knows that millions of people make that resolution- it’s the biggest season of the financial year for us!

 

But then what happens? January people are gung ho and join a gym, buy the running shoes, set the clock earlier to get the workout in and start making healthier food choices.

 

This usually lasts 2-4 weeks. Once February rolls around and after you’ve missed a few workouts, had an extra dessert a few nights and partied it up at the Super bowl party– a lot of people throw in the towel.

 

They expect to see results fast. They make BIG changes quickly and find it hard to keep them up after a few weeks.

 

The habit is to say you want to lose weight or get healthy. Most people think that means they will put 15% effort into it daily and the rest of their life doesn’t need to shift.

 

Changing your body means changing your life. You eat 2-6 times a day. Every day you get up and everyday you go to sleep. The defining factor in changing your body and health for good is what you believe and therefore how you act- all the time.

 

What do you tell yourself before you eat? What do you tell yourself about working out?Do you justify putting everyone else and your work before you? If you think adding exercise and “trying” to be more conscious of food is going to work in the long run, you have probably been making a new year’s resolution about this for many years-unsuccessfully.

 

So what do you do?

 

1. If you are not ready to change your life, one step at a time, then I would reframe your resolution. You set yourself up to fail by setting such a big goal without being willing to make the necessary shifts to support it.

2. Change one thing at a time and do not expect miraculous results quickly.

3. And get some help. I’d suggest a fitness/life coach over a trainer or a trainer that coaches so you can start to analyze what it is you believe and what limiting beliefs you have that keep you where you are. If you have made this resolution for more than 3 years and you are still not at your goal, it’s time to get some help.

 

 

We offer fitness/life coaching. We believe that is the way to achieve lasting results.Having a trainer is nice. Most people work hard with someone there. But the pitfall is how you behave when they aren’t there. We want to make you accountable to yourself first (as well as us) and set you up with the tools to support you forever.

 

 

Written by J.J. Flizanes, Director of Invisible Fitness. 800 571 5722, www.invisiblefitness.com


Top 10 Fitness Tips for Success!

December 13, 2007

  1. Stop stepping on the scale. Do it ONCE and then put it away for at least the entire month- or 2. Scales throw off your emotions and give you feedback that is inaccurate to what you are looking for. It’s not worth the upset and it’s a narrow focus. I have clients on the 90 Day Health and Body Makeover weight in at the beginning and then commit to not stepping on the scale at all for 3 months.
  2. Start logging your food. Most of us do not really pay attention to what we eat so we are “shocked” when we gain weight, even on an exercise program. Logging your food will also bring conscious awareness to how you feed yourself. This awareness can help you change your patterns and get you to your goals. Carry a note pad in your purse or car so you can log your meals in a timely manner after you finish them so you do not forget. If you wait til the end of the day, the task feels more overwhelming and you’re likely to forget something.
  3. Schedule your workouts. Put them on the calendar or in your palm pilot or blackberry just like any other meeting or event. If you do not make time for it, time does not just “appear”. We all have the same 24 hours in a day-blocking out time for you is not only important for your health but also in setting an example of your importance to your family, friends and collegues.
  4. Post pictures of yourself or a fitness and health example of what you would like to achieve as a reminder and motivator. You can also make a vision board to inspire you. Pictures and images translate energy to us subconsciously. If you intend something to happen and then support your efforts with energetic triggers such as a vision board- you will get there faster.
  5. Stock up on fruits and veggies for snacks and make them VISIBLE and AVAILABLE in your refrigerator. If you don’t see it immediately, you will forget it’s there! Make them finger foods at your disposal.
  6. Drink water! The body converts fat into energy and releases fat IN WATER. Your body fights disease and toxins in water. All of your body’s functions have to happen in water. If you are dehydrated, you are slowing down your body’s ability to change. Drink at least 4-6, 10 oz glasses or bottles a day.
  7. Get your 7-8 hours of sleep EVERY night. When your body is stressed and not completely rested, your cortisol levels increase and the body holds onto fat as well. Your body changes ” in rest”, not in work. When you sleep less you also overeat. Your body needs energy so you think food will satisfy that and it doesn’t. Not getting enough sleep can sabotage a weight loss plan.
  8. Add resistance training to your workout plan. This is your long term investment for strong bones and a healthy metabolism. You increase your resting metabolism ONLY by adding lean muscle. Fat is inactive tissue and does not need energy. Muscle requires energy and also helps get that sleek, sexy, tight look in your body.
  9. Use a heart rate monitor when doing cardio. This should be one of the most important tools you use. If you are doing cardio without a heart rate monitor- how do you know if you are being effective and efficient? How else can you tell when it’s time to increase your intensity? Why waist time and plateau? I recommend and carry the Polar F6.
  10. Read labels. Know what you are eating. Read the ingredients- do you know what everything is? The more natural and clean you can eat- the better you will look and feel.


My Mom is a Superstar!

December 12, 2007

mom-90-day.jpg

We just completed the Group 90 Day Health and Body Makeover Program and she made the most improvements among the group!!!

Now you may think that because she’s my mother that this was easy for her. We didn’t talk about exercise or food any other time than on the call once a week. My mother has
proclaimed in the past “I will never run“.

She ate her words. And I didn’t ever tell her to!

My mother now runs 5-6 times a week for 30-40 minutes and stays
in her heart rate zone most of the time. She even runs in the house if it’s too cold in PA for her to do it outside. She claims ” this watch ( HR Monitor) makes me run!” And it’s only taken 10 years. I have been a trainer for over 10 years. Every year I go home and train, educate and suggest. I have hired them 3 different personal trainers to come to the house. The first one left which is why I had to hire #2 and then #3.

My parents are normal/healthy weight. They are not overweight or obese by any means but of course I want them to age well and be around as long as possible. They have always agreed and desired to be more fit and so it was mom’s turn to get involved with the 90 Day Health and Body Makeover this year.

She hasn’t recalculated yet but just the fact that she now runs when she said she would never and that she commits to over 30 min at least 5 days a week to exercise consistently is a MAJOR accomplishment.

She even asked herself if her schedule was the right thing for HER on a given day.  What I mean by that is Mom gives her time and attention to everyone.  However, she doesn’t give it to herself as often.  But now she admitted to doing what was right for her, not everyone else and that’s a great step for Val to take care of herself first!

Good job Mom! Love you!! Can’t wait to help you keep up the progress and get to the next goal!


5 Foods To Ditch Next Year

December 7, 2007

By Jeanne Peters RD

Nutrition Director

Nourishing Wellness Medical Centre

1-310-792-7830

http://www.nourishingwellness.com

Yes, 2008 is just around the corner and you can make it the healthiest year of your life. To begin, call in your inner magician and let’s transform your kitchen into a place to support your highest health. These steps will help you get started making the kitchen transition by getting rid of 5 ingredients that compromise your health. You’ll also learn why these foods should be eliminated from your diet and what foods to replace them with. Pick a day for your kitchen makeover. Get out a big trash can and then open up the refrigerator and all your cupboards. Now you are ready to begin! If you need more support, don’t hesitate to call me for a free 30 min nutrition consultation to help you evaluate how to integrate sustainable eating choices into your week with ease!

REFINED SUGAR & ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS

In today’s over-processed, sugar-crazed society, the average person consumes 154 pounds of sugar per year! That’s 53 teaspoons of sugar per day!

Trash It: It’s fair to say that no other food contributes to as many health problems as sugar. So if you want to achieve your optimum health potential, avoiding sugar is the best place to start. You can begin your kitchen transition by throwing out that big bag of sugar and all those little packets of artificial sweeteners. Then get rid of all the products in your cupboards and refrigerator that are made with refined sugar (sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, maltodextrin). This will include all commercial brands of cookies, candy, pop, ice cream, pastry, cakes and pies. It may seem like a good idea to pass these foods along to family, friends, neighbors, or coworkers–but considering the problems caused by excess sugar consumption, it’s best just to throw them out. Even if it seems like a waste of money at the time, the savings in your health, and the health of those you care about, will be well worth it.

Stash It: The best sweeteners to use are those that occur naturally such as raw cane sugar (Rapadura), pure maple syrup, raw honey or molasses. These are best used for baking. Stevia, an herb that is much sweeter than sugar but does not affect blood sugar levels, can be used for sweetening beverages (if necessary in the initial stages of transitioning your diet). Keep in mind that even natural sweeteners can affect your blood sugar and contribute to cravings for sweets. For this reason it’s best to avoid eating sweets by themselves; instead include dessert made with whole foods as part of a balanced meal, no more than 2-3 times per week. Good fats and protein help to stabilize blood sugar and reduce cravings for sweets. A steak with some steamed veggies and butter, a salad topped with a dressing based on olive oil and a couple of naturally sweetened cookies would be a healthy and balanced way to include dessert. Avoid having dessert with a meal that is high in carbohydrates like pasta, bread or rice.

 

WHITE FLOUR

Now that you’ve eliminated the sweet sugar from your kitchen, your next step is to get rid of the “other” sugar–white flour. White flour breaks down just like sugar in the body and can lead to many of the same problems as white sugar. During the process of turning whole wheat into white flour, the B-vitamins as well as vitamin E, calcium, zinc, copper, manganese, potassium and fiber are removed. Due to the lack of fiber in white flour, it is a major contributing factor to constipation and other bowel problems. Wheat and gluten ( the protein found in wheat and other grains)  are major allergens and can cause reactions such as headaches, fatigue, malabsorption, irritability, upper respiratory congestion, nausea, thyroid issues, diarrhea and other bowel disorders like celiac and Crohn’s disease. In my practice, I have discovered that over 70% of all people are gluten sensitive so that probably means YOU! If so, eliminating wheat, rye, barley and commercial oats will probably improve your health in more ways that I can share in this article.

Trash It: Search for anything in your kitchen made with enriched wheat flour and toss it out. That includes most commercial breads, crackers, pasta, bagels and stuff like pancake mixes. While you’re at it, you can throw out white rice and all other processed grains such as corn bread mixes, instant oatmeal, and all processed grain cereals–even if they are organic. During the extrusion processing of whole grain flakes and puffed cereals, high temperatures and intense pressure destroy nutrients, cause fragile oils to become rancid, and make the processed cereals very difficult to digest.

Stash It: Although many commercial brands offer “whole grain” breads available at the grocery store, there are none that I really recommend. In most cases, the bread is still made from enriched wheat flour with a few whole grains added in. And even if the bread is made purely from whole grain, it most likely still contains unhealthy ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oil. To get good quality whole grain bread, you’re going to have to take a ride to your local health food store. Look for bread that is made from whole grains, even better organic, sprouted whole grains. My favorite brand of bread is Alvarado St. Bakery, which is available at most natural food stores. If yours doesn’t carry it, ask them to. It’s a light bread with a chewy texture, a perfect sandwich bread! You can also find whole grain pasta and bagels, however, they are extremely high in carbohydrates and have a major effect on blood sugar. So unless you can use control to limit the portion of those foods and eat them sparingly, it’s best not to eat them at all. Focus on brown rice,quinoa, starchy vegetables like yams,  sweet potatoes and pastas made from quinoa or brown rice as a healthier alternatives.

HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OILS

For many years the media have told us to replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats, like those from vegetable oils. This is not very good advice considering that, in the process of producing vegetable oils, toxic chemicals and high temperatures are used to extract the oil from the seed or bean. In this process virtually all of the nutritional value has been destroyed, not to mention the fact that high temperatures turn the oil rancid before you even bring it home.

Even worse, most vegetable oils in processed foods have been hydrogenated, a process that rearranges the fatty acid molecules and creates trans fatty acids. Not only are trans fats difficult to digest, but they have also been implicated as a cause of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and sterility.

Trash It: Since most packaged food that contains sugar and white flour, also contains hydrogenated oil, you should have already eliminated those foods from your kitchen anyway. Hydrogenated oils are found in almost all processed foods, commercial salad dressings, sandwich spreads and, of course, margarine. Rather than just throw away these items, rinse out the containers and recycle them–at least it won’t be a total waste.

Stash It: A “must have” in your kitchen is healthier fats like real butter! Butter is a rich source of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. and contains important minerals like manganese, zinc, chromium, and iodine. The saturated fat in butter enhances our immune function, protects the liver from toxins, provides nourishment for the heart in times of stress, gives stiffness and integrity to our cell membranes, and aids in the proper utilization of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Butter will add extra nutrients and flavor to your vegetables, whole grain breads and sautéed dishes. Organic butter produced without the use of hormones, steroids, and antibiotics is available at natural food stores and even many grocery stores. Another important oil to stock in your kitchen is olive oil. Olive oil is a rich source of antioxidants, relieves the pain and inflammation of arthritis, normalizes blood fats and cholesterol, stimulates strong gallbladder contractions, and is known for increasing longevity.

Another fat you may want to try is coconut oil, a once-maligned but very healthy fat that is making a come back. Coconut oil is a rich source of medium-chain saturated fatty acids, especially lauric acid, which has strong antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Coconut oil is extremely heat stable and can be used in baking, frying, sautéing, and especially for making popcorn! I recommend unrefined, organic coconut oil from Garden of Life–available online or at many natural food stores.

COMMERCIAL SALT

The salt that you find in table salt and most processed foods is sodium chloride. Salt in this form has been processed at high temperatures, which changes the molecular structure and removes vital minerals from the salt. Table salt also contains additives, anticaking agents, and even sugar. Excess salt consumption is associated with high blood pressure, fluid retention, heart and kidney disease.

Trash It: Dump out your salt shaker and toss out all other packaged or processed foods with a high sodium content. This should be pretty easy for most people.

Stash it: We have been told for years to avoid salt, but following this advice can lead to even more problems. We are all salty on the inside–our blood, sweat, tears, and even our urine–it’s all salty. It’s important to replenish the salt in our body, using the right salt is what makes all the difference in the world. The best way to put salt back into your body is to use Celtic sea salt. This high quality salt contains over 80 balanced minerals from the sea. Celtic sea salt is essential for maintaining proper fluid balance and utilization in the body. It also normalizes blood pressure, enhances digestion, and nourishes the adrenal glands. Celtic sea salt is available at many natural food stores or can be ordered through The Grain and Salt Society, call 1-800-TOPSALT.