Sunday, May 30, 2010

Quote for the Week: The Future of Medicine

"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease."

- Thomas Edison

I read this quote earlier last week on the back of my chiropractic member card and it really resonated with me.  I truly believe that doctors should and will be proponents of preventative medicine vs. reactive medicine.  With the state of health or lack thereof in the U.S., Americans are waking up.  They are increasingly turning to chiropractics, acupuncture, herbal medicine, holistic health counseling and other alternative healing modalities.  How about you? What does this quote mean to you?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cleansing = Detoxing

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, it is natural to want to clean our homes and bodies at the start of spring.  In nature, the weather becomes warmer and plants start to grow-both suggesting us to eat lighter. It is also written in our biology.  Our bodies tend to store fats in winter due to the cold weather and instinct that food is more scarce.  As spring approaches, we become more active and start using some of that stored fat.  And we want to eat less due to the increased level of activity.  A cleanse is a great tool to use to naturally shift our bodies and mindset from one of eating heavier goods to lighter foods.  It resets our diets and oftentimes, lifestyles.  
Sometimes a cleanse is called a detox.  Detoxing is defined as “cleansing the body of poisons or toxins that may have accumulated through addictive habits.”  Let me tell you, detox is the new black.  The buzz word has made its way into every new diet product and Oprah episode. The act of detoxing has been around since the dawn of man, but it is entering our everyday vernacular now that people are becoming more aware of their bodies and concerned about their health.  That’s not to say that it isn’t also hyped up by the media and those who want to gain commercially through generating fear and awareness.  Detoxing can be marketed to be very attractive-“This pill will not only rid you of those nasty toxins but will also help you lose weight!”  Who wouldn’t want both?!
However, detoxing is not to be something to be taken lightly.  As stated in its name and the definition above, detoxing is cleansing the body of toxins that result from additive habits.  You may have first heard of the word when a newscaster described a celebrity to have gone into detox due to a heavy drug addiction. In those facilities, patients are monitored carefully to make sure that they release their toxins safely and successfully.  Detoxing is extremely difficult and painful if your body is overwhelmed with toxins. “Painful?” you ask. Yes, painful.  Your body stores toxins in your body because its natural cleansing mechanisms can only get rid of so much at one time.  We introduce toxins into our bodies at a quicker rate than we can release them because we consistently eat foods laden with pesticides and processed with chemicals as well as expose ourselves to toxins in our environments like pollution and stress.  
When you detox, you limit your exposure to these toxins and thus, your body can concentrate on getting rid of the toxins you are holding onto.  When your body lets go of those toxins, they re-enter your bloodstream and can overwhelm your system causing headaches, nausea, muscle aches, general discomfort, and cravings. A hangover can be considered an adverse reaction to a detox. And think about it, depending on how much you’ve drank the night before and how much you’ve tried to remedy it with water, it can range from your being fine and dandy the next morning to being keeled over in your bed or the toilet.
Many people, including doctors, believe that our bodies detox naturally.  And that is true, but our modern day bodies need assistance in detoxing for various reasons.  I will cover that topic as well as how to cleanse safely next week.  And don't forget, I will be hosting a cleanse in June so be on the look out for that information soon!
What are your thoughts so far on cleansing and detoxing?  Have you ever participated in a cleanse?  Do you feel like you need one?

Friday, May 28, 2010


Chiropractors provide a popular form of alternative medicine and are perfect partners to a holistic health counseling practice.  Two weeks ago, I did not know what a chiropractor really did and decided I would find out in the name of research for my clients.  In the past week, I have learned a lot through a consultation, two adjustments and a treatment recommendation.
Chiropractors' primary concern is the health of your spine.  The brain and nerves make up the nervous system's central control panel.  It coordinates all of our bodily functions.  The health of the spine and the nerves it houses are vital to our well being.  In my consultation, I learned a very important chiropractic term-vertebral subluxation.  Vertebral subluxation is "when one or more of the bones of your spine (vertebrae) move out of position and create pressure on, or irritate spinal nerves." (source)  It sounds pretty serious, huh? And it sure is. When you have subluxation, your vertebrae shift causing nerves to pinch which affects the communication channel between your brain and rest of your body and it also will affect the health of your spinal disks which serve multiple purposes that I won't get into.  Did you know that the blood supply to your spinal disks stop after age 12 and only correct alignment and movement of the spine will bring nutrients to the spine?  
Our poor postures, habit of carrying heavy bags, and heavily sedentary culture are common causes of subluxations.  And even if you are very aware and have good posture, carry very little and move and stretch a lot, you can still have subluxation.  The majority of subluxations occur at birth, canal births in particular.  Additionally, falls, even those when you had when you were young, can cause subluxations.  Back and neck pain are obvious dis-eases that can be traced to subluxations but ailments that seem to be unrelated like migraines, depression, TMJ, and asthma can also be caused by subuxations.    
As I mentioned, I "drank the Kool-Aid" and sign up for two adjustments.  I had an adjustment yesterday and Wednesday.  Both adjustments were relatively quick compared to other doctor's appointments.  It seemed a bit crazy to pay a copay for about 8-10 minutes of adjusting but it felt really good.  Most notably, I feel lighter overall, especially in my neck and in my gait.  In the two sessions, the chiropractor adjusted my lower back, upper back, neck, jaw and wrist.  All of which resulted in popping or cracking of the bones.  It sounded like a pop rocks party :)  But in all seriousness, it was a way to realign the bones of the body and teach them to go back to where they should.  This starts the process of reminding the bones where they should be.
My first impression of chiropractics, so far, is very good.  I can definitely see where the synergies lie between holistic health counseling and their practice.  I look forward to finding out more about the practice.
Do you have any questions about my visit?  What is your experience with chiropractors?  Do you have other alternative healing techniques that you want me to try and review on this blog?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Join my Meetup Group!

I WANT YOU to join my Meetup Group!  You will be in the know about my latest events but I will also be holding events exclusively for the group.  There are already some great people who are part of the group and I can foresee many invigorating conversations and topics being covered!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Springtime = Time to Clean

It finally feels like spring in Boston!  Actually, the weather has been quite unstable and has bounced around from lows 50s several weeks ago to a predicted high of 90 today.  Due to the rapid fluctuations, I haven't found a good time to do a cleanse this year.  The time when the seasons change is a great time to do a cleanse.  A cleanse is a period of time where you focus on changing what you eat and how you live to help you shift to a prolonged, cleaner way of eating.  Spring in particular is a great time to do a cleanse.
I wrote a post about spring cleansing not too long ago on my old blog and am being lazy being green and recycling it here. :)
Spring symbolizes the rejuvenation of the earth and start of life.  When I think of spring, I think of breathing in fresh air, cleaned and renewed by the budding leaves and plants.  At the same time, humans tend to start cleaning up their lives. “Spring cleaning” isn’t just an arbitrary combination of words.  The new season is a time for us to clean our houses from top to bottom including windows to let the sun shine through and closets full of dust bunnies and Christmas decorations.  It is also a time for us to clean up our bodies.  For men, it may be to clean up those shaggy winter beards or the ladies, to begrudgingly start shaving again after a long winter of thick pants.  Another aspect that gets cleaned up is our internal body through diet.  Winter is a heavy season filled with rich foods and indulgences that linger way past the holidays.  Spring is time to overhaul the diet and start eating lighter. After all, swimsuit season is right around the corner!
Look for more posts this week about cleansing safely.  Also, I will be posting information here for the cleanse I will be hosting in June to help you get lighter for summer!  Follow the blog to keep posted!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


This week will contain a series of short posts because my mom is in town! And in honoring my primary food of relationships, I'm trying to spend as much time as possible with her.  
So today I want to speak quickly about honoring our relationship with our parents. Whatever the relationship was and is, it molded you into the wonderful person you are today.  If you have a good relationship with your parents, take a moment to speak to them today.  Not to ask for money, or to check up on the dog, but to ask them how they are.  It will light up their day-I promise!   Or if you can't speak to them, think warm thoughts-they'll get it and you'll feel a bit brighter and happier :) If your relationship is strained, take some time to reflect on it and see what you want to do about it.  You may not want to do anything, and that is okay.  
We celebrated Mother's Day a couple of weeks ago and Father's Day is around the corner, but shouldn't everyday be Mother's & Father's Day? 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tip for the Week: Shut Up and Listen

Every Sunday I will post a quote, thought, or tip to ease you into Monday and carry you throughout the week.

Being a good listener is completely underrated. Everyone is so focused on getting their 2 cents in to make sure they sound intelligent or to make sure their opinion is heard. When is the last time you had a real conversation with someone? One where you were speaking and the other person was looking you in the eye and actively listening?  Been a while hasn't it? Don't you wish that when you spoke, you were heard? 
Well in the spirit of a fresh start to the week, let's make a concerted effort to work on genuinely listening to our friends, family, co-workers, and anyone else we encounter throughout our busy days. Look them in the eye, nod, and show them that you are listening.  Ask clarifying questions. Be interested in what they are saying. This will make you appear not only intellectual but also genuinely caring and engaged and in turn, the other person will feel special.
Let's start using BOTH of our ears and listen! And hope that person pays it forward and so on. Then we'll have a world with fewer disagreements and more understanding.
Here's to a week of truly connecting!

Friday, May 21, 2010

What's Your Purpose?

"I’m gonna find my purpose…I gotta find me!" Princeton from Avenue Q

When I signed up for IIN, I thought of it would help my diet and health and possibly enable me to change my career. I signed up for my classes in July 2009-on my birthday actually. I saw it as a very nice (and generous) birthday present for myself. Looking back halfway through my program, I realized that it was very symbolic for me to sign up on my birthday. That day was the start of a whole new life-a rebirth of sorts. It was the start of a fundamental shift in living my life. The past 10 months have reinvigorated me. I have been able to find and redefine myself, to strive for what I believe to be my life's purpose, and to finally be excited and fully engrossed in developing my future. Since starting the program, I have worked harder than I have in a while, maybe even ever, but am happier than I have ever been. The greatest change has been a gradual shift in alignment of my personal beliefs and life to my career.
By shifting my focus to something I am truly passionate about, I feel vibrant, whole, and fully nourished-more than any amount of vegetables and fruits can do for me. I spoke of primary foods last month as a foundation of our health and happiness. To review, primary foods are our career, spirituality, relationships, and physical exercise.  When we are happy with those four elements, our lives are enriched.  As for our careers, it is really important to have a job that is fulfilling. We spend many hours in a day, week and most of our lives working. More often than not, we spend more time developing our 'careers' than our relationships, bodies and minds. Why would you spend so much time doing something that does not feed your soul? Back in the day, people defined themselves by their careers and took pride in it. Most notably is the last name Smith deriving from the occupation of blacksmiths. We have come very far from that alignment and our career has become one compartment of many in our lives. We no longer see the need for our careers to match our life's purpose.
Our career is a very sensitive subject mainly because it is the source of money, our income. It is not easy to walk away from an unfulfilling job if it pays nicely. And I am not telling you to do that. Ideally, we would all work jobs that we completely identify with and can live comfortably off of. Reality is we live in a world where money is a necessity and we can't just up and leave the source of it. However, we can always make small changes.  In the spirit of embracing primary foods, I would like for you to take a look at your career. How does it align to who you are today? How does it align to who you want to be? What are the missing pieces and how can you fill them? Can you change your career without sacrificing other components of your life that are important to you (e.g., standard of living, paying rent, feeding your puppy)?  Can you add something to you job that aligns with who you are (e.g., join the wellness committee, form a lunch group with other parents, start a company dodgeball team)?  Can you address who you want to be through your hobbies, spirituality, relationships or physical exercise? 
What have you done with your career to better align yourself with it?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May Newsletter

I wanted to announce that I launched my May Newsletter and encourage you to take a look at it.  I speak about dieting and sprouts in this issue.  I would love to hear feedback from you to learn what topics you would like covered and anything else you'd like to tell me.  You can check it out here or in my Newsletter section.  I do not plan to devote a whole post to it in the future so join my mailing list to stay in the know!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Announcing June Events!

I'm so excited to announce 2 new, awesome and educational events in June!  They are:

FLOW the Film Screening
FLOW stands for For Love of Water
South End Branch Library in Boston
Rutland St. & Tremont St.
Saturday, June 5th 11:30AM-2:00PM
Click here for more information!

Grocery Store Tour
Shaw’s Prudential (Boston)
Sunday, June 6th 8:30AM – 10:00AM      OR     Saturday, June 19th 8:30AM – 10:00AM
Learn how to shop for your health at the grocery store!
For more information and to RSVP (space is limited!), click here.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tip for the Week: Pick your battles

Every Sunday I will post a quote, thought, or tip to ease you into Monday and carry you throughout the week.

You win some, you lose some.

Life is full of disagreements, lessons in disguise. Sometimes we are the ones to give these lessons, others come to us in due time, and many are thrust upon us-by strangers, bosses, family and friends. When evaluating how to respond to these circumstances, pick your battles carefully. Life is full of difference in opinion. Evaluate the consequences of your words and actions before acting upon your emotions. Know that what you do and say affects the relationships you have with the others involved. Sometimes you have to let things go. And other times, you will feel so passionate about a matter that you will have no choice but to voice your opinion.

For the week, identify the battles-large and small-and weigh the consequences before acting.  Know that there are larger ones ahead and choose carefully.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Brown Rice is Nicer!

continuation of yesterday’s post on rice…

So rice is certainly nice, but brown rice is nicer! Take some time this weekend and have some brown rice. Brown rice is healthier than white rice for two reasons. First are the vitamins and minerals that I mentioned previously. According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, “The complete milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. Fully milled and polished white rice is required to be "enriched" with vitamins B1, B3 and iron." 

Second, there is the fiber in it! Fiber is an essential component to our diets and for good reason. Fiber is essential to our digestive health-ensuring proper digestion and elimination. Additionally, it is important in regulating our blood sugar. When eating a whole grain, like brown rice, we eat the starch and the fiber. The latter which enables our bodies to slowly digest the starch and slowly release the resulting sugar into our bodies. White rice is a pure starch. When ingested, it is quickly digested by the digestive system because there is very little fiber to slow down the process. It causes a spike in energy as the carbohydrates are instantly converted to sugar. 

Dr. Walter Willet, a professor of Nutrition and Medicine at Harvard, spoke in class about refined grains in terms of the glycemic index, which is a measurement of the effect of carbohydrates on our blood sugar levels. The quicker a carbohydrate breaks down in digestion, the higher the number in the glycemic index. Eating foods high in the glycemic index is linked to diabetes. As mentioned above, white rice was very popular in traditional diets, but their population did not have diabetes. This spike in blood sugar did not cause an issue to the traditional cultures because they performed a lot more physical labor. Their jobs and lifestyles required for them to be more active. They used the energy they got from the rice before the sugar took a toll to their insulin levels. White rice is not appropriate for our sedentary lifestyles. We do not use the instant energy that the grain gives us and our bodies have to produce insulin to reduce the sugar level. 

Eating more fiber is really important to our overall health. There is no need to add foods into our diets. It’s all about upgrading the foods you are already eating. Switch the rice you get from the Thai take-out place with brown rice. Or use brown rice when making your rice and beans instead of white.

Have you noticed how you feel after eating white rice vs. brown rice? Do you have a favorite brown rice recipe?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Rice is Nice! (Part 1)

I love rice! Especially jasmine rice. It's really fragrant, fluffy, and pairs well with a nice stir fry. I grew up having rice and rice porridge for dinner every night. It's my ultimate comfort food. The equivalent to many's bread and pasta. However, white rice, which includes long grain and jasmine, is processed. *gasp* I know! My world sort of turned upside down when I found this out several years ago. For a very long time, I thought I was doing well for my body by eating a grain and whole food so often. But in actuality, white rice is really only part of a whole food and it is stripped almost entirely of the original grain’s nutrients and fiber. Yikes!

Grains are seeds and like any seed, it has built-in, natural mechanisms to ensure it will grow.  The multiple layers protect the endosperm from external threats like the environment and animals. Rice is naturally encased in a hull and under that are multiple other layers (see the awesome picture below). The layers underneath, particularly the bran and germ, contain a lot of the vitamins and minerals that these seeds would have used to sprout. When we eat the grain with the bran and germ aka brown rice, we provide our bodies with those vitamins and minerals. 
 picture from Britannica Encyclopedia

So if brown rice is such a better alternative, why is white rice so popular? Well, there are actually many reasons that traditional cultures eat white rice. The biggest reason is probably that white rice is more shelf stable. Brown rice contains the bran and germ which have natural oils in them. If stored for too long and/or at too high of a heat, the oil and thus the grain will go rancid-spoiling the grain. In the olden days, this would have been a much bigger deal as food was scarcer. Other reasons are that white rice cooks more quickly, many think it tastes better (brown rice has a chewier texture and nutty taste that some people don’t like) and it looks better-kind of vain but white is considered a purer color.

Look for part 2 of this post tomorrow covering different reasons why we should all switch to brown rice part, if not all, of the time.

Do you eat white rice?  Brown rice?  What is your preference?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Blog Spotlight: Fed Up with Lunch

I believe that one of the main purposes of this blog is to educate my readers on food, lifestyle, health and vitality. However, I am only one person. To provide you with the most information I can, I will periodically be spotlighting relevant blogs that I follow providing you with my thoughts on the blog and how it has impacted me. To implement change in the world, there need to be many rock stars-and we need to all work together! Mrs. Q is an awesome example of a rock star. She is a school teacher who started a blog to grow awareness on what children are eating for lunch at school. Her blog is appropriately called Fed Up with Lunch.

I started following Fed Up with Lunch about 5 months ago and it has been a really enlightening read. The daily posts that include pictures of the lunches and Mrs. Q's reactions before, during and after eating them have really gotten me thinking about what children today eat.

Now, I don't know about you, but I remember school lunches fairly well. As a child on the subsidized school lunch program, I ate lunch daily from the hot food line. My favorite item was the McDonald-like hash browns. I would sometimes even ask a friend for theirs. I remember that there were chicken nugget Wednesdays and pizza Fridays. Sometimes a very salty chicken noodle soup and oyster crackers (probably my second favorite thing at lunch). I recall repeatedly trying to eat the spaghetti with the blue plastic sporks (the ultimate utensil of spoon and fork). I didn't know, much less think, about nutrition. All I knew was that I did not have lunch and had to eat something. I don't remember how much of the food I ate vs. threw away. I do remember that I tried as hard as I could to cut the navel oranges with the flimsy plastic knives that we got or clawed at it with my miniature fingers. Providing oranges without the appropriate tools-how were we supposed to even eat it? The food was awful but looking back, I have to say it was not nutritious either. And word is, the food is even worse now!

Lucky for me, I was able to go home every day and was presented a wonderfully mom-cooked dinner that always had vegetables, fish, rice and soup. And oftentimes, we would end the meal with fruit. However, many children were and are not as fortunate as I was. Their school breakfasts and lunches are the backbones of their nutrition and thus, their health. Today's children are more hyper, less attentive, fatter and sicker than ever before. What is even more awful is that this generation's children are the first to be predicted to live shorter lives than their parents. This is ALL directly attributed to the food they are eating and not eating. There needs to be something done about this!

We each have an obligation to play a role in this unofficial campaign for better health for children. Fed Up with Lunch is Mrs. Q's avenue in expressing herself and her disdain with school lunches. And it's a true indication of a growing population impassioned and empowered to make changes in children's foods and especially, school foods. This population includes First Lady Michelle Obama and her Let's Move program and Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver and his efforts to changes school lunches in the UK and US.

Up until about a month ago, I did not think that imparting changes in schools would be part of my mission as a Health Counselor and citizen. I didn't think it was selfish-I just thought, there are so many ways to spread my efforts, is children's school food one of them? However, between everything I am reading and seeing externally and reflecting upon internally, my perspective has shifted. I mean-DUH-how can I not try to impact something so central as school foods-a system that feeds the future of this country more than 3/4 of the year? I believe the idea of approaching a school has been tough as I am away from my school system and the idea of going to a foreign school district to make changes was a bit too daunting for me. But that doesn't mean I still can't be involved in that area. Instead, I decided will be offering afterschool and summer activities/programs for children and teleclasses to parents and teachers on how they can impact changes into their school systems.  Additionally, I am offering health counseling to families!

You don't have to be a celebrity or a health counselor to impact change. You don’t even have to start a blog! (unless you want to). Start with your family and friends! Take your children to the grocery store with you and show them what to purchase. Start a conversation in your school district! Join the PTA. Start after school programs at your local elementary school. Present to the Girl Scout or Boy Scout troops! Talk to your children's teachers.  Start packing awesome lunches for your kids.  Maybe you can even have your kids start a blog :)

Be a rock star and start rocking the boat! There is so much that you can do too!

If you are a parent, teacher or just someone looking to implement change in your school district, keep an eye out on my blog and events section for teleclasses that I am offering on steps you can take to start make changes.

If you are in the Boston area, look for upcoming film screenings, workshops and events at the South End Branch Library regarding food, nutrition and health and local grocery store tours!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tip for the Week: Lean with It, Rock with It

Every Sunday I will post a quote, thought, or tip to ease you into Monday and carry you throughout the week. (sorry that today's is a bit late...again...)

So I was supposed to go to a restorative yoga class last night-a type called Yin Yoga which I haven't tried yet and was eager to try.  However, when I went to the studio, the person logging me in said that Yin was at 7:00, not 5:00.  Whoops-I must have misread the schedule!  She stated that there was a Vinyasa class at 5:00, but it is very different from Yin. 
This incident-going to a yoga class/studio expecting one type of class and getting another-has happened before.  I always go with the flow.  This is yoga for Pete's sake!! If I can't take a change of class in stride, I've got much bigger issues.  And end result was feeling amazing after a hard workout and being quite sore today.
So the tip for this week is to not take things too seriously.  Go with the flow, lean with it-rock with it, what is meant to be will be, it all happens for a reason.  I think that pretty much sums up my personal philosophy :) 
I'd love to hear examples of how you have had a light hearted attitude in a similar situation.  Also, anyone notice a similarity between last week's tip and this week's?  First person to get it will get free access to one of my upcoming teleclasses!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Eat Well to Excel Teleclass!

Happy Weekend everyone! I'm really excited to announce a very new development-I'll be hosting my first teleclass this Sunday!  This class is inspired by my friends who have been and are studying for the CFA exam which takes place in June.  Anyone who is studying for a test or trying to use their brain power can benefit from this teleclass.  It will cover tips and tools that you can start implementing today to get the most out of your studies!  Below are the details, or you can check out my Events page!
How would you feel if you passed your big test?
How are you feeling now?
Are your eyes burning?
Brain fried?
Learn how to reap the MOST benefits from your effort!
Don’t let all those hours of studying go to WASTE!
Take action and learn how to Eat and Live WELL to EXCEL!

Eat Well to Excel Teleclass
   • Usable, simple tools and tips you can start implementing DURING the call
   • Opportunity to have your questions answered
   • Handout summarizing tips from the call
   • Access to the call if you can’t make it
   • A special offer
Don't waste any more time: Sign Up NOW
All you need is a phone!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sewage Sludge aka Green Smoothie

 drink up! (yes, I reuse glass jars to bring stuff to my mama!:)

You know what I would l absolutely LOVE? No, not flowers or candy. I would LOVE if everyone tried to eat greens at EVERY meal. Yes. Every. Single. One. Lunch is easy-add a salad (no, the lettuce on the Italian sub does not count). For dinner have a side of steamed broccoli or sautéed kale. So that leaves breakfast...sure you can add spinach to your scrambled eggs but what about a green smoothie?  
We all know that smoothies are delicious and chock full of fiber but it also has a good amount of sugar-usually from juice bases or loads of fruit. However, we can replace some of those sugary fruits, amp up the nutritional and fiber-ous value of a normal everyday smoothie by adding in glorious greens, and upgrade your breakfast! I promise that it does not alter the taste of the smoothie, just the color. You can add any green you want (e.g., kale, cilantro, celery, parsley, seaweeds). So far I have used spinach and spirulina powder (it’s a seaweed!) and neither has affected the taste of the smoothie at all. The beauty of smoothies is that you can put ANYTHING you want in there. So dig deep in your freezer for all those bags of frozen fruit. Also, summer is coming up and the warm mornings will be the perfect time to start drinking green smoothies.

I don’t have an exact recipe for the smoothie pictured above (which I've been having the past couple of mornings) but here is approximately what I used to make my sewage sludge green smoothie:
  • 1 banana
  • ¾ C frozen Trader Joe’s berry mix (includes cherries, blackberries, raspberries, & blueberries)
  • 1 T (or more if you want) nut butter (I used Trader Joe’s organic chunky peanut butter)
  • 1 T Bob’s Red Mill ground flaxseeds (you can leave out or use chia seeds, if you want)
  • ½ C Whole Foods organic rice milk (you can use water if you want or another liquid, use your better judgement)
  • 1 T of cocoa powder (the kind used in baking)
  • 1-2 C organic spinach
  • 1 T spirulina powder (I got mine from the bulk section of a local co-op)
  • Add ice and water to your desired consistency.
There are a lot of ingredients listed. Do not feel like you need to use all of them.  Adjust it to your taste and to what you have in your kitchen/pantry.  Also, I used a lot of organic ingredients, and you don’t have to. I specified them to remind you to keep the dirty dozen top of mind when making your purchases. Buy organic ingredients if you can, but remember that a smoothie with non-organic ingredients is better than a bowl of cereal and milk or a triple mocha frappucino for breakfast.

Drink up and get ready to answer questions from inquisitive or grossed our minds :) And please share your favorite or ideal green smoothie “recipes” with me!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Boil Over is Over…

For those of you who didn’t know, Boston was in a state of emergency this weekend into yesterday. A water main broke outside of the city and 2 million residents in the Boston area were urged to boil all of their water for everything but showering/bathing. This included brushing my teeth! The water was contaminated with foreign organisms that could cause diseases, especially in the young and old. It definitely set a damper to my hydration the past couple of days as drinking water was not 100% available. I could only carry so many glass jars of water in my bag for my 30 minute walk to the office. It definitely made me appreciate the technology, infrastructure and operations that are required to bring me clean water every day. As I sipped my first glass of non-boiled, purified water yesterday, I could not be more content. It made me think about those in this world who are not so blessed to be able to have access to clean water and to be adequately hydrated. Did you know:

Water is essential for survival:
  • People can survive for up to two months without food, but die within three days without water
  • 1.1B people in the world do not have access to safe water, roughly 1/6 of the world’s population-more than 3 times the number of people in the US
  • The World Health Organization has estimated that 80% of all sickness and disease in the world is attributable to inadequate water or sanitation
  • ~2,000 children a year (~6,000 a day) in developing countries die from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene
  • It has been estimated that if clean water were universally available, the world rate of infant mortality could be halved, primarily through eradication of diarrheal diseases.
Women in developing countries spend much time, effort and strength to ensure their families have clean water:
  • Women in Africa and Asia walk an average of 6 km (3.7 miles) daily to collect water and carry it on their heads
  • In Kenya, 3M women each spend an average of 3 hours a days on the single task to fetching water - that equals 9 million hours daily.
  • The weight of water that women in Africa and Asia carry on their heads is the equivalent of your airport luggage allowance (20kg; 44 lbs!). The most a woman can carry in comfort is 15 liters, each liter weighing one kilogram. If she carries only enough water for her family (husband, mother, five children) to survive each day, she would need to fetch about 40 liters. But to keep them all clean and healthy she would need to fetch 200 liters of water every day, which is basically impossible...
The developed world uses way too much water
  • One flush of your toilet uses as much water as the average person in the developing world uses for a whole day’s washing, cleaning, cooking AND drinking
We will not have clean water forever-it’s not an unlimited resource
  • Projections for 2025 indicate that the number of people living in water-stressed countries will increase to 3 billion – a six-fold increase. Today, 470 million people live in regions where severe shortages exist
(stats courtesy of
The past couple of days have been a reminder of how precious water is and how good we have it. This brief post has only touched upon several topics of our planet's water issues.  One step that we can personally take care of and with little effort is evaluating our water footprint. I go with the footprints again.  I have had the image (below) as a poster at my desk for a couple of years and several co-workers have come over and are shocked by the content. It shows examples of how seemingly small decisions we make leave a very large water footprint. 

Summer is right around the corner; it is a time where we are all tempted to douse ourselves in water, fill our pools, run our sprinklers, and wash our cars. Before doing any of those things, please take the time to think of the impact it will have on the world. Be conservative with your water usage because its not going to be around forever. Be on the lookout for an announcement of my screening of Flow in the Boston area. If you are not in the Boston or are particularly interested in the topic of water conservation and access, I would recommend for you to check out this film.

How do you feel about your usage of water? What can you do to reduce your water footprint?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tip for the Week: Walk it Out

Every Sunday I will post a quote, thought, or tip to ease you into Monday and carry you throughout the week. (sorry that today's is a bit late)

I spent yesterday afternoon in one of Boston's suburb. I walked from the train stop to a shopping plaza about a mile away and did not run into a single soul on the sidewalk. There were plenty of cars and trucks but no one using the most natural form of transportation: our legs! So that inspired this week's tip: try to walk more this week! Park the car a little further away from where you normally park. You'd probably get to where you are going quicker without circling the parking lot 5 times. Walking is probably the easiest way for us to incorporate more activity into our days and utilize our muscles. Also, walking allows us to slow down and smell the roses! Spring has finally sprung in the Northeast. Enjoy it! Relish it! Soak it in because before you know it, you'll be complaining of the heat and humidity.

What are some ways you are going to incorporate more walking into your routine this week?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Motivating Exercise

Happy May, everyone! I'm going to keep this post short and sweet so that you and I both can enjoy the gorgeous weather that this month is already bringing us in the Northeast!

I wanted to touch a bit on motivation to hit the gym.  We've all had those mornings where we absolutely cannot get out of bed or those afternoons where getting post-work drinks at the rooftop bar is way more enticing than the 3-mile run on the treadmill while watching Rachel Ray cook.   One tactic that I would like to share with you today is a little reminder that I tell myself.  Whenever I feel like I don't want to workout, I remind myself that, "Every time I work-out, I never regret it afterward. I always feel better."  This little mantra is a great way to shift longer term goals like losing 10 pounds or fitting into those pair of pants into short term ones.  By doing that, you will celebrate the smaller victories that eventually accumulate to a larger one.

Hope this resonates with you and helps you get more exercise more often!  What are some tips and tricks you'd like to share about fitting in your workouts?