Thursday, November 1, 2018

Just Eat Real Food


I just finished listening/watching a (just short of) 4 hr podcast with Dr. Joel Kahn and Chris Kresser on the Joe Rogan Podcast. (Thank goodness for being able to manipulate the speed)! Dr. Kahn is a Holistic Cardiologist and has been vegan for many years. Chris Kresser practices functional medicine and adopts a “nutrivore” diet (a term used to describe someone who lives a healthy lifestyle: doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink excessively, gets plenty of exercise and sleep, etc. and consumes a whole foods diet including animal products and fish) and has written about the benefits of a paleo diet.

This divide between vegan and meat-eating diets (such as paleo) is for sure an emotional, hot debate, but at the end of the day, when done well – both of these diets are more similar than different in principal. Both Chris and Dr. Kahn did a good job of addressing this.

It’s a long episode, and some parts of the podcast end up with talking in circles, but there was some great information – including discussion about the problems with nutrition science.

Here are a couple of highlights from the show:

Chris Kresser talks about how the question “what’s the optimal diet for everyone” is a terrible one - and in fact, an unanswerable one because we are all different. There is no one size fits all.

Dr. Kahn reminds people that Chris and him actually share a lot in common (including the primary focus of plant foods in the diet) and would actually agree on many things. He notes that they are both “lifestyle medicine doctors”, of which nutrition is just one part: other lifestyle factors such as sleep, social support, stress management, smoking, and exercise all play a role. (You know I most certainly concur).

I love this. I think all of us can agree (including these two) that the Standard American Diet sucks; and that any deviation away from that towards a whole foods diet is going to be better. The real dispute between these two styles of eating is whether the inclusion of animal and fish to a whole-food-based, plant-heavy diet is going to be benefit you. (I personally say yes it will. From a nutrient-density perspective, organ meats, shellfish and fatty fish outrank even vegetables).

Anyway, the more I read, the more I research, and the more I see real-life examples from my clients – I cannot help but come back to the very basics:

Or, as Michael Pollan (who I love) has so often be quoted as saying: 
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
Also, focus on the quality over quantity (especially protein)

The two other things I would add:

You must experiment on your body and pay attention to how it feels when you do. You may have a body that does better without grains. Your body may do better without dairy. Your body may not like beans. Your body may do better with less protein. The point is – you have to do a little experimentation and be kind and gentle with it in the process.

Secondly, you must accept that it is not just about food. As Dr. Kahn mentioned, it’s about lifestyle. You need to look at the other areas in your life outside of food when it comes to your overall health. 

This whole episode really resonates with me because it’s a reminder that when it comes to politics (and other heated topics that people often argue about vehemently), that just because we have different ideas regarding how to achieve an outcome doesn’t mean that we don’t actually share the same desired outcome. 

Most people want to eat in a way that keeps them alive longer; free of disease; and feeling good in their skin. Let’s all try to be more accepting and respectful about the choices we make. We are not here to win the battle of what is more "right". One is not better than the other. You do you. Just remember to come back to the basics. 

If all that sounds great but you need some support in adopting a healthier lifestyle, you may want to consider Accountability Coaching. For more information, visit my website:

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Meditation Apps & Insight Timer

As some of you know, I have been attempting to implement a regular meditation practice into my life and as such, have recently tried two of the more popular app’s on my phone: Calm & Headspace. I was asked which app I preferred, and here's a quick little summary of my thoughts. 

Overall, I will say that I enjoyed the Calm app more for a few reasons:

·      I prefer the soothing voice of the woman over the man on Headspace named Andy (apparently a Buddhist monk) with a British accent. (Don’t get me wrong. I dated a man with a British accent for a couple years and I LOVED his accent – but for some reason, the woman’s voice puts me more at ease. I also googled Andy and he's actually pretty cute, so there's that).
·      As soon as you open the Calm app, there is lovely music playing, and a beautiful nature setting for your eyes to look at, already putting you in the mood to slow down and relax.
·      I personally find it easier to find what I am looking for in the Calm app

Both apps have free options, and both are around the same amount per month for a subscription (Calm: $15.99 and Headspace: $17.99). Both have meditation options like: sleep, anxiety, kids, focus, etc. and both have "packs" with a number of sessions in each to work on these such topics. 

At the end of the day, whatever you prefer is best, as it’s going to hopefully encourage you to use it daily. But I also wanted to share with you a possible THIRD and FREE option that I just found out about. It’s called “Insight Timer”. It’s not as “pretty” or sophisticated as Calm or Headspace, but it has a TON of free resources. Not just meditations, but music, talks, affirmations, visualizations, and more. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Privileged Eating

I want to share this article with you guys because I think it’s an important reminder that we should not label foods as “good” or “bad”. While there are MANY reasons not to do so, this article brings up one that I don’t often think about, and often take for granted: Privilege. This article explains it well: (

When we want to start a new “diet” or way of eating, I don’t think too many of us really think about how much it’s going to cost to eat that way. {The woman in this article mentions spending $175 per week – but honestly, that’s really low if you ask me}. Anyway, here’s the problem when we start labeling food:

In waving around the importance of “clean” eating, we must not ignore what we’re really saying: that those who do not eat foods listed on those websites are eating “dirty” foods, which only adds to the piles of stigmas people in poverty must eat around when they sit at their dinner tables.

First of all, I will say that you can eat well and NOT spend a lot of money on food – but it’s definitely trickier. I would also like to say that not spending (or being able to spend) a lot of money on food shouldn’t imply that you are eating “dirty”.

The Whole30 isn’t the enemy here though – it’s the concept of assigning labels to what we eat; to ourselves; and to our bodies. I just finished a box of those “good thins” potato and wheat crackers with about 30 ingredients and it was definitely not a “clean” (or "good" as the name implies) choice. However, I won’t label this indulgence as “bad” because it’s not. They’re just crackers for God’s sake. And I don’t eat them every day. My diet is healthy and includes all sorts of foods. I am not a better human being when I eat 100% “clean” organic food, just as I am not a terrible human being when I indulge or when I eat foods that are not "clean", "acceptable", or "permitted".

While I understand the need for diet plans to outline which foods to avoid and which to incorporate (as I do myself when I give my clients a diet outline to follow) I think that at some point it can become way too restrictive and may take away from the goal of moving towards improved health. For example, in the Whole30 there are very strict criteria to follow. There's no added sugar of any kind. That means even if there's one gram of sugar (in the form of maple syrup) in your free range, organic bacon - it's out! This way of thinking isn't terribly helpful for the most part. 

Guys, you don’t need to follow a plan like Whole 30 to be healthy. You don’t have to only eat organic food. You don’t have to swear off dairy, gluten, and all the things you love (unless you can't tolerate them). And - you don’t have to be rich. It’s a process and the process is very individual. This is why it’s difficult when you’re following a plan that’s created for the masses or the general public. It usually completely lacks flexibility and doesn’t take into consideration that you are a person who has individualistic wants and needs. 

If you’re considering starting a “new plan” in the New Year, think about reaching out to someone certified in holistic nutrition who can probably help you far more than any best-selling book can. There are many professionals who offer a free 15-20 minute consultations before you commit to anything, and I would encourage you to take advantage of that so you can find someone who is the right fit for you. 

Making changes to live a healthier lifestyle is hard enough as it is. Feeling shame about “not-so-perfect” food choices isn’t helpful. We all deserve our best health and our resources of money and time are very individual. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

What is a C.H.N.™ anyway???

You might well wonder what the benefits are of working with someone Certified in Holistic Nutrition™. You may also wonder what the benefits are of working with ME specifically. Well, I won’t keep you guessing… ;)

First of all, I think it would help by explaining what someone Certified in Holistic Nutrition™ actually does. In a nutshell, we work with people who are struggling with health symptoms they want changed. We identify areas in the body that indicate health imbalances as well as make connections between the body, mind and spirit – all with the goal of promoting vitality and wellness. We then provide individualized health plans after conducting a thorough evaluation of nutritional needs. Food is our main “tool” but we may also recommend natural source supplements, healthy lifestyle practices, and more. The benefits:
  • You are going to feel better!
  • You are going to receive an individualized plan created JUST FOR YOU, based upon your answers to questions relating to YOUR BODY. This will not be a one size fits all book/plan that’s marketed for millions of people. You are you, and your plan will only be FOR YOU!
  • You’re not going to have to do this alone. I will be your accountability partner, providing you support. This will help keep you motivated to achieve your health goals and moving along at a speed that works for you – especially if other family members aren’t necessarily ‘on board’.
  • We’re going to get you results! It’s no secret that you’re going to have to do the hard work but together you are going to get the health results you are seeking.
  • I am passionate about food and nutrition and I can help you decode the plethora of information that’s available. There’s a lot of misinformation and twisted facts out there and I can help you sort through it all.
  • Bonus benefit: Your group insurance plan may cover my services! 
Despite the fact that a lot of what we talk about during our sessions may be serious, personal or “deep”, we’re also going to laugh and have fun. I truly enjoy helping people and I really look forward to helping you too!

CSNN graduates are held to a strict Code of Ethics, which includes fundamentals such as non-judgment, confidentiality and respect, which I personally take very seriously. I invite you to read more about our Code of Ethics ( as well as our Scope of Practice (

Just Eat Real Food

Wow. I just finished listening/watching a (just short of) 4 hr podcast with Dr. Joel Kahn and Chris Kresser on the Joe Rogan...