Feelin’ Bloated? Puffy? Sodium May Be to Blame!

When you learn to eat REAL, avoiding packaged foods in the grocery store and cooking for yourself rather than getting takeout, you’ll notice that puffiness in your face will disappear. And you’ll feel less bloated, your jeans will fit more comfortably.

When you are cooking for yourself, and filling your diet with fresh and colorful vegetables, your palette will begin to change — and many of the packaged foods you used to enjoy will taste too salty. You’ll crave salt less, and enjoy natural flavors more. You will come to prefer the zest of a lemon, the tang of cilantro, and the perfection of garlic sauteed in olive oil. And cutting back on all this excessive garlic will do you a WORLD of good — reducing your risk of heart disease, helping you lose weight and look great!

ginormous salt

Your Healthy Fro-Yo May Be Lying to You..

Fruit-and-yogurtFrozen yogurt has taken our world by storm! Sales of fro-yo increased 74 percent from 2011 to 2013, compared to a mere 3.9 percent increase in ice cream sales, according to Mintel Market Research. But beware the shop on every corner. Because even low-fat or fat-free varieties of the dessert can contain 200 calories and up to 40 grams of sugar per cup. And that’s without the gummy worms, Fruity Pebbles, and crushed Oreos we all love to heap on!

Compared to fat-laden ice cream, Fro-You seems like a good alternative. But most of us are indulging in excessive portions of this sugary chilled treat.

Is there a better way? Try these Vibrant Living tips:

  • Choose the tart flavors of frozen yogurt, and heap on the fresh fruit. David Katz, a nutrition expert and clinical instructor of medicine at Yale University, says that’s what he does when he visits the Peachy Keen fro-yo shop where his daughter works: “If the dose is moderate, [it makes] a nice treat—but overindulgence could certainly come back to haunt you in the mirror!”
  •  Avoid the shop and enjoy your yogurt at home. Indulge in Greek yogurt and fresh strawberries or raspberries with some crunchy granola on top. Greek yogurt contains double the protein as regular. Get your probiotics, too—the “good” bacteria which aids your digestion and helps your body, when eaten in modest amounts.
  • Make your own ice cream! Get active shaking the bag with your kids – and enjoy a recipe very low in sugar. You can add chocolate chips or fruit. These are REAL ingredients, free of preservatives or added chemicals, and you get to involve the whole family in the making of the treat.

Each day, fill yourself with water, fruits and vegetables – the staples of Vibrant Living. You don’t have to cool it entirely, you can still enjoy frozen yogurt from time to time. But your body will thank you, and your energy will soar, if you back away before you swirl the sugary stuff a little too high, or heap the toppings a bit too much.

Bolster Your Immunity and Heal Your Lungs with REAL Fiber

IMG_7466We all know that fiber helps our digestion. But scientists in the journal Nature now suggest that our lungs benefit from dietary fiber, too. Indeed, when fed food rich in fiber, mice proved less sensitive to asthmatic triggers.

More than 25 million Americans battle asthma — and this already huge number is increasing annually. And all of us who love to breathe can benefit from this new fiber finding. Incorporate more citrus fruits, lentils, apples and carrots into your daily routine and you will bolster your immunity, reduce inflammation and make your lungs more tolerant of dust mites that might otherwise irritate them.

Vibrant Living relies on REAL food, an array of fresh fruits, vegetables, and plenty of other high-fiber fare. Think about the wonderful gifts your lungs have given you – the fresh air you enjoy every day. Now let’s get creative and give our lungs a gift in turn. Here’s how:

  • Mix your cereals. I like a double portion of high-fiber in my breakfast bowl, some grape nuts added into a whole-wheat flake. Be a mixologist – at a breakfast bar full of fiber.
  • Lasagna can be good for your lungs, if you take a page from my book, Vibrant Living, and make my Zesty Vegetable Lasagna. This delectable dish is full of mushrooms, crisp bell peppers and fresh spices. Not only will you benefit from the added veggies but they add a great texture to the dish’s melt-in-your-mouth goodness!
  • Need a snack? My book contains a fabulous recipe for Artichoke Hummus with veggie slices. The carrots and peppers are fiber-rich while the artichokes are full of antioxidants and vitamin C — both proven to boost immunity and help fight diseases like asthma. A perfect combo guaranteed to satisfy both you and your immune system!
  • Cookies can be friendly to your lungs, too, if you bake like I do with whole-wheat flour. Fill the cookies with oats, raisins, nuts and yes, especially chocolate chips. (Per cup, chocolate chips actually contain more fiber than raisins or walnuts.) You can get a gram of fiber in each cookie, baking with whole-wheat flour and spooning in healthy add-in’s.

Enjoy these gifts of the earth, full of fiber – now proven to help you feel better and breathe easier.


Have Your Chocolate Cake and Enjoy It, Too!

chocolate cakeChocolate is everywhere and it’s intoxicating. If you’re trying to lose weight, should you RUN away from its rich and delicious siren call?

Scientists at the University of Canterbury tell us no. In fact, full enjoyment of occasional indulgences is associated with better weight loss results. Feel shame after eating a slice of chocolate cake? The study showed that 27 percent of those who did, gained weight over an 18-month period. On the other hand, people who enjoyed the cake and treated it as a moment of celebration, were more likely to maintain their weight in the months to come.

Vibrant Living is just that – a life filled with purpose, presence and joy! The four pillars create a balance that enables you to truly enjoy a treat without remorse. How can you avoid the cycle of shame, deprivation and overindulgence that this research study shows is linked to weight gain?

  • Eat REAL. Get your five-a-day! Fill yourself each day with fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and high-fiber foods. This low-calorie and highly nutritious routine is the best way to offset an occasional indulgence.
  • Drink your water. Soda and its artificial sweeteners bring on sugar cravings, so stick with H2O hydration. You will feel fuller after 90-plus ounces of water each day.
  • Know you’re headed out for a special birthday dinner? Plan your day with that reward of cake in mind – as you plot out time to exercise or devote yourself to a selfless task.
  • Reward yourself often for making vibrant, healthy choices – but not with food. Light a candle, read a book, take yourself out to a show.
  • Say grace. God’s gifts are all around us – and the cocoa bean is most certainly one of them! Eat and live with a sense of proportion and gratitude.

Don’t turn chocolate into a fat-inducing monster. Instead, commit yourself a life of consistent self-care. Then, when the dessert arrives, savor each morsel with thanksgiving and pleasure.

Got Five Minutes? Add Years to Your Life!

We sit, we sit, we sit. In front of computers, TV and movie screens, on our phones. But our bodies are designed to MOVE. And the inertia you feel, I promise, will be relieved if you make a modest goal – to MOVE today for five minutes, ten minutes, or a half-hour.

Vibrant Living calls for a half-hour of exercise everyday. It can be in three 10-minute increments, broken up throughout the day. Today, a new study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology is revealing how very powerful small stints of daily exercise can be. Ready for it? People who ran FIVE minutes a day extended their lives an average of THREE years.

“Running even at lower doses or slower speeds was associated with significant mortality benefits,” the researchers found. On the other hand, “inactivity can lead to a 25% increase in heart disease and a 45% increase in cardiovascular disease mortality, not to mention a 10% increase in the incidence of cancer, diabetes, and untold depression.” Seriously, we are, as a nation, setting ourselves up for disease by sitting so much.

Not a runner? Even 15 minutes of brisk walking has proved life-extending, another study has shown. But many of us with bad knees or joint issues can manage small intervals of running. And this is more proof that getting out of your chair and putting on your sneakers is medicinal and critical to our bodies’ wellbeing.

Too much work to do to get out and run or walk? At least STAND UP! I stand up at home while I’m on the phone. And I work standing up, with my laptop on the kitchen counter.  More and more of you are telling me you are investing in stand-up or treadmill desks. And your body will thank you for this added motion. Still, the value of getting outdoors everyday can’t be underestimated. You will return to your work with so much clarity and creativity after a quick dash around the neighborhood.

Remember: I have never belonged to a gym. I have never had a personal trainer. I really KNOW that getting outdoors everyday for 30 minutes is transformative – for your body, your mind, your spirit.  So take a little time today to move, starting with five or ten minutes of running or walking! Shake off the stresses of the day. Take  in the grandeur of a giant blue sky or the sight of a tiny, busy ant hill,  and reflect for a moment on how big our world is, how magnificent our vistas are.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Take FIVE today — and let it be the start of a movement towards a longer, more active life.

Not Tonight, Dear? This Headache Cure May Surprise You…

HeadacheYour head is pounding. And that’s reason enough to bypass the gym and head home after work. But before you self-medicate with couch time and comfort food, consider this: Researchers at Stanford University say getting active and getting hydrated may chase your pain away.

Tension headaches are the most common form of headache adults get – a band of pain, tightness or pressure around the forehead or the back of the head and neck. They often occur in the middle of the day – just in time to sabotage your plan to walk with a colleague at lunch, or the date you made with your hubby.

But before you abstain, consider the gain of . . .

  • Working off the tension. In Current Pain and Headache Reports, study author Nada Hindiyeh, M.D., recommends 20 minutes of brisk walking or cycling, which can trigger pain-relieving endorphins and send your head pounder packin’.
  • Moderate aerobic workouts, which proved to deliver pain relief. Save the running or the high-intensity cardio-boxing for another day. You need some fresh air and
  • Water, water, water. Dehydration is the surest way to prolong an ache, according to expert Dr. Hindiyeh. Combat stress headaches by filling up your water bottle and taking well-earned gulps of water throughout your day – and even more with aerobic activity.

Within a week of starting Vibrant Living’s 21-Day Action Plan, I so often hear from my clients that their headaches have gone away. It’s remarkable how dehydrated many of us are without knowing it – but headaches are a sure sign. Exercise and the escape Mother Nature provides, does wonders, too.

So, before you resign yourself to a headache and a “Not tonight, dear,” try an evening stroll and a big bottle of water. The effects may very well surprise you – and turn your evening around!

Quell Your Cravings with Visions of a Thinner, Healthier You

smaller pixel beachA hot and juicy hamburger is staring at you. Or it’s the time of day you usually succumb to the office candy dish. Or the time of the month when French Fries are a salty solace. How can you resist?!

Research tells us focusing on the finish line – on the positive payoffs of your healthy choices – will help you evade the temptations. Try to . . .

    • Pause. That’s the first step. Before you respond to those crazy cravings for salt or sugar, stop! The key to Vibrant Living and healthy, intentional choices is taking a moment before you allow the hefty burger or the cheesecake to attach themselves to your thighs – or your arteries.
    • Think. Just pause and ponder, “How will I look when I have dropped a dress size? How will my jeans fit? How will it feel to slide easily into my clothes?” According to study author Sonja Yokum,Ph.D., you’ll better stave off overeating with positive thoughts than with negative ones. So don’t shame yourself away, dream yourself away — from the burger, the candy and the fries. Picture yourself on a beach, comfortable in a bathing suit, with energy to walk end to end — or to join in a game of volleyball!
    • Act. That’s the last step in the Vibrant Living mantra: Pause. Think. Act. With visions of a new and healthier you in mind, make different choices. Take 12 gulps of water. Remove yourself, go for a walk or call a supportive friend.

As you know, I’m big on making goals – on keeping a bucket list of dreams you can’t wait to fulfill. The roadmap you make for your life helps you stay away from the dark side – from the fast food drive-through and from the late night binges.

Keep the goal of abundant energy alive and dancing in your mind. Use your dreams and visions of a new and vibrant life to stop cravings in their tracks!




Pray for Peace

Prayer works! What a powerful notion, that of joining our voices in prayer today, in response to the news of enormous strife and grief around the world. Listen and take a moment today to pray for peace.

Prayer changes us, as much as it changes the world. It centers us, reminds us of what we have to be grateful for, and gets us outside of ourselves — to our true calling. In the face of enormous odds and obstacles, prayer can bring us to a new place — a place of hope, a place of peace.

Be with me in prayer today — so that we can turn our shields into plowshares. Feed the world a dose of hope and love. Go out and love one another . . .  right now.


Don’t Wait! Reward Yourself Early and Often

nightstand snippetHow can you cheer yourself on to vibrant health and weight loss?

New research suggests you’re better off with little prizes, every two pounds, every week of healthy dinners made, etc. Create excitement and interest that propels you to more action – rather than relying on big payoffs or the same rewards, over and over.

Break down intimidating tasks – like losing the baby weight you gained, oh, 10 years ago – into small, reward-worthy steps, including:

  • Three pounds down? That calls for 3D Movie Tickets. Five pounds? A manicure for sure.
  • Chalk up 100 miles of walking? Treat your toes to a massage or new shoes.
  • After a week of avoiding processed foods and eating REAL, brighten your dinner table with fresh-cut blooms.
  • 10 hours of volunteer time this month? It’s time to invite a friend to lunch and toast the contribution you’ve made to your community.

Many weight loss programs fail because they rely on sustained deprivation. With the balanced approach of Vibrant Living, you’re much less likely to feel deprived. Add in the excitement you can create with frequent little perks and prizes and you can feel indulged instead! You’ll be surprised what a difference a little treat can make — a beautiful candle, an emollient hand cream, or a few peonies on your nightstand. You’ve earned them!

Of course, looking good and feeling energetic is its own reward. But mustering motivation for a lifetime of vibrant living will come more easily — if you have bonuses to claim every step of the way.


Too Tired to Eat Right or Exercise? Ease Into a New, Vibrant You

Last year, Sheryl Sandberg, an author and the chief operating office of Facebook, asked women: What would you do in your life if you weren’t scared?

My question for you is different: What would you do in your life if you weren’t too tired?

In my work, I meet thousands of men and women each year who tell me that exhaustion prevents them from grasping many of their dreams. They have little energy to make better and healthier choices.

How do you overcome this cycle — the fatigue-fueled overeating and skipping of workouts that, over time, packs on pounds and exposes us to health risks like diabetes and heart disease? This Moxie Lady article shows you:  The first steps are very simple. And the results in your energy levels are nearly immediate.

Walk into the kitchen and fill your water bottle. My clients see their biggest results from proper hydration. If you do nothing else, I tell them, if you are too busy or fatigued to workout or eat real, then drink 90 to 120 ounces of water today. Let me repeat, if you do nothing else, drink your water. Nearly 99 percent of Vibrant Living members experience dramatic improvements in energy and immediate relief from headaches and fatigue from the water alone.

Take the baby steps today. It’s a back-to-basics approach and the biggest pay-off is the surge in energy. You can become a force of nature, with a zest for life and health that will propel you to new and happier heights.