Thursday, November 5, 2009

"Mind Over Fatter" Expert Call with Tiffany Oddo- Therapist and Addiction Specialist

http://www.dr-t.net/media/Expert_call-TiffanyOddo2.mp3

*Note: You no longer need to fast forward to 5 minutes. I was able to edit it so just start listening at the beginning! Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Giving Thanks to the Sugar Plum Witch


With the recent sugar-driven holiday of Halloween and the gorging holiday of Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, many of you are wondering what will happen once we dive deeper into the holiday season. One thing I can tell you for sure is that you will get the exact results you plan for.

If you decide to approach the holidays in the same way you approach the rest of the year, you could find yourself feeling like Santa's Sexy Little Helper. If, however, you decide to approach the holidays with a more glutinous, compulsive attitude, you may find that St. Nick's belly has graciously migrated to your body to help you get into the holiday spirit. Neither approach is wrong, however, I often assume that if you are reading these posts, you would prefer the former.

It's always funny to me that people anticipate the "holiday weight gain", when they are really only anticipating their desire for overindulgence and the subsequent "consumer's remorse". Gyms and trainers bank on the fact that, year after year, people will slow down their routine over the holidays and come back with a New Year's resolution to get back the body they had only a few short weeks ago. Nevertheless, it happens.

Halloween begins the vicious cycle as we silently sneak candy from our children's huge stash. This continues through Thanksgiving, which is the holiday we cherish for our ability to out-eat our relatives and then pass out into a complete food coma. Next come the endless stream of Christmas parties and gifts of cookies, cakes, chocolates, fudge, candy canes, and everything in the "not included on my diet" list. The most ridiculous part about it all is the fact that we feel the need to say yes to every single thing!!

This year, make a vow to yourself, for yourself, that in the spirit of giving, you will make sure to give much more than you receive. Give away the Halloween candy or start a new, healthier tradition, put enough on your Thanksgiving plate to satisfy you and give the rest to your guests, and graciously say, "I appreciate your sincere generosity, however, I made a commitment to myself not to eat (fill in the blank), and I would love for you to give it where it will not go to waste."

Personally, I can be just as jolly with a piece of crudite as I can with a Christmas cookie. That's not to say never indulge, however it is so much more satisfying to savor a truly scrumptious piece of fudge rather than stuffing an entire plate of mediocre cookies into your mouth.

Be mindful of what you are eating and why you are eating it. The holidays tend to stir up emotions in us that stuffing our face seems to pacify. By the same token, be mindful of what you are saying no to as you say yes to the multitudes of holiday shindigs. If you are saying no to your workouts for weeks on end, it may be time to whittle down which parties you feel most called to attend.

May you be conscious of the food you eat, gracious with your company, and committed to your health. Give thanks to the Sugar Plum Witch for her constant reminder this holiday season to teach others by example and I know you will be a success!

In love and Gratitude (without the sugar!)~
Erin

Friday, October 23, 2009

Who You "Be"?

Writing has always been therapeutic and cathartic for me. I tend to write more during times of inner contemplation or duress, or maybe what I write in those times just turns out better. Regardless, I am at a point of self-discovery, hence, I write.

Though I have always had the sense that my soul has lived many lifetimes, this current experience is new to me. I have never professed expertise on the inner workings of the universe though I often ponder such things. We really are all here to learn.

Recently, I was given the incredible opportunity to learn with a soul who may have at least had the life experience to understand a bit more about these essential truths. He, too, knows a thirst for knowledge, and I am happy to allow him to impart his relatively new wisdom.

The week was comprised of many routine exercises and worldly pieces of information, but it was within the structure we found the truth. As aspiring speakers, we came seeking information from one of the best so that our messages might be heard throughout the world. What we did not expect was that our lives would be forever impacted while within the walls of that room.

We meditated, we hugged, we laughed, and we cried. We learned about speaking and teaching and facilitating. We sang, we danced, we spoke, we listened. But there was something magical that took place through it all. Most of all, we loved.

While I was initially focused on the “doing”, I was gently directed back to the “being”. You see, all of the information in the “stuff I know, need to know or will know” files is just stuff. It is who I am that is the teacher, the student, the philosopher, the mother, the lover, the loved. When all of that is stripped away, one will find only love.

I awoke at 4 a.m. with the powerful sense of certainty that what I know is only a small sliver of one very large pie. While some may have a larger slice, they can never “know” the whole thing. That is, unless they know love. Love is truly all that is. Everything else is just stuff.

The most incredible thing about this new insight is that when you have the whole pie, you can share it freely. Where love flows, abundance follows.

Though I am young in age, I am filled with love, and therefore, I know enough.

I know how to cross barriers and stereotypes, how to sing from my soul, how to dance with my spirit and how to fill my own cup. I know how to reach out my hand and leave the other to receive. I know how to truly embrace another and how to look them in the eye. I know how to speak to someone without ever opening my mouth and I know how to listen when though the language may be foreign.

It has given me an uncanny sense of clarity though not all will be capable of understanding. That’s ok. I know how to love them, too. It is who I “be” that will teach and empower the world, what I “know” will make it accessible, and how I love will that transcend all.

Thank you to Jack Canfield and everyone who made that room so special.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Warm Up!

As my son and I started our walk to the park today, I found myself turning back into the house to grab extra jackets and a blanket. I guess that means fall has arrived even in sunny California!

Those chilly Fall days can cause even the most active of us (yes, me included) to want to curn up with a hot cup of tea and read a book about diet and exercise, rather than actually participate! Here are a few tips to keep your diet/exercise routine nice and warm this Fall:

1. Schedule your exercise at a time when you know you will be coming from somewhere else. (i.e. after work) This way you will be less tempted to just call it a p.j. day.

2. If it's too chilly outside, move your workout indoors. As the seasons change, you can change up your workout as well!

3. When it comes to food, make up large pots of soup on your days off and freeze for later use. Not only is this a great way to use lots of nourishing, seasonal veggies, but it's a huge timesaver!

4. Make sure to eat your omegas! As we begin to approach the cooler months, seasonal depression can start to kick in and really put a damper on your workouts. Eating omega-rich foods AND taking a good omega supplement will keep you healthy and happy!

5. Bundle up with a buddy. Having a workout buddy can help keep you motivated, keep you accountable, and make the weather seem just a little less chilly!

A Healthy Dose of Love & Gratitude~

Erin

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Shape Shifting

Things have been a little crazy for me lately. I have been doing a little soul-searching, a little rearranging, a little of what I call "shape shifting", and taking a whole lot of action! So...I thought I would update you all on what I have been up to...

First of all, I blogged earlier about attending Jack Canfield's "Breakthrough to Success" program, which really was life changing. I have since also enrolled (and been accepted!) into his exclusive Train the Trainer program where I will learn how to better serve you all!

Secondly, I have taken the writing of my book, "Let's Get Fresh: The Journey of an Urban Locavore" to a whole new level. I am interviewing several people and hoping to have it published by August of next year.

Lastly, and most immediately, I have begun my new series or seminars entitled, "Mind Over Fatter: The Secret to Thinking Yourself Thin". This is where I hope to really help you all. The first half of the seminar we focus on understanding what is holding you back from your health and fitness goals, defining exactly what those goals are, and realeasing your limiting beliefs. The exercises and techniques we use are extremely powerful for creating immediate change and I am so excited to be able to facilitate them for you! The second half of the day, we will focus on action. Not only will I teach you how to succeed and give you the tools, I will give you an accountability partner to make sure you follow through!

As always, my virtual door is open and I love to hear from you all! I look forward to serving you in any way I am able.

Love & Gratitude~
Erin

Friday, August 21, 2009

A-C-T-I-O-N!

I recently returned from Jack Canfield's Breakthrough to Success program in Scottsdale, AZ (which I highly recommend, by the way), and I took home something very valuable.

Have you ever had to make a decision (big or small) and you thought about it so long and so hard that you felt absolutely paralyzed? Or maybe the opportunity you were contemplating simply just passed you by? I know I have.

You see, I wanted to attend Breakthrough to Success the first minute I heard about it, but I thought it was going to be too difficult with my son, too expensive, and too much time away from my home and business. I put it on the back burner. I thought about it periodically in a whistful sort of way and continued to place it back on that burner. Two days before the program was set to begin I felt a strong urge to see if I could make it happen. I took the necessary action and, even though things were not completely arranged by the time I got on the plane, I trusted they would all work out. Everything fell into place perfectly because I maintained flexibility and purpose. It was then that I realized just how powerful that first phone call was. It set into motion all the other things to make what I wanted happen.

On the final day of the seminar, we did an exercise that consisted of a puzzle. Jack kept saying, "Thinking is not required, only action". Still, I sat there staring at the puzzle trying to think my way out of it. Everyone began to complete their puzzles and I began to think about the metaphor this had in my life. Where else was I thinking and not acting?

Where, in your life, do you think and not act? Take the action and trust that everything will work out just fine. Once you take the action, you can adjust...but nothing happens without the initial step. Just remember, "Thinking is not required, only action!" What actions will you take today?

Love and Gratitude in Action~
Erin

Friday, August 7, 2009

Priority #1

I was in a meeting recently where finances were discussed. Whether or not people could afford this or that, etc. I brought up the example of someone I know who is constantly cash-poor, however, everytime I see her she has a new iphone, t.v., expanded cable package, and the list goes on. I then have to wonder...can she really not afford it? Of course she can!

The problem is not financial, it is about value! She simply does not see the value in the other things, and so, never makes it a priority.

You see, keeping yourself well is about valuing your health. You have to begin to ask yourself...How long do you want to live? What is your purpose? Are you taking inspired action daily to attain your goals? If the answers to these questions are "no", you have to look at where you are currently placing your priorities. If you're spending 3 hours a day watching t.v., is that really something you value enough to be doing it so often? What is it you fill your day with? Your mind with? Your heart with?

You see, if you place your health in your top 5 priorities, you will find ways to overcome your challenges, be they financial, physical, emotional, etc. If you are currently struggling with your health and would like to change, decide to make it a priority and the rest will begin to fall into place.

Love & Gratitude Always~
Erin

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Corn-Fed?!


I recently celebrated my 5th wedding anniversary by going out to dinner. After speaking to the concierge desk we settled on a chain steakhouse that I was assured had high quality food. The atmosphere was fabulous. Dimly lit and oozing romance, they sat us at a quiet booth and our server (she was excellent, by the way) greeted us warmly. As I had just begun to settle and peruse the menu, I was floored when I read the description of their high-quality meats at the top of the menu boast about CORN-FED beef!! What?! That immediately eliminated at least half the menu for me...

So, why, you may ask, am I up-in-arms over whether their cows eat corn or grass? "Elementary, my dear Watson," I would reply! Cows are designed to eat grass! Cows are ruminant (multiple-stomached) animals and their bodies are designed to subsist upon the grasses of the prairie. Corn-fed cattle are routinely fed antibiotics because they are not able to digest it and they commonly develop stomach ulcers. So, now we are talking corn-fed and antibiotic laden (at the very least!)The beef industry loves to feed them corn simply because their cows get bigger, faster. Bigger cows + less feeding time = more money!

Personally, I think grass-fed beef even tastes better, but really, that is besides the point. So, the next time someone tells you their cows are corn-fed, tell them to put it out to pasture!

L&G~
Erin

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Biotech...Advancing Our Food?

Currently on my nightstand is a book entitled Lords of the Harvest: Biotech, Big Money, and the Future of Food by Daniel Charles. I am about one-third of the way though and already have learned much about the actual history of biotechnology.

I fully understand that there are many well-intentioned scientists who truly believed they were doing the world a service. I just don't believe they were able to see the larger picture at the time and the financial gain was mighty enticing for the corporate world.

The European Union does not allow GMO's (or Genetically Modified Organisms) into their food without the label clearly stating so. The U.S. has no such regulation. This means that everything you eat may be genetically-modified and you would never know. The only way around this is to find a farmer you trust, stop buying anything processed, purchase only organic (we'll talk more about this) or grow your own food as GMO's are found in more than 80% of foods sold in conventional grocery stores.

So, if the FDA and the powers that be have declared GMO's GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe), why did the Europeans demand labelling? A recent study may confirm what the Europeans have already suspected--that there may be health risks with consuming GMO's.

Our health may only last 120 years or so, but the health of our planet is also a factor. By producing things like Bt corn and other Roundup Ready crops, we create a monoculture that is not easily halted. Once one crop becomes dominant, we begin to lose heirloom varieties and with seed patenting in full swing, our options will be limited. This is true regardless of GMO's, however, simply because of our obsession with growing vast fields of corn, soybeans, and canola, but the GMO factor does nothing to help the situation. As an aside, much of this doesn't even go into our food.

Ultimately, we are responsible to nurture the planet we have been given. The intricacies of nature are so beyond our understanding, that, in my opinion, we are not able to improve upon Mother Nature.

I did say I would address GMO's and organic, grocery store food, so here it is...there are only 4 USDA Organic inspectors for the entire country. You do the math and see if you trust that all the companies growing USDA certified organic are using organic practices. I will tell you that I have seen with my own eyes that this is not the case.

I guess I have begun to ramble, but my point is that we should at the very least know if we are consuming GMO's. We deserve a choice!

L&G~
Erin

Friday, July 10, 2009

If You're Happy and You Know It...

I recently posted a video on the effect of the drug Effexor on pregnant mothers on my Facebook page and got a whole slew of comments. I felt it deserved a follow up for those of you with questions, so here goes...

Remember, I am not a medical doctor and I am not in the habit of handing out medical advice. I am merely an advocate of researching for yourself all possibilities.

My commentary is on psychotropic drugs in general and not any one in particular as they are meant to treat the same or very similar cases.

Let's start by saying that there is no such thing as a "chemical imbalance" in medical terms. There are no objective tests being done to prove that someone's brain chemistry is unbalanced. In fact, those of you who have been on psychotropic drugs or have had the recommendation to begin treating with them, you know that any test you may have taken was completely subjective. You may have filled out a questionaire, consulted with a psychiatrist or psychologist, or spoken with your medical doctor.

There was, in fact, a program called "Teen Screen" that tested thousands of high school kids (with a series of questions) to see whether or not they were candidates for psychotropic drugs. (By the way, there is also something called the Mother's Act being legislated right now to do the same thing for new mothers.) When this particular test was taken by normal, healthy adults, approximately 80% of those tested would have been placed on drugs. Questions went through a range of normal, human emotions that were in no way out of the ordinary.

Our society has convinced us that we need to be "shiny, happy people" every day. That is simply unrealistic and completely untrue. I think of myself as a rather optimistic person, however, I have most certainly had times in my life where I have felt "down in the dumps", anxious (to the point of having panic attacks), or overwhelmed. I consider those feelings normal.

The trick was not medicating to cover up the symptoms I was experiencing, but to face what was causing them head on. It wasn't until I addressed the numerous issues that were causing those feelings that I was able to heal.

Certainly, some of these emotions can be caused by circumstances or events (as we all know), however, they can also be caused by nutritional toxicities or deficiencies, stress, lack of exercise, stress, not following one's passion, and did I mention stress?

Find what is causing your particular issue, be it depression, anxiety, or any other diagnosis, and get to the root. This may mean reaching out to a counselor or psychologist for assistance in recognizing the causes, but it does not mean there is necessity to medicate.

For more information and to understand the serious effects of these drugs, see the film "Making a Killing".

With Unconditional Love & Gratitude~
Erin

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Pain in the Head

I have had several requests for a blog about migraines...so here goes. First of all, a migraine is a symptom of something else. It is NEVER just a condition. A migraine is your body's way of telling you that something is not right.

That being said, I am not able to give you a panacea BUT what I can do is give you some troubleshooting information to discover what may be causing your migraines.

There are 3 causes of all disease: physical, emotional, or chemical. The same is true for migraines.

Physical: Whether or not you have had truama (which may have been everything from the birth process to a minor fender bender to jumping on the trampoline), you may have a subluxation. This means that one or more of your vertebrae are out of alignment and the best way to alleviate this is with a chiropractic adjustment. The musculature around the cervical spine may be tense, and in this case, massage therapy may be helpful.

Hormones may also play a role, however this is a whole other blog!

Emotional: This one is a biggie. Stress is the number one cause of any disease. If you suspect this may be an issue, try some stress-relieving exercise such as yoga or tai chi (exercise in general would be helpful), some deep breathing, or some aromatherapy such as lavender. Make a list of the things that make you feel most anxious or stressed and either eliminate those things or focus on changing your attitude towards them.

Chemical: Chemical simply means that it is coming from the outside in. What we put in our bodies is definitely a factor when it comes to migraines. There are certain dyes, preservatives, additives, and ingredients that many people will find they are sensitive to. You can either eliminate processed foods or make a journal of exactly what you ate (brand and everything) and pay attention to when the migraines begin. You may find commonalities among certain types of foods or foods with the same additives.

Chemicals can also come from the environment. Pay attention to where you are when you begin to get the migraine. Did the cleaning lady just come? Did you spray something in the garden? Did you just use a new make-up moisturizer?

Ultimately, remember that a migraine is a symptom of something else going on with your body. Be mindful and be your own detective. Finding the cause of your migraines is the key to eliminating them.

Love & Gratitude~
Erin

Monday, June 15, 2009

Green Tomatoes...Not The Fried Kind

I just returned from a short trek up to the San Jose area and drove through the farming communities of the Salinas Valley, Gilroy, etc. As I looked out the window at the vast monoculture of agri-business this area has become, I saw something very peculiar. Not one, not two, but three large truckloads of GREEN tomatoes...puzzling.

Now, you know as well as I they are not selling them that way. I mean, how many fried green tomatoes can one eat? That left me with only one other thought...they must be ripening them artificially. Yuck! It's no wonder store bought tomatoes taste nothing like those delectable home-grown sweets!

My veritable vegetable guru Melanie informed me recently that somewhere in the ballpark of 90% of California grown produce is being shipped elsewhere. In fact, when I spoke with a local large scale grower he confirmed that the produce grown just 2 blocks from my house will likely end up as a mixed green bagged salad sold in a Vons somewhere in North Dakota. Yet, my local supermarket carries produce grown everywhere from Mexico to South America to New Zealand and in some cases it is the exact same vegetable! Does this seem ludicrous to anyone else?!

Not only are our store shelves filled with produce that has traveled many miles, but that produce must be picked before ripe, handled by several people, irradiated (yes, ALL produce-including organic-that goes through distribution must go through radiation), and placed on a shelf to sit for several days. Doesn't it just make more sense to eat what you can grow 2 blocks from your house?

Ok, so maybe I'm a bit preachy, maybe I'm the female Michael Pollan, but all I am saying is I'll take my tomatoes ripe, please!

For more info on how to eat local check out these websites:
www.lavidalocavore.org
www.localharvest.org

With Love & Local Gratitude~
Erin

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Do I Need a Gallbladder?

I had the opportunity to speak with a couple of people who were told by their doctor (for one reason or another) that they did not need their gallbladder. Most of these people had suffered from gallstones and, at the recommendation of their doctor, decided to have it removed.

Let's first examine what the function of the gallbladder actually is...

The liver produces bile in order to digest our food. The liver than transfers some of that bile to the gallbladder where it is stored and turned into a sort of "super-bile". Humans (and some other vertebrates) eat in large quantities at one time, so this "super-bile" is especially effective at breaking down fat and neutralizing acids.

When we eat a diet high in sugar, animal fat, white flour, soda, etc. and not enough alkalizing vegetables, the gallbladder begins to get overloaded. (There are also many opinions that state prescription drugs contribute to this.) The stagnation of bile or inability of the gallbladder to completely empty creates gallstones. Gallstones are made up of bile, cholesterol, calcium, or bilirubin.

So...prevention of gallstones is simple. You can regulate with diet to begin. If you suspect you may have some gallstones due to your diet, there are many gallbladder cleanses that can clear it out in 1-2 days. Remember, however, that even still, you will want to make some dietary changes or you may very well end up in the same position yet again. (Of course, consult with your care provider for additional information before beginning a cleanse.)

A gallbladder is defined as a "non-vital" organ, but let me ask you...when does an organ become vital? If it does not kill us immediately to be without, then it is not vital, of course, but what if it makes our quality of life suffer? What if, as a result of our gallbladder being removed, we become violently ill when consuming any healthy fats or have trouble digesting acidic foods? Isn't "vitality" a feeling of 100% well-being?

Ultimately, you are the ruler of your own body. Do not let anyone tell you what to do without thoroughly researching on your own and remember that we were created perfectly. We do not have extra or useless body parts. The body works in such harmony when we treat it correctly. Here's to your gallbladder!

Love & Gratitude~

Erin

Monday, June 1, 2009

This One's for the Girls!


For all my local gals!

You are invited to:

Healthy Girl's Night Out!

Join us for an evening of cardio dance, yummy appetizers,“mock”tail smoothies and other healthy girl products!

WHEN: Wednesday, June 3
6:15-8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Tullius Chiropractic &
Pilates Center
902 W. Grand Ave. Grover Beach

RSVP: 805.481.1566 or
Erin@dr-t.net

* Cardio Dance class begins at 6:30 & will be followed
by reception. Come ready for a great workout!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Act As If...

I would like to apologize for not blogging last week. Some unexpected circumstances took me out of town. On my long drive, however, I was able to listen to some things that have given me a chance to refocus.

I learned that I must act as if I am creating, attracting, and manifesting everything in life. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Law of Attraction, watch the movie "The Secret" and you will get a better idea of what I mean.) When regressed back to before birth, researchers found that about 75% of people remembered choosing to be born. Not only did they choose to be born, they chose their parents and their circumstances.

If that is the case, we need to act as if we have attracted everything into our lives. Many people say, "Everything happens for a reason". Well, I would like to take it further and say that, "Everything happens because we have chosen it".

When I spoke to a family member about this, I used the example of someone who had cancer. I said that they needed to take 100% responsibility in order to heal. I said that maybe they didn't eat the greatest foods, exercise regularly, etc. to which she replied, "but what if they have?".

You see, becoming ill is so much more than our physical body. When we let negative thought patterns control our lives, we are creating dis-ease. Our souls do not soar through negative thinking. Our souls take flight when we treat ourselves and everyone around us with kindness and respect.

In this world, we are also subject to outside dis-ease causing agents such as pesticides, herbicides, chemicals in our clothing, cleaning products, fluoride, environmental pollutants, etc. While we cannot completely avoid these, we can do our best by not using or partaking in products that use these agents (i.e. eat organic, buy organic clothing, make your own cleaning products, choose not to live near a toxic waste site or farm land that uses pesticide).

Once you learn to take responsibility for absolutely everything that comes up, you realize your own inner power, which in turn allows for inner peace. Act as if you are co-creator and things begin to take on a different light. No longer will you feel stress and anxiety. Taking responsibility will set you free!

Love and Gratitude~
Erin

Friday, May 15, 2009

Just Say No!

The latest psychotropic drug tragedy comes out of Miami as a 7-year old boy, who was placed on 3 different drugs (none of them even approved for use in children) committed suicide. WAKE UP, PEOPLE!!

Why has our society allowed this to be okay? Suicidal tendencies are a KNOWN effect of these drugs, but what's worse is that this boy only wanted someone to love him. No amount of drugging can do that.

I recently saw the film, "Making a Killing: The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging" and even I was surprised at the blatant irresponsibility of the psychiatric system and the seeming ignorance of the general population.

Make no mistake about it, these are mind-altering drugs that research has PROVEN are no more effective than placebo. If you are experiencing anxiety, depression, or any other difficulties, find someone to talk with so that you may understand why you are feeling this way. We are not meant to be "even-keel" all the time. There will be high points and low points throughout all our lives. The best way to pull yourself out of those low points is to learn how to cope. Drugs will merely cover up the symptoms. They will not make your problems go away.

If you are on psychotropic drugs, I urge you to investigate the research and see what you can do to cope with your current situation. Please do not end up another victim of the drug industry.

Love and Gratitude~
Erin

*This blog is dedicated to the memory of Gabriel Myers. May his soul find someone to love him in the next life. Also to Fred Grimm of the Miami Herald for having the courage to tell Gabriel's story with such compassion.*

Monday, May 11, 2009

Motherly Love

As I reflect on this past Mother's Day, I can't help but think of the day my son was born. It was particularly reflective as I worked the 13th Annual Birth and Baby Fair on Saturday and shared our story with many attendees. I now share it with you.

My son, Tyler Shea was born in the middle of the night on August 19th in a birthing tub underneath our dining room chandelier. When my midwife brought him to the surface, she gave him some oxygen as I held him close to keep his tiny body warm. There were no bright lights, no drugs, nobody took him away from me, no shots or goop in the eyes, my husband was with me through the entire process (heck, my dog was, too!), we did not cut the cord immediately, and it was entirely beautiful. It amazed me how quiet it all was. How peaceful.

When I was a child, I guess I didn't really know much about birth, however, I don't know that I ever thought I would have a child at home. I don't know that I even really knew it was an option. When I found out I was pregnant, I knew I had a lot of research to do. It was with a lot of persistence and a little bit of luck that I found my way to my wonderful midwife's office. It was there that my journey into the realm of natural childbirth began.

I am not a feminist, a glutton for punishment, or even what I call a "birth junkie". I am simply a mom who wanted to do what she felt was best for her son. When I read about the side effects of pitocin, epidurals, c-sections, vitamin k, vacuum extractions, etc. my intuition told me there had to be a better way. When I read the statistics of intervention proceedures with an OB/GYN versus those of midwife-attended births, it was clear that interventions went drastically down and outcomes drastically up.

My choice was clear. Though I know home birth may not be for everyone, I urge you to seek out your local midwives for care. There are now hospitals that allow Certified Nurse Midwives to deliver and free-standing birth centers are becoming more commonplace. Know your options when it comes to childbirth. Get a good education outside of the hospital. Know not just what the hospital would like you to know, but also what your options are.

With a Motherly Love and Gratitude~
Erin

Friday, May 8, 2009

Overweight and Healthy?

I have had people ask me if it is possible to be overweight and healthy. The vast majority of the time, the question is posed by someone who knows they could stand to lose some pounds.

They tell me that their blood pressure is good, cholesterol levels low, blood work fine, etc. I like to tell the story of a doctor friend I know. His nurse approached him and asked him to review his patient's latest vital signs. He went down the list and everything looked great. He told the nurse that it looked like Mrs. Jones was ready to be discharged. The nurse looked at him strangely and replied, "But doctor, Mrs. Jones is in a coma."

Are you merely your vital signs? Or are you more than that? Your vital signs may be able to give you markers for certain disease (though even that is debatable), however, they can tell you little about the quality of your life. Mrs. Jones may have looked great on paper, but her quality of life was next to nothing.

If you are overweight, you are most definitely suffering from a decrease in quality of life. You may experience this in many different ways including difficulty climbing stairs, embarrassment when sitting in small chairs, inability to run around with your children, or a multitude of aches and pains.

The great news is that any step you take toward becoming a healthy weight will increase your quality of life! That means, forgoing the double cheeseburger for a salad filled with fresh, organic veggies and vinaigrette, or parking in the farthest parking spot and walking to the store, or taking a swim instead of lounging on the couch will all help to get you where we all want to be. Take one step today and keep it up until you are ready to add another. Before you know it, you will be feeling better than ever and realize that the weight is melting off!

It is possible for everyone to be a healthy weight. It is possible for you!

In Love & Gratitude~
Erin

*As a side note, I welcome your comments and questions. Who knows? You may see your question answered in the next blog!*

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

STRESS!

We all have it, we all hate it, and it is the number one cause of disease...it's stress! The thing about stress is that we can do very simple things to relieve, decrease, and virtually eliminate the stress in our lives, but we choose not to.

Back in the days of the Mr. Caveman, he would be minding his business getting some water at the river, when all of a sudden, here comes the king of the jungle, Mr. Lion. This would stimulate the stress response in Mr. Caveman, as he would need to be prepared to fight Mr. Lion or flee the scene as quickly as possible.

Today, however, Mr. Lion comes in the form of an angry boss, traffic, overwhelm, violence, pesticides, drugs, etc. and Mr. Caveman feel she must use his "fight or flight" response daily. Without getting too technical, this causes an extreme imbalance in the chemical make-up of our physical bodies. That is why the number one cause of disease is either chemical, emotional, or physical stress.

Chemical stressors come in the form of pesticides, herbicides, drugs (prescription and non), perfumes, additives, artificial sweeteners, pollution, and many, many others. We are constantly bombarded with these things on a daily basis.

Emotional stressors include everything from the annoyance of traffic jams to the death of a loved one. This is what we typically associate with the word stress, but many of us do not realize all the minor stressors in our lives as we focus solely on the major ones.

Physical stress and chemical stress can overlap simply because the chemicals can cause physical problems which then exacerbate the problem. Physical stressors would include anything that physically harmed the body such as a car accident, surgery, or emergency-type problem.

Start relieving your stress by making an "annoyance list" of any little thing that bothers you, from the picture that is crooked on the wall, to the unfinished project, to the fact that you aren't happy with your job. One by one, go through that list and fix it. You will feel an enormous amount of relief as you check off the items one by one and the stressor will no longer be there!

Also, make sure you take time to be still. What do I mean by that? Take at least 5 minutes out of your day to turn off the T.V., turn off the phone, close your eyes, and just be still. Concentrate on your breathing and try not to let your thoughts wander to anything else.

These two exercises will do wonders for your health and your happiness.

Here's to a life without stress!

In Love and Stress-free Gratitude~

Erin

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu...Don't Run for the Hills Just Yet

Well, I had planned to blog about swine flu today, but my darling husband beat me to it! Shoot! I certainly can't ignore the biggest news in the health world in a blog about health, so I am reposting his blog. Enjoy!


Swine Flu: Facts and Fiction

We have all recently been inundated by the media with fear of this latest killer virus. Egypt has ordered the slaughter of 300,000 pigs despite one case in that country, people have been told to halt all travel to Mexico, wear surgical masks in public, stay away from crowded areas and to get their flu shots! Haven't we heard this before? Remember SARS, the bird flu, and last year's seasonal flu. Remember the shortages of flu vaccines and anti-viral medications (Tamiflu) after all the hysteria?

This is NOT the First Swine Flu Panic
This this isn’t the first time the public has been warned about swine flu. The last time was in 1976. It resulted in the massive swine flu vaccine campaign. Do you happen to recall the result of this massive campaign? Within a few months, claims totaling $1.3 billion had been filed by victims who had suffered paralysis from the vaccine. The vaccine was also blamed for 25 deaths. However, several hundred people developed crippling Guillain-BarrĂ© Syndrome after they were injected with the swine flu vaccine. Even healthy 20-year-olds ended up as paraplegics. And the swine flu pandemic itself? It never materialized.


Click Below for video and the rest of the article:
http://drtullius.blogspot.com

L & G~
Erin

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rejuvenation Vacations

So...as many of you know, I have been on vacation. I fully intended to blog while I was gone, however, the universe had other plans for me. Without a way to access my computer, I was forced to fully unplug and enjoy my vacation! haha

As I watched my fellow travelers, it brought to mind something I find very interesting. Summer is approaching and I am sure many of you have vacations planned in your near future, but how do you plan to spend that vacation? You see, so many of us spend our vacation running from snorkeling to fishing to golfing, gorging ourselves on too many all-you-can-eat buffets, drinking more mai tais than we thought was humanly possible, and then passing out in the pool lounge chair. What if we all used our vacation time to rejuvenate, recharge, and actually come back a few pounds lighter?

Here are a few tips for your next vacation:
1. Go to bed at a reasonable hour. Wake up early and take a walk, enjoy the sunrise, do yoga, meditate, etc.
2. Find a local farmer's market and take advantage of the fresh, local produce you may not be able to find in your area. Fruit is an easy snack to take to the beach and all you may need to find is a knife!
3. Do something active every day. Go for a hike and explore the local scenery, take a dip in the pool and tread water or swim laps, rent a bike, kayak, etc.
4.Unplug from your life at home (or, if you must, set aside a couple of hours throughout the week to get things done and leave it at that). Turn off the TV. Forget the newspaper. Relax, meditate, do some soul-searching, set goals, or read an inspirational book.
5.Make your own food, if you can. Just a fridge will do to store some fruit and veggies as well as some of your leftovers. Most hotels offer them now if you request one and some even have mini-kitchenettes.

Make your next vacation one of true rejuvenation!

In Love and Gratitude~
Erin

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mainstream Medicine and The Truth



"Why I Left Mainstream Medicine-From a Nurse"

So, while this may be a bit dramatic for some (and a bit long for others) it brings up some very real situations. It was created by a nurse who, when she became ill, learned that she could not turn to her doctors for help. She healed herself through nutrition and has left mainstream medicine to share her story. I hope to raise awareness by posting this that you have options that may not be talked about (or, even worse, talked about with cynicism) by the people who surround you in allopathic medicine. They are not malicious people, they simply aren't given truthful information.

Always remember who is selling and who is profitting...

With Love & Gratitude~
Erin

Monday, April 13, 2009

Gluten-Free

About a year or two ago, my sister began eating a gluten-free diet and almost immediately she began to lose weight that she had not been able to lose despite an active lifestyle. It was definitely of interest to me as I had heard many holistic docs speak of the benefits of a gluten (and dairy) -free diet, but maybe because of past conditining, I wasn't yet convinced. I am what many people consider a definite health nut and others would consider a fanatic about my diet, but grains were still not something I felt the need to totally eliminate.



Last month, however, at a visit to a naturopath, I asked if a gluten-free diet might help me with some of the issues I was having. She was optomistic that it may help and I gave it a go.



Within the first week of my own experiment, I must have dropped 4 or 5 pounds (though this cannot be confirmed...see "Tipping the Scales" post) and I felt increased energy and less bloating and constipation. The mysterious flem in my throat disappeared and the "cloudiness" in my thinking cleared up.

While I am only one case study, it seems only obvious that I must have some sensitivity or allergy to gluten. Here I was, walking around thinking I had these little "annoying" symptoms because of some deficiency, when really, it was the toxicity of the gluten that was causing me to feel this way.

I wonder how many people experience these same syptoms every day without having any clue it is the gluten that is causing it.

What is Gluten?

Gluten comes from the grass grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. A few things to be leery of are some ice creams and soy sauce as well as any processed foods as gluten may be added in the form of vegetable protein (unless is says it is from corn). Many soy products (especially soy "meats") contain gluten as a binder. Ideally, however, if you are trying to go gluten-free you will want to make the majority of your meals at home.

The good news is that gluten in not found in the following: buckwheat, corn, wild rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth, potatoes and soy. It is not found in oats, however those sensitive to gluten may want to eliminate oats as well as it can be a trigger for symptoms.

What to Eat?

Actually, I have found it relatively simple to stay away from gluten. The best idea is to stick mainly with fruit, vegetables, and lean proteins. I enjoy a small fish fillet (grilled), with quinoa and steamed vegetables or tacos (corn tortillas) or a burger (some restaurants add bread crumbs so be slightly cautious) wrapped in lettuce!

There are even several gluten-free products on the market such as pancakes, breads, and cereals. Most supermarkets carry a small selection and your local natural foods market will be a great resource. You can even purchase gluten-free flours to make your own baked goods!

Your Challenge

I am going to put my loyal readers up to a challenge. I would like you all to try going gluten-free for at least one week (preferably as many as four) and just see if it makes a difference for you. Even if it doesn't, you may find you eat a bit healthier as you will stay away from bread-heavy meals and stick more to the veggies and protein (and that's never a bad thing!).

Let us know how it goes!

With Love and Gluten-Free Gratitude~

Erin

Monday, April 6, 2009

Why Organic?

Check out this humorous take on a serious subject:

Kevin Gianni from "The Renegade Health Show" puts things into perspective with this great video. This is a question I get often and regardless of all the research I can throw at them, I think this really hits it home for many people.

Organic is how food should be. Organic is not just a fad or a buzz word (though there are many dangers in purchasing food in boxes labeled "organic"). Organic means the food has not been sprayed with pesticides, genetically modified, irradiated, etc. It means that it was grown as Mother Nature herself intended.

Ideally, you will want to purchase your organic food locally. This way, you will know it is fresh and you can even ask the grower about their practices to ensure they are ethical as well.

With Love and Gratitude to all who supply me with local, organic food!
Erin

Friday, April 3, 2009

Rocket fuel chemical found in baby formula!

The CDC conducted a study last month and found the chemical perchlorate to be present in several brands of infant formulas. (see article link below) This information they would have gladly swept under the rug if not for a press release issued by the Environmental Working Group on Thursday. The CDC researchers have declined to let the public know the formulas in which the checmical was found because....why, exactly??!!

Certainly not because they are in cahoots with the manufacturers of these products. (insert sarcasm here) And the FDA certainly is doing their best to protect the American people by not releasing the names of these companies.

Just more proof positive that the FDA and the CDC are not in existence to protect the public.

If you are currently giving your child formula, I would recommend looking into alternative formula recipes or to strictly breastfeed. Regardless of what your pediatrician tells you, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests breastfeeding for 1 year (though, I admit, this is a gray area on their website) and the World Health Organization recommends a 2 year minimum. You have the right to breastfeed your baby as long as you deem necessary and/or appropriate.

Whatever you have chosen to do for you and your family, we as a society need to hold the food manufacturers responsible for such irresponsible actions. If they did not know about the chemical previously, if they had any moral character, they would be pulling it from the shelves!

http://health.yahoo.com/news/ap/baby_formula_perchlorate.html

Love & Gratitude for you and your babies~
Erin

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cancer: Cured

I am often asked to donate money, time, etc. to organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Koman, etc. and have declined. This is sometimes difficult for me because I know the people who are trying to raise the monies think they are doing a great service...and I don't blame them for thinking so. Unfortunately, the reality of many organizations such as these is that they are searching for "cures" in the form of more drugs and more procedures. "Prevention" is a major focus as well, in the form of screenings. But, if we screen people for cancer and find out they have it, isn't it too late to prevent it? They already have it!

Well, this may be news to you, but we all have cancer cells in our bodies. When we are healthy, our body knows how to get rid of them. It is only when we have some toxicity (smoking, food additives, fluoride, pollution) or deficiency (water, vitamins, minerals) that our body is not able to fend off cancer cells and they begin to divide and multiply.

So...wouldn't it make sense then, that if we nourish the body and remove all toxic materials, the body could do its job? A man named Dr. Max Gerson found that this cured cancer (and many other dis-ease) back in 1928!!! Over 80 years ago!

Dr. Gerson found that by giving patients an organic, vegan diet, coffee enemas, juicing, and supplementation, a great majority of his patients (who had been given a death sentence by allopathic doctors) made full recoveries. If you visit the Gerson website (www.gerson.org) you can find a number of case studies in areas from melanoma to multiple sclerosis to diabetes to infertility.

So, if you aren't already wondering why this therapy is not being widely publicized and used, you should be! Cancer is big bucks and Gerson Therapy is not patentable and therefore can be used or performed by anyone with access to proper food and supplements. Dr. Gerson and his therapy is widely ridiculed by allopathy as being "unscientific" or as having "not enough research", but his results are far better than any studies in the areas of chemotherapy and radiation! Maybe he should have been ridiculed for developing treatment that did not have the capacity to make big money as that is the real issue.

"The Beautiful Truth" is a great documentary with some of the basic information, but if you or someone you love has cancer or any other debilitating or life threatening illness, I urge you to look into Gerson Therapy. It just may save their life.

Love and Gratitude~
Erin

Friday, March 27, 2009

Loving Your Self First

A friend contacted me last night. She has been trying to lose weight for the past few weeks and when things got tough in her personal life, she got depressed about her lack of motivation. She felt as if she had failed.



At that point, I encouraged her to go to the mirror and talk to herself. To tell herself she was proud of her accomplishments for the day, no matter how small or insignificant they seemed. I wanted her to find what temptations she had resisted for the day and applaud herself for that as well. Sadly, she asked me, "What if I don't feel proud or have anything I resisted?".



My response was, "You did. Find it." It didn't take her much longer to find those things in her life, but it was obviously difficult for her as she said, "Am I supposed to cry?".



"Crying is ok. Be proud for giving yourself permission to feel those emotions."

At that point, I told her to say, "(Jane), I love you."

"That is so hard to do!" she exclaimed.

We sometimes lose sight of the fact that we are not necessarily what we see in the mirror. We are so much more than that. Our bodies do not define us, our roles do not define us, our jobs do not define us. Learning to love the essence of your "self" is truly something we all need to work at.

Take some time to fall in love with the one person on the planet through whom all things are possible...yourself. Then, and only then, will you have the capacity to love others to the absolute best of your ability.

Love and Gratitude for Myself and Others~
Erin

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tipping the Scale

I have a confession to make. I do not know exactly how many pounds I weigh. I am happy to say I have not been on a scale in probably about a year. Given my profession, I am definitely an...oddity, shall we say. A lone soldier, maybe.

I am not afraid to step on a scale. I simply do not feel it is necessary to obsess over an obligatory number. When you think about it, if you are healthy (truly healthy), you will weigh less. Whether a healthy weight for you is 90 pounds or 200 pounds, it is all relative. You may be 6'7" and have a small frame and come out weighing about the same as your buddy who is 5'10" with a stocky frame. That's not to say that either one of you is unhealthy. You are just different.

In today's society, we have come to think of our weight as validation for how worthy or unworthy we are as people. Women especially, have fallen into this self-depricating trap. When we see that some actress tips the scales at a whopping 80 pounds, in the back of our minds we punish ourselves for being double that. And this is true no matter how unhealthy this particular person is.

In my experience, people who weigh themselves regularly actually tend to weigh more. I don't know whether it's because they weigh themselves that they weigh more because of the tendency to punish oneself for a an unhealthy weight or unhealthy habits or whether they weigh themselves because they are overweight. Regardless of the cause and effect cycle, one thing's for sure, in the majority of cases I have seen, weighing oneself regularly only serves to make someone feel disempowered, and not the other way around.

So...I would recommend putting the scale away for good and, if you are trying to lose weight, measure your inches instead. Take your weight at the beginning so you know where you are starting from, but do not weight yourself for several weeks, if not a few months, at a time. Just think of the sense of accomplishment that come out of losing 30 pounds versus the 1/2 pound or so you see on the scale daily. (Worse yet, if you get on the scale one day and find you have gained that 1/2 pound!)

Another tip I like to use is to think of your ideal healthy weight, write it on a piece of paper and stick it on the scale where the numbers read. Every time you look down at that scale, you will see your ideal weight. The brain does not know that you are playing a trick on it. It only knows that when you step on the scale, it says you weigh 120 (or whatever it is)!

The more you believe you are your ideal weight, the more the body will follow your brain's lead and take you there. Stop tipping the scale and start on the path to a healthy weight!

Love and Gratitude~
Erin

Monday, March 23, 2009

Calling All Diet Soda Drinkers...

Well, I don't think it takes a brain surgeon to know that drinking soda is really not the best choice. I would like to dispel the myth, however, that drinking diet soda is better than drinking regular. (Of course, in my ideal world, my clients would not be drinking either, but I realize that not everyone has the same priorities.)

First off, diet soda contains some type of artificial sweetener (Diet Coke and Pepsi both contain aspartame though coke also has some saccharin to extend shelf life), which has been linked to cancer, tumors, lymphoma and various other diseases in several studies (see "The Aspartame Experiment"). Diet Coke has now released a new version which uses sucralose (Splenda) in its formulation, which is NOT sugar nor does it resemble sugar (it is a chlorine compound) as the advertising will lead you to believe. Dr. Joseph Mercola has a great book entitled Sweet Deception which dispels many of the myths about these sweeteners and exposes the truth about their harmful effects. You can also visit www.thetruthaboutsplenda.com or www.sweetdeception.com


Taken directly from Mercola's website: "Perhaps even worse, aspartame acts as a neurotransmitter in your brain by facilitating the transmission of information from neuron to neuron. But too much aspartame in your brain kills certain neurons by allowing the influx of too much calcium into your cells. This influx triggers excessive amounts of free radicals, which kill your cells. The neural cell damage that can be caused by excessive aspartame is why they are referred to as "excitotoxins". They "excite," or stimulate, your neural cells to death."

Secondly, if you are trying to lose weight, diet soda has been shown to potentially double your risk for obesity! Diet products, in general, will substitute sugar with artificial sweeteners, which usually does not change caloric value much, but instead fills your food with chemicals the body does not know how to process. This stimulates fat storage, increases appetite, and increases carbohydrate cravings.

Diet sodas increase the risk for metabolic syndrome, a group of symptoms which include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart related conditions.

So, am I suggesting you drink regular soda instead? Well, it would certainly be a better option than diet, if you don't mind sacrificing your bones and teeth as phosphoric acid will deplete the body of so much calcium it will give you osteoporosis and rotting teeth.

In conclusion, soda will make you fat, make you sick, or make you die a slow death with many health ailments along the way. Am I harsh? Maybe so. The soda manufacturers might argue that I am amplifying the risks, but they cannot deny what some of the studies have shown.

I bring this to you with the utmost respect, love and gratitude~
Erin

LOST

So...I typed up a whole blog this morning and then my computer froze and I lost the entire thing. I guess it wasn't supposed to be published, so I am reworking my ideas and will post soon. Thanks for your patience with my technical difficulties!

L & G~
Erin

Friday, March 20, 2009

I'm a Diva!!

*CAUTION* The following contains information about "women's issues". If you are a man who just can't handle this type of discussion, please do not read the following. I promise, my next post will not be nearly as scary!

So, if you're still reading this, here goes. I just recently tossed all my tampons. Yes...you heard me right. (No, I am not pregnant!) I am also not on any of those scary pills they call birth control (more on that later). I have become a Diva! "What?!" you say?

I just began using something called the Diva Cup. I will admit, I was quite apprehensive at first. I'm not really sure if it was the idea of having to learn something new, the fact that I was reusing it, or the fact that I had trouble finding one that made me feel so, but I bit the bullet this go 'round with stellar results.

I will warn that it took a few tries to get it right, but once I got it, I can't imagine going back to tampons. This brings to light another important (and rarely discussed) topic. Tampons are associated with Toxic Shock Sydrome (TSS), which really is not something to take lightly. Trust me, I've experienced syptoms...twice. Though the manufacturers suggest not to use the cup if you have had TSS, I have read the FAQ's on the website and called the hotline and it just sounds like the reasons are simply for "CYA" purposes.

For more information please visit their website at http://www.divacup.com/

Happy menstruating, ladies!

Love and Gratitude from this diva~
Erin

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Eat Your Omegas!

The Omega essential fatty acids are a point of confusion for many people. In layman's terms, here is my attempt to clear it up for you.

Our bodies were designed to function at an optimum level with the proper ratio (1:1) of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3's can be found primarily in cold water fish such as salmon, sardines, mackeral, etc. The body needs the fatty acids EPA and DHA contained in these Omega-3's. There are vegetarian sources such as flax seed and walnuts, however, they supply the body only with ALA and force the body to do the work and produce the EPA and DHA itself.

Omega-6's are found in seeds and nuts and the oils extracted from them. In the typical Western diet, these fatty acids are more than plentiful. Soybean oil, found in cookies, crackers, fast food, etc. is estimated to make up a whopping 20% of the typical American's caloric intake! Omega-6's are also found in corn, sunflower, safflower, and cottonseed oils.

So what does this mean exactly? Well, if you suffer from obesity, depression, dyslexia, hyperactivity and even a tendency toward violence, you may be experiencing symptoms of a deficiency in Omega-3 fatty acids. It is also believed that asthma, coronary heart disease, many forms of cancer, autoimmunity and neurodegenerative diseases, all of which may stem from inflammation in the body could be symptoms of this deficiency.

What can you do about it? Start by getting a good Omega-3 supplement as you are most likely much higher in Omega-6's. You'll want to make sure the oil comes from a food source (i.e. fish or flax). Start to alter your snacking habits by choosing fresh fruit, veggies, or lean protein instead of crackers, chips, etc. Read your labels and start to understand what goes into the things you buy. Eat more cold water fish (think scales, not smooth skin) on a regular basis.

Once you have achieved a diet rich in Omega-3's without the excess of Omega-6's, supplementation may not be necessary. Like Mom always said, "Honey, Eat your Omegas!"

With Love and Gratitude~
Erin

Monday, March 16, 2009

"Gorgeously Green" by Sophie Uliano


OK...so I normally will not endorse a book until I have finished it, but I am so excited about this one, I can't wait! Those of you who know me know I usually have 2 or 3 books going at once and I plan to review many of them in this blog. "Gorgeously Green" is a fabulous New York Times Best Seller that espouses green living in every aspect of life. Uliano addresses how to "green" everything from your diet, to your beauty products, to your household, to your clothes. She has a fabulous list of resources in every chapter and has come up with answers to questions that even this mostly green gal had trouble finding a solution to.


For example, that really gross vinyl shower curtain was the bane of my existence as I do not use bleach to clean but couldn't find anything that seemed to remove the grime. Uliano points out that a bamboo shower curtain is not only better for the environment, but it is anti-bacterial and water resistant. (I have mine on order now and I'll keep you updated as to how it works.)


The skin is the largest organ we have, so I have always been conscious of make-up, lotions, fragrances, shampoos, etc. The difficulty with this, for me, was that I found it difficult to find many items that were truly organic. I live in a smaller town and don't have the luxury of a Whole Foods-type store with a huge selection. Uliano gives some wonderful product recommendations that can be purchased online, which is wonderful.


Uliano's next book "The Gorgously Green Diet: How to Live Lean and Green" will be available April 16th and I look forward to a review of this one. For more information about "Gorgeously Green" visit Uliano's website at http://www.gorgeouslygreen.com/


Happy Reading!

Love and Gratitude~

Erin


Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Best Exercise

I often have clients ask me what the "best" type of exercise is and I just heard it again the other day. My answer is always the same:

The "best" exercise for you is the type you enjoy doing! If you do not enjoy running the treadmill or yoga or dance, it is not something you will stick with long-term. If it feels like a chore, you will most likely do it less frequently for less time and ultimately, you will feel like a failure if you just flat out quit.

I love yoga, Pilates, and dance (coincidentally, our studio offers all 3 ;) and I also love any outdoor activity in the sunshine (hiking, swimming, water skiing, etc.). It never feels like work to me when I exercise. Of course, I get tired after any sustained period of time, but I never stop having fun! It is because of this that I never dread exercise; in fact, I look forward to it!

Here's the deal...if you're not really sure what your particular cup of tea is, sign up to try as many things as you need to before you find something you enjoy. Heck, if you have trouble deciding, at least you'll get in shape while trying to figure it out! There are 3 main categories of exercise: cardiovascular, flexibility, and strength training. Start by trying at least one in each of these categories. Strive to incorporate all 3 of these in whatever you choose, but don't obsess over it. Many gym-type classes will incorporate them for you. (Think: Cardio dance class with weights and stretch cool down or power yoga using resistance bands and straps.)

Once you find something you enjoy, find friends who enjoy the same types of activities and I promise, you will never dread exercise again. Friends or family members are excellent motivators. Just ask my husband...I don't know that I would have done that crazy hike today if not for his enthusiasm!

"Do what you love and love what you do!" is a great motto for exercise and for life in general. Get out there and move your body and have fun doing it!

Love and Gratitude~
Erin

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dispensible You?

We live in a society where "quick and easy" seems to be the motto. Almost everything seems to be dispensible, disposable, or at best, recyclable. So our world is filled with paper plates, paper shopping bags, e-waste, old cars, disposable diapers, disposable this and dispensible that.

It is no wonder that we treat our body as if it is disposable also! The messages in our media state, "If you get too fat, just get the lap band!", "If you're too ugly, we can fix that, too!", "Heck, you didn't really need that body part anyway!" and if you are still hesitant, "We can give you a new and improved (insert body part here)!". But let's examine where this mentality has gotten us.

Our need for more dispensible things has put us in our current economic situation, has made humans (by far) the sickest species on the planet, has put our one and only planet in a state of crisis, and has given us a big pile of crap (pardon my French) in return.

You ARE NOT dispensible! You are given one physical body that is supposed to last for your 120 years! When you fill it with greasy hamburgers, alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes, toxic cleaners, pesticides, antibiotics, drugs, soda, etc. and do not give it the things it needs (fruit, veggies, water, protein, sunlight, etc.) it will die! That is the harsh reality, folks. No amount of medical intervention can keep you alive if you do not do the things necessary for your survival. Period.

My plea is that you treat your body as if it is the only one you've got, because it is! The human body was created with a perection that is so beyond our comprehension we can only begin to understand the minute (yet vital) workings of it.

Think of your most valued possession...something that means the world to you. Think of that wedding gown, car, antique, piece of jewelery, etc. How would you feel if someone poured alcohol on it, blew cigarette smoke on it, broke off a piece of it, poured toxic chemicals on it...you get the picture. So why is it ok to do this to our bodies? Why do we deplore this type of behavior when it comes to our "valued" possessions and not when we do it to the one thing that truly belongs to us alone?

Treat your body as the indispensible thing it is.

As always, with Love and Gratitude~
Erin

Monday, March 9, 2009

What is the Wellness Paradigm?

The wellness paradigm is an ancient concept in comparison to the current health care model. I will put it very simply in layman's terms.

Healthcare practicioners consider a double-blind controlled study paramount to the proof of efficacy of any type of medicine or modality. For years, they have complained that holistic practices are "unproven" in these types of studies. Why? Holistic practicioners are asking different questions, and therefore reach different conclusions. Here's what I mean.

Say, for example, I want to know whether or not water helps wilting plants. According to a double-blind study, I would split the plants into 2 groups. One will receive water, and the other will receive "fake" water. At the end of my study, according to the health care model, I would look at all of my plants and see that they are still wilting. I would then reach the conclusion that water does not help treat wilting plants.

Let's say, however, that my question is different. I want to know whether or not the water helped bring the plants closer to homeostasis. Did it? Of Course! So, is it possible that just because the water did not stop the plants from wilting that it still could play a very important role in helping the plants to reach their full potential? Is it possible that if we give them other things they need such as sunlight we can help them to reach their full potential as well?

The goal of the wellness paradigm is to bring the body back to homeostasis. It is not to treat a symptom. The syptoms are just that...they are symptoms of some cause. That cause may be chemical, emotional, or physical, but it is ALWAYS just a symptom of the body falling away from homeostasis.

Here's to a life of homeostasis!

Love and Gratitude~
Erin

All Aboard the Blogging Train!

Hello all!
I am so happy to announce the creation of my new and improved blog. I will discuss topics ranging from food additives to farming, eating to cleansing, and cardio to meditation. I am so happy to bring you the latest, up-to-date information and archive it for you so you are able to access it at any time.

I look forward to hearing your questions, comments, and suggestions!

As always, with Love and Gratitude~

Erin