Show Your Heart You Care

Eat Red for a Healthy Heart!

A special thank you to PCRM for this great information!

February is American Heart Month! Since heart disease remains the #1 killer in America, it’s imperative that we all learn how to protect our hearts by making simple, lasting lifestyle changes that can save our lives. A plant-based diet has been shown to treat and even reverse heart disease in adults and children alike. If you need help transitioning to a plant-based diet, I’d love to help. Many of my clients have successfully adopted a plant-based diet and seen remarkable results, including: weight loss, lower cholesterol, lower blood glucose levels, lower blood pressure, better sleep, increased energy, clearer skin, and much more.

Whether you adopt a 100% plant-based diet or not, it’s important that you eat enough fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Take a look at the photo on the top of the page and be sure to include these foods in your diet as best as you can. Since cardiovascular disease (CVD) can be prevented and even reversed, we know that we can save many lives, just by sharing this information with others, and helping each other make positive changes to our diet and lifestyle.

Facts on CVD:

  • Costs the US $108.9 billion each year, including the cost of medications, lost productivity, and health care services.
  • According to the CDC, “about 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.”
  • Many CVD deaths can be prevented through simple lifestyle changes – wow!

The Journal of the American College of Cardiology studied 20, 721 men over the course of 11 years and determined that by doing these 5 things, these men lowered their risk of having a heart attack by 86%, as compared to those men who did not enjoy this diet and lifestyle:

  • Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes
  • Getting enough exercise – a brisk walk 30 minutes a day is a great start :)
  • Not smoking
  • Limiting alcohol intake
  • Reducing belly fat

Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

It’s important to know what your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are; if you have high blood pressure, it’s crucial that you work to keep your blood pressure under control. A healthy diet that includes whole, plant-based foods and contains a minimal amount of processed junk and animal foods will help to keep your blood pressure normal. Since cholesterol is only found in animals and their by-products, making a switch to a plant-based diet will help improve your cholesterol levels.

Manage Your Stress

I also believe that it’s important for us to reduce our stress levels. One of the ways that we can keep our stress levels low is by exercising! Find an activity you love and enjoy it :). This can be walking, biking, hiking, running, yoga, jogging, swimming, dancing – whatever you love, do it, and do it often. Another way to keep stress at bay is by meditating. I always feel instantly calmer, happier, and more grounded when I meditate. Be sure to surround yourself with people you love, who support and cherish you. There’s such beauty in friends and family who make your heart happy – nurture these people and the relationships that you have with them. If you are creative, express your creativity. Find a career that encourages you to share your talents with the world. Do what you love and you will feel fulfilled. As always, be grateful for what you have, and be compassionate towards others.

I know that the statistics on CVD can be frightening, but the good news is that we can keep our hearts healthy by enjoying a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes (eat your beans!). We also need to find an activity that we love and keep stress levels low by exercising, meditating, and developing positive relationships with people we love. Be healthy and happy!

Meditate with Oprah and Deepak Chopra!

Lilies

Oprah and Deepak Chopra are offering another FREE 21-day meditation! I have absolutely loved all of their 21-day meditations so far, and I am so excited that I can participate in another one. The theme for this meditation is, “Finding Your Flow.” We are on day 4, and so far, the meditation topics have been:

Day 1: Finding Security

Day 2: Finding Happiness

Day 3: Finding Power

Day 4: Finding Love

Oprah starts each meditation with some words of wisdom, and then Deepak Chopra leads us into the meditation. I wish I could meditate with these two amazing people every day! I cannot emphasize enough how much this experience is truly healing. Whether you want to calm your mind, learn how to meditate, unwind, relax, restore your faith in yourself, the world, your body’s natural healing process, this is the way to do it.

Join me on this incredible journey and share your experience with me in the comments below.

P.S.

I met Deepak Chopra at Lyfe Kitchen in Culver City and can’t wait to share that experience with you all soon. Xo

P.P.S.

The gorgeous lily pictured above is from the Motor Avenue Farmers’ Market that I go to on Sundays. I have a table there that is packed with helpful handouts, recipes, and special offers for my Health Coaching services. I picked up the lilies on Sunday and they are so beautiful! Stop by and talk to me, get some flowers, enjoy a relaxing, healthy, peaceful Sunday, and share your meditation stories with me!

Discover Your Deepest Desire

Star

I recently signed up for Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s 21 day meditation challenge. I did a 21 day meditation challenge with them not too long ago, so when I saw that they were offering a new one so soon, I was really excited. As you know, I have been meditating more lately and it has worked wonders for me. Wherever you are in your life, even if you are already calm, peaceful, and happy, I encourage you to meditate. I feel that I have discovered more about myself and that I now have a tool that grounds me and quiets the chatter in my mind. I am confident you will uncover amazing things that meditation can do for you, too.

Here is a great quote from day 1 that I wanted to share with you all: “Our deepest, most heartfelt desires are like stars in a constellation…brilliant, twinkling lights that show us the way and create pathways to our true destinies. It is our soul’s mission to connect with, cherish, and realize our desires in order to live our lives to the fullest and make our greatest contributions to the world. In fulfilling our heart-held dreams we flourish, serving ourselves and others from a place of bliss, generosity, and love. Our journey starts at the beginning, in the center, as we go within to listen to our deepest truth.”

Each day, there is a new centering thought for our meditation. Our centering thought for day 1 is: “I am my deepest desire.” We meditated on this thought and you can, too. Find a quiet place where you can be alone and try meditating for 10 minutes today. Share your experience with me and others on this blog and I hope that you will achieve your deepest desire. Namaste.

*Update: Oprah and Deepak Chopra are having another free 21-day meditation challenge! This challenge will start on 4/14/2014. Sign up now – you’ll love it!*

Meditation to Heal Yourself

WaterfallDr. Andrew Weil was one of my favorite teachers when I was in nutrition school and he is still such an inspiration to me. I love how much he knows and teaches about breath techniques, meditation, and living a healthy life. I came across this meditation to heal yourself and thought I would share it with all of you. Remember that your body does have the ability to heal itself. I want you to believe that whatever you are going through, your body wants you to heal. Repeat this affirmation: “My body can and will heal itself.” Enjoy this meditation and I wish you all lots of health and happiness. Namaste.

Is it Time to Take Care of Yourself?

YachtNight

I once saw a hypnotherapist who did a writing analysis for me. She was incredibly shocked to see that I leave virtually no margin on the left side of the paper, but leave a wide margin on the right side of the paper. She explained to me the significance of this: I leave no room for myself, but give others plenty of my time and space. She told me that by indenting a little when I write (on the left side) I will give a message to my subconscious to create boundaries with others.

It’s been years since I saw her and I wish I could say that I’m much better at taking care of myself, but the truth is, I have a hard time saying, “no” to people – especially my loved ones. I cook for my family, offer emotional support, and give so much of my time and energy that I forget that I need to also give that love and attention to myself. If you’ve been reading my blog lately, you know that I am working on my “me time” – that precious, positive time that I am trying to carve out for myself each and every day.

One of the things that has helped me tremendously these days is meditating. I cannot sing enough praises for how powerful, relaxing, and amazing meditating has been for me. I signed up for Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s 21-day meditation challenge and it was absolutely amazing! I am hoping that they will offer this challenge again, because it’s such a beautiful way for us to learn more about meditation and turning inward so we can reflect, heal, and relax.

I promised myself that I would get more massages, so it’s on my list of things to do. As much as I would love to say that I am 100% better at creating boundaries with others, I am not there yet. But I am learning to put myself first so that I can recharge and be kinder to myself. Not only will I be more loving to myself, but I will also be an even better friend, sister, lover, daughter, Health Coach, etc. And speaking of being a Health Coach, I always tell my clients to take care of themselves; I talk to my clients about the importance of self-care and taking time to rest and relax so we can fully heal. So, I have been making sure that I work on this for myself as well. I have seen tremendous improvements in my clients who are learning to meditate, breathe deeply, and make that extra effort to take care of themselves. The amount of energy that they have after they do this is truly inspiring and is a testament to the power of doing simple things like taking a bath, reading a book, going for a walk, biking, laughing, etc.

I am honored to be their Health Coach and will continue to spread my message of the importance of quality self-care so that I can hopefully help more people to take care of themselves for a change. If you are one of those people who needs an extra push to put yourself first, I promise I will do my best to help. Your first consultation is free, so what do you have to lose – except say, a few pounds, unwanted stress, headaches, and much more unhealthy stuff that is preventing you from being your best self?

I took the picture above when I was with my friend Jess in Marina del Rey; it was a beautiful night and we had lots of fun. If you work with me, I will help  you tap into free and affordable ways that you can relax, de-stress, and be the best, happiest version of yourself. If nothing else, I will help you do at least one kind thing for yourself every day, starting now. As soon as you read this, contact me so we can schedule your first session. Tell me what’s going on in your life. Are you struggling to lose weight? Is your work stressing you out? Do you feel lonely because you’re not in a relationship? Are you in a relationship that you’re not sure is right for you? All of these things impact our health and well-being and we’ll get to everything you have to say. In the meantime, take a deep breath, relax, and create an intention to heal. Promise yourself that you will do more to put yourself first so that you can relax and recharge. Namaste.

Breathing Exercises to Reduce Stress

PeaceandCalm

“Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders” – Andrew Weil, M.D.

In my last post, I talked about the importance of learning how to deal with panic attacks and stress. I shared some meditation videos and explained how helpful acupuncture and meditation have been for me in relieving stress and tuning in to my body. Today I want to share some breathing exercises that have been helpful for me. Dr. Andrew Weil has many amazing breathing techniques and you can read more about them here. Dr. Andrew Weil explains bellows breath, relaxing breath, and breath counting. I highly recommend taking a minute to review each of these breaths.

I personally love relaxing breath and do it a couple of times a day. In addition to this, I am also doing the meditation to rebuild the arcline that I shared in my last post. Remember that breathing is natural and the more that we learn to use breathwork to our advantage, the faster we can de-stress. Dr. Andrew Weil states that our breath should be deeper, slower, quieter, and more regular and this has certainly helped me to calm down.

Here is a great video of Dr. Andrew Weil leading a meditation:

What are your favorite breathing exercises for relaxing? Do you have something that works well for you when you are stressed out? Please share! Also, if you’d like more help dealing with stress and anxiety, working with a Certified Health Coach is a great way to discover new tools to help you manage your stress. You are not alone. Contact me and we will get you started with your free initial consultation today!

Meditation and Other Tools to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

WomanMeditating

It’s normal to feel stressed or anxious at some point in your life. There are certain life stressers that raise our anxiety levels, such as our financial situation, finding a new job, moving, getting married, etc. While a little stress is normal, sometimes we become so stressed and anxious that our anxiety interferes with our day-to-day activities. If this sounds like something you are going through, you are not alone.

Recently, I have been more stressed out than usual. I have been relying on my usual stress-reducing techniques, but as my acupuncturist put it, my “tank is full.” As a result, I have been paying more attention to myself and making sure that I am taking the time to listen to my body, rest, and do things that are fun and enjoyable. I am thankful that I have an amazing acupuncturist who has been helpful, understanding, and an important part of my wellness journey for over 2 years (I wish I found her sooner!) and she is continuing to be soothing and reassuring now. If you have never seen an acupuncturist before, I encourage you to give acupuncture a try – what have you got to lose?I know that acupuncture has been helpful in relieving stress for me, and I am continuing to see my acupuncturist regularly. (Last time I was with my acupuncturist I told her I wished I could have acupuncture every day and she said, “come every week!” If I’m going every week, you know my tank is definitely full – and that’s okay :)).

If you have ever had an anxiety attack, you know that there are some physical symptoms that come with an attack. Because of these physical symptoms (racing heart, upset stomach, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, headaches, etc.) it’s easy to become convinced that you are suffering from a medical illness (and that’s okay too; anxiety attacks can be scary, but once you learn how to deal with them, they won’t be so bad). A great way to put yourself at ease is to visit a doctor and explain your symptoms. After you receive confirmation that you are healthy and not suffering from anything serious, relax, take a deep breath, and work on managing your anxiety. Since a doctor can rule out serious medical conditions, trust that you are healthy and are just experiencing normal symptoms associated with an anxiety attack. Additionally, psychologists are another great resource; taking time to talk about your worries with someone else can help put your mind and body at ease. Lastly, I recommend working with a Certified Health Coach who will give you tools to manage your stress and anxiety and will create a program specifically to help you be healthy, happy, and stress-free. A great book that I recommend to clients is Panic Attacks Workbook: A Guided Program for Beating the Panic Trick by David Carbonell, Ph.D (purchase this book here).

Throughout this stressful time, I reached out to Felice Austin, a hypnotherapist, yoga instructor, and therapeutic imagery facilitator. As it turns out, Felice has some great videos on meditating to help strengthen and rebuild the arcline, which is helpful in preventing panic attacks and depression. Even if you are not experiencing panic attacks and depression, these meditations are still great stress relievers. The first video explains tuning in (what we should do at the beginning of a meditation), the second video is a meditation to strengthen and rebuild the arcline (this is the video that will help with depression, panic attacks, and dealing with stress), and the last video explains tuning out (what we should do at the end of a meditation).

I hope these tips will help you as you are trying to relieve stress. If you are ready to work with a Certified Health Coach who will guide you and help you manage your stress by creating a program specifically designed for you, contact me so we can set up your initial appointment and give you the tools to be happy, healthy, and stress-free! Remember, you are not alone and there are ways to deal with anxiety and there are people who are trained to help. Be well and take care of yourself and if you have a story to share with everyone that you feel will help, please share! Xo