The Power of Choice: 7 Steps to Designing Your Ideal Identity 👑

We are feeling a little ‘spicy’ today and really fired up to help you all, and remind ourselves, to check within and to be real about what we are choosing for our lives and why. Our beloved clients have been facing everything from pressures to have children, recent divorce fall-out, not feeling like they know who they are anymore, and all of this is on top of health issues such as IBS, high blood pressure, hormonal imbalances, low energy, and generally not feeling great. To get our life situations back on track, we must all start with an assessment. Don’t worry, we’ve broken it down into 7 steps to make it easier to digest.

The Importance of your Life & Wellness Assessment

While an assessment of our lives can be spurred on by a new year, a birthday, or a life transition such as a divorce, it can happen at any time. All of us arrive at a crossroads and realize that the path we’ve been treading has led to stagnation, poor health, lack of energy and possibly a lack of fulfillment. You might call it a crisis point as it is an extremely critical juncture that determines your life’s outcomes. There are two choices: either continue on the same path – because, frankly, it’s easier – and face the possibility of situations in your life getting much worse OR face the fear of staring down an unknown path, gather all the courage available to you, and start making those conscious foot steps towards your desired dreams and goals.

Is it easy? Of freaking* course not! We might wish to have a fun-infused foray into our heart’s true desires as we can lie in a hammock and breezily ask ourselves the question “hmm, what do I want for my future?”…but we typically arrive at crossroads with a sense of seriousness and urgency. So that the same question is laced with fear, or familial and societal expectations. That kind of contamination influences our choices and can crush our ability to live a more authentic life.

The importance of this assessment cannot be overstated. When faced with decisions that have the potential to shape our future and redefine our identity, we discover the immense power of choice. While voting with your dollar is a fairly familiar concept which means spending your money on products or brands that align with your values, each decision we make is a vote for the type of person we want to be. A decision to meditate or workout in the morning casts a vote in favor of being a more peaceful and fit person. Choosing to serve at a soup kitchen every week can create the compassionate, community-focused identity you desire.

Our choices lead us closer to our ideal identity and ultimately craft a fulfilling and authentic life that is true to our values. Let’s explore the transformative journey of designing your ideal identity, while highlighting the significance of choice and offering guidance to empower you on this path of self-discovery.

  1. Embracing the Power of Self-Awareness

The first step in designing your ideal identity is to cultivate self-awareness. Take the time to reflect on your passions, strengths, and aspirations. Maybe do a values inventory. Ask yourself what truly matters to you? What brings you joy and fulfillment? Maybe it is family, health, truth, justice, helping others, or exploring the world. Grab a favorite beverage, sit quietly and start to listen to that still, small voice within. You maybe surprised at what pops up and you also might be hit with some hard truth you’ve been ignoring. This time spent understanding yourself at a deeper level provides a solid foundation for making choices that align with your authentic self.

  1. Defying Societal Expectations

Does this idea make you squirm in your seat or does it feel like permission to unleash the actual true genius within? Maybe you were raised in a way that led to perfectionism, suppressing your own wants and desires, feeling like you couldn’t have/be/do what you really wanted, people-pleasing, and not speaking up for fear of breaking the uneasy peace in the household. This is not a denunciation of our families, societal or cultural upbringing; it’s more a means of understanding how we’ve lived and who we’ve been thus far in our lives. And now that you’re aware, you can choose differently – you can break free from societal expectations and external pressures. Maybe you choose to leave a “great” job as a high-powered executive to open your own bakery. Perhaps you decide to opt-out of ‘hustle culture’ and engage in smart and effective ways of working. Maybe you have a dozen children, ‘fur babies’ or decide on none. You might decide not to watch TV, to eat healthily, make a budget, have less than 300,000 possessions in your house, or anything else you see the majority of others doing (or not doing) and the undesired effects you want to avoid.

Designing your ideal identity usually means breaking free from societal expectations and external pressures. It requires courage to challenge conventional norms and to embrace your unique individuality. Give yourself permission to deviate from the path others have laid out for you and instead follow the path that resonates with your true essence instead.

  1. Embracing Growth and Learning

Creating an ideal identity is an ongoing process that requires continuous growth and learning, as well as regular check-ins. Like a child or with a beginner’s mind, be open to new experiences, explore different interests and cultures, acquire fresh new skills. Growth is an essential element of designing your authentic identity. Allow yourself flexibility as you evolve and adapt new habits.

  1. Embracing Vulnerability

Embracing vulnerability is an essential aspect of designing your ideal identity. It requires courage to be vulnerable and reveal your true self, as well as to let go of the fear of judgment. Cozy up to or embrace your imperfections, celebrate your uniqueness, and share your authentic voice with the world. Vulnerability paves the way for intimacy and leads to deeper relationships that enrich your journey.

  1. Taking Ownership of Your Choices

*Gulp* yes, this one an be hard as we look at our past and the results we have in our lives thus far. Don’t beat yourself up, instead mine the past for gold – you can now identify, and change, the thoughts and habits that got you here. Every choice you make from this moment forward has the power to shape your identity. It’s an awesome responsibility to yourself but also a privilege – you have the ability to design the life you desire. You are now an active creator of your reality. Congratulations!

  1. Embracing Resilience in the Face of Challenges

The path may not always be smooth, the sun may not always be shining as you embark upon your journey to be a healthier, fitter, happier person. As you navigate the path of designing your ideal identity, challenges and setbacks are inevitable. It is during these times that resilience becomes your greatest ally. Cultivate a mindset and support team to help you over come obstacles, adapt, an persevere.

  1. Cultivating a Supportive Network

Surround yourself with a supportive network of individuals who encourage and inspire you on your journey. Seek out mentors, friends, professionals, and communities that share your values and can assist you in achieving your aspirations. Having a supportive network helps foster and nurture your authentic self.

Bottom line

Designing your ideal identity is a transformative and empowering journey that begins with recognizing the power of choice. By embracing self-awareness, defying societal expectations, embracing growth, vulnerability, and resilience, and cultivating a supportive network, you can shape your life into one that aligns with your true essence. Remember, each decision you make has the potential to bring you closer to your authentic self and create a life of purpose and fulfillment. At this crossroad, powerfully choose to step boldly into the journey of designing your ideal identity. Future you awaits!

*normally we’d use another word for extra impact and because we feel strongly, but our 7-year-old niece might read this

Mastering Your Mindset: Become the CEO of Your Life 👩‍💼

Each of us has a number of roles and daily responsibilities. On top of our careers, we still have the everyday demands of life – nourishing our relationships with our partners and families, getting brakes replaced, yard work, all sorts of things.

The problem: many of us have our priorities set so that we attend to our business, families, house-keeping or other tasks and we put ourselves on the back burner. And what tends to happen when attention is exclusively paid to the pots on the front burners? The ones in the back get burnt. Clients often mention how for years they’ve assigned themselves to the back burner as a lower priority and by having done so, they’re now dealing with issues such as increased weight, cholesterol levels, thyroid issues, fatigue or low energy, stress and burnout.

Here are some signs and symptoms of burnout and being last on your own list. Let’s just check in and see if some of this rings true for you:

– you can’t remember the last time you went to the doctor for a basic physical, or the dentist for a check-up or cleaning

– you’re mentally and/or physically exhausted at the end of the day

– even when you tell yourself you’re going to take a day off, you still end up working

– you’ve forgotten what fun and joy are, how to play

– productivity is king; why take a bath or a walk when you need to be doing x,y,z?

– your mental health is not where you want it to be and you don’t know how to fix it (“depression-lite”)

Don’t feel bad; you’re not alone here. Some of this has definitely applied to us and our clients, particularly during the pandemic but even now. We can all push ourselves too far, not taking breaks unless we are too fatigued or depressed to work. Then we pile guilt and shame on top, like a toxic sandwich. Maybe you have felt the same and know it’s time for a change.

The solution: it’s time to take charge of your life and create the future you want. How? Getting your mind right and appointing yourself as Chief Executive Officer.

What does it mean to be the CEO of your life?

Think about the role of a CEO. They are in charge of a company, making strategic decisions that impact the success and growth of the organization. Similarly, as the CEO of your life, you are in charge of yourself. You make decisions that impact your success, growth, fulfillment and well-being.

Being the CEO of your life means taking ownership and responsibility for your life. It means acknowledging that you have choices to make for (or against) your own happiness, success, and growth. It means taking charge of your thoughts, emotions, and actions.

How do you master your mindset?

Your mindset is your weltanschauung or way of thinking about the world. It’s the lens through which you view the world, and the perspective determines how you respond to situations. Mastering your mindset means taking wheel and controlling of your thoughts and beliefs, instead of them controlling you, to create the life you want.

Here are some tips for mastering your mindset:

  1. Prioritize your health & well-being. This is a hard one – especially for those of us who are helper-type people, parents, or people-pleasers. However, because we tend to put everything and everyone in front our ourselves, there is a tendency to burn out, become resentful or martyrs, or get sick. The airplace mask analogy really applies here.
  2. Practice self-awareness. The key to any change begins with being mindful and noticing what your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs are serving up. Acknowledge when you’re in a negative thought loop and challenge those thoughts.
  3. Cultivate gratitude. What we appreciate appreciates. Focus on the positive aspects and people in your life, and express gratitude for them, in thoughts or a journal.
  4. Choose your thoughts carefully. Since our thoughts create our reality to an extent, choose thoughts that are empowering, positive, and supportive of you and your goals. Here again, gratitude can help shift you to a more positive mindset and is certainly better than starting your day with berating your physical appearance.
  5. Set realistic or SMART goals. Having a clear vision of what you want to achieve and working out measurable steps can help you stay focused and motivated.
  6. Develop that leadership muscle and take action. Your thoughts are an important first step but they must be paired with action to bring your goals into reality.

Stepping into the powerful role as CEO of your life takes intention, time, and effort, but it’s worth it. When you take charge of your life, you can create a high-level of health and a deeply fulfilling future. You can make decisions with greater ease, transform vision into desired results, and live a meaningful life more on your terms.

By prioritizing your health and well-being, practicing self-awareness, cultivating gratitude, choosing your thoughts with care, setting goals, and taking action, you can create the life you desire.

Key questions and takeaways

Examine what priorities come before YOU in your own life. What are the perceived benefits keeping you in that position? What are the costs?

What would you being #1 in your life look like? What’s one small step you can take to of #1?

At One Bite Wellness, we are all about small, sustainable changes that ultimately give you the benefit of fantastic health, well-being, and vitality. We agree with the late, great Ralph Waldo Emerson who said, “the first wealth is health”. Taking care of yourself pays intangible but REAL dividends and the increased focus, service and productivity can increase your financial well-being too.

Remember no (wo)man is an island. All CEOs have a team and trusted advisors who helps them execute on their vision. What’s your vision for your life? How could improved physical and mental health get you there?

Schedule a complimentary 20-minute Discovery Call and we’ll take care of you, CEO.

Feeling Fat & Tired? 😫 Here’s why…

Back when we did a segment on 10TV on Foods that will Increase your Energy, we first spoke about the factors that pull down energy levels. That’s because kale and other superfoods, such as maca and spirulina, can only do just so much when there are other agents at play.

Why is my energy so low?

Here are some typical energy drains written out as an acrostic:

Fast food

Alcohol

Tired (from not getting enough sleep)

&

Time constraints, stress

Immunity (e.g being sick or having autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto’s, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, and more)

Relational issues at home or work

Eating inconsistently (i.e. skipping breakfast or eating late at night)

Depression

So these factors can make us feel fat and tired. And what do we do when we feel this way? Well, we usually turn to coffee and sugar, which provide a short-term solution but not long-term, sustained energy.

Now that we’ve identified the energy drains, here’s what to do about it. Consider adding in foods that will give us an energy boost, such as:

Yerba Mate – a good coffee alternative which provides caffeine but usually without the jitteriness associated with coffee

Beneficial fats – olives, avocado on toast, nuts and seeds all provide longer-lasting energy. A tip here is to keep nuts and seeds in your desk drawer, work bag or purse so that you always have a better option when you’re hungry and still have work to do or errands to run.

Maca powder – can help with energy, mood, memory and even with balancing hormones. It’s great in smoothies and in our Cocoa-Maca Energy Balls recipe

Spirulina – a blue-green algae that has protein, iron, and B vitamins (all important for energy)

Greens – one of most under-utilized food groups and yet they provide so many minerals and vitamins that give us energy and help us feel great. Kale chips and smoothies are easy ways to include them into your diet.

Chia seeds – they have fiber, protein, and omega-3s. Try our Spiced Vanilla Chia Pudding

Instead of hitting the vending machine for candy bars or nearest coffee shop for an espresso, try these are nutrient-rich options whenever you need a natural energy boost!

💔 Break up with Sugar + What Happens

Perhaps you’re popping the last bonbons or chocolates of Valentine’s Day into your mouth as you read this. “Okay, yeah, I know sugar isn’t good for me but how bad is it really? Isn’t it just extra calories?”

How Sugar Harms our Health

Unfortunately, added sugars in our diets are way more deleterious to our health than just giving us extra calories. They can actually cause nutrient depletion, contribute to excess body fat and weight gain, cause a blood-sugar rollercoaster ride, low mood, energy bursts + slumps, disruption of a healthy gut microbiome, feed abnormal cells (e.g. cancer), and so much more.

How to Reduce Sugar in our Diets

Every meaningful change starts with awareness.

  • Learn about how much added sugar the average American and you eat (don’t be fooled – one of our vegan clients ate mostly healthy food but also managed to get in 117g of added sugar into a single day!)
  • Educate yourself about how the body processes sugar and its detrimental effects.
  • Figure out how to identify the many names for sugar in the ingredients lists of the foods you eat.
  • Check your foods (and your children’s and pets’) for hidden sugars.
  • Get guidance from a nutrition expert who can help you break your addiction to sugar and support you on your wellness journey.
  • Tools & Resources to Reduce Added Sugar Consumption

    We understand how hard it is to break up with sugar – it was one of our first loves! After deep-dives into educating ourselves and seeing the effects of poor diets, including too much added sugar, in hospitals and clinical practice, we committed to taking control of our own sugar intake and helping others do the same. It’s not easy but it is doable.

    Fortunately, we have two options to further both your education + implementation around breaking ties with sugar and gaining better body composition, weight loss, digestion, heart health, better skin, naturally elevated energy levels and more!

      1. Join our Sugar Busters Masterclass on Thursday

      1. The ’25’ Sugar Detox Challenge is where we have 25g or less of added sugar for 25 days. We have group and individual sessions to help you achieve your best results. Starts on Sunday!

    What Happens when you Stop Eating Added Sugar?

    A variety of good things! Here’s what some people have experienced through our programs and work together:

    “I was already eating well but having a layer of junk food on top of it! By paying attention to sugar intake and assistance in reducing it, I have lost 18.6 lbs in two months!” – Bobbie A., Columbus, OH

    “Fall 2018: While eating my second to last of an entire package of cookies (chocolate macadamia nut I believe they were) and calling it lunch, the thought that I love sugar a little too much once again crossed my mind. Those tasty treats also reminded me of my life-long turbulent love affair with sugar… remember when my dear love sugar gave me diabetes for an anniversary present about 10 years ago! While eating that last cookie, I pulled up an article that listed the characteristics of a sugar addict and I think I nailed 5 out of 6! Maybe… maybe now is the time I can do something to gain control over what looks more and more like a real addiction….

    Spring 2019: So there I was… standing on a digital scale in my closet looking down at a weight I haven’t seen since the 10th grade (that’s 37 years ago if you’re curious)!” – Steven (full success story here)

    “The individual calls focused on one area and the chance to ask questions one-on-one. This helped me feel accountable and made me think before I ate something. Despite the fact I could have put more effort into it, I did see improvements and lost 7lbs!” – Jane V., Columbus, OH

    “Weight loss of 5lbs, pants feel better! I’m in control and am seeing results.” – Erin D., Columbus, OH

    “There are so many sources of hidden sugar in the foods than I ever knew! I would recommend this program to everyone, especially moms.” – L.B., Columbus, OH

    “I started the challenge because of all the sugar I eat (I love candy). I have had none during this challenge and my whole body feels better. I feel more alert and love seeing how little sugar I can eat. Even more than losing weight, I love the mental focus & overall better health that I’m experiencing during this detox”- Jan R., Columbus, OH

    There are only a few questions to ask yourself at this point:

      1. What’s your current sugar consumption and health like? What will happen if you don’t make any changes and continue on this path?

      1. What do you believe is possible for yourself – how you’d feel, look, focus and produce – if you broke up with added sugar?

    You can change the trajectory of your life right now, with your very next meal or snack. Start with reducing added sugars to win big!

    Design your DNA Diet 🧬

    Food is fuel, natural energy, and it can also help provide the tools your body requires to repair itself. We all generally know what we should be eating – more vegetables, healthy fats and protein sources – and what we should be avoiding: processed and fast food, added sugar, sodium, and toxic fats. Beyond that, there is an amazing ability to further zero in on what your individual body needs and responds well to.

    If you’re eating more vegetables but the corn or bell peppers are actually inflamming your body, that would be good to know; this is where food sensitivity can be very helpful. Additionally, your genes have lots of information to offer about your potential top health risks and how to mitigate them.

    Curious about why some people with high-blood pressure respond well to a low-sodium diet while others don’t? Why some develop macular degeneration, acne, depression, or diabetes even when living similar lifestyles to others? Why are some people able to drink coffee all day and sleep whereas others are so sensitive that a morning cup o’ joe can lead to insomnia? The answer may well be linked to one’s genes. 

    This discipline is called nutrigenomics (short for “nutritional genomics”) and examines the interaction between our diet, genes, and lifestyle choices. It originated from the Human Genome Project, which identified nearly 25,000 genes in the human body. An assertion of the nutrigenomics field is that, while genes play a role in the onset, progression and severity of certain diseases, dietary recommendations can help prevent, mitigate and potentially reverse disease. This is powerful perspective on our health!

    A truly customized approach to eating which includes specific recommendations of food, exercise, and supplements based on the results of genetic testing. What might that look like?

    Here’s an example: a 38-year-old female presents with low energy and acne, anxiety, and the complaint “I’m working out more but I’m not losing weight”. Upon review of her testing results, we found that the systems and areas most in need of support were cardiovascular health, brain health, and inflammation. While she doesn’t show symptoms of poor memory or a disease like Alzheimer’s at this point, knowing she’s at higher risk and discussing brain-boosting foods and supplements to incorporate was helpful to her. We also made recommendations for reducing inflammation in the body (including avoiding certain foods and ruling out food sensitivities) and for boosting her body’s detoxification (to also help with energy and acne). For her, weight loss is tied more to nutrient-dense foods rather than ‘burning off’ calories with exercise. Her genetic profile suggests she’s better suited for endurance activities (vs. power) and that she responds to training well (leading to better athletic performance, but not necessarily weight loss). This helped to reframe the role that exercise primarily plays in her life – it’s for her heart and overall wellness rather than a huge driver for weight loss.

    So even if you have the family history and tendency towards diabetes, heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, overweight tor obesity, macular degeneration, or other issues – you can still heavily influence whether you develop the disease, how it progresses, and how intense or severe it will be.

    The beautiful aspect of a nutrigenomics program, in addition to knowing what you’re more at risk for, is that it’s not just food that can help. We look at modifying lifestyle habits and supplements you can take too. It’s a more comprehensive 3-pronged approach to influencing gene expression and structure.

    Who would be a good candidate for testing? In short, everyone, even people who are generally well can benefit from knowing and potentially preventing disease. But also those who are not feeling vital and have a range of conditions, including:

    • Autism
    • ADHD
    • Migraine
    • Skin issues (including acne and rashes)
    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Digestive disease (including Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis)
    • Autoimmune diseases (e.g. Hashimoto’s and rheumatoid arthritis)
    • Osteoporosis
    • Macular degeneration
    • Diabetes or blood sugar dysregulation
    • Brain issues (memory, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimers)
    • Weight issues

    We here at One Bite believe that nutrigenomics is a game changer. With this emergent technology, we can go beyond the components of a general health and more intricately tailor a program to each individual’s needs. 

    While the new year generally has everyone giving up alcohol or starting a running program, what is really beneficial is figuring out what works best for you now and for the long run. Ready to see what testing and individualized support can do for you? Schedule your complimentary, 20-minute Discovery Call.

    Hungry to learn more about nutrigenomics first? Join our virtual classroom on Thursday, January 27th from 6:30pm-8pm.

    We not only bring our stomachs to the dinner table, we bring our genes. Let’s learn how to feed ourselves properly. Now’s the time to ditch your calorie-restricted diet and design your DNA diet instead to improve your health and life!

    🔋 Get Energized, Bunny! 🐇

    Maybe you remember the Duracell battery commercial with the little pink bunny rolling across the floor and beating a drum with the tagline “it keeps going, and going, and going…” If you’d like energy to keep you going all day long and perhaps all week or month long, you’ll want to pay attention to these two main forms of energy – physiological and psychological energy – as well as more esoteric ones we’ll get into shortly.

    We could recount a song all about the Kreb’s cycle (nerd out with us and have a listen) and re-live the intense science behind chemical reactions, but suffice to say, the citric acid cycle is all about how our body creates energy for physical and mental performance.

    For your best chance at improving your natural physical energy, consider some tips:

    1. Get proper sleep and nutrient-dense foods into the diet (those with a lot of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants along with the calorie intake). Avoid added sugars, questionable additives, and low-quality fats.
    2. Understand energy drains. Low energy can be a result of everything from improper thyroid function to having processed foods that are high in unhealthy fats, salt and sugar. We can also feel lower energy as a result of the body’s burden in dealing with environmental factors such as poor air or water quality, exposure to plastics, heavy metals, mold and/or chemicals.
    3. Exercise will initially seem to be an energy drain, but it will gift you more energy on the other side of your workout and can help with sleep (another energy-giver).

    Psychological Energy

    It’s a common experience to be influenced by interactions with other people. After some exchanges you may feel more energized, inspired, and light whereas after others you might have felt lethargic and down. Whether the conversation was one-sided or ‘all about them’ or featured constant complaining, you may feel like you’ve come into contact with a ‘Colin Robinson’ or energy vampire.

    Another example of psychological energy identified by research is called the ‘mental load’, the cognitive and emotional labor involved in keeping up a household and tending to family. In most cases, the mental load tends to fall on women to bear. This can include researching and planning options around a son’s new braces, figuring out all the ingredients needed for Thanksgiving dinner, remembering birthdays and anniversaries of not just their own friends and family, but their partner’s as well. And this is a small list. Take a moment to see if an element of mental load could be influencing your psychological or mental energy.

    Depression has a number of causes and, when it settles in, you may find your overall energy zapped – mind and body. Depending on the duration and severity, you may benefit from talking with your doctor or healthcare provider, therapist, and integrative health coach.

    Physical clutter can also lead to mental clutter, feeling as though your mind is overstuffed with ideas, to-dos, and that your attention is pulled in many different directions at once. Because physical clutter can impact mental health and affect everything from sleep to anxiety and our ability to focus, it’s an area worth improving. (Psst! See our next class coming up in December)

    More Esoteric forms of Energy

    Examine the energies of yin and yang or masculine and feminine within yourself and how you live your life. Are you always hustling, running on adrendaline, and contracted (hunched or tight shoulders)? Or do you live a slower, more free-form and intuitive-based life? The first one is more yang or masculine energy and the other is more feminine or yin energy.

    This can also play out in food – alcohol and sugar are more extreme yin whereas meat and salt are more extreme yang. These extreme yin/yang foods can create cravings for each other AND can be what we turn to to balance ourselves out. An example would be a very ‘yang’ type of person – think New York City executive- walking fast, yelling into his phone, tight and contracted shoulders. He may turn to more yin foods, such as alcohol, drugs, sugar or ice cream – to help balance himself out. It’s an interesting way to look at food that most nutritionists don’t, but can help explain cravings and how each of us finds a sense of equilibrium in our lives.

    We also have the Ayurvedic concept at play – for those who are more vata energy, there can be a scattered energy or fast ‘windy’ feeling to our thoughts. This is another way of viewing energy and gives a clue on how to balance out a person’s energy. Here’s a primer on Ayurvedic body types and seasons.

    Tips to improve psychological energy:

    1. Spent time wth those who inspire and make you laugh
    2. Examine your own Ayurvedic dosha (we have resources to help!)
    3. If you’re finding your masculine energy too high and feminine energy too low, consider engaging in more creative projects – art, music, dance, pottery, or yin yoga – and slowing down in all areas of your life. Be open and receptive to ideas, people, and connecting with yourself and your spirit.
    4. Consider acupuncture for the physical and psychological balancing of Qi
    5. Beyond calories, look at your foods from more of a yin and yang perspective.
    6. Get curious about the mental load you’re carrying as well as how your environment makes you feel. If it’s too cluttered, get help and inspiration during our upcoming Minimalism class.
    7. If you have depression, reach out and get help

    As you can see, energy doesn’t come from the amount of caffeine in your cup, the calories you eat and how they convert to ATP – it is a multi-faced area of study. Choose one area to focus on and a simple step to improve that type of energy (e.g. drinking more water, having more art or play time). For personalized assistance with a holistic nutritionist and comprehensive approach to energy management, reach out.

    Self-care: Simple Sugar Scrub

    Winter’s dryness inflicts all sorts of maladies on our skin. Here’s our scrumptious 3-ingredient recipe to exfoliate your skin and help keep it smooth & hydrated. Give it a try this weekend to indulge in something other than, or as an adjunct to, binge-watching Netflix (we suggest Bling Empire – watch lives of luxury and feel luxurious).

    Ingredients

    1 cup raw turbinado sugar

    1/2 cup olive oil

    3 drops essential oil of your choice (we recommend peppermint to energize and uplift or lavender to help relax)

    Instructions

    Put sugar in small mixing bowl, add olive oil until you get to your desired texture, then add the drops of essential oil. Mix well. You may want to transfer the mixture to a glass or plastic jar.

    In the shower, gently rub the sugar scrub over your body. Enjoy and follow with a bath or shower. Your skin should feel slightly oily because of the olive oil and soak in fully shortly afterwards. Employ safe shower techniques as the mixture can cause shower/bath to become slick.

    Caution: do not exfoliate if your skin is sunburned, otherwise irritated or where there are cuts or sensitive areas. Always do a patch test first.

    ———————-

    White sugar, given what it does to our internal biochemistry, is best used on the outside of our bodies (hence, the Simple Sugar Scrub). Even if you don’t eat a pint of ice cream or drink soda every day, there is a very good chance you’re still getting more added sugar than is serving you. 

    This is the time to explore how headaches/migraines, candida, digestive health, infections, fatigue, foggy thinking, and more have connections to sugar. Address the challenge of losing weight while you improve body composition, confidence, and experience more natural energy! Learn more & join our next challenge group.

    Food Sensitivity Testing with MRT

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is mrttestresultsturkey.png

    Most people – whether younger or older, ill or well – benefit from knowing which foods their bodies react negatively to.

    Here’s the kicker: the food you think is healthy, may not be healthy for you.

    If you’re healthy and want to stay that way, the focus is on prevention; since food is central to any wellness plan, to eat in a precise and personalized way is best.

    Dealing with health challenges?

    Maybe you’ve given up some of the ‘big 8’ offenders (e.g. wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs) but are still having some symptoms. Perhaps you’ve done (ineffective) skin testing or IgG food sensitivity testing. In either case, you know you need to drill down further and find out if your everyday “healthy” foods (e.g. blueberry, turkey, or tumeric) are actually inflaming you. This has been the case for many of our clients, some visual examples of food sensitivity testing results are below.

    Conditions associated with food sensitivities are:

    • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s Disease
    • Heartburn / GERD
    • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
    • Arthritis and fibromyalgia
    • Autism and ADD/ADHD

    Symptoms associated with food sensitivities are:

    • Anxiety and depression
    • Constipation / diarrhea
    • Bloating and gas
    • Eczema, psoriasis, and acne
    • Fatigue and general malaise
    • Insomnia and poor sleep
    • Brain fog
    • Stomach and abdominal pain
    • Irritability and restlessness
    • Nasal and sinus congestion or post nasal drip
    • Food cravings
    • Muscle and joint pain or stiffness
    • Water retention and difficulty losing weight

    Additionally, this is a test worth doing if you plan on having children (to help lower inflammation in the body and improve fertility) or if you have children who are ‘picky eaters’ (oftentimes, kids intuitively know that a certain food is ‘hurting’ them and they try to avoid it).

    If you want to lose weight or improve performance, this test provides you with the foundation for your personal diet strategy and may provide the missing link necessary to achieve your goals.

    What makes MRT different? How does it work?

    Some of the other tests you may have done, such as a skin prick or a food sensitivity test ONLY measuring IgG levels, often lack the accuracy in determining actual food sensitivities you may have.

    Figuring out what our sensitivities are can be difficult; here’s why – the reactions can be delayed or dose-dependent. This means we may not immediately feel the effect of a food reaction; it may take many hours or days to appear. If it’s dose-dependent, we might feel okay with a little bit of the offending food, but stacking it gives us a reaction.

    Mediator Release Testing (MRT) is a patented blood test that shows how strongly your immune cells react to the 170 foods and chemicals tested by measuring chemical mediators released from the cell. When released from immune cells, chemical mediators such as histamines, cytokines, and prostaglandins produce damaging effects on the body’s tissues, leading to the development of symptoms. Fortunately, MRT takes the guesswork out of identifying food sensitivities!

    Here are some examples of ‘healthy’ foods that were showing up as inflammatory for clients, including: bananas, turkey, blueberries, coffee and more!

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    Test results are only part of the equation. With your functional medicine dietitian-nutritionist, you’ll put into play the LEAP (Lifestyle Eating and Performance) protocol to help get you the results you desire. Curious about finding out the foods and food chemicals causing inflammation and symptoms in YOUR body? Contact us and see if MRT testing is right for you.

    Drop the Sweets!

    dropthesweets

    Put down the pieces of candy picked up from your coworker’s desk.

    The Reese’s cups from the vending machine.

    The 3rd cup of coffee for today.

    It may be 3pm and the post-lunch energy lull can cause us to reach for the drugs that pep us up. Yes, drugs. Sugar and caffeine – legal though they way be, beware of how they can be robbing you of your natural energy and more.

    In an exercise during our recent Sugar Busters class, we explored the history of sugar, the estimated consumption, and then what the average ‘healthy’ American’s intake is. The result was rather shocking. After the coffee and hazelnut creamer, granola and Greek fruit yogurt for breakfast as well as a turkey sandwich and side salad with dressing for lunch, the total is 64 grams of added sugar. That’s before stopping by the coworker’s desk for two fun-size Twix bars (they’re really tiny, we know, but you’ll need to add another 16 grams). So now we’re at 80 grams of added sugar for the day and before dinner! In a game of Sugar Monopoly, you’re about to land in blood-sugar-dysregulation ‘jail’, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

    Are you aware of the World Health Organization’s recommendation limiting our added sugar intake to 5% or less of our daily calorie needs? Or to have less than 25 grams of added sugar per day?

    The truth is, for most of us trying to follow a healthy meal pattern, there’s generally a layer of ‘frosting’ on top of our nutritious choices. Whether the client is vegan, following Weight Watchers, or some other diet program, the sugar seems to seep in.

    Added sugar in the diet has been the cause of many of our ills, as a people. Our poor pancreases haven’t been able to keep up with the onslaught of added sugar in the diet since the time the first sugar refinery opened in the United States. The fact that sugar is a negative-nutrient should cause alarm. This is not the food equivalent of Sweden. It is not a ‘neutral’ agent in your body, only supplying a few extra calories. In order to break it down, the body’s reserves of vitamins and minerals are used – in effect, sugar ‘steals’ these nutrients from you! Let this sink in. This important concept should help us realize and treat items with this added sugar with a sense of suspicion, disdain, and then complete eradication. If that seems too strong for you at this point, try to focus on reduction of added sugars in your diet. You’ll still be heading in a better direction and help yourself possibly side-step diabetes and other chronic disease.

    Here’s your mission, should you choose to accept it: track the added sugars in your diet. Use labels to see how much added sugar is in your bread, salad dressing, instant oatmeal, or barbecue sauce. Or use an app such as MyFitnessPal or Cronometer to track it. Then, if you know you need to make some changes, head on over to join the rest of us in the upcoming Sugar Detox Challenge! The journey starts this Sunday, January 26th.

    Change your toxic relationship with added sugars and change your LIFE.

    CNBC: Allergies & Gluten

    advancementscnbctvsegment1

    We recently had the pleasure of educating the public about the top food allergies as well as the difference between gluten intolerance or sensitivity and celiac disease in a segment this past weekend.

    The segment aired on Saturday, October 26th on CNBC but you can watch them on the Advancements website and Vimeo. Learn more about this important topic with these additional questions and answers:

    Q: How are food allergies and food sensitivities becoming a growing public health concern?

    A: Food allergies and food sensitivities are becoming a growing public health concern because of how it affects us in healthcare expenditures, our communities, schools and even in our own homes if a family member or friend has food allergies and sensitivities.

    Food allergies can cause anaphylactic shock and are a huge concern. The ‘big 8’ allergens in the U.S. are milk and eggs, fish and shellfish, tree nuts and peanuts, wheat and soy. In other countries, including the United Kingdom, they have even more common allergies including lupin, sulfites, and celery.

    Q: How does gluten affect a person with celiac disease versus one with a sensitivity or intolerance to gluten?

    A: In someone with celiac disease, eating gluten causes the body to attack and destroy the villi in the small intestine, causing nutrient deficiencies and gastrointestinal issues including diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, and weight loss. Even skin rashes, lactose intolerance, infertility and bone loss can be symptoms.

    For a person with gluten sensitivity, the symptoms can be similar to the ones present with celiac disease minus the damage to the villi of the small intestine.

    Q: What are the benefits of a gluten-free diet to those who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivities?

    A: Following a lifelong gluten-free diet is imperative and the only treatment (thus far), for those with celiac disease. The good news is that the villi of the small intestine can heal and one can absorb more nutrients, have a decrease or elimination of symptoms, and have a reduced risk for colon cancer.

    The benefit of a gluten-free diet to those with gluten sensitivity can be a lessening or even elimination of symptoms including skin rashes, headaches and migraines, bloating, stomach pains, and fatigue.

    Q: Who else can benefit from following a gluten-free diet?

    A: Some people with autism, eczema, multiple sclerosis, and chronic fatigue syndrome report feeling better when eliminating gluten from their diets. It is possible that they could have a gluten sensitivity and this may help explain why their symptoms improve on a gluten-free diet.

    Also, some people have gone on a gluten-free diet as a means for weight loss, but it is not necessary nor recommended.