Category Archives for "Uncategorized"

January 22, 2009

Pill Popping Problem Solvers….NOT!

For many years I lived without a TV…and I loved it! I found myself reading more, writing more and spending more time doing active things that kept me healthy & happy. Now that I live in a place with a TV, I find myself sitting in front of it when I feel overwhelmed or if I need to “check out” and not think for a while.

But, as I sit there, I quickly realize that I am not really enjoying what I am watching, and all I see is ad after ad that claims, “Take this pill, or that pill and all your problems will go away”. TV is filled with these commercials that affirm to “fix” any & every health issue we may have from arthritis, to heartburn to high blood pressure to headaches. It is truly disheartening. While there are natural cures for arthritis, there’s no overnight cure.

Why has our society become so obsessed with the “quick fix”? Masking the problem, instead of solving it? When did we become so lazy and stop caring about ourselves and our well-being? Doctors are paid to sell drugs to us. Pharmaceutical companies are the biggest profit generators of today. Most of the time, Doctors’ just prescribe a pill to get us out of the office so that they can quickly move on to the next patient. But, are we really healing the problem?? NO! Do they really want to cure us at the deepest level?? Not sure! Are we coming back to health, or just making ourselves dependent on some substance that is making us worse instead of better??

Our bodies can become breeding grounds for disease if we don’t take care of them. The typical American Diet is high in processed foods, thereby creating an acidic environment where illness and disease can flourish! Sugar is the biggest culprit of this.

As a Health Educator & Wellness Coach, I feel it is my duty to offer you knowledge and suggestions on how to return your body to health without popping a pill. If you are one of those people who think that taking over the counter drugs is the answer, I am here to help you return to health and wellness in a natural way.

Remember, Let food by thy MEDICINE, and medicine thy food (thank you Hippocrates.) We need to use the food we eat to cure our “problems,” and imbalances and get healthy!! What we put in our mouth determines how we will feel from the inside out! We need to make smarter choices about what we eat, and how much we eat, to keep our bodies operating at their optimal state. Adopt a healthy eating lifestyle! Eat plenty of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and healthy fats!! And exercise…move…do something! It’s also important to manage daily stress and get plenty of sleep. All of these factors will positively contribute to a healthier life for you.

Below is a list of a few common ailments and my suggestions to help heal them without popping those pills:

Heartburn/Indigestion: If you suffer from heartburn and/or indigestion, you most likely have low stomach acid. HCL, also known as Hydrochloric Acid, is the acid in your stomach that is responsible for breaking down proteins. If you are low in HCL, you will not be able to break down meats and other proteins, in turn causing heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux and many other digestive problems. You will also suffer from these ailments if you eat a lot of meat and other highly acidic foods like dairy & wheat. Also, low HCL prevents yoru body from absorbing B12 and other nutrients. You can re-build the HCL in your stomach by taking HCL pills (available at health food stores) or taking a Tablespoon of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar before every meal in a small amount of water. Over time, your HCL will rebuild and you will be able to digest your proteins without any help.

Gas & Bloating: Again, a digestive issue. Most likely you have a hard time digesting carbs, sugar, proteins and even vegetables. I highly recommend taking digestive enzymes before every meal to help your body break down your foods properly. Also, cut back on refined flour, sugar & diet soda!!! Food combining is another way you can prevent gas & bloating and keep your digestive system working properly. For more information on food combining, check out http://www.thewolfeclinic.com/foodcombining.html

High Blood Pressure: Exercise, Exercise, Exercise (for at least 30 minutes a day) and lower your sodium intake. If you need to use salt, switch to Himalayan Sea Salt or use Gomasio, which is a combination of sesame seeds and sea salt. Sea Salt will give your body the necessary minerals it needs and the rest will be flushed out. You will not retain water when you use sea salt, but please keep in mind that it is still sodium, so use it moderately.

Headaches: Most likely an allergy to certain foods, or too much stress. If you suffer from headaches, cut out caffeine, cheese, alcohol, refined sugar, and any food or drink that contains sulfites. See how you feel in 2 weeks. Also, spend some time practicing deep breathing exercises, light stretching or sitting quietly for 10 minutes a day.

Muscle Aches & Pains: Instead of taking that painkiller (which can stress the liver) do some stretching, see a massage therapist, take a hot bath using Epsom salts or find a local acupuncturist. Usually muscular pain in the body is created by an imbalance or energy blockage. Eat magnesium rich foods such as sea vegetables. Too much sugar or caffeine can sap your body of minerals and cause imbalances as well.

PMS/Menstrual Issues: Most likely a hormonal imbalance in the body, which can be caused by processed & fried foods, caffeine, smoking, stress, etc. First step is to cut out caffeine and sugar. Add Magnesium & Calcium rich foods to your diet. Eat plenty of leafy greens and sea vegetables. If you suffer from severe PMS, consider having a complete hormonal screen done by a Naturopath or Holistic hormone specialist. Have your Thyroid Checked!

IBS: Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a very common digestive problem affecting many Americans. I suffered from IBS as a young adult and realized that I needed to do something to help myself since every doctor I went to had no answer. I started to slowly change my diet and cut out eating certain foods that would upset my system, as well as meditating and practicing deep breathing exercises. To help yourself, cut out one highly allergenic food per week such as dairy, corn, wheat or soy and see if anything changes. You can then add each food back in slowly to determine where the problem is.

Sinus Problems: If you constantly have a runny nose, a stuffed up nose, or need to clear your throat, dairy could be your culprit. Cut out dairy for a week and see what happens! Stay away from the poison that you shoot up your nose to clear it out. It actually becomes addicting and you will need to use it more and more.

As you begin to adopt a healthier way of eating, you will notice many changes in your body and how you feel overall. You will begin to drop weight. Your skin will clear up. Your allergies will subside. You will have more energy. Forgo running to the drug store to get that pill and start to take charge or your well being by making positive choices. This is the only body you have, so take care of it while you are here! Do you want to feel healthy, full of energy and vibrant? Or do you want to be filled with synthetic drugs that are sapping your body of energy, nutrients and life? You choose!!! It’s in your hands!!!

For more information on healing your body through food, exercise and nutrition, email me at missy@karmachow.com

*A special thanks to my friend Tony Horton for the “Pill Popping” title…he IS a genius! You can read his post on the best ways to relieve pain naturally here: https://www.hmhb.org/pain/.

**Disclaimer: I am not a Doctor. If you have feel you have a serious illness, please seek professional medical help.

January 13, 2009

The Abundance Diet

If you are a living, breathing human being, then chances are you’ve been on a diet once, twice or maybe multiple times in your life. The word diet, as described in Webster’s dictionary means; “fare; what is eaten or drunk habitually”. If you think about it, this means any food that we eat on a daily basis. So, according to Webster, we are on a diet every day of our life, just by eating habitually. Unfortunately in today’s times, the word diet has been described as a way to lose weight. It almost has a negative connotation to it. When most people hear the word diet, they think “lack, or deprivation”, which is usually true. But

Human beings are as different from one another as any snowflake that falls from the sky. There are no two of us alike, anywhere in the world. We all have our own distinct genetic make up, we differ in the way our body burns calories, absorbs nutrients and so on. Most of these diets are based on some sort of deprivation and are very unbalanced. The abundance diet is just the opposite.

If you want to lose excess pounds, maintain a healthy and fit body weight, burn calories, feel good inside and out and keep away disease and illness, then you will need to adapt a whole foods eating lifestyle. Or as I like to call it, the Abundance Diet! A whole food eating lifestyle is a way of eating where you do not deprive yourself. This way of eating allows you to have an abundance of whole foods; veggies, leafy greens, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, lean proteins and healthy fats. You can eat as much as you want, as long as you are eating a whole foods diet, without gaining weight. You will actually even drop weight. 

Of course, as with any change in your eating habits, you will want to take baby steps, so that you do not set yourself up for failure. Below are some simple steps you can take to help change your eating habits for lasting results.

1. Adapt the 80/20 Rule: Eat a whole foods healthy diet 80% of the time and allow yourself to splurge the other 20% of the time. This allows the mind to believe that it is not deprived. Sounds pretty abundant to me!
2. Upgrade one food per week: switch out white rice for brown rice, white flour for whole grain flour, white sugar for natural sweeteners such as honey or brown rice syrup.
3. Cut out one processed food/drink per week – give up your twinkies, this week, and see how you feel. Cut out your diet soda…just for a week. YOU CAN decide after one week if you want to continue to drink this over processed, chemical ridden beverage or if you want to be committed to your health. (for more on the effects of artificial sweeteners visit http://www.newliving.com/issues/jan_07/articles/sweeteners.html)
4. Add one new whole food per week: if you’ve never had kale before, give it a try. Eat something you’ve never thought of eating. Having trouble knowing how to prepare it? Just email me missy@karmachow.com or go online for tasty recipes at www.wholefoodsmarket.com
5. Have a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts for a snack instead of those greasy, salty chips. The fiber in fruit, and the protein & fat in the nuts will help to keep you feeling full longer and will regulate your blood sugar.
6. Drink plenty of water: forego that afternoon soda and have water instead. . Drinking plenty of water keeps our appetite at bay and our body well hydrated. Sometimes we may mistake thirst for hunger. Drink an 8-oz glass of water and see how you feel after 15 minutes.
7. Cut back on caffeine: if you drink coffee, try cutting back by drinking half decaf with half regular. Or switch to heart healthy green tea! But remember, for every cup of caffeine you drink, you will need to drink extra water to hydrate!

These are just a few ideas for ways you can begin to eat healthy and abundantly. Once you start to make changes and adapt this healthy whole foods lifestyle, your cravings will subside and your body will no longer want the junk food. This will result in a natural weight loss, clearer skin, better digestion, less mood swings and so on. The list of benefits is endless.

Remember, allow yourself that 20% cushion so that you wont’ binge. Reward yourself with a treat after dinner, or an afternoon snack. Also be mindful that the healthier you eat, the healthier you will be, feel & look. We all know that old adage, “you are what you eat”. Well, it couldn’t be further from the truth. You are worth it, so take charge of your health and your weight and never say DIET again!!!

For a complete list of whole foods in the Abundance “Diet’, contact Missy at missy@karmachow.com or visit her web site at www.karmachow.com.

Match Your Food to Your Parts!

We all know that eating healthy, unprocessed, whole foods is good for us, but do we really know why? Well, Mother Nature is indeed a miracle worker, because she created some food to look just like our body parts, therefore enhancing and nourishing those specific parts, the more we eat them.

Below is a list of some foods that are great for your parts…eat them as much as you like! It’s a bit like playing Match Game, if any of you remember that TV show!

Walnuts: Shaped like a brain, good for the brain! High in Omega 3’s which help the brain cells communicate with each other. Omega’s are also essential for cognitive performance & memory.

Carrots: As kids we all heard the tried and true wives tale “Carrots are good for your eyesight”, well that couldn’t be more true. Not only are they good for eyesight, but Carrots are high in Beta Carotene, which converts to Vitamin A when ingested. Vitamin A maintains the health of your eye and helps to protect your eye from germs, inflammation and infection. Slice one open and check out the iris staring right back at you!

Sweet Potatoes: Shaped like your pancreas, and good for it! Sweet Potatoes or Yams slowly release sugars into the blood-stream so that your pancreas won’t get stressed!

Kidney Beans: They aren’t called Gall-Bladder beans! These red beauties are great for nourishing and healing your kidneys.

Tomatoes: Cut them open and notice the 4 chambers that mimic the heart..even the color coincides. This delicious fruit, filled with Lycopine, is great for the heart and the blood!

Grapes: Red or Purple grapes are high in flavonoids, which help to protect against heart disease as well as aging and cancer. These heart shaped clusters, that resemble a cluster of blood cells, may also help you control your blood pressure. Best to eat the real thing..but if you must, have that glass of organic, sulfite-free red wine!

Rhubarb, Celery & Bok Choy: Shaped a bit like a fibia, tibula, or ulna these veggies are high in calcium and Vitamin K which is excellent for keeping your bones healthy and strong. Vitamin K assists in activating three proteins involved in bone health as well as increasing bone mineral density. Also a good source of sodium, which your body will pull from your bones if you don’t have enough!

FOR THE LADIES:
Melons & Citrus fruits: Ladies..read on! Melons are rich in Vitamin C, which boost our immune system and helps to prevent breast cancer! Oranges are great too!

Olives: Yes, great for the Ovaries! A diet rich in Olive Oil has been shown to lower the risk of Ovarian Cancer.

Avocado, Pear & Eggplant: These three beauties target the cervix and womb! Oddly enough, Avocados take exactly 9-months to grow. They are great for helping to lose weight after childbirth, balancing hormones, and providing essential healthy fats.

FOR THE MEN:
Figs: Hanging in clusters of two, these delicious fruits help increase sperm count & mobility! Gents, go get your figs!!! But make sure you buy this delicate fruit organic!

Remember, eating a whole foods diet will keep your immune system strong and help you to manage stress in your life. Your body uses whole foods as fuel, thereby resulting in more energy and less weight gain!

So..next time you’re in the market…match that food to your part! Have FUN!!!

Visit my site at: www.karmachow.com

November 30, 2008

Cleanse-orexia, Marathon Dieting, Purge Eating? Do you have a Mild Eating Disorder??

Many of us, without even knowing it, suffer from some form of a mild eating disorder. Sure, there are the obvious ones that we know about; Binge/Purge, also known as Bulimia and then there is the devastating disease of Anorexia. But, there are many other forms of eating disorders, that you may have symptoms of, and are unaware that you may need help, or that you are harming yourself.

If you have a love/hate relationship with food, find yourself constantly going from one diet and/or cleanse to the next in hopes of finally losing and keeping off that last 10 pounds, or even “closet” binge eating, it’s possible that you may have an unhealthy emotional connection to food. Maybe it’s time to take a deeper look at yourself and the way you relate to food and eating.

Most of my life, I have had a love/hate relationship with food. It all began when I was in my early teens and I thought that no matter what I put in my mouth, I would become fat. A lot of times, I just wouldn’t eat, or would eat any “diet” type food that was on the market, thinking it was good for me, or would help to keep me thin. I even tried bulimia for a week, and knew intuitively at a young age that it was not healthy for me to overeat and then want to purge. I would exercise incessantly and had a distorted body image.

Even though I was always thin and athletic, my insecurities about becoming fat ruled my life. I thought I needed to have the perfect, fat free body that I saw lining the pages of every magazine. But, we all know that is not realistic. In a society where all we see are skinny models clad in tight clothes, how can we come to love and accept our bodies as they are? Only 1 percent of the population is a thin as the models we see being featured in everything from shoe, to perfume ads. Yet, I am grateful for these models in a way, because it started me on my road to vegetarianism and healthy eating. And, I realize in hindsight that I wasn’t always doing what was best for me, or my body, and it became a bit obsessive and unhealthy.

Most of us know that genetics play a huge role in our body shape and type. Many of us will never have or are genetically capable of having the skinny, bony body of a pre-pubescent model that is made to look like she is 25 years old. But with a healthy eating lifestyle and daily exercise, we can combat our genetics, and our bodies can change and become stronger, leaner and healthier, in turn, serving us until late in our life without illness and disease. This is the only body we have and why wouldn’t we treat it like the miracle it is? We abuse our bodies, and then wonder why we are tired, sick, rundown and low on energy.

If you find you have any of these following thoughts or symptoms, then it may be time for you to look deeper at your relationship with food and your body. Maybe even join a support group or seek out a therapist or friend who you can talk to.

• Incessant Dieting – going from one diet to the next instead of adopting a healthy, wholefood eating lifestyle. Dieting throws a wrench in our metabolism and our hormones become unbalanced, not knowing how to regulate themselves over time.
• Fear of Food – afraid that anything you put in your mouth will make you fat or is bad for you, even when you eat very healthfully. This could be a mild form of anorexia.
• Guilt Eating – feeling guilt about what you put in your mouth; that you don’t deserve to have a treat every once in a while
• Incessant Exercise – overeating and then exercising for hours on end with the hopes of burning off the food you ate.
• Mindless eating/snacking – eating mindlessly in front of the TV or your computer, even when you’re not hungry
• Overeating – not knowing when to stop, not listening to your body’s natural signals of fullness
• Closet eating – this is usually associated with a lot of guilt. People overeat eat late at night or when others aren’t around and then don’t understand why they can’t lose weight even when they are exercising.
• Incessant Fasting/Cleansing or “Cleanse-orexia” – going from one cleanse or fast to the next. This interrupts your body’s metabolism and can be a downfall in your efforts to lose weight and keep it off. It’s good to cleanse 2x per year, under the care of a nutritionist or physician, but no more.
• Skinny/Fat mentality – thinking you are fat when you aren’t! This is related to our societal model and a warped body image.
• Obsessive Calorie Counting – counting calories for everything you put in your mouth instead of making healthy food choices
• Daytime Starvation – starving yourself all day long by not eating or only drinking liquids, and then overeating at night.
• Emotional Eating – using food as a comfort when you are emotionally distressed

If you have any of the “symptoms” I have listed above, it may be time to start taking charge of your health. The longer you struggle with food & exercise, the worse off you will be in the long run. Make a commitment to yourself and your life by starting slow and taking baby steps. Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed. Seek out support groups in your area, or someone you can talk to that specializes in eating disorders. Talk to your closest friend or a spouse. Don’t let your pride stand in the way, this is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your life.

Here are some other suggestions that may be helpful to you, if you feel that you are ready to make these changes on your own without the support of others:
• Adopt the 80/20 rule: eat healthfully 80% of the time and allow yourself a 20% window to enjoy your favorite ice cream or cookie. Eating healthy is not about deprivation.
• Cut out one unhealthy food from your diet per week and add one healthy one in
• Read books on the subject
• Journal about your emotions when you eat
• Exercise at least 20 minutes a day
• Eat mindfully by slowing down when you chew and putting your fork down between each bite. Take deep breaths while chewing
• Upgrade your food choices by replacing white flour with whole grains, white sugar with natural, low-glycemic sugars such as Brown Rice Syrup or Agave Nectar
• Eat only at a table and not in front of the TV, computer or while reading a book
• Drink less liquids when eating

Remember, being and staying healthy takes dedication and commitment. Don’t let the comments of others deter you from taking charge of your health. Make the time to take these steps for yourself and you will be on the road to a healthier & happier life. You are worth it!!!

For more resources and information, please visit my web site atwww.karmachow.com or email me at missy@karmachow.com