Fatigue. Cravings. Weight that won't Budge… Discover which hormones are out of whack so you can RECLAIM hormonal health and get back on track!

10 Signs You Have Adrenal Fatigue…& How to Heal It

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I have a confession…not too long ago, I bit off more than I could chew with an online course that felt like I was drinking from a fire hose. I slacked off on my rituals to start and end the day with conscious awareness. I missed a few yoga/movement practices. I denied myself some home cooked meals. I deprived myself of sleep. I just kept fueling my inner energizer bunny till I crashed into a puddle. I got sick and was practically bed ridden for 3 days. The root cause? My adrenals were burned out. The adrenals are tiny glands that sit atop the kidneys, no bigger than a walnut and weigh less than a grape, yet are responsible for the hypercritical function of managing our stress response producing cortisol and DHEA (main hormones of stress).

Here I am, functional medicine trained hormone coach having helped hundreds of women reverse adrenal fatigue and hormonal imbalances to reclaim their energy and fat loss, but I myself fell prey to adrenal burnout. You know that saying, “We teach what we need to learn.” It seemed like the universe was letting me know that this needs to be my specialty. Fortunately for me, I’ve been trained by luminaries in the fields of holistic and hormone health, including Drs Mark Hyman and Sara Gottfried and was able to reset and get back on track quickly. My mess became my message. And I can share what REALLY works with professional women like you who are also struggling with adrenal fatigue and burnout.

Now, how do you know if you have adrenal fatigue? What does it feel like? The term adrenal fatigue actually applies to a constellation of symptoms that crop up when your adrenal glands can’t cope with your non-stop schedule leaving you feeling burnt out, exhausted or worse….below are the tell tale signs:

Top Ten Signs of Stress Overload aka Adrenal Fatigue

1. Feeling tired ALL the time
2. Need a cup or two or three of coffee to get going in the morning; need sugar or fake energy band aids to get through the 2 pm crash; and need wine to wind down at night
3. Disrupted sleep with “tired but wired” feeling with a racing mind
4. Raging cravings for sugar or salt or fat
5. Growing a spare tire around your middle
6. Memory/focus gridlock with “brain fog” or more “senior” moments than you care to admit
7. Chronic GI issues: Bloating, heartburn, indigestion, constipation or other digestive distress
8. Thinning hair or saggy skin that has lost its elasticity, healthy tone
9. Intolerance to exercise; feeling exhausted after exercise
10. Too many “tabs open” (like your computer) and feeling overwhelmed and discouraged by life

Adrenal fatigue is the most common hormonal imbalance in women. It’s estimated that 80% of women experience these symptoms, but sadly it’s not recognized by conventional medicine and remains one of the most under-diagnosed illnesses! You may have even gone to your doctor only to be dismissed saying, “You’re just getting older” and escorted out of the office with a prescription for an antidepressant and no real plan/solution to restore your adrenals.

What’s creating this epidemic of adrenal fatigue for working women? It’s called the Overachievers’ Affliction! As women we’re hardwired to juggle a demanding career plus being a Mom, wife, housekeeper, chef, chauffeur, tutor and care giver to aging parents. We are conditioned to believe that being busy equates to being successful and worthy, so we wear our stress as a badge of honor. But all this busyness comes at a steep price. Here’s what’s happening internally…

Because of chronic stress (which you may not even realize because this pace has become your “new normal”), your adrenals become exhausted…just like you. Cortisol, the stress hormone, continuously rages through your system, which raises your blood pressure and blood sugar levels. High cortisol makes you crave sugar like an addict and signals your body to deposit more fat around the belly. This then leads to insulin resistance (the precursor to diabetes), higher cholesterol levels, disrupted sleep and more. Low immunity is making you more susceptible to illness and making it harder to recover from illness. Your thyroid is suppressed which is slowing your metabolism. The high sugar level is also causing inflammation, which is the root cause of just about every illness, condition and disease you can think of.

The great news is that if you’re currently suffering from any or all of these symptoms, it’s entirely treatable and reversible! Click HERE to watch this FREE master class that reveals 5 game changers to reverse adrenal fatigue so you can double your energy and shrink your waistline.

But when it comes to stress management, beliefs and mindset, they’re a hard thing to tackle alone (when you are stuck inside a set way of thinking). We all have blind spots. And the hard part is when we can’t see what it is that we can’t see! It’s like you wouldn’t ever dream of doing laser eye surgery on yourself, would you? Then why would you ever, EVER attempt to balance your complex yet fragile hormonal orchestra on your own?

So if you’re DONE struggling silently and are ready to reclaim your power so you can have that consistent all-day energy and be the kind of Mom, wife and boss your kids, husband and employees deserve, then I’ve set aside some time to speak to you personally. There’s a reason you’re here reading this and there are no accidents. And whatever your biggest challenge is, trust me I’ve seen it before with the hundreds of cases I’ve worked through and I know how to overcome it so you can FINALLY Double your Energy & Shrink your waistline, starting TODAY! Click HERE to schedule your breakthrough session. Cost: 100% FREE but it’s NOT for everyone…

This is NOT for you if believe in the “pill for what ails ya philosophy”. No judgment but if you prefer taking a pharmaceutical approach and are not interested in changing your diet and lifestyle for sustainable success then I can’t help you. Or if you can’t take ownership of your health and need permission from your husband or doctor to fix this. Or if you’re unable or unwilling to invest in yourself and take decisive, timely action.

But this is totally for you if you’re sick and tired of stress hormones rattling your cage and your doctor telling you that “you’re just hormonal but your tests are within the normal range.” But you certainly don’t feel normal and feel like your body is betraying you and you’re committed to finding a natural solution, investing in yourself and taking inspired, intelligent action to reverse adrenal fatigue so you can reclaim your A-game and have energy to do the things you love to do that juice you up from the inside out. So if that’s you, this is going to be a life saver and I’ll see you on the inside….click HERE and I’d love to talk to you.

To your robust adrenal health!
-Rupina

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5 Ways to Banish Belly Fat

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We’re three weeks into the New Year and many of you are already frustrated with your New Year’s resolutions and recoiling in horror from that muffin top spilling over your jeans!

Focus on waist, not weight.

We all have visceral fat — and it isn’t all bad. It provides necessary cushioning around organs. The problem is when there’s too much of it. And that’s linked to a greater chance of developing high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and certain cancers (including breast cancer and colon cancer.)

What’s too much? Get a measuring tape, wrap it around your waist, and check your girth. Do it while you’re standing up, and make sure the tape measure is level. Anything more than35 inches (if you’re a woman) and more than 40 inches (if you’re a man) indicates insulin resistance.

Numerous hormones contribute to belly fat, but if you want to place the blame for your muffin top on one out-of-whack hormone, all fingers point to insulin which literally signals your body to deposit more fat around your belly.

Cortisol (main stress hormone) is equally to blame as too much stress makes you fat, especially at your belly where fat cells have 4 times more cortisol receptors than fat cells anywhere else. And the more stressed out you are,  the more you’ll crave sugar (cortisol is a glucocorticoid and one of its main jobs is to to raise blood sugar). And if you’re reading this, you’re all too familiar with the vicious cycle of stress, cravings,  weight gain (with a muffin top that won’t budge), guilt, loathing, rinse and repeat, right?

The good news is that I’ve been able to help 100% of my clients reverse their muffin top and have unstoppable energy with these 5 simple yet powerful diet/lifestyle interventions:

1) Stamp out Sugars – in all of its forms. Especially liquid calories from any source (soda, juice, alcohol) all of which store belly fat. Be on a mission to get high fructose corn syrup out of your diet as it is especially good at laying down belly fat. Build your meals around non-starchy veggies, clean protein and good fats so you are literally too full for dessert (including fruit). Fruit is not a free food; for instance today’s apples have been hybridized by Big Agriculture to be large sugar bombs often containing 20 grams or more of fructose which is the most metabolically damaging sugar. So just remember: Carbohydrates = Sugar = Insulin = Fat Storage. By loading up on non-starchy veggies at each meal, you are creating the hormone signaling to increase insulin sensitivity and thereby your resilience to stress which will deflate that muffin top once and for all!

2) Figure out Food Sensitivities. Ever find yourself uncontrollably eating a box of Wheat Thins or reaching for a second slice of buttered toast? Ironically, the foods you’re most reactive to are the ones you crave the most. According to Dr. Daniel Kalish, your body reacts to intolerant foods by creating addictive narcotics called opioid endorphins. Like a drug, you have a feeling of euphoria when you eat these foods, and subsequently crave them.

The two foods that make losing belly fat the most challenging in my practice are gluten and dairy. But corn, soy, peanuts and artificial sweeteners are also potential offenders. So, I teach my clients how to eliminate these systematically and while it’s not easy, the payoffs are massive with shrinking belly fat, reduced cravings, less brain fog and radiant skin sans rashes/hypersensitivity.

Now many of my clients think whole grain wheat is a “health” food. But Newsflash: 2 slices of whole wheat bread will spike your blood sugar HIGHER than 6 teaspoons of refined sugar! Modern day, hybridized wheat is a far cry from the wheat consumed by our ancestors and has a changed amino acid structure in the protein gliadin which is indigestable and triggers intestinal permeability aka leaky gut which is the first step in trigerring autoimmune disease.

3) Burn Baby Burn (Fat, not Sugar). You will successfuly transition from being a sugar burner to a fat burner as you cut out sugars and clean, lean protein and good fats take center stage in your diet. So you’ll burn a steady, high-energy flame all day long. You’ll even burn fat while you’re sleeping! Becoming a fat burner is your secret weapon against cravings and sustainable fat loss. So how do you do this? The most powerful way is by swapping your sugary cereal with a protein powered breakfast within one hour of waking. I usually recommend a low glycemic smoothie with a couple of tablespoons each of flax, chia and hemp seeds. Another option is to scramble up some organic, pastured eggs in ghee with your favorite veggies.

4) Ch-Ch-Ch- Chia your way to a smaller waistline. These nutritious little seeds are great for fat loss, because they help stabilize blood sugar and improve your insulin sensitivity which can lead to fat loss. Chia is also rich in Omega-3 fats, and the seeds are filling because they contain loads of fiber. Try a few tablespoons of chia in unsweetened almond milk with some vanilla and stevia for a delicious and filling protein shake.

5) Catch the Curve (so you don’t lose when you snooze). Every single hormone we produce is synced up to the natural bio-circadian rhythms that exist in nature establishing biochemical peaks and valleys, similar to how a flower opens and closes during a 24-hour cycle. So you get a burst of cortisol upon waking (called the CAR or cortisol awakening response) and then it should be a gentle downhill slope being its lowest at night around 10-11 pm. So you want to catch the curve when cortisol is at its lowest, but if you’re banging out emails or socializing on Facebook then you catch that 2nd wind which is no good. This creates that tired but wired feeling that leads to compromised sleep. And there’s probably nothing that will help your stress response and belly fat more than making fabulous and reparative sleep a top priority.

Learn more by scheduling a complimentary 30-minute Belly Blasting Breakthrough health consultation and together we’ll customize a plan to help you achieve a trimmer waistline.

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Get Unstuck!

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‘Tis the busy season and you’re running around like crazy pants checking off items on your holiday shopping list. But the truth is, with or without the holidays, many of you deliberately engineer your lives to run from task to task on that hamster wheel of activity so you don’t have to pause to examine what you’re running from…can you relate?

This disease of being “busy” (and let’s call it what it is, the dis-ease of being busy, when we are never at ease) is spiritually destructive to our health and well being. It saps our ability to be fully present with those we love the most in our families, and keeps us from forming the kind of community that we all so desperately crave.

For me, it’s been a period of gut wrenching losses and introspection. My beloved Mom and 4-legged child recently changed their residence to heaven. And I’ve been getting still to let the tsunami of sadness wash over me and to REALLY FEEL THE FEELINGS. Breaking open versus shutting down, pretending to be too busy. And I’ve been asking the empowering questions as to what is the gift or the message in these devastating losses. While I don’t have all the answers, I know they are both at peace and free from suffering. I know without a shadow of a doubt that death is not the end as I FEEL their spirits seamlessly stitched into the hems of my heart. And I know that if I focus on the fact that I’ve gained two guardian angels, instead of focusing on the loss, I will invite their guidance and presence to show up even more and live on forever.

While I was brought to my knees as I stayed awake through the fires of change, I was also fascinated by what it took to not shut down. I marveled at what we all do in times of transition and loss–how we resist and how we surrender; how we stay stuck, and how we grow. As I peeled away past layers of losses, fears, hurts and limiting beliefs that no longer served me, I was able to have more clarity of purpose. And to show up more fully in my life, relationships, and work.

So what about you? What losses, fears, limiting beliefs, “stories” about your body and health are you carrying over to 2016 that ensure that you keep manifesting that fat, fatigued and in a funk reality? Did you know that every cell in your body is replaced every seven years? It’s true. At the cellular level, the oldest you get is about seven years old. I remember hearing Deepak Chopra speak about this during one of his lectures at my alma mater, Integrative Nutrition. He said that the only reason we keep creating the same body—or one that seems to deteriorate with age—is that we keep thinking the same thoughts over and over again. That is because all biological systems operate according to what are called “premature cognitive commitments” to the way reality is. Let me deconstruct this concept.

If you take a bunch of bees and put them into a jar, and then put a lid on the jar, only a couple “pioneer” bees will leave the jar once you take off the lid. The rest have made a “premature cognitive commitment” that they are trapped. Likewise, if you put two schools of fish in a tank and place a glass wall between the schools, leave it for a while and then later remove it, only a few fish will ever venture into the territory beyond that wall. The rest believe that they must stay in their own space. Then there’s the famous Nobel Prize winning experiment of Hubel and Weisel who found that if you raise kittens in an environment where there are only vertical stripes on the walls, they will run into everything horizontal, because they literally can’t “see” anything horizontal. They’ve been trained to see only a vertical world.

The same is true with us humans. Our bodies are literally created by our beliefs. And subsequently our behavior. The famous medical intuitive Edgar Cayce said it best, “The Spirit is the life, the mind the builder, and the body the result.” Here’s how that plays out: If you believe that it’s normal to develop that embarrassing muffin top, brain fog, devitalized, wrinkled skin and achy joints, as you get older, then that is likely to be your experience. If you believe that middle age begins at about 70, then your experience will be entirely different. As it turns out, our cultural beliefs about what’s possible hold far more weight than our genes. And these beliefs translate into biological realities in our bodies.

The exciting part about all this is that when you purge those limiting beliefs and stories, not only do you attract different circumstances in your life, your biology and metabolism literally changes. Hormones become balanced. Stress hormone levels plummet. Neurotransmitters boost your mood. And you emerge into your optimal physical and emotional vibrancy and presence so you can rock your mission and live your truth!

Are you ready to purge those fears, losses, stories and beliefs that have been weighing you down year after year but feel like you’re getting in your own way? What weight are you carrying around that is not yours to bear? Having successfully coached many of my clients through this, I’m going to share a secret with you: Beliefs and mindset are a hard thing to tackle alone (when you are stuck inside a set way of thinking). We all have blind spots. And the hard part is when we can’t see what it is that we can’t see.

Vanessa (not her real name) never imagined that her thoughts and her approach were keeping her stuck, but during one of our coaching sessions, a question I asked sparked a light bulb moment. In the next week, she shifted her thinking 180 degrees as she realized, for the first time, exactly what needed to change if she wanted to stop struggling and start succeeding with food. “I have spent years locked in a prison made of bars that were built in my own mind.” The truth was right there, but without someone to help her see her own blind spot, she had been completely unaware of it.

If now now, then when? If not you, then who? If you’ve decided that 2016 is your year to get unstuck and get off the hamster wheel of overwhelm, stress, cravings, hormonal imbalances, weight gain, rinse and repeat, then I have a sweet deal to usher in the New Year with a Get Unstuck coaching session for only $97 (retails for $297) available through midnight December 31 only. During this powerful coaching session, we tackle what it really takes to get unstuck and achieve what you want. I share the tools and strategies, the daily practices, AND you get the personalized coaching and support to really apply and tailor-fit what will work for YOU (not some cookie cutter diet/exercise plan) and your unique life.

BUT you have to qualify for this deal as I only have 5 spots open in my practice and I am only interested in working with motivated, committed clients. So before you apply, please ask yourself the question, “Am I interested or am I committed?” Because if you’re interested, you will continue to play the “excusitis” game, buying into your excuses of not enough time, money etc. but if you’re committed, you will break down those barriers and do whatever it takes to achieve your goals. To apply, click here and fill out the confidential health intake form. Based on your responses and readiness to change, I will select 5 participants who are ready to take their wellbeing and happiness to the next level. Here is a sampling of some of the experiences that previous participants reported:

I respond differently to stress and am feeling less anxious
After being at a plateau for a year, my weight is finally moving (down)!
I feel much better about myself and my body image has changed for the better
I’m more confident – speaking my truth more and I’m ready to stop playing small
I’m feeding my soul instead of my stomach and my sugar cravings have disappeared
I feel like I can plan ahead to deal with trigger situations
I’m more aware of my feelings and the potential they have to affect my eating – so I’m doing things differently
I’m making myself more of a priority and realizing it doesn’t have to take tons of time
I’m learning the secrets of mindful eating and am satisfied with eating less
I finally found peace with food and my body image

I have to admit, I love this list. Statements like these are why I do this work…I’m passionate about the science and soul of nourishment and I love seeing the magic that happens when my clients’ health and energy returns because they found the nutritional–or emotional–course correction to make that happen. When their now well nourished body becomes a vehicle for their purpose and they leave behind a better place. If that’s you, grab this deal now…

Again, this is a sampling of comments from past participants and I share these to give you an idea of what may unfold for you during our coaching session. Your journey will be unique and will be tailored to fit you and your goals. Are you ready to get unstuck? This price will be gone in a flash, so to speak. It goes poof with your party hat at midnight on New Years Eve. Click here to fill out your health intake form and get started. There are too many of you (and you know who you are) enduring unnecessary pain, suffering and symptoms. Let’s DO this!

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Cravings: Problem-Solution Guide

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If you’re alive, then chances are you’ve craved. Late night cravings are the biggest saboteur I see among my clients. At the end of the day, we are tired, run down, and lusting for that sinfully cold and creamy or obnoxiously loud and crunchy treat. Mid-afternoon snack attacks are also a post1 red-hot danger zone for m any of my clients who end up hitting the vending machine at work or impulsively swinging into Starbucks to make it through the rest of the afternoon and an impossible to-do list. Others suffer from “weekenditis” where they eat and drink to reward themselves for the hard week they just toiled through. Sound familiar?

The child that still lives within each of us whines and begs and it’s often just easier to cave in and indulge in that second glass of wine, ice cream, or several handfuls of tortilla chips. “I have no willpower,” my clients lament. But I disagree. Cravings reside at the tricky three-way intersection between biology, desire and insanity and they surface not because we lack willpower, but because we haven’t planned well in advance or because there are very real needs that are not being met. To truly deconstruct your cravings, I urge you to take a mind-body-spirit approach: educate yourself on the causes of your cravings, address any physiological issues (low blood sugar, cortisol dysregulation, lack of sleep, food intolerances), and look at the emotional root of your trigger foods.

The biggest source of food cravings I see are improper food choices earlier in the day and a build-up of stress that leads to succumbing to temptations in the evening. Often we deprive and deny ourselves during the day – both with food choices AND with saying ‘Yes’ to too many people, or by taking on too much. If you give and give all day, you are going to want to receive at the end to restore yourself. After all, life is all about that reciprocal dance between giving and receving, right?

I’m not one to white-knuckle my way through a massive craving, and I don’t believe you should either. That’s no way to live life. And in my practice, I often work with my clients to deconstruct what their cravings really mean and while that can be a complex process, here’s a breakdown of three of the most popular cravings:

1) Sugar Cravings:
Cravings for sweets could be the result of low blood sugar or cortisol (stress hormone) dysregulation as there’s a close relationship between the two. Sugar is the quintessential “yin” food, i.e. expansive food that makes us feel lighter, so after a really stressful day, we turn to a sweet cocktail or chocolate to diffuse the stress and anxiety that has been building up. But too much yin, sparks cravings for heavier, contractive “yang” foods such as salt, meat and cheese. That is why you wake up the next morning with a hankering for eggs or steak. Do you see how we create this vicious cycle where we ricochet uncontrollably from sweet processed foods to animal food?

Solution:
Instead of going for refined/processed sweets, experiment with sweet veggies, such as yams, carrots, beets, corn and onions. Roast some slices of sweet potatoes rubbed with coconut oil, Himalayan pink crystal salt and cinnamon for a yummy sweet treat sans any refined sugar that will naturally quell your sugar cravings. I often instruct my clients to keep a small jar of organic coconut oil at their desks and to just take a teaspoon or tablespoon straight up before they feel that 3 pm crash coming on as it will provide instant energy. Coconut oil is nature’s richest source of healthy medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which your body sends directly to your liver to use as energy. Numerous studies have shown that MCFAs promote weight loss and helps improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance.

Sometimes we crave sweets when we’re lacking sweetness in our lives. At the end of a long day, we’re often just looking for a hug or someone to hear us out, but instead we seek to anesthetize those emotions with food. So, instead of trying to find comfort at the bottom of Ben and Jerrys Cherry Garcia, can you perhaps talk to a sweet friend, smell a sweet flower or relax with the sweet aroma of an essential oil? What can you do to nourish your life and add sweetness from non-food sources?

2) Salt Cravings:
Eating too many processed foods or foods grown in our mineral-depleted soil can result in a mineral deficiency that sparks cravings for salty foods. Sometimes people who take a lot of medications or supplements can crave salt to balance out what they are already taking in. Cravings for crunchy foods might stem from the desire to crunch out and not hear something (such as your gossipy co-workers or an irate boss). No wonder so many office vending machines have crunchy salty snack foods.

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Solution:

Satiate your craving for salt by loading up on sea vegetables like kelp, nori, arame, hijike, and wakame. Simply sprinkle some dulse flakes on your salad or an avocado, and contrary to what you may think it doesn’t taste seaweed-y at all; in fact, you won’t even notice it. You can also add seaweed to your soups and stews or sprinkle it on popcorn (in place of table salt) for a rich salty and mineral flavor. Or try some cultured veggies on top of blue corn chips which offers that crunch in a really nutritious way. You can find cultured veggies already made from Rejuvenative Foods, Farmhouse Kulture or Bubbies at Whole Foods, Sprouts or your local health food store.
3) Alcohol Cravings:

Alcoholic beverages can help the body digest heavy fatty foods, hence the classic paring of wine with cheese. But often we crave alcohol, just as we do sugar, to make us feel lighter and less stressed out.

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Solution:

Try Kombucha, which is a fermented tea drink make with only 0.5% alcohol. Kombucha is packed with B-vitamins and immune boosting probiotics. Also, other fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi can combat cravings for alcohol and help digestion sans the hangover. Probiotics not only stop cravings for alcohol and sugar, thereyby helping you lose weight but they also serve as anti-depressants by secreting feel-good neurochemicals that make us happy. And a big beauty bonus is that they help with any type of inflammatory skin condition, such as acne, eczema and psoriasis, and make the skin poreless.

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Bottom line:

Most cravings stem from emotional eating, so remember to differentiate between physical versus emotional hunger and be aware of our culture’s obsession with sugar, reward and holidays. Redefine what the word “treat” means to you? Will indulging in that chocolate cheesecake really make you feel wonderful or puffy and depleted? Approach a treat as something that will make you feel wonderful and nourished.
Did you know that the #1 root cause of emotional eating is holding on to past grievances? Studies show that “unforgiveness” leads to stress, weight gain and insatiable cravings.

Oprah offers one of the best definitions of forgiveness I’ve ever come across:

“Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could’ve been any different.”
You can release your past hurt, anger and resentment without condoning what happened. Letting go is a choice. And this act of letting go will release you from your habitual pattern of emotional eating and binging. Try it…it’s a game changer!

Now, I’d like to hear from you. What has been your experience with cravings and emotional eating? Do you have a transformational story or are cravings still ruling your life and you’d like to finally flip that equation so that YOU rule your cravings and not the other way around?

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Are Your Hormones Making You Fat, Tired & Ugly?

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Do any of these sound familiar?

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  • I’m so tired when I wake up, all I can think about is coffee.
  • I crave sugar, and must eat chocolate every day.
  • I’m tired but wired and can’t remember the last time I slept throught the night.
  • I’m hungrier than I used to be – I eat more but never seem to feel satisfied
  • I’m bloated all the time, and feel like I retain fluid more easily.
  • My muffin top spilling over my jeans embarrasses me and I have to wear “mom” jeans!

These are statements I often hear from my clients who struggle with hormone imbalances but haven’t yet connected the dots between their symptoms and their hormones. And no, it’s not a case of wilted willpower or something you’re doing wrong while following a forced and flaccid diet, it’s just that your hormones are out of whack. Whether a calorie gets burned off or stored as fat boils down to what your hormones are doing at any given time…It’s really as simple as that.

So, whether you’re trying to release those nagging 5 to 10 pounds or 3 inches off your waist. Or if your metabolism has broken down and your doctor asks you to eat less, exercise more but that has never worked. Or if you’re depressed or anxious all the time and your doctor offers you an anti-depressant, that still small voice within you knows that depression is not a Prozac deficiency. That the calorie restriction model has never worked for you. I want you to honor that voice. Listen to it and and respect it’s innate intelligence. Believe it or not, most hormonal imbalances can be corrected with simple diet and lifestyle changes alone.

The good news is that you can make changes, right now and every single day to tip the scales of that hormonal balancing act. It’s the secret prescription to losing weight, igniting your energy and aging gracefully. But I urge you to manage your hormones (especially cortisol and your stress levels) as if your life depended on it. Listen to your body, review the evidence and take inspired action…below are my top 7 hormone resets that work just by changing the way you eat, sleep and move:

Reset # 1: Fire up the Fiber
Eat a pound of organic veggies–such as kale, spinach, swiss chard, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, tomatoes, artichokes, asparagus, cabbage–the most nutrient dense food on the planet loaded with fiber. The fiber will sweep the bad estrogen from the liver so it doesn’t keep recirculating like bad karma! Aim for 35-50 grams of fiber per day but increase slowly in increments of 5 grams to avoid painful gas and bloating. This stunningly simple diet reset where you simply throw in some veggies in your breakfast omelet, eat a big salad for lunch and then have some sautéed veggies for dinner will allow you to follow the golden rule of estrogen: use it, then lose it so it doesn’t do a back flip and increase your risk of estrogen-dominant cancers and other hormonal imbalances. Typical symptoms of estrogen dominance inculude painful, heavy periods, painful/cystic breasts, moodiness, depression and like you’re flying off the handle more easily than you used to. Weight loss resistance is another biggie. You especially want to pay attention to this hormone if you are trying to lose weight!

At each meal, aim to eat so many non-starchy vegetables, protein, and fat that you are literally too full for dessert (including fruit). Fruit is not a free food. For instance today’s apples have been hybridized by Big Agriculture to be large sugar bombs, and often contain 20 grams or more of fructose. So just remember: Carbohydrates = Sugar = Insulin = Fat Storage. By loading up on non-starchy veggies at each meal, you are creating the hormone signaling that you need to increase insulin sensitivity so that your body is generating the right energy to the cells without going into insulin resistance, the #1 reason for acclerated aging that overweight/obese women face.

Reset #2: Stamp out Sugars
Not only is sugar eight times more addictive than cocaine but it also feeds your microbiome (set of bacteria and their dna) and it’s subset called the estrobolome that makes us recirculate estrogen over and over versus eliminating it from the body. So, you can really impact your estrogen levels with your fork by eschewing all sugars and sugar substitues. Scan ingredient labels as sugar hides behind a bunch of innocent sounding aliases. So whether the label says high fructose corn syrup, cane syrup, dextrose, fructose, invert sugar (a mixture of glucose and fructose), maltodextrin, malt syrup, maple syrup, raw sugar, sucrose, turbinado sugar, rice syrup, agave nectar, sorbitol, mannitol, aspartame, it’s all sugar! Diet soda is even worse for your microbiome as that changes your gut environment and makes you fat. Sugar also binds to proteins in the blood stream creating advanced glycation end products (AGEs) that literally age you causing sagging skin and wrinkles, ugh!

Reset #3: Sleep Smarter
Many of you are trying to squeeze more into your day saying, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” But that’s a monumental mistake. Not having enough sleep is a bit like driving drunk. Because sleep is that secret sauce, a force multiplier: Sleep effectively makes everything else worse or everything else exponentially better depending on where you lie in the spectrum of getting the quality sleep that you need.

Did you know that just one night of sleep deprivation creates insulin resistance which leads to packing on that belly fat and creating that unsightly muffin top? It’s the equivalent of accelerated metabolic aging by 10 years just from four nights of partial sleep, yikes! A study in a Canadian Medical journal put 2 groups on the exact same nutrition and exercise but the control group slept 8+ hrs while the other group only slept 6 hrs and they found that the sleep deprived group lost a lot less weight and body fat than the control group.

In stage 4 deep sleep, your body also secretes growth hormone, dubbed as the “fountain of youth” hormone so if you’re having interrupted sleep, you’re seriously shortchanging yourself in the beauty department. There’s a reason they call it beauty sleep. Among its benefits, growth hormone (GH) aids in muscle synthesis and repair, boosts energy and improves fat metabolism.

Reset #4: Slim Down Your Stress
When you’re running around like crazy pants checking off items on your herculean to-do list, you’re turning on the body’s physiological Fight or Flight response which is literally signaling your adrenals to monomaniacally pump out cortisol. So you can either fight the predator or flee the situation. The problem is that the body can’t distinguish between an actual physical threat such as tiger chasing you or you running around like a stress case. The excess cortisol in turn blocks your progesterone receptor which leads to estrogen dominance. Also fat cells make estrogen so it becomes a vicious cycle as you start getting stressed, you’re putting on more fat and then the fat cells in turn produce more estrogen, yikes! This is why many women in my practice come to me frustrated on the heels of their Weight Watcher’s or other such programs as they initially lose some weight which basically releases the xenoestrogens (fake estrogens) stored in the fat which in turn makes them plateau or actually gain more weight!

The trick is to get your cortisol in that sweet spot by engaging your parasympathetic nervous system (the direct opposite to Fight or Flight ) to burn fat. Our breath is the most powerful tool we have to modulate the stress response. Stop and notice how you’re breathing right now in this moment by putting your hand on your belly. See if your hand goes out on your inhale and back in on the exhale. If you’re like most people, you breathe from your chest cavity alone and your hand doesn’t move at all. Instead, try taking five slow deep breaths in to the count of five and out to the count of five, and repeat it five times. Try it when you wake up, before meals, at bedtime or anytime you feel the stress ratcheting up to instantly flip on your relaxation response.

Reset #5: Cut Chronic Cardio
We now know that chronic cardio can raise your cortisol and prematurely age you. A better choice is more adaptive exercise such as Pilates mashed up with burst training. Burst training or HIIT (high intensity interval training) improves stress resilience rather than driving cortisol high and keeping it there. Plus you can get an effective HIIT or Burst style workout in as little as 15 min per day and only need 1 hour per week versus putting in long hours on that treadmill daily.

 
Reset #6: Lay Off the Sauce
We all deal with unremitting stress and that glass of wine or cocktail at the end of the day may be your solution to soothing frayed nerves and reducing stress. But the truth is that the very thing you’re seeking from alcohol—solace—may be the opposite of what you’re getting. Alcohol raises cortisol and temporarily slows metabolism by more than 70 percent! Now, don’t shoot the messenger as I’m not saying you need to become abstinent, but if you struggle with weight, fatigue, or sleep you need to reevaluate your relationship with alchol and perhaps drink less, but better quality.

To take this one step further, every six months, I recommend getting off alcohol for 21 days as this will get estrogen in balance, put you back in fat burning mode and reset your sleep. If this 21-day alcohol fast seems like a tall order, you may have a sticky relationship with alcohol and need additional help to moderate.

Reset #7: Say Ta Ta to Toxic Beauty

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), by the time the average woman leaves her house in the morning, she has exposed herself to 515 synthetic toxins from shampoo, body wash, lotion, cosmetics and the worst offender of all, fragrance! Did you know that women eat about 10 pounds of lipstick (containing lead) over their lifetime? It’s time to be your own kind of beautiful and swap the conventional skin care and makeup for non-toxic organic products sans BPA, phathalates, parabens, PPD, eugenol and other chemicals that are known carcinogens, and immune and endocrine disruptors.

Now I want to hear from you…are hormones rattling your cage? What are you struggling with? If you’re ready to get off the hormonal roller coaster ride, schedule a complimentary 15-minute strategy session so we can do a deep dive into your hormonal issues and create a protocol for hormone harmony once and for all! I’ve opened up 10 spots on my calendar, so grab this now while  appointments last.

As women we are hardwired to nurture, overgive and take care of everyone else, but you have to put on your oxygen mask first, before you put on your child’s, or you won’t be there for your family! It’s time to shine those nurturing skills in your own direction and get some support so you can transition from hormonal hell to hormonal heaven.

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Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It…Because it Does

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Many of you think motherhood and martyrdom are synonymous, ignoring your needs and dreams to support the people you love the most. But the truth is, you’re only capable of loving another as much as you love yourself. Your love is incomplete if it doesn’t include yourself. You have to feed yourself first—physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually—because if you don’t, you have nothing to give to your family/work/friends.

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No Guts, No Glory: The Secret to Radiant Skin

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Most of us only pay attention to our gut when we experience some type of digestive distress, such as bloating, gas, constipation, or things too gross to mention in print. But did you know that your gut houses the bulk (70 percent) of your immune system? This means that keeping a well-oiled digestive system goes way beyond being free of annoyances like bloating or heartburn. It is the golden key to immunity and radiant skin.

Many diseases that seem totally unrelated to the gut, such as eczcema or psoriasis or arthritis, and even autoimmune disease, allergies, rashes, acne, chronic fatigue, mood disorders, autism and dementia emanate from the gut. I personally could have been the poster child for how weak digestion wrecks immune function. I was misdiagnosed in my mid twenties (like many others) with GERD and put on a series of acid-blocking drugs. The infamous purple and pink pills (Prilosec and Zantac) were my steady meal companions for over a decade, but they turned out to be poisonous company, ones I should have ditched years ago.
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Stress Less. Live More

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If you’re alive, then chances are you’re stressed out! From the boardroom to the bedroom, you are burning both ends of the candle juggling work deadlines, impossible to-do lists, rush-hour traffic, little to no sleep, and you’re likely feeling a bit “aaargh”! To make things worse, your stress chemistry is constantly making you crave chocolate, bacon or something obnoxiously loud and crunchy or sinfully cold and creamy.

Now, the corrosive effects of stress are well-documented in the scientific literature, but I’m sure you don’t need much convincing since you’ve witnessed first-hand how your egregious stress levels are keeping you fat, sick, sad and unproductive. So the question is, what do you choose to do about it?

Nothing happens until the pain of remaining the same outweighs the pain of change. Until you’re ready to discover your inner butterfly, and know that your time as a caterpillar has expired. Until you’re ready to spread yo ur wings to break through the same old patterns.
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