I have been blogging about easy tips to losing a pound a week.  Most of the ideas are commonplace.  One area that is often overlooked is food sensitivities.  If you experience food sensitivities, you may actually crave foods that don't agree with your system.  These foods can create problems with your system, causing inflammation, stomach, sinus, and skin issues.  Identifying and eliminating food sensitivities can lead to weight loss.  Common culprits are corn, dairy, soy, eggs, tomatoes, and gluten. Stress is another huge factor in weight loss.  If you have constant low grade stress (which most of us do), your body can be storing fat because your body is planning for starvation.  Exercise is a great way to burn off extra cortisol caused by the low grade stress.  Have a great day!  Shanna
I started a list last week of ideas to help lose a pound of weight a week.  Here are a few more ideas to add to that list:

Eat mindfully - take your time at meals.  Put your fork down after each bite.  You will most likely find yourself eating less.  Another trick is to make eye contact with each person at the table after each bite or drink of beverage. 

Avoid genetically modified foods - corn and soy are the biggest culprits.  Try to buy these foods only organic.

Move - incorporate movement into your entire day.  If you struggle with finding a block of time to work out, try to move as much as possible throughout the day.  Don't avoid the stairs and long walks to your car. 

Cut down on dairy. 

This is usually about the time that many of us have let our New Year's resolutions go by the sidelines - myself included!  I had hoped to keep up with blogs on a more frequent basis, but this is still a work in progress.  I have talked to numerous people who are at a point of frustration with trying to lose weight in the new year.  The most difficult part of losing weight is adopting a lifestyle change that isn't a quick weight loss fix.  Losing a pound a week is a great goal.  A year from now, that is 52 pounds.  Some strategies that may be helpful with achieving the goal of a pound a week include the following:
  • Eat food - avoid chemicals, preservatives, additives and fake food.  Our bodies don't know what to do with fake foods, so many times it is stored as fat.  Remove corn syrup and trans fat from the diet, and the diet already becomes mostly whole foods. 
  • Eat small portions - try using the small salad plate for lunch and supper for  a week and see if that pound came off easily!
  • Make meat a side dish - a couple of bites of meat at a meal will make digestion easier than a plate full of meat.  If most of your meal is vegetables, you will be upping your fiber count, which will lead to weight loss.  Regular digestion is important to weight loss - if you aren't having at least one healthy bowel movement a day, look into improving digestion.  This may include supplementing with a probiotic or enzyme. 
  • Drink more water.  Try to drink the water before meals, rather than with meals.  We are a typically dehydrated society which leads to hunger. 
  • Eat when you are hungry - this ties into drinking more water.  Sometimes we are thirsty, and it appears as hunger.
  • Eat your calories- stay away from drinks filled with empty calories.  Diet drinks are not a good substitute - the artificial sweeteners can actually cause us to eat more. 
  • Give up dessert.  Plan sweets on occasion, but not after every meal.
More next week... Shanna

The headlines of the newspapers this week focus on the severity of the cold and flu season.  This leaves many of us wondering what we can do to either prevent the flu or shorten its duration once it has struck.  Of course there are the general recommendations... get plenty of sleep, wash your hands, and eat healthy foods.  A lack of sleep wears down our immune system, making us more susceptible to catching what is going around - as does not eating real food.  If we are loading up on sugars and non foods, we aren't getting the nutrients our immune systems need to function optimally.  There are numerous supplements that are beneficial to take as a preventative measure to support the immune system - probiotics, vitamin D, omega 3's, and a good whole vitamin are the staples of many supplement programs.  Probiotics are especially helpful because gut health plays a large role in immune strength.  Epsom salt baths and using a neti pot can also be helpful.  Managing stress is also very important in retaining health.  Take Care!  Shanna

I have blogged about sugar numerous times - with a focus on corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup.  Most of us don't add a lot of sugar to our foods, the problem is with the amount of sugar found in most processed foods.  According to Robert Lustig, MD who wrote "Sugar, The Bitter Truth", "Roughly 80 percent of all packaged foods in the United States contain added sweeteners."  The problem with all of the sugar we are ingesting is two-fold.  Not only does sugar give us empty calories lacking in nutrients, it can deplete our systems leading to a fatty liver and other health concerns, including obesity.  When looking at labels, Dr. Lustig states that if you find any kind of sugar listed in the first three ingredients on the label, consider that food a dessert.  The sugar is going to cancel out any of the health benefits that would have been in the other ingredients.  If you are considering cutting down on your sugar consumption, my first recommendation would be to eliminate high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and corn sugar from the foods that you consume.  This one change will greatly improve the quality of food that you are ingesting.  Be sure to look at labels of foods that you wouldn't think would contain these sugars - even savory foods now add these sugars to the ingredient list.  Small steps to health are more attainable, so this is a great item to choose for a New Year's Resolution.  Have a great day ~  Shanna

Happy New Year!  One of my goals for this year is to spend more time blogging on this site and doing some updates.  Hopefully this resolution will last past next week!  A change this year is that I am going to switch from having 10% off supplements to having tax included in supplement purchases.  Initial visits will continue to be $95 and follow up visits will stay at $30.  I am hoping to focus on food for many of my blogs because I am convinced that we can make the most changes in our health by the food choices that we make.  I don't know about you, but coming off of the holidays, I am craving healthy foods, and I don't care if I don't see another caramel turtle until next Christmas!  I am going to start next week's blog talking about sugar.  This would be a great week to evaluate how much sugar that you are ingesting each day.  The difficulty with this is that there is so much sugar hidden in foods under names like corn syrup, sucrose, honey, and much more.  According to the January issue of the Oprah magazine, the American Heart Association recommends limiting our added sugar intake to six teaspoons daily, but we are actually getting about 22 teaspoons of sugar each day.  This is pretty easy to do.  A can of pop can have up to 10 teaspoons of sugar.  If you are keeping track this week, each label will tell you how much sugar is in a serving of food or beverage.  More on this next week... Shanna




I realize that this is a weird title, but I was considering the fall produce in available in Minnesota, and starchy foods top the list.  This is the season of pumpkins, squash, potatoes and root vegetables.  I think that starchy foods get a bad rap.  Starchy foods provide great nutrients and fiber.  When I make squash for my family, I cook the squash and I roast the seeds in the oven.  To roast the seeds, just soak them in water for a bit and remove extra pieces of squash meat.  Put them directly on a baking sheet (no oil needed) and put your favorite spices on them.  I cook them at about 350 degrees.   I use garlic, pepper, cayenne and anything else I find in my cupboard.  They don't need to roast for long, so I just watch them, and take them out when they are brown.  Pumpkin, squash, and zucchini seeds all work great for this.  If you have spaghetti squash, you can slice it in half, take out the seeds,  and bake it on a baking sheet until tender.  Use a fork to shred the squash right in the rind.  You can add your spaghetti sauce right to the top of the squash without using any dishes.  Have a great day - Shanna
Happy Fall!  I apologize for my long silence!  Every seven or so years, I spend time reinventing myself and coming up with ways to change the direction of my life.  This year, my oldest daughter went to college, and I spent the summer evaluating what my next adventure would be.  I ended up taking some classes this summer, and started an autism program at the high school that I work at.  It has been so much fun!  I continue to see clients, consult and provide nutritional services - just with more limited hours.  Health and nutrition is a great passion for me, and I plan on returning to blogging as I find new and interesting books and articles to comment on.  I always have believed that fall is a time to reevaluate my health and priorities - more so than spring or even New Year's Eve...  maybe that is the teacher in me - a new school year, a fresh start.  With this fresh start, I am offering new clients half off of their first visit for the month of October when you mention this blog.  For my dedicated clients, with a visit in the month of October, you will receive a free bottle of D3 vitamins to prepare for the cold and flu season ahead when you mention this blog!  I hope this find you all well - Shanna  
Ultrametabolism By Dr. Hyman

Stress does not get enough attention when related to health and weight loss.  We all have heard that we should reduce stress, but don't make many changes, because stress is just a part of life.  We are under a constant level of stress which leads to weight gain and a breakdown of health.  Following is a survey by Dr. Hyman which can be an indicator of how much stress you are coping with:
  • Do you have low blood pressure?
  • Do you get dizzy when you stand up?
  • Have you been diagnosed with hypoglycemia?
  • Do you have cravings for salt or sweets?
  • Do you have dark circles under your eyes?
  • Do you have trouble falling asleep and or staying asleep?
  • do you feel groggy and not refreshed when you wake up?
  • Do you experience mental fogginess or trouble concentrating?
  • Do you get headaches?
  • Do you get frequent infections (for example, colds)?
  • Do you feel tire easily on doing any exercise or feel very fatigued after exercise?
  • Do you often feel stressed?
  • Do you have panic attacks or startle easily?
This list goes on - what it indicates is a stressed adrenal system.  When we are under so much stress, we lose the natural rhythm of our bodies.  We no longer sleep well, which leads to fatigue, which leads to sugar cravings, which leads to weight gain... and so on and so on.  To resolve this, we have to go back to simplifying our daily lives.  We need to slow down, support our systems with whole foods, water and supplements, get out in nature, and most of all, relax.  Stress affects every part of our lives.  Have a relaxing weekend - Shanna

Ultrametabolism by Dr. Mark Hyman

This is a great time of year to talk again about whole foods.  The farmer's markets in Minnesota are opening, and fresh, local food is more readily available.  Although we all need different diets, one thing is the same for all of us, we benefit more from eating whole, fresh, organic and locally grown foods.  According to Dr. Hyman, "Some of us need more fat, protein or carbohydrates than others  There is no one perfect diet for everyone.  You need to find out what works for you."  He recommends looking for foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.  We are better off eating fruit, rather than processed fruit juices.  If we could avoid food with labels, we would be eating whole foods (this definitely doesn't mean fast food is a whole food!).  Our bodies do not know what to do with all of the chemicals and additives that are in many processed foods.  When people switch from one diet fad to another, they are not doing their bodies any favors.  A great first step in losing weight is to focus on clean foods.  It is the chemicals, and things like high fructose corn syrup and trans fats that causes our bodies to hold on to fat.  Eating a whole foods diet can improve energy, weight, and appearance.  It is worth the effort, and after a while, it won't seem like any extra effort at all.  I will be posting blogs on and off during the summer ~  Enjoy!  Shanna