April 2007 Issue

FOOD FUN FACT: Real Beauty
CHRISTI'S COMMENTARY: It's Up To You
FOOD CORNER: Spring Book and Recipe
UPCOMING EVENTS: Spring Programs


 

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WHAT IS REAL BEAUTY, ANYWAY?

 

This month's Food Fun Fact is really "Food For Thought."

Do you ever get down on yourself because you think you're not as good-looking as the people you see in ads and magazines?

Well, those people might not be as good-looking as they appear.

Check out this eye-opening video from Dove that exposes the way they turn a normal-looking woman into a shockingly beautiful model.

Then share the link with every woman and man you know.

 


 

IT'S UP TO YOU


Three weeks ago, my friend, Fee, gave birth in her Paris apartment to a beautiful baby girl named Uma. Fee told me that during labor, she suddenly realized... that she was going to have to birth her baby.

Fee said, "I think I went through the pregnancy with the illusion that someone else was going to birth Uma for me. It wasn't until I was in the midst of labor that I realized that I was the only one who could birth my daughter... that it was up to me."

I open my commentary with this story because I want you to come to the same conclusion that Fee did during labor... not necessarily about birthing a baby... but about reclaiming your health.  Keep reading to find out more...

 

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Temper Tantrum, Anyone?

Do you ever get frustrated about the state of health in the U.S.?  I certainly do. To the point where I wish I could throw a temper tantrum about it.

Did you know that the U.S. spends more money on "health care" than any other country (according to an article on Mercola.com we spend $5,700 per person per year - a full 15% of our gross domestic national product), and yet:


- 33 countries have a lower infant death rate
- 28 have a lower maternal death rate
- 29 have a higher life expectancy for women, and 27 for men


Becoming a mom has made me even more sensitive to the far-reaching effects of our unhealthy decisions. As I hear about more adults and children getting diagnosed with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, ADD, MS, autism... it makes me wonder when we're going to wake up and realize that we're slowing killing ourselves?

Most of you reading this newsletter have already woken up - you want to lead healthier lives. But you're still struggling.  Why is that?

It's because our country is not set up for healthy living. If you want to be healthy, you have to go against the grain. You have to be a rebel... you have to be a leader. You have to be willing to take a stand and say, "I've had enough. I want to be healthy, even if very few people around me are living that way." And that can sometimes feel hard to do.

 

Sometimes, I Feel...

As a woman, mom, and health counselor, I often feel like I'm fighting against entities that are so much bigger than me - the junk food industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the meat and dairy industries, and yes... even the traditional medical world.

As I research the dangers in our water supply, our air supply, the cleaning products we use, the drugs we take, the food we eat, the vaccines we inject, the plastic toys our kids play with... well, sometimes I get plain old overwhelmed.

Other times, I get really tired of trying to make healthy choices for my own family. I wonder... why does it have to be such hard work to be responsible for my own health? Shouldn't healthy living be easier than this? Shouldn't we learn this stuff in school?

And then I wonder... is the work I do through Boston Health Coach even having an impact? As one person, how much difference can I really expect to make? Should I keep trying to help people make healthy changes in their lives... or is it all wasted effort? Do people even care?

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My Mom Makes Her Point

This weekend, I was venting to my parents about these things.  I told them how perplexed I was.  Why aren't more people standing up and saying, "Enough is enough!"

My mom replied, "Well, Christi, you have to remember that most people are going to think things are different for you. You know more about food and health than the average person... you don't have the typical 9-5 job outside the home... and you have all the supplies you need to cook healthy."

 

Wow.

Wait a minute.

BACK - THE - HEALTH - TRAIN - UP!

 

At face value, what my mom said is true. I have learned a lot about food and health. I'm not juggling a traditional, outside-the-home 9-5 job. And yes, I do own lots of supplies and cooking tools that make healthy meals relatively easy.

But five years ago, none of those things were true for me.

Flashback

Here's what my life looked like five years ago:


- Five years ago, I was doing Jenny Craig and struggling to lose those "last 12 pounds."
- Five years ago, I didn't know how to cook anything but tuna sandwiches, cereal, and salad (translation: I didn't know how to cook).
- Five years ago, I ate peanut butter straight from the jar for dinner (with Cool Whip on the side) more frequently than I'd like to admit.
- Five years ago, I ate S'mores flavored Pop Tarts at 3:00 every day because I was convinced I would never make it through the afternoon without them.
- Five years ago, I was in a bad relationship with a disrespectful boyfriend.
- Five years ago, I hated my well-paying 9-5 consulting job with a passion (oh, man, can I tell you how awful it was?!)
- Five years ago, my stomach had been painful, bloated, and gassy every day - for 8 years straight. I hadn't worn a belt in 8 years, because I looked pregnant by 2:00 p.m.
- Five years ago, the only information I knew about health came from Shape and Fitness magazines.

Needless to say, five years ago, my awareness and practice of healthy living was pretty meager.

Flash-Forward

Five years later... a lot has changed.

These days:
- I have an awesome relationship with my fabulous husband and son.
- I have a successful business that I adore.
- I can almost pass for a fairly good cook.
- I've lost 22 pounds without dieting, counting calories, or restricting myself.
- My stomach hurts once a year, instead of once a day.
- 99% of the foods that I eat now were not even on my radar screen five years ago.

So, yes, as my mom implied... my life right now is a bit healthier than that of the average American. But five years ago, that wasn't the case.

How did things change so drastically in five years?

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Things changed because I woke up. I decided that my health was of the utmost importance to me, and I was willing to do whatever I needed to do to get healthy.

It hasn't been easy. It hasn't been cheap. It's taken a lot of curiosity, time, effort, education, questioning, research, experimentation, financial investment, and hard work. The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know. I'm still in the process of experimenting, and I make lots and lots of mistakes.

But I believe it's all worth it. These days, I feel SO MUCH BETTER.

Now, you may be asking, "Well, Christi, how did all of those changes come about?" I want to share the specifics with you, but this commentary is already getting long enough. 

So, please stay tuned to future Nourishing Nuggets issues, where I'll share some of the practical tips and tools that helped me get started on my health journey.  You can also read past issues of the newsletter, because I've been documenting my journey for the past three years.

So, when I hear my mom say that my readers might not think that they can make healthy changes because they don't know enough, have the right tools, or live the right kind of life... that makes me sad.

 

The Point Is...

ANYONE CAN TAKE CHARGE OF THEIR HEALTH. YES, THAT MEANS YOU. 

Even if you work a 90-hour a week job and you're never home.  Even if you've got 5 kids and you're not used to focusing on yourself.  Even if you've got dishes to do, taxes to pay, dogs to walk, and TV shows to watch.

YOU CAN MAKE ANY HEALTH CHANGE YOU WANT TO. BUT YOU HAVE TO WANT IT.

Ah, there's the catch. You have to WANT to be healthy. And even more than that, you have to want it badly enough to be willing to make the changes that are required for healthy living.

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What If You're Lazy?

My mom then replied, "Well, Christi, many people don't want to do what you've done. Not everyone wants to immerse themselves in the world of health. Many of us want to be healthier, but we're more on the lazy side, and we want quick fixes."

Hmmm... I agree the part about people wanting quick fixes. Who doesn't like a quick fix (if it actually works, of course)? But there are lots of healthy quick fixes out there that people simply don't do. Drinking water is a quick fix. Eating breakfast is a quick fix. Doing 20 minutes of exercise is a quick fix. Cooking kale is a quick fix. But many people aren't doing these things. Quick fixes alone aren't the answer.

And what about the laziness factor my mom speaks of? Are some people simply too lazy to be healthy?

Personally, I think that's a bunch of bull. I don't believe that anyone is lazy. Laziness is simply an excuse we use to justify what we do (or don't do!).

 

If you sit on the couch instead of working out, you're not lazy. You're simply choosing to sit on the couch.

If you order takeout instead of preparing a healthy dinner, you're not lazy. You're simply choosing to order takeout so you can do something else besides cook.

If you stay in a job you hate because you don't want to take the time to decide what else you want to do, you're not lazy. You're simply choosing to be indecisive and do something else instead of plotting a career change.

 

Everything you do is a choice. You're always doing something. The question is: are you doing the things that will bring about the changes you want for yourself?

 

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You Deserve Better Than This

My mom is right - not everyone wants to immerse themselves in the world of nutrition and health.  But if you want to feel good while you're on this planet, then you have a responsibility to learn about health and take responsibility for your own body.

Even if you don't want to immerse yourself in the world of health, how about if you start by going in up to your ankles?

The bottom line is this: the only person who can change your health is you. Just as the only person who could birth my friend Fee's baby was... Fee.

That's empowering, inspiring, and frightening all at the same time, isn't it? I know. But it's the truth.

The only person who can change your health is you.

And you deserve it.

 

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Where to start?


If you'd like to start reclaiming your health, how about picking one of the following "quick fixes" to help retrain your brain?  See, your brain has probably convinced you that you don't have the time to be healthy.  That there are other things you "should" be doing that are more important than your health.

To retrain your brain to be more health-focused, you don't need any fancy tools or information.  You simply need to DO SOMETHING HEALTHY.  RIGHT NOW.  Without letting any excuses get in the way.

Here are some ideas:

1. Put down your soda or cup of coffee, get a glass of water, and drink the whole thing down.

2. Go to the bathroom if you need to (for goodness sake, don't wait until you finish the rest of this newsletter, just go... now!).

3. Shut down your email and get outside for a 2-minute walk around the building.  (Don't worry, the emails will still be there when you get back.)

4. Take a few deep breaths, right down to your belly.  Not while you're reading this newsletter, though.  Shut your eyes, close out the world.  Tune into your breath.

5. Go find a piece of fruit or vegetable and eat it slowly with your eyes closed so you can really taste it.

Cool beans!  Then, if you're on a roll, you can set aside some time to check out one or two of the new websites and books that I've listed on my Recommended Reading page. I updated the list quite a bit this month, so check out something new.

Find what inspires you and take action. Your health depends on it.

P.S. Thanks, mom, for inspiring this newsletter, and helping me tweak the final product!

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Thank You

If you got this far, thanks for reading... I would love to hear from you. If you've ever thought of emailing me, please do!

If you loved the commentary, please let me know... your positive comments keep me going month after month.

If you hated the commentary, please let me know... your constructive criticism keeps me on my toes and helps me get more in touch with my readers.


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P.S. If you liked this issue of "Nourishing Nuggets" please forward it along to friends, family, and colleagues.  It's a great way to show people you care about their health.

 

 

SPRING EVENTS

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Free Teleclass in Honor of Mother's Day!

On May 14th, I will facilitate a free teleclass in honor of Mother's Day.  This call will offer support, encouragement, and community for moms of all kinds: new moms, experienced moms, even moms-to-be! 

My two co-facilitators are Amara Wagner of www.amarawellness.com (a new mom, too!) and Pamela Rich of www.bestyoucanbenow.com (a very experienced mom of an 18-year old!). 

The call doesn't start until 8:00 p.m. (plenty of time for you to hand the kids off to your husband... grab a cup of tea... curl up on the couch... and spend a delicious 60 minutes focusing on glorious YOU.

We're also putting together a phone group program for new moms, so stay tuned for more details!

If you'd like to participate in the teleclass, or get updates on any new moms or moms-to-be programs, simply enter your contact information here:

 

Name
Email
Are you a mom-to-be, new mom, or experienced mom?
Phone number (optional)

 

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Business Coaching Teleclasses

"How to Locate, Evaluate, and Book the Best Speaking Opportunities"

 

Thursday, April 26th

12:00 noon East Coast Time

In this teleclass, I will share the process I use to find the best speaking engagements... and then cultivate relationships that lead to speaker bookings. If you want to learn how to schedule successful lectures, this call will be very helpful for you.

To learn more about the teleclass, click here.

 

 

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If you are looking for inspiration around healthy living, please check out the archived copy of all past teleclasses that I keep on my website.

 

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Online Nutrition Program for

Marathon Runners

Are you a marathon runner who wants to learn how to use food to improve your performance during your training season?

The "Peak Performance Nutrition Program" (PPNP) is a 13-week online program that teaches you the dietary changes you need to make during your training season in order to avoid bonking, gaining weight, getting an upset stomach, or getting sick of carbs!

To learn more about this program, Click here.

Running Anchorage Alaska on 6/23/07?  Your PPNP started April 2.  To sign up (you'll receive all back issues),

click here.

 

 

SPRING IS HERE!

 

 

These comments were shared with permission from Nourishing Nuggets reader, Sandy B.:

"I have loved receiving your emails and at one point purchased your Spring Cleanse eBook which I put the shelf for the time being.

A couple of weeks ago I read an article from Prevention Magazine about doing cleanses, especially if you suffer from IBS. I remembered your eBook and pulled it out and read it and... yes I am doing it.

Just vegetables, fruit and smoothie for breakfast. I have to admit I still have 1 cup of coffee before I go to the gym at 5:30 in the morning, but that has been the only bad habit. I am at the end of the 4th day right now with one to go and I will have ended it for this time around.


The second day was absolutely the hardest - not that I wanted to eat anything I shouldn’', but I could feel I was going through like a withdrawal.  Fruits and veggies don't really stay with you too long so I ate more fruit than I have ever in my life.

I am actually hoping this helps me to eat better in the days to come.


Thank you for all your advice and yes, I am feeling so much better than before I started this cleanse." - Sandy B.

 

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Are you ready to develop a plan to shed extra winter weight, dry skin or sluggishness?  If so, then I want to encourage you to check out my eBook:

"The Ultimate Spring Cleanse: A Fast, Easy Detox Program for Beginners."

This eBook is designed to help you create your own cleansing curriculum (especially if you're new to cleansing). 

The cleanse programs described in this book are gentle, easy, and suitable for people of all health levels. 

I wrote this eBook based on cleanses that I've done personally, or have asked my clients to try out.

Everyone who buys a Spring Cleanse eBook by the end of April will receive a bonus: a surprise free teleclass recording from me that will help you enhance your Spring Cleanse experience!

And yes, even if you purchased the Spring Cleanse eBook in past years, you'll get this bonus, too.

To learn more about the eBook, click here.

 

 

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RECIPE: SENSATIONAL SPRING SALAD

I'm totally loving spring foods these days.  I wanted to share this delicious salad recipe that's made me eagerly anticipate lunch the past two days.

Ingredients:

- Spinach or arugula

- 1/2 orange, sliced

- sprinkling of pumpkin seeds or pine nuts

- 1/2 avocado

- 2 celery sticks, cut into chunks

- Palmful of sliced, natural, free-range chicken (optional)

- Handful of cherry tomatoes

- 1/4 orange bell pepper, cut into chunks

- Annie's Goddess Dressing

 

Instructions:

1.Put everything in a bowl... add dressing on top... chew slowly and enjoy!

Check out other

Delicious Spring Recipes!

 

 

ABOUT CHRISTI

 

Christi Collins, H.H.C., AADP, is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.

**Are you wondering what a Holistic Health Counselor is?  This description may help!

Christi studied Eastern/Western nutrition and modern health counseling at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City and earned a B.A. in Honors in Communication Arts from Villanova Universty.

Christi's goal is to help people fall in love with "The Big Three": Healthy Eating, Juicy Living, and Guilt-Free Self-Care.

She works with very busy women who are struggling to eat healthy and take insanely good care of themselves... without feeling stressed or guilty about it.

Christi is a three-time marathoner and triathlete, an avid pianist, and a newly converted Red Sox and Patriots fan.

She is the author of the forthcoming book "You Don't Have to be Superwoman to be Healthy: 50 Ways to Reclaim Your Health."

To read more fun facts and stories about Christi, click here.

Christi can be reached by email or phone (978.494.0144).

To visit her website, click here.

Here are the latest pictures of Christi's baby, Evan!

 

 

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