August 2006 Issue


FOOD FUN FACT: The Lure of Farmers' Markets
UPCOMING EVENTS: Stress Management Teleclass


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All About The VIYH!


Busting Up the Caveman Stress Party

The year is 2,000 BC.  The place?  A circle of stones outside a cave.

On the stones sit two cavemen.  They're scarfing down some bison meat and rehashing stories from their day of hunting. 

All of a sudden, a bear comes crashing out from behind a bush.  It rears up on its legs and starts roaring at the cavemen.

The cavemen jump up!  They can feel themselves starting to sweat.  They can feel their hearts starting to pound.  They can feel their blood pressure shooting skyhigh. 

One caveman (the wimpier - or smarter? - of the two) turns around and runs into the cave.  The other caveman raises his club and starts to do battle with the bear.  Lucky for him, he wins.  And his family enjoys bear for dinner for weeks.


You're probably thinking, "Nice caveman story, but it has absolutely nothing to do with me and my life."


Your Bears

Well, sure... chances are, you haven't been attacked by a bear lately.  At least, I hope not.

But every day, you experience the very same "Fight or Flight" stress reactions that your cavepeople counterparts experienced every time a bear came roaring around from behind a bush. 

In fact, you experience 50 of these stressful "Fight or Flight" reactions every day. That means that your body has to recover from a stressful feeling more than 50 times a day.  Whew!  I get tired just thinking about it.

Every time you experience a "Fight or Flight" response, your heart rate goes up, your blood pressure increases, your digestion stops, and your body feels stressed.

Over time, these stress responses take their toll.  They cause serious health conditions like skin problems, heart disease, weight gain, insomnia... and a whole lot more.


You're probably thinking, "Yes, Christi, I know I'm stressed.  That's a no brainer.   Now, what do I do about it?"



The viyh

If you want to get serious about managing your stress, you must get to know the viyh.

What's the viyh?

It's the "Voice In Your Head."

Everyone has a viyh.  Yes, even you.  The viyh talks all the time... pretty much nonstop.

If you want to reduce your stress, you've got to stop to learn to tame your viyh.  Or at least not take it quite so seriously!


Are You Calling Me Crazy?

Please don't be offended.  Having a viyh does not mean you're crazy.  It means you have a brain that likes to run on and chatter incessantly.  All of us have it - you're not the only one.

You've had this viyh for a very long time.  In fact it's been there for so long that you probably don't even notice it anymore.  Let me give you an example of the viyh so that you can start to recognize it. 


A VIYH Story... From a Client

A client of mine shared with me the story of the first time she noticed the viyh talking to her... and how it made her feel stressed.  Here's what she noticed... see if it sounds familiar to you:

"I was driving to work one day, and I noticed the Voice starting to talk to me.  It reminded me of the fact that I didn’t make my bed that morning.  That made me think about the fact that I need to get the housekeeper back in to do a cleaning so my place won't look so dirty.  So, then the Voice started thinking about when I’d be able to fit that cleaning into my schedule, and I started going through my calendar in my mind." 

"The Voice said that maybe I could ask the housecleaner to come next weekend, but then I remembered that I have a wedding coming up that weekend, so I couldn’t schedule the cleaning then.  Thinking about that weekend made me realize that I still don't have anything nice to wear to the wedding... which made me start thinking about the fact that I haven't lost the 10 pounds I swore I'd lose before the wedding." 

"Then, the Voice started talking about the donut I had for breakfast, and started telling me how I never have enough will power to stick to a diet. Finally, the Voice started hinting about how fat I am and started telling me that no one would ask me to dance at the wedding.  That made me start to worry that I'll never find anyone to marry, and I'll spend my whole life alone!”

"I got to work, and was totally stressed out. The Voice In My Head started out talking about the fact that I didn’t make my bed before I left for work... and then in a matter of seconds, it’s telling me that I’m fat and will never find someone to marry."

"Boom! I was stressed at 7:30 in the morning!"   


Sound Familiar?

Does my client's story sound familiar?  Does it help you start to tune into the Voice in YOUR Head? 

You know how, in the course of 10 seconds, you can go through a billion different unrelated thoughts?  That’s the viyh

You know how you worry about things... even if they haven't actually happened? That's the viyh.

You know how you can make yourself feel ugly, fat, worthless, scared, nervous, and no-good... even though you aren't?  That's the viyh.

If you want to manage your stress, it's vitally important that you learn to tune into and recognize the viyh.  Here's why...

You can never make the viyh go away completely.  That's impossible. But you can learn to tame it so that you don't feel quite so stressed out by it.  If you let it run away with itself, you will probably start to feel stressed.


Your Assignment For Today

The first thing you need to do is simply start becoming AWARE of the viyh

Today, spend some time tuning into the viyh.  If you notice yourself daydreaming away during a meeting and feeling anxious, tune into what you were thinking about. 

If you notice that you've driven 10 miles home without remembering anything about your commute, see if you can tune into what you were thinking about while you were zoning out on the road.

If you notice yourself getting mad at your partner or your roommate or your co-worker and you don't know why, tune into what was just going on in your brain.

If you feel the urge to emotionally eat, tune into the script that was just playing in your head.

The first step is to start noticing how the viyh chatters on throughout the day. 

Once you're aware of the viyh, there are several things you can do to reduce the stress that it triggers:

1. Use breathing and meditation to quiet the viyh down for a while.  The reason breathing works is because it gets you out of your head and back into your body. 

2. Retrain the viyh to think positive, affirming thoughts that will actually help your body heal, instead of stressing it out.

3. Use the viyh to learn about the things that stress you out, and then take action to make those things disappear or lessen. 

For example, once I started tuning into my Voice, I realized that it tends to chatter loudest and most negatively when I overschedule myself, or put too much on my to-do list. It usually says things like, "You never get anything accomplished!  You didn't get anything done!  You waste so much time!" 

Once I figured out what my Voice was saying... and WHEN it was saying it the loudest, I realized that I needed to trim down my schedule and reduce the size of my to-do list if I was ever going to reduce my stress levels.

Confused? Need Help?

The viyh may be a new concept for you, and you may want some help tuning into it.  Please don't stress yourself out about listening to your Voice! Take a deep breath.  Relax.  Help is on the way, if you want it.

I'm going to explore the viyh in more detail during my "Stress Management Made Simple" teleclass on August 22.  On the call we're going to explore specific tools and techniques you can use to calm your Voice down. 

We're also going to talk about the three major myths about stress (they may surprise you!) and ways you can start reducing your stress immediately. We'll cover the role that food plays in stress management and we'll also talk about things you should always have in your purse or workbag to help you calm down your stressful "Fight or Flight" response.

Would you like to learn more about the call? Just click here.

P.S. The call (and the audio recording) are only $15 until August 22.  After that date, the price will increase.  So, if are stressed about finances at all, you may want to order the class today... rather than waiting.





*A teleclass is a seminar delivered over a phone line.  Call in from your office or home. You can simply listen in... or you can participate and ask questions.  If you've never tried a teleclass before, it's a fun and convenient way to learn about a new topic. 

*If you can't make one of the teleclasses listed below, you can order the Audio Recording which can be downloaded and played back (on your computer, or your iPod, or burned onto a CD).  That way, you can listen as many times as you'd like!



Teleclass: "Stress Management Made Simple"

WHEN: Tuesday, August 22 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern

FOR: Anyone who wants to reduce their stress

COST: Only $15 (if you order by August 22)

Want to learn more about this call? Click here.




Teleclass: "Introduction to Business Coaching"

WHEN: Thursday, September 7 at 12:00 noon Eastern

FOR: Holistic Health Counselors who want help building their businesses.

COST: Free!

Want to learn more about this call? Click here.



Teleclass: "Marathon Nutrition 101"

WHEN: Wednesday, September 13 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern

FOR: This call is open to all current Team in Training marathon runners (but anyone can order the Audio Recording)

COST: Free for TNT runners, $25 for all other runners

Want to learn more about this call?  Click here.



Teleclass: "The Best Natural Energy Boosters: Say Good-bye to Your Energy Crashes"

WHEN: Wednesday, September 27 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern

FOR: Open to all!

COST: $25

Want to learn more about this call?  Click here.


Did you miss July's "Emotional Eating" teleclass?
Get the Audio Recording and Notes

Here's what one participant had to say about the call:

"What a great teleclass! I’ve never understood why the work vending machine held so much power over me. Couldn’t I outwit something with no brain at all? Now I know what really drives emotional eating, and I’m empowered to change my response—To resist the chocolate and the guilt that follows! My heartfelt thanks to Christi and Cynthia for teaching us the Three Secrets of Emotional Eating, and for doing it in such a caring, compassionate way." - Karen Ferreira, Live Well Shiatsu



Online Nutrition Program for Marathon Runners

Are you a marathon runner who is confused about what to eat during your training season?

The "Peak Performance Nutrition Program" (PPNP) is an online program that teaches you the dietary changes you need to make during your training season.

Want to learn more about this program?  Click here.

Running the Seacoast Half? Sign up!

Running Disney? PPNP starts 9/4. Sign up!

Running Arizona? PPNP starts 9/11. Sign up!

Running a different race?  Email me for customization.















The Lure of Farmers' Markets


This year, Ben and I purchased a summer share in a local farm.  Once a week, Ben heads to the farm and picks up our weekly bundle of veggies.

He also hand-picks strawberries, green beans, herbs and fresh flowers.

It's such a treat to see what he brings home each week!

Here's how I would define the difference between the fresh veggies we get from the farm... versus veggies we buy at the grocery store, Whole Foods or Wild Oats.

1. The farm veggies FEEL different ... cleaner, fresher, and more 'virginal' (I'm not sure I can use that word in reference to veggies, but I guess I just did!). 

2. The farm veggies TASTE more vibrant.  They taste better... no question about it.

3. The farm veggies LAST 2-3 times longer in my fridge than store-bought veggies. They don't have to travel across the country to get to me, so they're fresher.

4. The farm veggies are a lot CHEAPER than the ones from the store.

If you haven't checked out your local farmers' market, what are you waiting for?

You'll not only get food that's freshly harvested... but you'll meet some great people who take great pride in their produce... and perhaps you'll be inspired to try out a new veggie or fruit for the first time!

Here's a listing of all the farmers' markets in the U.S., sorted by state.

For local folks, here's a website listing all the farmers' markets in Massachusetts.

To buy a Community-Supported Agriculture farm share like Ben and I did, click here for a listing of CSAs across the U.S.




Arugula Bean Dip


If you like to 'pick' at foods, then dips are some of the best summer foods for you. 

My mom made this dip for a 4th of July BBQ and it got rave reviews.  I made it the next weekend, and it was gone in no time.  If you've got a food processor or blender, this takes very little time to make.

- 3 cups arugula

- 1/4 cup olive oil

- 2 T. lemon juice

- 2 cloves halved garlic

- 1/2 teaspoon salt

- 1 15 oz. can cannellini beans (drained & rinsed)

- 1 tomato (seeded and chopped)

1. Put arugula, oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt into blender.  Blend until smooth.

2. Add beans and blend until mixture is chunky.

3. Transfer to serving bowl.  Mix in chopped tomato.


** Serve with cucumber, green beans, zucchini, grape tomatoes, crackers, pita chips, or bread.



Need more dip ideas for summer BBQs? Check out my brand-new Sauces & Dips recipe section.







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

**Are you wondering what the heck 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.

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 recent pictures of Christi's baby, Evan!






About "Christi's Nourishing Nuggets"

Note: the information in this newsletter is presented for educational purposes only. This information is not intended as a substitute for diagnosis and treatment by a licensed professional. To suggest topics for future "Christi's Nourishing Nuggets " issues, please contact me.

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