January 2007 Issue

FOOD FUN FACT: Delicious Chocolate
FOOD CORNER: Must-Read Winter eBook
UPCOMING EVENTS: Winter Programs


Brought to you by: www.bostonhealthcoach.com


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I recently tasted a new kind of chocolate that rocked my world.

The brand is John and Kira's... and I tried their 28-piece sampler kit (not all at one time!).  Warning: if you like chocolate a lot, I recommend buying a very, very small sampler box (you won't be able to just have just one piece, trust me).

In addition to the amazing taste, the reason I love this chocolate is because John & Kira's works with local schools and farmers to produce the flavors in their chocolate (the mint was SO pure that Ben and I almost didn't recognize it - it was so different from the chemical, fabricated mint flavors that most big companies use).

My personal favorites? The coffee whiskey and pistachio (but don't take my word for it, try a sampler and decide for yourself!).

If you are going to indulge, though, please take a look at the Chewing Article I have on my website.  If you're going to eat chocolate, you may as well eat it slowly and savor it, right?





To me, there's nothing more inspiring than a real-life success story from someone who has made steady, yet dramatic improvements to her own health.


This month’s newsletter highlights Noelle's health journey.  Noelle is 42 years old and lives in Wayland, MA.  I met Noelle several years ago when she joined my Wild and Well group program (a 6-week group health counseling program for women).

The story below is written in Noelle's own words. I hope it inspires the heck out of you!



If you are feeling “down and out” about your health, Noelle’s story will remind you that you just have to start with a few small changes… and the rest snowballs from there.



Christi: Can you share a little bit about the space you were in before you came to my Wild and Well group?

Noelle: "I had started to walk regularly and was trying to find a more balanced diet.  There were so many theories on eating that it was difficult to know what was right for me.  I had been working on losing weight, but although I had been making modifications to my diet and exercise, I had not lost much at all.  I was unsure about how or if I could lose the weight I wanted to lose. My main goals were to overcome my sugar addiction and to be healthier."


Christi: What was the Wild and Well group experience like for you?

Noelle: "I really enjoyed the group. I seem to think I need to do everything on my own. Being part of the group made me realize maybe that wasn’t necessary. I felt like maybe I did not have to be so hard on myself. It was a terrific group of women, I learned so much from each of them. It made me feel good that I contributed to the group, too. I finally realize it’s more effective to create a support team for myself." 


Christi: What are some of the changes you’ve made to your foods since the Wild and Well group ended?

Noelle: "I have made a lot of changes. I chew my food! That has been terrific. Chewing makes me take my time eating and I enjoy my food more. That one change has made a significant difference for me."


Christi: Is there any food that you've stopped eating lately?


Noelle:"I don't eat dairy.  I eat way less breads and carbohydrates."


Christi: Have you added in any new foods recently?

Noelle: "I eat a wider variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains than I used to eat.


I eat red meat occasionally, which is a big change for me. I had given up eating red meat for over 20 years. But I had been wondering if that was the best choice for me.

In our group, I learned that according to my blood type, I might need more meat than others. My ancestors would have been hunter-gatherers. I decided to try eating a bit of red meat. Now when I feel like biting someone’s head off, I eat red meat which seems to ground me. When I feel aggressive, I eat a couple of ounces of meat and I am able to be my calm self again."


Noelle’s Approach to Exercise



Christi: What are some of the changes you’ve made to your exercise routines (what works, what’s fun, how do you fit it in)?

Noelle: "I like to try different classes. I do Bikram Yoga, it’s a hot yoga. I have been doing yoga regularly over the past year and I plan to continue, I love it.  I do an outdoor fitness class that I love too. We use things like trees for stretching and strengthening.  It's so nice to be outside that the time goes by quickly, it also reminds me I can be outside even if it rains." 


Christi: Have you tried anything slightly outrageous or different?

Noelle: "I got a pogo stick - I used to love to pogo when I was a kid.  And I got roller blades last summer for my kids and me to learn something new. I have taken a rebounding class, which are mini trampolines. I am adding a weight training class next and a snow shoeing class for the winter."


Christi: That's awesome... you're being creative!

Noelle: "It’s interesting to actually wear out my sneakers!  I had my old sneakers for 10 years, because I hardly used them. 


I have had to get equipment because I had nothing when I started.  Even my bike had been in storage for 10+ years. I am open to trying just about anything."



How Noelle Became "Sweeter"…


Christi: What are some ways you create sweetness in your life?

Noelle: "I don’t eat nearly as much sugar but I still love sweet foods.  I love eating squashes and yams.  I used to love them but I only ate them occasionally. Now I eat them a lot. It is so cool to eat something I used to think of as only for special occasions." 

In addition to the squashes, I eat fruits, raisins, dates, whole grains, vegetables, and maple syrup.  My enjoyment of the sweets I do eat has gone way up. 

Christi: What about YOUR sweetness?

Noelle: "I think I am sweeter now. At our first group meeting we talked about how I was eating sugar because I thought I wasn’t sweet. That’s not true for me anymore.  I am sweet without sugar. Now I realize how much it was actually working against me.” 



Noelle’s Secret to Staying Motivated



Christi: How do you stay motivated?

Noelle: "I used to make myself get up and move.  I’d say to myself “Would an active person do that?” and if I answered yes I would make myself do it. 

Planning helps me stay motivated.  I look forward to the next season and I think about how I can get through it well.  For example, although generally I love to be outside when I exercise, in the cold of winter I like to take classes instead.  In the summer, when I tend to get more scattered, I create myself a schedule to keep me on track. 

I also have my “bootstraps list” I created during our group program.  It lists the ways I pulled myself up when I went into a funk during the group.  Having a list of what works for me written down has really helped me.  It reminds me of little things that keep me on track or get me back, like drinking enough water."


Christi: Anything else that keeps you motivated?

Noelle: "I do an internal cleanse twice a year, Spring and Fall.  If I am way off track, the cleanse brings me back. I am not so hard on myself about being out of balance, I just try to learn from it." 



How Noelle's Life Has Changed



Christi: How has your family reacted to the changes you've made?

Noelle: "My kids say I seem younger. They hug and kiss me a lot more too and if I get stressed (which is way less often now) they do not seem to back away, instead they give me a hug and help out.

They also get more exercise, they now expect to walk or ride to school (two days last week there was a light dusting of snow on the ground and my kids' were the only scooters in the bike rack, which made me feel good.)

They also listen more when I tell them they need to eat more veggies. I am less stressed about them eating food that aren't good for them because now I know that when they are ready to make changes I can help them do that. I know I am a good role model and I have healthy foods available for them. Small and gradual changes for them is what seems to work best... and education."


Christi: How about your husband?

Noelle: "My husband likes that I am happier. He says it doesn't matter to him much that I am thinner now, but he appreciates that I like that I am thinner. I know he appreciates that I have the energy to make it through the day and night with the three boys."


Christi: What are some of the changes you’ve seen in yourself (physical, emotional, etc.) after learning to take such great care of yourself?

Noelle: "When I look back to where I was two years ago it is quite amazing how much I have changed. 

I am much more peaceful, I don’t have the internal struggles I had. Physically, I am a lot thinner and I have lots more energy. Listening to my emotions - instead of eating to numb them - is another change for me. 

Food doesn’t take center stage anymore. I couldn’t believe how much my life revolved around food and eating until I tried to find alternatives. I thought I would always be addicted to sugar. I cannot tell you what a huge difference it is for me to not be addicted to sugar anymore.  The changes I have made have created a supportive, nourishing relationship with food.

I prioritize me: my self-care, exercise, and doing what I want.  I often blow everything off and enjoy nothingness.  

I allow myself exercise time and me time, not one or the other. 

When I started the group program, I didn’t even know what I wanted or needed.  I am much better at taking support. I feel much more connected, with myself and with others. 

I feel younger, I feel like me again.  I am happy!  I am blessed to have you in my life to assist me on this journey.  Thank you for this interview; it has helped me to realize and clarify how much I have accomplished."


Christi: It's been so much fun supporting you on your health journey.

Noelle: "What you offer is unique. Your focus on self-care and the appreciation of our lives is very different from others. I feel very fortunate to have worked with you because that is what has made the difference for me. I have used many tools: exercise, supplements, meditation, yoga.... but they all come from the place of loving my life and caring for myself, which I learned to focus on in my work with you.

Someone once told me being in balance is like walking a tight rope or a balance beam. We need to be actively making small adjustments to stay in balance, we need to stay focused on staying in balance, it is not that we get in balance and then we can relax and do nothing.

I'm not sure if you still have my Bootstaps list but I am happy to share it and give people a place to start when they get in a funk themselves."


Some Resources For You


Of course I still have Noelle’s bootstraps list! If you'd like to use Noelle's list to get out of a post-holiday funk, here it is.

Noelle, thank you so much for sharing your story with the thousands of readers who receive this newsletter each month. I was totally inspired to read about all the changes you made, and I am delighted to hear that you are still living and breathing Healthy Eating, Juicy Living, and Guilt-Free Self-Care. 

As a new mom, I particularly love that you allow yourself exercise time AND "you time."  They're both extremely important.


How will Noelle's real life health journey inspire you to make changes to your health in 2007?



If you need help motivating in 2007... please email me and let me know how I can help.

If you would like to share a health victory story with my readers, please email me and let me know what you’ve done to improve your health.  Your story may just inspire someone else, so don't be shy or humble...

now's the time to brag!

Loved this Christi's Commentary?  Hated it? 

Let me know...

I’d absolutely, positively love

to hear from you!

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.




Business Coaching Teleclass (for holistic health counselors and other business owners):

"Top Teleclass Secrets: Everything You Need to Know to Make Money From Teleclasses"

Wednesday, January 24th

7:30 p.m. East Coast Time

In this teleclass, I will share the secrets of facilitating successful teleclasses. If you've wanted to learn how to lead a teleclass of your own, this call will be very helpful for you.

To learn more about the teleclass, click here.





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.




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 Big Lake on 5/12/07?  Your PPNP starts Feb. 19.  To sign up, click here.

Running San Diego on 6/2/07?  Your PPNP starts March 12.  To sign up, click here.

Running Anchorage Alaska on 6/23/07?  Your PPNP starts April 2.  To sign up, click here.






Like it or not... winter is here!

It's very frustrating for me to sit by and watch people's health suffer during the Winter. 

Do you ever feel like Winter makes you lose the healthy eating habits, exercise programs, and self-care routines that you worked so hard to build during the rest of the year?


If you don't like the way you feel during the Winter, then you deserve to treat yourself to a copy of my eBook:

"Your Winter Survival Guide: How to Protect Your Health and Sanity This Winter."

This eBook highlights all the specific changes you need to make to your food choices, workout routine, skincare habits, and self-care techniques during the Winter.

To learn more about this eBook, click here.





I just tried this recipe from Real Simple magazine because it promised to be a 15-minute meal. 

It took me 20 minutes from start to finish, but I consider that to be pretty good time for the first try. 

I cut the salt and oil in half (the original recipe was WAY too salty and oily for my family) and added some extra veggies.

These changes are reflected in the recipe below.


- 4 boneless chicken breast
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1.4 t. pepper
- 1 T. olive oil
- ¼ pound (8 slices) prosciutto
- 3 small zucchini, sliced into half-moons
- 1 clove garlic, sliced thinly
- 1 lemon

- Romaine or arugula


1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Season with 1/8 t. each of salt and pepper.

2. Heat 1 T. oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken for 2 minutes per side.

3. Transfer to oven – roast for 8 minutes.

4. In skillet, over medium heat, cook prosciutto until crisp (1-2 minutes per side). Add zucchini, garlic, and 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook 3 minutes.

5. Combine chicken, prosciutto, and zucchini together and serve over a bed of romaine or arugula.

* You can add chopped almonds for some extra zing if you'd like!

Check out other

Delicious Winter Recipes!





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 recent pictures of Christi's baby, Evan!



About "Christi's Nourishing Nuggets"

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