May 2004 Issue

FOOD FUN FACT: Foods That Heal Your Skin, Part II
CHRISTI'S COMMENTARY: How Does Your Health Rank?
FOOD CORNER: Food of the Month - Watermelon/Fruit Smoothies
UPCOMING EVENTS: Summer Programs - Marathon Nutrition Program

To subscribe to this newsletter, click here.

To schedule a consultation with Christi to discuss your diet, health goals, and health history, click here.

To suggest a topic for future Nourishing News issues, click here.


As your largest organ, your skin is a great messenger.  If your skin shows signs of irritation, you can bet that something's out of balance on the inside of your body. 

If your blood-cleansing and eliminative organs (namely, kidneys and liver) are functioning properly, the demand on your skin is small.  However, when waste products accumulate and overburden these organs, the body uses the skin to eliminate waste.  This elimination comes out in the form of pimples, scaling, rashes, etc.

What is your skin telling you about your health, vitality, and internal balance?

Last month's newsletter highlighted natural ways to cure dandruff, acne, and dry skin.  This month's newsletter covers eczema and lackluster skin.


Eczema is an allergy-related skin condition characterized by red, dry, scaly patches that can be extremely itchy. Eczema can appear anywhere on the body, but it frequently shows up on the hands, creases of the elbows, scalp and arms.

To figure out the cause of your eczema, you may want to eliminate dairy, alcohol, or wheat/gluten to see if they're the culprits.  An excess of hydrogenated oils, partially hydrogenated oils, and trans-fatty acids can also cause eczema. 

Try applying aloe vera gel, kukui oil, or calendula cream to affected areas.  You can use lotions and salves containing chaparral (larrea divaricata), a desert plant used to treat skin conditions in Mexican medicine.  Gently rubbing a warm washcloth over eczema can also help. A note: stress often makes eczema worse - see if you can chart your symptoms using a food-mood journal. 

Lackluster Skin

Your skin mirrors the health of your lungs, so if your skin looks drier or duller than normal, you can bring back its vibrancy by eating foods that support your lungs.  Here is a list of foods which will do just that:

 - oatmeal (can also be ground up and used externally as a scrub)

- avocado

- cabbage

- beans (lima, navy, and northern)

- sesame oil

- "white" foods like daikon radish, turnip, ginger, garlic, apples, and pears

- dark green veggies like kale, swiss chard, broccoli, and parsley

- orange veggies like carrots and pumpkin

The Bottom Line

The best diet for your skin is - lucky for you - the same diet that will improve your digestion system and overall health.  The following elements are extremely important for healthy skin:

1. Water - get as much as you can to flush toxins out of your body.
2. High-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, and grains to detoxify your colon.  Dark leafy green vegetables and orange veggies are especially helpful.

3. Adequate protein, especially from beans, fresh fish, and lean, hormone-free, antibiotic-free animal protein

4. Essential fatty acids found in seeds, nuts, olive oil, primrose oil, and cold-water fish

5. Foods high in Vitamin B and Vitamin A



As a Holistic Health Counselor, I help people close the gap.

The gap between 1. what they know they SHOULD be doing for their health and 2. what they're ACTUALLY doing for their health.

See, I'm willing to bet that you (yes, you!) already know one, two, three, or perhaps even 20 things that you could do to improve your health right now.  But for some reason, those things just aren't happening. 

I'm also willing to bet you have a lot of good reasons and justifiable excuses for why these things aren't happening. It's not that you're lazy.  Quite the opposite!  If anything, you probably think you're simply too busy to do all the things you need to do to stay healthy.  Right?

I know, because I fall prey to that same way of thinking sometimes.  Right now, for example, I KNOW should be getting away from my desk and going to a walk because it's gorgeous outside and I've been in front of my desk for 6 hours straight.  But it's hard to make that move towards my front door, because I really want to finish this newsletter.

------ Pause --------

OK. I just took my own advice and got outside.  It was a glorious day, and it felt great!  I highly recommend it.

But if I wasn't accountable to YOU - my readers - I might have stayed at my computer all day.  Just knowing that I was writing to you about this very topic made me get up and get moving. 

As a Holistic Health Counselor, I spend much of my time helping my clients figure out how to make THE THINGS THEY ALREADY KNOW THEY SHOULD DO... HAPPEN!  I help them become more accountable to themselves so that it becomes harder and harder for them to accept the same old excuses that worked in the past.

Why is it so hard for us to treat ourselves well?  If a friend comes up to you at work and says, "Gosh, I've been too busy to eat all day," you will probably offer her a snack or advise her to take a break.  Yet, when was the last time you dragged yourself away from work to take a much-needed eating or resting break?

If your son comes home and says that he's had a bad day, you'll probably try to distract him with something fun to make him feel better.  Yet, when was the last time you treated yourself to a massage or a night at the ballpark after a bad day at work?

When your car needs to be taken into the shop for repairs, you'll get up at an insanely early hour of the morning to get it there on time.  Yet, when was the last time you woke up early enough to get a hearty workout and healthy breakfast in before you left for work?

I know that there are a million reasons why you can't work out, eat breakfast, take a break at work, or treat yourself to a massage.  However, no one else cares as much about your health as you do. So, it's up to you to remove the excuses and bump your health up on the priority scale.  It's time to start being accountable to YOU.

This month, I challenge you to find just one thing you know you should be doing differently.  Whether it's drinking water, eating less at dinner, getting outside more, having more fun, sleeping 8 hours, getting or giving more kisses and hugs... see if you can remove the excuses and make it happen!


I am heading to India for June and July... then out to CA for my brother's wedding and a speaking tour in August.  However, if I can support you in any way before I leave Boston, please let me know.  I will continue with my seminars and health food store tours when I return in September.  I am currently booking lectures and corporate events for fall.

Peak Performance Nutrition Program (PPNP) for Marathon Runners

As the nutrition advisor for the Boston Team in Training marathon teams, I have developed a web-based nutrition program for their marathon runners.  PPNP walks marathon runners through an 18-week marathon training program.  Each week, participants receive an email that highlights the nutrition changes that  should be made at that point in the training season.  Each email also includes nutrition education, wellness tips, a recipe, and an important runner's food.  The program is designed to help runners make the right dietary changes at the right time... and get to the finish line healthy, happy, and strong!

If you are training for a Fall Marathon, now is the time to sign up for PPNP.
To sign up, email me.
Your investment in your health: $100

Corporate Offerings

I offer lectures and group programs to corporations and associations.  I am focusing primarily on women's networking groups within these organizations.  If you would like to bring healthy eating and living to the women in your organization, please contact me.  We can schedule a lunchtime nutrition workshop for your group so that we can get to know each other better and create a program that will work best for you.

Individual Health and Nutrition Counseling
My mission is to empower my clients to create extraordinary lives by nourishing their bodies and souls.  I teach my clients how to design personalized diets that boost their energy, heal chronic illnesses, and delight their taste buds.  I also help my clients create an environment of possibility, nourishment, and abundance. I invite you to schedule a health consultation with me.  We will go over your health history, evaluate your current diet, and discuss options that will put you on the road to optimum health.

I offer in-person and phone consultations.   To schedule a consultation: email me or call 617.492.1489 for more info.

Food of the Month - Watermelon

You know summertime has  arrived when watermelon starts showing up in the grocery store.

Yum - there's nothing better than juicy watermelon! 

Because watermelon is over 90% water, it's a great way to quench your thirst on a hot day.

Choosing Watermelons

Melons don't ripen once they've been picked, so pay special attention to the melon you select.  Look for ripeness in the rind. You want a melon that is free from cracks, soft spots, and dullness.  The bottom should be yellowish, not greenish-white. If the stem is still green, it was picked too soon.

If you're buying pre-cut watermelon, make sure the seeds aren't separating from the flesh. Avoid any pieces with white streaks or large cracks.


A watermelon can be stored for up to one week.  It takes 8-12 hours to chill a watermelon thoroughly.  Once cut, wrap it tightly in plastic and refrigerate for no more than 4 days.

How to Cut It

Halve the melon lengthwise. Seed it, if you like.  Then cut it crosswise into wedges or scoop out the flesh.  Keep chilled until ready to serve.


*Information adapted from



Fruit Smoothies
I love smoothies in the summertime because they're so easy to make and so delicious to drink!  Feel free to mix 'n' match the following ingredients to create your own sensational smoothie concoction.

I tend to use frozen fruit for my smoothies.  I don't even thaw it out first - I just dump it right into the blender! This saves me a lot of time... and ensures that the fruit never goes bad.

For really fast meals, put a few pre-made smoothie concoctions in cups and leave them the fridge.  When you get home after work or a workout, you can just dump one of the cups in the blender.  Voila - an instant snack!




peeled orange













orange juice

grapefruit juice

tomato juice

prune juice

apple juice

cranberry juice

carrot juice


rice milk


plain yogurt

protein powder (try Spir-utein)

nut butter (peanut, almond)

soy milk

cow's milk

Fun Extras:

grated coconut

walnuts or almonds

ground flaxseeds

honey/maple syrup/stevia


grated orange or lemon rind

wheat or oat bran

cocoa powder




Christi Lehner, H.H.C., AADP, is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. A Holistic Health Counselor is a nutritionist and life coach all rolled up into one. 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. A three-time marathoner and triathlete, an avid pianist, and a newly converted Red Sox and Patriots fan, Christi delights in helping her clients make nutrition and lifestyle changes that boost their energy, heal chronic illnesses, reduce stress, and make their bodies and souls extraordinarily healthy.

Christi can be reached at or 617.492.1489.


About "Nourishing News"

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 Nourishing News issues, please contact me.

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