September 2005 Issue

FOOD FUN FACT: Delicata Squash
CHRISTI'S COMMENTARY: Christi's Big Mistake

RECIPE OF THE MONTH: Delicata Squash Rings

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I'm getting married this Saturday, September 24!  So, if you email me (and I'd love it if you do) please know that I probably won't be able to respond until I return from my honeymoon on October 11.


A few months ago, I made a mistake, and one of my clients called me on it. Those of you who were on my mailing list back in May might remember an email that I sent titled, “Are you ready for bathing suit season?” I used that email to introduce my new Spring Cleanse e-book. I remember feeling so excited to share the e-book that I’d written with such passion and devotion.

The e-book was a huge success (hundreds of people bought the book, and sent me rave reviews) but I got one email that didn't qualify as a glowing review.

You see, I wrote the email title, “Are you ready for bathing suit season?” because I knew that it would catch people’s attention, and I wanted to make sure you knew about the great e-book resource that was available to you.

However, my email title didn’t make one of my clients feel warm and fuzzy inside when she read it. My client wrote,

When I read your email title, it instantly made me hate my body, and dread the bathing suit shopping experience even more than before. I thought you’d be more sensitive to your readers who aren’t happy with their weight and don’t love their bodies.”

Wow. Reading my client’s email was like receiving a punch in the gut, because that’s not how I intended the email at all. As a health counselor, it’s my privilege and delight to spend much of my time trying to help people improve their body image, accept and love their bodies, and look forward to taking care of themselves. It's never my intention to make people feel bad about themselves or their bodies.  Never!

Knowing that even one person was offended by the subject line of my email was one person too many for me. Today, I want to make sure I publicly apologize if my Spring Cleanse e-book email made anyone else feel self-conscious about his or her body.

In light of my client’s comments, I want to devote this issue of my newsletter to our wonderful bodies, and see if I can help each of you start to look at your body in a new light.

This next portion of the newsletter was taken from one of the chapters of my upcoming book, “You Don’t Have to be Superwoman To Be Healthy: 50 Ways to Reclaim Your Health.” I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!



It’s September 1989. I stood in the high school girls’ locker room trying to get dressed after gym class. As I went to pull my sweater on, I saw two girls looking at me. They were sophomores. I was a freshman. All of a sudden, they started giggling and pointing at my bare chest.

I looked down at my chest to see what they found so hilarious. If I were to call those little nubs of mine breasts, I’d be greatly exaggerating. In high school, my breasts were so small that they could have been mistaken for puffy mosquito bites! I didn’t even really need a bra. Hence, I wasn’t wearing one that day (I’m a comfort kind of gal).

I realized the girls were laughing at my bra-less chest, and that annoyed me. Didn’t they know I wanted breasts more than anything in the world? Didn’t they know that I hated going into the lingerie section and heading straight for the “Thank Goodness It Fits” brand? Didn’t they know I’d been scouring the “Junior” section of lingerie catalogues for years, trying to anticipate when I, too, would have that little inch of cleavage?


November 1993. I arrive home at Thanksgiving after my first semester at college. I had gained the typical Freshman 15, and for the first time in my life, I wasn’t skin and bones anymore. When I went into my room to unpack, I saw a picture of myself from high school.

I saw my 13-year old flat belly. I saw my lean thighs with the space in between them. I saw my skinny model arms and my nonexistent hips. In that moment, I was insanely jealous... of my old self.

Instantly, I wanted my teenage body back.  I wanted those 15 extra college pounds to disappear. Fast. Sure, I now had breasts and hips, but they weren’t all they cracked up to be. They came with a tummy bulge and cellulite and I decided that I didn’t like these newly acquired side effects.

I spent all of my college and much of my post-college life trying desperately to get back to my 13-year old body. I was sure I could recreate it if I just did enough sit-ups. If I just ate enough salad. If I just had enough willpower. If I just exercised 3 hours a day.

Thus began a brutal journey that introduced me to Jenny Craig, the Fat Flush Diet, the Popcorn-and-Salad diet (my own creation), Xenadrin (I can’t believe I tried this), and many forced dieting attempts.

Nothing but my teenage body would ever be good enough. Or so I thought.


It’s October 2004. I’m talking with a group of friends. We’re talking about our bodies. One of the women is tiny, tiny, tiny. Barely a size zero. She talks about going on vacation with her husband in a few weeks. Then she says the unthinkable, “I’m so nervous about getting into a bathing suit, because I know I won't look good. I won’t eat anything all week.”

I knew what the rest of us were thinking. “There’s not even one ounce of fat on this woman’s body, but she's worried about putting on a bathing suit? What does that say for the rest of us?”


It was at that moment – in that conversation - that I gave up trying to get back to my 13-year old teenage body. I realized that it just isn’t worth it.

Hearing my friend's body complaints that made me realize how silly that kind of thinking is... and how exhausting it is.

I realized, “There is absolutely no reason, no logic, no way to ensure that I will be happy with my body... unless I will it. No matter what my body looks like, I will not be happy with it unless I decide to be happy with it."

"So, what I've decided to do is accept my body the way it is right now. In this moment. Without changing a thing.”


And so began my love affair with my own body.  It hasn't been an easy road, but I have to tell you, it's amazing how great it feels to free up all my 'body-conscious' energy and devote it to other things.

Since I've become a health counselor, I’ve had the pleasure of supporting hundreds of women, and all of them want to change something about their bodies. They say, "If I could just lose 2 pounds, 4.5 pounds, 12 pounds... THEN I'll be happy about myself.  Then my life will change for the better." 

What's so fun is that each of these women soon learn out that their happiness and their level of contentment with their lives are NOT dependent on their weight.  It's like a huge weight has been taken off their shoulders!

What I've learned is that it’s all a matter of perspective. You can choose to fall in love with your bodyas it is now, or you can hate it for the rest of your life.  It has more to do with the way you think than the way you look.  Sounds remarkable, but it's true.

The way you view your body is totally and completely up to you. You can decide to be permanently miserable and be on the eternal ‘Just-Wanna-Lose-The-Last-Five-Pounds’ diet, no matter what you weigh. Or you can decide that you’re just perfect the way you are.

You can decide that your best friend has the perfect body, and you will never be able to be as content, outgoing, and likeable as she is until you look like her. Or you can decide that your body is perfect for you just the way it is, and do all those things that you’ve been waiting to do until you lose an ounce, 20 ounces, 20 pounds, or 200 pounds.

Sometimes, your body has weight to lose, and it simply is waiting for you to "let go" of the self-pressure before it will "let go" of the weight.  Sometimes your body is at your ideal weight, and it's simply waiting for you to "let go" of your high expectations and just go out there and LIVE LIFE!

What's one way you've held yourself back because of your body? 

What's one thing you can do - today - to change your perspective and start appreciating your body?

Stumped?  I'd like to share with you some of the ways that I've learned to love my body... and invite you to try them out for yourself.  This topic is too big to tackle in a newsletter, so I've decided to walk you through it during my next teleclass on October 19.

The teleclass is called, "Learn How to Start a Love Affair With Your Body Today: Love the Skin You're In!"  It's going to be a fabulous class that will take place from 12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m. East Coast Time.

To purchase a spot in this teleclass (only $12!), click here.   To read the description of this class, click here.

Everyone who signs up for this teleclass will receive a comprehensive set of notes that outlines all of the exercises that we'll go over on the call.  That way, you can keep experimenting with the art of loving your own body.








October 19 Teleclass - "Learn How to Start a Love Affair With Your Body Today: Love the Skin You're In!"



Do you ever say, "Once I lose 15 pounds, then I'll be happy!"   Do you ever think, "If only I had my friend's body, then my life would be so much better."  Do you ever wish, "If only I could change my hair, stomach, hips, nose..."

If so, you're probably having a hard time loving the skin you're in, and I know how frustrating that can be.  This teleclass is designed to teach you how to love your own body.  I will teach you techniques and tips to help you start a love affair with your body... right now!  The only person who can change the way you feel about your body is YOU... why not start today?

To purchase a seat in this teleclass for $12, click here.



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 18-week training season.

The winter programs started last week, so sign up now to make sure you receive all 19-issues. 

To learn more and read a sample issue, click here.

The Disney program started September 5 - sign up

The Bermuda program started 9/12 - sign up

The Arizona program started 9/12 - sign up



Corporate Wellness Education

I'm now booking my "How to Survive the Holidays" lecture for the November/December time frame.  If you're looking for a fun event for your organization, click here for more information on my seminars.

Because of my September 24 wedding and honeymoon to Spain, I have limited the number of speaking engagements this fall.  To see where I'm speaking this month, please visit my events page. The winter programs started last week, so sign up now to make sure you receive all 19-issues. 


Health Food Store Tours

There will be no tours this fall but you can take a tour in the comfort of your own home by buying my new "Healthy Shopper" DVD!

If you'd really like to take a live tour this fall, just email me and I'll be delighted to link you up with another health counselor in your area.










Delicata Squash


I couldn't help but smile when I saw delicata squash at Whole Foods on Saturday. 

Delicata is my favorite kind of squash, and it only comes around once a year for a few weeks.  If you've never tried delicata before, I highly recommend adding it to your shopping cart this fall.

Many grocery stores don't stock delicata squash, but you can find it at most farmer's markets, farms, or Whole Foods stores.

A delicata squash is the same length as a zucchini, but it's twice as wide.  It's mostly yellow with vertical green stripes and a bumpy, ridgy surface.  You will find delicata near the butternut squash and pumpkins.

How do you cook it?  Well, one of the reasons I love delicata so much is because it's much easier to prepare than the larger squashes.

See my recipe below for an easy way to cook delicata - it will end up looking like yellow and green onion rings.

Adding squashes like delicata, acorn, and butternut to your diet is a great way to transition into the seasonal fall produce.  You'll notice that, as the weather starts getting cooler, your body will start craving warm, comfort foods like squash... as opposed to crisp salads and grilled veggies.




Delicata Squash Rings


I first tasted this at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and now I make it several times every fall.  Enjoy!

- 2 delicata squash

- 2 tablespoons olive oil

- 1 tsp. sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Cut squash crosswise into 3/4" thick rounds (they'll look like round discs).

3. Scoop the seeds out of each round.

4. Toss squash with olive oil and salt in a bowl.

5. Place on a baking sheet.

6. Bake for 10 minutes on each  side. They're done when golden and soft.


Check out my healthy snacks recipes on my site!





My new "Healthy Shopper" DVD costs only $15 (less than the cost of a takeout meal!).

Get your own copy today!

If you'd like to read more about the DVD before you buy, click here.






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.

Christi's goal is to help people fall in love with 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 at or 617.492.6450.




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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