Wellness Coaching: Self Acceptance

As an Am I Hungry Facilitator, I want to share this piece from founder, Michelle May. So Simple, but so true.  We can use this in so many aspects of our lives, beyond dieting.  We are almost always our worse enemies.


Self-Acceptance Step 1: Become Aware

By Michelle May, M.D.

“My yoga teacher said, “Whatever you practice, you get good at. If your habit is to compare, judge, and criticize yourself, then you’ll get better and better at it. You will strengthen your habit.”

That really resonated with me. I had subjected myself to 25 years of yo-yo dieting fueled by rejection of my Self.

Wishing I were somehow different and focusing on numbers like calories and pounds only distracted me from living my life fully. Unfortunately, many of us have been convinced that this is the only way, and that we somehow deserve a life focused on what we eat and what we look like instead of living our lives. We waste a tremendous amount of energy beating ourselves up—energy that could otherwise be poured into building relationships, accomplishing other meaningful goals, or simply enjoying life.

I am so over that.

Along my personal and professional journey, I’ve learned that self-acceptance breeds self-care. While it may seem counterintuitive, I also discovered that self-acceptance is the starting line for change. Now I choose to practice loving my Self gently, compassionately, mindfully, and persistently.”


Drop me line with your thoughts or awakenings.  If this sounds like you, maybe a little intervention would help.  Pick one small thing that you beat yourself up about and become aware, and how can you stop the vicious cycle that may be driving  you down. With you new found energy do something extraordinary- for you!


Be Well,


Nutrition News: Hearts and Chocolate

When we think of February and Valentines day- what comes to mind? For many it is hearts, chocolate and flowers and that is a good thing. More and more studies are showing that moderate amounts of chocolate are actually good for your heart. You may have already heard this and recent studies are supporting it to greater lengths.

From the Harvard Health Publications, recent results from a study out of England were published in the medical journal of Heart. Some of the findings are showing a link between eating chocolate and a lower risk of heart disease. Chocolate which comes from cacao beans, is abundant in flavonoids, which is an antioxidant produced by plants. Flavonoids are also found in other foods you may enjoy such as tea, red wine, blueberries, apples pears, cherries and nuts. Flavonoids in cocoa have been shown to help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, prevent blood clots and fight cell damage. Studies are also showing that they also help with thinking skills.

Beware; there can be a few drawbacks with any good thing. Most of the studies are indicating choosing dark chocolate (70%), and avoiding the extra saturated fats and calories from additives: marshmallow, caramel or candy bits. The more processed the chocolate is through fermentation, alkalizing ,roasting etc., the more flavonoids are lost. Most commercial chocolates are highly processed. The good news is that major chocolate manufactures are looking for ways to keep the flavanols in their processed chocolates.

What about the fat? The fat in chocolate is from cocoa butter and is made up of equal amounts of oleic acid (heart healthy monounsaturated fat also found in olive oil), steric and palmitic acids. Stearic and palmitic acids are forms of saturated fats. Yet, research shows that stearic acid appears to have a neutral effect on cholesterol, neither raising it nor lowering it. Although, palmitic acid does affect cholesterol levels, the good news is that it makes up only a third of the calories found in chocolate. This should make you realize that you cannot consume all the chocolate your heart desires.

Some thoughts to consider while optimizing your healthy chocolate indulgence:

  • Limit yourself to 1-2 oz. of chocolate a few times a week
  • Go for dark, minimally processed 70% cacao
  • Avoid cocoa powder that has not undergone Dutch processing which changes the natural acidity
  • Avoid milk chocolate that has added fats and sugars
  • Indulge in a variety of foods that contain flavonoid antioxidants such as apples, pears, red wine, tea, onions, peanuts, cherries and cranberries.

It might be a great choice to have a piece of dark chocolate with cranberry and peanuts, along with a bouquet of your favorite flowers.

Enjoy with your heart and soul.

Happy Healthy heart Month!

Be Well,



Visit my updated Metagenics store, www.yourchoice4wellness.com,  and get 20% off you first order at the new store with FREE shipping.  Recurring orders always receive 10% discount. Great deal! Check it out! For questions, contact me, wellbychoice@comcast.net

Nutrition News: Clean Up Your Act with Some Nice Discounts

Happy 2016! This is the time of year when many people do a cleanse or detox to get rid of the excess sugars, fats and indulgences from the holidays.  I am offering some specials through February to support  you, if you choose to clean up your act and get back in the swing of feeling energized and eating healthier.  The 10-day Clear Change Program is a terrific program where you eat real food,  is very easy and clear to follow, you are not hungry and it helps to curb the sweet tooth as well as gets your mind focused on food choices for health.  This is not a restrictive plan – however you are restricted in some of the foods you can eat.  Check it out via my website store: www.yourchoice4wellness.mymetagenics.com.  

If this is not for you, try some of the following suggestions that will help you regain your choices for a healthier lifestyle:

  1. Drink lots of water – add a little lemon juice or Bragg’s Apple Cider vinegar to aid digestion.
  2. Increase your greens- kale, spinach, swiss chard, parsley, brussel sprouts; they support your digestive system, and  liver for natural detoxification and benefits of a lot of fiber.
  3. Cut back on red meat to one time a week, or totally for a few weeks – and only eat grass fed. Try substituting beans, fish, organic chicken or vegetarian meals for easier digestion.
  4. For one week remove all sugars, white floor, processed foods from your diet. This includes most breads, baked goods, processed foods, candies, chips.
  5. Quit coffee for a week or more, substitute herbal teas instead.
  6. Remove artificial sweeteners, like Equal, Splenda etc, use stevia instead.
  7. Get sleep- a minimum of 7-8 hours a night, take a 20 minute nap daily, sleep in if you can.
  8. Do some type of exercise every day for 30 min(or more) – walk, swim, yoga, dance,pilates do something different.  It will lift your mood and act as a stress buster.
  9. Try a few minutes of deep breathing, mindfulness meditation or muscle relaxation every day for a week or more.  Download an app ( try One-Moment Meditation free app) see if it helps you to unwind and clear your head.
  10. Play, have some fun, do something different. Go skating, take a hike, go to a museum, attend a lecture or some local music, call an old friend.  Bring life into your life.

If you were to pick just one thing to do, you would be assisting yourself in developing a healthier lifestyle. Try it!

Some specials that may interest you: 10% off the following through the month of Feb.

  • 10 day Clear Change Program
  • PhytoMulti- multivitamins plus  protective phytonutrients
  • Ultra Flora Balance– daily probiotic for immune support
  • Ultra Energy Bars – New! 3 flavors
  • ImmuCore– for immune support during cold and flu season or all year long.

Go to www.yourchoice4wellness.mymetagenics.com.  , register if you haven’t registered and use code  –jumpstart16– when you check out for your discount.

Good Luck- make a small change to make a BIG difference.

Be Well,


For further support or information, contact me; wellbychoice@comcast.net

Mindfulness; Lifestyle Changes: Finding the Lighter Side

I am trying to find the lighter side of the past two days of forced shut down. I have just been dealing with a bout of vertigo for the past few days. Today and I am better, but not totally out of the woods. ( I had this about 7 years ago). My head was all a jumble and my body was fine- except I needed a bit of assistance from the walls and furniture to get to where I was going. It takes a lot for the brain to keep the body upright!! It is exhausting. It was a total shutdown and forced STOP!. Did I get the Christmas things down? no. Did I put the gardens to bed? no. Did I go to the two planned parties? no. Was I frustrated? yes. I did laugh thinking that the body has a way of taking care of itself. Maybe it was a time to notice that I have not totally put my feet back steadily on the ground since my whirlwind trip to SEAsia. I traveled by plane, train, bus, boat, tuk tuk, elephant and a water buffalo cart, time to just walk about my own yard. Don’t wait until your body says to stop, take a moment now and be mindful about your needs and what is important. Enjoy the season and do it in a mindful way- I think you will find it more enjoyable.



Be Well,


Nutrition:Lifestyle Change: Tape Measure or Scale?

Waist or Weight Measurements?

Ever wonder how one of your friends can weigh more than you but are two sizes smaller? What about the person who works out all the time and eats well but is in the obese category of the BMI index (body mass index)? It is called body composition. When you have an optimal body composition, one that is a favorable ratio between leaner tissues, like muscle, and less fat mass, you are healthier. You are able to eat more because muscle is active tissue that needs fuel,fat does not. Your clothes fit better and your inches will decrease. Muscle weighs more than fat, and it is much more dense. Would you rather have a smaller waist and weigh more, or weigh less and have a thicker waist? I think I know your answer.

Muscle is a biologically active tissue that needs a far greater amount of caloric fuel to maintain itself, compared to body fat. Muscle burns calories. So maintaining your muscle through the foods you eat as well as exercising will promote a more efficient metabolism to burn more calories each day.

Muscle also helps us to heal. It is a major source of protein for important recovery functions such as wound healing, white blood cell production and antibody production. If your body composition is low in lean body muscle your system is already depleted and the body has less to draw on in case of illness.

Muscle mass and strength are the top two indicators of healthy aging. The most powerful way to manage the aging process and restore vitality is to improve your lean tissue –to –fat ratio by adding more muscle to your body.

There are some of us who are considered ‘skinny fat’. This term is related to those people who are not overweight, but may have too little muscle and too much fat. This condition is called sarcopenia. Sarcopenia can raise the risk of chronic diseases and accelerate aging in the same manner that gaining extra visible weight from fat can. Most people with this condition may experience lack of strength, reduced endurance ,achiness and generally reduced quality of life.

The message here may be to ditch the scale and pick up the tape measure. When eating whole foods, in the right combinations and amounts, along with total body exercise you will avoid losing muscle and up your metabolism. If you do not know what your body fat mass vs. lean body mass is, inquire at your local gym or contact me for a BIA.  ( BioImpedance Analysis). It will tell you what is going inside your body regarding your health. Reducing your waist even an inch will help reduce inflammation and improve your path to healthier aging. Your age and gender are important factors in calculating your lean to fat mass numbers.  You are looking to be less than a 35″ waist for women and less than a 40″ waist for men.  Central obesity is considered to be an indicator for many lifestyle diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

If you are looking to make some changes, do it with a plan and a realistic goal.  If you need support along the way, contact me for a complimentary consult.

In good health,


Nutrition News: Try a Natural Way to Reduce Inflammation

Looking for a natural way to reduce inflammation?

Tumeric/Curcumin is a member of the ginger family. It is a staple in Ayurvedic medicine and Indian cooking. It has a pungent smell and it is that distinctive deep earthy yellow hue. Tumeric’s active ingredient is curcumin, and preliminary research suggests that it may help reduce inflammation and cell damage, manage joint and muscle pain, improve digestive disorders (like dyspepsia and ulcerative colitis) decrease symptoms of depression and lower blood sugar and systolic blood pressure. That is a lot of good, from such a humble plant.

For anyone looking to take this ‘herb’, you can buy tumeric in it’s original form. It looks very much like fresh ginger, but a bit smaller in size. Many people do not indulge in Indian cooking and some people are not accustomed to the taste of tumeric. To get optimal amounts to help with the symptoms mentioned above, you would need to ingest a fair amount on a consistent basis. The alternative is to take a good quality supplement. One of my favorites is TheracurminHP by Integrative Therapeutics. (This can be purchased via Emerson Ecologics on my home page store www.yourchoice4wellness.com , follow prompts to register). There are other very good supplements and they are worth a try, if you would like further information, contact me.   Like all natural supplements, it may take a couple of weeks to start to notice the results, the rewards are subtle but sustaining. Taking natural supplements greatly reduces the side effects of over the counter medicines and prescriptions, which sometimes can cause more harm than good.

In the meantime, evaluate your food intake.  Too many  processed foods along with a sluggish lifestyle can also encourage inflammation.  If you have concerns, set up a complimentary phone consult.

In Good Health,


Nutrition News: Protein powders – which one?

I am often asked about why type of protein powders are the best to use for smoothies.  There are a few different one’s to consider, and more and more are being introduced to the nutrition scene.  While we still prefer getting protein from real food, there are times to look at these as powders as ‘tools’ to keep you focused and provide a convenient way to obtain a healthier option. Here are some of the top protein sources for smoothies, and baked goods. Keep in mind that many protein powders are just that- protein, no carbohydrates or fats. In order to have a balanced meal or snack you will need to add to the mix – a liquid, fruits, veggies, nut butter, flax seed, avocado or other foods of choice.  Keep it simple – avoid too many fruits or fruit juices, add celery, cucumber or spinach for a nutritional punch without adding in a lot of sugars and calories.

Soy – soy protein isolate,, soy protein powder, hydrolyzed soy protein – from soybeans.

This is a powerful plant protein and research has shown that it increases muscle mass and improves strength during and after exercise. Soy contains naturally occurring isoflavones which are antioxidants which can help reduce muscle damage during and after exercise.

Choose non-GMO sources and beware of soy sensitivities which may cause gas or digestive upset

Bonus:  helps muscles and boosts iron

Whey- whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, hydrolyzed whey protein- from cow’s milk.

Whey protein is composed mostly of an amino acid call leucine, which is the most potent for building muscle. It is also a good choice for whittling your waistline .  Many people tend to decrease inches and pounds using a whey protein drink rather than a carbohydrate shake- over a consistent use over at least 6 months .

Bonus: helps muscles, calcium boost, slims you down.

Pea– pea protein powder, pea protein isolate- from yellow peas.

Unlike soy and whey, pea protein is free of common allergens. This plant protein is high in the amino acid arginine, a precursor to creatine, which delivers energy to muscles. Some research suggests that it may have more appetite curbing power than whey protein.

Bonus: helps muscles, iron boost, keeps you satiated.

Rice– brown, white or whole grain rice isolate- from rice.

Rice protein is hypoallergenic.  This makes it easier to digest and will not irritate the stomach. Individuals who suffer from IBS, food allergies, or who are lactose intolerant find it difficult to digest meat, dairy and other sources of protein.  Rice is a good alternative.

Bonus:  helps muscles, good for vegans or vegetarians, easy to digest.

Some products I recommend  from Metagenics are: UltraMeal Rice, Soy or Whey, UltraMeal Daily ( pea and rice).  These are considered balance ‘medical foods’, they also contain carbohydrates and fats for a complete meal or snack. (you can find a link to Metagenics on my home page of my website www.yourchoice4wellness.com)

The Institute of Medicine recommends about 46 grams of protein a day for women and 56 grams of protein for men.  One tablespoon of protein powder is about 4 grams. I suggest no more that one shake a day.  Enjoy your other meals and snacks in real food form.

If you are interested in changing your lifestyle to incorporate healthy eating habits along with balanced activity and stress management, contact me for a complimentary phone consult to discus your goals.

Be Well,





Just for Women: How to Ease Your Menopause Experience

Join me at this amazing talk click here for more information and to sign up!

Whether you are peri-menopausal- menopausal or post-menopausal, you will gain insight and information to assist you in embracing ‘the change’.  It can be a challenging time but can be managed effectively with solid information and a holistic approach.


Hope to see you there!  Sept. 15th  10-11:30 AM

Be Well, Mary

Nutrition News: The MIND diet.

Have you heard of the MIND diet? It’a a way of eating that protects you from the risk of Alzheimers. What I like about it is that it is a combination of the #1 healthiest way of eating, the Dash Diet and the #3 leading plan,the Mediterranean Diet. The MIND diet stands for Mediterranean-Dash Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. In a recent study, those who followed the MIND diet showed a 53% reduction for the risk of Alzheimers. Even if you ‘cheated’ once in a while, you can still rack up rewards for prevention. Some of the concepts are pretty simple.

  1. Leafy greens– eat 2 of more servings a day and you will develop a level of brain function equivalent to that of people five years younger. Leafy greens have more vitamin E than other veggies.  Add some EVOO and it helps in the absorption of the fat soluble vitamin.
  2. Berries– blueberries and strawberries are the star players.  The anti-aging effects may be attributed to anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that help protect the neurons in regions of the brain associated to learning and memory.  Have at least 2 servings a week to delay cognitive aging by 2.5 years! Easy enough!!
  3. Fish – no surprise here! Even once a week can help lower the risk of Alzheimers.  A recent study also showed that eating fish 1x a week (not fried) increased the gray matter of your brain.
  4. Wine- studies have found that drinking 1.5 glasses of red wine per day experienced the least amount of memory loss and cognitive delay. It is also good for your heart. So pour and enjoy.

Here are the top 10 foods included in the MIND diet.

Daily– whole grains (not processed), leafy greens, other veggies, glass of wine.

Most Days- nuts(almonds, walnuts), olive oil, legumes, blueberries/strawberries,poultry, fish.

Limit– butter, fastfood and fried food, full fat cheese, red meat, pastries and sweets.

Ask yourself what you are already doing. Where is one area you can improve upon? For support and a plan, contact me.

Be Well, Be Better,


Nutrition news: Love your liver!

We don’t think of our liver very often, but it essential to keep this organ in top shape for a variety of health reasons.  It is a very hard worker and we cannot live without it.  Take a moment to see what you can do to protect and help your liver.



Be Well,


Time to improve your health through a few changes in you lifestyle?  Call for a complimentary wellness consult.  978 283 0591  or email at wellbychoice@comcast.net