Accountability Partners Rule!

So, you know that I’m a firm believer in the use of accountability partners and today was another good example, in my own life, of why they are such a vital tool for meeting your goals.

In this morning’s call with my accountability partner I asked her to hold me accountable for getting some outdoor exercise, as I had a skip day yesterday, and I felt the need to be out in nature today.

After our call, I went about my to do list, which included working on a grant application that needs to be finished by the end of the month.

storm clouds

Several hours later, my friend Ned called to tell me that he had left his house in the sunshine but when he got to south county, the clouds were rolling in and Accuweather was predicting stormy weather headed my way. He said, “If you want to get out in the sunshine, now’s the time to go!” I thought for a minute about getting the grant done first and then going, but quickly realized that if it was raining, I’d use that as an excuse not to get outside to exercise.

So, I quickly hit the save button, put my shoes on, and out the door I went. Got in some fabulous HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), as well as a little beach walking, which helps restore our electromagnetic field after working on a computer (see this post for more info). Now I feel refreshed, more creative, and energized to finish the grant application, just as the clouds are rolling in!

Best of Health,

Kathi

Natural Treatments for High Cholesterol

This is another guest post by my friend Carolyn Dean MD ND

The Huffington Post is an online site that attracts millions of viewers. But nobody took much interest in an article titled “PCSK9 Inhibitors: New Class Of Cholesterol Drugs Shows Promise In Trials.” Since only 9 people shared it on Facebook.

I think this lack of interest in yet another cholesterol drug shows the public’s distrust and disdain for drug-solutions. After all, we’ve been medicating ourselves with statins for decades and heart disease is still our number one killer which means that statins are not working! The public also knows that statin drugs are causing serious side effects. But is the answer a new cholesterol drug?

Cholesterol is a red herring and NOT the bad guy in heart disease. Dr. Stephen Sinatra’s new book, The Great Cholesterol Myth labels inflammation as the true cause of heart disease and sugar the real demon in the diet.

It’s true that inflammation is a major cause of heart disease. But sugar isn’t the main cause of inflammation. Calcium is. Calcium is pro-inflammatory and magnesium is anti-inflammatory. Magnesium is a natural calcium channel blocker, a natural statin, and balances blood sugar and eliminates metabolic syndrome.

Along with magnesium, a nutrient that helps balance cholesterol is niacin, Vitamin B3. A recent study using a dangerous time-release form of niacin and a cholesterol drug together somehow concluded that niacin is ineffective in reducing cholesterol levels. Did I mention that the study used a dangerous form of niacin?

I’m on the Advisory Board of OMNS (Orthomolecular Medicine News Service). We recently put out a Press release to counter the flaws in this erroneous study. It’s called Niacin is the Safest and Most Effective Way to Control Cholesterol. March 21, 2013.

Journalist, Lisa Collier Cool cited our report in an article on Yahoo Health! called The Safest (and Cheapest) Cholesterol Treatment.

Compared to the 9 Facebook forwards on the newest cholesterol drug, when she interviewed me about magnesium, Lisa told me her niacin article received millions of hits and was the most well-received article she has ever written. It now has 7,600 Facebook forwards.

Wed Apr 17, 2013, my new best friend, Lisa wrote another article on heart disease, this time with a focus on magnesium.

I can assure you, if you don’t start looking at safe supplements like magnesium and niacin (NOT Time-Release niacin) for cholesterol, you will be subject to the following Canadian Diabetic Association Guidelines. “All patients with diabetes should start taking statins when they turn 40 and blood pressure drugs when they turn 55.” This is preventive medicine at its worst!

I agree with Carolyn!

Best of Heart Health,

Kathi

How to Make Ghee (clarified butter)

ghee (1)2 pound unsalted butter

Use a medium size, heavy bottom sauce pan. Cook the butter on medium heat, uncovered, until the butter melts.

Continue cooking the butter, stirring occasionally, until it boils. The butter will foam and sputter.

Reduce to low heat and continue to simmer until the butter is clarified, about 20 minutes. More butter will take longer.

The ghee is done when: the sputtering stops, all the solids have settled to the bottom of the pan and are light brown, and the liquid is clear golden yellow.

Be careful not to overcook the ghee. If the milk solids are dark brown, or if the liquid ghee turns dark brown, it’s overcooked.

Let the ghee cool for about 20 minutes then strain it though a very fine strainer or a couple layers of cheesecloth. I’ve heard that Melita coffee filters work well, and they fit nicely into the mouth of a quart canning jar. Make sure all the solids are strained out; strain twice if necessary; discard.

Store the ghee in a clean, dry glass bottle, but don’t put the lid on till the ghee is completely cooled.

You can keep ghee at room temperature for 2 months, or longer in the fridge. I prefer room temp.

It’s important to keep water out of the ghee bottle so always use a dry utensil to get ghee out of the bottle.

FYI – Two pounds of butter will fill a quart jar with ghee.

Best of Health,

Kathi

What is an Accountability Partner?

One of the things I recommend in my coaching programs is having an accountability partner. So far, no one I have mentioned this to has any idea what this is, but everyone who has tried this system, loves it!

An accountability partner is a friend, coworker, or relative (not a spouse) who also wants to work on a specific goal or goals. For instance, your cousin Sharon may want to lose ten pounds and you have been desperately trying to get a book written.

The two of you decide that you want to help each other along these paths, so you set your goals and share them with each other. Then you agree to talk regularly (in person, telephone, SKYPE), holding each other accountable for meeting deadlines and completing the steps necessary to make progress toward accomplishing your goals.

You agree to call each other every day, or every other day, to make sure you are each following through on your planned action steps. Each day you plan at least three steps to take toward meeting your goals, share those with each other, and report on those you set the day before. Set a time limit for the call - about five minutes each is typical. Knowing that you'll be reporting the results to someone provides a tremendous amount of incentive to complete your stated tasks. You'll be amazed at what you'll do to avoid having to tell your partner that you did not take action!

It's important to decide ahead of time HOW you want to be held accountable. For example, my own accountability partner will ask me why I think it was that I avoided taking the action I'd set as a goal the day before. Then we have a short discussion on the fears or interruptions that prevented me from moving forward, and how to best avoid them in the future. I do the same for her.

An accountability partner can make suggestions, share ideas, contacts, information, books they may have read on the subject, etc.

Accountability partners can also provide enthusiasm when your own is waning due to set backs or unforeseen obstacles. The key to a successful accountability partnership is finding someone who is as excited about reaching their goals as you are and is committed to helping you reach them.

Spring into Fitness!

It’s the first week of April! Here's a workout I put together for myself to get my abs, arms, legs, and upper body in shape for shorts and tanks season. Please join me; we can keep each other accountable!

Let me know if you have questions about any of the exercises. I have photos, descriptions, etc. of the CORRECT way to do them.

This is a six day program, with alternating exercise days (A/B days), and one rest day.

A Days:

1. Start with 5 minutes of jumping jacks, high kicks, hula hooping or any aerobic exercise that you love.

2. Pilates 100’s - start wherever you can and build up to all 100 breaths.

3. Pilates Bicycles - work up to 25.

4. Side Plank – build up to 1 minute on each side.

5. Pilates Leg Pull Back, with or without leg lifts - work up to 6 reps each leg.

Repeat 3 - 5, then end with 5 more minutes of your favorite aerobic activity, and a 2 minute cool down.

B Days:

1. Five minutes Qi Qong, Yoga or any other meditative exercise that you enjoy.

2. Push-ups - as many as you can do of knee, wall, or military style push-ups. Work your way up to 20.

3. Super Squats- work your way up to 10, with a ten second hold.

4. Lunges - work up to 30 on each side.

5. Pilates Side Leg raises and circles - complete 10 raises and 5 circles in each direction adding more as you get stronger.

6. If you can still walk, try a 5 minute walk around your house or neighborhood.

Do all 6 days, then enjoy a day off!

Best of Health,

Kathi

How To Turn A Bad Day Around Fast!

Have you ever had one of those days where you got off to a really bad start? Perhaps your alarm didn't go off or you didn't hear it, then you proceeded to spill coffee on your new shirt, and then you got stuck behind a school bus... Your bad day picked up momentum as it continued and you felt like you had no control at all? We've all been there, done that and got the t-shirt. Today, I'd like to give you some simple tips for stopping that bad day in it's tracks and turning it around quickly so that you get the most enjoyment you can from each and every day.  

The first anti-stress tip to try is laughter - it truly is your best weapon against stress! Keep a disk in your car of funny stories or jokes and push the play button as soon as you start your drive! I find fast talking Robin Williams a quick antidote to a bad start. Here’s some silly fun to start you off.

polar bear on ice

What do Eskimos get from sitting on the ice too long?
Polaroids.    

What do you call four bull fighters in quicksand?
Quatro sinko.    

 

 

Crank up the tunes! Nothing changes your mood faster than music.  And let loose with some funky dance moves while you're at it. Even in the car, I have been seen dancing in my seat while driving in rush hour traffic. In fact, one day it was stand still traffic and I put the oldies on and was enjoying my best seated dance moves when a truck driver pulled into the lane next to me, gave me a thumbs up and joined in. It was great!

Best of Health,

Kathi

How About Some Couscous Pilaf ?

 I took an old Rice Pilaf recipe and made it with couscous instead - delish!

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large head of finely chopped cauliflower
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup home-made or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup currants
2/3 cup whole-wheat couscous
1/2 cup sliced leaks
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. add cauliflower and salt; cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add broth, orange zest, juice and currants; bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in couscous and leaks. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 min.

This yummy dish has only 163 calories per serving and a whopping 78% of our daily value of vitamin C. Enjoy!

Best of Health,

Kathi

Best Foods For Winter Skin Hydration

The weather in New England has been sooooooo cold this year. Winter is not my favorite season to begin with - and this one has been a monster!

We all know that winter heat can dry our skin and hair, so here's a list of hydrating foods for your winter table.

Cantaloupe
Honeydew melons
grapes
cucumbers
onions
celery
all lettuces/salad greens
strawberries
tomatoes
yellow and green squash
eggplant
lemons/limes/oranges/grapefruit, etc.
broccoli
peaches
apples
carrots
broth based soups

You can get lots of these ingredients, all in one dish, using a broth base with carrots, celery, onions, broccoli, squash, to make a fabulous, satisfying winter soup!

And HERE is a link to my bestselling eBook, Beautiful, Sexy Skin For Women Over 40 – What The Cosmetic Companies Don’t Want You To Know. Here's where you'll find all the information you need to make an informed decision about the soaps, exfoliants and moisturizers you bring into your home  - complete with links to recommended products!

Best of Health,

Kathi

What Is a Fascinoma?

Today, I have the great pleasure of interviewing Dr. Clifton Meador about his newest book Fascinomas.

fascinomas

A "fascinoma," as Dr. Meador defines it, is medical slang for an unusually interesting medical case. And Clifton K. Meador, MD has a gift for filtering through these cases and coming up with succinct but extremely entertaining stories. He has collected and curated 35 such cases from his own experience and the experiences of colleagues who have given permission to re-tell their own blockbusters. Each case is reads like a short story – the presentation of a strange set of symptoms, the initial response of the examining doctor(s), gradual revelation of further symptoms (sometimes via revealed secrets from the presenting patient), and the final diagnosis. Clifton's mantra is: “There is not a medical diagnosis or a defined disease behind every chronic symptom; but there is a demonstrable cause if you listen and search carefully.”

Yesterday Clifton visited Carl Bozeman's blog and spoke with Carl about advice doctors/healers can give when a patient has been diagnosed with chronic or acute symptoms but has determined they can "heal" themselves.

Here’s my interview with Clifton:

KATHI: I am constantly warning my clients about labeling their symptoms with a diagnosis, as this sometimes means that we treat only the symptoms and never discover what the true “cause” of our symptoms is, and are destined to repeat "groundhog day style," over and over. Can you explain what your research has shown regarding Western Medicine’s standard of diagnosing symptoms instead of attempting to learn their cause?

CLIFTON: I have not done systematic research, but from my experience I am in complete agreement with you. Of course with an acute illness, a correct diagnosis can lead to a specific treatment (consider all the infectious diseases for which there is a curative antibiotic). With chronic recurring symptoms then, focusing on the symptoms as a step to uncovering the cause is essential. In this case a diagnosis often brings a halt to further inquiry or observations. Consider these “diagnoses”- irritable bowel, chronic fatigue syndrome, hypoglycaemia, even fibromyalgia. These diagnoses often bring a halt to further inquiry. What in the life of the patient correlates with the intensity of the symptoms? Who in the life of the patient is a toxic stressor? What substances correlate with the symptoms? What is the patient doing or not doing that is producing the symptoms. Full awareness comes only from careful observation. Full awareness often leads to a cure or amelioration of the symptoms.

KATHI: Could you give an explanation of how disease labels can often be harmful to the patient diagnosed?

CLIFTON: If the diagnosis is false then the real cause is hidden. The patient is often satisfied to have a label, albeit wrong. The search for the real cause either ceases or it is delayed, thus missing the opportunity to prevent harm.

If the diagnosis is correct, it often stops all searches for aggravating or precipitating factors. Even if one has coronary artery disease with chest pains, one needs to dig deeper. What events trigger the pain? What circumstances bring on the pain? What stressors in the life of the patient should be identified and corrected? These questions require careful self examination to answer. A diagnosis sounds so final that it precludes these essential observations of the life of the patient.

KATHI: One of the first practices that I ask my clients to start is a journal or daily log of everything that they ingest, any exercise they complete, as well as how their symptoms manifest. I see that you also recommend keeping a diary of symptoms, can you explain why you feel this is important and do you recommend it as a daily practice?

CLIFTON: You are so on target. Memory is tricky and often false. Writing down the observations is essential to find important correlations with the symptoms. Of course the more recurring and chronic the symptom, the more important are the diary entries. Most stressor or triggers for symptoms are hidden from consciousness. The diary brings them into consciousness. I believe once something is made fully aware, it can then be addressed or eliminated. Awareness is so important. I find that personal or professional toxic relationships are common and often denied or suppressed. Those old dictums are so true: he gives me a headache; he is a pain in the ass; he makes me want to throw up, and on and on.

I hope you enjoyed this short interview with Dr. Clifton Meador. In Fascinomas, all of the clinical facts are completely true – the story of the illness, the lab work, the imaging studies, and the physical exam findings. If you are intrigued by the curative power of listening and engaging the patient and the family in searching for clues, especially when the symptoms are chronic and recurring – pick up Fascinomas HERE.

Easy Walking Meditation

Here's a walking meditation that was a favorite of mine during my Yoga training at Yogaville. The ashram is on top of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with an amazing view from just about anywhere on the site. When we meditated outdoors it was as if we could reach up and touch God.

Yogaville

You'll need a grassy area or sandy beach, as we'll be walking barefoot.

Start by standing tall and lengthening your spine all the way up through your neck. Keep your head up, but your gaze around the ground where your feet will touch.

Walk very slowly and softly. The idea is not to leave a footprint. I know that's not possible, but that's the intention, so walk softly enough to make that almost happen.

Really look at the blades of grass in your path, or the sand on the beach while you're walking. Notice what color they are, the length of the grass, the seaweed in the sand. Inhale the scent of fresh mowed lawn or sea and sand... 

Continue your slow, purposeful walking for at least ten minutes.

When you're done, you will feel refreshed and calm! Your mind will have taken a nice little break from it's constant "to do" list..

Best of Health,

Kathi

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