Why Cleanse

Written by Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN & Amy Coates, RHN, BSc.

We detoxify and cleanse for health, vitality, and rejuvenation. We cleanse our body to clear symptoms, treat disease, and prevent future problems. A cleansing program is an ideal way to help you re-evaluate your life, make changes, or clear abuses and addictions. Withdrawal happens fairly quickly, and as cravings are reduced you can begin a new life without old addictive habits or drugs. Detoxification is also helpful for weight loss, although this is not the primary purpose. The body stores toxins in fat cells. When you cleanse your body these toxins are more easily released from their fat stores. Since you then become less toxic, your toxin stores (the fat) are not as necessary and, thus, your body can rid itself of excess, unnecessary fat. Weight loss also occurs on a cleanse simply because there are fewer calories being consumed. Since weight loss boils down to creating a caloric deficit, eating less overtime is a simple way of losing weight. We also detoxify and cleanse to rest and heal our overloaded digestive organs. This is often an overlooked, yet very important, area considering optimal health truly begins with the health of our digestive system. Aside from the internal health benefits, detoxification can also be a great catalyst for external change. For instance, it can provide a great opportunity to reflect and re-evaluate what's most important to you. It can serve to help you cleanse your house, your work, your relationships. After a cleanse, you will even feel more organized, more creative, more motivated, more productive, more relaxed, and more mentally focused and clear. So, if you want more energy, greater vitality, more youthful and radiant skin, and greater health for life, then cleansing should be a regular (annual or semi-annual) part of your life. Yuri Elkaim is a renowned fitness, nutrition, and weight loss expert. He is a registered holistic nutritionist and the co-creator of the Total Wellness Cleanse - a 30-day food-based cleansing program that has helped thousands of people lose weight, cleanse their bodies of toxic overload, and restore incredible health. For information on the Total Wellness Cleanse visit http://bit.ly/1IeZSBN.

5 Tips Choosing the Right Foods and Drinks at Your Holiday Party so You don’t Gain Weight


Research studies show that most people gain weight over the holidays. But it doesn’t have to be this way— this year can be different! Here are some great tips to enjoy the holidays without adding pounds.


Tip 1: Eat a Healthy Balanced Meal before the Party.

Before you go to a holiday party, eat a healthy meal or healthy snack such as fat-free yogurt, fruit or a handful of raw nuts. Assess your hunger and be mindful of not approaching the holiday table starving! It is the old cliché of not going to the grocery store when you are hungry!! Be aware of all the options you will make more mindful choices.


Tip 2: Bring A Healthy dish to the Party

Bring an appropriate yummy, healthy dish you made yourself to the party. This way you know there is something at the party you can eat. Bring a healthy appetizer such as raw veggies, whole-wheat pita chips with Greek yogurt or hummus dip, corn chips & guacamole or edamame. You can also bring a dessert like fruit crisp so you know there will at least be one healthy choice.


There are plenty of great healthy dishes for the holidays on the web! It is all about flavors and herbs. A great place to find recipes includes http://jeanetteshealthyliving.com/2013/12/clean-eating-holiday-side-dish-recipes.html where Jeanette list 16 clean eating side dishes and Tosca Reno’s website http://www.toscareno.com/.


Tip 3: “It’s beginning to look a lot like Cocktails”!

Remember that drinks contain just as many calories as food especially those holiday drinks like mulled wine (356 calories) or eggnog. Eggnog is a sweetened dairy-based beverage traditionally made with milk and/or cream, sugar, and whipped eggs. It alone has 223 calories and 10.6 g of fat in one serving. Add spirits such as brandy, rum or bourbon and those calories have more than doubled!


Clear drinks are far less calories and fat than dark or creamy drinks. Having said that a glass of red wine is 100 calories as opposed to a 12-ounce beer which has 150 calories and more carbs.


Best Cocktail Choices: Wine or wine spritzers, gin and diet tonic, vodka and club soda, vodka and water, or just carbonated water with a lime or lemon! No one will know you aren’t drinking!


Worst Cocktail Choices: Anything with sugary drinks like sodas, juices, tonic water, or creams. Also drinks such as Margaritas, Long Island Iced Teas, Piña Coladas, and Cosmopolitans contain lots of calories. These drinks like an 8 ounce margarita contain 455 calories! Hot buttered rum has 300 calories and 38 g of fat, Starbucks peppermint white chocolate mocha contains 540 calories and 76 g of sugar, and a chocolate martini has 300 calories and 11 g of sugar!


Tip #4: Focus on Socializing and Making Connections

Mingle and socialize while meeting new people. By talking to people and mingling away from the buffet table, you will eat less and drink less as you engage in conversations. You can also help serve or clean up and the host will love the help! Holiday parties are a great way to make new friends and network.


Tip #5: Those Holiday Treats! Treat Yourself but do your Homework!

Give yourself permission to have a small bite of your favorite treats – but only one bite! I have listed only some of the holiday treats (one serving) and the calories they contain! You can find this information on the web and it does depend on how it was made so realize these are just estimates! Now that you have this information, you can decide which treats to indulge in and which ones to taste!


Cheese Balls = 500+ calories

Holiday Cookies = Sugar cookies have 200 calories and 14 g Sugar

Cheese Cake = 707 calories and 29 g fat

Beef Wellington = 744 calories, 57 g fat

Yule Log = 420 calories, 47 g sugar

Fruit Cake = 260 calories, 12 g fat

Yorkshire Pudding = 625 calories, 37 g fat

Plum Pudding = 360 calories, 15 g fat

Pecan Pie = 500 calories, 37 g fat

Real Mash Potatoes = 237 calories, 9 g fat

Cinnamon Rolls = 730+ calories, 36 g fat

Pecanbon = 1100 calories, 25 g fat

Peanut Brittle = 150 calories, 5 g fat

Apple pie with ice cream = 500 calories, 25 g fat



So now you have it, my tips on Choosing the Right Foods and Drinks at Your Holiday Party so You don’t Gain Weight during the Holidays this year. If you follow these tips you’ll be guaranteed to save yourself from the unwanted weight gain and unnecessary stress during the holidays! ENJOY!!!

Please comment below on some of the holiday treats and tips you do during the holidays to not gain weight!  For more fabulous tips, sign up for my stress free report and audio above.

7 Essential Core Habits For Living a Stress-Free Life

 Stress.   We have all felt stress at one time or another in our lives.  Your heart pounds as if it is going to burst right through your chest followed by rapid breathing and  sweating.  We have been told that stress causes everything from the common cold to cardiovascular disease.  


In fact, the research shows that IF you BELIEVE stress is bad for you then it will cause these dis-ease.  However, Harvard researchers found in one study that if  you believe that your stress response is helpful and preparing you for the situation, you are actually less stressed, have more energy and more confidence.

It is true that almost every thought and action you take is directed by the underlying beliefs you hold.  Yep, your personal perception of reality comes from your beliefs.  

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi


There are 7 essential core habits or practices for living a stress-free life.


1.  Eat Well – Whole, real, and natural foods that come from the earth are fuel for the body.  And, yes, food affects your moods!  Veggies, fruits, grains and lean protein are very healthy.  Not only will you feel energized, but your hair, nails and skin will benefit as well.  What you eat affects your energy, your emotions (mood), how you sleep, and how well you think.  Spinach, turkey, seafood and walnuts are on the top of list for mood boosters because of the nutrients they contain such as antioxidants, magnesium, tryptophan, Omega 3’s and selenium. 

2.  Sleep Well – studies have shown that not getting enough sleep really affects your moods and how you handle challenges in life!  People  who sleep less than 5 hours a night report feeling more irritable, angry, stressed, sad and mentally exhausted.  In addition, lack of sleep suppresses the immune system.  Studies suggest healthy adults need 7-8 hours a night and these adults sleep better when they go to sleep before midnight.  More importantly, establish a regular routine of going to bed and waking up at the same time even on the weekends.

3.  Meditate – deep breathing is a simple, yet powerful, relaxation technique especially when combined with meditation.  This is “belly breathing” or breathing from the abdomen.  One techniques that works for me when I am stressed is to inhale to the count of 4, hold for the count of 7 and exhale for the count of 8.  I do this 5-8 times until I feel relaxed.  You can do this sitting up, laying down or standing.  There is no right or wrong way to meditate.  You can use visualization such as your favorite vacation spot or focus on relaxing groups of muscles beginning with your head and moving down towards the feet.  

4.  Movement – find something you love to do that gets you moving!  There are many ways to move the body such as belly dancing (or any other dancing), swimming, yoga, running, hiking, biking, exercise class, and walking.  Exercise relieves stress, improves your mood, releases endorphins, improves sleep, tones muscles, and maintains weight. Start off scheduling 30 minutes a day.  You can do 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night if you need to break it up.  Work towards an hour a day and you will be amazed at the benefits!

5.  Journaling – keeping a journal is a great way to release emotions and reduce stress.    Take some time in a quiet and comfortable place without any interruptions.  In addition to journaling about my emotions,  I like to keep a gratitude journal.  At night I write down 5 things that I am grateful for during the day.  This helps to keep me focused on the positive things happening in my day. 

6.  Hydrate – your body is 70-80% water depending on which study you read.  Every organ in your body needs water to function properly.  When you are dehydrated, your cortisol levels (stress hormone) increases.  The correlation between water and stress reduction is well documented.  While drinking water won’t put money in the bank or stop the kids from fighting, it will help you deal with the challenges better without the added stress of being dehydrated.  A good rule of thumb is to drink one ounce of water for every pound you weigh.

7.  Invest in You – Schedule time in your day (not just your week) for you!  Put it on the calendar and make it non-negotiable.  I know, you’re busy taking care of everyone else.  Hey, I have been there.  Start off with 30 minutes a day even if you have to split it up, but work up to one hour a day.  You and your family will be grateful.   It could be the time you spend walking in nature.  Go get a massage, manicure, or go dancing.  Take a bubble bath, read a book, listen to relaxing music or take yourself out on a date night.  Change it up and you won’t get bored.  THIS IS THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOURSELF!  JUST DO IT!

What are some core practices in your life to reduce stress and be happy?  Please leave a comment below!  In addition, if you want more tips on less stress, sign up for my free report up above “7 Steps Successful Women Use to Stay Calm During Chaos” http://bit.ly/1tElx0h

Is “Clean Eating” getting a bad rap?

Perhaps you have read about paleo diets, gluten free diets, or read many of the blogs posted on this topic.  Some people believe the term to be misleading and restricting.  I first heard the term in the early 90’s at a Whole Foods store.  They were advocating foods that were natural without preservatives or “living” such as fruits and veggies.  By the mid 90’s many stores were promoting cleaning up their labels so you could actually understand and know what the ingredients were for a particular product.

By the mid 90’s, many health food stores and co-ops saw significant growth as consumers began paying attention to their health and wellness which translated into what they were purchasing.  Cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes were on the rise during the 90s.  In addition, during the next two decades the media jumped on the bandwagon of eating healthier with movies like “Supersize Me”, “Food, Inc.”, “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” and “Food Matters”.  Many books were also being written on the food industry as well such as The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan or Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.  

Today, we have seen a mass movement of “clean eating” by people from all walks of life who want to feel good and look good.  People now understand the relationship between nutrition and health.  Doctors link many physical and emotional illnesses back to a diet deficient in vitamins and minerals.

To me, the phrase “you are what you eat” is really true, so being mindful about your food makes sense.  Eating clean is a lifestyle based on dietary common sense.  It is not another diet or fad and it is only as restrictive as you want to be!  It is eating real foods as close to nature as possible.  I use whole grains, lean protein sources, and fresh fruits and vegetables.  I also eat bison, venison and occasionally beef.  I follow Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean lifestyle and I have never felt better in my life.  The benefits are numerous including healthy skin and nails, healthy weight, good cholesterol and blood pressure, and more energy!  The clean eating principles include eating 5-6 small meals a day every 2-3 hours, combine lean protein with complex carbs, drink 8 cups of water a day, avoid over processed foods, avoid saturated fats, avoid sugar loaded drinks and snacks, eat fresh fruits and veggies and stick to proper portion sizes.  The best part is that I have adapted these principles to fit my lifestyle.

Last week while on vacation in Fort Mill, South Carolina, I dined at Passion8 Bistro.  I started with their Infamous Calamari Cubano with jalapeño citrus butter, culotte with Roasted Potato, Arugula, Basil, Hand Crushed Tomato Sauce, and the desserts were amazing!  The cocktails were made with fresh juices and mine had fresh ginger in it.  Yum!! This cozy bistro uses local organic ingredients and they have quite a following!  It was a decadent night and one to be cherished!  These are treat nights that are part of my lifestyle.  If you are in the area, make sure to visit this amazing bistro!  It is in my top 5 places to eat and I have traveled extensively!

So, before judging this as too restrictive or just another fad diet, implement some of these healthy principles into your diet for an extraordinary wellness lifestyle!  For more information on tips for clean eating check out this seminar https://extraordinarywellnesscoaching.leadpages.net/cl-webinar/

Stress and Weight Gain, especially Belly Fat

It has been well documented that stress causes many diseases like cardiovascular disease and ages you quickly.  Stress causes unwanted weight gain as people turn to comfort foods for relief.  Watch this video below by Dr. Michael Roizen of the Cleveland Clinic as he explains the imbalance of hormones and weight gain due to stress.

Top Ten Clean Eating Foods to Relieve Stress

Clean eating is not just another fad diet promising you instant gratification with weight loss in record breaking time.  It is a lifestyle that will nourish your body giving it the right nutrients which regulates your hormones and relieves stress.  It is easy because there is no calorie counting or no pills to remember.   And the best part?  There is no depriving yourself of certain foods.   Some foods are better at reducing stress.  Here are the 10 best foods for reducing stress.

1.  Chia Seeds, Flax Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds and Walnuts

These seeds and nuts contain an abundance of alpha-Linolenic acid and linoleum acid which has been correlated to promote healthy blood pressure.  Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the symptoms of chronic stress.  In addition, these foods contain polyunsaturated fatty acids which promotes a healthy cardiovascular system (heart healthy).  Pumpkin seeds contain antioxidants which help to control glucose absorption and protect against oxidative stress and hypertension.

2. Dark Chocolate

Chocolate has long been known as a mood enhancer, stress relieving food.   Recent scientific studies have demonstrated that chocolate, especially dark chocolate is a beneficial food that helps to reduce cortisol and catecholamines (stress hormones).  Because some studies have reported eating over half a pound a week, choose organic dark chocolate with low sugar.  

3. Salmon

Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids and considered a brain food. Studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids reduce cortisol levels people who were experiencing stress and anxiety. Remember that cortisol is a stress hormone released when the body is experiencing physical or physiological stress. When this hormone is produced in excess, sugar levels rise and weight gain occurs.  Salmon also contains vitamin D which is often found in dairy products or produced by the body in response to sunlight exposure.  Vitamin D boost the immune system, regulates moods and helps to reduce stress.  Vitamins, especially D, will be decreased in the body during stressful situations.

4. Garlic

Metabolites in garlic, such as allicin, have been associated with healthy blood pressure, and cholesterol.  In addition, garlic regulates cortisol and boost the immune system.

5. Figs

Fresh or dried, figs offer a potent source of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. As a bioavailable source of potassium, calcium, and magnesium, figs offer nutrients necessary for maintaining healthy blood pressure and muscle function. The antioxidants in figs have the potential for protecting against oxidative stress, a type of stress that is facilitated by diet, pollution, and tobacco use.

6. Oatmeal

Steel cut oats found at your local grocery store and natural rolled oats are a source of fiber and the complex carbohydrates found in oatmeal increase healthy serotonin levels, which could help to improve mood.

7. Spinach, Swiss Chard and Kale

These are dark-green leafy vegetables packed with essential vitamins (A, C, E, and K) and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Chard also contains a specific class of antioxidants known as betalains to protect the body against the stress indicators of high blood sugar and high blood pressure.

9. Seaweed

Seaweed contains a high-quality source of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Seaweed also contains iodine which is necessary for thyroid health to regulate hormones.  Dulse Seaweed is very popular and the one that I purchase.  Seaweed is considered to be a superfood  which is thought to help fight the effects of stress by maintaining proper hormone levels within the body.

10. Berries

Blueberries, strawberries, and cherries all contain antioxidants which boost the immune system and prevent many diseases.  They protect your body against inflammation and free radicals.  Berries are also loaded with fiber.  One cup of strawberries contains more vitamin C than an orange.  Studies have shown that Vitamin C reduces cortisol, the stress hormone in the blood.  Not only does this reduce your sugar levels but your blood pressure as well.  Therefore, it reduces the physical and psychological stress in the body as well.  Studies show that people with high levles of vitamin C in their bodies recover quicker from stressful situations.

Eating well and clean supports a healthy lifestyle. The benefits are glowing skin, hair and nails, weight loss and maintenance, regulation of hormones, and more energy.  Clean eating not only benefits your physical health, but it supports your mental health. For example, nutrients from your diet such as vitamin B-6, help make dopamine, a chemical involved in feelings of pleasure. Omega-3 fatty acids also support feeling good, while a deficiency can cause moodiness and depression. All ten of the foods above are shown to reduce stress.

Does clean eating help you bounce back quicker in stressful situations?  Leave a comment below and let us know!

Create a Daily Routine

How do you handle stress on a day to day basis?  Create your daily routine to stay grounded and centered during chaos….

Spring Cleaning the Pantry and Refrigerator

Today I want to share with you Spring Cleaning your Pantry and Refrigerator.  Millions of people are overweight and dieting.  Many people have health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.  Statistics show that for many Americans genetics only plays a 10% role, exercise a 10% role and what you eat plays an 80% role in your health and shape.  This is good news.    How many foods in your kitchen are over-processed especially with white flour and sugar?  Do they have preservatives?  Artificial sugars?  Saturated fats or trans fats?  Many snacks and processed foods are calorie dense foods containing little nutritional value.  So take an inventory of your pantry and refrigerator.  Great now let’s do a Spring Cleaning and talk about the rules of clean eating.  This isn’t about another diet or even depriving yourself.  It is a lifestyle change in learning to eat healthy and clean.  It involves planning healthy meals for the week, but first you must have healthy options.  Whenever I can, I buy and eat local foods.  Here is what I keep in my kitchen:

Complex Carbs or Whole Grains:  brown rice, wheat germ, quinoa, oat bran, and spelt.

Cereals:  Oatmeal, Muesli,  and Kashi.

Dairy:  Rice Milk, Lite chocolate soy milk, Goat Cheese, and Stoneyfield organic Yogurt (Plain)

Fresh Fruits:  Bananas, Apples, Pears, Blueberries, oranges, Frozen mangos and dried fruits which are great for cereal in winter months.

Veggies:  Buy the color of the rainbow!  Lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, and whatever is in season!  I love Kale, Swiss Chard, and eggplant.  Sweet potatoes or yams are a staple in my kitchen.

Beans:  Soy, lentil, chickpeas, black beans and white beans.

Lean Proteins:  Soy burgers, tofu, tempeh, turkey, chicken, fish, pork, venison and buffalo meat from a local farm.

Nuts or Nut Butters:  I always have Tahini and almond butter on hand.  I also have pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts and pecans on hand.  Not only are these a good source of protein, but they are a great garnish to many meals.

Condiments:  Mustards, horseradish, vinegars, olive oil, salsas, lime and lemon juice……a large variety of good herb seasonings.  It is all about flavor so spice up your meals.

If you plan on the weekends and make your meals and healthy snacks ahead of time, you will avoid the unhealthy snacks.  You know, the cake, cookies or candy bowl at the office that tempts you every time you walk by.  I always carry dried mangos or other dried fruit with no sugar added, almonds or other nuts, apples , almond butter and cut up veggies.  That way, when I need a snack, I have healthy options.  You will make mistakes.  It is how you deal with those mistakes that will determine your success.  Have compassion for yourself!  Enjoy the journey and remember, it begins with one habit at a time!


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