Resolve vs. Reflect

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We are less then one week into the New Year and the thought of making resolutions have probably crossed your mind. I want to raise awareness about the stress and difficulties surrounding this time of year. The word itself: resolution, means to solve a conflict or problem. This is turn suggests that we are problematic people with something to fix. And while it is commendable to always try and improve; interestingly, most of our resolutions tend to be negatively vague: “be better”, “work harder”, “loose weight”…etc.

We are primed to punish ourselves to fix problems that do not even exist – and then feel bad about not fixing said problem. We then think, we are not disciplined enough or not strong enough. But perhaps our problem is to think that something is wrong to begin with. Perhaps we are just fine as we are.

Self-reflection has been shown to improve awareness and mindfulness which in turn are good for one’s health. So instead of “resolving” to “fix” yourself, this new year I invite you to simply self-reflect.



Say No To Stress Snacking!

Let’s admit it, as much as we love the holidays, they can be a stressful! Nothing quite challenges our healthy lifestyle like this time of year; we are constantly trying to balance it all: buying the perfect gifts while maintaining a budget, making everyones favorite dishes while trying to eat healthy, and working overtime to complete finals or projects, while also trying to spend time with family and friends. It can be a lot! Now more then ever, we are tempted to stress snack. Which can lead to unhealthiness, which can lead to guilt, which can lead more stress and so on!

Remember, it is all a balance and you can only do your best. But here are some tips to beat stress snacking (most of them eliminate stress in the first place –  because sometimes the best treatment is prevention!)

  1. Exercise. I know you’re thinking, “when do I have the time?!” But trust me, you will thank yourself for making the time. Go for a walk, turn on some music, and just get moving.
  2. Drink Something Warm. Holding a warm mug will help you decompress, curb your appetite, and hydrate you. Triple threat!tea
  3. Breathe. Simple yet, effective. Breathe in for 5 seconds, hold for 5 seconds, and exhale for 5 seconds. This relaxes you and boosts oxygen to your brain so you can make clear decisions.
  4. Take Ten. 10 minutes just for you. Set a timer and shelf whatever stresses you have for 10 minutes.
  5. Reach for Magnesium Rich Foods. Think leafy greens, nuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, and pumpkin seeds.
  6. And when in doubt remember, JUST SAY NO to stress snacking. o-NO-GOOD-GESTURE-570

The Most Important Meal of The Day


You’ve heard it before, Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but have you ever been told why?

Eating a healthy breakfast has been liked to increased insulin sensitivity, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, and lower levels of LDL cholesterol. Need more proof? Infrequent consumption of breakfast has been shown to increase risk of diabetes by 28%in women compared to women who consume breakfast daily. Daily breakfast consumers have lower rates of diabetes, abdominal obesity, metabolic syndrome, and hypertension than people who eat breakfast three times a week or less.

But what you eat for breakfast matters. A healthy breakfast should include:

  • Whole grains. Whole grains are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Read the nutrition label; many cereals are made with refined grains which can cause your blood sugar to spike
  • Lean Protein. This will fill you up for the day, without increasing your cholesterol levels. Think egg white omelet or 4 oz of plain nonfat Greet yogurt.
  • Fiber. Fiber is the non digestible component of plant food; it lowers blood sugar and cholesterol, and can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Women shoot for 21-25g fiber per day, 30-38g fiber per day for men. Adding a Tbsp of Flax seed to your whole grain cereal is a great way to increase your fiber intake.
  • Low Sugar. Many cold cereals are preloaded with sugar. Look at the nutrition facts on the side of the cereals box and try to stick to no more than 5g of sugar per serving.
  • Low Sodium. Aim for a cereal with no more than 200mg of sodium per serving. If you’re going for a savory dish, try adding non-sodium spices or fresh herbs to increase the flavor of your dish.
  • Low Calories. Look for cereals with less than 150 calories per serving, and use a measuring cup when serving yourself. Many cereals bowls are larger than the average serving.


Like your morning coffee? Moderate Coffee consumptions has been associated with lower coronary artery calcium scores and could therefore be inversely related to cardiovascular disease. So enjoy your cup or morning coffee! Just stay away from artificial sweeteners, added sugar or cream. If you don’t like your coffee black, try adding unsweetened almond milk and a dash of cinnamon.

Read Here for 56 Cheap and Healthy Breakfast Options. 

Your Summer Farmers Market Guide!

Summer offers a bounty of fresh produce. Strolling through the farmer’s market and shopping local produce is one of my favorite ways to kick off a healthy week. Each week I challenge myself to try something new – the experiment is half the fun! Farmer’s Markets offer local seasonal produce – maximizing flavor and nutrients, while helping to cut down on environmental pollution (all at a low cost to you).


What’s in season now? 

Cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, lettuce, kale, watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, blueberries, peaches, apricot, kiwis, figs, and plums. (YUM)

Here’s some tips for picking the sweetest fruits: 

Watermelon: The heavier the watermelon – the juicier the inside! Look for a yellow “sun spot” on the bottom. Always wash the watermelon before cutting into it to avoid contaminating the inside with bacteria.

Peaches: Opt for organic here! Peaches are found to have one of the highest amount of pesticides. For the sweetest peaches, look for a darker skin with a soft give. (avoid storing in the fridge – it dilutes the flavor!) Want to speed up ripening? Place it in a brown paper bag!

Kale: Look for full dark green bunches! Store in a dry paper towel lined zip-lock bag in the fridge for up to a week.

Here are some more tips!

Bring your own bag: canvas totes, back-packs, beach bags, etc. You’ll be able to carry more and help the environment by avoiding plastics.

Try something new! Ask the vendor questions for samples or how to prepare it- you’ll never know what you’ll love!

If you find yourself seeking the same samples – it’s time to cough up! Treat yourself and buy it.


How to Bounce Back After a Holiday Weekend

This past weekend we celebrated our Independence with friends, family and fireworks. A large part of enjoying holidays in our country is indulging in some favorite treats. The trick however is to not feel bad about it, and reset the next week!


The best way to bounce back after a holiday is to do a HIIT workout (high intensity interval training). The combination of cardio and toning in one workout blasts calories and keeps that metabolism going long after your workout ends. Look here for some HIIT workout ideas. 

Here are some detoxifying nutrition ideas!

  • Sliced apples with cinnamon
  • Kale salad with apple cider vinegar dressing
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Roasted Asparagus
  • Protein Smoothies with berries
  • Wheatgrass
  • Grapefruit slices


Use herbs and spices such as dill, milk thistle, turmeric, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, ginger and cumin and try to stay away from salt.

Another tip! Sip on fresh lemon water this week and swap out your coffee for green tea – it is extra refreshing and detoxifying.

Go Nuts You Health Nuts!

Calling all Health Nuts!

If you’re like me, one of your go-to snacks is probably one or two (ok, let’s be honest…or three) handfuls of nuts. My favorite are roasted, unsalted almonds. But not all nuts are created equal! Thank to, here is everything you need to know the next time you are headed down the nut aisle…



Best Benefit: More calcium than any other nut—385mg per cup. That’s more than the amount of calcium in a cup of milk and about 39% of your daily calcium needs.

Serving Size: 23 almonds (163 calories)

Did You Know? Almonds are in the peach family; the seed of the almond fruit is actually what we call the nut.

Brazil Nut

Best Benefit: Richest dietary source of magnesium (107mg/ounce) and selenium (about 90mcg/nut). Best when consumed in moderation, as the tolerable upper intake level of selenium is 400 micrograms per day—anything above could cause potentially harmful side effects.

Serving Size: 6 Brazil nuts (186 calories)

Did You Know? The pod of the Brazil nut actually contains 8 to 24 seeds (what we consider the nut). Due to the their high fat content, Brazil nuts go bad pretty quickly. So store them in cool, dry places.


Best Benefit: Lowest fat per ounce. Rich in mineral copper, an essential component of many enzymes.

Serving Size: 16-18 cashews (157 calories)

Did You Know? Cashews are always sold shelled because the interior of their shells contains a toxic resin that must be carefully removed before they are safe for consumption. The cashew is a distant relative to poison ivy and sumac, so even its foliage must be handled with care.


Best Benefit: High in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid, which helps to lower cholesterol. They also have a high concentration of vitamin E (4.26mg), second only to almonds.

Serving Size: 21 hazelnuts (180 calories)

Did You Know? A hazelnut is also known as a filbert. The name most likely originates from the day of St. Philibert, celebrated on the August 22, when the harvest of hazelnuts usually starts.

Macadamia Nut

Best Benefit: They are a rich source of energy, providing 718 calories/100g, one of the highest values among nuts, and a rich source of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids

Serving Size: 10-12 macadamia nuts (204 calories)

Did You Know? Macadamia trees were imported to Hawaii in around 1882 as a windbreak for sugarcane, which was a major commercial export for Hawaii at the time.


Best Benefit: Higher folate content (68mgc) than any of the tree nuts

Serving Size: 28 peanuts (166 calories)

Did You Know? Classified as legumes, peanuts contains cancer-fighting compounds such as resveratrol and beta-sitosterol. Ancient Peruvians entombed peanuts with their mummies to nourish them in their journey to the afterlife.


Best Benefit: Highest antioxidant content, with ORAC value of 17,940 μ mol TE/100g [ORAC, or oxygen radical absorbance capacity, is a system of measuring antioxidant capacities.]

Serving Size: 19 pecan halves (196 calories)

Did You Know? The name “pecan” is a Native American word that was used to describe “all nuts requiring a stone to crack.” Pecan is the only tree nut native to the United States.

Pine Nut

Best Benefit: Appetite-suppressing nut, contains pinolenic acid, which makes you feel quickly satiated.

Serving Size: 167 kernels (191 calories)

Did You Know? Pine nuts grow under the scales of pinecones and have two shells.


Best Benefit: Highest potassium, with 295mg

Serving Size: 49 pistachios (162 calories)

Did You Know? The semi-opening of the shell led the pistachio to be termed the “smiling nut” in Iran and the “happy nut” in China.

Best Benefit: The only nut that contains a significant amount of alpha-linolenic acid, a plant based omega-3 fatty acid. One ounce provides more than the recommended daily intake for men and women.

Serving Size: 14 walnut halves (185 calories)

Did You Know? The Greeks called the walnut “karyon,” meaning “head,” because the shell resembles a human skull and the walnut kernel looks like a brain.

For your best health bet, stick to raw or roasted unsalted choices! 


Thai Massage in Baltimore


What if I told you there was something out that that combined acupressure, static and dynamic stretching, healing touch, and meditation? Sound too good to be true? Well, it is real! And it is called Thai massage.

Thai massage is one of my favorite ways to relax, heal, and recharge by restoring the body’s imbalances and relieving tension. Treating yourself to a thai massage can transport you, and sometimes it is nice to get away- even if it is for just an hour or two. But treating yourself does not necessarily mean breaking the bank. Here is a wonderful local option that helps promote wellness and stills allow you to be mindful of your budget: Thai Massage in Baltimore

How to take care of your body’s biggest organ…your skin!

sun safety

A lot of my patients want to look and feel their best. My advice? Moisturize with sunscreen! Yes, you heard me. The best thing you can do for your skin is moisturize, particularly while your skin is still damp. One natural option I like is using coconut oil – that same oil you cook with! A little goes a long way. Even better, moisturize with SPF. Those sun rays may feel amazing on your skin, but just imagine how much better you will feel without being haunted by the thought of UV rays creating mutations that may lead to skin cancer. .

The biggest mistake people make in sunscreens is that people do not apply enough. Most sunscreens last only 2 hours. We generally prefer a physical block that contains zinc oxide because it protects from both UVA and UVB radiation. In addition, there are less likely to be skin reactions in this compared to chemicals found in most commercial sunblocks. I would also suggest you consider using one of our serums, these provide an SPF of 8, but last all day and help prevent mutations associated with skin cancer. An SPF of 30 provides 95% protection.

Your skin is the biggest organ of the body, it works hard to prevent foreign particles from getting inside and causing dangerous problems. Make sure you take care of it by moisturizing, proper SPF use and hydrating.

More Pollen. More Problems.


Pollen, from trees, grass, and weeds contain soluble allergens which can dissolve through the mucosa linings of the respiratory system and cause common allergy symptoms, like rhinitis, i.e. a runny, itchy, sneezy nose!

This is MISERABLE for those who suffer from pollen allergies. The best way to help shots and other allergy medicine is to avoid your exposure! While medication might be necessary, avoidance can lessen the severity and frequency of your symptoms.

Here are some tips on how to avoid pollen exposure: 

  1. Wash your hair before bed after a day spent outdoors
  2. Dont hang clothing and bedding out to dry
  3. Have someone cut your grass – (see any friendly neighbors?)
  4. Keep your car window closed while driving
  5. Close home windows and turn on the AC
  6. Stay indoors between 5am-10am when airborne count is highest or on especially dry, windy days.

(As seen in Harvard Health Report)


Breathe. Get centered. And Relax.

Have you ever had one of those hectic days? Where everything is just flying at you a mile a minute? Or you’re so stressed, you have trouble falling asleep? Well, guess what: the answer is in your breath.

Some of you may have experienced the calming effects of focusing on your breath during yoga. It is a simple technique that can be used anytime, anywhere – not just on the yoga mat – to bust stress!

Here is how:

Sit in a quiet place you feel comfortable, roll your shoulders back and straighten your spine.

Deeply inhale and hold it for a few seconds.

Take your right thumb and press it to your right nostril, close it completely and exhale through the left.

Pause and inhale through your left nostril.

Use your ring and middle finger to close your left nostril and exhale through the right before pausing and breathing in again through the right.
Continue to alternate sides, making sure to pause for couple seconds at the top and bottom of each breath. Each breath you take should be long and full. Continue alternating nostril breathing for at least 5 minutes. If you want to aim for a deeper sense of relaxation, you can do it for up to 10 minutes.

Now, if you’re nose it so congested due to allergies that you cannot do this exercise, well then, that’s another conversation.

..breathing technique

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day Everyone! 

Take this Ecological Footprint Quiz to measure how much of the Earth’s resources you use and for access to types on how to reduce your mark! 

Earth Day Challenge: UNPLUG TONIGHT. That’s right. Turn off your cell, your computers, your iPad and TVs. Maybe even turn off the lights and light a few candles. Open the window and enjoy this time. 

April Showers Brings Super Health Powers!


April is National Gardening Month, so head to your favorite nursery and stock up on mulch, plant food, and your favorite garden veggies and flowers! Did you know that gardening is the ultimate Mind-Body workout? Getting outside helps create a calm relaxed state of mind, helping you let go of those everyday stressors. Added benefits? Major calorie burning, functional exercising, and free produce!

Here are some tips and checklists and added benefits to help you get started!


Alzheimer’s Disease, a chronic neurodegenerative disease progressing from short term memory loss, to mood swings, to disorientation, to not managing self care. Although the cause of Alzheimer’s disease is difficult to specify, proteins (called Amyloid-Beta Proteins) are associated with Alzheimer’s disease pathology. These proteins accumulate into plaques and disrupts the structure and function of brain cells (neurons) ultimately resulting in neuronal cell death and brain degeneration.

A recent study published in Science Translational Medicine, investigated a noninvasive, non-drug approach to removing amyloid plaques and restoring memory in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Through the repeated use of a scanning ultrasound, 75% of the Alzheimer’s Disease mouse model showed plaque clearing, and memory restored; clearly suggesting that repeated ultrasound treatment is worth exploring as a non-invasive therapy for Alzheimer’s disease.

Mind Over (DNA) Matter?


We have heard it before; when faced with an obstacle think “mind over matter”. We can push ourselves to run that extra mile, order the salad instead of the cheeseburger, decline the dessert menu. But what if “mind over matter” meant more than willpower? What if we rephrase this a little to read, “mindfulness matters”; what would that mean to us?

A recent study suggests that mindful meditation can preserve telomere length in breast cancer patients. What does this mean? Telomeres are the protective tips at the end of chromosomes, think the plastic tip of a shoelace, and are seen above in pink. Maintaining the strength and length of telomeres is essential as telomere shortening is associated with cancer, diabetes, and cell-aging. Those with high stress are also seen to have associated telomere shortening. Mindful meditation and support groups may prevent the deterioration of telomeres.

The study, published in Cancer, by Dr. Carlson found that telomere length was maintained in the two experimental groups who underwent different versions of support groups/mindful meditation associated with their breast cancer; whereas the telomere length shortened in the control group – those who had breast cancer and only received a 6 hour stress management course.

This study gives evidence to physical benefits of mindful meditation, and possibly extending longevity through lifestyle changes.