Crown Point, IN

September 28, 2023

Why You Can’t Stop Eating Junk Food

“Who ate all these chips?!” You look around and, alas, not even a dog to blame. Oops. It’s not your fault.  If you’ve had this experience—r

September 21, 2023

Harvesting the Balance of Autumn

September 23rd ushers in the autumn equinox, a time when day and night are in perfect balance. It also opens the official season of cozy sweaters, pum

September 14, 2023

More Brain-Boosting Foods

Last week I shared a list of brain-boosting foods with the promise of more to come. Here are some additional foods that you may choose to include in y

September 7, 2023

Ten Brain-Boosting Foods

Thank you for the many recommendations of farm stands with tasty corn on the cob. Mr. Non-Compliant happened to be in the vicinity of VanDerGriends Fa

August 31, 2023

Mr. Non-Compliant’s Unwavering Passion for…Corn

Mr. Non-Compliant LOVES corn on the cob. Since the corn season is rather brief, I do my best to oblige him with this indulgence. And as my dear cousin

August 24, 2023

Tips for a Sluggish Thyroid

Lately, I’ve been getting lots of questions about the little gland known as the thyroid. It seems to be underperforming for many of you. Hypothyroid

August 17, 2023

Healthy Anytime Toast

Since my encounter with bar food last week, I’ve been focused on eating more plants. I came across this idea to enjoy “toast” and get more veggi

August 10, 2023

Confessions from The Antler

What does one eat when in a bar? Bar food, of course. The bar options: The Brown Bear vs. The Antler: Horniest Bar Around (There were deer heads with

August 3, 2023

6 Ways to Enjoy a Staycation at Home

August. Already. Is summer slipping by too quickly? Feel as though you’ve not experienced enough lazy days? Can’t manage to get away for one reaso

July 26, 2023

The Wonder of Apricots

When I think about the abundant fruits of summer, apricots make the list. Although some of you may not be fans, I ask that you consider giving this da

The Gluten Thing: Fad or Fact, Part 1

What are your thoughts on gluten? Do you eat it, or not? Why are so many people talking about it these days?

Just this week I received a call from a friend who was in tears. She had just been diagnosed with a severe gluten allergy—AND she’s Italian. Horrors.

Sometimes before we can move forward, we need to have a good cry. 

I get it. I’m right there with her, even though I’m not Italian. It’s tough, yet it really is manageable.

In today’s blog I’ll discuss what gluten is, why it’s in our food, and how it may be affecting your health.

Gluten is a protein composite that’s found in wheat and other grains and starches: barley, bulger, rye, spelt, kamut, triticale, semolina, farina, wheat germ, matzo, graham flour, couscous.

Gluten is Latin for “glue” and acts as an adhesive that holds flour together to make food products. It makes pizza dough stretchy, breads and bagels chewy, and pasta noodles elastic.

It is a common additive that’s found in processed foods, cosmetics, personal care products, and even medications. It keeps sauces and gravies from curdling, as well as volumizing your mascara.

Celiac disease refers to an autoimmune condition that affects numerous systems in the body. Its primary target is the intestinal tract and affects approximately 1% of Americans.

Gluten sensitivity implies that there is some type of immune reaction occurring due to gluten in the diet. 35-40% of the population cannot tolerate gluten.

Gluten sensitivity is very real and causing major health issues for a growing number of people, even if they don’t have symptoms – yet.

Health conditions that may be linked to gluten sensitivity:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • ADHD
  • Autoimmune disorders (diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s, etc.)
  • Bone pain/osteopenia/osteoporosis
  • Dairy intolerance
  • Digestive disturbances
  • Infertility
  • Hives/rashes
  • Migraines
  • Food malabsorption
  • Neurological disorders (dementia, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, etc.)
  • Seizures/epilepsy

This is not a complete list. A delicious piece of bread can sure wreak havoc on a body. 

Remember, I’m merely the messenger and am continually putting the pieces of my own puzzle of health together. It’s a process.

Next week I’ll address more on this topic: How do you know if you have a gluten issue? What other foods contain gluten? What CAN I eat?

In the meantime, if you’d like more detailed information, check out the book Grain Brain, by David Perlmutter, MD.

If you should find yourself in the 35-40% or wish to eliminate a food group from your diet, I’ve had LOTS of practice.

Finding ways to eat deliciously without gluten and dairy are my specialty. Contact me today and I’ll help you live healthier with food.

Much love,

“People are getting to this place of understanding that their lifestyle choices actually do matter a whole lot as opposed to this notion that you live your life, come what may, and hope for a pill.”—David Perlmutter

Anchor Habits, Being Still, and My Resident Rabbit

It almost feels as though our world is sort of opening up again. For now.

How very indefinite.

At any rate, prior to everything shutting down, perhaps you had some great pro-health habits in place to keep you feeling energized and happy. Or perhaps not.

While motivation can certainly get you started, the best way to stick with your habits is by having systems in place. The past year may have wiped out your anchor habits—those things you do without having to think about them. 

Like making coffee first thing when you get out of bed, reading the newspaper, then showering to get ready to go to work.

Because maybe you had to stop GOING to work.

Here’s another example of an anchor habit in action: On the days you plan to work out, you have your gym bag by the front door, ready to go with you. By doing this, you can go straight from work to the gym without stopping at home. (Stopping at home could mean you don’t leave the building again.)

If you now work from home, or your gym has been closed—well, so much for that anchor.

For some, a new anchor habit has been created that includes a little too much wine, or too little home cooking.

Now is a great time to review your priorities and see what’s different for you. As you go through your day, are you engaging in the activities that are truly important? Don’t be surprised if things have shifted a bit.

Once you complete your review, look at how your old systems might work and if necessary, create new ones that support your life today.

If you need help creating a new plan, let’s talk.

On Being Still

In order to review your priorities, you’ll need to find time to be still. I understand what a challenge this can be.

This is important. A year ago, we were forced to be still. If you find yourself back on the merry-go-round, feeling as though you have no time, then you really need to do this. 

Take 10 quiet minutes and simply BE. You might like it. You might gain some insights. You may hate it. Just try.

My Resident Rabbit

This furry little guy/gal (I wouldn’t know even if I could get a hold of it) has beheaded 4 of my tulips and demolished 2 strawberry plants. The fact that I have a dog doesn’t faze this wascally wabbit. 

The Animal Stopper I use probably couldn’t endure all the rain. I’ve since reapplied.

While many flowers are safe for human consumptionnasturtiums, lavender, pansies, zucchini squash blossoms—bunny goes for my tulips every spring. Guess bunny knows I won’t be eating those.

Rabbit stew, anyone? Just kidding.

Much love,

“The world’s just spinning
A little too fast
If things don’t slow down soon we might not last.
So just for the moment, let’s be still.”—The Head and the Heart, “Let’s Be Still”

3 Reasons Why Losing Weight is Hard

It seems like such a simple concept.

Expend more calories than you eat, and BOOM. Off go the pounds.

Not so fast.

There are lots of reasons why it’s more complicated. Here are a few of the big ones from some really smart scientists who study this stuff for a living.   

Reason #1. Once you’ve lost some weight, you burn fewer calories. Think about it, in case you haven’t. A person weighing 100 pounds needs to consume less calories than someone who weighs 150 pounds. Even a 5-pound decrease in weight means you need fewer calories. Bummer.

Reason #2. Your metabolism shifts in a way that is not helpful. For instance, let’s say you have been the same 100 pounds most of your adult life, and your friend lost 20 pounds and now weighs 100 pounds. Your friend has to eat less in order to stay at that 100 pounds than if she’d been that weight most of her life. SO not fair for your friend!

Reason #3. As you lose weight, your appetite increases. This increase in appetite can last for up to a year. WHAT? I know, it’s crazy!

If you’ve struggled to lose those same pesky pounds for years, now you know why.

 It’s not that you don’t have enough willpower or discipline. If you’ve been saying that to yourself, STOP IT!

Weight loss isn’t only about what you eat (or don’t eat) and how much you exercise. Although this is a big part of it, there’s much more.

The scientists who have done these studies say that “promoting a holistic approach to achieve a healthier lifestyle is necessary to maximize quality of life.”

It’s not just about a number on the scale.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned the concept of Deep Health: relational, existential, mental, physical, emotional, environmental. 

These are all connected, which also explains why sustained weight loss can be hard. There are no quick fixes.

Needing guidance and help along the way is the norm, not the exception.

I’m here for you.

Connect with me by email. We’ll look at what’s getting in the way of maximizing your quality of life—and losing those pesky pounds.

Much love,

“We do life. We do it abundantly. And we have a good time.”—Carol Slager  

He’s Here, and He’s Adorable

This is week #39 of baby, and guess what? He arrived!

Little Angelos is perfect and looks like a little angel—well-dressed in monogrammed attire with a bit of hair gel, perhaps?

He is the size of a mini watermelon, which is the produce of the week. Right on schedule, he weighed in at 7 pounds, 13 ounces and is a whopping 20 ¾ inches long.   

Mom is doing well and could use some rest. She’s a trooper!

And for fun, a few tidbits of watermelon trivia.

As you may suspect, watermelon is great for hydration since it is 92% WATER. Between the water and fiber, it will fill you up without loading you up on calories. Sweet!

Watermelon delivers many vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that enhance health.

Benefits include enhanced heart and eye health, decreased inflammation linked to many chronic diseases, and improved digestion.

We began the baby countdown back in October at week #17 with the turnip and have certainly covered the produce section.

May you continue to enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables and challenge yourself to try something unusual from time to time.

How fitting that little Angelos has shown up in time for Easter as we celebrate new life and the resurrection of Jesus.

To the parents of Angelos, I wish you many blessings, lots of love, and an occasional good night’s sleep.

Thanks for giving me fun blog material for the last 5 months.

Wishing you a most joyful Easter,

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.”
― Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyła)