cholesterol not the cause for high cholesterol–stop taking statins

I was researching high cholesterol today, not because its “Heart Health Month” but because one of my family members (who shall remain nameless–and no, its not me) has high cholesterol.  I was surprised that their doctor said they should go on a low cholesterol diet, because anyone in the health community with half a brain should know that dietary cholesterol does not cause high cholesterol.

Back when I was an undergrad, I worked in a lab where we studied cholesterol and atherosclerosis, so I know a thing or two about this.  Back then, in the 80s (yes, 30 some-odd years ago) we knew that the primary cause of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) is inflammation of the arterial wall.  Despite that finding, the pharmaceutical industry created statins to control endogenous cholesterol (cholesterol made by our own bodies in the liver).

Because I’m not a doctor a lot of people don’t take me very seriously when I tell them this, and how to fix it.  So,  when I came across this great article by a heart surgeon I wanted to share it right away.   Dr. Lundell does an amazing job summing up why taking statins isn’t really helping “cure” heart disease, how a major component of our American diet is killing us, and clears up major myths about the #1 killer of women in the U.S.

Click here to read the article 

Please read the article, pass along to your loved ones, share on Facebook and share a comment with ME below.

Here’s to our amazing, healthy, miraculous bodies!  Elyse

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Snow day? here’s something to chew on…

winterscene

Its another snow day here in Cincinnati.  I really love snow days because its a great excuse to cocoon (interpret as sit in front of fire, read, watch movies, work on the computer), and do anything except exercise.  Ever since I got pneumonia several years ago, I can’t run outside.  One more excuse to skip my workout.

But, this year is different because I am committed to training (yes, actually following a training program like I teach) for a May triathlon.  Let me back up a little bit.

So, for the past two years or so, I haven’t been racing, so I haven’t been training.  I’ve been so busy training others that it was really hard for me to get my own training in.  And my friend and training partner got sick 2 years ago, then was working ungodly hours at work.  So that’s my excuse.  I was unmotivated and kind of was in victim/blame mode.  This year something is different.  I actually heard myself.

You know what I mean.  Its like we have this conversation in our heads:

me: I should run today

my head: oh yeah, lets call Mary and see when she can go

me: she can’t go, boo ho0.  I should go anyway.

my head: yeah, but it won’t be as fun, and maybe when you get there it might hurt and then I’ll be sore or hurt myself, and besides its cold out.

me: yeah, better play it safe.

Okay, so then one day in January I was able to step back and really hear myself.  I was like–Oh my gosh!! I sound just like the clients who never come to the gym!  I am so lame!! I am letting everything get in the way of me working out!  If I want to change then I have to take charge and do it.  Pull up my big girl panties.  and Just Do IT.

So, for the past two weeks I have been spinning and running, doing brick workouts, lifting, swimming.  This morning I ALMOST fell back into complacent mode, but I went to the gym (thanks to some motivation from my daughter) and had an awesome workout!!!  Feels so good!  Victorious over my sloth-like tendencies.  🙂 Here is what I did on the treadmill while I watched part of the Pink Panther (I did weights yesterday and missed spinning so I did this today):

Ran at 5.5 (rather slow) for 3 minutes. Then did tabatas at 7.5  (thats 20 seconds run hard/10 rest 8 times).  I rested at 4.0 then sped up to 6.0 until I got to 10 minutes.  Then I did another tabata set same as the first.  Rested until 16 minutes and ended with another tabata set.  That brought me to a little over 2 miles and 20 minutes.  Felt great!!!  Don’t get me wrong.  It was hard, but I have to share this key insight:

As I was doing my second set of tabatas (at about the 4th round), I started to feel more relaxed.  I definitely was keeping track of my form, very conscious of using my core and hamstrings/glutes, but I started to feel like I could breathe slower.

Physiologically this isn’t really earth shattering, but I want to share it with you because of this:

We tend to feel that something is hard and then stop because it hurts, or we feel weak.  This happens when I swim.  My first 100 m my arms are burning, but then it goes away.  Push ups are the same way.  Once warmed up, the muscles, given the proper rest, can keep going and the burn goes away.

So, two lessons here…

#1:  Listen to yourself.  are you playing the victim card?  do you blame other people, your situation, your family for not doing what you really want/need?  work that out.  being a victim is all in your head, so you can change it.  Read a book for inspiration about an athlete who beat all odds and conquered the worst to rise above.  this is a great story.  Listen to some inspiring music like Eye of the Tiger or Firework.  Might sound kind of corny but it works.

#2: Keep going.  Don’t stop when your muscles start to burn (there is a difference between burn and hurt–listen to your body).  Push past the burn and see if it goes away.

Happy snow day!  Share your favorite snow day workout in the comments below!

Elyse

delicious, fast and easy mediterranean quinoa tacos

my tabouli with hummus

my tabouli with hummus

Last night during his new 1 hour commute home, my hubby called to request a Mediterranean-inspired dinner.  I’m not much of a cook, especially during the week, but this sounded easy enough and I had the night off (normally I’m training till 7).

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been more deliberate about my food choices.  The holidays were quite relaxed for this food geek.  I really wanted to have a meat-free night.  I’m working on an incredible cleanse that I will be releasing soon (called the Inner Beauty Challenge) so I have been thinking about cleansing, healthy foods anyway.

Parsley is a wonderfully cleansing food, AND is really inexpensive, AND its readily available (heck, you can grow it in a pot).  So I decided to make some kind of tabouli and make Mediterranean-inspired tacos.

quinoa is a seed grain that is packed with protein. Its a great sub for most grains.  You can use it as is, or grind into a flour.

quinoa (in the back)  is a seed grain that is packed with protein. Its a great sub for most grains. You can use it as is, or grind into a flour.

Here’s the concept:

spinach flour tortillas (see ingredient list–these can be tricky), filled with hummus, my quinoa tabouli (see recipe below), cucumbers, mushrooms, lettuce (you could add feta cheese, tomato).  Its almost like a little slice of summer in January!

As you can see, these tortillas contain all the ingredients you would use in your own kitchen.

As you can see, these tortillas contain all the ingredients you would use in your own kitchen.

My hubby is not a big fan of tomatoes so I left that out, but they are normally a key ingredient in tabouli.  Another key ingredient is couscous, which can be hard to find.  Since this was a meatless dish I wanted to bump up the protein and plant fat content, so I used QUINOA and avocado in place of the tomatoes.

I absolutely love quinoa, especially for this kind of dish.  Its super fast, easy, versatile, and packed with protein.  It provides texture without being overpowering.

Hummus is super easy to make, but I prefer to buy mine (I told you, I’m not much of a cook–at least not THAT much!).  I always look at the ingredients, even in these seemingly simple foods, because food companies use preservatives, like potassium sorbate.  Sounds healthy enough, right–potassium is natural? Here are two short articles on potassium sorbate and other preservatives that companies sneak into foods.  This one even has a hummus recipe! And this one briefly lists other ingredients you should avoid.

Back to my dinner…

Here is the end result:

Its got a nice texture, not too much grain, and not mushy.  It tasted amazing!  My husband raved!!

Ingredients: I use as many organic ingredients as possible.

1/2 avocado chopped (firm but not hard)

1/4 red onion chopped (my hubby is not a huge fan of onions so I just added a little–I chopped up 1/2 and then saved the rest for a quick-add to something else)

2 cups of chopped fresh parsley

half an english cucumber (I like the english cuke because it has less seeds, but you can use a regular cucumber and seed it).

1/2 cup cooked quinoa (just add 1/2 cup quinoa to about 1 cup of water–cover and cook until water is gone–takes about 5-10 min)

1-2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Chop all the veggies and put into bowl.  Add cooked quinoa (I added mine hot and it didn’t mess anything up) and mix thoroughly.  Add lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Viola!  You are done!

For Mediterranean-inspired tacos, take the spinach flour tortillas, add hummus (holds other ingredients in place), tabouli, and any other ingredients you want on it.  I like to set it up like a taco bar, where everyone can make their own and customize their dinner.  Feta cheese, tomatoes, lettuce or more spinach, olives.  YUM!!!!

The flour tortillas can add a lot of calories, so opt for smaller ones and read the ingredients.  I’m not a huge fan of counting calories, but with something like this I want to go in eyes wide open.  I look at ingredients first. Then, if someone is really working on keeping their calorie load down to lose fat, I look at how much we are adding with a tortilla.  The avocado is so packed with nutrients, it doesn’t matter how many cals are in that.  Its pure nutritious plant fiber and fat–exactly the kind of fat your body craves and needs.

Let me know what kind of variations YOU used in your Mediterranean-inspired Tacos!  Leave a comment (and pic) below!

Enjoy!

Elyse

 

 

Status

Are you friend or foe?

Hi and happy Monday!!!

I had such a revelation this weekend and I think a lot of you can relate, so I’m sharing it here.

My shower drain got clogged again for like the fourth time in the past six months–very frustrating to say the least. As I am unsuccessfully trying to snake the drain I start to think very self defeating thoughts. Things like “this isn’t working!” And “my husband should be doing this!!” And “why does this have to be soooo difficult!!!”  In the same moment I realized that I am so playing the victim card!  My friend called and as I complained about my drain she says oh we found a great natural way to clean drains–just google it. Huh, I thought. It can’t be that easy. Were going to have to replace these old pipes….my mind adding up the bill and potential DIY blunders.

But in a moment of hope, I googled my problem and there was an answer. I didn’t think it would work, but I tried.

It worked. It was really simple and I was really amazed that it worked!!

At these moments of seeming defeat, I’m just about ready to give up, I am my own worst enemy–not a fan, but my own foe!

Do you ever feel this way? My friend gave me a solution that was out of my realm of thought or belief–out of the box. How could hot water, vinegar and baking soda be so powerful???? But it was.

In the moment that I took a shower and the water drained away I felt like my own hero. I didn’t need my hubby (as adorable as he is) to save me. I just needed some wits and some confidence.

That what we all need, whether we are dealing with a recurrent home repair dilemma or our own body not responding to diets and exercise.

Sometimes we need someone to help us think outside the box–take a new approach–one that is so simple we don’t even think it can work, but it does.

That’s what I do. Health isn’t complicated. Stop playing the victim in your daily drama–how ever that plays out–and be your own hero.   If you can relate, click here to share a comment or add one below.

(Picture care of drlibby.com)

Have a great day!!  Elyse

3 tips to resist the treats–stop raiding your kids’ candy

Here are 3 tips on how to keep the indulgences at bay
before I share the link to my FREE LIVE VIDEO SEMINAR this Sunday night.
This is my very first live video seminar so I am really excited about it.

3 TIPS TO HOLD OFF ON RAIDING YOUR KIDS’ CANDY:
1.  OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND
–hide the candy in a place where you will forget about it.  Some people use the freezer.  I realize that candy (especially chocolate) can “call” to you, but if you can’t see it, its better than leaving it out in the open to tempt.
2.  POST THE ABOVE PICTURE ON YOUR FRIDGE OR PHONE.
Is your indulgence worth the price of what it takes to work it off?  More importantly, is it worth the GUILT, the dirty looks you give yourself in the mirror?
3.  BUY YOURSELF A SMALL AMOUNT OF THE “GOOD STUFF”.
If you have  a small stash of your own, high quality treat then the candy doesn’t look so great.  If you LOVE a certain crappy candy, you need to do some research on it because its a sure bet that it is slowly killing you.  Want some shock effect to knock some sense into you?  CLICK here for 7 Halloween Treats You Should Throw Away Immediately. 

JOIN ME FOR MY FIRST FREE LIVE VIDEO CONFERENCE
INVITE FRIENDS–MEET ONLINE!

THIS SUNDAY 7:30 PM
LET’S MEET ON THE INTERNET AND LEARN HOW TO STAY NATURALLY HEALTHY THIS WINTER WITH ESSENTIAL OILS HERE IS THE LINK
https://www.videocontrolpanel.net/meetings/join.aspx?token=072049178135027215051143112152085115133101179209038096108118021167192252034193164102179169239004
CLICK THIS LINK AT 7:25 ON SUNDAY NIGHT TO HOOK UP
.

Crockpot Bison Stew and paying hommage to our food

Its has finally gotten cool enough to make stew! I apologize for the lack of pictures!  By the time I got home last night there was barely anything left!

I have been waiting patiently since I bought some bison short ribs at the farmer’s market this summer.  I have always wanted to try bison, mostly because my husband (who is a much more adventurous eater than I) said its good.  When I saw the farmer’s stand, and that they were offering samples, I just had to try it.

So, yes, I am not a vegan, even though I post lots of vegan recipes and think it is a very healthy lifestyle.  I tried it, and learned a lot, but I admit I like meat!  What can I say??!  So, to continue justifying eating meat, I do three things:

  1.  get the best cuts from the cleanest (healthiest) source
  2. eat small portions (probably half of what a normal portion would be for most people (about 2 oz)
  3. recognize the sacrifice of the animal and the resources it took to give me this delicious protein.

The more I learn about animals, the more I realize how amazing and smart they are.  We must not abuse them or take them for granted.  And the resources it takes to raise and slaughter meat is ridiculous.   I struggle with this, I will be honest with you, but not enough to give it up completely.  If we all eat less and more consciously, then it will have a big impact on agrifactories and on our environment.

BACK TO THE STEW…

So, this weekend it was finally cold enough to warrant defrosting my measly 1.5 pounds of short ribs.  Good meat is expensive, so I try to economize by getting cheaper cuts and smaller portions.  Stew is a great way to use high quality meat because you mix it in to make a hearty dish (people don’t notice that there is less), and you can use cheaper cuts that require longer cooking.

The farmer’s wife had a pretty complicated recipe and I simplified it down to the point where it was delicious, but nothing like the one she made.  I had some potatoes, carrots, string beans, and white beans in the kitchen, so I threw that all in too (chopped) along with a sauteed onion.  You can put anything in that you have around–that’s really what is so beautiful about stew.  It can be vegan with barley and lentils, or you can add some chicken or other sustainably-raised meat, and of course any veggies laying around–even kale!

Stew should also be easy to make.  It SHOULD be a crockpot meal.  Her recipe was not, so I adjusted it and, well, the fact that it was gone by the time I got home last night says it all.  Everyone enjoyed it, including my picky teenagers.

Here is the recipe:

marinade:

1 c water

11/4 cup brewed coffee (save some from morning)

1-2 tsp himalayan salt (i used 3 twists on the grinder)

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

2 drops doTerra rosemary oil

2 tsp tamari sauce

2 ice cubes (don’t know why)

1.5 lbs bison short ribs

I put in a vertical ziplock-style container like this one:

container

I just slipped the ribs in there vertically and marinated overnight.  It was a little full so I mixed gently and poured a little out. You could probably save it for part of the stew if you wanted.

STEW:

1 chopped onion (sauteed)

1-3  fresh and chopped carrots, potatoes, string beans

1/4 cup ketchup

1 cup white beans

1 cup coffee

3 cups water

2 vegan chicken-flavored boullion cubes

1 bay leaf.

Drain the marinade off the ribs and discard.  Add the sauteed onions to the crockpot along with the other ingredients, while the meat is browning in the same pan as the onions.

cook in the crockpot on high for 8 hours.  I like to put the crockpot on low overnight and then high the last 4 hours if it needs to thicken.   Pull the bones and meat out of the pot.  Discard bones, and cut the meat into smaller pieces.  Put back into the crockpot and mix to disperse the meat.

Before you enjoy your stew, pay respect to the sacrifices made to get the meat to your table.  Saying thank you, literally, before you eat will raise the energy of your food to a higher level, and it will raise the consciousness of your eating higher as well.  Both of these seemingly benign acts are not.  Just try it and see how it elevates your meal!

Our stew was delicious, lean, and nutritious.  It was a great meal with a salad or just by itself.  YUM!  Stay warm!!  Please leave a message if you have a question or just tell me how YOUR stew turned out!

Be well, Elyse

Are you enough? 5 ways to get everything done AND feel healthy and satisfied

One of the reasons I love blogging is because I can get my message of health out to literally millions of people, but currently only about 500 or so people actually receive my blog, so does that mean I’m not making a difference in the world?  Of course, the answer is no, however, I think its safe to say that I am not the only woman who fights a daily internal battle within my mind for the feeling of doing enough–or even being enough.

This feeling of “not-enough-ness” is literally making us sick.   Although it may not be possible to slow down the pace of our work and family schedule, we can slow down mentally and use some tricks physically to bring some sanity into our insanely busy lives.   Here, I offer 5 tips to keep it together, make a positive impact, and not feel exhausted at the end of the day:

1.  Take high quality vitamins.  This is how 90% of the high acheivers stay on their game.  Without vitamins, your body is simply running on a quarter tank, no matter how healthy you eat.  How do you choose?  First, do not buy your vitamins at the grocery store. These products are simply a waste of money.  I personally now use DoTerra Lifelong Vitality and their Mito2Max products.  Its economical (especially if you sign up for the wholesale account–25% discount pays for itself!) and it includes all the nutrients you need including some essential oils for cell repair (good for cancer prevention).  You will definitely want to do your own research on this and find a product and company that you trust.  This is super important.  These are some things to look for:

  • what is the company’s commitment to global health?  This is important to me because I want to work with companies who aren’t just about making money, but about making people healthier and preventing disease.  Many supplement manufacturers make products that have contaminents such as lead and arsenic (YES!!).  Check out ConsumerLab.com to get the latest information on quality products.
  • experience of others.  Do you know other people who take the product?  Do they feel a difference when they don’t take their vitamins? Have they felt that the product makes a difference in their lives?  I know that when I don’t take my vitamins and omega 3 supplement I get a little wacky and sad.  I call it my medicine (even though its not really medicine–its just all the stuff my body needs to make neurotransmitters to keep me happy and my brain working).
  • how much does it cost?  It has to be reasonable to fit in your budget.  This may seem high, but my experience has been that the best products are sold via direct sales (i.e. thru distributors) because they can cut out advertising and a lot of the middle men.  Personally I think spending about $75-100 a month on vitamins is reasonable.  That may seem high for some of you, but it also may seem low.  We are talking about health insurance here (the real kind, not the disease insurance we are used to).

2. Learn to breathe more effectively.  If you think about your breath the next time you are driving, or in a meeting, or are just pissed off, you will see that you’re probably not really doing much breathing at all.  The fact is that this is the EASIEST way to reduce stress, increase energy, and be healthier.  It may seem like a no brainer–like, duh! we need to breathe!  But the fact is that most women don’t breathe correctly, and its easy!  Here is how you do it.  Put your hand on your belly and let it all hang out.  Relax it completely. Take a breath in and notice if your belly rises.  It should.  As you exhale push the air out by breathing out and pulling your navel in to compress your diaphragm.  Breathe out until ALL the air is out.  (Relax, you are not going to die of asphixiation, even though you might feel like it the first time.)  You can do this when you wake up in the morning, and/or when you go to bed at night (its a great way to relax). Take short breather breaks throughout the day.  It only takes 1-2 minutes to do and it will bring oxygen to your brain and will literally make you much more productive.  Set an alarm to remember to do it each hour.  Seriously, if you’re thinking, I don’t have time, then you better consider a bigger change.  WHAT COULD POSSIBLY BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN BREATHING?????

3.  Get at least 6-7 hours of sleep.  If you don’t get good sleep now, then you won’t be effective at anything.  Sleep is probably the most important thing you do for your body next to eating.  If you don’t get good sleep, you are setting yourself up for health disasters.  A couple of things you can do to get better sleep are:

  • turn the f**ing tv, ipad, kindle, etc. off at least an hour before you go to bed.
  • create a relaxing atmosphere with dimmed lighting (no overhead lights, just lamps)
  • pamper yourself–brush your teeth, and use some natural skin moisturizer like coconut oil with some lavender and myrrh in it.  Vetiver is a wonderfully calming oil you can dilute in coconut oil and put on your feet before bed.  I put lavender and Balance blend with some water in a spray bottle and spray my sheets and pillow before I go to sleep.  It smells nice and, next to breathing exercises, is probably the easiest thing you can do to switch gears.

4.  Move, but with moderation.  For many women who are feeling stressed exercise might not even be on their radar, but the fact is that exercise is the number one thing you can do to feel energized, fulfilled, and stay youthful–IF you do it right.  Moderate exercise is obviously relative, but most people these days think of exercise as training for a marathon or working out for at least an hour.  Recent studies are showing that exercise beyond 30 minutes does absolutely nothing extra for you. In this case more is not better.  Smart is better.  If you are really short on time do my 10 minute tabata workout! Do this every day (twice a day if you’re really ambitious) and you will get fitter and stronger.  Don’t fool yourself.  Exercise is absolutely key to living a fullfilled life.  Make time for it.

5. Besides eating right (which would be #5 except I think that should be a no-brainer to this crowd) being nice to yourself is absolutely crucial to making a difference in this world, feeling fulfilled, and enough.  We women tend to be our own worst enemies.  WHY?????  This life is not a competition.  We are here to fulfill our unique purpose with our unique personality and gifts.  Create a beautiful, positive mantra that you can say for yourself and your family every day, when you’re feeling not enough, run down, depressed, etc.  This is your prayer of abundance and recognizing that you were made perfectly and whole.

I meet so many people who have lost faith in their wholeness, and the perfection that lies within themselves.  Get back in touch with it with these 5 tips.  When we take care of us, feel fulfilled and energized and more than enough, we energize others–our kids, spouse, co-workers, or random strangers.

You are an abundant woman with unique gifts that the world needs.  Please share with love!

Have a wonderful day!  Please leave a comment and share with a friend and tell her that she is loved and cherished!!

Elyse