Detox, A Dirty Word

January sees a spike in all kinds of dieting programs and, as much as I try to avoid that seasonal fad, detox questions keep coming at me. So I thought I’d do a quick blog about my experience with “detoxification”.

There are a million programs that promise the holy grail of weight loss, but safe “detoxification” is critical to health for reasons beyond weight loss. The weight loss will happen, but, more importantly, a decent detox will reinvigorate your body’s metabolism by flushing out the accumulated waste that slows us down and wreaks all kinds of health havoc.

Since WWII, 80,000 new synthetic chemicals have been introduced into the environment. 1500 new chemicals annually. Many of these chemicals are persistent and what we call “bio-accumulative,” which means they remain in the body long after exposure.

And guess where these bio-accumulatives are stored?


And our fat cells are freaking out.

Some toxins are actually called “OBESOGENS” because they are found to contribute to obesity. These chemicals are endocrine disruptors, which means they disrupt the system that balances our hormones.

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Look at these poor rats, one exposed to diethylstilbestrol (synthetic estrogen). 

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How does this happen?

  • The main role of fat cells is to store energy and release it when needed.
  • It also acts as an endocrine organ, releasing hormones related to appetite and metabolism. 
  • Obesogenic organisms affect the number of fat cells, the size of fat cells, and the hormones that affect appetite, satiety, food preferences, and energy metabolism.
  • Some obesogenic effects may pass on to later generations through epigenetic changes, heritable modifications to DNA and histone proteins that affect when and how genes are expressed in cells, without altering the actual genetic code.

The body detoxifies naturally, but, with such an overload, might be sluggish in doing its job.  A safe and healthy “detoxification” supports the body to do what it does naturally by providing the body with healthy nutrients to first release the toxins from storage (fat cells), and then eliminate them.

Because toxin release can be traumatic on the body, our fat cells are inclined to hold on tightly to them, making it more and more difficult break down the fat.

Also, because the toxins disrupt the endocrine system, they actually perturb the metabolism, the very thing we're trying to maximize.

Some Detox Tips:

1.     Please avoid the dramatic starvation detoxes. Your body needs lots of clean & healthy food to support the process. What we don’t want is to release the toxins from the fat cells and not provide the proper nutrients to help eliminate them (think headaches and chills).

2.     Don’t let the word “detox” scare you. A good one is just that – a detoxification program. You shouldn’t be in the bathroom all day! Also, your body will be a little uncomfortable as you "clean out," but again, a safe detox program should not leave you feeling like you're knocking on death's door.

3.     Consult with your doctor, preferably one well-versed in functional medicine. Your body’s genotype is unique to you and one size doesn’t always fit all.

4.     Embark on your detox journey as a step in a long-term commitment to your health, not just a 2-week fad.

Feel free to reach out to me with questions! I'm here to help!


Hoarder No More

New Year. New Resolutions. Blah blah blah. I don’t take them seriously because who ever sticks to the promises they make to themselves when they’re half in the bag or high on sugar? So I waxed righteous on New Year’s Day, blogging about being more powerful than a diet. OK, all good points, but yesterday I watched Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things on Netflix and felt a bit kicked in the stomach, in need of serious change – a resolution of sorts.

If you haven’t seen this documentary, go right now and watch it. I mean it. Right now if you can! I sat there with my too-many pillows and piles of blankies wrapped around me, remnants of Christmas dangling from the walls, and I wished my house could just vomit up all the crap I’ve accumulated over the years. I pictured my attic stuffed with boxes of “memories,” which basically means every piece of artwork ever created by my 3 children in their entire lives, just emptying itself out through the windows. How could I possibly throw away that sketch of our family Bea drew in preschool?

Well, I can’t.

And that’s not even the half of it. All the beautiful wedding gifts collecting dust or the dozens of shoes in my closet. No one needs that many shoes! And the books. Yikes. Don’t even get me started.

We moved here to West Hartford when Bea was born and bought the 1700 square foot home because that’s what we could afford. We've stayed here because that’s what we believed in. We wanted life experiences, not house and car debt. Big houses, to us, just meant more space to fill with crap we didn’t need. And, in some ways, we’ve stayed true to our philosophy except that we stuffed the gills of our deliberately smaller home.

The premise of the documentary is that once we let go of all the excess, we can finally be happy. I’ve known of the tiny house/minimalist movement for a while, but hadn’t digested it personally until yesterday. 

LET IT ALL GO! Only then can you be truly happy.


Since watching it, I’ve gotten philosophical these past two days. We are born naked. We die naked (well, sort of). But between birth and death, we spend an awful lot of time layering ourselves with all sorts of consumed goods. I know we can’t walk around naked, but we come into the world with nothing, leave the world with nothing, yet spend our lives trying to “get something”. Maybe a nicer car, a nicer house, nicer clothes, whatever.

So I got up from the couch and started purging what I could.

I know it’s a process. I know that I can’t move into a tiny house tomorrow. But something shifted big for me, and I’m excited about it.

From now on...every single purchase. Is this useful?

No more mindless consumption.

On a side note, I woke up this morning and jumped on my phone like I do. But this time, I noticed the 99,999+ emails that have been sitting in my inbox for years. YEARS! I know it’s not the same as hoarding house junk, but it feels a bit the same. I am happy to announce that I have deleted over 150,000 emails in 4 different accounts, and am unsubscribing from every junk email that hits my inbox.

This barrage of information definitely contributes to the overconsumption.


And I'm pretty sure this all relates back to nutrition, and our excess there, too.


Will you simplify with me?

Be More Powerful Than A Diet

Don't waste this New Year's Resolution on a diet. Make it powerful this year! 

A resolution is an opportunity, a time of pause and reflection. In the past, I’ve blogged about how useless resolutions are because most of them don’t last. Gyms hit their overcrowded limits on January 2 and we can start counting the days when they’ll be empty again. Health gurus cash in this time of year with their weight loss promises. They know we’re all desperate after the holidays to shed a few pounds. I suppose that’s why I’ve been a naysayer of the resolution, its superficial expression empty to me. But it doesn't have to be. A resolution can be as powerful as we want it to be.

Don’t get me wrong. I mean, I am a nutritionist, for God’s sakes. I’m not saying to feel bad about wanting to lose that 10 pounds, especially if the doctor has handed you a threat of Type II Diabetes or other health problems. I’m just saying those holiday habits will transform naturally with the new year because there will no longer be egg nog or Christmas cookies or Auntie Cathy’s pumpkin cheesecake. Life will settle back in, and so will we. I packed on the typical few pounds over break, but I refuse to waste my New Year’s resolution on a dietary strategy.

My health is an everyday resolution. 

So what are my intentions for 2017, beyond my own body weight?

One year, my most magical year, I spent the New Year with my friend, Lizzie. She had built a fire outside and presented each of us with a piece of paper instructing us to “write down everything you want to get rid of, and throw it into the fire.” So I did. I don’t remember exactly what I had written, but it felt great.

Then she handed us another piece of paper and an envelope.

“Write down what you want to manifest for 2014,” she said.

So I did. I remember being worried about my family, Bea starting college. I wrote a few intentions on that list.

When I opened up the note the following New Year’s Eve, I was stunned to see that everything had happened. I had a new job (one that had fit all the criteria I needed) and I had started praying regularly again. I forgot what else there was, but those were the biggies. I remember making those intentions with my children at the center of them. My mom intentions had some power.

This year, I feel a pull to Mom the World. I need to find a way to articulate this intention. I’m tired of living in a microcosm of worry and self-survival as I watch our world fall apart. 2017 needs us to shift huge. Our world is on crazy pills and needs Peace.

Peace is not some cute and gold-gilded word for the holiday card. It is not a pie-in-the-sky “made by unicorns” belief. Peace is real. It begins in our own hearts and it spreads like raging wildfire, if we let it.

Be that Radical Peace.

Live it every day.

Teach it.

I bet my pounds will all fall into place if I focus on that.

Happy 2017, Everyone!

'Twas the Crazy Before Christmas

'Twas the week before Christmas and all through the news,
The people rage louder with hurt, we're confused.
Our future is dangling like a brick on a limb,
An eyesore reminding us each of our sin.
Some try to fix it, but none can prevail,
We can’t even agree “I’m with Her” or “Trump Hail".
Aleppo stares back at us, a child in pain.
We’re helpless…
No blanket or hug or even a cane.
We scurry to malls gathering stuff for the tree,
Wrestling with a backdrop of refugees in flee.

Sugarplums morphed into Putin and hackers,
We prefer fiction to truth with these dubious slackers.
I try as I might to breathe into the cheer,
And not grow angry with a world shaken by fear.
But my heart is all broken, my mind is a mess,
Thinking of oil spills, civil war and so much unrest.
I pray and I pray for a path to the light, 
And hope that will lessen the weight of this plight.
But the answer, I know, must be in the trust,
That regardless of party we value the just.
The quiet is remedy, a faith in the now;
Common ground we can find if God's grace can allow.

Outside of my window, the world dark with predawn,
A gentle snow falls upon our disappearing lawn.
This wonder and beauty gives my heart a respite,
As I cherish the peace of this morning unlit.
In this darkness, I beg God to light me that path,
And show me the balm to a world wrapped in wrath.
Santa will come and fill stockings with care,
We will believe in peace, for a moment we'll dare.
His reindeer will leave broken carrots and oats,
And the rooftop will jingle with bells and Ho Ho’s. 

For a moment, we'll forget the world that's in peril,
But I pray that we don't because many are feral.
This year, I will add Something Simple to tradition, 
An attempt to deride the fear and sedition. 
I'll think of an "enemy" or a hateful thought toward another,
And then light a candle, wishing peace upon my brother.
Bless those with no hope, no food and no place,
Help me be proud to be among this human race.

So Santa, spring into your sleigh,
Remind us of hope, goodwill, and a new day.
And, as you drive away and out of our sight,
Help us remember that dawn follows that dark and hopeless night.

Love Tastes Better

Does Love actually make food taste better? We joke about that extra ingredient, TLC, but could there be scientific truth to it?

A few weeks ago, my dear friend, Kathie Swift (Dietitian Extraordinaire and author of The Swift Diet), shared a story with me about a colleague who “could taste trouble in the kitchen.”

“Yes,” she said. “I knew there was a lot of fighting happening at this restaurant, but they kept very quiet about it. While eating lunch with my friend, he looked at me and said, ‘Something isn’t right in the kitchen.’”

She laughed out loud with me because she knew he was spot on. And Kathie being Kathie, just smiled; appreciating the intuitive nature of people, and, also, food.

I had to digest her story a bit. I knew it would impact me beyond that moment because I recognized the truth in what she was saying. Our thoughts, words, energy  -- all of it -- can change the molecular structure of food.

Walking away from Kathie, I recalled another time when a Reiki master friend said she could tell whether a vegetable was organic just by its vibration of energy. “I see it in the produce section,” she claimed. “The organic fruits and vegetables vibrate at a much higher frequency. The conventional ones have little to no life energy in comparison.”

Say what?

I considered this "vibrational energy of food," and how it can be impacted. 

I grew obsessed, and needed to prove that there is truth that the energy we convey while planting or preparing food could transform food’s molecular nature or "vibrational energy".

Masaru Emoto is famous for his Messages from Water. He showed how higher-minded, elevated and positive sentiment reconfigured the water molecules, crystallizing them into something beautiful where harsh, angry words turned the water into a muddied mess. “The result was that we always observed beautiful crystals after giving good words, playing good music, and showing, playing, or offering pure prayer to water. On the other hand, we observed disfigured crystals in the opposite situation.”

Well, I decided to do to brownies what Masaru did to water (gluten-free brownies, of course).


This past weekend, I performed my first experiment. Two batches of gluten-free brownies. One made with an outpouring of love, patience, kind words, sentiments, prayer and soft music. The other? Well, let’s just say I made those after a sizable argument with the husband, and I let my daughter stir the batter while she sobbed about a very sad and personal situation (no tears mixing with the chocolate, don’t worry). 

As a result, I had two batches of brownies, distinct but unmarked to everyone but me. 15 people participated in this experiment, each given the task of tasting from each batch and deciding which one was the “happy” batch and which one was the “angry” batch. Nothing was discussed. Each participant marked his/her answer on a piece of paper.

Guess what happened?

14 out of the 15 people guessed the “happy” brownies were, in fact, what I had designated the “happy” brownies (no, there was no marijuana involved).

FOURTEEN OF THE FIFTEEN people said the “happy” brownie tasted better even though it was exactly the same recipe! No variations except the emotions while making them (the 15th person claimed he could taste no difference). 

My first response? I will cook from now on with more consciousness and calm, aware that my energy is influential while slicing those veggies or stirring that batter. And I will stay positive.

Is Love, in fact, the most important, yet forgotten, ingredient in every recipe?

I dare say, it might be!

Statins for White Men?

I'm not a pharma basher. Drugs can save lives! But the overuse of statins needs serious examination, especially in light of a recent Jama study

Cholesterol is a tricky subject and one I’ve been watching over the years. My dad was a cardiac patient back in the 1980s when the word “cholesterol” developed its negative connotations. No need to relive the fat-free dogma days, with messages still permeating our dietary habits today, but cholesterol has pretty much been the bad guy most of my life. And statin drugs, the idolized rescuer in this Game of Thrones in medicine.

Last week, the US Preventive Services Task Force published a Recommendation Statement in Jama “updating their 2008 study regarding statin use.” The update repeated the benefit of using low-dose statins in adults aged 40 to 75 years who have 1 or more cardiovascular risk factors, which include dyslipidemia, diabetes, hypertension or smoking.

First Red flag. If I’m a smoker – just that one lifestyle factor in the equation of my life – my doctor is justified in recommending a low-dose statin as a preventive measure for CVD (cardiovascular disease)? OK. That oversimplified protocol is bad enough.

But a deeper concern I have for research like this, blasted all across our media channels, raising the status of statin drug use to the “good guy” in this medical drama, is that no one reads the finer print. WHO benefits? WHO were the subjects in this study? People leave with this bottom-line impression: Use Low-Dose Statin Therapy For Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease.

That’s the simple message littering our media right now.


Never says…If you are a white man.

A person has to read to near the bottom to see it.

“The majority of participants were men and white.”

So the study should actually read, “Low-Dose Statin Therapy Might Help Prevent CVD Risk in White Men.” The word "might" also should flashing in neon because correlation is not causation, and diet and exercise had not factored into this equation at all. Could a low-dose statin hold that much power on its own?

Most importantly, the irony doesn’t escape me that if I have diabetes, the doctor should also recommend a low-dose statin as a preventive measure even though multiple research studies have shown that statin drugs increase diabetes in a measurable way.

Even more devastating, in a UK study (of course), statin medication use in postmenopausal women is associated with an increased risk of diabetes.

So the news is pushing an agenda for using statin drugs to prevent cardiovascular disease in white men when significant research shows statin drugs actually increases diabetes in postmenopausal women. Nice.

Ladies – we need to start paying closer attention to the “medical recommendations,” especially in midlife when our hormones haven’t acted this crazy since middle school.

Check out this picture of the steriodogenic pathway, how all of our hormones are made.

Dear Nadia Owusu


My favorite blog this week was written by a woman named Nadia Owusu and published in Huffington Post.

A Conversation About Race in Trump’s America

I'd like to continue her conversation.

Dear Nadia,

We don’t know each other, but I loved your blog. Your words danced on the page with a feverish power and beauty, traveling right into my heart. Your stories, filled with bravery.

First let me say, "Thank you for sharing your heart."

Because you entitled it, "A Conversation About Race in Trump's America," I was hoping we could actually have one. 

I agree we have a long way to go, and a phrase I once read keeps coming up for me as I watch the arrogance of elected and appointed white men traipse across my social media feeds and network television.

White people in America have an unconscious sense of superiority.

I understand to stereotype "white" people is very simplistic as we have a melting pot of mixed peoples now living in America. Even my own white skin doesn't capture my Mi'kmaq or African roots (genetic testing will do wonders to bring us all together some day!). I think we can all understand what I mean by "white" for the purpose of this conversation.

This week, we celebrate Thanksgiving and, as glorious as it is to have an entire day devoted to gratitude, I can't help but imagine -- as I munch on turkey -- the terror in our native peoples. Our history began with genocide and we continue on the path of disregard.

However, what I'm talking about here is even more insidious than overt discrimination because it is unconscious (or subconscious, I don't know). 

White people have an unconscious sense of superiority.

This is not a statement to condemn white people or to make white people defensive about our individual or evolved awareness of racism. Nor is it a bleeding heart liberal gush of guilt.

It's just a simple fact.

This unconscious sense of superiority has polluted every social structure in our country and is very tricky to deal with.

Because of this right-under-the-surface everyday reality, a Trump win has been terrifying for those on the front lines of white superiority. Trump has embodied in mind and intention a caricature of this phenomenon. Of course, he’s white. But, on top of that, he openly condemns “minority” populations, which polarizes our community into the “us and them” mentality, reinforcing racism at its core. This polarization then emboldens those who want to assert their “superiority”. Worse yet, Trump associates himself with people whose white superiority is not unconscious. It's a mission statement. And these people are gaining traction in the ranks of national power structures.

How the hell did this happen?

To me, it feels like the end of the world. And it is. It's the end of my made-up world where I believed we’d actually made progress from our racist roots. That made-up world is crashing down around me as I witness this overt, in-your-face polarization of peoples and ideas. Van Jones called it Whitelash on the night of the election. At first, I wrestled with it. No! We’ve come so far! We can’t go back to a time where people actually do the “us and them” thing! Not white black. Not us them. No!

But then I realized...we never left that time. The idea that we did was all in my head. We are there more than ever, and always have been, in spite of what feels like great progress. Even a Barack Obama presidency didn't resolve it.

I've been depressed ever since I realized that.

But your blog re-energized me. I realized I'm not alone and that maybe this whole fiasco can be turned into something positive. Maybe this is the lancing of the boil that is racism in America. Maybe this is what it takes to finally heal. When we see the ugly ripping through our communities, we will be forced, once and for all, to finally see and not just run away to our separate neighborhoods. Maybe when the ugly blows up in our faces in such a devastating way, we can heal.

As the eminent writer, Nadia Owusu, once wrote:

“My words might be all wrong. You might not understand them. I might not understand you. So, I ask, willing to dare everything, furious and deeply sad, but still holding on to hope: Where do we go from here?”

We go to the puss and ugly.

Then we try to heal.


Let's keep this conversation going...


“Let neither think that anything short of genuine love, extreme patience, true humility, consummate tact, sound initiative, mature wisdom, and deliberate, persistent, and prayerful effort, can succeed in blotting out the stain which this patent evil has left on the fair name of their common country.”

(Baha'i Writings, The Advent of Divine Justice, p 40)

Bad Daddy Trump

I have Daddy issues, still at 51. I'm not proud of it, but I admit it. Nothing like a weird election between a man and a woman volleying for power to bring it all out.

Not to reduce public policy and the future of our nation (and world) to an emotional fit, but I’m watching a lot of emotional fits take place so I thought I’d delve inside to get to the bottom of my own. A layer of emotion is swirling in an undercurrent far deeper than right and left politics. 

“He won.” I yelped to Tim. “I can’t believe he won.” I sobbed.

I confess. I cried. The crying didn’t last long, but it was followed by an urge to vomit that lasted about three days and still visits me when I see what I’m calling the “pukatives” in the media. You know, the images and words that spew hate.

Anyway, every time I said, “He won,” I got emotional and felt sick.

I had to go deeper.

My dad was an amazing man, replete with a social justice barometer unsurpassed in this world. As a little girl, I watched him give to his community and I watched his community shower him back with awards and accolades. He worked tirelessly for the underdog. He was generous to a fault (so generous in his business that he hardly had money to feed his family). He was so generous with his time that he had nothing left for us except a snoring body on the couch. That sounds terrible. God rest his beautiful soul. But my dad was what a lot of dads were back in my day – an absentee dad.

It served me in some way. Rather than wait for him to handle the wheel of the car and direct my Life, I learned to drive my own proverbial car at a very young age. I worked as soon as I could to make my own money to create my own freedom. I was raised with brothers who had opportunities I never had. I watched one play baseball and get all kinds of attention so my best friend, Lizzie, and I decided we wanted to play baseball, too. When we tried out for Southington Little League, I remember the coaches all laughed at us. One coach, I remember, put the catcher’s helmet on me laughing, “Here, wear this one!” It was 4X larger than my head and kept slipping, blocking my view so every ball pitched at me hit me in the helmet, square between my eyes. Everyone just laughed more.

He won.

Strong triggering words.

Since 11/9, my heart has hurt.

It’s an ache, actually.

If I’m quiet and honest, it hurts because I don’t trust Trump to lead our beautiful country just like I couldn’t trust my dad to lead my life. And I worry for my girls living in a country led by a “pussy-grabbing” president. He’s not qualified to give my girls what I want from a leader. 

Just like my own dad wasn’t qualified to give me what I needed.

I mean, what could be worse? A powerful woman had lost to a man who disposes his wives like Bic shavers, and seems incapable of seeing women beyond their physicality.

On top of that, Hillary had symbolized a win for the women marginalized and belittled in this world. I knew the ache inside of me was my problem and no one else’s. “It’s like women have never been given their true power or true value,” I said to Tim.

He turned to me, face contorted with confusion. “Why does someone have to give you power? Don’t you just have it?”

I was quiet, not even aware I had said “given”.

Looking outside of ourselves for resolution to the human condition, which is at its core a seeking of pleasure to avoid pain (a pain defined differently by each one of us), is the definition of losing our own power. 

Our true power is internal, and has nothing to do with any other human being, really.

(Yes, we have to run civilizations and that's for a different blog. This one is just about why we're emotionally triggered.)

Anyway, this dad stuff is so deep that last night I even had a dream about George Bush Sr. Say what?? I’ve never been one to sit on the right side of the political room, but I remember in real life bumping into him (literally walked right into him at the World Summit for Children in 1990 trying to find my co-worker at the United Nations) and thinking how statuesque he was. He smiled at me. His secret service men glared at me, but let me walk on.

My dream was nothing special. We were eating at the same restaurant and I had him call Tim on the phone as a joke. I woke up realizing that my psyche is really wrangling with this idea of Trump as titular head. Now I’m dreaming about George Bush? I’m pretty sure I didn’t even vote for him. But my unconscious appreciated his diplomacy as president, his initiative of “Collective Security”, his seemingly powerful love for Barbara. Stately. Regal. Calm. A therapist would say… A Good Daddy. LOL.

So now I sit with my emotional issues in the wake of the 2016 Presidential Election. Who knew a Trump Triumph would send me reeling? What do these players actually represent to each of us? 

Is this really about election results or is it about some deeper reckoning about their archetypal place in our minds. Trump, to me, is the archetype of a perpetrator or abuser or maniacal self-absorbed man.

My pain is not your pain. My fear is not your fear. Each of us has to have the human decency to witness the realities and pain of others – not only our own. We all underestimated the emotional pull that this president-elect triggered on BOTH sides, taking us to places way beyond partisan politics. 

For those happy with Trump? I get it. Trump is not your Bad Daddy. He might even be your Sugar Daddy. LOL. He represents different things to different people, and everyone seems to be giving him too much power.

What if we all took our hurt and anger – or our need to gloat – a little deeper inside?  

It’s not about who won. It’s about who and what we perceive to have won.

For the people terrified that Trump will set us back 100 years, it’s just a fear right now. In reality, even though the vitriol of some Trump supporters in this undercurrent has been galvanized and is ripping through our communities like a rabid dragon, no rights have been lost. On the contrary, we're collectively growing more vigilant against injustices targeted at specific groups.

For the people who have placed all of their hopes in Trump to give us peace and financial security? In reality, nothing has happened. 

For the people who rejoice with division and hate? Your wounds must run deep, and the majority of people in this country will not let your brokenness hurt others. I promise you that. 

Trump is no one's devil, savior, good or bad daddy. He's just a guy who won an election.

Let’s keep our crazy in check. Gnash teeth, fight, hiss, carry on, protest, gloat, call people names, have your stupid parades. Figure it out. I will, no doubt, continue to rant.

Then let’s move beyond the emotionalism and rise to our higher selves.

We got this, America.