Posts Tagged ‘eating well’

Change, Change, Change! The Advice Giver Puts Herself To The Test

Chia Pomegranate Parfait

Last month, I made a personal change I didn’t plan to make at all, and would not in a million years have predicted. 

After reading one of the chapters in Dr. Christiane Northrup’s new book “Goddesses Never Age” about health (in particular the chapter on glycemic stress) I called a halt to my usual intake of grain, as a test trial, just to see what would happen.  You know, in the spirit of discovery and all!

In two days I felt different — more happy and steady.  And I thought to myself, “Wow!”  On the third day I was dancing inside and felt pretty much giddy about the whole thing.  On the fourth day, dancing outside began!  And on the 5th day, I missed bread and muffins terribly!!!  I felt a bit insane.  I’m not kidding!  It was a little sobering to say the least.  When you skip grains, and the sugar that often goes with it (toast and jam with my morning eggs, a brownie later) you’re really throwing the sugar baby out with the bathwater!  Apparently, I’m pretty hooked on sugar. 

It’s been about a month now, and I’m blown away by my vacation from grain.  Who knew?  I guess some of us get along better without the amber waves of grain. 

I had no idea this experiment would make such a speedy difference in how I feel.  Given that I’ve never made any attempt to avoid sandwiches, pizza, or muffins, I figured that figuring out how to eat without grain would be difficult, but it isn’t at all.  Go to this link on Bon Appetit.  There are ideas, recipes, and even encouragement.  And yes!  They have a cookbook!

Since then, I’ve had grain here and there.  I’m not crazy strict about it.  But I have eliminated my usual fall back choices, the choices I made out of habit, or because I was in a hurry, or because I knew I’d be bored without brown rice to go with the stir fry.  But the fact that I feel better keeps me going.  Feeling better is its own reward.  My energy is more steady and that means the world to me.  I’m a cleaner burning machine, still sputtering a bit, but cleaner. 

What’s interesting is that even after a month, I can still feel my body shifting gears (or is it my mind, ahem!) and I think that might continue for a while.  Not eating so much grain or sugar is quite a diet overhaul, for me at least.  I can tell you for sure that the big ship called “my eating habits” is still turning around — slowly, steadily, daily — and it requires vigilance.  This change in eating is about creating a different set of habits, standards and priorities.  That’s a big deal.

I do fine if I think in the direction of what I want (ease, delicious food, healthy body, feeling good) and what works for me vs. restriction.  How we think makes a big difference.  

This experiment reminds me of how people feel when they come to see me about relationships.  They describe their situation and say “please help me.”  They tell me how things are going and what they do now.  I make suggestions about how to do things differently if they want a different outcome.  And the difference between “what I’ve always done” and “what I could do instead” to enjoy new results comes front and center.

This week, author Elizabeth Gilbert wrote a Facebook post about how her book Big Magic changed her own life.  She joked that she wrote the book for her readers, not for herself.  She wrote the book to help others with their creativity, and it never occurred to her that her advice could help her as well.  As usual, the post is funny and well-written, in true Elizabeth style.  It will give you a good chuckle!  (thirty five hundred people liked it, you might, too!  :–)

It’s good when advice givers get that light bulb moment to walk their talk, don’t you think?  Or to give it a go on another subject, the one we’re not so expert in!  It’s easy for me to make changes in my relationships, ’cause I’ve practiced that.  (It wasn’t always easy.)  But now, it’s what I do well.  But my diet?  Not so easy!  But I’m hanging in there just fine, and learning as I go, I’m happy to report!

Thank you and hats off to all my clients, past and present, for being courageously focused and for making changes that weren’t exactly a piece of cake (so to speak) to make!  You’re so amazing!  You inspire me every day!



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Test Your Food Smarts Against the French and Italians

garlicWritten by Terri Crosby for In Care of Relationships

In this wonderfully decadent season of “Please pass the gravy” and “Yes, I’ll have another piece o’ that pie, thank you!” it’s good to remember what food really does for us. Food is medicine.  Natural food, grown in the ground is REALLY good for you. So in honor of Thanksgiving leftovers and the beginning of yet another December season of FOOD, lots of food, heavenly food — today I’m writing about our relationship — with — hooray — FOOD! The first entry is about vision, which is of (personal, family, genetic) interest to me, and the one about celery is useful knowledge.  The rest are more about what the Italians and French know that we Americans might not.


QUESTION:  Do carrocarrotts really help vision? Depends on who you talk to or what you read, but mostly, in a round about sort of way — yes.  It’s easy to remember that carrots relate to vision because a cross cut carrot looks like, well, an eye! Good eyesight seems to be more connected to genetics, however, than to consumption of food. But carrots seem to help maintain what you already have. So don’t leave out the carrots. Most science says that carrots give eyes a boost because they contain beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, an essential vitamin for healthy vision. Vitamin A, also called retinol, is key in fighting vision problems like cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and night blindness.  It is found most abundantly in fish oils, liver, eggs and fortified dairy products. However, if you don’t eat animal products (or eat enough of them), you can get plenty of vitamin A by eating fruits and vegetables that contain carotenoids like beta-carotene, or “provitamin A.” Bright yellow or orange fruits like carrots, apricots and sweet potatoes are good sources of beta-carotene, while green leafy vegetables, especially broccoli, are rich in the carotenoids known as lutein and zeaxanthin. Of the 600-plus carotenoids found in nature, only lutein and zeaxanthin and their metabolites are located in macula of the eye. Lutein is important if you have signs of macular degeneration — way more important than eating your carrots.  One reason — Lutein absorbs blue light and acts as ‘internal sunglasses’ that may reduce photochemical damage caused by short-wavelength visible light. And take Lutein that is labeled with the Flora-Glo trademark.  The short story is that it’s better.


tomatoesQUESTION: What do the French and Italians know about tomatoes that Americans may not? Big Hint:  A tomato has chambers and is red. The heart has chambers and is red.  Tomatoes — especially cooked — are one of the best sources of lycopene, which is the carotenoid pigment and antioxidant that gives tomatoes their bright color.  According to Harvard Medical School, one slice of raw tomato contains approximately 515 micrograms of lycopene, while 2 tablespoons of tomato paste contains 13,800 micrograms.  Big difference. Cooked is better, when it comes to lycopene. In one European study, those who consumed the most lycopene cut their risk of heart attack and heart disease by 50%.   With that in mind, it’s no surprise, that the Italians and the French, who love their tomato sauce, boast a much lower heart disease rate than the United States. Besides, maybe the Italians and the French live a slower, less stressful lifestyle and enjoy life more than we do???  They certainly believe in luxurious meals, tastes and conversation.  All of it helps! Other lycopene foods include watermelon, pink & red grapefruit, papaya, guava and rose hips. So when you’re thinking about your heart, think red! Beets, for instance, protect your heart by reducing the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood, and increasing the amount of good cholesterol in the blood. Nice to know. french lifestyle


QUESTION: Are grapes just a handy sugar snack?grapes cluster Big Hint: Grapes hang in heart shaped cluster. Grapes are good for many things other than their sweetness. Grapes are an excellent source of health promoting flavonoids. Typically, the stronger the color of the grape, the higher the concentration of flavonoids.  The regular consumption of wine and grape juice by the French may explain the “French paradox.” The French eat a diet high in saturated fats and cholesterol and yet have a lower risk of heart disease than Americans. (Or maybe the French just have more fun?) Flavonoids in red wine and grape juice seem to increase the antioxidant capacity of the blood, protect against vascular damage, and prevent blood platelets from clumping together and causing those pesky clots. Grapes also have something called resveratrol, which reduces the buildup of plaque in arteries.  It has also been shown to have anti-cancer effects and anti-inflammatory action. Fresh grape skin contains about 5 to 10 mg of resveratrol per serving, while red wine concentrations range from 1.5 to 3 mg per liter. So go ahead, eat your grapes!  Think red or black grapes, and think raw, which is pretty easy when it comes to grapes. Unfortunately, you probably can’t depend on wine alone to get the flavonoids and resveratrol you need. (Darn it.) But here’s something wonderful, speaking of the French.  Here is my all time favorite food blog, hands down, no question about it.  It’s called Manger, and it’s written by Mimi Thorisson, who lives in Medoc, France.  Check it out.  It’s totally, ridiculously gorgeous.  Good Lord.  The woman cooks all day, has children and looks like a model.  Good Lord.  (Yes, I know I’m repeating myself.)

CELERY celery

QUESTION:  How in the heck does silly ol’ crunchy celery help bone health?
Big hint:  Think Calcium and Vitamin K.
University of Maryland Medical Center says that vitamin K is vital for the proper utilization of calcium by your bones, and can improve bone health and help prevent fractures. High levels of vitamin K are associated with greater bone density; low levels often correspond with osteoporosis. Males over 19-years-old need 120 mcg a day of vitamin K, while women over 19 need 90 mcg.
One large stalk of celery contains 26 mg of the essential mineral calcium. Calcium, the most abundant mineral in the body, is vital to the development and maintenance of strong bones.  In order for calcium to be properly absorbed, vitamin K — along with the essential minerals magnesium and phosphorus — must be present.  
A celery stalk offers up to 7 mg of magnesium and 15 mg of phosphorus, thereby providing all the nutrients essential for bone health.
And by the way, Bok Choy is right up there with celery when it comes to bones.

OLIVESolives and olive oil

QUESTION:  What’s the big deal about olives except that they taste oh-so-good? Big Hint:  Think “good fat…” Olives have really good fat. Olives have very little carbohydrate and they are a great source of monosaturated fat.  Olives are a rich source of polyphenols which are critical as our body’s defense against cancer. Polyphenols have many good properties, and these elements (also the reason for the taste and the smell of the olives), can be anti-inflammatory as well.

onions and garlic


QUESTION:  Besides the olfactory advantage — smelling great as they are sauteing — what do onions and garlic do for our bodies? Big Hint:   Think “anti.” You could say that onions and garlic work against.  Or you could say they stand for something that doesn’t allow other things — they are anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral. That’s pretty “anti!” And that works FOR us! Onions and garlic also improve immune function, thin the blood (to control blood pressure), increase anti-oxidants, fight free radicals in blood, and increase blood circulation.  They are rich in chromium, Vitamin C, B6 and selenium. What do you know and appreciate most about eating good, healthy food?  Do share in a comment below!


For more information about In Care of Relationships, click here.

About Terri Crosby — I live in the Blue Ridge Mountains with Eric, my partner of 14 years, two cats and a dog, and as many flowers and vegetables as I can plant.  I love really good food!

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Snakes on The Blueberries!

Snakes On The Blueberries

Snakes On The Blueberries

Listen up, city dwellers!  You may need to know this someday.  Calling all country folks! You may already know this…. What do snakes and blueberries have to do with each other? Hint:  How do you keep the birds from eating all your blueberries? Ah, do you see it?  Birds love berries, but are afraid of snakes.  Put fake rubber snakes all over your blueberry bushes, and the word is that birds are generally not brave enough to come steal the berries.  That’s the theory.  We’ll let you know how abundant (i.e.  protected) the crop is as the season progresses. Right now, the new crop is just coming and it’s beautiful. We might all look blue ourselves by the end of the summer. Below is a photo of what we picked yesterday.  For now, forget a recipe.  Wash them and eat them.  Or if you’re feeling extra decadent, add raw cream and a cup of tea. By later in the summer, we will need recipes.  But for now, they are such a treat that eating them straight off the bush is good enough for me. They say there a LOTS of blackberries on this property….. Bye, gotta go hunting!
Basket of Fresh Picked Blueberries

Basket of Fresh Picked Blueberries

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Intimacy Is Everywhere

Hello Everyone,

Today, intimacy.

Love to you all,

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Friday Love: Bam! Gate Breaking, Anyone?

Good Friday, Everyone!

Today, I’m sharing a story about how I accidentally accomplished something on my bucket list. I ran through an exit gate while looking the other way. The hood of my car is scratched up, and one windshield wiper is a mess, but let’s have a good laugh about how we never expect what “getting what we want” includes!

Let me know if you relate…

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Enough with the Name-Calling

It seems to be a growing fad these days to call someone a narcissist, or declare they are toxic.
Political name-calling is similar—we assign politicians and voters to categories, and brush them off as if they are unintelligent, inferior, or even worthless.
By labeling others, we miss their humanity. We gloss over their struggle, their best effort at dealing with life. We dismiss them.
We do to them what we believe they are doing to others.
Look past a label, and in the soft light of day, there stands a person like you or like me, coping as best they can. At the end of the day, no friend, parent, or lover making conscious choices intends to be mean, or to ignore, or to embellish. There is always more to the story.
If we label others, then for sure we label ourselves. We trap ourselves into believing we are less than. Or not enough. Or we don’t give ourselves the time and forgiveness to work through our “stuff.” Maybe, if we stopped accusing others of narcissism, we could forgive ourselves for those moments when we were narrow-minded, inconsiderate, or afraid.
When it comes to labels, nobody wins.
So, my dear people, I suggest we peer a little deeper into ourselves to investigate a need to separate ourselves from others by tacking them with a label filled with disdain or scorn.
It is my wish that you view this video and take it to heart.
Much love,

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Terri Crosby

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