Archive for April, 2009

Uh-Oh. Great Coffee. (And is it ok for your health?)

I think I may have just found the perfect coffee.

  1. It’s shade-grown and songbird friendly (which supports my love of songbirds… see this post: Tweet Tweet
  2. It’s decaf. SWISS WATER PROCESS decaffeinated to boot! So hard to find… Why is this so great? With clean-body living, it is necessary for me given my health and low-to-no tolerance to chemicals to seek this out, because this decaffeination process is 100% chemical free. Click here to learn about what this safer-than-conventional decaffeination process is all about:
  3. It’s organic. Yay.
  4. It’s priced comparably, if not cheaper than other good quality coffees.
  5. And, of course, it tastes GREAT.

Here it is. Songbird Decaf Coffee, made available by the American Birding Association. (Click to head to their online store.)

The uh-oh is that now that I’m essentially coffee-free, it may be harder to resist on a more regular basis.

I used to be ADDICTED to coffee. Triple venti lattes were my best friends. All of them. And then I was down to “only 1 cup” in the mornings, cup top-brewed, nonetheless. Coffee snob, moi.

I can’t tell you how many times I hear from my clients… “I don’t drink coffee. Well, only 1 cup in the morning. But that’s nothing… … … Right?”

I quit – rather, HAD to quit – coffee about 3 years ago, when my body crashed. I didn’t have any until about six months ago. Now, I’ll have a cup of decaf every now and then, about 2-3 times a month, when I really want the taste and pleasure of this dark, lithesome brew.

Last week, I think – no, I’m sure – my busy barista at Starbucks forgot that I said DECAF for my tall soy latte (1 shot). I was on such a high all afternoon until I crashed around 3pm. Sound familiar? Plus, by the time I got home, my autoimmune symptoms flared up, i couldn’t walk for a few hours (first time in a long time) and my familiar rib and lower back and hip bone pain was almost unbearable. Autoimmune folks, beware.

So please don’t underestimate that “only 1 cup” of coffee.

Now, does coffee have benefits? Yes.

But should you be drinking coffee? Probably not. Why?

This is where I respectfully differ from what Dr. Mehmet Oz, one of my most respected teachers and health pioneers, supports. He believes it’s ok to have 1-2 cups of coffee a day, and that you’ll benefit from the antioxidants. Is that true? Yes, but only if you’re already super healthy and live in a no-stress world.

Instead, while you probably love the taste of coffee, you’re really using it as a crutch. Especially with my typical clients – either a busy professional and/or someone living with an autoimmune condition – you, like them, are using coffee to prop you up when your adrenals are running on empty.

In this scenario, you’re masking many of the critical signs your body is already sending you, saying it’s time to slow down a bit, reboot, and restore your body, before something bigger crashes.

And if you have an autoimmune condition, these conditions are intricately linked to the adrenals, so anything that upsets them can trigger a cascade of symptoms.

Energy fluctuations, sugar cravings, trouble falling asleep even if you’re tired, anxiety, depression… these are all connected and can be made worse by your addiction to caffeine and other stimulants.

The other main reason to avoid coffee when your system is already compromised is because coffee is naturally highly acidic. The by-products of stress in your body are also highly acidic. What this means is that your body’s pH level skews towards more acidic (vs. alkaline). When your body is too acidic, your immune system becomes compromised and remains open to attack, whether it’s from the latest flu going around, or an autoimmune trigger, or cancer. And this applies whether you’re drinking regular or DECAF coffee. Hence my “uh-oh” in the title here.

So, before you imbibe again, take a whiff and smell the (decaf) coffee. But beware – sometimes even that is too much for some. (Hee hee – have you ever had to RUN to the bathroom even while just brewing coffee… Pavlov’s dogs comes to mind – but that’s a whole other story, that one.)

There are so many other wonderful options to coffee… coming in a future post.

April 29, 2009 at 6:41 PM Leave a comment

Yay for the Downturn in the Economy! A.k.a. Who are YOU?

It’s already happening. I hear more people talking about spending more time together, rather than spending more money.

I, for one, while I feel for everyone who’s been affected by the economic crisis (really, who hasn’t?), feel that it was time for a reality check. And not just about how much and possibly how frivolously we were all spending, buying, consuming… but also a reality check for how fast we’re living, always gunning for more, better, faster… and ruining our health in the meantime.

And what have you got if you haven’t got your health?

I was forced to discover this when my own internal economy came to a grinding halt. The simplest things, such as brushing my teeth, or wearing shoes, became things I had to THINK about doing… then do it – usually haphazardly because it hurt or because I had no energy… and then rest before I could do anything else.

I spent a lot of time staring at the ceiling and counting the floaters in my eyes.

I didn’t know who I was anymore. I no longer had the ability to work, no income of my own, and I couldn’t even read – ME, the lifelong BOOKWORM – my comfort, my one thing that always was ME – because I lost my short-term memory. Who was I?

Who are you?

Without your money, your job, your busy-ness, your deadlines, your rush, your favorite hobbies, the things you own, your family who needs you, WHO ARE YOU?

I found out I had a great laugh. That I missed herbal tea, not coffee. That I could hear the birds if I just tuned my head differently (i.e. make my chatterbox brain shut up). That I was the luckiest girl in the world because I have family and friends that stuck by me (and welcomed my calls again after being buried in the consultant lifestyle for so long!). That I actually do like beets (love at second sight)!

I found out that that it was time to move on from what wasn’t supporting me. That I really DIDN’T want to have to be perfect all the time. That I am terrified of failure. That I was ok with that. That I believed in my spirit and that it was alive and well, and always had been, quietly waiting.

That I was evolving into a new me – the real, the whole, the unabashedly alive and imperfectly perfect me.

Who are you?

April 27, 2009 at 4:52 PM Leave a comment

A Dream Come True: Nutrition Program Launch for My Autoimmune Clients

Today is the day! I am so excited and grateful and brimming with revved up energy.

Today marks the start date for From Invisible to Invincible (TM) , the program I’ve developed for my clients who live with an autoimmune disease… er, condition… er, inconvenience. Autoimmune conditions can include fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, undifferentiated connective tissue disorder, lupus, hypothyroid, rheumatoid arthritis, and so on.

I’m joined by six amazing women (it just so happened that they are all women – women comprise a large % of autoimmune folks) in what promises to be an amazing journey for all of us. They’ve agreed to join me as a Pilot group – kind of a test group – to help me continue improving this program for a full-blown launch next year (2010).

Over the next eight months, we will explore the many facets of living with an autoimmune inconvenience and implement lasting, restorative nutrition and lifestyle changes to promote healing.

This is a jam-packed program with tons of information, experiential elements, and time-tested, proven methods… delivered in bite-sized pieces that are sustainable, fun, and revelatory, with me for support along the way.

Some of the hot topics we’ll cover are:

  • What is the problem with my immune system? Why does EVERYTHING seem to be broken?
  • How is autoimmune related to my food and life habits?
  • How is stress related to my condition?
  • What are the key foods I must eat to recover my health?
  • How do I prepare these must-eat foods, especially if I’m too tired or have no time, or don’t like to cook, or can’t stand up long enough (like I, Simla, couldn’t, at one point)?
  • What if I eat out?
  • What must I STOP eating ASAP? These are hidden where?!
  • What is toxicity? How is it related to autoimmune?
  • What are the right ways to detox for autoimmune?
  • What’s the deal with food sensitivities?
  • Why can’t I get all the info I need with a food allergy test?
  • How do I know what foods I’m sensitive to / intolerant of?
  • How can I improve my digestive issues and/or IBS?
  • How do other elements of my life fuel my illness or support my healing?
  • How can I change the habits I need to replace?
  • How do I prepare for when I am feeling “normal” again? Now what?
  • What are the supplements that will support me? How do I choose them?
  • What type of regular medical care and complementary / alternative medical care is available and best suited for my condition?
  • What are the medical tests – conventional and emerging – that I need to ask for?
  • Where and how do I find a great doctor?
  • How do I deal with stress and anxiety?
  • How can I sleep better, improve my energy, and lose weight (if I need to)?

And we’re just scratching the surface here.

So much to cover! And cover it we will.

Why am I doing this program?
Because I’ve been there and this is my passion. Check it out: or read about it here:

April 22, 2009 at 6:02 PM 3 comments

You’re Invited! New (FREE) Workshop: Eat Your Stress Away – the Right Way! Monday, May 4 in Downtown San Francisco

Even better, the full title is:

Eat Your Stress Away – The Right Way!
Nutrition & Lifestyle Secrets to Reduce Stress, Have More Energy (and Lose Weight, Too!)

Did I mention it’s FREE?

It’s on Monday, May 4th from 5:30-7pm at the YMCA Embarcadero (beautiful location) on 169 Steuart St (b/w Mission & Howard Streets) in downtown San Francisco.


This is a topic near and dear to me. Chronic stress paved the way for my severe autoimmune conditions to set in suddenly (well, it had been building up for years, but I didn’t know that at the time), and managing that stress through my nutrition and lifestyle choices has helped me get my health and life back.

One of my missions in life is to help YOU avoid a similar fate.

Now, the onset of an autoimmune condition may not be how your body ends up dealing with chronic stress, but did you know that…


And IT’S SO EASY TO REVERSE!!!!! All it takes is ONE DECISION, to say, “Ok, I’m going to take control of my health and not be at the mercy of my environment. I am going to dictate how well I live, and not just resign myself to thinking it’s about “diseases of aging” or “inevitable weight gain” or “I can’t help but be tired – I’m so busy.”

It’s up to YOU to live and feel great, and not succumb to these myths.

Does that seem far-fetched? Consider this:  recent research shows that our genes only account for 3% in determining which health conditions we will manifest based on our genetic heritage. The other 97% is about what you eat and how you live.

You may THINK you’re eating healthy, but do you know for sure?
Are you stuck in food fads? Do you still believe:

  • Low fat is the way to go?
  • A calorie is a calorie is a calorie?
  • 100 calorie snack packs are ok – even good choices, no harm done?

If yes, then you’re in for a rude awakening, if not now, then probably 2-5 years from now, as your body, mood, and emotions continue to get worse.

Either way, chances are you’re not eating the right foods for YOU.
Every Body is different, everybody needs to address their body’s needs. This is called bio-individuality. For example, some people need 100mg of Vitamin C a day, some need 3000mg. Some people absolutely thrive on a raw diet, some people can’t stop shivering and feel crappy. Some people crave salt, some crave sugar. Which one are you?

So, if you are:

  • S.O.S – Stressed Out Sick
  • Getting there… you have vague symptoms, IBS, headaches, body aches, you’re tired all the time, etc…
  • A busy professional or entrepreneur who is too busy to eat well, or eat anything, or take any care of yourself

Then you’re going to benefit greatly from this live interactive workshop.

I invite you to join me on:

Date:  Monday, May 4th

Time:  5:30-7pm

Location:  YMCA Embarcadero @ 169 Steuart St
(between Mission & Howard), Downtown San Francisco, CA

But, you must REGISTER TO RSVP for this FREE event as spots are limited.


The YMCA is graciously allowing me to invite you – my guests – in addition to their members.

Bonus:  I was able to secure a beautiful historic room with views of the Bay Bridge!

In this workshop, you will learn:

  • The #1 Secret you have to know about stress to control it!
  • How stress really affects your body, mind, and emotions.
  • The Top 5 stress-busting foods.
  • Your personal Stress Resilience Factor score.
  • The 3 Key Lifestyle Changes you need to prioritize.
  • How you can eat deliciously and still melt away the pounds

Are there foods you can eat on purpose to combat the effects of stress? Absolutely. Can you tweak your lifestyle, making small changes to see natural improvements in your ability to sleep, think, focus, be healthier, and have sustainable energy. Definitely.

Curious? Well, you have to be there to find out more.


I hope you can join me!

April 18, 2009 at 11:26 AM Leave a comment

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