Author Archive for Monika – Page 2

Enter the Cellulite-Free Zone

Have you ever wondered how to get rid of it – who hasn’t?  You know even though summer’s pretty much over most us are still burdened with that dimply, ripply unpleasant effect on our skin.  We still what to show off our arms and legs when we can – right? Having it is a good indicator that something is out of balance in your body and most likely your diet.

Even though for some it is genetic and determined by how thin your skin is.  For many of us, however it’s due to an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, estrogen levels, high body fat composition and/or insufficient hydration.  The good news is there are simple things you can do about it.

Here are 6 Dietary Secrets to putting an End to Cellulite:

1)    Stop drinking carbonated fizzy drinks– they only increase water retention that causes puckering beneath the skin’s surface

2)    Drink more water – this will actually prevent water retention and create a healthy fluid balance in your body

3)    Eat more non-starchy carbohydrates – they are the high water content vegetables such as leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower.  The starchy carbohydrates are root vegetables such as yams, beets, potatoes, squash, beans and grains.

4)    Food sensitivity may cause some of that unsightly puckering and a tendency to retain water.  Try eliminating some of the main culprits such as dairy and eggs for a couple of weeks and see what happens.

5)    Super Diuretic Vegetables are asparagus, cucumber, cabbage water cress, red onions.  Use these in your daily diet.

6)    Increase Protein slightly and lower your starchier Carbohydrates like grains, root vegetables and beans as we’ve already discussed.

Keeping a healthy water balance will boost metabolism, burn more fat, and lower your insulin.  Higher insulin levels will often cause inflammation in your body which can be a big contributor to the cellulite problem causing fat to get caught deep below the surface making your skin have the unwanted and unsightly cottage cheese look.

Take some of these steps today and you’ll be able to say bye to cellulite and hello to smooth, beautiful skin soon enough.

A Calorie Is Not a Calorie?

I know you’ve heard “a calorie is a calorie is a calorie” or even “calories in calories out” when referring to one’s ability to gain or lose weight.  Culturally we either view calories as the enemy or an expected (maybe even welcome) guest.  Needless to say this topic can be quite confusing.  With some not caring at all while others care way too much.

You’ve heard the common sense advice of: “lower your calories if you want to lose weight” or “burn more calories so you can eat more later and not gain an inch”.  Or how about “I can’t have that there are too many calories in it”.  And then there are those who blindly indulge in the latest super-sized whole lot a latte filled with a whopping amount of with hidden empty calories.

The contrast of obsession with laxness makes it all so confusing. So where do you go for sound advice? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are 5 Tips on how to get the most from the calories you consume:

Tip # 1   What’s a calorie anyway? It’s a measure of heat. To be more precise, it’s the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree Celsius.  So it’s neither an enemy or a friend it’s just a calculation used to determine the energy produced by the food you consume. You need a minimum amount of food energy in order to maintain your metabolism and drive your muscles. There are foods or substances that are considered thermogenic or have fat burning effects; things like grapefruit, tomatoes, chile, and green tea for example.

Tip # 2  Why should I care?  It’s important to have an idea of the general caloric content of what you’re consuming.  I even get shocked when I randomly get to read the “Eat this, Don’t eat that” newsletter online. Usually restaurant foods are the worst culprits.  From cronuts (combination croissant and doughnut) to “the healthy salad” loaded with excess sugary and fatty dressing, bacon, cheese (lots of it) and everything but the kitchen sink. Bringing in a whopping count of nearly 1000 calories, oftentimes more than half of your daily caloric need. Yes, this is why you need to care.  Just because it says, “natural”, “healthy” or “leaner” doesn’t it mean it is.

Tip #3  It matters where your calories come from: So two foods may have the exact number of calories – however one nourishes you with the right kind of nutrients and the other robs you of nourishment – even though it may taste soooo good!  A piece of salmon may have the same amount of calories as a piece of chocolate cake but with the high sugar and unhealthy fats of the cake it robs you of your health instead of giving you health.  Yes, of course you may occasionally like to have a bite here and there. But just know for most people this saying is true: “one bite is too many and a thousand bites are not enough”.  Best to eat the good stuff and then you probably won’t want any nutrient-robbing calories in your diet. The quality of the calorie matters a great deal.

Tip # 4  Forget the Calorie Counting.  I believe that most of your food should come from items that are not labeled whatsoever.  Fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and quality protein come without labels. However there are certain food items that do come packaged and you are sure to include in your daily diet.  Food items like: almond butter (should only be almonds), quinoa, cheese for example. Make sure these foods are pure and don’t have a lot of additional ingredients in them – which can not only add calories, but is also unnecessary. Nutrition labeling is very important when you have a health condition like diabetes or high blood pressure, to make sure that the sugars aren’t too high or the sodium is in a healthy range.

Tip # 5    Dispelling the Calorie Myth:   Again a calorie is simply a form of measurement.  Don’t be obsessed with them, rather appreciate a healthy, wholesome diet devoid of junk and high calorie/low nutrient types of foods.  If you’re spending a lot of your time looking at labels there’s something wrong.  Remember garden fresh is the rule of the day. Enjoy the best calories mother earth can provide.

Eat well and forget about counting!

Ready for Skinny School?

Now’s the time to get serious again – isn’t it?  After all you’ve just spent the last 2 months having a good time and throwing anything that remotely resembled restriction or discipline out the window.  You realize this can’t go on – you must make some changes and get back to healthy again.  Well here are 5 clues about how to do just that.

Here are 5 Tips of Getting Back to Skinny School:

Tip # 1   Don’t hold your breath.  By that I mean don’t take too long to decide to turn things around. It’s easier to make changes now before your doctor tells you have no other choice. Initiate small doable steps now.


Tip # 2  Don’t forget your crayons.  Journaling is always a great way to help you track your food, exercise, self care and sleep habits.  If you don’t measure you can’t really make changes last.  Pick an attractive book and start writing (or even drawing) beginning with where you are now and where you want to go.

Tip #3  Get your school supplies.  Those supplies consist of a fridge full or healthy proteins, lots of fresh vegetables and refreshing fruit in your fruit bowl. Add some unsalted nuts and seeds to that and you’re good to go. Throw out, donate or give your neighbors all the snack foods still hidden in your pantry immediately. Let go of all and any temptation.

Tip # 4  Buy some New Clothes.  That’s right – buy a few new items, it’ll make you feel good and that’s an ideal place to start.  Don’t spend too much especially if you’re planning to lose a few lbs.  This exercise is designed to increase your self worth from the start.  Treat yourself first and then take care of yourself next.

Tip # 5    Rest Up.  Make sure you make getting enough sleep a priority – always. It’s a must if you want to be productive and effective with your weight management and healthy living goals. Get at least 8 hours.

Have Fun at School!

What’s in Your Pie Chart?

So school is about to start – and you might be thinking of getting things in order.  September is always the time of year we get to evaluate where we’ve been so far this year and how we want to end our year. After the summer of letting some areas of your life get off track you may want to start paying attention again.  You might want to start measuring things again.  How about how you spend your time, energy and focus?

I have had several of my clients reviewing just that.  What are your priorities?  Is it work, meetings or volunteering more than you’d really like to?  Don’t get me wrong making contributions to community or organizations you belong to is a wonderful thing to do.  But you need to ask yourself – is the time you are spending in these areas eroding or enhancing the balance in what you want to have in your life?  Do you go to meetings rather than taking time for fitness, making healthy meals or closing your eyes for 10-20 minutes when you come home from work?  If you aren’t doing any of these latter things than you must learn to take things off your plate.  Stop saying yes to everything and start saying yes to you 1st.

I have seen so many struggle with their health and weight simply because they are doing way too much.   So that’s why I am recommending a way to look at important categories in your life by creating a Pie Chart – a visible representation of where you spend most of your time and effort on a daily basis.  Many are surprised, even shocked to discover that they may only eke out 2-5% for themselves.  Could that be your story, too?

Here are 3 Simple Tips on Creating Your Pie Chart To Reflect What You Truly Want:

Tip #1 Get out of vagueness – Being vague about important things in your life can be a killer.  There’s no clarity or sense of direction living this way. If you do, you most likely don’t have much of an idea as to where you are at all.  This strategy (or lack of) can be compared to not writing down what you eat when you want to lose weight or keep your weight in check.  You are not conscious of what is really happening.  In order to become more aware and make necessary changes you must have some form of measurement.  Remember  you can’t change what you don’t measure.  What do you spend your time, focus and energy on during your day?

Tip #2 Making choices – After you’ve identified what’s in your Pie Chart – it’s time to determine where you’d like to spend more time and focus and where you’d like to spend less.  Perhaps you don’t want to be in work mode 24/7.  Or how about reducing some of your PTA activities.

Again, only if these activities are cutting into some of your own self caring personal time do you want to make different choices – modify a little.  If you are not sleeping well, eating on the run (most of the time) or  becoming more irritable with loved ones it’s time to make some changes re-vamp your Pie Chart. 

Tip #3 Have Fun –  Yes, even determining what is important can be a fun, and certainly revealing assignment.  You can have fun creating a new Pie Chart for Your Life.  Suspend reality for a moment and think what could be possible in your future.  Could you carve some time for date night with your spouse more often, have a massage 2x/mo or go to the theater to see a play every 3 months or so.

Plan for a trip to a place you’ve always wanted to go to.  Whatever you choose know that it will take some time to integrate less of the “have-to’s” and more of the “want to’s” into your life.  Have fun with this process.

Stay Skinny This Summer… Even While Traveling

It’s not impossible to eat well while vacationing. Your vacation state of mind can include light eating and better choices or it can run amok.  Here are a few ways to help you stay on track.

Here are 5 Healthy Tips while Traveling:

Tip # 1  Choose Light.  It’s not just about eating a lot of fresh fruit during the summer.  Even though juicy and refreshing, don’t overdo the fruit.  Chances are you are most likely choosing sweeter fruits. One or two fruits should be it for the day. Stick with most of your plant foods being vegetables.  There is an overabundance of fresh vegetable produce to pick from this time of year. 


Tip # 2  Go outside:  Take advantage of the wonderful weather.  If it’s too hot, aim for starting your outdoor adventure early in the morning before it gets too hot.  Take that early morning walk, run or hike.  Forego outdoor activities midday when the sun is at its peak.  And remember to always bring water with you.  I remember several years back going on a hike in the local Santa Monica mountains.  I was a rather inexperienced hiker and so I was not well equipped with the necessities.  I found myself feeling faint as we neared the peak and I almost passed out.  Something I’ll never forget – I now know to always have water and a snack with me even if it’s only a brief 30 minute walk around the neighborhood.

Tip #3  Pick Salads Instead of Burgers: I’m not opposed to burgers. Should you decide to have one, make sure you limit all or most of the bun. Also, french fries are usually part of the equation, so ask for a side of salad instead.  Main course salads are always a good pick. They are crisp and nutritious, however watch all the extras like highly caloric dressings, croutons, excessive amounts of ingredients like avocado, bacon, cheese. Although all of these are healthy, there just might be too much of it for one serving size.  While traveling, it’s not very easy to use a doggy bag, unless of course you have a fridge back in your hotel room or bed and breakfast.  If you don’t have any refrigeration order a small size or split a large size with your travel partner.

Tip # 4  Good Stuff Available Everywhere:  Believe it or not there is healthy food available everywhere you travel. Many foreign countries eat better than we do here.  Most cultures pride themselves on fresh fare and healthy portion sizes, as in enough to satisfy your hunger and not feeling overstuffed. Even if your host country offers greasy, large entrees you can still opt for something else.  Even though Mexico has now officially surpassed the U.S. as being the most obese country in the world (I would suspect it has a lot to do with processed foods having become more prevalent there) there is still plenty of excellent, healthy foods to choose from while visiting there.

Tip # 5   Alcohol Not Necessary:  Choose a Skinny drink – not necessarily a Skinny Girl Margarita. I like the “Skinny Girl” brand concept, but not so happy about the aspartame found in these drinks.  Aspartame, an unhealthy artificial sweetener, is known to be toxic to the brain. If you are choosing a cocktail you can make your own skinny version by replacing soda with mineral water instead.  Remember alcohol can cause you to overeat and crave certain foods like more sugar in the form of dessert.  So taste a little not a lot and save your waistline this summer.

Happy Trails!

Are You on the Heavier Side of Light?

Every week I have clients come into my office who inspire me.  Often in our sessions amazing ideas come to me for article topics.  Last week one of my clients was claiming that her summer clothes were tighter this year.  Even though she had maintained most of her  initial weight loss from when we first started working together – she had gained 4 lbs in the last 4 months.  It may not seem like a lot, but because she’s tiny to begin with – it was enough to put her into another size – up.

So I ask – are you also on the Heavier Side of Light right now?  Almost sounds like a movie title – doesn’t it?  Like the Unbearable Lightness of Being, for example?  But what I’m asking here is have you lost weight and now some of it has crept back on?  You aren’t feeling that far behind the eight ball, but just enough to have your new smaller sized clothes feeling a little snug.

You must admit you are lighter than you were before – maybe by a lot or maybe just a little.  But you’d like to get back to the smaller size, but maybe you’ve lost the motivation to do just that.  Maybe you don’t want to feel like you have to deprive yourself of sandwiches or desert or that glass of wine at dinner.  Maybe you just don’t want to live that way and the extra 2-12 lbs (or whatever the number is for you) is not worth being upset about.

If you are at that cross roads in maintaining your healthy lifestyle – you may want to ask yourself the following questions to determine if you are willing to do what it takes or simply accept where you are right now. 

Here are your Questions:

Question #1  Do you Like your Body Today?  Perhaps you’ve reached a point where you actually approve and love your body just as it right now.  You realize you will never be perfect or look like a movie star and finally you’re actually OK about that.  You still like what you see in the mirror.  Most of your clothes fit you just fine.  It’s not like it was.  You did dispense with all your “big clothes” long ago or you had your favorites taken in – that’s always a good thing.  So stay proud of how far you have come and the progress you’ve made.  Think of all the things you continue to learn and admire about yourself today.

Question #2  Do you plan to yoyo?  If you feel like you just may end going up and down & up and down for the rest of your life, ask yourself if you’d like to live with these planned fluctuations?  I don’t really advise planning to yoyo – it’s hard on your body, mind and spirit.  Normal fluctuations are common due to water retention, menstrual cycles, or exercise levels.  Eating larger portions than you’re used to or having foods you don’t normally eat are all  part of the “fluctuation dance”.  Watch for  incrementally continuous rises in weight – stopping this pattern as soon as it starts is essential for helping stay in your healthy weight range.

Question #3  Does your new weight require less effort to maintain?  If your new “heavier side of light” weight requires less effort you may want to consider that this is your new normal and stick with it.  You may want to enjoy more of this or that and find that the cost benefit is worth it to you.  Just make sure you stick with your healthy food choices 80-85% of the time.  

Question #4  Are you trying to maintain some fantasy? If you’re trying to maintain an unrealistic weight – a weight you may have been when you were 16, but not at 40 or 50.  This unrealistic weight may become impossible to maintain and will only set you up for further frustration.  Your hormonal balance is so much different now than when you were a teenager.  You most likely got away with a lot when you were younger; but now these indiscretions count – both on the scale and in how you actually feel.  Whether you are getting into your Skinny Jeans or not, you must make sure your weight goal is attainable – long term.

Questions #5   Do you just want to have fun?  You want to forget about constant control – you just want to be free from the scale, calorie counting and “weighing in” – is that right? You just want to let loose and enjoy your life – don’t you – after all isn’t that what life is all about?

This can be a beneficial strategy for some, however for most people too much letting go and having fun may set you off in the wrong direction completely. You may end up several weeks or months later, after having caused more damage and feeling worse, having to start over from scratch.  Now who wants to do that?  You don’t want all weight that you’ve worked so hard to lose. Consider all the time, energy, and money you’ve spent to accomplish a healthier and leaner life and now it’s all gone. So go ahead and have a little fun and know that discipline is not such a bad thing when it comes to your overall sense of wellbeing, pride and respect for yourself.

Hoping For a Miracle to Your Weight Loss Challenge?

It can be daunting. You’ve tried everything.  You lose, you gain, you lose, you gain. It’s a nightmare –right?  But it doesn’t have to be that way. Keeping yourself in the zone of let’s call it “Weight Awareness” doesn’t need to be a full time job. However, only thinking about making changes and never actually taking the first step will keep you more in “Weight Denial” Zone for awhile than anything else. So how can you become more aware and realistic and less frightened or paralyzed?

Here are 5 “Miracles” for You to Consider:

Miracle # 1  There are no Miracles.  It’s as simple as that.   Real change requires effort, commitment and trust in the process and in yourself. You may not see results right away, but when you put one foot in front of the other and do what it takes on a daily basis, the results of all your effort is bound to show.  However, I must add, that if you’ve been at it for awhile trying to lose weight and are not making headway, it’s time to consult a professional.

Miracle # 2  Realistic Dreaming is Good for You:  Yes go ahead and imagine being healthy, lean and fit.  Studies show the powerful effects of visualization in   achieving any goal.  In your mind’s eye you can see yourself energetic, fit and wearing clothes you love and dream of putting on someday.  Just like Olympic athletes – you can train your brain to think positive thoughts and allow yourself to emotionally experience a New You.


Miracle # 3  Think Opportunity Not Challenge: Your weight loss and healthy eating program can be a wonderful adventure into self realization.  Most people enter a “diet” with trepidation and not excitement.  Try and change your thinking, suspend all judgment and just go for it.  Whatever you are doing is better than doing zero, unless of course it’s downright unhealthy, unsound and unproven.

Miracle # 4  One Small Step:  No leaps required.  The slower and more aware you are in your Weight Loss Journey the better.  Don’t think of this as “oh in a few weeks or months I’ll weigh such and such”.  Think more long term – how will I feel and look in a year or two. Think one meal at a time if you need to.

Miracle # 5   Being Healthy is Never Done:  It is a practice of being healthy, not a one time event.  So keep at it – there are no failures. You are never done – this is a lifelong process – so enjoy it – there’s no hurry!

Do You Wish Your Body Was Younger?

Clients often like to tell me how fit or lean they were when they were younger and are secretly longing to have their body be 16 or 21 again. Then there are those who are in better shape now then they were in their younger years and are quite proud of themselves.

Embracing who you are today is actually the best remedy to improve self esteem and acceptance. I believe self acceptance is the first step towards making healthy changes. Sounds paradoxical but being happy where you are right now is a perfect place to begin anew. You see, if you do not like your present physical state, you will end up unconsciously sabotaging your efforts – possibly berating yourself at every turn. That’s not very helpful or supportive. So learn to be OK about not being a lean teen (unless of course you are at this moment). Today you have more wisdom and probably more drive to remain healthy, strong and lean long term.

Here are 5 Tips on How to Be Happy with Your Body Today:

Tip #1   Treat Yourself: If you haven’t had a pedicure or massage recently, treat yourself to one. This kind of pampering can actually connect you physically to your body. You, like most, are often living most of life in your head somewhat disconnected from you body.  Getting in touch with your physicality will also help you feel more in tune with yourself. Exercise or dancing will have the same effect.  Even taking a sculpting class is also richly tactile experience and physical as well.  Explore…

Tip # 2  Best to Let Go:  If the jeans you wore when you were a lot younger are those “someday jeans” – you know the ones you want to fit into again – I would recommend you re-think this idea. Your body shape  changes as you move into your 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.  Even after you lose the weight you want to.  You may end being the same weight on the scale as you were when you were younger, but your body may look a whole lot different.

Due to hormonal changes, women’s waist size and upper body size tends to increase. I know, I know you probably didn’t want to hear that, but it’s true.  Loss of estrogen, progesterone and often decreasing testosterone are signals to your body that you no longer need to prepare for childbirth and changes are inevitable as you move into perimenopause and menopause.  The weight shifts and so will your dress size, so throw the jeans out if they’re 15+ years old. You might not be fitting into your old clothes again, so find some new flattering ones for right now. 

Tip #3   Don’t Be Afraid: Don’t be afraid to go to the beach or sit by the swimming pool.  Even if you feel self conscious, as most do, just go ahead and enjoy yourself! Don’t forfeit having a good time, getting some great exercise and feeling like a kid again just because your body isn’t perfect.  Don’t wait to do anything because your body is less than ideal. You will miss out on so much if you do.  There is no such thing as perfection and letting go of that myth sooner than later will increase your happiness a hundred fold.

Tip # 4   Create Something:  Creativity is a powerful tool to improve self esteem. There is nothing like the pride of having made something out of nothing. The creative process gets you away from focusing on any problems (your weight or lack of health) and puts you right into present time where worry seldom exists.  You immerse yourself for a time and feel good as you move into a rhythmic flow.  You discover new things about your creative project and most important about yourself.  There is a sense of accomplishment and meaning when you create. No you don’t need to be a Mozart, Picasso or J.K. Rowling.  Just paint,  draw,  play or code – just for the fun of it.

Tip # 5    Be alive: By expressing yourself fully an extraordinary feeling of being alive will come over you.

As Marianne Williamson once wrote Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you notto be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Feel alive, be yourself and truly appreciate all of who you are today, now.

Are You Afraid to Eat That?

You may have gotten to the point where you just don’t know what the best thing for you to eat really is.  There are so many food philosophies; yes I call them philosophies, out there that you’re just not sure where to turn for the best advice.

Well, if you aren’t working with a professional right at the moment, figuring it out on your own could be a challenge.  You wonder “how much protein is actually healthy for me?”  You ask: “Doesn’t high protein and especially saturated fat cause heart disease?”  “Wouldn’t a vegetarian or even a vegan diet a la “Forks over Knives” method work the best for me?” you inquire. “How about all the genetically modified stuff out there – how do I know if my family’s safe?” you ask. And if you’re gluten free you want to know “What can I have instead of gluten?” So many questions and so paths to entertain.

Everyone is unique.  My husband has Kidney Disease and can’t eat greens, nuts, cheese, most fruits, potatoes and several other seemingly healthy foods, but for him those foods aren’t healthy ones.  They elevate his potassium and phosphorous which can have extreme consequences for him.  But if you’re relatively healthy, these kinds of foods are excellent to help maintain good health.

But let’s face it – it’s all very confusing.  Being too rigid is not a solution. There is a condition called Orthorexia, like anorexia it is a serious eating disorder. Orthorexics are so rigid with their healthy eating regimen that they become overly obsessed to an extreme. Unlike anorexia, those with orthorexia do eat but are so fanatically focused on only eating healthy that no food considered unhealthy passes their lips. Even though this is a serious illness, recovery is possible.

So how can you be OK with what’s available and what you put on your plate?

Here are 5 Tips to Help You Be Unafraid of Your Food Choices: 

Tip #1  Relax:  No need to get upset if you happen to eat something that is less than healthy every once in awhile.  Everyone faces this dilemma and we’re often tempted more that we’d like to admit. If you can make healthy food choices 70-80% of the time you’ll be in good shape.  Remember this is never about being perfect but about being healthy.

Tip #2  There is no BAD Food:  Labeling food good or bad can pose a problem.  As I mentioned my husband can’t have greens yet greens are something I recommend all the time to my clients and readers. It’s not good for him but for nearly everyone else greens are good.  Using the word BAD to describe a food can make it emotionally charged and a huge negative punch to your psyche. This association leaves you feeling guilty, miserable and more susceptible to reaching for those types of commonly considered “bad” foods over and over again, especially when things go wrong in your life. A better categorization for food might be: those that nourish and give energy and those that make you not feel good, create symptoms and deplete you of vitality.

Tip #3  Check the Labels:  Even though I encourage you to primarily choose real, whole, fresh foods without labels, sometimes you can’t avoid it.  Make sure the packaged foods you are choosing are GMO free and don’t contain highly modified corn or soy ingredients.  Stay away from unhealthy syrups and sweeteners as well, they are first off  artificial or secondly toxic and you wouldn’t want either in your tummy.

Tip #4  Ask your waiter/waitress or grocer:  If you have any doubt about what’s in the dish you’re ordering tonight for dinner – ask. No need to feel embarrassed or feel like you’re  causing a scene. You don’t need to have a food allergy in order to gain permission for a query. Most restaurants nowadays have become quite used to the more educated consumer wanting to know more about what they are putting into their mouths.

Restaurants have become quite adept at answering most questions the diner has.  Even your grocer is there to help. If you’re uncertain about something, do ask. Also, if your local grocery store doesn’t carry some of your favorite healthy foods, ask them to either stock it or special order it for you.  They’ll be happy to do so and keep you as their loyal customer.

Tip #5 Drop the Jitters: No need to go overboard about the food you eat.  Every food you consume does not have to be gluten, dairy or whatever “free”. Remain calm and do your best to enjoy your meals, savor every morsel and if you don’t like it don’t eat it. Unless you, of course, are more accustomed to eating only junk food, greasy burgers and fries – your palate then needs to be trained for healthier fare. Food should taste good all on its own without the need for sauces, dressings or extra salt.  Whole, fresh food has so much inherent flavor and goodness in it.  Give yourself time to experience the true JOY OF EATING!

Finding Your Right Bathing Suit

Ahhhh…. it’s time!  Do you dread it or look forward to bearing arms?   Ok – it doesn’t need to be painful, scary or even forgettable.  It’s just what is.  It’s summer you want to shed the extra clothing and feel comfortable poolside or on your walk in the sand – right.  I have pulled up for you from O Magazine some of the top bathing suit styles that may be just the right thing for you.  I’m not the expert but O’s team certainly is.  Which type are you?  Have fun figuring it out.  If you want to know more click on the link at the end of this article.  Enjoy!

If You’re Big-Chested…

“Finding bathing suits is hard because my top half is much bigger than my bottom,” says Dawn Zimniak, 29, a residential real estate agent. Zimniak relies on mix-and-match separates, strategically placed embellishments, and occasionally even a tailor. “I shop for suits with structure so I can run around and not worry about a wardrobe malfunction,” she says. This patterned minimizer (Miraclesuit, $144) is supportive and slimming; gathered fabric at the waist creates a flattering division between chest and hips.

If You’re Small-Busted…

Singer-actress Jolie Walsh, 33, is forever on the hunt for suits that will build her bust and elongate her petite frame. This bright polka-dot bikini (Nanette Lepore, top, $68, and bottom, $78) plays up the bustline and makes her legs seem like they start at the—very high—waist. “It’s so retro and feminine,” says Walsh. “I never would have expected it to look this good on me.”

If You’re Pear-Shaped…

“I used to compromise on an unflattering top or bottom, but now I see that I don’t have to,” says Jacinda Carlisle, 36, a freelance fashion public relations agent. Thanks to its unique cutaway style, this suit (Tara Grinna Swimwear, $139) accentuates what Carlisle likes most (her small waist) and hides what she’s self-conscious about (her hips). It’s both sexy and demure—and, as she says, “definitely worthy of a trip to the Caribbean.”

If You’re Plus-Sized…

“Basically, I want it all,” says Maggie Brown, 28, a dental assistant. “A suit needs to be sexy but practical: sturdy straps, a good bra, and coverage for my backside.” She loves this swimdress (Carol Wior, originally $110, now $49 with code OPRAH) because it emphasizes her cleavage while concealing her thighs (typically, she buys a separate sarong to match). To complement her curves, Brown gravitates toward one-pieces—”usually solids with some interesting detail.” Check, check, and check.

Sue Molnar, 46, a Spinning instructor, works out six days a week to maintain her lean, toned figure. “It took until my 40s to love my teenage physique,” she says. “But with a small bust and hips, I’m always looking for styles that add femininity.” The vertical axis of this color-blocked tankini (Pret-A-Surf, top, $160) balances Molnar’s shoulders; the solid bottom ($140) breaks up her long torso.

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