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Monday, May 30, 2011

Shed the worry to weigh less

If counting calories worked wouldn't people be thinner for knowing the calorie counts of everything? I never count calories or fat grams or worry about if I'm eating "right", as if a magic formula would suddenly turn me into a princess.

Wait - there is a formula. Whole foods eating in moderate amounts and getting plenty of variety and knowing how the individual foods work in the body to make the best choices at any moment.

But most people don't want to do that. They want to spend a lot of time and money on shakes, bars, goo and other things to enhance their workouts. I don't see that working out too well. Usually it creates someone eating more than they would normally. Thus, they get bigger. Plus those bars and shakes metabolize differently from unprocessed or less processed foods and create more acidity and puffiness.

Where are you getting your mis-information from? I suspect advertising or well meaning articles designed to push products or at least make an advertiser very happy. If they keep you hooked on products there is more profit than telling you to eat some whole grain in the morning to sustain you. You will never have the same energy from grapenuts as you would eating whole barley and you lose most of a grains health benefits when it gets ground up into flour and oxidizes before it ever gets made into something. Treats are treats and should be a small part of the diet. Unfortunately treat foods have crept in to being what most people try to live on. Then worry about weight, energy and health problems.

Let go of your worry, and slip into your ideal size by just learning how to eat healthy and whole. You'll never have to think about your weight much ever again.

www.susanmarque.com

Sunday, May 29, 2011

What is Healthy?

Suffering isn't healthy and people come to me with all sorts of complaints. Extra weight, gout, fungus, cancer, diabetes, fatigue, blotchy skin, arthritis, brittle nails, itches, bruises and a host of things that just won't go away. Most want an answer that is simple. Almost all sit down and tell me they eat healthy.

I've looked at so many diet records where I can see someone is clearly trying to be "good". Salads, turkey sandwiches, special K, just the occasional ice cream, and they proudly tell me they don't eat red meat. I refrain from laughing. Their version of healthy, depending on body type, activity levels, personal history and attitude, is often creating more problems such as cravings or hanging onto extra pounds.

Food is just one component of health. Attitude is the biggest factor. It will determine where your energy flows. Your thoughts and emotions however are hugely affected by what you consume. Your chemistry will push and pull on your thoughts so that a very nice person could seem harsh or cranky when they eat in ways effecting their liver or blocking their kidneys.

The ironic thing about food is that everyone seems to want to justify what they eat and be okay with it, even when it is hurting them. You have to decide how you want to look and feel inside your own skin and be happy with that. Different people will be heartier and be able to indulge more without seeing the effects. Most will try to ignore the consequences of what they enjoy.

Like little kids, I've watched adults of all ages try to justify their coffee, ice cream, chocolate and anything else they want to hang onto like Linus and his blanket. They are not willing to see what life would be like without it. That's okay too. You get to choose. Every food will have its benefits and its detriments. What kind of life would you like to be living. You can be freer, healthier, happier and more alive but that takes doing things a little differently.

For myself I am amazed how the longer and deeper I go inside of living healthier - the levels of feeling terrific go higher and higher. I still enjoy red meat and chocolate and coconut bliss ice cream or a turkey sandwich. I just keep balance in perspective and practice how my energy flows.

To change things up for yourself and learn to live healthier you way - sign up for a session package today. www.SusanMarque.com

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Shedding For the Wedding

It's just about June and wedding season has swept in with a fury. Men and women both have been lamenting to me about the extra pounds they have gained since seeing the faces they are about to expose themselves to, and no one seems happy about it.

Firstly you have to remember not to expect to lose 20 years of weight gain in one week before the big event. You could drop a size in that time, and it might be a good moment to hop on the healthy eating horse that you can continue long after you've spilled champagne and cake on the new dress with matching shoes.

Secondly, if you go in being the best version of yourself, who cares about the weight. People who love you, love who you are. It's your personality they want to be around and the size of your midsection shouldn't matter. If you do happen to meet that guy who says something, like a first date I had, where he was telling me I ought to work-out my triceps since I'm getting older - please get up and find better company. Don't listen!

Your body is your business and if someone doesn't like what you have, they don't have to wear it. Feeling terrific in your own skin no matter what size, will help you to shed those unwanted pounds all that much faster. Your body listens. If you constantly worry about certain areas and just keep checking to see if they are there, you can guarantee they'll probably keep bothering you. If you stop looking, and focus on healthy new habits, start eating a larger quantity of vegetables and whole foods and get a little more exercise, you will most likely start melting into being inside a body you love.

It takes practice and commitment to achieve anything, and maybe these weddings are a good enough inducement to get you on track to where you want to be with your food. Stay inspired and stay happy and have fun at the weddings.

www.susanmarque.com

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How Much Is Enough?

I had a great question the other day as I sat eating lunch next to two lovely women at the Peacefood cafe. (Try the dumplings!) One of the women was saying how she liked the articles she saw about different foods and their benefits for us, but that they never say how much to take. The good news is that a little goes a long way.

Turmeric is a good example as it turns up on lists and articles all the time. Turmeric is a fantastic anti-inflammatory and works great for arthritis. It's been studied and seems to not just help with memory but can fight off Alzheimer's disease too. So how much is enough? For most people, just a 1/4 teaspoon per week can be enough. Check your vitamin pill if you take one, I bet it's in there. The more conditions you are currently suffering with that it can help with, the more you might want to add in.

Cranberry juice is not good at clearing a UTI, just 1/4 cup of the full on pressed juice, (I would dilute with water for an enjoyable beverage.) can help you lose some fat and clear out bad bacteria. If you have a uti than of course drinking as much as you like will clear things faster.

Kiwi's are full of vitamin C and just one little green fruit is enough for the day.

Some things work better when you are consistent. Take wild oregano oil for example. You only need a few drops to kill a cold or eliminate allergy symptoms but being consistent and doing a few drops each day or twice day seems to to have an accumulative effect where it works better the longer you take it.

Use your common sense and your own intuition. There is no perfect and right answer to how much of anything to eat because each person is a different size, shape and has different things going on. Learn the benefits of the foods so that you can make informed guesses and experiment within reason. If you need some guidance, book a session.

www.SusanMarque.com

Monday, May 16, 2011

Labels Lie

Ingredient lists are a good thing to look at. They tell you basics of what they put into the product so you can try and discern if this is something you might want to enjoy. Unfortunately more often than not there are ingredients that are going to create some reactions. Obvious ones like high argenine ingredients such as chocolate or nuts can make many people react even if all they ever had was chicken pox not to mention virus that cause cold sores, canker sores or herpes. Argenine rich foods can bring flare up these sleeping virus and create fatigue at the minimum if not a full blown outbreak..

Then are the hidden things masquerading as "natural" ingredients. This could be anything from bug parts used as dye to certain forms of msg.

The other bits of the label such as calorie counts or percentages of protein are not accurate and might even be based so far off that what you think you are getting you are not getting at all. The whole grain goodness that was in the original whole grain gets oxidized rather quickly once the grain is broken down into flour. The nutrients that could be listed could also be counter balanced by so much added sugars - even natural sugars or organic and natural sugars, that what you are really getting out of the product could have negative benefits and unfortunately that is the case with almost all processed foods. That doesn't mean I won't eat chips or crackers or things that are fun treats. I just limit my quantity and am choosey about what goes into my indulgences.

Remember the Pollan (cit)ation "Eat food, mostly plants, not too much."

www.SusanMarque.com

Yes you can have ice cream!

Quality counts. Remember that old adage, quality not quantity. In America that seems to have gotten all turned around but when you have something of quality it is satisfying and you don't need quantity.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit Stogo's ice cream shop http://www.stogonyc.com/ in NYC and it is the dairy free, sugar free answer to Baskin Robbins. Unlike the soy or coconut water based versions you might find at a Whole Foods freezer case, these are pure, without additives or preservatives or fillers of any kind and the difference is they feel better and taste cleaner. Okay and you can get to try all sorts of flavors that you won't find in the stores too.

Now if you don't live in Manhattan but want clean satisfying frozen treats at home here is a recipe that takes minimal time to make and all you really need is a blender. Try as many flavors as you can think up. Summer is on it's way.

Sugar Free Raspberry Sorbet

2 packages organic frozen raspberries

1 C. plain amasake

1/2 C. Agave syrup

2 T. agar flakes

1T. Vanilla

Orange zest (optional)

Defrost the berries by placing the bags in the refrigerator overnight or leaving on the counter for a couple of hours. Juice the raspberries to remove the seeds. In a saucepan heat the amasake with the agar until the agar is dissolved. (3-5minutes) Place all ingredients in a blender and blend. Transfer to a freezer proof container and freeze overnight. Process in a food processor until smooth and then re-freeze for 6-8hrs before serving.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cook Yourself Well

You might think that after 20+ years of this food stuff I would not get so amazed by the power of eating plants to create healing anymore. Nope, I'm still in awe. Yesterday I was experiencing allergies where my eyes were burning and my nose just would not stop running and I felt like there was bit of fog in my head that just wouldn't clear. Nothing was working. I tried several different homeopathic remedies, I tried herbs and I was starting to think I had better get to an MD and get some hard core drug. I have been eating cleanly so how could I be suffering so?

Sunday is not the best day to be sick especially a Sunday that is also a holiday. Allergies are not an emergency even if might feel like it is. I got an idea that I would make a medicinal stew and see if it helped at all. I went to a Japanese market and got burdock, daikon, lotus and some kabocha squash just for comfort. I made an aduki bean stew and figured if nothing else the daikon, burdock and lotus might clear some of the runny nose. Thankfully the dish tasted great, because I made a lot of it. I felt pretty good after eating it and in just a couple of hours I noticed a huge difference. I slept well and woke up feeling great with only the slightest touch of what I had going on yesterday. It's incredible. I had spent so much money on supplements and all I really needed was to cook myself well.

Learn the properties of food. You have a lot of power in your kitchen!
www.SusanMarque.com

Friday, May 6, 2011

Navigating Food Differences

I've been experimenting with diet now for over 20 years. I've gone through so many phases figuring out what the best things to eat are and how to cook them and sometimes I've alienated people. Often I inspire others but food is one of those areas that many people want to be left alone about. They just want to enjoy food and not think about any potential consequences. There are consequences.

Recently I was researching GMO food and their potential health benefits or harmful effects. One thing that struck me in the research was that the rise of gluten intolerance we have been seeing is due to the genetically modified strains of wheat, corn, and other products that are giving people allergic reactions. Celiac disease is a very real disease, and difficult to live with, where one is unable to tolerate gluten but that only effects about 1% of the population. I have seen people with other intestinal disorders think they were effected by gluten but were fine once they cleared the real cause like Candida overgrowth. More and more people are not fine though, and the GMO's are a likely cause.

Since so many people are discovering they have to be more careful with what they put in their body, it is less of a problem socially to have to omit certain ingredients or negotiate for a restaurant you feel comfortable collectively going to. I still run into that problem though. It especially hits me when I go out on dates. I don't want to be militant or off putting but I have to explain that I can't go eat at the Jewish Deli just now because eating that food is the equivalent of someone else having a few drinks. I'll be tired and sluggish the next day and have the potential for other consequences depending on the overall acidity of my diet that day or the day before. Sometimes I say nothing and try to order the thing on the menu that feels the safest choice. Usually that means that I'm still hungry later. I prefer that now, rather than making someone else feel bad for their choices or controling where we go to eat every single time.

Someone recently asked me how do I stay committed to the way I eat when I'm hungry and there are not clean food options available. You do the best you can. I'm not perfect and I never expect anyone else to be. If you have been eating well and don't have a huge exam or presentation in the next few days, you'll probably be just fine eating things that you know are not the best. I never touch cane sugar or dairy because I instantly react and it's horrible. I know my limits and I do make mistakes. That just seems to be part of the process. It's tricky to be light enough that you also don't make yourself feel deprived or left out. I make promises to myself to have things at a better time or that I will get something later for myself that I can eat. When the whole world looks like they are walking around Manhattan eating ice cream, I wait for a good moment to indulge in Stogo's or buy some Coconut Bliss at Whole Foods. Sometimes knowing that I am going to get the treat later makes it that much sweeter when I do get it. If you explain with love, most people who don't share your views on food will be happy to see you happy.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

From The Archives - an old May newsletter - Slimmer by Summer

I just pulled this out for you to chew on. I love theses recipes. If you don't know where to get Hato mugi you can always order it online. Look at www.susanmarque.com and go to the links page for resources.

Tip of the Month

Slimmer by summer! Is that something that you would like for yourself? You can have that easily if you get focused both mentally and physically.

One stumbling block to being slender forever, is a deep feeling of lack or not enoughness. Clearing this can clear the nagging hunger that drives in-between meal snacking or over-eating that many people unconciously find themselves driven to. If you have ever felt compelled to eat when you were not truly physically hungry, you might want to take a look and see if you have some form of lack, or fear of lack, that you need to clear.

Another hitch to slender living is low blood sugar. It’s fairly rampant in our culture. In part it is due to eating so much sugar. There is sugar in salad dressing or ketchup for goodness sake. Sugar is in so many of the foods you might be eating, the only way to get off the addictive cycle of sugar is to get off sugar. Quit. Yes, you can replace the white stuff with better sweeteners, but the best is to get that wonderful sweet taste from things like thoroughly chewing your whole grains and eating vegetables that have sweetness in them. Have you ever noticed that brown rice gets sweeter the more you chew it? Have you ever made a carrot bisque or a really good organic butternut squash? Maybe you have caramelized onions before or had corn on the cob? What about a perfectly ripe fruit fresh from the farm? This is the kind of sweetness that is kind to your system and the less you stress, the skinnier you can be.

Speaking of relieving stress for slender living. Yes folks, you have heard me say it before – get plenty of rest and plenty of water. Without these two key factors, you are more likely to snack and be looking for a pick me up.

Support is always key to lasting success so be sure to grab a friend, join a group or get some coaching and finally be exactly as you wish to be!


Recipes

Light and Luscious Barley Salad

Try this with any grain and veggie combo you like. Hato Mugi barley is Japanese pearled Barley.

1 C Cooked Hato Mugi Barley

1 – 2 carrots chopped and blanched

2-3 Scallions or a small bunch of chives chopped and blanched

Dressing: 2 parts flax seed oil to 1 part ume vinegar.

Mix all the ingredients and serve on a bed of blanched kale.

Add blanched corn kernels as well or use red onion in place of scallion.

“Cream” of Broccoli Soup

Super fast and simple, this soup utilizes small amounts of additional vegetables instead of vegetable broth. Feel free to experiment with other seasonings and combinations.

1-2 large stalks of broccoli, rinsed, with stems peeled and chopped

1 onion, sliced

1 carrot, chopped

1 small burdock (optional), chopped

Olive or rice bran oil

Water

White miso paste to taste

Sauté the onions for several minutes in a small amount of oil, and then add the other vegetables. Add water to about half way up the vegetables and bring to a boil. Place a lid on the pot and bring the heat down to low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Place in a blender and add a small amount of miso paste. (about 1 tsp. per cup or start with less and just add to taste.) Blend adding water if needed to attain your desired consistency. Serve with a garnish such as parsley.

Amaranth Studded Pan Bread

This soda bread is almost like a giant muffin in the way it is made. Slice wedges with onion/squash butter and your family or friends will be very satisfied.

1/2 Cup Amaranth, sorted

1 Cup water

small pinch of sea salt

1 1/2 Cups Spelt flour

1/2 Cup chestnut flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 Tablespoon rice syrup

3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

6 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 Cup rice or soy milk.

1. Bring the water and pinch of salt to a boil and add the amaranth.

2. Simmer for 20 minutes covered over a low flame.

3. Preheat your oven to 350°

4. Oil a 9” pie plate.

5. Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl.

6. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl.

7. Add the cooked amaranth to the wet ingredients.

8. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until mixed but not overmixed.

9. Bake for about 45 minutes until the bread is lightly brown, the top will crack a bit and you will be able to stick a knife in it and have it come out clean.

Variations: Use what ever flours you choose. Add herbs or nuts/seeds. Make it your own.

Story Time (names are changed, stories are true)

Ahhh, those last 10 or 15 pounds that so many would like to shed for good. I keep telling you how easy it is and I love when clients just take in the information and run with it. Jessica was like that. Now Jessica had done a ton of work on herself before I ever met her. She came to me though with some adult acne and that nagging extra weight that although she was still beautiful and probably slender to many who knew her, she felt uncomfortable in her own skin. I understood. She started with one session and immediately upgraded to the 4-session package. She understood that she wanted all the basics and then she would be able to incorporate it into her life. I met her on a Wednesday evening and by Saturday I had an email from her. She had cleaned out her cupboards and replaced everything to be looking like my cupboards. She had already lost some weight and she was anxious for more. Wow, great progress. My email back to her was something along the lines of keep going and yet relax with it all too. The more we stress, the more apt we are to keep or gain the pounds. She could hear me and execute all instructions. She started cooking up whole foods and loved it. She changed up what she ordered out. For her work she needed to eat lunches in restaurants most days. After the four sessions the weight was just about completely gone and her skin looked perfect. I’m sure Jessica is still enjoying even greater benefits than these because the last I heard from her was a simple “Thank you” because she understood how it just keeps getting better and better the longer you live this way!!!! Join us and start cooking up feeling and looking good today.

Fun Food Facts

Try some Seitan (pronounced Say-TAN) for a fun high protein, low calorie (depending on how it is made.) meat substitute. You can easily make your own or purchase pre-made Seitan in your health food store. It can be seasoned from simple to gourmet and has a nice chewy texture. It strengthens muscles, builds energy and is tonifying for the spleen, pancreas and kidneys. High energy and only the fat it would have is if any was added in the making.

New Tools

Well this one is an old tool really. Roasted Barley tea is wonderful for cooling down on a hot day. I like to make a big batch the night before and let it cool in the fridge for a refreshing ice tea that is good without any added sweetener. Mix in Mint and Strawberries when it’s hot and steeping for a fun drink.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Exciting Excellence

It's Monday morning and I just saw an incredible video that my teacher posted. It was two young men doing their own acrobatic dance and it was wonderful. They had committed themselves to achieving things with their bodies that most of us might only dream about. That level of excellence is exciting to watch.

It's exciting to watch in your own life as well when you are committed to something. The level of fluidity that I saw in the dancers is the same fluidity of anyone who practices and doesn't allow themselves to say "Oh F___ it." when it comes to the quality they want. You practice. A dancer has a daily practice to keep their muscles strong and flexible. I have a practice with food that keeps me healthy, slender and happy. It took me a long time to figure out what works. That's the part I can short cut for others. The part I can't do for anyone else is the selection and eating that they must do.

I had a client ask me this week if I would just do it all for her. She wanted to be like a child still living with a parent who will shop and cook and clean up after her. I realized the only way she will solve her weight problem for good, is if she gets that she is strong and capable and flexible. She must do the thing that she doesn't want to do in order for it to become easy and effortless down the road.

We are all practicing something. She's smart to get some coaching because I'm literally just keeping her in the practice until she can do it herself without thinking. I'm giving her tools to make it easier such as choices to solve her blood sugar instability. Her physiology was creating strong cravings and making it more difficult to enjoy healthier foods. In just a couple of weeks, that will slow down and as her body heals and she is introduced to a wider array of choices out there...

There is a drink I told her about you can make with sweet vegetables. It's just carrots, onions, cabbage and winter squash (or daikon) chopped up with 3-4 times the amount of water than veggies added to a pot and simmered for 20 minutes with no lid. Drinking the broth a couple of times per day can start to soothe a clamped up pancreas and eliminate cravings. It's not a substitute for eating well but it can kick start the results and make it more fun to keep committed when she sees how quickly she can feel better.

With summer around the corner now, it's a great moment to decide what you might like to achieve in the next few months and what it is you are going to practice? Pick one area of life to focus some attention on. Your physical body, your relationships, some aspect of your work that you would like to be different and begin practicing something towards those goals. A tennis player doesn't become a champion over night, they practice even when they don't want to and find the joy of the game again and again even after moments of wanting to quit. Stay committed and see yourself rise to a whole new level of life. It's exciting.