Archive for November, 2011|Monthly archive page

FREE Class Tonight (Tuesday, Nov 29) on Holiday Wellness: Weight Gain and Stress Doesn’t Have to Be Inevitable

In career, diet, entrepreneurs, fitness, holiday, job, lifestyle, sleep, stress, Uncategorized, weight, wellness on November 29, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Do you think you automatically gain weight, get stressed and get exhausted just because it’s the holiday season?  And do you ever ask yourself these questions (at any time of the year, really):  Why don’t I have much energy?”  “Why do I crave sweets?”  “Why can’t I sleep well?”  “Why is my mind always so fuzzy?”  “How does my fuzzy mind and lack of energy affect both my professional and personal lives?”

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to not have to spend an extra half hour in the morning getting dressed while you’re looking for something that fits?  Do you ever wish you could get back into those favorite, “skinny” jeans?  Do you ever wonder how much it costs you in making those daily (or, in some cases, twice-daily) donut, cookie or ice cream runs (and we’re not just talking about the cost in money–it can cost you time and other things.)

During this FREE class, you’ll learn about such things as how to control and manage those cravings; the connection between toxins and weight gain–and more.  It’ll be informative, interesting–and highly interactive.

Details are here. For more information on me, please visit my website:

RSVPs would be appreciated; you can e-mail me at:


Six Ways to Manage Those ‘Weekend Headaches’

In business, career, diet, environment, fitness, food, headaches, health, holiday, sleep, Uncategorized, wellness on November 25, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Sound familiar?

You’ve had a busy, stressful, week and now you’re looking forward to the weekend, with two whole days of relaxation and recreation.  But you wake up on Saturday with a crushing headache—and that derails your plans.

What gives???

That’s a question researchers are trying to answer.  The general thought is that anything that produces a change in your body can create a headache—caffeine consumption, food, drink, environment. Some research even suggests that simply going from the workweek, where your body is in a state of stress, to the weekend, where your body is in a sudden state of rest, can release large amounts of neurotransmitter chemicals—which ultimately lead to those painful headaches.  And if you’re already prone to migraine or tension-type headaches, your body may even be more sensitive to any changes and, hence, increase the possibility of those weekend headaches. Weekend headaches are pretty common, but if they increase in frequency or severity, it’s probably a good idea to check it out with your doctor.

Meanwhile, here are some simple steps you can follow to eliminate or reduce them:

Examine Your Caffeine Consumption:  Do you drink less or more coffee on the weekends?  I always recommend reducing your caffeine intake, and I certainly recommend keeping your consumption steady; for example, if you drink more during the week, but hardly any on the weekend, chances are you’ll send your body into a tailspin.

But the good news is you can still get your caffeine jolt, while still keeping your consumption low: Drink a half and half ( mix ½ regular with ½ decaf), or make substitutions such tea (green tea does have a little caffeine—but a LOT of antioxidants as well), or an herbal coffee like Teechino (found at Whole Foods and many health food stores).

Look at Your Sleeping Habits:  Yes, you can get too much of a good thing, and sleep is one of them.  Sleeping late is a sure way to trigger a headache, so try to rise the same time each day. Of course, too little sleep also triggers headaches, but the best way to avoid that is to, well, avoid that.

Pay Attention to Diet:  Do you eat differently on weekends?  For instance, I know someone who often fasts during the week then overindulges on sugary, high-fat foods on the weekend.  Both fasting and overindulging on sugar and fat are ways to trigger attacks.

Eat Breakfast:  Always.  Never skip that, or any, meal.  A good, healthy breakfast will start your metabolism and help stabilize your blood sugar and mood levels.

Include Anti-inflammatory Foods:  These foods reduce swelling and pain and, as much as possible, should be included: Vegetables, especially broccoli; fruits, especially blueberries; lean meats and seafood (wild Alaskan salmon); green tea; sweet potatoes; extra virgin olive oil.  Some spices, like turmeric and ginger, are powerful anti-inflammatory agents. Sugar is the arch enemy, and should be avoided as much as possible!

Check Out your Environment:  Look around—is your environment different on the weekends that during the week? Mold, dry heat and other allergens can all bring on headaches.

I will be teaching a FREE class this Tuesday, November 29, at 6:30 PM that will address wellness during the holidays.  For more information, please visit:  To RSVP, please e-mail me at:

For my popular pet blog, please visit:

Holiday Stress and Weight Gain Affects ALL of Us–Humans AND Animals

In animals, cats, diet, dogs, exercise, fitness, health, holiday, nutrition, weight gain, wellness on November 24, 2011 at 2:10 pm

It’s easy to forget, but holidays can be just as tough on our animals as they are for us.  We always see an enormous amount of advice geared toward humans (I’m even teaching a class this Tuesday evening) on getting through the season–but what about our furry friends?

Parties, long days, late nights, houseguests, travel, separation from owners, and more can wreak havoc on the well-being of our pets during the holidays.  Signs of stress might include stomach upset, scratching, shedding, growling, restlessness, avoiding eye contact and more.

I spoke to some veterinarians and experts.  Here are five tips to help you get your pets through the Thanksgiving to New Year’s period happily and healthfully.

1.  Keep their routine as close to normal as possible.  Make sure they get plenty of sunlight and stimulation.  If you know you’re going to have a long day, ask a trusted friend– someone your pet knows and likes–to walk him or her, or even use your lunchtime to go home to spend a little time with them.  You can also employ a pet sitter, but just be sure the animal knows him or her beforehand.

2. Plan Ahead. “This isn’t the time to introduce someone new to your pet,” said Jillian Pagano, DVM, West Chelsea Veterinary in New York City.  Be sure to plan ahead.  If you think you might need some help during the holidays, be sure your pet is familiar with any pet sitters, groomers, dog walkers, or day care.  Ask a lot of questions and leave instructions and phone numbers.  Don’t be embarrased about asking questions–pet sitters expect it– but if anyone seems annoyed by them…well….you have your answer to not use them!

3.  Make sure there’s a special room, or area, where your pet can go to get away from it all if you have houseguests or if you’re having a party.  Include any special items, such as blankets, toys, water, a few grains of dried kibble, maybe an article of your clothing.

My Westie, Baxter, loved his crate so much I always kept it with the door ajar so he could go in and out as he pleased. Baxter saw the crate as his  room, a place of his own where he could get away from it all.  Once I had a house full of guests so he just let himself into the crate—and shut the door with his nose.  “Did he just do what I think he did?” asked one of my guests.

4.  Monitor diet.  Avoid table food, and a good alternative is to put a handful of dried kibble in your pocket so you can give a grain as a “treat.” “They really only care about being rewarded” said Dr. Pagano, “They don’t care about the types of food or the amount—the reaction will always be the same.”

When you buy pet biscuits or treats, read the labels as you would for your human family.  You want to be sure the crude fat content is very low, or non-existent.

Added Liz Luboja, the practice manager at West Chelsea:  “Overeating can also lead to things like pancreatitis—and we often see an upsurge of this on the days after Thanksgiving or Christmas.”

Whatever you do, don’t forget also that some food items can be toxic to an animal, namely chocolate, onions, raisins or grapes.

5.  Exercise.  This is a must, both physically and mentally, as it will help stimulate them and get them through any stress.  How much should your pet exercise?  “It really depends on the breed and the health of the animal,” said Dr. Pagano.  Generally, you may want to walk your dog ½ hour or a full hour a day. If it’s a cat, try to aim for five to 15 minutes of play.

Note:  My holiday wellness and nutrition coaching class will be Tuesday, November 29, from 6:30 to 7:30.  It is completely FREE.  For more information, and to register, please visit: and e-mail me at:

For my pet blog, please visit:


Five Reasons to Exercise

In exercise, holiday, lifestyle, Uncategorized, wellness on November 16, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Who can remember the episode of the television show “Everybody Loves Raymond” when Raymond becomes thrilled with the sudden, dramatic increase in his sex life–until he finds an exercise class flyer–featuring the photo of a very handsome instructor–on his wife’s table.  He thinks the instructor is the reason for her sudden interest but, when he confronts her, she says:  “Has it ever occured to you that I’m just feeling much better about myself these days?”

So there you have it.  A benefit of exercise is that it can boost your sex life.  It makes you feel better, both physically and mentally.

Right now, we’re right smack in the middle of holiday season.  Personal and professional responsibilities, shopping, entertaining and more often make us tired and stressed to the max.  Sweets and fat-laden temptations are all around us.  It’s pretty easy for us to forget (or want to forget) about exercising.  But don’t.  Aside from the boost to your sex life, exercise can:

  • Exercise can enhance your mood. “It releases endorphins which can make you feel better and reduce stress,” said NYC physician and anti-aging specialist, Dr. Steve Tsoutsouras.
  • It controls weight.  It’s a very simple formula–when you exercise you burn calories.  When you burn calories you lose weight.
  • Exercise fights fatigue.  Study after study shows that, even those with chronic medical conditions, can benefit from the fatigued-fighting exercise.  Here’s why it boosts your stamina:  Exercise carries oxygen and nutrients to the cells.  It also helps detoxify the body, getting rid of toxins, accumulated wastes and poisons.
  • Exercise can promote better sleep. “Some of my patients tell me they can’t sleep without exercising,” says Dr. Kathia Roberts, Ph.D., ND, D.PHYT.

Five Tips to Maintain Your Weight During the Holidays

In Christmas, diet, eating, exercise, health, holiday, job, lifestyle, New Years, nutrition, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized, weight gain, wellness on November 16, 2011 at 3:51 am

Several years ago, on the day after Christmas, a co-worker announced that she wasn’t going to bother eating lunch, because “I’m just going to pig out all day on cookies.”

Holiday weight gain isn’t inevitable, though.  We just think it is, because so many of us see the period from Thanksgiving to New Years as an entire 45-day holiday, rather than three holidays that just happen to fall in a 45-day period!

Adding to that, we’re tired and stressed to the max, what with juggling work, family responsibilities, shopping, entertaining, attending parties and events, and more.  Let’s be honest: We don’t exactly make the best food choices when we’re tired and stressed, often seeking out high-calorie, high-fat, sugary comfort foods, so the the holiday season can be a holiday battle-ground.  It’s even worse if you’re already inclined to be a binge-eater, because the holiday season can only add to those leanings.

Here are five tips to help you get through it all–healthfully, happily and strongly.

  • It can’t be said often enough!  Keep in mind that the Thanksgiving-New Year period is only a 45-day stretch that includes three major holidays.  It isn’t a 45-day holiday that allows you to overeat, forget about exercise and forget about any wellness.
  • Maintain, or even step up, your exercise program!

Ask copywriter and avid exerciser Colette Connolly  the best way not to gain holiday weight and she’ll say: “Exercise…that way you won’t feel guilty about the extra calories and the pounds won’t settle on your hips as a result.”

New York City fitness instructor (and college professor, book author and mother-to-a-toddler) Natalia Petrzela says consistency is key.  “I think one of the best ways to make it through the holidays feeling fit and healthy is to make a reasonable schedule for exercise and STICK to it” she said, “In a season during which holiday parties and shopping may be cutting into your normal gym time, it’s important to get organized, or before you know it, the month will fly by, and all the exercise you will have done is lifting some shopping bags to your door and some canapés to your mouth! Usually work out at night? Try to commit to a few morning classes if you know you have evening commitments.”

“It’s also a good time to add something new,” says New York City personal trainer Danielle Harrison. “Normally, I recommend 45 minutes of cardio every other day; things like yoga, boot camp classes, body sculpting. “

  • Eat regularly.   It’s tempting to skip a meal when you’ve overindulged the night before.  You might also think you’re too busy to eat. You’re not saving any calories, though.  This is the problem:  Skipping meals will only lower your metabolism, so your body will think it’s starving and will protect you by storing calories.  You’ll also get really tired.  You might even overeat at the next meal, because your body will want to make up for any lost calories.

“Set yourself up for success with reasonable goal,” said Petrzela… “The thing to remember is that it’s OK to relax and enjoy the festivities without guilt- that’s the best part of the season! But setting attainable goals for yourself will help you stay on track through December… And will make your New Year’s Resolutions that much easier to meet!”

“I emphasize the need for portion control to my clients, but especially so during this season,” added Harrison.  “In fact, I suggest keeping a food journal.”

  • Prepare.  If you know you’ll be attending a big function, pay a little extra attention to your diet and exercise the days before. Try to eat super-healthy, exercise more, step up a little self-care, such as a hot bath, extra sleep or massage.
  • Keep Alcohol Intake Moderate.  Remember, just because it’s liquid, it still has calories.  And keep that in mind for all liquids; one of those 16-oz flavored coffees that’s so popular has 44-grams of sugar!

Holiday Weight Gain Is Not Inevitable!

In business, business owner, career, chefs, consultant, diet, eating, entrepreneurs, exercise, farming, female executives, food, health, holiday, job, lifestyle, New York City, nutrition, vegan, weight gain, wellness on November 15, 2011 at 7:16 pm

 Join two wellness professionals, Irene Ross and Christine Zona, on Tuesday, November 29, from 6:30-7:30 will teach a FREE class to show you just how easy it is to create an effective holiday wellness strategy.  Aside from the holiday weight gain and stress, do you ever ask yourself these questions:

  • Why do I feel so tired?
  • Why is my mind so fuzzy?
  • Why can’t I sleep well?
  •  Why do I crave sweets and high-fat, high-calorie “comfort foods,” especially when I am stressed?
  • Why can’t I lose weight no matter how much dieting & exercise I do

In our FREE class you’ll learn:

  • What those cravings really mean—and how you can reduce, or eliminate them entirely, once and for all.
  • The connection between toxins and weight gain.
  • How to still eat healthfullly with limited money, time and other resources.
  • How easy it is to boost your immunity.
  • How to prepare and plan ahead when you have a big, calorie-laden event approaching

Irene Ross is a board certified health and wellness coach who works with people to help them alter unhealthy habits so they can balance their personal and professional lives.  She graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where she studied over 100 dietary theories, lifestyle management techniques and cutting-edge coaching methods.  Irene’s instructors included:  Deepak Chopra, MD: Dr. Andrew Weil; Dr. David Katz; Dr. Mark Hyman; Geneen Roth and many others. For more information, please visit her website: You can also connect with her on Facebook, Linked In or follow her on Twitter (@yetmorehealth).

Christine Zona received her BS degree in Community Health from Slippery Rock College.  A professional dancer, Christine has been teaching Ballroom since 1980.  She also won many titles in professional dance competitions held around the United States. Today, she combines her two passions, dancing and health, to teach people that want to be healthier and live a long abundant life. Visit her Facebook page to learn more:

Date:                Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Time:                6:30-7:30

Where:              560 West 43rd St (10-11 Ave), 2nd floor conference room

Cost:                FREE

RSVP:              REQUIRED.  Please call Irene Ross at 212/563-2353

 To RSVP. please e-mail:





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