Archive for 2013|Yearly archive page

Five Ways to Ignite Your Spark

In holistic health, weight, wellness, on May 13, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Having a really crappy day?

No matter what life dishes out, your physical, emotional and spiritual health depends on you remaining positive. Sometimes people get so overwhelmed with stress that they acquire eating disorders which can then lead to digestive problems, weight problems, sleep deprivation, confidence and esteem challenges, and more.


In fact, did you know that 43 percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress—and 75- 90 percent of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints?

It’s also important to remember that we attract what we put our energy on—so if you’re thinking and dwelling about the negative, chances are you’ll just attract more of the same. As the saying goes: “Worrying is like praying for what you don’t want.”

Here are some ways to cope when you’re having a bad day:

  1. Give yourself a “time out.”  Do something pleasurable, whether it’s playing with the kids or the pets, taking a long walk, gardening or bicycling.  If you’re in the office, close your door, stretch, move around– and take a few minutes to breathe deeply.
  2. Practice self-care:  It’s easy to neglect ourselves when we’re so busy taking care of other things.  But we can’t be much good to others if we’re not feeling up-to-par ourselves, right?  Get some “alone time”–take a hot bath, get a massage, read a good book—whatever you need to feed your soul.
  3. Eat Mindfully:  Eat slowly, savor every mouthful and give your body a chance to digest and your brain to register satiety.  Working through lunch?  Everyone has at least five minutes to eat calmly and peacefully; close the door, shut down the computer and let the phone go to voicemail.
  4. Breathe!  We tend to engage in shallow breathing when anxious, but when you feel that way, stop, take a few deep breaths and exhale.
  5. Strengthen your sense of community: Make a phone call to someone to whom you haven’t spoken in a while.  Re-connect with someone whom you haven’t seen in a long, long time (Hint: social media, like Facebook, is great for finding old friends.) Make it a point to say hello and speak to that neighbor with whom you’ve never connected.

Ok, so I’ll just keep saying it—have a consistent gratitude practice. Every night, make a list of 3-5 things for which you are grateful; even the worst day has positive moments.



ABOUT IRENE:  Irene Ross is an integrative nutrition and holistic wellness coach who helps people alter unhealthy habits so they can transform their lives into one of vibrant health and happiness.

Her website is:

Author of the e-book, Sugar’s Sour Story. and of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways to Fire Up Your Day:  Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life, she also writes a pet wellness blog called






In Detoxification, food, Uncategorized, wellness, on April 29, 2013 at 9:15 pm

There’s just no doubt about it.  Especially with today’s environmental toxins, depleted soils and highly processed foods, nutritional cleansing is more important than ever—and there are some great nutritional detoxification programs on the market.

Wouldn’t it be great, though, to think about nutritional detoxification every day and not just 3 or 4 times a year?  You could shimmer, shine, feel and look great all the time, rather than just at certain times of the year.

You can do it by adding certain foods to your daily diet.  You just need to remember 2 things. First, the liver is a vital organ, responsible for many things, among them, removing toxins and breaking down fats.  Second, you need to remember that disease thrives in an acidic atmosphere, so you want your blood to be neutral (a balance of acid/alkaline) or even slightly more alkaline. Some foods, like sugar, create acidic blood while others, like garlic, are alkaline-forming.  For a complete list of acid/alkaline foods, click here.

1.    Grapefruit

This has got to be one of the best foods you can eat.  It not only supports the liver by flooding it with nutrient-rich juice, but it’s also it’s also highly alkalizing. By the way, it’s highly effective for weight loss, because grapefruit helps the liver burn fat.

2.    Lemon

Since lemon is a citrus, many think of it as acid—but it’s not, being one of those alkaline-forming foods.  Drink a glass of water with fresh lemon and you’ll not only be supporting your digestion, but you’ll be boosting your immunity by sending vitamin C to your defense cells.  By the way, some believe that lemon also has a calming effect and increases concentration and alertness.

 3.    Kale

Guess what—this vegetable has more iron than beef! Kale is a nutritional powerhous packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and omega-3 and 6 fatty acids; that means it boosts immunity, fights arthritis, asthma and some autoimmune disorders.

Kale contains both sulphur and fiber, two terrific detoxifying substances.

Versatile, kale can be steamed, stir-fried or eaten raw.  Add it to salads, soups or include it in your breakfast green smoothie.

4.    Water

Okay, all you wordsmiths out there, water’s not a food (although, in my defense, some do insist that bottled water is a food).  Never-the-less, don’t underestimate water’s importance.


Did you know that 85 percent of all headaches are caused by dehydration?

Your body is made up of at least 75 percent water, and that includes the bones and brain. Water flushes toxins, which translates into better, healthier skin for you. Water also increases metabolism, energy and contributes to youthfulness, because it plumps skin and muscles and decreases sagging.

Here’s a huge benefit:  Water has been found to aid heart health. A study published in the May 1, 2002 American Journal of Epidemiology found that those who drank more than five glasses of water a day were 41 percent less likely to die from a heart attack during the study period than those who drank less than two glasses.

5.     Avocado

Avocado is packed with vitamin E, a natural antioxidant that that supports everything from the brain to the heart and respiratory health to circulation; vitamin E is also used often in skin creams.

Avocados also contain nearly 20 other vitamins, minerals, phyonutrients and other nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, folic acid, vitamins B6 and C and fiber.


Irene Ross, CHHC, AADP, is an integrative nutrition and holistic health coach who helps people alter unhealthy habits so they balance their lives.

Author of the e-book, Sugar’s Sour Story, and of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways to Fire Up Your Day:  Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life, her website is:



Quinoa Pilaf–Yummy, Healthy, Easy (and the addition of cranberries and parsley make it even healthier)

In food, Uncategorized, wellness on April 2, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Recipe: Quinoa Pilaf

Recipe courtesy of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition


Prep Time: 3 minutes

Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


1 cup quinoa

2 1/4 cups water or stock

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup walnut pieces

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

pinch of salt


1.   Rinse quinoa in fine mesh strainer until water runs clear.

2.   Boil the water and add quinoa and salt, cover and reduce heat.

3.   After 15 minutes add cranberries and walnuts to top; do not stir.

4.   Cook 5 minutes more, until all the liquid is absorbed.

5.   Remove from heat, add parsley and fluff with fork, cover and let sit for 3-5 minutes and serve.

Editor’s note: By now you probably know how healthy quinoa is.  It’s a complete protein,  gluten-free, and does everything from aiding digestion to boosting metabolism, increasing energy and a lot more.

The addition of parsley and cranberries increases the health benefits even more because:

  • Parsley is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune booster.  It’s also loaded with vitamin K—that’s the one that aids bone health.
  • Cranberries: Wow, they have more antioxidants than many fruits and vegetables, except for blueberries.  If you don’t know what an antioxidant is, they’re the substances that fight those rogue free radical cells, responsible for aging and disease.  A free radical cell is the human version of rust—that’s just how dangerous they are.  Cranberries also have fiber and vitamin C.


About Irene:

Irene Ross is a certified integrative nutrition and health coach who helps people alter unhealthy habits so they balance their lives.

Author of the e-book, Sugar’s Sour Story, and of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways to Fire Up Your Day: Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life, her website is:

Want a free “heal your body” session?

In heatlhy eating, holistic health, stress, Uncategorized, weight gain, wellness on March 11, 2013 at 1:25 am

canstockphoto9866137ayurvedateaAre you struggling with some sort of nagging ache, pain, or other frustrating physical condition? Maybe you struggle with your weight or have some challenge like high or low blood sugar, chronic stress and sleep deprivation, continual sugar cravings or low energy–among other things.

A lot of folks struggle with these kind of issues, and somehow they get magnified even more at certain times.

If you feel you’d really like to change about your body right now– help is a phone call away!

I’m offering a special free 30 minute “Heal Your Body” coaching session to make 2013 one of the best, healthiest, happiest year of your life.

Generally, these sessions are valued at $275 but it’s complimentary to you.

During the session we will…

Create a crystal clear vision for your ultimate physical health, energy and vitality

Uncover hidden challenges that may be sabotaging your body’s ability to heal itself

Re-energize and inspire you to get your body fully healed

If you’d like to take advantage of this special session, please  answer these 5 questions:

What are the biggest issues with your body

What do you most want to get resolved now?

How long have you been suffering from these issues?

On a scale of 0 – 10, with 10 being the most important, how important is it for you to get these issues settled once and for all?

What have you already tried to resolve these issues and how did that work out for you? Please include your full name & the best phone number to reach you on to schedule the session; someone from my office will get back to you within the next 24 to 48 hours to schedule your one-on-one “Heal Your Body” coaching session.

Click reply now to claim your session today.

And, hey, if you’d like to also pass this on to friends, colleagues or family, there are more than welcome. Just be sure they answer the five questions above and indicate in the subject line, “referred by (your name)”

To schedule, contact me through my website:



Irene Ross is an integrative nutrition and wellness coach who helps people alter unhealthy habits so they balance their lives.  She is author of the e-book, Sugar’s Sour Story, and of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways to Fire Up Your Day: Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life.


Spring’s Around the Corner, So Time To Lighten Up!

In skin, Uncategorized, weight, wellness on March 9, 2013 at 5:47 am

All winter long you’ve probably been eating warm, heavier comfort foods. Now it’s time to bounce into spring, and what better way to start than this easy 3-day detox, found in the  IIN Spring Detox Guide.  You’ll look and feel great, because:

A. Your skin will glow
B. You’ll have more energy than ever
C. You’ll balance your moods
D. You’ll cleanse that liver
E. You’ll shed some pounds



…and more….

Listen, you even get a grocery list to really simplify things.

About Irene:

Irene Ross, CHHC, AADP is a certified integrative nutrition and wellness coach. She helps people alter unhealthy habits so they can balance their lives.

Author of the e-book, Sugar’s Sour Story, and of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways to Fire Up Your Day: Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life, her website is:

Why You Should Care About National Sleep Awareness Week

In sleep, stress, Uncategorized, weight, weight gain on March 6, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Sleep Deprivation is probably one of the worst things that can happen to the human race; yet, over 70 million U.S. adults experience sleep disorders, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

We all have a sleepless night here and there–whether it’s thinking about a big deadline or finally getting that date with the love-of-your-life. When it’s chronic, though? Well, it can affect every one of your systems, from the immune to nervous and skeletal.

Everyone should try to aim for 7.5 or 8.0 hours of sleep per night. Easier said than done, right?  I’ve seen numerous articles telling us all how to get better sleep–but let’s take a look at the causes.

Why should you care?  Because, without proper sleep, you wake up feeling irritable, anxious and moody.  You probably want to exercise, but can’t because you’re just too tired.  Here’s the clincher–you’ll probably also gain weight, because sleep has a direct effect on three hormones that regulate appetite.

So take this week, March 3-10 to reflect on your sleep patterns to see how you can remove some of those things that are known for keeping us awake.

  • Stress: Things like mind-chatter, impending deadlines and other events can make us toss and turn. Here’s where it is a cause, though; we awaken tired, anxious, irritable, depressed and lacking mental clarity—which means decreased or non-existent–coping mechanisms, adding to our ever-increasing stress load.
  • Pain: “If we consistently do not get enough rest it opens us up to the daily aches and pains we feel, as well as more serious injury,” said Michael Gazeleh, DC.  Guess what?  That pain keeps us awake.
  • Illness: The constant stress of sleep deprivation can trigger chronic and degenerative illnesses, but you also want to explore reasons for  not being able to stay asleep: “That might be caused by something like pain or even hunger,” said Dr. Peter Bongiorno, ND, Lac. “Hunger might either mean that there’s a problem with the liver or simply that the patient needs to eat a little more before bed.”
  • The bedroom isn’t dark enough. Melatonin is the body’s natural substance that’s produced at night, and a decreased level results in lower immunity, increased risk of infection. “Even the slightest light can cause a decrease in melatonin  levels,” says Dr. Bongiorno ND, Lac.
  • Pets.  I’m not passing judgment; in fact, I freely admit that I love sleeping with pets; to me, they’re like warm furry pillows.  However, the Mayo Clinic conducted a study finding that more than half of its patients seeking consultations at their sleep clinic were pet owners complaining of nightly sleep disturbances, caused by things like cover-hogging, kicking, growling, meowing, or even scratching. If yours keeps you up, maybe it’s time to give your pet a sleeping place of his/her own!


About Irene:

Irene Ross, CHHC, AADP is a certified integrative nutrition and wellness coach.  She helps people alter unhealthy habits so they can balance their lives.

Author of the e-book, Sugar’s Sour Story, and of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways to Fire Up Your Day:  Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life, her website is:



In fitness, food, healthful eating, National Nutrition Month, Uncategorized, wellness on March 4, 2013 at 12:15 am

The more colorful, the better!  Every color has a different set of nutrients, and that means more health benefits for you.  So mix it up!


  • Reds, such as strawberries, tomatoes, apples: Reported to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They contain many nutrients, including the familiar lycopene.
  • Greens, such as spinach, kale, collards, broccoli, asparagus, dandelions: Considered a super (high nutrient) food, greens have been reported to do everything from boosting immunity to improving mood and increasing energy. They also keep you from aging, because their nutrients fight free radicals, those rogue cells responsible for disease and premature aging (i.e., wrinkling)
  • Oranges and yellows:  Ever notice that most moisturizers contain vitamin C?  That’s because this vitamin helps promote collagen formation, and the orange and yellows are loaded with it. They also include things like lycopene, which aids eye health, and the oranges and yellows work well with magnesium and calcium to bring you healthy joints and bone health.

NOTE:  While you might think of a lemon as an acidic fruit, it’s actually alkaline—and that’s important to know because you want to keep your blood’s PH well-balanced.  Disease thrives in an acidic environment, while it does not in an alkaline one.

  • Eggplant, grapes, blackberries, blueberries and other blues and purples. They’re loaded with vitamin C, fiber, lutein and reversatrol (that means you can have that glass of red wine.) These not only boost immunity, but they fight inflammation (so responsible for many diseases) and even improve mineral absorption.
  • Parsnips, bananas, mushrooms, potatoes and other whites: These nutrients increase immunity, balance hormones and reduce the risk of some cancers.


About Irene:

Irene Ross, CHHC, AADP is an integrative nutrition and holistic wellness coach, speaker, writer and book author.  Her website is:

For more information, or to schedule a complimentary 30-minute wellness discovery session, please contact me through this website:

How Do I Become Heart-Healthy?

In exercise, Go Red, heart health, Uncategorized, wellness on February 19, 2013 at 1:17 am

Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to aid your heart health, says Cardiologist Nieca Goldberg, MD, Medical Director of the Women’s Heart Center at New York University Medical Center in New York City. “It helps to lower blood pressure, blood sugar and weight and it raises levels of good or HDl cholesterol,” she said.

Remember, your heart’s a muscle too and, therefore, needs to be worked out on a regular basis.

“However,” says Goldberg, “If the woman smokes, the priority is to quit.”

Other things you can do to protect your heart:

  • Pay attention to your symptoms–all of them. Signs of heart attack in women often present differently than in men, so you might not get that  “elephant sitting on top of the chest” feeling.

As much as a month before the heart attack you might feel unusual fatigue or experience sleep disturbance, shortness of breath, indigestion or anxiety. During the heart attack, you can experience shortness of breath, unusual fatigue, cold sweat, dizziness and weakness.

How do you know when it’s not indigestion? “If you’re taking any kind of treatment or medication, you should see some improvement within two days,” says Naturopathic Physician Dr. Donielle (Doni) Wilson. Wilson, who is also president and executive director of the New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians, continued: “If you’re not seeing any improvement at all, or if symptoms get worse, it needs to be investigated right away.”

And don’t worry about “pestering” your doctor–remember Rosie O’Donnell and the much-ignored aching arm and chest this summer? When she finally had an EKG, it revealed a 99 percent blockage in an artery known as the widow maker.

Other things you should do:

  • Know your risk factors. There is a reason high blood pressure is called the silent killer. Blood pressure, and your cholesterol levels, should be checked regularly.
  • Watch your sugar consumption!. Americans eat far too much– over 156 pounds a year. It contributes to heart disease by significantly increasing triglycerides. While you’re at it, factor in some additional vegetables, fruit and fiber.
  • Maintain  a healthy weight. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, obesity is one of the top four (4) preventable risk factors for pre-mature mortality.

About Irene:

Irene Ross is a certified health and nutrition coach who helps people alter unhealthy habits so they can balance their lives.  She is author of the e-book, Sugar’s Sour Story, and of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways to Fire Up Your Day: Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life.  Her website is:

Taking out a nutrition “insurance policy”

In heatlhy eating, lifestyle, Uncategorized, wellness on January 29, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Nutrition experts say we should get between seven to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. While I’m not one to always recommend supplements, I do suggest taking  a whole food concentrate if we need to “bridge that gap”–between what we should eat and what we actually do eat.

Let me explain.  Experts say we should eat between seven to 13 servings of vegetables and fruits per day.  That’s always important, but especially even more so now with this severe flu season.

It’s not always possible to eat that much because:
•Many of us don’t even know what seven-13 servings looks like
•We often have super-hectic schedules that don’t always allow for healthy eating, especially if we eat at our desks or have client lunches and dinners
•We can’t monitor our kids’ eating 24/7 because they are often away from us, whether in school, at camp or in places where we aren’t–so we worry that they’re not getting enough nutrition
•Some people just don’t care for vegetables and fruit

So what we we do? Here are a few strategies:
• Pulverize and hide: That’s exactly what it sounds like. Blend and crush veggies and then sneak them in soups, sauces and other foods–wherever they can hide.

•Use that one-hour “danger zone” before dinner to your advantage: People are starving while they wait for dinner, right? Serve a big plate of rawcanstockphoto3168295spinach veggies with a healthy dip, such as home-made hummus to keep them from reaching for the cookies, pretzels and other not-so-healthy items

•Serve salad BEFORE the dinner entree, not AFTER (when people will already be satiated and probably won’t feel like eating the salad) Don’t serve the salad with the entree, either, because if you had a choice between eating the salad and eating, say, pizza, which would you go for??

Finally, consider taking out an “insurance policy.” I’m not always a fan of supplements, but Juice Plus+ isn’t a supplement; it’s a whole food concentrate make up of 13 fruits and vegetables. No preservatives, no additives, just pure nutrition. Best of all, it comes in a chewable form, much like those “gummy bears” that appeal to very young kids. Actually, I had one of the super-busy days last spring when I went for over 13 hours without eating. I was starving and, while on the train, I realized I had a packet of the gummy bear-like Juice Plus+ chewables. So I wolfed it down; I got nutrition, but I’m sure anyone who saw thought I was eating candy.

About Irene

Irene Ross is a certified health and nutrition counselor who helps people get off the diet roller coaster and lives healthy, happy, vibrant lives–without deprivation or any rigid meal plans.  One of her core programs is called “The Wellness-Centered Family”–which includes everyone, including the 2-legged human children and the 4-legged furry ones because “we all absorb the energy from each other.”

Author of the e-book, Sugar’s Sour Story, and of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways to Fire Up Your Day: Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life, her website is:  For information on Juice Plus+ please visit:




New Year, New You–Kick Those Cravings to the Curb!!

In healthful eating, holistic health, Uncategorized, wellness on January 19, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Is this you, or someone you know?

  • Do you need to reach for that sweet pastry or cookie every  mid-morning or afternoon–washed down, of course, by a cup of (often      canstockphoto4507289sugarsweetened) coffee or maybe even a soda? Then, the whole cycle starts over  again, and you can’t wait for your next sweet–or maybe you want something  salty to balance that sweet taste out.
  • Are you pretty heavy-handed with the salt shaker, often salting  even before you taste the food?
  • Do you crave crunchy, salty things at night like potato chips or pretzels?
  • Do you wake up feeling bloated, moody, irritable and tired, with  puffy eyes and “brainfog?”
  • Do you constantly fight that craving, usually by trying to eat  something “healthier,” only to give in later and STILL have that desired treat?
  • Do you feel like you’re ruled by your cravings and it always stops  you from losing those pesky last pounds?

We usually think of cravings as really bad things, to be fought at all costs. Problem is, we almost always lose that fight! They do give us some brilliant information about our bodies, though.

Once we understand what those cravings are telling us, we can learn to handle them, get rid of them for good–and then watch those last pounds release!

I’ll show you how on January 30th, when I teach for the NYC Learning Annex. You’ll learn what those cravings mean and give you some tips for handling them during my “Kick Your Cravings to the Curb” class at the Penn Mutual offices, 2 Park Avenue at 32nd St, Suite 300, NYC 10016.learningannex

During the class you’ll:

  • Understand what different cravings mean
  • Learn tips and suggestions for understanding, and then eliminating,  them
  • Walk away with a crystal clear vision for your ultimate physical   health, weight,energy and vitality
  • Uncover hidden challenges that may be sabotaging your body’s  ability to cope with those cravings
  • Re-energize and inspire you to handle them once and for all!


  • Feel great, more energetic than ever, and any excess weight will   start to drop off.
  • Never feel deprived or have to use that dreaded “diet” word   or feel guilty –ever again

For more information and to register, click here.


Irene Ross CHHC, AADP is a health and nutrition coach who helps people get off the diet roller coaster and alter unhealthy habits–so they look and feel great, have abundant energy and sleep better.

Author of the e-book, Sugar’s Sour Story, and of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways to Fire Up Your Day: Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life, her website is:

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