October 14, 2011

Favorite Recipe Fridays and World Food Day 2011

I’m instituting Favorite Recipe FRidays. I’m always looking for new recipes to try or to recommend to my clients. So each Friday, I’ll post a favorite recipe I found during the week. I can’t promise I’ll have tried out the recipe before I post about it, but I’ll definitely try to do so and give you my personal opinion if I do.

So this week, still in observance of Vegetarian Awareness Month, here’s a recipe from Dr. Weil for Penne and Broccoli. Now, I actually do make something similar to this on a regular basis. I use whole wheat, multigrain, or brown rice pasta rather than semolina pasta to boost the nutritional value. I also slice about 1 cup of button or cremini mushrooms and half a cup of sun-dried tomatoes soaked in oil, and saute the mushrooms in about a tablespoon or two of the flavored oil from the tomatoes. Then I toss all that in with the pasta and broccoli. Adds a little more color and flavor.

This Sunday, October 16, is World Food Day 2011. Events recognizing World Food Day have been organized all over the world. Organizations such as the Right2Know March, demanding consumer labeling of GMO foods, and Organic Consumers Association are holding events tied to the day too.

If there are no events scheduled for your area, or if you’d like to do something on a smaller, more personal scale, here are a couple of ways you can observe it:

  • Donate to help feed the hungry. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is one organization you can help:  https://getinvolved-donate.fao.org/
  • Donate staple foodstuffs to a local food pantry.
  • Support sustainable agriculture and shop at your local farmer’s market this weekend.
October 6, 2011

October is Vegetarian Awareness Month

If you spend any time on the Internet, you may already be aware that October is Vegetarian Awareness Month.

While you may have no interest in adopting a completely vegetarian diet, most Americans eat far too much animal protein and could truly benefit from cutting back. There are many health benefits to eating less animal protein. A number of health organizations, including the American Cancer Society and the World Health Organization, recommend reducing animal protein consumption to reduce the risk of health problems linked to diets high in this food group, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and certain cancers. A diet consisting primarily of vegetables and fruits has been found to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, prolong life, reduce weight, reduce exposure to toxins and food-borne illnesses, and increase the money in your wallet!

If you care about the health of our planet, other benefits of eating less meat, according to the North American Vegetarian Society (NAVS), include:

  • Providing a viable answer to feeding the worlds hungry through more efficient use of grains and other crops.
  • Saving animals from suffering in factory-farm conditions
  • Conserving vital but limited freshwater, fertile topsil and other precious resources
  • Preserving irreplaceable ecosystems such as rainforests and other wildlife habitats
  • Mitigating the ever-expanding environmental pollution of animal agriculture

NAVS is running a contest for those who are willing to follow a vegetarian diet for a specific period of time during the month of October. You can find a pledge card here.

If nothing else, you can participate in Meatless Mondays this month. Here’s a recipe to try, courtesy of Eating Well magazine.

September 21, 2011

Basic Rules for Weight Loss

We’re diet-obsessed in this country and yet the majority of us still struggle with being overweight. While some have found success with plans like Weight Watchers and The South Beach Diet, not every diet works for everyone. Your main goal with any weight loss program should be to lose weight gradually while at the same time adopting a way of eating that you can easily maintain for the rest of your life. Below are basic rules for healthy weight loss.

  • Eat whole, real foods from nature and avoid processed foods.
  • Eat breakfast every day, even if it’s something small.
  • Eat your largest meal in the middle of the day and a lighter meal at dinner, and don’t eat less than 2-3 hours before bedtime.
  • You may find that eating more often–three smaller meals and two snacks—is helpful, so that you maintain a more even blood sugar level and never get hungry to the point where you’ll stuff anything in your mouth.
  • Eat more fiber (this will be easy if you’re eating whole foods).
  • Avoid sugars, refined flours, high fructose corn syrup, and hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated (trans) fats.
  • Watch the glycemic load of your meals – try to eat carbohydrates with a little bit of fat and protein. For example, if you’re having a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, toss in a tablespoon of chopped walnuts. The protein and fat (a healthy fat—the kind that provides Omega-3 fatty acids) in the nuts will slow the absorption of glucose into your blood stream. Another example—rather than snacking on baby carrots alone, eat them with a tablespoon or two of hummus.
  • Watch portion sizes. In America, our portion sizes (even plate sizes) have grown substantially over the last 40 years. Watch your portions of animal protein, whole grains, fruits, dairy, calorie-laden beverages, and, of course, desserts, and fill up on salads and cooked vegetables. Here’s a link to an article that provides really good visuals for food portions:  http://www.healthcastle.com/serving-size-101-visual-reference-guide
  • Exercise!
  • Find ways to manage your stress level.
  • Be sure to get as much sleep as your body needs to feel rested.
September 9, 2011

Incorporating Movement Into Your Busy Life

Our body was designed for movement and is at its healthiest when getting an appropriate level of physical activity. It’s difficult, when you work in an office all day, to fit exercise into your daily life. Here are some tips to help you fit movement into your busy life:

  1. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. On an escalator, don’t just stand there!–walk up or down as it’s moving.
  2. Park at the farthest end of the parking lot from wherever you’re headed. Better yet, park a few blocks away. And don’t use drive-thru windows.
  3. Walk as much as possible. When you are walking, take long strides, swing your arms, and move at a quicker than normal pace. Wearing a Keep movingpedometer can help you keep track of your steps.
  4. Stand while you’re talking on the phone.
  5. Walk to someone’s office to speak with them, rather than sending an e-mail or phoning.
  6. If you have children at home, make physical activity a family affair. Play touch football or toss a Frisbee.
  7. Play with or walk your dog.
  8. Hide the remote and get up to change TV channels. Better yet, walk or jog in place, or bounce on a mini-trampoline while watching TV.
  9. Turn on some music when doing housework or yard work. Exaggerate your movements—make big arm circles while cleaning windows or dusting. Stretch your torso while vacuuming and scrubbing floors, and be sure to switch arms every once in a while so each side of your body gets a workout.
  10. Instead of bending to pick something up, squat down.
  11. Recent research shows that just 20 minutes of exercise three times a week can help keep us fit. It’s much easier to fit shorter workout sessions into your schedule. You can find many quick workout DVD’s online that incorporate both aerobics and weight training. Make the most of this time and be sure to work out intensely.
  12. Sometimes we think, “I only have 10 minutes; I may as well not even bother.” But those are 10 valuable minutes during which you can: 1) slip on your athletic shoes and go for a brisk walk, 2) turn on some music and dance around the house, 3) stretch, or 4) grab some hand weights or two water bottles and do some squats, bicep curls and triceps kickbacks.
  13. Take a class in something you’ve always wanted to learn to do, like ballroom or line dancing, boxing, or tai chi.
August 16, 2011

Asian Chicken Salad

Asian Chicken SaladOne of our favorite summer dinners is an Asian chicken salad that combines romaine lettuce with napa cabbage. If you’re not familiar with it, and if you find the taste of regular green cabbage a little too strong, give it a try. Napa cabbage has a milder taste and softer texture. Of all types of cabbage, it is the best source of folate, a nutrient important for cell repair and growth. This cooling, crunchy, colorful, flavorful salad provides vitamins A and C and protein. You can shred a whole carrot or save time, like I do, by using shredded carrots from the produce section of the grocery store.

Asian Chicken Salad

2-3 cups shredded napa cabbage
2-3 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and deveined, thinly sliced
1/2 cup shredded carrots, or 1 large carrot peeled and shaved into strips
2 tablespoons slivered almonds, lightly toasted
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
4-6 chicken tenders or 2 small chicken breasts
1/4 cup chow mein noodles for garnish

1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
1-2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced fine or grated
pinch granulated sugar
Sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, optional

1. Heat a small skillet and toast almond slivers. Set almonds aside.
2. Add a drizzle of olive oil to skillet. Sprinkle chicken breasts or tenders with onion powder, garlic powder, and a dash of cayenne pepper for a little heat. Brown chicken on both sides.
3. While chicken is browning, assemble salad ingredients.
4. In a small jar, add all dressing ingredients. Cover jar tightly and shake until blended.
5. Slice chicken and add to salad. Pour dressing over salad and toss well.  Garnish with chow mein noodles and serve.
Serves 2

June 6, 2011

Advocating for Avocados

A friend mentioned to me recently that she wanted to include avocados in her diet, but had no idea what to do with them. I was happy to dash off a quick e-mail to her with a short list of ideas, which I’ll share with you here, plus a few extras.

Avocados, or “alligator pears,” were, for a good part of history, considered an aphrodisiac. They earned a reputation in more recent years as a food to be avoided due to their fat content. It’s true that about  85% of its calories come from fat, but it’s the monounsaturated type of fat that helps lower total cholesterol and gives you that full feeling. Their sweet, creamy flavor can satisfy cravings for sugary, fatty snack foods. Avocados are an excellent source of fiber, potassium, folate, and vitamins K, B6, and C. avocados

How to Select

Availability will depend on your geographic location, but there are two varieties:  Florida avocados and California, or Hass, avocados. Hass avocados have a darker, bumpier skin and a creamy flesh. Choose firm, brightly colored fruits and let them ripen at home, unless you plan to use them immediately. You can slow the ripening process at home by storing them in the refrigerator.

How to Prepare

Using a sharp knife, start at the top of the avocado and slice in half all the way around. Twist the two halves to pull them apart. To remove the pit, hold the avocado half in the palm of your hand and give the pit a hard, quick tap with the blade of the knife (watch your fingers!). You should be able to pluck the pit right out. Slip a spoon or rubber spatula between the flesh and the skin and slide around to gently pop the flesh out.

Avocados are quite perishable and not inexpensive, depending on where you live, so once you’ve brought them home, make sure to find ways to enjoy these little green gems before they go bad.  Here are some quick and easy ways to incorporate avocados into your diet:

1) Halve a large avocado, remove the pit and stuff the hollow with tuna, chicken or shrimp salad.

2) Combine a few slices of avocado with slices of roasted turkey breast, a thin piece of provolone cheese, tomato slices and a leaf of romaine lettuce and roll up in a whole grain tortilla for a turkey wrap.

3) Dice an avocado and toss on a salad. The fat in the avocado will help you to absorb fat-soluble vitamins A and C present in the leafy greens.

4) Avocados pair perfectly with black beans; top off a bowl of black bean soup with a few slivers and a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt.

5) Make a quick guacamole for dipping raw vegetables or pita chips. (Guacamole purists may cringe over this one!) Mash two ripe avocados, mix in garlic salt and dried minced onions to taste, a dash of cumin or dried cilantro (or both), and a sprinkle of lemon or lime juice. Stir in 2-3 tablespoons of your favorite jarred salsa and refrigerate for about an hour. Make it healthier by replacing the garlic salt and dried minced onions with a small clove of fresh garlic, minced, about a teaspoon of fresh onion, minced, and a dash of sea salt. Note:  Once they’re cut open, avocados will turn brown very quickly. Common recommendations for slowing that process in guacamole include adding lemon juice or leaving the pit in the bowl. The best method I’ve found, however, is to pat down a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the dip.

6) Up your intake of the healthy Omega-3 fats in avocado by using a spoon or two of avocado as a spread on toast instead of butter or margarine and in sandwiches instead of mayonnaise. (A tablespoon of butter or margarine will have 16 grams of fat, compared to a tablespoon of avocado, with only 4 grams of fat.)

7) Avocados for breakfast? Why not? Add half an avocado to a smoothie as an emulsifier for a change from banana, yogurt or milk, or top off an omelet with a couple of slices.

Please share here if you have a favorite avocado recipe.

May 9, 2011

Protein, Part 2 – Eat the Best Animal Protein Your Money Can Buy

My post last month focused on protein–how much animal protein we need in our diets, and alternative sources of protein. This month, I want to focus on why, when you do eat animal protein, you should choose the best quality your budget will allow. This is actually a complicated topic, but I’m going to stick to what I think is important to know.

What’s in Our Meat, Poultry and Fish?

I think we’re all aware now that most of the beef, chicken and pork we purchase in restaurants and grocery stores comes from factory farms.Poultry There, animals are treated with pesticides, growth-promoting hormones to fatten them more quickly, and antibiotics to keep them from getting sick due to the conditions in which they are raised. Residues of these chemicals remain in the meat and poultry, and in dairy products, too. But there’s another isse that makes these food products less healthy to consume.

There are questions about the quality of what these animals are fed. For example, factory-farmed cattle are fed a grain diet, rather than the grasses they’d normally eat, in order to fatten them. This causes the meat, which would normally be high in Omega-3 fatty acids, an anti-inflammatory, to be higher in Omega-6’s, a pro-inflammatory. The standard American diet has become far too high in Omega-6’s and this is one of the reasons why. 

Certain types of fish are tainted with mercury, and farmed fish may have other contaminants. You can find a safe shopping guide for fish here. Salmon, which has been touted in recent years as an excellent source of healthy fats, is most beneficial when the wild version is consumed. Factory-farmed salmon, in addition to being treated with artificial coloring to make it look more appealing, is fattier than wild salmon and, once again, is higher in Omega-6 fatty acids than Omega-3’s.

What to Buy?

You have to read your labels which, I admit, can be a little confusing. For example, the term free-range doesn’t necessarily mean that the animal was pasture-raised, only that it was allowed out of its cage for a short time each day. “Grass-fed” may mean that the animal was fed a diet of grass only during the last portion of its life, after it was fattened adequately by a grain-based diet. Look for terms like “pasture-raised,” “no growth hormones” or “no rBHT” and “antibiotic-free.”

The term “Atlantic salmon” always means farm-raised. Look for Wild Alaskan salmon. Most canned salmon is wild, but read the label to be sure.

The really bad news

I try to maintain a positive tone in my newsletters and blog posts, but I believe the following issues, which I’ll touch on briefly, are of the utmost importance and must be considered by consumers:

1)       Factory farming has a huge environmental impact and is not sustainable. Tremendous amounts of animal waste are discarded in rivers and streams. It takes far more grain to fatten animals than it does to feed people, and far more energy to produce that grain.

2)      Because factory-farmed animals frequently live in crowded, filthy conditions, and because animals that are ill are slaughtered along with the healthier animals, there is a higher risk for the meat to be tainted. This is why we’ve seen huge recalls of animal products over the past several years.

3)      Factory-farmed animals, with some exceptions, live horrible, stress-filled, pain-filled lives and deaths, during which they are mistreated and abused. (If you’ve no idea what goes on in factory farms, go to YouTube, search the term “Meet Your Meat” and watch any of a number of videos of what takes place in factory farms.)

So what’s a compassionate carnivore to do?

Free-roaming grass-fed cattleIf you’re lucky enough to live near a health food store like Whole Foods Market or a farm, you will be able to buy pasture-raised meat and poultry locally. If not, there are many farms and ranches around the country that will ship meat products to your home. You’ll find many resources here for shopping, eating, and dining out.

Look for labels that include terms like, “pasture-raised,” “humanely slaughtered” and “yard eggs.” The carton of eggs I purchase says, “all natural from free-roaming hens.” My local Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market now carries chicken breast portions from pasture-raised, humanely slaughtered chickens.

Yes, these products are slightly more expensive. But keep in mind that you are paying not only for the quality of the product and the improved conditions in which the animal was raised, but also for your health. And, you’re not eating as much animal protein as you were before anyway, right?

If you’d like additional information or resources on where to buy high-quality animal protein products, send me an e-mail.

April 12, 2011

Protein, Part 1 – Too Much of a Good Thing?

Protein is necessary for the health of our organs, blood, and skin, hair and nails. It helps maintain muscle mass and assists in the metabolism of energy. It supports immune function, cell growth and tissue repair.

EggProtein is available in some amount in nearly every food we eat. We all know that protein is available in beef, poultry, fish and other meat products, beans and legumes, and eggs and dairy. It’s also available in nuts and seeds, and whole grains. But did you know that vegetables–and fruits–also contain protein in smaller amounts? For example, a dinner of stir-fried brown rice, mushrooms, peas, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, carrots and sesame seeds contains approximately 19 grams of protein. 

Most Americans eat more protein than they need, and far too much animal protein in particular. Protein should account for only about 10-20% of the calories consumed each day. So how much do you need? In general, women need about 46-53 grams of protein a day, and men require about 56-63 grams per day. To give you an idea of how easy it is to get that, here’s a short list of foods and their protein content:

cooked chicken, 3 ounces – 27 grams
ground beef, 3 ounces – 24 grams
salmon, 3 ounces – 22 grams
cheese, 1 ounce – 7 grams
egg, 1 medium – 6 grams
peanut butter, 2 tablespoons – 8 grams
kidney beans, one-half cup – 8 grams
cooked spinach, one cup – 8 grams
broccoli, one cup – 5 grams

So you can see that one small serving of animal protein a day can easily provide you with nearly half of your dietary needs of protein. A proper serving size of meat is 3-4 ounces, about the size of a deck of playing cards or the palm of your hand. beef

When we eat more protein than our bodies require, the extra protein is stored as fat. Excess animal protein consumption taxes the kidneys and liver and affects bone health. Certain research studies, some quite comprehensive, indicate that excessive animal protein consumption can be linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Nuts and seedsProtein is made up of both essential (meaning that our bodies can’t make them and must acquire them from foods we consume) and non-essential amino acids. There was concern in the past that those who follow a vegetarian diet were not getting the necessary amounts of these amino acids. This was because animal foods contain amino acids in ratios that are similar to those required in humans to maintain good health, while most plant-based foods do not (soy and quinoa are two exceptions). However, experts now assure us that since plant-based foods provide different essential amino acids, eating a wide variety of whole grains, legumes, and vegetables on a daily basis will provide all the necessary amino acids.

So, how do you cut back on the amount of animal protein you’re eating and still get the amount you need?

Most American restaurants serve humongous portions of meat. When eating out:

  1. Stick to a single patty. Although one quarter-pound burger was just the right size, we have restaurants offering sandwiches with two and even three meat patties. In addition, they top them with bacon and cheese! That’s almost double the amount of protein you need in one day, and that’s just one meal!
  2. Share an entrée.
  3. Cut the portion of meat you receive in half and ask the waiter to wrap it. You can have it for lunch or dinner the next day with a salad and sweet potato. I ordered a meal of pasta with chicken a while back and was shocked to see two very large chicken breast halves on my plate. I cut each half in half again, ate one of the quarters, and took the rest home and made three more meals out of them.
  4. Ask the waiter to replace some of the meat with more vegetables. I do this all the time at a favorite Chinese restaurant. They may look at you like you’re a little crazy, but most will be willing to accommodate you.

At home:

  1. Measure out portions of meat, fish and chicken using a visual guide like the palm of your hand, or invest in a small kitchen scale.
  2. Visually divide dinner plates in four quarters. One quarter should be filled with animal protein, the other three quarters should be filled with plant foods–one quarter with a starch, and the other two quarters of the plate with vegetables.
  3. I love a good bowl of chili as much as the next person, but I stopped making chili that combines meat and beans. In fact, I no longer make any recipe that combines meat and beans. For one reason, it usually ends up being far too much protein than is necessary in one meal. The other reason is that meat and beans are difficult foods to digest eaten separately. Eaten together, they can wreak havoc on your digestive system.
  4. I’d encourage you to try to eat at least one meal each day that doesn’t contain animal protein. Focus on nuts, seeds, whole grains and vegetables as your protein sources.


Next time: Why you should pay particular attention to the quality of your meat and where it comes from

March 8, 2011

Variety truly is the spice of life!

In my studies at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I’m learning about many dietary theories. One belief I’ve always held about eating is that variety is important, and the more I learn about different foods and diets, the more this principle has been reinforced in my mind.Adding variety to your diet

All foods (I’m talking about real foods here, not junk) have different nutritional benefits. For example, I recently recommended to a client that she switch from her usual afternoon snack of salted roasted mixed nuts to raw nuts. I emphasized almonds (highest in Vitamin E) and walnuts (highest in Omega-3 fatty acids) in particular for her specific needs. She asked about pecans, which are her favorite. She’s interested in losing weight,  so I explained that those would be fine too–in limited amounts–because while pecans are quite high in fat and calories compared to other nuts, they’re also highest in antioxidants.

As another example, I think we all know by now that berries are especially good for us because they’re packed with phytonutrients (antioxidants that fight free radical damage to our body’s cells). Each type of berry, however, offers a slightly different mix of nutritional benefits. Blueberries are particularly high in anthocyanins (the flavonoids we hear so much about that give blueberries their deep blue hue and protect us from diseases like cancer),  strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, and raspberries are especially high in fiber.

We tend to get into a routine and eat the same foods over and over. Yes, it may make meal planning and grocery shopping a bit easier because it requires little thought but, at the same time, it can make preparation and mealtime uninspiring and, well, boring. I think I was eating a relatively varied diet before, but I’ve really enjoyed incorporating new foods into my meals (my husband is enjoying it too) since I began formally studying nutrition. There are more than a couple of things (like arugula, a new favorite!) I regret never having tried before. Trying new foods has fostered a renewed enthusiasm for cooking, and I’m not talking aboout spending hours creating complicated, gourmet meals. It doesn’t take any longer to chop and boil a bunch of Swiss chard for three minutes than it did to cut up and steam broccoli florets!

Eating the same foods day after day can also get us into trouble nutritionally. A limited variety of foods can leave us lacking certain nutrients. On top of that, our bodies consider all foods to be foreign substances, and eating the same food every day can trigger an immune system response that may cause us to develop a sensitivity to that food. Our ancestors ate a far more varied diet of unprocessed foods because they were limited to what was available locally and seasonally. Our lack of variety may be one reason that food allergies and food sensitivities seem to be more commonplace nowadays.

Eating for wellness involves consuming the broadest variety of whole foods available to you. Doing so ensures that you are consuming a wide variety of nutrients. I encourage you to break out of your food habits and try something new. Expand your horizons! If you always turn to rice as a side dish, replace it with another whole grain like buckwheat, or a pseudo-grain like millet or quinoa. If your salads are always built around romaine lettuce, give arugula or spring greens a try. Think you’re following a healthy diet by eating broccoli every day? Try another cruciferous vegetable like kale or Brussels sprouts for a change. Let me know what you’ve discovered!


Tags: , ,
February 11, 2011

Loving yourself enough to care

loving yourself

Valentine’s Day – people either seem to love it or hate it, depending on whether they currently have a significant other in their life or not. You may already be planning a special celebration with a loved one or loved ones. You may or may not currently have someone special in your life. More importantly, do you love and respect yourself?

Do you practice self-care? Caring for yourself means eating quality, wholesome foods, drinking water, moving your body daily in whatever way suits and appeals to you, balancing activity and rest, getting good quality sleep, and being sure to spend some time doing things you enjoy. It means ensuring that you’re in a good place with what you might call “primary foods”— relationships, career, spirituality, stress management and exercise. I use the term primary foods, because if those areas of your life need work, it’s not going to matter how much broccoli you eat—you’re not going to be completely healthy.

Take a moment to think about how you treat yourself on a regular basis. If you’re not being good to yourself, think about why that might be. I’m not talking about the occasional late night or brownie fudge sundae. Life just wouldn’t be any fun without the occasional splurge. What I’m talking about is the daily abuse through which some of us put our bodies—junk/fast foods, oversized sodas (whether diet or regular), overwork, lack of movement, lack of sleep. If you realize that perhaps you don’t think you deserve to treat yourself well and this is an area you’d like to work on, there are many articles online about how to learn to love yourself more. The opposite approach can work too. If you choose one area to start with, let’s say exercise, more often than not you’ll find that as you begin to feel and look better, you’ll begin to feel better about yourself and be inspired to make changes in other areas.

I strongly believe that if you have a spouse and/or children, it’s your responsibility to take the best care of yourself possible. You owe it to the people who love you to do what it takes to be around as long as possible for them, in as good a state of health as possible. But whether you’ve got a significant other in your life at this moment or not, you owe it to yourself to care about how you treat your body. You were given one body to last your lifetime.

The following quote is from Joshua Rosenthal’s book Integrative Nutrition. It touched me when I read it the first time:

“And please remember, your body loves you. It does everything it can to keep you alive and functioning. You can feed it garbage, and it will digest it for you and tur it into energy to fuel your lie. You can deprive it of sleep, but still it will get you up and running the next mornin. You can drink too much alcohol, and it will process it through your system. It loves you unconditionally and does its best to allow you to live the life you came here to live. The real issue in this relationship is not whether your body loves you, but whether you love your body. In any relationship, if one partner is loving, faithful and supportive, it’s easy for the other to take the persn for granted. That’s what most of us do with our bodies, and it’s time to change.”

So this month, when everyone is focused on whom they love and who loves them, keep in mind that you are the only person you will always have, and be sure that you value and respect yourself enough to take care of you.