The #1 Secret to Reaching Your Body’s Happy Weight!

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

The #1 Secret to Reaching Your Body’s Happy Weight! | The Organic Beauty Blog

What I hear most often from my clients and readers, is that you ready to stop dieting FOREVER and start eating your way to your body’s happiest, healthiest state.  Sounds pretty amazing right?  Well it is no dream!

I’m going to teach you what you’re probably doing every day, that is promoting fat storage, imbalanced blood sugar, cravings, and weight gain… And what you can do to finally feel in control of your eating and effortlessly reach your healthy weight.

Tune in on Monday, February 10th at 12pm EST for a live call where I reveal my #1 Secret to Reaching Your Body’s Happy Weight and Banishing Cravings For Life!

Click here to register for the webinar!

 

{Even if you can’t make it live on Monday, still register, and I’ll send you a recording of the call.  But if you can swing it, make sure you join us live so you ask your most burning questions about eating and weight loss live after the webinar!}

I am so excited to share with you this simple step that you can take every day, that will literally transform your body and your health!

Hope to see you Monday!

How to Start Loving Your Body NOW!

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

It is very difficult to make healthy choices for your body, take care of your body, and treat it well when you hate it.  Loving your body does not have to mean that you love everything about it, or that you do not want to change things about it.  But loving it, right now, just the way it is, is a crucial step toward getting healthy, happy, and losing weight!  When you love something, you want to take care of it, protect it, and make it feel good.  When you hate something, you abuse it, neglect it, and criticize it.   Which way sounds more conducive to healthy eating, lifestyle, relationships, and thoughts?  Here’s how to start loving your body right now:

1.     Determine where your body hatred comes from. 

We live in a society that deems openly loving your body taboo.  We have trouble accepting compliments; we feel the need to make self-deprecating comments; we bond with other women over hating our bodies instead of loving them.  Find the source of this habit for you.  Is it an attitude you inherited from your mother or a sibling?  Is it a product of your social scene?  Find the root, and vow to step outside it, be bigger than it.  Make a conscious CHOICE to start loving your body, right now.

2.     Loving your body does not mean giving in to what it looks like right now. 

The biggest reason most women give for why they don’t love their bodies is that they fear losing the motivation for change and weight loss if they accept and love themselves as they are.  But know this:  if you hate your body now, you aren’t going to magically be full of self-love when you finally reach your ideal weight.  In fact, you may even miss out on feeling amazing for reaching your goals because you are so mired with that self-criticism you’re so used to feeling.  Regardless of what shape they’re in now, our bodies allow us to live, walk this earth and experience all the pleasures in it.  That is a lot to love!  Having gratitude toward your body for all the amazing things it allows you to do and experience, and loving your body for that does not mean that you don’t want to be stronger, leaner, more flexible and sexier.  We can always be working on improving ourselves in some way, but when that comes from a place of LOVE, we will be so much more successful, and enjoy ourselves along the way!

3.     Prioritize feeling good. 

When you love something you want to make it feel good.  When you hate something, you deprive it of joy, affection, and pleasure.  Which way do you think leads to weight loss, happiness and fulfillment?  When you love your body, you can shower it with things that feel amazing.  Massages, yummy smelling natural beauty products, delicious and healthy food, dancing, sex, trips to the beach, beautiful clothes – all these things show love to yourself, make you feel SO much happier and taken care of, and yes, make weight loss a breeze!  But when you hate your body, you feed it junk food, cover it in frumpy clothing to hide it, keep it inside on the couch,  living a small life, and abuse it with alcohol, sugar, drugs, cigarettes, soda, and other horrible things.  I’ll tell you what, achieving a healthy weight and a happy, healthy body is impossible in that state of self-abuse.  Making your body feel amazing and taken care of should be your TOP priority in your health journey.  See what a huge difference it makes!

Loving your body is just a more fun, healthy, and pleasurable place from which to approach the work of transforming your diet and your life!

In the comments below, share how you are going to show your body more love, more care, more pleasurable experiences!

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Let Deepak and Oprah Teach You to Meditate!

Let Deepak and Oprah Teach You to Meditate! | The Organic Beauty Blog

Meditation is one of the most powerful techniques you can employ to decrease stress and pain, manage anxiety and depression, increase longevity and optimum health.  Not only does it lower blood pressure and clear your head, but it can help with weight loss and motivation to exercise!

But starting to meditate can be really hard.  I’ve been working on it for years, and even I have trouble just sitting, focusing on my breath.  Luckily, there’s an easier way.  Guided meditations start you off with some thoughts, insights, or a mantra, and then lead you into a short solo meditation that is much more manageable and user-friendly for novices.  And who better to lead you down this healthy and enlightened path than everyone’s favorite gurus, Oprah and Deepak Chopra!

The 21 Day Meditation Challenge is an easy, effective, and really powerful way to start a regular meditation practice, and best of all, it’s free!  You just sign up online, and starting March 11th you’ll receive an email every morning with a short guided meditation to start your day with.  The theme for this particular challenge is Perfect Health, with inspirations, visualizations, and mantras geared toward helping you reach that perfect place of balance, well-being, and happiness that does indeed lead to optimum health.  Plus, the daily practice helps you build the habit of meditating, so you can continue your practice after the program is over.

The digital program includes:

  • Daily welcome from Oprah Winfrey
  • Daily guided meditations by Deepak Chopra
  • Inspirational messages, images, and centering thoughts
  • Sanskrit mantras and their meanings
  • Daily reflection questions with a private, online journal to save responses and additional notes
  • Mindful Moments – daily takeaways showing you how to incorporate daily lessons into your life right now

Now you have no more excuses about not being able to meditate or not having the time!  This easy to follow, 21 day challenge helps you to develop your practice with help from the experts.

Click here to sign up!

March is Giveaway Month on The Organic Beauty!

The-Organic-Beauty-March-GiveawaysMarch is Giveaway Month on The Organic Beauty!

We’ll be reviewing tons of amazing products this month, with huge giveaways all month long for our amazing readers.  Enter to win amazing natural beauty products from Avitalin Skincare, Yes to Blueberries, and Sunny Girl Organics.

Keep checking back all month long for chances to win!

 

One Minute Meditation for Those Who Think They Can’t!

One Minute Meditation for Those Who Think They Can’t! | The Organic Beauty Blog

Is not having enough time your big excuse for why you can’t meditate?  How about not being able to quiet your mind?  Well guess what?  Meditation problem: solved!  You can get so many of the benefits of a regular meditation practice from just 1 minute a day of breathing.  Just breathing!  I think a big part of the anxiety people have around meditation is that it is this big hard thing that takes years to master.  When you stop thinking about it as Meditation with a capital M, and start thinking of it just as sitting quietly and breathing with intention, so much of that anxiety and aversion goes away!  Below, you’ll find a sequence of two types of breathing that you can do in conjunction with one another for just one minute… Or extend the meditation for as long as you want.  Harnessing the powerful Bhastrika breath described below is all you need to bring your attention back to your breath when your mind starts to wander.  And it’s really as simple as that!

Sit comfortably, upright in your chair, with your hands in your lap. 

Start by breathing for about 30 seconds using a Bhastrika or bellows breath:  Breathe deep through your nose, in and out, using all five lobes of your lungs like a big bellows. Use your lungs in and out as much as you can, only in and only out through your nose. You do that for about 30 seconds.  Our upper lungs have stress receptors that get activated when our breath is shallow, which is how most of us breath throughout the day.  When we use our lower lungs, like in bhastrika, we activate calm receptors that soothe our nervous system.

Next, breathe for the next 30 seconds doing an Ujjayi breath: This is kind of the classic yoga breath where you actually do a snoring or ocean sound through your nose.  Constrict your stomach muscles and force that snoring sound out through your nose. You do that for about 30 seconds.  You can repeat this one-minute sequence as many times as you like.  Do bellows breath as deep in and as deep out as you can for 30 seconds and follow this with 30 seconds of silence breathing through an ujjayi or ocean breath.

Extended Meditation: If you would like to meditate longer, you can start by doing Bhastrika breath for 30 seconds.Then use Ujjayi breath and sit quietly until you start thinking again.  When you feel thoughts resurfacing do Bhastrika for 10-20 seconds to quiet your mind. Sit quietly again using Ujjayi breath until thoughts arise and follow once again with Bhastrika for 10-20 seconds. Follow this cycle until you feel you are done meditating.

via Meditation: One Minute to a Quiet Mind.

Green Coffee Bean Extract… Miracle Weight-Loss Supplement?

Green Coffee Bean Extract... Miracle Weight-Loss Supplement? | The Organic Beauty BlogBoth from personal experience and in my work with clients, I know there is no real, long-term quick fix for weight loss.  There is no healthy miracle pill or food that will make the pounds come off and, more importantly, stay off.  Getting and staying slim is always a matter of eating the right foods for your body at the right times of the day, the correct consistent exercise for your body, and a healthy, balanced lifestyle with self-care and stress management tools at your disposal. That’s the secret.  It’s not a pill or a drink, or a powder, or a piece of equipment that lets you eat crap without gaining weight.  It’s not calorie counting, or low-fat, low-cal packaged foods, or frozen dinners.  Though there are supplements and tricks and diets that help you drop weight quickly, odds are, you won’t be able to keep it off without making real, healthy changes to your eating and lifestyle.  The weight will always come back, and it will bring friends.

So with this in mind, I wasn’t too taken in by all the hullabaloo surrounding green coffee bean extract  (GCBE) that everyone has been talking about.  But enough clients have been asking me about it (ever in search of that quick fix!), that I thought I’d do a little more research.
Green coffee beans are raw, unroasted beans found in red coffee berries.  In their unadulterated state, coffee beans offer a ton of natural antioxidants, can lower risk of diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.  However, the benefit I’m most interested in (and the part everyone is talking about) is the effect green coffee beans  have on blood sugar. Chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant abundant in green coffee bean extract, has been shown to significantly inhibit the release of glucose into the blood stream, preventing the elevated blood sugar levels that make weight loss difficult for many people.   Stable blood sugar equals weight loss, energy, and improved hormone function!
But wait…  Before you get all excited and think this is the miracle cure you’re looking for, that will let you eat pizza and ice cream and still lose weight, you’re wrong. Although GCBE will definitely help stabilize your blood sugar after meals, it’s not going to keep you from gaining cellulite, clogged arteries, and increased risk of all kinds of disease that is the result of poor eating.  It’s also not a long-term solution.  Clinical trials of GCBE were for 3 months, and I’m going to go ahead and wager that if you are overeating or eating poorly and using GCBE to stay slim, it’s going to catch up with you, and you will balloon up!
Green coffee bean extract could be for you if you are already making the transition to healthier eating and lifestyle.  When used in conjunction with healthy eating, GCBE can be a great way to supplement all the hard work you’re doing, especially if you struggle with blood sugar issues.  Keep in mind, this supplement is for adults who are significantly overweight or pre-obese, not people who have 10 lbs. to lose.
If you’re going to take green coffee bean extract:
  • Make sure it is sourced from organic coffee beans (coffee is one of the most highly sprayed crops in the world).  This is actually pretty hard to find in capsule form, but it’s out there in powder form.
  • Make sure to drink lots of water (coffee is a natural diuretic, and a dehydrated body does not do well with weight loss)
  • Make sure the extract is pure, and not filled with tons of other ingredients.
 
———-
Natasha Uspensky, CHHC
Holistic Health & Nutrition Counselor

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Healthier Breastfeeding Alternatives

Healthier Breastfeeding Alternatives | The Organic Beauty BlogIn an ideal world, all babies would be breastfed for the first 12 months of their lives.  Mother’s milk provides a developing baby with vital nutrients, incomparable immune benefits, and a crucial bonding experience. Breastfeeding lowers risk of obesity, infections, skin conditions like eczema, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, allergies, and improves cognitive development. Committing to breastfeed for as long as possible is a noble and important decision every mother must make. But for those mothers that are either unwilling or unable to breastfeed for a variety of reasons, it’s important to select the healthiest alternative… which may not be what you think.
Research shows that the second best option after mother’s milk is raw, unpasteurized cow’s milk, which provides many similar benefits.  The worst possible options are commercial infant formula, which can contain high fructose corn syrup, toxic chemicals, and soy, which can actually hinder the development of your baby, and pasteurized cow’s milk, which is lacking in nearly all of the vital nutrients baby needs.
Mercola.com
For the health of your baby, try to stay away from these commercial formulas, in favor of making your own, homemade formula with raw milk, which provides your baby with essential nutrients second only to mother’s milk.  This recipe comes from The Weston A. Price Foundation:
 

 

RAW MILK-BASED BABY FORMULA

2 cups whole, raw milk from pasture-fed cows
1/4 cup homemade liquid whey
4 tablespoons lactose
1/4 teaspoon bifidobacterium infantis powder
2 or more tablespoons good quality raw cream, more if you are using milk from Holstein cows
1 teaspoon cod liver oil
1 teaspoon expeller-expressed sunflower oil
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons coconut oil (heat to 76° to liquify)
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast flakes
2 teaspoons gelatin
1 7/8 cups filtered water
1/4 teaspoon acerola powder

 
Add gelatin to water and warm until granules dissolve. Put this and all the other ingredients into a blender and mix well. Transfer to a clean glass or stainless steel container for storage.
 
To Serve:
Pour 6-8 ounces into a clean glass bottle, attach nipple and heat gently in a pan of simmering water. Don’t over do it, just enough so it’s warm to the touch, then shake well and feed.
 
Sources:
 
—-
Natasha Uspensky, CHHC
Holistic Health & Nutrition Counselor

Holistic Treatment of Migraines and Headaches

Holistic Treatment of Migraines and Headaches | The Organic Beauty BlogHeadaches and migraines are among those pesky and debilitating health concerns that are more often than not a sign of an imbalance in the body. A healthy body may get an occasional headache from stress or dehydration, but when it’s a regular, frequent complaint, action needs to be taken.
If you’re getting headaches consistently once a week or more, the first step is to rule out anything neurological.  See your doctor for a CT Scan or MRI. Once these causes are ruled out, it’s important to identify your triggers and get to the bottom of your headaches.  Migraines are actually more often caused by gastrointestinal or environmental factors. Common causes and triggers of headaches and migraines are:

 

  • Alcohol, especially beer and red wine
  • Certain foods, such as dairy, chocolate, peanuts, some fruits, sugar, foods with monosodium glutamate (MSG), onions, meats, some cooking oils
  • Poor diet or nutritional deficiencies
  • Blood sugar imbalance (skipping meals)
  • Inflammation
  • Environmental toxins
  • Fluctuations in hormones — for example, during pregnancy, before and during your period, and menopause
  • Certain odors, such as perfume 
  • Stress, physical or emotional 
  • Too little or too much sleep
  • Caffeine
  • Smoking or exposure to tobacco smoke
  • Some medications
  • Heat, high humidity, and high altitude


Holistic Treatment of Migraines and Headaches | The Organic Beauty BlogTry identifying which of these factors play a role in your headaches, and eliminate them for at least two weeks.  Keep a symptom journal or tracker (I like Chart Myself) to help keep track of the factors that influence your headaches.  The specific holistic treatment approach you’ll take will be dependent on what your triggers are.  For example, if you primarily get headaches around your period, focusing on balancing your hormones through diet and supplementation will be key.  Or if your headaches come on when you are stressed or overworked, you’ll want to focus on stress management, relaxation, and, of course, a diet that supports your adrenals and immune system.

That said, there is definitely a holistic headache treatment protocol that can help all sufferers…

  • DIET:
    • It’s important to balance blood sugar with regular, filling meals, particularly in the first part of the day.
    • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, fast food or processed food, artificial or chemical sweeteners, preservatives, additives like MSG and artificial flavors and colors, sugar (which headache sufferers will want to cut out completely), dairy, gluten, excessive animal products (particularly red meat and any meat containing nitrates) and hydrogenated oils
    • Opt for a clean, whole foods, mostly plant-based diet of vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats
  • LIFESTYLE:
    • Stress management is vital for headache sufferers.  A relaxation practice like yoga or meditation are HUGE and non-negotiable for living headache free.
    • Regular breathing exercises
    • A consistent exercise routine
    • Quality sleep
    • Quit smoking and avoid being around cigarette smoke
    • Drink half your body weight in ounces of water a day
    • Rid your home of toxic chemicals
    • Naturalize your beauty regimen
  • SUPPLEMENTATION:
    • Supplementing your diet is vital to filling in the nutritional blanks left by food.  Consult a my supplement guide for some great general supplements everyone (especially headache sufferers) can benefit from.  Of particular importance are:
      • Magnesium (200-600 mg a day) — a deficiency in this nutrient is a common cause of headaches
      • Vitamin B2 (400 mg a day) or B Complex — another supplement especially beneficial for reducing the frequency and duration of headaches
      • Omega-3 Fish oil (2 g a day) — the most vital supplement to combat inflammation
      • Chlorophyll (1 tbsp in water twice a day) — a cleansing, purifying and detoxifying supplement
      • Apple Cider Vinegar (2 tbsp in water twice a day, or at onset of headaches)
      • Feverfew (50-80 mg a day) and Butterbur (50-75 mg twice a day) and two herbs known for markedly decreasing intensity and frequency of headaches when taken regularly for up to 4 months.
  • ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES:
    • Acupuncture
    • Reflexology
    • Massage
    • Chiropractic
    • Homeopathic treatment
 
Feel free to contact me for a consultation to develop your own holistic headache treatment protocol and to get healthy!
 
——-
Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Do Vitamins and Supplements Really Work?

I get asked all the time if vitamins are actually all they’re hyped up to be. Do they really work? Are they worth the money? Which vitamins are really necessary?

There have been a lot of recent studies claiming that taking vitamins has little to no effect on one’s health, but the fact is that not all vitamins are created equally. Research has shown over and over again that potent, high quality formulations of certain vitamins, minerals, herbs, and antioxidants play a huge role in maintaining optimum health and longevity, disease prevention, and treating various ailments.

That said, it’s important to note that vitamins and supplements are not a miracle, cure-all panacea that allow you to neglect healthy diet and exercise. Supplements are really designed to fill in the gaps left in our diets. The most potent and effective means of delivering nutrients into your system are through whole foods. Very few, if any, supplements will ever offer the same benefits as eating a variety of brightly colored vegetables and fruit, and whole grains. But unfortunately, some vitamins are nearly impossible to get enough of, even if you have a super healthy diet. Vitamin D, for example, is a vitamin nearly everyone in the northern parts of the world is deficient in. It is simply impossible to get enough vitamin D3 from sunshine when you live anywhere that has a winter. To derive enough of this vital nutrient from the sun, you would need 15 minutes of direct sunlight (sans sunblock) on large swaths of your skin every single day. Even in warmer climates, that just isn’t possible for a lot of people. Other nutrients aren’t possible to derive from specific diets. Vegetarians do not get sufficient amounts of vitamins B6 and B12, so supplementing with a high quality B Complex is vital. Omega-3′s are another nutrient that are very difficult to safely derive enough of in a standard Western diet, and it’s health benefits are so numerous that supplementation is definitely recommended for many people. There are also many herbs that just aren’t available (or palatable) for consumption as food — therefore taking them in supplement form is the most efficient and convenient means of delivering their amazing and varied benefits to your body.

Are supplements worth the money? It’s safe to say you’re probably wasting your money if you’re using vitamins as your only consistent sources of healthy nutrients while maintaining a sub-par, Standard American Diet. Anyone that tells you that you can keep eating cheeseburgers and ice cream and still be slim and healthy by taking some special amazing supplement is taking you for a ride! But if you’re using supplements to fill in the gaps in a healthy diet, you’re doing your body a huge favor.

What supplements should I be taking? Everybody has different supplementation needs, depending on gender, age, health concerns and goals. That said, there are definitely a few supplements that everyone can benefit from. See my Basic Supplement Guide for a list of universally recommended supplements for optimum health. For more specific recommendations, always consult a holistic healthcare practitioner. There are specific combinations of supplements that can help with everything from painful or irregular periods, weight loss and headaches or pain, to cancer prevention, all kinds of gastrointestinal issues like constipation or irritable bowel syndrome, heart health, cholesterol, and thyroid imbalance. Pretty much any health concern can be addressed and improved with the proper supplementation, in addition to… you guessed it!… healthy diet and exercise.

Are all vitamins safe? It is absolutely vital to ensure that the vitamins you are taking are high quality and in the right dosages for your body. Certain supplements, taken in improper dosage, have actually found to be detrimental to health and have been linked to higher risk of mortality and disease. Always research your vitamin brands to make sure they are using pure formulations derived from healthy sources. Brands I trust are NOW, Rainbow Light, Biotics, New Chapter, Vitanica, and Solgar. Check out the Organic Beauty Store for some fabulous supplements used by myself and my clients.

Supplements really do work, and, in combination with the correct diet and exercise for your body, can mean a stronger, more youthful, and healthier you!

—-

Natasha Uspensky, CHHC, AADP

Contact me to schedule a free initial consult to discuss your health goals and find the right diet and supplementation for you. Or come visit me at NU Health & Wellness for more info!