Open House November 3rd

Come on by tomorrow to Health Within Holistic Centre at 500b Queen St in Charlottetown between 1-5 for the Open House.

I will be there with lots of informative handouts and tips on nutrition. Recently I started using Rachelle Wood’s SeeResults program in my practice which is a proven weight loss program. Stop by for a chat to find out more!

There will be free mini sessions from other practitioners at the Centre including: Acupuncture, Bowen Therapy, Chinese Medicine Therapy, Reiki, Reflexology, and more. Also there will be some classes you can attend for no charge. Here is the schedule:

1:15 Yoga class -Kay Pitre and HopeYoga
2:00 Enhance Your Health- Judy Archibald
2:45 Stress Busters -Denise E. Arsenault
3:30 Yoga For Youth -Jennifer Gallant (aged 8 and up please)

There will be door prizes, healthy snacks and lots of positive energy. Hope to see you there!






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30 Day Get Healthy Challenge!

Want to get Healthy with Support? If you’ve been wanting to make some changes to a healthier lifestyle and are trying to lose a few pounds, come join us for a 30 day Get Healthy Challenge!

This is not a diet its a lifestyle. Come join us for group support and support of a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Gail Murphy. This 30 day challenge includes:

-5 group sessions

-Private weigh ins

-1 month SeeResults membership

-Private Facebook group for participants

SeeResults is a weight loss program created by Rachelle Wood that has helped Islanders lose over 125,000 lbs! It includes meal plans, grocery store lists, healthy recipes, and goal setting.  Gail Murphy, RHN will help you achieve your weight and wellness goals.

Date: Tuesdays, October 29 – November 25

Time: 6:30-8:00

Location: Health Within Holistic Centre 500B Queen Street, Charlottetown

Cost: $99 + hst

Call: 902-892-SLIM (7546) Space is limited. Call today to book your spot!


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3 Powerful Insights About Finding Yourself

I just read this inspiring article on


“Get out of your head and get into your heart. Think less, feel more.” ~Osho

When you’re on a spiritual quest in the chaotic outlying suburbs of Bangkok, and you’re having a complete and utter meltdown about your ability to face your inner demons and greatest life fears, where should you turn?

Well, I feel well qualified to answer this question, having been in that exact situation!

Where I turned was a peaceful little Buddhist temple, and more specifically a gentle and elderly monk named Yut.

Don’t be deceived by the “gentle and elderly” description, however, for Yut was also direct and unforgiving in the way he challenged my perspectives and answered questions from my seeking, fearful self.

Surprisingly he was also quite humorous and down-to-earth, which made for a delightfully game changing afternoon that helped to interrupt my meltdown, supporting my breakdown to become a breakthrough.

It was mid-way through my three month sabbatical in Thailand. The preceding six weeks in the paradise island of Koh Samui had been blissful to say the least, then arriving in outlying Bangkok had been quite a shock to the system.

I had followed my own gut instinct and divine guidance to be there, despite my fear of being alone in large cities, particularly ones where I don’t speak the language.

I was at a point in my life where I had to shake things up. I was standing on the precipice of major change, of following my heart and leaving my decade long corporate career back home, where at the time I was National Manager of a recruitment firm.

I had spent 32 years honing my ability to be what I thought others wanted me to be—a “success.” The only problem was that my definition of success was warped.

I thought success and my worthiness was measured by the big job, the fancy house, the material objects. This was, of course, all nonsense that I had created in my head—a story I had bought into, fed by my addiction for perfectionism and a desperate need for security and validation.

I was ready to break out of the box I’d been living in, and this trip was helping me to see the world, life, and myself in new light.

It seems that when you step up in life to invite change, life has a way of guiding you to exactly where you need to be, with whom you need to be with, and hearing what you need to hear.

It would turn out to be perfectly synchronistic that my freak out in Bangkok led me to go in search of somewhere peaceful, which in turn took me to this Buddhist temple where I was very helpfully fed three game changing insights by Yut.

This turn of events would be another building block in one very important and transformative lesson: just be who you really are and that is more than enough.

There was some undoing to be done! In order to be who I really was, I first had to know who I really was…

1. Meditation is a tool to know yourself.

“Meditation is a way to know your true self. All you need to know is within yourself, seeking it externally in the world will only take you so far. You need to look within.” ~Yut

This Thailand quest was the start of what would become three years of daily meditation. Only 5−10 minutes per day, which connected me with my intuition and the real me. Once I connected, I was able to live from that guidance, using it as my number one navigation tool.

2. Knowing yourself opens the way to limitless possibilities.

“As we become more enlightened, as we know ourselves more, truly anything is possible. When you connect to your true self, then life is limitless and anything you can possibly imagine can be your reality.” ~Yut

I was delighted to hear this! I had incorrectly expected a Buddhist monk would tell me all about denial of one’s longings and living a meager life in solitude and silence.

I had big, audacious dreams for my life—to escape the rat race, to be a writer and coach, and to pursue my passion for energy healing, preferably while traveling the world!

Hearing that meditation was a path to my true self, and connecting to my true self was a path to enlightenment, which in turn opens up limitless possibilities for me, well, I was ready to get my meditation groove on!

3. Face your inner demons; own your responsibility.

“While we are all connected, we must face our own challenges alone.” ~Yut

While I believe deeply that our family and friend support networks are fundamental to thriving in life, the truth is that when we’re talking about inner demons, fears, blocks, and limiting beliefs, we have to face up to those ourselves.

It’s a very personal journey to honestly look into the dark crevices inside yourself and truly own the way you feel, the way you behave, and see what is blocking your own thriving.

Taking responsibility for how we are being and what we are doing is something that requires great courage.

Nearly in tears when I first arrived at the temple, fearful of my time alone in Bangkok and facing up to what massive changes I needed to make in my life, the message of having to face my challenges alone actually empowered me.

It woke me up and made me realize that no one else could set me free from my limiting beliefs about what validated me as a person and the blocks I had about risking my security in pursuit of a more meaningful life.

I had to do this myself. I had to build a relationship with the true me and let her emerge, just as we are all called to do.

Photo by Gane

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About Bernadette Logue

Bernadette Logue is a co-founder of the blog site – inspiring you to BE WHO YOU ARE and DO WHAT YOU LOVE. She is an Amazon bestselling author, blogger, coach and workshop leader.
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Coconut Oil for Acne

I can Not say enough about the miracles of coconut oil. Everyone can benefit from it. This great article from The Nourished Life is focused on how it helps acne. Thank you Elizabeth!

Coconut oil for acne was at the top of my list of posts to write about getting clear skin. While I don’t agree with outright food worship, I have to admit that coconut oil deserves a lot of the attention it gets. When it comes to promoting clear, healthy skin, coconut oil is definitely just what the doctor (dermatologist?) should be ordering. You can use coconut oil for acne in two primary ways:

How to Use Coconut Oil for Acne

1. In Your Body

Coconut oil is brimming with medium chain fatty acids like lauric acid and caprylic acid which are metabolized into potent antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal agents in the body. These work to fight some of the underlying causes of acne such as candida overgrowth, autoimmunity and inflammation.

The Coconut Oil Miracle (Previously published as The Healing Miracle of Coconut Oil)Recently I’ve been considering the times I’ve had exceptionally clear skin during the past few years, and one factor that keeps popping up is that whenever I had really clear skin I was also eating a lot of coconut oil at the time. I’m still not sure whether or not eating more coconut oil is a determining factor in my acne, but it’s certainly worth experimenting with.

And so I’ve renewed my commitment to eat at least three tablespoons of coconut oil every day, the minimum amount recommended by Bruce Fife in The Coconut Oil Miracle, as well as Mary Enig and Sally Fallon in Eat Fat, Lose Fat.

2. On Your Body

I know what you’re thinking: Coconut oil on your skin? Won’t it make you break out?!? …At one point in time I too was terrified of putting anything oily on my skin. Using coconut oil for acne sounded ludicrous.

I figured that acne is caused by oil so the best thing to do is kill it with dryness. Well, you know what’s worse than acne? Acne and dry skin at the same time! (And let me tell you it’s no picnic trying to apply makeup to dry, flaky skin.)

The Truth About Beauty: Transform Your Looks And Your Life From The Inside OutMy exploration in the world of real food and natural living led me to realize that oil is not your skin’s enemy. After reading what Kat James had to say in her book The Truth About Beauty, I was struck by the realization that I had been stripping my skin of everything it needed to protect and replenish itself. I was punishing my skin for having acne, and it was most definitely backfiring on me.

So I’ve tried to use gentler methods for cleansing, toning and moisturizing my face. Coconut oil is a regular part of my regimen. And believe me, my skin is oh so grateful.

Why is coconut oil good for your skin? The same antibacterial and antifungal properties in coconut oil that work wonders in your body can do the same on your skin as well. It is far more gentle than chemical antibacterial agents and yet surprisingly effective for many people. Because it consists primarily of short and medium chain fatty acids, coconut oil is also absorbed easily through the skin and provides moisture without leaving your skin feeling greasy.

Tip: If you are left feeling like an oil slick after applying coconut oil, consider scaling back on the amount you use. A very small amount goes a long way. I get much better results working a small amount into my skin rather than slathering it on too liberally.

There is always a jar of coconut oil in my bathroom now (I use it for oil pulling too). I don’t personally use it on my face every single day, but whenever my skin feels the need, I reach for my jar of coconut oil without hesitation. It has yet to produce anything but positive benefits for my skin. 

For a trustworthy source of high quality coconut oil, check out the marketplace!

Do you use coconut oil for acne? How has it benefited your body and your skin? Share your thoughts and tips below in the comments!

This post is part of Fight Back Friday and Real Food Wednesday.


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My New Love

I never would have thought it to be true. I’ve been addicted to food, books, men, facebook, twitter, tv shows, shopping and well, it’s a long list. But exercise? Never. That is until I went to Kettlebell class with instructor Barefoot Wendy Chappell. To be honest, the first 3 classes I thought I may die. My inner voice told me ‘You can’t do this class. You’re not someone who goes to 6 am exercise class. These people are in much better shape than you. You have a bad back.’ On and on my defeatist inner voice went. But I signed up with a friend so I was determined to stick it out for at least a couple of weeks. It was hard. I walk my dog every day and go to the gym occasionally but kettlebell was different. Its a full body workout and it works on muscles I didn’t know I had. It actually strengthens your core which is great for my back problems.  By the end of two weeks I was hooked. Finishing a workout before 7 am in the morning and feeling like I could take on the World. I am now a 6 am exercise class type of person- wooo hooo!!

I did 12 weeks of kettlebell jam and took the summer off. I tried running and other exercise workouts but nothing compares to how kettlebell makes me feel. My body actually craves it.  Lifting up those weights and swinging them around makes me feel Powerful! Wendy’s encouragement and the support of other group members just adds to the experience. I completely fell in love with kettlebell class. Finally an addiction to exercise.

Next week, I will be starting another kettlebell jam and I am SO excited!! If you want to come workout with me it’s Wednesday and Friday mornings at 6 am starting Oct 9 in Charlottetown. Contact Wendy Chappell at The Whole Way Health and Fitness Studio at (902) 894-8943 to see if there are any spaces left.

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Chocolate Honey Coconut Butter

Here’s a recipe from that I can’t wait to make! In fact I think this rainy Sunday afternoon is perfect.


Chocolate Honey Coconut Butter-2 Ways

Chocolate Honey Coconut Butter-2 Ways

August 23, 2013 by  · 12 Comments

Coconut butter is just one of those simple recipes that comes together in minutes and delivers pure satisfaction! Some of my favorite healing foods are the ones which provide maximum flavor and great health benefits at the same time. Coconut butter fits the bill perfectly and can made inexpensively with a few high quality ingredients.


I started making my own coconut butter several years ago when I realized I was spending $30.00-40.00 dollars per month on a commercial brand of chocolate coconut butter. Since I always have organic coconut flakes, dark chocolate bars, raw cacao powder, raw honey, and raw virgin coconut oil on hand in my pantry, I decided to make my own coconut butter and save money in the process.


Coconut butter has a rich coconut flavor and buttery texture that melts in your mouth and makes you want to keep eating it! Once you make my recipe and pair the coconut butter with dark chocolate and the sweet honey, you have a healing foods recipe that will quickly become one of your favorites! I like alternating between using raw cacao powder and dark chocolate bars. I will provide both recipes so you can decide which one you like the best.



Coconut in all of it forms is one of my favorite healing foods. The unsweetened organic coconut flakes that are used in this recipe are made from coconut meat that is dried and shredded into flakes. Coconut meat is rich in potassium, manganese, copper, selenium, and fiber. Coconut also contains lauric acid which is an important medium chain fatty acid that the liver uses for energy production instead of storing as fat. Coconut meat, coconut oil, and coconut milk has antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Coconut also has potent anti-inflammatory properties along with helping protect the body against free radical damage.


Make this easy coconut butter recipe the next time you want a healthy snack that is truly delicious!


Have you ever tried making your own coconut butter? Please contribute to the conversion by leaving a comment.


Share this recipe with family and friends and let’s all get healthy and radiant together!


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Chocolate Honey Coconut Butter 007

Chocolate Honey Coconut Butter

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free

Makes 1½ cups or 12 ounces

4 cups unsweetened organic coconut flakes

2 tablespoons melted virgin organic coconut oil

½ teaspoon raw honey

½ teaspoon organic pure vanilla extract

⅛ teaspoon unrefined sea salt

⅛ teaspoon organic cinnamon

1- 3.5 ounce organic dark chocolate bar—broken into pieces


1. Place 3 cups of the shredded coconut and 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil in a high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

2. Add remaining cup of coconut and raw honey and continue to blend until smooth and buttery. With a high-speed blender this should take 3-5 minutes and in a food processor it will take 10-15 minutes.

3. Add vanilla, sea salt, cinnamon, and chocolate pieces and blend until completely smooth. It should take less than a minute for the chocolate to melt and blend in.

4. Pour into a clean glass jar with a lid and store at room temperature.


Raw Chocolate Honey Coconut Butter 009


Raw Chocolate Honey Coconut Butter

Vegetarian, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free

Makes 1½ cups or 12 ounces

4 cups unsweetened organic coconut flakes

2 tablespoons melted virgin organic coconut oil

⅓ cup raw honey

½ cup organic raw cacao powder

½ teaspoon organic pure vanilla extract

⅛ teaspoon organic cinnamon

⅛ teaspoon unrefined sea salt


1. Place 3 cups of the shredded coconut and 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

2. Add remaining cup of coconut, raw honey, and cacao powder and continue to blend until smooth and buttery. With a high-speed blender this should take 3-5 minutes and in a food processor it will take 10-15 minutes.

3. Add vanilla, cinnamon, and sea salt and blend until completely smooth. Taste and add more honey if you like it sweeter.

4. Pour into a clean glass jar with a lid and store at room temperature.


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The Truth About Low Fat

I came across this article on one of my favorite websites- The Kitchen Rag. I couldn’t have said it any better. I tell people about this all the time and get some pretty skeptical looks. Have a read and let me know what you think.

The Truth About the Low Fat Theory (The Kitchen Rag)

If you google images for cholesterol or heart attacks, you will inevitably end up looking through countless images of eggs, bacon, butter, cheese, and the like. Everybody loves bacon, and yet we are told it is a guilty pleasure that causes high cholesterol and coronary heart disease.

I will begin with the origins of the “low fat hypothesis”, or “lipid theory”, since it is where our fears of consuming too much bacon and butter originate from.

If some of you are wandering what the lipid hypothesis, or low fat theory, is, here is a great explanation by Mary Ennig and Sally Fallon from their book Eat Fat, Loose Fat.


  1. We eat a diet containing too much cholesterol and saturated fats, and as a result we develop a high level of cholesterol in our blood.
  2. High cholesterol causes arteriosclerosis.
  3. Atherosclerosis obstructs the vessels that bring blood to the heart, resulting in heart disease.

I find it fascinating that prior to the 1950′s, heart disease and heart attacks were relatively rare. Butter and bacon were not invented in the 50′s. They are traditional foods that have been consumed for centuries together with sprouted grains, lacto-fermeted vegetables, cultured dairy, and antibiotics free meat without being subject to high rates of heart disease.

Before 1920 coronary heart disease was rare in America; so rare that when a young man internist name Paul Dudley White introduced the German electrocardiograph to his colleagues at Harvard University, they advised him to concentrate on a more profitable branch of medicine. The new machine revealed the presence of arterial blockages, thus permitting early diagnosis of coronary heart disease. But in those days clogged arteries were a medical rarity, and White had to search for patients who could benefit from his technology. Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions, Page 5

Fast forward to the 50′s, when the rate of heart attacks began to skyrocket. What changed? For one thing, the consumption of butter declined dramatically, and instead everyone began consuming copious amounts of margarine and other vegetable oils instead. Why? They were cheaper, and the foods industry used them instead of more expensive animal fats.

Over the past century as butter consumption dropped to less than one quarter of what it was (from 18 pounds per person per year to four), vegetable oil consumption went up five fold (from eleven pound per person per year to 59). In 1900, heart disease was rare. By 1950, heart problems were killing more men than any other disease. Now, at the dawn of the second millennium, heart disease is the number one cause of death in both men and women. Natural fat consumption: down. Processed fat consumption: up. Heart disease way-up. Forget for a moment what “the experts” are saying, and ask yourself what these trends suggest to your inner statistician. Katherine Shananhan, MD,”Deep Nutrition”, Page 171

The same young doctor who brought the German electrocardiograph from Germany suggested a link between the newly engineered margarine and other hydrogenated oils, and heart attacks, but his idea was completely rejected.

Dr White and many others pointed out that these facts – heart disease increasing along with the use of polysaturated oils and partially hydrogenated oils in processed foods- suggested that Americans should eat traditional food like meat, eggs, butter, and cheese. Mary Enig, Sally Fallon, Eat Fat, Loose Fat, Page 23

Instead, the scientific community listened to Ancel Keyes, an ambitious young man who invented the k-rations during the war. According to doctor Kate Shanahan, Ancel Keyes was not a cardiologist or even an M.D. He earned his PhD in 1930 studying salt water eels. Yet the Minnesota public health department hired him to study the problem of rising rates of heart disease at the end of the war.

In 1956 members of the American Heart Association appeared on national television warning people about the link between consuming butter, eggs, bacon, and milk, and coronary heart disease. The birth of a new era began for the American public. By the late sixties nearly everyone embraced the new “lipid theory” and Dr. Keyes became the chairman of the International Society of Cardiology.Dr Keyes hypothesized that a Mediterranean style diet low in animal fat protected against heart disease and a diet high in fat led to heart disease. In order to back his theory he collected data on death from coronary heart disease from twenty-two countries, but ultimately chose to analyze the data of only seven. These seven countries happened to support Dr. Keyes low fat theory. He concluded that serum cholesterol was strongly linked to coronary heart disease. The American Heart Association finally had an answer to the high rate of heart disease. Dr Keyes became the darling child of  the vegetable oil and margarine industies.

Time-Breakfast-Cover While this was a happy ending for Dr. Keyes and the vegetable oil industry, not everyone was convinced. Many scientists accused Keyes of  ”cherry picking” the data to match his hypothesis in his seven country study. What about the other 13 countries? What were their results? In fact, the results in the famous study was based only on males. Women were not even included!
But the lipid hypothesis caught on fire. Young men like Nathan Pritkin began using the new discovered theory to promote a new health diet that reversed heart angina, cholesterol levels, coronary heart disease, etc. While the Pritkin diet also eliminates all processed foods (which could have also be a reason for low cholesterol levels), it is mostly known for it’s low fat dimension. The whole trend of low-fat yogurt, salad dressings, and milk was born around this time.

The success of the Pritkin diet was probably due to a number of factors having nothing to do with with reduction in dietary fats – weight loss alone, for example, will lower cholesterol, at least at first- but Pritkin soon found that the Pritkin diet presented many problems, not the least of which was the fact that people had trouble staying on it. Those who possessed enough will power to remain fat free for any length of time developed a variety of health problems including low energy, difficulty in concentration, depression, weight gain and mineral deficiencies. Pritkin may have saved himself from heart disease but his low fat diet did not help him recover from leukemia. He died, in the prime of life, of suicide when he realized his spartan regime was not working. Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions, Page 5

Crisco, Wesson, and other vegetable oil companies donated thousands and thousands of dollars for studies that supported the low fat theory, and by the 60′s the theory was almost universally accepted. The famous epidemiological Framingham Heart study is used as proof for the lipid/low fat theory. The study followed six thousand people over the period of forty years. The researchers followed two groups: one that consumed little saturated fats and another one that followed the low fat diet. Later Dr. William Castilli, director of the Framigham Heart Study, admitted:

In Framigham, Massachusetts, the more saturated fats one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower people’s serum cholesterol. We found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories weighed the least and were the most physically active. ”Concerning the Possibilities of a Nut“, Archives of Internal Medicine

On Farmingham Heart Study’s updated website, the risks for heart disease are listed as tobacco, low exercise, thyroid dysfunctions, alcohol, etc. There is no mention of fats being a cause for heart disease. In fact, a significant number of scientists since then have continued to question the low fat theory out loud, occasionally causing public uproar. Uffe Ravnskov‘ book “Cholesterol Myths” was literally set on fire during a Finish television program. Google Mary Ennig, PhD, and you will see some of the rudest, most abusive comments from the public, simply because she openly doubts the low fat theory.

The lipid theory was one of the many hypothesis the scientists were grappling with during the 50′s in an attempt to make sense of the sudden spike in coronary heart disease. Why did Ancel Keyes’ theory win the day?
A few reasons:
  1.  He was ambitious and knew how to “cherry pick” the right kind of evidence to support his theory. The seven country study is one of the most famous study to date.
  2. The American Heart Society chose him as their spokesman after he presented his famous study.
  3. Crisco,Wesson, and the rest of the vegetable oil companies, who were interested in popularizing their products, donated huge amounts of money to studies that supported the low fat theory. In less than two decades everyone switched from butter to hydrogenated vegetable oils, margarine, and vegetable shortening.
  4. Once the lipid hypothesis was accepted as the true healthy heart theory, only the scientists who searched to prove it right were published and accepted. Everyone else was publicly ridiculed.
  5. Enthusiasts like Nathan Pritkin embraced the lipid theory and created a famously popular diet.
Yet as Bob Dylan’s song goes “the times are achangin”. I recently came across Doctor Andrew Weil’s article in which he openly admits that saturated fats do no cause coronary heart disease. In fact he humbly admits that the medical establishment has been wrong:

Looking back at the dietary information collected from these thousands of participants, the investigators found no difference in the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, or coronary vascular disease between those individuals with the lowest and highest intakes of saturated fat. This goes completely against the conventional medical wisdom of the past 40 years. It now appears that many studies used to support the low-fat recommendation had serious flaws.

Indeed they do! In my next post I will elaborate more on the carcinogenic qualities of vegetable oils and margarine. I will also explain what hydrogenated oils and trans-fats actually are, and why they must be avoided.
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Have you been wanting to see an RHN? Now is the time to book an appointment

For a limited time  Gail Murphy, RHN is seeing new clients for a nutritional assessment for only $35 + hst.  Are you tired of being tired? Do you feel bloated and heavy after meals? Do you want to make changes to what you are feeding your family? Gail can help you. Did you know a Registered Holistic Nutritionist can also help with:

Adrenal Fatigue, Allergies, Anxiety, Arthritis, Candida, Cholesterol, Diabetes, Depression, Eczema, Heart Health, High Blood Pressure,Obesity,Thyroid Imbalance
And many other issues & conditions.

First time appointment consists of a Full nutritional assessment which includes answering questions about your health concerns and a plan that you’re comfortable with to help you feel better. It’s a confidential and non-judgmental consultation. The goal is to assist you on your wellness journey. Sometimes it only takes a few changes to make a big difference in your health.

If you’d like any more information, please feel free to contact Gail at Health Within Holistic Centre at (902) 566-5009. For a chance to have a Free consultation and Reiki treatment go to and like the page.
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Weight Loss Rule #2: Balance or Perish

Great article on ‘diets’ from the healthy Home Economist.

The core market for weight-loss diets in the United States is created by publishing conglomerates and charismatic medical doctors who are willing to tell prospective readers what they want to hear — that you can lose weight quickly and effortlessly by buying and following their books.

All of these “quickie” diets share the same common denominator: a rapid and measurable weight loss. To accomplish this seemingly admirable goal, these diets are intentionally unbalanced, meaning they reduce any one or two of the three primary food groups — carbohydrates, proteins, or fats — to a bare minimum.

Here is how each of these approaches works in real life:


— Low-carbohydrates diets reduce dietary carbohydrates to a bare minimum, but they increase the amount of protein and fat consumed, usually without any restrictions. The initial weight loss results from the loss of phantom weight, the phenomenon I’ve described in my post entitled “The Real Reason Diets Fail and What You Can Do About It.” Long-term weight loss on these diets isn’t sustainable because as soon as the body readjusts itself to a new nutritional pattern, excessive fats and proteins contribute to weight gain just as much as excessive carbohydrates.

— Low-protein diets are typically vegetarian diets that exclude all kinds of meats, fish, and seafood. Muscle wasting and bone loss are the principal mechanism of the weight loss on this type of diet. Long-term weight loss on low-protein diets isn’t sustainable because the deficiency of essential amino acids causes edema (swelling, a persistent accumulation of fluids throughout the body) and excessive carbohydrates turn into fat.

— Low-fat diets reduce the amount of animal fats and, indirectly, animal proteins to a minimum, but these diets also increase the amount of carbohydrates and plant fats without a realistic limit. The initial weight loss results from a loss of fluids that are required for gastric digestion of proteins. Additional weight loss may come from the loss of minerals stored in the bones, because the assimilation of essential minerals isn’t possible without fat and fat-soluble vitamins in the diet.

If a near-instant weight loss is all you want, don’t bother yourself with these kinds of unbalanced diets. A hot bath or sauna along with a cleansing enema will accomplish as good or better results in mere hours by sweating out 4-8 pounds of fluids and expelling another 3-6 pounds of stools from the large intestine, and with less damage to your health, appearance, and wallet.

The rest of this post will provide a detailed rundown of the health risks associated with unbalanced weight-loss diets. If you are an accomplished serial dieter, I am sure you will find some parallels with your own travails.

The perils of low-protein diets

Yes, you will definitely lose some weight by excluding all animal proteins from your diet, for the following reasons:

  • First, because of inevitable muscle wasting: the muscles act as the body stores of protein. That is also why vegetarians have such a hard time building muscle, unless they take protein supplements or stimulating hormones.
  • Second, you will lose the bone and cartilage tissue that is made from collagen – a most abundant protein in our bodies. A collagen-based bone matrix provides the bones with strength, flexibility, size, and volume, all of which are essential to protect the intricate network of nerves, blood vessels, and bone marrow and to store fat and mineral reserves.
  • Third, when the internal reserves of proteins are exhausted, people succumb to edema, fatigue, indigestion, mental decline, hallucinations, depression, and the entire scope of neurological and cardiovascular diseases. This occurs because the brain, the heart, the vessels, the nerves, the cells, the hormones, the enzymes, and everything else in the body are all made from protein or require various amino acids to function.

The average adult body synthesizes approximately 300 grams of protein (amino acids) per day, of which 75% to 80% is reused. The remaining 20% to 25% (i.e., 60 to 75 grams) are lost and must be replaced daily with dietary protein. That is the replacement minimum for a healthy adult of average height, weight, and daily workload, and with healthy digestion.

The Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) for protein is 0.75 grams per kilogram of body weight per day (g/kg/day) for both men and women, irrespective of age. I repeat: this is a replacement minimum intended to prevent disease; it is not an amount to enhance health. The DRI is, of course, a part of the Federal Nutrition Policy, and its original principal application was to determine a “humane” diet—in other words, a minimally acceptable ration for the members of captive groups, such as people living in military barracks, prisons, asylums, orphanages, and hospitals, as well as recipients of Food Stamps and welfare. Accordingly, cost-effectiveness, not just health or longevity, was a primary determining factor in setting this standard.

The DRI doesn’t represent a luxurious diet – just a bare minimum. Keep this in mind when looking at the rather stingy 0.75 g/kg/day “for both men and women.”  One’s daily requirements can increase because of disease, physical activity, exercise, stress, a demanding occupation, and other factors, and these increases can often be substantial. Brittle hair and nails, underdeveloped musculature, premature skin aging and osteopenia (mild thinning of the bone mass that precedes osteoporosis) are sure signs of protein deficiency.

Infants and growing children require from 1 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, daily, to accommodate their growth and development. Protein deficiencies are quite apparent in children with narrow, underdeveloped faces and crowded teeth poor musculature, low weight, thin and fragile hair, skin lesions, retarded growth, an impaired immune system, and a host of other problems.

Kwashiorkor is a type of malnutrition that is the extreme form of protein deficiency in children. Its most obvious symptom is edema (swelling). Edema is also quite typical in adults who are on restrictive diets with little or no protein.

Marasmus is another type of malnutrition that often precedes kwashiorkor. The marasmus’ most prominent irreversible side effect is impaired intellect. Marasmus affects adults who may be malnourished because of age, disease, infirmity, gastric disorders, poverty, or other reasons. And for many dedicated vegans—who don’t eat meat, eggs, or dairy—marasmus is an elective affliction.

Pregnant and lactating women, older adults, and people who are sick or recovering from disease require from 1 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. A bare-minimum DRI requirement for adults is 0.8 grams per 1 kilogram of body weight.

Excess proteins are stored in tissues, primarily in muscles; the rest are excreted in stools and urine. In the absence of endogenous glucose and fats, the liver metabolizes amino acids from protein into glucose. This process is called gluconeogenesis – the anabolic synthesis of glucose from non-carbohydrate sources, amino acids, lactic acid, and glycerol from fat. The visible result of the gluconeogenesis is called muscle wasting.

The protein-free diet immediately leads to a destructive loss of at least 60 to 75 grams of muscle tissue per day for replacement needs, and much more when there is also a shortage of fats and carbohydrates. Once the muscle tissue is used up, the bone tissue is the next to go, and after that comes death. As you can see, a low-protein or protein-free diet is indeed effective for weight loss, but it is also self-destructive.

Nutritionally speaking, animal protein from meats, fish, and seafood is optimal for a weight-loss diet because, unlike proteins from grains, legumes, and nuts, animal protein doesn’t contain abundant carbohydrates. Further, meat and fowl are preferred to fish and seafood, because the latter contains delicate fats that may become rancid by cooking.

There is a good reason why the Japanese enjoy the health benefits of fish and seafood: they consume these foods fresh and mostly raw, so neither protein nor unstable fish oil gets ruined during cooking. Keep this very important point in mind:  fish oil contains essential fatty acids that aren’t available from meat and most vegetable oils. For that reason, I recommend a daily serving of liquid cod-liver oil to supplement a weight-loss diet.

Keep in mind that 8 ounces (226 grams) of broiled or grilled steak contains only 2.4 ounces of proteins – which is only 68 grams, barely a daily replacement need. The rest is water (62%) and fat (10%). Some of this protein (20% to 30%) gets denatured (i.e., becomes useless) during cooking. People often forget this important distinction – i.e., that not all meat, by weight, is protein – when they are determining how much meat they need to consume to compensate for daily protein losses.

Let’s summarize:

  • Only about one fifth (less than 20%) of the gross weight of raw meat, fowl, fish, and seafood represents usable protein. Calculate accordingly  to ensure that you are eating enough to get the protein you need. Then subtract another 20% for losses incurred during cooking.
  • To support essential body functions during ultra-low or carb-free diets, the daily requirements for dietary protein increase by another 100 to 150 grams, depending on one’s age, gender, health, weight, workload, pregnancy, lactation, and similar factors.
  • Animal protein is the most optimal source of dietary protein in a weight-reduction diet, because it is carbohydrates-free; low in fat relative to protein derived from plants; and doesn’t contain as many allergens, carcinogens, irritants, and contaminants as plants.
  • The satiety of nutrients (i.e., the feeling of fullness) is an important physiological point, so select food that provides the highest and fastest satiety to control hunger and appetite. For most people, animal protein is the easiest to cook, most palatable, and most satisfying in terms of satisfying both hunger and appetite.
  • If you are unable to consume animal protein for religious, ethical, or health-related reasons, substitute it with professionally-formulated, carbohydrate-free supplemental formulas from either animal sources (such as whey protein) or vegetarian sources (such as isolated protein).

To conclude, let me remind you that the term protein is derived from the Greek word protos, which means “primary.” Eating quality meat, fowl, game, fish, and seafood is one of the safest and most essential human endeavors, and it is a must for successful and permanent weight loss, health, and longevity.

The health hazards of low-fat diets

I lost weight in the past, and I have stayed at a normal weight in the years since by consuming a high-fat diet, meaning that fat represents the highest number of calories in my diet — close to 50%. The table below illustrates the breakdown of my diet by nutrients and their caloric equivalents:

nutrient chart

As you can clearly see, my diet includes (on average) 60 grams of protein, 80 grams of fat, and 150 grams of carbohydrates. So why do I call it a “high-fat” diet when it contains almost twice as many grams of carbohydrates than fat (150 g vs. 80g)?

You’ll find the answer in the “Calories per day” column: 720 calories (46%) come from fat and only 600 (38%) come from carbohydrates. In other words, when specialists refer to the diet as “high” or “low,” they do not reference the weight of each nutrient, but their caloric value because fat contains 9 calories per gram, whereas protein and carbohydrates contain only 4 calories per gram.

Unfortunately, some people misinterpret “high-fat diet” definition as a license to consume unlimited fats—which is, of course, a non-starter for any effective diet.

On the opposite side are the people who may also misinterpret my recommendations as “anti-fat,” because I emphasize over and over again that an effective diet must be sufficiently “low-fat.”

Please, don’t make either mistake. A safe weight loss diet MUST contain enough fat to protect your health, but not too much to sabotage your weight loss. Here is what happens when people omit fat from their diets in pursuit of weight loss at any cost:

  • Constipation, because dietary fat is a primary stimulant of the gastrocolic reflex, a physiological condition that precedes a natural bowel movement.
  • Gallbladder disease, because dietary fat is the sole stimulus for the release of bile. If bile isn’t regularly released from the gallbladder, bile salts may form gallbladder stones.
  • Cholecystitis, because unused bile salts or gallbladder stones may obstruct the hepatic (bile) ducts — the outlet tubes that connect the liver to the gallbladder and duodenum.
  • Weight gain and obesity, because dietary fat is a primary substance behind the control of satiety, hunger, and appetite.
  • Enterocolitis (inflammatory disease of the small and large intestine) because underutilized bile causes inflammation of the intestinal mucosa and diarrhea.
  • Bone and joint diseases (including osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rickets, scoliosis, osteomalacia (which is the softening of the bones from the loss of minerals caused by vitamin D deficiency), and rheumatoid arthritis), because dietary fat is essential for absorption of vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium in the small intestine.
  • Vitamin D deficiency and related disorders, because an absence of dietary fat prevents the absorption of dietary vitamin D and reabsorption of the endogenous vitamin D secreted with bile.
  • Heart disease and hypertension, because vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium regulate contraction and relaxation of smooth (blood vessels) and cardiac (heart) muscles.
  • All kinds of skeletomuscular disorders, such as fibromyalgia, for the same reasons as above.
  • Blood disorders, because dietary fat is essential for absorption of dietary vitamin K (which is a coagulation factor), and because essential fatty acids are required in the “manufacture” of blood cells.
  • Impaired immunity, night blindness, and skin disorders, because dietary fat is essential for absorption of vitamin A.
  • A broad range of cognitive dysfunctions, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory disease, infertility, amenorrhea, nerve damage, cancers, and other conditions related to acute deficiency of essential fatty acids.
  • Cellulite and other skin disorders, related to overconsumption of vegetable fats to satisfy fat cravings while avoiding animal fat.
  • Undesirable exposure to unstable trans and rancid fats in all vegetable oils, which are considered the primary triggers of inflammatory diseases (digestive, cardiovascular, atherosclerosis, joints, asthma), and cancer.

To prevent all of the above complications, I recommend consuming at least one gram of animal fat per 1 kilogram (i.e., 2 pounds) of your body weight, and at least 10 grams of these fats should come from liquid cod-liver oil — the best source of essential fatty acids that are difficult to obtain otherwise from cooked food or restricted weight loss diet.

Complications related to low-carb diets

Low- to zero-carbs diets are effective “fat-burners” for younger people (up to age 35 to 40) with perfect gastric digestion (i.e., in the stomach) and a relatively low-stress lifestyle. For all others—especially people who are not as well, not as young, morbidly obese, or already diabetic, or who have digestive disorders and/or high-stress jobs—these diets may cause a great deal of harm for the following reasons:

● A person may no longer be as responsive to endogenous insulin (i.e., insulin that is produced by the pancreas), a condition known as insulin resistance. A high concentration of insulin in the blood inhibits fat loss and causes a broad range of cardiovascular complications.

● A person may be affected by thyroid or adrenal disorders that disrupt the metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates and may cause rapid wasting of bones and muscles.

● A person may already have digestive disorders (for example, atrophic gastritis, pancreatic insufficiency, enteritis, or gallbladder disease) that may prevent foods from assimilating. Alternatively, dieters develop these disorders if they suddenly change the composition of their diet from being predominantly carbs to being predominantly proteins and fats, a rather common occurrence.

● A complete withdrawal or significant reduction of carbohydrates may cause a continuous wasting of muscle tissues (with commensurate weight loss at a rate of 50 to 100 grams daily, which will be much more in people with impaired digestion of protein) related to gluconeogenesis — a process of turning protein into glucose required for proper functioning of the blood, brain and central nervous system.

● Low-carb diets have a tendency to cause dehydration in early stages. Because water represents up to 60% of an adult’s body weight, severe dehydration alone may demonstrate a 5- to 10-pound weight reduction even in moderately overweight adults.

In addition to all of the above concerns and complications, low- to zero-carbs diets are inappropriate for people with pre-diabetes or diabetes because they may exacerbate metabolic acidosis and are well known for their complications. These complications include unstable blood sugar, delayed stomach emptying, chronic gastritis, severe dehydration, crippling fatigue, diet-breaking constipation, brittle nails, hair loss, amenorrhea, infertility, birth defects, and others.

The takeaway

A proper weight-loss diet must be balanced, which means it is neither too low nor too high in any single food component. Unfortunately, the “one-size-fits-all” formula for a balanced diet doesn’t exist because the optimal ratio of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates varies from individual to individual, and it depends on the diet’s phase. I will address all of these factors in future posts.


Previous posts from  the “Why Diets Fail” series:

1. The Real Reason Diets Fail and What You Can Do About It

2. How Long Will It Take Me to Lose the Weight?

3. Why One Calorie For Her Is Half a Calorie For Him

4. The Top Four Misconceptions Behind Weight Loss Failure

5. Energy Metabolism: The Good, The Bad, and In-Between

6. The 12 Rules of Safe and Effective Weight Loss

7. Weight Loss Rule #1: Use Less Energy Than You Expend


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About the Author

konstantinKonstantin Monastyrsky graduated from medical university in 1977 with a degree in pharmacy. He is an expert in forensic nutrition, a new field of science that investigates the connection between supposedly healthy foods and nutrition-related disorders, such as diabetes and obesity.

In 1978 Konstantin’s family emigrated from the former Soviet Union to the United States, where he decided to pursue a career in the high-technology field, taught himself advanced programming languages, and his eventual work has had a major influence on the development of the modern user interface that has become ubiquitous with the introduction of iPhone- and iPad-like devices.

In 1996, Konstantin began to suffer from type 2 diabetes and a host of related ailments, including the debilitating carpal tunnel syndrome. Unable to use the keyboard, he turned his attention back to his roots in medicine and nutrition to find solutions for his rapidly deteriorating health.

Since then, he has written four books about health and nutrition, including the acclaimed Fiber Menace, and is a past speaker at the Weston A. Price Foundation’s Wise Traditions Conference.  He is the principal writer of — the web’s leading resource for people affected by colorectal disorders, such as constipation, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticular disease, and colorectal cancers.

For your health and safety, please read these important Weight Loss Common Sense Warnings and Disclaimers before commencing a reduced calorie diet.

Photography credits:

Cover illustration: © 2013 iStockPhoto LLP;

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Wear the size that fits you now

Great story from Joyous Health. I love where she says “Love precisely where you are at”


Hello beauties!

The other day I was shopping for a dress and I couldn’t help but overhear the woman in the change room next to me talking to her girlfriend. She was complaining about her body – her hips were too big, her boobs not perky enough and how much she couldn’t possibly bring herself to buy a size larger than she used to wear two years ago.

Translation? She was trying to squeeze herself into a dress too small.

So we’ve all been there – wearing a pair of pants just a little too tight on the waist or a blouse that looks like it’s about to pop a button. I was there too, but I don’t do it anymore because it really lowered my self-esteem and confidence. I was constantly trying to be something I’m not – a size smaller!

I know I’m not the only one (nor was the lady in the change room next to me) because I recall back when I was in high school working for a clothing store and I used to sell outfit after outfit to women who would buy a size smaller in hopes they would lose weight and fit into it in the future.

Two words if you are doing this, STOP NOW!

My health tip for you today is to love precisely where you are at. If you don’t love where you are at right now, it makes it 10 gazillion times harder to get where you want to be. Why? If you constantly put yourself down and buy uncomfortable outfits this very effectively lowers your self-esteem and makes you feel like crap! Doesn’t it feel uncomfortable wearing a suit or dress or pants too tight?

Wear clothes that fit you now. If you want to lose weight, then first and foremost focus on your health, because weight loss is merely a side effect of good health, as is glowing skin, a strong libido, shiny hair and good energy.

Before I go, here are two more articles to learn to love precisely where you are at:

Have a beautiful week!

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