Monthly Archives: May 2015

Many people make food choices that can cause them to feel fatigued instead of energized. Because we feel rushed and don’t always find time to cook, we go to drive-thru’s or eat other fast food on the run. Maybe we go to a restaurant and make unhealthy choices full of GMO’s, refined sugar, bad fats, inflammatory ingredients and more!

You don’t just wake up with low energy or a disease like cancer, diabetes or high blood pressure. This happens over time, one bite at a time! Many meals are eaten before these things happen. Our energy suffers and we feel tired all the time. Caffeine and sugar are what we grab to keep us going. Maybe that candy bar, doughnut or can of pop. Whatever we think may get us through, even organic iced tea or a latte full of sugar.

Some causes of low energy:

  • Inflammation from eating the wrong foods like GMO’s, sugar, gluten, and more
  • Depletion from not getting the right nutrients
  • Toxification by eating foods full of pesticides, hormones and antibiotics
  • Chemicals building up in the body in every way

As you can see, it’s easy to get fatigued in our modern world today! What we eat will either give us energy or take energy from us. There is a way to get into balance and feel more energy and eat delicious tasting foods too!!!!

Start by replacing some of your ingredients with healthier options. See what happens. I can help you if you need it! There is light at the end of the tunnel for sure.

Aging is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Even though your genes are an important influence, there are changes you can make that can help you age in a healthier way.

According to some recent research, lifestyle factors can influence how we age and healthy habits can modify gene expression to slow down the aging process.

The following strategies can help you to take more control over how fast you age and your quality of life.

  • Eat less convenience food and more real food. Cook more, using fresh, real food and avoid prepackaged and fast food.
  • Downsize stress. Chronic stress can affect your physical and mental well being. CortisHappy Older Woman with hand weightsol, a stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands, can save your life in dangerous situations, but if you are in this mode all the time, it can wear you out mentally and physically. This can lead to diabetes, depression and memory problems. Find an outlet like exercise, yoga, etc. Try to take time for yourself daily.
  • Challenge your mind. Keep your brain stimulated to fight the aging process. Learn new skills like a new dance. This will also help with balance and coordination.
  • Stay active. Regular exercise helps to decrease your risk of diabetes, heart disease, weak bones and muscles, stress and anxiety, depression and many more health issues. Thirty to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity most days of the week can help. Walking, jogging and dancing are some examples.

The bottom line is to try and age gracefully with a quality of life that you deserve to have. I have seen what can happen when you make small changes, over time, to achieve a life full of health and vitality. It gives me great satisfaction to help someone achieve this balance.

It’s not out of reach. Time to shed those layers of old habits for some wonderful, energizing new habits that fit you well!

How many of us feel guilty when we eat chocolate and think it will cause weight gain and other health issues? What if chocolate was good for you? Let’s take a look at some of the facts.

Chocolate is made from the seeds of the cacao tree. The seeds are fermented, dried, roasted, and the shell is removed to form cacao nibs. These nibs are processed to form a chocolate liquor, which can be further processed to form solid cocoa butter and eventually made into a chocolate bar.

Most chocolate produced today has lots of added sugar, as well as milk fat. Milk blocks the absorption of beneficial polyphenols in chocolate. Milk chocolate is produced this way.Woman eating chocolate bar

White chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar and milk but no cocoa solids and is not considered to be true chocolate. Most chocolate consumed in the United States is highly processed and has added ingredients such as refined sugar, artificial flavors, cheap fats and hydrogenated oils, resulting in unnatural product that is high in fat and calories and devoid of nutritional value.

So, what do you look for when buying chocolate? Before you reach for a candy bar, look at the label. Look for bars that have a cocoa content of 60 percent or higher and are free of artificial ingredients and high fructose corn syrup. You can also buy raw chocolate.

Some of the many health benefits of dark chocolate are:

  • Polyphenols that reduce inflammation
  • Improved blood pressure
  • Help with insulin sensitivity and blood flow
  • Lowered LDL levels and increased HDL levels

A recent study shows that even a small amount of cocoa and dark chocolate can have a protective effect on the blood vessels of the circulatory system.

Chocolate is a significant source of antioxidants. This helps with free radicals and oxidation in the body. Other studies are being done to show the impact on cognition and skin health.

One of the minerals that chocolate is rich in is magnesium. If you crave a lot of chocolate, this may be a clue that you may be low in magnesium.

Do the fat and calories in chocolate negate the health benefits? Much of the saturated fat in chocolate is stearic acid, which has a neutral effect on cholesterol levels. Calorie intake needs to be taken into consideration to maintain a healthy weight.

Chocolate contains several chemicals that can alter our mood and cause us to crave it.

Theobromine is a mildly addictive stimulant, and phenethylamine is associated with feelings of happiness. Caffeine is a stimulant in chocolate which if eaten late in the day, may cause some insomnia. Chocolate definitely affects the seratonin levels in the brain and can be mildly addictive.

Like anything else, even healthy chocolate can be overdone. Don’t forget about healthy food choices to get your daily quota of antioxidants. You need a variety of foods to receive all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your body needs to build and maintain health. The health benefits of dark chocolate can be had while consuming it in moderation.

Personally, I love dark chocolate, and I’m happy that it can be a part of my life and the life of my clients. It can fit into a healthy lifestyle program along with other healthy habits. It fits into my weight loss plan!

To your health,


Image courtesy of Ambro at
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More Energy, Better Sleep, No More Inhaler

I came to see Karen because I had extreme fatigue, stomach & digestive issues, skin rashes and migraine headaches. Since I’ve been making some changes and have found out what’s causing these issues through saliva testing, I have made some great changes. I have a lot more energy. I can run longer and farther than

Amy Coffey Arizona June 1, 2015


Karen Russell

Certified Health Counselor

140 Schuerman Drive

Sedona, AZ 86336

(by appointment only)





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