Bonnie’s 6 Quick Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving Day

According to Wikipedia, Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated primarily in Canada and the United States as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Prayers of thanks and special thanksgiving ceremonies are common among almost all religions after harvests and at other times.

Most of us love Thanksgiving because of the delicious food which is great but we need to remember and focus on more than just that to truly enjoy the day. So here are a few ideas that make our day special and memorable.

  1. Create a heartfelt Thanksgiving tradition with an Attitude of Gratitude!  Our tradition is to allow each family member to state why they are thankful for this past year. Being in a state of gratitude helps the digestion process along with the mental and emotional benefits!
  2. Focus on family, not food. If the turkey burns or you don't have the "appropriate serving platter, who cares!  The day is about our loved ones and spending time together. Again, it is about thanking God for all He has provided and more importantly our salvation. Prayer Family & Food
  3. Be creative and think outside the conventional high sugar and fat dessert box. Consider a nut crust instead of flour or cut the sugar amounts in half within the recipe. Traditions are nice but try a new healthier recipe that you won't regret later.  You may be surprised that it tastes even better than the traditional one.
  4. Practice moderation in all regarding food portions and alcohol. Eating numerous different foods and ingredients challenge your digestive system.  Be sure to take a digestive enzyme to support the stress you may put on your internal organs.
  5. Participate in a Family FSA (fun, sweaty activity).  Ask everyone to bring their walking shoes and get out and enjoy the beauty of fall. You can burn a little off of the pumpkin pie as well.
  6. Turn off the TV, put the cell phones down and play cards and games.  This is great FUN and provides intellectual stimulation for al.  MOST importantly it is a chance to interact with those you love and don't see that often.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Educate yourself about gluten for National Celiac Awareness month

May is National Celiac Awareness month.  Did you know an estimated 1 in 133 people in the United States are living with celiac disease, a digestive disorder triggered by intolerance to gluten?

Gluten can be problematic for all of us, even the non-celiac sufferers as Mark Hyman MD wrote about in his recent post, Gluten: What You Don't Know Might Kill You. He said:

"Something you're eating may be killing you, and you probably don't even know it!

If you eat cheeseburgers or French fries all the time or drink six sodas a day, you likely know you are shortening your life. But eating a nice dark, crunchy slice of whole wheat bread--how could that be bad for you?

Well, bread contains gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and oats. It is hidden in pizza, pasta, bread, wraps, rolls, and most processed foods. Clearly, gluten is a staple of the American diet.

What most people don't know is that gluten can cause serious health complications for many. You may be at risk even if you don't have full blown celiac disease." Read the full article here.

Do yourself a favor and dive deeper in to the good and bad relating to gluten. Your health could depend on it. More info about gluten can be read here:

What I need to know about Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity.

For personalized detailed nutrition and body system information order an ALCAT Food Intolerance,  Hair Mineral Tissue or Urinalysis Test and as always, if you want to discuss your specific symptoms and issues consider booking a private consultation with our staff.


A New Year’s Day Tradition – Reflections

Something that my husband and I do together and I look forward to every year is sitting down on New Year’s Day and remembering the highlights of the past year.  I even create a special page in my journal to note these precious memories.

It is so enjoyable to relive the memories we have made which are sometimes as a couple or as a family.  Funny, they never seem to be about things we’ve purchased or promotions at work.  They all have to do with special moments and quality time together with each other and family. Several years ago we took our three children on a cruise and they had a blast.  We relive that event over and over.

This year consisted of a few simple things that were our highlights.  One day my husband and I made shrimp etouffee together for the first time.    It may sound silly but it was quite a task for us.  We worked together so well (which doesn’t always happen with projects-lol) and the meal turned out incredible.  It was so exciting to create something together and enjoy the rewards at the end.

Another memorable event was our trip to Atlanta for Thanksgiving with his girls.  We found some incredible restaurants, hiked Stone Mountain and visited the Aquarium.  All great quality time together!

Another new experience that my husband created was our Pay it Forward challenge.  We put some cash in envelopes with Christmas cards and drove around until we found someone that looked like they may need it.  We each took turns walking up to complete strangers and handing them the envelope.  It was very uncomfortable and awkward but we felt really good after.   The people we gave the envelopes to looked at us like we were crazy!  We gave an envelope with money to each of our kids and have asked them to hold on to it until God leads them to share with someone in need.  It was so cool when our youngest called told us that she found someone to give it to that had broke down on the road.  This is definitely a tradition that we will continue through the years!

My most recent highlight  is going home to Michigan to see my mom and family with my son.  At 20 years old, I am not able to see him or spend much time with him so every moment is precious.  And with my mom being 87 years young, I treasure each day that I have with her on this earth.

I encourage you to take a few minutes to reflect on the highlights of 2010 as we all have so much to be thankful for.  As the saying goes, in our last days on earth we’ll never wish we had worked more or accomplished more in our career.  We’ll only wish we had spent more time with the ones we love.

Love and blessings to you in creating memorable moments in 2011!

Countdown to Christmas & Traditions

Well, we are officially 7 days away and the countdown begins. For those traveling, this typically means WE have far less time to complete our holiday shopping so the pressure is on!

I’ll be traveling to Michigan which is part of my tradition of going home. It’s a bittersweet trip as I’m excited to see my family but sad that my husband stays here as his daughters arrive from out-of-state. It was understood at the beginning of our relationship that this was the way it would be as there would be a time that our children would not be coming home.

My son, a chef, and dedicated worker will stay in town with his dad’s family as to not miss work. I’m proud that he is so dedicated to his job but I find myself singing, “Cats in the Cradle” too many times these days. You know, “when you coming home son, I don’t when, but we’ll get together then..”

So, what I really wanted to share is some of our Christmas traditions. Our Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve with almost everyone (six siblings) coming home. Christmas food consists of a unique blend of old versus new traditions. My dad (now in heaven) was Polish and mom was from Czech Republic so our foods connect to these nationalities. The pinnacle of our meal is the Pierogi. This is a Polish specialty consisting of half-moon-shaped noodle dumplings filled with a mixture of potatoes, onion, garlic and bit of cheese. (BTW—this is NOT a health food for those that know me.) Fish and fish soup are both part of the Czech Christmas food tradition. Big brother (one of three big bros) Dennis provides fresh catch which is appropriate as we live in the Land of Lakes! The fish is lightly fried and the soup is oyster stew.

Some newer food traditions that have popped up since our health movement are a variety of salads. My sister Sandy and my niece Chef Jen, personal chef and caterer always come through with something amazing. The amount of sweets has diminished and almost completely eliminated. Mom makes her fav molasses (hold the sugar) cookies and I’ll be starting a new tradition of peanut butter rice crispies squares with my secret ingredient (JP Complete) for the chocolate lovers.

Outside of food, mom and I have created our own new tradition. Since my siblings leave Christmas Day to spend with their extended families, it ends up just mom and I.  So we started the, “stay in your PJ’s all day, play Scrabble and read day”.  This is one of my new favorites. Need to mention, mom (at 87) can kick my butt in Scrabble.

Mom playing Scrabble