Monday, October 22, 2012

Setting the foundation

Happy Monday!

I wanted to send this out today because this week is looking suuuuuper busy, and because I am just bursting at the seams with joy and excitement on this birthday day of mine! 

Today, my Facebook status reads as follows:
Life is changing every minute of every hour of every day. Each moment is unique, unlike any other in the past or future. And we were all born at the most unique and perfect moment to set our own course for the journey of life.

I had an amazing weekend leading up to this birthday today. I decided not to do a happy hour, or take shots, not even to have a crazy fun dance party as usual. Instead, I wanted to slow down, live in the moment, take time to reflect on the last year and the events of my life, and do healthy, grounding things to set a new foundation for this 28th year…taking sweaty yoga classes, spending time with girlfriends, celebrating the engagement of a beautiful couple and catching up with my sacred yogi community, enjoying the gorgeous fall weather while exploring Malibu and Santa Barbara on the back of a motorcycle…

Everything unfolded perfectly, I loved and appreciated every single moment, and I am so grateful for all the incredible people and abundance in my life. I’ve never been more happy to wake up at 4:45 AM for work on a Monday. So thank you all for the birthday wishes, and for helping me to become even more determined to always be and become the best version of myself.

Happy Monday everyone! xoxo

Above are pictures of me at one of my favorite seafood places in Malibu, with a big surprise after a birthday brunch.  Besides the absolutely massive piece of chocolate cake that appeared after an amazing salmon and grilled onion scramble and a LOT of delicious coffee, I can proudly say this is the healthiest and happiest I've been and felt in a long time. And yet I'm grateful for all the trials and issues I've gone through, because they made me ridiculously strong and appreciative of everything single thing and person I have in my life.

One of the biggest catalysts that changed my life for the better was going to holistic nutrition school.  I left my first job out of college because I was in a terrible dark hole of multiple medical diagnoses: Irritable Bowel Syndrome, ADD, anorexia, depression...truly struggling and not knowing where I was going or what I was doing with my life. 

So almost as a last resort, I signed up for the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, praying for answers and wisdom, and hoping that just maybe this would become a viable career for me if I could get myself out of my pit of despair.

It wasn't just calories in/calories out, USDA food pyramid, or fad diets like every other nutrition school out there.  I relished learning how to eat whole foods; connecting with my body, mind, and spirit; turning to yoga, meditation, and deep breathing; finding a form of exercise that I enjoy, love, and commit to daily; learning how to communicate my feelings and desires in a positive and appropriate way... It completely rocked my world, and I've been on a mission ever since to help others take better care of themselves, drop the health drama, and come out on top. 

In yoga, my teachers say that whatever you do on your mat translates to how you do things in life.  Others say, "How you do one thing is how you do everything." 

Changing your food habits can absolutely change and improve every single area in your life.  Look what it did for me.  Sure, I had a sliver of that cake you see above you.  But that's part of living a balanced lifestyle.  I know that 90-95% of the time I eat in a way that nourishes me, that gives me the absolute best quality of nutrients for my brain and body.  And I have room for special occasions or holidays, to go with the flow and sample and cherish something that isn't something nutritionally healthy, but emotionally healthy because I am allowing myself to be present with the person/people who are celebrating the moment with me. 

And when you learn to treat your body with respect and make better choices with your food, it will trickle into your work, relationships, and family dynamics.  When I let my diet and health habits slip, I let people walk all over me, use me, and even hurt me.  But when I regained my focus, ate better, and got back into my exercise and yoga, I was strong enough to get out of those toxic relationships, attract more clients to my business, and rekindle incredible friendships and opportunities with colleagues.

So this week, just notice your thoughts and habits around food and eating, and see if they translate into other areas of your life.  More on that another time, but I also want to mention again, that if you need help in this area, I would love to give you my assistance and speak with you in a complimentary 30-minute consultation when you purchase (on sale!) my detox below.  Or feel free to email me anytime about anything, for real!

Even though it's not your birthday today, maybe think of a way you can slow down, press pause, and reflect for a moment on how you intend to make the rest of this month or even the rest of 2012 better than ever.

Happy Monday, and I'll be here in your inbox again in a week!

Michelle's Birthday Sale on the Detox Program!
In celebration of my birthday month, and because I'm on a modified cleanse feeling absolutely fantastic and I want you to feel the same, I've decided to run a sale on my detox.  

For just $25, go ahead and snap up my proven program, and that way you'll have the materials for whenever you want to try a 7, 14, or 21 day cleanse.

Usually I charge $117, so that's $92 off!

And I'm throwing in a complimentary 30-minute consultation with me, so you can ask any and all questions and get some personalized attention with whatever is going on with your health and life!
You can start your cleanse anytime, or just keep it for when you're ready, but go ahead and take advantage of the sale, and have a tool for health handy!  If anything, just reading through the materials will give you incredible insight, and incorporating just a couple of the detox tips could seriously boost your health!

So whether you want to detox now, or just keep it on the shelf for when you're ready, click on the link below to purchase:

Praise for the program?  Wouldn't you like to have just one of these feelings?

“I can't thank you enough for introducing me to this lifestyle. I have kept faithful to the foods and have never felt better - I also lost 12lbs along the way which made me feel a whole lot better.” - Janet W., Salt Lake City, UT

“I started [my health counseling program] with the 21 day cleanse. It was way easier than I thought. The recipes were easy, quick, delicious and family friendly.  I still use them all the time!! In 21 days my energy level increased, I sleep better, have better mental clarity, reduced moodiness and my chronic health issues have improved dramatically. Food cravings were really minimized by the end of the cleanse. Now I actually do not want to eat less than super healthy food. And did I mention that I feel really, really good?” - Jana, Hawthorne, CA

Peanut problems

I think the first time I heard that peanut butter was a fitness food, was when I was working at lululemon athletica, and one of the girls was following the Abs diet.  It's one of the staples for the 12-item list of power foods that can boost weight loss and chisel those six-pack they say.

Honestly, like any food, peanuts and peanut butter have their pros and cons.  Yes, they're high in fat, but it's monounsaturated fat which is good for your heart and reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease.  They also contain magnesium, folate, vitamin E, and fiber, all of which most of us don't get enough of in our diets anyway.

On the downside, peanuts are one of the most overly sprayed foods.  If you're not getting organic peanut butter, chances are you're consuming a LOT of pesticides.  Not to mention, peanuts tend to be easily contamined with mold and aflatoxins=carcinogens!

Also, you may be aware of the recent recall of peanuts/peanut butter.  I even noticed that my local Starbucks has taken certain items off the shelf that contained any kind of peanut product.

On September 24th, a large peanut manufacturing company called Sunland announced a recall on their peanut butter due to Salmonella contamination.  Yuck.  And now they've expanded the recall to include raw and roasted peanuts.

As someone who haunts the aisles of Trader Joes, I was especially disturbed to hear that 35 people in 19 states got sick from Salmonella in TJ's brand of peanut butter!

For now, perhaps make the switch to almond butter.  They even have cashew, sunflower seed, and macadamia nut butter, so now might be the time to change things up!

See my power breakfast recipe below for how I incorporate a little almond butter deliciousness into my life! 

And just be careful with the peanut products for now until things settle down. 

Michelle's Power Oats Breakfast
1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 tbsp raw cacao nibs
1 sliced banana
1/4 cup frozen or fresh berries
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp almond butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
desired amount of almond milk

Place first 6 ingredients, in order, in a bowl.  Sprinkle with cinnamon, pour almond milk.  I eat this as is, you don't need to cook the oats, but if you prefer it warm, heat it up in a pot before adding almond milk

Monday, September 17, 2012

Lessons from this summer

(Written on Saturday, September 15th)
Hey there!
Woke up at 5 AM this morning to get some work done before I head to the gym, meet with a client, and work on a PowerPoint presentation I'm giving on Tuesday, and I thought I'd send a note your way to kick off the weekend!
I don't know about you, but I've been super busy with work, building my business, birthdays, live music, working out, visiting old it feels good!   And to my East Coast peeps, I'll be heading out there for Thanksgiving, so really pumped about that!
And it's been HOT here in SoCal lately!  As you can see below, I've been hitting the beach here and there just to cool off in the ocean.  My friend Hilary took this picture over Labor Day weekend, and the temperature still hasn't cooled down!

It is absolutely remarkable how time flies when your schedule is packed and you're having fun.  I can't believe we're already in September!  And what an interesting last couple months it has been.  If it's okay with you, I want to take today's newsletter to share some insights I gathered recently...
The summer was full of ups and downs, but every day I learned more and more about myself, what I want to accomplish in life, what's important to me, and the kind of people I want to surround myself with.  
At Chevron where I serve as the on-staff nutritionist and yoga instructor, we recently launched a new body transformation program.  Each week as I meet with my 22 clients, I grow increasingly excited and inspired to get out into the world in a BIG WAY, and help people get healthier and happier through nutrition and fitness.  
I love listening to my Chevron and private clients share about their lives, and I often serve not only as their nutritionist, but as their confidante and cheerleader.  We often push nutrition to the side for a moment, and spend time focusing on their emotional and mental state.  I've found this to be just as vitally important as talking about their diet.
Something I've noticed recently while observing my friends and clients, is that it's easy to look around at the things and lives of other people, and perhaps feel a bit envious, or get down on yourself for not being further along in our society's definition of success or beauty. People often get so hard and down on themselves; they get trapped and stuck in negative thoughts and mindsets based on fear and lack rather than strength and joy. 
However, the more happy and successful people I talk to, and experiences I go through, the more I've been able to shift my clients' and my own thoughts, and learned a few carrots of wisdom that clear my head and help put things into perspective:
Firstly, appearances can be deceiving.  Just because your coworker/friend/neighbor has fancy stuff or a gorgeous bod, doesn't mean that they're happy or fulfilled.  They may be spiritually or emotionally bankrupt, or have bigger problems and stressors than you could ever imagine. Never judge a book by its cover, never compare yourself to others, and practice being grateful for everything you do have in this moment.  Chances are, someone is looking at you and wishing they had all the things and people you have.
Secondly, when you're worrying about life or things you don't have, sometimes it's best to get out of your head and do something for others.  Rather than thinking about yourself all the time, get your head out of your @$$, and think about how you can be productive RIGHT NOW, or even better, how you can be of service to others.
Last month I had some things on my mind that were pulling me down, and so on a Saturday morning, I went to see my friend Courtney and helped her move to a new house.  We began at 10 AM with the packing, running up and down stairs, and lifting heavy furniture. It just so happened to be blistering hot in both her new and old places, and I didn't stop sweating from the moment I got there up until I left her around 12 AM midnight.  
But I can't tell you enough how GOOD it felt to get out of myself and help someone else.  I felt productive, like I was making a difference in her life, and she was so incredibly grateful.  Not to mention we ended up having a really fun time!  I volunteered throughout my secondary schooling and college, and I had forgotten how great it felt!  To unconditionally give my time and energy to my friend  helped me realign my thoughts and gain perspective on the things I was contemplating, so I was ready to take on the world when I woke up the next morning.
Lastly, there are no bad people or experiences in your life.  Every person you meet, and every experience you have, are all just part of the journey you need to go through to become the person you're meant to be.   There are no accidents in life, and everything happens for a reason.  Those people and events are here to teach you specific lessons, to mold and develop you.  
To follow up on that notion, every day you have a choice as to how you react to things, what you will do with the things that happen to you, and how you treat yourself and others.
It is SO EASY to look outside yourself and blame others and your circumstances for not having what you want in life.  So whether it's better health, a flat belly, more money, or a love relationship that you desire, you and only you have the power and choice to make it happen.  Life throws you opportunities each and every day to make specific choices that can alter your life's path and draw you closer towards either what you want, or what you don't want more of.
And once you choose to do something about it, the next step is to TAKE ACTION.  Do something about it! Change your negative thoughts to positive and productive ones.  Instantly implement the lessons you've learned from the people and situations around you, and you will absolutely change your life for the better.
All I ask is that when you find yourself falling into complaints, dissatisfaction, envy, or victim mode about anything in your life, stop yourself immediately.  A fantastic motivation trainer named Brendon Burchard recommends that as you pause, you ask yourself, "Where shall I focus my thoughts right now?"
So rather than feeling controlled by your thoughts and circumstances, you can choose how to think, feel, and act in every moment.
I know I may seem a bit preachy today, but I just feel so passionately about this, as lately it has applied to every single one of my clients' lives, and very much so to my own.  
If you could accomplish anything right now, if you could have the perfect body, feel completely healthy, travel anywhere in the world...what would it be?  And what step are you willing to take TODAY to start making it happen?
Hope you have a fantastic weekend folks.  If this article resonates with you, hit reply and let me know.  If you're going through any kind of health issue right now, you know that's my specialty and I am willing to do whatever it takes to help you.
In the next week or so, I'll be announcing a group health program that I will be launching in October, so definitely stay tuned for that!  If you've been wanting to work with me but are limited in terms of budget, this will be the perfect program for you.  Not only is it affordable, but it will be jam-packed with value, cutting-edge and easy health tips you can use for the rest of your life, and FUN!
In health and happiness,

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Mighty Mango

Sure, you eat bananas, apples, and berries all the time.  But summer is the perfect season to sample something new and tropical!

Mangoes are super high in fiber, and have over 20 different vitamins and minerals!  They contain vitamin A, C, R, B6, and loads of potassium.  That takes care of your skin, immune system, eyes, and blood pressure right there!

There are also current studies looking at how mango fruit helps prevent breast, colon, leukemia, prostrate, and lung cancers due to it's particularly high levels of antioxidants! 

When selecting mangoes at the store, go for fruit that is unbruised.  If they are hard, keep them out at room temperature in your kitchen.  If ripe, keep them in your fridge until you are ready to wash with cold water, pat dry, and eat!

Mangoes are kinda weird to cut, because they have a funky husky seed in the middle.  You can see the picture below, but all you need to do is use a sharp knife to cut the mango lengthwise into a few slices.  Remove the skin from the slices, then cut into chunks. 

The flavor is amazing when you eat the mango by itself, but you can also try adding small chunks to your salads, smoothies, and white fish dishes.  You can also try combining mango with avocado, cilantro, and red onion for a tasty relish to put on top of chicken and fish!

Check out the recipe below, and also visit the online community for mango fanatics at!

Shrimp and Mango Ceviche

3/4 pound (about 30) medium peeled-and-deveined shrimp
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
6 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1 large mango, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 tomato, cored and chopped
1 or 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded (if desired) and finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Bring a medium pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add shrimp and cook until pink and cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold running water and drain again.

Chop shrimp into 1/2-inch pieces and transfer to a large bowl. Add onion, lime juice, cilantro, mango, tomato, jalapeño and salt and toss well. Cover and chill until cold, about 1 hour.

Friday, May 4, 2012

New things happenin!

Hey folks!

I've been settling into my new place in Hermosa Beach, lots of boxes to unpack and things to organize!  We can't wait until everything is settled and we can start enjoying the beach!  Here's a shot of the pier:
Today I'm very exciting to put on a cooking class for my Chevron clients.  I'll be making a couple smoothies that are definitely a bit out of the ordinary, and a couple easy breezy salad recipes that take minutes to make!

Most of the participants are either at the end or just finished my 21 day detox, and not only do they feel absolutely amazing, but they look so much more vibrant!!  I love hearing about their accomplishments each time we meet.  And everyone is preparing and eating their own delicious meals, even the ones who despised cooking before the program!

I am running an online group detox program that begins Monday May 7th, so read the details below, email me with any questions, and let me know when you are ready to get started!  There is no perfect time to do a cleanse, so just jump on it and feel better by summer!
Also in today's newsletter, I've included one of the recipes from today's cooking class.  There's no excuse to not make your own healthy food each day when there are SO many recipes out there to guide you.

        Enjoy your Cinco de Mayo this weekend! 


New Spring Detox announcement!

STARTS NEXT MONDAY!!!  Perfect for right after Cinco de Mayo tacos, margaritas, and Coronas!!

For those of you who are familiar with my detox program, you'll know that I typically offer it a couple times a year.  In the past I have run the same format regardless of the season, and it has been incredibly successful for everyone.

However, in many medicinal systems, spring is an incredibly important season for cleaning out the liver, shedding winter toxins, and preparing the body for the heat of summer.

Therefore, this round I am running a cleanse that is SPECIFIC to spring.  So not only will you receive the entire Revamp Your Body in 21 Days Detox, but you will also receive a Spring Detox module that will tell you exactly which foods, supplements, and exercises will most effectively heal and clean out your body for the season!

And on top of all that, you will also receive a 30-minute phone consultation with me to review where you're at right now, your goals for the program, and any questions you may have before you begin!

So if you want to clean up, look and feel fabulous by Memorial Day (and without fasting, juicing, drinking spicy lemonade mixtures, or laxative teas), you're in for a treat.  One of my clients recently lost 23 pounds on the detox, while countless others have reported increased energy, clear skin, improved concentration, and just feeling GREAT overall!!

If you're ready for an incredible health lift, the program starts on MAY 7th, so sign up now to reserve your spot and schedule your consultation with me!

Check out for more info, and feel free to email me with any questions!

IF YOU HAVE TROUBLE WITH THE LINK, since Paypal has been acting a little crazy lately, please email me at if you are ready to join!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring Cleaning

Now that April has begun, spring is surely upon us.

It is the season of cleansing, renewal, and in many medicinal traditions, the absolute time to tend to our livers. Your liver has bore the brunt of Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas cookies, New Years' champagne, Valentine's Day chocolates, and now it's time to help out a bit and give the liver a chance to detox and regenerate.

Did you know that your liver performs over 500 different tasks in regulating your metabolism every single day? It works hard to take poisons, neutralize them, and what it cannot make harmless, it stores in your fat cells. The liver is the ONLY filter for our bloodstream, and like any filter, it is important needs to be cleaned out from time to time.

If we don't clean out now, our liver will have to workout twice as hard through the Easter candy and Memorial Day BBQs, leaving it no choice but to continue storing toxins in our fat cells. And thus our bodies will hold onto fat for protection from these substances, rather than burning it. By summertime, we shall be holding onto toxin-brimmed excess fat, and become overheated as we literally bake our own fat in the sun.

So what can we do? The easiest and simplest way to gently flush your liver for spring, without weird lemonade fasts or pharmaceuticals, is to go all natural with your diet!
Think green. The more green vegetables and salads you can eat, the better. It would behoove you to eat only the most natural, unprocessed foods you can find. These are easier for your body to break down, and the less work your liver has to do in terms of digestion, and therefore can work on more important functions.

Natural and unprocessed means nothing that comes in a box! Stay away from the inner aisles of the grocery store and instead turn to organic fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains (brown rice, oats, millet, quinoa), and beans. Dairy, eggs, fried foods, and meat tend to be acidic and mucus producing. And we want to clean out the mucus during springtime. Think again of your fat and mucus baking in the summertime. Yuck. You're just asking for weight gain and blemishes.

To support your liver, besides the cleansing food choices, Dr. Elson Haas gives these 5 tips:

1. Avoid toxins such as household and industrial chemicals, alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, and many prescription drugs.
2. Drink lots of fluids and use fresh lemon in your water for liver cleansing.
3. Fresh organic cold-pressed olive oil is the best for the liver.
4. Exercise and sweat regularly to help with liver detoxification.
5. Milk thistle herb (silymarin) and olive leaf extract support and disinfect the liver.

Also consider fresh vegetable juices, or greens powders. Cell-nique is a great detoxifying beverage that actually tastes delicious. Check the fridges at your local Whole Foods or health food store, or check

By following these simple tips, you'll be a few steps closer to a healthier liver, and a successful spring detox!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Move on to Better Things

So this silly picture on the right is a recent snapshot of me being plain ol' goofy with my girlfriends. (Those are our bartender's glasses, and I'm trying to make pigtails with my hands and hair...) I have friends who I can just cut loose with, who I can let my guard down with, and just be myself. I know they'll always have my back, and I don't need to worry about anything when I'm with them, because I know I'll always have a good time.

It's easy to be relaxed and carefree when other people and things are distracting you. But what happens when you're alone and with your own thoughts? Are you able to destress and carry on with your day in a constructive manner? Or do you worry about people, your job, something that happened earlier in the day, what you just ate, or anything else?

It's so easy to become derailed by our thoughts, stresses, and fears. One minor incident at work has our mind spinning off into worrying about whether we'll be fired or not, and we might even have a nightmare that night about it. And how many people do you know who when they eat one bad thing, they freak out, get down on themselves, and/or give up on their diet plan all together??

I've gotten better, but I still have to constantly remind myself to not worry so much, to let go of the small stuff, and to do something productive even when I mess up.

I went through some rough times with food and my body, and I remember sitting at the kitchen table at my parents' house, crying to my mom about how fat I felt because I'd given in to some "bad" foods and had gained a little weight. It was really affecting me, and I kept beating myself up over and over and over and over.

Finally, my mother looked at me and said, "So what?? Get over it! Make a better choice next time and you'll be fine! Stop worrying about it so much!"

Of course, to an angsty, barely over the teenage years, highly-emotional female, this did not seem like the best advice at the time.

But looking back, my mom couldn't have been more right.

Life is tooooo short to stress over the little things that we DO have control over. So you messed up your diet. Doesn't mean you're a failure, you're going to be fat and doomed forever, just get back on it tomorrow. So your friend showed up 15 minutes late for dinner and you're pissed. Would you rather spend dinner feeling resentful, or can you shrug it off and just be incredibly grateful to be spending any time at all with her?

You have a choice, right now, and in every moment, about how you react to situations that arise. You can choose to be positive or negative. You can choose whether you are going to stay stuck in your stress and worries or move forward and do something about it!

It's not always pleasant to hear, and it might be stirring a little something in you right now, but that's GOOD! Hopefully it will spur you into action.

Now go do something about it!

Be kind and patient with yourself, and know that tomorrow is a new day!