“Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.”
Theodosius Dobzhansky, geneticist
Recently I asked several of my close friends what they would like me to write a book about.
One of them said they would like me to explain my approach to Total Fitness and how I go about working with my clients.
I am in the process of contemplation of a new writing project, so if any of you have subjects you would like me to cover, please feel free to send me an email at Catherine@totalfitness.net or give me a ring at 678-612-8816.
Here is a brief overview of how I work with my clients on nutrition.
Because we are all human, it is difficult if not impossible for most of us to change everything at once.
Most of us have developed bad habits over the years, and it usually takes at least 30 days to implement a new, beneficial habit.
I understand all this so I never change anybody’s nutrition all at one time. It’s just too hard!
By working step by step with people, I am eventually able to change virtually everything and instil a deep awareness about what it really means to eat healthy and feel great. I have new clients who tell me on Day 1, “Whatever you say, I am not going to…” and one year later, they are doing it all, eating organic, juicing, taking nutritional supplements – and feeling great and being very happy about all of it.
Most people think they know what it means to eat healthy, but very few are actually able to implement even what little they know. There’s not only a lack of information, there is a lack of understanding about how to put together a healthy eating program that they can follow easily with a busy schedule.
Here are the major steps:
Step One: Balance Blood Sugar. I feel that balancing blood sugar is the most important step anybody can take with their eating plan. The reason I feel that this is the most important step is that unless you control your insulin, nothing else will be in control. If your insulin is out of balance, you will be subject to uncontrolled cravings and will have very little self discipline, no matter even if you have a Ph.D. in nutrition. In addition, if your insulin is out of balance, your metabolism will not be healthy and no real healing will take place. Lastly, insulin is the most important hormone in the body that you actually have control over. You will also not be able to balance your stress hormones cortisol and adrenalin as long as your blood sugar is all over the map. And as long as your insulin is out of balance, your sex hormones, thyroid and other hormones will be out of balance.
So the first step I take is teaching my clients how to balance their blood sugar.
Step Two: Heal The Gut. At least 85 percent of my new clients generally have some degree of gastrointestinal distress. This could include food allergies or food sensitivities, parasites, bad bacteria, inflammation, deficiency of digestive enzymes, yeast overgrowth, probiotic imbalance, gas, bloating, the habit of eating highly processed, microwaved junk food and/or all of the above. The second step that I take is to identify which of these factors are affecting you and teach you what to do to eliminate the problem and then restore your GI system to a state healthier than many of you may have ever experienced in your entire life. The reason that this is important is that as long as a person has GI problems, their stress hormones will be out of control even if they meditate daily, have $1 million in the bank and have completely retired from their job. You can’t have a healthy metabolism as long as your GI system is distressed. Many people are also not aware of how much their GI problems are affecting their weight.
Step Three: Learn How To Eat A Healthy, Normal Diet. I have completely lost count of how many stupid diets I have heard about in all my years of practice. Probably the worst case was the lady who gained 50 lbs. on a raw food diet and ended up spending three weeks in a hospital. Her raw food friends just told her she wasn’t exercising enough, so she was exercising three hours a day on top of eating raw food. But I could throw in the vegetarians on imbalanced eating plans, the people who think it’s noble not to eat red meat, the ones who have fasted for a month, the ones who buy in to the microwaved, boxed food diets, not to mention the anorexics, bulimics and the like. Nutrition is chemistry. Your body needs what it needs, regardless of anybody else’s opinions. I can run a lab test to show you exactly what it is that your body is missing, and most people are missing quite a bit.
Learning how to eat a healthy, normal diet is a life skill. One of my best friends recently said about me, “Catherine, you never miss a meal.” Of course, I am about 20 lbs. lighter than my friend, at least, and I have regular, consistent energy. I don’t weigh myself, I don’t obsess about my weight, my weight doesn’t yo yo and I am not obsessed with food. I have a healthy relationship with food and this is one of the main things I want to teach all my clients how to do. Many of them have never before met a woman who has a healthy relationship with food or a healthy relationship with exercise.
Step Four: Detoxify. I put this step after step three because most people need to build their health before they have the cellular energy to detoxify properly. Unfortunately I have had enough clients with cancer to understand just how crucial this step is in our society. My medical doctor, who has run two thermogram tests with me, has told me that I am the only patient she has ever had in all her years of practice who did not need to do any detoxification. But I make my own vegetable juice, use a far infrared sauna, take herbs and eat a very clean diet.
Step Five: Mental/Emotional Healing Work. Not everybody needs this last step, but many people do. That is because many people have to overcome years of programming about what they really need to do to be slim and healthy. I have helped many clients overcome eating disorders after literally a lifetime of anorexia and bulimia. Most of my young women clients (age 25 or younger) are struggling with the worst of this. The pressure and competition to be thin and beautiful at that age and the lack of adequate information about how to do this easily, without starving or over exercising, cause many problems with body image, disordered eating and punishing exercise routines. My goal is for you to develop a healthy relationship with food and a healthy relationship with exercise. I want you to learn how to do this the easy way. And I want you to work smarter, not harder. This is a process for many people, not only women but also men, and can take months if not years of careful mentoring.
So there you have it. My approach is five steps. How quickly you move through these five steps will be up to you. If you are a new client who is ready to eat healthier, send me an email and say, “I am ready to improve my eating,” and I will give you 10 percent off your first visit.
What You Can Do Now To Boost Your Immune System
by Catherine Carrigan, email@example.com
Many people view the months going into winter and the chill of wintertime as a time of inevitable sickness – colds, flu and other unfortunate illnesses.
When I do a medical intuitive reading, one of the first things I do is read a client’s immune system. If you are not functioning at least at 70 percent, you are a set up to get sick.
You can build your immune system by following these simple steps:
Getting enough protein. The first 40 grams of protein you eat every day goes to rebuild your immune system. I find myself repeating this fact multiple times every week, especially with new clients. If you are not eating enough protein to rebuild your immune system, you are not getting enough amino acids to build your brain chemistry and you are certainly not getting enough protein to repair your muscles after exercise. Many people are aware that weight training requires adequate protein but they are not aware that even recreational athletes who do high intensity aerobic exercise such as running, jogging, spinning classes and the like need even more protein. I recommend that you get 40 grams of protein before lunch. If you are not sure exactly how much protein you need every day, make an appointment with me and I will help you figure this out, as each body has different requirements depending on your age, your stress level and your athletic activities. I can’t tell you how many long-term vegetarian clients I have had with severely supressed immune systems. One was even going to the hospital on a regular basis to receive IV injections of immunoglobulins.
Juicing. All my regular clients know that I am a big fan of juicing. I usually buy two huge boxes of organic spinach every week, most of which is used either for juicing or salads. When you make your own juice combinations of green vegetables like spinach, kale, mustard greens and parsley, along with fresh fruits like apples, pears, watermelon, cantaloupe and other melons, you are giving your body the antioxidants that it craves. The average person should get 3,000 to 6,000 ORACs every day just from eating fruits and vegetables. ORACs are measures of antioxidants. I usually juice 16 ounces of vegetables and fruits at one time, probably the equivalent of two pounds of fresh produce, and in so doing I am loading my body with the antioxidants for cellular repair. When it comes to ORACs and antioxidants, more is usually better, and the best way to do that is by loading up on fresh fruits and vegetables. Go to this link: http://www.totalfitness.net/nutrition%20recipes.htm and download the FREE file entitled “Juicing the Total Fitness Way” to find out more. I frequently juice at breakfast time, but because I understand the importance of protein, I will have turkey bacon or some sausage along with my mug of juice.
Chicken soup. If I feel myself getting under the weather, I make myself a huge pot of chicken soup and eat the soup every day until I start feeling better. This is usually a twofer, because I begin by baking an organic chicken and follow by using the leftovers to make soup.
Lemon Baked Chicken
1 whole organic chicken
2-3 organic lemons
Organic extra virgin olive oil
Celtic sea salt
Preheat oven to 450° F/. Rinse chicken and dry it with a paper towel. Remove the insides out of the cavity and throw them away. Wash the lemons, cut off the ends and poke holes in the lemons. Stuff the lemons inside the cavity. Pour extra virgin organic olive oil over the chicken. Sprinkle with rosemary and Celtic sea salt. Rosemary is a natural antidepressant and Celtic sea salt is high in minerals. Put the chicken in a pan. Bake chicken for around 1 hour at 450 degrees, turning it every 20 minutes and basting often with the juice that runs out. The result will be a very moist and delicious chicken.
I often chop up carrots, onions and potatoes and roast the vegetables in the same pan as the chicken, also covering them with olive oil and salt. I then put the leftover chicken in a crockpot with filtered water and cook over night. Remove the bone and any fatty skin. I save any leftover vegetables and put the leftover vegetables with peas and possibly some organic rice into the soup. Season with Celtic sea salt to taste. Chicken broth helps to rebuild your mucosal barrier in your intestines, the first line of defense in your immune system. It is also the only substance scientifically proven effective to help a cold.
This is such a simple procedure that anybody can do it.
Daily moderate exercise. Moving your body on a daily basis is essential for a healthy immune system. That’s because when you exercise, you stimulate the lymph system, which is part of your immune system. The only way to move the lymph is by exercise or massage. You will want to avoid high intensity aerobic exercise where your heart rate exceeds 90 beats per minute on a continuous basis because any time your heart rate goes over 90 bpm continuously your body has to release the stress hormones cortisol and adrenalin, which suppress your immune system. You are better off lifting weights, walking, doing tai chi, yoga or qi gong. One of the best ways to move the lymph is by using a mini trampoline or rebounder. The gentle squeezing twisting motions of yoga are also hugely beneficial for moving lymph.
Wash your hands and use an organic disinfectant. The first year I worked in a gym, I was sick all the time. Most gyms are covered with germs. If you work out in a conventional gym, make sure you wipe down your equipment as a courtesy to others. Wash your hands before and afterwards. I wash my hands frequently during the winter and have found a lavender-scented disinfectant to use between clients.
Meditate, do yoga, tai chi or qi gong to lower your stress hormones. The stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol actually suppress your immune system. One of my friends recently had a family member pass away. My friend is a very health conscious individual. She did a live blood cell analysis on herself after the funeral and was shocked to look at her blood cells. “I have never seen such bad blood in my life,” she told me. “That really showed me what stress can do.” Stress doesn’t just affect you psychologically, it actually changes your cells in a measurable, detectable way. You can read my October newsletter about the importance of daily stress management. If you are not doing something literally every day to deal effectively with your stress, more than likely you are setting yourself up for illness, whether it’s a cold or something more pernicious. Another friend reports that he hasn’t been sick for years. Every time he feels something coming on, he simply relaxes. This is a good example for all of us to follow.
Build the good bacteria in your gut. Experts estimate that roughly 70 percent of your immune system is in your gut. If you have gastrointestinal symptoms, come to see me and I will help you identify whether you have parasites, infections, food sensitivities or any other problem. I drink at least one bottle of kombucha every day, which builds up the good bacteria. You will have a hard time building good bacteria if you are eating highly processed, microwaved junk food or drinking a lot of coffee.
Get outside in the sunshine. Sunlight helps to build your immune system. About every other month, I get a call or an email from a client who says, “My doctor says I am very deficient in vitamin D.” I have news for you. Pretty much everybody is deficient in vitamin D unless you have a job as a gardener, ditch digger or postman who walks his beat. Even years ago, when I did a fancy nutritional analysis on myself, the doctor at the lab said, “Don’t you ever get outside in the sunlight.” I get outside more than almost anybody I know. But it’s not just vitamin D that you need. You actually need sunlight to stimulate your pineal gland to keep your circadian rhythms healthy and so that you can sleep deeply and soundly at night. If ever I have a client with irregular sleep patterns, the first thing I recommend is that they actually get outside, even just to sit in the sunshine. Fortunately those of us who live in Atlanta are at a latitude on the planet where we can still get enough sunlight even in the dead of winter, provided we get outside. My friends who live up North or in England are not so lucky.
Have your food sensitivities tested. I can do this either with kinesiology or lab tests, but I actually feel that kinesiology is not only less expensive but more accurate because I can find out how different foods are affecting various organs. This is important because if you are eating anything that you are allergic or sensitive to, you are suppressing your immune system at virtually every meal.
Take care of your thymus gland. The thymus gland sits in the center of your chest behind your breastbone. You can do a thymus thump, just like Tarzan did when he beats his chest, while repeating positive affirmations. What many people don’t realize is that your thymus gland is also related to your adrenal glands. If you have adrenal burnout, more than likely your thymus will be under performing. Laughing, having fun and giving and receiving hugs are fabulous for your thymus gland.