10 tips for a happier, healthier 2015

Here’s Fran’s recent 10 tips for a happier, healthier you in 2015!

It’s time, again, to re-evaluate, clarify and see how to best express your purpose and passion after the changes of the past year. Here’s a list I’ve developed to help me. I hope it helps you too.

1. Two-minute journal: Each morning, write just a few words about your intention for the day. Each evening, write one thing for which you’re grateful. No need to come up with new and different things each day, just what’s true for you. Shaping your life with this perspective can change everything.

2. Kindness: It can be so simple and make such a difference in someone’s day. And it has a way of boomeranging back to you, too. So tell someone “thank you” or “you look nice today”; hold a door open; check in with someone who’d be happy to hear from you … you get the idea.

3. Self-kindness. Most of the clients I see, especially women, take care of everyone else and never get to themselves. Put yourself on the priority list. In fact, put yourself at the top of the priority list. I love the airplane model: put your own oxygen mask on first. Get too depleted and you’re no use to anyone. So learn to take care of yourself.

4. Re-evaluate: Surprise yourself. Think of your life as a blank slate, and let yourself imagine how you want to fill it. Where is your passion? What do you yearn for? Even if you end up in the same place, your relationship to it, your feeling about it, may be different.

5. Cultivate optimism: It’s good for your health: body, mind and spirit.

6. Move: Moving a little each hour is actually more beneficial to your health than sitting all day and having brief periods of intense exercise. Walk, shake, bend, twist — but get off your butt!

7. Hydrate: Drink more water. Bored? Add lemon, cucumber, basil, mint or a drop of essential oils.

8. Eat real food: You really can’t go wrong by decreasing processed packaged products and eating more meat, fish, poultry, eggs, lots of veggies and a little bit of fruit.

9. Develop a practice: It doesn’t matter what — yoga, meditation, journaling, walking. What matters is a) Showing up, i.e., doing it regularly without excuses and b) Dropping anchor, i.e., leaving time each day for quiet without distractions.

10. Effort and grace: Not everything is within our control, but we need to do our part. If you show up for your life and live what you know and believe, you create the best possible circumstances for success in any endeavor.

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Is Something WRONG with most detoxes and cleanses?

Hi, Fran Sussman here, from Sussman Holistic Services, your Holistic Outlook column in the Times Herald Record and here at hudsonvalley.com, with tips for Your Best Health.

Today I want to talk to you about Detoxes and Cleanses.

They are very popular, but they may not be giving you the results you hoped.

Most detoxes and cleanses are doing it wrong, because they are only about taking things out, about deprivation, over a short period of time.

Don’t just take more out of your life – add new supports in, for changes that last, and support your health.

Watch this very short video (just one minute) for more of an explanation http://youtu.be/EBPaQe_FGcs

I would like to hear from you. Was this message helpful?

wishing you a healthy, happy day!


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Eating Chocolate Can be GOOD for You!

Hi, Fran Sussman here, from Sussman Holistic Services, your Holistic Outlook column in the Times Herald Record and here at hudsonvalley.com, with tips for Your Best Health.

In my last blog, I gave you a very simple recipe for a nourishing and warming cup of hot chocolate. Did you try it? Why not make yourself a mug right now – go ahead, I’ll wait…

As a holistic health professional, I’m a big fan of chocolate. There are lots of benefits, but ONLY if you are eating good quality chocolate that is not mostly sugars. That means that if you buy a chocolate bar

  • the first ingredient on the label should be cocoa, NOT sugar
  • it should say 70% cocoa or higher.

That way you will be getting mostly cocoa not sugars. Many people who say they love chocolate are actually addicted to sugars, not the delicious cocoa bean itself.

What are the benefits?

  1. Cocoa is rich in flavanoids, known to reduce the risk of heart disease, and in anti-oxidants.
  2. That feeling of contentment you feel after eating chocolate? That might be the tryptophan, which helps the body produce serotonin, or its calming magnesium.
  3. Cocoa also contains oleic acid, a monosaturated fat which helps improve “good” cholesterol.  Some studies have shown that cocoa can improve insulin sensitivity, and lower blood sugar.
  4. And epicatechin, found in cocoa, grapes and green tea, may slow the build up of plaque that causes Alzheimer’s Disease.

Just keep in mind that these benefits are characteristic of raw organic cocoa, and not processed products with lots of dairy and sugar.

Isn’t it delightful to know that something so delicious is virtuous, too?

If you search my website, you will find lots more simple, healthy and delicious ways to use chocolate. Are you a chocolate fan? If you don’t find your favorite, let me know and maybe I can come up with a healthy version for you!

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Chilly morning? How about some (healthy) hot cocoa?

Hi, Fran Sussman here, from Sussman Holistic Services, your Holistic Outlook column in the Times Herald Record and here at hudsonvalley.com, with tips for Your Best Health.

Mornings and evenings have been nippy lately and that means it’s time to warm up with a rich and creamy mug of hot chocolate. But don’t buy those mixes, that are filled with chemicals and way too much sugar. Instead, try my simple recipe and boost your health and your spirits at the same time. It only takes a minute to make and it’s so good!

Fill a mug with half unsweetened coconut milk and half water. Pour in a small saucepan.  Add 1 heaping teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder (ideally, raw and organic.).  Add xylitol or stevia to taste, the tiniest pinch of salt, a little vanilla if you’re so inclined. Whisk and bring to a simmer.  Like yours with cinnamon? It’s good for the metabolism!  Enjoy!

Or if you are as lazy as I am,just mix everything right in your mug. Boil water, put the cocoa, sweetener, salt and vanilla in your mug, add the water, and then just add a big dollop of coconut cream from a full fat can of organic coconut milk. Delish!

Want to know more about the benefits of chocolate? Come back Thursday!

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The Gluten Free Challenge

Here’s what we now know from research: Gluten increases inflammation in everyone. It increases the risk of heart disease in everyone.  It increases insulin resistance and diabetes, as well as increasing the risk of auto-immune diseases.

That’s a pretty comprehensive list of what you want to avoid as you age.

And we also know that one gram of gluten – one tiny gram – stays in your system for two weeks and affects your inflammation markers for six months.  Gluten is a very sticky substance; it’s glue-y. In fact, glue is made from it.

So here’s my challenge to all my health seekers. I want you to try avoiding all foods that contain gluten – yup,  go 100% gluten free  – for just three weeks. That’s not forever; just a fair trial.

But remember: you have to be 100% gluten free during that time in order to test the hypothesis.

You might be amazed at the symptoms that disappear, including some you thought were “normal aging” or just normal for you.

And if you are still not convinced, after 3 weeks are up, go ahead and spend a day eating gluten: bagels, cereal, pasta, bread….  I think you will have your answer, and it might surprise you.

I’ve personally witnessed friends, family members and thousands of clients give up gluten and feel dramatically better.

Are you wondering if it will help you too?

If you decide to try the challenge, I want to hear all about it.  Please leave your comments!

Here’s wishing you a happy, healthy day.

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Is Avoiding Gluten Just A Passing Fad?

Hi, Fran Sussman here, from Sussman Holistic Services, the Holistic Outlook column in The Times Herald Record, and here at HudsonValley.com,  with some thoughts for Your Best Health.

If a fad is “an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived”, I believe that the increased interest in avoiding gluten is a growing trend,  because it is a change that is growing for very good reasons.

For those of you for whom this subject is still a mystery, let me explain.  Gluten is the protein found in wheat, oats, spelt, rye and barley.  When people react to foods, it’s the protein in that food that they are reacting to.

Just a few generations ago, gluten made up only about 3-4% of the grain But grains have been purposely modified, so that gluten is often now over 40%. This makes it fluffier, and more shelf stable… as well as more toxic to most of us.

I find that helping clients eliminate gluten from their diets often also eliminates many symptoms they’d been suffering from for years, from gut and bowel issues to arthritis to eczema and on and on.

In my next post, I’ll be throwing down the gauntlet and presenting all my readers with  a challenge.  Are you up for it?  Please come back on Thursday – it could change your life for the better!!

In the meantime, here’s wishing you a happy, healthy day.

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Natural Tips for ADHD

Hi, Fran Sussman here, from Sussman Holistic Services, the Holistic Outlook column in The Times Herald Record, and here at HudsonValley.com with Your Best Health.

Working with ADD and ADHD has been a part of my practice from the very beginning, over 20 years ago. With the new school year starting, improving attention and focus are a concern for many.

Here are a few of my top tips for adults or children with this issue.

  1. Identify Food Sensitivities: Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Peanuts and Corn are among the most common culprits. Cravings are often a giveaway. Do you feel like you can’t live without it? Then it’s probably a food sensitivity. Eliminate it 100% and after a few days the cravings usually disappear, often along with other symptoms.
  2. Eat Protein and Healthy Fats: 3 times a day make sure each meal includes both protein and healthy fats, and don’t forget breakfast. Meals (or snacks) that are just carbs (like bagels, cereal and milk, cookies, pretzels, etc.) will send blood sugar sky-rocketing, then dropping too low, making focus so much more difficult, if not impossible. Include protein and healthy fats to keep your brain on steady fuel until the next meal.
  3. Keep sugar low. Sugars, and foods metabolized as sugars, such as refined carbohydrates and most processed foods, work against a healthy, well-focused brain, and keep us on a vicious cycle of cravings, struggle, and exhaustion. Don’t give in to the “convenience” of fast foods. Instead, plan ahead to have food on hand that supports and truly nourishes you.

Your brain will thank you!


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What’s making you fat, sick, tired, and hungry?

Hi, Fran Sussman here, from your Holistic Outlook column in the Times Herald Record, and Sussman Holistic Services, with more tips for Your Best Health.

Today I’ve got a 2 minute video that asks an essential question for your health.

Here is the link ==>> http://youtu.be/8V3v7Yf0wdI <<==

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How Not to Go On A Diet

Hi, Fran Sussman here, from your Holistic Outlook column in the Times Herald Record, and Sussman Holistic Services, with more tips for Your Best Health.

I see clients every day in my office who feel so virtuous when they just have a little salad, or salad with a bit of chicken breast, for their meals, in hopes of losing weight.  Maybe a squeeze of lemon juice for flavor. It’s the perfect diet meal, right?

Except it usually doesn’t work, and they don’t understand why.

Let me explain.

First of all, diet is a four letter word in my book. I define a diet as “something you suffer through for as short a time as possible, until you give up and go back to what you were doing before you started.” (to read the full article, a previous Holistic Outlook column, click here).

But even if you could stick to it, chances are that your salad diet won’t work, or certainly not for long, and it isn’t even good for your health.

You need carbs!

When carbs are too low you feel cranky, hungry and deprived, which sets you up to boomerang right out of your good intentions. And low/no carbs gets you off-track hormonally and metabolically.
What you don’t need is carbs in the form of processed and refined foods, junk foods, sugars and alcohol. Complex carbs from “real foods,” such as vegetables – and once a day a little bit of fruit -  should be included in every meal and snack — that is, every time you eat.

Combining protein, healthy fats and some complex carbs from real food? That gives you perfect metabolic balance and a recipe for healthy weight loss.

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Is Avoiding Gluten Just Another Fad?

Hi, Fran Sussman here, of the Holistic Outlook column in your Times Herald Record, and Sussman Holistic Services with more tips for Your Best Health.

Today, I’m sharing a short video on a trendy topic! I’d love to read your comments and questions below!

Here’s the video: http://youtu.be/Vk9LVvZeK-U

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    Fran Sussman

    Helping clients with nutrition, healthy weight loss and addressing chronic illness naturally, in the Hudson Valley, for over 20 years. Read Full
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