Committed to Healing

 

It's been a wild few months for me with the opening of CAN CAN kitchen #2 here in LA. So exciting, but also so overwhelming and too many lists of to-do. During this time, I've felt a strong desire to keep sharing the human aspect of CAN CAN Cleanse, the fact that I'm not trying to sell another juice cleanse, but I'm here to make whole, nutrient-rich, plant-based food into liquid form (that tastes good!) and lead my clients on an experience. CAN CAN Cleanse is much more about the mental and emotional benefits than the physical (yes, your body will shed a few pound, but the best benefits are how light and clear your mind will feel and the huge sense of empowerment you'll feel when you finish!) You CAN do it! You can do anything.

With this drive to humanize CAN CAN Cleanse, I felt the need to connect and build my community of like-minded people. I emailed my dear friend and inspirational leader, Lacy Young. I call Lacy a dear friend, but we have actually never met in person before. She's just one of those special people you instantly feel a connection with. What I like most about Lacy; she's open and compassionate and she has chosen a life path to inspire others to be human, embrace challenge and be inspired through health eating habits. 

I invited Lacy to share experiences on CAN CAN's blog to humanize the small and large victories she's seen in her life and through her work. I feel honored by her enthusiasm to contribute and that she chose to share her own personal story as her first post.

I'm thrilled to introduce Lacy to you all!

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Lacy with a freshly placed sticker for her love project, Campaign For Confidence, June 2013

It makes perfect sense that getting sick would lead to being passionate about health. I just never in a million years thought it would be my story.

Just breathe. I'd say it to myself all day long. Mid sentence I'd have to stop, gasp + wheeze to try and force air in. In 2004 I started experiencing difficulty breathing. It took nearly 2 years to get a proper diagnosis; Idiopathic Subglottic Stenosis. It would take seven surgeries and two more years to have the surgery that would remove the mystery scar tissue growing in my trachea. 

It felt like I was breathing through a coffee straw all the time.

After a devastating first attempt at the big surgery in December 2007 everything changed. We flew home, moved up our wedding and got married in February at the Wynn in Las Vegas among our friends and family. Looking back I see how being sick was nudging me to LIVE FULLY and I can't help but feel tremendously grateful.

The surgery was a beast. I spent a restless night in the ICU in the most pain I've felt to date. I had a chin stitch (It was really more of a tether that attached my chin to my breast bone.) for seven days and was in the hospital for ten. My sweet new husband and family were by my side. It was a long time for all of us. I kept a Caring Bridge page throughout the event and loved journaling there so much I started my blog shortly after. Another gift from the scar tissue.

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Once I could breathe again I committed to healing.

I gained a considerable amount of weight over the four years of sickness. Physical weight, emotional weight. I self-soothed with the foods I'd grown up on. Steak, potatoes, ice cream, Pillsbury orange danish rolls (man, I loved those), frozen pizza, lots of cheese, fast food, candy, cookies, brownies, Little Debbie snack cakes. Never met a sugar or dairy product I didn't like. I thought I was making the healthy choice buying Lean Cuisine frozen dinners and ordering chicken instead of steak. Almost all of my food came out of a box or was processed in some way.

Emerging from that place was WORK. I started making slow + steady changes with the help of a health coach. I did what I could do at the pace I could manage. Some days we spent the entire hour talking about switching from white rice to brown rice and then I'd go and make that one change. It took four years to gain the weight. I gave myself 4 years to take it off. Seriously. I treated myself so gently and still the process was humbling and at times infuriating. I bumped up against every old idea I had about dieting, about weight loss and about suffering to see results.

I spent 6 months with my coach, Jennifer. My experience was so profound that I went to school to learn more. Honestly the entire time I was in school I was thinking 'oh I may do this for work, may not... we'll see.' About mid way through school I started seeing clients and never stopped. I've been coaching for three years now. This work is the best kind of high. I love being a part of transformation.

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My desire to empower + inspire started as early as I can remember. I've always known I wanted to reach many people. Health Coaching is one of my vehicles for genuine loving service.

I teach people how to build beautiful meals + deeply meaningful lives. We journey together, co-creating every step of the way. We shine a huge flashlight into the dark places and light up possibility through the power of food. We get real. We get conscious. We identify and move the big rocks and little pebbles that have been blocking the path leading to your healthy life and body. Yes, it is about the foundations of food but that doesn't even begin to sum it all up. It's about believing in your dreams and finally, finally having the tools to power you into action. It's about radical love and self care. It's about lowering cholesterol and blood pressure without having to pop a pill. It's about forgiveness. It's about authenticity. It's about the beauty of leafy greens and raspberries and infusing color into your world. It's nutrition meets therapy in thebest kind of way. It's like the movie theater that serves beer. Best of both worlds! It's that good. And yes, I'm a beer drinking health coach. It's all about balance, ya'll!

So that's me in a nut shell. Thank you oh so much for reading.

With love,
Lacy

Here’s a look at what’s coming up next:

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Veg Pledge is the next food challenge! Join me for five days filled with whole food goodness beginning Monday, November 4th – Friday, November 8th! I’m crazy excited about it! Loads of recipes, a shopping list + the support of a loving community! Expand your current menu + give your body some veggie lovin! $27

Group Coaching! Join the next group coaching session to Thrive Through the Holidays beginning Nov. 11th + going into the new year. As a bonus, you’ll receive 1 free spot in the next session of Sweet Surrender to gift to anyone you’d like! It’s all about spreading the love!

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• Sweet Surrender 10-day Sugar Detox Dec 1 – 10th! Get loads of support + balance in place in perfect timing before the Christmas/ New Year holidays!

Contributed by Lacy Young

All photo credits: Lacy Young

Special Treat! $25-Off!

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How many of you have had one or two Halloween treats already? They're "Fun Size," you say and "It's Halloween!" We agree! But, we're here to remind you that sugar demons are on the prowl this time of year so please have a little fun, but be safe and stay healthy! To help keep your trick or treat spirits high, here's a sweet alternative for you; this Halloween season, come cleanse with us and leave the sugar demons for the scarecrows!

TP on TV!

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What a feel good day! On Monday, October 21st, I had the pleasure of doing my first on-air interview and demo for local news station, KCAL 9. What fun! I really do love what I do! I wish the segment could have been longer as I had several more delicious, festive Fall recipes for you, but 4 minutes flies by! Here's a link to the video I hope you'll watch and be inspired to try Pumpkin Spiced Almond Milk at home. It's a goodie! 

Thanks for your support! My fans (hehe, I mean you, our clients!) mean the world to me.

Wishing you continued happiness & health!

xx

Teresa

In a Pickle

The other day, I picked a fight with my mom over pickles. Specifically, "real" pickles. 

I know what you're thinking: is it really worth arguing about real pickles?

Well, as a certified nutrition consultant, I believe that it is.

You see, pickles have immense health value - but only if they're real.

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Real pickles are cured over a matter of weeks in nothing more than water, salt, and optional pickling spices. The fermentation process creates lactic acid, which is responsible for that pickle-y taste. This method also preserves the pickles and, perhaps most importantly, brings the benefit of naturally-occurring probiotics.

Probiotics are "friendly" gut bacteria that help nourish our gastrointestinal tract and protect against bad bacteria. They are found in naturally fermented products like real pickles, real sauerkraut, real tofu, yogurt and kombucha. And in this day and age, our GI systems need all the help they can get. (Note how many I had to qualify as "real"? That's a good reminder to always read labels.).

As for fake pickles? They are made with vinegar. No fermentation, no lactic acid or real pickle-y taste, no probiotics, no natural preservation. And as far as I'm concerned, no benefits.

What started our discussion the other day was a menu item at a local restaurant that claimed, "Homemade pickles - in their own brine." I had to ask the waitress - just to be sure - if they were real pickles or if they were made with vinegar. Sadly, while I suppose they were technically homemade, they were most certainly not made in "their own" brine, as they were simple vinegar pickles.

I know, I know - I'm an annoying dinner companion.

My mom and I subsequently began discussing the merits of real pickles versus the fake kind, and she suggested that sometimes, throughout history, things get easier for a reason. And new pickles are arguably better because they're easier, faster, and cheaper. 

I agree with her when it comes to some things. For example, I'm glad that our internet connections and computers are faster now than 15 years ago when it took a solid 30 minutes to rip a song off Napster. And my iPhone makes my life easier in myriad ways. 

But when it comes to food? Making things faster and easier is usually not better. Artificial sweeteners, baby formula, and McDonald's can all illustrate my theory. Then again, sometimes we make our food more difficult than it needs to be (GMOs, pasteurized almonds, and refined white flours come to mind). 

The bottom line for me & my clients is nutrient density. I recommend eating foods that will provide the most healthy nutrients - to keep energy up, protect against health problems, and feel good.

Fake pickles simply don't provide much benefit, especially when compared to their nutrient-rich real counterparts.

Next time, though, maybe I'll be less salty about it.

~ Emily Wade Adams, CNC at Natal-Nutrition.com and PrimingTheBump.com
photo credit www.fadified.com

Be YOU

A few nights ago I was invited to attend a yoga class in Los Angeles. The teacher, and owner of the studio, started class with a mudra, or hand gesture to bring about a certain state of mind. That night’s focus was on change. I could either circle my arms toward me, bringing in unknown change, or I could circle them away from me and project change. But what kind of change was I looking for? Was I even looking for change? Isn’t change inevitable?


I figured I should let change in. I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired to make a change. Actually, I didn’t know what I would change. In the past two months I had already changed jobs, changed apartments, changed hair styles, changed cable TV companies, changed passwords, batteries, light bulbs! Did I need more change?

Change can be difficult. When I was 23 I was introduced to PETA. I was given a flier at a rock concert. Turns out, the lead singer was vegan and they were there to support his efforts in spreading the word about cruelty to animals. The next day I swore off meat and lived meat free for 8 years, sans a few fishing trips where I ate what we caught. I didn’t even eat the chickens we raised, even though I knew for a fact they had been treated proper both in life and at death.

When I decided to go vegetarian, I never considered the alienation I would feel from family and friends. Living in the Midwest, meat and potatoes were common dinner time staples. A roast in the Crock Pot, a Sunday ham, and let’s not forget about burgers on the grill. No one knew what to do around me. Where could I go out to eat? What if I just picked the chicken chunks out of the soup? I won’t even mention the issues at Thanksgiving.

Despite my constant reassurance that I would go to any restaurant, or eat at any home, I could never escape the feeling of being different. I brought my own “meat” to eat at family gatherings, ate salad and baked potatoes at steak houses, and was constantly answering questions about why. Why would I not eat meat?

I won’t lie and say it was an easy journey. I have yet to meet someone who likes to be alienated. As humans, we want to be accepted for who we are, even if we don’t always know who we want to be. Through the course of those 8 years I was reminded to live my life for me. I could have easily given in and helped myself to a bowl of meaty chili. It probably would have been easier. But if we all did what everyone else is doing, then we couldn’t celebrate our differences. And what a boring world we would live in.

Change can sometimes be hard to accept, especially if you didn’t invite the change into your life. Change is in fact inevitable. But how we react to change and how we view change is important. My family and friends did not like that I had changed my eating habits. I was now different from them and they had no control over my new way of life. I suggested they change to vegetarianism, but that was met with predictable resistance!

In the end, I grew out of caring what they thought. I reminded them that I was still me, but I was just not eating meat, and that I didn’t define myself by my eating habits. Unfortunately, I didn’t inspire a change in any of them, but I did get them to eat more vegetables.

I have since gone back to eating meat. After reading what seems like millions of food labels, I suddenly realized I couldn’t pronounce or even recognize what I was feeding my body. But I still take care of myself and eat locally sourced produce, humanly raised meat and dairy, and try to stay active. At least most of the time. Now, the biggest change is that I’m happy. Still just being me. Whoever I decide to be.

~Nanette Murray

The True Meaning of Organic

The sun was barely poking it’s head above the horizon, but my Grandma had already been up for hours. Cracking open the bedroom door, she peeks into the bedroom, the hinges squeaking enough to invade my quiet slumber. Rolling over, she quickly shuts the door not wanting to disturb me, but already knowing I had been woken up. I begin to hear the faint sounds of pots and pans hitting the stove and the smell of frying bacon creeps under the door. I can’t hold out any longer.

My slippers pad lightly down the hall toward the source of the mouth watering aroma. I round the corner and see my prize sitting on the counter. A fresh basket of plump, ripe blackberries. My Grandma had already been out to the Farmer’s Market.

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As a kid growing up in a small town in Iowa, the concept of “Organic” produce didn’t mean anything. If it came from the garden, it was organic. The Cass County Farmer’s Market took place every summer Saturday morning out at the Fairgrounds. It consisted of about 10 local vendors, most of which were hobby growers or retired farmers who’s field had been reduced to the size of a swimming pool. They would get up early, pack up wooden baskets and recycled plastic bags, load up the back of their pick- ups and drive out to park in the designated area near the entrance of the grounds. For four hours it became a tailgating party featuring old friends and fresh produce. And when berries were in season, the blackberries were my favorite. Still warm from picking we would fill up a bowl, cover them with milk and sprinkle with sugar. It was the only way I knew how to eat them.


Twenty years later, I still love and appreciate the Farmer’s Market. However, the city markets of Los Angeles only bare a slight resemblance to the market of my childhood. The resemblance being the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade pies, and of course the trucks. Gone are the hobby farmers and retirees. Instead, banners advertising business names and employees peddle the goods under protective awnings. Large display tables showcase the harvest year round, making the concept of seasonally grown produce almost obsolete. The term “Organic” is now government regulated.


In this city of concrete and cars, we still crave that connection to the land. As you wander through the Farmer’s Market, zig-zagging through the crowd carrying heavy bags and dragging loaded carts, you are reminded of where our food comes from. Not from cold, grocery store display cases but from hard working people, still willing to get their hands dirty. There are no plastic bags of machine cut carrots. No cellophane wrapped lettuce. This, is the true meaning of organic.

 

Contributed by Nanette Murray

Lemon Aid: Vitamins

Is the supplement aisle at Whole Foods going to start taking over the real estate from the leeks, pear cider and paper towels? I’m fairly proud of my ability to efficiently navigate the aisles but I find myself overwhelmed when I step foot among the long rows of colorful, little bottles. So being the curious type, I thought I would do a little research to help shed light on the complicated world of supplements.

 

First and foremost, most vitamins and minerals should be obtained from the consumption of everyday organic, whole foods --note from swallowing a pill. This allows you to obtain not only the desired vitamin C from an orange but also all the other nutrients, fiber, and enzymes that can aid in your body's absorption of the vitamin C.


  
 

Unfortunately, in today’s environment obtaining vitamins and minerals through food sources alone may not be enough. Modern techniques--such as pesticide and hormone use, harvesting food before it’s ripened, and monocropping--are diminishing the nutrient content of our food. In order to “supplement” our diminished diet, a vitamin or mineral supplement may be more important than ever before.


But how does one choose what’s right for them?


The old adage is as true for supplements as it is for most things: you get what you pay for. Buy a cheap supplement, and you’ll get cheap ingredients difficult for your gut to absorb, insufficiently tested for purity and potency, and containing extra unnecessary substances like fillers, flavors, and dyes.


Before we go further, it is important to understand two basic concepts:

 

 Bioavailability

A fancy word for how well a nutrient is absorbed in your body. As I mentioned earlier, the closer to real food that a supplement is, the more likely your body is to embrace it with open arms. Below are the forms that are easiest for our bodies to absorb.

 

Supplement

Most absorbable form...

Vitamin A

Mixed Carotenoids

B1

Thiamine Hcl

B12

Methylcobalamin

Vitamin D

Cholecalciferol

Folate

Folate, Metafolin, MTHF

Vitamin E

Mixed tocopherols, mixed tocotrienols

Vitamin K

K1 and K2

Calcium

Citrate, Ascorbate

Magnesium

Glycinate, taurate, citrate, aspartate

Selenium

Se-Methylselenoysteine, seleomethionine

Zinc

Citrate, gluconate

 

USP Certification

‘USP’ stands for U.S. Pharmacopeial, and pharmacopoeia is the practice of drug-making. USP Certification is given to those nutrients tested to ensure the highest quality. When shopping the aisles, look for the USP label indicating that the product has met all of the following standards:

  • Disintegration - how quickly a supplement can be dissolved or absorbed

  • Strength - the amount of specific vitamin or mineral is in each pill

  • Purity - free of heavy metals, pesticides, solvents and other pollutants

  • Expiration - when the supplement will no longer meet these standards


So after selecting a high quality supplement, below are some helpful hints for ingesting them:

  1. Take them with food. This stimulates the release of digestive juices and enzymes which help you absorb the nutrients better.

  2. Divide the suggested daily amounts between two meals. Breakfast and dinner is usually easiest to remember.

  3. Take all supplements regularly and continuously for a set time frame. Try to take at the same time of day for 30 to 45 consecutive days.

  4. Avoid synthetic vitamin A and vitamin E. The synthetic forms of vitamin A to avoid are acetate or palmitate forms. The synthetic form of vitamin E to avoid is dl-tocopherol forms. These synthetic vitamins are not well absorbed and can aggravate the liver.


Also, if you are experiencing symptoms of gas, bloating, indigestion, constipation or diarrhea, it may help to take a digestive enzyme to aid in the absorption of the supplement. Look for brands that have varied types of enzymes to help digest both fat (lipase), protein (protease), and carbohydrates (amylases). Digestive enzymes are usually in their own section of the supplement aisle.


Always remember that a supplement should compliment a diet rich in organic, whole foods, never a replacement. Be sure to seek a professional doctor or nutritionist to determine which supplements are right for you.

 

Contributed by Laura Lemon

Student at Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition, Nutrition Consultant Program

 

Sources: Bauman, E., Friedlander, J. Foundations of Nutrition. Penngrove: Bauman College, 2013. Waldman, Helayne. "Choosing A Healthy Supplement." GreenMedInfo. N.p., 27 July 2013. Web. 12 Sept. 2013. Mercola, Joseph. ""Is Your Stomach Hijacking Your Health?"" Mercola.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2013. Image: http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/originals/71/49/70/7149707012fadecd724417c092141a87.jpg