Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

Have you ever thought about why the holidays are such a flurry of overeating? Following are a few reasons to consider:

Social pressure: Have you sanctioned the holidays as a time to indulge a bit, to ease up a little, to stop caring about your health so much, and to eat what you want more often. Still most of us still feel a little guilty about this. Others will pressure you to join them in indulging so they can feel a little better about their own indulgences. One study shows how people eating with a group tend to match their intake to the group “average,” so if the group is overeating, there’s a psychological cue for you to overeat.

Stress: Holiday commitments are stressful. Stress means comfort eating, but who chooses celery sticks or salad greens for comfort? Cortisol, the stress hormone that is released when you are stressed out promotes weight gain, especially the dreaded “belly fat.”

Disrupted routines: Traveling means you spend a lot of time sitting, you get thrown off your regular exercise routine, and you aren’t always in control of your food. You don’t have time to make your juices or even the equipment to make them.

Emotional cues. Maybe it’s not a struggle for you to pass up a co-worker’s candy dish, but if Mom, Grandma, or your sister made your favorite dish just for you, it gets a lot harder, especially if you have fond memories of eating it in years past.

All of these points represent cues to overeat. If you don’t deliberately try to respond in a different way, you’ll end up falling in the “cue trap” and overeating. To stay healthy, don’t just passively follow the overeating cues like a lemming. Instead, make smart choices, enjoying a few treats when they’re worth it and passing most of it. So your job for the holidays is to plan, prioritize, and act accordingly.

What can you do?

Believe it or not, you can actually fight back against the holiday battle of the bulge. Take a look at what tactics have been tried and shown effective:

Juice vegetables every day you can. If you want to curb cravings, juice will help you tackle them at the start of the day (if you juice in the morning).

Eat the right fat.

Holiday season requires a bit of damage control with food quality. That’s normal. But here’s one area to focus on even if you’re letting a few other things slide a bit—prioritize fat quality. The proof is in this study, where scientists studied overweight subjects during the holidays. The subjects got either 3.2 grams/day of conjugated linoleic acid (a naturally occurring fat found in grass-fed beef and pastured eggs) or a placebo, and the results were dramatic. The CLA group showed:

  • Lower body fat (an average of 2.2 pounds lost)
  • Less weight gain (in the subjects who did gain weight)
  • Fewer negative emotions
  • Less endothelial dysfunction (“endothelial dysfunction” is a fancy term for your gut not being happy with you, so less of it is a good thing!)

And all this despite having no difference in total calorie intake or physical activity. And this is in adults who were overweight to begin with – the group most at risk for holiday weight gain! The moral of the story: eat healthy fat from grass-fed animals (or eggs, dairy, and butter).

You can make this happen almost anywhere: pastured eggs are even available at Wal-Mart now.

For more information and help for the holidays, join my “Healthy Holidays” 4-week class.

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The Power of a Cleanse Retreat

The Power of a Cleanse Retreat

Over two decades ago I attended my first juice and raw foods cleanse retreat. I have never felt so clean and alive as I had that week. I went back every year for a tune up. There was something about cleansing and juice fasting with others that made the whole process much easier and much more fun. I was determined to have my own cleanse retreats one day and to address whole person cleansing—body, soul, and spirit. I knew that’s where I’d see the most powerful and profound changes in people’s lives.

Almost 3 years ago my husband and I started The Juice and Raw Foods Cleanse Retreats. We’ve seen miraculous things happen since the day we started. I’m sharing a couple of testimonies in this newsletter with you. I want you to feel sparkling clean and vibrantly alive too like so many other people have.


We do three days of juice fasting preceded and followed by raw foods. Juice fasting eliminates the usual mucous forming foods from the diet like refined flour, dairy, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol, and stimulates the digestive tract to be more active. It eliminates irritating substances and prevents the production of excess mucus. In addition, juice fasting helps the body remove dead cells and toxins while also supplying an abundance of nutrients the body uses to heal.

Raw juices are very alkaline and highly beneficial in creating acid-alkaline balance in the blood and tissues. The juices extracted from raw fruits and vegetables require no digestion so your digestive track, and indeed your whole body, gets a rest. Also, vital nutrients are assimilated directly in the bloodstream.

I hope you’ll be able to attend our Fall Retreat—September 20-25 at Immaculate Heart Retreat Center in Spokane, WA.

Health Juice RetreatTestimonies From Past Retreats

A life-changing event!

“It’s now been a month since I was on your Wellness Retreat, I didn’t want to comment as soon as I got back as I wasn’t sure if the benefits I experienced would be short lived and from the “high” of being there. Today, one month later, as I was walking through the mall, I noticed how energized I feel. My weight is down 10 pounds so far– 6 pounds were lost at the retreat..By the end of the retreat, my constant post nasal drip had cleared up 98 percent . Prior to the retreat,  I was feeling constantly anxious and overwhelmed. Now, I feel a sense of calmness. Thanks Fr. John. My blood pressure, which was in the dangerously high zone, is now in the pre-high blood pressure zone and is still improving.. And, I am not craving carbs from wheat any longer.”  ~ Eileen

“Thank you for an amazing week! 

This retreat was a chance to renew, nourish and connect, body, mind and spirit.  I learned how great our bodies can feel when we nourish them with “real” food. And how “delicious” that can be!  I also learned how our bodies work, and the amazing things they are capable of if we help them function the way they are meant to.  And I learned about connecting our minds to our hearts, the importance of this, and the part our attitudes and emotions play in our health.  Each part is important,  but if we want to live the lives we are truly capable of, no matter our circumstances, we need to do all three.  And Cherie and Father John teach and demonstrate how to do this!

Tiffany lost 8 pounds, gained 20 friends

Mere words cannot express my gratitude to Cherie, Fr. John, and Catherine for last week’s Trinity Wellness Retreat. I was first introduced to Cherie’s juicing through Dr. Mercola’s website and have been enjoying juicing for the past 18 months. When I read about the retreat, I knew it was exactly what I needed to take my juicing to the next level to provide a supportive environment for a week-long cleanse. The retreat exceeded my expectations off the chart! The classes I attended at the retreat were packed with juicing information and recipes, healthy lifestyle changes, and loving support. While weight loss was not my priority, I did return home 8 pounds lighter but far more important were the 20+ new friendships I gained! No matter if you are just starting out with juicing or have been embracing and enjoying it for years, you must treat yourself to this life changing experience!”

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Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

1.  Eat Before The Party
Skipping breakfast and/or lunch isn’t a good weight-maintenance tactic. Not eating until the afternoon may lead to bingeing later on. Go to a party hungry, and you’ll probably eat a lot more than if you ate breakfast and lunch. Make sure to stick to a reasonably sized breakfast with plenty of protein, which will help tone down the urge to stuff yourself later on in the day.

2. Bring Your Own Dish
Bring a healthy side dish, appetizer, or dessert that you can count on. This way you’ll have a healthy alternative to fall back on and a safe bet if you have food allergies or intolerances.

3. Chew Your Food Slowly
Eating slowly may not be easy when appetizer options are endless and you want to try one of everything before they’re gone, but it pays off to chew well and eat slowly. The faster you eat, the less time your body has to register fullness . Slow down and savor each bite of food.

4.  Choose Protein versus Sweets and Cheese
Protein can help maintain a healthy weight because high-protein diets are associated with greater satiety.  As an added benefit, it’s important for healthy muscle growth . Make sure to serve up some turkey or meatballs, or prepare animal-free alternatives like quinoa, lentils, or beans.

5. Fill Up on Fiber
Snack on vegetables and other high-fiber items like beans, lentils, and split peas.  This can help keep you fuller, longer. Give the vegetable platter a second chance with a healthy and tasty dip such as hummus or guacamole.

6. Help Yourself to Healthy Fats
Cutting out butter and polyunsaturated oils can slash calories. Not all fats are bad fats though. Not only do we need fat in our diets to provide energy and absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, it also helps us feel full. Get healthy fats from avocados (hey there guacamole!), nuts, coconut oil, and olive oil (in baked goods, on veggies, or in homemade dressings) . Bonus tip: Combining fat with fiber—like dipping veggies in guacamole—has been shown to increase fat’s power to make you feel full.

9. Snack on Veggies
Munching on vegetables has long been recognized as a way to protect against obesity. Mix pureed veggies into baked goods and casseroles, sneak them into potato dishes., and pop in extra greens with your smoothie. Adding veggies increases fiber, which helps make us fuller .

10. Ditch the Sugar
Holiday cookies, cakes, and pies are wildly tempting, but it all adds up to a lot of sugar that can really pack on the pounds and increase the risk for cardiovascular disease,diabetes, and obesity. Stick to sugar that comes in its natural form —in fruits, veggies, and whole grains.  And try stevia for a healthy alternative sweeter.


Healthy Snack Recipes

Lemony Avocado With Endive Dippers

Mash ⅓ chopped avocado with 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice and a pinch of kosher salt. Serve with endive leaves.


Coconut Popcorn

Toss 4 cups popped popcorn with 2-3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil and 1-2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast.


Celery Sticks With Hummus and Olives

Cut 3 ribs celery into sticks and top each one with some 3 Tbsp hummus (evenly divided) and 3 sliced kalamata olives.

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