Your diet: Crushing it!

Diets. Crushing it!

I have been crushing it in the IT, BA world! But what about when it comes to my diet? I may not yo-yo diet, but I have observed that my diet changes based on certain cycles, whether it be due to the weather, change of seasons, or other environmental factors. Yet, I suffer from a loss of self esteem because I lack some level of self control. Ugh! Does this happen to you?

Parts integration

Well, now, I’m thinking that it is all about parts integration—as I want to live from the WHOLE of me! It’s not simply a matter of calories in, calories out, as it is becoming increasingly clear that one can’t exercise away the effects of poor quality food. Junk in, junk on the tummy, hips, and thighs is more like it.

It’s hard not to notice that vast numbers of people have gained weight over the last 70 years since eating more man-made and processed foods. Simply by changing the food choices we make to eating whole, seasonal, organic foods can begin to settle our hormone levels.

Hormones and weight loss

Ghrelin, Insulin, and Leptin are 3 hunger hormones that cause us to want certain foods.

Look up True North, as they suggest eating from the whole plant. They propose we eat foods without sugar, oil, or salt.

Look up Brightline eating also, as they are proponents of not eating sugar and grain flour.

Hormones such as, cortisol, ghrelin, IGF-1 (a growth factor similar to insulin), insulin, leptin, and thyroid hormones can be causes of why we gain or lose short-term weight and why keeping our weight balanced can be difficult.

  1. Researchers at Cornell University studied three groups of people, where each group consumed 1,800 calories per day, but at different levels of hormonal helpfulness. The most hormonally helpful group lost 86.5 percent more body fat than the least helpful group.

Energy expenditure

When McDonalds first put in a drive thru they did 70 percent of their business through it. People didn’t want to expend the energy to park the car and walk into the restaurant.

It’s going to take more energy to plan your meals for the week, go grocery shopping and prepare your food for the week, but it’s nearly half of the battle. I’m up for the challenge, what about you?

UPDATE November 25, 2020

When the number goes up (on my scale), I look back on my food choices in the log, and the step counter, and look for the trend. Usually, I see I’ve been pushing myself too much and put myself under stress (think inflammatory response). When I just follow my weight loss program and relax, allowing some small rewards, I see the numbers go down. This has been a huge awareness for me! I am down 15 pounds now!

Self Sabotage

Sabotage – yes, the sabatour takes over when we set the bar of our expectations too high. Say we win an award. We’ll always feel the need to reach that pinnacle again. And what happens when we do our best but not reach that height again? We suffer esteem loss!

That leads us to do something no other animal does, adaptive self destruction. We set ourselves up for procrastination so we don’t let down all the people who told us, we’re smart, just do it.

We don’t want to fail, or appear average, so we don’t even try. Food is not like drugs to a drug addict, or alcohol to an alchoholic though, somewhat as it lights up the same dopamine centers of the brain, but not with the same intensity. A B player with food can be healthy. It’s the C and D players who see their health decline.

Cram circuit

You see, there is this physiological thing in us called a Cram circuit (or cram factor). It’s what happens when there is rich food around—we will cram it in even after we have eaten past our full point, because our ancient ancestors were hunter gatherers. And most of us know that story. Hunter gatherers only ate meat once every 3 weeks or so. So, this is in our nature.

Special breakfast: Fried green tomatoes eggs benedict

Breaking the cycle

When we try to change our behaviors toward eating, we may get cravings.

The act of “craving” is a classicly conditioned response / Compensatory response to cramming food at the same time every night, just as someone can overdose from same amount of drugs as before but during different conditions. Think of the Segal rats heroin clinical study of the 1980s. Your body is expecting the rich food, so that’s why you eat the butter, peanut butter or chocolate vs carrots or celery.

As I wrote in, Take It Upon Yourself to Live a Wholly Vibrant Life, my mom had this happen to her at 4pm everyday in the insurance agency when her boss would have a coke. Her boss began buying mom a coke and everyday for several months they would have a coke at 4 in the afternoon. When mom quit the agency she said for a week or more she craved a coke at 4pm and the cravings got worse before they reduced. Now we know it was because her body had built up a conditioned response and when she didn’t fulfill it (meet it’s expectation) it fought harder – the extinction burst.

If you get through that and get to extinction (of the habit) at some point in the future you will experience a spontaneous recovery (think Ivan Pavlov’s dog and bell study response) without any environmental cue at all, you’ll want to eat the rich food again. Just like a smoker that typically goes through the extinction burst 8 times before they finally beat their cigarette addiction.
You shouldn’t feel one moment of shame or embarrassment for experiencing this normal cycle response when dieting.

Want to beat the cycle of yo-you dieting with me?

Celebrate together

A friend of ours was able to get her insulin under control by changing her diet, and adhering to the South Beach Diet.

I have been doing intermittent fasting and incorporating bone broth into my day with smoothies from the Green Smoothie Girl (I have been doing their Fast Flash 3 Day modified fast the last couple of months.)

I am a big believer in measuring as much as we can for ourselves: To reach my weight loss goal, I measure my waist each morning.

Fasting actually gave me some additional unplanned benefits of:

  • Reducing puffiness/inflammation
  • Allowed me to do something together with my daughter (who lives out of state) to feel close during COVID-19
  • Allowed autophagy in my body to heal a couple minor issues

Autophagy is the natural, regulated mechanism of the cell that removes unnecessary or disfunctional components. It allows the orderly degradation and recycling of cellular components. Three forms of autophagy are commonly described: macroautophagy, microautophagy, and chaperone-mediated autophagy.

My current plan

  • Eat small portions, about 5 times in 8 hours, or when really hungry
  • Water only until 10am M-F
  • Then fruit, or 100-150 cal breakfast/protein shake or bar
  • Noon: 200 cal meal or snack
  • 3pm: 200-300 cal meal or snack
  • Dinner before 6-7pm – no night time snacking! Period. Use only non-food activities to curb urge to snack (acupressure, Activ5, dance, make wire wrap jewelry, write, game, etc)

Snacking at night put 4 or 5 inches on my waist in 3 months!

Would you like more articles like this? Or join a group where we could be accountable to each other? Comment and let me know.

Would you like to try fasting with me?

Be the best version of who you want to be and let us promote you!

A bit about us

After 13 years, my newest book, Take It Upon Yourself to Live a Wholly Vibrant Life, is now available for online sale and distribution (PDF format). Buy it here:

As a (mind, body, spirit, and soul) holistic health researcher, I can point you to life-enhancing alternative health methods too! So, if you’ve beat a chronic health challenge by alternative, integrative, or other natural remedy I’d love to hear about it. Send me an email and keep in touch.

My award-winning artist husband and I help small business owners, movement makers, and entrepreneurs to identify the highest vibrational words to craft the content to reach their ideal clients in fun, engaging, and mindful ways, while raising our collective consciousness! Reach out to me if you need a branding boost, or a design reboot, to attract your dream clients and you back in charge of YOUR well-being.

You can hire us to promote your book, band, business, or services here:

Follow me on Twitter at: TakeOnYourself

Information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe.

Do you read health books?

Do you read health books?

NEWS! I’ve finished writing my health book, Take It Upon Yourself to Live a Wholly Vibrant Life!

Well, actually, I published the book nearly two years ago. But, somehow I think now is the best time for it to gain massive exposure.

I painstakingly wrote, Take It Upon Yourself to Live a Wholly Vibrant Life, to open a door to the abundance of holistic health options that most either aren’t aware of, or might have one or more mental blocks about trying.

In the book, I talk about cancer, rebuilding the immune system, improving memory and mental clarity, easing pain, and more. I present information about healing asthma and allergies, breathing better, and reversing chronic diseases.

Take It Upon Yourself to Live a Wholly Vibrant Life focuses on all the options people have that their doctors may not tell them about (even if they know of them). The book provides 50+ questions you can use as a starting point to have a more thorough conversation with your doctor.
It’s about taking your power back, taking ownership and personal responsibility for your health. It’s about doing what you can naturally, using holistic health and wellness methods to live vibrantly.

I survived pharmaceuticals! My original design for t-shirts, mugs, and such, because it’s true!

Take It Upon Yourself to Live a Wholly Vibrant Life offers a thought bridge from the world of Western mainstream medicine to the varied and extensive ease and flow of the balancing Eastern healing arts. It is a gentle introduction to multiple natural paths to wholeness and mind-body wellness. Connecting us with spirit, it raises hope. With ease and grace, it soothes the soul.

If you suffer from chronic dis-ease, you may find this book offers you a path back to wholeness that can be fully embraced (by the mind, body, and spirit) and easily integrated into daily life.

My book cover: Take It Upon Yourself to Live a Wholly Vibrant Life!

Target audience

Adults over 18. Anyone struggling with chronic health issues, such as: asthma, allergies, back pain, cancer, immune challenges, joint pain, memory impairment, or simply experiencing low energy and vitality.

A bit about me

An Amazon bestselling author of two co-authored books: “Transform Your Life Book 2 Inspirational Stories and Expert Advice” and “Energy of Receiving”, both available on Amazon.

I can come to your bookstore, crystal shop, acupuncture / chiropractor office, or other holistic / natural healthy lifestyle business for books signings and lectures. For information on both of my books, visit my Amazon author’s page — Click here.

After 13 years of research and work, my health book, Take It Upon Yourself to Live a Wholly Vibrant Life, is available at:

Be the best version of who you want to be.

Follow me on Twitter at: TakeOnYourself

Information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe.

Meet yogi and visionary humanitarian Sadhguru… Sunday Sept 25th, 2016 in Sarasota, Florida

Oh, this is sooo exciting!!! What a humble honor it is for me to share with you… Sadhguru will be visiting Sarasota Florida on Sunday, Sept 25, 2016!

As I sit writing this, I wonder what my focused experience of meeting Sadhguru will be like. Will it be similar to what my dear friend and angel Alania experienced and wrote about (here) last year? Will he say the same thing? Or like us, does Sadhguru continue to change and grow in the field of pure positive potentiality? Ahh…

Well, my dear lovely friends, I offer you an opportunity to find out.

Click here to go to the official website where you can find out all of the event particulars and buy your ticket to reserve your seat (there are multiple pricing levels, even a discounted student rate). Note: The minimum age limit to attend is 7 years.

I will be there. And I believe I will be in a state of awe. Not just of Sadhguru as a man, mystic, or master, but of the shared vibratory resonance that will occur in one place, when many finely tuned human instruments will join together to play a delightful symphony of BE-ing.

I have been watching Sadhguru on YouTube, since being introduced to Pranayama breathing only recently. Literally, within days of my beginning to practice my newly learned breathing techniques, I found myself at a film screening (I’d been invited with only two days notice, and I just simply knew that I must attend) whereby I was given the most thrilling news that Sadhguru would be visiting locally–SOON!

Well, if you know me, you will most definitely understand when I say, I jumped at the opportunity to, not only reserve my seat to attend, but also to serve by offering to write this blog article FAST and help get the news out about his upcoming visit!

Again, here is the link to all of the information about this extraordinary event. See you there!

We Are All Connected.

Amen. Namaste. OM

From the official Press Release (shared with permission):

Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy helps one to master the most sophisticated machine on the planet — the human being. During his North American Fall Tour, world renowned yogi and visionary humanitarian, Sadhguru, will introduce the new book, which will be released September 20th. Sadhguru will be touring 17 cities during his North American Fall Tour with an event planned in Sarasota on September 25th at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.

For the first time, Sadhguru will present Western readers with a path to achieving absolute well-being through the classical science of yoga in a practical, accessible book. The wisdom distilled in this transformative book offers readers time-tested tools for creating inner situations exactly the way you want them, turning you into the architect of your own joy.

Sadhguru presents a philosophical and practical introduction to the power and profundity of yoga – as he puts it, “not as acrobatics or metaphysics, but as an empirical science that makes you the master of your own destiny…(this book) is an invitation to each one of you to turn from an armchair reader into a dynamic participant on an ecstatic journey inward.”

A yogi lives life in this expansive state and in this transformative book Sadhguru shares the story of his own awakening, from a boy to a young daredevil, to the moment of his enlightenment on a mountaintop in India, where time stood still, and he emerged radically changed.

“My aim in this book is to help make joy your constant companion. To make that happen, this book offers you not a sermon, but a science; not a teaching, but a technology; not a precept, but a path,” explains Sadhguru in the book’s forward.

Today, as the founder of Isha Foundation, a worldwide nonprofit organization, and classical yoga retreat centers in both the East and West, he lights the path for millions like you. Isha’s international retreat center based in the western world is the Isha Institute of Inner-sciences situated in Tennessee’s own spectacular Upper Cumberland just one hour northwest of Chattanooga, TN.

Just following the book release will be Isha’s popular, annual World Peace Day celebration September 24th, hosted at the Tennessee center. The World Peace Day celebration is an annual daylong event in honor of the United Nations International Day of Peace. World Peace Day is dedicated to cultivating peaceful possibilities within ourselves and our world through creative expression, celebration, yoga and meditation in the idyllic natural setting of the Foundation’s breathtaking Upper Cumberland retreat center.

Sadhguru is known around the world for large-scale humanitarian, educational, and environmental projects carried out by Isha Foundation, which he founded in 1992.   Supported by over three million volunteers worldwide, the objective of all the Foundation’s activities is to empower the individual to realize the ultimate potential within, and to promote a global climate of inclusiveness and harmony. Sadhguru has been an honored guest and speaker at distinguished forums and institutions including the United Nations, The World Economic Forum, Harvard, Wharton, Microsoft, TED, Google, and more.

Inner Engineering is a fascinating read of Sadhguru’s insights and his teaching. If you are ready, it is a tool to help awaken your own inner intelligence, the ultimate and supreme genius that mirrors the wisdom of the cosmos.” – Deepak Chopra

“I am inspired by Sadhguru’s capacity for joy, his exuberance for life, and the depth and breadth of his curiosity and knowledge. His book is filled with moments of wonder, awe, and intellectual challenge. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in self-transformation.” —Mark Hyman, MD, Director, Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, and New York Times bestselling author

Healthy smoothie recipe and thriving by making better food choices

It’s amazing how much healing for a body can be obtained just from eating a diet of 100 percent organic, non-GMO vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds easily obtained from the produce section of your local market. The key is to understand the importance of healthy eating so you can experience optimum health.Alice_DeLair

My friend Alice is a perfect example of someone who, not only improved her health and vitality by changing her diet, she also healthily influenced, at least two other people, and this author suspects, potentially many more, by successfully guiding these people to transform their health by making better food choices.

Often, people complain they don’t have enough time to prepare nutritious, powerfully nourishing meals at home. This is why so many people turn to fast food. But, when you consider the consequences of eating fast food, versus the health benefits that can be obtained by preparing and consuming organic, non-GMO meals prepared at home, you might want to think again.

Alice is Italian. She loves to cook! For most of her life she has cooked enticing gourmet Italian meals, most centering on pastas and sauces. Her Italian flair for cooking meant, if you were dining with her, you knew the meal was going to be tempting and delectable.

So, four years ago, when Alice made a conscious decision to change her diet, you can almost imagine her family’s initial reaction.

Alice did not have any specific health challenges, so this also intrigued her family – why the need to drastically alter her diet? But, Alice felt her energy levels decreasing, and after getting a report from her doctor (about her cholesterol) she felt a strong pull to improve her overall general health.

As well, Alice and her husband are small business entrepreneurs with busy schedules, but also have loved ones they personally check on daily, elderly neighbors they assist with errands, exercise and other outdoor activities they enjoy, which amount to a very active life; if they can take the time to highly prioritize and value the benefits of a healthy eating lifestyle, so can you.

Per Alice, “I’ve included my photo and the smoothie recipe that we pretty much drink daily. In the recipe, I describe the benefits of a few of the ingredients; it provides so much nutritional value as we start our day.” Alice modified her smoothie recipe from one she found in a diet book.

When I asked Alice to describe the benefits she’s enjoying from her delicious, and nutritious health smoothie, she replied, “This particular recipe incorporates so many micronutrients and daily requirement of vitamins that it serves each day as our breakfast. Satisfying us for at least 4 hours, if not longer.” 

The produce Alice and her husband eat is organic, as are the sprouted grains, and non-GMO. If you met Alice, you would have the luxury of hearing how passionate she is when she talks about her, and her husband’s, health transformation, and then you could really understand the impact whole real food has made for them.

Alice has experienced a greater clarity of thought, and more energy than she has felt in years! Her skin is clear, the white’s of her eyes are whiter, and her hair is stronger, and shinier! She is so convinced of how her body changed, due to her new way of eating, that she is powerfully moved to share her success with anyone who will listen! When she talks about what she eats now, her energy embraces you! You feel the emotional connection she has about food.

So, how did Alice get the idea to make such a radical food change, which eventually transformed her health, and the health of others in her family? What was the impetus for this change, since she didn’t seem to have had any serious health challenge?

Alice related that her story began four years ago when friends had invited her and her husband to dinner one evening. The friend’s relayed information to Alice and her husband about a particular health show they had seen on the Public Broadcasting Station (PBS). The doctor on that show had proposed people eat a diet made up of mostly greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, mushrooms, and seeds. Supposedly, this way of eating had helped many people with heart and diabetic issues, as well as many other issues. Upon hearing this information, Alice said it resonated with her.

A few weeks later, Alice and her husband had a chance to watch that same show about the healthy eating lifestyle. After making a meal of the items, which had been recommended, Alice couldn’t sleep!  It was as if the cells of her body had been charged with energy. She attempted to lie down in bed, but began thinking of all the things she wanted to get up and do! She was completely energized! She knew this way of eating had to be something wonderful for her body, something that she must continue!

Alice made the decision that evening to change her eating habits for life. Her husband did not change right away however, mostly because Alice is a fabulous Italian cook, and he didn’t want to give up pasta, and all the various dishes he was used to her preparing. However, after noticing her increased energy levels, he asked to try her nourishing and delicious smoothie. Between the scrumptious taste, and how much energy it provided him, he has been hooked on it ever since.

While Alice has several recipes, she applies the basic important ingredients, as well as either, eliminating or substituting replacements to a variety of other recipes, for their three meals a day. She uses a variety of recipe websites and always modifies the recipes to suit their tastes and nutrition requirements. Their main entrees consist of a wide variety of whole foods that are quite satisfying.

Alice and this author agree that there are so many additives and preservatives in packaged foods, it pays to be picky about what we eat.  Alice and her family are nutritionally satisfied. They have all found that food even tastes better after eliminating all “junk” food.

Previously, Alice thought she might have been hypoglycemic, which as it turned out was never the case, once she changed to one based on nutritional food values.

In fact, after changing to a nutritionally dense type of diet, Alice and her husband experienced the following results:

  • Alice’s cholesterol dropped 40 points
  • Her husband’s cholesterol dropped 50 points
  • Annual lab exams show they are not lacking anything
  • Both look and feel healthier
  • Both lost weight
  • Both have maintained an ideal weight for over four years
  • They no longer require a lot of food to be satisfied
  • They gained a great deal more energy and clarity

Alice always recommends people take a B12 supplement.

Alice is deeply passionate about sharing her food as a means to vitality story. She feels it is of great importance to learn and possess accurate knowledge of how food can greatly impact our lives, even help people to reverse certain ills.

Alice, like many of us, read the stories about how detrimental high cholesterol can be to our health, yet we know our bodies need some cholesterol. Cholesterol travels through our bloodstream, aiding our body to produce Vitamin D and hormones, but our bodies are capable, if nourished properly, to make all the cholesterol we need.

Most of us know that when the doctor tells us our cholesterol numbers are too high, we’re not doing so well. But, how many of us know this is our body’s way of sounding the alarm for us to make better food choices?

We have learned when damaging cholesterol builds up in our arteries; it can contribute to plaque, which can cause heart disease.

Alice loves to empower others, because she feels vibrant, healthy, and powerful – when you feel that good – you want others to feel good too! Just like when you’re in love, you want all your friends to find a partner and fall in love too!

Alice was also able to share her new dietary knowledge with her brother, who had been on heart medicine since he was in his 30’s. Now, in his 50’s, Alice felt in her heart that it was vital to encourage her brother to switch to whole real food. She spoke with him at various times in phone conversations, as he lives in another state, to explain how food had helped herself and husband, the many benefits they were experiencing, what to eat, and how to prepare it.

At first, her brother had not been interested. He was 60 pounds over weight and felt miserable in so many ways. To his benefit, about two years ago, after having heard Alice preaching about whole food eating and how good she felt, he called to say he’d been in the hospital and they thought he was having stroke (his cholesterol at that time was over 400!). He told Alice, “I am ready and I am listening. Tell me what I need to do.”

Alice’s brother doesn’t cook, but quickly became one. She told him it didn’t matter if he called her ten times daily for support. He did call her, and he shopped, cooked, and shared recipes, photos, and so on. Alice encouraged him via long distance. He dropped 60 pounds and started feeling much better. The doctors reduced his daily medication.

After a few weeks though, Alice’s brother caller her and said, “Please don’t be upset as you have tried to mentor me, but I don’t think I can hang in there doing this as it takes time and work.” Alice reassuringly told him it was his decision and that she wasn’t upset at all.

Two hours later, he called back and said he should have gone to get his mail prior to calling her, because he’d received her hand written letter, describing how proud she was of him for meeting the challenge and hanging in there. She had wanted him to have a good old-fashioned reminder to keep handy, should he need it. Again, this indicates the level of belief Alice has, about how food can positively support us, improve our health, and enable us to live a vital life!

Alice’s brother continued with his lifestyle change, even though other family members chose not to in his home. It has been our experience that when people feel better, and see physical changes in their body, they become convinced! Those who do not wish to embrace this kind of change often do not understand the benefits. It has been over two years now and even his cardiologist is in amazement at how he has transitioned. He indicated the changes could not have even occurred – with medication!

Note: Alice and her husband’s friends continue to be a source of mentoring during their dietary transformation. They find it most beneficial to experiment with recipes and share these with each other to taste, and then provide the actual recipe.

Alice says, “My husband and I have no desire to return to our previous way of eating after seeing the benefits yielded from eating live greens and all other daily foods we enjoy~”

Alice’s smoothie recipe:

Quantity is for 1 person (Place in food processor to blend) – Using a 7 cup food processor

Using all fresh or frozen organic fruit & ingredients for optimum nutritional value eliminating intake of pesticides & preservatives.

  • ½ banana
  • 1/3 fresh mango cut in chunks (may substitute frozen especially, when not in season as long as organic – for this and all berries)
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1 slice pineapple spear
  • ½ cup almond milk or I use Flax Seed milk only found @ Whole Foods as it is high in protein & great for your cholesterol
  • Large Handful of fresh spinach and or arugula
  • Kale-several leaves chopped depending on size (if small 8 or 10)   If extra large 4 (remove stems)
  • 1 tablespoon organic ground flax seed (contains daily omega 3 requirement)
  • Honey-(1) squirt around whole diameter of processor (builds immune system-best to purchase honey locally grown for full benefits)
  • Sprinkle in shredded coconut
  • “Enjoy Life brand” Mega semi-sweet chocolate chunks (purchased @ Whole Foods) dairy, nut & soy free
  • 2 tsps. Raw sunflower seeds

After placing all ingredients in processor blend until smoothie. For thinner consistency, add

Cold bottled Spring water after other ingredients have blended. Add water through tube at top of processor. Enjoy!

To our feeling great, better health, and longevity,

Sheila Murrey

Your alternative health researcher, joyful wellness guinea pig, and mindful Mind-Body-Spirit guru! Reach out to me if you need a boost, or a boot, to get yourself back in charge of YOUR well-being.

Take it upon yourself to be healthy, joyful, wholly vibrant, and beautiful. And yes, it’s important to take good care of yourself because, We Are All Connected.

UPDATE 9/12/2018:

The book that’s been in the making for 13 years, Take It Upon Yourself to Live a Wholly Vibrant Life, is now available for online sale and distribution (PDF format).

Buy it here:

Be the best version of who you want to be.

Information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe.

Follow on Twitter at: TakeOnYourself

P.S. If you find this blog informational, won’t you consider a small donation to keep it going? PayPal.Me/SheilaMurrey