Baked Salmon & Roasted Sweet Potato

We’re excited to share this month’s cooking demo video!  In this episode we carry on the theme of meal prep with two simple but satisfying health dishes: baked salmon and roasted sweet potato.

Similar to the quinoa and kale last month, these dishes can be prepared in advanced and stored in the fridge for fast and easy mealtime assembly.  They’re also great to mix and match!  Perfect for a busy but healthy lifestyle.

We hope you enjoy it!

PS.  We’d love to see your healthy cooking creations on Instagram!  Tag us or use the hashtags #Lyfebulb and #LyfebulbLyfestyle so we can encourage and inspire one another!

De-Stress and Refuel with Your Breath

breathing

Life doesn’t always follow our plans, does it?  We have our intentions, our plan, and when everything seems to be under control we’re pleased.  But circumstances can change.  Especially when we least expect it!  Even the smallest changes can upset a tried and true routine, bringing about a panicked, stressful state (this is true for me at least!).  And since stress wreaks havoc on the body we’re better off when we are in control of our reactions.  After all, life is full of surprises!

There are many strategies out there that help strengthen one’s ability to cope with stress, but one of a my favorites, a simple and easy one, is meditative breathing.  A few minutes of conscious breathing restores harmony and balance to my mind and body almost immediately.

Meditative breathing techniques are known as pranayama, which means “control of breath.”  I first discovered it when I started my yoga practice as a stressed-out 20-something working long hours in a fast-paced city.  The exercises felt awkward and unnatural at first, but once I started seeing the benefits – a relaxed body, a clear mind – the practice spilled into my day to day routine, helping me cope with stress and anxiety any time of day.

Many years ago a teacher shared with me this simple pranayama exercise, which, when practiced regularly, can help strengthen our immune system, aid in detoxification, and improve digestion.  It can also help regulate the autonomic nervous system (where our “fight or flight” response comes from) by naturally supporting our body’s ability to relax and de-stress.

Ready to give it a try?  Here’s what you do:

  1. Start sitting down, with your back straight and feet on the ground in a quiet space

  2. Close your eyes and exhale through your mouth, pushing all the air out of your lungs

  3. Next, breathe in slowly through your nose to the count of four and hold the breath for eight seconds

  4. Release slowly, through the mouth, to the count of four

  5. Repeat three times

 

On the fourth exhale, open your eyes and take in a comfortable breath through your nose.  Pause for a minute and notice how you feel, scanning your body and mind.  In the first few tries you might feel lightheaded, but this quickly goes away.

When is it best to practice pranayama?  Try practicing first thing in the morning when you wake up (before the day begins to affect the mind), and in the evening just before bed (to relax and calm the body and mind at the end of the day).  The best part of this exercise is you can take it anywhere: in traffic, at the office, or on a crowded subway.  Any time you feel your body could use some centering, breathe away!

I like to put it to use when I begin to feel overwhelmed by my to do list.  Or when I start to feel overstimulated by my surroundings, like when I’m in a crowded airport, or waiting in a long line at Whole Foods with a toddler who wants out of her stroller.  Thanks to the simple (and discreet) steps, I can de-stress and refuel wherever I am.
While many circumstances in life may be out of our control, what is in our control is how we react to them.  Pranayama not only helps the body recover from the effects of stress and anxiety internally, but you can inspire others when they see you handle unexpected changes with grace and ease!

Create Your Perfect Diet

personalized-diet

In the struggle to eat right one of the biggest challenges is figuring out which diet to partake in.  But before you dig into the world of diets, let me stop you–there’s an easier route.

You’re closer than you think to the perfect diet; the one that will help you reach your health goals, manage your concerns, and run smoothly alongside your lifestyle.

What’s the missing key, then, to unlock this mystery diet?  Your body!  And by body, I also mean what’s in it: your mind and your emotions.  Yes, one of the best ways to arrive at the perfect diet is by listening to our bodies.  I call this the Foundational Diet.

But it’s not always clear on where to start, or how to facilitate such communication.  And what do our emotions have to do with any of it?

Here are three tips to help you connect with your body in order to unlock your perfect diet:

Pay attention to how you feel with each meal

How did you feel after that Chicken Caesar Salad?  Any better or worse than after that grilled veggie sandwich?  By sensing negative reactions (bloating, sluggishness, heartburn) or positive ones (stable energy, improved clarity, satiated for hours), we begin to understand which foods work best for our body.  From there it’s simple: add in more of those foods that make you feel good.

And here’s an extra tip: the simpler the meal, the easier it is to understand how various ingredients make you feel.  This is especially helpful if you suspect an allergy.  You may want to be tested for if you find that you consistently feel bad with a particular food or meal.

Write it down

Keep a journal handy–digitally or traditionally–and write down every meal, snack and beverage you consume.  And don’t stop at the food: be sure to include how those foods (or beverages) made you feel, as I describe above.  It might sound tedious, but this practice helps you hone your ability to read your body’s cues; to know which foods in your diet contribute to your health goals, and those that don’t.  Writing it down provides reinforcement!

Confirm the consequences

Once you establish connections between certain foods and the way you feel, you’ll begin to see the value of your choices.  Every little decision leads you closer to a diet that helps you reach your health goals.  Like realizing your body feels better with whole milk in your morning latte rather than skim.  That’s encouraging; it builds confidence!  You’ll also be able to discern which foods are worth your while;  no one will have to tell you “don’t eat x” when you know for yourself “x” makes you feel crummy with a headache.

It is so empowering to know every choice we make–however small or large–has a consequence.  That our body can and will react to what we eat!  This connection is the foundation of every healthy, personalized diet.  Which is why I call it the Foundational Diet!  And over time that connection will become stronger and clearer.

And me?  My Foundational Diet provides freedom.  It also ensures I pay attention to every meal.  For example, I find that I have steadier energy, brighter skin and better sleep when I really limit my sugar intake.  That’s not to say I don’t enjoy sweets, but I know not to overdo it because I don’t like to experience those reactions.  (This is me weighing the consequences!  Chocolate tastes great and enhances serotonin, but at the same time it does add caffeine, sugar and most likely weight!)  What else?  My body loves quinoa.  It gives me energy, helps with digestion and keeps me satiated after every meal – it just works well with me!  This is helpful to know so that I can be sure to keep it a constant in my diet.

And what was that about emotions?

A healthy diet is optimized when we’re in a happy state; when we’re encouraged and confident our choices are leading us down the right path.  Stress hormones, like cortisol, force your body to store energy, which can lead to weight-gain, bloat and digestive discomfort.

So along with dietary choices, emotions matter!  Surround yourself with individuals who will encourage and support you in your health endeavours.  Lyfebulb sees great value in having such a community, which is why we love to connect people through our Lyfebulb Connect initiative.  Join us!

Please note: these tips are geared for individuals who are without medical conditions; for those interested in making dietary changes with a medical condition please consult your doctor first.

 

Drinking and Diabetes

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Enjoying a glass of wine or a cocktail is part of many peoples’ idea of a good time. For some, it is even a daily habit that according to many medical experts is beneficial for cardiovascular health. The so-called French paradox is based upon epidemiological observations that French people have a relatively low incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD), while having a diet relatively rich in saturated fats. There are two main possible explanations for this observation: Red wine and stress.

In France, the consumption of red wine is higher than in most other countries, and the components in the wine that seem to be important are alcohol, reservatrol, procyanidins, and polyphenols.  Several studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption leads to positive changes such as:

  • Raises high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol
  • Reduces the formation of blood clots
  • Helps prevent artery damage caused by high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol
  • Produces changes in blood pressure

 

The other main difference between French people and the rest of the world is the amount of stress they are under. There is clearly a correlation between stress and heart disease, and especially in women, events such as myocardial infarctions can be triggered by a stressful situation leading to vessel contractions and reduced blood flow. Perhaps the French are just not as stressed as the rest of us? They are well known for leading lifestyles that are relatively lower in stress when compared to the US and other cultures. They take long lunch breaks where they connect with friends and family, along with longer vacations in the summer. They have a controversial 35 hour work week. All of these result in a less stressed population.

So what about diabetes? People with diabetes have at least double the normal risk of developing heart disease, and in women with diabetes, that risk is more than 4 times higher than in non-diabetics. This is due to many factors, the constant assault on the vessels by higher than average levels of sugar, low blood sugar that can cause disruption of oxygen flow to the tissues, and the general state of oxidation that leads to higher LDL and triglycerides. In people with diabetes who have complications, the neuropathy and the kidney disease can also cause cardiac issues that are related to the nerve function and the metabolic and electrolyte imbalances in kidney disease. However, recommending alcohol to a person with diabetes is not as simple as one would think.

Alcohol is broken down by the liver, which is also the location for much of the body’s storage of glycogen. Glycogen is used for states of low food supply, when the blood sugar needs a boost, and energy levels are low. Only the liver glycogen can be utilized by the brain and the organs, while muscle glycogen is used by the muscles only. In a normal individual, glycogen storage in the liver is around 100 g, but in a diabetic, that level may be much lower due to chronic insulin deficiency. Even more importantly, in a normal individual, the hormone glucagon from the alpha cells in the pancreas, enables glycogen metabolism into glucose when the blood sugar is low, but in a person with diabetes, low glucose is normally associated with excessive insulin levels, which prevent glucagon from acting on the liver. This is why a person with diabetes can pass out when overusing insulin, or missing a meal, exercising too much, etc, since the normal compensatory mechanisms cannot be put in place.

When a person with diabetes drinks alcohol, the first thing that happens is that the blood sugar goes up, due to the sugar and calories in the drink. One should clearly avoid sugary mixers, fruit juices, and high calorie sodas, that only exacerbate the effects of alcohol on the blood sugar, and we have seen options out there that work nicely, such as Be-Mixed and using lemon/lime seltzer to get a nice flavor. Vodka has the lowest amount of calories and lowest sugar content of liquors, and red wine generally has lower sugar content than white wines and champagne.

Alcohol can also negatively impact blood sugar levels each time that it is consumed, regardless of the frequency of consumption, but this is especially dangerous in “new drinkers,” such as teenagers and college students who do not know their limits. Acute consumption may increase insulin secretion, due to the sugar in the beverage, and can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), but it may also impair the hormonal response (glucagon release that triggers glycogen metabolism into glucose in the blood) that would normally rectify the low blood sugar. Drinking as little as 2 ounces of alcohol on an empty stomach can lead to very low blood sugar levels. The liver is no longer able to release glucose from the stored glycogen sometimes several hours after consuming alcohol, so one has to be aware of this effect even the morning after drinking.

The best way to handle alcohol as a diabetic is:

  • Never to drink on an empty stomach
  • Never to drink alcohol to satisfy your thirst, but keep water on the side and continue to have it available while you are drinking
  • Never to consume alcoholic beverages during or after exercise
  • Never to drink alcohol combined with sweet mixers

 

Being a recovering diabetic, I have learned how to deal with alcohol, and I have very specific approaches that I stick to. For me, food is essential with alcohol, otherwise I very quickly feel dizzy and the scary thing is that I do not know if it is due to a hypo or to the alcohol just impacting my brain. The types of alcohol that work for me are red wine and vodka, not necessarily in that order. When testing my blood sugar, those two tended to increase my blood sugar the least, upset my stomach the least and not give me head aches or other sequelae. I tend to have olives and some crackers with a dip made of avocado or chick peas together with my drink, and a normal dinner when I am having wine. Most restaurants and bars can accommodate this, and at home I always keep snacks for cocktails. As a matter of fact, my fridge is often more stocked with those kinds of foods than with meat, fish or chicken! I love tapas-style dining, and adding some smoked salmon, nuts and raw veggies, make this a whole meal…

With that brief lesson, we at Lyfebulb hope you can continue to enjoy alcohol in moderation and that if you are diabetic or close to someone with diabetes, you have learned a little something both about the benefits and the risks of drinking!

Starting with the Basics!

We’re excited to introduce something new in our Lyfebulb Lyfestyle series: monthly cooking demo videos!

These videos are short and sweet and full of helpful cooking tips.  The recipes are simple, straight-forward and healthy – we want to empower those in our community and beyond to find inspiration and comfort in the kitchen!

Some recipes (like today’s) only include one ingredient.  These dishes serve as a foundation or ingredient in meal prep, which is one secret to maintaining a healthy diet with a busy schedule.

Without further adieu we present to you this month’s video: Starting with the Basics (Quinoa & Kale)

Enjoy!PS.  We’d love to see your healthy cooking creations on Instagram!  Tag us or use the hashtags #Lyfebulb and #LyfebulbLyfestyle so we can encourage and inspire one another!

Breaking Down Fat

healthy-fat

Fat: good or bad?  Often blamed for weight-gain and other health issues, the truth is most fat won’t make you fat.

In fact, our bodies need fat to fuel our minds and keep us thinking clearly.  It also gives us long-

burning energy and keeps us satiated longer between meals. The trouble is there’s a lot of confusion around fat: where it’s found, why there are so many forms, and the role it plays in one’s health.  It’s a lot to think about!

To help you get the best fats in your diet, take a look through this quick guide:

Monounsaturated Fat

Known as the healthy fat, it helps to lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) while increasing the good cholesterol (HDL) aiding in the fight against heart disease.  Monounsaturated fats can be found in whole milk products, nuts, like almonds, cashews and walnuts, in addition to avocados, olives, and olive oil. This is why Mediterranean foods have been hailed as one of the most heart-healthy cuisines around.

Polyunsaturated Fat

Polyunsaturated fat is made up of three different fatty acids: Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9.  To support a healthy diet, the focus should be on Omega-3 fatty acids, which is best known for its anti-inflammatory properties.  Fatty acids also promote healthy skin and the development of our cells, reducing the signs of aging. Look for foods like wild salmon, mackerel and herring, as well as flax and chia seeds.

Saturated Fat

This is a confusing and controversial fat.  Saturated fats generally come from animal products in the form of dairy, eggs and meat, but coconut products like oil and butter are also high in saturated fats.  In recent years there has been a reversal on the thinking that saturated fats cause heart disease, and a lot more support for foods that might help keep you energized and fuller longer, like butter (specifically grass-fed), coconut oil and eggs.

Trans Fat

The artificial fat.  This “bad fat” was created through a process in which liquid oils are hydrogenated in order to withstand processing and provide a longer shelf life. Stay away from this one, which is known for its connection to weight-gain, inflammation and heart disease. Since this fat is found in processed and packaged foods, be on the lookout for partially hydrogenated oils listed in ingredients, a clear indicator trans fats lurk inside.

Keep in mind: while we do need fat in our daily meals, it is high in calories.  According to the National Institutes of Health, it’s recommended that fat make up no more than 30% of our total daily calories (this does not include saturated fat; for more information on daily value intake, see the NIH site.  Carbohydrates and protein are other common nutrients monitored on labels.)  If you eat around 1600 calories a day, you should be getting around 50g of fat.  I don’t usually promote calorie counting, but when making changes in one’s diet it is important to be aware of portions and quantities.

How do I like to incorporate healthy fat into my diet?  (these percentages all assume a 1600 calorie day)

  • When I have oatmeal in the morning I mix in a generous teaspoon of chia seeds, which deliver 3g of fat  (6% of the daily value)
  • I’ll also mix in a scant tablespoon of butter to my oatmeal, adding 11g of fat (22% of the daily value)
  • I love hard boiled eggs as a snack.  One egg provides 5g of fat (10% of the daily value)
  • Throughout my meals I’ll use extra virgin olive oil, approximating 2 tablespoons, which – at 13g a tablespoon – brings in 26g of fat (52% of the daily value)
  • I might have a few walnut halves in the afternoon adding around 5g of fat (10% of daily value)

 

And that brings me to 50g of fat, which might make up 30% of my daily diet if I’m eating around 1600 calories.  I love the benefits good fat adds to my diet, which includes flavor!

Here are some other common sources of fat:

  • Half avocado has 21g
  • 8oz whole milk has 2.4
  • 4oz wild salmon has 7g
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter have 15g

 

Do note that every diet and body differ so what’s right for you may not be right for the person sitting next to you.  Age, gender and lifestyle will all affect the amount of calories you consume on a daily basis as well as how your body will react to and digest nutrients.  To better understand just how much fat your diet needs, use the NIH’s daily value as a starting off point and experiment with quantity; you may find that you do better with more fat or you may find you do better with less fat.

Lyfebulb Lyfestyle is here to help you live a richer, fuller life – not a restricted one.

Traveling with three kidneys, two pancreata, and a pacemaker!

Living life with a chronic disease is at best a daily battle, but most of us don’t have a choice other than just soldiering on. Traveling makes life even more complex, but why should we forego the pleasure of seeing new or familiar places across the world simply due to chronic illness?

I recently went on two business trips on behalf of Lyfebulb, that I really enjoyed thanks to the people I met, the discussions generated, but also the different atmospheres and food that I had the chance to sample. I used to dose insulin many times daily, and with time changes and new environments inherent with travel, the control of my blood sugar was difficult to manage. Since I received a kidney and a pancreas transplant, other issues have arisen, but my sugar seems to be unaffected thanks to the functioning pancreas!

So what are the issues?

First, I can no longer pass through security at airports due to my newly implanted pacemaker! The pacemaker protects me from passing out at inopportune occasions, such as when I was hailing a cab outside my building on the Upper East Side in February, or when I found myself face down on the floor of a public ladies room in June. Embarrassingly, I also passed out in the street walking home after a doctor’s appointment! These incidents were not only inconvenient, but also extremely dangerous.  What the doctors realized after a number of tests, including placing a small device under my skin, was that my heart had stopped several times, and that was the reason for my syncope (medical term for passing out). To avoid this from happening again, I received a so-called Managed Ventricular Pacing (MVP) Device, made by Medtronic in June of this year.  It kicks in when my heart rate drops 25 beats over a period of 10 seconds, or if my heart rate drops below 50 beats per minute. In the first case, the MVP pacemaker will take my heart up to 100 beats per minute over two minutes and in the latter case, it just pushes my heart back to 50 beats per minute. Having this device prevents me from hurting myself due to passing out, and has made my circle of family and friends feel more secure regarding my safety. So, being patted down or going through the alternative detector (with a bit higher radiation) is a small price to pay!

Thanks to the transplanted kidney I received in March of 2009 from my father, I do not need dialysis and I am free to travel, work, exercise, and live an almost normal life. My transplanted pancreas, which I received in January of 2010, makes my life truly worth living again! It is remarkable how much better I feel now as compared to how I felt as a diabetic dependent on insulin injections. I did not realize how bad it was before receiving the pancreas, and having normal glucose control. The obvious improvements are clearly the reductions of severe hypos (sugar-lows), and the elimination of the really high sugar values.  However, I did not realize how much insulin dependence impacted me! It is also an incredible quality of life enhancer to be able to skip meals, or eat when I want to, since I do not need to match what I eat while dosing insulin. As a diabetic using insulin, I had to be so careful. Even the milk in my coffee could put me a roller coaster of sugar highs and lows. These issues are no longer present, but since my two organs are foreign, I need to take chronic immunosuppressive medications, which make me more sensitive to infections and certain kinds of cancer. Traveling poses risks for everyone due to the confined space in the airplane, the many people we meet at airports, and the different types of bugs we may encounter. Lately, I have tried to take a few precautionary steps when traveling:

  1. Stay hydrated and rested. One cannot overestimate the power of being hydrated and having had enough sleep. I thoroughly believe we lose power and immune defense mechanisms when we do not take care of those basic principles. When I get on a flight, I try to sleep as much as I can, and I try to arrive at my destination a day before the important stuff to acclimate and rest. As a young, healthier person, I would travel the day of meetings, often overnight to avoid missing daytime work. Now, however, at the age of 43, and with all my issues, I plan differently. I also constantly either carry a bottle of water, or ask for water on the plane or in meetings. It is clear that we lose fluids, and the most obvious signs are our skin and hair, but more importantly for me is my single kidney, which requires heavy hydration to fulfill its function of clearing of toxins from my body. You can determine whether you are hydrated enough by checking amount and frequency of urination, as well as the color of your urine. Once your urine turns from light yellow to a darker color, you know that you are dehydrated. I am also not afraid of asking my doctors for sleeping pills prior to travel. It is hard to adjust to a new time zone, and for me, zopiklone (Ambien) works wonders.
  2. Bring clothes that aren’t clingy or too tight. Despite all the hydration, I seem to swell somewhat when I travel. This is probably due to my single kidney not being able to dispose as well of the fluids, or maybe my veins not being able to shuttle back the blood, or perhaps that travel increases the permeability in the interstitial tissue and one gets some edema. Thus, I always wear support stockings on the plane, and often the first few days abroad too. They make pretty nice-looking ones nowadays, and with lesser pressure than the past – just enough to avoid having heavy legs that don’t fit into the shoes or boots you want to wear. I like bringing layers when I travel, since the air on the flights is often cold and spending time at airports or in the elevated AC in meeting rooms do not agree with my internal thermostat. I save the pretty figure-hugging dresses for when I am back home or if I go away for a longer period and have time to adjust.
  3. Do not drink alcohol. When I travel for work I hardly ever drink alcohol. I definitely never drink on the plane and very rarely at business dinners.  When I travel I have a maximum of a half glass of red wine, since the alcohol dehydrates you and makes the time adjustment even more difficult. I also find that alcohol makes me swell, so I avoid it unless I am away for a longer period of time and for more of a social purpose.
  4. Eat things you know you can handle. This is a lesson I have learned the hard way! I love experimenting with food, and trying new things, but I save that for when I am home, or if I travel for a longer period of time and the trip is more for pleasure than business. Even then, I stay true to my preferences and avoid anything raw, spicy, or foreign. I tend to eat similar things daily: yogurt (plain) with nuts and cereal in the morning, bananas and nuts throughout the day, for lunch I try to have a vegetable soup and some whole grain bread, and for dinner grilled or boiled vegetables with a grilled piece of fish. I seem to have many more small meals when traveling, since it is harder to get all my calories in the main meals when I am not sure what I can get. Thus, I will grab a piece of toast or crackers in between meals, and the carbs seem to settle my stomach. I had a terrible experience last year due to salmonella poisoning from either a salad or under cooked shrimp, so I stay away from raw veggies, cut fruit, and any shell fish. Some people enjoy coffee when they travel, but my drink of choice is definitely tea. Simple English breakfast with a tiny bit of milk is delicious, and even better with a piece of dark chocolate or biscotti…

Sometimes despite all the best intentions, we cannot prevent getting sick while traveling. This has happened to me a few times, and I try to prevent a catastrophe by learning about my destination ahead of time from a medical care perspective. Going back to Sweden obviously does not involve risk for me, since I studied at the Karolinska, and know the hospital well, but if I go elsewhere, I try to do some research on university hospitals that have transplant and cardiology expertise. It is important to travel with your drugs, your list of medications, and some extras to have on hand. I tend to bring Tylenol, Imodium, my sleeping pills, and some vitamin C. I do not bring antibiotics since I am careful not to overuse them for a few reasons: 1) I don’t want to aggravate the resistance that is already growing in the world, and 2) It is critical I get the right kind when I get sick, since taking the wrong kind can exacerbate the situation. Obviously NEVER check your medication, but carry them with you in the cabin and if you are traveling with someone – let him or her carry an extra supply for you in case yours gets lost.

I am back home now and thanks to all my precautions, I feel strong and did not suffer much from jet lag!

 

Lyfebulb Lyfestyle – an Introduction

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Here at Lyfebulb we are passionate about connecting people, inspiring change, and impacting lives.  As we grow, we want to be sure we stay in touch with our community on a regular basis.  Therefore we are excited to share a new series on the Blog, Lyfebulb Lyfestyle, which is dedicated to the holistic lifestyle encompassing Lyfebulb’s pillars.

Every Wednesday you’ll find something new: Blog posts promoting simple but effective health tips or videos showcasing easy, delicious recipes.  In either case, the goal of this new series is to inspire us all to live a healthier life and improve the quality of that life in a way that is fun and pleasurable.

Quality of life is important to Lyfebulb and it is important to me.  As a Holistic Health Coach my goal is to help men and women all over the world improve their quality of life, not just through diet and exercise, but through a balanced lifestyle.

My journey began many years ago and has seen me through various dietary approaches, exercise regimens, and life phases.

It started with a relatively healthy upbringing, which had me eating whole grains and healthy fats, but also generous amounts of ice cream and Cheetos.  Around the time I turned 20 I saw my body changing and realized I knew nothing about taking care of my health through food.  I dove head first into the confusing world of diets: the dos and don’ts – so many restrictions!  Not wanting to adhere to one of these strict plans, I did my own research and found a way of eating that kept me healthy and restored my confidence.

After college I moved to Italy where I spent some time soaking in the culture and rediscovering myself in a new setting.  As one might expect, it was here that I began my love affair with food.  I learned to cook, letting my taste buds guide me and discovered that quality mattered.  I stopped being a picky, calculated eater and began to enjoy meals of all shapes and sizes.  And I did so with gusto.

Later I moved to New York City and settled into a career working at one of the largest advertising agencies in the city.  It was my dream job and I was happy with the way life was going, at least from the outside.  The corporate world was wearing me down with its long hours and endless demands.  My energy began to suffer as did my complexion and mood.  Despite the limited time and kitchen space, I still found ways to maintain a healthy diet – though eventually it became clear to me my diet alone wasn’t the solution to living a full and healthy life.  Holistic health mattered.

It was through all these experiences that I learned to get out of survival mode and into a place where my circumstances didn’t determine the fullness of my life.

My name is Alexi Morrison and I am passionate about living a full and vibrant life.  I am a Holistic Health Coach in practice since 2009, and I believe that true health is achieved not just through diet and exercise, but by living a lifestyle that promotes emotional well-being, balance, and joy.

I live in downtown Manhattan with my husband and daughter and I am thrilled to be a part of the Lyfebulb team promoting health and wellness.  Always operating from a holistic perspective, I count Pilates, reading and quality dark chocolate as sustenance.

Stay tuned for many new Lyfebulb Lyfestyle posts to come!