Our New Executive Wellness Program Part 1

261259_234535953236558_3725739_nI want to introduce to you our new Executive Wellness Program we offer here at the Ranch.  It is the most thorough analysis of your health that you will ever be given.  Trust me, I just went through it.  The funny thing is that in the last couple months or so I’ve kept thinking of a health related checklist that I need to get done.  You know things like, “I should really get my cholesterol checked” or “I’m curious to know how my thyroid is doing” or “should I really be taking all of these supplements?”  Health can be confusing sometimes, right?  And if you’re anything like me, you try to be healthy even with an extremely busy schedule.  But at the end of the day, how do you know if you’re really doing what’s best for your body?

206894_202105079812979_1886312_nThis program was specifically designed for executive and working professionals to perform more optimally and those that don’t always have the time to do the research that’s required to stay hip to what’s healthy.  Not only that, but there’s so much conflicting information out there, how do you know what to believe or not?  Well, I can attest after going through this program that we’re each unique and the most important thing you can do for your health is to know exactly what your body needs.

One man’s food is another man’s poison.  Have you ever heard that phrase?

Each of our bodies have specific needs which is why this program is so important.  Accurate results and recommendations designed specifically for you based on extensive testing and analysis. Honestly, it’s pretty neat.  Seeing your exact bone density and body fat from a full body scan, watching live the health of your thyroid, liver and heart through an ultra sound and receiving a complete nutritional and exercise plan designed just for you?  Well, I’ve been wanting to do this for years!

527291_377262492297236_1446216803_nThe Executive Wellness Program is a partnership we’ve created with Lifewellness Institute here in San Diego.  Their facilities are beautiful with top of the line equipment and an amazing staff.  I have never felt so at ease and cared for in a medical facility (actually, it feels more like a serene Zen spa).  The program is a thorough analysis that lasts about six hours.  They really take the time to educate you throughout the testing as well as go over a complete review of their results.  I appreciated the time they spent talking to me and learning about my lifestyle so that they could create the best program for me.

After going through this program I truly believe it’s beneficial to anyone whether you’re an executive of a large business or the executive of your own household!

Your amazing week of wellness consists of:

  • A one-night stay at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina
  • A five-and-a-half hour comprehensive wellness exam that includes lunch with your assigned physician
  • A seven-night stay at Rancho La Puerta (Saturday to Saturday)
  • One-on-one follow-up meetings with your physician, dietician, and exercise physiologist, all conducted at Rancho La Puerta

Stay tuned for Part 2 for details of my personal experience with the Executive Wellness Program…

Clear Your Clutter and Transform Your Life

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Clutter.  It’s something that effects all of us in one way or another.  Whether you’re neat or not, there is always potential for clutter, isn’t there?   And not just physical clutter, but emotional as well.  Our physical and emotional clutter affect each other and often times by decluttering our car, office or house we feel better emotionally.

Recently the Ranch offered a class on decluttering from Andrea Gerasimo.  Ironically, the weekend before the class I finally tackled cleaning up my desk, which had been piled high with papers that I did not want to go through!  Embarrassingly, I had been putting this off for months.  And as I was listening to Andrea speak about why it is that we let clutter happen, I finally understood.  It wasn’t that I was lazy or messy (the rest of my house is usually clean).  It was what the papers represented.  In my mind, the papers (usually mail) would open up or lead to all these other things I would have to address and since I’m already so busy as it is, the thought was overwhelming.  What I didn’t realize was that by putting this off, every time I saw my desk or worked on my computer, all these papers were weighing me down emotionally.  Once I finally tackled the mess of papers on my desk, I felt so much better, like a weight had lifted.  And it really wasn’t that hard to do.  Really, once I took that first step the rest was a breeze.

So what’s the best way to declutter?  Here are a couple of tips to help get you started:

  • Figure out your real purpose for decluttering.  This will help you decide what to keep and what to give away or toss.  Also, what will be the long-term benefits?  Peace of mind, better relationship, less stress?
  • Choose to declutter at a time of day when you have the most energy, usually earlier in the day.
  • Play music, drink plenty of liquids and wear sturdy shoes.  Decluttering can often be a big project and these little things will help keep your energy up.
  • Assemble boxes and label them!  Very important to keep things organized while you’re decluttering.
  • One of my favorite tips from Andrea is to create something beautiful in the place that you have cleared.  Some sort of decorative item that will protect the space from accumulating clutter again.

Now, I know a class about clutter doesn’t sound like much fun, but I have to be honest, as funny as it sounds I was enthralled throughout the entire class.  Andrea’s passion for decluttering, serene spaces and feng shui is contagious.  Believe it or not, after the class I was excited to get home and go through my drawers and closets!

To learn more about Andrea Gerasimo you can visit her website at ThirdMountain.com.

Spring Ayurvedic Tips

Looking to stay healthy and enjoy all that the beautiful Spring season has to offer?  Here are some Spring tips from our Auryvedic specialist, Carla Levy:

1) Wake up early (before 7am) and utilize the new-found seasonal vitality. As kapha is especially aggravated by sleeping in beyond 7am, rising early is a useful way to reduce kapha aggravations of fatigue, lethargy, mucus and  headaches.

2)  Practice skin brushing. This can be very valuable at this time of year for stimulating lymphatic circulation. Tradition suggests starting brushing at the feet and legs, then progressing to the arms and back and then to the chest and abdomen. This brings lymphatic fluid back to the heart for elimination via the blood where toxins and wastes are cleared by the liver and kidneys.

3) Follow with an oil massage (abhyanga) using warmed organic sesame or sunflower oil to reduce kapha from the skin.

4) Have a hot shower to refresh the body.

5) If you can have a sauna during the early part of spring it will help to dry the excessive secretions that occur at this time of year.

6) Take a cup of hot ginger and lemon water to stimulate digestion and cut through any mucus that has accumulated overnight.

7) The spring diet should emphasize the bitter, pungent and astringent foods that help to clear mucus and excess moisture from the body. The bitter and pungent flavors also help to open the channels of elimination. Conversely, avoid the sweet, sour and salty flavors that are heavy and cause water stagnation in the body. Your meals should be warm, light and very easy to digest. While the nature of most foods is sweet it is important to add these other recommended flavors into your diet.

8) Increase light grains such as quinoa, barley, millet, corn. As beans are considered to be astringent they can be emphasized at this time of year, with red lentils, adzuki beans and chickpeas good for clearing kapha.

To learn more about Carla, visit her website at http://www.carlalevy.org/.

Virtual Grocery Store for Weight Loss with Dan Fenyvesi

Today I went to the Virtual Grocery Store class given by our nutritionist and creator of weight loss program, A Lighter You.  The class is like a trip through the grocery store.  Dan made it easy for us to know exactly what to buy by giving us the brands that are the healthiest, lowest in calorie content and taste the best.  He also advised us on what we should be eating the most of and what to avoid.

Here are some of Dan’s most important tips!

  • Eat a variety of veggies by buying them fresh, dehydrated and frozen.
  • A step below fresh, dehydrated and frozen are canned vegetables.  However some veggies that are especially good canned are tomatoes, hearts of palm and roasted red peppers.
  • Fermented vegetables like pickles and kimchi are a great way to get a dose of veggies and probiotics. The higher quality fermented foods are put in water with salt which creates the vinegar that ferments it.  The lower quality are vegetables just put in vinegar which is not considered fermented.
  • Eat sea vegetables which have lots of minerals like magnesium and calcium.
  • Frozen food: brands Amy’s and Kashi are the best options while Healthy Choice is an okay option. Make sure the serving size says one.
  • Frozen pizza: instead of buying frozen pizza, the best solution is to try to make it on your own.  However if you need some frozen pizza options, the Roasted Veggie pizza by brand 365 of Whole Foods is the best that Dan has found.  It’s vegan and very low in calories, but you can add your own cheese or meat. The other frozen pizzas are very high in calories.
  • Frozen breakfasts: Dan recommends Garden Lite’s Spinach Soufflé, Wegmans Golden Sweet Potato Pancakes and Van’s Lite Waffles.
  • Frozen desserts: Artic Zero ice cream is the best at only 150 calories.  Otherwise frozen fruit bars are good, the brand Soy Delicious, frozen fruit with yogurt or cottage cheese is the healthiest option and Greek non fat frozen yogurt (various brands) are also a good choice.
  • Condiments and dips: Salsa is a great low-calorie option.  Hummus, guacamole, olive tapenade and yogurt are also good options, but watch your portions.
  • Pasta and pizza sauces: Buy higher end brands because they use fresher tomatoes and less sugar and oil. Dan’s favorite is Bio Nature Organic Strained Tomatoes.
  • Make your own condiments with good quality vinegar (recommends the Alessi brand) with mustard and a little olive oil.
  • Dressings: Best brands are Boathouse Farms and 365 Organics.
  • Soups: Boxed soups taste fresher than canned. Pacific is a good boxed brand.
  • Cereal: Dan doesn’t recommend eating cereal because it’s heavily processed and are empty calories, but if you must, he recommends Nature’s Path, Kashi Go Lean and Grape Nuts.  As far as oatmeal, look for the ones that look like pebbles (they are the whole grain,) soak them overnight and they will cook in 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Snacks: Dan recommends getting your own popcorn popper because fresh popcorn taste way better than microwaved.  As far as microwaved popcorn, he says the Paul Newman brand is the best.
  • Sweeteners: Anything sweet tends to stimulate the appetite, but if you must use a sweetener, Stevia is the most natural.  Agave is controversial and Dan doesn’t recommend it.
  • Drinks: For low-calorie drinks, Dan recommends Blue Sky Free, Kombucha and Diet Hansens.

Another way for you to bring the Ranch home!

Daily Ayurvedic Practices

Recently we had our Ayurvedic Specialist, Carla Levy, speak at the Ranch regarding the best daily ayruvedic practices to help us stay healthy and prevent disease.  It was a very interesting discussion and brought up some really useful tips that are very easy to do on a daily basis.

The first thing we talked about was: What we do first thing in the morning?  Carla talked about how most of us wake up in a panic or overwhelmed, thinking of all the things that we need to get done for the day.  I’m totally guilty of this.  That is literally the first thing that crosses my mind.  What do I have to do today?  Or many mornings the first thing I do is check my email on my phone.  No good!  Recently, I’ve made an effort to not check my phone first thing in the morning and the thing is, not only do I feel less stressed, but also my eyes feel less strained as well, which is a relief.

Carla explained that the way we start our day greatly effects how the rest of our day goes.  She suggests doing a little chanting in the morning to stay calm and relaxed.  In Ayurveda, chanting is used as medicine.  We did a little bit in class and it was amazing how much more relaxed I felt after chanting for a couple minutes.  Another way to start your day calmly is saying a little prayer giving thanks.  Or instead of worrying about getting things done, say something like,” I wonder what today will bring,”  which someone suggested in class.  I like that one!  Keep it positive.

The second thing you should do in the morning is scrape your tongue.  Some you might be scratching your heads wondering what the heck I’m talking about.  Well, even though this practice is thousands of years old, many people don’t know about it.  It has been making a comeback at dentist office.  Have any of you been told by your dentist that you should also brush your tongue?  Well, Carla actually advises not to do that.  The reason is that overnight a lot of bacteria gets built up on our tongues overnight and when we brush it, the bacteria gets spread around.  Carla says we should be using a metal tongue scraper when we first get up and before we drink anything.

The third tip is drink a cup of hot water and lemon juice after you scrape your tongue and before you eat anything.  The reason for this?  Okay, not to get too personal or anything, but according to Carla (and many other nutritionists and wellness practitioners that come to the Ranch) you want to try to empty your bowels every morning and guess what helps you do that?  Yes, a big glass of hot water (or warm if you’re not a fan of hot drinks, but not cold.)  Apparently the hot water is like a mini-cleanse, flushing out any waste.

These are three tips that anyone can apply right away.  For more information on Ayurveda and Carla’s new Spring Cleanse, you can contact Carla at ayurveda@carlalevy.org and don’t forget to check out her site at carlalevy.org.