How to recover from Too Much Fun

31 Mar

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I love having fun as much as the next person and sometimes, it catches up with me.  The good thing is that now, I am able to recognize signs that are telling me to take a break and get myself back on track.  Whereas before I would ignore the exhaustion and twitching eyelids (yes, this is a real thing) and carry on like a champ.

Here is my video to give you 4 methods or techniques, to help you begin a healthier lifestyle today!  It doesn’t even have to be a result of having too much fun.  Maybe it’s stress, frequent travel or anything else that is making you feel lethargic and unfocused.  These techniques will help you begin to reclaim your well-being, even if you decide to use one method at a time and focus on that.

Now its your turn – tell me what YOU do to recover from fun, stress and excessive travel in the comments below.

Thanks for tuning in!

XO,

Patricia

Get ready for 2014! Four ways to change your life this year.

31 Dec
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My favorite holiday is not Thanksgiving or Christmas or anything in between.  I always enjoy them and look forward to them for the fun and family time they bring along.  But my favorite holiday is the week in between Christmas and New Year.  The busy season winding down, people are returning home from vacation or going back to work and things seem to move a bit slower.  This mellow mood invites time for reflection, time to  think about where we were, whats coming and what we want to do with this whole, new, sparkling and pristine year that is just a few days away.  People all over the world are preparing for the new year, seeing it as a perfect blank canvas.  The energy behind the New Year is big and pulsates with people’s hopes for who they see themselves being and evolving into. I believe in change except when I hate it.  I’m probably not alone in my slight disdain for the C-word but it is this inevitable turning of the calendar that makes the New Year so ripe with possibilities.  Even those of us who hate to see things change will consider the idea that change is constant and that in order to grow as people, our lives will eventually have to evolve, usually with some effort on our part.  New month!  New Year!  Clean slate as of January 1st!  What do you want to change this year and how do you want to begin seeing yourself?  How do you want to use this clean slate to evolve into a person you love even more?
As the (city, county and possibly the state’s) biggest lover of New Year resolutions, I have thought long and hard about the best ways to help people usher in the changes they want to see in their lives.  I found 4 ways that I believe are best for a variety of people.  The person who’s resolution seems to confining, anyone who feels daunted by the many months of the year and need a concentrated time to focus, those who might need to lighten up their way of seeing things and those who know that they tend to blow off their commitments to themselves (ahem).  You can use these all together or pick 1 or 2 methods to use.  The idea is to make you feel as though you are using what will fit best for your life and your personality, ensuring that you can easily embrace resolutions that you make for yourself.  Excited yet?  Good!  Here they are:
1 – Decide how do you want to feel.
I was turned onto this idea by the wonderful Danielle LaPorte.  In the promos for her book Desire Map she states that we are not chasing a goal or an end result, we are chasing a feeling.  You say you want to lose 10 pounds?  Why?  How do you think it will make you feel?  Happy, Healthy, strong, active, empowered?  You want to start taking guitar lessons.  Why?  How do you think it will make you feel?  Creative, talented, confident?  You want to pay off your credit cards this year?  Why?  Do you think it will make you feel abundant, in flow with your finances, in control of your financial future? What feelings are you looking to bring into your everyday life?  Stating how you want to feel opens the doors on all of the changes you want to make, by allowing them to become bigger, more flexible and full of more possibility instead of confining yourself to a strict regimen.  If you say, I want to feel healthy, active and strong you have just opened yourself up to many new methods for finding this feeling. Dance lessons anyone?  Weekend hiking trip?  Try out that new Barre studio sometime?  Instead of saying, “I want to save more money” or “I want to go to the gym 3 times a week,’ ask yourself Why and come up with an answer. Dig deeper.  Find a touchtone feeling that will keep you going through out the year.  Now if a year seems like a really long time to you…
2 – Commit to 40 days instead of 365
Another of my fave ladies Gabrielle Bernstein loves the 40 day method.  She claims (as does a scientific study) that 40 days of a regimen is what is needed to change habits for good.  So if 365 is overwhelming for you, start with 40.  Forty days of no soda, 40 days of daily green juice, 40 days of riding your bike.  I know people who have quit coffee and binging on sweets using this method.  You can also use 40 days if you want to add something new to your life.  For example I have wanted to make meditation a more frequent practice in my life so I have put myself on 40 days of daily meditation.  I am keeping track of it with my new favorite app called Streaks.  It allows you to keep track of different streaks at a time by keeping multiple calendars, naming them and then marking off days completed with an X.  Looking at the rows of X’s build up on a calendar is about as satisfying as it was in Kindergarten when you saw all of those little gold stars line up next to your name. Once the 40 days are over you will see how any changes you made are suddenly that much easier to make on a daily/weekly basis and just like that, your new habit comes naturally to you.
3 – Review and rephrase.
Its important to review the resolutions you have and make sure all are worded as positively as possible.  What do I mean?  One summer I was discussing with some ladies the ever present girly question of What do you want in a boyfriend?  Instead of giving me a 5 second description of everything they wanted they both said, “I don’t know what I want but I do know what I don’t want,” and proceeded to list dull qualities such as Not Apathetic, Not Boring, Not this, Not that.  I didn’t say this to them at the time but I will say it to you now.  If you focus on what you DONT want, what you DONT want will have this amazing and annoying way of tracking you down and nestling itself into your life.  So if you tend to phrase your resolutions in the following way, “I don’t want to be late for work anymore” or “I don’t want to yell at my family so much,” its time for a rephrase.  Try this instead: “I will arrive at work each day, clear-headed and ready to begin my day.” Or, “I will speak to my family in a way that opens up a constructive dialogue and shows love.”  Boom.  Reword and Rephrase for an optimal and uplifting resolution.
4 –   Schedule it.
As another one of my fave’s Marie Forleo says, “If it’s not scheduled it doesn’t exist”  If one of your resolutions is to say, write a book, or build a website or to create something that is important to you, you need to schedule time, on a calendar to do said task.  Break down the big task into smaller steps and schedule those small steps in a calendar.  Buy a small day planner or print out a calendar from Google Drive. You can also use a super helpful free printable from I Heart Organizing to help you begin scheduling  your days and weeks more efficiently.  I loved them so much I had to add them to my arsenal on Pinterest for easy access.  You can find the copies  here. If you are someone who tends to be lax on yourself (picture me raising my hand here), scheduling yourself is a huge help to accomplish big tasks.
The best thing about all of this?  It’s not confined to just New Year.  Sometimes a new Monday can feel like a clean slate, a random Thursday may be the day you begin again or even a week in mid-June is right for you.  With these ideas at your fingertips, any day, week or month can be a new year for you.  Change is good!
Happy 2014 everyone!
XO,
Patricia

It’s time to get off the couch.

10 Dec

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“The world will be saved by the Western Woman” – The Dalai Lama, Vancouver Peace Summit, 2009

I first heard this quote 1 year ago when I was browsing the website for Nisha Moodley.  Nisha leads seminars for women and retreats around the world.  In one of her Vlogs she states the above quote was why she created her business.  A few months later I found Sarah Jenks who mentioned the same quote in her online training series except she added her own spin to it:  “The Dalai Lama said the world will be saved by the Western woman.  But we can’t do SHIT if we sit on the couch all day in our sweatpants!”  I laughed out loud.

The original quote is truly inspiring.  To hear of the Dalai Lama’s intuitive voice speaking out about the role he sees women playing in the healing of the world is an extraordinary statement.  But Sarah’s statement really got me thinking – how are women keeping themselves on the couch in our sweatpants all day?  Was it a literal statement?  It didn’t seem right.  And then I began remembering.

In 2009 I was living in New York City and working at a small company.  I had a manager who was nice enough, generous with us employees and really tried their best to be a good and generous leader.  In many ways they were.  Unfortunately, their managerial tactic of choice was to scare us into doing a good job.  I remember clearly a conversation where a statement was made about employees being afraid of losing their jobs: “I WANT them to be scared!”  To better understand this person, it was 2008 and a scary time for all business owners.  Lay-offs were happening left and right and businesses were going under in a matter of days. I can understand why someone was fearful of their family’s livelihood, their employees livelihood, the lives, and would use any measure needed to save it.

Except the tactic didn’t work for me at all.  I lived in fear of everything work-related.  The effect of the scare tactic was, ‘why bother – by the sounds of it I’m going to get fired anyway – is it 5 o’clock yet?!’  Friday’s were the best night of the week because I would experience a full 36 hours of relief. Sunday’s were dreaded because I would have to go into the office the next day and try not to get fired for the next 5 days in a row.  I feared making mistakes, asking questions, I feared a lot of things.  One night the anxiety got so bad that I was up until 3 in the morning, terrified to fall asleep because that would mean I would eventually wake up and have to go into the office.

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I found some relief through wine (don’t we all) and yoga (thank goodness for that).  But work was so front and center in my life that it affected many of the decisions I made, what I did, what I thought about, what I talked about.  And the funny thing was – I don’t remember really actively looking for another job.  I don’t remember networking, applying for new positions, nothing.  I don’t remember telling myself that I had the power to change my circumstances.  I just let it be what it was without an end in sight.  I was basically sitting on a couch, in my sweatpants not doing a damn thing to change a damn thing and letting my life pass me by.  For 2 long years.

Now my outlook on life is completely different.  But I know how easy it is to begin letting things slowly slip away.  You could have what appears to be a great life with a full-time job, friends and all the trappings that make you appear fabulous on the outside.  But your personal reality could be completely different.  Maybe your job is hard and your co-workers annoy you.  Maybe your landlord is making problems for you.  Maybe you resent your family for things that happened when you were a kid.  Maybe you think everyone else has it so easy and it’s just not fair that they got to live that life and you didn’t.  Maybe you think that nothing will ever get any better and you had better just live with it.  Maybe you think that you don’t deserve any better.  Maybe you are angry at people for a seemingly awful thing they say to you “How dare they do that to me, who do they think they are!” and “Can you believe that email? Just read what they wrote!”

This is the nastiest trick that people who could have everything in the world, play on themselves.  And it’s so commonplace today that many of us are letting our opportunities to shine like stars just pass us by.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the cheap drama of our lives that we forget just what we are capable of.  There is a line in one of my favorite movies, Love & Sex, where Famke Janssen’s character has a moment of clarity in a movie theater.  Sitting next to her actor boyfriend, a surge of resentment about their relationship finally boils up in her and she explodes.  “You know what my problem is?  I’m a floater – I float through life like a corpse on a river bumping into rocks and logs.  I don’t choose my path, I just…bump into stuff!  I bump into you in a porno store, boom I have sex with you, boom we’re in a relationship!  I don’t think I just BOOM!”

In early 2011 I had my personal BOOM moment , where I saw myself as that floating corpse on a river and began to course correct.  I realized that all of the opportunities in the world could be available to me if I started taking myself and my life seriously.  I started taking better care of myself and paying closer attention to the foods I ate, and the ways I spent my time.  I began looking closely at my relationships and seeing what needed to be fixed and forgiven.  I took a long, hard look at myself and my life and the choices I had made that led me to this moment.  And let me tell you – it was fucking HARD as shit.  But I was in it, I was in the muck of the things that were keeping me stuck on the couch.  I was doing it.  I was standing up, removing my sweatpants and putting on a clean dress, getting ready to say hello to real life  instead of floating and bumping and hurting.  According to a very spiritual teacher, we women have some serious work to do.  No fear, no petty resentments, no anger, no holding on to the past, no sitting on the couch and letting life pass us by is allowed because there is no time for it.  It’s time to get up, get dressed and show up for our lives because the world is depending on us to do just that.

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I went on a run with a boy and other Primary Foods.

7 Dec
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Tonight I went on a run.  It’s the first run I have done with a member of the opposite sex since approximately 2008.  You see, I used to have a boyfriend who I would run with often.  We both lived in New York City and even during the cold winters, we would bundle up and make our way from 51st street down to Battery Park by way of the West Side Highway.  When I moved uptown, we would run from 82nd up to the northernmost point of the Park and make our way down Park Avenue and then back up to 82nd.  Sundays were spent running, evenings after work were run nights and we both enjoyed it.
Until I didn’t  enjoy it anymore. I longed to spend Saturday nights out having a drink or two (okay, or more) and Sundays having long brunches with friends, browsing the stores and just enjoying the City.  But this was not an option for my partner who somehow had the stamina of…something that never gets tired?  I don’t even know what that thing is.  The very first night that I stated that I would not be joining him for the run, he was noticeably agitated and huffed off on his own.  When he returned he told me that it was really important to him to be with someone who took care of themselves.  He didn’t want to be with someone who disregarded their health or was unhealthy in any way.  I sat there listening, confused and unsure if I had heard correctly.  Had I stayed at home from a run or shot up with heroine?  Had I really done something wrong or didn’t I just stay home watching The Bachelorette with my roommates?  It was a Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moment in our relationship.  Needless to say that after that I had very little desire to run with him ever again.  But I did off and on.  When I begged off he would get upset.  The more he got upset the more I said no to runs and yes to nights out with friends and Saturday brunches.  My life got a lot more fun and our relationship lost common ground.  After we stopped running together it seemed we didn’t have much else and our relationship eventually ended.
As of late I have been writing about healthy recipes, homemade beauty products and how to make yourself a healthier person by making healthier and smarter choices.  This is all fine and good but in order to work towards our overall wellness (my goal with myself and clients) we also need to learn about the importance of Primary Foods.  While in Nutrition School, I learned about two types of foods:  Primary foods and Secondary foods.  Primary foods feed us but they don’t come on a plate.  They are 1. Relationships, 2. Physical Activity, 3. Career and 4. Spiritual Practice.  Secondary foods are the foods we find on our plates.  In order to have total health in your life you can’t focus solely on the Secondary Foods.  The Primary Foods are essential to living a well-rounded and healthy life.  With a laser focus on only Primary foods or a laser focus on only Secondary foods, you will have more problems finding a balance as both are essential to your wellness.  Meaning you could be a top runner but if your relationships with family, friends or loved ones are not healed or cultivated you’re still most likely going to feel like crap.  Or likewise, you may be a staunch raw vegan but if you hate your job, surprise – you still feel like shit!  Or, you could have a very developed spiritual practice and eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner….you get what I’m saying here.
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Looking back I see many instances in my life where Primary Foods needed serious work.  In this particular case it was my Romantic Relationship.  It wasn’t just the running that was going awry.  It was the hurt I felt at the sense of being harshly judged. When you feel judged by your romantic partner you don’t feel full acceptance to be who you are when you are with them.  I didn’t feel safe letting my Freak Flag fly. Meaning, I didn’t feel like I could be myself.  Thanks to the running I had the heart of a steam engine, strong and healthy.  But at the same time it had been slightly broken by a sense that I could be harshly judged when I least expected by someone who I tried so hard to please.  Relationship expert Pat Allen says that a woman’s deepest desire is that her feelings be cherished and a man’s deepest desire is that his thoughts be respected.  Men and women alike – take note.  This is a ‘so true it hurts’ statement.
Do you see how deep this running thing went?  What someone might have perceived as an innocent statement had a huge impact on me.  For years I hated running.  I didn’t want to do it ever again with anyone much less with boys.  But as I began making my New Year Resolutions (I start early) I found that what I really wanted was to do was get back into it.  I know that my best running efforts come forward when I am in fact running with others.  For me this meant one thing – going for a run with my sweet fiancé.  He loves to run and I have been mentioning the prospect of us heading out together the last few months.  I would timidly suggest a run and then back out saying forget it.  I didn’t want it to become a “thing” like it had in the past.  I didn’t want to feel like I was being judged for stopping and starting, wheezing loudly, taking a long time, deciding not to go, being viewed as unhealthy or lazy….And then it hit me.  By associating running with the experience I had with an ex I was projecting a HUGE amount of pressure onto my current situation and putting a ton of pressure on myself.  Not only that, I was keeping myself from doing something I really really really wanted to do again.  And based on what?  Something that happened 6 years ago?
TOTALLY LAME!
The only thing keeping me in the past was me!  That was it.  It was time to forgive the situation, the ex and myself and move the fuck on.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve done this,” I said warily as we laced up our sneakers on on Tuesday night.  “I’ll probably need to stop every now and then.”  “Okay,” he responded unruffled.  And we were off.
It was a lovely night, unusually warm for December.  We stopped a few times so I could walk and he obliged.  I admitted to him that I got scared when I felt like I was losing my breath and he told me not to worry about it, that breathing would get easier.  “You have a good pace,” he said.  “You’re doing a good job.”  At one point he turned to me with a big smile on his face and said, “This is so fun!  I’ve always wanted a girlfriend to go running with me!”
Well there you go.  Here I was hanging on to an old resentment while keeping myself and someone I love from having an enjoyable experience today.  I was worrying about this thing that happened long ago and he was just happy to be outside with me.
Does any of this ring true for you?  Are there things that you are doing now that are keeping you from being happy, from expressing yourself within your relationships or keeping you from trying new things in your relationship?  If so,  it’s time to address it on your end first.  Not by bashing what the other person is doing or saying.  And not by bashing an ex for what you believe “they did to you and someone will naturally do it again, it’s just a matter of time.”  No, no NO!  Inspirational speaker and my favorite vlogger Gabrielle Bernstein says that the first step in clearing up a current issue or a problem is to clean up your side of the street.  Meaning, what are you doing to contribute to the problem?  Are you holding on to old resentments from past relationships?  Are you bringing exes mistakes into the current relationship and making the new love pay for those mistakes?  Do you need forgive someone from your past?  Are you projecting past problems on to an innocent by-stander?  What are you accountable for?  How can you clean up your side of the street?  How can you forgive?  How can you improve your overall wellness by improving your relationships?
Here’s a bonus to the whole thing.  I loved the run.  I loved every second of it, even the part where I was afraid of not being able to breathe.  The sense of fun that comes with running next to my love and feeling so grateful for the comfort that he gave me when I felt most vulnerable.  I felt appreciated for the effort of trying to do something new together.   I felt relieved that I had been able to get over myself and let go of a past experience in order to do what I most wanted.  I felt free, I felt courageous, I felt strong and you know what else I felt?  Healthy 🙂

How to find and conquer stress in your body

8 Jul

Stress!

It’s repercussions can affect us in ways we don’t even realize.  How can you begin to notice how you are physically contributing to your stressful situations with your body?  Watch this video and learn to become aware of your hidden habits, how to let them go and how to make this a continuous practice in your life.  Everyone has the power in them change their experience of physical stress in their body and begin moving through their days with ease, improving their life experience moment to moment.

How have you been contributing to the physical stress in your body?  Did you even realize what was happening?  Let us know in the comments below AND let us know how you plan to begin using this technique.  Good luck!  And remember:

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How to keep Healthy Habits while traveling – 5 easy tips!

10 Jun

Hello!   In today’s video I share 5 tips for staying healthy while traveling.  Try out all 5 or stick to 1 or 2.  Remember, it’s not about being perfect but keeping those small changes as a constant practice and letting your healthy lifestyle build from there.  In a nutshell, here are the 5:

1 – DRINK WATER

2 – TAKE SNACKS

3 – TRAVEL WITH AN AVOCADO…OR 2!

4 – BRING DRINK ALTERNATIVES

5 – FIVE OR 10 MINUTES OF YOGA IN THE MORNING

Need further explanation?  Watch the video below.  Have other ideas that I haven’t presented?  By all means, leave your comments, tips and suggestions below.  I love to hear back!

Bon Voyage,

Patricia

p.s.  Watch for a surprise guest appearance towards the end of the video.

**Are you looking for more ways to incorporate healthy habits into your everyday life?  Are you having trouble with sugar cravings, extra weight or fatigue?  I can help.  Contact me today to learn about my six month program that will change the way you view your health and wellness.  I look forward to hearing from you!.

Cravings: I just want something sweet!

3 Jun

I was recently interviewed about my healthy lifestyle for a friend’s upcoming book. She asked a slew of interesting questions that really got me thinking about this path I’ve chosen, where I’ve been and how I ended up doing my best to embrace healthy practices in my everyday life. One of her many questions was:

“What is the craving that you have the most?”

“Ice cream. If I buy a pint of it, it will be gone in four hours. But thinking about it now….I don’t remember the last time I did that. Yeah….I think it’s definitely been a while since that has happened. I think I have finally trained my taste buds”

Fast forward to Saturday night when it hit me. It wasn’t that I had overcome the craving for sugar it was just that it hadn’t happened in a while. Suddenly, I wanted ice cream and I wanted it bad. I called my boyfriend. “I think I need ice cream.” He paused, amusement coming from his silence. “Okaaaay,” he said slowly. “Lets go get some.”

So off we went to the grocery store where I picked up the go-to I’m Having an Intense Sweet Craving ice cream of all time: Ben & Jerry’s Pfish Food. “That,” said Greg reading the description, “sounds disgusting.” I beamed.

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I purchased the ice cream and once I got in the car I said, “I should have brought a spoon.” Greg proudly produced a plastic spoon out of his glove compartment. He’s a camper, always prepared. I opened the carton and dug in.

Okay, how familiar is this story to you? Cravings for sugar are large and seemingly in charge of what we snack on. And many of the women I speak to tell me about the, “I can’t help myself” syndrome that they experience when they want their favorite sweet treat. Are there ways to work around these specific cravings? My answer for you is: Yes! Of COURSE there are!

Here are 3 things I could have done on Saturday night to curb the craving for the sugar.

Better idea #1. Drink water and find a piece of fruit to eat, stat.

Cravings can be the result of eating a lot of the food that is the opposite of your craving. So if you are eating foods with much salt, your body will look for the sensation of sweet to balance it out. The body is crazily efficient in that way. That morning in particular I had taken a bikram yoga class and eaten an especially salty version of my avocado toast. Thirsty and salted up to boot. I could have reached for the water and a banana downstairs before I went nuts and drove like a madwoman to the grocery store. Alas, I did not.

Better idea #2. Make a banana/spinach/avocado smoothie at home – Recipe and visual tutorial included!

Sounds – weird? Here’s the breakdown. The banana adds sweetness, the avocado adds creaminess and the spinach adds micronutrients and fiber. The ice and cold almond milk cool off the mixture to make an overall combination of sweet, smooth, creamy and cold, ice cream substitute. To make your own at home, follow this simple recipe

-1 banana, 1/2 an avocado, a handful of spinach or another mild green (romaine lettuce?), almond milk and 6 cubes of ice. Put in the blender. Blend. Here’s what that process looks like:

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**Psst: The chia seeds and raw macca powder are optional super foods and don’t take away from the flavor if not mixed in!

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Everything’s in!

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What it looks like when blended up. So green!

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Time to enjoy!

Better idea #3. Find an alternative to ice cream.

If you really just want/need/will kill someone if you can’t get it (ahem), then here is your best bet. Ciao Bella is a company that produces the yummiest sorbets on the planet and are vegan to boot. The flavors range from Blood Orange to Mango to the delicious pictured below Coconut. Not to mention the ingredient list for this gorgeous little pint is as follows: Coconut cream, water, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Tapioca Syrup and Pectin. A bit sugary? Perhaps. But compare it to the alternative and you are clearly making a better choice while curbing the craving.

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“So Patricia,” you say. “If you know all of these things, why didn’t you actually DO any of them?” Good question. I have experienced MANY cravings my entire life such as Reese’s peanut butter cups, chips ahoy cookies, quarter pounders with cheese, brownies (and the batter), Milky Way bars, Coca Cola. I could go on but the point is that through the training of new habits like those outlined above, I have managed to show my taste buds a new way of craving. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about using new techniques to drop them once and for all. Sure I want ice cream every now and then. I’m human. Oh, and on that awareness thing? Here is the 2nd half of that Saturday night ice cream story. Right before I dug into the pint, I said to myself, “Okay. I am going to eat this really slowly and really taste what it is I have chosen to eat.” So I ate and noticed the sweet chocolate bits, the swirly caramel and the marshmallow fluff. I took super close notice of each bite and focused as I experiences the (ubersweet) tastes that flooded my mouth. Usually in those situations, we can find ourselves in a mindless gorge until the sugar begins to run through our veins and we feel a reaction. Usually not a good one. Pretty sick, right? Once I reminded myself to became aware of how it tasted while I was actually eating it, I was able to feel satisfied with what I did eat and STOP MYSELF before I went into a full sugar coma. I tossed the 2nd half of the pint in the garbage because I was done. I had tasted what I came to taste and it was over much faster than usual. Next time it happens, I am that much more prepared to deal with it.

Do you have sugar cravings? What do you do when you find yourself in a full-fledged sugar seek? Do you have any methods to avoid them? Post your experiences below and let us know what it is you do!

Until next time,

Patricia

**If sugar cravings are making you batty, there may be other solutions to your specific situation that you have not yet considered. Contact me to schedule a free, 50-minute Health Consultation to learn about a 6 month program that will help you gain control over your cravings once and for all.