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Is Timing Everything When It Comes To Fertility?

March 5th, 2014 No Comments

Considering how our bodies function, the answer is yes.  And being the people we are, we want to control every minute of it!

Several of my girlfriends are having problems getting pregnant.  There don’t seem to be an similarities between their genetics or past lives.  What’s consistent is how they have changed their diets to paleo. In other words: no processed foods, dairy, grains, or sugar.  Pretty much how we should all eat, but somehow convince ourselves we don’t need to be so meticulous ALL the time.

There is a new study that takes this a step further: when you eat.

Author of “The Big Breakfast Diet,” Daniela Jackubowicz studies how the timing of meals affects insulin levels.  She found that obese women who ate a breakfast of 3,000 calories lost considerably more weight than those who were on a low carb diet.  She then went on to study women who have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

“PCOS is a common disorder that impairs fertility by impacting menstruation, ovulation, hormones, and more, is closely related to insulin levels. Women with the disorder are typically “insulin resistant” — their bodies produce an overabundance of insulin to deliver glucose from the blood into the muscles. The excess makes its way to the ovaries, where it stimulates the production of testosterone, thereby impairing fertility.” — Science Daily

The women in the study ate only 1,800 calories a day.  Half ate big breakfasts, the other half large dinners.  The women who ate more in the morning showed decreased insulin levels which resulted in an increased rate of ovulation and lower testosterone levels.

Whether we have the syndrome or not, the timing of our meals seems to greatly affect our body chemistry.  Plus, we could lose a few pounds on the way.  Someone pass me some bacon please!

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Exercising on a juice cleanse

January 27th, 2014 No Comments

Mary Rambin SOULCYCLE BVHL 6am crew

First of all, meet some of my regular “rooster” riders who get up at 5am to rock out with me at 6am in Beverly Hills.  These are some of the strongest people in town, and the best part is that they have KNOW their own strength!  That, my readers, is harder than it sounds, so I’ll get to that later.

When I did my 4-day juice cleanse, 5-day total cleanse (one day juice and vegan), I had to teach my SOULCYCLE classes.  Thankfully that week I only had 6 classes which is a cake walk for me.  Because my tolerance is so high, I scheduled other forms of exercise: yoga and lifting with a trainer.  As most people said, “You’re crazy.  How can you do that?”  My body is admittedly unique in that my fitness level is really high.  Throughout all of the activities, I never felt fatigued.  Later in the day, of course my energy would drop so I would schedule naps.  Thirty minutes of napping for each hour of exercise.  Everyday I slept an hour.

What I’m trying to prove to you is not that you have to push yourself on a cleanse to get results, but that you shouldn’t be afraid to maintain your normal routine. 


Be confident in your own strength and keep your exercise routine.  If you worry about being hungry and losing energy, you will be desperate and depleted.  Your mind, not your body, will make that happen.  Also know that you can always STOP.  No one says you have to finish each workout or that you have to continue your routine.  Do what makes you feel good.

A lot of you don’t have the ability to take a mid-day nap, which is why I call it a luxury and don’t advise straying from your routine.


Exercise keeps your metabolism revved up to burn the sugar (from fruits) in the juices.  There is A LOT more sugar than you realize involved most cleanses so your calorie intake is high.  As you won’t have fiber in your diet, staying active helps your digestive system move along the stuff your colon sluffs off as well as the toxins your lymph system releases.   Sweating is another powerful way to expel the toxins.

Remember, you can always take a day off or stop altogether.  But I truly believe that if you keep your days the same, you’ll worry less about the cleanse and feel the benefits of it more when you’re done.

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How does the brew affect your brain?

October 2nd, 2013 No Comments

Via Fast Company 

Created by I Love Coffee, a blog for…well, you know :)

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Juice bars, cleanses, raw food EVERYWHERE! How do you choose?

May 9th, 2013 No Comments

Green Juice from dtox juice bar atlanta

When I was living in The South – aka the part of the country that is always 5 years behind – I was hard pressed to find fresh pressed juice (terrible joke intended).  Coffee culture is infiltrating quite nicely, but juice not so much.  Whole Foods finally capitulated and started selling an unpasteurized** juice with a green tint, but it’s mostly derived from apples.

Since I’ve moved back to LA (and NYC for a New York minute – I can’t help myself), I see now there is a juice bar on EVERY corner. Literally, there are so many I don’t have time to try them all!

So that leaves us with several questions:

  • How do you determine which hot spot  serves “the best” juice?
  • What do I do if I don’t like all of the ingredients?
  • How much is too much to spend on juice?
  • Do I NEED to do a cleanse?
  • Which cleanse is right for me?

Thankfully I think I have come up with an easy answer for you.  My solution is actually in sync with most answers in the food industry: GO LOCAL!

The BluePrint Cleanse was a pioneer in the juice biz and for that we paid good money and still give mad respect to Erica and Zoe. But you have so many other options now, take them.

Mary Rambin and Shannon from dtox juice

This lesson was driven home for me in Atlanta when I discovered Shannon Sliger’s dtox juice bar tucked away off Roswell Road in Buckhead.  After all of the cleanse brands I’ve tried, hers has been my favorite thus far.  I got to customize the ingredients (no ginger please!) and quantity of each kind of juice (I added a cranberry grapefruit).  Plus, the fresh pressed juice over a cold pressed juice is so much more flavorful and satisfying.  She also includes a wheat grass shot and an aloe elixer (to help with digestion).  On the menu there is also a 7 day liver cleanse people rave about and my favorite coffee substitute, the Puerh Latte with fresh frothed almond milk.

Did you hear what I said: ENJOY the juice!

There are so many things you have to tolerate or “do for your own good.”  Green juice is delicious once you get over the stigma of it. And if you don’t like, try another brand or shop.  All green juices are not created equal.  You don’t want to be paying upwards of $8 for something you’re sucking down.

Just beware of the added sugar please.  There is usually something in green juice that makes it sweet and “tolerable” like green apple.  You want to make sure the juice isn’t all apple and only a little green.  The only thing that will do for you is send your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride.  Consider adding beets or carrots to your juice to make it sweeter instead of apples or citrus.  Both are high in vitamins!

I digress, but you know I don’t go on rants often, so this must be important.


1.  There is no doubt it’s fresh.  They make it to sell out daily.
2.  They don’t have to cold press the juice to last for days so you get more bang for your buck.
3.  Cold pressed juice is great for keeping in your fridge and a cooler in your car.
3.  Often you can customize the juice’s ingredients (I like extra greens) AND your cleanse.
4.  It’s cheaper in general and no shipping costs!
5.  Locals compete so they’re more creative with their recipes.
6.  You can get an education from the owner about what their recipes and what your body needs.
7.  Whole Foods fresh juice bars suck. They don’t care about the “recipe.”
8.  Juice is good for you.  It allows your body to absorb all of the nutrients of veggies without having to work too hard.  Feel free to drink it with nuts, eggs, or chicken so you’re digestive system has time to absorb all the goodness and your tummy is full.

You know I travel a lot, and I’ve been able to find a fresh juice bar and raw food restaurant in EVERY city I’ve been to. NO EXCUSES. One of my readers/followers actually called the juice bar I posted on Instagram in El Paso to say hello! (Made my day :)  The El Paso guy was surprisingly legit with his recipes.

Bottom line: Vegetable Juice – UNPASTEURIZED** juice (read the label) – is good for you.  Drink it alongside eating a protein and a little fat like a “does-a-body-good” meal.  Cleanse for 3-5 days as a way to hit your sugar-addict reset button.

**When fresh fructose is pasteurized it’s properties change to be like that of sugar like you see in a bag in the grocery store.  Put the Tropicana down (even for your kids) and pay the money for the real, fresh deal.  Your body will thank you.

If you’re considering a cleanse, click here for a post that includes links to all of my tips and cleanse reviews.

(Full disclosure: 3 day dtox cleanse was provided for free in exchange for a review.  However, I don’t want to check my bank statement to see how much money I spent there while in Atlanta.  Obsessed with her green smoothie and kale salad is an understatement!)

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5 Tips for sugar detox – my article in JEZEBEL!

March 3rd, 2013 No Comments

Sugar article JEZEBEL March 2013

Click the image to enlarge!

After a 3 day juice cleanse, eating vegan 2 days before and after, and abstaining from bread, dairy, coffee, and sweets for the duration, I feel great! Apples taste as sweet a cake now.

I’m going to ride the clean eating, nothing processed, sugar-free wave a long as I can. Cutting out dairy is hard because I rely on yogurt for protein often….and I miss the taste of a cappuccino but thankfully not the caffeine. It was a pleasant surprise to discover I’m not addicted to caffeine. I will admit I splurged on wedding cake last night and it was DELICIOUS, but I don’t feel like I need more. The only thing processed I’ll ingest is in my wine glass. Unfortunately white wine tastes too sweet so I opt for red, a healthier choice anyway. A this point, one glass is enough to get me tipsy so I’ll be a cheap date for a while.

After practicing what I preach in the article regarding water, I’m also fully hydrated for the first time in my life. I can’t say it makes me feel any different overall, but the water is very filling and surprisingly satisfying after a meal.

More on the cleanse, sugar, and my new coffee substitute when I return.

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Which brand of gel nail polish is the best? And is it really the best thing for you?

February 12th, 2013 6 Comments

As a girl who can’t keep a manicure for longer than 4 days, I was really excited about gel with its promise of no-chipping for two weeks!

My first experience with gel polish ended the day after I had it applied when it all peeled off.  You can understand I was a cynic for a while.  However, as the market grew, I figured I should give it another shot at a new salon.  I lucked into having a very meticulous esthetician (Traci at Trina’s Nail Salon in Buckhead) give me a fabulous manicure that lasted the two weeks the gel polish promises!  Since then, I’ve been a gel junkie and have tried all the brands with a couple different girls at Trina’s salon.

So far I’ve tried: Shellac, Gellish, Voss, and OPI.  I’ve heard about:  Akzentz, Bio Sculpture Color Gel, CalGel, Dashing Diva Gelife, IBD, the list goes on. For  more on brands, go here.

What I’ve found is that it’s not the brand of polish that matters, but who tends to your cuticles and how they apply the polish.

Your cuticles must be pushed and cut back as far as possible.  When they grow back to the edge of the polish, they push against it, causing the polish to peel up.  Also, if the polish is applied over your cuticles, your mani doesn’t stand a chance.  So you’ve got to run the gamut of estheticians before you find the right one.  Then choose your polish on color not brand.

Wait, there’s more.

After getting a few gel manicures I started to think, “this can’t be good for my nails.”  Kind of like the hair extensions that made my hair thick and beautiful…until I took them out.  In a gel manicure, they buff off the enamel of the nail, apply chemicals to replace it, and then bake it dry almost instantly with UV light.  Ugh.  If you want to read about the effects of the chemicals, click here.  It seems the one we need to look out for is BHA,  butylated hydroxyanisol, which is a “cancer-causing agent.”  The UV light is pretty self-explanatory.

I never get to the part where I have to soak it off, which dries out your nail bed.  I find peeling it off to be a great distraction while sitting in horrific Atlanta traffic.  (I’m sure that’s bad for your nail bed too.)  I let my nails rest a week before returning to Trina’s for more gel.  It’s really the only thing that has ever worked for my nails.  I’m thinking about wearing finger-less gloves from now on to protect my hands.  As for the BHA, I’m just hoping it gets fried in the baking process.

And you?  Now that you know the facts, will you continue to get gel manicures.  Leave your comments below!



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My natural cold remedies

January 23rd, 2013 No Comments


Wouldn’t you know I’m sick. Well, sick seems to be the wrong word. I have a flemy sore throat so I’m fighting getting sick with every natural remedy I know. My method seems to be working.

My usual preventative cocktail consists of:

– oscillococcinum
– 1000 mg vitamin c
– zinc pills
Umca dissolving powder
– Echinacea and Goldenseal drops

That last one is the killer; it tastes atrocious, but it’s effective. When I went to buy the drops at the closest drug store in San Francisco, they didn’t have any. What they did have is this Sambucus syrup. I didn’t believe it would work because it’s not as potent as straight up Echinacea, but I bought it as my only resort. Thankfully, not only is it working, but it tastes good. The elderberry masks the nasty echinacea taste. It soothes and coats my aching throat which the drops never did.

Check it out next time you’re feeling a cold come on to fight the good fight before the bug takes you over.

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Holiday Survival Tips from My Nutritionist

December 13th, 2012 No Comments

Hilary says you CAN have fun and still be healthy over the holidays.  Here are her tips for survival:

Before the Parties

Do NOT skip meals!! You know when people say, “Oh I’m not eating lunch because I’ve got this party tonight, and I know I’ll eat there!” WRONG!  Do NOT go to the party hungry. Try eating something before hand like a think thin bar so that you don’t go in hungry!

At the Parties

Do NOT hover around the food table. Get a small plate, put what you want on it, and walk away! Work the room, talk to people—focus on the company rather than the food.

  • Put protein on your plate FIRST!! Start with protein and then move to rich vibrant colors.
  • Rather than loading your plate the first time, put a little on, and if you want more later, you can always go back.
  • Be picky!! Passed hors d’oeuvres are small, but they add up FAST. To avoid eating 2,000 calories worth of cheese puffs, limit yourself to 3 you love—if you can, pass on the crab cakes and other fried fare.
  • If you’re at a sit-down dinner party, cut your first helping in half. That way, you can enjoy seconds (and your host or hostess will feel good about that), and the total amount of food you eat will be about the same as a normal-size portion.

Be Smart About Alcohol 

Keep your calories and your buzz under control!

  • A single shot of vodka, gin, or rum with club or diet soda and a squeeze of lime is about 100 calories.
  • Low-cal options like light beer or wine have fewer than 150 calories per serving. They’re perfect if you sip one all night.
  • If you’re the type to make several trips to the bar (no judgments!), ask the bartender to fill your glass halfway each time to keep your total intake down.
  • Champagne or pink Prosecco are both great options. Not only are they low on the calorie chart—80 to 120 per glass—but you’re more likely to sip rather than guzzle.

Holiday Shopping Snack Attack

Ohhhh the mall food court! All of the gift decisions you face at the mall will make you more vulnerable to temptation at the food court so keep things in your purse.

  • Pack Snacks! 30 pistachios or 24 almonds in a Ziploc bag with two dried plums or apricots, or even some turkey jerky or a snack bar like Think Thin—get protein—it’ll keep you full.

Holiday Special Treats

Why are we such suckers for holiday desserts? The scarcity theory: things we think are in limited supply, are more desirable to us than non-scarce items.

Holiday-themed coffee drinks and sweets are often more caloric than regular ones, so stick to the basics: add your own cinnamon to your every day coffee or drizzle your own vanilla or peppermint extract.

Fast Food At Home

We get it, you’re busy! This means less time to prepare meals, so you may be tempted to eat at the drive through for convenience.

  • Making recipes in advance that you can store in the freezer to reheat for dinner on busy evenings.
  • Crock pot dinners are another good option for protein then just add steamed veggies.

Get your Protein Early

Eat a protein-based breakfast. Healthy proteins and good fats will give you an energy boost in the morning and prevent cravings later in the day.

  • Try a whole boiled egg or some salmon with avocado instead of cereal or toast.
  • Use nut butter like almond butter on Ezekiel or gluten free toast.
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