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Holy Cow!

Heels To Laces is on a mission to break through the clutter of health and fitness and make it easier to live healthier – and have a ton of fun doing it.

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“New Year. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams give birth to change.”~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

Each week we will present you with a truth or dare. It’s your job to tackle it with gusto and make it happen. Often, by just focusing on one change…just one, it’s much more palpable and achievable and becomes the jump start you need. This week is a we ask you to question a truth.

Truth: Do you eat too much processed food?
Research published in BMJ Journal shows that ultra-processed foods make up 58% of all of the calories and 90% of the added sugars the average American consumes in a given day. And 75% of the average American’s sodium consumption (which is about 1.5 times the RDA of sodium per day, according to the CDC {Center for Disease Control and Prevention}) comes from processed foods, per Harvard University*.

Yada yada – “don’t eat processed food” – you hear it all the time. But have you wondered why you can’t lose that extra 5 pounds or can’t get rid of that extra layer on your stomach? Our bodies do not know how to process processed foods – so we store them as fat.  If you simply removed processed foods from your diet, betting you would see a significant change.

*Source: Women’s Health

We don’t claim to know everything – so sometimes we have to ask the experts. You all know, we do not condone diets. It’s one of the most searched terms in a new year, and one of the most dangerous – as it implies “temporary”. We’re here to tell you, you never have to go on a diet again.

What can you do? This week, we asked Laura Deutsch -certified health coach, busy mom, and healthy eating enthusiast, what is the best way to tackle 2018 with a healthy eating vengeance that is “doable” and allows you to stick with it.  We like the way Laura thinks.  This is what she said:

Eat More in 2018. (hallelujah! a woman after our own philosophy!)
If you have made a new year’s resolution to ‘eat better’, odds are your resolution will not last.  I know, the truth hurts! I also bet that by ‘eating better’ you probably decided to not eat certain foods groups (sugar, meat, dairy, wine!) – whatever your vice, you are done with it. Unless you are on a program for medical reasons, it is hard to stick to never eating certain foods, especially when you love them, without quickly breaking resolutions and …feeling like you failed.

So this year, perhaps you make your resolution to eat MORE!  More vegetables, that is. Why vegetables?

  1. They are the healthiest foods on earth
  2. They contain tons of fiber which most of us do not get enough of
  3. They contain water which helps us hydrate (you should be drinking half of your body weight in ounces every day)
  4. Eating lots of veggies may reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, certain types of cancers, and risk of bone loss

What is so incredible about merely adding vegetables to your diet? By default, you will not eat as much of the other stuff because you are full from the good stuff!

So just how many vegetables are enough?  Try to consume between 5 and 13 servings of vegetables per day.  That comes to about 2 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups daily.   According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) less than 14% of Americans consume enough. So now the question remains – how do you do this?

  1. Have a smoothie for breakfast.  You can easily throw in 2 1/2 cups of spinach in one smoothie, not even taste it, and already meet the minimum requirement by 9 AM.
  2. Have a salad at lunch every day.
  3.  Have crudite at 5:00 – cut up vegetables and yogurt dip – and watch it disappear (kids will devour it too!)

Incorporate even just one of these ideas into your way of eating and you are winning.

Jump starting your health and including more vegetables in your diet can feel a bit intimidating – so I created the Fresh Start 28 program: a 4-week online course that includes videos, recipes, meal plans, and step-by-step directions on how to seamlessly include tons of vegetables into your diet. And lucky Heels To Laces subscribers get $30 off the program (thank you HtoL!). Make 2018 your year to eat more, not less.

Laura owns Instill Health and specializes in showing moms, no matter how busy they are, ways to incorporate healthy, balanced meals and snacks into their diets.

A healthier milk?
There is no doubt there is a ton of research on dairy and its inflammatory properties.  Classic symptoms of dairy sensitivity include respiratory & digestive problems, mucus build-up, gas, bloating, diarrhea, fatigue, joint pains, and skin issues. There are two components in dairy that can lead to these issues: casein (protein) and lactose (sugar).

Many avoid dairy because they experience symptoms after ingesting milk or cheese.  Many people have a lactose intolerance – they don’t produce the lactase enzyme required to break down lactose. People who do produce the lactase enzyme but still react poorly to milk are responding to the two proteins found in milk, casein (with a molecular structure similar to gluten) and whey. Many may think they have a lactose intolerance, yet it might be a difficulty digesting the protein casein.

Most people with lactose intolerance can eat foods that contain casein & whey (the proteins, not sugars). A lactose free product does not necessarily mean it is dairy free. A dairy allergy is often related to the casein.

Most of the milk we ingest is from cows that naturally mutated to produce a mix of A1 and A2 casein proteins. Published research suggests these A1 caseins can be the culprit for a large percentage of the population with digestive issues.

There is a milk called A2 that has received a lot of press lately. Their milk comes from cows that naturally produce only the pure A2 protein and none of the A1. You can find out more here (ps – there is a $1 off a half gallon on their site). The jury is still out – as this is a newer product, but it does get us thinking. We’ve tried the A2 milk and it’s quite delicious, with no discomfort issues as with other milks. However, more research is needed to determine if this addresses the inflammatory properties of dairy. For those that are lactose intolerant, it may not matter. For others who have a reaction to casein, this could be something interesting to watch.

We still believe in reduced dairy in your diet – however not all dairy is created equal. Butter and many cheeses contain zero grams of carbohydrate, which means they contain zero grams of sugar. And zero sugar means zero lactose, or at least close to it. In addition, the higher the fat content, the less the lactose.

A food sensitivity test can help you determine what your body reacts to – it can be pretty eye-opening. If you need a resource, contact us: info@heelstolaces.com

Sometimes, you just gotta have it…

Calm Down
More than ever we are seeing people stressed out, overwhelmed, over-booked, over-inundated and unable to de-stress. We are not sleeping, not eating right and overly anxious. If you are experiencing any of these, you can get relief. This product, labeled the “anti-stress drink” is a natural magnesium supplement that has natural calming properties. It can also help with constipation.

Get A Little Wild
We have scoured the land for a healthy granola –  most of them have additives, high sugars, syrups, soy lecithin. Oh, did we stumble on a find. All the buzz words we look for: grain free, gluten free, non GMO, sugar free and even vegan. It’s time to get a little wild.

A Little Sweetness
Sometimes you need something sweet but just don’t want to go overboard. These cinnamon gems hit the spot. They offer the crunch, the sweetness and the snacking craving. Yes, we are bananas.

All of our recipes will always be quick, healthy, easy, gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, mostly dairy-free, SCD legal and Paleo friendly. And yes, all sorts of deliciousness.

This has now become a staple in our fridge. Green Pea and Parsley Hummus. Stacked with protein, tons of vitamins, dose of veggie overload, addictive and so, so very easy to make. Game changer.


1 1/3 cups thawed frozen green peas
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 garlic cloves

Chopped Raw vegetables

(note: Trader Joe’s has organic frozen peas and organic tahini in a jar)


Place peas, parsley, tahini, 1/4 cup warm water, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and garlic in a food processor; process until smooth. (Blend in more water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, if hummus is too thick.) Serve with raw vegetables.

Best to double the recipe.

source: Cooking Light

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What’s Your Excuse?

I have a neighbor – his name is Dick Walther – and I call him the bionic man. He is going to be 93 in June and runs circles around most people. His level of energy, IMG_1310enthusiasm and his positive disposition is contagious. He was just highlighted in the “Hero’s Issue” of Tennis Magazine and is the winner of USTA’s 2014 Senior’s Service Award and inducted into the USTA Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame. He is a former engineer and fought in World War II and started playing tennis in the 1940’s. However, it wasn’t until after retirement that he enrolled himself in a Professional Tennis Registry certification course and began coaching at Kent Place School… at the age of 75. He also started the Summit Tennis Association and revitalized and revived multiple tennis courts across the city to repair them for more active play and give back to the community. He still plays in the USTA League event in the 90-95 age group. Dick inspires me.

Dick is the perfect example of the premise mind over matter (my daily mantra in my classes and discussion in a previous blog post) and the notion it is never too late to make things happen.

Once again quoting Deepak Chopra’s book “Ageless Body, Timeless Mind,” based on quantum physics, he advises on how to “defeat entropy,” to “believe” enough to control physical changes and to “reinterpret your body” to create renewal. By practicing these philosophies, we can elongate our lives by perpetuating healthy physical reactions within our body, starting on a cellular level. Chopra’s premise is that the more positive our mind is, the more beneficial the effect it will have on our body.

For example, as a society, we naturally anticipate retirement and have a mental image of what that entails. We tend to fall into that role and our minds and bodies begin to shut down – thinking that is the end of our active life. It is believed this has a direct correlation with a decline in health and increase in disease. Those societies that are not privy to retirement – ie. the IMG_3036farmer who has no choice to feed his family, will work until he can’t work anymore. His mind frame never shifts to “it’s time for my steady decline until I reach the end of the road.” They naturally live a more active, longer life because they never consider the alternative. Similar to the story of Dick. He has never quit or believed it is time to stop.

If you believe in it, it can happen. If you visualize yourself doing it, it becomes real. If you are fearful or convince yourself it’s not possible, chances are, you will have a difficult time and your body will shut down. By keeping your mind in a constant state of functionality, your body will naturally follow.

So just when you think you want to give up, or it’s too late to make a difference, think of Dick.

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  • Robin Kelley

    Loved this article. All so true and never too late to accomplish anything. Thank you so much for the inspiration.

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What To Do When You Can’t Do Anything

This week, I had the fortune of having reconstructive ACL and meniscus surgery. I say fortune because what they say is true – “what doesn’t kill you makes you ww v2stronger”. Let me summarize this as best I can… It’s like telling Wonder Woman she no longer has superhuman powers and battle skills and can no longer use her Lasso of Truth, indestructible bracelets and invisible airplane. Not to mention her rockin’ tiara (that’s clean, washed hair in my scenario). And yes, for all intents and purposes of this blog, I am “Wonder Woman” in this scenario.

What have I learned when I can’t do anything?

  1. Patience. Patience to rest and recover and know that every day will get a little bit easier. Appreciating the love and patience of my family, particularly my husband, who stood by my side 24/7.
  1. Life goes on. A little set-back does not determine my future. In fact, it probably helps me get there faster as I become introspective about where I’ve been and what’s to come.
  1. I will become superhuman again, but in the meantime, appreciate others stepping up to the plate. Friends and family make the world go round and without them, you can easily fall.
  1. Battle skills. Oh, mark my words…I will be able to battle again, and battle stronger than ever before. Watch out future Tabata clients, I am gonna kick-your-ass when I return.
  1. Lasso of truth. It’s hard to take someone out of their complete comfort zone and submerse them in a helpless situation. Sitting still…not my forte. But definitely my moment of truth. I have two choices – let the situation bring me down or conquer it and push myself to get stronger every day. Guess which I chose?
  1. Indestructible bracelets. Let’s call this my need for control. Yep, no secret I like to control my situation. Although I prefer to call it ambition and organization. It mostly pertains to my ability to get a million things done in a mere 15 minutes. Let’s bring that down a notch. I can now drink a Starbucks, read a magazine and have my leg in a stretching machine…all at the same time! Go me. Maybe lack of control is not such a bad thing.
  1. Invisible airplane. Humm…if only I had one I would fly my broken ass to the fastest PT facility in the world and cut the recovery time in half. Hell, maybe I don’t need a plane after all since we all know I will break records in that department.

So, here’s my summary. Things get broken and plans get changed. It does not have to change your ambition or spirit. In fact, if you take it all in, there is probably a message hidden in there somewhere. My message is to slow down and look around me at the amazing friends and loving family whose support I am eternally grateful. And, of course, get excited for my future superpowers with my new bionic leg.

To leave a comment on this article or any other blog entry, please fill in the “Leave a Comment” box under each blog entry on our site: Heels to Laces

  • Nancy Francischetti

    Hi Deb- so glad your surgery is in the past & your recovery is progressing nicely. I am inspired by your thoughtful insights penned in this post . Your positive outlook is the best coping mechanism and your ability to inspire others to do the same , no matter what one is facing, is a gift . Thank you for sharing your thoughts and friendship! Peace to your day &I wish you a speedy recovery!!

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