Archive for March, 2010

Roberta Mittman’s Newsletter: I’ve Got a Headache

Many of you know about my fabulous mother: acupuncturist, health coach, and holistic mindset, the best mom EVER.  With her permission (of course) I’m sharing her latest newsletter with you. I have many friends that suffer from headaches…and I’m hoping that you can learn some tips to ease suffering.

To learn more about my mom, Roberta Mittman, visit her website.

HeadacheIf you’re a headache sufferer, you know that there are timeswhen it’s virtually impossible to look, feel, think, and live your best. Debilitating headaches can cripple your personal as well as professional life, often resulting in postponing activities, deadlines, and daily tasks for hours or even days.

My 3Rs are great for identifying solutions to the headache problem. Even if just one technique works for you, it’s a gift that can help put your wellness back on track.

RECOGNIZE what’s fueling your headaches.
The single most effective step you can take toward relieving frequent headaches is to understand what causes them. So, grab the headache journal you started keeping after my last newsletter, and start looking for patterns. When do headaches most often affect your life? Are they seasonal and predictable, or are they random? Are they related to a food, such as wine, chocolate, or cheese? Do they become worse before a stormy day? Are they hormone-related? Do they originate from a sinus condition, grinding teeth, poor posture, or eye strain? Most of all, are they stress-related?

REFRAME your thoughts and actions.
Are you content to let headaches take over your life? Of course not. You have the power to seize control. It all starts with a change of attitude. Don’t focus on how much headache pain limits you. Instead, think about the many different options you have to fight off pain.

Modalities. Have you considered acupuncture, acupressure, massage, guided meditation, or other mind-body techniques? If you live in the New York area, look no farther—these are all services offered at my Park Avenue Center for Wellbeing. If you live elsewhere, just email me and inquire about my Virtual Wellness Coaching programs.

Action steps. If your journal helped you identify what sets your head screaming, you may be able to eliminate that trigger directly. But even headaches caused by unknown triggers, or the biological or environmental ones you can’t avoid, may benefit from these approaches.


  • Wear earplugs to block out excessive noise.
  • Get plenty of exercise and sleep, preferably at the same time each day.
  • Change your body position at work often during the day.
  • Confront a stressful situation head on by speaking up for your needs.
  • Avoid common trigger foods such as chocolate, cheese, caffeine, and alcohol.
  • Stay well hydrated.
  • See your doctor if your headache is a result of a fall or trauma.
  • See your dentist if you wake up with jaw pain.

Remedies to try. Although it’s possible your headaches are so severe that you must take prescription medication at the first sign of impending pain, my goal is for you to take as little medication as possible, as infrequently as possible. Have a few alternatives on hand so you’re not tempted to reach for the pills unless absolutely necessary.

  • An ice pack applied to the pain point. This simple trick may be enough to relieve your pain. Frozen peas, anyone?
  • Acupressure-to-go. With one finger or the eraser on apencil, massage the area between and slightly above the crease between the first and second toe whenever you feel a headache coming on.
  • Herbal and nutritional supplements. Not only can they relieve headaches, but some supplements can even prevent them. Known anti-headache supplements include feverfew, butterbur (although be aware of possible side effects), magnesium, Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), willowbark extract, and certain topical oils, to name a few.

RECLAIM the health you deserve.
While headaches may be a reality in your life, be on the lookout for victim thinking, which blames someone or something else for your condition. Take responsibility for finding out what your particular discomfort responds to, and try different options for preventing and relieving headaches in your life.Roberta Mittman

Enough talk…let’s take action.
Dealing with headaches by yourself can be a difficult task. Don’t try to do it alone. Find a health professional you trust to help you navigate through the possible causes of your headaches and to introduce some alternative, safe ways for achieving relief. Or call and email me with any questions you may have.

Roberta Mittman, L.Ac. writes about her experiences in her monthly newsletter to both real and virtual patients. If you are ready to jump-start your transition to natural health care, feeling better, and gaining a new outlook on life, get free advice now at

March 31, 2010 at 1:10 pm Leave a comment

My Body Is A Temple: 40 Day Self-Love Challenge

C&C friends,

Please join me on an amazing, 40 day practice centered around building a better relationship with your body–aka–your temple.

Yes, 40 days is a long time. I can’t even commit to an hour long TV show. But as someone who has taken on self-love challenges before, commiting to honoring and loving yourself EVERY DAY brings about radical changes and cool “a-ha!”  lightbulb moments.

Check out the challenge HERE–and leave a comment if you plan on joining me!

Check out the Madly In Love With Me movement Facebook page, too!

March 30, 2010 at 6:04 pm Leave a comment

Study Finds Junk Food just as addicting as cocaine and heroin

Gus has had one too many twinkies!

Drop that Twinkie, Gus! 

A new study has found that eating junk food can be addictive!

In the study, rats were granted unlimited access to foods like bacon, pound cake, sausage, candy bars, and other junk foods. All of the rats quickly gained weight. And in addition, they became so addicted to the junk that they started to compulsively eat it–even when they received a painful electric shock when they consumed more than was allowed. Yikes!

On the flip side, a group of rats that was fed healthy fare with limited access to junk food did not gain much weight, and also knew when to say “no” to junk food to avoid the “junk food hangover.”

The researchers found that with the junk food eating rats, the dopamine D2 receptor of the brain was suppressed, leading to compulsive eating.

Read reports on the study here and here.

March 30, 2010 at 2:57 pm Leave a comment

Trapped In the Closet

This is totally NOT my closet. But I wish it was.

This weekend, I spent (total) about 6 hours working through my closet. I usually do one big, and much awaited, spring-winter clothing swap, but that came early this year.

If you took a peek in my closet this past Friday before the big sweep, you’d find a hodge-podge of stuff. And, of course, the don’t-fit-anymore but I sure-as-hell-wish-they-did pieces.

My pile of “NOs” got bigger as the day went on, starting with the jeans that were god awfully tight. One pair in particular were my favorite slim “going out” jeans that I bought about five years ago. At the time they were tight, but hot damn, they looked good. The only time I really fit into them was right before my wedding, when I was a toothpick (not in a good way). Since then, the jeans have sat in my closet, taunting me because I would have to majorly diet my way back into them.

So what was the first item of clothing that made the give-away pile? You guessed it! Those to0-tight, muffin-top creating jeans.  I must admit, part of me was sad to give them away. After all, they represented a VERY fun time in my life. They weren’t just denim–they were memories, experiences, and emotions, too.

I found that to be true with the other clothing I gave away. Lots of short, very revealing tops I wore when I used to go clubbing (Man, if those clothes could talk!). Items that didn’t fit my personal style also went into the pile. If I didn’t feel good in it, if it wasn’t perfect, out it went!

I reviewed practically everything, even coats (I am a coat whore) and fancy dresses. It was a tough process, and very emotional at times. It pained me that some of the items still had their tags.  But in the end, I’m left with only things that fit and make me feel fabulous. 

And let me just say I did NOT do this alone. The incredible Bridgette Raes, author of Style Rx: Dressing the Body You Have to Create the Body You Want, supported me through this process. Bridgette is amazing–she’s the incredibly honest friend that never tells you something looks good when it really doesn’t.  Not only is she a style expert, but she is very sensitive to the fact that clothing is extremely emotional. So, she just smiled when I whizzed past some hippy-esque clothing that I wear at concerts (OK, and the tie-die).  I told her those were off limits!

So, your chellenge: Take some time to go through your closet (Make it fun! I listened to Black Eyed Peas and wore my sky-high heels) and get rid of EVERYTHING that either a)doesn’t fit you NOW, or b) just isn’t your style anymore. Trust me–the minute you get rid of it, you’ll find even better pieces to fill the gaps.  Good luck!

March 29, 2010 at 2:31 pm Leave a comment

Should Gabby Sibide be on the Cover of Vogue

Vogue worthy?

According to recent news,  Vogue has been challenged to feature the obese Gabby Sibide, star of Precious and Academy Award nominee, on its cover.

The writer of this “pop-ed” piece thinks that the answer should be a definite NO (I actually know the author and like her very much, so this is not a personal attack!)

I disagree…and I think the answer should be a “Why the FUCK not?”  Excuse my language.

The author has a point that yes, Sibide is larger than plus model size, however, aren’t 99% of the models that grace Vogue normally way underweight? SO, just as Sibide might not be representative of American girls in their 20s (average weight 140), neither are the models that are 5’11” and weight 110 pounds.

Vogue can decide or not to decide to use Sibide, either way, I’m not gonna fight (I don’t read the magazine anyway). However, this again magnifies issues that groups like Health at Every Size and the Association for Size Diversity and Health are fighting for on a daily basis: to create a world free from “weight-based assumptions and weight-discriminations.”

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t care about Gabby Sibide’s weight. We wouldn’t care about news like this. Unfortunately we’re far from that, until people realize that fat-ism is just as serious as racism.

Until then, Gabby has my vote to be in Oprah’s a much better magazine anyway, in my opinion. She can leave Vogue to the uber-skinny.

March 25, 2010 at 7:32 pm Leave a comment

Gettin’ Biblical With Portion Sizes

I love this one!

Recently, a US study examined over 50 biblical Last Supper paintings and came up with an interesting find.  Apparently, we’ve been eating increasingly larger portions over the past 1000 years (Yes, 1000!).

The study was led by Brian Wansink of Cornell University, author of “Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think” (a must have book), and his brother, a professor of religious studies at Virginia Wesleyan College.

Thanks to computer design techonology,  researchers anazlyed the size of the main meals (entrees), bread, and the plates relative to the average size of the disciples’ heads. 

The study showed that the sizes of the portions and even the plate size in the artworks, painted over the past millenium, have gradually increased by between 23 and 69%.  Over the past 1000 years, the size of the main meal has continuously grown 69%; plate size increased 66% and bread siuze about 23%.

“The last thousand years have witnessed dramatic increases in the production, availability, safety, abundance and affordability of food,” Wansink said in a statement.

“We think that as art imitates life, these changes have been reflected in paintings of history’s most famous dinner.”

Hmmm, WWJD now?

March 25, 2010 at 2:09 pm Leave a comment

When Life Gives You Lemons

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go. Things go wrong so that you can appreciate when they go right. You believe less so that you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself. Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”

        –Marilyn Monroe, icon, fabulous, sexy.(taken from the Daily Love email)

Marilyn is my homegirl ‘cause she got it right—everything happens for a reason.  People change. Relationships end with the wrong partner so you can bump into your true love. You get fired but you never liked that job anyway, so it forces you to explore your passions. Someone called you fat when you were younger, but it led you to want to help other people with their weight and body image (OK, that’s me).

I’ve been writing a daily gratitude list to a group of women for five years. Every day. I don’t think I’ve ever stuck to anything that long, but expressing gratitude is so fulfilling in just so many ways.  The recipients of my daily list are the “divas,” as we affectionately call each other, brought together by the wonderful, incredible Jennifer Macaluso Gilmore and her inspirational classes for women called Something Different for Women.

Jennifer brought up a VERY good point in our last meeting: that when expressing gratitude, if you’ve done it for awhile (like I have), you can easily fall into a rut. It’s easy to be thankful for things like a sunny day, your family, your dog, and a new dress. And that’s fine and dandy.

However, it’s a completely different practice to be grateful for the BAD things that have happened to you. Most of the time we take those events and shove them into the recesses of our mind, hoping to never think about them again.  But, to dust of those experiences, to truly examine them from all angles and to be grateful for the lessons they taught you is WAY more powerful.

So, that’s what I’m doing with my diva partner, Ilana of Downtown Dharma (awesome blog, awesome woman, read it!). Each day, for 30 days (we’re on day 4), we share something painful that happened to us, how it made us feel, and what we learned from it (we call this EXTREME gratitude).

For example, I shared with her that in 6th grade, a very mean girl ripped out fat camp advertisements and taped them to my locker (btw, I had never told anyone that before yesterday when I wrote to Ilana). Of course, it made me feel AWFUL because I didn’t think of myself as fat! I believe that was when I started very many years of hating and abusing my body in many ways…and obviously I still think about it to this day.  

But more important than the shame and grief is the GRATITUDE I feel for that event happening to me. I remembered that I had VERY good friends support me. I learned that I never wanted to be someone who was mean to another girl. And on an indirect path, it led me right here: making peace and establishing a loving relationship with my body, and inspiring others to do the same thing.

So remember: When life gives you lemons, be GRATEFUL!

March 24, 2010 at 2:35 pm Leave a comment

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