Book Club: Crazy, Sexy, Diet: Chapter Four

Book Club Notes, Chapter 4
Thank you everyone for your participation in this group.  It is fun to hear your thoughts on the chapter and to gather new ideas for meals.  I always come home ready to try some new and different healthy recipes.
Today’s chapter on Animal Products was a bit of a tough read, and there were some paragraphs that I did not read too thoroughly.  We talked about loving and caring about animals and yet liking to eat meat.  It is a tough call to make and I continue to eat meat, but in much smaller portions than before reading this book.
Kris Carr believes that for optimal health we need to “reduce or better yet dump animal products” (pg 61) from our diets.  She points out that the ”American Dietetic Association recommends that meat, poultry, and fish portions should be no more than the size of a deck of playing cards, about 3-4 ounces”. Pg 63   She says to “think of meat and milk products as the supporting cast, grains as the costars and veggies as the center-stage divas.  Animal products should be a side dish or treated as a condiment (if consumed at all), while plant-based foods make up the main course.  This very simple and inexpensive change will rock your world, up your life span and vanquish the scariest C of all – cellulite!” (pg 63)  “Cellulite is formed because of fluid retention and the accumulation of waste products and toxins in the body.  … Breaking down these foods, (animal products), results in a ton of toxic waste products floating around our systems, and they are visible from the outside in the form of nasty cellulite.” (Pg 63)
When people ask “what about protein?” she states that we get all the protein and calcium from a varied plant-based diet. (Pg 63) The healthiest people on the earth are those who eat the fewest animal products.
“Many children have the beginnings of heart disease before they pick up their high school diplomas.” (Pg 64)  It was believed that once a person built up plaque from particles of cholesterol the process was irreversible.  “But Dr. Dean Ornish,…changed that dismal scenario.  … He asked his heart patients to make some powerful lifestyle changes based on four simple steps:
A vegetarian diet 2. Regular exercise 3.Stress management 4.Avoidance of tobacco.
…After one year…the participants arteries had actually opened up, so much so that a difference was clearly visible on angiograms in 82% of the people in the study.” (Pg 64-65)
The primary foods they avoided were meats, dairy products, eggs and oily foods. (pg 65)
“In the 1960’s researches observed … breast cancer, for example was common in North America and Europe, but surprisingly rare in Japan.  …When cancer did strike the Japanese women, they were much more likely to survive…” (pg 65)  “By the late 1970’s Japanese women who had Westernized their diets and ate meat everyday had an eight times the risk of breast cancer, compared with poorer women who continued traditional rice-based diets.” (pg65)
Diabetes is becoming a very concerning issue as well.  With Diabetes, “glucose is having a hard time getting into your cells, (resulting in too much sugar in your blood.) “When sugar builds up in the bloodstream,…it can damage the delicate blood vessels of your eyes, kidneys, heart, and legs.” (pg 66)  “Why is glucose having trouble getting into the cells?…It turns out that the cells can get gummed up… fat particles from the foods you eat can enter the cells and interfere with the insulin’s ability to open the cell membrane to glucose.”   “When you avoid eating fatty foods, it is like cleaning gum out of a lock.  Fat leaves your cells and insulin starts to work better.” Pg 66
In further support of Kris’s belief that animal products are not good for us, she states that our bodies are “ill equipped to fully digest and absorb meat.”(pg 67)  She compares us to the “lioness who eats her food raw, and therefore receives all the enzymatic benefits.  Her short digestive tract ensures that zebra goes in, zebra comes out.  Now think of our intestines, about 26 twisting, curving feet.  Pig goes in; pig stays in for days and weeks at a time.  Pig makes us bloated and bitchy.  Our personal thermostat hovers around 98.6.  What happens to pig at that temperature? Stink city!” (pg67)
Our concerns over having enough protein are myths that we have grown up with.  She states that overdosing on protein is one of the reasons we have become so unhealthy. (pg 68) Dr. Furhman suggests that we need only 20-35 grams of protein per day, instead most Americans are consuming between 100 and 120 grams of protein a day.  (pg 68)
Once again, she points out the fact that big business executives have become government regulators, making up the regulations and guidelines we follow which are now impacting our health.
There are charts in this chapter for plants high in protein, (pg 70), and plants high in calcium (pg 75) When protein and calcium are ingested in plant form, they are more easily absorbed and used by the body.
There is a lot of information in the chapter on the inhumane treatment of animals, which is heartbreaking.  Kris says that after reading this chapter, if you still must have meat and dairy in your diet, research local organic meat producers and to look for labels that say free range, then research as best you can, as many labels are misleading.
There was also a site listed as a place to go to look for meat free meals.  It is  As she says if there is one meat you can’t give up, keep it and give up all the rest and focus more on vegetables.
Thank you Marci for doing Book Club last week, I so appreciate your filling in for me on short notice.  Next week Marci will be facilitating the group as you discuss chapters 5 and 6.  Come and be a part of a very interesting, interactive and fun group.
Sample today was Granola.  Recipe follows.
2 cups of oatmeal, (quick or old-fashioned)
½ cup olive oil ( I use extra light for this)
½ cup agave or honey
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup raw pecans
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup flax seeds (ground)
½ cup coconut flakes
If you are not watching gluten you can also add ½ cup wheat germ.
Combine the oil and agave or honey set aside.  Mix the remainder of ingredients together in a large bowl and pour the oil/honey mixture over all.  Mix well and bake in a preheated oven (275) for 20 minutes, remove and stir then return to oven for another 20 minutes. (If using honey and old-fashioned oats, I repeat this one more time, but when using agave and quick oats twice is plenty.)
Remove from oven, cool and put into airtight container.  In the summer I keep this in the fridge.
*You can also add raisins, dates or craisins halfway through so they don’t get too dry.


Share Your Inspiration: Bettie Townson

In order to keep our minds young and alert there is always something new for us to learn if we look for it.  My name is Bettie Townson and I turned 83 last Tuesday.

I have always been an exercise “nut.”  I’ve exercised throughout the years regularly, not always for better health but for looks.  Some 45 years ago I had a tumor removed off the back of my shoulder that left me with a continuing impairment.  Thru the years doctors prescribed therapy treatments, painkillers, patches, various ointments which helped momentarily but never lasted.  Specific exercises for the problem never fully helped.  For more than 15 years I took water aerobics with some degree of success.  I could never get a full nights sleep even with these aids, however.
about 2 years ago my oncologist prescribed a nerve pain medicine to help me get a full night’s sleep but I could only take it at night.  It therefore wasn’t much help in the daytime.  Last February or March a real good friend of mine mentioned about a yoga class in Weatherford she wanted me to try.  I had tried yoga before but due to a replaced hip surgery couldn’t do many of the postures.  I really wasn’t very enthused about this class at first.  I found that Sandra empathized breathing and stretching more than actual yoga positions.  So I stayed with it knowing that I probably couldn’t be there every week.  Sandra Also pointed out that in some exercises that I had done throughout the years I wasn’t doing them correctly.  I am now more mindful when I do them that I do them correctly.

Since about last April or so I have not had to take the nerve pain medicine at night in order to get a good night’s sleep.  This is as long as I do at least 30 minutes of this particular stretching each and every day.  If I fail to do so I find I have to take the medicine.

Bettie Townson
For more information about Indra’s Grace in Weatherford Texas please visit

Share Your Inspiration: Adrianne Berry

My name is Adrianne, and this is my story about how yoga and Sandra Vanatko, at Indra’s Grace, has helped me become healthier and more youthful.
Two years ago I was driving on Fourth Street and noticed a sign on a building that read “Yoga.” I went home and called and found out that a new yoga studio, Indra’s Grace, had just opened. I signed up to begin classes, even though I was somewhat skeptical. I had tried yoga at another studio but found that I could not do the poses. But I knew there must be something to it, so I decided to give it another try.
There were just two people in my first class: me and the instructor, Sandra.  We mostly did breathing exercises that first class, but I recognized immediately that Sandra’s message about health and fitness and positive thinking was an important one that I needed to hear. I began going to classes every week and, more importantly, developed my own daily yoga practice.
Changes to my body happened gradually. The first thing I noticed was that I wasn’t stiff and sore every morning when I woke up. Then I noticed that I had more range of motion when doing things that required me to extend my muscles and move my joints.  Eventually I could do deep knee bends and squats that seemed impossible at first.
Beyond the physical benefits that I was noticing, I began feeling more confident about my body and my ability to move and keep my balance. My husband (who had also begun taking yoga) and I bought a sailboat-something that we’d thought about but never felt confident enough about our bodies-to do. We both now had more confidence in our ability to crawl around on the boat and do all the things necessary to pilot a sailboat.
I also purchased a bicycle and began riding regularly. I began to lose some weight. This success led me to change my diet to a low carb diet. I lost more weight. I upgraded my comfort bike to a road bike and began riding in tours with other cyclists, doing 20 and 30 mile rides.
I’ve been practicing yoga a little over two years now, and that, combined with my diet and cycling and increased physical activity has resulted in my losing 50 pounds! I look and feel like a different person. I am vital and confident and athletic. I feel younger at 56 than I did at 46!
I trace my success back to the day I started my yoga class with Sandra. There are still poses that I can’t do, and I still have much to learn. But I know that yoga is a lifelong practice, not something that I will ever perfect and leave behind. I don’t claim that yoga alone is the reason for my success. But I am convinced that my yoga practice put me on the path to a healthier, more positive, vital, and confident life. I am so grateful to Sandra for her role in my transformation!

To learn more about Indra’s Grace in Weatherford, Texas please visit

Share Your Inspiration: Barb Wise

by Barb Wise

I never would have thought I would be writing an article on Yoga! If you had asked me if practiced Yoga 10 years ago, I probably would have laughed.   Thoughts like “Why in the World?” and “What for?” would have raced through my mind.  Oh how we change and learn.

Now Yoga is such a part of my life that I actually plan my life around my Yoga Classes!! For real!!!! I show up now at Rotary, Political lunches, Chamber of Commerce lunches in my Yoga clothes.  I know people in Weatherford think that I have no other clothes to wear.  In short Yoga has changed my life…. WHY? And HOW? You may ask!

The Simple perspective I have come up with is that Yoga makes you feel good.  It’s relaxing. It’s energizing. It’s strengthening. You feel better at the end of a session than before you began, and life runs more smoothly when you maintain a consistent discipline than when you don’t.  Yoga enhances your experience of life.  It changes your perspective.  You thereby find yourself spontaneously embracing a larger, more accurate conception of who you are, how life works, and what and who God is.  You start seeing things differently, with less distortion-which results in more peace of mind, Better Health, more enthusiasm for life, and an ever-growing authentic sense of inner well-being.

Let’s go back to Better Health! This past March I went for the dreaded Well-Woman exam, long story short, my Thyroid test showed normal, I am now OFF Thyroid medication. My Bone-Density test showed NO bone loss or weak bones, I am now OFF my Osteoporosis medication.   On Friday April 20th I went to my primary care doctor because my pharmacy would not refill my Cholesterol med until I saw my doctor.   Of course after the dreaded weigh-in they took my Blood Pressure and it was 100/60!!! Like WOW!!  Pre-Yoga (just two short years ago) my BP was 150/95, my doctor was so impressed he took me OFF my BP medication.  He then did a blood draw to check my Cholesterol~ if the results are good then he will take me OFF Cholesterol medication!  Folks I contribute all to my Yoga Practice.

As I practice Yoga, a subtle sense of feeling good gradually becomes so natural and genuine, so much a part of my life that it carries over into the whole of my life.  Yoga helps clarify my deepest longings, motivations and aspirations, by renewing my optimism, hope, meaning, and purpose in life.

When I began Yoga two years ago, it was damn hard and painful.  I remember the first time I tried to put my leg on the wall for my first “Wall Class”, I could not lift my leg four inches up the wall.  For real my leg would not lift!!! I thought OMG I am so out of shape, even though I didn’t think I was, at time I was walking two-five miles a day (as I still do), I rode my bike (as I still do).  But I could NOT lift my leg.  So painful, yes only because growth hurts when you resist change  (and I have an inclination to resist change) it’s an attempt to remain comfortable by staying the same.  But hey life is change. Change happens, especially when you’re involved in a powerful transformation process such as Yoga.  You grow.  You can’t not change.

Why I love Yoga ~because I like feeling good.  I like peace of mind.  I enjoy being joyful, peaceful, energized, and relaxed.  I feel better and I’m actually happier than I was two years ago.

Sandra always says that “Yoga is like brushing your teeth, it is an acquired habit.”  When I was young I didn’t like to brush my teeth.  It required my parents’ daily reminding to get me to do it.  Now I brush my teeth not only as a prevention against tooth decay, but because I prefer the way my mouth feels when it’s clean.

The same has been true with my Yoga practice.  At first it took conscious discipline and deliberate effort to establish a daily practice.  Now I practice not only because it’s good for me, but because I prefer the way I feel when I do.  I feel clean and new; much like the way brushing my teeth makes my mouth feel.  My entire motivation has changed.   Yoga helps keep my energy-tone at a level I like.

To sum this up LOVE, but what is love: “Love is the most practical thing in the world.  It’s what is needed most.  And this is what it is:  Love is the willingness to see that which is real in each and everything.  It’s the willingness to let go of what you think of something is in order to see it clearly as it really is.  Love, therefore, is the supreme healing power because it looks beyond what appears to be true to what is true.” -Schiffmann

To me YOGA is LOVE!

For more information on Indra’s Grace please visit

Beat The Heat Summer Time Smoothie

Last winter I spent two weeks doing Yoga in Costa Rica.  I landed in a small town close to Nosara called Playa Guiones.  It was a wonderful trip and one of the many things I took away from this trip was the creative and plentiful amount of fantastic super food smoothies that were served at every little shop!  My favorite is below.  This delightful treat is a great way to start your day or re-energize throughout the day when you are feeling hungry and hot!

Here’s the details. I hope you enjoy as much as I have!

1/2 Fresh Papaya
2 Tablespoons Ground Flaxseed
8 OZ Coconut Water(Sweeter) OR 8 OZ Purified Water
Touch of Honey
3-4 Ice Cubes

Bend Baby Blend!!  Treat yourself to this tropical summer delight!!  Did you know that papayas are known for their source of digestive enzymes? Papayas contain papain, one of a class of enzymes called proteolytic enzymes that help break down or digest protein.  Yay!  Papain may have anti-inflammatory properties too!  Papaya is a potassium heavyweight.  Excellent for hot Texas weather!  One medium papaya contains 781 mg of potassium and only 119 calories, not to mention 5.5 mg of fiber.  WOW!!

When picking a papaya look for the spreading yellow color which indicates that the fruit is softening and shows how far it is along ripening.  Enjoy!!

Book Club Notes: Crazy, Sexy, Diet Chapter 3

Notes on Chapter 3…..

SUGAR!!!  This is getting personal!  How do we honestly use sugar?  Drug…Bribe…Emotional Support…Best Friend?  Sugar is not the villain, but the vice.  Everything gets broken down to glucose…even fats and proteins! (p.45)   But…look what EXCESS sugar does for us…robs your minerals, lowers your pH, rots your teeth, wigs out pancreas, feeds candida, fires up inflammation, osteoporosis, diabetes, and cancer, stresses your nervous system,adrenals and hormone function! (p.41)  So why do we love it?  It’s an addiction…time to kick it!

American Heart Association researchers recommend that women limit their sugar intake to no more than 100 calories a day (about 6 teaspoons).  For men, a limit of 150 calories per day (about 9 teaspoons).  The average American consumes 355 calories (22 teaspoons) of sugar daily!  It’s hidden in everything!  It’s found in most packaged foods. (p. 42)  This excess sugar is stored in your liver…my liver as glucose…once the liver is full its then converted into fatty acids (triglycerides) that enter the bloodstream and is stored in the tissues…yuck…this is where the tire gets attached around your middle! (p.43)

Now we get into carbs..yes, she is talking about our interest in breads, pastas and potatoes!  There is not much difference between a spoonful of sugar and a slice of bread!  It’s the fiber that makes the difference between good and bad. (p.42-43)

Did you know that cancer cells have around 19 times more glucose receptors than normal cells!  Sugar and carbs are the best way to get quick fuel for these bad boys. Just consider how a PET scan injecting radioactive glucose in your bloodstream.(p.45)

Check out the Glycemic Index on page 47…on a scale of 0 to 100…anything below 60 is a good choice…newsworthy is the fact that most vegetables are a 0!  Yeah for broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, kale, spinach, etc…

Great Craving Control tips on page 49…one is to floss, brush, and gargle with natural minty mouthwash.  it sends the signal that the office of eating is temporarily closed for business.  A must read is on pages 50 -51…Dr. Lilli Link, M.D. discusses inflammation.  A few suggestions are to use extra virgin Olive oil, flax seeds and oil, hemp seeds and oil, chia seeds, walnuts, turmeric,ginger, hot red peppers, apples, and grapefruit.  Also, use lower heat and cook longer!

Gluten – Free living is discussed on pages 52 – 55.  Stop eating it and see how you feel!  All labels must say if it contains wheat, peanuts or soy.  We were blessed to have a visitor, Barbara from Austin attend our book study.  She shared her remarkable story and her personal health benefits from eating gluten-free for the past 3 years!  Thanks Barbara!!!

Coffee and Wine…you guessed it…time to ease up on consumption and your body will thank you!  Great alternatives on page 56 and 57.  Here is the recipe for the Double S (Sandra Smoothie) that was sampled…everyone liked it… chocolaty sweet goodness that is gluten-free!!  1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 banana, 1 T Amazing Greens Chocolate powder, 1 T Udos Oil, 1 T Flax seed oil, 1 T hemp Protein powder, handful goji berries, 4 raw cacao beans (I used the nibs, it’s what was in the pantry! )

The bottom line…LISTEN TO YOUR BODY..and address all the stinkin thinkin!!!  Any small change is still CHANGE!

Next week the Book study group will meet on SUNDAY, July 22nd from 1:00 to 2:30 pm. Be reading Chapter 4.  (Condolences to Judy on the loss of her Father-in-law…we missed you…positive thoughts and prayers coming your way!)  Notes by Marcy Atchley

Book Club Notes: Crazy, Sexy, Diet Chapter Two

CSD Book Club August  7th, 2012
Chapter 2 on pH.
What a chapter, it is so well written and so well supports what Kris Carr believes about diet and health.  The first time I read this chapter I decided that I would just call Sandra and tell her I couldn’t do the book group, as after reading this I knew I needed to change my diet but wasn’t sure I was ready to do so.  Reading it again and then reading on further in the book, I decided I wanted to change my approach to food in a positive and moderate way, and change I have.  It has been an interesting, frustrating and also fun journey.
Kris refers to the acid/alkaline balance as the rebel vs the nice solid guy.  Acid is more glitzy but saps your energy, alkaline foods give you energy, and are reliable and trustworthy. (pg 21)  “When your cells are at peace with their surrounding environment, they receive nourishment and release waste with ease.  But when you eat, drink and think crap, your cells and inner environment become polluted.” (pg 22)
“pH of a substance tells us how much acid or alkaline it is.  7 is neutral, below 7 is acidic and above 7 is alkaline. …the more alkaline it is the more oxygen it has and conversely the more acidic it is the less oxygen it has.”  (pg23)  Ideally you want to be at 7.365.  Even a minor fluctuation in your blood’s pH (too alkaline or too acidic) creates distress signals.  Everything from a runny nose to skin eruptions, heartburn, eczema, inflammation, arthritis, poor circulation, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, a weakened immune system- even cancer- can be traced back in some way to an acidic inner terrain.”  Try testing your urine 2-3 times a day for about a week, using litmus paper strips, available on line or at local health food stores.  Ideally your urine should read between 6.8 and 7.5.  Do not test your first pee of the day, and it is best to test either before eating or 1-2  hours after eating for a more accurate reading.  “each increase of a single number in either direction away from 7 is actually a multiple of ten, so when you move from 7-6 that is actually 10 times more acid.” (pg 24)  Also, “in the blood it takes 20 times the amount of alkalinity to neutralize an acid.” (pg 24)  It is much easier to become too acidic than too alkaline, but you can help your body avoid this by …”eating a more alkaline diet-veggies, greens, fresh organic green juices and smoothies, sprouts, wheatgrass juice, certain grains and other fabulous plant foods- you will explode with vibrant energy and well-being.” (pg 23)
“It is not just diet that impacts your pH it is lack of exercise, anger, drugs, cigs, and stress all make you acidic.” (pg 23)  “Emotional stress releases acid forming hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline that flood your system and much up your soil.” (23)
Your body needs minerals to function properly, to make proteins, enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, etc.  (pg 25)  A healthy diet stocks your body with plenty of alkaline minerals, while an overly acidic diet eventually maxes out the reserves.  This forces your own body to pull its own minerals to neutralize acids in order to keep your blood pH on the alkaline side.  One of the ways it does this is by mining alkaline minerals from your bones, teeth, tissues and organs.  …This fabulous buffer system works as your emergency stash of inner tums.  …if you don’t replace your inner Tums with minerals from your chow, then the cabinet will be empty the next time you need it.” (pg 26)  “The major consequence of losing minerals from the body, especially teeth and bones is loss of bone density and osteoporosis.”
Minerals help produce enzymes.  “You make two main types of enzymes; digestive and metabolic.  Digestive enzymes break your food down into simpler, smaller bits that are easier for your body to absorb.  …The more time your body spends making digestive enzymes, the less time it has to create metabolic enzymes.  …Metabolic enzymes basically run your body, …build blood, tissues, organs, repair your beautiful body and help your cells produce energy and carry away wastes.” (pg 27)  When we eat cooked foods (cooked about 118 degrees, highly processed foods, we are not getting enough enzymes as cooking kills the enzymes as does the processing.  Therefore we have to make more digestive enzymes ourselves.  This does not mean no cooked foods, it just means to increase the amount of raw vegetables you eat as well.
“Whole and unprocessed foods …are the fountain of youth.”  (pg 28)  In 1931 Dr. Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize for his revelation that …”cancer cells are anaerobic, they thrive in an oxygen depleted environment.” (Pg 28) When we eat a plant based diet, with an emphasis on raw foods, we assist our bodies.  …the more oxygen we get in our food, the more health we experience.” Pg 28
Another important part of this is drinking lots of water, and watermelon juice on very warm days (pg 30) your cells gulp it up.
Chlorophyll is what allows plants to absorb light from the sun and convert it to usable energy, it is also what makes their leaves green and healthy.  Chlorophyll is a powerful body builder, it helps detoxify the blood of our bodies, it increases red blood cell production which  enhances the cell’s ability to carry oxygen, it strengthens the immune system, improves circulation, eases inflammation, and counteracts harmful free radicals.  (pg 31)
When acid needs to be neutralized by the body, free radicals are created.  These free radicals are very unstable and look for the first opportunity to rob a necessary electron from a more stable molecule, which turns that molecule into a free radical.  Too many free radicals up the ante on disease and premature aging.  (pg 32)
Vitamins are necessary for our body’s to function normally.  We do not make Vitamins ourselves therefore we need get them from our foods.  As cooking destroys many vitamins, and the synthetic vitamins are no match for the real deal, it is important to be aware of what you are eating.
She also talks about phytonutrients which help us fight free radicals and disease, as well as once again encouraging the 60/40 or 80/20 balance, having most of our intake full of alkaline foods.
This chapter has so much information I encourage you to read it several times.  I also want to thank everyone for their participation in group again on Saturday.  It is so much fun and so interesting to share, listen and learn from each other as well as from the book.
Next week is the Chapter on Sugar!  Come ready to share thoughts and ideas.  Have a great week.

Notes written by Judi Trotter

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