A holistic way to handle anxiety & stress

I recently got the chance to travel to California. Although I loved the idea of warm sunshine and walking around in flip flops, the though of getting on to the airplane was enough to make me want to scream. I have always felt uneasy flying and also being in small confined spaces as I have had anxiety since I was a child.

The flight going to there was just a nightmare – 6 hours in the middle seat with zero leg room and it took off at 8:00 p.m. at night. As hard as I tried I could not fall asleep. By the time we arrived I think it was 12:00 a.m or 3:00 a.m. our time. I just collapsed on to the bed.

I was only there for 3 days but we had the best time, the day I had to leave to return home I mentioned to my Life Coach how hard it was for me to fly. He gave me something to try – and essential oil called “Past Tense”. He rolled the product on the back of my neck and I didn’t think much of it.

2 hours later I was on the plane, I put my head back and closed my eyes. I started to fall asleep and when I woke up there was only an hour left on the flight. This is the first time in my life I have ever fallen asleep on a plane. It gets better, we arrive back in Boston at 6:30 a.m. I went home to unpack and then went to my martial arts studio to teach class at 4:00 p.m. I didn’t have any jet lag. I actually felt better on the return trip home then on the flight to there.

I am so convinced at how great the essential oils are that we will be using/carrying them at the studio. We have so many client with anxiety and who are under a lot of stress – having a product available to ease this is invaluable. If you would like to try a sample, please let me know. If you would like to order the product, I am listing the information below and here is the site to order from – http://mydoterra.com/sifurita

10996310_10153180011074314_6749533429755215569_nIn today’s fast-paced society, stress, tension, and anxiety are common and can eventually lead to compromised health if ignored.

Past Tense is a distinctive blend of essential oils known to reduce the discomforts associated with tension and stress. Known for their soothing effects on both the mind and body,
the essential oils in Past Tense quickly ease tension, relax the muscles and calm emotions.

Past Tense comes in a convenient 10mL roll-on for easy application when at work, school, or home. Simply apply to the neck, shoulders, or behind the ears to help relieve tight, tense muscles while breathing in the cooling, therapeutic aroma of Past Tense
• Apply to neck and shoulders when at work to relieve stress and tension.
• Use Past Tense before taking a test, presenting in public, or in high-stress situations.
• Apply to the wrists, feet, or neck to calm a high strung child.
• Use at night before bedtime to promote a restful night’s sleep.

Topical use: Apply to desired area. Dilute with dōTERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil to minimize any skin sensitivity. See additional precautions below.

Possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care,
consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.
ears, and sensitive areas.

Starting a weight loss program with a DETOX

There are many benefits to doing a Detox if its done properly. Many report increased energy, a stronger immune system, improved skin, healthier hair and weight loss.

Below is a guide how to follow a Detox for 7 days.

The Rules:

• No grains or starches • No fat (oils, butter, margarine)
• No Sugar or artificial sweeteners • No alcohol, coffee, soda or other caffeine-containing beverages • No Junk food • Vegetables (as many as you like)
• Fruit (three servings per day) • Refrain from eating protein dairy as long as possible • If you must add protein, add a three ounces of lean protein like tuna (canned in water or fresh), salmon (canned in water or fresh), chicken, turkey, tofu or plain soy milk. • Water (eight 8 fl. oz. glasses per day) 

Detox Tips:
• Eat only the cleansing foods on the lists (try arranging these foods into three meals a day, plus snacks).
• Keep it simple. • Use spices and herbs, small amounts of low sodium soy sauce, salt, pepper, vinegar and mustard.
• The naturally accruing plant compounds in the fruits and vegetable will help accelerate the cleansing process
. Getting plenty of sleep will also help with the detoxification process. However, you may feel a little more tired than usual the first few days. By the end of the week, you should feel energized.
• Do not engage in strenuous physical activity, even if you are used to it. Instead of a vigorous workout, take more yoga and gentle stretching. This is also a great time to meditate, listen to relaxing music, and engage in other stress-reduction activities.
• Think about the commitment you are making to yourself, what you stand to gain, and how accomplished you will feel. 

Detox Power Foods
Vegetables Fresh (not Frozen or Canned) Portion Size: 1-2 cups, unless otherwise noted
• Alfalfa Sprouts • Artichokes • Arugula • Asparagus

• Bean Sprouts • Beets • Bell Peppers • Bok Choy • Broccoli • Brussels sprouts
• Cabbage (red or white) • Carrots • Cauliflower • Celery • Chard • Collard Greens • Cucumber
• Dandelion greens • Edamame • Eggplant • Endive • Ginger • Green Beans • Hot Peppers
• Jerusalem Artichokes • Jicama • Kale • Kohlrabi • Leeks • Lettuce (any) • Malanga • Mushrooms • Okra • Olives • Onions
• Parsley • Pimientos • Radicchio • Radishes • Rhubarb • Rutabaga • Salsa • Sauerkraut • Scallions • Snow Peas (no sugar) • Spinach • Squash leaves • Stir-fry vegetables, no sauce • Tomato Juice (no salt), 1/3 cup • Tomato Paste, 2 tbsp • Tomato Sauce, ½ cup • Vegetable juice (no salt), ½ cup
• Water Chestnuts • Watercress • Yellow Squash • Zucchini •Greens (beet, collard, dandelion, kale, mustard, turnip)

Fruit Fresh (not Frozen or Canned) Portion Size: 1 medium fruit , unless otherwise noted
• Apple • Apricots, 4 medium • Banana • Berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, boysenberries, blackberries), ¾ cup
• Canteloupe • Casaba melon • Cherries, 12 large • Currants, 3 tbsp • Dates (fresh), 2 • Figs (fresh), 2 • Gooseberries • Grapefruit • Grapes • Guava • Honeydew melon • Jackfruit • Kiwi fruit • Kumquats, 4 medium • Lemon • Lime • Loganberries • Loquats • Lychees, 7
• Mandarin orange • Melon balls • Mulberries • Nectarine • Orange • Papaya, ½ medium • Passion Fruit • Peach • Pear • Pineapple, ½ cup • Plum • Pomegranate, ½ of small • Raisins, 2 tbsp • Sharon Fruit • Starfruit • Tangelo • Tangerine • Watermelon

If you have questions or want to do a coaching program, please feel free to contact me at sifupasquale@live.com


My Interview for Bauli USA with Executive Chef Fabio Viviani

11080993_10205003576581556_8655406380795171359_nThis is defiantly one for the bucket list. You know it’s going to be a great day when you have the opportunity to interview someone you have watched and admired for a very long time.

I have been a fan of Fabio’s and have  been following him on twitter for over 5 years now, we’ve been to several of his events, cooking classes and can I just say that before I met him I could not even boil water. I have made several of his recipes and they are always a huge hit when I have company over. I am in the process of learning how to start a business baking cookies for my favorite charity – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. So Fabio has really been an inspiration and business mentor for me.

In the short time he has been here in this country,  he has begun to create an incredible legacy, owning several restaurants – 2 in California, 1 in Chicago and 1 in Miami and many more planned to open in the next few years,  he’s the author of 2 cookbooks, an online magazine, a cookware line and now his very own Wine collection.

I recently got the chance to go to California to visit one of his restaurants called Cafe Firenze – it was the grand prize in the Bauli Bake off contest that I won for dressing up a Bauli Pandoro cake. 

It was an amazing experience to not only be at his restaurant but to have Fabio pull up a chair to join us and select the appropriate wine for our dinner. 20787_10153202160207342_7908839992677492021_n We dined on shrimp stuffed with gorgonzola cheese, wrapped in panchetta on a bed of parmesan polenta. This was heaven on a plate and that was just the appetizer. Our main course was fresh pasta with seafood and we also tried the short rib ravioli. There was no room for dessert but we still had to order the nutella bread pudding. This will be one of those experiences that will flash before my eyes before I leave this earth – it was that perfect.

Bauli USA had asked me to interview Fabio during my trip to California but we didn’t really get a chance to speak until today. Here is our conversation, it is quite funny.

Hi Fabio, Thank you so much for doing this. Bauli sent me a few questions, they wanted me to do a little interview with you and I just wanted to ask you if its ok for me to put it in my blog – I want to do a piece on you being a mentor – is that ok with you if I do that?

 FV: Yes, lets do it.

 If you could dine with anyone in history who would it be?

FV:  If I could dine, like eating food together – I would love to do at the same table at the same time, with my former grandmother, Sylvester Stallone, Vin Diesel and John Paul the II, the former Pope. 

Wow, that’s quite a dinner party. (I am laughing)

FV: That’s a good table.

(I am still laughing) This is going to be fun, I can tell.

What are some of most favorable memories as a chef?

FV: What’s a good memory, the memories of making an apple cake for the Pope, when I opened my first restaurant was a fantastic memory and when I closed my first restaurant was a another fantastic memory because I have mastered the recipe for disaster from no longer doing that. As well as catering and getting to know all the  people that I would normally get to see in movies while in Italy. Because having a restaurant in Los Angels and North Hollywood  its very easy to get invited to cook for big movie stars, while I’m not affected by, I don’t get star struck, its just that its fun to see how they live and what they like to eat. And on top of that being a good friend with William Shatner, is pretty rad.

What would you order of your own menu?

FV: What would I order from my own menu, everything. Because if it is on the menu it is something I would love to eat. But if I had to pick anything  – fresh pasta and pizza’s. I live for carbohydrates. For me it is very important.

Welcome to the club! Listen that Shrimp dish at Cafe Firenze  that had the gorgonzola cheese and was wrapped in panchetta was so amazing. I’ve never had panchetta and the parmesan polenta – I don’t even like polenta and I loved that. It’s like art. I like how when you make your recipes you put a little spin on it, it’s simple but it’s so delicious. I can not wait to get to go back again. It was the best experience I have ever had. We had such a great time.

FV: Thank you, it was fun to hang out with you guys.

If you could cook with anyone in history who would it be and what would you prepare?

FV: I would love to have a sit down meal with Napoleon, I heard he was a short guy but he can drink. I would love to have dinner with Leonardo DaVinci just to ask him a few questions about some stuff that I still  do not understand. And I would love to have dinner with Michelangelo and try to understand how the f*** did he paint the Sistine Chapel up in there that good,  500 years ago.

That is passion. That’s just amazing.

FV: How do you hang 300 feet from the ground, painting at the same time and keep it cool. I just don’t get it.

I have never even seen it so I couldn’t even answer that for you. I have no idea, one of these days I will get to go to Italy. One of these days.

What would be your advice to someone who is aspiring to become a chef? FV: If you are aspiring to become a chef, be ready to give up everything you have to start your career. There is no family, there is no holiday, there is no fiancée, there is no dog, cat, or headache that can prevent you from going to work. If you don’t work for the first 10 year about 130 hours a week and  give a s*** about nothing but your business, you will never make it. It’s either get real or get out.

Wow, it sounds pretty similar to owning a martial arts studio to be totally honest with you.

I have just a few more questions, who inspires you as a business owner?

FV: Well I just got myself into it, very early as a chef, and then I just got the opportunity to own my own business when I was 19 years old, and I never looked back since. I think it was a combination of fate but I hated every day of my life working as an employee for somebody else telling me what to do, even if I only did that until I was 18. After that I opened my own business and I have always been a business owner since then. So I just loved the idea of being the person responsible in charge of my own success or failure. Normally I figure when you are an employee  you have a lot of people you could blame, I just like to be the one who gets blamed if something goes wrong.

Wow. Now tell me a little bit about how did you create your wine line?

FV: Growing up in Italy, used to drink fantastic wine and not pay a lot of money for it. I simply try to team up with good vineyard, good winery and as a wine merchant just deliver good juice in a bottle for a fair  price. And we create a good marketing behind it. I’ve been in business of wine my whole life, drinking it at first and then selling it and now we are making it.

That’s fantastic. I love your Cabernet, I never liked red wine and it’s phenomenal.  It’s very smooth. Now what will be the next one that comes out? FV: We’re probably going to do red blend and a white blend first then Pinot Grigio, Chianti maybe Prosecco.

Will you do a Port? My husband loves Port.  

FV: I’m not a big fan of Port, so unless there is a market need for it you’re not going to see a port with my name on it anytime soon.

My last question for you Fabio, what can we expect in the future from you and will have a cooking show again?

FV: Well you know I spent a lot of time on TV, last year I did over 100 appearances, there is shows in the making but I’m not meant to be a tv personality. Now I do enjoy the TV aspect of it, and hey if it comes I will get it, you can expect 30 more restaurants in the next 5 years and maybe  there will be a show. We are looking at it, we are evaluating it but unless I get to do what I want and when I want, there wont be any show with me on it on camera.

I don’t blame you, why should you compromise – you earned it.

FV: Right. Thank you very much Rita, I hope I see you again very soon.

Thank you so much, you take care Fabio.

This was really fun to interview Fabio – Thank you again to Bauli USA for the amazing accommodations that you provided to me and my husband. Thank you to Fabio Viviani for his generosity and having dinner with us. It was a great experience and we had a blast.

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Summer is coming, are you ready?

Summer is coming, are you ready?

We all want to look fabulous at the beach and this time of year has a way of making you feel pressured to diet and to try to loose extra weight. The focus should always be on being healthy. So here are some health tips to help you look and feel your best no matter what season it is.

Drink Water 
Thirst can be confused with hunger and you could end up eating extra calories when a glass of water would have done the trick.  Also adding a squeeze of lemon or lime to your water can give it lots of flavor with no extra calories. Another great way to add flavor is to get a muffin tin, add a slice of lemon and lime and then add water and freeze. Keeps your beverage cold and gives it a nice flavor. You can add a few to your sports bottle and keep refilling all day.

Being positive
Start by focusing on adding more fruits and vegetables. Planning ahead will help you to stay on track, try cutting & preparing carrot/ celery slices and keep them in the front of the fridge. Some grocery stores now carry organic frozen vegetables that can make adding to meals a lot easier when you are pressed for time. I always purchase frozen broccoli to add to my egg whites in the morning. Adding more fruits will help you feel full from the volume of food you are eating and you’re less likely to overeat. Make sure you pair your fruit with a serving of protein – like a spoon of peanut butter with an apple.

Am I really hungry? 
Hunger is your body’s way of telling you that you need to refuel, so when a craving doesn’t come from hunger, it wont matter what you eat, you will never feel satisfied. When you’re done eating, you should feel better not stuffed, bloated, or tired. And believe it or not, our stomach is only the size of a fist, so it only takes just a handful of food to fill it comfortably.

Snacks at night
Mindless eating occurs most frequently after dinner, when you finally sit down and relax. I playfully call it “the snack that never ends.” When you finally get the chance to sit down after a long day, if it’s in front of the TV with a bag of something crunchy this is an example of eating amnesia where you are eating out of habit without being hungry. Planning ahead can help you get across this bridge. If you are really hungry, allow yourself to have a low – calorie snack like a yogurt with a banana or maybe a weight loss shake with frozen fruit. Make sure it’s something you enjoy or you will find yourself back in the kitchen.

Life is meant to be enjoyed and food is part of life. Depriving yourself never works and it makes everyone around you want to hide under a blanket and you know what I mean if you are laughing right now. Single serving items are safer to purchase if you know they will temp you. If you have to have a cookie buy only 1 instead of a the box, or a slice of cake instead of the whole cake or pie. If you do this allow yourself to enjoy it – don’t beat yourself up or call it cheating or it can backfire on you.

If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight. But when you’re hungry all the time, eating fewer calories can be challenging. Instead of eating 3 big meals, having 6 smaller meals can be healthier. Maybe take each meal and divide in half, have your salad first, then wait a while and have a sweet potato instead of eating both a same time. Give your body a chance to actually feel hungry.

Portion Control 
A little trick I have learned, use your dinner plate for salad and your salad plate for dinner. Nothing worse than feeling deprived. If the plate looks full you will feel satisfied.

Protein is more satisfying than carbohydrates or fats, and may be the new secret weapon in weight control. Getting enough protein helps preserve muscle mass and encourages fat burning while keeping you feeling full. So be sure to include healthy protein sources, like yogurt, cheese, nuts, or beans during meals and for snacks.

Adding spices to your food for a flavor boost can help you feel satisfied. Food that is loaded with flavor will stimulate your taste buds and you will feel more satisfied. Try adding cinnamon and cottage cheese to your toast or you could add cinnamon to your yogurt. Adding vanilla to wheat free gluten free pancakes is pure heaven. Have fun experimenting with new ideas.

Stock up
Planning is a big part of being successful. You must have ready-to-eat snacks and meals you can prepare quickly in your pantry and freezer. Planning ahead means you will be less likely to stray from the path you are on. Here are a few ideas to make life a little easier.

  • Frozen bags of vegetables
  • Bags of pre-washed salad greens
  • Cherry tomatoes and mushrooms, they taste good in everything
  • Canned beans
  • Whole-grain wraps or pita bread
  • Pre-cooked grilled chicken breasts
  • Egg beaters – great for omelets and to use in recipes in place of eggs
  • Low sodium organic soups
  • Organic frozen meals – I have tried Newman’s own recently and it’s very good in a pinch

It’s Kiddie time
If you are eating out, order from the children’s menu. A child’s pizza or sandwich is an easy way to trim calories and keep your portions under control. Look online at the menu so you will be prepared ahead of time. Remember planning is part of being successful.

Simply by eating less pasta or bread and more veggies, you could lose a dress or pants size in a year. You can save from 100-200 calories if you reduce the portion of starch on your plate and increase the amount of vegetables.

Coping with Stress
Sooner or later, you’re going to be faced with a stressful situation. Instead of turning to food for comfort, be prepared with some non-food tactics that work for you. Reading a book or magazine, going for a walk on the beach, listening to music, doing yoga or exercising at the gym, writing how you feel in a journal, practicing meditative deep breathing, talking to a friend or supportive family member. Learning to cope with stress without reaching for food is a step in the right direction.

30 days
It takes about 30 days to establish a habit. Being consistent and having patience with yourself will go a long way. Scheduling the time for yourself whether you get up a little earlier to exercise or prepare for your food. Remind yourself that you are a priority. We all have people who need us and rely on us but we can not take care of anyone if we do not take care of ourselves.

Finding ways to motivate yourself – especially when you don’t want to work out or eat healthy is an important part of achieving success.

No one ever said this was going to be easy but it can be very rewarding.

Here are a few suggestions to help:

*Act as if: If you don’t feel motivated or enthusiastic then act like it. The strange thing is that within a few minutes you actually start to feel motivated or enthusiastic for real.

*Ask yourself “what am I grateful for?” every morning. Here’s what you do; every morning ask yourself :

What am I happy about in my life right now?
What am I excited about in my life right now?

It’s important that you really feel how it makes you feel. When I think about the last part about what makes me happy right now I really feel it. These morning questions are great because the way they are set up makes you recognize things you take for granted and then they really get you to feel those positive feelings.

I’ve been told that thinking positive is the pointer, to really feel it – positive, grateful – that is what ignites it.

*Create a vision board: Take photos from a magazine, post words and positive phrases, use your own photos – anything that will motivate you and make you feel good. Place it where you will see it often – next to your bed or in your office where you work. It’s important to visualize what you want to achieve.

*Use tools on social media: Flip gram is a great tool, you can make a video with your own photo’s to show your weight loss progress. Take before & after photos and put them side by side. Extremely powerful to see progress and watch it often.

*Set goals: Set a large and specific goal.  This will motivate you much more than small goals. A big goal has a big effect and can create a lot of motivation.

*Start slow. Instead of jumping into something at full speed start slow. When you do that your mind will not visualize the task as something hard that you have to do fast. If your mind sees such things guess what often happens? Yep, you don’t get started. Actually getting started, even if it’s at a slow pace, is a whole lot better than not getting started at all.

*Compare yourself with yourself. Not with others. Comparing what you have and your results to what other people have and have accomplished can really kill your motivation. Focus on you. On your results. And how you can and have improved them.

*Remember your successes. And let them flow through your mind instead of your failures. Write down your successes. Consider using a journal of some kind since it’s easy to forget your successes.

*Write down your goals and reasons for working towards them. Tape them on your wall, computer or bathroom mirror or use a white board to put positive messages to read. Then you’ll be reminded throughout the day and it becomes easier to stay on track and stay focused.

*Make each day count. We don’t have all the time in the world. So focus on today and do the things you really want to do.

Finding ways to motivate yourself

Are you ready to let your light shine?

I had the great opportunity to participate in an launch event today with many wo10389646_10152447664527342_2892334802992017364_n (1)men in the coaching and health industry #EcstaticFAME and one of challenges was to take a “selfie” wearing sunglasses and attach a quote to the photo. One of the reasons is to learn how to become more visible on Facebook.  I loved the quote that I decided to use – “You don’t have to blow out someone else’s light to let your light shine.”

Wow, I thought and I really felt that quote speaking to me. I have to admit that in my past I have had huge “shine issues.”

I think some of it comes from my childhood, I was brought up not to be forward or to not think highly of myself as it was considered being vain and not acceptable. I can also remember times in my youth where if I did shine some of the other girls weren’t too happy for me and this would make me feel rejected and alone. Never once did I consider maybe they were insecure or had their own issues – No I thought there was something wrong with me or I did something wrong.

Oh Thank GOD for therapy and for so many years of working on my self concept. Working with a coach is like having a key that unlocks a door. For me I felt as though I had walked into that door many times and I am very grateful to my teachers past and present for helping me on this journey. I no longer have to figure things out by myself and I don’t have to suffer. My thinking now is very different – I can’t control how people treat me but I can control how I react to it. And I am not responsible for how they may interpret things. That has helped me so much and also this little pearl of wisdom “FEAR is the result of emotionally living in the future, do your best to stay in the now.”

It’s funny how even though I have had 23 years of training in the Martial Arts, and I’ve done Yoga and been in Therapy – I still have stuff that I am working on. Recently I was completely caught off guard when I had my hair straightened for my 50th birthday, everyone was very kind to me and I received so many compliments in person and online. But I felt embarrassed with all the attention, my husband Anthony had mentioned it in front of the class and I took him aside and told him to stop complimenting me. Can you even believe I did that? I was uncomfortable being in the spotlight, I wanted to shrink, to sort of blend into the background  – kind of “the story” of my life …. and then I realized something is out of alignment here and I called my Life Coach Dean and told him “I’m freaking out and I’m uncomfortable from all these compliments – what is wrong with me?” His reply back to me was great “Nothing is wrong with you ….. you just don’t believe you are deserving of it for some reason.” During my session we talked more about this and he suggested when someone gives me a compliment – just saying thank you and having gratitude. The compliment makes the other person feel good and looking at it that way makes it easier for me to accept.

So I have a question for you – Are you ready to let your light shine bright? If you are, please leave a comment and let me know if I can be of service to you.

Sending Infinite Love and Gratitude to All,

Rita Rose Pasquale “Sifu Rita” ox