Category Archives: Stress relief

Like Water Off a Duck’s Back, or “Just Chill”

I have always wished that I were a more mellow person. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Let it go like water off a duck’s back. I love those snappy little sayings. Love them until I try to embody them, that is. They make it sound so easy. Like that is just the way it happens. Water rolls right off.

Today I was vindicated. At least for the idea that it isn’t that easy. It takes practice and work.

On Thursday I was in my office when I received an alarming and disappointing email. There I was, all alone, nashing my teeth and crying in frustration. I knew it would blow over. But in that moment I thought to myself, “Why can’t this be easier? Why can’t I let it go like water off a duck’s back?”

Today I went on my usual Saturday sojourn to Cotati to pick up my fabulous organic eggs (at StonyBrookSustainables) and check on the new baby chickens and ducks. As we stood and watched the 6 week old “babies” (who mostly look like adults now), Suzi pointed out that they preen all the time. They have these oil glands on their backs by their wings, and they preen to get the oil to cover their backs.

Ah ha! That is how they do it. It is NOT so easy. It takes them the entire friggin’ day! That is all they do. They eat, swim and smooth oil onto their backs so that the water will just run right off.

I think if I worked at it all day, I might be cooler of the head. So red heads, fire signs and general over-reactors unite. Don’t let people tell you it’s simple.

Consider preening all day. I do think that will help.

Liver Detox last day! Hooray!!

I have to say, I have been much better on the detox than I have been about the blog. I mostly just didn’t want to whine. It is difficult to continue this so diligently as well as being the cheerleader.

I feel great. Am soooo happy that I participated with the group. I’m ever so grateful that I have the support of my husband in the food prep. He doesn’t always follow the detox perfectly himself. But does support me and bring and make lots of cleanse-friendly food.

I am excited to be done, and not have to be so so perfect. I will continue to avoid sugar. That has not been difficult. Perhaps some dark chocolate during that one special week of the month.

I also don’t miss caffeine. I may have occasional green tea. But never back to the Peet’s habit that we’d fallen into. We also have an espresso machine at home, which can get dangerous. But honestly it is pain in the butt, and I don’t feel that good when I drink coffee.

As for the alcohol, I feel that most of us can get away with having a social cocktail or wine here and there. But more than that is just a waste of liver function, brain cells and calories.

We will start reintroducing the foods we’ve avoided tomorrow. I am a big fan of introducing certain things back in one at a time. I feel that we get the most information that way.

I am really glad I did the detox with the group. Happy as I am to be done, it always feels good to have successful completion.

If you have comments about doing a liver cleanse, I’d love to hear them. If you are interested in doing a detox, I’d be happy to work with you.

Spring Detox is Here!

I have been preparing over the past few weeks for this spring’s group detox program at the Lucchesi community center in Petaluma. I am so excited. I have a new and improved guidebook, lots of free passes for health clubs, and interesting samples to try. We start tonight (Thursday, March 5) and meet for three consecutive Thursday evenings. (See my website for more information.

This afternoon we’ll make the Fruit Nut Spread from Lisa Allen’s inspired book Eaing Clean. It’s just too delicious! Hard to believe it is “legal” on the detox.

Most of all I am looking forward to doing the cleanse along with everyone else. Each time new things happen. New habits are created. Old ones that don’t serve me are tossed out.

Doing a cleanse with a group is always great fun for me. I love to teach people about toxic exposure. It renews my inspiration to start a detox center of my own.

Gratitude paperclip

Have you heard the segment or read in The Secret where the guy was carrying around this special stone and ended up selling them to people as gratitude rocks? I thought it was a great idea – there is nothing that makes us feel better about our circumstances in life than being truly grateful for what we have.

But I don’t always wear something that easily holds a rock. And then what if you lose it? I decided to carry around a gratitude paperclip. It’s one of those big ones – that make you thankful just that someone thought to make a paperclip a little more substantial. Then if I misplace it I can easily grab a new one.

As I sit here navigating the wonders of corporate America’s “customer service” I really need to convince myself to be grateful. It’s either that or start throwing things. And that has never gotten us anywhere.

So – I again take a deep breath, hold onto my paperclip, and make my list.

On a happier note – I did get my October Newsletter out yesterday. If you aren’t on the list – go to my website and sign up ( Most of the articles on there on the website.

Word of the day: breathe

You get what you pay for. This is a fairly well-known fact. And if you are going to bargain shop, try to stick to known quantities: toilet paper, cell phones, vehicles. Not anything in the personal services industry. I will spare you my rant for earlier in the day. Mostly because after making a huge mistake in the hair care industry, being furious, sad and frustrated, I have taken some time to breathe. Oh – and laugh! We often pay lip service to this basic relaxation technique, but for me there is nothing that makes more sense to add to your daily routine.

The research that has been done on stress reflects that we don’t need to pack up and move to a tropical island to live healthfully. But we do need methods or managing stress. There are all kinds of fancy tools and gadgets, and if that is what will work for you, go for it. But breathing is free. Deep yogic breathing can be learned easily. But just the regular ol’ deep breathing that you can imagine sitting there at your computer is very effective.

Try it. Drop your shoulders. Pay attention to how shallow your breathing is when you are working. Then go deep. Take a long, slow, deep breath. Maybe even count to 5 as you breathe in, hold for 5, then 5 more on the exhale. Nothing magical about those numbers. Use what works for you. That was probably enough to make a difference. But try scooting your chair back, closing your eyes, and let 5-10 minutes slip away from you. Focusing only on the air coming in and out of your lungs. If the next task pops into your head, give it a little imaginary pat on the head, and go back to your breathing. The task will still be there.