Coffee for Cellulite Free Skin

Monday, June 27, 2011 by Dr. Susan Lark
Ironing out the bumps of cellulite can seem...impossible. But it doesn't have to be! The fatty tissue under the skin has two layers, separated by a layer of connective tissue mesh. The fat cells in the outer layer are arranged vertically, and the in the deeper layer they're arranged horizontally. Togehter, the layers create a crosshatching grid of fat cells. When strands of hte mesh between them pop, the deeper layer of fat pooches through into the superficial layer, created a term all women known and hate: cellulite.

You'll be surprised to learn that cellulte doesn't only affect heavier or older women. In fact, up to 98 percent of all women over age 20 have it--even athletes! Gaining more muscle and losing excess fat are the two best ways to create the appearance of cellulite free skin, but you can also give your legs a cosmetic boost by indulging in massage--using coffee grounds and plastic wrap!

Caffeine helps to tighten your skin and tissues by constricting your superficial blood vessels. First, warm up about 1/2 cup of coffee grounds. Massage the warm grounds into the affected areas, then secure the plastic wrap. After about 15 minutes, remove the plastic and rinse. 

Acupressure to Boost Your Sex Drive

Thursday, February 17, 2011 by Susan Lark
This acupressure exercise helps to stimulate sexual desire, which often wanes as a result of menopause and menopause symptoms. The exercise uses a knotted hand towel to put pressure on hard-to-reach areas of the back. Place the knotted towel on these points while your two hands are on the other points I am going to describe.

1. Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Place the knotted towel under your right shoulder blade. Then place your left foot on your right knee.
2. Make a fist with your left hand and place it under your back, under the right part of your waist.
3. With your right hand, hold your inner left thigh.
4. Hold this position for one to three minutes.

For more information on natural menopause relief, visit my Web site.

Spice Up Your Life with Cinnamon

Friday, December 10, 2010 by Kimberly Day
Who would have guessed that a spice as common as cinnamon would have so many amazing Cinnamon's Health Benefitshealth benefits? As I mentioned earlier, cinnamon has been shown to increase sex drive.

But did you know that Chinese, Ayurvedic, and naturopathic medicine all utilize cinnamon for a variety of conditions, including nausea, bloating, and GI upset? However, the health condition that cinnamon seems to be the most effective at both treating and preventing is insulin resistance.

Turns out, cinnamon improves glucose metabolism in fat cells by as much as twentyfold. It does this by reducing the insulin resistance of fat cells, which makes their insulin receptors more responsive.

To explain how this works, imagine trying to talk to your spouse while the kids are screaming, the television is blaring, and the dog is barking to go outside. Pretty unlikely they can pay attention, right?

Now, let the dog out, turn of the television, and settle the kids down with a snack and a game. Your spouse will finally be able to hear you!

That’s how insulin resistance/insulin responsiveness works. If there is too much insulin (noise) in your bloodstream, your cells cannot hear the message. But if you turn down the noise (i.e. improve glucose metabolism), your cells can hear the message and allow the insulin receptors to be more responsive. Of course, I can’t promise the same results with your spouse.

And, when cells are better able to hear insulin’s message and can better absorb and use glucose, the result is lower blood glucose levels.

And when you blood sugar levels are balanced, you have better appetite control. And that’s really the key for some many women battling excess weight. By keeping your insulin levels in check and your blood sugar levels in the healthy range, you are better able to follow any natural weight loss plan.

Putting Cinnamon to Use

Cinnamon is so common, you are likely already using it. But, to help you incorporate it into your every day life, here are a few suggestions:

You can add cinnamon to a hot liquid such as coffee or tea to make it more of an extract.
  • Use cinnamon sticks to make tea.
  • Add cinnamon powder to coffee beans before grinding to give your morning java a blood sugar boost.
  • Add ½ to 1 teaspoon to oatmeal or any hot cereal.
  • Add ½ to 1 teaspoon to your favorite smoothie.
  • Make sweet potato cinnamon “fries.”  Cut a sweet potato into “disks.”  Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil and place potato disks in single layer on the cookie sheet. Spray the potatoes with the olive oil. Sprinkle potatoes with cinnamon and bake at 425°F for 20–25 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time.
  • Core an apple, then cut in half from top to bottom. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 375°F for 20 minutes or until the apple is soft.

For more information on natural weightloss or tips on treating insulin resistance, visit Dr. Lark’s Web site.

Walk Your Way to a Trimmer Waistline

Tuesday, November 30, 2010 by Kimberly Day
Everyone knows that exercise and natural weightloss go hand-in-hand. But did you know that walking for natural weightlosssomething a simple as walking is a fantastic way to lose weight and maintain your weight loss.

In fact, a number of exciting research studies have found that walking, rather than isolated exercises such as crunches or sit ups, is one of the best ways to sculpt and shape your body, as well as to lose excess fat from problem areas where it tends to accumulate, such as the abdomen and thighs.

According to a 1992 study published in the Journal of Gerontology, people between the ages of 60 and 70 who walked or jogged for 45 minutes several times a week for 9 to 12 months lost an average of 7 pounds, with the majority of the weight lost in the midsection. A positive association between reduction of abdominal fat and a decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes was also noted.

Similarly, a 1990 study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that women who exercised for an hour and a half, 4 to 5 times a week for 14 months, lost more fat in their midriff than anywhere else on their body.

In a 2002 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers observed that postmenopausal women who walked three times a week for 24 weeks enjoyed an 8 percent decrease in their body weight and an 8 percent increase in their aerobic capacity.

They also noted a decrease in mid-thigh fat and an increase in mid-thigh muscle, as well as a 6–24 percent decrease in total glucose and insulin, an 8 percent increase in HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and a 19 percent decrease in triglycerides.

Walking is also one of the best ways to maintain your weight loss. According to a 2000 study from the Archives of Internal Medicine, women who had successfully completed a three-month weight loss program were more likely to keep the weight off and maintain a trimmer waistline when they instituted a walking regimen into their routine.

Walk This Way

Now, I’m not some crazy exercise fanatic. I clearly know that starting and maintaining an exercise program can be difficult, especially during the holidays and colder months. It involves sacrifice, determination, and a great deal of self-discipline.

But if you follow these easy and fun tips, you’ll soon be walking your way to a trimmer tummy!
  • Invest in a good pair of comfortable shoes. Make sure you go to an actual running store to be fit for running/walking shoes that fit your particular feet.
  • Stretch before and after each walk. Take 10 to 15 minutes to loosen up your legs, arms, back, and shoulders before and after each workout.
  • Exercise outside if weather allows. Take time to rejoice in nature and the change of the seasons. Listen for the crunch of snow underfoot and the crispness of the winter air. If the weather in your area simply doesn’t allow for outside activity, move your routine to a nearby mall or try the treadmill at a nearby gym.
  • Never rest on your laurels. In order to avoid plateauing, be sure to build upon each success. If you start off walking for 10 to 15 minutes a day three days a week, try building to 20 to 30 minutes a day 4 or 5 days a week; work towards a goal of walking for one hour a day, 6 to 7 days a week. You can also include more hills in your walk, or gradually increase your rate of speed.
  • Build a community around exercise. Find a walking partner or join a running club. It is easy to find excuses for not taking your morning walk, but it becomes more difficult if someone is waiting for you on the corner or at the gym.

For more information on ways to maintain your natural weightloss plan during the holidays, visit Dr. Lark’s Web site.

"Bone-Building" Drugs are Causing Broken Bones?!

Monday, October 18, 2010 by Susan Lark

Along with hot flashes, night sweats, and loss of libido, many women have to worry about bone loss when they reach menopause. Osteoporosis is a common effect of menopause that, fortunately, can be prevented. However, mainstream medicine would have you believe that prevention is as easy as taking a pill once a day or once a month. But emerging science has shown that these so-called "bone-building drugs"--or bisphosphonates--are not all they're cracked up to be.

I wrote about the increasing dangers of bisphosphonates in the September issue of my newsletter. The mainstream media reported on these same dangers just last week. The most recent news is that the FDA is requesting labeling changes in the Warnings and Precautions section of bisphosphonates stating that these drugs could make bones weak and more likely to break. You read that right--the very drugs that are used to prevent bones from breaking are actually making them more likely to break!! 

As I wrote a few months ago in my newsletter, your body is designed to naturally rebuild bone. And as we get older, we can help that process along:

Every three to six months, your bones undergo a complete renovation. During the breakdown process, a team of bone cells—osteoclasts—secretes an acid that dissolves old bone. Once they have broken down enough bone to create a small hole, they die and the remodeling phase begins. At this point, a new team of cells—osteoblasts—takes over. Osteoblasts are responsible for producing collagen fibers and other substances that allow your bones to be stronger and more flexible, thereby enabling the bone to withstand physical trauma and injury.

Sadly, conventional medicine’s attempt to treat osteoporosis only addresses one-half of the problem…and not the right half. As it turns out, the supposed “bone-building” bisphosphonates, like Boniva and Fosamax, don’t build new bone at all. All they do is prevent the osteoclasts from breaking the bone down, thereby keeping old, tired bone around longer than Mother Nature intended. This reduces bone quality and actually increases fractures in unusual locations, such as mid-shaft on the thigh.

However, many doctors continue to push bisphosphonates on patients while ignoring all of the dietary, exercise, and supplement research out there (with the occasional nod to vitamin D and calcium). Worse yet, they also continue to ignore the myriad of disturbing side effects associated with bisphosphonates, including arthritis, muscle pain, esophageal cancer, and kidney and liver toxicity, and rotting of the jawbone.

If you are taking bisphosphonates, I urge you to talk to your doctor about taking a more natural approach to protecting your bones that includes exercise; nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium; cutting-edge treatments like low frequency pulsed electromagnetic field therapy; and maintaining a healthy, alkaline diet.

To learn more about protecting your bones, and staying healthy during all stages of menopause, visit my Web site.

Tone Your Arms With Yoga

Friday, September 17, 2010 by Kimberly Day
To wrap up the week, we’ll focus on yoga poses for the arms. I don’t know about you, but the upper arm is one of my problem areas. By adding yoga poses like plank pose and side plank pose to my natural weight loss plan, I can wear those trendy off-the-shoulder dresses and tops with confidence! (Pose instructions and photos courtesy of

Plank Pose

  1. Start in downward-facing dog. Inhale and draw your torso forward until your arms are perpendicular to the floor and your shoulders are directly over your wrists, torso parallel to the floor.
  2. Press your outer arms inward and firm the bases of your index fingers into the floor. Pull your shoulder blades against your back, then spread them away from the spine.
  3. Lower your hips and tailbone toward the floor as you lengthen toward your heels. Lift the base of your head away from the back of your neck and look straight down at the floor, keeping your throat and eyes soft. (This pose should feel like the beginning of a push-up.)
  4. Hold 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Side Plank Pose
  1. Start in downward-facing dog. Shift onto the outside edge of your left foot, and stack your right foot on top of the left. Now swing your right hand onto your right hip, turn your torso to the right as you do, and support the weight of your body on the outer left foot and left hand. Make sure that the supporting hand isn’t directly below its shoulder.
  2. Position the hand slightly in front of its shoulder, so the supporting arm is angled a bit relative to the floor. Straighten the arm by firming the triceps muscle, and press the base of the index finger firmly against the floor.
  3. Strengthen the thighs, and press through the heels toward the floor. Align your entire body into one long diagonal line from your heels to the top of your head.
  4. If you'd like, you can stretch the top arm toward the ceiling, parallel to the line of the shoulders. Keep the head in a neutral position, or turn it to gaze up at the top hand.
  5. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds.
  6. Come back to downward-facing dog, take a few breaths, and repeat to the right side for the same length of time. Then return to downward-facing dog for a few more breaths, and finally release to the ground.

For more natural weightloss tips, visit Dr. Lark’s Web site.

Yoga Poses to Tone the Bum and Legs

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 by Kimberly Day
In keeping with our yoga for natural weight loss plan, here are two yoga poses that will help to strengthen and tone your bum and legs: crescent pose (also known as high lunge) and chair pose. (Pose instructions and photos courtesy of

Crescent Pose
  1. Start in downward-facing dog. Exhale and step your right foot forward between your hands, aligning your knee over the heel. Keep your left leg strong and firm.
  2. Inhale and lift your body upright. At the same time, sweep your arms wide to the sides and raise them overhead, palms facing. Be careful not to overarch your lower back.
  3. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor and reach back through your left heel. This will bring the shoulder blades deeper into the back and help support your chest. Look up toward your thumbs.
  4. Taking care not to press your front ribs forward, draw them down and into the torso. Lift the arms from the lower back ribs, reaching through your little fingers. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute.
  5. Exhale, releasing your torso to the right thigh. Sweep your hands back onto the floor, and, with another exhale, step your right foot back and return to down dog. Hold for a few breaths and repeat with the left foot forward for the same length of time.

Chair Pose
  1. Stand straight, with arms to side, palms facing forward.
  2. Inhale and raise your arms straight overhead. Keep the arms parallel, palms facing inward, or join the palms.
  3. Exhale and bend your knees, trying to take the thighs as nearly parallel to the floor as possible. The knees will bend over the feet, and your torso will lean slightly forward over the thighs until the front torso forms approximately a right angle with the tops of the thighs. Keep the inner thighs parallel to each other and press the heads of the thigh bones down toward the heels.
  4. Keep your shoulder blades open and pushed toward your back. Take your tailbone down toward the floor and in toward your pubis to keep the lower back long.
  5. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute. To come out of this pose, straighten your knees as you inhale, lifting strongly through the arms. Exhale and release your arms to your sides and back into standing position.

For more natural weightloss tips, visit Dr. Lark’s Web site.

Make Yoga Part of Your Natural Weight Loss Plan

Monday, September 13, 2010 by Kimberly Day
Mention yoga and most people think stress reduction and pretzel-like contortions. But any woman who has done a regular yoga practice will tell you that yoga can transform your body from flab to fab!

This week, aim to incorporate a few yoga moves into your natural weight loss plan. I’ll give you a couple of poses every other day that will help tone a different part of your body.

Today, we’ll start with the abs. Both boat pose and tree pose help to tone this troublesome area. (Pose instructions courtesy of

Boat Pose
  1. Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Press your hands on the floor a little behind your hips, fingers pointing toward the feet. Lift through your chest and lean back slightly, working to keep your back straight. Be sure you are sitting on the "tripod" of your two sitting bones and tailbone.
  2. Exhale and bend your knees, then lift your feet off the floor, so that your thighs are angled about 45-50 degrees relative to the floor. Lengthen your tailbone into the floor and lift your pelvis toward your navel. If possible, slowly straighten your knees, raising the tips of your toes slightly above the level of your eyes. If this isn't possible remain with your knees bent, perhaps lifting your shins parallel to the floor.
  3. Stretch your arms alongside your legs, parallel to each other and the floor. Keep your shoulder blades open and pushed toward your back and reach out through your fingers. If this isn't possible, keep the hands on the floor beside your hips or hold on to the backs of your thighs.
  4. While the lower belly should be firm, it shouldn't get hard and thick. Try to keep the lower belly relatively flat. Press the heads of the thigh bones toward the floor to help anchor the pose and lift the top sternum. Breathe easily. Tip the chin slightly toward the sternum so the base of the skull lifts lightly away from the back of the neck.
  5. Try to hold the pose for 10-20 seconds. Gradually increase the time of your stay to 1 minute. Release the legs as you exhale and sit upright as you inhale.

Tree Pose
  1. Stand straight, with arms to side, palms facing forward.
  2. Shift your weight slightly onto the left foot, keeping the inner foot firm to the floor, and bend your right knee. Reach down with your right hand and clasp your right ankle.
  3. Bring your right foot up and place the sole against the inner left thigh; if possible, press the right heel into the inner left groin, toes pointing toward the floor. The center of your pelvis should be directly over the left foot.
  4. Rest your hands on the top rim of your pelvis. Make sure the pelvis is in a neutral position, with the top rim parallel to the floor.
  5. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Firmly press the right foot sole against the inner thigh and resist with the outer left leg. Press your hands together in prayer pose. Gaze softly at a fixed point in front of you on the floor about 4 or 5 feet away.
  6. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Step back to standing on the exhale.
  7. Repeat for the same length of time with the legs reversed.

For more natural weightloss tips, visit Dr. Lark’s Web site.

Fibroid-Fighting Recommendation #5

Friday, September 3, 2010 by Susan Lark
My fifth recommendation to fight fibroids naturally is to supplement with natural progesterone.

The late John Lee, MD pioneered the use of natural progesterone to reverse estrogen dominance. ProgesterAll cream is what I recommend you try. The dose is 1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp massaged once or twice daily into your face, neck, inner thighs or the palms of your hands.

If you are still menstruating, use the cream from day 14 to day 28 of your menstrual cycle. Women in menopause not taking estrogen may use progesterone for three weeks each month. 

For more information on estrogen dominance, balancing female hormones, and much more, visit my Web site.

My Natural Weight Loss Plan: Dealing with Disappointment

Thursday, July 29, 2010 by Lauren Kent
I've been following my natural weight loss plan for about 6 months now. And, I've been lucky in that I've lost weight each week. Some weeks it was a couple pounds or more. Others, it was just a half pound. But, at least the scale was going down... until this past week. For the first time since I started this journey, I gained weight. It wasn't a lot. A pound exactly. But, I was still disappointed in myself. I know I had overindulged and hadn't picked up my exercise to compensate for the extra calories. All natural weightloss efforts come with highs and lows. I've been riding the highs for months now. And now, I have to deal with a low.

So many weight loss efforts get derailed by disappointment. I'm determined not to let this happen to me. I have to keep my eyes on the prize: a wedding ring that will fit on my finger, a picture with my girls that I'm not ashamed of, (and cellulite free thighs wouldn't be so bad either). I'm motivated to move on and start losing again!

How to Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite--Step 5

Monday, June 28, 2010 by Susan Lark

Step 5 to Cellulite Free Skin: Professional Treatment

Every so often, it's nice to be pampered--especially when the treatment results in cellulite free skin! When it comes to reducing the appearance of cellulite, you can indulge in a professional treatment called VelaSmooth, which is the first FDA-approved noninvasive medical treatment for cellulite reduction. It uses a combination of radiofrequency and infrared emissions. During the 30-minute session, the system mechanically manipulates, massages, and vacuums the skin, all to increase circulation and metabolism, stimulate fibroblast activity for increased collagen production, and enhance distribution of fat cells.

How to Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite--Step 4

Thursday, June 24, 2010 by Susan Lark

Step 4 to Cellulite Free Skin: Boost Your Collagen

It takes great nutrition to produce the abundant, strong, and healthy collagen that supports beautiful, smooth, cellulite free skin.

To reduce cellulite, the collagen-boosting nutrients you should be taking daily include:

  • Silicon (4 mg)
  • Vitamin C (1,000 mg)
  • Biotin (2,500 mcg)
  • Bioflavonoids (100–300 mg)
  • Rutin (400 mg twice daily)
  • N-acetyl glucosamine (500 mg), and
  • Alpha lipoic acid (25 mg)
Without all these nutrients, your body will still create collagen, but it will be of inferior quality and easily broken down. Often, a good-quality multivitamin will contain many of these nutrients.

In addition, studies show that conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) increases collagen levels while also keeping fat cells from accumulating more fat and becoming larger. I recommend 3,000 mg of CLA daily, in divided doses and taken with meals. Try Tonalin CLA  or TonaLean-3.

How to Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite--Step 3

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 by Susan Lark

Step 3 to Cellulite Free Skin: Cool Down the Inflammation

Biopsies of cellulite show that, unlike fat in other areas of the body, the fat within cellulite is inflamed. Research on diabetics has clearly established that the high-carbohydrate diet of affluent cultures not only predisposes a woman to diabetes but also profoundly increases her circulating levels of inflammatory compounds, increasing her risk of developing cellulite.

To dampen inflammation and, as a result, reduce the appearance of cellulite, adopt a Mediterranean-type diet that’s rich in fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, raw nuts, and the occasional cold-water fish like salmon, trout, and tuna.

How to Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite--Step 2

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 by Susan Lark

Step 2 to Cellulite Free Skin: Boost Your Cardio and Metabolism

Increasing your lean-to-fat ratio requires gaining muscle first, which naturally makes fat melt away. So engage in muscle-building exercises at least two to three days per week. 

In addition, boosting your metabolism is important because, as your metabolism ramps up, your body’s sensitivity to insulin—which interferes with fat breakdown in cellulite-prone areas—sharpens, and circulating insulin levels go down. Enhanced metabolism also increases fat loss throughout the day, even when you’re idle.

To increase oxygen supply, boost your metabolism, and reduce the appearance of cellulite, engage in aerobic exercise for at least 45 minutes, at least six days a week.

How to Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite--Step 1

Monday, June 21, 2010 by Susan Lark

Cellulite is a misunderstood condition. Here are some common myths debunked:

Myth #1: Cellulite is due to obesity.
No, it isn’t. It’s true that increased fat can accentuate cellulite’s appearance. But even slender, fit female athletes can have cellulite.

Myth #2: Cellulite is caused by advancing age. No, it isn’t. It occurs in up to 98 percent of women over 20.

Myth #3: Cellulite is abnormal fat tissue. No, it isn’t. It’s a connective tissue disorder that happens when strands of the connective tissue “fishnet,” which normally hold subcutaneous fat smoothly in place, break. Fat then bulges through the breaks and creates that lumpy look.

Myth #4: Cellulite is inherited. Only in the sense that being female is inherited. There are several contributing factors, including insulin resistance, lack of exercise, and the hormonal peaks and valleys associated with menstruation and pregnancy.

Knowing this, I am going to give you five steps you need to know to be cellulite free. These steps can be used in addition to the other tips Kimberly and I have given you on this blog, including dry brush massaging and using my latte lather.

Step 1 to Cellulite Free Skin: Hormone Balance

I briefly touched on the connection between cellulite and estrogen levels here. To reduce the appearance of cellulite, some of the best hormone-balancing supplements you can use include black cohosh, genistein, and hops.


Tune in to Natural Appetite Control

Thursday, June 10, 2010 by Kimberly Day
We all know the important role that insulin plays in overall health, and in natural weightloss specifically. But now we are learning that a different hormone—leptin—may play an even greater role in health and weight loss than insulin.

Studies have shown that leptin regulates your brain’s hypothalamic activity, which in turn regulates much of your “autonomic” functions—those functions that regulate body temperature, heart rate, hunger, the stress response, fat burning or storage, and blood sugar levels. Another very recent study also reveals leptin’s importance in directly regulating how much sugar your liver manufactures.

In other words, leptin is directly related to conditions such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, reproductive disorders, etc. It does this by telling other hormones, such as insulin and female hormones, whether or not to turn on maintenance and repair mechanisms, as well as by helping to control areas of your brain that regulate thyroid levels and the sympathetic nervous system.

Are You Tuned In to Leptin?

Dr. Ron Rosedale believes people become leptin-resistant by the same general mechanism that causes people to become insulin-resistant—overexposure to high levels of the hormone.

It’s like the frog in the boiling water. If you toss a frog into boiling water, it will jump right out. But if you place the frog in warm water and gradually increase the heat, he will soon be sitting quite happily (and quite dangerously) in boiling water.

So it is with leptin. As sugar gets metabolized in fat cells, fat releases surges in leptin. Over time, those surges become so frequent and expected, that the leptin is not released…in other words, you become leptin-resistance, since the “danger signal” no longer getting through.

Once you tune back in to leptin, you “jump out of the water” so to speak. In other words, high leptin levels can now scream to your brain that you have too much fat and that you better start burning some off. Your brain can now start burning off the fat you’ve been storing, and using it for energy. Best of all, your will suppress your hunger signals and regain appetite control.

Natural Weightloss Secret Weapon: Leptin

Wednesday, June 9, 2010 by Kimberly Day
Several years ago, I met Ron Rosedale, M.D., a nationally respected physician in the field of nutritional and metabolic medicine. As we talked, I learned that it was Dr. Rosedale personal mission to eradicate type II diabetes in this country, in his lifetime. And one of the intriguing weapons in his diabetes arsenal is his work with leptin, a little known hormone that helps your cells communicate.

As Dr. Rosedale explained, leptin is a very powerful and influential hormone produced by your fat cells. It works in conjunction with insulin to control the quality of your metabolism. While insulin works mostly at the individual cell level, telling the vast majority of cells whether to burn or store fat or sugar, and how to use that energy, leptin controls the energy storage and utilization of all of the cells in your body, allowing them to communicate with your brain about how much energy (fat) you have stored, and whether you need more or should burn some off.

One of the key ways leptin controls energy storage is by controlling hunger (i.e. appetite control). Trying to restrict calories in the face of hunger is virtually impossible (and could set you up for an eating disorder). The only way to truly eat less for the long-term is to not be hungry. And the key to appetite control is to control the hormones that regulate appetite…namely leptin.

In addition to helping with appetite control, leptin can also determine where you store your fat. If you are deaf (or resistant) to leptin’s signals, you tend to lose appetite control and pack on the pounds. And, in the case of leptin resistance, these pounds tend to store in your abdomen in the form of visceral fat.

Visceral or abdominal fat is one characteristic of the “apple” body shape. And it’s very dangerous. Not only does it pack in around your organs, it is also metabolically active. It decreases insulin sensitivity (making diabetes more likely), increases triglycerides, decreases levels of good HDL cholesterol, creates more inflammation and blood clotting, and raises blood pressure—all of which increase your risk of heart disease.

The answer is to tune in leptin’s message so you can regain appetite control, lose the belly fat, and begin to enjoy healthy, natural weightloss.

Create Cellulite Free Legs by Balancing Your Hormones

Friday, May 7, 2010 by Susan Lark
Did you know that unbalanced estrogen levels can lead to cellulite? Estrogen stimulates the activation of an enzyme called matrix metalloproteinase (MMP). MMP causes collagen to degenerate and weaken, which then causes fatty tissue to break through the connective tissue "mesh" that keeps fat in place. Plus, excess estrogen levels stimulate the replication of even more fat cells in cellulite-prone areas, and interfere with normal metabolic breakdown of fat.

To reduce cellulite, use any of the hormone-balancing solutions I discuss throughout my blog. You can also try dry brushing and my "latte lather," both of which reduce the appearance of cellulite from the outside.

My Natural Weight Loss Plan: Healthy Rewards for Success

Monday, April 12, 2010 by Lauren Kent
Last week I passed the 18 pound mark in my natural weight loss plan. And, even more exciting for me, I've lost a combined 23.5 inches from my bust, waist, hips, and thighs. It's time to celebrate... and reward myself. In the past, a reward or celebration would involve some type of food. But, now that I'm losing weight and living a more healthy lifestyle, rewards come in different forms. This weekend I plan to indulge myself in a massage, and I can't wait. 60 minutes of quiet. 60 minutes of focusing on myself.

What are your healthy rewards for natural weightloss? A manicure? Pedicure? Shopping for new clothes or shoes? Let's all celebrate our successes the healthy way!

Natural Beauty Food #10: Water

Saturday, April 3, 2010 by Kimberly Day
Everything in your body depends on water. In fact, water makes up 82 percent of your blood, 75 percent of your muscle, 25 percent of your bone, 76 percent of your brain tissue, and 90 percent of your lung tissue! Plus, water neutralizes acidity, which can dry out your skin.

Additionally, water is a critical part of the detoxification process. This is key, as healthy detoxification helps to keep your skin blemish-free and even works to reduce cellulite.

You should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of filtered water each day to achieve soft, supple, wrinkle free skin.

I am personally a huge fan of Fiji water from the South Pacific. Renowned for the natural purifier and filtration system that this crystal clear, still water runs through, Fiji has an extremely high concentration of silica (83 mg per liter), which you may remember is an essential nutrient for your hair and skin, thanks to its collagen-building capabilities.

You can find Fiji Water in most grocery stores and convenience stores. The only downside is that it comes in a plastic bottle.