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Buck Naked Kitchen

Radiant and Nourishing Recipes to Fuel Your Health Journey
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The Hormone Boost

The Hormone Boost

How to Power Up Your Six Essential Hormones for Strength, Energy and Weight Loss
also available: Hardcover
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The conversation that started me down the Hormone Boost path made me realize how many people these days fit into a “just okay” mold—a way of existing from day to day that isn’t awful but sure isn’t great, either. Perhaps you feel the same way. When I stopped and really thought about it, I realized this shouldn’t have come as a surprise. In my practice, I hear from people all the time—all day, every day, in fact—about what they want more of, or what they want to improve. There’s a lot of common ground in these discussions, and chances are good that you’ve had the same thoughts from time to time (or maybe more often). This, then, is where we begin: with the biggest and most important areas in need of a boost.

How ’bout a Boost of These?.?.?.

While there is an almost endless supply of areas in our daily lives that can be improved, the following seven are the ones that crop up most often in the discussions I’ve had about well-being.


Regular sleep and regular exercise combined with a thoughtful diet should be sufficient to give anyone the energy they need for a busy life. The thing is, if we’re not getting the right kinds of sleep, practicing the right exercises or eating the right foods, we can wreak havoc on our energy levels without even knowing it. If part of how you’re managing your days right now requires the assistance of regular caffeine intake or high-sugar foods or an afternoon nap, you’ll be interested in The Hormone Boost’s plan to power up your energy by targeting the specific hormones and habits that affect it most intensely.


Being strong isn’t just about being able to open the pickle jar without special implements or assistance. It’s also about creating the optimum conditions for your body to take care of itself and move freely through the world. Whatever your limitations are (in terms of health, work or mobility), a stronger body will improve your energy and quality of life. It can even make sitting at a desk for several hours more manageable, and allow you to burn more fat while doing it! Strong bodies also age more gracefully and recover from illness and injury more quickly. We’re not able to get any younger, but we can always get stronger. The Hormone Boost plan will show you how.


We might not notice our memory gaps in this always connected ultra-digital world. Can’t remember a celebrity’s name? You can IMDB it. Worried about forgetting a new contact’s number? Put it in your smartphone. Never before have we had so many devices stand in for memory. As a result, unsurprisingly, our memories are not as strong as they used to be. (I once nearly drove myself crazy trying to remember an actor’s name—and I refused to look it up online. It took me three days but I trusted that her name was in there, and sure enough, it was: Reese Witherspoon. Boom.) It’s impractical to disengage completely from all of your devices and external reminders, but you can give your memory a genuine boost by attending to the hormones that give it strength and longevity. Quicker, more intense memory recall is part of a strong, active brain—and it supports your mental acuity.


It’s hard to be healthy and energetic and fit without metabolic support. As I mentioned previously, I went through an intense struggle with my metabolism after graduating from university, and again six years later, after naturopathic medical school. During both periods, my strict diet and rigorous exercise sessions failed to help me lose weight or keep it off. It was during those times that my hormonal health concerns forced me to realize that the formula calories in – calories burned = weight loss was by no means complete. Hormones are the body’s powerhouse; the processes they drive sustain every aspect of health and fat-burning potential (a.k.a. metabolism). Boosting your metabolism means augmenting your capacity to generate and use energy—and that is naturally connected to your health, energy and fitness levels.


Regardless of your size or style, you should be confident. Full stop. The people I am most drawn to are those who just seem entirely comfortable with themselves—people who own their worth, who wouldn’t trade places with anyone. This is what I wish for all of my patients and friends, because it can make such a massive difference in every area of your life: professionally, personally (especially in intimate relationships), physically. Confidence walks with a straight back and long strides and a general peace with the world. Balancing your hormones, especially those discussed in this book, will allow you to generate confidence in your sense of surety and comfort with your body, your life and your relationships.

The twenty-first century has brought with it an amazing number of quick fixes and surface shortcuts—and we rely on them to make our lives easier in countless ways. Too often, though, we don’t stop and think about the challenges this reliance is creating. Take hand sanitizer. While effective in the immediate biological sense (e.g., after using the toilet), its prevalence is making it harder and harder for our bodies to build up their own immunities. Ditto for antibiotics, which, when overprescribed, compromise our ability to fight off seemingly minor viruses and bacteria. I’m not suggesting you swear off sanitizer entirely or avoid a doctor’s prescription, but I invite you to explore what a hormonally boosted immune system can do. If the metabolism is the body’s powerhouse, the immune system is Neighborhood Watch: it monitors comings and goings and does its best to ensure you’re safe. A hormone boost to the metabolism increases not only its efficacy but also your overall safety.


Boosting your mood has a more subtle impact, in some ways, than boosting your metabolism or immune system. A mood boost won’t necessarily help you lose a few pounds or fend off the flu that’s going around. But our moods are pervasive, and they have the power to change our perspective, our schedule and our interactions. Wake up in a bad mood? You might swear at the thought of hard-boiled eggs for breakfast and grab a croissant instead. Have an unexpectedly tense confrontation with a client or colleague? You might “treat” yourself to a beer as soon as you get in the door, to help unwind after that adrenalin-inducing conversation. When you’re in a good mood, you are more patient (you’ll walk home rather than jump in a cab), make better choices (cheerfully crunch that salad—and those abs!) and attract the good energies of others (that stranger you bumped into at the produce stand just happens to be a trainer at your local gym and invites you in for a free session). Boosting your mood will have a thousand small positive effects in every area of your life.

The Hormone Boost has been diligently researched and designed to boost every part of you. We’ll explore each boost area and its corresponding hormones thoroughly, unpacking the science behind hormonal health and tracing the connections between what we do and how we feel. I’m also thrilled to be able to share with you some amazing successes from my practice; they demonstrate just how important hormonal health is in all areas of your life. And each chapter will leave you with my recommendations for boosting the hormones that are integral to powering up your body, your mind and your fat-loss efforts. Specifically, we’re going to focus on a group of hormones I’ve come to think of as “the fat-loss six.”

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The Joyous Cookbook

The Joyous Cookbook

Real Food, Nourishing Recipes for Everyday Living
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The Complete Lymphedema Management and Nutrition Guide

The Complete Lymphedema Management and Nutrition Guide

Empowering Strategies, Supporting Recipes and Therapeutic Exercises
tagged : diets, nutrition
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The Keto Solution

The Keto Solution

A Practical Guide for Living Your Low-Carbohydrate Life
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The Complete Eye Health and Nutrition Guide
tagged : nutrition, diets
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Food Junkies

Food Junkies

Recovery from Food Addiction
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Since I wrote the first edition of Food Junkies in 2014, much has changed — and little has changed. This new edition includes the most promising current research and details the latest advances in clinical practices and treatments, including my own. We may still have a long way to go, but giant steps have been taken in some areas. And many of the people I interviewed earlier have successfully navigated the minefields of food sobriety. I also bring their stories up to date.

First, the hopeful news: In the last four years, our awareness of how specific foods (such as sugar) ensnare both the hormonal appetite regulators and the reward circuitry of the brain has grown exponentially. Studies highlighting how sugar can be addictive are cited continually in the media.

Growing numbers of consumer groups are aghast at how the food industry is manipulating our appetites for its own profit. Calls to regulate the food industry and legislate healthy eating are multiplying. There are Internet chat groups, summits, cookbooks, and public lectures offering to help people quit sugar and other addictive foods. The tipping point of awareness that we need to stem the tide of addictive foods is approaching.

While we agree that some foods, such as sugar, are addictive, the bad news is that we are loath to recognize the dynamic of addiction that other foods ignite. Even clinicians scoff at this biological imperative, unwilling to identify the withdrawal and lack of choice that eating some foods engender. This unwillingness means that diagnosis, research, and funding of treatment of food addiction continues to flounder. When it comes to acknowledging the syndrome of food addiction, we remain in the dark ages.

I am unable to be objective about food addiction. I have struggled with this disease for decades, so, although my purpose in this book is to present a fact-based examination of food addiction, I can hardly be neutral.


Many of us have struggled to control our addiction through diet pills, diet doctors, and even diet candy. We have spent thousands of dollars on Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, therapists and psychiatrists, weight-loss vitamins and herbs. We have ingested diuretics, laxatives, and other substances to purge ourselves of extra food. We have exercised hours each day, so obsessively that we eliminated the rest and relaxation most people enjoy on weekends and vacations.

Our eating has been out of control; we’ve often ingested enough calories in an hour to fuel a two-hundred-pound male for days. We have repeatedly tried, and failed, to tame our appetites. We have enlisted people — friends, family, even professionals — to help us by shaming, blaming, bribing, nagging, cajoling, ignoring, encouraging, comforting, and punishing.


A food addict myself, I am on a passionate mission to present vital information to the many individuals who struggle with unwanted eating behaviours. I want to give readers a better understanding of the continuum that begins with food compulsions and ends with full-blown addiction.


For years, food addicts of all types — including myself — tried to talk about this phenomenon, but all too often our disclosures were met with light-hearted dismissals (Oh, everyone eats a little too much sometimes) or blunt skepticism (It’s not a disease, you know; you just eat too much). Now that obesity, one of the hallmark symptoms of food addiction, has grown to epidemic proportions, scientists and medical professionals are no longer laughing. Instead, they are taking a closer look at what is really going on in the bodies and brains of those of us who struggle with our food intake. In Food Junkies, I present this information about the addictive nature of food in a format that can be understood by patients, clinicians, and, most importantly, the general public. And I introduce you to people who are struggling with this disease and tell their stories — their tragedies and victories — which have been for so long silenced, scoffed, scorned.

I don’t want the book to be drily academic, the sort written by experts dispensing prescriptive advice. Though you will find helpful information here, much of it drawn from authoritative studies, the book also contains very personal stories — moving accounts full of feeling and struggle. Given my history as both a food addict and a clinician in the addiction field, I am well situated to present this information in an authentic, accessible way. As yet, there have been no books like mine, written by an author who has both experienced food addiction and its recovery and who is also equipped to speak from the authoritative stance of a medical clinician in the field.

In this book you will meet men and women suffering from food compulsions and addictions as well as those who have recovered. You will also meet people who are not addicted to food, but who have a tendency to overeat. Although their names have been changed, they are all real people whom I have met in my practice. You will meet Mary, who made the decision to lose weight when her scale indicated that she weighed more than two hundred pounds. She has managed to keep her weight off for many years. And you’ll meet Janet, who insists that her lack of willpower is her real problem; she has lost weight and kept it off, but she is only able to do so as long as she sticks to her diet. And you’ll also meet Ellen, who, despite great willpower, simply cannot control her bingeing at night. She worries that she might be a food addict.


You will be introduced to Laura, who is addicted to alcohol as well as food. While she no longer drinks, she simply cannot stop eating. As badly as she wants to stop, her cravings for food are even stronger than her cravings for alcohol. You’ll learn about Lawrence, a morbidly obese food addict, whose death marks the inevitable conclusion of this disease when left untreated. And you’ll meet Ruthann, whose primary addiction is undereating. Yes, I believe that even anorexics suffer from a kind of food addiction. Ruthann learns to control her anorexia by applying the same approaches I present for food addicts who overeat to her undereating patterns.


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Your Fittest Future Self

Your Fittest Future Self

Making Choices Today for a Happier, Healthier, Fitter Future You
also available: Paperback
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Chapter 1: Redefining “Fit”

Who exactly is your fitter future self? What will he or she look like?

You have decided you want to create a fitter future self — great! Recognizing a desire for change is the key first step in creating a fitter, healthier future self. The next step is to figure out who exactly your fitter future self will be.

If you are thinking, I want to look and be fit. Fit is fit. What is Kathleen talking about? Don’t worry. That is a common response. Fit is a word often thrown around as if there is one monolithic version of fit — as if fit will look the same on everyone. Fit not only looks different on everyone but will also look different on the same person as they age or as their life realities change. Take my dad: he used to play hockey and only hockey. Now that he is seventy, he plays fewer games per week so he can have time to strength train, garden, bike, and do some Pilates with me. He views these new additions as activities that will keep him mobile enough to play hockey for life. In my twenties I completed a full Ironman, eight half Ironmans, and ten marathons. I thrived on endurance events. Now I gravitate toward shorter runs and Pilates. Why the change? Possibly because I no longer feel the need to prove myself, and possibly because I am concentrating more on my work. Either way, my vision of who I want Kathleen to be— the way I want to spend my time and what I value — has changed. Maybe next year I will do CrossFit. Who knows? The immense possibilities life offers are among the incredible privileges of being alive.

The problem with the current widespread, immutable, one-size-fits-all interpretation of fitness and fit is that it is, at best, unrealistic and, at worst, highly unmotivating.

You might be wondering why this chapter isn’t called Rethinking Health. I purposely use fit rather than a broader term such as health for two interconnected reasons. First — and most important — the title of the book is Your Fittest Future Self. To create that fittest future you, you have to first understand how fit will look on you: What is your understanding of fit? How will you embody your understanding of the word? Who is this future you? Second, the title of my first book is Finding Your Fit. Why is this pertinent? For me, fit is a loaded word. Your fit is not just your jean size or how many push-ups you can do. Your fit is the interconnection between the activities that work best for your body, your relationship to your body, your inner sense of worth, your history, your goals, and how your understanding of health and wellness plays out — how it fits — on your body.

People too often fall off the fitness horse because they let preconceived ideas of what a fit person is inform their image of health success. A stereotypically fit person drinks protein shakes, has washboard abs, and trains daily. The problem is, why even start working out when the image of what you are trying to become seems so unachievable? This unattainable version of fit becomes yet another way we self-sabotage, indulge in false either-or choices, and let ourselves off the hook. In short, we don’t change or evolve, and we spiral further down the rabbit hole of “I always fail whenever I try. I am doomed to be unhealthy. Why even try?”

What's Your Fit?

Before you read the remainder of the book to learn strategies that will help you form your fittest future self, it’s important to figure out what fit means to you. What will fit look like on you? Here are some questions to think about.

  • How old are you?
  • What are your genetics?
  • What are your financial realities?
  • What are your past injuries?
  • How much time do you realistically have to commit to movement?
  • What is your exercise personality?
  • Do you need to work out at home?
  • Do you thrive on competition?
  • Do you like group exercise classes?
  • Are you so busy you have to fit motion into your daily life?

What is healthy?

What does fit and healthy mean to you? Too often, two options — two extremes — exist. Either a person is dedicated, absolutely on their program, and trying to look like a movie star or in the zone of self-acceptance. Typically, neither extreme is productive. Looking like a movie star is — for most people — not an attainable, realistic, or healthy goal. Creating a movie star aesthetic demands intense dedication layered onto all-star genetics — a laser focus on diet and exercise that most of us are not willing to have. That degree of dedication often ends up bordering on unhealthy compulsion.

On the other end of the extreme lies the idea that being healthy is about absolute self-acceptance devoid of a need for growth. While I absolutely advocate self-love and compassion, being healthy does not mean adopting the attitude that you love yourself enough to accept your- (unhealthy)-self just the way you are. Too often the “I love myself enough” attitude is used to justify self-indulgent, unhealthy behaviours by couching them in the legitimate psychological end goal of self-love. The thing is, when you actually love your¬self, you want to make healthy choices, not excuse unhealthy behaviours and thoughts.

Wanting to look like a movie star and staying stuck out of a pretense of self-acceptance are two of the most prevalent philosophies of health and together are an example of a false choice. When I suggest figuring out what health looks like for you, I don’t mean simply finding the balance between those two points. Balance implies that to be healthy you have to find a perfect middle ground. What I want you to decide is what works for you. To most, my version of health normal — my ideal balance — would feel extreme. That is okay. It works for me.

Instead of looking for the middle of two socially constructed polar opposites — or even caring about any socially constructed concepts of health — find the version of health that works for you, one that includes a WORKOUTmix, NUTRITIONmix, and MINDSETmix that are both individualized and open-ended. Health has no end date.

Creating an individualized MIND-SETmix is not an “if you have time” aspect of adopting a healthy lifestyle. The right mindset is critical; your mindset overlays every health choice you make. Your mindset — your inner dialogue — allows you to dispute your negative brain propaganda and form appropriate responses. Once you have a strong mindset, the ability to act will follow.


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