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The travails of traveling

trail at Arthurs Seat

The travails of traveling: weight gain. Yes, I gained a few pounds on my travels. Yes, even the health coach doesn’t have perfect discipline. Staying dedicated to eating healthy can be difficult when tempted with dessert or a few drinks causing even the dedicated to falter. Back home, I found I had gained FOUR pounds! Yikes!


cakeScotch tasting

 HOWEVER, this is where having a home routine has paid off. I’ve already lost two pounds and well on the way to losing the others. As soon as I returned, I stocked up on my usual healthy offerings and just got right back into my nutrient dense, low calorie favs and I feel like I’m back on track.

Don’t let a few pounds gained on a trip knock you off track. We all slip into temptation now and then. It’s knowing how to put that behind you and keep moving forward that makes the difference. Jump right back into routine when you return from a trip, and reap the benefits of eating healthy.

Having trouble getting started with a healthy routine? Let me help you to find the right path for YOU! Contact me: jane@janeannthompson.com and take control of your life!

Beat Diabetes

The most ignored aid for weight loss


This is so simple. You do it every second of every day, but how you do it is the key. Guess what it is? Breathing! Why breathing? Because most of us are way over stressed, which causes extra cortisol production, which is good in short situations, but for most of us, we are producing too much cortisol all the time, never giving our bodies a break, which can lead to chronic stress, which is trouble with a capital T. Whew!

How do we break this stress cycle? Through breathing. Taking time to really breathe. Start with 5 minutes. Find a comfortable spot, set a timer and begin a slow meditative breathing pattern of 8 counts breathing in, and 8 counts breathing out. Slow. Nice and slow. Your mind will wander, but pull it back to counting the breaths and feel your mind and body relax. Work up to about 30 minutes a day and over time, you will begin to stay relaxed in stressful situations. Your body will automatically switch into relaxation mode when over stressed.

Now, how does this relate to weight loss? When the body is in chronic stress mode, it holds onto fat because it fears a starvation period. Our bodies fight or flight response is in high gear. This causes major cravings and we all know that means sugar sweetened calories or ooey gooey cheesy, fatty dishes. Right? We want to break this pattern to break the cravings.

Find time today for YOU! Start with those five minutes and breathe. Just breathe. Repeat daily and build up a 30 minute practice. Your health is in your hands!

Peace and joy!


Beat Diabetes

What’s the #1 Weight Loss Aid?


Want to know one of the best ways to lose weight and feel great? Start a journal. Writing makes progress evident and allows you to work through any difficulties you face. Keep track of your progress by noting your weight and the amount of time devoted to exercise.  Write about your ups and downs, as you learn new habits and discard the old. Take notice of foods you like or dislike and how certain foods affect you. And a journal is a great place to write down a few things you are grateful for each day. Most importantly, keeping track of everything you eat, allows you to see where your diet can be improved.

If you are facing Type II Diabetes, journaling can be an important eye opener, in changing your eating habits, and exercise habits, but most importantly, your LIFE. Give journaling a try and see if it doesn’t help you in your journey to health!

Peace and joy!

blog closing


WARNING: Your Doctor, Spouse and Workplace may be sabotaging your health


Trying to stay healthy? Eat right? Work out and feel great? Watch out for sabotaging techniques from these three!

RX image academics.utep.edu

1. Your doctor: Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Doctors are paid by pharmaceutical companies for speaking engagements, consulting, with free meals, travel and other perks. Needless to say, your doctor will be much more likely to prescribe a drug than to offer you non-drug alternatives for a health issue, resulting in possible side effects that may harm you more than heal you. Doctors are also pressed for time, and so prescribing a drug is much faster and simpler than taking note of your full history and what might be causing an illness. Doctors are generally poorly educated in nutrition and rarely offer advice on eating healthy and how this might lead to better cholesterol levels, lower blood sugar levels and lower blood pressure. And, is a doctor who does not take time to workout every day really going to suggest to you that you might want to exercise?

Solutions: Seek natural healing methods. If you feel you must see someone, seek out a naturopath or a doctor who specializes in Functional Medicine and a health coach (moi!) can help you make plans and set goals to be the healthiest YOU!

male symbol

2. Your Spouse: Unfortunately, if your spouse is not on the same page with you and working on his health too, you may find yourself sabotaged. Due to men’s naturally larger muscle mass, he may have an easier time maintaining or losing weight and give you a hard time about your struggles. If you are the person who prepares meals, his complaints may make it difficult to health up your meals. Snacks brought into the house by a spouse seem as though they are just trying to tempt us. And time away from home to exercise may cause difficulties.

Solutions: Though the goal should not be to change another person, asking for his support is essential and encouraging him to join you in your efforts may benefit him as well. A spouse may become suspicious if you set out on an improvement journey and leave him behind. Assure him you want to feel great and look good for YOU, not for anyone else, and that he will benefit from your efforts. If he can’t imagine giving up that big steak, compromise and serve him a lean cut of meat in a smaller size and load up the plate with lots of veggies on the side.

workplace personal.psu.edu

3. Your Workplace: The workplace break room is a notorious place, where donuts, cakes, cookies, etc. appear for any and all occasions. Candy, chips and nuts may be sitting on colleagues desks, begging to be eaten, and the afterwork watering hole gathering, that you may feel obligated to attend, presents even more issues, all tempting you away from healthy eating.

Solutions: Take healthy snacks with you to work. Pack some carrots, apples, nuts, hummus, nut butters, or some other all natural, non-processed snack with you each and every day. Avoid the break room whenever possible. Enlist a colleague who supports you in your efforts to help you avoid the unhealthy snacks. For that afterwork gathering, order a club soda with lime and before those crazy fattening appetizers show up, ask for a side salad. Though this may seem extreme and difficult as you change your unhealthy habits for healthy, eventually you will naturally avoid the unhealthy offerings and have no problem with sharing your own healthy alternatives.

Knowing you may be up against some difficult situations at times, makes fighting the battle a bit easier because you come up with strategies and solutions that will make life easier. If you need assistance getting on track, making plans and setting realistic health goals, let me know how I can help. Check out my programs or design your own. Contact me: jane@janeannthompson.com.

type ii diabests

How Safe is your health from Type II Diabetes?

Are you at risk for Type II Diabetes? 












If you are eating the typical American diet, processed foods that are sugar and fat laden, few or no vegetables, sodas (sugared or sugar free), and few fruits, you are at RISK!

Symptoms may vary, or be non-existent, but you should be on the look out for these warning signs:

1. Excessive thirst. Your kidneys are working overtime to rid the body of excess sugar, which also rids the body of fluids, resulting in THIRST.

2. Frequent urination. See #1. Kidneys are working overtime and thus you have to pee a lot.

3. Unexplained weight loss. Being OVERWEIGHT is a risk factor for Type II Diabetes, but an unexplained weight loss, from all the sugar expulsion your kidneys are undertaking, can result in weight loss, an UNHEALTHY weight loss.

4. Blurry Vision. All that fluid your body is excreting, see #2, is also taking fluid from your eyes, which can result in permanent vision loss.

5. Fatigue. The excessive work your kidneys are up to is making you TIRED.

6. Tingling or numbness in hands or feet. This is called neuropathy and is mighty dangerous and in the severest of cases, may result in loss of limbs or digits. Not a good thing.

7. Frequent infections that are slow to heal. HELLO, your body’s immune system is deeply compromised by all the work your kidneys are having to do to try and take care of YOU! This often means bladder infections and yeast infections for women and red, swollen, and tender gums for both sexes.

8. Impotence! Men, this means erectile dysfunction. No pleasing your woman is going to be going on under those covers. And women, impotence can effect you too.

Are you at risk? Risk for Type II DiabetesTake this quiz to determine your RISK!

If YOU have any of these symptoms, TAKE ACTION!!! Prevention, NOT intervention is the first step. Read Eat to Live, by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. He has had GREAT success with patients losing weight and putting Type II Diabetes behind them. Changing your lifestyle to one of healthy living can mean the difference between a life time of drugs and doctor visits or a life time of living HEALTHY!!

Afraid of feeling deprived when you have to give up all those sugary, fattening, processed foods? Then consider this: by not changing your diet you can be deprived of your TIME. You will be spending countless hours in doctor’s offices and hospitals. You can be deprived of your HEALTH, and spend countless hours on the couch and in bed. You can be deprived of your MONEY, by giving it all to doctors, hospitals and pharmacies. You can be deprived of your LIFE, because you will more than likely die much sooner than you would have otherwise and it won’t be a quick, oh I’m dead sort of death. It will be miserable getting there.

YOU have the choice to take control of your life and be healthy or to spend your life spiraling downhill to illness. Type II Diabetes is preventable and curable. Make a decision to be healthy and do everything in your power to get there!

Need help? I am starting a Diabetes Program and have two spots available for $395.00. Let me know if you are interested and I’ll send you the details. Contact me: jane@janeannthompson.com

Check out all my health coach plans!

Peace and joy!


Tomatoland, by Barry Estabrook



Tomatoland, by Barry Estabrook, is an eye opening book about what goes on behind the scenes in the land of tomatoes. He gives a history of the ugly hiring and employment tactics of big tomato agribusiness in Florida, a state so ill suited to growing tomatoes that dangerous pesticides are the norm. Understanding where our food comes from and how it is grown and processed to market, gives us more control and say in what we want to put in our bodies. This book provides just that. Though repetitive in some places, over all it is an interesting and compelling read. Understanding why supermarket tomatoes have no flavor, how flavor has been bred out in place of rock hard solid tomatoes that can make it to market and survive rough handling, helps make the case for growing your own or buying them at a local farmer’s market. It also makes the case for eating fresh tomatoes in season only and using canned the rest of the year if tomatoes are a must. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to know where the food they eat comes from and how it gets to them. This book has made me think twice about what kind of tomatoes I purchase and from where I make the purchase. Overall, an interesting read. Find a copy in My Favorites.

Friday Foodie: Portobello Mushroom Open Face Sandwich

Friday Foodie: Portobello Mushroom Open Face Sandwich
Recipe type: Sandwich
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
Though possibly a stretch to call these little beauties a sandwich, no matter. What they really are is delicious and so easy. These have a perfect combination of nutrition and the olives add just a bit of saltiness.
  • Portobello Open Faced Sandwich
  • 2 Portobello Mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • A large handful of baby spinach leaves
  • 8 Kalamata Olives, chopped
  • 1 cup prepared or homemade spaghetti sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. While oven is preheating, cut onion in half from root end to tip. Then slice the onion in thin slices. When oven is heated, place mushrooms stem side up on a baking sheet. Bake for twenty minutes. Meanwhile, place skillet on burner set to high, once a few drops of water will scoot across the pan, add 1 Tbs. of water and then immediately add onion slices. Turn heat to medium. Stir onions frequently, turning down heat if they begin to brown to fast. Cook them slowly and they will caramelize, giving them a rich deep flavor. Chop the olives and set aside. A minute or two before the mushrooms are due to come out of the oven, pour spaghetti sauce into skillet and heat through with onions.
  2. Remove mushrooms from the oven and pour off any liquid that has pooled inside. Careful, they are really hot. Sprinkle olives over surface of mushrooms. Layer spinach evenly on each mushroom. Divide onion mixture on top. Place back in oven for about ten minutes until spinach has wilted.
  3. Serve. This makes enough for two with a side salad. If desired, sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Friday Foodie: Armenian Brioche filled with Dates, Walnuts, Honey and Spices


Armenian Brioche is a new bread for me. I’ve been making bread for many years and started out the old fashioned way, but when bread machines came along, I quickly adapted. Making this bread took a bit longer, no doubt, than one I might make in my machine, but was so worth the time and effort.

While looking at spices on the Penzeys website, I took a look at their specialty spices and saw, Mahlab. Curious, I did a web search and found out about this spice and recipes that use it. The Perfect Pantry had an Armenian Brioche recipe which I changed up a bit and became the recipe I am sharing with you today. (The Perfect Pantry had also adapted it from another source, however, the only change I saw was a division of ingredients to make a smaller amount.)

Because Mahlab should be ground fresh, I used my molcajete. I actually bought this specifically for the task, but have always wanted one, so great excuse, eh? I also ground my cloves for the filling. Next, I’ll be making guacamole in it!

Because I could not get a super fine grind, I then sifted it through this mesh strainer. This is a great tool for sifting, by the way.

This is my two flours, barley and bread flour, along with the yeast at the top and the mahlab at the bottom. I love barley flour for it’s fine texture and smoothness in breads and cakes. A great way to add a whole grain to a bread, cake or pancakes.

After beating the eggs and sugar with the butter, and adding the flour and milk/water mixture, I switched to my dough hook to finish kneading this into a smooth ball.

Before the first rising.

After the bread had been through it’s two risings, I formed the dough into 20 balls and while they rested for 30 minutes, I made the filling. I chopped the dates and walnuts. That’s my Pampered Chef chopper in the background. Works wonders on nuts.

I used a regular teaspoon to scoop up the filling for each roll.

This is one of the balls with the filling.

On the left is the pinching up process and the right all pinched together. I then rolled the dough back into a smooth ball.

The egg wash.

I used this tea strainer to sprinkle the poppy seeds onto each roll. The tea strainer works for other spices as well.

Beautiful! I think I over cooked them just a bit. Go for golden, but go short rather than long!

Here’s the recipe. Click on the title for a printable or downloadable copy. I hope you will enjoy as much as my family and I did!

Peace and joy!

Friday Foodie: Armenian Brioche filled with Dates, Walnuts, Honey and Spices
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Armenian Brioche stuffed with Dates, Walnuts, Honey and spices While looking at the Penzey spice website, I noticed a section of specialty spices and perused the list. I ran across Mahlab, a spice totally unfamiliar to me. I was intrigued with it’s origins , Turkey and Iran, and that essentially it comes from the pits of a sour cherry. I did a search for recipes using this “spice” and found this Armenian Brioche, traditionally served at Easter. This is the recipe I adapted from The Perfect Pantry.
  • For the dough:
  • 2 cups barley flour + extra as needed
  • 1 ½ cups bread flour
  • 1 Tbs. finely ground Mahlab (grind just before using)
  • 2 ½ tsps bread machine yeast (or one package of yeast)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ Tbs coconut oil
  • ½ c sugar
  • ½ cup warm water, (I use hot from the tap since adding straight to the flour and yeast mix)
  • ⅓ c warm milk
  • Filling:
  • 10 ounces, pitted and freshly chopped dates (I used Medjool)
  • ½ c chopped walnuts
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • 2 Tbs honey
  1. For Filling: Mix first four ingredients together. Use your finger tips to mix the spices and walnuts with the dates to help separate clumps of dates. Mix in the honey and set aside until ready to fill bread. After filling, if there is any left, eat directly from the bowl. (I had about a heaping spoon full left and it was delicious!)
  2. For dough: Combine flours mahlab, salt and yeast, set aside.
  3. Turn oven to 100 degrees (or lowest setting). When it reaches temperature, turn off oven.
  4. In heavy duty mixer, cream butter, oil and sugar together. Add eggs and beat until combined and creamy.
  5. Combine milk and water together. Alternating between flour mixture and milk/water mixture, starting with flour, add to the creamed ingredients and continue mixing. When dough becomes too thick for the standard beater, replace with dough hook. Add additional flour (I alternated between barley and bread flour) one tablespoon at a time until dough is smooth and elastic.
  6. Oil a large bowl, but not metal, and place dough in bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in warm oven. If oven feels hot, prop door open until just warm. The idea is to give the dough a warm place to rise, out of drafts, until double in size, about 2 hours.
  7. Punch down. Fold together, smooth into a ball and allow to rise again for about 1 ½ hours, until double in size. Punch down again and allow to rest for 15 mins. Divide dough in half. Divide each half again and then make five balls from each quarter. Allow the balls of dough to rest , covered, for 30 mins.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Flatten each ball into a round, using a dining table spoon, scoop a spoonful into the center. Pinch dough closed around filling and reshape into a ball. Fill balls, one at a time, then place, two inches apart on parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with an egg wash, made from one egg yoke and one tsp of water. Sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame seeds.
  9. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until golden brown. Enjoy hot from the oven or may be reheated the next day for serving. Freeze any leftovers (which there will be none, but just incase) for up to a month.