Stop This Thing – I Want to Get Off! (Part 2)

From the desk of Laura Foresta, RD, LDN…

When you are hungry, you deserve to eat.

Yup, that’s right. When you feel hungry your body is telling you it’s low on fuel. When your car’s gas tank is empty, do you continue to drive it or do you stop at a gas station to fill it up? Eventually it will stop going without fuel. When your body’s tank is empty, do you stop to refuel? The reality is, if we ignore our hunger, our body responds by slowing down and conserving energy. When we ignore hunger cues long enough, we don’t get them anymore and stay in energy conservation mode. That means we are burning fewer calories throughout the day, making weight loss even more difficult. Eating when hungry helps your body stay in calorie-burning mode.

Some people feel anxious when they feel hungry. It might help to know hunger is a normal physiologic signal that your body needs fuel. Some people don’t feel hunger – especially chronic dieters. The good news is you can reset your hunger thermostat by eating regular meals. Eating breakfast is a great way to get your metabolism revved up. Breakfast skippers might notice they can go all day without eating, but then feel hungry in the evening and night. If you experiment with eating breakfast, you might notice you are hungry for a midmorning snack and for lunch, but end up eating fewer total calories for the day.

What does hunger feel like in your body? Does your stomach growl? Do you get a headache or get cranky if you wait too long to eat? What do full and overfull feel like? Do you feel uncomfortable or sick if you’ve eaten too much? If you wait until you are extremely hungry to eat do you tend to eat beyond comfortable fullness?

I invite you to experiment with eating when you are hungry (whatever time of day or night that is), and stopping when you are comfortably full (could go for 3 or 4 hours without eating again). Consider tracking your hunger level before you eat anything and your fullness level when you are finished eating. Do you notice any patterns? Get curious about what is behind your eating patterns, and use nonjudgmental language when thinking about them.

These experiments will help you on the path to the land of the non-dieter. Welcome!

Want to learn more about the non-diet approach to weight management? Sign up for Enjoy Every Bite – a 6-week nutrition series beginning January 12th. Space is limited so call 617-447-2222 or complete the form at today to reserve your space!

Laura Foresta is a registered, licensed dietitian and nutrition coach with more than 10 years of experience in the field of nutrition. Laura provides individual and group nutritional counseling, community nutrition workshops, and corporate lunch-and-learns and wellness programming.

Many of Laura’s clients come to her after having ridden the weight loss roller coaster for years, only to come off the ride at a heavier weight and more confused than ever about what to eat. Balancing nutrition, exercise, work, and family is challenging in our fast-paced, stress-filled world. Imagine how different your life would be if you made peace with your food and your body.

It is possible to achieve your natural, healthy weight and improve your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar, all while enjoying the foods you love. Laura is passionate about helping you feel more confident about your food choices and trust your ability to eat healthfully.

Winter Warming

From the desk of Kristen Lutz, LMT, MS…

Ahh, New England in the wintertime. There really is nothing like it. Instantly I think of fewer hours of daylight so it’s dark when you wake up and dark when you get home. And how ‘bout those wind chill factors that cripple our ability to take one step outside? Or better yet, the seemingly endless snowstorms that leave us shoveling, nay, digging our cars out of their respective place of dwelling? Like I said, ‘ahh, New England in the wintertime, there really is nothing like it’.

The great thing about the cold (yin) is that it doesn’t exist without heat (yang). So instead of dwelling on the cold, let’s celebrate the opportunity the winter months provide. You heard me correctly. Let’s thank the winter months for fewer hours of daylight, cold and bitter winds, and relentless snowstorms. When life hands you a shovel of snow, I say let’s make snow cones! Here are 3 simple ways to knock the chills right out of your bones!

1. Warm-lotion massage
Purchase a favorite hand/body lotion/cream. I highly recommend EveryDay Shea Body Lotion. You can find a 32oz bottle at Whole Foods or at for $14.95. It contains unrefined shea butter (therefore it contains true healing and moisturizing properties), antioxidants, it’s paraben-free, fragrance-free and has not been animal-tested. The product is also from a fair trade company.

1. Warm a small pot of water on the stove until the water starts to steam (NEVER place a bottle of oil/cream/lotion in boiling water)
2. Remove the pot from the stove and place on a hot plate/trivet
3. Place a bottle of lotion/cream in the water for 5-10 minutes

Apply the warmed lotion/cream to one arm and hand at a time. Work in a kneading manner to warm up the muscles and tissues. You can then start to explore by using your finger/thumb points and knuckles to work the lotion/cream.

To improve circulation, massage your fingers first, then hand, and finish with your forearm. You want to massage in a direction that moves towards your heart. Switch to the other arm.

2. Foot soak
You don’t need any fancy foot spa with bubbles and massage for this. We can leave Dr. Scholl out of it for now. Although, if you have one, this is a great time to break it out! For those of us that don’t have that luxury, here is all you will need.

Designate a plastic or glass bowl in your home that is large enough (and flat enough at the bottom) to fit your feet. If you do not have one, try your local dollar store or a craft/party store. You can officially designate this as your foot soak bowl from now on.

Basic Foot Soak
½ cup Epson Salt
4 drops of an essential oil of your choice (optional)
Steep ingredients in 1 gallon of hot water for 5 minutes before soaking feet

Chamomile Tea Foot Soak
4 bags chamomile tea
1/8 cup dried parsley
4 drops of an essential oil of your choice (optional)
Steep ingredients in 1 gallon of hot water for 10 minutes before soaking feet

Essential Oil Ideas: peppermint, lavender, lemon, orange, eucalyptus, mint

Instant Foot Massage: Add marbles to the bottom of the bowl to rub your feet over while soaking. Soak your feet for 15 minutes and get ready to feel all warm and cozy!

3. Heat while you sleep
This involves something as simple as a hot water bottle. At night, turn down the heat in your bedroom, fill a hot water bottle with hot water from the kettle, cap it, and slide it under the covers. The bottle will heat your sheets for up to 9 hours!

Benefits: The heat alleviates aches and cramps, and encourages your body to better heat itself and increase circulation. You will also wake up with softer skin and less frizzy hair because the dry, warm heater air didn’t suck all the moisture out of the room. You can further protect your skin from the hot water bottle by wrapping it in a pillowcase.

Eco-friendly: Zero energy is used during the 9 hours. The red or blue bottles are made of latex rubber. They last for years and keep your water the hottest. But if you have latex allergies or are averse to buying non-recyclable rubber you can by a bottle made of thermoplastic material that is odorless and recyclable. Search for “Transparent Classic Hot Water Bottle – Made in Germany” on

Budget-friendly: You’ll save quite a few bucks on your utilities. The original red and blue latex bottles run about $4-5 whereas the non-latex kinds will cost you about $20.

OMBE’s 2009 Green Gift Ideas

From the desk of Jessica L. Molleur, Lic.Ac., DNBAO….

Check out OMBE’s green holiday gift guide-10 eco-friendly gift ideas and great green websites that will help you find the best eco-treats for everyone on your list this season.

Our Top 10 List This Season:

1. For the Cook: Pick up a copy of Alicia Silverstone’s, The Kind Diet, at The recipe book is filled with delicious recipes that will make the vegans, raw foodies, and even the carnivores happy at the table.
2. For the Mom: Buy a gift certificate from The website offers eco-alternative gifts for children, baby gear, and items everyone in the family will appreciate-even Fido.
3. For the Hostess: Check out for the perfect gift for anyone entertaining this season. The website is filled with everything organic from cookies to wine.
4. For the Newlyweds: Shop at We’ve mentioned this website before be we can’t get over their stylish, eco-friendly house ware selection.
5. For the Guy: Check out for super-soft organic clothing. And yes, they have earth-friendly options for women and children too but we love their line of t-shirts and hoodies including the fly fisherman and guitar strap designs (just to name 2).
6. For the Fashionista: Where does one fine eco-chic clothing for the fashionista in your group? Search no more. Check out for everything from pants, tanks, t-shirts, jewelry and much more.
7. For the Geek: With Novothink’s hybrid solar charger case, you can now powerup your iPhone literally anywhere under the sun. Available at
8. For the Kids: For organic treats and stone-ground chocolate check out this local shop You can also find Taza chocolate at Allandale Farms in Brookline.
9. For the Fitness Enthusiast: Check out Manduka’s PVC-free, biodegrable, eco-friendly yoga mat. The mat is now available for 20% off at OMBE in all seven earth-tone colors. Email info@ombecenter by December 18th to request your mat be shipped carbon-free!
10. For the Philanthropist: Visit for unique gifts or a tree gift. Your tree gift will be planted in a US National Forest that has been destroyed by wildfire.

Ho, Ho, How do I find the time to exercise?

From the desk of Sharon Barry …

It’s that time of year: shopping, holiday parties and all the hurried business that comes with the end of the year. It seems the month of December passes by in a flurry of blinking lights, holiday preparations, relatives and travel. Somewhere in the haze of craziness, we tend to put aside our priority to exercise, knowing that we can always catch our bodies back up with another typical New Year’s resolution to get back in shape.

Don’t get me wrong. Resolutions are fun. Personally, I find it enjoyable to make up all kinds of wild and unattainable ones with friends after a glass of wine, write them down, belt them out in loud boisterous voices, toss them into a cozy fire only to forget about them the next day. That’s really what resolutions are about, no?

I have a better idea…hear me out. Forget about a New Year’s resolution and start small and simple today. Next time you are out shopping, pick up a pedometer and wear it on your waist every day. And every day, try to go 100 steps further than you did the day before. Simple. One hundred steps are really not that far and I bet you‘ll find it an amusing challenge. Walking is a fantastic way to exercise and if you live in the city, take the train less and walk more. You will quickly see all those steps adding up and feel your body becoming lighter and lighter. And if you want to kick things up a notch and give on-lookers a good laugh, speed up and slow down your pace intermittently. Walk slowly, then randomly walk as fast as you can and repeat the pattern over and over. Interval walking is even better for burning calories and definitely gives people something funny to watch!

Next, throw on your favorite music while cooking up a storm and shake your booty. Dancing burns even more calories than walking and is fun. Your husband or significant other will give you bonus points if you’re wearing high heels and throw on little reindeer ears and a big red nose! And don’t forget to do your stretches in between dance moves: no need to be afraid to throw a leg up on the counter for a hamstring stretch, take both hands on either side of a doorframe in a lunge and lean forward to stretch those mixing arms and feel free to slide down into the splits on the floor!

And finally…add a few sessions at OMBE to your Christmas list and buy some for your friends and family. I know, how cheesy IS the saying: “blah blah blah…the gift of health”…but, it’s true. What better way to motivate and stay in shape than taking some classes with a friend or two here at the number one Pilates, personal training, weight loss and Yoga studio in the city?

Exactly. There simply IS no better way. So stop waiting for January first. Throw on some sneakers and your pedometer and interval walk your way over to OMBE today!

Happy Holidays!!

Sharon Barry, CPI
Certified Pilates Instructor, Thai Yoga Massage and Reiki Practitioner

Sharon Barry began her Pilates training as a dancer in college 17 years ago. In 1996, she received her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography from Arizona State University and has been a certified Pilates trainer since 1997 through the PhysicalMind Institute. Additionally, Sharon was a professional choreographer and dancer, trainer and performer with the San Francisco School of Circus Arts where she taught Pilates, flying and static trapeze, teeterboard, trampolining, and acrobatics. In 2002, she received her First Degree Reiki certification and in 2008 she completed her Thai Yoga Massage certification.

In addition to teaching Pilates classes and private sessions, Sharon combines her training in Reiki and Thai Yoga massage with her clients. Over the past 12 years, Sharon has trained professional dancers, circus performers, gymnasts, golf professionals, marathon runners, and triathletes. She has coaxed bodies through injury rehabilitation as well as helping clients improve athletic performance. Throughout her career as a Pilates instructor, Sharon has enjoyed working in conjunction with physicians, chiropractors, orthopedic surgeons, acupuncturists, and physical therapists.

Take Your Yoga Mat With You Wherever You Go

From the desk of Rachel Lappen…

I was recently reminded of a moment of sweetness that I experienced while teaching a very early morning Yoga class. The crew of early morning risers arrived promptly to set their intention for the day long before the sun rose. Before the start of class, I performed my typical duty of locking the main lobby door and inviting late comers to enter through the door to the Yoga studio itself.

Occasionally, one or two students quietly step in a few minutes after class starts to join us. On one day in particular, we were moving through the last handful of poses in a deep hip opening sequence when a knock came at the studio door. Slightly confused, I peered out to notice that there was, in fact, someone wanting to get inside. Between cues, I opened the door to a man dressed neatly in a suit and tie who asked to please be let in through the lobby door. While most of the students stirred to witness what was going on, I quietly offered to him that class was nearing its end and that there was another class starting shortly after this one ended that he could attend. But he insisted on getting into the locked studio immediately. A friend offered to step out and assist him in the lobby and shortly came back into the room in time to slip into savasana. After class, she explained to me that he had left his mat at the studio the night before and needed to get it right at that very moment.

My initial reaction to this situation of urgency and chaos turned to peace and gratitude. Each day, each moment, I carry this story with me when I get caught up in my life off the mat. I’ll take this student’s advice… whether you are in your Yoga clothes, or in a suit and tie… on your way to class, or to work… whether literally or figuratively, take your mat with you wherever you go because, truly, we are all ALWAYS on our Yoga mat.

Join me here in the studio for a group class on Thursdays for Yoga for Runners at 7:30 pm-8:30 pm or Fridays for Vinyasa Flow at 7 am-8 am. Or, schedule a private session to learn how to cultivate your own practice to take on the road. Class size is limited to 6 so sign up now to reserve your spot. First time students drop in for only $10! Or, purchase a 3-class pack for $54, a 6-class pack or $96, or a single drop-in for $20. Check out our current class schedule at or contact us at for more information.

Rachael Lappen, Yoga and Wellness Instructor, RYT
Rachael, a lifelong fitness and wellness enthusiast and former competitive swimmer with a degree in Biology from Clark University, has been practicing and studying yoga for almost seven years. From her first moments on the yoga mat, she was instantly drawn to the balance of dynamic and meditative movement of energy and the constant evolution of body and mind. She began teaching two years ago and has completed Level 1 and Level 2 Power Vinyasa Teacher Training with Baron Baptiste.

Rachael currently teaches Power and Vinyasa-based yoga classes to students of all levels and ages. She is a member of the Assistant Team at the Baptiste Power Yoga Institute in Cambridge and Brookline, and enjoys teaching in community service venues. Additionally, Rachael continually enriches her professional training and personal journey through workshops with some of the best-known Yogis in the field.

Rachael’s classes are accessible to all students, emphasizing proper alignment through modifications. She encourages students to connect to movement with awareness of breath, a light heart, and to be open to new possibilities. Rachael incorporates her yoga practice into all aspects of her life and is endlessly grateful to all of her teachers and mentors. She is honored to share her passion with her students, encouraging them to cultivate their personal authenticity as well as physical health.