JULY 2023 NEWSLETTER
Celebrating Your Journey!
Can you believe we are already half way through the year?July marks an important milestone, offering us an opportunity to pause, reflect, and celebrate how far we have come on our personal and health journeys.
Take a moment to revisit the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year. Celebrate the victories, big and small. Even if you have yet to start on your goals, these past few months have been a learning process that is meaningful to review and evaluate.
Summer brings a sense of adventure and positive energy. Let's seize the moment and use this mid-year checkpoint as a springboard to move forward and recommit to what truly matters to you.
Here are my summer highlights and upcoming events you need to live your healthiest, happiest life!
Gut Health Research Advances
"Gut Microbiome Profoundly Impacts Brain Health"
Gut health is such a hot topic today, both in mainstream media and the health and wellness world. As the conversation surrounding gut health spreads, so does research within the area.
Currently I am taking an Integrative Women's Heart Health course at the Integrative Women's Health Institute. As part of my continuing education, this class explores previous and current dialogue on the gut microbiome. Recent studies are suggesting that the health of your gut microbiome might have a direct impact on your cognitive and heart health, too.
A study published by Science early this year details how scientists, by altering the environment and microbiome of mice, found that those young mice that were genetically engineered had less damaged brains later in age than those mice with normal microbiomes. " 'This study may offer important insights into how the microbiome influences tau-mediated neurodegeneration, and suggests therapies that alter gut microbes may affect the onset or progression of neurodegenerative disorders,' adds Linda McGavern, PhD, program director at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)" (Coleman 2023).
Although these studies are in the early stages, they provide important topics and information to consider. My takeaway is that an emphasis on gut health is ever important and should be a focus for everyone! If you're curious on what exactly gut health means and how to practice gut health, I have a FREE gut health webinar this July 13th at 6pm PDT. More information, including registration, can be found here: Unlocking the Power of Your Gut. I hope to see you there!
Set your foundation with Charles and Connor!
We all know the importance of laying the foundation so that you can build onwards and upwards. These two know how to raise the roof and blueprint a plan for success.
Charles Green, the Founder of AS Architecture and Real Estate Development, uses a holistic approach to create a high quality design unique to you.
And you can't forget Connor Daly Construction, a 35-year-old business with expertise in seismic retrofits, exterior reconstruction, and interior improvement.
These two truly nail it, so make sure to head their way for all your needs and tell them we sent you!
Michelle's Hot Topic - Check it out!
Fourth of July Celebration: Menlo Park
The Fourth of July is a holiday that encourages being outside and I love it!
Some years I find myself with plans for celebration and others I am unsure whether to go the city for fireworks or the top of Valparaiso hill. Here is what is happening in Menlo Park this year:
4th of July Parade (11 AM start) - Maloney St. -> Santa Cruz -> Fremont Park with festivities to follow until 2:30pm
For more information on the parade and party, read here.
Recipe of the Month - Hormone Healthy Meals!
So Fresh n So Green -
Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos
A client of mine was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and that prompted the start of our journey together. Among other symptoms, hormone imbalance is at the center of this health condition. With a focus on whole foods and a reduction of inflammation, the health habits to reduce PCOS symptoms can be implemented by all.
The hormone-healthy blog lists PCOS friendly recipes, including this one:
Ingredients (1-2 Servings)
1 sweet potato
1-2 tbsp avocado oil
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
Toppings (add to your liking)
A handful of dairy-free cheddar cheese
1/4 cup soaked and cooled black beans
A palm-sized portion of pulled chicken
1/4 cup guacamole
1) Preheat oven to 425 F.
2) Slice your sweet potatoes into thin coin pieces. Toss with oil, spices, and place evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
3) Once preheated, bake your sweet potatoes for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. If adding cheese, do so at the halfway point of baking.
4) Once finished baking, top and broil for 1-2 minutes if including beans and chicken.
5) Take out of the oven, add toppings, and enjoy!
Monthly Challenge - Outdoor Activity!
Feel the warmth on your skin, the breeze in your hair, and your lungs sing with the fresh air!
July is the best time to get outside and get your movement in, too! From hiking, walking, running, and picnics, I encourage you to take any activity you can outside and enjoy!
Earlier this week the family -1 went down to the Monterey Bay Rail Line to try out their Handcar Tour. It was so much fun and I highly recommend!
Lately I have started running again after taking the time to try a variety of workout classes and ways to keep moving.
My recent partnership with ARC Running has bolstered my love for running and remember that no matter what level you're at, it is always enjoyable.
On July 23rd, ARC Running has a Workshop on Shin Splints that you should check out! More about their upcoming events and running tips can be found on their newsletter!
In the spirit of setting wellness intentions for the rest of the year, my Wellness Workshop replay is sure to help you hit the reset button.
If you missed it or want to rewatch and remind yourself of self-care tips and strategies, this webinar is for everyone! This webinar goes over how to build your plate, the purpose behind eating diverse foods, and how to set and stick to your goals.
This webinar strengthens and supports our community! I am grateful for your continued engagement and I hope you take this information to make the most of your year.
I want to make sure you are aware of what I have living right on my website!
These selected self-tests can help you understand if you are at risk for certain health conditions and how to move forward.
Your mental health and personal fulfillment are just as important indications of health! Check them out and see where you might be needing more balance in your life.
This is that gut health webinar I was speaking about earlier! Join me at Unlock the Power of Your Gut on June 13th at 6pm PDT. If you are looking for an eye-opening class covering all things gut health, this is the place for you. This webinar is FREE to register!
As a gut health 360, I will be covering research, tips, and strategies to transform your gut and pave the way to optimal well-being.
Make sure to save your spot and sign up. I'll see you there!
JUNE 2023 NEWSLETTER
May sure flew by for me. I stayed busy with business events for Michelle DeWolf Health Coach Practice, including my Nail Your Negotiation webinar and the Unlock the Vault event at the Park James Hotel! I loved connecting with new community members over a shared love of self-care and overall wellness.
Even more, my youngest graduated from High School! This summer is my last to spend with them before they go off to St Andrews in Edinburgh, Scotland, leaving me an empty nester. It hasn't set in yet, but I know when we travel there as a family to drop them off I will be sad.
With weather and life shifting, I look forward to embracing the season of change and taking advantage of all the good happening around me, and I hope you do too.
Here are my summer tips, tools, and upcoming events you need to live your healthiest, happiest life!
Best Sun Protection Practices
"Why You Should Choose a Natural Sunscreen for Your Health & the Environment"
Warmer weather means more time outside. Hence, more sun exposure. A certain amount of sun is good for your health, but too much and the effects can be damaging. I myself had a scare with skin cancer. I seriously owe my life to Dr. Shira Lipton from Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), who caught my Melanoma early and was able to give me proper treatment. Not only is skin cancer a risk, but over exposure to the sun can lead to premature aging. I am a proponent of sunscreen and skincare to aid in proper detection and prevention of skin cancer and related issues.
On top of it all, when you think you might be doing alright by putting on sunscreen, many contain dangerous chemicals that are harmful to your skin and the environment. Annmarie Gianni from Food Revolution Network (FRN) explains the difference between Chemical and Physical Sunscreens: Chemical sunscreens having hormone-disrupting effects and limited spectrum protection. Check the labels of your sunscreen for the following most common chemicals:
Avobenzone: Might cause allergic reactions and hormonal changes, with high body absorption (9x the FDA threshold!).
Oxybenzone: "The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to avoid using sunscreens containing oxybenzone on children if at all possible." In a blood test sampling Americans, researchers found the chemical in 97% of people. Further, they detected it in 24% of breast milk sampled.
Homosalate: Not considered a safe sunscreen ingredient. This chemical may cause both hormonal and breast cancers.
Octinoxate: When mixed with other chemicals, Octinoxate may produce harmful free radicals.
Octisalate: No matter spray or squeeze, a study showed absorption occurred ten fold.
Octocrylene: While disrupting cells, it also harms marine and coral life .
Retinyl Palmitate: May cause rapid development of skin lesions and tumors.
Instead of chemical sunscreens, look for physical sunscreens with minerals Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Both are free of hormone-disrupting risks and offer broad-spectrum coverage, the two main attributes to prioritize when selecting a sunscreen.
Additionally, be wary of SPF. Many associate a higher SPF with more coverage, but SPF only accounts for UVB rays (those that cause sunburns). UVA rays penetrate the skin and are responsible for skin cancers, and are often not included in sunscreen protection. Make sure to look for sunscreens with broad-spectrum coverage, shielding you from UVB and UVA rays,.
Finally, as I always say, drink water! The more you hydrate your body, including externally with a body moisturizer, the better your skin will handle sun exposure and remain healthy. Enjoy the sun responsibly this summer :).
At the Unlock the Vault event on May 18th, I had the chance to meet the lovely Cassandra, renowned celebrity makeup artist, entrepreneur, podcaster, wife, and mother!
The ingredients in your makeup and skincare are just as important as the food you put in your body. The skin is the body's largest organ! Similar to nutrition, you have to be mindful of harmful ingredients, and this is the issue Cassandra tackles on her podcast show Clean Beauty.
In the spirit of clean beauty and sun protection, Cassandra recommends OLITA. A mineral sunscreen that is also reef safe, get it as a stick or tinted lotion!
Check out her upcoming tour dates and more on Instagram @cassandramcclure and tell her we sent you!
Sundown Cinema: Film Night in the Park
We are so close to the city, it only makes sense to get up there for fun events!
My youngest said they would go to the Top Gun viewing this June with me, so may this be an opportunity for you to spend time with friends and loved ones too! These movies are for everyone and a fun way to explore, as they span across the city.
Let me know if you plan to attend one of the dates and maybe we can go together!
Recipe of the Month - Summer Salads!
The Modern Proper -
Peach and Tomato Caprese Salad
After much family celebration the past week, we enjoyed a grilled peach and burrata salad! I have been dreaming about it ever since. Luckily, summertime means ripe peaches and tomatoes, so what better time to make this salad that is colorful visually and in taste?
Customize to your liking, but the general recipe is as follows:
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 minced garlic clove
2 ripe peaches, cubed or sliced
2 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced
1 handful of basil leaves, chopped or whole
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced or cubed
Cracked salt and pepper
1) Mix the dressing ingredients and set aside.
2) Once prepared, place the salad base in a bowl and toss with the dressing.
3) Top with salt and pepper and enjoy!
PRO TIP: If you're feeling extra, give those peaches a nice grill for added texture and flavor.
Monthly Challenge - Activity for days!
Lately, there has been a lot of dialogue surrounding post-work activities. Truthfully, many of us "live for the weekends" and wait for Saturday to do the things we love. Why should we waste the rest of the week away?
June is full of special holidays and national days dedicated to specific topics. This month I challenge you and I to a new activity once a week NOT on the weekend! Let's do it!
My friends at SBM Group Fit and I are excited to be hosting their Summer Party! June 17th from 9:00-11:00am. If you are looking for a supportive class you can commit to, SBM Group Fit is the place for you. This event offers FREE demo classes you can pick and choose depending on your preference and skill level.
Not only will the workout classes be full of energy, but snacks, refreshments, and raffles will be handed out! If you have wanted to discuss my offerings in person, this is the perfect chance because I will be in attendance and raffling off one of my services. It's all for you!
Spots are limited! Make sure to save your spot and sign up.
My Nail Your Negotiation webinar replay is here!
If you missed it or want to rewatch and remind yourself of self-care tips and strategies, this webinar is for everyone! Whether you have a conversation coming up with your boss, constantly debate with your children over their allowance of sweets, or overall want to have increased confidence when expressing yourself, practice makes perfect.
Boost your self-esteem with skills and insight from Alice and me.
Are Your Bowel Movements Healthy?
Let’s chat about your bowel movements.
Did you just cringe a bit? Let’s face it, excreta isn’t anybody’s favorite topic. Nonetheless, our bowel movements hold valuable clues to our overall health. But these signs are often ignored because most of us are a bit uncomfortable talking about them - even to our healthcare providers.
Your Appointment is a Judgement Free-Zone
Keep in mind that your healthcare practitioner will not be shocked or uncomfortable if you talk about your poop. In fact, that’s part of our job! We want to really get to the bottom of your health issues (no pun intended), and sometimes that means talking about the “unmentionable” topics. So, if you have a concern, please don’t hesitate to bring it up.
Your Digestion is a Reflection of Your Health
Your digestive system connects intricately with your nervous system and detox pathways. Changes in your bowel habits can indicate changes in other parts of your body - from excess stress, to liver problems, to cancers.
The good news is that we don’t have to go into great detail describing the various types of bowel movements and what they signify. There’s already a chart that shows various problems and what to look for called the Bristol Stool Chart after the hospital that developed it in 1997.
How to Improve Your Bowel Movements
If you’ve ruled out a medical condition, but still feel that things are not moving quite like they should be, a few simple steps can improve your bowel movements.
1) Pay attention to your diet.
Fiber helps keeps things moving by adding some bulk to your stool - think seeds, whole grains, beans, fresh fruits and vegetables. If you’re not used to a high-fiber diet, increase your fiber intake slowly to avoid upsetting your stomach, and always make sure to up your water intake alongside extra fiber. In addition, make sure you’re eating enough healthy fats from sources such as avocados, nuts, and olive oil.
Pay close attention to how particular foods affect your digestion. If you experience diarrhea or constipation, try keeping a diary of what you eat, and the symptoms you experience. We can help you set up an effective tracking system to monitor your diet if you need a little help with that.
2) Choose medication carefully.
Many medications can cause constipation, so it is important to be aware and adjust your diet accordingly. Avoid laxative medications as much as possible, as your body quickly becomes dependent on them, and some evidence links their use to colorectal cancer. Talk with your integrative medical practitioner about natural solutions to constipation cause by medications if diet alone isn’t enough.
3) Stay hydrated.
Aim for the proverbial eight cups of water a day. It’s particularly important to get adequate water if you’ve recently increased your fiber intake. Not only are our stools 75 percent water, but the bowel muscles need plenty of hydration to work their best.
4) Increase your movement.
Exercise stimulates your digestion. Studies suggest that digestion is better if you exercise regularly and, if possible, at the same time of the day. In fact, sitting for too long overall can lead to constipation regardless of other exercise, another argument for working at a standing desk for part of the day. And, on a similar note, pay attention to how your body moves. Some yoga poses are designed to assist with digestion.
5) Develop a routine and don't fight the urge.
If you feel like you gotta go, don’t ignore that feeling! Fighting the urge to poop can lead to constipation. Setting aside a specific time of the day can help you stay regular.
6) Change positions.
As well, consider the way you sit on the toilet. Over the course of history, toilets themselves are a pretty recent invention. That means that we evolved pooping from a squatting position. Many people find that bringing their feet up onto a stool can help bring them into a squatting position which makes bowel movements easier. Check out the Squatty potty for more info on aids for better positioning.
7) Talk openly.
Don’t hesitate to set up a chat with me and have an open talk if you have any concerns or questions about your bowel movements. Your stool can be a good indicator that your body has something going on that needs attention, and it’s always better to bring up a concern than to worry about it!