Manhattan Holistic Chamber of Commerce President Michele Risa


4 Easy Tips to Shatter the Confusion about What You Eat

Are you confused about what to eat? Many people are.

We know that sugar is bad for our health, and can cause obesity, diabetes, and inflammation. One simple solution may be to read food labels in order to choose items that don’t have sugar. So when we see dextrose, sucrose, maltodextrin, cane juice, cane crystals, barley malt syrup and treacle, we think, “Great, no sugar!” Unfortunately, these ingredients are sugar in disguise and can cause the same problems.

And not only is your breakfast cereal packed with sugar, so is your favorite pasta sauce, peanut butter, crackers and ketchup.

Tip #1: Sugar sneaks into your food! Eliminate it in all its disguises.

Fad Diets Don't WorkMany of us are also confused about how best to lose weight. Though our goal is to lose weight and keep it off, most of us don’t. We go on diets like South Beach, Adkins or Zone, initially lose weight but when we return to “normal” eating we gain the weight back and even more.

Research shows that food cravings occur in 58-97% of adults, whether on a diet or not. Most of us have found that when we deprive ourselves of what we want, we all too often find ourselves overindulging. Instead

Tip #2: Try the old 80-20 rule: eat 80% of foods that give you energy, strengthen your immune system, and help your mind stay sharp while indulge in 20% of foods you can enjoy without overindulging.

Foods that make you HungrierSince moderation does not always work for everyone

Tip #3: Substitution is another healthy and effective tactic that can help you control cravings and lose weight.

Try some strawberries with stevia for that extra sweetness. Instead of chips, try some nuts or seeds.

There are easy ways to make even a salad delicious without feeling deprived or unsatisfied.

Start with romaine or iceberg lettuce and add spinach, mixed greens, or kale. (In just one cup of kale, you get more than the daily-recommended amount of Vitamin A which is important for your vision, skin, teeth, and bones.) And to make your salad interesting, add: watermelon and feta cheese; raisins, apples, and nuts; or tomatoes, cucumber and

Tip #4: To make healthy food anything but boring and tasteless, spice it up with natural sweeteners from fruit and vegetables.

Confused about which fruits are the best for you?  Here’s a chart of fruit rankings by Food Day to make the choice easy.


Ready to shatter the confusion about what you eat?

Start with these 4 tips. It’s easier than you think, more delicious than you imagine, and will last a lifetime.

Have questions or want more specific suggestions tailored to your needs? Just email me at

I’m on your team.


How Your Mind- Not Your Heart- Is Your Key to Happiness

Today, research helps us understand a surprising key to happiness- the mind.

Neuroscientist Daniel Bor, author of “The Ravenous Brain” can “see” how meditation decreases the “fight or flight” triggers in the amygdala and increases focus and calm in the prefrontal cortex. He reports that the size of the amygdala literally shrinks!

What does that mean for you? It means meditation offers you an increased ability to handle pains and bothersome emotions, spatial processing, attention tasks and working memory.  Plus all of that enjoyed without lots of sleep. (This may be the best antidote on how to enjoy holiday parties and still get up bright eyed and bushy tailed in the A.M.)

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5 Ways to Avoid the “SAD Winter Blues”

Seasonal Affective Disorder a.k.a. SAD or “winter blues” is a very common problem for women and people with a history of depression.

According to research, 6% of the US, primarily in northern climates are affected by SAD and another 14% suffer from “winter blues” a lesser form.

Symptoms include:sad-woman

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I just completed Michele’s 90-day MORE program. As Michele will remind you, if you decide to study with her, things don’t happen to us; they happen for us. Michele happened for me just when I needed what she is committed to teaching. Commitment is the key word because she is always thinking of what she can do to help others live happy, successful lives filled with joy. She takes care to really understand what each of her students needs and instinctively suggests just the right message, yoga exercise, meditation, food, experience, etc., that will resonate with them to help them courageously live the life they want. Michele is a gift you deserve to give yourself when you’re finally ready to live your best, authentic life.
- Sheri Robbins, New York

...I have suffered from emotional eating for 6 years, during which I have juggled and switched through different therapists and treatment options. I continued to feel "stuck" as the approaches focused on the past and why I acquired my disease. ...Michele's plan of remaining present- right here, right now- in addition to helping me choose love for myself, has allowed me to grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually... Michele is a true gift from God.
- Michele Messina, New Jersey

The benefits have been significant. My reason for doing this yoga is to improve and maintain good health. Each morning class provides me with the motivation to get up and improve my physical and mental strength. I also think one of the greatest things about Michele’s 365 Yoga Course is I can join a class any day of the week, drop in at any time during the class and leave at a time that works for me and my schedule, from anywhere I am.
- Philip Swanton, New York