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The first step is a doozie...

July 3, 2013

Hello, World! Welcome to The Diva Digests! I’ve

been ruminating on the idea of this blog for quite some time and have just been too chicken to get started. (Is it too cheesy? Will anybody read it?) I was emboldened to take this first step today by recent events (see below)…and it just seemed that I’d regret waiting any longer. I honestly don’t know if anyone besides my mother will ever read this, but it’s good to know that I’ll reach at least one person on this great, wide earth.

 

A little about me…

 

I’m an opera singer and a budding foodie and health/wellness nut. I call this little journal “The Diva Digests” in deference to my family’s proud (??) history of puns/plays on words. See, you can read “digest” as either “a summation or condensation of a body of information” (as in The Reader’s Digest) or “a product of digestion” (as in, The Diva eats stuff). So, put them together and you get “The Diva Eats Stuff and Writes About It,” for better or for worse.

 

I’ve had food sensitivities for a long time, and am a recovering sugar addict. In my first 3 years of wedded bliss, I gained significant weight eating a lot of Chinese takeout, drinking a lot of coffee, and eating whatever baked goods I could get my hands on. Two years ago, my sugar addiction actually started to negatively impact my voice – it depleted my immune system, and I was susceptible to virtually every bug I came in contact with. I finally ended up with back to back sinus infections (and back to back rounds of antibiotics), and between the sugar and the antibiotics, I was left with a systemic candida situation. Not just my intestines…it was on my vocal cords. I was so phlegmy that my cords weren’t properly adducting, and my voice started to get thin and reedy and (my mother will argue with me, Thanks, Mom!) unpleasant. Worse, it hurt to sing. I went on a strict detox diet and had zero sugar for 4 months, zero coffee and zero anything fermented. Not only did the candida clear up, but I lost 31 pounds without exercising. (Which was a most excellent bonus. Newlywed weight, begone!) I fell off the wagon and in the blink of an eye gained back 20 pounds. So clearly, as much as food can have harmful effects on a body, so can it have great effects on a body, when you’re eating the right stuff. And I’ve been trying to get back on track ever since.

 

So, I started to read Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Eat To Live earlier this year, and boy, has it changed how I think about food. A food craving isn’t real hunger – it’s “toxic hunger,” which is the result of addiction. Changing to a mostly plant-based diet has really changed my food-awareness and has seriously curbed my cravings for sugar. I’ve never eaten so many dark, leafy greens in my life. (My diet is roughly 70-80% plant-based. I’ve given up dairy completely, and only eat fish and eggs.) I’ve bought more books on nutrition and detoxing in the last several months than I have time to read, but I am slowly working my way down the list. It’s gotten to the point lately that all I want to do is read about food, cook food, eat food, and, oh yeah, learn music for my upcoming gigs. So, I just registered for the Health Coach Certification program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). I’m so stoked! My classmates come from all around the world, and we’ll be joined together in what promises to be a wonderful, supportive and inspiring community. 

 

Anyway, I’ll have more to say on that later. But making the decision to enroll at IIN gave me the courage to start thislittle endeavor. For now, I just want to introduce myself. I’ll try to keep it interesting. Don’t forget to chew!

 

Ciao!

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The Diva Digests

an opera singer's thoughts on music, food, and the meaning of life

about The Diva

I’m a California native, recently returned to the L.A. area after 15 years as an opera singer in the Big Apple. Singing has always been my favorite means of communication and self-expression. I’m a self-conscious self-editor, so singing someone else’s words and music has given me the freedom over the years to express what I couldn’t figure out how to say. Well, I’m tired of editing, so here I am, writing my own words (for better or worse). Welcome to my blog! I’ll write mostly about singing and eating, and how the two have intersected in my life.

 

My overall health is pretty good (and it’s a lot better than it used to be). Thank God, I’ve never had major illnesses. But repeat sinus infections for an opera singer is pretty bad news. When I realized I was making myself sick with what I was eating (hello coffee, fried food, and refined sugar!), it was a huge wake-up call. I could likely have saved myself an invasive surgery if I had known that my fibroids were growing because of my highly inflammatory diet. I thought surgery was my best option, because it was what my doctor recommended! (By the way, I have kept my fibroids in check and improved my sinus health – and lost 25 pounds – by engaging in new food habits that reduce inflammation.)

 

We have become a magic pill culture. Sit in front of the TV for 5 minutes, and you’re bombarded by direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical marketing. “Do you suffer from heartburn so bad it makes you vomit? Never fear. Go ahead and eat that plateful of atomic buffalo wings, wash it down with a bottle of red wine, and take this little pill. You’ll be right as rain.” UGH. (I paraphrase, but you get the idea.) Actually, you’ll end up with chronic inflammation, which can lead to serious illness. (Cancer, anyone?) Have you ever considered that the bloating and discomfort you feel after a meal is NOT normal? Do you want to get off of your OTC (and possibly even your prescription) meds? Do you want to quit your daily Advil habit? You can do it by making a few, simple changes to your diet. (Countless people have even reversed their diabetes by changing what and how they eat. Diabetes!!) Food can change the world — and YOUR LIFE.

 

If you have struggled with sugar or other food addiction, poor sleep, intense stress, brain fog, blocked creativity, with the feeling that you haven’t reached your potential, and you are looking for an ally to help achieve your best health, unlock your super powers, and live a dynamic life, please contact me at thedivadigests@gmail.com to set up a FREE 1-hour consultation and learn more about one-on-one and group coaching options… The Diva will help you Digest, too, and live an authentic, dynamic life. ;)