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Pilates by the Sea

I Am Living To Tell


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Time to Shine, Beautiful One.


Give yourself permission to just be quiet 

Today' blog is courtesy of my mom, author, speaker and international stress management and humor consultant, Loretta Laroche.

Not a week goes by without some article that focuses on some type of craving whether it be food, a relationship, a substance or a gadget. I personally crave silence! I am so tired of a world that seems to have the need to fill every moment with some kind of sound. I never thought I would come to the place where I felt the desire to simply listen to nothing. When I was a high school student in a Catholic boarding school silent retreats were part of the curriculum, occurring every few months. Imagine a gaggle of teen age girls trying desperately not to talk and me in particular trying not to laugh. My particular group of friends would do anything in our power to get one of the so called “goody two shoes” to break. Which of course always led to us being separated and confined to our rooms. Waiting for the three days and nights of silent hell to be over with was a nightmare.

I could not possibly understand the value the good sisters were trying to impart to us, since my internal chatter needed to be shared with anyone I came in contact with. “After all” Sister Immaculata would say “one does not need to express every thought they have”. I wonder what she would think of the reality shows. Oh how time changes our perceptions. I have spent years on the road and been inundated with sounds of all kinds, and the amount of noise that surrounds us seems to have grown exponentially. No matter where you are now, you can hear someone talking on their cell phone.

Do we have that much more to share? Is it necessary to report every moment of the day to anyone who might be available? Perhaps we are trying to find someone who will actually take the time to listen. That’s a pretty tall order these days. Since many of us feel overwhelmed and are lacking in the “self care” department. How can we pay attention to what someone is saying when we don’t take the time to listen to ourselves? That’s where silence and solitude come into play. Without them we lose our ability to cultivate an” interior life”. You might want to give yourself permission to just be quiet and still. It will probably be a struggle initially since the mind is often buffeted by sights, sounds and experiences. But, I can guarantee that if you make the effort to honor silence periodically, you will feel more inner peace and tranquility.

Thanks for these words of wisdom, Mom!

To read more of her inspiring words, visit her blog at


You are what you eat

You've heard the old saying, "you are what you eat."  I am constantly reminded of the importance of diet in staying healthy. Besides all the unknowns we're being exposed to such as pesticides, toxins, hormones in the food we eat, sugar can be just as dangerous.

My rule of thumb is to try to stay away from sugar and processed food. It seems like it takes about two weeks to kick the sugar habit completely. When you first stop eating it, your body will crave it, sometimes something fierce. Eat fruit, whole grain, something that is naturally sweet and just keep telling yourself that this is good and healthy, and eventually you won’t crave it so badly.

We tend to crave sugar in the middle of the afternoon because our blood sugar has dropped from lunch. Instead of a sugar snack or even chips, try eating a hardboiled egg or some turkey. The protein will satisfy the sugar craving and it will last you through to dinner.

Also beware of hidden sugar—it’s used in practically everything. It’s vital to read those labels. If it’s got sugar in it, don’t eat it. The same holds true for chemicals. If what you’re about to eat has a chemical you can’t pronounce, chances are, it’s not really going to do your body any good. And watch out for sugar substitutes, too.

It takes a little bit of work to eat wholesomely. It’s so easy to buy some frozen dinners and pop them in the microwave, but the end result can be extremely harmful to your health. I'm a huge fan of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which has provided me a wealth of information in creating a healthy diet. Check out their blog which includes the Health Food Store Tour for a great 101 on some important foods with suggested recipes!

Once you start to detoxify your body, the foods you thought tasted great will soon taste like chemicals. And that’s a good place to be! There’s a whole new world of food waiting to be found, so happy shopping and bon appetit.



Transcendental Meditation Technique Featured on Oprah's Next Chapter

With my upcoming presentation to the Emerald Coast Meditation Society, it seemed very appropriate to share this recent Oprah program on the Transcendental Meditation technique. I took this program with Prudy and I am a firm believer in this technique.

As outlined on, "The Transcendental Meditation technique allows your mind to settle inward beyond thought to experience the source of thought — pure awareness, also known as transcendental consciousness, or the unified field. This is the most silent and peaceful level of consciousness — your innermost self. In this state of restful alertness, your brain functions with significantly greater coherence and your body gains deep rest."

Last Sunday, several hundred thousand people tuned in to watch the Oprah Winfrey Network’s most recent episode of Oprah’s Next Chapter: a one-hour special on the Transcendental Meditation program and its application in different areas of life. This week Oprah visits the safe, green, and unusual community of Fairfield, Iowa. It’s the last place you’d expect to find huge golden domes where thousands practice the Transcendental Meditation technique twice a day. I encourage you to watch this edition of the Oprah's Next Chapter on Sunday at 8 p.m. CST to learn more about this powerfully centering technique.


Learn to stop and be quiet

This will be the underlying message as I share my story with the Emerald Coast Meditation Society this week. Consider joining us for the ECMS meeting on Thursday, April 5 at 6:30 p.m. The program will begin with a meditation session and follow with my presentation.

The meeting will be held at the John Horton Senior Center on Hwy 393 N. I hope you'll be able to join us for some much needed quiet time and to hear a few of the lessons that I learned in my journey battling cancer. Simply put "you have the power" to be a healthier, happier you.


New Chi Bella Design Features A Handmade Lotus Flower

Through my journey, the lotus flower has had special meaning. It was the symbol I used to direct my thinking. The lotus flower grows in muddy water to bloom with remarkable beauty. I recently began a collaboration with talented local artist, Niki Gaffrey, to design a lotus for my Chi Bella Jewelry line. Each lotus is hand-crafted out of clay and can be customized with the crystal of your choice. For example if you desire serenity, I would insert the Amazonite gemstone in the center of the lotus, providing a soothing effect on the wearer. This stone is known to help calm emotional and mental turmoil and alleviate stress and exhaustion, and provides the wearer a physical reminder to draw upon calm thoughts throughout the day. I'll be introducing this new design at a special event on March 24 at Fusion Spa.Salon at Grand Boulevard.